Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

Preparations

This month has certainly flown by. It seems as winter approaches, we move slower. Maybe it is because we are seeing the things we didn’t get done over the summer looming larger as we think of colder weather ahead. I have winterized the camper, and closed the ventilation windows in the crawl space of the lake house in preparation for winter.

Speaking of things that get put off to a later date, how about making preparations for where we will spend eternity? I read recently of a man whose wife had prayed for his salvation for many years. Finally, at the age of 93, he placed his faith in Christ.

The question I would ask is this. What if he hadn’t had 93 years? The Bible says those who reject Jesus as Savior spend eternity apart from God in a place of torment and anguish. Not everyone has 93 years. In fact, not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow. God’s word says “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). In another place it says “just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people” (Hebrews 9:27-28). In Hebrews 4:7, it says, “Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later He spoke through David as was said before “Today, If you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts”, indicating that if He is calling you to be saved, you need to respond now. Do not wait. It is the most important decision you will ever make.

In spite of what many so-called “religions” try to make you believe, there is only one way to heaven. That way is through faith in Jesus Christ. I quote again John 14:6, the words of Jesus: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”

You may be able to put off winterizing your home or RV. The worst that can happen is frozen pipes and a mess, but when your eternal destination is on the line, please don’t delay. Remember, scripture says man is destined to die once and after that the judgment. There are no second chances. Now is the day of salvation.

In Him,
Pastor Jerry

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The Real Thing

Dear friends,
I continue to regain the strength I lost during my hospital stay. Recent days have reminded me that summer is almost over. In recognition of that, we will be taking the camper out for a couple of days.

Today, I want to share a devotional thought from the dusty archives of my journal. I call it the dusty archives, because I had to wipe the dust off the binder it is in.

I like to drink grapefruit juice for breakfast. At times, I will buy a small bottle at the convenience store, instead of a soda. There was a time I thought grapefruit juice was grapefruit juice; that is until I picked up a half-gallon of it at the local discount store.
I noticed that the label on the bottle was very similar to the label on the name-brand I had been purchasing. However, when I poured myself a glass the next morning and tasted it, I soon found out there was no comparison. The “real stuff” was much better tasting than the bargain brand in spite of the similarity in labels.

How do we apply this to spiritual matters? In our search for meaning in life, we try many things and seek answers in many places. We need to beware of imitation labels and false promises. The answer is to find the truth, so that we can easily spot the counterfeits and the “wannabes.” If we will be grounded in God’s Word; that is if we will read, study, and learn from the Bible what it says about Jesus Christ and the way to eternal life, we won’t be led astray by false teaching and popular thoughts and ideas. We must be able to distinguish between the authentic and the look-alikes.

In his letter to Titus, the apostle Paul give advice that should apply to us all. “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:9). To the Ephesians, he wrote that we are to be mature in our faith so that, “We will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching (doctrine) and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

In Him,
Pastor Jerry

The Offense of the Gospel

Dear friends,
First, an update. I am regaining my strength daily. Of course, it is slower than I would like, but I’m okay with that. Yesterday (Sunday), I returned to the pulpit for the first time, and it was good to be there. My thanks to those in the church who have stepped up to help with the services. I appreciate you.
Today, I will share some thoughts from Sunday’s message: It is difficult in today’s culture to initiate a conversation about sin and its consequences. People are offended when we speak of sin, and more often than not, we will be accused of being judgmental. It seems, though that what is even more offensive to many, is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To most people outside the Christian worldview, the idea of a God who created everything, and who desires our total allegiance or face judgment is offensive. The gospel’s offense begins with the first words of the Bible. “In the beginning God…”
A few words about God. God is absolutely pure, and there is nothing wrong in Him. Everything God is and everything God does is right. God is good. His goodness is expressed in his justice. God is a perfect judge. His goodness shows in His grace. He is compassionate and patient, wanting all people everywhere to know and enjoy His kindness, mercy and love.
So, the most offensive claim in Christianity is that God is the Creator, Owner, and Judge of every person on the planet. Every one of us stands before Him guilty of sin, and the only way to be reconciled to Him is through faith in Jesus, the crucified Savior and risen King. All who trust in His love will experience everlasting life while all who turn from His lordship will suffer everlasting death.
In light of this, we who believe the gospel, should be moved to take a stand for the truth of the Bible. But, as we take our stand, let us do so with conviction, compassion, and courage.
It will not be easy. Jesus tells His followers not to be afraid of those who oppose them. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
In Him,
Pastor Jerry