Posts Tagged ‘cross’

If You Had Been the Only One… He would still have died for you!

April 19, 2011

Did you know that whoever you are and whatever you’ve done (good or bad), Jesus loved you enough to die for you? (1John 2v2) Before the foundation of the world, He foresaw your birth and mine and then one day (in the knowledge that nothing less than this enormous sacrifice would suffice) He allowed Himself to be taken away by an angry mob and cruelly nailed to a Roman cross.

If Jesus had not died for us and gloriously risen again we would be without hope, both in this life – and the next. By dying for us, Jesus effectively took the weight of our sins and paid the price, so that we might have an assurance of sins forgiven – and a home in heaven. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Peter 2v24) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Corinthians 5v21)

Remember only Jesus can forgive us our sins, because only He has never sinned, for the Bible tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3v23). In Hebrews 7v26&27 we are told of Jesus… “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”

When Jesus uttered those final lovely words “It is finished,” what a defining moment in the history of mankind! Finished the necessity for animal sacrifices, finished the striving and those rituals which can never take away sin. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” (Hebrews 10v11&12).  Again we read in Hebrews 10v18… “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

“But there are so many different religions in the world,” one may say. However, in Acts 4v12 we learn that Jesus is the only way: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” We may reject or accept this statement, but Paul tells us in Romans 14v11&12 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

“But what about my kindness, charity work and church going?” some may ask. However in Isaiah 64v6 we learn that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” In Ephesians 2v8&9 we are further assured: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. However good and respectably you have lived your life, repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is still essential for salvation. After this your faith will be evidenced by your works. (James 2v18)

Still others might say: “But my life has been appalling. I have committed terrible sins – I don’t deserve to go to heaven.” Perhaps not, but no one does! Remember, Jesus loves you every bit as much as any ‘pillar of society!’ Whatever your background, addictions, problems, or your sin in this life, it is totally within His will that you repent, trust in His enormous sacrifice for you – and have that assurance in your heart of a home in heaven.

In Matthew 27v38 we read: “Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.” In a sense the whole world is represented by these two people who hung on either side of Jesus on that day. Jesus died for both of them and both of them were guilty – but we only read that one of them accepted Him as Lord and Saviour. Jesus said to him… “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23v43). What wonderful words to the human ear! You, the reader, can also have that assurance of sins forgiven, and a little bit of heaven can be yours upon this earth, for Jesus said “I am come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10v10).

Are you ready for that day when the Lord shall return again – this time as Judge? “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.” (1Corinthians 15v52) The alternative to heaven, that terrible place hell is unthinkable. In the Bible we read of no other destination in the after life, but heaven or hell. But it was never God’s will that mankind (whom He made in His own image, and sent His only Son to die for) should spend eternity in such a horrific place. The righteous Son of God was born in humble circumstances, died between two criminals, and on the third day rose again so that we would never have to pay the terrifying eternal penalty for our sins. In 1Corinthians 15v55-57 we read those encouraging words for those who have trusted the Saviour… “O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Would you like to be sure of a home in heaven? In 1Corinthians 6v2 we learn that “…now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” Tomorrow may be too late! Jesus warns us that He could return at any time… “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” (Luke 12v40). We must consider, too, that our lives are fragile and transient: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4v14).

One day many years ago I came to that place of repentance. The date shall forever stand out in my mind… 28th August, 1978. Ultimately I knew that I was in danger while I lived my life outside of God’s grace. I was totally alone in an upstairs room, no one preached to me and no one prayed with me, and I cannot remember my exact words, but I know that on that evening I crossed from darkness into light, and found the Greatest Friend and Confidant that anyone could ever hope for. Perhaps you would like to pray these (or similar) words right now in the quietness of your own heart… “Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for dying for me. I acknowledge that I am a sinner and that I need your forgiveness. Please come into my life and make me a new person. Assist me, in your strength, to tell others of my experience and to live according to your words, as contained in the Bible. Open my eyes to the great truths within it, and help me to find fellowship with others who have come to know Jesus as their Saviour.”

Thank you for reading this. I sincerely hope and pray that you will find that “abundant life.” Note that it is better to start reading the Bible (preferably the Authorised Version) in the New Testament and after this the Old Testament. If you require further discussion or help regarding the issues discussed in this tract, please feel free to contact me at: readywriterpublications@gmail.com. May you know God’s richest blessings upon your life – now and forever!

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Unlimited Atonement

March 29, 2010

For whom did Jesus die? This simple question has led to much bitter debate down through the centuries, but I believe that God’s Word declares without a doubt that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. Which verses do I use to support this view? Here are a few…

 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2v2)

“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (1Timothy 4v10)

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2v11)

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Peter 3v9)

“Therefore as by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5v18) Does not ‘all’ mean ‘all?!’

In my youthful, unregenerate days I heard a sermon which troubled me. I remember thinking: “supposing I am one of those who have been predestined to go to Hell?” I felt, for a short time, a bleak helplessness but thank God for His reassurance! Somehow I knew that this could not possibly be true and when I later trusted the Saviour, it was with joy that I read the above verses.

As for predestination, I have no problem at all with the verses where this is mentioned. “For whom he did foreknow…” (Romans 8v29) Of course God ‘foreknew’ – because God knows the future. He knows who will trust Him – and who will not.”… “He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…” Those whom God knew beforehand would trust Him and endure to the end – have been predestined to be glorified. Praise God there is a choice today! “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24v15) And here is another verse to consider: “For the love of Christ constaineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead;” (2Cor. 5v14)

Remember, if you had been the only one – He would still have suffered and died for you! Therefore if you have not already done so, repent and put your trust in the precious blood of Jesus for salvation today – for the great price has been paid for the ransom of your soul.

My little Greek Donkey – A Thought for “Palm Sunday”……(John 12)

March 23, 2010

Paul said: “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal. 4v10&11) Therefore with this in mind, I do not observe these “days, months, times and years” in the sense that I feel obliged to pay homage to them. Yet these times which are noted on our international calendars may be used to proclaim all that the Lord has laid upon our hearts. With this in mind, I remember my little Greek donkey…

Some years ago I made friends with a little donkey on the Greek Island of Corfu. Day after day it stood tethered by the dusty roadside, looking parched in the intense heat of the sun. As I gave it some water to drink, my eyes fell on the cross upon its back… something peculiar to all donkeys I had ever seen.

He could have chosen a golden chariot drawn by well-groomed horses, for after all He was the King of Glory, but as always Jesus trod the road of humility.

It was a beautiful day when those who loved Him lined His path with branches of palm trees, as He came riding upon an ass’s colt. “Hosanna!” they cried, “Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” There were certain Greeks on that day who had come to worship at the feast. “Sir, we would see Jesus…” they said to Philip. (John 12v21)

Sometimes on a stormy Irish winter’s night while I try to sleep, my thoughts return to another time, another place… and my little donkey. Aptly named ‘beast of burden’, the donkey is universally subjected to ill-treatment. No one understands burdens more than Jesus does, for He took the burden of sin of the entire human race to Calvary – and made it His own.

Today, as the burdens of life would press upon us, we can (like the Greeks of old) see Jesus – by faith. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden”, He says, “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt.11v28-30). Why not trust Him with your burden today, for no matter who you are or what you have done, He died to make your burdens His own!

Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace give I unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14v27)  © Elizabeth Burke 2006