Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rejecting the Resurrection Reality

Easter morning, a couple of years ago, I posted on the local online forum 3 words – “He is risen!” My father taught me this declaration every Easter morning. He would declare: “He is risen!” And then he would expect the following reply: “He is risen, indeed!” Such was the declaration and response of the early Christians every year commemorating the death and resurrection of the Christ of history.

One forum personality responded, like the early Christian response. However, there was another response that stated, “Where?” His, was a declaration of unbelief, basically saying [Paraphrase]: “I don’t see anything.” I then posted the following reply:

…….Those like you will not recognize the historic reality of Christ’s physical resurrection from the dead. The age old fallacious assertion that one has to be “on the scene” to verify and then believe what has actually happened is common with stark unbelief in both the life and teachings of the historic Christ. People of unbelief will not doubt the ancient existence and impact of a Plato or Aristotle and their writings, but they will find great fault with the historic Christ and the Old Testament [prophetic] witness and New Testament witness of his life, death and resurrection. Frankly, your argument that you have not seen is just another “Doubting Thomas,” weak-kneed argument. It holds no water.

Incidentally, I find it amazing, that people like you who like to think of yourselves as either atheistic or agnostic, will readily swallow, hook, line and sinker Darwinian Evolution. You will accept without question that such an such evolved 200 million years ago. That type of acquiescence while accusing the historical documents of the Hebrews and Christians, as mythical, is pure intellectual and moral dishonesty on your part. Friend, if you were really serious and not attempting to either hide and / or, rationalize a sinful life, I would readily point you to some refreshing “Christian Apologetic” sources which may, help you to come to accept the reality and veracity of the Christian Faith......Oh, by the way – I wasn’t around at the time of George Washington – but, by faith, I accept the documents that he did, indeed, exist, and that he was the “Father of our Country.”

What causes such unbelief that a person will reject the risen Christ?

The testimony of history has proven the Biblical documents
 again and again. "Critics said ‘There was no such king,’
 but his palace and  library were uncovered" 
- answersingenesis.org/ 
1- The denial of the testimony of history:

The soul which would would deny the historic Christ His due, is the same type of person who accepts hook, line and sinker, pseudo science biology texts that claim that life originated from the primeval slime, millions upon millions of years ago. Those same (inconsistent) souls will accept ancient history and recognize such characters as Plato and Socrates – but will ever be so critical of the New Testament historical documents which chronicle the life and events of Christ’s life.


Those who deny the miracles
recorded in the Scriptural
revelation are some of the
same who deny God's existence.
They can't get past, Genesis 1:1.
2- The denial of the supernatural:

Isn't it amazing that the same [type] people deny that a pre-born baby in his mother’s womb is not human? They not only deny the Divine reality [Psalm 139:13-16] but also the medical and scientific. And, those same people will go ballistic over the discovery of a single molecule found on a distant planet! They will conclude that there is life on that planet.

The same type of schizophrenia exists in their minds when they will deny God Almighty, His creative activity of heaven and earth. These same people will fawn over the idea that all that we see, feel, hear and are aware, of, initiated by way of a single cosmic “Big Bang.”



Human pride is a very
deadly form of unbelief.
Sinful human beings reject
holy Creator God.
3- Human pride:

Perhaps more than any other factor, human pride will stand in the way of accepting the Risen Christ. The Scripture speaks of a willful unthankful arrogant and independent spirit which alienates a soul from his Creator. [Romans 1:18-32] Perhaps the greatest gift [besides Christ and the Scriptures] is the God blest gift of free will. Humans, however, without fail, utilize their free wills and run from their Creator. Genesis 6:5 ; Psalm 14:1-4.



4- The human acceptance of "political correctness:"


The unbelieving soul will bow to the prevailing culture’s “political correctness” views. There is the prevailing eagerness to be agreeable to the latest cultural beliefs and trends, rather than relying on the traditional and moral code of Judeo / Christian ethical principles, which have [when practiced consistently] always benefited society. The Scriptures warn, not to "conformed to this world." Romans 12:1-2

5- The blindness and foolishness of unbelief - 1 Corinthians 2:14

Friend, if you feel that you have good reason to doubt Christ’s historical resurrection from the dead – please put a halt to your human reason. As Christ told the Apostle Peter: “…..for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:17. Attempting to reason with Creator (supernatural) God is foolhardy. How can a finite sinful human being, reason correctly with the Almighty which made him?


This emeritus Christian pastor has never believed that a simple 4 or 5 part prayer can save your soul. Formula prayers and Gospel [“come forward”] invitations have never been a substitute for the Holy Spirit of God’s work in the “conversion process.” Following are several Scriptures which illustrate that God Himself initiates the process of belief and the coming into the Christian Faith:

John 1:13 ; John 6:65 ; Ephesians 2:4-5 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ; Titus 3:3-7 ; 1 Peter 1:3 ; Philippians 2:13

Please note other Scriptures - Click here, and scroll down to the topic of "Salvation"

Unbelieving friend, I implore you to lay aside your human reason, your own pride and the culture’s political correctness and seek out this Resurrected Christ, who can deliver your soul from God’s just judgment and punishment. [Luke 16:19-31 ; Matthew 25: 31-46] Start reading the New Testament Gospels. Read them over and over. And, while you read them, realize that the God impartation of faith to save your priceless soul, comes from God’s holy Word. John 1:12-13 ; Acts 8:26-39 ; Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; James 1:18 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Amen.

Please note:

"Does the Bible provide extraordinary evidence for Jesus' Resurrection?" - carm.org/

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

This Sunday’s Message, Related Scriptures:


Old Testament: Proverbs 1:1f and Isaiah 55:1-12

New Testament: John 1:1f ; John 20:1f -- Please note: John 20: 24-31 -- Believing and seeing

Also: Hebrews 11:1-26 -- True faith's results

Furthermore: 2 Corinthians 4:18 -- Another definition of true faith


_________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
___________________________________________


Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Note: The above message (with minor editing) was previously posted online by Nathan Bickel

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Christ Apparently Lacked Some (Supposed) “People Skills”

A pic from the Mel Gibson movie, "The Passion of
the Christ." Jesus was [is] the most famous person
of all history. Because He was God in human flesh,
He was perfect. So, why didn't Christ's "people
communication skill" reap a better "benefit" than
Him ending up being nailed to a Roman cross? 

Please read the entire message to find out why.
One of the classic books of the 20th Century, was the popular “How To Win Friends And Influence People.” Its author, Dale Carnegie, laid out some interesting principles of human communication. Even today, this book, first published in 1936, is considered to be a premier self-help book, which, if thoroughly “digested,” will go a long way to enhance any individual’s “people skills.”

I have often thought that if any person would have had the perfect ability to “win friends and influence people,” it would be Christ. The historic New Testament Gospels are recorded testimonies to that fact. Christ was most popular –- the miracles and all the healings; and, not to forget, all His teachings, which amazed everyone who heard Him. Conversely, though, that people popularity that began with Christ’s ministry, began to swiftly crumble and, everything turned gruesomely bitter, which culminated in terminating Christ's short life, with crucifiction.

What was it, that finally did Christ in? I know what the Scriptures say, and, I accept its Word, as the explanation. But I was curious as to whether Christ would pass a modern “Human Communications Course” as pioneered by the likes of Dale Carnegie. I grabbed Dale Carnegie’s book from my shelf and began reading:
What are the six ways of making people like you?

What are the twelve ways of winning people to your way of thinking?

What are the nine ways to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment?


I didn’t re-read the book. Rather, I looked at the 3 lists to the above 3 questions, and, for the most part, had to admit, that Christ had naturally practiced all these “principles.” I say – for the most part!

I counted 27 Rules laid out by Carnegie – but as I continued to think about them, I had to quickly admit that Christ “failed” miserably in the practice of some of these “people skill” communication principles. Following is a short list – and, how Christ, miserably “failed.”

Why Christ Eventually "Failed" to be Humanly Popular


Violation of Rule # 5: (Six Ways To Make People Like You): Talk in terms of the other man’s interest.


Violation of Rule # 2: (Twelve Ways To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking): Show respect for the other man’s opinions. Never tell a man he is wrong.

Violation # 9: (Twelve Ways To Win People To Your Way Of Thinking): Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

Violation # 2: (Nine Ways To Change People Without Giving Offense Or Arousing Resentment): Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.


Do you recognize a common thread among these aforementioned four communication skills and Christ's "failure" to observe them? Read the Gospels and you will be quick to note the run-ins and conflicts that Christ encountered with the very race and religion of people with whom He lived.

Christ obviously violated these Carnegie human communication skills because He was on a mission. His whole life, from birth until death, was a life that was, “Theocentric.” He did nothing to please Himself or selfishly cater to His creature comforts. His stated purpose was to fulfill His heavenly Father’s mission and destiny – being both God’s, [His Divine Father’s] spokesman and ultimate sacrifice:

John 4:34 ; John 5:10 ; John 5:19 ; John 5:30 ; John 6.38 ; John 8:28 ; John 8:42 ; John 8:50 ; John 14:10 ; John 17:4 ; John 12:20-50

The Reason that Humanity (in general) Will Not Accept Christ’s Life, Mission and Message


In the Gospel of John 5:1f Christ makes the comment to the unbelieving crowd: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

God, the Creator, set apart humanity from the animal world, giving mankind special abilities and talents. He gave humanity the most prized possession of “free moral agency.” People will come up with all kinds of excuses for not taking Christ at His Words – even to the point of denying their intellectual faculties when presented with the historical evidences and rationale for the Christian Faith. It isn’t a matter of being intellectually persuaded. It is a matter of the “will.”

When the sinless Christ confronted the people of His day with their sins – He did it directly. He met stubborn resistance. Sinners do not like to be told, that they are damnable sinners. Christ, not only talked about heaven, but more often He related about the place of the damned. He made “no bones” about confronting people with their sins – and it was for this, that His popularity speedily waned.

But what was the ultimate reason that Christ was “done in?” Read the Gospel of John 5:1f – specifically, John 5:15-18. By not willing to accept Christ’s Authority and accept and believe in Him for who He said He was (and is), people make the gravest of mistakes. Remember that I said that Christ’s purpose, life and mission was, “theocentric?” The damning trouble with humanity is, that, humanity is basically, “homocentric.” [“homo,” the Latin for “man,” or “mankind,” and “centric,” -- “self” as opposed to “theo” (God) “centric” (centered)]

It does not take Einstein type brains to figure out why people will stop short of worshipping Jesus Christ as Savior from their sins and ultimate Lord of their lives. People, (in general) are so self-centered and so self absorbed, that they will not submit to anyone higher than themselves.

Friend, is this the case with you? Are you, as the late Francis Shaffer, stated, the “measure of yourself?” Can you not bring yourself to look outside yourself? Are you incapable or just stubbornly refusing to be confronted with the ultimate and eternal sayings of Jesus Christ? Is His birth, life, death, burial and Resurrection from the dead meaningless to you? Why would you accept common (pseudo-scientific) theories like "evolution," of which there are no genealogical historical records, but cannot bring yourself to recognize the historical documents of Scripture?

Friend, I encourage you, as a Christian, and Christian emeritus pastor, to realize your deplorable human condition of sin. Turn from your sins which prevent you from willfully recognizing the truth of Christ and His Words. Make it your highest priority to expose yourself to Christ and His Words. Do not turn away from them. Embrace both Christ and His Words:

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (Gospel of John 3:36) Also see: Gospel of Matthew 7:13-27

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Old Testament

Proverbs 6:23 ; Proverbs 8:33 and Isaiah 45:24 – also Isaiah 53:1f – Christ’s purpose and mission prophesied hundreds of years before His birth

New Testament


Gospel of John 5:1f – which includes Christ’s confrontation with unbelieving religious leaders

Epistle of 2 Thessalonians 1:1f – the comforting knowledge by Christ’s followers, of His future 2nd Coming and Judgment


John 15:19 ; Luke 6:26 ; James 4:4 ; 1 John 2:15-17 ; Romans 12:1-2

A Simple Excercise:

Match the Following Christ (Carnegie) “Violations” With the Following Scriptures

Luke 9:57-62 ; Luke 11:29-54 ; John 10:1-39

Talk in terms of the other man’s interest.

Show respect for the other man’s opinions. Never tell a man he is wrong.

Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

_________________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
___________________________________________


Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Note: The above message (with minor editing) was previously posted online by Nathan Bickel

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A couple of cures for discouragement

Have you ever talked with a person who had just lost his job? Have you ever attempted to console someone as they were dumping on you what seemed to be their whole life’s story? What can one say? What are the appropriate words to help the person soothe the deep seeded hurt? What encouragement can one give to cheer someone whose hopes and dreams have been jilted and whose spirit is down cast and depressed.

Recently, I was approached by a person who told me of their recent material loss. After intently listening for several minutes, I piped up and replied: “You know – what difference is all this going to make for you, come 100 years down the road?” The person paused and bristled and continued on with the woeful tale of personal hurt.

Those who can jump the hurdle of discouragement


The trusting soul who believes in Creator Lord God and who truly trusts Christ as his Savior from sin, won’t have to worry in the future about present life’s struggles and frustrations. I know of no other safety net for daily discouragements and troubles than to entrust oneself into the loving care and provision of the Triune God of human history. Psalm 23:1f ; John 10:1-30 and Psalm 62:1f

I have been discouraged over the seeming and increasing news reports of unfair and discriminatory actions taken against people of religious faith, particularly, Christians. First Amendment, US rights mean nothing to those rabid individual political activists and organizations who disguise their accusations and legal actions by hiding behind the charge that they have been discriminated against by hate language and intolerance.

Of course, these political activist hacks know what they are doing. They are utilizing the unscrupulous and widely held [erroneous] cultural belief of “Political Correctness” and “Multiculturalism” to advance their immoral and godless agendas. And, they seemingly are making, what they consider great progress, because liberal, leftist leaning courts no longer make it a priority to respect traditional ethics and thousands of years of tested family morality. Hence, we frequently read (for instance) in newspaper print and via internet screen, various homosexual activists attempting to validate their behaviors by the "cultural tools" I’ve just mentioned.

Two great Psalms of encouragement


For the believing, humble and repentant soul who trusts the holy and eternal Creator Christ for his sin cleansing and forgiveness [Acts 2:38 ; Acts 3:19 ; Acts 17:30 ; Matthew 7:13-29 ; John 3:14-21 ; John 1:1-14] – it is great comfort, that in 100 years, all of life’s problems and troubles will mean nothing. So – why fret? Why become bent out of shape? Why work oneself into a perpetual frenzy?

I will not attempt to convey another message on these 2 excellent revelation pieces of Hebrew Scripture. I will simply say that a basic message of Psalm 37:1f, is: not to worry; not to fret – let go. Don’t allow yourself to become freaked out. Almighty Triune God has everything under control. He will deal with the wicked and with those who would vex you, in His own time.

Note: Please also see past message: "The eternal relief of the righteous" (9/3/06)

Psalm 73:1f – and, as well as the previously mentioned, Psalm 37:1f, relate that God’s enemies and those who persecute his disciple children will “get theirs!” God’s holy and just judgment will “take care” of the sinners who not only violate His commandments and perfect (higher and highest) Law – but God’s perfect reckoning will make sure that those same wicked individuals are reserved for the day of His unassailable and eternal verdicts and punishments.

No person, whether pauper, priest, politician or prince, will escape the Good and just Creator Lord’s final judgments. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ; Matthew 25:31- 46 ; 1 Corinthians 15:24-27 ; 1 Corinthians 15:24-27

Only through the intervention of Savior Christ, will souls be given the opportunity to flee for mercy. [Luke 18:9-14 ; Hebrews 5:12-16] God grant that those of you (who have ears to hear) will discover that mercy and grace of God which is so abundant in the birth, life, suffering, death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:1f

Amen.

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Old Testament Scripture

Isaiah 55:1-9 - The Triune’s God’s tender plea and mercy for the sinner

New Testament Scriptures


Gospel of Luke 18:9-14 – Pride and humility; religiosity and true sorrow for sin, contrasted

Gospel of Luke 19:1-10 – A sinner seeks out Christ with humility and repentance

Romans 1:18-32 – Creator God will not mess around with His creation, for those who reject Him

Romans 11:33-38 – The Lord God is in a league all His own. No one can question His judgments

_________________________________

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
___________________________________________


Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Note: The above message (with minor editing) was previously posted online by Nathan Bickel

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 2 Most Important Realities that a Person Can Realize this Side of the Hereafter

The Reality of Sin

I’m sure that all of us, without, exception, are very familiar with “sin.” In fact, I’m convinced that it is the most familiar thing with which all of us are acquainted. It’s gripping and incessant reality is so obvious in our lives and in our world, that as a topic of discussion it's most often ignored and shoved under the table.

Why is the topic of sin, most often ignored? Because the simple admission of admitting that you and I are sinners, grates against our human pride. Human pride says: “I am a rock; I am an island.” Human pride says: “I’ll do it my way.” Human pride says: “I don’t need anyone, but my own lonesome self!” And, of course, in the light and truth of the Scriptures, those admissions are outright lies!

Sinners lie to themselves all the time. Daily, human souls will cloak their sin by calling their sin by various euphemisms. Ever hear of the common expression, that someone has told a “white lie?” Human sin is a “conscience irritant.” Rather than particular individuals and certain groups referring to the wanton, unnecessary murderous slaughter of preborn human life, carnal human nature will invent phrases to minimize and deny the abortion genocide reality. I’m sure that all of us have heard of the “innocent” phrase that attempts to justify those who shed innocent blood. It’s called, “pro-choice.”

Unfortunately, prolife people have been slow to catch on. They allow the pro death opposition, which includes consenting adults, activist politicians, Planned Parenthood and those who are part and parcel of their genocide operation – the abortion mill facility personnel – they allow those participating people “cover,” by not calling out the murderous sin for what it actually is – “crimes against humanity.” Please note the following – and, especially the logic reality which jumps out of the politically correct “box:”

"The President of the United States: A Sex Offender? -- Why Obama's support of the abortion industry is the worst molestation of youth (9/20/09)"

Sin’s Earliest History

The Scriptures tell us that it was “pride” that made the then perfect angel, Lucifer, the wicked Devil. [Luke 10:18 ; Isaiah 14:12 ; Revelation 9:1 ; Revelation 12:7-9 ; 1John 3:8 ; 2 Peter 2:4] The Scriptures tell us that pride – the dastardly “me first” syndrome, was the motivational factor that was utilized to tempt Adam and Eve, to become the first human sinners. Genesis 3:1f

Once our original human ancestors, sinned, the Scriptures tell us that disobedience to God and His Commandments, started the change reaction. [Romans 5:12] Sin was ushered into the perfect world. After Adam’s sin, there was no perfection and no harmony with holy God. Sin is the root cause for all types of imperfection – from barbaric murder, to nations warring, to family infighting – to personal hatreds.

Before human sin, there was no “work”

Because of human sin, [bitter “compliments” of Adam and Eve] we have “root” history of how “work” came to be. Adam was told by God that he would have to earn his physical nourishment by the “sweat of his face.” In fact, “work” became work, because of human sin. [Genesis 3:16-19]

Think of it, for a minute. What were Adam and Eve’s first “line” of work? Adam became a sewer, and Eve became a seamstress. After they had sinned the first sin, their consciences became alive and they realized their shameful physical and spiritual nakedness before God. They then, sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Sociologists and psychiatrists and the whole area of educational and clinical studies of haphazard human behavior are given employment and purpose, - all because of Adam’s first sin. And, let’s not leave out, the whole employment field of health care. Care we even begin to think of how many people are working in the area of law enforcement and the legal profession, due to human sin?

Adam and Eve were physically perfect before they sinned. Once human sin came to be, physical death became inevitable. The human body became subject to disease, illness and accident. Which of you who are hearing and / or reading this message are in perfect [holy] health? Your own bodies are sole testaments to the fact of the results of the first human sin, brought about by Adam’s “fall,” into sin. [Genesis 3:1f] How many of you wear eyeglasses; experience headaches and other personal physical maladies?

We are all testament to the reality that sin has affected us all. We are imperfect, and, our lives are on a fast track. Today, we are nearer to the hereafter, than we were, yesterday. And, we are not guaranteed, a tomorrow.

The Scriptures indicate that most people never do get to “first base” – they never can and do admit their helpless, sinful condition. [Matthew 7:13-14 ; Matthew 13:18-23] You would normally (and, humanly) think that living in an imperfect body and imperfect world, it would somehow jar some people into the reality that they will be, no more, someday – and that they had better look beyond their sinful selves for future eternal [hereafter] direction and help!

Human sin’s final result, is damnation – eternal death. Human sin is such that it’s pull upon the sinner, is like earth’s gravity. Sin will blind a human soul’s perspective and cause an individual to avoid and ignore help and deliverance from a guilty conscience and wrongful actions against Creator God and fellowman.

The Scriptures clearly teach of the final destination of sinners – those who have rejected the Good News about what God has done for them, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of their sins. Without the sacrificial shed blood of the sinless Savior, there can be no entrance into heaven’s holy habitations. Only one other eternal hereafter destination remains for the sinner who has not been clothed with the righteousness [perfection] of Savior, Christ. Luke 16:19-31 ; Matthew 22:1-14 ; Philippians 3:7-9

The Reality of the Savior

This past week I had the privilege and honor of speaking at a memorial for the family and friends of a man who had been bedridden for over 18 months. When I found out that he was hospitalized last year, I began visiting him.

In all my visits with this dear departed brother, he was always ready and willing to admit that he was a sinner who needed his priceless soul saved from holy God’s just wrath and punishment. He knew that without a cleansing of his human sin, he would not stand a chance in the hereafter. He knew that heaven is a perfect place and that a holy God cannot allow sinful souls to inhabit its sinless eternal presence.

This dear brother was “on track.” He realized the first important reality, this side of the hereafter which everyone needs to realize – that most important reality of personal sin! The Scriptures indicate that most people never do get to that first base – they never can and do admit their helpless, sinful condition. Thank God that that this dear individual, did!

And, because, by the grace of God, this bedridden soul admitted his personal sin, against God and his fellowman, - such was he graced again, by the Good Lord, to realize the second most important reality, this side of eternity's, hereafter!

Most people do not come to the full realization of their sin against God and their fellowman. They do not realize that their sin, unless dealt with, will damn their soul forever, in the hereafter. Matthew 25:1f ; Luke 16:19-31


My friend, freely admitted his sin, and not only his need for Jesus Christ, but he embraced Christ, as his personal Savior. The Scriptures speak of the sinless Christ and analogize Him as the "Second Adam." [Romans 5:12-21 ; 1 Corinthians 15:21-25 ; John 5:21-29 ; John 11:25-26] The first Adam brought sin into the world. [Romans 5:12] Christ, the sinless “Second Adam,” came to live a holy and perfect life upon our earth and to sacrifice His life in payment for all of our sins - not only for all of the world’s sins, past, present and future – but your sins and mine.

The Bible tells us that because God loves us, He prepared the Savior to suffer and die for us. [John 3:14-21] That was the only plan and the only way for Him to be able to [forever] accept us. A holy God cannot become intimate with an unholy creation. A holy God cannot allow His heaven to be contaminated with human sin!

Do all cookie jars possess cookies?

But, now, just because God loves us and loves the whole world - and, just because he provided the Savior for us to be sacrificed on our sinful account, – that does not translate into all people, eventually being inhabitants of heaven! Just because God provided the eternal remedy for sin, does not mean that all people are ”partakers” of it [heaven]. Just because there is a cookie jar, doesn’t mean that it is housed with cookies. So, with the Savior, His sacrificial offering and heaven – and souls that end up, there, and, souls, which, don’t.

The dearly departed, not only confessed his sin and his soul’s need for the Savior, but he professed his faith, in the Savior, Christ. Where did he initially receive that faith? He was baptized into the Christian Faith. He received a Christian parochial [elementary] school education in that Faith. And, towards the latter part of his life, he came [by the grace of God] to appreciate and re-affirm his God-given faith.

Some of you may be asking yourselves – and, I hope and pray that you do: “How do I obtain this same type of faith?” How can I be sure that my sins are forgiven, and that I have a Savior at the batter’s box who will safely bring me to my “heavenly home?” You might even be asking yourself – “How can I even get to first base?”

Friends, I will never deny anyone his “salvation experience,” as they relate it. But, I do know, according to the Scriptures, that those who love the Lord Jesus, as their Savior – as, my friend did – they love him and trust in Him, because Christ loves them first. The Scriptures tell us: “We love Him because he first loved us.” [1 John 4:15-21] “Of His own will he begat us” [His children] the Scriptures tell us. [James 1:27] The Scriptures make it very clear, that we are not God’s children, unless, He is our heavenly Father.

Please note: “God is not your heavenly Father unless you are one of His children”

The Scriptures say, of God’s children, “For by grace you are saved; through faith; and, that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God; not by works, lest any man [person] should boast.” [Ephesians 2:8-10] “Salvation” – the saving [deliverance] of one’s soul, is by the grace of God, because of Christ – it is entirely, His work. It is not, that you can work your way, step by step. It is not a formula or prescription plan. It is through God’s Holy Spirit, who draws the sinner to Himself! John 3:3-8 ; Titus 3:5

Thank God, that my dear friend had the Word of God, (the Scriptures, planted in his life) – and, that he died, in the Faith! The Bible, states that “Faith comes by God’s Word!” Romans 10:17 ;
1 Peter 1:23

May all of us, make ourselves available to the Good Book, the Bible -- that book which is God’s greatest treasure – next to Christ, Himself! And, in so doing, may we draw from God’s holy Word and so follow in the Faith of departed saints, all, who have had the same commonality -- readily acknowledging the 2 most important realities this side of the hereafter - sin and the Savior.

Amen!

Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:

Old and New Testament Scriptures

Luke 16:19-31 - Where human sins, lead - Christ's parable of "The Rich Man and Lazarus"

Romans 2:14-16 - Sin is the violation (transgression) not only of the moral law but against the "conscience law" which God has placed within human hearts

Psalm 51:5 ; Romans 5:12 - We are sinners by birth

Genesis 6:5 ; Ecclesiastes 7:20 - We are sinners by practice

John 3:1-21 - The Savior solution for human sin

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Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
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Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3


Note: The above message (with minor editing) was previously posted online by Nathan Bickel