Empty!!

THE EMPTY CROSS

Arriving at Golgotha that evening, I was overcome with a sense of emptiness. The area was completely deserted, but three blood-stained crosses at the top of the hill served as solemn reminders of the events of the day.

Less than a week earlier, Jesus of Nazareth entered the city with His disciples and many others proclaiming Him as Messiah, our long-awaited Savior. We were full of hope, because He was clearly a teacher sent by God with the power to work miracles—healing, feeding, and even raising people from the grave!

But then, the one who we thought would bring salvation was dead. It all happened so quickly; one day He was teaching His followers, and the next He was on trial and condemned to death by crucifixion. Even the execution was rushed, as the soldiers used a spear to ensure that He was dead before the day was over.

The empty cross, and the emptiness in my heart, both testified to one fact—Jesus died.

THE EMPTY TOMB

Three days later, some of His followers went to the tomb, found it empty, and returned with amazing news—He was alive! For the next forty days, He continued to teach and encourage His disciples, appearing first to one, then two, then eleven—and eventually more than five hundred of us at once!

Jesus had predicted that He would suffer, die, and rise again, but we just couldn’t comprehend the beauty of God’s divine plan to redeem our souls. When He said, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again,” we didn’t realize what He meant at the time.

But now, looking back on these events, I see how the empty cross testifies of His love, and the empty tomb declares His mighty power. God’s Word says:

• “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16).

• “[Jesus was] declared to be the Son of God with power … by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).

This narrative was compiled using Biblical testimony found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, and 1 Corinthians.

YOUR RESPONSE?

Jesus took our sins upon Himself—suffered and died in our place—so we can be forgiven. There on the cross, He cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The empty cross tells us that the work is done, the price has been paid, and the door to Heaven stands open.

The empty tomb demonstrates that Jesus won the victory over sin and death. Listen to His words: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

Jesus now offers salvation to all mankind. If we reject Him, we must stand before God and be judged for our sins—“cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

But if we admit that we are sinners, turn to God, and put our trust in Jesus Christ, we will find forgiveness and eternal life.

“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9,13).

Happy Resurrection Day!

He Is Risen Indeed!

The Gospel Message

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With Permission from Moments With The Book

Save The Parrots

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) by Lee

“Ten years ago I traveled to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. That experience changed my life forever. Never will I forget the first time seeing a family of macaws flying high up in the sky above the canopy. It never dawned on me what people have done to destroy the rainforest and its wildlife until I got back. One day while passing by a pet store, I recognized a sound I had heard in Peru. It was the macaw, like the beautiful parrot I saw in Peru. It was confined to a cage with barely enough space to spread its wings fully open. Upon closer examination, I saw that its wings were clipped. This macaw was born in captivity, truly in bondage, because it would never have the freedom of the birds I saw in Peru.

One might say “Ignorance is bliss” and I would agree that the macaw has no clue what it is missing, but because it was meant to be free, and not captive, I believe there is a void and a longing to fly as birds are supposed to. Occasionally, the macaw in the store would try to pry open the cage, attempting to free itself, but it could not.

Dear Reader, we all are born in captivity like the macaw at the pet store. That captivity is sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). How are we captive by sin? Sin separates us from the freedom that God offers to all of us. There is only one way to be set free, and that is through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 KJV)

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Dear Friend, if you don’t have Jesus in your life, you are like that macaw, captive to sin, whether you realize it or not. Jesus Christ died on the cross to purchase you and set you free. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 KJV) He’ll set you free if you let Him, but just like caged birds are afraid to leave their cage, we are fooled that life is better in the cage. If you stay in sin, you’ll find out that sin only brings death, eternal destruction. “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:5). That is the truth for those who refuse to let Jesus become their righteousness.

Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved and go to Heaven. “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and He gave Himself to purchase our freedom” (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT). God doesn’t want you to die in your sin, because He wants you to go to Heaven and not Hell. “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14 KJV) God is holy and sin cannot dwell in His presence, that is why we all will be judged one day. Those who trust Jesus will be saved; those who refuse Him are still captive, and will go to eternal destruction. So how can you receive this forgiveness and have a relationship with Jesus Christ? You must realize you are captive to sin and confess and repent. “But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,… (Acts 3:19a KJV). Finally, believe, “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). I know from experience this to be absolute truth. I know that if you make this decision, it will change your life forever, and it will be something you never regret. Please make this decision now, without delay. “Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT).”

Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189, and Moments With The Book

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More Good News Messages

Master’s Degree WAS Finished in 2017

From February 2016 until October 2017 I was working on a Master’s Degree online from the School of Biblical Apologetics. With my back surgery, a hurricane, and etc., etc., … I failed to post the conclusion of it. It’s about time I express my thankfulness to the Institute for Creation Research for having the online school.

SOBA Degree

I was delighted when I received my tassel and the cords that I would have worn with a cap and gown. When there is no graduation ceremony because of being an online degree, you are at a loss to figure out how to show them off. I solved that problem by hanging my tassel on my walker. Then I showed it off at church. I caused my pastor to double over laughing when I told him the following:

When you graduate when you are young, you hang your tassel on your mirror in the car. When you are 74, you hang it on your walker.

Tassel Hanging plus the Cords on Walker (Posed)

I praise the Lord for the opportunity to take the great courses offered through the School of Biblical Apologetics. Here is a list of the courses that I took for my Master of Christian Education in Biblical Education and Apologetics.

S.O.B.A. Courses Taken

What is the School all about? (Taken from their About page)

The School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA) is a formal education arm of the Institute for Creation Research. (For more on ICR’s purposes, see Who We Are.)

SOBA provides certificate-level, undergraduate-level, and graduate-level training in biblical education and apologetics. SOBA’s foundation is Scripture, which the school and its faculty hold as inerrant, accurate, and authoritative. Biblical creation, with a special emphasis on Genesis 1-11, is a significant focus of all SOBA degrees, majors, and minors. This focus sets ICR’s program apart from other graduate level apologetic programs.

Fulfilling the purpose of training future leaders in biblical education and apologetics, while maintaining a strict adherence to Scripture (including biblical creationist appreciation of Genesis 1-11), makes ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics the best choice for those desiring to round out their biblical education. SOBA prepares its students with defensible answers for their faith, giving them the tools necessary to “be ready always to give an answer” for the hope within (1 Peter 3:15) and to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3).

Dr. James J. S. Johnson is the Chief Academic Officer of the School. As you may know, he posts articles here on this blog. He loves birdwatching and taught birding courses previous to joining I.C.R. He was a tremendous encouragement for me to begin and continue working on this degree. Also, Mrs Mary Smith, the Registrar and Academic Coordinator, was a great encourager. My thanks to both of them.

My husband, Dan, was my most encouraging supporter. He helped complete my neglected duties because of me “having my head in a book.” :) Thank you, Dan!

At my age, this degree was undertaken for several reasons. It was to help increase my Biblical Knowledge and to help me explain the Creation of God’s fantastic critters better. In other words, for personal enrichment and better witnessing of God’s Love and Salvation. The best decision I ever made in my life was on March 20, 1960, when I personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior.

I desire to use the truth of God’s Word to encourage others to, 1) accept Christ as their personal Savior, 2) to read and study the truths found in Scripture, 3) apply the Word to their lives and grow Spiritually, and 4) use that knowledge to teach others to do the same.

Please check out the School of Biblical Apologetics and see how you could also benefit from their courses.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 KJV)

 

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

This is an excerpt from a Sacred Music Evening celebrating Pastor Jerry Smith’s 31 years of Music Ministry at Faith Baptist Church on 1/11/2015 (Sunday). This was at the end of an hour and a half of his favorite songs.

Pastor Jerry sings “Five Rows Back”, “Amazing Grace” and then the final Choir and Orchestra play “The Power of the Cross.”

Please listen to the words from him and the songs.

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(Pastor Jerry can be contacted through Faith Baptist Church.)

See:

Sharing the Gospel and Pointing Someone to Christ in the Scripture

ABC’s of the Gospel

Christmas Gospel Presentation

I’m Thankful for Pastor Jerry (by Stephen Simpson)

 

This will be posted with other articles used as links at the end of articles. Those are intended to help readers realize that:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

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2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 220,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you for all your visits to this blog during 2014. This is encouraging and keeps us motivated to “keep on keeping on.” May we all have a great 2015!

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. (Psalms 26:7 KJV)

Lord Bless You In 2015!

Happy New Year!

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ABC’s of the Gospel

ABC Blocks

ABC’s of the Gospel

The ABC’s of the Gospel:

 

  • All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23)
  • But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8; John 1:29)
  • Call upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13; Isaiah 1:18)

Lead in the sinner’s prayer.

  • Dear God, I know I’m a sinner…
  • I ask you to forgive my sins right now…
  • I believe that Jesus died to save me…
  • I receive Him now as my Savior…
  • In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

(Adopted from Pastor Jerry Smith’s – Dealing With Children)

Use A Simple Plan – Above

Obtain permission from parents for baptism if they accept the Lord.

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More Good News

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