Witnessing Is A Christian Imperative

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31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”  — Luke 16:31 NLT
 
The rich man who had refused to comfort Lazarus was sent to Hades (the place of the dead).  From there, he was allowed to look into Paradise where he saw Lazarus sitting with Abraham.  Realizing how wrong he had been in not showing mercy to Lazarus when they both lived on earth, he began to beg for mercy. “Just allow Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and bring it to me”.  But Abraham reminded the rich man that he had had ample opportunity to help others with his riches while he lived on the earth.  The rich man realizes that the reason he has ended up in this place of torment is because he refused to accept Jesus and his teachings.  Since there is now no hope for him, he remembers his brothers and asks Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to witness to them.. Abraham tells the rich man that it wouldn’t make any difference, if his brothers won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe just because someone returned from the dead.  We find this statement proved to be true over and over since so many refused to believe when Jesus was raised from the dead.  Even now, with all the proof we have of His Resurrection, there are those who still refuse to believe.  Since we don’t know who those believe are, we still must witness to everyone that God puts in our lives.  When we don’t share the Gospel with those around us who desparately need it, we are as guilty of withholding our riches from them as the rich man was in withholding his riches from Lazarus.  Our part is to share the Gospel with everyone, God takes care of the results.
Post 04- 14-2016

A Story For The Ages

even-smaller-bug-light15 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.  6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” — Romans 9:5-9 NIV

​The promise that God made to His friend, Abraham, was fulfilled.  Abraham did become the Father of many nations through his first two sons,  Ishmael was the frist born, a child concieved with Hagar ten years after the promise. It was another 13-14 years later before Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah.  It was sixty years later when Jacob (Israel) and Esau were born to Isaac and Rebekah. ​ It was through ​Jacob that we trace the lineage of Jesus Christ. This promise was very slow in being fulfilled, but it was confirmed over and over throughout the Old Testament. Though Abraham did become the Father of many nations, the promise was not made regarding the physical descendants but, rather to the Spiritual descendants through One person.  It was not to the “seeds” of Abram but to the “Seed” of Abraham. That Seed is Jesus Christ.

16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.  Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. — Galatians 3:16 NIV
In His own words,​ Jesus told us that He came to seek and to save the lost.
 

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:9,10 NIV

​Jesus also said:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. — John 3:16, 17 NIV

​It is ​for these reasons that all nations, tribes and kindreds can join in the celebration of the birth of Chirst. We have been commissioned by Christ to go tell “the old, old story that we have loved so long.”
Post 12-21-2015

“I Existed Before ___________”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Are you greater than the prophets, who died? Who do you think you are?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I am merely boasting about myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who says these glorious things about me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you do not even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But it is true — I know him and obey him. 56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” 57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” 58​ ​Jesus answered, “The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to kill him. But Jesus hid himself from them and left the Temple.—John 8:53-59 (NLT)
​Jesus​ explains to the people that they don’t really know God even tough they claim God as “our God”. If they really knew God, they would accept Jesus and be excited that the Messiah had come in their lifetimes. Jesus says that even Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to the birth of the Messiah. The people really didn’t accept this. Since Jesus is not even fifty years old, how could He possibly have seen Abraham? Then Jesus makes a statement that really gets the crowd worked up. “I existed before Abraham was even born”. The truth is more than that, Jesus existed before _______ and it doesn’t matter what you put in the blank, Jesus already existed.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
​ ​The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.—John 1:1-3 (NLT)

​The​ crowd became so angry that Jesus had to slip away or be stoned to death. The name of Jesus still causes that kind of reaction today. When the name of Jesus is spoken, there is no neutral ground and there is no procrastination. You either have to accept Him or reject Him. What choice have you made?
Post 12-23-2014

It’s Party Time in Heaven!!!!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” 49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father — and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God wants to glorify me. Let him be the judge. 51 I assure you, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” 52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say that those who obey your teaching will never die! 53 Are you greater than our father ​​Abraham, who died? Are you greater than the prophets, who died? Who do you think you are?”—John 8: 48-53 (NL​T)
No​​​w the people are ​really getting upset! They even tell Jesus that He is demon possessed. Jesus assures them that He is not demon possessed and that He is here to honor His Father. He also tells them that if anyone accepts His teachings as truth, they will never die. This gets the crowd in a bigger uproar! How can you say that those who obey you will never die? “Who do you think you are?” Who is this man Jesus? It is the same question that all of us must answer, “Who do you think Jesus is?” The answer to that question will determine where you spend eternity. Consider it carefully. My prayer is that you will come to know Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord. If you do, it will be the best Christmas you have ever celebrated. Even the angels in heaven will join in and throw a party.
8-10 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”—Luke 15:8-10 (The Message)

“If God Were Your Father”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

35​ ​A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because my message does not find a place in your hearts. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.” 39 “Our father is Abraham,” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were children of Abraham, you would follow his good example. 40 I told you the truth I heard from God, but you are trying to kill me. Abraham wouldn’t do a thing like that. 41 No, you are obeying your real father when you act that way.” They replied, “We were not born out of wedlock! Our true Father is God himself.” 42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.–John 8:35-42 (NLT)
​We​ are born of the flesh and thus we follow after the lusts of the flesh just like the crowds in the day of Jesus. We follow the advice of our fleshly father, satan. Yes, we may have earthly parents who have accepted Jesus, but unless we have made that decision for ourselves, we are still children of the flesh, just as the people were then. If we were truly children of the living God, we would not live a lifestyle of sin. We would follow the example Jesus set for us. We should know and understand that when we accept Jesus, our lifestyles will change. When we have been born of the Spirit, we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Yes, we will occasionally sin, but it will not be our lifestyle. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with a living Lord. It is not a negative lifestyle, but it should be the most positive of all lifestyles since we, and we alone, have the hope of eternal life with Jesus. Jesus came to us from the Father to redeem us from sin and show us the way to the Father. If God is truly our Father, we will tell others about our hope in Jesus because we will be overflowing with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:13 (NLT)
Post 12-20-14

Faith and Good Works Continued

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.​ ​Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our a​​ncestor​​ Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.–James 2:18-22 (NLT)
​Let​’s be sure to always remember that salvation is a free gift from God. There are no “good deeds” that will save you. It is not that we believe there is one God that saves us. Every religion has their own god, but none of them have Jesus Christ or any one else that gave their life for their redemption. James is saying that faith alone might be enough to scare a person or a demon(demons tremble) but it won’t save you. Abraham lived a long time before Jesus died and was resurrected, so he didn’t have the choice we have today. Therefore, God in His great mercy counted his actions as righteous. Abraham and the others from the Old Testament did not receive everything God had planned for them at that time. Their total salvation and perfection had to wait until Jesus was resurrected and we all join Him in heaven and we will receive our rewards at the same time. There, we will be totally saved and we will worship Jesus forever.
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.–Hebrews 11:39,40 (NLT)
Post 08-23-14

God is Faithful and Able to Deliver On His Promises

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

11 Faith enabled Abraham to become a father, even though he was old and Sarah had never been able to have children. Abraham trusted that God would keep his promise.12 Abraham was as good as dead. Yet, from this man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore.​ 13 All these people died having faith. They didn’t receive the things that God had promised them, but they saw these things coming in the distant future and rejoiced. They acknowledged that they were living as strangers with no permanent home on earth. 14 Those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for their own country. 15 If they had been thinking about the country that they had left, they could have found a way to go back. 16 Instead, these men were longing for a better country—a heavenly country. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God. He has prepared a city for them.–Hebrews 11:11-16 (GW)
​God​ had promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, yet, he and Sara did not have a child. They were well past child-bearing age when God delivered on His promise to Abraham. Though, from a human standpoint, it was impossible, it was not hard for God to fulfill His promise. After all, when He speaks, the sound of His voice creates whatever He says. He spoke the universe into existence. So, bringing forth a child from an elderly couple would not be difficult for Him. This promise was passed down from generation to generation. Many of them died before the promise was realized, but they died knowing that God is faithful and He would fulfill every promise. They pressed on in obedience to God and arrived at a heavenly country where they will spend an eternity with God because they were faithful.
Post 07-30-14