Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Are you following Jesus? #20




So as we seen yesterday that Jesus has died and risen from the dead which in turn means He has all authority to judge! Where did He get authority from? Well let's look at the Word:



John 5:22-29

22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.



God the father has given judgement to God the Son(Jesus). Those who believe will have eternal life in Heaven, those who disbelieve will suffer condemnation in hell. Jesus will be the judge!



God's Word is very clear on the judgement and should not be questioned, look here in the book of Revelation:





Revelation 20:11-15

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.



Him who sat on the white throne is Jesus. Here when it is talking about being judged by works, there is only one work that will count, the work of accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life and following Him. This is the ONLY way to get your name in the Book of Life. This is a clear teaching of the bible. We can not do enough good works to earn heaven, only accepting the work of Christ on the cross gets us to heaven.



Sadly some want to question the reality of hell, which brings us back to the lies of Satan..."Did God really say?". God's Word is final and Jesus is the finale authority...don't be fooled by Satan or man.



Jesus even tells how serious avoiding hell is in Mark:





Mark 9:43-48



43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where

‘Their worm does not dieAnd the fire is not quenched.’

45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where

‘Their worm does not die,And the fire is not quenched.’

47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— 48 where

‘Their worm does not dieAnd the fire is not quenched.’



Can he be any clearer??? Do what it takes to avoid hell!



Don't miss this statement from the bible about the eternal punishment of hell:





Revelation 14:11



11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever



Don't be ignorant of the judgement of Jesus on sin or the reality of a place called hell. Jesus will judge all one day soon! Are you right with God?



Tomorrow we will look at what Jesus brings with heaven!



Tom

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Are you following Jesus? #19




We talked yesterday about the importance of knowing what the bible says. In the bible is the resurrection of Jesus. We just celebrated this fact last week end. The resurrection is of utmost importance to a follower of Jesus. With out the resurrection, Christianity is dead, thank God it is alive!



Look what the bible says here:



1 Corinthians 15:12-19



The Risen Christ, Our Hope

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.



Can Paul make it any more clear than that? All of out faith hinges on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We have no hope if this is not true. We live a lie if this is not true. We are going to hell if this is not true but thanks be to God the resurrection is true!



So what does it mean for us that believe Jesus did defeat death and sin by His resurrection? Then He is absolute authority! He is Lord and we must listen to everything He says! Trust His Word!



So as a follower of Jesus, is His Word the absolute authority in your life? Take a look at scripture and then examine yourself. It won't take long to figure the answer out!



Tom

Monday, April 21, 2014

Are you following Jesus? #18




I hope everyone had a great Resurrection weekend! Jesus is alive and well! Amen? Let's jump back into our Follow Me series after a little break.



One of the most important aspects of the Following Jesus life is the Word of God. Many professing Christians are lacking mightily in this area which makes their statement of being a Christian of great concern. How can I say this? Well basically I didn't Jesus did! Check this out:


John 8:31-32

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”



Our proof of being disciples....being in Word of God. How much proof do you have this morning? When you are in His Word you will know truth. So if you are not in His Word you will believe lies because you will not know what truth is or what truth is not. When you know Jesus' Words it sets you free! Free from sin because you know what sin is and if you fall you know how to get back into a right relationship with God!



Really this is just common sense, if we have information available about our faith why in the world would we not be in it and trying to learn everything possible about it? Just a side not added here...did you know the biggest book in the bible is Psalm 119 and it is all about knowing God's Word? Hmmmm that in itself may say something to us.



Paul talks about renewing our minds in Romans:




Romans 12:2

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.



Some of this renewing comes from the Holy Spirit when you give your life to Jesus but much of this renewing is done on pure learning what God's Word says and then obeying. So as you see in this verse you can do the will of God in your life. Many, many are failing at this for one of two reasons. They don't know what God's will is for them because they don't read their bibles. Second, the are more concerned with pleasing self than pleasing God which says much in itself about their faith!



So today, where do you stand in your knowledge, study, and reading of God's Word? If you are a follower of Jesus, have you read your bible all the way through? Awesome if you have! If you have not why? Does that make any sense at all? No better time to start than now! You can do it! It just takes a little dedication. Set a time in stone...this is my reading/studying/alone time with God. You will not regret a moment of it. If you need help don't hesitate to contact me, I will help you in any way I can!



Tom

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Resurrection Week #7




Today is the day that makes a difference for all followers of Jesus! If Jesus did not defeat sin and death then our faith is a waste of time! Hallelujah! He is alive!



So let's look at Sundays events:



Jesus has risen:



Matthew 28:1-8



28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.



Oh my! The best words to a believer! "He is risen"! Notice the two woman are the first to know that Jesus is alive! They are then told to go tell the disciples.



Jesus then appears to the disciples as He said He would:



Luke 24:36-40



36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.



No doubt to the disciples now....It is Jesus! He is alive!



One disciple needed to touch to believe, let his example teach us something:



John 20:24-29



24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”

So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”



Are you blessed? If you believe in Jesus death, burial, and resurrection you are! Now that we have seen Jesus is alive let us be bust doing what He has commanded us to do:



Matthew 28:18-20



18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.



We know the truth and Jesus expects us to share the truth with others! Go is a command not an option!



So shout it out JESUS IS ALIVE!



Tom

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Resurrection Week #6


This is the only recorded event in the gospels for Saturday of the Holy Week:


Matthew 27:62-65



62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”



The Priests and the Pharisees were worried the disciples would steal the body and make up the resurrection, all this did was to make it more clear that Jesus really did defeat death and come up out of the grave.



Since today's lesson is short I want to include a video that will fire you up about tomorrow!



Thank God Sunday's coming!

 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Resurrection Week #5




Well it's Friday of the Holy week. Great day for us but a terrible day for Jesus. So let us get to today's events.



The trials of Jesus. All of them are crooked and twisted in one way or another.



They took Jesus to Annas first it did not amount to much so to me this is the First trial if you want to call it that:



Matthew 26:57-68

57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’”

62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?”

They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”



And so the beatings and mockery of Jesus begin....what a horrible day for Jesus.



Peter denies Jesus as foretold by Jesus:





Matthew 26:69-75

69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.



Second trial:





Matthew 27:1

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.



Here they gathered a quorum to make it look more legal, they then sent him to Pilate.



Third trial:



Luke 23:1-7

23 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

3 Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

4 So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

5 But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. 7 And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.



Pilate himself says "no fault"!



Fourth trial:



Luke 23:8-11



8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.



Nothing but a joke to Herod.



Fifth trial:





Matthew 27:11-26



11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” 12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.

13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” 14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

Taking the Place of Barabbas

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. 16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.

19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”

They said, “Barabbas!”

22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”

They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”

23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”

But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.



Wow! Released a true criminal over an innocent man!



Bloodied, scourged, and beaten now Jesus picks up the cross to go to Calvary.



The Crucifixion:



John 19:16-19

16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.

17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was:

JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.



Mocking Jesus to the very end.



Jesus dies:



John 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.



At the death of Jesus the veil is torn in the temple, an earthquake, rocks split, saints were resurrected, something huge had happened, that something was the Son of God was dead.



Jesus was anointed for burial by Joesph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and then laid in Joesphs' own tomb and the rolled a great stone to seal the tomb.







That my friends is Friday! Whew what a day! What a day.



Tom

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Resurrection Week #4




Well here we are at Thursday already. Things in the life of Jesus begin to move really fast from here on out. Today the first thing we see is:



Peter and John sent to prepare for Passover:



Luke 22:7-13



7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”

9 So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?”

10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”

13 So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.



Don't miss verse 7 as the passover would have a new view as Jesus would soon fulfill the Passover being killed for all time. If you do not know what the passover is, it was when Israel placed the blood on the doorposts so the death angel would passover them in Egypt. Now Jesus' blood covers you so you will be passed over when judgement comes. Much more to passover than that, but that is short and sweet.



Next the Lord's Supper was instituted:





Matthew 26:26-29



26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”



This was a look for the disciples of what would soon happen to Jesus although they still did not yet completely understand. We now do this as believers and a reminder of what Jesus did for the sins of the world. The bread represents his broken and battered body, and the wine represents the blood that He shed for the sins of us all. Let me remind you that your sins are only covered if you put your faith in Jesus, repent of sins, make Him Lord of your life, and now follow Him in obedience.



Next we see Jesus predict disciples abandonment of Him and Peters' denial:





Matthew 26:31-35



31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:

‘I will strike the Shepherd,And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And so said all the disciples.



We tend to pick on Peter but don't miss verse 35! All the disciples said they would not deny Jesus! We do too in ways at times!



Next we move to the garden:





Matthew 26:36-44



36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.



What I don't want you to miss here is verse 39...don't think it was easy for Jesus to go to the cross for you, Jesus asked id there was any other way for our sins to be covered, there was NOT! So he did as the Father willed...died.



Jesus is then betrayed by Judas:





Mark 14:43-50



43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”

45 As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

50 Then they all forsook Him and fled.



Not much to be said here but what verse 49 says: "the scriptures must be fulfilled".



Jesus was then taken to the high Priest:





Matthew 26:57



57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.



This was a trial of false witnesses and the abuse begins. Read it! Matthew 26:57-68



The last event we look at for this day is Peters' denial of Jesus:





Matthew 26:69-75



69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.



I don't know about you but reading this cuts to my heart as I have denied Jesus so many times. One the easiest ways to deny Jesus is not to tell others about what He has done for me when given the opportunity!



So this ends Thursday. Hold on tomorrow is hard!



Tom