Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Do All Paths Lead to the Same God or Do the Differences Matter?
Like an ice cream shop most belief systems have many and different flavors.   Some of the major flavors in the world could come under the broad categories of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.  Most have a sacred book(s) &/or teachings and form a worldview based on their beliefs.  I’d like to offer a worldview that many beliefs consider, embrace or incorporate – a Biblical worldview and what it involves:

Bible – a collection of inspired writings compiled over two millennia, by individuals with very diverse backgrounds, that has a consistency unlike any other.    There is also no other work in the world that has the volume and early manuscript evidence or the archaeological support as this Book.

It tells us of:
Creation – we have been created in the image of God
Corruption – we choose to disobey and turn from God’s plan for us to our own.
Crucifixion – God chose through Jesus to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Re-Creation – anyone trusting in Jesus has become a new creation, with a glorious hope for eternity.

It’s Invitation:
Believe in Jesus’ death for your sins and accept the gift of eternal life He offers you by faith.
Exchange your sin, its penalty of death (eternal separation from God) for complete forgiveness and become an adopted child of God.
Be transformed by God to be holy, blameless and perfect to spend eternity with Him.

The Proof it Offers:
An empty tomb – Jesus spoke before His death of His resurrection and then rose to confirm that His death was for our sins and not His own (otherwise He would still be dead.)
His unique birth, born of a virgin, unlike that of any one else.
The miracles He performed, His teachings, and His life, death and resurrection which proved His claims.

The Difference:
Of all the belief systems only the Bible describes a DONE religion, rather than a DO religion.   The work is done in Jesus.  You’re simply invited to accept the gift He offers you.

Next post we’ll begin a comparison.  Please refer back to this post for details of the Biblical world view.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Do All Paths Lead to the Same God or Do the Differences Matter?

You’ve probably heard the popular belief that “all paths lead to the same God,” and it really doesn’t matter what path you take as long as you’re sincere.  Perhaps this is what you believe.   Have you done a careful search to challenge the validity of that belief?   Would you rather assume less and know more to make an informed decision?  After all, according to most beliefs, your decision will make a difference in your eternity.   I invite you to consider the information which will follow and make a choice that will affect not only this life, but that to come.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

L     Live for & Listen to Him

“And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it.”     Mark 8:34-35       

Perhaps our greatest challenge is to stop living our lives for ourselves and to realize there is only One who lived the perfect life and offered the perfect sacrifice for the rest of us.  Need a hero?  A role model? A great example of a life spent for others and lived well?  The good news tells us what we are to do with  "life” we’ve been given.    Jim Elliott, one of the missionaries that gave his life to reach the Auca Indians of South America, said, “He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“Then a cloud formed over-shadowing them , and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My beloved Son, listen 
to Him!’”     Mark 9:7

The good news also tells us very simply what we need to do with Jesus – listen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

E     Empty Tomb    Mark 16:2-8  

“And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.  And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away although it was extremely large.  And entering the tomb, they say a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.  And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified.  He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.’”     

Though the word is not specifically used in the passage, it is very clearly implied.  The gospel is about the "empty" tomb, without which there would be no Good News.  Why? Because we would have no indication that our sins were truly paid for and forgiven.   Most of the time to hear that something is empty is not good.  But in the case of the tomb of Jesus it makes all the difference in the world, because Jesus had told His followers that He would rise from the dead.   It’s one thing to make great claims.  It’s quite another to actually say and then confirm them.

Many have tried to deny the resurrection of Jesus.  The Jewish leaders bribed the guards to say that His disciples had come and stolen His body.   However, there were too many witnesses of the resurrected Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Some hold that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, that somehow His death was faked.  They apparently don’t know the cruelty of death by crucifixion, the beating and whipping He endured before the cross, and overlook the account of the Roman soldier lancing His side to confirm His death.   And the evidence of Jesus resurrection is found in the accounts of Jewish and Roman historians of His day.  And finally ask yourself, why would most of His Apostles suffer a cruel death rather than deny the resurrected Jesus?  People do not die to perpetuate a hoax.