bible study, Christian Doctrine & Lifestyle

An Overview of the Bible

Overview of The Bible

Divided into 4 Main Sections

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Section 1:

The Bible Tells One Unified Story From Beginning to End

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7 Main Points Testify to It’s Unity

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1) From the Book of Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation of who He is.

2) The Bible forms one continuous story — the story of how humanity relates to God.

3) The Bible makes the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfillment.

4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once. The law is, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn.” Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete.

5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption.

6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme — the person and work of the Christ.

7) And, finally, these writers, some forty in number, writing through fifteen centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.

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Section 2:

The Bible is Many Books Compiled Into One Book

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There are 5 Great Divisions with Christ at the Center

 

Speaking broadly there are five great divisions in the Scriptures, Christ being the one great theme (Luke 24:25-27).

In other words, the Old Testament is the preparation for Christ. 

In the Gospels he is manifested to the world. 

In the Acts he is preached. 

In the Epistles his Gospel is explained. 

In the Book of Revelation all the purposes of God in and through Christ are consummated.

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The Old Testament Sub Groups


 

These Major Groups Also Fall into Sub-groups 

This is especially true of the Old Testament, where there are four well defined groups:

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REDEMPTION

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

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ORGANIZATION

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

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POETRY

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

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SERMONS

Lamentations, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

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Redemption – Genesis is the book of beginnings, and explains the origin of Israel. 

Exodus tells the story of the deliverance of Israel.

Leviticus of the worship of Israel as delivered people.

Numbers the wanderings and failures of the delivered people.

Deuteronomy warns and instructs that people in view of their approaching entrance upon their inheritance.

 

Organization – The Books of Organization tell of Israel’s development from 12 nomadic Tribes into an established Nation with a fully functioning governmental system of Laws and a cohesive societal structure.

A true force among the Gentile Nations with a God to be feared who protected and defended them in times of crises.

 

Poetry – The Poetical books record the spiritual experiences of the redeemed people in the varied scenes and events through which the providence of God led them.

 

Sermons – The prophets were inspired preachers, and the prophetical books consist of sermons with brief connecting and explanatory passages. Two prophetical books, Ezekiel and Daniel, have a different character and are apocalyptic, largely.

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Section 3:

The Bible Tells the Story of the Human Family

 

Beginning with the creation of the earth and man, the story of the first human pair continues through the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

With the twelfth chapter begins the history of Abraham and of the nation of which Abraham was the ancestor. It is that nation, Israel, with which the Bible narrative is mainly concerned with from the eleventh chapter of Genesis to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

The Gentiles are mentioned, but only in connection with Israel. But it is made increasingly clear that Israel fills the scene only because they are entrusted with the accomplishment of great world-wide purposes (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). 

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Israel’s Appointed Mission

1) To be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of idolatry (Deuteronomy 6:5 ; Isaiah 43:10

2) To illustrate to the nations the greater blessedness of serving the one true living God

(Deuteronomy 33:26-29 ; 1st Chronicles 17:20-21 ; Psalms 102:15

3) To receive and preserve the Divine revelation (Romans 3:1-2)

4) To produce the Messiah, earth’s Savior and Lord (Romans 9:4). The prophets foretell a glorious future for Israel under the reign of Christ.

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Section 4:

The Central Theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ

 

It is Jesus Christ — “God manifest in the flesh” (1st Timothy 3:16) — his sacrificial death, and his resurrection, which make up the Gospel. 

All earlier Scripture points forward to Him – All later Scriptures point back at Him.

The Gospel is preached in the book of Acts and explained in the Epistles. 

Christ, the Son of God, Son of man, Son of Abraham and Son of David, thus binds the many books into One Book.

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The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ

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As the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) he is the ultimate destroyer of Satan and his works.

As Abraham’s Seed he is the Blesser of the world.

As the Seed of David he is Israel’s King. The “Desire of all Nations.”

He is exalted to the right hand of God and is head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.

Meanwhile the Church looks for the fulfillment of his special promise: “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (John 14:1-3)

Thus we have an overview of the Bible the divinely inspired word of God!

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Video Overview

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COMING SOON

Bible Study Course

Proof The Bible is the Inspired Word of God

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Christian Article, Christian Doctrine & Lifestyle

The Best Ways to Mess-up an Altar Call

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The Best Ways to Mess-up an Altar Call

A few keys for those who don’t want people saved at their altar calls

 

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1) Present an unbalanced message. Only let them see the heart-warming part of God’s character. Preach God’s love but leave out His holiness and justice. That way they’ll think He’ll let them into heaven no matter what.

 

2) Don’t mention repentance until they’re repeating a “sinner’s prayer.” Just get them to say, “I repent of all my sins” while they’re echoing you. They won’t know what they’re saying and they won’t count the cost.

 

3) Above all else, be dignified. Don’t get heart to heart with the people. They would get something out of what you said.

 

4) Skim over the gospel and push the prayer. Pretend the lost naturally understand what Christ has done for them.

 

5) Preach Jesus as a life enhancer not a life rescuer. Tell them how Jesus can improve their life but don’t show them Jesus as the only One who can save them from Hell. People will think if they reject Him they’re only losing out on a spiritual high.

 

6) Try to please the people instead of convert them. Tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

 

7) Compromise the message to speed up the process. The Christians who have heard it a hundred times before will be pleased with that. The quicker they get out the quicker they can get to the restaurant.

 

8) Give them the impression that God is so good He won’t send anyone to hell. Don’t present the whole counsel of God or they might realize He is so good that He’ll see to it that justice is served and that all unrepentant sinners will be punished in the fire that is not quenched.

 

9) Speak to sinners as though they were saints. They’ll think they’re God’s children instead of the enemies of God they’ve made themselves into because of their sin. You’ll give them false assurance and mislead them.

 

10) Don’t mention sin or man’s guilt. Resist the urge to explain what Christ came to deliver us from. Don’t show them their need for the Savior. Otherwise it may all make sense.

 

11) Don’t look to the Bible for the substance of your altar call. Only mimic other preachers with large congregations.

 

12) Tell the lost not to feel bad about their sins. That way you will work against the Holy Spirit who’s convicting them

 

13) Whatever you do, never mention Judgment Day. Your audience might take spiritual matters seriously.

 

14) Tell them Jesus is the only way to heaven but don’t explain why. They may think it’s nothing more than fear tactics and leave offended instead of enlightened.

 

15) Confuse the call. This is a great way to botch up an altar call. Don’t let people know you’re asking them to commit their life to Christ. Be vague and general in what you’re saying.

 

Neglect to mention following Christ in your evangelistic altar calls and say things like, “If you don’t feel you’re as close to God as possible raise your hand,” “If you feel lonely come to the front for prayer,”

 

“If you want more of God this is your time,” and, “If you have struggles and need the answer come down.” Just get them to raise a hand.

 

That way no one will be able to count the cost and you’ll even get saints to respond to salvation altar calls, making the results look more successful.

 

16) Only give them half the story. Tell them Jesus died to forgive everyone but overlook the fact that they must personally receive Him to partake of that forgiveness.

 

17) Present the truth as though it isn’t. Be so funny when you share Christ that you belittle the seriousness of the matter.

 

18) Preach forgiveness without repentance. That way no one will know how to be forgiven.

 

19) Be unbiblical. Present repentance and faith as an offer instead of how God does as a command (Acts 17:30).

 

20) Let them think next Sunday is the day of salvation. Don’t make them feel it’s urgent to respond today.

 

21) Never warn of hell. Dangle heaven in front of their nose but rarely mention hell, certainly not as much as Jesus did.

 

22) Only do altar calls inside the church. Never take the gospel where sinners congregate. The lost might get saved.

 

23) Use churchy terms. Use words like, “saved,” “repent,” and “born again,” without any explanation. That way your hearers won’t comprehend what you’re saying. If they can’t understand it, it’s probable they won’t be changed by it.

 

24) Give false assurance of salvation to unsaved Christians. Assure church folk that they are saved even if they bear no fruit. So that you don’t offend the unsaved pew warmers never quote 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” You could lose some financial supporters and have to depend on God.

 

25) Never mention the wrath of God. If you mention it, people might be awakened to flee to Jesus who “saves us from the wrath to come.” ( 1 Thess. 1:10)

 

26) Study how the apostles preached and witnessed and do the opposite. Don’t explain Jesus’ suffering death on the cross. Otherwise they may think of running to Him for forgiveness.

 

Don’t speak of His burial or resurrection or they might realize He is God. Refrain from commenting about the hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw Jesus after He rose from the dead. That way they can go on thinking He’s a fairy tale.

 

Overlook talk of the messianic prophecies Jesus fulfilled or they might realize that the Bible is true. If they see it’s the truth they may see that following Christ is the logical decision.

 

And whatever you do, avoid what the apostles did when it came time to call people to obey the gospel. Don’t tell them to trust Christ and live for Him. That is too accurate. If they know how to get saved your altar call will be a success.

 

27) Put more emphasis on the “sinner’s prayer” then on repentance and faith. Satan will smile over your departure from Biblical instruction. We are never taught to use a ‘sinner’s prayer’ throughout the entire Bible. If you decide to use it and put more emphasis on the technique than on what we’re commanded to preach: faith and repentance you’ll certainly botch things up. A ‘sinner’s prayer’ doesn’t equal salvation, only faith in Christ and repentance toward God do.

 

28) Let Christians think you’re the only one who can do it right. Always leave the impression that they should only invite friends to church and never actually witness themselves. It will keep you in business and the lost unsaved.

 

29) Don’t let the lost know they are. Disregard subjects like Judgment Day, God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness and justice. That way the lost can continue to think they’re “good enough” to get into heaven.

 

30) Rely upon psychological techniques to manipulate people into responding to the altar call. Don’t rely upon the Holy Spirit or they may actually get saved.

 

31) Make sure you’re the main attraction. Remember the goal in botching up an altar call is for people to leave and say, “What a wonderful preacher,” instead of, “What a wonderful Savior.”

 

Draw all possible attention to how great a speaker and person you are. Otherwise people might see Christ in your preaching and get saved.
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32) Don’t focus upon Jesus. Finally, the best way to botch up an altar call is not to preach the gospel. Just get people to lift up a hand and pray a prayer with you. Resist the urge to speak of the only One who could save them.

 

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NOTE: Sometimes the best way to get a point across is to put it in a different light. You now know a few ways to botch up an altar call.

 

Please do not employ them. Do the opposite.

 

You may already do some of them. Don’t let pride keep you from changing and doing things in a Biblical fashion.

 

The bottom line is how true we are to Christ and His word. Effectively reaching the lost is our purpose. Let nothing hold you back from that agenda.

 

May God bless you as you seek to win people to Christ in Bible clubs, churches, conferences, on the street witnessing encounters, at your school, and at your workplace.

 

Adapted from “Becoming an Emissary for God” by Allen Atzbi

Christian Article, Christian Doctrine & Lifestyle

Understanding the Born Again Process

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Understanding the Born Again Process

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There are three distinctly different levels of salvation of which becoming ‘Born Again’ is part of the first!

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Being Born Again means you have your spirit regenerated or recreated by the power of Almighty God. It means having your inner nature changed from mere human to incorporate the divinity of God.

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The following verses from the Bible help substantiate the concept of men sharing in divinity.

 

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (Psalms 82:6)

 

“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (John 10:34).

 

The purpose of becoming ‘Born Again’ is to regain something that was lost to the Human Race in the beginning of time.

 

Man was originally made in the image and likeness of God and connected to God through his spirit but when Adam sinned against his Creator the result was disconnection from God and a loss of identity.

 

This disconnection is called spiritual death, which is a separation from the life of God and an absence of the nature of God.

 

Now, because of God’s unchanging love for His children He created a way for us to be once more reconnected to Him and receive His divine nature. This happens through the process of being ‘Born again.’

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How Exactly is a Person Born Again?

 
It happens like this. First, you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

What is the Gospel?

 

It’s the good news that even though you were born spiritually separated from God and on your way to becoming permanently separated from Him in Hell, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took the judgment of Adam’s sin upon Himself and died in the place of every human being.
He then rose from the dead three days later so that we could receive His righteousness in place of our guilt and be reconciled and reconnected to God, thus receiving His divine nature in order to live with Him forever in Paradise.

 

That’s the Gospel in a nutshell!
You hear it and when you do, God grants you the grace to receive it! You receive the message and it becomes a Seed planted in your spirit.

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That Seed is the word you heard.

 

This Word-Seed contains the very nature of God because God and His Word are one; they cannot be separated. They are identical in nature. The bible says, “…The word was God.” (John 1:1)

 

Now, because the nature of God is inherent in His Word this means that His Word shares in His omnipotence; in other words, the Word of God has the power to create something out of nothing.
This is confirmed in the first chapter of Genesis when God was present and the Holy Spirit was moving upon the face of the waters but nothing happened until God spoke! The divine power inherent in God’s Word created everything we see.

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So, the nature of God in the form of a Seed is planted in your spirit.

 

Now, God gives you the faith to act upon that Seed.

 

You act in faith by confessing out of your mouth the very thing He promised to do, believing He will do it as you totally submit to His will.

 

This is the application of your faith! Your confession (prayer) might go like this:

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Prayer of Salvation:

 
Lord Jesus, you said in Revelation 3:20 that you’re standing outside the door of my heart, my life, and knocking for me to let you in. I now make a decision to open the door of my heart, my life and let you in. Please come in Lord Jesus and take complete control, forgive me and cleanse me from my sin and make me a child of God! I am sorry for every sin that I have ever committed. I believe in you and accept you alone as my Lord and Savior! Amen!

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When you say these words from your heart totally believing they are true, it acts as a catalyst, germinating the Word-Seed or God-Seed if you will, releasing the life of God within you.

 

This process is such that the faith you apply acts on the God-Seed cracking it open, allowing the life of God to flow out into your spirit. The same thing happens when you plant a grain of corn into the ground.

 

The heat and moisture of the earth creates an environment that causes the corn seed to burst open releasing the life of the corn within and you have a brand new creation.

 

In this case your spirit is the earth and your faith and words are the heat and moisture, which creates the environment for the God-Seed to crack open releasing the life of God within you.

 

As this new life flows out, it completely pervades and engulfs your spirit transforming it. Where there was death there’s now life. Where there was old there’s now new. “…When this has taken place, then that which was said in the Writings will come true, Death is overcome by life,” 1 Cor 15:54. (Bible in Basic English)

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2Co 5:17.

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Your old spirit ceases to exist and your new spirit lives! You have become a new creation.

 

Now, the life of God is synonymous with the nature of God, so as His life flows into you His nature is released. Receiving the life of God therefore, is the same as receiving the nature of God.

 

So, you now have a new nature. “…He has given to us the greatest and precious promises, that through these ye may become partakers of [the] divine nature,” 2 Pet 1:4 (Darby Translation)

 

The nature of God is Holiness, which means to be unique, other than everything else, sanctified, consecrated and set a part as extremely special. This is what God is and this is what you have become when you share in His nature.

 

You have become a different type of human being; one of God’s new creation.

 

You are unique, different, changed from natural to spiritual, from death to life… You are Born Again!

 

Now, here’s the key to this whole experience, if you miss this, YOU MISS EVERYTHING!

 

The release of your faith is what creates the miracle of the New Birth in you but faith is an action word. The bible definition of faith means doing something.

 

This is not to be confused with the works of the flesh or the works of the law but the bible does teach there is a work of faith.

 

It says, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith…” (1st Thessalonians 1:3) So what is the work of faith which accompanies salvation?

 

In one word, it is…

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Repentance

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If you repeat that prayer of salvation without repenting there’ll be no power released and no new birth.

 

You must repent, and repenting means a change of mind or exchanging one ideology for another.

 

Everyone has something they believe in that gives them a sense of spiritual security.

 

For most people that’s the purpose of their religion. It’s what provides the feeling of spiritual safety.

 

For the Atheist it’s the belief that God doesn’t exist.

 

If God doesn’t exist then there is no judgement to face at the end of time… that belief is what gives the Atheist the sense of safety from judgement.

 

Every human being has an ideological belief that gives them a sense of spiritual security and it is this very ideology that they MUST give up in order to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Salvation is a FREE GIFT but there must be an exchange to receive it .. This exchange is called repentance!

 

This is not to say that you can earn or buy your salvation but understanding this:

 

If your hands are already full, then you cannot grasp something new with your hands can you?

 

You’ve got to first let go of whatever you have in your hands before you can grasp something else.

 

Now, imagine salvation is a gift-wrapped present in a huge box and that box is being offered to you but your hands are already full with the huge box you are already holding on to… your current ideological belief.

 

This is what repentance is; it is a letting go of one thing to receive something else or a turning away from one thing to embrace something else, making a complete change of direction.

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My Experience

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In my case 30 years ago, it was the belief in reincarnation, my belief in reincarnation was my spiritual support, it was the thing that gave me the sense of spiritual security from judgement.

 

So, when the Gospel of Jesus Christ was explained to me and the truth of it finally dawned on me, I found myself having a decision to make. Was I going to continue holding on to what I felt comfortable with or was I going to let go of that false doctrine and embrace the truth?

 

This is what every human being MUST face sooner or later.

 

Whenever we’re presented with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we must choose whether we’re going to let go of whatever we’re holding on to for spiritual security and embrace Jesus Christ fully or continue in the same direction we’re going, holding on to whatever spiritual crutch we have.

 

It doesn’t have to be a doctrine like reincarnation or something similar either; it could be anything that gives you a sense of spiritual safety.

 

Whatever the ideology, the essential aspect is… your will, are you going to surrender your will to God and let Him take control of your life?

 

If you do, your faith will bring the power of God on the scene and the miraculous will follow, if not, nothing will happen.

 

To sum this up, the power of God to effect miraculous change is activated only when we act in faith and acting in faith to receive salvation means turning your back on whatever you’ve been holding on to for spiritual security and embracing Jesus Christ and His sacrifice alone as your total means of salvation.

 

This, my friends, is what activates the power of God and causes a person to become “Born Again.”

 

As I said at the beginning, this is only the first level in the three-phased process of salvation but certainly the most important, because it guarantees you permanent entrance into the Kingdom of God and provides the foundation upon which the entire Christian experience is built.

 

This is why Jesus said, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)

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The Missionary’s Position

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The Missionary’s Position

 

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Brenda spilled the coffee on the brand new tablecloth in the kitchen. She couldn’t believe what she was reading!

 

“Oh my God! How could this happen?” She called out to her husband who was just descending the stairs.

 

“How could what happen?” Jason quizzed her.

 

“Do you remember that guy we met at the convention last month? His name was…”

 

“Marty somebody,” Jason finished her sentence, “yeah I remember him, he was kinda hard to forget. With all that in-your-face proselytizing about becoming Missionaries and spreading the word of God to the world and all that kingdom stuff! What about him?”

 

“He’s dead!” Brenda’s voice cracking a little under the weight of emotion.

 

“What??!! How…? Whe…?”

 

“It says here,” Brenda interrupted him, “that on the night of October 22nd Martin Cyzinsky was robbed and shot to death by person or persons unknown. The police are theorizing that he stopped to give someone a lift and was carjacked.”

 

Brenda put down the paper and stared at her husband in awkward silence as he quietly sat facing her.

 

His face betrayed the guilt he felt inside, the same guilt he saw reflected in his wife’s eyes.

 

They had ridiculed Marty that night as he attempted sharing on the importance of representing Christ and spreading the “true gospel,” as he put it.

 

They rationalized that he was simply naïve to think that one person could make any measurable difference in the world!

 

What, with all the famine and war and diseases running rampant globally it made more sense to secure your own position first, instead of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to right every wrong in the world, after all, “Charity begins at home,” Jason remembered saying to him!

 

“But it ends abroad,” Marty had countered. “The average Christian,” he continued, “gets all he can and ‘cans’ all he gets, it’s only about me, myself and I, his charity doesn’t end abroad it ends right where it started… At HIS home!”

 

“I don’t want to start preaching (“Too late,” Jason thought) but the great commission says GO into all the world and make disciples of men, if we…!”

 

“My point is this,” Brenda cut him short, “how can we leave our own homes undone and try to tell other people how to run theirs? What right do we have to tell other people to leave their religion and join ours when…?”

 

“That’s your problem right there,” Marty returned, his voice rising in pitch and volume, “you’re trying to convert people to a religion when that was NEVER God’s intention!”

 

Jason and Brenda stared at him quizzically.

 

“If the average Christian couple is in debt and their marriage is limping along how can they go tell Hakeem who owns a successful business and is happily married to stop serving Allah and come serve Jesus?”

 

“So he can have what THEY have?!”

 

“Adam never lost a religion, he lost a kingdom!” Marty asserted. “That’s why your religion doesn’t work for you! Jesus never preached a religion, He preached about A KINGDOM!”

 

“REPENT! FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!” He declared evangelistically!

 

The conversation had started getting a little too uncomfortable for Brenda and Jason so they’d made excuses and left Marty still trying to convince them they were hearing and sharing the wrong message.

 

“Naïve and deluded,” Jason labeled him after departing his presence.

 

“Zealous and dangerous,” Brenda added.

 

But now he was dead.

 

And strangely, it seemed that in his death his message took on new life!

 

So, as they sat across from each other reflecting on that meeting with the Missionary, Brenda couldn’t help but wonder after his words, “Not a religion BUT a kingdom! The message of ‘The Kingdom’ is what the world needs,” He had pleaded with them!

 

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come,” He had quoted Jesus’ words from Matt. 24:14.

 

Now, with the darkening coffee stain as a reminder of the mess their life was in, Jason and Brenda found themselves seriously considering the Missionary’s position on the quality of the message they had been fed and why they were reluctant to share it with others.

 

It’s not about a religion that doesn’t work, it never was… It’s all about a kingdom lost and found!
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Understanding The Foundation of Repentance

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Understanding The Foundation of Repentance

 

 

The foundation of true repentance is seeing God as He really is and not as the world sees Him.

It is only as we get a true revelation of the love God demonstrates toward us that we can respond accurately to that love… and that’s what repentance is… our faith-filled response to God’s love toward us.