God Loves You!
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This is probably the most well known scripture in the Bible, but read verse 17: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world [human race] through him [Jesus] might be saved.” Remember, I Cor. 15:22: “For as in Adam all die.” Without going into the details, remember father Adam sinned with the whole human race in his loins. Therefore, Psalm 51:5 observes the whole human race was born in sin and “shapen in iniquity.” Therefore, we were all condemned to death in father Adam.
If God wants all to be saved,
Why do so many leave so many out?
John 3:16, 17 shows God wants to save the whole world, the entire human race. But sadly some Christian groups disagree and actually do not seem to want all of the human race to be saved. The Roman Catholic Church is a primary example of this. In an April 24, 2015, statement entitled “Do Non-Catholics Go to Hell?” The Catholic Church states, “This is the whole point of evangelizing: to help people understand the perilous risks they are exposing their souls to if they do not become Catholic and faithfully receive the sacraments given by our Lord to us for our salvation. All salvation comes through the Catholic Church, and outside of her there is no salvation.” How sad!
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are also a very exclusive group. Claiming a membership of 8.2 million, they believe they are the only ones who will live through Armageddon and live eternally on earth. In 1992 the Jehovah’s Witnesses governing body made a bizarre move. They applied to be a non-governmental Associate member of the United Nations, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim the United Nations is the sinful “scarlet-colored beast” of Revelation 17. The Jehovah’s Witnesses renewed their membership annually until it became public. One wonders why?
Christadelphians and Seventh-Day Adventists also consider themselves exclusive churches. We won’t take the time to deal with their doctrines. But Scripturally, both of these wrongly considered exclusive churches with all mankind will have an opportunity for salvation.
Do We Really Know If Jesus Existed?
Without the resurrection of Christ Jesus our faith is baseless and “we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:16-19). But just think in addition to Jesus and the Apostles, over 30 other people are mentioned in the New Testament and also confirmed to exist in other Christian writings of that time. Their being mentioned both in the Bible and secular history verifies the accuracy of the Bible. They are:
Jesus, Agrippa I, Agrippa II, Ananias, Annas, Aretas, Beatrice (wife of Agrippa II), Caesar Augustus, Diapnas, Claudius, Drusilla, Erascus, Felix, Gallio, Gamaliel, Herod Antipas, Herod Archelaus, Herod the Great, Herod Philip I, Herod Philip II, Herodias, James the brother of Jesus, John the Baptist, Judas the Galilean, Lysanias, Pilate, Quirinius, Porcius Festus, Salome (daughter of Herodias), Sergius Paulus, and Tiberius Caesar.
This list of the same names that occur in both secular history and also in the New Testament Bible is another confirmation of the accuracy and validity of the New Testament.
Additionally, there were ten noted non-Christian writers, even though they lived during the 150 years after Jesus’ life yet they still knew the name of Jesus. What another convincing collaboration of the Bible record that Jesus really existed!
These were Josephus, Jewish historian of the Roman government; Tacitus, the Roman historian; Pliny the Younger, a Roman politician; Phlegon, a freed slave who wrote histories; Thallus, a First Century historian; Suetonius, a Roman historian; Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist; Celsus, a Roman philosopher; Maraban-Seration, a private citizen who wrote to his son; and the Jewish Talmud.
What a confirmation of the scriptural teaching of the resurrection of Christ Jesus by the above secularists. Yes, secularists. There were so many non-biblical secular confirmations that Jesus was raised from the dead that even the above listed secularists accepted it as a fact 150 years later. Atheism is founded on so many unproven assumptions that it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian. Because of all the factual verifications that the Bible is true concerning the resurrection, some have observed that we don’t need as much faith to believe in the resurrection of Christ Jesus as we do for other doctrines.
There Is a God!
The noted atheist, Steven Hawking, the English theorist and cosmologist, recently surprised the scientific community when he announced during a speech at the University of Cambridge that he believed “some form of intelligence” was actually behind the creation of the Universe. What a concession for Hawkins!
A movie entitled “God Is Not Dead” was released in 2016. Although a really low budget production produced compared to very expensive Hollywood productions, it is having a powerful impact. There are standing ovations by large audiences throughout the country.
Even China Is Becoming Christian
China, long a Communist nation outlawed religion, but Christianity is now spreading rapidly in China. Why? It is because of how well faith fits in with the modern scientific technology of China. According to the renowned socialist Rodney Stark, the number of Christians in China is growing at an impressive annual rate of 7%. Stark co-authored with Xiuhua Wang, the 2015 work “A Star in the East: The Rise of Christianity in China.” Stark, estimated that in 1980 there were ten million underground Christians in China. In 2007 the figure was 60 million, but they are no longer underground. This is an annual growth of 7%. Last year there were nearly 100 million Christians in China.
It is claimed this large increase in the number of Christians in China is driven by the conversion of the better educated. They are experiencing “cultural incongruity” between traditional Asian culture and industrial-technological modernity which results in a spiritual thirst that only Christianity is able to satisfy.
China’s intellectuals, Stark said, are “very convinced they have got to turn West to understand the world they live in…and they’re convinced…that Eastern religions don’t fit the modern world they’re engaged in and that they need to look to the West to find philosophies and religions.” It’s amazing; officially belligerent atheist Communist China unofficially has a recognized growing Christian Population.
In Matthew 7:13, Jesus observed that “many”—actually the majority of the human race—because they are still sinners, are symbolically on the “broad road” or “way to destruction,” that is, to death. Thus, 1 Corinthians 15:22, states: “as in Adam all die.” Remember father Adam in the Garden of Eden with the human race, symbolically speaking, in his loins, willfully sinned by disobeying God. Therefore the whole human race, as Psalm 55 observes, was “born in sin and shaped in iniquity.” Revelation 20:6, reveals that the thousand years of Christ’s Kingdom will be required to bring all the willing and obedient of mankind up the “highway of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8) to perfect human life.
The Blessings of the Kingdom
Isaiah 35 portrays some of the wondrous Kingdom blessings for the world of mankind. The Church will be reigning with Christ during this 1,000 year Kingdom. Verses 5 and 6 states “The blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, lame shall walk, and the dumb sing. What a time of blessing for mankind. Verse 8, speaking of the “highway of holiness,” states that it will be for the “unclean,” but “the unclean shall not pass over it.”
This interesting phrase can be compared to an automobile carwash. It is for dirty cars, but dirty cars don’t pass over it because they are washed clean by the time they reach the end of the carwash. Similarly, the “highway of holiness” is for the morally unclean of mankind, but they will not pass over it. Why? Through the instruction and nurture of Christ and his Church in the Millennial Kingdom the faithful of mankind will be made morally clean by the time they reach the end of the “highway of holiness.”
Verse 9 shows “no lion shall be there” on the highway. Apostle Peter identified Satan as a symbolic “lion” (1 Peter 5:8) and Revelation 20:1-3 reveals Satan will be bound, unable to tempt or hinder mankind, during the “thousand year Kingdom. “…Verse 9 continues“but the redeemed shall walk there.” Verse 10 concludes, “And the ransomed [Remember Jesus died a ransom for all, 1 Timothy 2:6] of the Lord shall return and come to Zion [the kingdom] with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” What Kingdom blessings for the redeemed of mankind!
The climax of the Kingdom work is described in Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” What incredible blessings for mankind!
Just think God will give Jesus and His Church the fabulous privilege in the 1,000-year Kingdom to give these awesome blessings to the remainder of mankind. If you now fulfill the terms of discipleship, you will be as a part of the Church of Christ one of the blessers of the world of mankind.
Before Kingdom Blessings—More Trouble
While ISIS is under attack in Iraq and Syria its supporters continue planning attacks across the United States and Western Europe. Many think it will grow in intensity. An example of the horrendous worldwide fulfilment of the Scripture 1 Cor. 15:22“As in Adam all die” is found in a report from” Doctors Without Borders” that 11 million people were displacedand 400 thousand killed in the conflict in Syria. We are unaware of all the violence happening in third world countries during this prophetic “time of trouble” prophesied in Dan. 12:1 and Matt. 24:20-22
1 Timothy 2:3-6 (ESV translation)
“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to know the truth fully. There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and human beings—a human, the Messiah Jesus. He gave himself as a ransom for everyone, the testimony at the proper time!”
God is our savior in that it is His plan that has devised the procedure for us to obtain eternal life.
Jesus is our savior because as a perfect man he is the ransom that in the Greek means corresponding price who died for our sins.
First Timothy 2:3-6, is a thrilling and revealing Scripture to conclude our lesson on GOD LOVES YOU. We saw that all the “ransomed of the Lord shall return” from the dead. Remember 1Timothy 2:6, reveals Jesus died a Ransom for all.
Yes, God Loves You!!!!
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It is a 70-page booklet, full of archaeological discoveries, by noted archaeologists such as Eilat Mazar that are thrilling confirmations that our Bible is the inspired Word of God. Her motto is—“I excavate with the Bible in one hand and a shovel in the other.”