The recent news of nine people killed in South Carolina, and the immediate forgiveness of Dylan Roof, by the families of those who lost their loved one’s, is extraordinary, indeed.
Some people have asked how a person could be that good that they could forgive the horrendeous acts of someone so vicious.
When Jesus came into the world, His message was simple: God is ready to forgive anyone, of any sin. Jesus is described by the New Testament as God, who looked upon the suffering of human beings in this world and was compelled to do something. He determined to leave heaven, take the body of a man and become one of us, so that He might be able to die for us and all of our sins. When Jesus died, He paid for the sins of every person, for all time.
Jesus said if we will come to Him in sincere repentance for our sins and ask Him for forgiveness, He will remove all our sins and make us perfect in the sight of God. Why He would be willing to suffer such a horrible death for sinners, He simply loves us.
Because we understand how much we have been forgiven, we are compelled—by the love of Christ, to forgive those who have hurt, or offended us. Even to the degree that a person has taken the life of a dear loved one, we must forgive, because we have been forgiven so much. Continue reading “How Could the Families of Those Killed in South Carolina Forgive Dylann Roof?”
For just one sin–Jesus had to die. It was not the entire culmination of all human sin and suffering which compelled Jesus to leave heaven and die for us. It was the suffering of one person, one sin–which drove Jesus to become a sacrifice that would remove the judgement of God.
Isaiah 53:8d …For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
1 John 2:1-2 …Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation (payment) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
The plan of God has always been to remove the sins of the whole world. Known to God before the foundation of the world was the fall of Adam, which would result in the need for a Savior. In His wisdom, God planned for this contingency by the provision of His Son to redeem all creation back to His glorious ideal and perfection.
God will make this redemption possible by acts that originate and culminate with Himself. The burden for salvation resting upon God and His actions to save us, while the appropriation of salvation is contingent upon the decision of each individual person to hear and respond by faith.
Continue reading “For Just One Sin…”
There are many people, who over the course of their life, meet an individual who has claimed to be a Christian—who has exhibited behavior that is contrary to their particular belief, and caused other people to discount God altogether.
An enduring fact of life is that one of the leading causes of atheism is Christianity. Not that Jesus is the point of stumbling, but rather those who claim to follow him. Many people attribute the behavior of a person to the character of the God they claim to believe in. Forgetting that the Christian Gospel clearly declares that Jesus came into the world to save “sinners,” not the righteous. It is the very worst of the world that Jesus is most appealing to. The Christian life in following Jesus is frequently imperfect and lacking the basic qualities of love, patience, humility, and forgiveness. Those who are trying to follow Jesus will never be perfect in this life, although they should endeavor, constantly, to be more like Jesus in all their behavior.
It should also be understood that many people who take the name of “Christian,” are frauds. For reasons of personal financial gain or to achieve a position of authority or power, many individuals will label themselves a follower of Christ, without this fact being true.
Continue reading “Religious Frauds and Pretenders”
Many of the things which are taught in the Christian church today, have nothing to do with Christ, nor has He ever commanded men to obey them.
Jesus came into the world to make a relationship with God simple, easy to understand, and readily accessible to every person. Men have taken the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ and polluted it with many traditions and false religious practices, which are unattractive and repugnant. No wonder that many people in the world today care nothing for organized religion. They have examined the hypocrisy of the various Christian denominations and concluded that they are a fraud. In many cases, their observations are absolutely true. When Jesus came into the world, it was to those who created these false religions that He brought ridicule on condemnation.
The Living God is interested in a relationship with mankind–not a religious experience. He came into the world personally, in the person of Jesus Christ, so that we could understand who God is and how easy it is to have a relationship with Him.
The traditions of men and the false religions of men, is the primary subject of the prophet Isaiah, in describing the coming of the Messiah into the world.
Isaiah 29:13 Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…” Continue reading “The Traditions of Men, False Religion, and the True Intent of God's Law”
Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice (Hosea 6:6). For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
On every occasion when a person came to Jesus with a great need, He always showed them mercy. We see this vividly illustrated with the woman caught in the act of adultery, in John 8:3-11. Though the law clearly called for her and the man to be stoned to death, Jesus drove away all her accusers and showed great mercy to her.
When the two blind men, in Matthew 9:27-30, asked Jesus for mercy, He touched their eyes and restored their sight.
Jesus constantly reminded the Scribes and the Pharisees that the heart of God’s law was mercy. Even when His own disciples broke the law of the Sabbath and harvested grain as they walked through a wheat field, Jesus did not condemn them, since their need for mercy was greater than the law.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice…
Jesus never lowered the requirements of the Law of God, He showed us what its true purpose was. All of God’s law was designed to benefit man and be a blessing, not to prevent us from obtaining the necessities of our life. If you have a need, you can be confident that Jesus is able to meet that requirement. If you have sinned and feel that you cannot possibly be forgiven, Jesus will forgive you. The forgiveness that He offers is not a temporary relief from guilt but a total cleaning of the conscience and absolute peace for the soul. Continue reading “You Need Mercy, Not Condemnation”
In the example of the woman caught in the act of adultery, we see Jesus and His righteous judgement. Although the world found this woman worthy of death, Jesus looks beyond the sin, into the true heart of the matter. If God simply wanted to condemn people and send them to hell, we would observe this here, as Jesus certainly has the opportunity to condemn her according to the law.
Instead, we learn that the heart of God’s law is mercy. God is not willing that any person should perish, but that every person would have the opportunity to have all their sins removed forever. Continue reading “A Woman Caught in the Act of Adultery”