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Twas the night before Christmas…

john 12-32To any dear unsaved friend, (If you are saved, please share).  I pray for you, that you might know the best Christmas, Chanukah, or whatever you do or do not celebrate this year.

I pray for you to believe on Jesus Christ, and then receive the greatest gift ever given (before it may be too late).

Time is short, I know.  In the blink of an eye, one you love can be gone right in front of your eyes, and there is nothing you can do to bring them back to life.  We are not promised tomorrow…

You never need to be alone again or in fear of where you will go when you die.  Let me start from the beginning.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many… Heb 9

From the beginning, God created man with love.  God is the Father, His Son Jesus andheb9-27WherewillyougowhenuDie the Holy Spirit.  God is One.  It’s hard to sometimes grasp, but they are One.  God gave man a free will, to choose.  He only had one instruction, all else was given to man.  All good things.  From the beginning, God warned man, if you do just this one thing (eat of the tree of the knowledge of good AND evil), you will die.

Most of you know the end to that story, man disobeyed God.  God didn’t want man to die, He had already planned a solution.  He promised man in Gen 3:15, there would be a Savior that would crush sin (Satan) under His feet.  God is Holy, and so He provided a temporary sacrifice to cover man’s nakedness, and that sin causes spiritual death and separation from all good, which comes from God, forever… (the wages of sin is death -Rom 3:23).  Their first covering was the skins of the perfect animals God created.   In this fall of man, all were affected, mankind, and all of creation.   In like manner, Jesus, is the Lamb of God (John 1), but He provides a permanent sacrifice for forgiveness of sins, and a permanent covering of salvation and righteousness, which Jesus has become for anyone who will believe upon Him — anyone.

He gave a promise to mankind to save them from their sins, and continued to watch mankind grow more evil and His heart was grieved (Gen 6).  We were made in His image, we have sorrow too when we are hurt by others.   We were created for Him to love us, and for us to love Him freely in return.  He made us free… but we failed, man sinned, man had to die, How much we have hurt Him…  Jesus became that man who would give Himself for us with such great love (John 15:13).

So who is this Savior, who throughout the Old Testament is testified and known as God – Jehovah?  The Bible there is only one Savior, and He is God.

I, even I, am the Lord;

and beside me there is no Saviour.  Isaiah 43:11

Jesus was not created, but He is God the Savior — Col 1:13-17. (Sorry to my Jehovah witness and Mormon friends, I will be very happy to take you through Scripture to show you).

And so, It was prophesied, He would be born of a virgin (Is 7:14), and His name would be Immanuel (God among us), and He would be called Lord (which means, God, the Messiah).  So why did Mary call Him Jesus?  (It means, Jehovah saves). Jesus was fully God and fully man.  There is none like Him, and no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved (Acts 4:12)

In Isaiah 61, the Anointed (the Christ) is again prophesied of;

is53-6ALL“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.  Isaiah 61:1-2a

Jesus told the crowd in Luke 4, He had fulfilled that prophecy. (See much more in Isaiah 53)

There are 315 + prophecies of Jesus, some are repeated, so the count may be up to almost 375. The prophecies foretold by prophets in six different countries, 3 different languages, over a thousand years before Christ came.  It’s not possible to explain the seeming impossibility of just one person fulfilling all these — yet His death, the horrific manner of His suffering, His beatings, scourgings, humiliation — mocked, despised and rejected of His own (even His own family).  Even them ripping off the hair out of His beard and spitting on His face…(Isaiah 50:6).  An innocent man, God, compassionate and not willing that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9), who desires ALL MEN should be saved, so He gave Himself a ransom for ALL (1 Tim 2:1-6).

He went willingly to the cross, the Father laid all of our sins upon Him.  Even as they mocked Him, “if You are the Son of God, save Yourself, get Yourself off of that cross”(Matt 27:40).  I cannot imagine the immense amount of angels just waiting for His command, He could have had thousands instantly free Him — not to even imagine what those cruel men might have experienced (Matt 26:53).

Yet with Jesus last breath, He prayed for these vicious, slanderous, scoffing, hateful, unbelieving murderers.  He cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”…

What’s the worst sin we could commit?  I don’t know.  But the Bible says, break one law, and you break them all.  So just a little lie, anger at another, makes us as bad as the next in the sight of a Holy God.  Hate someone?  We’re a murderer….

For me?  The worst sin was probably thinking that I was good.  A good person, who did good to others.  Kind of like my Roman Catholic friends (who have to earn their salvation by the sacraments – and never know if they are saved).  Many are ‘good people’, just not good enough for a Holy God.  My ex-brother-in-law, a Mormon seminarian, wonderful guy, so was my mother-in-law, (and I pray that somehow all those years of discussing why Mormonism could not save, that she finally heard).  But being good, attending church, doing good to others, that will not save, it is a terrible deception that the enemy of all mankind, has perpetuated on them (2 Cor 4; 2 Cor 11:3-4).

No sin, not one, will enter heaven. Heaven is not a bunch of clouds, we have a description of how amazing and perfect it will be, along with the time we will spend on
earth, and then, a new heavens and a new earth.

We see this earth now, what sin has accomplished.  Not just ugliness, pollution and damage from sin, but misery, earthquakes, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes.  Wars, rumors of wars, people murdering people, chopping of heads, doing all sorts of heinous things to one another.  Not loving their neighbors as themselves, nor loving God with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength, which is the greatest commandment.  But He loved us first…

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ONE WAY

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

There is only one solution.  Only one way to the Father. Only one truth.  Jesus, who is God, is the solution, the only way.  He humbled Himself and died for you, for me, for everyone upon that cross of sorrow and shame.  Took the punishment that we should have had.  Jesus is the answer.

When you look upon your tree, think of the tree Christ hung from to provide us everlasting life with Him.  Think of the light He brought into the world, and the good news He brought with Him.  Think on our sin, which Isaiah (1:18) says is like crimson, but He will make it white as snow.

Jesus Christ died for every sin we ever did, are doing, and will do, and forgave us.   He suffered, bled, and died with such great love for us.  He paid the price IN FULL.  Buried in our place, risen again, He took His life back up again, proving who He is, God eternal (not created, but the Creator).

He did it all, that we might believe and be saved.  He is the Lamb of God that takes away all of our sin. Not covered, not temporary, but forgiven forever.  He gives us right then, the free gift of eternal life.  He says we can KNOW we have this gift permanently (1 John 5:13).   The condition?  We must repent (change our mind) of our old way of thinking regarding how we might be a good enough person to get to heaven.  Or it might be thinking our religion might save us, or maybe we don’t even believe there is a God.   How do we do this?  By believing upon Him in our place, in order to be saved.

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Have you ever lost a loved one?  Or more?  I have.  Ever been close to death? (Yes again). Or seen others you love on their death bed? (Yes). And Jesus was there and is still there for me.  In my sorrow, He was close.  You never have to be alone again.  This is why Jesus came.  He binds up our wounds.  He is close to the brokenhearted.  He came to heal us of our sin.

Will you believe upon Him as your Savior?  If you have placed your faith in Him, you are saved, you are perfected forever, you will rise again, blameless before Him because of Jesus, and spend eternity with Him.  If you have any questions, email me, post a comment, and I will get in touch with you.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:8-14

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