RSS

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Jesus, An Insurance Salesman?

Today I conducted the funeral service of a church member whose kidneys completely shut down. Back in 2002 he retired after selling insurance for State Farm for over 26 years. Insurance is something most adults purchase to help protect them from loss due to damage, illness, or death. And, of course, there are various types of insurance: home, auto, life, health, dental, disability, travel, credit, boat, motorcycle, etc.

In preparing my funeral message I decided to focus on insurance—a comparison and contrast between the regular kind and the “spiritual kind” (which I referred to as “soul insurance,” i.e. salvation). Here is a summary of the points I made:

With regular insurance you shop around for best price and have various companies to choose from.

Soul insurance is only available through Jesus Christ! Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14.6). Therefore, “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12) and “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2.5).

With regular insurance you may qualify for better rates, depending upon your health.

With soul insurance we’re all in the same shape: We’re all equally sinful; all totally depraved. Romans 3.10-11 pulls no punches when it declares, “There is none righteous, no, not one…There is none who seeks after God.” In other words no human being on his own seeks for God. No one ever has or ever could do any good that merits salvation. That’s because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23).

With regular insurance some things are not covered (e.g. home owners insurance does not always cover damages due to flooding). With regular life or health insurance, pre-existing conditions may prevent you from obtaining the coverage you desired.

With soul insurance everything is covered! Because of God’s amazing grace, the person who trusts Christ as his Savior has ALL his sins forgiven. What an awesome reality: “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5.20; cf. 1 Corinthians 6.9-11)!

With regular insurance there is usually a grace period. It may be as short as 24 hours or it may be as long as 30 days, but as long as payment is receive during that time period, your coverage continues.

With soul insurance we’re currently living in a grace period (commonly referred to as the “age of grace”). “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2.11). Jesus Christ was grace personified who came to make salvation possible for all mankind. However, within the “age of grace,” there are specific windows of opportunity to trust Christ, specific times when God’s Spirit is working in our hearts, convicting us of sin and convincing us that Christ is the answer. In other words, you can’t get saved, you can’t get right with God, you can’t “take out soul insurance” anytime you get good and ready. Jesus made that clear when He said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6.44). This means that no human being in the world, left to himself, would ever choose or even have the desire, not to mention the ability, to place his trust in Christ for salvation.

With regular insurance you pay the premiums.

Soul insurance is actually paid by the insurer! Can you image an insurance salesman sitting at someone’s kitchen table, talking about an insurance policy, with all its benefits, and then saying, “I’ve got good news for you. State Farm will pay the premiums for you!” Well, in a sense that’s what Jesus has already done! He paid the price for you sin! “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3.13). 2 Corinthians 5:21 proclaims, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Wow…soul insurance is made possible by Jesus Christ. It’s made available “free of charge” because the price for making it possible has already been paid in full, and it’s benefits last forever! No wonder, then, the hymn writer said, “How great thou art!

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Death, Jesus Christ, New Testament

 

Tags: ,

Reasons to Be a Faithful Member of a Local Church

There is no doubt in my mind that every Christian should hold membership in and be faithful to a solid, Bible-preaching and teaching local church. Paul Tautges wrote an excellent blog detailing some specific reasons for having such a conviction about membership. Here is a synopsis of five of those reasons:

1. You follow the pattern set forth in the New Testament. 

No, the word “membership” is not found in the NT (“member” is though!), but many of the NT Books were written to specific groups of believers who chose to identify themselves with the Lord Jesus and with one another (e.g. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, etc.).

2. You have a greater opportunity to use your spiritual gifts. 

Every believer is given one or more spiritual gifts at the sovereign discretion of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:7, 11). Yes, a believer can use those gifts without being a member of a church, but most churches limit ministry opportunities to members only, and rightly so.

3. You become a more committed part of a spiritual family. 

Joining a church demonstrates a (hopefully) higher level of commitment to the cause of Christ and the advancement of the Gospel. Plus, all believers need the spiritual oversight and care for their souls that faithful shepherds are supposed to provide (Heb 13:17).

4. You ensure a balanced Christian life. 

Since God ordained the church and set forth all the parameters for it to govern itself under His ultimate leadership, being a member of the right kind of church puts you in an environment that is conducive to balanced Christian growth and development.

5. You avail yourself of the wisdom of a multitude of counselors. 

The local church is an excellent place to receive wise counsel from the spiritual leaders and other more mature believers (Titus 2:1-8).

I recommend you read Paul Tautges’ whole blog post here. And check out the comments section; some more excellent insights there.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Church Membership, New Testament, Serving

 

Tags: ,

Trash or Treasure?

Nearly 25 years ago, when my wife and I were living in Greenville, SC, yard sale shopping was a much-anticipated Saturday activity. We had been married for just over a year and had very little furniture and equally little money. Finding a yard sale bargain was fun and exciting for us.

On one Saturday morning, we must have really needed a kitchen table and chairs because we bought two of them! At separate yard sales, of course. We actually took the chairs from one table and swapped them with the chairs of the other table, recovered the chairs we kept, and then sold the other “mix-matched” table chairs. We kept that “blended set of table and chairs for over 20 years. Money well spent!

Yard sale shopping affords a great opportunity for “one man’s trash to become another man’s treasure.” In other words, what may be useless to one person may be incredibly valuable to another.

This reminds me of how Jesus was treated when He lived on this earth as the one and only God-Man. It reminds me of how the same Jesus, now ascended and sitting on the right hand of the Father, is treated today.

Jesus Trashed

He was misidentified

He was viewed as a threat to the religious establishment. The Pharisees and other religious leaders thought Him to be a rebel, someone who seemingly disagreed with Moses and the Torah. They totally missed the fact that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, the Son of God, who wanted to be their Savior!

He was misunderstood

He didn’t come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). He didn’t come to overthrow the Romans, who were enemies of the Jews, but to overthrow the Devil, who is the archenemy of all humanity (Heb. 2:14-15). He didn’t come to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). He didn’t initially come to reign, but to redeem .

He was murdered

He wasn’t merely threatened to shut His mouth. He wasn’t merely beaten to teach Him a lesson. He wasn’t merely given a life sentence to be served in a cold, damp Roman prison. HE WAS MURDERED! He was suspended between Heaven and earth on a cruel rugged cross and crucified like a common criminal (Mt. 27:27-54). Jesus was trashed.

Jesus Treasured

Read Luke 7:36-50. There you will find Jesus accepting a dinner invitation extended to Him by a curious Pharisee named Simon. At some banquets uninvited guests could come in and stand around the walls, listening to the conversations and, on a good night, enjoy some leftovers.

One woman found her a spot and waited anxiously for the guest of honor to arrive…the Man she loved more than life itself…Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus positioned Himself in front of this “sinful woman” and reclined for dinner. Immediately she began to weep, to rain tears on Jesus’ feet. Having no towel to dry them, she used her own hair. Oh, and she covered those precious feet with tons of kisses, not unlike the father did when his prodigal son returned home from a life of sin and rebellion (cf. Luke 15:20).

Then, having brought an alabaster flask of ointment, she began to anoint those feet, the same feet that would soon be pierced with a spike driven by a muscular Roman soldier. So, what made this woman treat Jesus like such a treasure?

Because He forgives sin

Jesus explained to Simon in verse 47 that the woman’s “sins, which are many, are forgiven.” Was she a woman of the night? A prostitute? How many tricks had she turned? Didn’t matter. Having placed her faith in Jesus, her sins, every single one of them, were forgiven! Separated from her as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12)!

Because He changes lives

When it was time for the banquet to end and the guests to depart, Jesus told this woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” When your sins are forgiven and Christ is your Savior, you have a sweet peace that in beyond understanding by those who don’t have it (Rom. 5:1; Phil. 4:7).

What a transformation…to go from being consumed with guilt and shame to being overjoyed with grace and peace. Her life was changed indeed. She’s on her way to an abundant life on earth (John 10:10) and an eternal life thereafter in Heaven (John 3:16)! No wonder Jesus was treasured!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Jesus Christ, Luke, New Testament

 

Tags: , ,

TOP PRIORITY

The founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc, was asked by a reporter about his order of priorities. “I believe in God, my family and McDonald’s,” he said. Then he added, “When I get to the office, I reverse the order.” At least give him credit for being honest!

What are your priorities? What would you say is your number one priority? And what should be your top priority? To help you discover this priority, let me ask another question: What is THE most valuable possession you have?

It’s not your life or your health. After all, you could live to be 110 years old and not know how to live your life and therefore not be prepared for death.

It’s not your money, no matter how much you have. You can be a billionaire and not have a clue how to prioritize your life.

It’s not family, as important as family relationships are.

It’s not even salvation. There is actually something more valuable than salvation, because without it, we wouldn’t know how to experience salvation.

It’s the Word of God! It’s divine truth. It’s God’s self-revelation.

So, if divine truth is the most important possession we have, then our number one priority must be…[drum roll]…hearing and heeding the Word of God!

In Luke 10:38-42 we have two sisters, Mary and Martha, with conflicting priorities. With regard to hearing and heeding the Word, Mary gets it. Martha doesn’t. Mary is at Jesus’ feet listening to His every word (39, 42). Martha is distracted by lesser things (40a) and troubled about many things (41). And that’s the problem for many believers: We are distracted by lesser things and burdened by things that have no eternal value (e.g. ballgames, social media, TV, politics, working, making money, etc.). These things are not inherently wrong, but they often receive more prioritized time and attention than they deserve.

Like Mary, we need to be proactive (39, “Mary sat at the Lord’s feet”), and faithfully position ourselves under solid biblical preaching and teaching. We need to be proactive and faithfully study the Word on our own, having a daily time for personal worship.

Like Mary, we need to be receptive (39, “and listened to His teaching”). It’s not enough to hear the Word. We must heed the Word (Luke 6:46–47; 8:20–21; James 1:22).

How to hear and heed the Word on your own:

(1) Aim for consistency. Start simply and realistically. Try studying the Bible for at least 15 minutes a day, and then work your way up. If you miss a day or two, ask for forgiveness and start back. Don’t let Satan beat you up and keep you down and out of the Word.

(2) Ask for help (from God; He wrote it!). Before your read and as you read, ask the Lord to give you understanding, to illuminate your mind, to open your eyes so that you might see glorious truths and discover life-changing principles.

(3) Use a good Study Bible. My personal recommendations are The ESV Study Bible and The MacArthur Study Bible (available in ESV, NKJV, and NASB).

(4) Start with the New Testament (and Psalms & Proverbs). You may want to start with a shorter NT Book such as James, Philippians, or 1 John. Or if you want to study the life of Jesus, try the Gospel of John. Reading and studying Psalms and Proverbs will stir your soul, comfort your heart, and increase your wisdom.

(5) Keep a notebook (to write your observations). Is there a command to obey? A sin to confess? A promise to claim? A question to ask? A verse to memorize? Then write it down and act accordingly.

(6) Pray the passage. For example, if you were praying over Luke 10:38-42, you might pray something like, “Lord Jesus, help me to remove all distractions from my life that are hindering me from hearing and heeding the Word. Help me, Lord, to possess a desire to hear and obey You like Mary had. Lord, I confess my negligence in studying and meditating upon the Word like I should and ask for Your forgiveness.”

(7) Think long-term. Your aim: Gradual conformity to Jesus by renewing your mind with the Word of God (Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:16). Salvation is instantaneous. Spiritual growth and maturity take years to develop (and is never fully obtained).

Why not re-prioritize your life starting right now? Make hearing and heeding the Word of God you top priority!

 

Tags: , ,

Bypassing the Grim Reaper…and Serving the Great Savior

At 8 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2007, millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett took off alone from the Flying-M Ranch, near Yerington, NV, in a single-engine two-seater. He was scheduled to be back by noon but never returned. His disappearance spurred a huge search that covered 20,000 square miles, cost millions of dollars and included the use of infrared technology.

However, Fossett was not found and was declared dead February 15, 2008, by a Chicago court. He was 63. More than a year after the mysterious disappearance, a hiker stumbled across a pilot’s license and other ID cards belonging to Fossett a quarter-mile from where the plane was later spotted in the Inyo National Forest.

In 2 Kings 2.1-18 there’s another man who takes a flight (but without a plane!) and disappears. There’s also a frantic search for his missing body, but in our story there are no remains or personal affects to be found (except his cloak).

This is the story of Elijah and his fiery translation to Heaven. It’s also the occasion of Elijah passing the torch of prophetic responsibility to Elisha and Elisha’s awareness of the gravity of the task. After a careful study of this passage, there are some important reminders for any Christian involved in kingdom work.

Three reassuring reminders about kingdom work:

1. No believer is indispensable to kingdom work

There may be “VIPs” in God’s kingdom work, but only because of God’s calling, grace, and power! Elijah was used of God to perform incredible miracles and deliver crucial messages. Yes, would could refer to Elijah as a spiritual VIP, but he was not indispensable. 

The greatest of leaders are regularly replaced according to God’s will. Joshua replaced Moses. Other church leaders “picked up the mantles” of the apostles and prophets. They were able to take the early church to the next level. Never once has God been frustrated, wondering, “What will My people do now that he’s gone?” However important you may be to the work of God, you’re not indispensable.

2. No believer is inconsequential to kingdom work

As a Christian, you are capable of kingdom work (see 1 Cor 12.7, 11, 18). Each believer is uniquely gifted with a blending of spiritual gifts and abilities. Our giftedness, specific function within the body of Christ, and our placement in the body of Christ is determined by God’s sovereignty.

As a Christian, you are crucial to kingdom work. Therefore, don’t develop an Inferiority Complex and think, “They don’t need me” (1 Cor. 12.15-17), AND don’t develop a Superiority Complex and think, “I don’t need them” (1 Cor. 12.21-24).

3. Every believer needs supernatural power for kingdom work.

Notice Elisha’s desire for a double portion of spiritual power (1 Kgs. 2.9). He accurately recognized that he would need to be empowered by God’s Spirit to do God’s work. And if Elisha humbly thought of himself as half the man Elijah was, he probably felt like it would take twice the Spirit’s power to enable him to carry on his ministry.

Elijah’s response is interesting: “You’ve asked a hard thing!” Since nothing is hard for God, perhaps Elijah was referring to the fact that kingdom work is indeed a hard thing for a variety of reasons. We’re fighting a galactic battle! Satan is our adversary (Eph. 6.12ff.)! We should never expect to do kingdom work without resistance (1 Tim. 3.12). Expect to be hurt in ministry. Expect someone to let you down or hurt your feelings. Expect to be misunderstood. If you anticipate it, it will ease the pain just a little.

Get to work, believers! While you are not indispensable, your contribution is not inconsequential when you allow the supernatural power of God to work in and through you!

 

Tags: , , ,

Wearing a Spiritual Dunce Cap

Someone referred to me as “Elijah” in a recent email and it felt like I’d been hit in the head with a Major League baseball bat! It stung me worse than Muhammad Ali ever did an opponent in the ring. Why? Because it was true…and the truth hurts sometimes.

I’ll spare you the gory details. Let’s just say that while preaching a few weeks ago I felt like I had been greatly disrespected. From my perspective (and isn’t that the only one that really counts?!) I was being totally ignored. And it aggravated me BIG TIME!

Well, it just so happened that I was preaching and teaching from 1 Kings 19 where Elijah is running scared because wicked Queen Jezebel ruined his day by issuing a death threat with a timer set for fulfillment within 24 hours. In response Elijah tucks his tail, runs away in fear, throws a huge pity party, sits under a juniper tree, and begs God to take his life (how ironic since he was running from a threat of death).

Now keep in mind, this running in desperation takes place just hours after God’s phenomenal demonstration of power on Mt. Carmel when He used Elijah to defeat 450 prophets of Baal and proved Himself to be the one and only God by raining down fire to consume the saturated sacrifices.

And what colors were on my sermon palette to paint such a scene and such a character? Wimpy white. Pathetic purple. Ghastly grey. Elijah was disgusting and he deserved to be described as such… Wait a minute! Elijah did receive a death warrant. And no doubt, given an opportunity Jezebel would have killed him. She had already killed other prophets (1 Kings 18.13).

So, here I am teaching and applying these truths while at the exact same time I’m filled with self-pity and self-righteous rage because someone had “offended me.” BUT, I hadn’t made the application to myself until the email… I let one person know how and why I was so aggravated and disgusted. And that person simply wrote,

“Elijah”/Jeff,

You can’t let 1 or 2 folks get under your skin! Try heaping “coals of fire” on their heads.

And here is how I responded to that email:

Wow, talk about needing to wear a spiritual dunce cap! I honestly had not even made the (embarrassing) connection w/ Elijah letting one woman get the best of him and there I was letting a “non-lethal distraction” get to me. Thanks for the gentle, backhanded whop up side my head…and excuse me while I go get my bucket…I’ve got some coals to put in it before Hurricane Irene gets them all wet.

I’ve shared this humiliating episode of my life because it illustrates two Proverbs:  (1) Faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27.6), and (2) Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27.17).

Thank you, Lord, for my faithful friend!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Friends, Practical Living and Ethics, Proverbs

 

Tags: , ,

Remembering More than 9/11

Who will forget what they saw on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001? Our collective jaws gaped open when we saw jet airliners filled with passengers veer off course and plunge into the World Trade Centers. We were dumbfounded to learn that another jet had plowed into the Pentagon and yet another crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Unless we lose our ability to remember anything about our lives, we will never forget that day.

We watched thousands of people die right before our eyes. We saw people jump from windows, preferring a quick death of a fall to the tortuous death of fire. We watched in utter dismay as the two 110-story skyscrapers collapsed, one-by-one, with clouds of dust and debris spreading for miles and lasting for days.

And as Al Mohler noted, “The symbolism was unavoidable.” In attacking the Trade Centers the terrorists were attacking America’s economy. In attacking the Pentagon they were sending a message to the world’s greatest military power. America didn’t seem quite as powerful that day. No, she seemed more vulnerable than ever.

9/11 has been the subject of millions of conversations. With events like these and the ensuing conversations, accusations are made, fingers are pointed, and countless questions are asked. That’s pretty much the way it’s always been, and it was certainly that way in Jesus’ day, just read Luke 13.1-5.

Should we remember what happened on 9/11? Absolutely. But, there’s more that must be remembered…

Our depravity is equal

Pontius Pilate issued an order that caused innocent Galileans to be killed either on their way to offer sacrifices at the Temple or possibly within the very precincts of the Temple. And to make matter worse, he had their blood was mixed with the blood of their sacrifices!

The common misconception of Jesus’ day and ours: when tragedy strikes, it’s partly because of some sin in the lives of those who hit the hardest by the calamity. Evidently some thought that about the murdered Galileans. Someone probably thought similar thoughts about those who died on 9/11. So, what was Jesus’ take on such a conclusion? “No! These people didn’t die because they were worse sinners!”

Okay, so what about the 19 terrorists themselves? Were they greater sinners? Surely they were! And it’s easy for us to think back to 9/11 and feel utter disdain for those Islamic terrorists who murdered “innocent people.” How wicked! How despicable! Yet, anyone of us, left to himself, could commit the vilest of sins. After all, haven’t we thought the thought? Haven’t we murdered others in our mind? Haven’t we conceived, yea, even dreamed of sexual escapades in violation of our marriage vows? Haven’t we wished so-and-so would go to hell? Such thoughts come from our wicked hearts (Matthew 15.19).

All people are born equally depraved? Every human being is dreadfully sinful (Jeremiah 17.9; Romans 3.10-12). At the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

We all have the same sin problem. We all have the same need for our sin to be cleansed and forgiven. We all have the same need of a Savior!

Our enemy is spiritual

Our enemy is NOT Islam! It’s not any other religion for that matter. Our enemy is NOT flesh and blood (Ephesians 6.12).

Our enemy is spiritual and he has several names and descriptive titles: Satan, Lucifer, that great dragon, the old serpent, the deceiver, the accuser, the deceiver, the father of lies, the prince of the power of the air, and the wicked one.

Who do you think motivated Pontius Pilate to murder these Galileans while they were trying to offer sacrifices to the God of Israel? None other than the one who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8.44)!

Satan hates God, despises Jesus, and can’t stand the Holy Spirit. He loathes the church of Jesus Christ and everything even remotely connected to Christianity. And he has a great host of fallen angels, demonic spirits, who are anxious and ready to do his evil bidding. These demons love to occupy a human body so that they might accomplish hellish destruction in and through that person.

One day he will empower the antichrist, also known as the man of lawlessness and the Son of Perdition, and will create hell on earth during the Great Tribulation. That’s partly because Satan is the ultimate terrorist (Hebrews 2.14-15)!

Our theology is crucial

The problem of evil and suffering is one that demands an answer. It’s the widespread presence of evil and suffering that causes many to doubt whether there is a God at all, or if there is one he must either not care about our condition or if he cares, he’s too weak to do anything about it.

Evil and suffering is commonly divided into two categories: moral and natural. And both are included in our text. The murder of the Galileans is clearly a moral evil, just like the attacks on New York and Washington. Natural evil comes without a moral agent. A tower falls and people die. A tornado twists and people die. An earthquake shakes and people die, a tsunami comes ashore and people die. A hurricane blows and people die.

And then there’s cancer, infections, and a vast variety of diseases that weaken, cripple, and kill people every single day…many of which are Christians.

How can a God of love and omnipotence allow such natural disasters? Why does He allow “good people” to suffer so? Why does God allow terrorists to terrorize? Why doesn’t He put His foot down and stop this madness?

Who is God anyway? According to the Bible, God is sovereign (Daniel 4.35; Psalm 115.3; 135.6). As Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe, He is completely in charge and rules without exception. He builds up kingdoms and tears them down. He elevates and humbles.

God’s sovereignty is universal and unlimited, because limited sovereignty is no sovereignty at all.

Secondly, God is holy. Evil cannot be attributed to Him. His holiness and righteousness are absolute. The same can be said about His love and grace and mercy.

So, if God is holy and just and loving and kind and merciful AND He is also in complete control of all the affairs and all the events of all the people on planet earth, then the question becomes, “How does He exercise His rule?”

The Baptist confession of faith gives us a solid answer: “God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.”

God decrees with purpose. He permits with purpose. He allows evil people to make evil choices, BUT He’s always in control of the whole, and He holds everyone accountable for their decisions.

Our death is inevitable

Unless the Lord Jesus comes and raptures all believers, we are going to die. It’s not a matter of if but when (Hebrews 9.27).

Regarding the tower that fell in Siloam (Luke 13.4), R.C. Sproul wrote, In effect what Jesus was saying was this: “You people are asking the wrong question. You should be asking me, ‘Why didn’t that tower fall on MY head?’” (The Holiness of God, p. 161).

The thousands who died on 9/11 went to work that Tuesday morning much like they had done on any other Tuesday. They showered, ate breakfast, stopped at Starbucks, kissed their spouse and kids, jumped on the subway, read the morning paper, and then DIED! One day, you and I will also.

Our soul is eternal

C.S. Lewis wrote: “Pain insists upon being attended to; God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

And that’s exactly what He was trying to do to his contemporaries in our story. He was shouting as it were and trying to awaken them to repentance (verses 3, 5)!

Ultimately, repentance is of utmost importance because, if you do not repent, you do not merely stop living life here on earth. No, if you refuse to repent of your sin and trust Christ as your Savior you perish, that is, you die twice. The one death involves the separation of the soul from the body; the body goes into a cold, dark grave; the soul goes to Hell.

When a person’s soul goes to Hell, that’s the second death because then your soul is separated from God for all eternity (see Revelation 20.11-15; 21.8).

With all due respect to those who died on 9/11, and with all due honor and respect to those first responders on the scene that Tuesday morning, the ultimate Ground Zero was at Calvary 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ died on the Cross to make atonement for sin!

Jesus suffered and died to make atonement for your sin. He wants to save you, and He will, if you call upon Him, confessing and repenting of your sin and trusting in Him and Him alone as your Savior and Lord. Just don’t wait until it’s too late! Turn to Him before you experience your own 9/11.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Jesus Christ, Luke, New Testament, Theology

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: