Archive for category Death
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!
They say “Never quit.” “Never give up.” In some cases, that’s not true. It depends on what you want to or need to quit or give up. If you are a slave to smoking or drinking, then you need to quit – give up – that. You need to be set free. Many people who live in democracies are in bondage – to sin. Or they are captives of disease, depression etc. Are they really free? No…! They need to be set free. Here’s how…
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36
The best way to be set free from sin is to repent of it before the true living God and ask Him to forgive you and restore you to what He wants you to be. Jesus Christ – the Son of God – wants to set you free today…now. All you need to do is ask him to forgive you and help you overcome your weaknesses. In saying this I assume that you are already a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. If you are not, then you need to become one. Click here to learn how to get born again. Once (or if already) you are a born-again believer, use the suggestion given earlier in this paragraph, exercise your authority in Jesus’ name and choose to receive the freedom that is yours in Christ Jesus! Amen.
Is there any connection between the Easter egg and Jesus Christ? Well, none that I can think of. What, then, is Easter?
Most of us know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross 2000 years ago. That day was a Friday. Jesus died according to prophecy – to take the sins of all mankind upon himself, so that “whoever believes in him should not perish (die) but have everlasting life (in Heaven).” (John 3:16) Not everybody though, is aware that he rose from the grave on the third day – a Sunday. That day happened to be the day on which people from many cultures celebrated a festival called Easter. They worshipped a fertility goddess and used the egg as a symbol of fertility. So the Easter egg has no connection with the central message of the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books with a single theme: God’s love for us so deep, that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And Jesus walked out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, in a resurrected body – one that could pass through locked doors! To all those who receive Jesus as their personal Saviour (one who saves) and Lord and repent of their sins; God promises a similar indestructible body even though they may die physically. That’s the only theme of the Bible: forgiveness of sins and salvation through belief and faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
So should we celebrate Easter? Well, that depends on what you want – fertility only, or
fertility plus everything else plus eternal life! The choice is yours to make… This post can help you make that choice.
My cousin brother Kartik expired day before yesterday (30 Dec, 2009). He was 38. He probably was an agnostic. We were born in a Hindu family. He had a science-oriented outlook and perhaps found it difficult to rationally explain spiritual phenomena. His death brings up several thoughts that I feel like sharing with my readers – but not before I compare them with Scripture.
In the Hindu religion, as many of you would be aware, a dead body is cremated – burnt. The remains are ashes and bones. Cremation happens either in a traditional way, placing the dead body on a pile of wood; or it is ‘strolleyed’ into a pre-ignited electric furnace. I had to visit the electric crematorium as part of the ceremony, although I did not have to participate in the formalities. The atmosphere in the complex (which was full of greenery) was that of sorrow and hopelessness. It was clear that – barring me and probably my father – no one there had any idea whatsoever about what happens after death. That’s because none of them had anything to do with the Bible. For them, my cousin had probably gone into another human body, in some other part of the world – or maybe in some other world… They were not aware of the promise in John 3:16.
My cousin had blood cancer (myeloid leukemia). He fought a courageous war, partnering with earthly doctors and family members. I tried my level best to elaborate on Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24 in the hope that he would partner with God and believe and receive healing from the Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, he didn’t, though apparently he had repented of his sins and accepted Jesus in front of a pastor who I took along to minister to him. Not sure if it was from the bottom of his heart or just to respect my sentiments… It was frustrating. But every one has a choice – Truth though, doesn’t keep changing itself with people’s choices. God is sovereign. His offer had a time limit. Ultimately His will is always done. I thank God for giving me over 30 years to spend as my cousin’s close friend and playmate. He was one of the noblest and most compassionate and loving human beings I have come across so far. May God grant grace to his entire family to bear the loss and use the tragedy to save the unsaved family members. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Salvation is indeed a free gift for you and me if we receive Jesus Christ in our lives. But this free offer will not last forever!
Imagine salvation as a birthday gift. Whether or not you invited Jesus at your birthday party, he has come and is knocking at your door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20) He will not force his way in. That’s the devil’s style. Jesus will simply keep knocking until you open the door.
The gift cannot be yours until you receive it. You cannot ask anyone to accept it on your behalf – you must accept it. Remember: Jesus bought it for you with his own precious Blood. You really owe it to him to accept this offer. Jesus will keep standing until the party is on. Once the party’s over and the time is up – your life comes to an end – he will return. Then you cannot claim the gift that was meant for you. No 2ND chance!
So if you do not know where you will go after you die, read the Good News here, because this free…
“Offer is Valid Until Life Lasts.”
In the post “What is Death?“, we saw the difference between physical death and spiritual death. If we are to avoid spiritual death, someone must die on our behalf – to pay the price for our sins; so that we are released from the bondage to sin. That ‘someone’ was Jesus – he died in our place!
Jesus’ dying on the Cross in our place is termed “substitutionary death.” One man dying for another man’s folly. And all this out of grace and mercy – just so that we could walk away free! “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Jesus for Jesus – Man for Man
When Jesus was brought before Pilate, the multitude demanded that Jesus Christ be crucified and a prisoner by the name of Jesus Barabbas (Barabbas means ‘son of the father’) be released. As per the custom in those days, one prisoner would be released at the Passover feast. So Pilate ordered Jesus Barabbas – the “notorious prisoner” – to be released.
The Jesus who was a sinner was let off while the innocent Jesus (Christ) was sacrificed at Passover. In a sense, we too are in Barabbas’ position – we have offended God. But God, in His mercy and grace, anointed Jesus to die not only in place of Barabbas, but also in place of you and me. Jesus for Jesus – Man for Man!
Let us, then, offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God by praising Him and thanking Him for the way of salvation He has worked out for us in Christ Jesus:
“Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever.” (2 Chr. 20:21; Ps. 106:1; Ps. 136)
What is the meaning of ‘death’? In one of our Sunday services, the guest speaker Bro. Rajkumar Ramchandran explained the meaning of death:
Death is separation. Physical death occurs when the spirit gets separated from the body. Spiritual death occurs when the spirit gets separated from God – its Creator. While physical death merely brings to an end your journey on planet Earth, spiritual death begins the spirit’s eternity in hell. Here’s how…
The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) So when you die a sinner, i.e. without your sins washed away (forgiven), there is no reason why God should allow your spirit to enter Heaven, into His presence. The only other place is hell, far, far separated from God, from where you can never return – neither to Earth nor to God, who created your spirit. This is how you are separated from God – forever! That is why I choose to call sins as ‘grave” – they actually ensure that your body is deposited into the grave and your spirit burns forever in hell. So what is the way out?
Jesus Forgives Sins
God knew that we will sin, having inherited Adam’s and Eve’s genes. He loves us so much that He wants us to come back to Him after physical death. That’s why He worked out a simple plan of salvation. Salvation is free, my friend! Unfortunately, sometimes great scholars fail to fathom God’s love for us and His simple plan of salvation. So if you aren’t a born-again child of God, you need to learn about this plan, now – before you log-in to check your emails! Read this post