WHO WAS JESUS?

There is only one claim that might be more radical than Jesus rising from the dead. It is that Jesus also claimed to be Holy God. Consider these words from Jesus Himself. He states that

I and the Father are one.John 10:30

This statement drew considerable anger from many of the Jews, as just a few verses later we read they tried to stone Him – in their eyes this was blasphemy.

Elsewhere in the book of John, Jesus declares that:

“… before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58

Here, Jesus is basically quoting God in the Old Testament when God declares Himself to be:

I AM.” Exodus 3:14

I can think of nothing more radical than claiming to be God. Yet, this is what Jesus claimed and demonstrated. He was God. Correction – He is God. He is very much alive.

I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus, The Only Hope for Sinners

The truth about Jesus is that He is the eternal, holy, and magnificent God. He existed in eternity past before the world ever was. In Him, creation was made. He is perfectly holy, supremely righteous, and wholly just. Being just, he must also deal with sin and evil appropriately.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him 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 1:15-20

When sin entered our world through Adam, all men fell and death reigned. As the book of Romans says,

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (v. 3:23) and “The wages of sin is death” (v. 6:23).

Every member of the human race is fatally flawed and stained with sin. Because of this, we’re born evil and we choose evil. We rage war against the laws and morality of God. We lie, we lust, we steal, we hate, we murder, we blaspheme, we make idols, and we deny the very God who made us. All of us are deserving of judgment and eternal death for our sins.

Yet, from the beginning, God had a rescue plan. He made a promise to redeem His people from the guilt, shame, and judgment of their sins. Prophecies were made about a Messiah and in a mystery that was hidden for ages, God revealed that He is Messiah. Truly – Jesus is the Christ.

For sinners, such as you and me, the person and story of Jesus offer eternal hope. Born of a virgin and fulfilling every prophecy made about the coming Messiah, Jesus came to bring forgiveness, life, and hope. God took the form of man, lived a perfect life, and fulfilled the law completely. He was captured, beaten, tortured, denied, and executed by those He came to save. In doing so, He bore the stored wrath of the Holy God. He became the substitute and took the punishment His people deserve; the innocent died for the ungodly. After this, He rose from the dead and established His church.

You can have your sins forgiven if you repent of your sinful life and receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, thereby committing your life to His example and commands. Jesus’ blood spilled on the cross covers your sins and the judgment you deserve is transferred to Him. Instead of wrath, you receive life. This gospel has been preached for 2,000 years by men willing to die horrible deaths for their faith.

For those in Christ, we are credited, or imputed, with the righteousness of Jesus. Meaning, that in the eyes of God the Father, we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

Jesus also made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, and teacher and thereby enable us to live the Christian life. Nevertheless, the effects of our sinful natures linger and will ultimately kill us in this life unless, of course, we live until the time Jesus returns to rapture, first the dead in Christ and then those who are living, prior to the wrath of God being poured out on an unrepentant world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements of Revelation 8 (Trumpet), 16 (Bowl).

Folks, today you are faced with a binary decision. You can choose to believe and trust that Jesus is everything He said He was, or He wasn’t. In denying Him, you remain under the wrath of God and judgment waits for you. Receive Him today! Trust Him! Believe in Him! The Bible tells that “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There is no sin or evil you’ve committed that grace cannot cover. Forgiveness is available to all who seek it.

Seek Him while He still may be found.

adapted from an article by Jack Lee on April 11th, 2019 “Who was Jesus?” http://www.patheos.com

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S TESTIMONY

A memorable week with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

In one of her Christmas addresses, the Queen said,

For me, the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to live my life.”

Something made this lady different. Different from other leaders. Different from her family. Different among men and women. The heart of that difference was the fact that she, even as the Queen, believed, served, and bowed to the living God.

Our greatest problem in the West is that our leaders believe in nothing greater than themselves. Indeed, most of us believe in nothing greater than ourselves. This is the plague on our culture.

The Queen was different.

King Charles at the vigil in St Giles Cathedral Edinborough

At the Queen’s memorial service at St Giles Anglican Church Edinborough, the following two Scriptures were read for all the world to hear. They were a great testimony provided by her even in death.

Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.Romans 8:11

The first Scripture proves that there is only one religion that is true and the second that being born again by the Holy Spirit is essential for eternal life.

The first Scripture John 14:6 was featured again at the short service when the Queen’s casket was brought from Edinborough to Buckingham Palace. This service has been televised across the world so the message that Jesus conveyed “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” has reached many people.

Also, in light of Queen Elizabeth’s recent passing, Australian Indigenous leader James Dargin has paid tribute to her, saying he has great respect for the Queen and urging Indigenous Australians to honour her as a mother and a grandmother. In this video, he also shares his powerful testimony and the hope of forgiveness in Australia.

GOD THE SON’S ROLE IN OUR SALVATION

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the disciples were always concerned with where they’d be ruling in the coming Kingdom, but Jesus told them that they had it all wrong. Here is the Living God, Jesus Christ; the omnipotent God, telling them that: 

“even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

They thought like most of the world thinks; the greatest person is the one with the most servants, but Jesus flips that on its head, saying that:

“whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” Mark 10:44

The Apostle Peter could not be clearer about how Jesus Christ brings salvation to the sinner. Peter says, 

“that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold.” 1 Peter 1:18

All the wealth in the universe would not be sufficient to redeem even one sinner. It took the shed blood of Jesus to redeem us. There was absolutely no other way.

“the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:19

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

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.” John 14:6-7

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27-28.

Salvation was achieved by Jesus shedding His blood at His first coming to earth but at His second coming Jesus completes the task by resurrecting the dead Saints and the rapture of those that are alive with glorious new bodies.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.Philippians 3:20-21

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY

These were actress Candace Cameron Bure’s powerful words for fellow parents after her daughter’s baptism.

She said her heart was “overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace” last Sunday after watching her daughter, Natasha Bure, publicly profess her faith through baptism.

Bure thanked Pastor Dudley Rutherford of Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch, California, for baptizing her daughter

“As a mama, there’s nothing that tops this day. Nothing!” the “Fuller House” star wrote on Instagram:

“My three adult children have now all professed their faith, love, service, and devotion to Jesus Christ; Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior of the world.”

She also said “walking the talk” is essential for parents’ own Christian journeys, especially as their kids observe. “How you handle the hardships in attitude and character by praying, submitting to God, and honoring the Lord in your decisions speaks volumes to your kids, even if you don’t think they see it at the time,” she said. “Be the example you wanted to have growing up. God is faithful, even when you aren’t.”

The actress added another essential reminder: “Read the Bible. And read the Bible to your children.”

Research has found Bible engagement is an essential indicator for children maintaining faith in adulthood.

And considering the mandate we see in Proverbs 22:6 — “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” Bure’s Scripture-based advice is essential for all parents.

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD

We are told that the new James Webb Space Telescope’s revolutionary technology will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Webb’s infrared telescope will explore a wide range of scientific questions to help us understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

If only they knew “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalms 19:1 Then they would also know the origin of the universe.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness.Genesis 1:14-18

Seeking Light from the First Galaxies in the Universe

Orbit
Location of the Webb telescope from Earth compared with Hubble and the moon.

Webb will directly observe a part of space and time never seen before. Webb will gaze into the epoch when the very first stars and galaxies formed, over 13.5 billion years ago. Ultraviolet and visible light emitted by the very first luminous objects has been stretched or “redshifted” by the universe’s continual expansion and arrives today as infrared light. Webb is designed to “see” this infrared light with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity.

If they knew their Creator, they would know who stretched out the heavens: the Lord, your maker.

and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earthIsaiah 51:13

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:Isaiah 42:5

While the vastness of the cosmos requires a time scale of billions of years, relativity theory shows that time is not a constant, and during creation week it is possible that only one day had passed on earth whilst billions of years passed in the cosmos. Supernatural causes should not be excluded from science as they now are.

Exploring Distant Worlds and the Solar System

Webb will also be a powerful tool for studying the nearby universe. Scientists will use Webb to study planets and other bodies in our solar system to determine their origin and evolution and compare
them with exoplanets, planets that orbit other stars. Webb will also observe exoplanets located in their stars’ habitable zones, the regions where a planet could harbor liquid water on its surface and can determine if and where signatures of habitability may be present. Using a technique called transmission spectroscopy, the observatory will examine starlight filtered through planetary atmospheres to learn about their chemical compositions.

Understanding the big picture of the Bible/Gospel Message allows us to conclude clearly that the reason the Bible doesn’t mention extraterrestrials (ETs) is that there aren’t any. We are told there are angels and demons (fallen angels) but these are supernatural beings. Surely, if the earth were to be favoured with a visitation by real extraterrestrials from a galaxy far, far away, then one would reasonably expect that the Bible, and God in His sovereignty and foreknowledge, to mention such a momentous occasion because it would clearly redefine man’s place in the universe.

  1. The Bible indicates that the whole creation groans and travails under the weight of sin (Romans 8:18–22). The effect of the Curse following Adam’s Fall was universal. Otherwise what would be the point of God destroying this whole creation to make way for a new heavens and Earth: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.2 Peter 3:11-13 Therefore, any ETs living elsewhere would have been (unjustly) affected by the Adamic Curse through no fault of their own—they would not have inherited Adam’s sin nature.
  2. When Christ (God) appeared in the flesh, He came to Earth not only to redeem mankind but eventually the whole creation back to Himself (Romans 8:21Colossians 1:20). However, Christ’s atoning death at Calvary cannot save these hypothetical ETs, because one needs to be a physical descendant of Adam for Christ to be our ‘kinsman-redeemer’ (Isaiah 59:20). Jesus was called ‘the last Adam’ because there was a real first man, Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22,45)—not a first Vulcan, Klingon etc. This is so a sinless human Substitute takes on the punishment all humans deserve for sin (Isaiah 53:6,10Matthew 20:281 John 2:24:10), with no need to atone for any (non-existent) sin of his own (Hebrews 7:27).
  3. Since this would mean that any ETs would be lost for eternity when this present creation is destroyed in a fervent heat (2 Peter 3:1012), some have wondered whether Christ’s sacrifice might be repeated elsewhere for other beings. However, Christ died once for all (Romans 6:101 Peter 3:18) on the earth. He is not going to be crucified and resurrected again on other planets (Hebrews 9:26). This is confirmed by the fact that the redeemed (earthly) church is known as Christ’s bride (Ephesians 5:22–33Revelation 19:7–9) in a marriage that will last for eternity.3 Christ is not going to be a polygamist with many other brides from other planets.
  4. The Bible makes no provision for God to redeem any other species, any more than to redeem fallen angels (Hebrews 2:16).

Can I suggest you go to http://www.creation.com to read the full article by Dr. Gary Bates, “Did God create life on other planets?” Otherwise, why is the universe so big?

FOCUS ON THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Three hours of beautiful instrumental music based on Christmas Carols. As you listen, the words of the carols come to mind, and you are reminded of what Jesus accomplished by entering our world as a human some two thousand years ago. What an amazing story, and what an amazing God, who loves us to this extent. May you enter into worship (words of the carols are shown) as you contemplate His goodness and love.

Sadly, the world empowered by Satan is doing its best to take Jesus Christ out of Christmas. The lastest in Australia is Lego sponsoring a Christmas program but what do they call it “Bricksmas”

Increasingly, Merry Christmas is replaced with Happy Holidays and in many Christmas cards, they replace Christmas with Xmas.

Santa (anagram of Satan) is the focus of Christmas instead of Jesus

THE MAJORITY OF CATHOLICS AND MAINLINE PROTESTANTS WILL ENDURE GOD’S WRATH

More than three years after Pope Francis sparked a firestorm of religious debate by telling a young boy that his deceased atheist father might still end up in Heaven, a new study from the Pew Research Center shows a majority of Catholic and mainline Christians also believe people who don’t believe in God will go to Heaven.

Did not Jesus say, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.John 3:36

Catholic Church
Religious rituals versus relationship with the living God

What are the Christian leaders in these denominations teaching their congregations? What did Jesus accomplish on The Cross on our behalf? Does it account for nothing? And yet we know that without Jesus’ sacrifice our Heavenly Father could not have sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers to sanctify us and enable us to live the Christian life.

Data for the Pew Research Centre study, conducted Sept. 20-26, was collected from a nationally representative sample of 6,485 U.S. adults.

Pew researchers decided for the first time to tackle deep philosophical questions like the meaning of life, the purpose of suffering, and why bad things happen to people. The national study was released amid a backdrop of major life-changing events for many, most notably the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed millions of lives globally.

In discussing American views on the afterlife, the study showed that majorities of U.S. adults believe in both Heaven and Hell, but significantly more believe in Heaven. Some 73% of respondents reported belief in Heaven, while 62% of respondents reported belief in Hell.

When it comes to Christians as a group, the study showed that the overwhelming majority of all Christian groups supported belief in Heaven. Protestants from historically black and evangelical churches were more likely than mainline Protestant Christians or Catholics to express belief in Hell.

And while 39% of all American adults, in general, believe people who don’t believe in God can still go to Heaven, 68% of Catholics and 56% of mainline Protestant Christians were found to hold this belief compared to 21% of evangelicals and 31% of Christians from historically black churches.

More on CHRISTIANS: The Urgent Case for Jesus in our World

In this Direct interview, John Anderson (former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia) is joined by Greg Sheridan, widely-respected foreign editor for The Australian. . They discuss the Christian foundations of Western civilisation and the profound importance of religion at a societal, cultural and individual level. They delve into the deep rationality that often undergirds Christian faith, and question the capacity of atheistic philosophies to truly nourish the human soul. Greg Sheridan is one of Australia’s most influential national security commentators, who is active across print media, television and radio and also writes extensively on culture. He has written eight books. His latest, Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World is a compelling argument for the modern relevance and importance of the New Testament. As foreign editor of The Australian, he specialises in Asia. He has interviewed Presidents and Prime Ministers across the world.

THE GREATEST CURE OF ALL

God has used Nick Vujicic to bring the Gospel message to millions. Listen to this powerful message from Nick, you will be inspired and encouraged. Share this video with others, it will probably be the most important thing you can do today.

Nick is right, the greatest cure of all is Jesus Christ. Connect with Nick Vujicic. He wants to help you with your next steps in your journey with Jesus! He shares here, a message of encouragement especially to those who are still asking the biggest spiritual questions and wondering, “Who are we? Why are we here?” Being born without arms and legs has definitely forced Nick to consider the bigger questions of life. And maybe you’ve seen him on YouTube. Nick just wants the world to know that God is real and hope is real.

In this video Nick poses important questions: ” Maybe right now your crisis has to do with your family, relationships, maybe your job. And as a society facing uncertain times, we kind of get stopped in our tracks. We put our confidence in what we normally accept as normal–that we have a job, that we go to school, that we have people in our life. What happens when we put confidence in things or people and they’re taken away? Where do we get our strength from, and where do we find our hope? Jesus is the greatest cure of all.

MOST SIGNIFICANT PERSON IN HISTORY

In 2013 Time Magazine did a story about the ‘Most Significant Person in History’ and concluded after a very comprehensive and detailed research program that Jesus was that person. If one googles ‘the most significant person in History’ and searches through the numerous websites claiming this title you will find that Jesus appears more than any other claimant. His life story on film has had more than eight billion views and counting.  The Jesus film has been translated into 1,800 languages. His life story is written in the most read and most published book in history. There have been some five plus billion copies of the Bible distributed in over 340 languages.  And at least one book of the Bible is available in over 2,000 languages. His life story has been translated and recorded and can be heard in some six thousand, five hundred different languages on the 5 fish app.

TIME Magazine Cover: The Jesus Revolution -- June 21, 1971
The Jesus Revolution | June 21, 1971

What do we know about Jesus from texts apart from the Bible? Jesus is mentioned in the writings of both the Jewish historian Josephus “Antiquities of the Jews” (Bk.XVIII.III.3 written about 93 AD) and the theologian Origen, in his book “Contra Celsum” written about 248 AD. 

More recently J. Warner Wallace, Author of Cold Case Christianity was a former homicide detective and former atheist.  He used his ‘cold case’ skills to verify the reality of the existence of Jesus.

Sir Lionel Luckhoo (1914-1997) is considered one of the greatest lawyers in British history. He’s recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Successful Advocate,” with 245 consecutive murder acquittals. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II — twice.

Luckhoo declared: “I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defence trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt. It is recorded in the Bible that at least 513 people saw Jesus after his resurrection. These recorded eye-witness accounts happened on at least 8 separate occasions.”

Two computer scientists, Professor Steven Skiena of Stony Brook University in New York and Charles Ward used quantitative analysis to decide who the most significant people were in world history. They studied thousands of historical figures to determine which person’s opinions had the most impact on world affairs. Using an algorithm similar to Google’s ranking system and “other data sources,” they ranked the various historical figures by importance as referenced in the English version of Wikipedia — an online encyclopedia. Their analysis concluded conclusively that Jesus Christ was the world’s most influential person. 

The largest volume and most authenticated writings about the teachings of Jesus were recorded by those ‘eyewitnesses’ who actually lived with and were taught by Jesus himself.  The accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as recorded in the Bible have stood the test of time and the sceptics. Millions of followers of Jesus around the world can attest to the value and transformational nature of his teachings. Consider some other celebrations and events that would demonstrate the impact and the significance of this person Jesus.

  1. Throughout most of the world the usual way to refer to the calendar year was by using the abbreviations BC and AD. BC was shorthand for ‘before Christ’ and AD was shorthand for ‘anno domini – in the year of our Lord (Latin). Despite being unable to establish the exact date of Jesus’ birth, it was and is still used as the fulcrum for the Western way of marking time.
  2. In many countries around the world, the events of Christmas and Easter are celebrated. They came to be celebrated because of the significance of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.
  3. There are many phrases attributable to him, however the best known is the famous ‘Golden Rule’ sometimes articulated as ‘Treat others as you want them to treat you.’ Jesus said it like this ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
  4. In a time and culture that was almost exclusively patriarchal, Jesus did not shy away from expounding the value of the women and children. Would he be the most potent advocate for women and children in history?

Is it any wonder, then, that Christians are the largest religious group in the world?

Jesus is the only hope for this lost world. He is the way the truth and the life. No one comes to our Heavenly Father and inherits eternal life except through Him. Why would you not want to come to Him? He is the only way you will discover true meaning and purpose to your life.

Most of this Information was provided by my long time friend : Graham McDonald Email : graham@diduno.info