If the Resurrection had been a lie, then we have shown that the Disciples KNEW it. Nowhere in recorded history has there ever been a case of a group of men giving up their lives for a LIE, much less 12 men:
– PETER was CRUCIFIED upside down
– ANDREW was CRUCIFIED
– MATTHEW was STABBED with a SWORD
– JOHN died a NATURAL Death after a lifetime of tribulation
– JAMES, Son of Alphaeus, was CRUCIFIED
– PHILIP was CRUCIFIED
– SIMON was CRUCIFIED
– THADDAEUS was “filled with arrows”
– JAMES, brother of Christ was STONED to death
– THOMAS was THRUST with a SPEAR
– BARTHOLOMEW was CRUCIFIED
– JAMES, Son of Zebedee, was STABBED by a SWORD
A skeptic can still say, “Well, they died for a lie”. The very fact that each of these men had the “opportunity” to recant their faith and DID NOT shows a TRUTH when coupled with the very lives that
these men led after Pentecost.
The 500 eyewitnesses that were still living when Paul wrote his letters, in essence saying “Go talk to them for evidence” could be better understood if we think in terms of giving each of the 500 only 6 minutes to testify in court, we would have over 10 days of court time – 50 hours of EYEWITNESS testimony!
WHY DID CHRIST DIE ?! … For RELIGION?
Religion is humanity trying to WORK their way into the Presence of God. Good Works, Obedience, etc. So our answer is a resounding NO!
For CHRISTIANITY? …
Christianity in NOT RELIGION. Christianity is GOD COMING TO Men and Women through the person of Jesus Christ.
Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. However, Jesus also wanted something else – Let’s look at the following:
– MARK 1:14,15 We receive Kingdom Citizenship 2:17 Our sins are “cured”
– LUKE 15:7 & 10 Joy in Heaven when we repent
– LUKE 24:47 Opened to the World
– ACTS 2:36 Remission of our sins 3:19 Repentance is REFRESHING 20:21 Repentance is PROFITABLE
True repentance ALWAYS leads to a change in the conduct and attitude of the believer.
THE SEVERAL PARTS OF SALVATION
If repentance is true then Faith is the first by-product. Faith means you have a “confident trust in” something or “reliance on” something. READ HEBREWS 11:6 – “Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE…”
In and of itself, FAITH is meaningless. Remember the story of the “battle of the Gods” when Elijah challenged the priest of Baal? The priests had faith! They were sincere in their faith! However; FAITH always needs an OBJECT to which it is placed in or on. If the OBJECT of our FAITH is worthless as it was for the priests of Baal, then we are victims of superstition. It makes no difference how sincere or intense our faith is, we can be sincerely deluded and intensely misled!
SAVING FAITH is many things, but must have (1) Acceptance about the FACTS of and about Christ – HIS DEITY, HIS DEATH and OUR NEED OF HIM. Most of all, it should contain (2) a COMMITMENT TO THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST IN OUR LIVES.
We don’t believe only because of our feelings – we make a DECISION to believe. READ James 2:20. The “faith” indicated here is “head” faith – the kind that does not manifest itself by leading the believer into a MORE holy lifestyle. This “head faith” produces the DEAD WORKS, usually to impress other humans with our “goodness, etc”.
Regeneration is mentioned ONLY TWICE in scripture. In Matthew 19:28 the reference is to the restoration of the world, but in TITUS 3:5, we find the reference to individuals.
Regeneration is a DECISIVE EXPERIENCE that happens ONCE for ALL. However; the regeneration is continual in the results and changes in the lives of the believers.
In JOHN 5:40, Christ says: “Ye will not come to me ..”. Notice that He did not say, “Ye CANNOT come to me ..”. It isn’t that any of us CANNOT come to Him – it’s that we CHOOSE NOT TO come to Him. It requires the active commission of WILL to acknowledge that He is better able to direct our lives and to submit ourselves to His Complete Will!
Well, what of ELECTION where God, in His sovereign will, has chosen certain people and certain groups of people to receive His Grace and Mercy. God chose Abraham as an individual and Israel as an
entire nation. Look at the major aspect of ELECTION – it is not by any virtue or quality of the chosen, but exclusively through the Will of God.
Coupled with ELECTION is PREDESTINATION. Predestination indicates that God’s purpose for the believer – that we become CHRISTLIKE is CERTAIN to be fulfilled. READ Romans 8:29,30 Foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification & glorification are all parts of the one “package” of SALVATION. If we have one – we have them ALL! READ John 6:44 – Predestination is exclusive of any
merits we might have and is totally through God’s sovereign will. READ Romans 9:23 – “He selects” does NOT show discrimination! Keep in mind that we are ALL sinners and GOD has EVERY RIGHT to treat His rebellious creations in the manner that HE pleases.
WE SHOULD NOT BE SO AMAZED THAT GOD WITHHOLDS MERCY FROM SOME – WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL AND AMAZED THAT HE SHOULD SHOW GRACE AND MERCY TO ANY!!!!
The purpose that the Bible teaches us about ELECTION and PREDESTINATION is to show that SALVATION is ALL from God and cannot be won, or earned or received by any action or doing on our part. SALVATION is GIVEN! By showing an ELECTION before the world began, God shows and tells us, graphically, that our SALVATION is ETERNAL and CERTAIN (Secure).
A skeptic says, “If I am elected then I’ll get into Heaven, anyway – if I’m not elected then there’s no use trying!”. God ELECTED, and ONLY GOD knows WHO is elected. Until we come into His Kingdom, we do NOT KNOW if we are among the chosen – But I do know that NO ONE in HELL will ever be able to say, “I wanted to be saved, but my name was on the wrong list!”. FOREKNOWLEDGE IS NOT FORE-
ORDINATION OR FORE-ELECTION….
This can be paraphrased, “Just as if I’d NEVER sinned” but is far more that just an Acquittal of sins. It actually means that we are RIGHTEOUS before God. Justification is OBJECTIVE in that it does not make us “personally” righteous but declares us righteous in a LEGAL sense to make right our relationship with God.
Christ’s death in our place satisfied the claims of God’s holy law against our sins. READ Romans 5:8,9
Christ’s perfect obedience (Romans 5:19) gave us the example we are to follow, but we are reminded of faith in His atonement. IT ISN’T SALVATION BY WHAT WE CAN DO BUT BY WHAT GOD HAS DONE!!!
This is the PROCESS of being saved. It is the PROCESS (continual action) of becoming more holy. The actual meaning is “set aside” or “holy”. The word SAINT uses the same root word, and helps us understand a little more of what we are to be in the process of… Justification is our standing before God and is instantaneous – Sanctification has to do with our character and lifestyle and daily lives and is continual in nature. READ I Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 5:16 & 22,23
READ I John 3:2 and I Thessalonians 5:9 – This is the “FUTURE” part of SALVATION.
JUSTIFICATION – we are SAVED from the PENALTY of sin.
SANCTIFICATION – we are SAVED from the POWER of sin.
GLORIFICATION – we are to be REMOVED from the PRESENCE of sin.
SECURITY OF OUR SALVATION
The HOLY SPIRIT places us in the BODY OF CHRIST as told to us in I Corinthians 12:13, and no scripture even hints that removal from the body is possible!
The HOLY SPIRIT seals us as told in Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 until redemption. The seal would have to be broken to remove salvation, and this is not scriptural.
The Father’s purpose is to KEEP US as told in John 10:28-30 to present us FAULTLESS before His THRONE.
In Romans 8:29,30 the past tense of a future event PROVES the CERTAINTY of SALVATION.
SALVATION TAKES US OUT OF THE MIRE AND PUTS US INTO THE CHOIR. SALVATION MAY COME QUIETLY, BUT WE CANNOT BE QUIET ABOUT IT.
Computers for Christ – San Jose