What is sin?

Jesus' Resurrection

What is sin? Sin is a sensitive subject. It exposes the dark side of humanity and it’s not a subject people want to talk about freely, unless of course it’s not about them.

Whether sin is committed in some outward conduct, or by the inner state of a person’s soul; whether by commission or omission, sin simply stated is an offense against our Holy, righteous, personal, moral and just God.

We can hide our sins from others, but God created us with a conscience, so even if no one but else knows, the truth is that we know. Humans have an inner sense of right and wrong. Why? God put it there.

God gave us free will to choose

He also gave man a free will, to make choices. Sin is intrinsically vile. If you were making an omelet and every egg you put in was good, it would be ruined if you pout in a rotten one.

The free will that God gave us was quickly tested in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), when Eve took the fruit and ate it, then gave some to Adam. God had instructed them not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. But the serpent (Satan) deceived Eve and tricked her into breaking God’s law.

God did not create sin, but our free will allows us to make choices. Adam and Eve chose to turn away from God. God does not force Himself on us. By disobeying the law, Adam and Eve became enemies of God. They chose to believe the lies of the serpent against the truth of the Creator. Their actions broke the bond. Sin entered the world and the consequences were drastic.

Understanding our own sin is critical

Sin is something we really don’t want to have to deal with. But coming to grips with our own sins is the key to restoring a right relationship with God. The Apostle Paul left nothing to the imagination in the Book of Romans. In Chapter 3, verse 23 he writes,

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Three chapters later in verse 23 he completes the thought when he warns,

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus restores us and forgives ours sins

Sin leads to death, but Jesus Christ is there to offer salvation. It’s serious business. Those who have not accepted the gift, or have not heard the good news, are like walking dead. Their body is alive, but their spirit is dead.

Jesus offers living water, forgiveness and salvation for those to accept Him and accept the gift. There is a second death, however, when people take their last breath not accepting, or outright rejecting God’s gift.

There is nowhere to go, no reprieve. The second death means an eternal separation from God in a dark and painful place. Over and over God offers His mercy. Over and over, by His grace we are allowed to go about our business, all the while God extends His hand to us. Sin will be forever defeated if only a person turns to God, ask forgiveness and accepts Christ as Lord and Savior.

God does not allow sin in His presence

Sin is ugly and God does not allow sin in His presence. Our sins are covered if we accept Christ as our Lord. Jesus bled and died on the cross to pay the penalty for all sins, past present and future. That great act of love demands action on our part.

But some will continue to reject God, not believing that the consequences of rejecting the leading of God’s Holy Spirit will lead to that second death. In a sense, God does not condemn anyone. They condemn themselves.

Knowing that man is sinful and cannot save himself, God the Father offered His only Son to come to earth and pay the penalty for all of our sin. It’s “Amazing Grace” God doesn’t lie. His judgments are perfect.

We fall into the ditch with no way out. God extends a hand to get us out. Rejecting His grace and compassion is, to be blunt, just extraordinarily foolish. God does want to forgive us of our sins, big and small. There is only one sin which will not be forgiven.

And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. (Matthew 12:31)

God dearly loves you!

The Good News is you are dearly loved by God, sins and all. He calls out to you right now to accept His gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. The ugliness of sin is washed clean. You are set free.

You are then offered the opportunity to walk with Jesus, learn His lessons and most importantly, help others to accept God’s saving grace. It’s free. You and I don’t deserve salvation, we can’t pay the penalty, so we stand there, empty handed with no defense.

The deep, deep love of Jesus is our ticket to heaven. Just as sin is ugly, not accepting God’s love and gift is worse. Don’t chose to reject God. Let Him love you.

How to describe the Bible

what is the Bible

How would you describe the Bible?: Car enthusiasts purchase a manual for a specific model for the expressed purpose of refurbishing or repairing the vehicle. It has all the right settings and details every aspect of the car from the engine, to chassis, to body. It’s everything you need to know to take care of the car and have a happy outcome.

Well, think of the Bible the same way. Instead of the automobile, the Bible is a manual for the human condition.

The Bible took 1400 years to write

Unlike other “how to” manuals, the Bible was written over a 1400 year span, by over 40 different authors. The amazing thing about these authors is that they didn’t know each other, except in a few cases. It’s all one, contiguous story, miraculously inspired by God to serve as a guidebook to bring all of us into a personal relationship with Him.

It includes some amazing predictions (prophesies), many of which have already come true, while others are forecast for the future. The writers agree with each other and all of the themes of the story never change.

For example, King David, the writer of so many of the Psalms, described the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ 500 years before it happened. The prophet Isiah did the same, only 700 years before it happened. Both of them wrote with remarkable detail. That wasn’t an accident.

The Bible has an old and new testament

The Bible has 66 books. There are 39 books in the Hebrew Bible, otherwise known as the Old Testament, and 27 books in the New Testament. There was a 400-year gap between the last book in the Hebrew Bible, Malachi, and the birth of Jesus. The books of the New Testament were written years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Jews and Christians talk of their Bibles being written by divine inspiration. The Apostle Paul wrote,

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Divine inspiration

Divine inspiration? God-breathed? I once did a sermon on that very subject. I took a lady out of the congregation and asked her if she knew anything about an race cars. She knew nothing at all.

I then told her that I would whisper in her ear everything that I wanted the people to know. Also, she was told to tell it in her own words and not just parrot what I said. To her credit, she did fine.

That is much like what God did in getting the Bible written. The 40 plus writers were guided by God’s Holy Spirit and wrote it down, in their own words, with their own style and personality. God’s personal participation also ensures that the Bible is accurate.

Revelation actually mirrors Daniel

From book-to-book, passage after passage, the Bible is an amazing work. The last book in the Bible, Revelation, for example, lines up perfectly with prophesy from the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. So much so that seminaries teach a Daniel/Revelation course. They were written more than 500 years apart.

The Bible not just a history book

While the Bible has information about history and science, it is not just a history or a science book. The Book of Genesis (the beginning) includes an account of how the universe came into an existence.

Genesis, however, does not tell us how God did it, nor does it share exact times when things occurred. That is all by design, because God wants us to accept Him at His word, by faith. We cannot prove the existence of God, therefore we must accept Him by faith. He encourages us to “seek” Him. In fact He does that 128 times.

While there is a lot of instruction in the Bible. God’s book is not intended to be taken as a list of dos and don’ts. Instead, it is intended to invite us to follow it and allow God to guide us into a close, loving relationship with Him.

There are many versions of the Bible

There are many versions of the Bible. People can choose what version they like. The King James version, written in the 1700s, can be difficult to read because language changes over time and old English is hard to follow sometimes.

Some versions, like the New International Version (NIV) are written in modern English. Either way, they say the same thing. If you really want to pick the most accurate version, for the New Testament, read it in the original Greek. The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew, but with some of it in Aramaic.

In closing, the Bible was written for you. It’s purpose is to draw you to God. Accept that by faith and start your journey.

Who is God?

Who is God?: I cannot prove the existence of God. I also cannot prove that He doesn’t exist. Neither can anybody else. But the Bible teaches us that He does reveal Himself, through His creation, through signs and wonders, through history and in countless other ways.

For some it is all the proof they need. For others, these things are coincidental occurrences. The debate is as old as time.

God cannot be seen

We cannot see God. He is spirit. Perhaps He is pure energy, pure logic or intellect. With that would come being all powerful. When did God start? I don’t know.

There are so many unanswered questions, which leads me to the conclusion that we accept the existence of God by faith, not necessarily by fact. Religion aside, most every human being on earth has a sense of God, or something bigger then themselves.

Some groups of people express their faith in God by having a deep respect for nature. They are trying to explain what they cannot prove or deny. They search.

I was once told by a man that until God spoke to him personally, in a clear audible voice, he would never believe in God. It doesn’t work that way.

The Bible reveals Him to us

For many of us, He has revealed Himself through the pages of the Bible. There is much of the Bible that is honestly beyond my understanding. But because Scripture is spiritually discerned, you’re not supposed to understand everything until the correct time comes for you.

It’s like being spoon fed. You sip, then you chew solid food, then you gobble it up. Your mind opens up and that which you couldn’t understand yesterday, or for years, suddenly becomes clear and simple. It’s quite an adventure.

The Bible tells us about the God of Abraham

Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the God of Abraham. Jews and Christians worship the God of Abraham, Issac (his son) and Jacob (his grandson), following the history of His chosen people the Jews. The Hebrew Bible follows God’s chosen people through their captivity in Egypt, to their exodus to the promised land.

Christians worship the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, through the establishment of Israel, and the succession of Kings. But it was through King David, that the Chosen One, Jesus the Messiah came. The New Testament of the Bible describes when God was made man in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians worship God through Jesus.

Jews and Muslims do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God and the savior of mankind. They might call him a prophet, a good man, a rabbi (teacher), but they stop there and do not consider him God.

The Bible is God’s word and it is perfect

For Christian and Jewish believers, all of God’s word in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, is perfect and essential to understanding. The Old Testament of the Bible describes who He is. It further describes how God sees the world and mankind. It unfolds in the history of the Jewish people, starting with Abraham and through the ages. Then, for Christians, the New Testament describes Jesus. It is one, contiguous story.

However, for Jews, the story ends at Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. Jews believe their Messiah will yet come and they wait. Even though Jesus came as a Jew, most Jews do not believe He was their promised Messiah.

The Bible mentions only Jews and Gentiles not Christians

There are no Christians mentioned in the Bible, only Jews and Gentiles(everyone who is not Jewish). Both Jews and Gentiles can be followers of Jesus. Christians are Gentiles who follow Christ and recognize Jesus as God and as their savior.

Accepting the Bible by faith helps us to understand

We cannot prove God exists, so we can only accept Him and His word and His Messiah by faith. Jews have their beliefs, Muslims have theirs and Christians have theirs.

The three faith groups may start with Abraham, but they go in different directions. Sadly, any rift between Jews and Christians centers on the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians, however, accept and believe every word of the Jewish Bible. Three religions. Three completely different understandings.

You must walk your own path to understanding

In the final analysis, trying the prove the existence of God is beyond my ability. I can tell you what I believe, what I have heard and read and experienced in the Bible. But you have your own path to walk.

What is Heaven?

What is Heaven? Imagine a moment in time that was so perfect, so beautiful, so satisfying that you never wanted it to end. For many it was when their children were born, or when they fell in love with their spouse, or when a wave of good fortune came their way, giving them warmth, purpose and satisfaction.

Whatever that moment is for you, keep it in your head. Now take every moment like that and embrace it. Now ask, what if this wonderful feeling would never go away? Amplify this amazing moment to something approaching infinity and even more glorious and powerful. That is what heaven is like.

Please forgive my human inadequacy, but I cannot come close to describing God’s glory. My ability to comprehend is limited by my human condition, so I rely on the Bible to open my mind enough to understand a few things.

How the Bible describes heaven

Going through the 422 mentions of heaven in the Bible, we see some interesting facts that give us a more complete understanding. For example, when you see “heaven and earth” in the narrative, it is referring to the entire universe.

There are several meanings of heaven in Hebrew (the old testament of the Bible), which include heights or high places. Additionally, Jesus calls it His father’s house. It is the eternal Kingdom, where the righteous will dwell with God forever.

Unlike some other world religions that describe a place where people enjoy earthly pleasures of the flesh, the Bible focuses on the glory of God. It is a place where the faithful have an everlasting holy and personal relationship with the Almighty.

Imagine being face-to-face with God the Father and the Lord Jesus in paradise. Imagine a place where there is no church, no temple, because God is right there with us, all the time.

Our Father who is in heaven

Our ideas of heaven are abstract. But it is a place. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus begins, “Our Father who is in heaven…” It is place where Angels dwell. When they are sent to earth, it is from Heaven and the throne of God that their journey begins.

“Heaven” can also be another name for God. At the end of time, God will surround the earth, and truly heaven and earth will be the same.

Just the shining of God

Imagine no night, just the glory of God shining. Imagine no clouds, because there is no need of clouds, because the rain they bring flows as founts of living water from the throne of God. There will be no more sickness, no more pain and death.

Heaven is the ultimate utopia. It never ends. It is the place where the believers of all ages, those who have accepted God’s gift of salvation through faith in Christ, will enjoy endless happiness and fulfillment with their creator.

What is Hell?

Many people don’t believe in a place called hell. The idea that God would condemn a person to an eternity of pain and suffering is incomprehensible to most people. It sounds excessive. But to understand this never-ending sentence, we must first understand the ugly side of human nature.

The Apostle Paul wrote that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) He later added “The wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23). It’s one thing for the body to stop functioning, but it is quite another for the soul and spirit to suffer the consequences of bad decisions and a refusal to follow God. That is the second death, an eternal separation from God in a place of torment and suffering.

Many people refuse to believe in hell

The Bible teaches us about hell, yet many people refuse believe in hell. The sentence of an eternity in hell reflects two opposite realities– the ugliness of sin, man’s turning away from and rejecting the love of God, and the absolute beauty, holiness and perfection of God.

God is patient. The world is living under grace right now. God allows us to exercise our free will, make decisions. But at the same time, out of love, God reaches out to us, offering His gift of life through Christ.

We must freely choose God

God wants us to accept his gift, but it has to be out choice. The gift of eternal life is free, but it must be received openly and willingly. Understand that God created a perfect world, but man, through sin, poisoned it. There is death, destruction and suffering, all caused by man rejecting God. God allows this—to a point.

God will withdraw His grace in the future. God’s offer, while still available to us, will be made more difficult to grasp because of man’s own evil actions. . He will unleash His wrath and the world will change dramatically. Vengeance for all sins will be put into motion. Still, even through those terrible days, people will continue to accept the gift and be spared from an eternity of suffering.

What happens when I die?

A common question is, “What happens when I die.” The Bible is very clear in answering this question; no shades of gray, no ambiguities. There are only two groups of people—those who believe in Jesus Christ and have put their faith in Him for salvation. The others are nonbelievers, who reject the gift of God and have chosen to separate themselves from Him.

According to the Bible, hell is the place where people who reject the Gospel, the good news of salvation by faith in Christ, will go after they die. But there stages, as follows:

For those who reject the gift, Hades awaits them.

Hades

Hades would be the first stop. Luke 16 describes this place, also called Sheol or Torments. Think of Hades as a holding cell, where prisoners are taken before their trial. There are no creature comforts. Their trial comes at the end of Christ’s “millennial” reign, a thousand year period when Jesus shall rule the world, without interference. After that reign, once and for all time, sin will be dealt with.

From Hades, they will face their maker the final judgement.

Jesus explained hell this way in a parable.

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”

But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.”

So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, “How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?”

The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:1-14)

We are all invited to the banquet. In John 3:16, Jesus told Nicodemus, “Whosoever believes in HIM shall not perish but have everlasting life.” We are free to accept the gift and to reject it, but Luke has a warning in his Gospel.

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Luke 12:5)

God is love and He is also just

God is indeed a God of love, but He also a just God. This means that every judgment God makes is perfect and proper. Hell was created as a place of eternal punishment for evil. This punishment must be handed out, otherwise, God would not be just. He would not be doing as He said He would do. The sentence is absolute. There will be no parole.

It’s hard for people to understand that heaven, the gift of eternal life, cannot be bought. People cannot earn it by doing good deeds. It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that the gates are open.

Through Jesus’ sacrifice—His crucifixion, burial and resurrection, through our confession of our sins and asking for God’s forgiveness, that our relationship with God is secure.

Paradise or Hell

Those who lived and died before the time of Christ’s death and resurrection, and who were good in God’s sight, would go to “paradise.” Imagine yourself suddenly in the lobby of a great hotel. It is spectacular, with all of the comforts, only, that hotel is only a temporary stop. As wonderful as it is, the best is yet to come. It was the promise Jesus made to the thief on the cross.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42,43)

The thief, like those who died before him, could not go to heaven, because the final “payment” had not yet been made. It was the shedding of Yeshua’s blood that cleansed believers from all unrighteousness and thus made them acceptable to God. When Jesus died, our sin debt was marked “paid in full.”

Hell,as described on Revelation 14, is entirely avoidable. God offers life through His son, Jesus. In a sense, God does not send anyone to Hell. They send themselves. They refuse the gift.

What is the Gospel?

what is truth

This question has one of the simplest answers in the Bible. But it is sometimes complicated to the point of people missing the point entirely. Gospel means “good news.” So the good news is about the Messiah and an invitation to enter into an eternal relationship with God.

The easiest and most straight forward answer comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. He said “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus is the good news of the Bible

Believing in Jesus means believing that He is the Messiah. Who has come to take the sins of the world on His shoulders and offer His life on the cross. This is good news. Because all of us are sinners. We have broken the commandments, all of them, and are destined for eternal separation from God (hell).

It’s good news because Jesus took all of that and took the blame for our sins. Imagine the entirety of the sins of all people, past, present and future! The bad news is that without Jesus you’re doomed. The good news you are offered an everlasting life in God’s Kingdom.

The Gospel is simple

It’s really that simple. A child can understand it. We sometimes get caught up in wanting to pay our own way. Trying to buy our salvation, to deserve it, or earn it. We can’t. Only Jesus could/can pay that price.

It’s not that you are any worse or better than I am. The Apostle Paul said “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Also, He later wrote: “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23)

People trip over the idea that mere faith can make the difference between heaven and hell. God’s grace is what spares us, not our goodness, our deeds or any other earthy quality.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

We must turn to Him for EVERYTHING!

It is God’s plan that we turn to Him for everything. If we can’t earn it, or buy it. There isn’t any other means wash our sins away, who are we to trust and turn to?

It is our belief, by faith, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the grave and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. Therefore, there is no way to prove this, so, by design, God calls us to accept this important truth by faith.

Now that is good news.

Final Preparations and Readiness

When the Apostle Paul was in prison awaiting execution in Rome, he didn’t focus on his final preparations. People talk about getting their house in order, or straightening out their affairs in anticipation of dying. Being prepared is a good thing, but in some cases, it’s an interesting, if not amazing, to look into the strength of the human spirit.

Such is the case of the Apostle Paul, who knew his end was coming soon. He was precise and careful in giving instructions to those he mentored. His second letter to Timothy, Chapter 4, we see his focus, as he clearly emphasizes the ministry and not his demise.

He instructs Timothy to teach the Word of God, using sound doctrine. This, of course, was written only 30 years following the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, it very much applies to our present day church, as many denominations have wandered off the path of true Christian faith in favor of a social gospel, all done to raise money.

Paul’s instructions to Timothy

He tells Timothy what he needs to do and to look out for himself in navigating a cruel and unfriendly world.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Paul awaits execution doesn’t focus on final preparations

Paul, writing from Rome, has not long to live, as he awaits execution by the Romans. He focuses on Christ and moving forward, regardless of the consequences. He does not waver.

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 6-8)

Paul requests visit from Timothy

He wants his young charge, Timothy to pay him a visit in Rome. In addition to preaching the good news to the gentile world, Paul worked to prepare young teachers and pastors. Paul passed along his knowledge, wisdom and experience to the next generation.

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me.

Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all. (2 Timothy 4)

We are called to teach others about Christ

Paul always kept in contact with those he trained. He knew his time was short, but he also knew that the new generation would carry out the mission and advance the cause of Christ. Believers have a similar job, whether teaching their children, their neighbors, or reaching out to complete strangers.

How does God view time?

People think in terms of time. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end. How does God view time? With God there is no time. There is only now. It’s hard for us to imagine that. After all, we are born, we live our lives and we die. However long that is no one knows.

God was and is and is to come. There is no beginning, no middle and no end. Heaven has no time, no death, no pain and suffering. It is perpetual joy and fulfillment.

So what? We have no control over the inevitable. We are all going to die, some sooner rather than later. God calls out to His creation, man, to enter into a relationship. That’s why we were created to begin with. God reaches out, but not everyone responds. His truth is revealed, but not all comprehend it or appreciate its significance. Some hear the message and say “I’ll wait till later.” There may not be a later. God says now.

Don’t be tormented by the past

Living in the moment means not being tormented by the past. So much of mental illness is based upon a misunderstanding of events of the past. It’s not that something did not happen, it’s that our interpretation of the facts of the event can lead to a misunderstanding of what happened.

Imagine a strand of thin, white rope. It extends forever to the right and to the left. At some point along the way you see a blotch of color, a tiny, but very obvious spot of whatever color you like. To the left is eternity past and to the right is eternity future. The color stands for all of human existence. That is the only indication of time, otherwise its just an endless succession of now.

God’s view of time: Just now, no past no future

No past, no future. Just now. That splotch of color, that illustration of now, includes all of creation, every man, woman of child that has ever lived. Our earthly lives, from Adam to us are all included. You and your great, great, great grandfather are in the “now” and, in a sense, are contemporaries. In God’s truth, there is no time and therefore you are both here right now. You are the same age, because there is no age. Get the picture?

In the great play and movie, “Harvey,” the character Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart) invites a psychiatrist to imagine going anywhere you like, anytime you like, staying for as long as you like, but not a second has gone by. That’s another way of describing existence without time.

No time. No turmoil of the human condition. That’s hard to comprehend. But it is what the Lord Jesus Christ promises.

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” (Revelation 7:17)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

Heaven is a gift

Even harder for some of us to comprehend is that heaven is a gift. The Bible states that only perfect adherence of the Law is acceptable to God. But who has obeyed every commandment to the letter? No one! But it was Jesus who paid the price on the cross. He purchased our ticket to heaven. All we need do is accept the gift by simply confessing out sins and asking Jesus to come into our hearts.

We turn ourselves over to Jesus who died for us and we are forgiven. We are adopted into God’s family with full rights and privileges. There is happiness and never ending joy. We will pass from beginning and end into a never-ending eternity… Time will be no more.

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus? This is a great question, because all of the Bible hinges on the answer. Historians, of course, will debate if there even was a man called Jesus. Some will agree there was a man called Jesus, but that’s the extent of it.

They will say that He was just an historical figure. Yet others know Him as the “Son of God,” the Messiah the one promised by God. Still others believe Him to be a heretic, an evil person who slandered and manipulated the Scriptures.

It gets down to one really important piece of truth—what is the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth?

Jesus certainly existed

The importance of the question intensifies when one examines the accounts of the New Testament and comes to the conclusion that He did in fact exist; that He was considered by many to be the Messiah and that He died on the cross and rose again.

It’s extremely important because if the Bible is accurate and true, then you have to deal with Jesus on a whole new level. If the Bible is not true, then disregard this blog and any other reference to Jesus. He is or He isn’t.

Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the father except through me.” It is a powerful declarative statement. Taken at face value, at the very least, it implies that He is no ordinary man and someone to be dealt with.

His followers wanted more of Him, the Jewish authorizes wanted to kill him. Even today, there are those to follow closely to their Messiah and those who deny everything the Bible says about Him. He is easily the most controversial person in all of human history.

Jesus both man and God

God promised a savior to the world. He would be called Emanuel (God with us). Made fully man, at the same time He was fully God. As a man, he would be subject to all of the same forces that you and I are subject to. How can a man be God? That was a major question during His time on earth.

The God of the Christian faith is one God, in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a difficult concept to explain, but each person of the “Trinity” is clearly evidenced in the Bible. The word “trinity” is not used in the Bible. It is a man-made reference to God in three persons.

Jesus knew that not many would understand or accept his true identity. When some Jewish men questioned Him, they were angry with the response.

Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” (John 10:22-33)

Jesus came to do the will of His father

The many signs and wonders that Jesus displayed were not just about Jesus Himself. He did the will of His Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. All three persons were involved. Jesus was fully man and men cannot do miracles. Therefore, as a man, He called on His Father to perform the miracle. He would later tell His disciples that they too could do marvelous things.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

He promised His disciples that He would help to do the things He asked them to do. They would have access to the same power source as Jesus, just as Christians today are given that access.

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:25-27)

Jesus is above all others

Jesus, the Son of God, is above all ,others, as the Apostle Paul explains.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

The Apostle Paul also wrote of Jesus being King of kings and Lord of lords.

…to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:14-16)

The Holy Spirit is with us today!

The Holy Spirit remains with us today. Jesus sits are the right hand of God the Father. In time God the Father will instruct Jesus to return to reign on earth. The true identity of Jesus of Nazareth is He is God the Son, King of kings and Lord of Lords. But the argument continues.

After we put our faith in Jesus… What’s Next?

what is truth

Once you put your faith in Jesus, what should you expect? If you are listening for the crashing of thunder or the blaring of trumpets, you’ll be disappointed. What happens when we confess our sins to God, ask His forgiveness and invite Jesus into our lives to be Lord and Savior? We are given three guarantees. We are accepted, secure and significant.

It’s like getting a receipt for payment. In this case it is payment for our sins and forgiveness from God. This rock solid, take it to the bank, eternal and absolute guarantee is written down, never to be over tuned or taken away. Three things happen to you.

YOU ARE ACCEPTED

If you’ve ever joined a club or organization there’s that feeling of being an outsider. Maybe you don’t know what’s going on, or you’re unfamiliar with the culture. Through Jesus you become a member of God’s family, one of His children. You are a full member in good standing, with full rights and privileges as an heir to God’s Kingdom. You are a brother with Christ.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

God pours out His love for you

Nothing is holding you outside the gates of heaven. You haven’t earned it and you can’t buy it and you don’t deserve it, but God’s love is poured out just by exercising an act of faith. Accepting Jesus as your Savior is the key.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1)

Whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, this is what Jesus told Nicodemus the Pharisee and what He promises us as well. We become part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Because we are accepted and are a part of the family, we can go to our Heavenly Father and, like a shall child crawling up on daddy’s knee, we can tell him our troubles and ask for help.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

YOU ARE SECURE

Having been accepted and adopted into the family, you need not worry about your future. Jesus paid the price for your sin and nothing is going to change that.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

That seal of ownership is powerful and cannot be broken. We are all sinful creatures and just because we have been adopted into God’s family, through the Lord Jesus Christ, that does not mean we are free from sin. No, we are free from the consequences of our sin, while we strive to be like Jesus.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

YOU ARE SIGNIFICANT

As accepted and secure members of the Kingdom, believers are called to spread the word to others. It’s a task not to be taken lightly, but to be embraced as a privilege. Jesus taught His twelve disciples to share the faith. We are called to do the same. That makes us significant to God’s unfolding plan.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

As joint heirs with Christ, believers are indeed significant members of the family. Jesus said he calls us brothers (and sisters). We are not servants but friends. We are with him forever.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2;6)

Accepted, secure and significant are God’s promises to those who have the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. A simple act of faith can change all of eternity for you and me.