On a typical Sunday morning in the United States, as we ease into our comfortable pews if someone were to ask us, “Are you comfortable?” Our response may be about the pew or the temperature level in the church. While in other places of the world “comfortable” is not a consideration in their Christianity. They may have looked over their shoulder as they turned down the street leading to the gathering of the saints. The cramped quarters or the temperature level is the least of their concerns. Continue reading “Persecution from a Christian Perspective”
Spiritual lessons from a compost pile:
Yours on the journey,
Harry L. Whitt
I know, it sounds like a weird topic. Tombs don’t talk—do they? When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the people were praising God for the things they had saw. The Pharisees called for Jesus to rebuke His disciples and He responded, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40 NKJV). My thinking is, “If stones cry out, I guess tombs could talk!” Just a thought…
There is an identity problem in our world that has led to great confusion. People are confused, not knowing who they are. They are searching for an identity, for a rock to stand on in a flooded stream. Some have went on journeys for the sole reason of “finding themselves” as if they were somewhere else. There are way too many poor, lost, wandering souls who are alienated from God’s original design and created identity.
Identity in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus, first identified with us. Man could not spiritually redeem himself by reformation or by following the rules. Mankind is innately a sinner in great need of a redeemer. The Redeemer had to come in the same form as our first-ancestor-father Adam. God provided the only sufficient sacrifice in the Redeemer—His Only Eternal Son.
The world lay in the sway of darkness, sin, and death. Man’s journey from the Garden was marked by a trail of death and tears with each tomb a reminder of every man’s fate. Death reigned in the world by a cruel master, Satan, whose very name meant “Adversary”. The Hebrew prophets of old had prophesied approximately seven centuries before of a coming Messiah who would save and deliver.
During this season we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I seriously doubt Jesus was actually born in the time we call December but that’s a rabbit trail I am not interested in going down. The big question is, “What’s the big deal about Jesus’ birth?
One of the greatest stories in the Bible is the turnaround of Saul of Tarsus who we now know as the Apostle Paul. He was a Jewish Pharisee who had a blood-boiling rage against the early Christian Church that was known at the time as the Way.
Christians are sometimes criticized for claiming our religion is exclusive when we are adamant that Jesus Christ is the only avenue to eternal life. That is why I am evangelistic about my faith in Christ; it is not that I take pleasure in someone being excluded but rather I have strongly held beliefs about Jesus Christ. The invitation to follow Jesus is inclusive, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV).
I had a neighbor who once said she only argued when she was right. Don’t we all? A Christian friend of mine asked a co-worker who was of a different Christian denomination, what they believed. He replied with great affirmation, “We believe the Bible!” My friend laughingly replied, “So do we!”