Archive for the ‘Gospel’ Category

Almost every week I get a shiny colorful flier in the mail. I scratch off the gold circles to see if I am a winner.  I’m always a winner, and so is everyone else. The catch is that you have to go to the car dealer’s showroom and show them your winning card and number.  Most likely it will NOT match theirs.  One time I did this and I won a $5.00 gift certificate to Wal-mart.  I accepted it but the salesman pressured me so much to buy a car that it really wasn’t worth it.

There is also a real key attached to the flier.  If the key will start the car they are giving away then you win the car.  Well, that never seems to work.  I’ve never heard of anyone who has won one of these free cars.  Have you?  I suppose they do have to give one away but your chances of winning are astronomical.

Heavens Gate Pictures, Images and Photos

One of these days each and every one of us will stand before the gates of heaven.  Will we be able to enter in?  Yes, but only if we have the correct key. That key will not come in the mail on a colorful flier.  I find there are many “keys” to heaven.  So, where can we find the authentic key to heaven’s gate?

Imagine arriving at the gate of heaven and the gate-keeper says,”Do you have your key?”

“Yes,” you say.

“Go ahead and let yourself in!”  You slip the key into the lock and it doesn’t work, just like at the car place.  What then?

You say to the gate-keeper, “Please sir, let me in.  You can open the gate for me. You are on the inside!”

He answers, “Why should I let you in?”  “You have the wrong key!”

“But, Sir,” you plead, “I’ve been a good person.  If you get out the scales of justice and put all my good deeds on one side and all my bad deeds on the other, you will see that the good outweigh the bad. I’m really not a bad person.  I’ve worked hard to be good and decent.  I’ve gone to church most of my life and supported it with my money. I’ve been baptized, and I’ve given to the poor and needy, so please let me in.”

The gate-keeper replied, “You think being a good person is the key to heaven?  I’m sorry, but you are wrong!  The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  (9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

“You cannot come in!”  He turned, “Next!”

Do you know that approximately 250,000 people die each and every day in the world.(source: www.wiki.answers.com)

Just imagine what the line outside of heaven’s gate must look like.  In order to filter through all those people the gate-keeper might make this announcement.

“All those who belong to any of the religions of the world, other than Christianity, please follow the path over there marked “to hell,”‘  That would clear out the line pretty fast wouldn’t it?  He continues, “All other religions including Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism ,(source: www.evangelical.us) plus Catholics depend on works to save them from hell.  So does Christian Science, Spiritualism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Eastern Mysticism, plus many other religions throughout the world. But, works are not the key to heaven! Now depart from me!”

I’m curious as to how many people would be left in the line to heaven’s gate? You will notice what Jesus said in Matthew, that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who enter it.  Then he said the gate is small and the way narrow that leads to life and few find it.  So, maybe that large number of people has been cut down to just a small number. How sad!

Matthew 7:13-14 NASB says “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (14) “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

So, what is the key to heaven’s gate? Simply put it is the gospel message.

I Cornithians 15:3-4 says:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

There is no other key to heaven.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be saved.  He says he is the way. The only way. He is the truth.  His Word is true. He is the life. Eternal life is found in none other than Jesus Christ

John 14:6 NASB
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Acts 4:12 NASB
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 10:9-10 NASB  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  (10)  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Do you have the key that will open heaven’s gate? I sure hope so!

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I came across a video that really made me stop and think, “Am I really good enough for heaven?”

What do you think?  Are you?  Do you know for sure that when you die you will go to heaven?

These are questions we all must  answer  at some point.  Watch this video and see how others answer as they take, “The Good Test.”

http://youtu.be/-qFPgLLpGYA

 

 

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Dear Heavenly Father,  I come before you a poor soul who has been graciously saved by grace.  Lord, I don’t know why you chose me, but I am forever grateful that you did.  I certainly didn’t deserve anything at all.
You are a holy God and you are full of mercy and grace.  Lord, I lift up to you all of those who read this prayer and ask that you open up their eyes of understanding to know that they are sinners because of their heritage in Adam and Eve.  When they sinned in the garden, sin entered into the world and has been passed down from generation to generation. 
Help the reader take a good look at themselves and be honest.  Help them see that they  are not capable of saving themselves but need a Savior.  God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to this earth in the form of man so we can identify with Him. Your precious Son took on all the sins of mankind when He went to the cross and died.  He took on mine and He took on the sins of those who read this prayer. Oh, Lord, thank you that you made a way for us to be right before a holy God.
Jesus beat death when He rose from the grave three days after he was buried.  He is ALIVE, in Heaven right now at your side.  This shows us that we too can have the promise of a new life after death. 
I pray that the reader will turn to you Lord. That they will bow their knee to you and allow you to be master over their life.  Lord, please open their spiritual eyes so that they may see their desperate need. 
Your Word tells us that this life is not the end of it all.  When we die we will either go to heaven or hell depending on who we serve down here.  Some will continue to serve themselves and will not respond to your Word.  They will spend eternity in Hell.  Your Word teaches that Hell is a real place and it is eternal torment.  Lord, please, don’t let anyone who is reading this prayer go to Hell.  I beg you Lord. Please help their unbelief right this minute.
There are others who believe they are Christians and on their way to Heaven, but have been deceived by false teaching.  Lord, if anyone is reading this prayer falls into this category, please give them a nudge in their hearts to examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith.  It is not by good works that they will be saved, and it is not by being a nice person, joining a church, giving money or anything else man can do. 
Lord you want us!  You want our soul and you want our bodies for service.  If there is someone out there who does all the right things in their mind, but does not love you God, does not love your Word, and does not love their fellow Christian brothers and sisters, then by you own Word, that person is not saved.
They need to be born again.  Born anew, and become a new creation.  That is what you do for us.  And, it is wonderful that you actually adopt us into your family, God.  You become our Heavenly Father, and we can call you Father.  Once that happens then you take care of us.  We don’t have to worry or fear anymore.  We will have peace deep down inside knowing when we die we will go to Heaven.  There is no uncertainty about it.  We can be sure! 
If there is someone reading this that is not sure, then Lord I pray you will touch their heart today and nudge them to get right with you.  Open their eyes that they might see.  Help that person to become one of your family members Lord.  Help that person to make a fresh new committment to live the rest of their life for you and not for themself.  Help them to allow you to be Lord and Master.
Oh, this is a beautiful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  But, it is so much more.  It is a time when we can take a look at ourselves and make sure we are on the right path for eternity.  Jesus did so much more for us than we can even imagine, and Heaven awaits us with multitudes of blessings and things we can only dream of.  What a day that will be when we meet him face to face! 
Lord, please bless the readers of this prayer and have mercy on them. 
In Jesus name, thy will be done.  Amen

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Psa 100:1-5 NASB

A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
(2)Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
(3)Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
(4)Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
(5)For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

I’ve been rolling that around in my head the past week or so.  There are so many things like family, friends, my home, my husband, good health, enough money. These are all very special but they aren’t the most important things.

I have to reach back 35 years to grab onto the one thing I’m the most thankful for.  My life as I had planned it had vaporized. There I was a desperate, helpless, wretched person.  I had hit bottom.  

 I had lost my job, my new car, and everything that was dear to me.  Material things were all gone.  I only had a few pieces of clothing left to my name.  I did have a roof over my head, but that even leaked. I didn’t have any direction in my life.  I was very ill and didn’t know what was causing all those spells where I’d become so afraid that I thought I would fall down and die, which made me even more afraid. 

I was afraid I was going crazy. Fear had taken control of me.  My body was wracked with anxiety.  I’d think about all the unusual symptoms I had, like when my heart would race, and I’d feel dizzy and out of control.  I knew it wasn’t normal, but I didn’t know what it was.  The fear of the unknown haunted me daily.  How much longer could I hang on? 

I had tried to find the answers.  I tried to hid my fears in alcohol. Yes, it did take the edge of panic off, but it was only a temporary fix.  The fear would return the next day.  At one point I turned to astrology.  I plotted my horoscope and tried to find something good to look forward to.  That didn’t do it. 

I was afraid of telling a doctor how I really felt and avoided them like the plague.  I was sure if I told the truth they would lock me away somewhere and throw away the key.  If I did confess a bit of my maladies to the doctor I’d get a prescription for some kind of medication.  I was afraid of that too.  When I tried it, I got bad side effects and so I’d quit it.  I was getting nowhere fast.  I felt like I merely existed, dredging through each long miserable day. 

By this time I was at home all the time.  I listened to the radio for company and somehow found a Christian station.  I listened to it with interest for several months.  I heard the gospel message given a number of times and was curious, but that was all.  I tried to read a Bible but couldn’t understand it.

One day as I sat on the couch I glanced over at the coffee table and noticed a Sunday school paper someone had sent me in the mail.  Out of boredom I picked it up and read.  There was a true account of a man who was a Christian.  He had turned his back on God at some point and things in his life went steadily downhill.  He lost his wife, his family, his home and job.  He had hit bottom.  I could identify with some of that!  Then, this man woke up one day and realized how he had turned his back on God.  So, he repented of his sinful ways, confessed to God, and came back to him.  It wasn’t long and his life was turned around.

Hum!   I wondered, is that what I’m doing wrong.  That article really got my attention.  My eyes were opened and I realized for the first time that I needed God in my life too.  I had tried so many years to control everything, to figure the angles, and come out on top.  It was hard and didn’t work. I knew in my heart that I too was a sinner and that I needed someone bigger than myself.

I prayed and talked to God.  I told Him I knew His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to die for our sins.  That we are all sinners, and that I was certainly one.  I asked His forgiveness and said I’d change my ways.  I told Him that I also knew that Jesus rose again from the grave and was alive in Heaven with Him now.  I asked God to allow Jesus to come into my life and in fact take the reins of my life as I could not do it any more.  I simply gave up, stepped down off the throne of my life and let Jesus take that place as Lord.

So, there you have it.  That day in my life is what I’m the most thankful for.  The day that changed my life.  I became a brand new person on the inside.  I was adopted into God’s family and received the Holy Spirit to live in me to help me with my life.  What a glorious day that was!  God in His mercy reached down to me, a wayward sinner, and took me in His arms and gave me a second chance at life.   I’ll be grateful for eternity!

I just want to add that things haven’t been all rosie since that day.  I’ve had my trials and disappointments.  I’ve been ill a lot of the time, but my Lord has gone with me through everything and I can give Him all the glory and honor for getting me through it all.  Without Him I shudder to think where I would be right now.

I’d like to hear what you are most thankful for this year.

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bible2s

Pastor Bob O’Leary has given us many wonderful sermons over the past few years and I would like to share many of them with you.

The first ones I’ve put up are on the Book of Colossians.  This book was written by Paul the Apostle to correct the false teaching that was infiltrating  the church. 

The theme of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ as contrasted with the emptiness of mere human philosophy.

Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

As you listen to these sermons I guarantee that if you take them to heart and put them to work in your own life you will see growth in Christ.

Click here to listen to our Audio Sermons

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 merry-christmas-bar41

Greetings!

The most important thing I can leave you with this season is that you get right with God. If you don’t you will spend eternity in Hell. It’s that serious. So, how do you get right with God?

First admit you are a sinner. We all are. The Bible even says so in, Romans 6:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Everyone ever born has sinned, and has a sin nature.

Most people think that when someone dies they automatically go to Heaven. Growing up whenever any of our relatives died the family talked about them as being in a “better place.“ But, that is not always the case. If that person didn’t get right with God first they would not be in Heaven.

Others, don’t believe there is a Heaven or Hell and figure this life is all there is. We live, we die, are buried, and that’s it. But, that is not true either. There is an afterlife. Our bodies die, but our spirits (which are our true selves) live on forever.

Another myth people believe in is if they live a decent life, go to church, contribute to charity, or do good deeds, then they will go to Heaven when they die. Good works will not get you to Heaven.

We only get one chance to get right with God and that is in the here and now. It is crucial that you understand that. Life is fragile and none of us know what tomorrow will bring.

The Bible tells us there is a Heaven for those who believe. John 14: 2 “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; …I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

To get right with God you need to acknowledge you are a sinner, and repent, (which means turn from your sins.) Acts 3:19 “Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out….” God is holy and can’t look upon sin, so He provided us a solution.

I Corinthians 15:3-4 tells us what we need to believe. “…Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

Many times a person’s pride will stand in the way. But, please don’t let that happen to you. Admit the truth, and ask God to accept you and adopt you into His family. Make Jesus Christ Lord or your life. Let Him lead you and control you. You will not be sorry you did, and you will be welcomed Home when your time comes.

There is an excellent book written by John MacArthur called, The Gospel According to Jesus.

If you would like to know more about how to get right with God, click on this link where you can order the book.

http://www.gty.org/Products/Books/G

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God's Handiwork 08

God’s Beautiful Handiwork!

God has given us all things to enjoy and my heart is thankful.  When I look around me I am very thankful for the wondrous beauty God has created.   The beauty of Fall in my part of the country can almost take your breath away.  And, yet, when we think about it, the Bible teaches us that we live in a cursed world, where even nature is cursed.  If this is what cursed looks like I often ponder, “How magnificent Heaven must be!”

Every year at Thanksgiving people stop to thank God for the things that matter most to them.  Usually we thank God for the things here on earth like our families, homes, cars, money, and all the material things we have.  We also stop and thank him for providing for us.  We thank him for the Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings we indulge in on that special day. 

This year my heart is thankful for those things, but even more, I’m thankful for my salvation.  I realize that if God had not in his mercy and grace chosen to adopt me into his family, I’d be on my way to spend eternity in Hell.  That is a scary thought! 

“Oh, God, how gracious you were to call me.  I am not worthy.  I am only a fallen, wicked, imperfect, sinner, whom you loved enough to include in your plan of salvation.  You even sent your only Son to take on my sins and die on the cross and endure the wrath of sin I deserved while He paid the penalty for me.”  That is truly amazing!

I ask.  “Why me Lord?”  “Why me?  I’m not worthy to be part of your family.”  I’ve come to realize that it wasn’t up to me.  I didn’t choose God, He chose me. 

Ephesians 1-4 says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…”

That boggles my mind! To realize that our most Precious God chose me way back in the past before He even created the world. He knew me and chose me to be one of His own.  Isn’t that a tremendous thought?

Again I say, “Why me God?”  God is Sovereign and Righteous.  He can do whatever He wants to.  He could have just as easily passed me by.  And, if He did that would not diminish Him one iota.  He would still be God in all of His fullness.  He didn’t have to chose me, but He wanted to.

My heart is thankful for God’s wonderful creation all around us; it is thankful for my undeserved salvation; and it is thankful for the future God has in store for me.

This is just the beginning, and it is going to get better and better as we spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. 

We will have troubles here on earth as we attempt to live out our daily lives.  But we must realize that those problems are for a purpose.  God is Sovereign and He is in control.  Nothing comes our way without Him allowing it.  Look at Romans 8:28.

Rom 8:28-29 NASB  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

I realize that there is a purpose for everything.  Even when I’ve suffered many health problems throughout my life, there was a purpose in it.  Praise God for that! 

He goes on to say in Romans 8:29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

I realize God’s purpose in my sufferings in this life is to make me more like Christ.  That is the purpose for you too if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  He wants to shape us and mold us so that we become more and more like Christ.  We will not get there completely until we reach Heaven.

1Jn 3:2 NASB  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

We will be like Him.  What a thought!  We will be made complete in Jesus in the future.  Isn’t that another amazing thought, and something to look forward too.  My eyes are turned to the future; not on the past.  Listen to this:

2Co 5:21 NASB  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

We are not just declared righteous when we become saved, but we have the hope that when we enter into Heaven we will become the righteousness of God in Christ.  We will become as holy, just, and righteous as God Himself.  That blows my mind away.  How can it be?  Only through God’s wondrous grace and mercy!

Below is a picture of the Second coming of Jesus Christ.  He comes out of Heaven as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to set up his Kingdom.  He is coming in judgement on mankind.  We will be following Him.  We will be riding white horses as He is, and we will be clothed in fine linen.  We are part of the armies of Heaven which is shown to us here. 

Rev 19:11-14 NASB  And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  12  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  13  He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  14  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

Now my heart is just about busting open with thankfulness!  We have a wonderful, exciting, beyond our imagination or comprehension,  future with our Lord Jesus.  We can’t even fathom  the things to come.  Believe me the future won’t be boring. 

Oh, Lord, thank you for saving my soul!

Thank You Lord for saving my soul,
Thank You Lord for making me whole.
Thank You Lord for giving to me,
Thy greatest salvation, so rich and so free.

thankful

 

 

 

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