Home » Jesus

Tag: Jesus

the annunciation by tanner

8 Fulfilled Prophesies Foretelling the Birth of Jesus Christ

PROPHESY: Descendant of Abraham

“And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 22:18)

Prophesied: Around 1500-1300 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38

The genealogy of Jesus laid out in the book of Matthew and Luke details Jesus lineage through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

PROPHESY: Descendant of Jacob

“A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” (Numbers: 24:17)

Prophesied: Between 1446-1260 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38

The genealogy of Jesus laid out in the book of Matthew and Luke details Jesus lineage through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

PROPHESY: Virgin Birth, Immanuel

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Prophesied: 740 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 1:20-25, Luke 1:26-35

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

PROPHESY: A Child Will Be Born

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Prophesied: 740 BC
Fulfilled: Luke 1:32-33; 3:23-38, Matthew 1:1, 6-7

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

PROPHESY: The Time of Messiah’s Arrival

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:25-26)

Prophesied: 605 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

“(1) This passage tells us when Messiah will appear on the scene. (2) It tells us that after His appearance, Messiah will be rejected by His people, and (3) that Messiah will be cut off temporarily, an obvious reference to the cross.”

“The seven weeks with the sixty-two weeks combine to make 69 weeks of years (483 years) until the coming of Messiah. The starting point for the 483 years was the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This is a reference to the decree given in the time of Nehemiah in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. (Neh. 2:1-8). After this, Messiah would appear on the scene.”

“The words ‘until Messiah the Prince’ refer to a time when Messiah would be manifested as the prince of Israel. This would be around A.D. 30-33, so the time of His birth as the Immanuel of God would have to be around A.D. 0-4.” (Keathley.)

PROPHESY: Born in Bethlehem

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Prophesied: 742 BC
Fulfilled: Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 2:1-6, John 7:42

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) […] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

PROPHESY: Destruction of the Children

“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

Prophesied: 597 BC
Fulfilled: Mathew 2:16-18

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

PROPHESY: Return from Egypt

“Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Hosea 11:1)

Prophesied: 755 BC
Fulfilled: Matthew 2:13-15

“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

Download the two-page handout for your next discussion »

 


References

Lorenz, J. November 2, 2014. Prophecies About Jesus: 6 Birth Prophecies Fulfilled by Christ. Newsmax. Retrieved from https://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/prophecies-about-jesus-birth/2014/11/02/id/604203/

Keathley, III, J. Prophecies of the Birth of Christ. Bible.org. Retrieved from https://bible.org/article/prophecies-birth-christ

Chaffey, T. December 24, 2012. Fulfilled Prophecies at the Birth of Christ. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved from https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/birth/fulfilled-prophecies-at-the-birth-of-christ/

Please follow and like us:
ye are gods He said

Ye are gods, He said

As I lifted my Bible this morning, I began reading in the middle of John 10. Funny, I didn’t see this yesterday when I read the same passage, but today it seems a deeper meaning is clear. Buckle up. Some may cry ‘heresy’ by the time I’m through.

Here, I’m highlighting John 10:33-38. Verses 22-32 have been included to help with context.

John 10:22-38

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Today, verse 34 particularly jumped out at me. “Written in your law,” “I said” and “Ye are gods”. My KJV tells me the Master is referencing Psalm 82, a psalm of Asaph. Here it is in its entirety, my emphasis on verses 5-7:

82 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

The authors of this KLV study Bible (Reformation Heritage) note “’like men’, literally, ‘As Adam’ (Job 31:33, Hosea 6:7), perhaps an allusion to the fall of the first man, appointed to rule the earth (Genesis 1-3).”

I believe the word “perhaps” here is a gross understatement. I firmly believe Psalm 82:6 is a reference to our state prior to the Fall. This is not to say I think we are gods in the ancient pagan or Mormon sense of the word, but that we—crafted in His likeness and sanctified through faith—grow more God-like the closer our walk with the Father through the radiant indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:26 confirms our original divine nature when it says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” The escape from the fiery furnace in Daniel 3 and the closing of the mouths of the lions in Daniel 6 backed by Psalm 91’s covenant of protection are only a few examples that further echo this elevated supernatural state awaiting the one who believes the Word of God over their perceived ‘reality’. Christ’s example to us was certainly one of dominion over all nature; even death. He is our example of what it looks like to “subdue the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

In Mark 9:23, Jesus was clear when He said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” So what do the conservative “believers” do with this claim when it come crashing into their tradition and their powerless walk? “Oh, but that was Jesus,” they say. “He didn’t really mean ALL things are possible.”

No, I think this applies to us. I think Jesus meant what He said.

I think the “all” in “all things are possible” means “all.”

What do you think?

Please follow and like us:
born again in Jesus

What Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior Means to Me

From my YouTube channel, TheMetalHero94 writes:

Hi, really interesting topic. I’d like to know something. Many Christians talk about salvation saying that the only way to be saved is by proclaiming Christ as lord and savior. However, I do not really understand how that works. I’ll explain, most of the believers I know have said that to me, you know, that you must accept Jesus as your savior. However, this same people are always spreading hate, judging others, complaining about everything, etc. It surprises me they say something like that and do not even practice what Jesus Christ teaches, how can you be saved by accepting Jesus and not even working on your own behavior? When it comes to accepting Christ, I’ve always thought it was about applying his teachings to your life, and man, I’ve got really interesting experiences, a feeling of relief, love and happiness that cannot be found in the material world.

Would you mind telling what “Accepting Christ as lord and savior” means to you? 🙂 Cheers.


Sure thing, MetalHero!

Before I answer, let me get grounded on a couple things.

We Are All Lost

First, let me say we ALL need saving. We all fall grossly short of the glory of God. We all have sin. Per Paul’s letter to the Romans 3:9-18:

“For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

“‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.'”

Keep in mind, as Paul quotes from Psalms 14 and other Old Testament verses here, he was including himself in this description of our fallen state.

Our best deeds are as filthy rags before our Lord’s holiness (Isaiah 64:6). As we continue to grow in our relationship with God, we begin to more clearly comprehend his magnitude, power and love for us. As we begin to get a glimpse of this, we also begin getting a sense for our smallness, dullness and pollutedness. The more you know God, the more humble you become, ultimately.

It is from this spirit of humility that true Christians should be operating from–not from a spirit of haughty self-righteousness sometimes seen in unregenerate Christians (Matthew 7:5). Now, I’m not saying Christians who are experiencing regeneration in meaningful ways can’t falter or backslide; they certainly do. Cling to Romans 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

You’re likely already experiencing this, as can be seen by your statement, “I’ve got really interesting experiences, a feeling of relief, love and happiness that cannot be found in the material world.” If materialistic concerns are beginning to lose their grip on you, this is evidence you are moving away from the physical and beginning to answer the spiritual call of the Father. This is fantastic! You may be interested in reading St. Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle for a good map of the soul’s evolution toward God.

I believe this renewal Paul speaks of is where many folks stumble. If you go through a regenerative experience and allow yourself to be pulled back into degenerative living, your fall will be even greater than if you hadn’t been saved at all. This is why it is so important we dig into Scripture and seek baptism upon being “born again” in Christ.

Be careful to avoid the trap of discarding the truth of Jesus Christ because you see self-professed “Christians” behaving badly. That is to fall prey to what’s called an ad hominem fallacy. “Ad hominem” is a Latin term that means “against the man” and an ad hominem fallacy is where we discount a message based on the character or circumstances surrounding the person delivering the message. Again, I’ll bring you back to the verses I opened this message with, Romans 3:9-18. Not one of us is worthy. “No, not one.”

Why Do We Need A Savior?

Secondly, sometimes, folks ask why we even need a savior. Surely God wouldn’t have made mankind so completely broken and faulty if he was a perfect God, right? Well, as we see in Adam’s fall, things were made perfect, however once Adam and Eve chose against God, sin entered the world. God gives his created beings free will. The choirs of angels have struggled with this. Humanity has struggled with this. Certainly there is a purification that happens through this struggle, but there is also a sifting between those who cleave to God and those who reject him. According to Romans 1:18-25, all know him in their hearts:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

Why Doesn’t God Just Make Us in a Saved Condition?

So, let’s answer the question why would a perfect God make imperfect wretches like us? Instead of his perfection being passed onto us, could it not be implied our imperfection is a reflection of God’s short-comings? Essentially, the notion is, “If the design is flawed, the Designer is flawed.” This is a funny one I’ve seen atheists use. The argument is a reversal. It subjects the perfect and holy Father to our own reptilian wisdom and sense of justice.

Isaiah 55:6-9

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Meditate on that for a second. “As the heavens are higher than the earth.” How big is the universe? Those heavens. Soak in that for a moment.

Back to Adam and Eve. They walked with God himself. They were pure creations in a “saved” condition. If angels (also created beings with free will) can err, apparently so can mankind. And so we did. And so we do.

What Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior Means to Me

So the foundation has been set. We are all sinners. We all need saving. We cannot save ourselves.

For many years, I maintained a relationship with God but I went around Jesus to do it. I thought Jesus was a great teacher and a great example for us to follow. I knew God wanted a personal relationship with me but I still wasn’t clear on the Trinity, so I simplified things and just focused on God the Father. Then one Sunday morning, my pastor’s sermon slapped me awake with:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

That sermon brought out in me a hunger to know Jesus–to study his example. As I reacquainted myself with Scripture, it became painfully obvious there was a huge gap in the account of Christ’s life in the Bible. Only now do I realize this is by design. (Matthew 24:35 is proof of this.) If we could follow Christ’s path step-by-step, we would continue to chase him under our own power instead of allowing ourselves to be shaped by God through faith. This is why so many other methods or false religions for reaching God lead to destruction.

next steps to becoming christian

In John 14, Jesus is very clear:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

In my three-day salvation prayer experience, I had to understand this and renounce my previous errant attempts. Certainly there was more renouncing than understanding when I first moved through this, but the more I get into God’s Word, the more I understand this. Even writing this response to you has helped me soak in this truth more. So, thank you for asking!

Thoughts?

matt signature

Please follow and like us:
Cain killed Abel with a rock billboard

Cain killed Abel with a rock. It’s a heart problem; not a gun problem.

A billboard reads “Cain killed Abel with a rock. It’s a heart problem; not a gun problem. Jeremiah 17:9” I first shared this graphic on Facebook on October 3, 2015, after yet another school shooting. What came next was a brief but emotionally-charged conversation over gun control. A polarizing issue; some folks clamor for it while some reject the idea outright.

I say the gun, the bomb, the sword—they’re all just inanimate things with no minds or ill-will of their own. The issue is the intent behind their invention, continued production and use. If there was a true respect for life in humanity, there would be no need or desire for these things to even exist.

Therein lies the “heart problem”.

As I’ve entered a period of regeneration in my Christian walk, I’ve been getting clear on God’s guidance in regards to the hot topics that face our fallen world today. One of the ways I have been doing this has been by plugging into learned teachers of the Christian faith like Greg Bahnsen, Joel McDurmon of American Vision and Jeff Durbin of Apologia Church.

Since I’ve begun voraciously listening to the Apologia Church crew via their Apologia Radio broadcast, I’ve stumbled over a troubling pro-gun, anti-legislation stance that isn’t sitting well with me. I normally really respect the apologetic training and message these folks are producing. Their work has been vital in helping me clarify what I believe and why I believe it. Still, this “biblical” slant on the right to bear arms feels out of place when held up next to what is usually spot-on biblical interpretation. In his October 2015 argument against additional gun legislation, Pastor Jeff returns to one of his primary influencers, Dr. Greg Bahnsen.

During a landmark debate against Dr. James Atwood over the issue of gun control, Dr. Bahnsen attempted to illustrate God’s will for us to protect ourselves according to Scripture. The examples he gives are the following:

Exodus 22:2 – Killing a thief found breaking and entering.
While lethal force is not actually condoned by God here, this passage provides legal advice depending upon whether the thief breaks in during the night or by day.

Judges 15 – The story of Samson killing many Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.
This revenge story seems to be an account of God’s justice being meted out upon the Philistines through Samson’s berserker rage.

Nehemiah 4 – The builders of the wall armed themselves.
A historical account of the steps Nehemiah’s men took to protect themselves as they worked on the wall; not a call to arms by God. Though Nehemiah trusted God would support their efforts, he and his men were still worldly enough to hold fast to their weapons.

Luke 11:21 – “When a strong man, fully armed, keeps his palace; his goods are in peace.”
When taken in full context, this reads a bit differently. The text goes on to say, “But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” The exegesis here is a reference to Satan being overcome by Christ and being “plundered” of his stolen souls. If anything, Christ is pointing to Satan’s error by trusting in his own power; not telling us we should go out and follow Satan’s self-reliant example.

Luke 22:36 – Where Jesus told His disciples to buy a sword.
Here Jesus is setting the stage for one of his last lessons before his death. Christ does not condone the use of the sword. This is evident when he admonishes the overzealous apostle for cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant (Luke 22:49-51). Just as certainly as he understands his anointing for burial (Matthew 26:12) and foretells his betrayal (Luke 22:22-23), he obviously foresees the lesson of the sword. This is why he orders the apostles to produce a sword, even if they must sell their cloak and buy one (Luke 22:36). When they offer two, his response is, “It is enough.”

So, I don’t agree with Bahnsen and I don’t agree with Durbin and company. I don’t believe God ever redacted that pesky sixth commandment “Thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17). When the Israelites were led out of Egypt, did you ever notice it was God that doled out the justice? Not once was an Israelite citizen commanded to pick up a weapon and smite their enemy. I believe Scripture when I read:

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. (1 John 3:11-15)

If we stop a moment and mentally follow the time-tested litmus test of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), I hope it becomes obvious to us Christ wouldn’t be walking the Earth today carrying a concealed pistol. And if we truly believe he is the Truth, the Way and the Life, we know it is his example we are to chase and emulate; not an apostle’s, not Nehemiah’s, not Samson’s, nor that of anyone standing behind a microphone today.

Christ’s example to us was one of shocking love and meek sacrifice to sinners; not self-defense or self-reliance. Even as he prayed in the garden, his words were “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) If it is God’s will you be attacked in the dead of night, may I offer what is likely to be a grossly unpopular response to this?

God has allowed this to happen.

If we truly believe in God’s omniscience and omnipotence, that not a molecule in the universe is out of place; and if we truly believe in his protection and plan for us, we cannot doubt that either

  1. we will be spared of any wrongdoing through the most elegant, divinely-orchestrated serendipity, or that
  2. God intends to use our purgation in a redemptive, meaningful way, or finally
  3. we’ve earned God’s wrath.

Lest we forget, we are not our own but his alone.

So, is deeper legislation the answer? Well, from a world-centered point of view, it may be a step in the right direction (depending upon the legislation, of course.) Through ensuring the right to bear arms, the founding fathers intended to keep a level playing field between the people and a wayward government or invading force. There is no way they could have foreseen the advances in warfare, technology and moral decline we’ve come to enjoy today. Still, this is man’s self-made law; not God’s.

So, is legislation the answer? It’s an aspirin to a headache. It treats the symptom, but it does little to address the underlying cause.

Yes, I agree tougher controls and legislation are needed in the short-term. Curiously, I’ve seen folks in this discussion make the leap to compare men and their guns with women and abortions (which is ennobled as ‘health care’).

(Retrieved from http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/uncategorized/epic-response-to-treating-abortion-like-gun-control.)
(Retrieved from http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/uncategorized/epic-response-to-treating-abortion-like-gun-control.)

There have been over 54,000,000 abortions in the US since it was legalized 1973. (For perspective, the WWII Holocaust killed over 11,000,000.) While gun control is definitely an issue, crazed assault weapon owners haven’t even scratched the paint in taking this many innocent lives.

I see both issues as ‘heart’ issues. Both gun control and abortion could be removed from the table completely if humanity’s heart was in the right place. The fact we mass-produce killing machines and glamorize violence in our entertainment and media is indicative of the same heart sickness we suffer when we fail to recognize the value of human life in utero.

If we, as God’s people, held a true respect for life, guns and other instruments of warfare would be reduced to relics in a museum; dusty reminders of a medieval mindset that took way too long to dry up and blow away.

matt signature


This conversation on self-defense and violence is continued in the post Christian Martial Arts? The Biblical Case Against Self-Defense.

Please follow and like us:
you are not saved

You Are Not Saved

Today at church, Pastor asked us for examples of things that separate us from God. Things like busy lives, self-absorption, erroneous beliefs about God (vindictive, fear-mongering), erroneous beliefs about our part in that relationship; these were the kinds of things presented by the audience.

One of the items I would add to that list is the notion that–because you were “saved” by reciting some words or getting doused by water–you’ve reached the climax of your relationship with God.

This too, feels like erroneous thinking. It means to me you have a reason (excuse) to try less. You’re saved because you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior. I would challenge that. Fantastic that you have accepted Christ! But you cannot simply accept Christ and then choose to live a baseless existence, courting only your physical desires! You may as well be an animal if that is the case. You were given a human brain by a mistake of birth.

I believe we are admitted into heaven (conscious reunion with God) through God’s grace and our own devotion to closing the gap between God and ourselves. Christ is our example. Christ is our way, if we actively choose Him.

You can say you are saved. You can pay lip service to Christ and call Him your Savior, but what are you doing to close the gap between your daily grind and Christ’s life example?

Are you studying God’s Word? Are you praying? Are you meditating?

The word is devotion.

That is my question to you: What can you do on a daily basis to raise your devotion to closing the gap between your Creator and yourself?

next steps to becoming christian

Please follow and like us: