Wednesday, December 29, 2010
As Christians we have many opportunities to come in contact with Muslims, maybe at Starbucks, the grocery store or at work or wherever else it may be. It is not very tough these days to meet them, they are our neighbors, colleagues and fellow citizen of this great country. Because so many people from different parts of the world with various backgrounds and different beliefs have come to this country, makes it much easier for us to share what we believe as Christians. We don't necessarily have to travel abroad on mission trips, with that said, I do respect and admire those who do have the calling of God to go out into the world. God has brought many of them right here to America, from Europe, China, Asia and of course the Middle East. In the past I had plenty of conversations with Muslims, some of them were moderates almost secular and some of them very religious following the Quran. It is always exiting and interesting to me, starting up a conversation about God and faith. I like to share my faith when the opportunity arises, and as Paul said: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Gentiles). Rom 1:16.
In the past I tried to show that the Bible is the true word of God verses the Quran, or that Jesus was and is more than just a prophet of God. But those conversation never really went anywhere, most Muslims have made up there mind that the Bible is corrupted and the Quran is the true book at that Muhammad is the greater prophet of God. Most of these conversations or debates just go back and forth without any real outcome or a changed mind on either side. I believe that we have to go to the fundamentals, one of them is the subject of a just God. Asking Muslims about Allah and how they view him, they will answer most likely with that Allah is just. Allah is a just god. My second question to them would be, I am a sinner and you are a sinner, and both of us will die and one day stand before God to face judgment. If Allah is just, how do you as a Muslim have assurance to make into paradise? If Allah is a just god, he has to punish sin, he cannot let sin go unpunished. The Muslims will most likely answer that Allah is also merciful. That is what Muslims believe, Allah is just and at the same time merciful. If sin demands justice i.e. the punishment for the offense, how can Allah be just and at the time be merciful, would he not compromise being just? It would be like a criminal found guilty before the jury for his crime and the judge saying, well I feel really good this morning, I will let you off the hook. That judge would not be just. He would have compromised justice. Some may argue that they can be merciful and just let someone go. That is a human perspective and many people may think that way, but none of them or any of us for that matter know true righteousness. If Allah is a just god, he cannot be just and merciful at the same time. And that in my view is a dilemma for the Muslims.
Do Christians have the same dilemma as the Muslims? The Bible clearly teaches the God is just and cannot let sin go unpunished. God is also perfect in His Holiness and a perfect God cannot compromise His justness. The Bible declares that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all have offended God, no matter who we are or from where we are, we all have fallen short i.e. missed the mark. How can God be appeased? How can we get a right standing before Almighty God? The Bible says that we cannot come before God and stand on our own righteousness or by our works. The Bible also says that the law cannot make us righteous and save us from the wrath of God. What are we to do, how can we escape the punishment for our sins? May I say, nothing? God has provided a way out, and that way is Jesus Christ. God in His foreknowledge has determined long ago before the foundation of the world that He would send His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ is the propitiation i.e. satisfaction or appeasement for our sins. Jesus who knew no sin became sin for the sinners. He suffered on the cross and payed the penalty that we deserved as sinners with His blood. Justice was served without God compromising His justness, and because the penalty for the sin of the world was paid in Christ, God by His grace showed mercy to those who will believe by faith in His Son Jesus. God loves us so much that He provided, the unblemished passover lamb, the only acceptable sacrifice and payment for fallen man. The God of the Bible YHWH is truly just and merciful without compromising His perfect Holiness. For a Christian there is no dilemma, God is Holy and just and merciful to those who believe in His Son and His finished work on the cross. The Islamic faith however has a dilemma, and if you are a Muslim, you have to ask yourself this question: How can Allah be just and at the same time be merciful?
"He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." 1Peter 1;20, 21
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph 1:3-6
Monday, December 27, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
December the 25th symbolizes the birth of Christ i.e. the Messiah. Who was this Man that Christians 2000 years later regard and worship as the Son of God? Was He just a mere man that was born over 2000 years ago in a little town named Bethlehem, or was He more than just a historical figure? What does set Jesus apart from so many that came before Him that claimed to be the Messiah? Maybe He was just another one of those delusional people with a Messiah complex, or could it be that He was the Savior of the world as God had promised long ago and prophesied through His prophets? Jesus did not just come on to the scene out of nowhere, He came to the exact appointed time that God had determined before the foundation of the world. Jesus was the only One that ever qualified to be the true Messiah. There are over 300 prophesies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of the Messiah, and they were all fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Here are just some of OT prophesies and the NT fulfillment of them:
The Son of God, Ps 2:7 Luk 1:32, 35. The seed of the woman, Gen 3:15 Gal 4:4. Seed of Abraham, Gen 17:7, 22:18 Gal 3:16. Seed of Isaac, Gen 21:12 Heb 11:17-19. Seed of David, Ps 132:11 Jer 23:5 Acts 13:23 Rom 1:3. Coming at the appointed time, Gen 49:10 Dan 9:24, 25 Lk 2:1. Born of a virgin, Is 7:14 Mat 1:22, 23 Lk 2:7. Called Immanuel, Is 7:14 Mat 1:22, 23. Born in Bethlehem of Judea, Mic 5:2 Mat 2:1 Lk 2:4-6. Great persons coming to adore Him, Ps 72:10 Mat 2:1-11. The slaying of the children of Bethlehem, Jer 31:15 Mat 2:16-18. Called out of Egypt, Hos 11:1 Mat 2:15. Preceded by John the Baptist, Is 40:3 Mal 3:1 Mat 3:1, 3 Lk 1:17. Anointed with the Spirit, Ps 45:7 Is 11:2, 61:1 Mat 3:16 Jh 3:34 Acts 10:38. Prophet like to Moses, Deut 18:15-18 Acts 3:20-22. Priest after the order of Melchizedek, Ps110:4 Heb 5:5, 6. Entering public ministry, Is 61:1, 2 Lk 4:16-21, 43. Ministry in Galilee, Is 9:1, 2 Mat 4:12-16, 23. Entering publicly into Jerusalem, Zec 9:9 Mat 21:1-5. His coming into the temple, Hag 2:7, 9 Mal 3:1 Mt 21:12 Lu 2:27-32 Joh 2:13-16. His poverty, Is 53:2 Mk 6:3 Lk 9:58. His meekness, Is 42:2 Mat 12:15, 16, 19. Tenderness and compassion Is 40:11 42:3 Mat 12:15, 20 Heb 4:15. Without guile, Is 53:9 1Pe 2:22. His zeal, Ps 69:9 Jh 2:17. Preaching in parables, Ps 78:2 Mat 13:34, 35. Working miracles, Is 35:5, 6 Mat 11:4-6 Jh 11:47
His bearing reproach, Ps 22:6 69:7,9, 20 Rom 15:3. Rejected by his brethren, Ps 69:8 Is 63:3 Jh 1:11 7:3. Stone of stumbling to the Jews, Is 8:14 Rom 9:32 1Pe 2:8. Hated by the Jews, Ps 69:4 Is 49:7 Jh 15:24, 25. Rejected by the Jewish rulers, Ps 118:22 Mat 21:42 Jhn 7:48. Jews and Gentiles combine against Him, Ps 2:1, 2 Lk 23:12 Acts 4:27. Betrayed by a friend, Ps 41:9 55:12-14 Jhn 13:18, 21
Disciples forsake Him Zec 13:7 Mat 26:31, 56. Sold for thirty pieces silver, Zec 11:12 Mat 26:15. His price being given for the potter's field, Zec 11:13 Mat 27:7. Agony of his sufferings, Ps 22:14, 15 Lk 22:42, 44. Sufferings for others Is 53:4-6, 12 Dan 9:26 Mat 20:28. Patience and silence under suffering, Is 53:7 Mat 26:63 27:12-14. Smitten on the cheek Mic 5:1 Mat 27:30. Visage being marred, Is 52:14 53:3 Jhn 19:5. Spit on and scourged, Is 50:6 Mk 14:65 Jhn 19:1. Hands and feet being nailed to the cross, Ps 22:16 Jhn 19:18 20:25. forsaken by God, Ps 22:1 Mat 27:46. Being mocked, Ps 22:7, 8 Mat 27:39-44. Gall and vinegar being given him to drink, Ps 69:21 Mat 27:34. Garments being parted, and lots cast for his clothing, Ps 22:18 Mat 27:35. Numbered with the transgressors Is 53:12 Mk 15:28. intercession for His murderers Is 53:12 Lk 23:34. His Death, Is 53:12 Mat 27:50. No bones would be broken, Ex12:46 Ps 34:20 Jhn 19:33, 36. Pierced Zec 12:10 Jhn 19:34, 37. Buried with the rich, Is 53:9 Mat 27:57-60. Flesh not seeing corruption, Ps 16:10 Acts 2:31. His resurrection, Ps 16:10 Is 26:19 Lk 24:6, 31, 34. His ascension, Ps 68:18 Lk 24:51 Acts 1:9. Sitting on the right hand of God, Ps 110:1 Heb 1:3. Exercising the priestly office in heaven, Zec 6:13 Rom 8:34. The chief cornerstone, Is 28:16 1Pe 2:6, 7. King in Zion Ps 2:6 Lk 1:32 Jhn 18:33-37. Conversion of the Gentiles to Him Is11:10 42:1 Mat 1:17, 21 Jhn 10:16 Acts 10:45, 47. His righteous government, Ps 45:6, 7 Jhn 5:30 Rev 19:11. Universal dominion Ps72:8 Dan 7:14 Phl 2:9, 11. Perpetuity of His kingdom Is 9:7 Dan 7:14 Lk 1:32, 33.
Jesus was more than just a mere man, He is truly the Son of God who took away the sin of the world and nailed them to the cross. He rose from the dead, thus He overcame death and defeated Satan. He is the light of the world and He gives eternal life to those who by faith believe and trust in Him as Lord and Savior. He did not just live and died, He divided time, because of His birth the calender changed from BC to AD. The world was never the same again after Christ came and He has transformed many lives throughout the centuries. If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, maybe you have heard about Him, maybe somebody told you about the His birth, His ministry, His crucifixion and that He rose from the dead on the third day. He offers salvation and eternal life to those who repent and believe in Him. This Christmas season, take some time and think, what Christmas is really all about and why Christians celebrate this season. It is not about Santa Claus, gifts, parties etc. it is all about Jesus and the gift of God to mankind. Jesus came at the appointed time, he died at the appointed time and He rose at the appointed time. His birth has changed the world and it will change you, He offers salvation to those who will believe, and that they shall not perish but have everlasting life. Salvation is a free gift of God. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, no one can earn salvation or a right standing before God through their good behaviors or good deeds. Various religions are trying to reach God on their own merit, trying to live a good enough life, and maybe God will let them into heaven. In biblical Christianity, God reaches down to man offering salvation through Jesus Christ and through Him alone. God provided as promised a sacrifice for us, all we need to do is receive Him and open our hearts to him. This Christmas I pray wherever you may be that you would take some time and reflect on the message that Christians have proclaimed for the last 2000 years, that Jesus is truly the Son of God who died and shed His blood for our sins on the cross, offering forgiveness and eternal life to those who by faith call upon Him. God loves you and He does not want you to perish, but you must come to Him by the way that God provided, through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to salvation. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I think sometimes we as Christians wonder too much about what God thinks about us or how He looks at us. We read and study the Bible, we fellowship at Church, we are witnessing, helping others who are in need and whatever else we might do for the furthering of His kingdom. All these things are not bad in itself, we as believers should do them. However, so many Christians are thinking and wondering each and every day how they can please God. The Bible clearly teaches that we cannot please God on our own by our good works or deeds. Our own righteousness won't get us very far. Unfortunately many believers are not resting in the finished work of Christ on their behalf, they labor to either please God or to appease Him. The good news is that God has done for us what we were not able to do ourselves. By His grace He has forgiven us of our sins through faith in His Son who died for us on the cross at Calvary. Jesus Christ the Son was the only One that was pleasing to God the Father. Through Jesus we have received the reconciliation, and we are at peace with God, we are not appointed unto the wrath. God has imputed the righteousness of Christ onto all of those who believe in Him by faith. As believers in Jesus we have nothing to worry about, God does not remember any of our sins. They are forgotten as far as the East is from the West. The blood of Jesus has washed and cleansed us from all unrighteousness. Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself so that we do not have to face judgment on the day when God will judge the world. So, how can we please God in our daily lives, if we cannot do it through works or good deeds? I think God would be very pleased if we as believers thank Him for everything that He has done for us, He has provided a substitute for us and He has promised us eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Eternal life is definitely something to be greatly thankful for. Everyday God blesses us and He is so good, that He even blesses those who reject Him. Everyday the sun rises, giving light and warmth to all. He sends the rain upon the land. He gives the air that we breath, He provides food, He clothes and cares for us. There are so many blessings that we receive everyday that probably most of them go unrecognized. Let us be thankful to God as His children everyday, thanking Him for His goodness, His love and His grace. Giving thanks is pleasing to God. Giving thanks shows gratitude. A thankful heart is a right heart in the eyes of God. I thank You Father for everything, I am truly blessed and I am so thankful that You have transformed my life. I am what I am, but I am not what I used to be. Thank You for your mercy and Your grace, thank You Father for giving us your Son, Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Muslims around the world believe that Muhammad and Jesus/ Issa were prophets of God. The Muslims however regard Muhammad as the greater prophet. My question to my Muslim friends is, if Muhammad was the greatest prophet, why was there no prophesy given of his coming? Not even one? The first coming of Jesus was prophesied long beforehand by the prophets of God in the Holy Scriptures. There are more than 300 prophesies concerning the first coming of the Messiah Jesus i.e. Yahshuah which means "God is salvation". 300 prophesies that were fulfilled by the Messiah, and not one prophesy concerning the so called greatest prophet of them all, Muhammad? I find that very odd. If God or Allah as the Muslims call him gave us so much information in His Holy Book about Jesus, why not once did He give us any indications of the coming of Muhammad?
If we compare Jesus and Muhammad, we find that Jesus performed miracles, He healed the sick, made the blind see, He cast out demons, He raised the dead, He set the captives free, He rebuked nature, He forgave sins, something only God can do. To top it off, He died for the sinners by shedding His blood on the cross. He raised Himself from the dead and descended to heaven, He overcame death and defeated death. He promised that those who would believe in Him would have their sins forgiven and have eternal life, being for eternity in heaven with Him. Did Muhammad, do any miracles at all, did he heal the sick, made the blind see? Did he raise the dead, was he able to forgive sins? When Muhammad died did he raise himself and descended to heaven? Jesus' tomb is empty, Muhammad's bones are still in his tomb in the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) in the city of Medina. Muhammad thought that he was demon possessed, Jesus cast out demons. Jesus who was sinless taught His disciple and followers to, "love one another as I have loved you". He came as prophesied to die for the sin of the world. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He gave His life because God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. Muhammad on the other hand conquered with the sword and killed those who would not convert to Islam. Muhammad did not teach love but hate. Many Muslims would say that their religion is a religion of peace, looking at the world and the history of Islam, I think it is quite the opposite. Jesus came to give us life and eternal peace. As Christians we know that we have eternal life through Christ, ask any Muslim if he or she will go to heaven, and they are not sure. They don't know if they are good enough. That to me is no security at all, the Bible or the word of God gives the Christians assurance of their salvation. Salvation is a gift of God by His grace through faith and faith alone. No one can be saved by doing works, by working themselves into heaven by somehow pleasing God and hopefully God will accept their good works. God clearly said: "They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one." Psalm 14:3. And in another place He said: "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6
No one, no matter who can stand on his or her own righteousness, God regards our righteousness as filthy rags. Thanks be to God who imputed the righteousness of Christ onto the believers. Christians stand in the righteousness of Christ and not on their own. How glorious is that? My Muslim friend, consider Father Abraham, He believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness as it is written in the good book: "And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness." Genesis 15:6.
The Apostle Paul addresses justification through faith in his epistle to the Romans:
"For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." Romans 4:13.
"He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." Romans 4:20-22.
Paul goes on to say that it was not only imputed onto Abraham but to all that come by faith: "Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification." Romans 4:23-25.
Believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior justifies the sinner before God, it is not what we have done, but what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus cleanses the sinner from all unrighteousness. King David knew this very well after his sin with Bathsheba: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalm 32:1, 2.
The blood of Jesus was so sufficient for the to the Father, He has forgotten every sin that was committed and He will not remember them. "For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear (reverence) Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:11,12.
My Muslim friend do you have that kind of assurance from Allah and his prophet Muhammad in the Quran, can Muhammad give you forgiveness and eternal life, can he wash your sins away and cleanse you from all unrighteousness? If you are not sure that you will go to heaven, don't you think that that is pretty risky not knowing were you will end up? Consider Jesus/Issa and His words, He is the only one that can reconcile anyone to the Father. He is the only way to the Father, we must come through Him. I pray that you my Muslim friend would pick up the Bible the Holy scriptures of God and get to know Jesus, and why He came and why He will come again. Not knowing were you are going for eternity, either heaven or hell, does that not scare you? Read the word of God and you will find Him. He will reveal Himself to you because He loves you and does not want you to perish.
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
Sunday, December 12, 2010
In 1957 Dr. Richter of John Hopkins Medical School did an experiment on laboratory rats. He placed a few rats in a cylinder filled with water and placed the rats into the water. Frantically the rats were trying to stay afloat, resulting in them drowning within a few minutes. The next day Dr. Richter placed some more rats into the water, he waited just before they started drowning, and pulled them out of the water for just a few moments, he placed them back into the water, this time the rats stayed afloat for more than three days. Why? Because they had hope, they were rescued once before from certain death by drowning. The rats had hope, a savior in the form of a hand. It was hope that made them continue to stay above the water, waiting for the hand to once again pull them to safety. Hope is something that we as Christians have, hope of eternal life because of a Savior Who saved us from drowning and certain death. Hope is a beautiful thing and as Christians we have a sure hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Rom 5:1-5
As Christians, we are to live by faith, not sight, feelings or emotions, we know that Christ died for us, cleansed us from all sin and gave us eternal life through faith. That is a faith and hope that the heathens don't have. We as believers have the Holy Spirit within us who testifies to us of this truth. We can face any kind of trial, tribulations and hardships, knowing that God will uphold us by the power of His Spirit. As long as we abide in Christ and seek His wisdom, guidance and direction for our daily life we have a hope, a blessed hope that will not disappoint. God has promised the believers to never leave them nor forsake them. Joshua 1:5 We are never alone, in times of despair, He is there, in times of trouble, He is there, in times of tribulations, He is there to lift us up and pulls us out of the water. "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" 1Th 2:19
Unlike the first batch of rats that drowned fanatically without hope, so will the people that reject Christ drown in the judgment of God, unlike the Christians who were saved by the mighty hand of God, these unbelievers have no hope of eternal life. Christ has given us a hope and peace that surpasses all understanding, the world is frantic, almost hopeless, they are drowning and most don't even know it. It is my hope and prayer that we as believers would feel the need to pray for the lost. God does not want anybody to perish but come to repentance. Let us be good witnesses and tell them about the hope that we as believers have. This world as we know will come to an end, things will change dramatically in the very near future. The Bible tells us what is going to happen, we have the comfort of God's word for the believer, let us warn people of the danger to come and save those who want to listen to us from drowning and certain death, (spiritual death).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1Peter 1:3-5
Friday, December 10, 2010
"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
"For unto us a child is born" This glorious prophecy of the birth of the Messiah reminds Israel that the victory bringing Messiah would be a man. The Messiah could have been an angel. The Messiah could have been God without humanity. Neither of those options would have qualified the Messiah to be our Savior and High Priest as Jesus was. The Child had to be born.
"Unto us a Child is given" This Child would be a man, but more than a man. He is also the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead. Theoretically, the Messiah didn’t have to be God. He might have been a sinless angel, or merely a perfect man like Adam. Neither of those options would have qualified the Messiah to be our Savior and High Priest as Jesus was. The Son had to be given.
"And the government will be on His shoulder" Ultimately, this will be fulfilled in the Millennium, when Jesus Christ will rule the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords ( Revelation 20:4-6, Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 65:17-25, Zechariah 14:6-21.) We are still waiting for the ultimate fulfillment of this promise.
"His name will be called" This is not be mistaken as the literal names of the Messiah. Instead, these are aspects of His character, they describe who He is and what He has come to do.
The Messiah is "Wonderful" The glory of who He is and what He has done for us should fill us with awe and wonder. No one can really look at Jesus, know Him, and be bored. He is "Wonderful" and will fill our heart and minds with amazement.
The Messiah is our "Counselor" Jesus is the One fit to guide our lives, and should be the Christian’s immediate resource as a counselor. Jesus can help us with our problems. He may use the presence and the words of another Christian to do it, but Jesus is our "Counselor"
The Messiah is "Mighty God" The God of all creation and glory, the Lord who reigns in heaven, the One worthy of our worship and praise.
The Messiah is the "Everlasting Father" The idea in these Hebrew words is that Jesus is the source or author of all eternity, that He is the Creator Himself. It does not mean that Jesus Himself is the Person of the Father in the Trinity.
The Messiah is the "Prince of Peace" He is the One who makes peace, especially between God and man.
From His names and character/attributes, verse 7 goes farther into the future, into the millennial reign of Christ.
"Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end" The reign of the Messiah will not last merely 1,000 years, though the millennium is a special aspect of His reign. There will be no end to the reign of the Messiah, and He will rule for all eternity.
"Upon the throne of David" Jesus will rule on David’s throne, and over his kingdom that is Israel. This is a fulfillment of God’s great covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7.
Jesus can be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace for everyone now. One day, these offices will be imposed upon the world. For now, they are real for those who receive Jesus and submit to Him. Have you surrendered your life to Him? Jesus is coming again to set up His kingdom here on earth. At His first coming, He came as the Passover lamb, at His second coming, He will come as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Which one would you rather meet, the lamb or the Lion? Jesus will come in judgment, He will judge the world in righteousness, those who rejected Him will face judgment at the great white throne of God. Do you think that you can face God and defend your life before Him? Those who put their faith and trust in Jesus will not face the great white throne judgment. Believers in Christ have the imputed righteousness of Christ and God the Father will not look upon their sins, they are forgotten as far as the east is from the west. If you are not sure if you go to heaven or hell, call upon Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart, He will forgive you, no matter how bad you may think you are. The only unpardonable sin is to reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He laid down His life for you, so that you can have eternal life and be with God forever. It is a choice everyone has to make, whether they believe it or not. God is real and death is real, physical death will come to all, no one is excluded. Are you sure that there is nothing after you die? How can you be sure? Jesus has told us of the afterlife, what happens to those who reject God and it is not a pretty picture, eternal separation from God. Eternity is a long time. I hope and pray if you have not received Jesus into your heart, stop and think, you may be young at this time, healthy, but things change real fast, sooner than you know you will look back at your life wondering, where did it go? Our spirit will not die, the decision whether to follow Jesus or not can have dire consequences, once a person dies without Jesus, it is too late. Think about it.
"For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2Cr 6:2
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I believe among others, that Christianity is the oldest religion known to man. You may say, how can you say that? There are many religions that were way before Christianity that came along about 2000 years ago. Did Christianity begin 2000 years ago with a man named Jesus? Let me begin with saying that Jesus did not come to bring something completely new, He did not start a new religion and new doctrines. God's truth is never changing. Jesus did not just suddenly appear and brought a new message or believe to the people. The Old Testament is all about Jesus and the promise of a Savior was given long ago, long before Jesus came to the earth. The first gospel message can be found in Genesis: "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Gen 3:15. It is widely understood that this verse is a Messianic prophesy. This prophesy was given by God in the Garden of Eden, you can not go any further back as the Garden. Throughout the Old Testament God gave progressive prophesies concerning the Messiah. In the old the new is concealed, in the new the old is revealed. When we get to the New Testament, and we look back at the Old Testament, it's all clear. In the Old Testament the gospel was there from the early beginning. The Bible is a book of redemption. The Bible does contain history like the creation and the beginning of mankind, kingdoms, people and places, but the main purpose of the Bible is redemption, God's plan of salvation for fallen man. Jesus is all over the pages of the Old Testament, there are many prophesies concerning His first coming and many allegories that pointed to Christ. Abraham offering up Isaac on Mount Moriah which is the temple mount today, a picture of what God would do 2000 years later. Joseph in Egypt, he was not recognized by his brothers at the first meeting, but they recognized him at the second time they met. A picture of the first coming of Jesus and He was not recognized as Israel's Messiah, which will happen at His second coming. Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the wildness on a pole, and everybody that looked up to it was healed, a picture of Jesus lifted up on the cross dying for the sin of the world and giving healing and life to those who would look upon Him and believe. He was the Rock in the wildness bringing forth water, He was the Bread that came from heaven and so much more. The 70 weeks of Daniel given by the angel Gabriel gave the exact time and day when the Messiah would ride into the city of Jerusalem. Zechariah prophesied that the King would come riding lowly on a donkey. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on what we now know as Palm Sunday. Nothing was by coincidence, God had a divine plan and time schedule and Jesus came at the appointed time, His hour. The day the Lord has made. There are over 300 prophesies concerning the first coming of Christ, and He has fulfilled them all. Jesus was nailed the cross at the time of the morning offering on passover, He gave up His Spirit at the time of the evening sacrifices. This day was also predicted long ago and God had a certain day in mind and Jesus died on that exact appointed day. Old Testament believers were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, they believed God, thus it was accounted to them as righteousness. Today we look back at the cross and the finished work of Christ and because we believe by faith we are accounted righteous before God through Christ who is our righteousness. The gospel i.e the good news is therefore much older than 2000 years, the gospel and the coming of the Messiah goes all the way back to the beginning. There are many religions today and in the past, but they are all man made and they are all man centered. The Christian faith is not really a religion per say, it is a relationship with the true and living God. Christians worship and serve the God of creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God that is truth and His word which is sharper than a two edged sword. If you read this and you are of another faith, like Islam or maybe Hinduism etc. consider Jesus and the claims He made. He came to die in our place, God did what we could not do for ourselves. He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus said that He came to set us free from bondage. Are you in bondage to sin or religion? Do you want to be forgiven of your sins and have eternal life? Jesus promised that those who would believe will never die. He died for us and rose from the dead to overcome death and give eternal life to those who would believe. Jesus is God and only God can forgive sins, all other gods are impostors and they do not exist.
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. "You shall have no other gods before Me. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them." Exd 20:2-5
Many religions have made their own gods made out of wood, metal, in the likeness of man, they worship the creature rather than the Creator. These gods do not move, they can't hear or speak. They are dead, they cannot give life eternal, only the true and living God of the Bible can. There is only one way to be reconciled to God the Father, and that is through His Son Christ Jesus. May you find Him and feel His peace and His love. May you realize how much He loves you.
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16