How do you know if you are one He has called?
The answer is simple. He gives us the answer to who He calls as the Pharisees complained about what Jesus is doing and He overhears them speaking to His disciples.
Jesus plainly tells us who He has called.
30 The P'rushim (Pharisees) and their Torah-teachers protested indignantly against his talmidim (Jesus Disciples), saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax-collectors and sinners?" 31 It was Yeshua who answered them: "The ones who need a doctor aren't the healthy but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the `righteous,' but rather to call sinners to turn to God from their sins."
Has Jesus CALLED YOU?
The first step of recognizing if you are called by Him is to admit to yourself if you are a sinner. If you do not see yourself as a sinner in need of a Savior, you will never hear His call....you will say in your heart, "I have no need for Him".
But if you can admit you are a sinner, Jesus is calling you to turn to Him. Repent and turn from sin and follow Him.
23 Then to everyone he said, "If anyone wants to come after me, let him say `No' to himself, take up his execution-stake (cross) daily and keep following me.
Do not trust in your own understanding, but just keep trusting in Jesus. Do not be like the Pharisees and Torah teachers (prideful and rejecting the truth of their own sins seeing no need for a doctor).
Look to Jesus and His promises and flat out trust Him. He loves you.
I love His words He spoke:
24 Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent me has eternal life -- that is, he will not come up for judgment but has already crossed over from death to life!
I believe Jesus calls everyone, it is a matter of us hearing Him.
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts
Praise God He has called us!
God loves you and so do I!
There is a common tread, a common lesson...God teaches us all through scripture.
Look at this foreshadow of what God requires. What God requires never changes all through scripture. God showed me this truth as I am was reading the book of Deuteronomy... as I continue to read the bible in a year.
I see the common thread all through scripture...and they all lead to this truth...God gives only two ways for man to choose from.
1) Trust in God. Do His will.
2) Trust in something else and do your own will.
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 is one of those pictures God paints.
26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse- 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
1) Blessing if you will obey the commands of the Lord.
2) A curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord and turn and follow other gods.
Has anything changed under the New Covenant (PROMISE OF GOD) we read in the New Testament?
The answer is "NO". There are still two ways:
1) We can either be "Blessed" by trusting in Jesus Christ as ADONAI who saves us from our sins and receive eternal life:
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10: 9-10
9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
2) YOU WILL BE CURSED FOREVER:
Matthew 25: 46
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
John 3: 36
36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
2 Thessalonians 1: 8-9
8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
Please look at verse 8 above in 2 Thessalonians 1 and see what God is saying to us:
God still requires us to obey His decrees. His New Covenant decree is to believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you reject His decree, His holy word tells you are cursed and you are condemned already.
18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Need more evidence?
Jesus Himself tells us what "GOD REQUIRES" for work to earn salvation:
28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
The work required by us is not work at all...He requires we trust Him. When we trust and love Him...then we can begin to obey Him. Not because we are FORCED to by God...but because we love Him..more than we love this world.
May all Trust in God.
God loves you and so do I!
Wow! Want to see a time when God appeared as a man in the Old Testament?
He did many times...we know this is the Son of God when He appeared to man...not an angel...because those who saw God appear as a man worshiped and even spoke they have SEEN GOD!
Judges chapter 13 is one of these occurrences of God appearing in the flesh.
Read all of Judges 13..but here are some highlights of God appearing in the flesh:
Judges 13: 3
3 The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son.
The Angel of the Lord (ADONAI) Is God appearing in the flesh. Let us read on to see it.
9 God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, "He's here! The man who appeared to me the other day!
In verses 9-10 we get more of a description of the angel of God. The wife of Manoah describes the angel of God as a man! This angel of God has flesh for she describes Him as a man. we read on:
Judges 13: 11
11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, "Are you the one who talked to my wife?"
"I am," he said.
"I am" he says...interesting the name of God is used...but this is not proof, we must read further.
Judges 13: 15-16
15 Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "We would like you to stay until we prepare a young goat for you."
16 The angel of the LORD replied, "Even though you detain me, I will not eat any of your food. But if you prepare a burnt offering, offer it to the LORD." (Manoah did not realize that it was the angel of the LORD.)
WOW! The angel of God is offered food. also, Manoah does not realize who he is speaking to. Again, not enough proof this is an appearance of God Himself...but we are not finished yet.
17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the LORD, "What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?"
MANOAH IS ABOUT TO FIND OUT WHO HE HAS BEEN SPEAKING TO:
20 As the flame blazed up from the altar toward heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. 21 When the angel of the LORD did not show himself again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized that it was the angel of the LORD.
Manoah finally realizes this man was not a man...but someone much greater...and greater than an angel by far. WHAT MANOAH AND HIS WIFE SAYS NEXT REVEALS WHO THEY WERE SPEAKING TO:
22 "We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen God!"
23 But his wife answered, "If the LORD had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this."
THEY HAVE BEEN SPEAKING TO GOD ALL ALONG! God appeared to them in the flesh....this is Jesus appearing in the Old Testament.
How do I know? Because NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN THE FATHER GOD EXCEPT ONE!
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
Think about it!
God loves you and so do I!
I was watching an interview of Bill Maher, Talk show host and funny cynic, done by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on his new show on Fox News Network. Mr Maher did a documentary on religious zealots in America titled "Religulous". In the interview, Mr.Maher stated to Mr. Huckabee, "I do not know what happens after death, and neither do you." What does the Bible have to say about this? Can we confidently know for sure what happens after death? The Bible says yes!
The first place that comes to mind for me is 1 Corinthians chapter 15 in the bible. In my book, "I See Him!...I See Him! God's WORD to Witness To!" I state, "This is my Bible chapter. It is where all hope lies in scripture." I was inspired to write this chapter in my book, "Hope! Where Do You Place Yours?" because two events occurred at the same time as I was studying 1 Corinthians chapter 15. First, a dear loved one of mine who is an aging agnostic who has no hope for eternity was on my mind and secondly; our dear neighbors lost their nephew in a car accident who was only 19 years old when he died.
4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Paul makes this bold statement below. He says if Christ hasn't risen, then no one else will be either raised from the grave either. He is setting the stage for the truth. He continues:
13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
32 ...if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
Now Paul declares the truth of scripture. Christ has truly risen and because He has, all who believe will rise to:
42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Because of our Lord Jesus, we do not need to fear death!
54.....that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many more places I would like to take you in scripture to show the truth, but these monthly teachings are meant to be short. I will leave you with two scripture references that reveal the confidence we can have in everlasting Life. May we have such faith.
And from Job:
25For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
God loves you and so do I!
A dear friend of mine e-mailed to ask these question of me:
Will there be two "returns of Christ"? One at the beginning of the 1,000/yr reign of Christ, and the other when Christ comes once Satan is loosed (and they are destroyed)?
At which one of those would we be raptured up? Could it be, that we won't be raptured in the first return, but we will remain here, and He'll come to us and setup His kingdom here? But the 2nd time, we'll be raptured out as He comes to destroy the evil ones?
I wrote this answer back to him:
Let me answer your question by what I believe scripture foretells is going to happen.
The seven feasts of Israel (Leviticus chapter 23- written 1,400 years before Christ's birth.) is one of the timetables God is using to fulfill all that is prophetical in Scripture concerning Jesus and His Second Coming.
Let us read the passage of the Olive Tree from the word of God. Taken from the New King James Version
Can we, as sinful human beings, ever fulfill God's commands? Can we ever do what is pleasing to God? It excites me so that the word of God says we can, even in our sinful nature. The apostle Paul gives us the timeless answer on how we can accomplish our obligation to fulfill God's law in his letter to the Romans.
9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Who is your neighbor? In Jesus own words, everyone is our neighbor:
Matthew 5: 42-43 43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you
Therefore, as a follower of Jesus Christ, live your life in a way that is pleasing to God. Love others, even those you find unlovable or those that have hurt you or may hurt you in the future. God is asking you to love your neighbor.
This thought to think about is taken from "Answers" Magazine Vol 3 No. 3 July - August 2008. I highly recommend this magazine publication and can be reviewed and ordered from www.AnswersinGenesis.org
Sometimes Christians give the wrong impression that the existence of a "loving and wise Designer" is obvious simply because we see so much "beauty" in creation.
They often fail to consider the ugly things in this world- mutations, deformity, decay, and death. While we see many elements of beauty and design in the universe, it's important to remember that God cursed this world because of Adam's sin. It's no longer perfect.
According to Genesis, God made the original world "very good" (1: 31) 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.), but Adam's sin brought God's curse on all creation. The whole universe now "groans" under the curse, waiting for things to be set right (Romans 8:22) 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.).
We don't have all the pieces to figure out God's whole plan, but the Bible reveals the most important part. God made the world very good. but humans corrupted it by their sin. Yet God continues to love us so much that He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to take our judgment on Himself.
God promises to set things right in the end, restoring a new heaven and earth where "there shall be no more curse" (Revelation 21: 1-4; 22: 3). This promise awaits all who turn from their sin and trust in Him.
Look what we have awaiting us:
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
God loves you and so do I!