POPULAR ABC SHOW REVEALS BIBLICAL CHRISTIANS NOT WELCOME

Q & A – a popular ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) show on prime time TV. Martin Isles is on the far right.

The Sydney Morning Herald thought this week’s Q and A was a significant cultural moment. They compared it with another one in 2008 where the shibboleth question for our culture , that of homosexuality, came up.  It was indeed a revealing programme – telling us a great deal about where Australian culture, politics and religion are at – and where we are heading. 

Hamish MacDonald, the host, was joined by Trent Zimmerman, Liberal Member (Homosexual) for North Sydney; Anika Wells, Labor Member for Lilley;; Antoinette Lattouf, Journalist, diversity advocate, and author; and Teela Reid, Wiradjuri/Wailwan, Lawyer; and Martyn Iles, Managing Director, Australian Christian Lobby.   

It was the appearance of Martyn Iles that was too much for some people – even before he had been on the show. Those who believe in love and are opposed to hate speech were quick to share the love…

“Just saw the line up for #QandA and omg the creep from the Australian Christian Lobby is on? “

Honestly, giving people like Martyn Iles a public platform is very unhealthy for society. The ACL is a hate group. I dearly wish we had laws against this”

“I’d rather hear from a Satanist or someone other than that man…”

The Church that believes in love, unity and diversity was also quick to show us just how loving, united and diverse they are:

Just want to pre-emptively comment on tonight’s #qanda. This man is likely to slander and bear false witness against LGBTIQ+ people and communities. He does not represent the Church, nor the majority view of Christians in Australia.”  Leichhardt Uniting Church.

And it’s not just liberals – mention Iles name in some evangelical circles and eyebrows are raised, knowing looks exchanged and a general impression is given that we don’t really want to be associated with that sort of thing.  

What did we learn from the show? We learned a great deal about contemporary Australian society… Here are some of the lessons….

1. For some, ‘lived experience’ trumps everything.  

Facts, truth, democracy, morality, religion – everything is subordinate to what is called ‘lived experience’.  Martyn was asked “have you lived experiences, heard, shared and acted upon?”  The implicit statement being that unless you have walked in their shoes then you cannot represent, speak about or disagree with.   “I don’t think Martyn can walk in a gay man’s shoes”.  All of this sounds so true.  But in ABC culture that only applies to some groups.  Nobody on the panel (which was largely hostile to Martyn) seemed to grasp that they did not have Martyn’s lived experience as a Christian – but that did not stop them commenting on it and condemning it.

One panellist spoke of Lil Naz X as being a hero because of his Satan’s shoes video.  She declared that this shows that you cannot speak unless you feel the hate, it doesn’t matter what the intention of the speaker is. She has a point? I felt that her speech, and much of the rest was full of hate for people like Martyn and me – i.e., biblical Christians.  By her own standard she was guilty of hate speech.  Or does this not work both ways?


When Martyn mentioned the story of the Canadian man who went to jail because he misgendered his teenage daughter, he was told – “I think that’s a very specific example and we don’t know all the details…I’m not interested in speaking this specific example”. So, some stories are not worth telling and don’t count as evidence?


Within a few minutes of that we were listening to someone who identified as “an aboriginal queer non- binary person” who went on to tell the story of a relative who died in prison.  That very specific example was of course not going to be questioned.

Just before the programme I saw an advert for another ABC show – You can’t say that – where we were told that everyone has a story and deserves to be heard!  But is that true?  Would the ABC allow my story to be told?  Or that of a transgender detransitioner?  Or someone who is ex-gay?  Sadly, in our society today, your story only matters if it fits in with the pre-determined narrative?

1. Identity Politics is polarising and dividing Australia.  

Martyn was told that ‘you don’t have skin in the game when it comes to women’s issues”.   That assumes a narrow fundamentalist individualistic view of what a human being is.  All of us were ‘born of a woman’ and most of us had a mum as did Martyn. Martyn is young and not married but he has colleagues and friends who are women.  I would suggest as a Christian he has a lot of skin in the game.  He cares about issues such as the sexual exploitation of women and the trans attack on the very notion of what a woman is.  

2. Most Australians don’t have a clue about Christianity and are hostile to what they do not know.

This was exemplified by the tweets that ABC put up on the screen. In itself it was revealing that the only tweets that I saw them put up were hostile.  I’m sure they received some supportive ones for Martyn but that did not fit their narrative.  He was there to be mocked and abused. 

3. Shallow superficial soundbites have largely replaced substantive discussion as the primary discourse in Australian politics and media.

There were so many examples of this in the show.  The lack of depth and thought was quite frightening.  Take this one example.   Anika Wells stated: “In the Bible there are 3,000 references to poverty and very few to homosexuality, so why can’t the ACL spend their money on that? “  This was retweeted as Gospel truth – but it’s just factually wrong. Clearly they had not bothered to read Mark Powell’s response to this oft made fake claim a couple of years ago – https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/11/abc-anything-but-biblical-christianity/

The point is that it sounds right, and they want it to be right, so the claim is made and left completely unchallenged.

Or take Trent Zimmermann’s claim that “any person should be able to decide what future they want from their own life and their body is part of that”.  So if someone feels they are too fat they should be allowed to starve themselves?  Or if people decide they want to change sexuality they should be allowed to seek conversion therapy?  After all its their body!

Trent Zimmermann then went on: “we have to be careful about questioning whether transgenderism is a legitimate course for an individual to take…’ after pointing out that transgender people are much more likely to attempt suicide.  Again, the host and other panellists, seemed to miss the rather obvious point that if being transgender does lead to such a high risk of suicide, perhaps we should question it a lot more?

But transgender is a very protected category on the ABC – the host gave out the Lifeline number after the discussion on trans….“if this conversation raises any issues…” which of course led to the inevitable tweet “If you have a guest on #qanda that makes you need to announce the LifeLine phone number that should tell you what sort of guest you have”.

4. The Cultural Elites don’t do diversity or equality.  

At times this whole show felt like a put-up job.  I think four of the questions were hostile to Martyn.  The host questioned whether Martyn was just raising the Israel Folau issue (Israel was sacked from playing rugby after a Biblical post on Facebook that stated homosexuals were destined for Hell) as an attempt to increase the ACL’s membership, he also challenged Martyn’s figures on transgender. These are legitimate questions – the problem is that he made no similar challenges on the rest of the panel.  He stated that Rugby Australia officials were not there to defend themselves – but permitted a series of attacks on Folau, who also wasn’t there to defend himself.   He told Martyn ‘you’ve had plenty time, make it quick’ which again would have been fair enough if it were not for the fact that it was four (five?) against one and most of the questions were directed against him.

The audience seemed far more diverse than the panel (something noted by the Twitterati – some of whom objected that such people were even there). One young man made the telling statement “if you express your faith, then you will be met with severe career ending consequences”.  This show was ample evidence of that.

Adapted from a report in The Australian Presbyterian by David Robertson

RESPONSE OF SOME EVANGELICALS TO PERSECUTION

Many evangelicals in the USA have been anticipating some kind of confrontation with the changing social order. Crawford Griffen writes about it in his new book Survival and Resistance in Evangelical America – Christian Reconstruction in the Pacific Northwest. Over the last five years, he says, ” I’ve been writing about what might be one of the most significant trends among American evangelicals – a migration movement into the Pacific Northwest that has resulted in the formation of some very successful and increasingly influential intentional communities.

From small towns in northern Idaho, and elsewhere in the region, writers, artists and polemicists are publishing books with Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Random House, and broadcasting talk-shows on Amazon Prime. While offering different perspectives, they present a similar sense of crisis. The nation is no longer held together by common values, they explain. They argue that the teaching of evolution in public schools, the debates about abortion, gender and marriage, and the guidelines that shut down churches for reasons of public health are different fronts in a long war against Christianity. They recognize that the neutrality of the public square is an impossible ideal. They understand that politics is always about coercion. And so they proposed their solution. While, in the grand scheme of things, the believers who have migrated to the Pacific Northwest are not numerically significant – although they may number in the tens of thousands – they do project considerable soft power. Many of these believers live very visible lives. The community of several thousand members that has been established in Moscow, Idaho, for example, supports a publishing house, a music conservatory and an impressive liberal arts college. Led by Douglas Wilson, whose many publications include a book that he co-authored with Christopher Hitchens, this community sets out to make Moscow a Christian town.

Other migrants into the region prefer more secluded lives. They are attracted by the idea that this region could form an “American Redoubt,” as James Wesley Rawles has argued, a hold-out for those who want to resist the cultural powers that be. Rawles is the author of several novels and preparedness manuals, which are published by Penguin, and his website, survivalblog.com, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. His work sets out a more ambitious agenda for survival and resistance, in which readers are encouraged to adopt evangelical piety while being ready, if necessary, for less spiritual forms of defensive combat. For obvious reasons, those who follow Rawles’ agenda prefer not to attract attention. But for all their differences, Wilson and Rawles agree that believers need to expect an extraordinary cultural crisis in the short to medium term, and prepare for the new world that will follow. While their tactics for dealing with opposition are sharply different, their vision of the future is much the same. Dark skies are on the horizon, but they predict huge numbers of Americans will be converted, the social and political life of the nation will be renewed, and the policy of a renewed republic will be built around the demands of biblical law. Their optimism is appealing but I don’t believe Biblical prophecies such as these two by Jesus supports this optimistic view.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.Matthew 24:21-22

I believe the Bible reveals that those Christians that adopt a praying church as it was in the Book of Acts intent on making disciples in their own communities, loving their neighbours and honouring Jesus regardless of the cost, will have the most impact for the Kingdom in these last days. The power of the Holy Spirit will be once more evident in this Home Church environment.

OUR PRIMARY MISSION – GET INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Chan shared that his latest book, Until Unity, was inspired by John 17, where Jesus prays for unity among the Body of Christ. Though he didn’t want to write another book, the bestselling author felt compelled to do so after seeing the severe lack of unity among believers. 

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Francis Chan criticises Western church for lack of unity and obsession with busyness

“When I look at Scripture, I see how much God wants unity. This is why Christ died on the cross; to make the two one. And I see how Ephesians four says that we actually grieve the Spirit of God by our disunity. I really believe this is God’s desire. And I just saw the Church getting worse and worse, and I would see the way people would bash each other. We’re getting further and further away from what God wants.”

The Crazy Love author emphasized the power of silence, citing Exodus 14:14, which reads “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still,” and Proverbs 10:19: “When words are many, transgression is not lacking.” We don’t know how to quietly be in awe of Almighty God together. If we did, we’d find ourselves on our knees, in tears,” he said. 

Unity, Chan stressed, “has to start with Christ; it has to start with, ‘Wow, I was created in the image of the triune God.”

“But how many people wake up in the morning and have this reverent awe?” he lamented. “And because we don’t have that, and we’re not spending time marveling in silence at God and our oneness with Him, we try to jump to, ‘OK, let’s all get along.’ And I’m going, ‘No, we cannot all get along if we’re not in shock that we are one with Him and He’s given us His glory so that we can become perfect.’”

“The reason why we fight and the reason why we’re so sure of our opinions … is we don’t get into the presence of God,” he said. “All of this horizontal stuff is because we really aren’t truly, with all of our hearts, soul and mind loving Him, and entering into His presence.”

The author said he fears that many Christians are becoming the “Second Timothy 3 group that are always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.”

“I don’t want to be one of those that are constantly acquiring information but not knowing it,” he said. “I worry about my friends, everyone else that grew up in the same type of evangelical faith that I did that it’s busy, and we don’t take time to meditate and know these truths. If we did, we wouldn’t be so quick to speak.”

“Get alone with the Lord,” he advised. “Let Him open you up. You may find issues and He may find issues in you that you need to know are wrong. You may have thought you’re just going in for a checkup, and He cuts you open. We’ve got to get back to getting people into the presence of God.”

THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO LIFE

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13

This is a sobering verse and it is obvious that there is only one gate that leads to eternal life. The answer Jesus gave to Thomas makes it crystal clear there is only one way our Heavenly Father provided to break the curse of death that Adam brought on mankind.

“For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

The narrow gate is the gate of His righteousness!

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.”
Philip said to him,Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

It is very significant that David was given a vision of the gate even before Jesus paid the price of his and our salvation – “you have become my salvation”.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.Psalm 118:19-21

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.” Psalm 118:17-18

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that now indwells your Spirit but strive to do as Jesus did and pray daily to the Father “not my will but Yours be done.” God the Father will answer that prayer ensuring that the Holy Spirit directs your steps and you are an instrument of righteousness to God.

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Romans 6:11-13

“By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:5-6

Justin Bieber Shares Gospel, Condemns Cancel Culture in New Song ‘Afraid to Say’

Great to see this article on Faithwire by editor Tré Goins-Phillips: Pop star Justin Bieber, who has been outspoken about his Christian faith, is using a single on his new Gospel EP to share Scripture and condemn cancel culture.

In the song “Afraid to Say,” 27-year-old Bieber expresses sorrow over the accelerating cancel culture that has consumed much of our public discourse in recent months.

“What have we done with society when everybody’s getting canceled?” he asks. “And can’t there be room for maturity? ’Cause writing ’em off is not the answer.”

The “Peaches” singer then goes on to explain that redemption from God is the solution to what ails our broken culture:

We can’t write people off. God never writes us off, even in our darkest days. Even when we least deserve it. Even when we’re doing that stupid thing we wish we weren’t doing. God never writes us off — ever. He’s with us in our pain. He’s with us in a struggle. He’s with us in our bad decisions. He’s with us all the time. He never writes us off.

In the chorus, Bieber sings: “Does what I gotta say even matter? / Is life about climbing up the ladder? / And can we even see lives that are shattered?”

The songs ends with Lauren Walters reciting Psalm 139:13-16.

“You formed the whole of me, inward and out,” he said. “I am awesomely and wonderfully created. Your creations are spectacular. You skillfully designed me. You saw the Essenes of me, before I was formed. Before I existed, all of my days were written in your book.”

CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN

Christians in the west, in particular, have by and large lost any interest in heaven except when a loved one dies. But hope for heaven, “citizenship in heaven,” longing for heaven, has largely gone away from evangelical churches and homes. Where are the songs about heaven? They used to be common in evangelical churches, on evangelical radio, in evangelical devotional life. The problem: we became affluent and comfortable here on earth and forgot all about heaven—except as a lovely place to go when we die. But we rarely ever sing about it anymore nor hear sermons about it or Jesus soon coming return.

Years ago and possibly still in some evangelical churches the theme of “heaven is my true home” (“My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue”) was very popular and powerful. Another popular song of that time, among evangelicals, was “I’ve got a mansion, just over the hilltop” by Ira Stanphill, a prolific gospel song writer of the 1950s.

The Book of the Martyrs of Jesus

Martin Luther strongly believed that Jesus was going to return in his lifetime. He expected the return of Christ at any time. He thought he was living in the biblical “end times.” But when someone asked him what he would do today if he knew Jesus would return tomorrow he is supposed to have said “Plant a tree.” In other words, strong belief in heaven and in the return of Jesus Christ does not have to take our minds so completely off this world that we become “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. My contention is that we should start living eternal now knowing that Jesus is going to return to this earth exactly as the many prophecies in His Word the Bible said He will. In fact, I have said many time before that there are more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were about His first coming and there were about 300 of those and yet most of the church is blind, living like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus day. Moreover, Jesus and the Bible give us a lot of information about the time of His return particularly about the great tribulation that will occur when the Satanically empowered person known as The Antichrist reigns on the earth for a period of 3 1/2 years. The church will be under intense persecution but it will also be its finest hour. It will be church operating in the power of the Holy Spirit just as it was in the early days of the church as described in the Book of Acts.

Every person who wants to know what true Christianity is like and follow in the footsteps of Christ should take time to read this precious document, THE BOOK OF THE MARTYRS OF JESUS by Joh Foxe.

PERSECUTION WILL ESCALATE IN THE LAST DAYS

Police in Finland are investigating the leader of an entire denomination for publishing a booklet that disapproves of homosexuality.  The author of that booklet, Dr. Päivi Räsänen, which sets forth the Biblical teachings about sexuality, is also under investigation for the crime of “agitation against an ethnic group,” a statute which added “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classes.  The maximum punishment is two years in prison.

Dr. Räsänen, who is very impressive for her integrity in the way she speaks up for Christian truth in the public square.  (For example, she points out that the Finnish state church is obligated, by law, to base its teachings on the “Holy Scriptures,” and asks, how could it then be illegal to teach what the Holy Scriptures say?)  Here is a sample of what Dr. Räsänen, also a medical doctor, has to say:

Dr. Päivi Räsänen is a member of the Finnish parliament and a former Minister of the Interior, no less! 

I believe that ultimately the purpose of these attacks is to eliminate the Word of God and discard the Law of God. It is very problematic that expressing Christian beliefs is often seen as insulting in the West. For example, marriage between a man and a woman has become a concept that is understood as restrictive, even threatening. Concepts such as man and woman, father and mother, are dearly loved concepts, and as old as the history of humanity. The attempt to break down the gender system based on two different genders hurts especially children. It is unfortunate how uncritically the ideology of sexual diversity and LGBT activism has been supported and endorsed even by churches.

I believe that every person has the right to hear the whole truth of God’s Word, both the Gospel and the Law. Only people who recognize their sins need Jesus, the propitiation for our sins. We must have the courage to speak about the dangerous effects of LGBT activism. Debatable themes such as immoral sexual relations have to do with guilt. Guilt cannot be solved by denying it, but only by confessing it and receiving mercy and the message of forgiveness in Jesus’ sacrifice. It is impossible to think that classical Christian doctrine would become illegal in the West.

Please pray for Dr. Räsänen and for the other faithful Christians in Finland and in other parts of the world, where many are enduring much worse persecutions. Remember, persecution comes with the territory

JESUS SECOND COMING

After He had said this, while they were watching, He was lifted up and a cloud hid Him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way [houtōs eleusetai hon tropon] you saw Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives (which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away).” (Acts 1:9–12)

Jesus was taken up into the clouds, and just as He was taken up, He will come back in the clouds as both the following Scriptures testify. His first return is to take the Saints to heaven just prior to God’s wrath being poured out on an unbelieving world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgments in opened Scroll. He does not return to the Mount of Olives on this occasion as some commentators have mistakenly believed. Jesus meets the saints in the air, in the clouds.

One reason for this misinterpretation is another misinterpretation from Zechariah 14:4. Note the following passage does not say that Jesus will descend to the Mount of Olives. It is an entirely different event when Jesus returns with the saints to rescue and restore Israel. It occurs after the wrath of God is poured out on an unbelieving world.

“On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives that lies to the east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, leaving a great valley. Half the mountain will move northward and the other half southward.” (Zech 14:4)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29

For the Lord, himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The Rapture of the Saints gathered by the Angels

TRUTH ABOUT BAPTISM

TWO HOURS AND FOURTEEN MINUTES WHICH CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER – WHY YOU NEED TO BE BAPTISED

This video was produced by Torben Sondergaad of the Last Reformation Movement. Torben also produced the following introduction. Be blessed.

“I am very, very excited about this teaching. After I finished it, I went through it again, and I felt like the Word cut into me like I’ve never experienced before when it comes to a teaching about baptism. This is so firm. This is so solid. And this will set so many people free! I know it’s a long video, but you can divide it up and see a little at a time. In this video, I’m speaking to three groups of people – you who are deceived like I was when it comes to understanding baptism – you who have seen the truth in the Bible and have experienced the true freedom when it comes to baptism – and you who believe that baptism is not part of the Gospel and just don’t want to see it and are fighting it with everything you can. To the last group, we are looking at those Scriptures you love using and always use – John 3:16​, Ephesians 2:8, and Romans 10:9. Of course, we are also looking at Paul’s words in I Corinthians 1:17​, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.” Besides that, we are looking at the thief on the cross, and all the arguments I’ve heard over the last twenty years when it comes to going against baptism as part of salvation. But for all of you, we are also looking at “baptismal regeneration” and what the Lutheran and Catholic churches are teaching, which is a lie in some ways. Some of the things they’re saying are true, but the practice is off. We are also looking at salvation as a past, present and future tense. This is so important when it comes to understanding where in this salvation, past, present and future tense, does baptism come in. And of course, we are also looking at traditions when it comes to baptism. Then we are looking at the BIBLE. What does the BIBLE truly say. We go through the Bible verse by verse, and this is what makes this video so powerful, because when we get rid of all the lies when it comes to baptismal regeneration, when we understand salvation in a past, present and future tense, when we understand what is history and what is Bible, and deal with all these things first, and then just look at the BIBLE, verse by verse, it becomes so powerful! After this, we are looking at re-baptism – also baptism “in Jesus’ name” / “the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” – deliverance from demons in baptism – and many other things. In this video, I recommend you see some other links if you want to go deeper. One of the things I recommend is THE ROAD TO SALVATION, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwmSM…

EASTER – ALL ABOUT ETERNAL LIFE

During this Passion Week, it’s fitting that we turn our eyes to the cross. No tragedy could be greater than God’s blameless Son being slaughtered without mercy in horrid crucifixion. Yet as a result of His suffering, countless people will spend eternity with God in joyful celebration and endless pleasure. Jesus Himself will be forever exalted, and all will recognize Him as Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Eternal benefits are ours, all because He suffered.

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:5-7 NIV

When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.”  Luke 23:33 GNT

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:24-25 NIV

My entire theology can be condensed into four words, “JESUS DIED FOR ME.”  Charles Spurgeon