Archive for category Cross
Here’s a great teaching from John G. Lake Ministries, titled “How to Spiritually Capture a City.”
Click the link below to download the teaching as an MP3 file:
Curry Blake – General Overseer of JGLM says in that teaching that they have actually practiced what he teaches and it’s worked. If it worked for them, it should surely work for any other church and for any born again child of God.
Caution: Jesus sent disciples two-by-two. So I suggest you go out in groups to evangelize the way they recommend. And if there is hostility in the area you live or plan to evangelize, I suggest you speak to your pastor first, because the pastor is responsible for your spiritual well-being and life before God. If all is fine, then try it out and leave your comments here. If I do try out the method, I too will update. Till then, forever, God bless you and use you more mightily as a blessing, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
We all love Santa Claus, don’t we? Especially if he gives gifts to us or our kids! But did you know that while this fun tradition is good in a sense, it has also concealed the truth behind Christmas to an extent. Christmas is not about Santa. It’s about Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. While the gifts that Santa gives to kids are perishable, the gift of salvation that God gives through Jesus is everlasting. Here are some interesting facts about Jesus and the Bible:
- There are 332 prophecies in the Bible about Jesus Christ.
- These include his virgin birth, his birthplace, how he was wrapped as a baby (in a white cloth meant to wrap dead bodies – ‘Kafan’ in Urdu – because he came to die for us), his sinless life, the exact day of his entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey, his death on the Cross, burial in a rich man’s tomb, resurrection, ascension to Heaven and even his return for the battle at Armageddon.
- All of these have come true so far. His return is expected too, as all other prophecies till the present time have been fulfilled.
- The Bible contains 8,000 promises.
- 27% of the Bible is prophetic – meaning, that 27% (8,352) of all (31,124) its verses give a total of 1,817 prophecies, all of which have come true so far.
- The Bible predicted thousands of years ago that the nation of Israel would be re-established exactly on 14th May, 1948 and also that it would regain Jerusalem precisely in 1967.
- The principle of quarantine to prevent the spread of contagious diseases was discovered from the Bible.
- The Bible mentioned thousands of years ago, that the Earth is suspended in outer space – long before Columbus discovered this and Copernicus “formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center”!*
- The Bible mentioned thousands of years ago, that the stars in space are innumerable, even though this was discovered by Galileo only a few centuries ago. Until then, people used to believe that there were only a thousand odd stars in the universe!
- This same Bible says that all humans have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. But as we ourselves sinned, we cannot pay the price required for the forgiveness of our sins. If we die in our sins, God would have no option but to send us to hell for eternity, because he is a just God (perfect judge). So if we were to get to Heaven where God lives, someone had to pay the price on our behalf. As no one else was worthy, God sent His only begotten Son Jesus as a human being, letting him die on the Cross to pay our penalty and then God raised him from the dead back to life, 3 days later. He has not died since then – he is alive and in Heaven right now. He ascended to Heaven 40 days after his resurrection from the dead.
- God worked out this plan for our salvation because He is a just God, yet a loving God. He had to punish sin while leaving the way open for the sinner to be set free. And that salvation plan is found in Jesus.
- Jesus is the only person in history so far who has met all the criteria required for a sacrificial Saviour: first-born male, without sin or defect, sacrificed on the Jewish ‘Passover’ festival day (Good Friday)…
- The Bible also says that if you confess that you too have sinned, that you cannot save yourself and ask Jesus to save you, he will really save you (your spirit – atma – rooh). His blood will wash away your sin. All you need to do is pray a simple prayer for salvation with a true repentant heart, accepting him as your only Saviour and Lord. Click here to see what that prayer is.
* Source: Wikipedia
If you are to trust your family’s future into the hands of an insurance company, which one would you choose – one that does not have any record of honouring any claim, or one which has honoured a claim in the past – just as it had promised? Of course, the latter! Now if you are to trust your eternal destiny into the hands of someone, then into whose hands would you trust it? Someone who has never come as a human being and understood your pain? Someone who died and you have never heard of them after that? Or into the hands of someone who died, rose again from the dead and has not died again – and thereby fulfilled hundreds of prophecies and promises? Again, of course the latter!
Well, my friend, the only real historical person who fits in that category is Jesus Christ. I am not trying to convert your religion. Christianity is not a religion. Jesus’ biggest enemies were the religious leaders of his day. It’s not a question of “my god is bigger than your god” – it’s a question of where you want to spend eternity. I urge you that you study the material I am linking to below, and thoughtfully consider praying the salvation prayer – knowing that you will be accountable before God for praying or not praying it. Jesus asked his followers only to preach the Gospel (Good News of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God in Heaven – all for free!). He did not ask us to convert anybody.
So remember, God has given you a free volition. He has not given you the right to make the wrong choice, but He has given you the power to make the wrong choice or the correct choice. Just like how we have the power to abide by the law of the land or to break it, but we do not have the right to break it. So, then…
A couple of months ago, I had been to my native state of Gujarat, where I became – sort of – a Christian persecuted. I gave some gospel tracts to Hindus. Their response wasn’t bad on my face. But when I came back to my hometown, I learned that there was a small verbal fight over the issue. I had given one tract to my relative’s maid. First she asked for our pastor’s phone number saying she wanted prayer. The next day though, her husband came and fought with my relatives. In fact, another relative of mine took my evangelism negatively and said that they could inform the police and get me arrested for trying to convert people’s religion! A brother-in-Christ later advised me that on every tract, you should print words like “We are not trying to convert your religion. Jesus did not come to (start or) establish a religion. Whether to believe in this message or not is your decision.”
Of course, Jesus says in the Bible that people would hate his followers. But what I found surprising was that this actually happens here in India even though we are a secular country. We aren’t theocratic – Hindu like Nepal or Islamic like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.
A missionary pastor later advised me to abstain from handing out gospel tracts in that state as people there think differently than people in my hometown. Missionary pastors really have it tough and often risk death when, ironically, they are really trying to set people free from the clutches of sin, sickness, death etc.
It would be interesting to learn if you have ever been a Christian persecuted for preaching the gospel (even soft persecution – like just handing out tracts or praying for people…). Share your experiences in the comments here. God bless you!
The words FREE GIFT attract the attention of most of us. Marketers especially like to use these words in upper case to draw people’s attention to what they are pitching. But is a gift really FREE?
A gift is free for the person who receives it but not for the person who gives it. The giver always pays a price – unless of course you ‘forwarded’ the gift that you got on your birthday but didn’t like! In that case, neither you nor your poor [ 😦 ] friend will pay anything. ‘Forwarding’ such a gift is so easy – much like forwarding an SMS joke when you have subscribed to a free SMS pack with your cell phone service provider.
The gift of salvation that Jesus Christ promises to give us, comes at a very hefty price. But that price has already been paid by him on the Cross at Calvary. [Read this post to learn more] We simply need to open our hearts and lives to him, in order to receive that gift. So there is no dollar value attached to it – no rituals to carry out, no mantras to be chanted, no sacrifice we need to offer. Salvation is a gift of grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8) Jesus paid the price. The moment we open our hearts, we start gaining from the value of the sacrifice.
Price vs. Value
Jesus’ work on the Cross was the price he paid for our sins. The salvation we get when we receive him, is the value of this sacrifice. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12)
In the next post, we will take the birthday gift analogy a bit further, to explain the urgency (time-sensitivity) of the need to claim this FREE GIFT of salvation. So stay logged-in!
Jesus Christ – Evangelist # 1, was evangelizing most of the time he spent in ministry. Either it was in the form of sermons and parables; or through healing, deliverance and miracles, followed by the learning from these. Here are 3 examples from Jesus’ life as an evangelist:
- Samaritan Woman: Jesus walked 25 miles (40 km) to win the Samaritan woman’s soul. She came to draw water from the well, but ended up receiving the water of life that made her soul well! Using a creative approach that was so characteristic of him, Jesus led her to a point where she would ask for the living water, and would find it in him. “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13)
- At Capernaum: When the people who ate Jesus’ “miracle loaves” were filled, they followed him to Capernaum. When they asked for a sign in order to believe in him as one sent by God the Father, Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:32) Like with the Samaritan woman, Jesus’ creative approach led the people to ask him for this ‘bread’.
- On the Cross: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke:23:43) The thief of the cross asking Jesus to ‘remember’ him, and Jesus’ assurance to him that he was saved through repentance and belief in him (Jesus); both these statements were made in front of all who were witness to the crucifixions. This was probably the best form of evangelism you could get to see. It was in action and not just speech. Despite his own pain, Jesus did not forget to spread the good news of salvation.
The thief on the cross did not have time to lead a Christian life as he died soon after. But you and i have this opportunity. In the next post, we will look at how God’s 3-point plan for our new life – in Christ.
Can you imagine yourself on your deathbed, writhing in pain from wounds all over? Now imagine having to teach a few lessons from that place! Yet Jesus Christ did just that, from his deathbed – the Cross.
Jesus did not live one moment for himself. He lived every moment for his Father in Heaven – to do His will; and he lived for you and me – to show us the way of salvation – himself. Let’s look at his first 3 statements on the cross:
- “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34): Even in that state of physical agony, Jesus prayed for those who crucified him and got him crucified. “Them” also means us, because whenever we sin, we offend God first and others only next.
- “Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:27): John was Jesus’ cousin. Jesus was not concerned about his pain or death but about the well-being of the woman who gave him birth. That led him to give John the responsibility of caring for his mother after his death and ascension.
- “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43): Again, it was for the thief on the cross who repented, that Jesus reserved his third statement. Jesus looked at Paradise rather than the grave. And he had the thief’s salvation in mind than his deliverance from pain.
When Jesus began his ministry on Earth, he meant business. These 3 statements on the Cross were the climax of his work not only as the only Saviour of mankind, but also as evangelist # 1. In a later post, we shall look at Jesus the Evangelist. Stay tuned!
P.S.: They say love is sacrifice. Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for you and me. He is love embodied. To learn more about the gift he wants to give you, read this post.
“God has a plan for your life.” You’ve heard this over and over again, I’m sure. And the story that follows will convince you that it’s true.
3 trees were selected for being chopped and made into something. The smallest one was unhappy that it was made into a little wooden crib. The middle one unhappy because it was made into a boat. And the biggest one was unhappy as they made a wooden cross from it. Then one day the baby Jesus was put into that wooden crib. He grew up and sat in the boat and went about “fishing” for the Apostles and giving sermons from it. And as you probably know, he later carried the wooden Cross and was nailed to it. The Cross became the means of Man’s Salvation.
Never be upset with what you have or what you are. God takes you as you are and shapes you into something that may look useless or ordinary, but will do great things when His time comes. Allow Jesus to do great things through you! God promises “those who dwell under his shadow,” that:
“They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like the vine,
Their scent shall be like the wine (fresh grape juice) of Lebanon.” (Hosea 14:7)