Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

Government education in America kicked God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments out of public schools over fifty years ago leaving a massive spiritual void. The doors were then flung open to Atheism, evolution, Humanism, witchcraft, Islam, Liberalism, sexual promiscuity, the LGBTQ agenda, and recently, Buddhism. 

Our tax dollars now support the teaching of an ABC curriculum: Anything But Christ. All the religions in the world cannot possibly be true, but in a secular culture influenced by postmodernism, people don’t want to hear there is only one way to God. But if you’re sincerely seeking truth, I suggest you take a look at Jesus before trying everything else. 

The coexist slogan was actually created to oppose Christianity, and demand that we keep our beliefs to ourselves. Public schools follow this philosophy and insist we conform and tolerate all behavior as well as other religious claims.

Just last year, middle school students were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith known as the “shahada,” which pledges allegiance to the prophet Muhammad and the Muslim god, Allah. 

And now, the American Center for Law and Justice has received complaints from parents in eleven states so far about the growing practice of teachers incorporating Buddhism-based mindfulness practices into everyday curriculum of elementary school age children.

“Some students are required to participate in as many as three meditation or mindfulness sessions each school day. Most of the programs include audio recordings encouraging children to empty their minds or watch their thoughts float away on a cloud. Others encourage children to be one with the universe; …several teachers, upon learning of the undisputable religious connection between mindfulness and Buddhism, have ceased using the curriculum and practicing mindfulness in their classrooms.”

Christian-based teachings however, have been expelled from public schools. But wait. Isn’t it intolerant to give a pass to every other religion except Christianity? All religions make exclusive claims, but people hate Jesus because He is the only one to claim He is God. And yet, He predicted and accomplished His own death and resurrection!

It is disingenuous to just ignore these historical facts. C.S. Lewis once stated:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”

The inescapable question is who do you say Jesus is? Neutrality is not an option. Jesus said He is “the way, the truth and the life,” and that no one comes to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

Most people think their way is right. But when Christians say Jesus is the right way and the Bible is true, we’re often mocked and called hateful, intolerant, or judgmental. Hold on. Isn’t it hateful to mock and disrespect someone’s religious beliefs? And aren’t you judging by accusing Christians of being judgmental for saying we’re all sinners and only God forgives sins?

Christianity is the only religion founded on historical events that can be evaluated; events that were witnessed by thousands of people – most of whom were still alive when many New Testament books were written! Compelling evidence is available supporting the Bible as being reliable, accurate, and true.

But there’s a problem: recent Barna Group research shows nearly 60% of Americans agree with the philosophy:

“Many religions can lead to eternal life; there is no ‘one true religion.’

One reason might be we think we can be good without God. Ask a person if they’re going to heaven when they die and most will say yes, but it’s not because they believe in Jesus. They think they’re a good person and can be saved by working hard and doing more good than bad in this life.

To claim all religions are the same is either denial or ignorance. Similarities, perhaps; sameness, absolutely not. Every religion at its core is exclusive. Apologist and author, Ravi Zacharias said:

“All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God; …At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not, and accordingly, of defining life’s purpose.

Like it or not, it all comes down to what we believe about Jesus. And what about other belief systems? Who do other religions say Jesus is? 

  • Bahai teaches that Jesus was a messenger, a manifestation of God; that heaven and hell are not real, there is no Trinity, and all the different religions are part of one single plan by God. 
  • Buddhists say Jesus was just an enlightened man, that we will be reincarnated, and we can work our way to salvation or higher consciousness. There is an eight-fold plan to enlightenment, and a few goals of Buddhism include avoiding the extremes of pain and pleasure, and to eradicate worldly desires.
  • Christian Science rejects Jesus’ sacrifice and teaches that sin doesn’t exist so there’s no need for a savior. God is referred to as “the Father-Mother,” known as the Divine Mind, having no personhood or personality.
  • Free Masons believe in a “Supreme Being” also referred to as GAOTU, the “Great Architect Of The Universe, but the name of Jesus is prohibited in formal lodge ceremonies. 
  • Hinduism teaches reincarnation, karma, and that Jesus was a holy man and wise teacher, but one of millions of gods. There are many paths to God; Brahman is the source of all things and we all have divine nature.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus was Michael the Archangel, a created being, and that the cross is a pagan symbol. They deny Christ as God, deny the resurrection, and the Trinity. (Their own version of the Bible is the NWT)
  • Judaism teaches that Jesus was a false prophet and a liar. While many confirm Jesus did miracles, they claim that His power was from the Devil. (By the way, Jewish records affirm the execution of Jesus.)
  • Latter Day Saints Mormons believe that God was once a man, Jesus was created as the spirit brother of Lucifer; and that we can all become gods. The Book of Mormon is subtitled, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” but it is clearly another Jesus.
  • Muslims think Jesus was just a prophet and healer. Islam also teaches that Jesus wasn’t crucified and did not really die on the cross (Judas took His place), that good works are needed for salvation; man is not made in the image of God, and the Qur’an and Hadith are authoritative in a Muslim’s life.
  • Roman Catholics believe salvation includes a process ranging from faith in Jesus – to faith plus good deeds and adherence to Church sacraments including confirmation, and the authority of the pope as well as Roman Catholic Church tradition and Catechism. (Catholic friends, please see below!) Your Church called me “anathema.”
  • Seventh Day Adventists teach that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, and SDA founder and prophetess Ellen G. White was a messenger of God, Satan will bear our sins, and when we die we will not exist anymore.
  • Unitarians think Jesus was no more divine than you or me but was a great teacher and a faith healer, they hold to the universal redemption of all mankind, deny the Trinity, and profess to have no real dogma. Unitarian Universalists use many biblical concepts and terms, but with non-biblical meanings. They are not Christian. 

Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God. No one measures up to God’s standard of righteousness.

Every one of these contradict essential teachings in the Bible. So who is Jesus? When He asked the Apostle Peter that question, he answered Him,

“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matt. 16:16)

Just months after seeing Jesus resurrected, Peter stated:

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

No man or religion measures up to God’s perfect standard of righteousness. Psalm 18:30 states:

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians saying that by Christ, “all things were created,” and that, “He is before all things;” (Col. 1:16)

Jesus is the Creator and He pre-existed with the Father and the Spirit. The Apostle John stated:

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:11-12)

Only Jesus can free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you, and give your life eternal purpose. Stop striving and come back to God, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. 

Though Paul wrote that Christians are God’s masterpieces and we were created to do good works (Eph. 2:10), we clearly understand, “the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17),” and: 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 

Other religions teach you to work, work, work, and do, do, do. Christianity teaches it’s done! Jesus’ last words on the cross were “It is finished.” He completed the work, the mission for which God sent Him to secure the eternal salvation for those who believe in Him.

There are many paths, but one way and Truth: Jesus. This is important to understand because we’re being bombarded with ideologies and false teachings today in schools, media, academia, Hollywood, and throughout our culture. Discern, test the spirits, and watch.

More blogs, videos, and resources at DavidFiorazo.com

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Was Jesus created or is He the Creator? On this doctrine, eternity depends. Is He the Messiah and is the Bible true?

If Jesus Christ is God and if the Bible is inspired – literally “God-breathed” by the Holy Spirit – then everything Jesus said and taught is true. If everything He said is true, then Christians had better understand what the Scriptures say about Him and obey his teachings. Jesus stated:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.(Luke 21:22)

For this study, we are well beyond the ridiculous claim some people make that Jesus was a myth and never existed. One young woman said He was “made up by religious people in order to control society.” This is complete ignorance of the evidence, history, archaeology, prophecy, and of course, hundreds of eye-witnesses who saw the risen Christ.

Then there are those who say, “That’s your truth, not mine. I evolved, I wasn’t created.” Are there many ways to the only living God or is there a narrow path we must take by faith?

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet recently said, “These four things are true for all people: Christ is risen, Christ is Lord, Christ will restore all things, and we are called to this time and place in history.”

Sermon video:

We know and believe Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord, and our faith is based upon not only His finished work on the cross, but on His divinity and humanity. Let’s dig-in to the doctrine of the God-Man.

For example, in Colossians 2:9, Paul writes about Christ:

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”

“Fullness” is from the Greek word, “plērōma, a recognized term in theology denoting the totality of divine powers and attributes found in Christ. The verse further adds “all fullness.” Jesus was and is 100% God — not 99.44%. 

But why did Paul add, in bodily form? In Greek philosophical thought, matter was evil; spirit was good. It was unthinkable that God would ever lower Himself to take on a human body. BUT He did! 

Still today, mockers insist Jesus was just a man; a good man perhaps, but certainly not God.

The third and fourth century Trinitarian Controversy focused on the mystery of the incarnation and the relationship between the Father and the Son (both of Whom were called ‘God’ by Christian monotheists). What does it mean regarding the divine nature that the Son had taken on flesh, died, and was raised for the sake of humanity?

For the growth of Christianity, this was a historical moment of intense struggle in church history to establish a common language by which to state the doctrine of faith without distortion, and in a manner that would do justice to the God Christians worship.

CLICK TO SEE FULL POST FOR STUDY NOTES, COMMENTARY, AND REFERENCES!

You’ll also notice Christ’s two states, humiliation and exaltation. Christ not only took upon him the likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but one in a low state; His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, exposed to public hatred and scorn.”

The exaltation was of Christ’s human nature, in union with the Divine. At the name of Jesus, not the mere sound of the word, but the authority of Jesus, all should pay homage. It is to the glory of the Father, to confess Jesus Christ is Lord; it’s his will, that all men should honor the Son as they honor the Father, (John 5:23).

Now the hymn

Philippians 2:5-11 –

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exaltedHim, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Culture is shifting left, change is happening, and morality is declining at such a rapid pace in American culture, a culture in which moral relativism trumps truth and rebellion against God is at fever-pitch, it’s difficult to just report on one story in a particular category. So this week, let’s look briefly at three headlines and why they matter:

  1. California Passes Law Allowing 12-Year-Olds To Get Tax-Paid Transgender Treatments
  2. Male Rapist Identifying as “Female” Transfers to Women’s Jail – (What could go wrong?)
  3. Colorado Children’s Hospital Dumps Gender Designations to Satisfy Liberal Activists

How did we get here?

America has rejected God and absolute truth. People are simply doing what is right in their individual minds. But remember, just because a person sincerely believes something does not make it true, just, or right.

Let’s start with the children’s hospital. It’s bad enough some clueless and uninformed parents are now allowing their five-year old children to decide what gender they want to be, Children’s Hospital in Aurora, is removing gender markings off patient wristbands to satisfy the politically correct LGBTQ lobby.

Spokesperson, Dr. Natalie Nokoff has treated transgender patients for years and stated:

“We are seeing more and more patients who have diverse gender identities,”

I get it. More children are being encouraged to think they’re the opposite sex. But you don’t have to accommodate delusions and put kids’ health at risk just to satisfy the extremists. This is irresponsible.

Speaking of irresponsible and reckless, the next story is from England, where Stephen Wood, a man who identifies as a woman and goes by Karen White, is a convicted rapist and pedophile, most recently arrested for stabbing his neighbor.

Since he is transgender, they placed him in a jail for women even though he is a biological male and has had no chemical or surgical modifications. Wood used the opportunity to sexually assault four women in New Hall Prison. Apologizing for the mistake, a Prison spokesman reiterated that safety of all prisoners is a priority and they work to manage transgender prisoners with sensitivity.

Even after the incident, reporters and prison officials still used feminine pronouns – referring to Stephen as she or her. This is not only ideologically-driven and ignorant, it is a denial of science and truth, so unfortunately, we’re seeing tragic consequences of a society drifting further from a worldview based on the authority of God’s Word.

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis explains:

“The Bible is clear that there are only two genders—male and female (Genesis 1:27). When you deny Scripture and blur the lines between the sexes, you create confusion and open the door (as in this case) for sexual predators.”

And the third story: you only need to be 12 years old in California to privately seek and consent to treatment for so-called ‘gender transitioning.’ Let’s put this in perspective.

You have to be 18 to vote in California, 16 obtain a driver’s license, 18 to buy a rifle, engage in consensual sex, or get married without parental consent, and 21 to buy a handgun, alcohol, or marijuana. But in the nation’s most progressive state, you only need to be 12 to get taxpayer-funded life-changing transgender treatments.

The new law describes it as “gender affirming health care, with consideration of their gender identity,” and includes Medi-Cal coverage for foster care youth up to 26 years of age. How do they prove these services are medically necessary?

According to Denise Shick at the Federalist, the law’s authors seem to mean well, wanting a safe and healthy home, free of abuse for those in foster care and for them to be treated with respect. Who would argue with that?

But are adolescents mature enough to make such drastic, adult decisions?

We know kids often emulate what Hollywood promotes as good, and according to the CDC, children in the age range of 12-14 are heavily influenced by their peer group and are more concerned about superficial things such as body image, looks, and clothes.

Teens and adolescants also experience more moodiness, develop eating problems, feel more sadness or depression, which can lead to poor grades at school, alcohol or drug use, unsafe sex, and other problems.

The article states:

Many studies have found that human brains take a long time to develop fully—as long as 25 years or more. That means that adolescents are at a distinct disadvantage in decision making. That’s why you see the immaturity issues…

Chronologically, adolescents are only about halfway to full brain development. Yet the new California allows—and almost compels—adolescents to make irreversible, potentially life-altering decisions!

One final point. According to the American College of Pediatricians,

“The vast majority of gender dysphoric children affirmed as the opposite sex go on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are permanently sterilized as a result,”

That means a wrong decision could render today’s kids incapable of having children of their own someday. How many pastors, Christian leaders and parents are speaking up about this destructive movement?

Will the adults in the room and across the country who are capable of making wise choices stand up for truth, common sense, and sanity against those who might mean well and against those who are driving this destructive agenda?

The Bible teaches that when mankind becomes futile in their thinking, their foolish hearts are darkened.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:25); Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:25) and, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.(1 Corinthians 3:19)

Godless liberalism is driving the nation. America is reaping the lies and deception that have been sown throughout our culture over the last seventy-five years. Now on steroids, the LGBTQ agenda is taking the ship down with it.

The God of Truth is our only hope to reconcile sinful man to Himself, and for true believers in America to reclaim spiritual influence and salvage a drowning society. We must get back to the basics of biblical living, speak the truth (about creation, gender, marriage, etc.), and expose the darkness in part by pointing others to the truth of Christ.

You’ve probably heard the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Colorado baker, Jack Phillips; that the State violated his religious freedom when they punished him for operating his business according to his Christian faith.

Even though the Court ruled 7-2 Monday in favor of Phillips who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, we must not relax. This is good, yes, but it is an incremental victory in the religious freedom battle. Expect LGBTQ activists to regroup and react with force.

Unbelievably, Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner, Diann Rice once compared Phillips to a Nazi because he believes in natural marriage. Ironically, Phillip’s father was a WWII veteran who helped storm the beaches of Normandy and liberate Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

Regarding the decision, Justice Kennedy wrote:

“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,”

Unfortunately, the court said the broader issue of whether a business can deny service of gays and lesbians “must await further elaboration.”

But for now, as Justice Clarence Thomas added:

“Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day.”

Good for Jack Phillips, but it seems the Court lacked courage to tackle the First Amendment question which is why some are calling the 7-2 ruling “narrow.”

This battle is spiritual and Satan is a defeated foe, but at the same time, expect the bullying of Christian business owners to increase. Preachers of tolerance have no problem forcing others to live in a way that goes against deeply held beliefs.

For example, an Oregon business filed a lawsuit last week against a church that turned down hosting an LGBT event in a building owned by the church due to its “morals clause.”

This just months after a Christian couple, also in Oregon, lost their bakery over their refusal to bake a cake for a gay wedding and were forced to pay activists $135,000 by court ruling. Former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein, had their freedoms trampled when they lost their appeal last December. 

In this new case, Holy Rosary Church of Portland, is being sued by Ambridge Event Center, who claims their business was damaged by the decision. Ambridge once rented out a space for various events but the church rejected a request from an African-American LGBT support group.

But churches in America can no longer freely abide by the moral teachings of the Bible. And if you fail to comply, look out! They are seeking – get this – $2.3 million in damages!

Christians seem to have two options: go along with and celebrate sinful behavior that is against biblical teachings, or pay the penalty – whatever price they see fit to enforce. So what now?

The late theologian, John Stott summed it up well when he said:

“We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather we should ask, “What has happened to the salt and light?”

How did we reach this present darkness where the foundations of not only culture but the church in America are crumbling? I’ve written a few books on the topic, but these things are certain: leftists will not relent on their agendas, and though God is still on His throne, Christians clearly do not have the influence we used to have on the nation. If we did, things such as the definition and meaning of marriage would not be debated.

We sure could use more watchmen on the wall willing to speak the truth in love and stand against evil at the same time. It is possible and necessary to do both.

Just a week ago I was in the hospital after having a procedure on my heart and guess what? Here I am, thank God! But not everybody makes it through surgery. In fact, not everybody makes it home from work.

It brings up the question of the ages: What happens to us after we die? Well, that depends.

What if I died on the operating table? First of all, this video wouldn’t exist. My body would’ve been prepared for a funeral, and my spirit would be on its way to be with my Master and Savior in Heaven; the One who created us all.

You may be thinking, ‘how can I be so sure?’ Faith. The Bible offers assurance of eternal life with Christ in Heaven for those who believe.

I realize most people would rather not think about it, but ten out of ten people die. Life comes to an end for people from every country, of all different ages, for various reasons. No one is exempt.

It’s just a matter of time.

Almost everyone has heard the Bible verse, John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus died on the cross to bridge the gap between us and a holy God. Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and when Jesus returns, He will judge those still living as well as those who have died.

For better context, let’s keep reading. Here’s John 3:17 and 18:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.

Prior to my surgery last week, I had to sign a consent form. Even before that, I was told of all the possible risks and complications including a torn heart muscle, punctured lung, torn artery, partial paralysis, stroke during the operation or even death.

The list of possible risks was long, but the absolute greatest risk we can take in this life is denying God by refusing to believe in His Son, Jesus, and not accepting the free offer of the forgiveness of our sins.

Acts 4:12 states: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

And Philippians 2:9-11 says:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

One day, even those who refused to believe will bow before the King of Kings upon His return.

I was at peace going in to surgery because I trusted Jesus with my life years ago, and knew regardless of the result, it would be a win win. This life is a vapor and for the Christian, we live for Him and to die is gain!

Forgiveness for our sins is mankind’s greatest need. In America, we’ve heard so much about a loving God and rarely hear about His coming judgment. It’s true God is loving, but He is not tolerant of sin in any form.

We’ve also heard the man-made idea God just wants us to be happy, problem-free, and give us favor so that every day’s a Friday and we can live our best life now.

Do you really believe the Bible teaches about personal gain and happiness rather than about denying ourselves and holiness? In addition, if every day were a Friday, let’s just party like it’s 2099. Finally, if we could live our best lives now, here on earth, then why would we need God and what’s Heaven for anyway?

Now, plenty of people think all it takes to go to Heaven is to be a good person, but the question is, ‘good’ by whose standards? Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Sure, we can do good things, but can we truly be good without God?

The Bible teaches there is nothing we can possibly do to earn salvation. If we could do it on our own, then Jesus didn’t have to be die for our sins and be raised from the dead. In Ephesians chapter 2 it says,

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Open your hands and receive the free gift of life. Salvation is not a result of good deeds – but of faith. It’s true God prepared good things for us to do, but – what we do doesn’t save us; it’s who we believe in and why.

So repent of your sins, confess them to God. Trust in Jesus Christ, and tell others this good news, the gospel, the power of God to save us (Romans 1:16). He will be faithful to complete the work He began in us and then, take us to glory when our time here is done.

*Originally published at Freedom Project Media

Historical, prophetic, and archaeological evidence confirms the resurrection of Jesus Christ – and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Easter bunny, chocolate or pastels! 

The Case for Christ movie came out last year based on the outstanding bests-selling book by author and former atheist, Lee Strobel. He was a Chicago Tribune journalist who set out to disprove Christianity and traveled the world in an effort to do so. 

He did meticulous research and interviewed the world’s top historians, theologians, and medical experts while examining the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Disappointed because he accumulated so much evidence supporting the Bible and none to refute the claims of Christianity, he sat in his office one day and a co-worker said to him:

“Lee, when is enough evidence enough evidence?”

His investigation was completed and Strobel became a born-again believer. 

Many historians outside the Bible wrote about Jesus, about His followers, Pontius Pilate, key events and places; they wrote about the crucifixion – including the solar eclipse occurring for three of the hours Jesus was on the cross, a great earthquake, and the persecution of countless disciples of Christ. 

Jewish non-biblical historian, Josephus writes about Jesus in “the Antiquities of the Jews.” Josephus was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D. Under the rule of Roman emperor Vespasian, Josephus mentions the execution of James and describes him as the brother of Jesus the Christ, and describes Jesus as a wise man and the messiah. 

Sources outside the Bible could be reconstructed this way: 

“Now around this time lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was a worker of amazing deeds and was a teacher of people who gladly accept the truth. He won over both many Jews and many Greeks. Pilate, when he heard him accused by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, (but) those who had first loved him did not cease (believing). To this day the tribe of Christians named after him has not disappeared…” 

And according to Old Testament scholar, Gleason Archer: 

“As I have dealt with one apparent discrepancy after another and have studied the alleged contradictions between the biblical record and the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, or science, my confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture has been repeatedly verified and strengthened…” 

Those who are open to the truth can research for themselves. You’ll learn about the early dating of the New Testament documents compared to other ancient literary works; overwhelming archaeological evidence, hundreds of fulfilled prophecies listing specific details about Christ, and of course, plenty of eye-witness testimony not to mention the thousands of people through the centuries willing to die for the faith. 

Acts 1:3 says Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles after the crucifixion, by many convincing proofs, AND appeared to them over a period of forty days! What did Luke mean by “Many Convincing Proofs”? 

To answer this question we need to go to the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15. 

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 

Why didn’t the Jews and Romans squash Christianity before it took off? First of all, we just read Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and that He appeared to more than 500 believers at the same time! 

If this weren’t enough, Paul testified to the fact most of these people were still alive at the time this was written (verse 6) so it could not be refuted! There were far too many eye-witnesses of the risen Christ. 

then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 1 COR. 15:1-7 

Weeks earlier, James was a skeptic. About the half-brother of Jesus, the Bible says “even His own brothers didn’t believe in Him.” But this James became a pillar in the early church and leader of the Jerusalem Council. Tradition holds that James was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. 

What changed his mind and radically transformed his life? The truth of the resurrection; Jesus appeared to James personally. Eye-witness testimony is critical in a court of law. 

Others the risen Christ appeared to included Mary Magdalene, the other women, Peter, the disciples including Thomas, Cleopas and one other on the Emmaus road, in Galilee to over 500 people, and to Paul on the Damascus road. These are just those we know of from Scripture. 

Then there’s prophecy: Seven hundred years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah said Jesus would be like a lamb led to slaughter, and: 

He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah. 53:45 

Christ offered Himself, voluntarily enduring brutal torture and death, so why do we call it ‘Good’ Friday and ‘Easter’? Because His shed blood washes us clean and because He lives, so will we! Those who believe are assured an everlasting Hope that anchors our souls.

Moreover, on what we know as Palm Sunday, the very gate Jesus rode through on a donkey the week prior to being crucified, the Eastern Gate, will be the gate through which He enters Jerusalem when He returns. 

Who could have ever manufactured such an intricate story – a masterpiece combining thousands of years of historical events, written by at least 40 different authors on three different continents, including prophecies in perfect and specific detail? Who could have created and insured the carrying out of such an elaborate plan in advance? 

It had to be God! Fulfilled prophecy reinforces the truth of Scripture. 

Before His death on the cross, Jesus told His followers over and over what He came to accomplish and how it had to happen. In Luke’s gospel, after Jesus’ resurrection: 

He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:44-48 

Examine the evidence – and believe! 

A favorite Scripture of mine is Psalm 90:12 which states, “Teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” As world events unfold and division in America increases, Christians need discernment today more than ever. With all that’s happening around us, it is so easy to want to avoid reality or become comfortable and complacent in life, but we must not.

At the end of each calendar year, it is reasonable and wise to look back and acknowledge God’s faithfulness, evaluate where we are as individuals and as a church, and learn from any mistakes. It is also imperative we have a sense of urgency and recognize the spiritually desperate condition of many around us. One priority should be to consider how we can be more effective in advancing the kingdom of God by sharing the gospel and living out our faith as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).

We don’t need to be news junkies, but we should be informed and knowledgeable so we can watch, pray, and be ready for whatever the Lord will bring. In no particular order, here are some key subjects to consider:

  1. Keep your eyes on Israel.

After decades of little change in the “peace process” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Trump decided to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Of course, the UN Security Council rejected this resolution, and the U.S. took a bold stand for Israel and against the United Nations. This is yet another sign we are living in the most prophetic times in history.

Around this same time, Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Israel would follow the United States in withdrawing from UNESCO. Along with signs including earthquakes, famines, wars and rumors of wars, 2018 will see increased opposition to Israel and America. Intensifying spiritual warfare is a given, and just as predicted, a coalition of nations is ready to attack Israel. For students of the Bible, times are exciting indeed.

  1. Religious Freedom teetering on the brink.

The Supreme Court case of Colorado baker, Jack Phillips will be a catalyst for future decisions as well as the direction of free speech in America. Many on the extreme Left would make it illegal to practice Christianity if they could, but that is essentially what is happening with nondiscrimination laws and “inclusive” policies giving special rights to protected classes (LGBTQ). And when Christians refuse to play the game and celebrate what is considered sin, activists and radicals often bully, intimidate, or sue them into silent compliance.

In a breaking story, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided Thursday in favor of activists that sued Christian owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa for not baking a cake for their gay wedding ceremony. Aaron and Melissa Klein are now forced to pay the lesbian couple $135,000 for alleged “emotional distress.” Justice was not found here.

3. Sex outside of marriage the new norm?

Seeing the increase of abortion, cohabitation, divorce, homosexuality, the gender identity debate, and sex trafficking, it’s no wonder some of us believe we are a nation in crisis. Nearly 70% of Americans now say it’s acceptable to live with their partner before getting married. In addition, only about half of professing evangelical Christians think abortion and sex outside of traditional marriage are sins. This should greatly alarm us. Hollywood has played a leading role in the promotion of promiscuity, sexual deviance and the normalization of homosexuality; government schools have co-starred, but we often forget so-called “higher education.”

Commenting on Young America’s Foundation survey of new courses offered at 50 top colleges in America, author Frank Turek said they “promote a dogmatic secularism with a kind of religious fervor intent on urging students to abandon reality and live in their own sexual fantasy world.” He concludes the article by saying “professors who teach these courses may have the best of intentions. They may think that what they are doing is right and true (all the while declaring truth and gender are relative). But you don’t have to support their dogmatic delusions.”

4. The Critical Fight For Life

There was some good news in 2017. Survey’s indicate today’s youth are more pro-life than the previous generation. Abortion clinic closures far outpaced newly opened abortion facilities, and forty-nine abortion facilities — 35 surgical and 14 medication only clinics — closed or halted abortion servicesThe common sense “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” passed in the House 237-189, and Trump promised to sign the bill into law. We are told the Senate will vote as well. The bill bans abortion at the point that science increasingly shows that unborn children feel pain.

America is just one of only 7 (out of 198 nations) that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

President Trump did sign a bill allowing states to withhold money from Planned Parenthood, and the DOJ recently launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue. But perhaps one of the most interesting pro-life moves the president made was a three-word change to an obscure HHS document that defines life as “beginning at conception.” According to Al Perotta, the Trump administration added that phrase and:

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” If the U.S. government says life begins at conception and its job is “serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life” then it has a duty to protect the unborn by any legal means necessary.

5. The American (Laodicean) Church will keep conforming to culture.

New research not only indicates liberalism has infected Christianity, but more people now prefer to consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” Abandoning the institutional, traditional church, some claim they love Jesus but not the church. Since the church is the bride of Christ, is it biblical to love one and not the other? Surveys also show more professing Christians accepting moral relativism while pursuing comfort and self-fulfillment.

Just as disturbing, there is a segment of Americans who consider their faith important and attend church regularly, but do not hold to biblical perspectives such as the inerrancy of Scripture and essentials of the faith. Abandoning truth, they prefer to be “inclusive and welcoming.” Because of this hypocrisy, the Christian worldview has been distorted and confusing to a watching world.

  1. Christians will continue to be hated and discriminated against.

We cannot and should not compare the treatment of American believers with persecuted Christians in restricted nations around the world, but things are intensifying. Bullying and discrimination are wrong no matter who is involved, but often overlooked is the blatant intolerance toward Christians by the very people touting inclusion, diversity, and “tolerance.” Public opinion has shifted revealing an acceptance of this double standard. Jesus told His followers that since the world hated Him they will hate us as well (John 15:18).

While Christians recently celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, atheists and scrooges took their rebellion up a notch this year attacking nativity scenes and putting up billboards. Books have been written with examples, but I’ll mention one. The liberal Washington Post came out with an article for Christmas suggesting Jesus didn’t really exist because the evidence doesn’t add up. (What evidence could he possibly be looking at?) The Post didn’t even bother to fact check nor did they provide any new research – so – why do you think they happened to publish the anti-Christian piece on Christmas?

  1. Media Malpractice: epidemic and rampant.

All through 2017, the liberal media consistently and irresponsibly parroted negative news angles on President Trump, the GOP tax cuts, the economy, borders and immigration, national defense, transgender rights, etc. The average for the year was 91% negative coverage of Trump. We’ve never seen anything like this; liberals are not even trying to hide their allegiance to the Democrat Party any longer.

That same media ignored most positive news including job growth, the Dow rising 5,000 points in a year for first time in history, unemployment for African Americans dropping to a 17-year low, and Christians freely celebrated Christmas in parts of Iraq and Syria formerly under ISIS control. But all this generally isn’t good news to the mainstream media because we have a Republican president.

  1. Lawlessness and worldliness will increase even more.

Character, integrity, and morality took a hit in 2017 as sexual assaults, misconduct and scandals rocked the headlines. Billionaire George Soros shifted $18 billion from his hedge fund to his network of godless liberal foundations. Media silence. Ready to ramp up the chaos and division, “the resistance” increased via professional protests with Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and even pro athletes protesting (Trump) the National Anthem.

Finally, our obsession with technology is in danger of becoming an addiction. Today’s kids know more about social media, gaming, entertainment, and technology than they do the Bible, the Constitution, and American history, but they sure can take great selfies! These are tomorrow’s leaders of our nation. Sadly, many adults are not far behind. It is true technology can be used for good purposes, but it is often used for meaningless, mindless entertainment. We must not conform to the world’s ways (Romans 12:2). The Internet has seduced many within the church as well.

Overall, it was a faith-testing year for many of us. Good will continue being called evil and truth will continue to be attacked and redefined. If America stays on course down this destructive road where there is no longer an objective truth or fixed standards of morality, we’re in big trouble. But thank God He always causes us to triumph in Christ (1 Cor. 15:57)! Christians have an eternal, secure hope which anchors our soul (Heb. 6:19) as well as a true peace found only in Jesus Christ. We serve a Mighty God, and we can be confident no matter what happens, God will be faithful to the promises in His word.

 

*Read more from author, David FiorazoHis top selling book The Cost of Our Silence, Eradicate (Blotting Out God in America), and his latest – Redefining Truth (Oct. 2017)

Many people think the transgender movement has been more of a recent development in America, but it goes back to 1952 when the first alleged “sex change” was credited to a man named Christine Jorgensen. Remember, the “T” in LGBTQ has always been there, waiting in the wings as the groundwork was laid by moral relativists and same-sex marriage activists.

By 2015, the stage was set quite nicely for Bruce Jenner to catapult himself into a culture shaping icon by selling the public on his transition into Caitlyn. Transgender individuals had been quietly waiting for the right time culturally, politically, and socially, and the election of Barack Obama and his policies encouraged them, giving the green light to deny God’s truth, rebel against their Maker, and come out in full force.

Sadly, we now live in a society that largely thinks moral absolutes and truth are ‘so yesterday’ and unnecessary if they were ever relevant at all. But God never changes and He created the world including every all human being, either male or female, a fact which happens to be supported by biology, science, and most in the medical community.

Discuss this in public taking the side of truth however, and you will be attacked and accused of being hateful, intolerant, discriminatory or worse. They can’t refute the truth, but they sure can try to win via emotional appeals, swaying public opinion, and it that fails, by shouting down the opposition.

Ravi Zacharias put it this way:

 

“Truth cannot be sacrificed at the altar of pretended tolerance. Real tolerance is deference to all ideas, not indifference to the truth.”

The following is an excerpt from the new book, Redefining Truth.

Progressive pretenders fail to demonstrate the very tolerance they espouse. They declare diversity and insist they are inclusive. They tout tolerance and yet, they often refuse to put up with anyone who thinks differently from them. Rather than have a respectful debate, many of them prefer silencing us so they don’t have to hear the truth.

Leftists claim to be beacons of reason, tolerance, and love, but their actions often prove otherwise.

On May 22, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence was about to give the commencement speech at Notre Dame, but as Pence began speaking, about 150 people, half students and half faculty members, walked out of the speech. Planned in advance, both students and faculty filed out as Pence spoke. How disrespectful. He said,

“Far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness – all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech.”

Pence apparently intended to first draw a contrast between Notre Dame and other colleges, but this rude act seemed to solidify today’s caustic trends at most Marxist universities. At least they allowed the vice president to finish.

…Christians in America have decisions to make in this divisive environment. How do we respond? Yes, it’s true we may be hated for doing or saying the right thing, but when the world hates you, Jesus referred to that as a badge of honor  (Matt. 5:11). If we try to address a few of the most controversial movements of our day with love, patience, and sanity, this still triggers people…

We’re witnessing the attempted assassination of truth during times in which delusions and emotions rule over sanity and reason. The (biblical) Christian worldview and godless liberalism are polar opposites and cannot coexist. Sound extreme?

Christian business owners in Iowa, Dick and Betty Odgaard , for example, were literally minding their own family business, but they now wish laws were on the books protecting Christians from being sued by fascists. After a two-year court battle in which a gay couple cried discrimination, the Odgaards had to pay an excessive fine and were forced to stop hosting weddings. After months of negative publicity, hate mail, death threats, and loss of income, the Gortz Haus Gallery went out of business.

…Those entities which are educating and shaping young minds, conditioning public opinion, and forcing change on a docile citizenry are now helping roll out the “T” portion of the LGBTQ agenda. Transgenderism takes it much further than same-sex marriage ever could by changing our language and redefining terms that describe human beings. Though it will not change eternal truth, removing God and erasing gender distinctions will eventually change what it means to be human.

It’s all about marketing, perception, influence, and of course, politics. While many of us have been busy with our own lives in the last few decades, the Left has been quietly plotting, lobbying, and changing laws to protect individuals who identify as transgender under claims of “civil rights” or nondiscrimination laws.

Sadly, we rarely hear of the downside or negative effects and consequences of this gender confusion and rebellion being promoted today. Here’s one sobering fact: 41 percent of the transgender population will attempt suicide. Please let this sink in. When man attempts to replace God the Creator and redefine truth, there will always be severe repercussions for individuals and nations − and eventually, judgment.

This movement has not had enough resistance from the people. Activists have absolutely no hesitation pressuring politicians and using the courts to change public restroom laws and practices of the whole country by imposing the LGBT agenda and its will on the entire population.

You might be wondering how so many people in the country could fall for the lies, exaggerations, accusations, and promotion of nihilism (traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and useless; there are no objective moral truths). First, it’s part of the LGBTQ mothership, and second, it’s called deception.

Rather than calling it insane, we’d be more effective in society if we know and communicate the facts, and remain undaunted as we lovingly speak the truth. I feel sorry for those who are struggling, because most people who fall into this thought process and lifestyle do so because, for whatever reason, they are unhappy with who they truly are and do not like the person they see in the mirror. They fail to see they have value in God’s eyes.

This will be the defining issue for the next generation and beyond, until the triumphant return of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega.

Be assured that truth exists, truth is everlasting, and truth can be known. Just because people deny and reject the truth of God does not change what is, what has been, and what will be. It only changes our culture, laws, and other temporary things.

What is more tragic is when their influence changes churches in America as well.

 

Read more from author, David Fiorazo here:

Last week she was furious. How could the GOP take taxpayer money from the noble cause of gender identity politics and allow the people who worked for it to keep it? Only days ago, Nancy Pelosi went on record to say Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for voting to cut generous Department of Defense funding for transgender members of the military who want to have cosmetic surgeries. Also known as “gender reassignment” surgery, Pelosi went so far as to suggest that taking away taxpayer funding for these unnatural procedures “undermines our national security.” 

If you missed the story prior to this, the House Rules Committee passed an amendment last week stating, “Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment… related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care.” Finding a way to accuse those “immoral” Republicans of hating people, Pelosi declared the GOP was “fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members.”

As you know, the Obama administration allowed transgenders to openly serve in the U.S. military and the current policy entitles them to receive any medical help deemed necessary – including surgery and hormone therapy. The national cost for “medical services” for transgender military members is estimated to be as high as $8.4 million annually. It was claimed by supporters of the amendment that the financial bill for transgenders could exceed $3 billion over the next decade if no action is taken.

Democrats were livid that this provision placating a special interest group was being threatened. But it ended there.

It turns out that 24 liberal Republicans decided to vote with Democrats and ensure our tax dollars will fund these “sex change” operations. Pelosi politics prevailed and the common-sense amendment was narrowly rejected. If just three Republicans would have voted with the majority (214-209), the decision would have flipped in favor of the people and family-friendly policy. Maybe next time. How did support for this irrational ideology grow so quickly?

Whatever happens in Europe doesn’t stay in Europe including the rapid decay of biblical morality. Abortion, same sex marriage, transgenderism, moral relativism – you name it. Now get this: under the guise of “equality,” National Health Service doctors in the UK think taxpayers should also fund “womb transplant procedures” so transgender men can be pregnant. You read that right: the godless promoters of cultural insanity are now working with fertility doctors so that men could theoretically have a baby.

As part of these womb transplants for men, one Liverpool doctor explains this could also help gay and straight men who ‘wanted to experience the joys of carrying a child.’ One Stanford professor even says we could soon see more pregnancies created in a laboratory. What does this all mean? God is being completely removed from the equation.

Man has succeeded at perverting something so beautiful and intimate as God creating human life, and a biological man and woman procreating under the covenant of natural marriage. When we, in our depravity and desire to be our own gods, rebel and try to “reassign” what He designed, what could go wrong? Confusion about our humanity and bathroom etiquette as well as what sex people should be. When we allow our feelings and emotions to rule over truth, are we then much different from animals?

We are seeing the consequences of this moral relativistic poison in the American public school system as too many kids think they are purposeless acts of nature possibly having evolved from apes – or from nothing rather than being uniquely designed by a loving Creator who gives our lives meaning. Some of the chaos gender ideology has wrought includes hedonism, depression, and too many teen and transgender suicides.

God help us. 

We do not have much time left and the lukewarm church had better get serious. If we are not already a stench in God’s nostrils and unsalvageable as a nation, we sure must be close. How much longer will He withhold judgment? Many seasoned Christians believe we are living in Romans 1 and drawing near to some of the most intense parts of prophecy in the book of Revelation. 

The good news is truth will prevail. The damage however, that’s being done to the very moral underpinnings of our nation has become irreparable. There is no turning back and tragically, many souls have been lost for eternity. I understand this is all happening fast, but if we remain on the sidelines and out of these conversations and public policy debates, expect the transgender train to plow full steam ahead leaving death and destruction in its wake.

If you and I love the truth, then we will speak up and work to defend and protect the truth of God and His Word. Take this personally. These attacks on the very truths of creation, marriage, family, and gender are attacks on the person and deity of Jesus Christ, aiming to minimize and redefine human beings made in His image. 

For more by David Fiorazo:

 

*Photo: Illinois Family Institute

Open pages of bible isolated on white backgroundNow after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1:14-15

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

In 1965 the epic religious movie The Greatest Story Ever Told was released, retelling the story of Jesus Christ from His humble birth and His teachings through the crucifixion and resurrection. The media and critics at the time gave it excellent reviews and some even raved about the brilliant and inspiring, Bible-based production. Times have changed; but the gospel has not.

The gospel, aka the “good news,” is the greatest gift God has given the church, because its message is about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the greatest treasure God has given the world. Like the apostle Paul, we are to deliver to others what we also received, because people’s salvation depends on it. No one would keep the best news in the universe to themselves – would they?

As committed Christians, our priority in this life must be to consistently believe, live, and deliver to others the message about Jesus Christ and the truth about His life, teachings, death, resurrection, and ascension. For those who have believed and have confessed Jesus as Lord, our ticket is punched and our place in God’s presence is reserved for eternity! Our faith is in Him and our hope is in heaven.

Every person alive today and who has ever lived will stand on one side of eternity or the other. The universe revolves around the most pivotal event in the history of the world: The resurrection of Jesus Christ; the eternal Son, one with the Father and the Spirit, and the exact representation of God’s nature.

… The gospel is not some formula or a simple “sinner’s prayer.” It encompasses the entire Bible as its framework with plenty of background setting the stage. Its truth can transform our lives and its power can save the worst of sinners.

With the increasing attacks on free speech and religious expression in America today, do you see how important it is for us to be able to preach the gospel? This basic freedom is affected by politics, laws, and government. Enemies of Christianity will not relent in their agenda to squelch the mention of sins they endorse, but when push comes to shove, we must obey God rather than man. Speak the truth and leave the results to Him.

Since we have received and accepted the gospel, we must reject the world because the two are in opposition to each other. This can present a problem for many of us. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him (John 14:15), but if we love the world, we will end up following anything else except Him. Because this temporary earth is passing away and we are faced with an eternity that will not wait, the choice should be clear…

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).

Where does Jesus get such authority? It bears repeating Jesus Christ overcame death and the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father. His tomb is famous for what it does not contain. Even the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus acknowledged His tomb was empty when they made up lies to try and conceal the resurrection.

Isn’t it interesting in their attempted cover-up, the religious leaders testified to the empty tomb? The story gets even more bizarre, because their lie included instructing the soldiers to say they were asleep instead of guarding the tomb of Jesus. This was not some small conspiracy, because in those days a Roman soldier caught sleeping on duty would have been executed.

Moreover, all other gods or religious leaders who have lived on the earth have burial sites or memorials where their bones remain. We can easily understand how some of their followers hate Jesus, because He is the only true, living God; other gods people worship are false, dead gods.

… The disciples did not have all the resources and technology we have today, and yet the early church grew in numbers day by day even in the midst of threats and persecution.

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

Please understand regardless of whether or not you have placed your trust in Jesus and bowed before Him acknowledging His majesty, a day is coming in which every human being will bow down before Him and confess this truth – Jesus is Lord.

… Charles H. Spurgeon once stated:

My hope is not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died. My trust is not that I am holy, but that, being unholy, Christ died for me. My rest is, here, not in what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is and must be, – in what Christ did, and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory.

Are we willing to preach this gospel in an increasingly rebellious culture and risk being called intolerant, narrow-minded, or worse? Are we willing to be criticized and misunderstood for delivering the truth Jesus commanded us to speak? Do we love others enough to live what we believe, expose the darkness of sin, and when necessary, confront wayward Christians?

… God’s foreordained solution (Acts 2:23) was to send His only Son, Jesus, to give His life as a ransom for us. By believing, confessing Jesus is Lord, and repenting of our sins, we are saved and have everlasting life with God. May we not muddy up the message that we are saved by grace through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8).

If the Bible is true, then this is why you and I live: To make sure the greatest story ever is told!

 

*This a book excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence. To read the entire chapter, click here: