VIDEO The Gospel

Isaiah 53:4-6

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 3:23-24

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . .

Romans 4:4-5

Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness . . .

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures . . .

Galatians 3:13-14

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” — so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Ephesians 2:4-5

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved . . .

Philippians 2:6-8

Though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Colossians 1:19-20

In [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Colossians 2:13-14

You, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Titus 3:4-7

When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Hebrews 2:14-17

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

1 Peter 2:22-25

[Jesus] committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Daniel Crane
Christian Patriots

http://christianpatriots.org/2015/07/12/the-gospel/

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Tears of a Teen – The Miracle of Belief

tears
Tears of a Teen

I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. —Romans 9:2

As I sat with four teenagers and a 20-something homeless man at a soup kitchen in Alaska, I was touched by the teens’ compassion for him. They listened as he talked about what he believed and then they gently presented the gospel to him—lovingly offering him hope in Jesus. Sadly, the man refused to seriously consider the gospel.

As we were leaving, one of the girls, Grace, expressed through her tears how much she didn’t want the man to die without knowing Jesus. From the heart, she grieved for this young man who, at least at this point, was rejecting the love of the Savior.

The tears of this teen remind me of the apostle Paul who served the Lord humbly and had great sorrow in his heart for his countrymen, desiring that they trust in Christ (Rom. 9:1-5). Paul’s compassion and concern must have brought him to tears on many occasions.

If we care enough for others who have not yet accepted God’s gift of forgiveness through Christ, we will find ways to share with them. With the confidence of our own faith and with tears of compassion, let’s take the good news to those who need to know the Savior.

Is there someone you need to talk to about Jesus today?

Sharing the gospel is one person telling another good news.

By Dave Branon

The Miracle of Belief

My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom… —1 Corinthians 2:4

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he was not speaking here out of a deep sense of humility, but was saying that when he preached the gospel, he would veil the power of God if he impressed people with the excellency of his speech. Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher.

Real and effective fasting by a preacher is not fasting from food, but fasting from eloquence, from impressive diction, and from everything else that might hinder the gospel of God being presented. The preacher is there as the representative of God— “…as though God were pleading through us…” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He is there to present the gospel of God. If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the gospel will result in making me a traitor to Jesus, and I prevent the creative power of His redemption from doing its work.

“And I, if I am lifted up…, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

By Oswald Chambers

Developing Faith Through Adversity – The Mark of the Beast

Developing Faith Through Adversity

2 Corinthians 11:23-30

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Paul spent the second half of his life serving Christ, and yet he experienced continual suffering. Why would God let one of His most faithful servants go through so much pain? This isn’t a question just about Paul; it’s an issue we face today. In our minds, the Lord should protect His loyal followers from hardships, but He doesn’t necessarily do so.

Maybe our reasoning is backwards. We think faithful Christians don’t deserve to suffer, but from God’s perspective, suffering is what produces faithful Christians. If we all had lives of ease without opposition, trials, or pain, we’d never really know God, because we’d never need Him. Like it or not, adversity teaches us more about the Lord than simply reading the Bible ever will.

I’m not saying we don’t need to know Scripture; that’s our foundation for faith. But if what we believe is never tested by adversity, it remains head knowledge. How will we ever know that God can be trusted in the midst of trouble if we’ve never been challenged by hardship? The Lord gives us opportunities to apply scriptural truths to the difficulties facing us, and in the process, we find Him faithful. For example, how would Paul ever have known the strength of Christ if he had never been weakened by persecution, pain, and adversity?

Depending on your response, trials can be God’s greatest means of building faith or an avenue to discouragement and self-pity. If you’ll believe what Scripture says and apply its principles to your situation, your trust in God will grow, and your faith will be strengthened through adversity.


The Mark of the Beast

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand … His number is 666. Revelation 13:16, 18

Earlier this year, a coal miner in West Virginia was awarded $150,000 in punitive damages after being forced to prematurely retire when he wouldn’t submit to biometric scanning. The mining company began using technology to read the hands of every miner each day for employment records. But this man objected, fearing the biometric hand scanner would give him the mark of the beast and that the technology was associated with the Antichrist. He went to court and won his case.

You can decide for yourself whether the miner overreacted, but no one can deny that our emerging technologies are setting the stage for the Antichrist. We can easily see how the mark of the beast can be scanned on everyone’s hand or forehead as authorization for buying and selling.

The mark of the beast is 666. God’s number is 7, for it represents perfect completeness. Since God is Trinity, He is a perfect 777. The number of the false trinity will be 666. Man will always fall short of God’s perfection, but God’s wrath will fall on those who refuse to accept His perfect grace.

No one can say exactly what form the mark of the beast will take, but the number six seems to be important … Humanity was created on the sixth day and commanded to work six out of seven days. The number 666 is man’s number—tripled. The Jeremiah Study Bible

Recommended Reading: Revelation 13:11-18

For Our Transgressions

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

The 53rd chapter of Isaiah (actually, the chapter should begin at Isaiah 52:13) contains the clearest and fullest exposition of the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ for our sins to be found in all the Bible. Our text verse is the central verse of this chapter, which, in turn, is the central chapter of Isaiah’s second division, chapters 40–66.

Although the chapter and verse divisions of the Bible were not part of the original inspired text, it almost seems that some of them (notably here in Isaiah) were somehow providentially guided. Part 1 of Isaiah contains 39 chapters and part 2 has 27 chapters, just as the Old and New Testaments have 39 and 27 books, respectively. Likewise, the major themes of the two Testaments—law and judgment in the Old, grace and salvation in the New—respectively dominate the two divisions of Isaiah. Many other correlations can be discerned—for example, the second division begins with the prophecy of John the Baptist and ends with the prophecy of the new heavens and the new earth, just as the New Testament does.

Be that as it may, this central verse of the central chapter of Isaiah’s salvation division surely displays the very heart of the gospel. Christ was “wounded” (literally “thrust through,” as with great spikes) and “bruised” (literally “crushed to death”) for our sins.

On the other hand, we receive “peace” with God because He was chastised (i.e., “disciplined”) in our place, and we are forever “healed” of our lethal sin-sickness because He received the “stripes” (i.e., great welts caused by severe blows) that should have been ours. What wondrous love is this! HMM

The Genuine Joy of the Lord

The he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and set portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. —Nehemiah 8:10

We are missing the mark about Christian victory and the life of joy in our Savior. We ought to be standing straight and praising our God! I must agree with the psalmist that the joy of the Lord is the strength of His people. I do believe that the sad world is attracted to spiritual sunshine—the genuine thing, that is.

Some churches train their greeters and ushers to smile, showing as many teeth as possible. But I can sense that kind of display, and when I am greeted by a person who is smiling because he or she has been trained to smile, I know I am shaking the flipper of a trained seal. When the warmth and joy of the Holy Spirit are in a congregation, however, and the folks are spontaneously joyful, the result is a wonderful influence upon others.

I have said it a hundred times: The reason we have to search for so many things to cheer us up is the fact that we are not really joyful and contentedly happy within…. But we are Christians, and Christians have every right to be the happiest people in the world.

Lord Jesus, help me today to experience the joy of the Lord. I claim that joy as mine, even in the midst of heavy responsibilities. I’m going to rest in this joy of the Lord as my strength today, and praise You for it! Amen.

The High Casualty Rate Among Christians

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? Matthew 19:25

“God hath called you to Christ’s side,” wrote the saintly Rutherford, “and the wind is now in Christ’s face in this land; and seeing ye are with Him, ye cannot expect the lee-side or the sunny side of the brae.”

Nowhere in the teachings of Christ do we find anything visionary or overoptimistic. He told His hearers the whole truth and let them make up their minds. He might grieve over the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth, but He never ran after him to try to win him with rosy promises.

All this is but to say that Christ is honest. We can trust Him. He knows that He will never be popular among the sons of Adam and He knows that His followers need not expect to be. The wind that blows in His face will be felt by all who travel with Him, and we are not intellectually honest when we try to hide that fact from them.

By offering our hearers a sweetness-and-light gospel and promising every taker a place on the sunny side of the brae, we not only cruelly deceive them, we guarantee also a high casualty rate among the converts on such terms.

We tell them that if they will accept Christ He will give them peace of mind, solve their problems, protect their families and keep them happy all day long. They believe us and come, and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them!

Losing the Mystery

If any man will do his will, he shall know… whether it be of God. JOHN 7:17

We may be sure we are gaining spiritually when we discover there is a sense of divine mystery running throughout all of the kingdom of God!

I am aware that there are teachers in various Christian circles who pretend to know everything about God. They will quickly answer any question you may have about God, His creation, His judgments. They end up taking the mystery out of life and the mystery out of worship. When they have done that, they have taken God out as well!

Their cleverness and glibness may well betray a lack of the divine awe within the human spirit—awe and adoration, silent and wonderful, that breathes a whisper, “Oh Lord God, Thou knowest!”

In Isaiah we see clearly what happens to a person in the mystery of the Presence. Overpowered within His own being, Isaiah can only confess, “I am a man of unclean lips!” (6:5). A person who has sensed what Isaiah sensed will never be able to joke again about “The Someone up there who likes me.”

Lord, if we pause long enough to seriously reflect upon Your divine nature, our finite minds will not be able to fathom the extent of Your infinite greatness. Our God is an awesome God! Praise Him!