When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world. Because of their sin, every human enters the world with a sinful disposition; separated from God. It placed all of mankind in a helpless position. And there is nothing we can do to fix it. We can’t make ourselves acceptable to a holy God. It would take a work of God to do the things necessary to restore the relationship.
The restoration between God and man would require a sufficient Substitute to make the payment for our sin. In addition, man’s righteousness that was lost needed to be restored. Works of righteousness on our part cannot take away sin nor restore the relationship.(Titus 3:5) God would have to intervene.
The Perfect Sacrifice
Thankful He did. Jesus Christ came down to earth to be the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for sin. His death on the cross paid for the sin of the world. “He tasted death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). He was buried and three days later He rose from the grave.
If Christ had not risen, we would still be dead in our sins and in a hopeless situation with no possibility of restoration (I Cor. 15:17). But indeed, He did rise from the grave proving that he has the power over sin and death. After He rose, He was seen by five hundred brethren and the apostles (I Cor. 15:6-7). Furthermore, His death, burial, and resurrection is sufficient to restore our relationship with the Father, because He paid our sin debt and imputes his perfect righteousness to everyone that believes.
Although we are helpless, we are not hopeless, because Jesus Christ did all the work necessary to bring us back to the Father. His resurrection is proof that He is the Lord and that whoever believes in Him can rest their hope fully upon His grace that is “to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:13).
Happy Resurrection Day! He is risen; He is risen indeed!
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Check out, Assurance of Heaven. It is an in-depth Biblical study into how you can know with certainty that heaven (God’s kingdom) is your final and forever destination. You can also download the FREE study guide that compliments the book.
C.I. Scofield was a preacher and writer. He penned the following Biblical article about Barabbas who was sentenced to death and expected to die the next morning for his crime. However, it was a custom at Passover for the Roman governor to release a Jewish prisoner. (Following Titles added and article condensed)
Barabbas was a criminal
Barabbas was condemned to die. No one has ever questioned the justice of his sentence. He was a rebel against the law, a robber and a murderer. He was not under probation, but under doom. He was not awaiting trial, but execution. Just before him, as his only prospect, was the awful death of crucifixion. He knew what that meant: long hours of unspeakable agony, the hands and feet torn by great spikes, the wrist and shoulder joints dislocated by the dragging down of the body, each quivering nerve a separate torture through tension, a burning, unquenchable thirst, and, all around, a jeering, taunting mob. All the horizon of his life is narrowed to that. The only question is, when?
A Pardon : Barabbas is set free
Then the night falls. But it is a disturbed night. Even in the prison it is perceived that something unusual is occurring. Confused noises, outcries, the tramping of feet, penetrate the thick walls. Barabbas dumbly wonders what it all means. Perhaps it is another insurrection such as that he, poor fool, raised against the majestic, inflexible Law. But the night wears on, and at last it is daylight—the light of his last day! And now he hears footsteps, the key grinds in the lock, his prison door swings open, but, just as he is summoning all his brute’s fortitude for the ordeal which awaits him, he hears the joyful words: “Go free! Go free! Barabbas; another takes your place; another is to die between the two malefactors (criminals).”
Barabbas lives while Jesus dies
As Barabbas emerged into the free, glorious sunshine, the crowd was already surging out toward the Place of the Skull. And then, if not before, the desire must have arisen to know who had been condemned to die in his place. One can, easily imagine how Barabbas followed the throng, striving eagerly to see the Man who was to die for him.
The Substitute: The innocent takes the place of the guilty
His substitute in agony there was the new Teacher out of Galilee, the Man who spoke as never man spoke, the Man whose life had been absolutely without sin. Adam sinned, and Abraham and Moses, and all the prophets, but not this Man.
5 Things Barabbas Knew
First, he knew that he was a guilty wretch, under the righteous condemnation of the law (Luke 23:25). And in both these respects Barabbas was a representative of all men (Rom. 3:10-20, 23; Gal. 3:10).
Secondly, Barabbas knew that the Sufferer before him had done no sin (John 8:46; John 19:4; 1 Peter 2:22).
Thirdly, he knew that Jesus was, for him, a true substitute. He was verily and actually dying in his place and stead; an innocent and holy being bearing the very penalty which the law had justly decreed to him, Barabbas. Whoever, in the coming ages, might question whether Christ’s death was vicarious (done in place of) and substitutional, he could never question it (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:22-24; 3:18; Isa. 53:5- 6).
Fourthly, he knew that he had done nothing whatever to meritthe marvelous interposition (intervention) of that substitutional death. Whatever may have been back of it, it reached him as an act of pure grace(Psalm 69:19-20; Eph. 2:4-9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 2:11; Rom. 4:4-5).
Fifthly, he knew that Christ’s death for him was perfectly efficacious (effective). There was, therefore, nothing for him to add to it. Just because Christ was dying, he was living. The only question before Pilate was whether Christ should die or Barabbas. When it was decided that Christ should die, Barabbas was set free. His assurance was complete the instant that his Substitute said, “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost(John 19:30; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Rom. 5:19; 1 John 1:7; Col. 1:20; Heb. 10:10,14). – by C.I. Scofield
Like Barabbas, we deserve an eternal death sentence. But thank God that He sent His Son so that we might have everlasting life. It is simply received by faith in Christ and what he did. It is a one-time act of hearing (understanding the gospel) and believing it, which causes an irreversible change in your final destiny. The moment you believe in Him you pass from death to life and have the assurance of heaven! (John 5:24; I John 5:13)
Check out , Assurance of Heaven, an in-depth Biblical study into how you can know you with certainty that heaven is your final destination, while learning to discern wrong teachings that may cause you to doubt. Download a FREE Study Guide that compliments the book.
Thank you for visiting this site.I invite you to follow as we continue to explore God’s amazing grace.
That’s a question that has come up often over the years. It’s a good question. It was a question that I had in my mind at one time. Often the person is trying to reconcile the character of God in his mind. Sometimes they question their need for a Savior; “If some people in a faraway land gets a free ride to heaven because they never heard, then why do I need a Savior?
But the Bible tells the reader, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) And that there is only one way to the Father through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Five Ways God reaches people
First of all, creation testifies to the existence of God. His Divine nature and power are revealed in the creation. Because of this, every person is without excuse of knowing that God exists; “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).
Secondly, the Spirit of Godministers to the unbelieving world. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin as the problem, judgment as the consequence, and the righteousness of Jesus as the answer; “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…” (John 16:8).
Thirdly, Jesus said that if He was lifted up (on the cross), He would draw all to Himself: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die” (John 12:32, 33). He doesn’t force people to come, but He does draw them.
Fourthly, God uses messengers or as we call them missionaries. For example, the Spirit prevented Paul from going to Asia and directed him to go to Macedonia. There he met a woman named Lydia who worshipped God. The Lord open her eyes to the gospel and she believed. “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14-15).
Fifthly, the Lord always uses His word as specific revelation either written or verbally. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
God responds to those who respond to His light
Not everyone in the world has a copy of the Bible available to them. But if a person is responding to the light that they do have, God will ultimately provide them with what they need, just like Lydia.
In a gospel tract, From the Jungle to Jesus, Dikkie Ekiai tells his story how he came out of tribal paganism living in Borneo to faith in Jesus Christ. It didn’t happen overnight. But it did start with a search for truth inspired by observing the intricacies of a spider web. He wrote, “One day while walking through the jungle I came across a big spider weaving its web. Observing how this spider could weave a perfect symmetry and angle every time, I concluded that someone must have designed this creature with its unique ability.” Read more about his journey to faith.
A friend of mine ministers in a county jail. One day he encountered a prisoner who had read the graffiti in a cell that said, “Trust in God”. He told my friend that little phrase caused him to pray for the first time in his life. His seeking prayer was answered for God sent my friend to Him to share the grace of the Lord Jesus with him.
God is not limited
We cannot limit the arm of God. The question doesn’t challenge the character of God. He can reach anyone anywhere in the world. But it does require a seeking and humble heart to respond to the light that they have. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
Everyone must come to God on His terms. He has given every one the opportunity. He is a just and righteous Ruler. Some have more opportunity to hear about Christ than others. But even many of those reject that truth because of their desire to remain in darkness (John 3:18). Like the religious rulers of Israel, many are not willing to come to Him to be saved (John 5:40).
Purchase, Assurance of Heaven, an in-depth Biblical study into how you can know you with certainty that heaven is your final destination while learning to discern wrong teachings that may cause you to doubt. Download a FREE Study Guide that compliments the book.
Science tell us that no snowflake has the same design. I accept that to be true. But I think you would have to examine every flake that ever fell to the ground to be one hundred percent certain.
This year a lot of those flakes have fallen here in Western Pennsylvania. Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction was right; six more weeks of winter. Although most of us want it to end, winter landscapes express the majesty of God’s creation.
God has used snow and cold literally and figuratively in His word. Enjoy the scenery and be encouraged by His Word.
“You have set all the borders of the earth; You have made summer and winter.” Psalm 74:17
From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, And cold from the scattering winds of the north.By the breath of God ice is given, And the broad waters are frozen. Job 37:9, 10
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5, 6
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’ Job 37:5, 6
The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. Psalm 145:15, 16
To me, snow shows the beauty of God’s holiness. It makes a dirty drab land look clean and beautiful. It reminds me how the the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all of our sin and has made us a new creation in Him (II Cor. 5:17). His word is the solution for the winter blahs.
I invite you to follow as we continue to explore God’s amazing grace.
Purchase, Assurance of Heaven, an in-depth Biblical study into how you can know you with certainty that heaven is your final destination, while learning to discern wrong teachings that may cause you to doubt. Download a FREE Study Guide that compliments the book.
In the last couple of blogs, we saw that the rapture happens and then the return of Jesus Christ to the earth several years later. One of the things that seeming indicates His soon return to earth will be the establishment of a one world government ruled by one person. Much of humanity believes that government is our answer to the problems of the world. Dr. Renald Showers aptly states in his book, The Most High God, “Ironically, the more man tries to establish Utopia through self-rule the more his situation worsens. Instead of ruling the world in an orderly, meaningful way, he brings disorder, instability, and chaos. He is haunted by the prospect of death and the fear that life has no ultimate purpose or meaning.”
Things appear to be aligning for this future conflict of two competing world kingdoms on earth. One has meaning and purpose; and one doesn’t. Neither can exist at the same time. One will be ruled by a ruthless dictator, commonly known as the antichrist. The other will be ruled by the King of kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Obviously, Jesus wins.
The Government of Jesus vs. The Government of Antichrist
Jesus government will never end. (Is. 9:7)
Antichrist’s government will be destroyed. (Dan. 2:44)
He will rule with justice and righteousness in the earth. (Jer. 23:6)
He will execute wickedness in the earth. (Rev. 13:5-6)
He brings real peace to earth. (Is. 9:6)
He shall bring false peace. (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13:7; 19:19)
He shall act wisely. (Jer. 23:5)
His wisdom will be earthly, sensual, and demonic. (James 3:15; II Thess. 2:9, 10)
He will make a covenant of peace with Israel resulting in their security. (Ez. 34:25-30)
He will make a peace covenant with Israel resulting in their near annihilation. (Dan. 9:27, 12:1; Zech. 13:8-14:2)
He will regather Jewish people back to Israel where they will prosper. (Matt. 24:31; Is. 11:11; Ez. 36:29-38)
He will persecute the Jewish people and many will flee Jerusalem and Israel. (Rev. 12:13, -17; Matt. 24:15-21)
Which one do you want to be part of?
Since the beginning of creation, people have been aligning with one kingdom or the other. Those who have by faith decided to believe on the Lord for salvation will be part of His future kingdom on earth. They will be with Him as He reigns on the earth for one thousand years. Afterward He will make a new heaven and new earth.
The Antichrist’s Kingdom
The antichrist’s kingdom will last for a short time, about seven years. It will be destroyed and he will be cast into the Lake of Fire with the false prophet and those who received the mark, his followers. In addition, those in Hades and the devil will also be cast into the Lake of Fire with them. (Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14)
A Choice to be made
Whose government do you want to be a part of? When you add it all up, the choice doesn’t seem that difficult. Everlasting life and peace comes with the decision to trust God’s way (John 3:16; 14:6). Everlasting death and destruction comes with the decision not to. The ‘Golden Age’ will truly be when Jesus returns to rule and reign on earth!
Purchase, Assurance of Heaven. It is an in-depth Biblical study into how you can know with certainty that heaven (God’s kingdom) is your final and forever destination. You can also download the FREE study guide that compliments the book.
In the last blog we saw that the rapture is an imminent event. Unlike the second coming, the rapture of the church can happen at any moment. There are no signs indicating when it might happen. However, the Bible does identify numerous things that will take place before Christ returns to earth to set up His kingdom.
Here is a short summary of seven things that point to the season of end time events:
The Existence of Israel – This may be the most significant of Bible prophecies setting up the return of Jesus Christ. God had promised to bring them back into the land after a worldwide dispersion. (Is. 11:12; Jer. 29:14; Ez. 37:21) Daniel prophesied that a treaty will be confirmed with the nation of Israel after the death of the Messiah. (Dan. 9:26-27) In order for this to happen, Israel must exist as a nation. For almost two thousand years the land of Israel was controlled by Gentile powers. Israel is the only nation that was ever destroyed; it’s people dispersed; it’s language disappeared; and then after 2000 years, it’s people are brought back to the land and reestablished as a sovereign nation. That happened on May 14, 1948 and puts in place a vital piece of the puzzle to fulfill end time events.
2. A Temple – There will be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. In 2012 prophecy teacher Jimmy De Young wrote an article titled, Preparing for the Third Temple. The Jewish Rabbis in Israel are preparing the garments and vessels for a temple. The Bible tells us that in the middle of the seven-year treaty, the antichrist breaks his covenant by desolating the temple. “He sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:4) Matthew calls this the abomination of desolation. (Matt. 24:15) Although the temple mount is still a very disputed area, Dr. De Young suggests that the Temple Mount and the rebuilding of the Temple will be the place and the projectto watch in 2021.
3. One World Government – There will be a worldwide government. Jesus will come back, destroy this kingdom, and set up His kingdom. (Dan. 2:28-44; Dan. 7:23-28; Rev. 13:7-8) In case you missed it, the World Government Summit gathers annually in Dubai. There is no doubt that the world is heading toward a one world government. The Covid-19 pandemic is causing government leaders to take another step in this direction.
4. One World Ruler – There will be a one-man world ruler, usually referred to as the antichrist. Kingdoms always require a king. (Dan. 7:23-24; Rev. 13:4-5) At some point he will set himself up in the Jewish temple claiming to be God. (II Thess. 2:4) At His second coming, Jesus will cast the antichrist (the world ruler) into the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:20)
5. The Ability to Control Buying or Selling– No one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast on their right hand or on the forehead. (Rev. 13:16-17) The word for “mark” comes from a Greek word meaning “to engrave”. “Mark” is translated as “to stamp or to impress”. It could very well be related to some sort of tattoo. One scholar suggests that the word “mark” is probably connected with ancient customs. Domestic slave owners sometimes branded their slaves with their mark. At the mid point of the great tribulation, the antichrist will require this mark in order to buy or sell. It’s only in recent history that the technology exists for this to be enforced. For example, the ‘Summit‘ supercomputer can calculate in one second what it would take a person six billions years to do. Recently, Amazon has developed technology where you can pay by scanning the palm of your hand.
6. Alignment of the Nations – The modern-day alignment of nations that are enemies of Israel fits perfectly with Biblical prophecy. Ezekiel prophesied that Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others will come against Israel (Ez. 38, 39). Psalm 83 lists ten people groups that currently surround Israel and will form a confederacy against them. Their common bond is a shared hatred of Israel. They call for Israel’s destruction, “Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more” (Ps. 83:4). Sound familiar?
7. The Increase of Evil – “But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13). “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power ” (I Tim. 3:1-5). It will be a time when evil may actually appear to be winning the day. Within my lifetime, 69 years, it is evident that the world is becoming worse in its morals and practices.
Students of Bible prophecy see these trends as precursors to fulfillment. For the first time in human history, a number of major prophesies seem to be converging at the same time to set the stage for the end. How much longer? God only knows.
It’s interesting how many Christians ‘feel’ the Lord’s return for His church is soon. When so many people are talking about something, you start to think they might be right. Christians, who believe in the rapture, base their belief on a number of things. Certainly their belief is based on scripture, the condition of the world with the pandemic, the increasing amount of evil, and all the corruption we see in our government.
And though I agree with their assessment to some extent, the Bible teaches us that the rapture is an imminent event. In another words, it can happen at any time. Usually, we think more about it when things are bad or aren’t going our way.
The Rapture is a Mystery
The apostle Paul spoke of it as a mystery (I Cor. 15:51). In the Bible a mystery was truth that hadn’t been clearly revealed before. It was new information. It is something that is made known in a manner and time appointed by God. I have written before about the difference between the Second Coming and the Rapture. https://assuranceofheaven.com/2020/07/17/the-end-of-days/
The Spanish Flu, WW I, & the End of the World
I shared with my friends what Christians might have been thinking in 1918. The Spanish flu began that year killing millions while World War I had been going on for four years (1914-1918). One writer commented, “War, famine, disease and death occurred on a worldwide stage and on a scale that truly was unprecedented.” Although the rapture was not a prevalent teaching then, I’m sure many thought the end was near.
The Expectation of the Early Church
Because the rapture is imminent, meaning there are no signs that precede it, it could have occurred anytime since the ascension of our Lord back to heaven. Jesus could have come back in the first century. The early church expected Jesus to return in their lifetime. The book of James is one of the earliest New Testament books. Guided by the Spirit of God, he stated that “the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8). He also said, “Behold the judge is standing at the door” (James 5:9). He told them to “be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord (James 5:7).
Dr. Renald Showers in his book, Maranatha, Our Lord Come, cites Greek scholars that show “draws near” (v. 8) and “is standing” (v. 9) are in the perfect tense and indicative mood. This means that the action was completed before James wrote his epistle and continues on in that completed state. It suggests that Jesus coming is still near and He continues standing at the door.
2000 years Later
In the first century some decried, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (II Peter 3:4). And now it is almost 2000 years later. Today people are saying the same thing. But what is often overlooked is that God’s love delays His justice. The Lord is longsuffering not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9). We all should be thankful for that!
It’s been a long time since His promise. But, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) He has promised that He is coming for His church. We just don’t know when. Are you looking for the Blessed Hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ? (Titus 2:13) It could be sooner than soon. Could be today!
You can know you have everlasting life and will go to be with the Lordat the rapture.
Thanks for visiting. I invite you to follow as we explore God’s amazing grace!
Purchase, Assurance of Heaven. It is an in-depth Biblical study into how you can know with certainty that heaven is your final and forever destination. You can also download the FREE study guide that compliments the book.
The week before Christmas we lost two friends to the Covid virus. Their age and comorbidities were contributing factors. But both were believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet in some ways it doesn’t make it any easier to lose a loved one.
A friend of mine wrote the following blog which I thought was very appropriate concerning the death of a Christian. It speaks to the heart of those who are dealing with the loss from a Biblical perspective.
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
The Apostle Paul says Christians should not mourn the death of their loved ones in Christ the same way those without Christ mourn their loss. What does that mean? Does it mean the whites of our eyes not be turned red with tears? Does it say we put on a brave front and a good show for the world? Does it mean we go about like rocks, unemotional and unbreakable? When the doctor offers his condolences and informs you your parent or spouse has died, what is a Christian to do? When your baby never lives to be born or lies still in the crib, never to awaken, does being a Christian steel you to the body blows of loss and emptiness? If you sit up waiting to hear your teenager’s key in the front door, and instead, the phone rings and the voice on the other end shatters your life…..
Christians feel. Christians feel things deeply in their quickened spirits. Christians mourn. Christians grieve over the death, sin, suffering, injustice, perversion, and the rampant evil in this world. So what is Paul telling you and me? He is telling us to cry away the whites of our eyes, but do so with the assured hope that Jesus will wipe away our tears. He is telling us to endure the body blows of loss and that painful empty feeling deep inside, but do so with the assured hope that Jesus will comfort us and fill us with His love amid our pain. Be breakable, vulnerable, and honest in our grief before the world, but do so with the assured hope that Jesus will ultimately heal our broken hearts.
The citizens of this world wander about in confusion when faced with mortality and seek an unknown higher power or one of the earth’s thousand and one religions in a vain attempt to find answers. They say of the dead, with uncertainty, “Well, they’re in a better place now.” Not so for Christians, citizens of heaven; we see life and death in Christ-illuminated clarity. We have an assured hope in Jesus Christ, who died, was buried and rose again. Our loved ones who have died in Christ are with Him, and when He comes again, they will accompany Him.
What glorious reunions await us when our temporal earthly mourning gives way to a fantastic new spring-fresh eternal heavenly morning. That is the assured hope of the believer. Thank You, Lord Jesus! https://calvarybaptistirwin.org/blog.html
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6, 7
Two thousand years ago Jesus was born of a virgin. God did not send Him into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). He restored the relationship between man and God. Thus by faith we can have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
Jesus came the first time as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He’s coming back a second time to rule and reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16). And the Lord shall be King over all the earth (Zech. 14:9). That’s the full message of Christmas.
Although family gatherings, feasts, and gifts may be fun things to do, you have missed the true Person of Christmas if that is all it is for you. Jesus Christ is coming back to set up His kingdom on earth. He’ coming to bring true peace on earth. Are you ready to meet Him?
Growing up in a rural area, there were a lot of folks around us who had gardens. My grandfather lived on one side of us and my uncle on the other side. They always planted a garden. But gardens seemed to have lost their importance with the ease of going to a grocery store to get your food.
I should have no problem growing a garden, but I would. That skill was not passed on to me. Generations lose out when valuable information is not passed on. The same is true in the spiritual realm.
God had commanded the Israelites to teach their children the commands given to them in the law. They were to do this diligently and often –“when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:7) In this way future generations would know the Lord and follow Him. The result would be that God would continue to bless them and protect them. (Deut. 28:1-14) And they would fulfill their God intended purpose of being a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation, while witnessing to the one true God. (Ex. 19:6; Is. 43:10, 12)
But after Joshua and his generation died, the next generation of Israelites began to back slide. They “did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.” (Judges 2:11) Why would they do this? The previous verse gives some light. After the death of Joshua, the next generation “did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which he had done for Israel.” (v. 10) How could they not know?
There are certainly other issues involved in them not knowing the Lord, such as their own heart conditions and the failure of the previous generation to cast out all the inhabitants of the land. Yet it is also apparent that the older generation failed to communicate the commandments and the faithfulness of the Lord to their sons and daughters. This failure resulted in significant consequences for the nation.
There are some today that question the effectiveness of the church. Could it be that we failed to share our faith with the next generation. Did we miss the opportunities at the dinner table or while riding in the car or after church on Sunday? Discipleship begins in the home. If you have young children you can start now. If you’re a grand parent, you can have a significant influence on the faith of your grandchildren. We may have failed in the past, but we can change that today.
Some have the skills to teach a person how to grow a garden. But more importantly if you are a Christian, you can share with them the truth about our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. This will have an everlasting influence.
Psalm 78:5-7 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments…