Month: April 2016

Good News of Great Joy!

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First of all, the word “gospel” means “good news.” So then, what is this “good news” that we find proclaimed in the pages of God’s holy Word? Well, we know that Paul the apostle took the proclamation of the gospel extremely seriously! For he wrote, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16) We also should know to take the gospel in a most earnest fashion ourselves! For it is also written, “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel

Group of five happy children jumping on meadow.
Group of five happy children jumping on meadow.

of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10) Yet, we also read, “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” (Luke 2:10) So then too, this word from Paul, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-8) Clearly, God jealously guards the proclamation of this one true gospel, this good news! So what is this “good news” that one must “believe” to be saved, or otherwise face the “vengeance” of God?! What is this, “Good news of great joy that will be for all people”? Let us take a look…

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The Brazen Serpent

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Imagine being in a desert wasteland. There is no cell-phone service. No hospitals. There is no way whatever to find help in a crisis! Then suddenly, you and your fellow companions begin to be bitten by poisonous snakes! In fact, some of your comrades are falling down dead! The situ2356033988_d146b61be4_zation is most dire! For surely you will all die! Now, this is no fictitious scenario, but a very real historical record that is found in the pages of God’s holy Word! The account is relatively brief, but is also again mentioned together with the most well known verse in the Bible, John 3:16.

 

We read the account like this: “From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” (Numbers 21:4-9)

 

So, how could this account possibly relate to us? Well, let’s find out!

 

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Does Not Under Law Mean Free to Sin?

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Today we want to take a look at something Paul the apostle says in Romans chapter six. Here, he makes this seemingly paradoxi3650792412_ebc6f99d2a_zcal comment, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14) So, the question that needs to be raised is, how can it be that if we are released from being under law, that sin can’t have “dominion” any more? Also, Paul clearly says that we are “under grace.” So what does this mean? Let’s take a look…

 

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How Are We Redeemed?

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Can you even imagine what it must have been like to be a slave in historical times? I mean, can yo6110678451_d964399346_zu imagine being treated as an animal; to be bought or sold for the express purpose of providing free labour? To not b
elong to yourself, but to belong to whomever bought you? All day you would be driven to perform to your highest ability! Your reward at day’s end? Serve your master his food, then you finally get to eat! Many times slaves were
beaten to perform better, or if they had not performed to expectations. No doubt, being a slave was not a life to be desired. Much rather, the dream was to be free! And you know, once in a while it did actually happen! Someone would bid on a slave, buy them at their own expense, and then set them free from slavery! When this happened to one, they were said to be, “redeemed.” Now, let us see what God has to say on this subject!

 

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Worldwide Catastrophe!

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Imagine, if a person were to step out and  announce to the entire population of the Earth that they are wrong! How popular do you think th3695881977_3f69d7d28a_zis person would be?  Now, take it a step further, and imagine that this person says that all will die if they don’t heed their warning! I wonder, how seriously would people take such a one? I mean, the possibility of death does seem pretty serious, but then why should one person be right and everyone else be in the wrong?! I mean, not everyone could be mislead, could they? Yet, amazingly, history records that there was a person that did just that, and that all the others were misled! Not only so, but what they said actually did happen! If this were not enough, it recorded in the same historically accurate book that something similar is to happen again! Now, when someone says something and it comes about, should we not at least investigate what is being said, when it is written in the same book that something of this nature is to transpire again in the imminent future? I think so. So why don’t we at the very least weigh the evidence and see for ourselves…

 

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Are You Like Cain or Abel?

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Not far into Earth’s history, and we come across two men. Two persons, the children of Adam and Eve. Just like the two trees in the gar10807417755_872ca2c82c_zden of Eden. We hear a lot about “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” but very little of “the tree of life.” So here, we hear a lot about Cain, but not so much about Abel! We readily associate Cain with someone who is bad. The saying, “Raise a little Cain,” has clear meanings of doing “bad things.” Yet, what do these two men, with two very different connotations have to teach you and I? I ask, what do these two men illustrate and what can we learn from them? Let us see the vital message the bring you and I…

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