UNDERSTANDING THE GOSPEL

Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Understanding the Gospel:

A the beginning of the service last Sunday, at our local nursing home, I spoke a little bit about understanding the Gospel, and about needing the Holy Spirit if we want heaven to be our home one day. Gospel means good news.  The words of a prayer song that we often sing comes to mind. The words? “Help me Lord, help me Lord to believe.” This is what I shared …

1. If you do not think Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, you do not understand the good news of the Gospel.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

2. If you think you can earn salvation, or that you are “good enough” to go to heaven, you do not understand the good news of the Gospel.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

3. Jesus was speaking about the Holy Spirit when He spoke about “living water.” Jesus often spoke about spiritual things by making a comparison with the natural. We cannot live in the natural realm with water. We would die without water, and so it is in the spiritual realm. If we want heaven to be our home we must repent, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We must be born of God’s spirit. We must be born again and have the living waters that lead to everlasting life.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

THE BLOOD ATONEMENT

The Lord said ” … when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you …”

Multitudes think salvation is achieved by being a “good person” but the bible declares that there are none righteous.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

So how is a person saved?

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 3:24, 25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 5:8,9 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

ATONEMENT:

03722. kaphar, kaw-far’

a primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel:– appease, make (an atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile(-liation).

Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary

In the Old Testament the Passover sacrifice was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ, the true Lamb of God. The Passover lamb was slain, and the children of Israel were told to put the blood of the lamb on the door posts of their homes. The Lord said “…when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you …”

Exodus 12:12-13 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

ATONEMENT:

2643. katallage, kat-al-lag-ay’

from 2644; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor:–atonement, reconciliation(-ing).

Strong’s Greek Dictionary

In the New Testament … Jesus Christ is declared to be “the Lamb of God” “by whom we have now received the atonement.”

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

See also …

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, {covenant: or, testament}

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

ATONEMENT:

1. Satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.

2. Theology. the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, esp. as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.

Dictionary.com

FEEDING TUBES & DNR

My brother was given the legal authority by my parents to make decisions about their healthcare. That was before my mother was saved. After she was born again my mother’s and my attempt to overrule his decisions made on her behalf were unsuccessful. In March of 2007, when my mother was in the hospital dying, the question of a feeding tube and a DNR order (do not resuscitate) came up. Feeding even through a tube is a humane act, not an extraordinary measure to unnaturally extend life. My mother was fed by tube, and she lived another three weeks, that was all. Those were three more weeks that we had to pray for and minister to her. We believed a feeding tube was in order, but we were unsuccessful in preventing the DNR. I have to tell you that my mother had the sweetest Christian woman caring for her in the hospital during those last days of her life. That was a great comfort to me. The Lord sees all and is so faithful.

As we were about the leave the hospital one day another patient who was being discharged began speaking with us. He told us that he had six heart attacks and was resuscitated all six times. Interesting isn’t it, that this total stranger who knew nothing about us started telling us his very interesting story. My husband listened and spoke with him, and shared some Scripture and Bible tracts with the man. What if someone had put a DNR order on that man’s chart after his fifth or sixth heart attack? His opportunity for salvation would have been forever gone! Hell is a real place, and Jesus was the one who taught us about hell.

These issues came up again with my father was dying. My father was denied a feeding tube and IV sustenance. He was put on IV fluids and was alert and doing well, but then that was removed also.When someone’s eternal destiny may not be settled, why cut their time short by denying them something as basic as food and fluids. A few years earlier my Dad was about to be put on hospice/palliative care. We prayed and he lived a few more years. It’s sad, and tragic, when people leave God out of the equation.

Having said all that I do understand that each situation is different, and the need to prayerfully make decisions, depending on God’s Word for wisdom, in these very difficult circumstances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DIE?

Excerpts from “MAN HAS AN ETERNAL SOUL” at Way of Life  …

Excerpts:

“Eternal destiny is set at death.”

“In light of the seriousness of life and salvation, it is an awful responsibility to decide that a loved one’s life will be prematurely snuffed out and his opportunity for salvation forever erased.”

“An interesting thing happened to my wife while she was working in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A teenage patient was brought in during the night in a deep coma with severe injuries. He was unconscious, but my wife spoke to him and witnessed to him anyway, and prayed for the young man. Several days later he was moved from intensive care to another part of the hospital, and she did not see him again until some weeks later. When she next saw him, he came up to the ICU to attend a going away party which the nurses were giving my wife, as she was leaving soon to live and work in South Asia. He recognized her by her voice, and testified that he remembered her voice from the night that she had stood by his bedside and witnessed to him when he was in a catatonic state!”

*

“Consider, finally, that the Bible gives us the responsibility to provide for loved ones, but never are we told that we have the right to kill them! Food and clothing and shelter are not “medical care”! These are the basics of life. The decision to stop providing extreme medical attention when it is clear that it is time for a loved one to depart is one thing. The decision to stop providing food and water, when the individual can take it and digest it, is quite another matter. We do not believe it is right to stop providing the simple basics of life that God has commanded us to provide. An infant is not able to eat on its own, yet we do not stop feeding it on this count!”

*

“In April 2002 M. Eckard of Washington was taken to the hospital with pneumonia. She was 82 years old and had emphysema. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she was in an unresponsive, semi-conscious state. The oldest daughter told the nursing staff it would be her wish to die; that she didn’t want any “heroic measures.” (Please tell me how food and water and oxygen can be described as “heroic measures.”) So they put her in a room with no treatment, no oxygen, food, water, or medicine, expecting her to die. After laying there in a semi-conscious state for some days she rallied, to everybody’s amazement. When she recovered, she was upset that they had withheld medical care, because it was definitely not her will to die. She is still alive today (March 25, 2005). A year after this incident, at the age of 83, she wrote and published a biography.”

THE POWER OF GOD

My father took a turn for the worse a couple of weeks ago. He suddenly became very disoriented and seemed to exhibit severe symptoms of dementia. He also has a medical condition which is manifesting by a severe blistering rash on his body. This is very hard to control and they have been trying several different remedies to bring him relief. He also wasn’t sleeping or eating well. Because of all this he was in the hospital for a few days. There wasn’t much they could do so they sent him back to the nursing home, which I think is better because they are taking better care of his blistering skin there.

Although I had only seen my father a few days before when he was in the hospital, I had a sense of foreboding before I left to visit him at the nursing home. I was almost afraid of how I would find him. When I walked into his room he was sleeping, and in his sleep he was making what I would describe as a guttural type sound and scream. I thought he was having a nightmare so I tried to wake him, but he wouldn’t wake up. He woke up when the nurse came in to attend to him, but even awake he continued making this awful guttural sound. He looked gaunt and I thought he was dying!

I put my hand on his chest and I began to pray intensely that the Lord would help, and move on my father’s behalf. I called upon the Lord to move in power because of the blood shed by Jesus Christ at Calvary’s cross. A faith rose up in me as I continued to pray. I asked the Lord to send the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Spirit. I prayed for salvation, healing and deliverance.

After I prayed, my father stopped making that throaty sound. I spoke with him about salvation, the Holy Spirit, and how he had rejected the Word of God for twenty years. I told him that even so, the Lord loved him, and would forgive him, if only he would believe and ask for forgiveness. I told him that if he died without the Lord we would never see each other again, but that if he died as a believer filled with the Holy Spirit, we would one day be reunited. He understood, I know he did, and he prayed with me for forgiveness and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

He’s been improving ever since, and seems to have taken a turn for the better. I don’t know what the future holds but I know the Lord moved on Sunday and is still moving. I pray that I would have assurance of his salvation before my father dies. Many are praying for my father’s soul.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

Luke 9:43 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,

Luke 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

Acts 8:10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.