Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What Else Does God Feel?

I've previously dealt with God's wrath but which other emotions does he feel? Surprisingly to some, he feels a wide range of them.

The Lord finds the threats of us puny beings humorous. Psalms 2:4 (KJV) says, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the  Lord shall have them in derision."

Psalms 37:13 (KJV) likewise states, "The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that  his day is coming."

God also feels regret. In Genesis 6:7 (KJV) he says, "And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." The word "repenteth" in that instance means that God felt regret.

The Lord also feels gladness. Examine what Deuteronomy 30:9 (KJV) says. "And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:"

We also know from prophecy that Jesus, the second member of the Trinity, felt sorrow. Isaiah 53:4 (KJV) describes him this way. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our  sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and  afflicted."

God also felt frustrated at those who habitually turned from him. Numbers 14:11 (KJV) shows his exasperation. "And the LORD said unto Moses, How long  will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they  believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?"

I could list other scriptures showing the range of emotions felt by all three members of the Trinity. Instead, I'll save those for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Far from being always angry, the Father feels joy, sorrow, and even regret. People need to understand that God isn't some sort of impersonal force but a dynamic and infinitely wise deity.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

What Does 'Jealous God' Mean?

One of the saddest stories I've heard is of Oprah Winfrey's rejection of the Lord. While sitting in a Baptist church one Sunday, the preacher said God was a jealous God. In her ignorance, she assumed that God's jealousy meant that he was petty and a control freak. So she turned away from her heavenly Father and has adopted all sorts of erroneous philosophies.

What does 'jealous' actually mean in God's case? He seeks to protect and defend his name, all that he is, and those who trust in him alone. He warned about worshipping false gods in Exodus 20:5 (KJV) when he told the Israelites that, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" That's important to note since it's part of the Ten Commandments.

False gods do nothing to help their worshippers and are actually demons in disguise. Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote to his protege in 1 Timothy 4:1 KJV). "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

Likewise, he wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:20 (KJV), "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils."

God also came to the aid of Israel when they repented and he repaid the wickedness of their enemies. Here's what Nahum 1:2 (KJV)says.  "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies."

Paul also clears up what the Lord's sort of jealousy means when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV), "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."

From these, and many other scriptures, we can see that God's jealousy isn't the mean sort as ours is. He wants the best for us and he takes great umbrage at any denigration of his holy reputation.
 
For this reason, I'm saving my money so I may publish my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven. People need to understand who God is and why sin is so odious to him. May God use my writing to steer people right.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Why Does God Demand Praise?

To answer this question, we must keep in mind that God is radically different compared to us. Firstly, he's eternal. Psalms 90:2 (KJV) says, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

And contrary to the ideas of some, God is merciful. Psalms 100:5 (KJV) reads, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Moreover, he wants to give eternal life to those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ. In John 6:40 (KJV), the Lord declares, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every  one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have  everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

He is also incredibly patient, as 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) shows. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

The heavenly Father is also wise beyond any level of wisdom we could attain to. Isaiah 40:28 (KJV) explains, "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard,  that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the  earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his  understanding."

The Lord is also just. He judges the hearts of people and plays no favourites. Look at what Deuteronomy 32:4 (KJV) says. "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

With all these laudable attributes, plus more I could list, God is far more benevolent, wise, and patient than we could ever hope to be. This is why I'm writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? So many wrong ideas have been spread about the heavenly Father that I feel compelled to challenge them. My book might even be used by God to save somebody from eternity in hell.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Why Does God Allow Sin?

Since God is righteous and perfectly within his right to condemn sinners, why does he allow sin? He hates it but why doesn't he deal with it directly?

God has always given humanity a choice to follow him or the Devil. We saw that clearly demonstrated in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had only one commandment to obey but they chose to rebel.

Joshua 24:15 (KJV) demonstrates that choice is a gift from God. "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Choice also lets God's grace have greater effect. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:20 (KJV),  "Moreover the law entered, that the offence  might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more  abound:"

But the Lord won't let sin go on unpunished forever. Check out what Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:8 (KJV). "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

But does God cause sin to happen? No way! Paul explains who really is at fault for sin. He wrote in Galatians 6:7 (KJV), "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for  whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." In other words, what goes around comes around.

The Lord also lets bad things happen to his people for a good cause. Paul knew this well when he wrote in Philippians 1:12 (KJV)  "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;"

But must we wait until Christ's return for wickedness to be punished? There are times when sins are punished in this life. Look at what God said in Deuteronomy 32:35 (KJV). "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

These are but a few of many scriptures which show that God makes use of sin but he isn't the cause of it. I'll be writing more on this subject in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? One reason many people give for rejecting the Lord is because he seems not to do anything about all the evil in this world. How reassuring it is that NOBODY will get away with continual wickedness all through their lives.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Why Aren't Sinners Punished Immediately?

Since God's judgements are just, why are sinners allowed to go on sinning? Because he abhors sin, shouldn't he zap people right away when they disobey?

Saint Peter gives us the answer. Destruction of sinners is a warning to us. As he wrote in 2 Peter 2:6 (KJV), "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;" "Ensample" is the old word for example.

God also wants to give as many chances to people to repent as he knows they will need to make their permanent decision about eternity. As Paul wrote in Romans 2:4 (KJV) to self-righteous believers, "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness  and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness  of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

Peter also noted that the Lord's apparent lack of action in destroying sinners isn't because of any slothfulness on his part. 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) contains this explanation. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

But a time will come when the Lord will metaphorically say, "enough is enough." As 2 Peter 2:9 (KJV) states, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out  of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment  to be punished:"

And as I've noted before, the Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Nevertheless, he grants them their desire to be parted from his beneficent kindness forever. This is why I'm working on my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People must know that the Father won't let them go unpunished for their habitual sins after they die.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Why is God's Justice Just?

In my previous post, I wrote about who angers god. It's the cruel actions and rejection of his law which upsets him. But what makes God's justice just?

First of all, God created everything. He has the right to do whatever he wants with it, including us. Isaiah 44:24 (KJV) explains, "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;"

Furthermore, God always gives good things to those who follow him, even when things seem bad. He said in Jeremiah 9:24 (KJV), "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."

The Lord also knows us through and through. Unlike people who can only judge external actions, he sees our intentions. As it says in Jeremiah 11:20 (KJV), "But, O LORD of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause."

Likewise, we can see that God's word cuts through all human pretence. Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) reads, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

I could find many other scriptures to prove God's just judgement but this post would become too long. Instead, I'll save that for my next book, which I'm still working on, called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Far too many people are living as if their deeds and membership in churches guarantees their home in heaven. Only by repenting of sinful ways and following Christ will any of us make it into his eternal dwelling place.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Who Makes God Angry?

In my last post, I mentioned the things which anger God. But contrary to wide-spread opinion, the Lord isn't terminally upset at humanity. Even so, there are people who persist with their wickedness until they die.

The Lord takes murder seriously, especially the homicide done to his messengers. Nehemiah 9:26 (KJV)explains this well.  "Nevertheless they were disobedient, and  rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and  slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee,  and they wrought great provocations."

Wicked people, who continue doing wicked things all their lives, are also in the bulls eye of God's displeasure. The Apostle Paul warned extensively of the evil deeds done by unrepentant sinners. He wrote, as one example, in 1 Timothy 1:9 (KJV) about wicked people. "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a  righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly  and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers  and murderers of mothers, for manslayers," And as you can tell, he hardly scratched the surface of their lawless actions.

God especially gets peeved at phoney Christians, as we can easily discover in Titus 1:16 (KJV). "They profess that they know God; but in works  they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every  good work reprobate."

But mere obedience out of duty won't save anybody. The Jews of Christ's time tried that but it didn't impress Jesus one bit. Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 2:29 (KJV). "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."

I feel compelled to write much more on this subject in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Millions of people go through the motions of worship but their hearts are far from the heavenly Father.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

What makes God Angry?

This month, I'll address the topic of God's nature. Many people have formed the false image of our creator as a narcissistic and petulant deity. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the Bible aptly demonstrates.

God's wrath is always righteous, particularly  against enemies of his people. Exodus 15:7 (KJV) says, "And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble."

God loves his people so much that he punishes those who harm them. The word "jealous," misunderstood by Opra and other less-famous celebrities, means a strong desire to protect. Nahum 1:2 (KJV)states,  "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies."

Additionally, God hates mockers of his messengers. Israel did that and, though he chose to bless and work through that nation, he punished them for their disobedience many times. Look at what is written in 2 Chronicles 36:16 (KJV). "But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy."

God also opposes rebellion, which is a virulent form of disobedience. Deuteronomy 9:7 (KJV) reads, "Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD."

God hates falsehoods told about himself too. Job 42:7 (KJV) clearly proclaims, "And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath."

Additionally, and unlike in most belief systems, vengeance belongs to God and not us. Romans 12:19 (KJV)proves that.  "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

I could write so much more on this topic alone. Instead, I'll save it for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Because of false notions, people use God's righteous anger as an excuse to reject him. How I wish those folks would get a clue and realize that the Lord has every right to be upset at humanity's disrespectful intransigence.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Why Did Christ Ascend Into Heaven?

Many Christians mark Christ's ascension each year but why did he leave our world in the way he did? Luke recorded in Acts 1:9 (KJV) how the Lord left his disciples. "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

But why did Jesus ascend? He could have just vanished  or, like in a western movie, walked into the sunset. Here's what the Bible says about this.

David foretold Christ's ascension in Psalms 68:18 (KJV). "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them."

Jesus himself knew this and proclaimed it to Nicodemus in John 3:13 (KJV). "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

Our Lord also told this to Mary Magdalene. John 20:17 (KJV) reads, "Jesus saith unto her, 'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.'"

We who believe in Christ have an added assurance that he will return. An angel explained to the disciples in Acts 1:11 (KJV), "Which also said, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.'"

This is one of many wondrous truths which we who trust in Christ retain and defend. Our Lord's return makes all that we suffer bearable. I'll be writing in depth about this in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? At this point, I'm saving up to have it published.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Why is it More Blessed to Believe Without Seeing?

I mentioned Thomas in a previous post and how Jesus didn't chastise him for his doubts. Our Lord knows our hearts and how we have gaps in our understanding of his providential care of us.

One gap certain believers have is the meaning of faith. They believe it's some sort of spiritual power and we can generate enough of it to trip the solenoid of God's blessing. What errant nonsense!

Faith has two meanings in Scripture. One definition is the truth given to us by God. Jude 1:3 (KJV) explains, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

The other meaning of faith is our trust in God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 1:21 (KJV) teaches us, "Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."

Furthermore, John 20:29 (KJV) contains the answer to this question of being more blessed though we haven't seen our Lord face to face. "Jesus saith unto him, 'Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.'"

Our trust in the invisible Trinity is what sets us apart from adherents to other belief systems. And those who doubt God's existence do so because they don't want to acknowledge his claim on their lives. As Jesus explained in John 3:19 (KJV), "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

Implicit trust is what our Lord requires of all who follow him. I'll be writing in detail about it in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Unbelief is what will send many millions to hell, even if those folks call it doubt or rationalism.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Why Don't We Have More Genuine Accounts of Christ?

Since Christ had twelve apostles, plus other followers, why aren't there more gospel accounts? It seems logical to us that all twelve should have written their own eyewitness accounts of our Lord's ministry. Many theologians have their theories but here's what the Bible says.

John summed up his account with the reason why he hadn't included more reports of Jesus and his doings. John 20:31 (KJV) states, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

Certainly there were many other stories of Jesus which could have been included. John 21:25 (KJV) explains, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

Some folks might point to books such as the gospels of Thomas, Judas, and Barnabas as additional examples of accounts of our Lord. These have been proven by professional scholars to be false gospels. People who used textual criticism found that these Gnostic gospels were penned a few hundred years after the ascension of Christ. On the other hand, the genuine accounts were written as early as thirty years after our Lord arose from the tomb.

These pseudo-gospels also record words which contradict what the accepted gospels state. One of those phony gospels claims that Jesus turned Mary into a man since Peter said it wasn't fit that a woman should be a follower. I forget the exact wording but I'm sure Google could find the quote.

We also know that many verses in the New Testament mention the soon return of Christ. Believers back then assumed that he would return during their lifetime. This caused a crisis of faith for some of the church members whose loved ones had perished. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 (KJV)  "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." "Prevent" in this verse means precede.

I'll be writing more regarding the veracity of the Bible in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? If Holy Scripture contains only fables and moral lessons, we lose all hope of being in paradise for the rest of eternity. But since it's the Word of God Almighty, we can trust it in every point.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Why Had There to be Twelve Apostles?

In the period between Christ's resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter gathered the believers together to choose a new twelvth apostle. Because Judas Iscariot betrayed  Jesus and hung himself, there were only eleven left. But why did that matter?

Acts 1:25 (KJV) explains part of the reason for choosing a twelvth apostle. "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

The reason for needing twelve apostles is spelled out by Christ in Matthew 19:28 (KJV)  "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Therefore, there had to be twelve apostles.

In picturesque language, Saint John wrote in Revelation 21:14 (KJV),  "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Since Judas Iscariat was chosen from before time began to betray Christ, he had no part in the kingdom of heaven.

Neither were these apostles wrong in choosing a replacement, as I was taught in an errant house church. In Acts 1:21-22 (KJV), we see the criteria for choosing the twelvth apostle. "Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

All this proves the consistancy of Holy Scripture. I'll be writing more about why we can trust the Bible in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven. Trust is the key to understanding all that the Lord has done and will do in the future for those who love him.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Why Was Power Given to the Disciples?

Now that I've established that it's belief which separates disciple from willful doubter, I must explain why signs and wonders were done by Christ's disciples. It wasn't for show but to bring God glory and validate his message.

The job given to the apostles was to go into all the world and preach the gospel as well as baptizing and teaching disciples. John 15:26 (KJV) records Christ's explanation of the Spirit's work. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"

Furthermore, the Spirit gave the apostles prophecies, both foretelling events and forth-telling the Word of God. Look at what Christ told them in John 16:13 (KJV), "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

Additionally, God sent the Holy Spirit to confront error and those who preached it. 1 John 4:6 (KJV) explains, "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."

As we read in Matthew 9:8 (KJV), after Christ healed a paralyzed man, the miracle was done for God's glory. "But when the multitude saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men."

I was once a member of a church that was obsessed with signs and wonders. We all wanted my eyes to be healed but they weren't. I left after fifteen and a half years because congregants blamed me for not being healed. My How I Was Razed book chronicles those years and how the heavenly Father led me out of that cruelty and into his glorious truth.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Why Didn't Christ Appear Publicly?

Having written about Christ's post-resurrection appearances, I suspect that some folks are wondering why Christ didn't show himself publicly to prove that he was alive. I've given this much thought and here's what I've found.

In my previous post, I wrote about Christ and his forty days of instruction to his disciples. I believe that he didn't want to waste time with willfully-blind individuals like the Pharisees.

We can see just how determined those religious leaders were to disprove the resurrection in Matthew 28:11-15  (KJV). "Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, 'Say ye, "His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept." And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.' So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."

I've also written previously about how people wouldn't believe even when God did great miracles. The deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage is a case in point. God sent ten plagues on the land and spared his people. When Moses raised his staff, God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry land. Then he made the waters to come together to drown the Egyptian army.

God led the Israelites through the desert with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He gave them manna and when they craved meat, he sent them quail. He even made water come out of a rock. After all those miracles, people still grumbled and wanted to return to Egyptian bondage.

I'm in the process of writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I once thought that if God healed me of my poor vision, people would be convinced and believe in Christ. Now I know that it's the work of the Holy Spirit which brings people to salvation.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

What Do We Learn From the Emmaus Discourse?

Continuing on with the theme of discipleship, we often miss key points of Christ's teaching because we're too familiar with the gospel. It's like when a person hears a piece of familiar music and suddenly a lyric or instrument surprises the listener.

I've had that experience with songs like "Are You Experienced" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. On it, Jimi pressed the A key on a piano repeatedly. Until recently, I hadn't noticed that a few of his notes weren't on time.

In the same way, we all hear seemingly-new things when we study Scripture. One point I missed for years is what Christ did on the Emmaus road.

In Luke 24:25-27 (KJV), we read how Christ chastised two disciples for not understanding that the scriptures, what we call the Old Testament,  spoke of him. "Then he said unto them, 'O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?' And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

But this isn't a fault peculiar to those men. It's too easy for us to miss key points in the midst of the gospel story. John 5:39 (KJV) clearly states, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." We become so engrossed in the squabble Christ had with the Pharisees that we miss the truth that the Old Testament foretold what would happen to him.

Another point which is lost to the minds of most people is that God commands us all to be under the rule of his Son. That's partly why I'm writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven. Being a Christian isn't just keeping rules or not committing serious crimes, as some folks think. We must all have a relationship with Jesus who died in our place and rose to give us new life. If only people could grasp the ramifications of that.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Why Wasn't "Doubting Thomas" Chastised?

One story which Christians are all too familiar with is the account of "doubting Thomas." He became labeled a doubter because of what happened when Christ appeared to the disciples eight days after the first appearance. Thomas wasn't there at that time, therefore the reports of Christ's resurrection seemed too good to be true to him.

John 20:26-27  (KJV) describes what happened. "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, 'Peace be unto you.' Then saith he to Thomas, 'Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.'"

Jesus knew Thomas well, as he knows us all. This much-maligned disciple loved the Lord so much that he felt willing to lay his life on the line for him. Look at what John 11:16 (KJV) records him as saying. "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, 'Let us also go, that we may die with him.'"

When Jesus spoke of going away, meaning his ascension into heaven, Thomas longed to follow him but he didn't know how. John 14:5 (KJV) shows the extent of his devotion. "Thomas saith unto him, 'Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?'"

Jesus often said, "O ye of little faith," to his disciples when they didn't comprehend his trustworthiness. But Thomas adored the Lord. When he realized that he had indeed risen, John 20:28 (KJV)quotes him as exclaiming, "And Thomas answered and said unto him, 'My Lord and my God.'"

The whole point of discipleship is to trust the Master implicitly. Yet Christ's disciples had a hard time doing it. Even so, we can learn from their mistakes and strive to accept whatever he leads us into.

I'll be dealing with this crucial subject extensively in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven. Our access to paradise depends on us fully trusting in Christ and relying on his righteousness. Anything else falls far short of salvation and dooms us to eternity in hell.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What Did Christ Do After He Rose?

Easter is over and it's on to the next event, or so it is with many people. In North America, it's Mother's Day. And as important as it is to recognize the hard work these women do in raising children, so should those folks who make disciples of all nations be recognized.

Christians are familiar with The Great Commission. Mark 16:15 (KJV) says, "And he (Christ) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." We understand the "go" part but many missionaries in the past have forgotten about discipleship.

Luke recorded what Christ was busy doing before his ascension. Acts 1:3 (KJV) states, "To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:"

And it wasn't just a handful of disciples who our Lord met after his resurrection. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:6 (KJV)  "After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." The word "sleep" in this case means death.

Jesus had many things to teach his disciples before he ascended. They couldn't understand at first that his kingdom was spiritual in nature and that he came to save all who would repent and follow him throughout space and time. John 12:16 (KJV) explains, "These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him."

I also had many misunderstandings of what Christianity entailed. For this reason, I plan on writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? My hope is that I may save my readers from missing the mark and ending up in hell because of false teachers.