Monday, March 4, 2013

2nd Annual ME4JC Transition Challenge

Here are some transitions from the 2nd annual ME4JC news article transition challenge.

From all indications, Dennis Rodman is clearly not a good judge of character. Every interaction and news story I've ever seen regarding the North Korean dictator is far from any standard of good that I know. There's another person that people misjudge frequently. They say that He is simply a good person. A teacher. Some say that He is merely a prophet. Unlike the fact that it matters not what a washed up NBA "star" thinks about Kim Jong UN, it completely matters who you believe Jesus to be. While many have their aforementioned notions regarding who Jesus Christ is, who He says He is is all that matters. In John 10:30 Christ tells us that, "I and the Father are one." In John Chapter 8 and verse 24, He says, "I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” Basically you don't want to get it wrong when it comes to who Jesus is. We need to believe that He is fully God and fully man and that He came in the flesh to live a perfect life and that He lovingly take our place on the cross as God's wrath that we deserve was poured out on Him. We need to believe that He rose from the grave three days later completely defeating sin and death forever. We need to believe these truths and accept God's free gift of grace by repenting and trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Now what sins is Christ referring to in John 8:24? Look no further than the 10 commandments to see which ones are condemning you. Lying. Stealing or wanting things that don't belong to you. Adultery(including lust). Murder(including hate). Blasphemy. Idolatry. If you have ever done any of these things please realize your need for Christ's love, forgiveness, and salvation today. Don't put this off and don't stick with a wrong pre-conceived notion of who you think He is. Repent and trust in the Christ that the Bible speaks about for salvation.

It's always nice to know when something you are looking forward to is coming soon. Whether it be games, movies, a CD, or even a new TV series, anticipation is a big part of the excitement of the upcoming release. For the Christian we await something so amazing that there are scarcely words to describe the excitement we have for it. The return of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 tells us, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Now we don't get a time or a date, we just have to be ready when that day comes. The only way to be ready on that day is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. I would love to be able to tell sinners that hey, Jesus is coming back on this date or that. To give them a "release date" of sorts so that they can know when to be ready. Sadly I can not do that. All I can do is let them know that the Bible promises that, "Just as it is appointed for man to die once and after that comes judgment(Hebrews 9:27)" and that, "he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.(Acts 17:31)” The standard of Judgment that will be used will be the 10 commandments. Every lie, theft, lustful look, hateful thought, blasphemous utterance, every dishonoring of your parents, every idolatrous idea, and every time you wanted something some that didn't belong to you will come into account on that day. Now you can walk into eternity and try to pay for your own sins but the only payment you can make by yourself is eternal conscious punishment in Hell. God doesn't want that so He made payment for you in His only Son, Jesus Christ. Christ, fully God and fully man, paid for those sins on the cross. He rose from the dead three days later, defeating sin and death forever. The wrath that you and I deserve was unleashed on Jesus so that if we repent and trust in Him alone we can go to Heaven and escape the punishment we deserve. Be ready on that day so that you don't have to take God's wrath upon yourself. Christ already did this for you. Humble yourself and accept God's gift of grace and mercy today.

Recently a lady in Nashville got herself into a bit of trouble by ignoring signs inside a local restaurant, Flood Zone, and using the restroom even though she didn't buy anything. Even though the sign told her that the facilities were for customers only, she said that ,"I didn't feel it was a crime. I'd been in to plenty of restaurants here in this town, and other towns, and, you know, other states." This offense seems like a small thing to us and perhaps it is. The person being sinned against is really what makes all the difference. This story reminds me of how people look at the sin of lying. They always downplay it by calling it a fib, or a white lie, or an exaggeration. No matter who I speak to when street witnessing, they almost always see lying as the least offensive of God's 10 commandments to break. They don't understand that the Bible says in Revelation 21:8 that, "All liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire." Now, you might be saying, "this is way too harsh of a punishment for a lie", or "I've only told a few little lies here and there". First of all, like on murder makes you a murderer, one lie makes you a liar. But like I mentioned earlier, It's who you've committed this "little" sin against that matters and is what determines the punishment. If you lied to your kids there's not much repercussion. Lie to your spouse, and it's the couch for a night or possible separation. Lie to your boss and you could get fired. If you lie to the Government, it could be jail time for you. Finally as we looked at early on, when you lie you sin against God and His punishment is the Lake of Fire. You can clearly see that the sin never changes but who you sin against determines the punishment. Now clearly we have all broken this commandment and all deserve the punishment of Eternal fire. This is not God's will however. He sent His Son Jesus, fully God and fully man, to be born of a virgin(as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14), live a perfect life, and to die on a cross for our sins(lying, stealing, lust, hatred, blasphemies, covetousness). This is where God shows His infinite love for us. At the cross and the cross alone. Jesus got off that cross and three days later rose from the dead, defeating sin and death forever. God accepted this sacrifice and raised Christ to His right hand. If we would repent, or turn from sin, and trust in Christ's sacrifice alone for our salvation we can be saved from our sin and an eternity in Hell. Don't put this off. Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. Don't ignore this sign today like this woman ignored the sign in the restaurant. Lying might look like a small, ignorable offense but to God it is serious business. He won't track you down with a $5 dollar fine. On Judgment Day, He will simply look and see if you are in Christ or if tried to do it all your own way. Only in Christ does this end well. Repent and trust in Christ today. Be sure that He has paid your fine. Trust me, you don't want to pay this one on your own.