Posts Tagged ‘ belief ’

Hey, Mister “Preacher,” I Can Tell You Where God Is (Gospel Light Minute X #282)


Meet Jesse Custer. A man who cuts all ties to his life of crime and returns to dusty Annville, Texas, to take over his father’s church. His goal is to “save this town.”

Played by Dominic Cooper, he is the main character of AMC’s “Preacher”, the comic book-based show, also starring Ruth Negga and Joseph Gilgun, that just began its second season.

As a young pastor, Jesse Custer, commonly called “Preacher”, struggles with the demands the church people place on him. He struggles to keep attracting visitors as a megachurch starts up nearby. But, most of all, he struggles with knowing whether or not God is really present, whether he is hearing from God, and whether he is telling people what God wants them to hear.

However, he isn’t the only one in Annville who wants to know where God is. Continue reading

Jesus the Triumphant, Part 16 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 192)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 12:42-45

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 192.

J. Hampton Keathley III said, “In Jesus, we have One who has virtually changed every aspect of human life, but sadly, most people are completely oblivious to the reality of how He has so completely impacted the world. No one else is qualified or capable to meet the needs of fallen humanity or restore that which was lost by Adam in the fall of man.”

As we continue looking at Jesus’ last public teaching before His crucifixion, we see that He begins to express even more the urgency of the matter of believing on Him. The text tells us that “Jesus cried out”; this was something He rarely did. The word “cry” means ‘to speak with a loud voice, to cry aloud, to vociferate.’ It is in the imperfect tense, meaning that Jesus continuously cried out; He spoke loudly and urgently again and again. This was His last message to the Jews and He wanted to make sure that they heard Him clearly.

Regarding this passage, Warren Wiersbe wrote: “There were those who would not believe, and there were those who would not openly confess Christ even though they had believed. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea belonged to this group initially, but eventually came out openly in their confession of Christ. In the early church, there were numbers of Pharisees and even priests. It was the old struggle between the glory of God and the praise of men. It was a costly thing to be excommunicated, and these “secret believers” wanted the best of both worlds.

“In John 12:44-50 we have our Lord’s last message before He ‘hid Himself’ from the people. Again, the emphasis was on faith. A number of the basic themes in John’s Gospel run through this message: God sent the Son; to see the Son means to see the Father, Jesus is the Light of the world; His words are the very words of God; faith in Him brings salvation; to reject Him is to face eternal judgment. In fact, the very Word that He spoke will judge those who have rejected it and Him!”

In these final words, Christ saw fit to re-emphasize His connection with the Father. He did not back down from identifying Himself with God. Instead, He said, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.” Jesus represented Himself as the avenue, the way, the door through which one might truly believe on God.

Today, we are told that there are many ways to God and that one way is just as good as any other. The Jewish religious leaders had people believing that the way to God was through studying Scripture, obeying the law, and following the traditions of their forefathers.

In our society, we face the pressure to not proclaim Jesus as the one and only way. It is okay to proclaim Jesus as a Savior among saviors, but it is frowned on to say that Jesus is the only Savior. However, among the pantheon of religious luminaries, Jesus is the only one to declare Himself to be the exclusive way to God the Father. Moses never claimed this; he pointed the Jews to another “prophet” who would come. Muhammad never claimed this; historians tell us that, at the end of his life, he was not even sure if he would make it into Paradise. No one, but Jesus, ever cried out, “He that believes on me, believes on God; He that sees me, sees God.” A person with such audacity cannot be dismissed.

The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” If you had to know a secret word to get into Heaven, that password would be the name of Jesus. John Piper said, “Jesus is absolutely unique. He is absolutely supreme among all the gods and lords of the world religions. Knowing him and believing on his name is absolutely necessary for salvation. For since the cross and resurrection there is no other way to God and to heaven.”

What does it mean to know Jesus, to believe on Jesus, to, as our text says, “see” Jesus? It means that you must, somewhere in your life, hear about Jesus as a specific Person (the only begotten Son of God) who did a specific work (dying on the cross for the sins of the world and rising from the dead) for a specific result (that whosoever believeth on him might be saved).

There is no one else who fits this criteria, but Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
No, not one! No, not one!

Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?
No, not one! No, not one!
Or sinner find that He would not take him?
No, not one! No, not one!

Was ever a gift like the Savior given?
No, not one! No, not one!
Will He refuse us a home in Heaven?
No, not one! No, not one!

Here is how you can receive Him as your Savior today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Jesus the Triumphant, Part 15 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 191)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 12:42-43

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 191.

Alexander MacLaren said, “Unbelief is criminal because it is a moral act, an act of the whole nature. Belief or unbelief is a test of a man’s whole spiritual condition, because it is the whole being, affections, will, conscience, as well as the understanding, which are concerned in it.”

In the verses that we are considering today, we come upon a rare occurrence in the Gospel of John. Throughout his book, John has demonstrated the enmity that came from the religious leaders, the leading class, the establishment of the Jews. They did not like Jesus because He upset the order of things in Israel. They felt that their way of life was threatened. Yet, apparently, some of them could not deny in their souls and spirits the power of Jesus’ ministry and miracles. So we read, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him.”

These were Jesus’ secret believers. Nicodemus and Joseph of A-rim-a-thea belonged to this group of individuals. They believed that what Jesus was saying was true, but “because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.” These people were afraid to be known publicly as Jesus’ followers, so they kept quiet. They kept on doing the same religious practices and consenting to the proceedings of the Pharisees so as not to rock the boat and cause problems in society for themselves.

The Bible says, “they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” Unlike the blind man, they were not willing to risk standing with Jesus and being excommunicated from Jewish religious life and Jewish public life. They did not want to be numbered among the shunned outcasts of society.

What can we say about these secret believers? Some commentators speak harshly of them and try to say that they were not truly saved, claiming that there can be no such thing as a secret believer. But John writes that “they believed” just as he wrote of the disciples who believed. He does not add qualifiers to the description of their faith, so other commentators have put forth a more sympathetic understanding of these secret believers. Richard Trench said we must ask the question, “Are all Christians heroic?”

The issue of “secret believers” is relevant even in our day where Christians in majority-Muslim countries that are closed to evangelism (such as Saudi Arabia) face the question of how public they should be about their faith in Jesus Christ. For them, it is not just a question of being thrown out of the good favor of society, but a question of life and death.

Tom Hale and Steve Thorson said, “It is possible for one to become a true believer, but for some time to keep it hidden. At the beginning of one’s Christian life, one’s faith may be weak. But sooner or later, every Christian must become ready to confess his faith openly — or else he will show that his faith was never real to begin with. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are good examples of so-called ‘secret believers.’ But, in time, they too came forward and identified themselves as followers of Christ.” In fact, it was these two secret believers who were there for Jesus after He had died; not the twelve disciples who were known followers of Christ, and were in hiding at the time.

At the end of the day, it is not our place to measure the faith of those who say they believe. Jesus looks on the hearts, and He knows those who belong to Him.

What you ought to do today is to make sure that you are in the number of those who believe on Jesus Christ.

Here is how you can receive Him into your heart today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Jesus the Triumphant, Part 14 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 190)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 12:35-41

35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 190.

Ravi Zacharias said, “A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.”

The fact that the Jews did not believe on Jesus despite the many miracles that He performed did not come as a surprise to God. He may have been disappointed, saddened and grieved. Jesus may have been as well, especially since they both know what becomes of those who do not believe. But they were not surprised. Hundreds of years before, as John explains to us in this passage, the prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Spirit of God, predicted that people would not believe on the Messiah when He arrived.

Speaking for God, Isaiah wrote, “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” At first glance, it seems as though God is the one who blinds the eyes of the Jews and hardens their hearts that they might not believe. But that is not what the Scripture is saying. God never forces anyone to believe or disbelieve. Henry Morris said, “He does not mean that the blinding takes place without the will or against the will of these people. So with the hardening of their heart. These men chose evil. It was their own deliberate choice, their own fault.”

When someone rejects Christ and says, ‘I don’t believe and I won’t believe,’ it is as if God puts up His hands and says, ‘All right, I’ll leave you to your own disbelief.’ This ultimate rejection of Christ is what many scholars believe the Bible is talking about when it speaks of “the unpardonable sin,” that is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. To understand this sin, we must remember that it is the Holy Spirit that draws men to God and reveals to men God’s ways. D. A. Carson said the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the rejection of the “truth in full awareness that that is exactly what one is doing — thoughtfully, willfully, and self-consciously rejecting the work of the Spirit. [This is what the Jews, especially many of the religious leaders, did.] For such a sin there is no forgiveness.”

This blasphemy is a sin that one cannot go back from, that even God and Jesus cannot forgive. When the Jews rejected Jesus, God did not harden their hearts or blind their minds. God simply removed his influence from their hearts and minds, rendering them completely blinded by sin and Satan’s lies, unfortunately consigning them to Hell. As C.S. Lewis said, “Sin is man’s saying to God throughout life, ‘Go away and leave me alone.’ Hell is God finally saying to man, ‘You may have your wish.’ It is God leaving man to himself, as man has chosen.”

It is a terrible thing to tell God to leave you alone, because He may just respect your wishes. That is what He did with the Jews who rejected Jesus. Because of their rejection of the Savior, Isaiah writes that they could not “see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted.” It is one thing to choose not to be converted; it is another — and a more horrible — thing to be unable to be converted. But some people have gotten to that point.

These words from Isaiah, brought to bear on the events of Jesus’ day and the events of our day, ought to make us realize how serious of a matter salvation is. It is not something you should shrug off or repeatedly delay dealing with. You must face it and make a decision: Will you reject Christ or receive Him? I hope you choose to receive the only begotten Son of God as your Savior. The earlier you say “yes” to Christ, the better off your life will be.

Here is how you can receive Him into your heart today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Religious but Lost, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 64)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 5:43-47

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 64.

D.A. Carson said, “If scrupulous adherence to the law brings people to hope for salvation in the law itself and to reject the Messiah to whom the law pointed, then the law itself, and its human author, Moses, must stand up in outraged accusation.”

Jesus was not personally offended that the Jews refused to believe on Him. In fact, I think he felt sorry for them because of how they allowed their pride and hatred to blind them to the truth. But, more importantly, Jesus knew that, if given the chance, they would have rejected the testimony of the man they revered the most — Moses.

Jesus says, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.” The Jewish faith and religious practice was founded on the first 5 books of the Old Testament written by Moses. All of the laws, doctrine, rules, and regulations that the Jewish religious leaders tried to hide behind were contained in the books of Moses. Yet, Jesus says that it is these very same writings that condemned them. Shockingly to them, The Lord points out that when they stand before God at the judgment, Moses will be the one pointing the finger of accusation.

Jesus said, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.” If the Jews were truly studying the Scripture and committed to God’s word, they would have easily seen how Moses’ writings spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ. They would have been able to look in the writings of Moses and then look at the life of Christ and see the similarities. How did Moses write about Jesus Christ hundreds of years before He was to come?

1. Moved by the Spirit of God, Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:15, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him shall ye hear.” This “prophet” was none other than Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

2. When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, he was demonstrating the work that Christ would do. In fact, in His discussion with Nicodemus, a prominent Jewish religious leader, Jesus used this event and applied it to Himself and to His eventual crucifixion. Yet, the Jews did not realize this when it happened.

All throughout the books of Moses we find vignettes and shadows of the Truth and Light that was to come. In the sacrificial system, in the Passover, in the giving of the manna, in the rock that brought forth water, in the work of the Levitical priests — everywhere we look, we see Jesus. With all of their scholarly knowledge about Moses and the Law, with all the time they spent memorizing, debating, and interpreting the Old Testament, the Jewish religious leaders — of all people — should have been able to see what was going on. Yet, because they did not have true love for God in their hearts and because they were only concerned about their own status and image, they missed the greatest event in history because of their stubborn refusal to believe.

Jesus says, “If ye believe not his writings [Moses’ writings], how shall ye believe my words?” Too often, we think that ignorance of the truth is an obstacle to belief, and it is. But here we see that the opposite is true as well. Refusal to accept the truth that one has right in front of him is a damning obstacle to belief. Once a person takes that first step of faith on the proverbial staircase, they will be able to see far enough to take the next step.

The Jews had plenty of evidence that Jesus was the Messiah — they had the testimony of John, the testimony of Jesus’ miracles, the voice of God straight from Heaven, and five whole books of the Bible to take into consideration — not counting the over 350 specific predictions made by Old Testament prophets regarding the Messiah. They didn’t need more information; they were just unwilling to believe.

Dear friend, that leaves you with a choice. You have plenty of evidence and incentive to believe in Jesus Christ. Perhaps the real reason why you have yet to believe is because you, like the Jews, have been trusting in your own form of religion, your own way of doing life, and your pride won’t let you give that up. I urge you not to make the same mistake that the Jews made. You can make the choice today to believe in Jesus Christ and let him take control of your life. Here is how:

John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In his commentary on this passage, David Guzik wrote: “The fact that God gave His only begotten Son describes both the expression and the gift of God’s love. God’s love didn’t just feel for the plight of a fallen world. God did something about it, and He gave the most precious thing to give: His only begotten Son.

“The phrase ‘whoever believes in Him’ describes the recipient of God’s love. God loves the world, but the world does not receive or benefit from that love until it believes in Jesus, the gift that the Father gave. Believes in means much more than intellectual awareness or agreement. It means to trust in, to rely on, and to cling to.

“The phrase ‘should not perish’ describes the intention of God’s love. God’s love actually saves man from eternal destruction. God looks at fallen humanity, does not want it to perish, and so in His love He extends the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Finally, ‘everlasting life’ describes the duration of God’s love. The love we receive among people may fade or turn, but God’s love will never change. He will never stop loving His people, even unto the furthest distance of eternity.

“We may say there are Seven Wonders in John 3:16.

God – The Almighty Authority
So loved the world – The Mightiest Motive
That He gave His only begotten Son – The Greatest Gift
That whoever – The Widest Welcome
Believes in Him – The Easiest Escape
Should not perish – The Divine Deliverance
But have everlasting life – The Priceless Possession

“If there is one sentence more than another which sums up the message of the Fourth Gospel, it is this. The love of God is limitless; it embraces all mankind. No sacrifice was too great to bring its unmeasured intensity home to men and women: the best that God had to give, he gave – his only Son, his well-beloved.”

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Religious but Lost, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 63)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 5:39-44

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

41 I receive not honour from men.

42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 63.

Adam Clarke said, “The grand obstacle to the salvation of the scribes and Pharisees was their pride, vanity, and self-love. They lived on each other’s praise. If they had acknowledged Christ as the only teacher, they would have had to give up the good opinion of the multitude; and they chose rather to lose their souls than to forfeit their reputation among men!”

Jesus continues His rebuke of the Jewish religious leaders for their refusal to believe in Him.

As we mentioned yesterday, Jesus anticipated that the Jews would try to accuse Him of only seeking glory for Himself. However, He reminds them, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not.” Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. He came healing people in the name of God. He came telling people that through Him, they could have a relationship with God. Repeatedly, He said things such as, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Jesus did not come to Earth seeking the glory of men. In fact, He set aside His glory and took on feeble, vulnerable human flesh in order that He might bring us to God. Jesus did not come in His own name. There was no ego or pride in His mission, yet the Jews rejected Him as the suffering servant.

Jesus continues, “If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” The Jews would receive a man who came boasting about himself and his own accomplishments. Many scholars believe that Jesus is referring to the Antichrist here. One day, the Antichrist — the Satan-empowered opponent of Jesus in the last days — will make a deal with the Jewish people, promising them protection from their enemies, and the Jews will put their trust in him. Unlike Jesus, the Antichrist will come in his own name, boasting of his own abilities, and seeking his own glory and praise. Unlike Jesus who said He did not need man’s praise, the Antichrist will demand to be worshipped.

Why does this take place? Why are the Jews willing to believe someone like the Antichrist or some other great one, yet reject someone like Jesus Christ? With His next words, Jesus again reveals the deep motives of their hearts. He says, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”

Jesus pointed to their religious practices once again. The Jews were fond of praying loudly on street corners or in the high places of the Temple where they could be seen and heard by others. They loved to wait until a crowd was around before they dropped their tithe money into the treasury box in the Temple. They loved to announce the good deeds and charitable work that they did. Why? They wanted men to see what they were doing and praise them for it. They desired to be seen as good, righteous, and holy. They liked the compliments they got from others and the honor and respect that others showed to them. This is why they did not want to believe in and follow Jesus.

Many times throughout Jesus’ career, immediately after He performed a miracle, He would tell the person He had helped not to go and tell anyone what He had done. As He did with the man at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus quickly removed Himself from the crowd after the wonderful healing had taken place. He was not looking for man’s praise or glory.

Instead of seeking the glory and honor that came from men, what the Jews should have been trying to obtain was the honor that comes from God alone. They should have been seeking God’s approval rather than man’s approval. And the only way to receive God’s approval is by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

Are you ready to lay aside pride, power and position to trust Jesus Christ? Are you ready to believe on the name of Jesus today? Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Religious but Lost, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 62)


TEXT: John 5:39-44

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

41 I receive not honour from men.

42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 62.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Christ is a person, a living person, full of power to save. He has not placed his salvation in sacraments, or books, or priests, but he has kept it in himself; and if you want to have it you must come to him.”

After calling upon three powerful witnesses — John the Baptist, His own miraculous works, and God the Father — to testify on His behalf, Jesus sees that the Jewish religious leaders still do not believe that He is who He says He is. He begins to rebuke them for their unbelief because their unbelief is not based in sincere doubt, but in stubborn refusal.

Jesus says, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Notice the strong presence of the will. “Ye will not come.” The Jews had willfully chosen to not beleive what they had seen. They valued their own religious belief system over real eternal life. Many people today, both religious and nonreligious, refuse to believe even when presented with sufficient evidence. They know that belief means giving up something of themselves and putting their entire life in the hands of God. They would rather risk eternal damnation than humble themselves and believe.

Now, some of the Jews may have thought that Jesus simply wanted them to praise Him and recognize Him as the Messiah. Jesus preempts this assumption by declaring, “I receive not honour from men.” This is not to say that Jesus does not deserve our worship or praise, but simply that He does not NEED it. By refusing to believe, the Jews were not detracting from Jesus’ glory. If they believed, they would not add to His glory. We do not believe for Jesus’ sake; He does not need us to believe on Him. We believe for our own sake and for our soul’s salvation.

Then, Jesus gets to the real problem that the Jews had. He says, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” The Jews had a heart problem — not an intellectual problem. They refused to believe, not because they did not have sufficient evidence, but because they simply did not love God as they said they did. They indulged in all the trappings of religion, but their hearts were not in the right place.

I believe that these people were in an even more dangerous position than non-believers and pagans. They had their own religion. They had their own rituals and practices. They had a “form of godliness.” They said they loved God, but Jesus tells them plainly, “Ye have not the love of God in you.” He means that they had no true love for God in their hearts. If they loved God, they would recognize the spirit of God in Jesus Christ. All they had was religious tradition. They may have started out sincerely, but they were in the wrong place now. They were religious but lost — and stubbornly lost at that.

You might be in the same or a similar place today — very religious, very committed to a code of conduct. As I was, brought up in Church, but religious but lost. You might think you are in right standing with God. But if you do not know Jesus Christ — and by “know”, I mean having believed on Him in your heart — you are just as lost as the Jews in this passage.

The good news is, you can change that today. You can choose to believe on Jesus Christ as your Savior. You can have eternal life. If you are ready to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can do that today:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

If you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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