Jesus Is God

“Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him . . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:8-9)
Theologians have wrestled with the dual nature of the Lord Jesus since the beginning. On the one hand, there are those who deny or belittle His humanity, and on the other hand, there are those who deny His deity. Both natures are completely true: Jesus is fully human and fully God.
The prophets identified the coming Messiah as fully God. Isaiah 9:6 is the “naming” prophecy that specifies that the Messiah would be called “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 7:14 specifies that “the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew quotes that passage and translates the Hebrew word Immanuel as “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
The Scriptures abound with this teaching.
He is called the only begotten (John 1:14, 18; 3:16; 1 John 4:9).

He is called the Son of God (John 3:18; 5:25; 9:35; 11:4).

He is recognized as eternal (John 17:5, 24; Colossians 1:15; Micah 5:2).

He has the power of life in Himself (Romans 1:4; John 10:17-18; Colossians 1:18; Acts 13:32-33).

He is given the inheritance of God (Hebrews 1:2; 3:4, 6).

He performed the works of God (John 10:36-38).

Even the demons and Satan recognize Christ as God (Luke 4:41; Matthew 4:3, 6).

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5 Things We Believe about Hell That Are Not in the Bible

hell

When was the last time you heard a sermon about hell? Can you even remember? Honestly, I can’t. What about the last time you heard someone mention hell? Now that, I remember vividly.

I was involved with a huge Christmas musical at my church last year that attracts thousands of people. While in a ballet rehearsal to prepare for the angel dance that comes right before the Nativity, a friend of mine said, “We need to get this together because there are going to be people that see this show and do not know Jesus. They are going to hell and this might be what saves them.”

I was completely taken aback. My friend had spoken offhand, and yet what she said impacts me to this day. It is so easy to live comfortably in our Christian bubbles without thinking about those who are not saved. But the truth is hell is real and those who do not accept Jesus will spend eternity there (John 14:6).

In a blog post titled “7 Truths about Hell,” author and pastor J. D. Greear says that hell is a confusing notion to wrap our heads around. He even admits that when he was a young Christian and learned about hell, he was so disturbed that he nearly lost his faith. But, he says, hell is in the Bible so Christians need to wrestle with the concept to fully understand God.

It is time to start talking about hell. But first, we need to get our facts straight. Here are five misconceptions that you may have about hell.

1. Seeing God face-to-face is a warm and fuzzy experience. 

Greear writes that people believe seeing God would be a “warm and fuzzy” experience but they are wrong. The Bible says that God is so holy and perfect that if anyone would see God face to face, he would die (Exodus 33:20). God’s own prophet Isaiah fell to ground in fear when he saw God on his throne because he believed he would die (Isaiah 6:5)

Though we do not like the idea of eternal suffering in hell, Greear argues that it exists for a reason.

“God tells us about hell to demonstrate to us the magnitude of his holiness. Hell is what hell is because the holiness of God is what it is. Hell is not one degree hotter than our sin demands that it be,” he says.

2. Jesus didn’t talk about hell. 

There are some who believe hell is not relevant because Jesus is “meek and mild” and only about love and compassion. They say that God only talked about hell in the Old Testament and transformed in the New Testament with the birth of Jesus. But this is simply not true.

Greear points out that Jesus did talk about hell, and he talked about it more than anyone else in the Bible.

“In fact,” he writes, “if you count up the verses, Jesus spoke more about hell than he did about heaven.”

3. Hell is a great blemish of God’s love. 

Now that we know Jesus did talk about hell, the question becomes why he talked about it so much. Greear answers, “Because he wanted us to see what he was going to endure on the cross on our behalf.”

Jesus was crucified and endured both physical and mental pain. He was separated from God during his crucifixion, and in doing so, took “the hell of our sin into his body.”

“People often feel that hell is some great blemish on God’s love,” Greear said. “The Bible presents it as the opposite. Hell magnifies for us the love of God by showing us how far God went, and how much he went through, to save us.”

4. God sends people to hell. 

Yes, those who do not accept Jesus will go to hell. But Greear says this is not God sending people to hell. They send themselves by rejecting Christ.

God has offered you the light of love, friendship and creation, Greear says. “But when you tell God you don’t want him as the Lord and center of your life, eventually you get your wish, and with God go all of his gifts.”

5. It’s enough for God to take us out of hell.

Some people accept Christ because they are scared of hell. This is not enough. Greear says, “It’s not enough for God to take us out of hell; he must take hell out of us.”

He means our hearts must be changed by loving and trusting God.

“If you accept Jesus just to ‘get out of hell,’ then you’d hate being in heaven, because only those who love and trust God will enjoy heaven,” Greear says. “If you don’t love the Father, then living in the Father’s house feels like slavery. It would be like forcing you to marry someone you didn’t want to marry. The only way you’ll enjoy heaven is when you learn to love and trust God.”

 

How are we to live our lives as Christians knowing the reality of hell? Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has the answer.

“…hell is horrifying,” he writes. “God deems it so. Our response to such horror should not be denial, but the fervent evangelism of the nations.”

“Hell ought to drive us not to find misplaced hopes for the lost, but to the only hope for us, and for the whole world, the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
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Come Forth As Gold

Written by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7).

These words of Peter are certainly applicable today, but they have always been true. That proper character and testimony are of supreme importance to God was certainly recognized by godly Job in the midst of his heavy trials, for he claimed: “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). The context for this stirring statement of faith proves instructive.

Just as most people do, whether Christian or not, Job appealed to heaven for relief from his troubles (v.3). Job felt he was suffering unjustly and wanted to state his case before God (v.4), but more importantly, Job desired to know God’s will in the matter. “I would [i.e., desire to] know the words which He would answer me, and understand what He would say unto me” (v.5). He knew God well enough to know that God had a purpose in his suffering, and Job asked for knowledge of that purpose. Job knew God’s goodness; that He would not punish him for his questions, and felt that greater understanding would give him strength to continue. But without God’s revelation, Job knew he was unable to understand or even find God (vv.8-9). God mercifully and lovingly allows trials to discipline, guide, and develop us. Such trials will, in the end, work to our advantage as impurities are removed, leaving behind only that which is lasting and precious.

The goal of our lives should be to bring “praise and honor and glory” unto our Lord, and if tribulation can best accomplish these goals, so be it! As David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” (Psalm 119:67). God knows what is best for us. He knows what He is doing, and we can rest in that fact.

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Muslim who converted to Christianity beaten up by thugs in Bradford

A Muslim man who converted to Christianity has been beaten up on the streets of Britain in a brutal asssault that has gone viral on the internet after it was captured on the victim’s home CCTV.

Nissar Hussain, who has six children aged between seven and 23, was hospitalised with a fractured left knee cap and left hand after the two hooded men leapt from a passing car and repeatedly beat him with a pick-axe handle in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where he lives.

Conversion to another religion is regarded in Islam as apostasy and is punishable by death according to Sharia law.

Hussain, aged 49, converted in 1996 but has had to be specially on guard against attack since he and his family appeared in a television documentary seven years ago which focused on Islamic intolerance towards converts.

He, his wife Kubra and their children have already had to move house once to escape retribution from Muslims angry that the family had left the faith.

He said: “The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens. Over the years our lives have been subjugated and stripped of any dignity.

“Our lives have been jeopardised and subjugated, we have been forced to live under a climate of fear, this is not England. I grew up in in to a free decent country accepting British values and the British rule of law.”

The attack took place in Manningham, a Bradford suburb. Describing what happened from the ward where he is recovering in Bradford Royal Infirmary, he said: “I took a couple of steps into the road and suddenly a car pulled up in an abrupt manner – two guys got out out and I immediately saw the pickaxe handle. They have gone to crack me on the head so naturally I lifted my arm up to protect myself and the blow has popped my hand. I started backpedaling and my heel caught the kerb, I then fell back and me head cracked off a low garden wall. That was it then it was a lame target. They started pummeling me with the pickaxe handle, raining blows on my upper body and then moving to my legs – it was then I felt my knee explode. Thankfully one of my neighbours came over and the thugs went on their way. The only thing was going though my mind was I need to stay alive, to protect my head, and to stay alive.”

West Yokshire Police are appealing for witnesses.  One of the suspects is described as an Asian male, about 6ft tall and of stocky build. Both men were wearing hooded tops and tracksuit bottoms.

Det Insp Andy Howard, of Bradford District CID, said: “Our enquiries suggest that this was a targeted attack and we would ask for anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact Bradford District CID on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously, quoting crime reference 13150471087 on 0800 555111.”

Police are also asking for information about a red or maroon coloured saloon car which would have been seen in the Manningham area prior to this incident. This could possibly have been an older shape Honda Civic or a Rover 400.

The attack was caught on Mr Hussain’s home CCTV. Mr Hussain has been attacked before and has pleaded repeatedly for the police to do more to protect his family.

U.S. and U.K. Governments Discriminate against Christian Refugees

By: Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer
Recently released statistics show that Christian refugees are being “unintentionally discriminated against” by the U.S. government’s refugee program.
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According to Christian Today, the statistics show that only 2 percent of Syrian refugees allowed in the US since 2011 are Christian. More than 96 percent are Muslim, the US state department statistics show.
The nation’s refugee program relies on the United Nations refugee camps to decide who to accept into the United States, but Syrian and Iraqi Christian supporters say that Christians fleeing the violence avoid the camps because they feel they could be targeted there.
“Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them,” said Lord Carey, former archbishop of Canterbury. “They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbors and family.”
Since the fighting started in Syria in 2011, more than 2,200 Muslims have been accepted into the U.S. Only 53 Christians from Syria were accepted.
The U.S. refugee program is under fire after the attacks in Paris, in which it is speculated that the attackers may have entered Europe disguised as refugees.
In response, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has asked that there be a focus on admitting Christian refugees.
President Obama, however, said discriminating against Muslims is “not American.”