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Resurrection

April 2021

Resurrection

Resurrection, the great theme of Easter!  Since Jesus is raised from the dead we too will rise from the grave and live in the New Heaven and New Earth, the home of righteousness.  It is the time of the year when Christians all over the world remember the ultimate promise of God, the restoration of Paradise.  It was always the intention of God that creation should be what it was on the Seventh Day, a place where death, pain, sickness, anger and hatred did not exist.  This world once was a place like that!  On earth, in Eden, lions, bears and cougars grazed like oxen, cattle, and goats.  In the perfect earth, mosquitoes did not drink blood, snakes did not have venom, and man walked with God in the cool of the day, an unfettered relationship, creation with creator.  That’s the way God made it because that is the way God wants it to be  Unfortunately, that was a short-lived world.  Soon death came to the world through sin, man’s relationship with God died as he became curved in on himself, and the creation got twisted up along with her chief Man.  God immediately unveiled a plan to redeem this world and her inhabitants.  It is hinted at in Genesis 3:15, there would be a man who would crush the power of the serpent (the Devil) and his venom coursing through our veins (Original Sin).  It was a three-part plan:  obedience, sacrifice and death, and resurrection and life.  In the three days of redemption, Jesus did just this, set mankind on a course toward ultimate victory over Sin, death, and Hell.  When Christ died sin was put to death, the relationship was restored, and in resurrection the path to restoration of Paradise that will come to fruition on the day we are brought to our Father’s house and take up residence in our mansions.  This was the whole point of Christ leaving heaven and coming to earth.  There is nothing more important to God than to have a relationship with you.  Not even the cross could dissuade His commitment to you!  And because of the death and resurrection of our dear Savior Jesus, we will one day get to walk with God in the Garden in the cool of the day.  HE IS RISEN…  HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

 

                                                                                                                  Pastor Gary

Posted by Gary Brown with
in Faith, Hope

A Loving God

How many times have we heard people say, “I can’t believe in a God that allows all the pain and suffering we have on earth.”? Or we hear, “I can’t believe in a God that would condemn people to hell.” And yet, does God really do that?

Since creation this world has been at war…a war of good vs. evil. There was an angel who thought he should be equal to or greater than God. This was Lucifer, later known as Satan. He, and about a third of the angels in heaven who chose to follow him, tries to lead the people of earth away from God. To that end, this fallen angel works to confuse people about God and His desire for those of us on earth.

There are many ways this confusion is fostered in people. There are the “prosperity preachers” who tell us that the greater our faith, the more material wealth we will have. There have been, and will continue to be, preachers who misuse Scripture to enrich themselves. There are preachers who are very legalistic. They will tell their congregations that “all these rules” must be obeyed.

People just can’t obey “all the rules”. And…what are the rules?

In the Bible we have the Ten Commandments. They are simple and straightforward. Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, your soul and your mind. Put God first and foremost, nothing and no one else.  Keep the Sabbath day holy, make it a day of rest for all in your household. Honor your mother and father. Don’t murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t tell lies about your neighbor. Don’t covet your neighbors’ belongings. These are the rules.

Do we always obey these rules? What does it look like to obey them? Do we drive to watch or play a baseball game? Driving is work, isn’t it? Have you ever gotten so angry at someone that you thought you could “just kill” that person?

What about the churches that teach only 144,000 will receive salvation? Many more than that have died over the last 2000 years or so. What has happened with the others? Are they condemned?

It certainly sounds as though there is no hope for humankind. We are doomed to go to hell. And yet…

God made a promise to Abraham, Moses, and David. He saw that man could not keep “all the rules”. In the Gospel of John, we read, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send is Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

Jesus himself said to his disciples, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2 in

We need to remember that death comes to all of us. However, our eternal home is based on our faith in a loving God through his Son, Jesus, not on any actions of our own. A loving God will take us to be with Him in heaven because of our faith, just as he took the thief on the cross who said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus replied, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:42-43

All we need do to be saved is believe and have faith in God and his Son, Jesus.

Posted by Stephanie Fuller with

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