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Will We Know Our Loved Ones in Heaven

Posted on August 4, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Lately, I’ve seen more interest in pets in heaven than people in heaven. Maybe I’ve been hanging with the wrong crowd or watching the wrong TV shows.

The Forever NotebookNow that I’ve brought it up, I might as well address the pets in heaven issue. Yes, there will be animals in heaven. There is Biblical evidence to support that conclusion. However, God’s word is mute on a great reunion for pets and their human masters. I suppose that’s one of those “wait and see” matters.

I’m pretty sure my cat won’t make it. The door to heaven will close before he can make up his mind to enter or stay.

We all have questions as to what heaven will be like, what it will look like, and what we’ll be doing once we get there.

My wife, Janet, is an artist and a visionary. She’ll draw out a simple sketch on a piece of paper and ask for my opinion on her plan for landscaping the backyard or decorating a bedroom. I’m pretty much limited to the shapes scrawled on the paper. Naturally, it disappoints her when I don’t share her enthusiasm. It’s not because I don’t want to. I just don’t see it with the clarity she can see it. All I can do is trust her that it will be as wonderful as advertised.

That’s the way we should take the Biblical instruction on heaven. Just like all of the Lord’s promises, heaven is about faith. It’s not about what we can see, but what shall be. Our finite minds are incapable of grasping the full magnitude of this incredible place Jesus has gone to prepare for us.

Can you imagine a world without evil where there is no more death, grief, hunger, thirst, or pain? No stress. No worry. No problems. No bills. (No Biblical evidence on that one. Just seems logical.) Just eternal, continual, unstoppable joy.

Regarding seeing our loved ones there, our focus text allows for the possibility of a reunion, but it doesn’t specify if we will immediately know them. We are told only “that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” However, there is nothing in the 1 Thessalonians’ passage to indicate we will recognize them.

There is an event, however, preceding the Resurrection of Christ known as the Transfiguration in which people from the past are recognized. You can read about it in Luke 9:28-36. We’re told that Jesus became “as bright as a flash of lightning.” (v29) And with Him appeared two men of great significance from Israel’s history, Moses and Elijah. We know that their identities were known by Jesus’ disciples because Peter called them by name and offered to prepare shelters for them.

In another Biblical scenario, David grieved over the impending death of his son. He fervently prayed for God to spare the child’s life and “spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.” (2 Samuel 12:16)  But when the child died, David arose, cleaned himself up, and ate a meal. His servants were curious at the change in David’s behavior to which he responded, “…now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me. (2 Samuel 12:23) David believed he would see his child again.

And if we see and know our loved ones in heaven, how will they appear? Will they be as we last saw them? In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul reveals that our earthly bodies will be replaced by heavenly bodies. In verse 3, he dismisses the notion that we’ll be spirits floating around aimlessly like ghosts. We will have bodies suited for eternity that won’t decay or be subject to sickness.

Our bodies will be transformed into something better than anything we’ve had on this earth. There will be no bad hair days in heaven.

Paul gives us an impressive glimpse of our heavenly bodies in the following scripture:

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

So we can expect that we will have many of our earthly characteristics with heavenly improvements for life with the Father.

Even relationships that didn’t work out so well here on earth will be pure and perfect. And our dearly departed will be with us forever. But most importantly, we will be with our Lord in paradise.

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September)

The Forever Notebook

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Love Means You Sometimes Have to Say You’re Sorry

Posted on August 1, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

In 1970, when Janet and I were dating, there was a popular movie called Love Story. A catchphrase from the film was, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Back then, for whatever reason, the sentiment sounded good, but it was wrong. In fact, love requires apologies, requests for forgiveness, and even — confession.

God wants us to live in harmony. When we say and do things that hurt one another, we should act swiftly before the fire consumes our relationships.

“… confess your sins to each other” doesn’t mean that you bear your soul to everyone you meet. Rather, you should seek peace in relationships in which problems have arisen. When you cause offense to another — apologize, confess, and seek amends.

Jesus placed a high priority on resolving the troubles that arise between you and others. And his emphasis isn’t just on those who wrong you. Jesus wants you to seek reconciliation even when the grievance is against you. That responsibility is expressed in the following scripture passage:

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24

Think about that for a moment. Have you or anyone you know ever left a Sunday morning worship service to hunt down a friend or relative to seek reconciliation? I’m guessing the answer is “no.”

Jesus is concerned with motive, the heart behind the action. In verse 21 of Matthew 5, He calls attention to the Mosaic law, that “anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” Then Jesus adds to that mandate by including  intent. “… anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” (v22)

Confession is open and honest dialogue in which truth behind actions is revealed.

What happens when your efforts at reconciliation are rejected? Well, that becomes an issue between them and God. You have done your part and obeyed the Lord. Keep on loving. Keep on praying for God to change their heart and attitude toward you. Meanwhile, maintain a godly spirit in your thoughts and encounters with that person.

Jesus wants us to be peacemakers. We should expect nothing less from the Prince of Peace. He produced peace between God and man through His sacrificial death. And He wants us to strive for peace in our relationships with one another. And, yes, sometimes there will be sacrifice involved. Difficult people don’t just suddenly change because you have offered them an olive branch. In fact, they may try to hit you with it. Resisting the urge to hit back will feel like sacrifice.

Jesus has high expectations of His followers. But then again, should we be surprised? Shouldn’t the bar be set high for children of the King?

Not only are we told to confess our sins to one another, but we are also to pray for each other. Imagine the power of praying with those you’ve been at odds with.

What a difference it can make in a marriage. The husband who apologizes for his rude behavior, seeks forgiveness, and then prays with his wife for a strengthened relationship. The wife who lovingly airs the reason for her anger, asks for forgiveness, and then prays for the joy to be restored to their marriage.

Is there someone who has a problem with you? Pray for God to give you wisdom in seeking to clear the air. Ask for Him to give them a receptive heart. Have you offended someone? Pray for the Lord to give you courage to own up to your sin before them. Ask for Him to be with you as you seek to make amends.

Love means sometimes you have to say you’re sorry.

If you’re troubled by a relationship, check out this message: The Key to Better Relationships

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September)

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The Key to Better Relationships

Posted on July 10, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…

Philippians 2:3

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get along with everybody? Imagine how much better life would be if you could experience harmonious and peaceful relationships with everyone. Yes, even those cantankerous individuals who get their kicks out of making you miserable.

Now that’s a utopia that won’t be enjoyed until we get to heaven. Down here on earth, we must continue to coexist with the good, the bad, and the ugly.

When we study the Bible, we think a lot about growing our relationship with God. But I wonder if we have a tendency to overlook scriptural teaching on our relationships with one another.

In fact, there are teachings on our relationships with others that are controversial, even rejected. For example, the instruction on wives submitting to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:22-24) But when balancing that mandate with the whole of scripture, it shouldn’t be hard for anyone to accept. The role of the husband is to love his wife sacrificially as Christ loves the church. (Eph 5:25) Later in verse 33, Paul amplifies his meaning. “… each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”  So the marital relationship is to be one of sacrificial love and respect. It’s a 2-way street in which both partners have a God-given role and responsibility. Harmony prevails when we follow the divine design for relationships.

Our focus text in Philippians holds the key for healthy relationships. “… in humility value others above yourselves…” The word I want you to focus on here is VALUE.

One of my neighbors has a car and a truck. Without fail he washes and polishes both vehicles once per week. Why? Value.

We give those things we prize our best. Paul teaches that we are to value others above ourselves because when we hold them in high esteem we treat them better.

By the way, he didn’t say to just hold the ones who treat us well in high esteem. He just says to value others more than ourselves. That’s right up there with turning the other cheek. Not easy. But it is worthwhile.

He also tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” Me first won’t cut it. And don’t think of yourself more highly than another.

Who are the people in your inner circle who cause you the most grief? Surely a name or two come to mind. Put aside your biases, hurts, and opinions of that person and think of how you can look at him or her in a favored light. Your goal is to value them more highly than yourself.

Why would God want us to do that? Because it’s precisely what Jesus did for you and me. “… he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7)

We say we want to be more like Christ. He’s our supreme role model. If that is truly what we want then we must also take to heart the Bible’s teachings on interacting with others. And that includes: “… in humility value others above yourselves…”

The key to better relationships is placing value on others, even when it’s undeserved. And as with any spiritual maturity challenge, bathe it in prayer. Trust God to help you effect change that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others — to His glory.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Love Means You Sometimes Have to Say I’m Sorry

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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When Christ Returns to Take Us Home

Posted on June 25, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 9:27-28

Today our focus is on the return of Christ. It is a factual future event, although nobody knows when. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)

Biblical scholars like to debate the order of end things; Rapture, Second Coming, Thousand Year Reign, Judgment(s), etc.

Years ago when my oldest son was little, he was invited to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. Janet and I were also asked to join the celebration. While the kids played, and the mothers supervised, the fathers sat at the table and tried to talk over the noise. That’s when I was accosted with the strangest conversation starter — ever. “Are you a dispensationalist and what is your position on the end time?

Now, I had only been attending Southeastern Bible College for a short time and had no idea how to answer his question. So I nodded my head and smiled as if carefully considering my answer. Just as I was about to say, “I think I heard my wife calling me,” he proudly announced he was an Amillennialist, which rejects the view that Jesus will have a literal thousand year reign as addressed in Revelation Chapter 20.

Eventually, my studies at Southeastern Bible College and Samford University introduced me to that concept and other views of how God will wrap up things on this earth and establish His forever plan for believers in heaven with Him.

Premillennialists hold that the thousand year reign will be preceded by the Second Coming. The Postmillennial camp expects the Millennial Reign of Christ to precede the Second Coming.

In fact, there are so many views about how the end will come together it can make your head spin. So I’m not going to deal with theory. I don’t mean to suggest it isn’t important, but The Forever Notebook is a devotional, and I want us to keep our eye on the prize. Keep the main thing the main thing. Jesus is coming again.

Like it says in our focus text: “… he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

Jesus’ first coming was to bear our sin, to die in our stead, and pay the penalty we deserve. His second earthly appearance will be to bring our salvation.

Consider the experience of the first disciples, heartbroken over the brutal execution of the One they had believed would save them. Then to learn He was alive, victorious over death. How amazing that must have been. Wouldn’t it have been exciting to have been there?

Acts 1 beautifully captures that breathtaking moment when Jesus ascended into heaven.

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11

As astounding as that sight of Jesus’ ascent must have been, His return will be even more breathtaking.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

I’ll close today’s devotion with these words from our Savior.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Revelation 22:20

For more on this topic, check out this article: Heaven is a Choice and Not Mandatory

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Great Joy Like a Proud Parent

Posted on May 27, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

3 John 1:4

When my oldest son, Sean, was four, he appeared in his first school play. Seeing him on that stage while singing with all his classmates gave me an adrenaline shot of pride unlike anything I had ever experienced. I felt like a fool as tears welled in my eyes. It wasn’t a manly reaction to something so simple as cute little kids singing.

As a parent or grandparent, you can relate to those special occasions, events, and accomplishments in which our children fill our hearts with great joy.

In our focus text, the writer is expressing great joy regarding his children in the faith, assumedly those who had come to the Lord through his ministry. He is joyful because his children are walking in the truth.

Once we grasp the magnificence of salvation in Christ, and what it means to be a believer, we have cause for celebration whenever we hear of our friends and loved ones who are serving Him. Even if we had nothing to do with the ministry that brought them to Christ, just the mere knowledge of their service for the Lord is cause for celebration.

But just as we experience feelings of joy for those in Christ, we should be motivated to pray for the lost. If we love everyone as we have been taught by God, then we should want the best for them. And there is nothing more important or more valuable than a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

Most of my professional career was as a radio DJ. As you can imagine, I crossed paths with many who had little interest in God. But one of the very pleasant surprises here late in life is to know that many of my old co-workers have given their lives to Christ and are serving him.

A young man contacted me yesterday to share his story of how he came to Christ and his desire to serve the Lord. He was a stranger, but his testimony of God’s grace lifted my spirits and produced joy in my heart.

How would you react if a stranger called to tell you he had just won a TV set or bought a new car? Well, you would have thought he was two fries short of a Happy Meal. But what if he said, “I just needed to tell someone that I have given my life to Christ.” You would listen, right? And even share in his joy. But why?

In John 17, Jesus prayed for his disciples. In verse 13, He said this. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”

The full measure of Christ’s joy resides within every Christian. The whole package that is eternal life, including the abiding presence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, everything we need for this life and the next. Eternal joy has been planted in the heart of every believer. We have it in common with all believers to be shared and enjoyed.

Who do you know that needs this joy? A child, a co-worker, an old friend, a brother or sister, or a parent or grandparent?

The hardest people to talk to about Jesus are those closest to us. But God doesn’t tune you out. He listens and answers our prayers. Don’t give up. God can do what we can’t.

I told you about the young man who contacted me to share the good news of his salvation. He said he had always believed in God, but it took the sudden death of his mother to get his attention. Even after that shocking event, it took several years for him to recognize his need to surrender to Christ.

It may take years for your prayers for others to be answered. And it may not happen in your lifetime. Don’t let that stop you.

Who do you need to pray for today? Pray for them now?

For more on this topic, check out this article: The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Children

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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How to Love Bad Company

Posted on April 26, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

1 Corinthians 15:33

During February, in The Forever Notebook, I devoted considerable attention to the subject of love. God wants us to love everybody, even our enemies. But…as we are taught in today’s focus passage, in the process of loving everybody, some of them need to be kept at a distance.

My wife grew up on a farm where they grew apples. She gave me insight on the old expression about “one bad apple.” Her grandfather kept his apples in underground bins. At least once per month he inspected the stored crop for bruises and decay. Sure enough, just one bad apple could spoil the whole bunch.

When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Corinth, he addressed many concerns including ungodly behavior, incorrect doctrine, and pagan practices within the church body. Their divisive problems were largely the result of their association with “bad company.”

Paul’s reference to “character” is directed at behavior  that follows Christian teaching and practice which can be corrupted by improper associations.

In a second letter to the church, Paul said, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Our relationships influence our thinking and our behavior. Like you told your kids, “Choose your friends wisely.”

Does that mean that a Christian should not marry a non-Christian? Does it mean you shouldn’t have non-Christian friends? I’ll answer those questions with a question. Can you participate in those relationships and remain unchanged and unwavering in your Christian faith and witness?

Obviously, there are relationships with non-Christians that are unavoidable.

My son, Michael, jokes that he grew up in Mayberry. That’s his description of home-life with his mom and dad. He’s a police officer and has encountered another side of life that is dark, dangerous, and evil. The nature of his work requires contact with “bad company.” But that’s not who he hangs with or allows to influence his relationship to God.

I grew up in a small town in the 60s, not all that different from Mayberry. When I left home for the first time to join the Navy, I was in for a rude awakening. The culture was far from the wholesome environment from which I had come. But I soon discovered that even in that radically different setting, there were those who shared my faith. They were the ones with whom I chose to hang out.

Treat everyone with respect and kindness. But keep “bad company” at a distance.

“Bad company” doesn’t come only in human form. It is also found in ideologies, religious beliefs, and thinking contrary to Christian doctrine.

Christianity and witchcraft don’t mix. Satan worship and belief in God cannot be intertwined. Secular humanism, agnosticism,  and Christianity cannot coexist. In fact, the mingling of any views contrary to, or similar to, Christian doctrine is void of saving faith. It is not Christianity at all. It’s like that oath taken in court. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.” Nothing else will do.

Just as you lock your doors at night for protection, you should also guard your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:7)

Be kind. Be respectful. Give Christian love. But keep “bad company” at a distance.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Beware of Argumentative Christians

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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God Loves You This Much

Posted on March 30, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53:3-4

Have you ever been wrongly accused? Have you ever been mocked, harshly insulted, despised, or ridiculed? Perhaps you’ve been the recipient of violent hatred? Maybe you’ve been rejected by your own people or betrayed by a close friend? Has a parent you love dearly ever turned his or her back on you completely? Have you ever been physically abused and beaten?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions then you, in a small way, can identify with the mental anguish and physical pain experienced by Jesus in the days leading up to His crucifixion. His response to all of the preceding questions would be a resounding “yes.”

In yesterday’s message, Jesus Paid It All, I talked about the significance of Jesus’ sinless life. He was good, godly, righteous, and spotless in regard to offence against God. Yet He was treated as the worst among criminals.

God loves you this much. Jesus did not relent from His mission to save you.

Jesus had been given opportunities along the way to turn back from this ultimate horror. Even before He began His ministry, Satan offered Him a seemingly attractive alternative.(Lk 4:1-13) His disciples were willing to take up arms to protect Him(Mk 8:32-34) and even warned Him not to go back to Jerusalem. But Jesus did not relent from His mission because it had been ordered by God.

God loves you this much. Jesus lived a perfect left and paid the ultimate sacrifice for you.

When we say that Jesus was a man without sin we should also recognize that to be sinless is to be completely faithful to God even in the most difficult circumstances. He was obedient even to the point of surrendering to the cruelty of the cross.

Jesus so anguished over the suffering that awaited Him, He prayed to the Father to provide another way. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Lk 22:42) More important to Jesus than His own pain and suffering was perfect obedience to God.

God loves you this much. Jesus paid the penalty you deserve.

Jesus was determined to see God’s plan through. He was driven by love and devotion to the Father, but we also should remember He had you and me in mind. In today’s focus scripture we read, “he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.” He carried the weight of our sin and guilt and paid the penalty we deserve.

When the scripture says Jesus was “stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” we are reading a description of what we deserve for our sin. Jesus was stricken, smitten, and afflicted in our stead. All of what our Lord went through was for us. Every insult, all the grief, all the pain, and every drop of blood shed by Jesus were given on our behalf.

God loves you this much. Jesus loved you too much to quit.

Think for a moment of how you have sacrificed for those you love. There have been times when you have kept going and giving despite personal hardship. You endured pain, difficulty, and even denied yourself for their sake. Essentially what you were saying was, “I’m not going to turn back because I love them too much.” Jesus had a similar thought in mind as He carried out God’s plan for your redemption. He loved you too much to quit.

When my granddaughter was little, she used to express her love for me by extending her arms and saying,  “Gandad, I love you this much.” As Jesus’ arms were stretched out on the cross we were given a picture of the loving arms of our Savior ready to receive us. It is an image that represents the greatest love that man has ever witnessed.

From the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” In effect, with these words Jesus was saying, “I love you this much.”

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.”

God loves you this much!

For more on this topic, check out this article: The Most Precious Words Ever Spoken

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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God Made Him Who Had No Sin to Be Sin for Us – Jesus Paid It All

Posted on March 29, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

It is the Easter season and undoubtedly there will be some new ridiculous claim about the life and work of Jesus. The most recent bizarre assertion is the notion that Jesus had a homosexual affair. A few years ago we were told that His coffin had been found which disproved the bodily resurrection of Christ. Make no mistake: Jesus paid it all.

No doubt, somewhere on television this week, the bizarre and fictional tale of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene will appear. TV producers and writers have gone to great length to spin a yarn that claims that Jesus didn’t die on the cross, married Mary Magdalene, had children, and went into hiding in India or France.

Such efforts at disproving Christian doctrine are nothing unique to our time. Soon after His resurrection an erroneous claim was circulated that Jesus’ resurrection was a hoax perpetrated by His disciples who had hidden His body.

In the late 1,700’s there was a theory advanced that claimed that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross. He just fainted from drugs given by Luke the physician. Another theory suggests that Pontius Pilate was bribed to have Jesus removed from the cross.

Through the ages there have been numerous attempts at disproving the claims of Christ and His followers.  The intent of all these false claims is to portray Jesus life and work as a lie. And if Jesus is a liar that would mean that He is a sinner just like the rest of us. That would also mean that His death has no meaning and purpose, the sin debt has not been paid, and Jesus died for nothing. There is no longer any hope for an eternal relationship with God. If Jesus had sinned, even once, His death would have no more meaning than you or me dying for the sins of mankind.

The good news is that Jesus had no sin. The Deceiver that I spoke of in yesterday’s message continues his sinister attempts at undermining the message and work of Christ. All he has to do is to get you to believe one of these false distortions of God’s truth that lead you to the conclusion that Jesus is not God, or that He was just a great teacher, or that Jesus was a sinner just like us. Such thinking pulls the rug from under the foundation of your faith.

Here then is the amazing truth that we celebrate at Easter. Jesus, “who had no sin,” became our sin and paid the penalty that we deserve. Jesus paid it all. Peter put it this way: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.” (1 Pet 2:24) In that amazing sacrificial act of love our sin debt was paid in full and the righteousness of Christ was placed upon all who believe. (Ro 4) We became “the righteousness of God.” Jesus did not just die, but He was victorious over the grave just as He had promised. He is God’s flawless sacrificial lamb. His blood cleanses us of all unrighteousness.

Don’t believe the vain imaginings of men. Believe the truth as given by God and found in His word. As Easter approaches turn your heart, your eyes, and your faith to the author and finisher of your faith. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Remember — Jesus Paid It All.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

And now complete in Him,

My robe, His righteousness,

Close sheltered ‘neath His side,

I am divinely blest.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Eyewitness News Reports Confirm the Reality of Christ

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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