Friday, September 2, 2011

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From The Beginning

          In the Garden of Eden there was one plan.  God told Adam, everything is yours except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil[1].  At this point, there was no knowledge of evil, for everything was good, even the forbidden tree.  There was no evil, no sin, no pain and no death or illness.  Only after the one and only restriction was ignored did evil enter the world; through the urging of Lucifer.

          Since the beginning, through his God given right of free will, man has thought either that he knows better than God or that surely an all loving God wouldn’t condemn you for doing as you pleased.  Just a little bite of the fruit!  Not a big thing.  Surely God would overlook that little thing.  But it was enough to bring rebellion (sin) into existence in God’s perfect place, and plan.  I won’t go into detail about Lucifer’s rebellion and rejection of God.  Suffice it to say that although Lucifer was in the presence of God, he rebelled in order to further his own desires.  My estimation is that that was the first sin, unless you would count the envy that led up to it.  From that point on, Lucifer set out to thwart all of Gods plans for mankind.

          From that point on, man (with the help of Lucifer) chipped away at the respect (fear) and authority of God.  Since ‘a little bit’ wouldn’t hurt, surely a little bit more wouldn’t matter.  By the time of Noah, man had become so self absorbed with his own desires and things had gotten so bad, God realized He had to start things over.  Perhaps this time man would respect Him and His creation.  Apparently, at that point in man’s history, Noah and his family were the only ones left with any respect (fear) of God. 

          As usual, with mankind, being led astray by the devil and their flesh, the world was doing as it pleased during the time of Abraham.  Abraham yielded himself in faith to God, and the result was the Hebrew nation.  Abraham and his descendents, for the most part, followed God and His will.  As time passed, God’s chosen people did not follow Him as they should.  The result was over four hundred years of servitude in Egypt.   After that time, God was able to find a man whom He could trust, and who trusted Him.  That man was Moses.   Moses wasn’t perfect.  He murdered a man and neglected to circumcise his son.  That little thing, circumcision, being overlooked, almost cost him his life[2].  Moses even argued (contended) with God several times.  The result of his complaining, about not being good enough, resulted in God allowing Aaron to take over part of his mission[3].  He argued with God over His decision to destroy the Hebrew people and beginning again with him[4]; thus the Hebrew nation was saved.  Through Moses, God gave the Hebrew people ‘the law’, so they would have no doubt as to what He wanted them to do.  

          Time, after time, after time, the Hebrew people would reject God and time after time, after time, they would return to Him.  When they followed Him they prospered, but when they strayed they fell into disrepute.  He sent a multitude of prophets to bring the people back to Him.   The prophets were treated shamefully.  It was at just such a time of betrayal that God decided to put forth one more effort to redeem His people.  He thought; surely they will respect my Son and return to me. 

          From the beginning, God has done everything godly possible to bring us to Himself.  At this time, about one third of the world claims to be Christian (followers of Christ).  The last chance is at hand.  Through His Son, Jesus, we are given one last chance to redeem ourselves.  You can reject Him, as you have done with all God’s previous messengers, or receive the gift of salvation that He paid for, with His sacrifice of suffering and death, on your behalf. 

          There are two kinds of death: the ‘death’ which is a celebration of the passing over to glory and eternal life with God, and dead-dead, which is the passing over to eternal damnation. The second death is not part of the celebration.

          I don’t want to just give lip service to Jesus: Judas did that when he kissed Him.  There are consequences for pretending to be a Christian.  The lack of true acceptance of the salvation of Christ leads to spiritual death.  You must truly accept Jesus, as Lord of your life, to be acceptable to God.  God doesn’t “sell salvation”[5] to the highest bidder.  Salvation isn’t something you can earn by your good deeds or the sweat of your brow.  It is a free gift; bought and paid for by the blood of Christ.

          It’s easy.  All you have to do is admit your need for Him, ask for forgiveness, invite Him into your life as your own personal Lord and Savior, and pronounce to others that you have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior.  The time is short.  Jesus will be returning soon, and when He does the offer will be retracted.  If you ask now, the door to salvation will be opened to you.  If you wait too long, the door will be locked for all time.  Today is the day of salvation!

[1]  Genesis 2:17
[2] Exodus 4:24-26
[3] Exodus 4:10-16
[4] Numbers 14:12
[5] Max Lucano The Applause of Heaven


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