Here is What Makes Good Friday Good!

Good Friday…the day Christians remember Jesus’ crucifixion.  What’s so “good” about the day our Lord and Savior was beaten, broken, and crucified?  It was a gruesome day, physically.  Recall, that Jesus was betrayed, endured 6 illegal trials, treated ruthlessly, and ultimately crucified.

To understand the “good” in Good Friday, we must go all the way back to Genesis!   Only three chapters into the Bible (Genesis 3), we find Satan convincing Eve that, if she will taste the fruit, “…your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” [Emphasis mine].  Ultimately, Eve ate, and sin entered the world.  Since that time, we all attempt (in one way or another) to be like God.  In other words, we all sin.  (Romans 3:23)  As a result, we are all in need of a Savior, and God prepared a way of salvation for us.

In the midst of our sin, Christ died for us!  (Romans 5:6)  Though He was sinless, He died in order to one day bring us safely home!  (1 Peter 3:18)

Friends, THAT is good news!  You see, Good Friday is not “good” from Jesus’ earthly point of view, but is only “good” to our benefit!  That is the love of a Savior who draws us to Himself and desires that none should perish!  (2 Peter 3:8-9)

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)  If Jesus is not your personal friend and Savior, please go to How to Know God.  He is there waiting for you!  Don’t let this Resurrection weekend pass without considering your eternal destiny.

The Church’s Responsibility: Stand with Israel

“As Christians, we love God. And we want to love Him with all of our hearts, with all of our being. But we also have to love what He loves. And He has chosen to love a very special nation. If we’re going to love God, we must love the Nation of Israel.”
~Wayne Hilsden (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries)

The Bible teaches us to stand with Israel, yet many in the church don’t know that, or don’t know why.  Thankfully, God has burdened some Christians (myself included) to speak out, to teach and to exhort others to stand with Israel.  Israel-supporting ministries are popping up as never before, and I thank God for that.

Currently, a new film, Why Stand with Israel?, is being produced and is scheduled to premiere in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles (in September).  The 90-minute film will then premiere in theaters across America (likely a one-time showing) before being released on DVD and online throughout the world.

“Several years ago, while hosting some friends at our house to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, I was astounded by how many Christians had so many misconceptions about Israel and were Biblically uniformed about their Judeo-Christian heritage.  I felt there needed to be an avenue to expose all these lies and misconceptions about Israel and to encourage the Church that it’s time to eradicate our long history of antisemitism and our replacement theology teaching that we somehow replaced the Jewish people as God’s chosen people.”
~Producer Brian Sanders

Amen to that!

I’m looking forward to the film and will pray for God’s supernatural wisdom and guidance as they produce it.  I hope you will, too.  Let’s consider how we might use this film (and other resources) to educate and encourage our Christian brothers and sisters about the importance of our Jewish roots, and the importance of standing with Israel.

Meanwhile, here is the trailer:

 

For if the Gentiles have had a share in the Jews’ spiritual “good things” it is only fair that they should look after the Jews as far as the good things of this world are concerned.
~Romans 15:27 (Phillips Translation)

God’s Word: True Before the News Takes Place!

Hi friends!  Are you amazed at the Bible’s accuracy?  One one hand, we shouldn’t be surprised by it, if we believe the God who scripted it is all-knowing.  On the other hand, we should be amazed and inspired that everything in life (history, geology, anthropology, archaeology, etc) continually confirms the Bible’s veracity.  I just love that about our God and His Word…how about you!?!

Well, headlines confirm Bible prophecy and I was in awe of the Lord’s timing of things when I read headlines yesterday.  This will end with a twist, so follow carefully!

‘I’m Not Bluffing,’ Putin Tells the West, Announcing Advanced Nuclear Weaponry  Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his state-of-the-union address, in which saber-rattling was at its best!  He announced that Russia now has nuclear weapons with almost unlimited range and capability of avoiding missile defense systems.  In other words, he has come up with the mother of all nuclear weapons!  They can reach anywhere, and no one can touch them!

He made other outlandish claims that likely have various degrees of truth, wrapped in a layers of exaggeration.  I suspect we will soon find out how much is true and how much is lie, but the key points are these:

  • It is no secret that Putin is a power-hungry egomaniac who desperately wants to return Russia to world-domination.  He states it is to make the world a much more peaceful place.  How’s that peace plan going in Syria!?!
  • The Bible talks of the rise of a Russian czar that will gather the forces of several nations (Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and Sudan) and will attack Israel from the north to capture spoil and to seize plunder (Ezekiel 38:12).  Israel has oil and gas, and Russia needs it in order to maintain its supply dominance over Europe!
  • Putin complained in his speech that “no one listens.”  Sounds like a kid throwing a tantrum, doesn’t it?  But, in this case, it makes the “kid” very dangerous, because he is dangerously armed and is power-hungry enough to use those weapons.  He has absolutely no regard for human life.  Need proof?  He has NO qualms when Bashar al-Assad uses chemical weapons on his own people.  (He may even be encouraging it!)  Multiple times he has even denied that the Syrian regime has WMD’s. Dangerous!

New Satellite Photos Show Iran Establishing Another Base Near Damascus
A new Iranian base, just 8 miles from Damascus, has been discovered.  Two hangars, believed to be storing short- and medium-range missiles, are seen on satellite footage.  Additionally, the base is eerily similar to a Syrian base destroyed by Israel in December when found to be a relay post for shuttling missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  (See more comparison photos at the link above.)

American and Israeli intelligence is aware of the dramatic increase in the number and quality of Iranian ballistic missiles now appearing on Iranian bases in Syria.  Keep in mind that Russia has significant military bases in Syria as well, and now has Su-57 fighter jets (Russia’s top-of-the-line) stationed there also.

What’s the point?

  • Again, refer to Ezekiel 38!  Russia and Iran will attack the Jewish state “on the mountains of Israel.”  Friends, the mountains are Mt Hermon and the area we know as the Golan Heights.  Damascus is less than 30 miles from Mt Hermon, and Iranian troops are massed even closer than that to Israel’s border!
  • While Russia is after oil and gas, Iran’s intent is to spread Shi’ite Islam all the way from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea.  Their motive is a spiritual, apocalyptic one.  Shi’ite Islam holds to the theology that Allah has called them to usher in the coming of the mahdi (Muslim messiah), and the way to do that is to create chaos and annihilate the Jews.  They believe they are called to do that!  Thus, it is not a political or military war…it is a spiritual one!  Christians, spiritual wars are fought in prayer!  We must pray for Israel, and for God’s people (Jews and Christians) to be obedient to God’s plan!

871,000 Jewish Believers in the US  Okay, I just threw you a curveball, didn’t I!  But we’re still on the same theme of news headlines confirming the Bible’s accuracy.  This is a really cool one!

I recommend you read that post by Joel Rosenberg for details of Jews coming to know Messiah.  However, my point here is this: the Bible clearly teaches that a veil covers the eyes of those bound by the Old Covenant (speaking of the Jewish people) because it is removed in Christ!  In fact, read this passage for yourself:

But their (sons of Israel) minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
~2 Corinthians 3:14-18

O, so rich!  Christ removes the veil when one turns to the Lord!  (Whether Jew or Gentile, by the way!)  With that, comes liberty; and the end result is we become transformed by the Spirit of God.

Friends, that is beginning to happen to our Jewish friends!  Their eyes are seeing the Messiah, and the Bible says that is what will happen in the last days!  In fact, Romans 11:25-26 tells us a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, and so ALL Israel will be saved!  If salvation is starting for the Jewish people, might it be that the fullness of the Gentiles is almost complete?

One day, the last Gentile to receive Christ will say, “Save me, Lord!” and suddenly we will all be caught up together with the Lord in the air!  (That’s the rapture.)  The Bible has told us throughout the centuries what will happen, and now headlines are confirming the Bible’s accuracy!

For those of us already saved by faith through God’s grace alone, it is time to live it out.  If you haven’t yet said, “Save me, Lord!” then we’re waiting on you, and you might not have another chance.  Please call upon the Lord and be saved.  Your eternity depends upon it!

New Covenant: Was it Meant for Gentiles or Jews?

In Christendom, we tend to claim the New Covenant as our own.  But do you realize it was an Old Testament Jewish prophet, speaking to Jewish people, who proclaimed the New Covenant?

True, the New Covenant is the vehicle in which salvation was brought to the Gentiles, so we can logically make the argument that the New Covenant was meant for us.  But Biblically, we see that it was meant for the Jews first!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
~Romans 1:16 (Emphasis mine)

Here is an excellent explanation of the New Covenant.  Enjoy!