So why do Christians insist Jesus had to die? Why couldn’t God just shout from heaven, “I forgive you!”—and be done with it? And why, oh why, isn’t it enough to simply be a good person?
Every other belief system on earth basically says that if you do this, obey that, or give this, you’ll get fixed or earn your way to paradise or enlightenment or nirvana or some kind of big banana in the sky. Only biblical Christianity insists that Jesus’ substitutionary death on the Cross is the one way to getting right with God and all that follows.
What’s the big deal with Jesus and the Cross? Let’s cut through the theological complexities to this:
God is Holy–God is almighty, perfect, and separate from his creation; he is without sin of any kind. That’s great, but it creates a problem for us: our sinful human state separates us from him Leviticus 11:44-45* ; Isaiah 6:3* This is serious trouble—and it gets worse.
God is Righteous–God requires justice, either in this life or the next. A price must be paid for every wrong. Sin is like a cancer that won’t go away. It must be destroyed, which means we all get the death penalty. This is why no one can ever be good enough to make it to heaven by their own effort, everLeviticus 17:11*; Romans 3:23* We’re all dead meat.
God is Love–God loves us, whom he’s created, and wants to have relationship with us. So after centuries of Old Testament animal sacrifice, he paid his own penalty and gave us Jesus Christ, who was simultaneously God and human. Jesus died in our place to pay the price (death) for the sins of all humanity and to give a “not guilty” verdict to those who receive him as Lord of their lives Romans 5:8* His resurrection overcame the powers of death and hades to guarantee eternal life to those who are his Revelation 1:17* while here and now his Spirit brings life to our previously disconnected human spirits. This is good, very good. (more…)
Signs of spring are everywhere, trees blooming, grass greening, and the ever anticipated bluebonnets calling motorcyclists to the hill country. (yea!) It is all a reminder to thank God for His creation and to know that He is in control. Check this out:
He made the world and everything there is.
There are many arguments we could marshal to give evidence of the existence of God. There is scientific evidence pointing to God’s existence. For example, whatever is in motion must be moved by another, for motion is the response of matter to power. In the world of matter there can be no power without life, and life pre-supposes a being from which emanates the power to move things, such as tides and the planets. Or there is the argument that says nothing can be the cause of itself. It would be prior to itself if it caused itself to be, and that is an absurdity. Then there is the law of life. We see objects that have no intellect, such as stars and planets, moving in a consistent pattern, cooperating ingeniously with one another. Hence, it is evident that they achieve their movements not by accident but by design. Whatever lacks intelligence cannot move intelligently. An arrow would be useless without a bow and an archer. What gives direction and purpose and design to inanimate objects? It is God. He is the underlying, motivating force of life. - Billy Graham
Friday Night Dinner Ride 3-18-16 The West Texas Weather is once again playing with the forecasters minds. Looking at the best of the best guesses for tonight’s weather, we have decided to hang close to town. Meet us at Kohl’s, 98th & Indiana, at 6pm for a time of fellowship and prayer. We will go kickstands up, or cage doors closed if you prefer, and Road Captain Tommy Hayes will lead us to a nearby diner. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Carpenter Kitchen Easter Sunday 3-27-16 Make plans to attend this great ministry event as we serve the homeless a fantastic Easter Lunch at Carpenters Kitchen. We’re smoking beef, pork, beans, and serving it with all of the “fixins”. Don’t miss out!
Thank God for His creation and new life!
Psalm 27:4-5 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Way out west, a cowboy is driving down a road, his dog riding in the back of his pickup truck, his faithful horse in the trailer behind. As he takes a curve on the highway he suddenly loses control of the vehicle and has a terrible accident.
Sometime later, a State Police officer comes on the scene. A great lover of animals, the officer’s attention is first drawn to the horse. Realizing the serious nature of its injuries, he draws his service revolver and puts the animal out of its misery. Then walking around the accident he finds the dog, also critically wounded, and whining miserably in pain. This grips his heart and he quickly ends the dog’s suffering as well. (more…)
During King David’s reign, the tabernacle (the movable tent) that Moses had made was erected at the high place in Gibeon. This tabernacle represented the presence of God among the people.
At one particular time when David sinned, he needed a more immediate and convenient altar, so God sent him to a guy named Ornan and told David to build on Ornan’s threshing floor. 1 Chronicles 21:26* says,
“And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the LORD; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering.”
Thanks to Jesus, the sacrificial system is out, the need to go through Levitical priests to get to God is out, and the need to stand before a particular altar whenever I pray is out. However, even though all those things are out, the spirit of each part of David’s worship is still necessary today. (more…)