Feb. 13, 2017 |
At least 188,000 people remain under evacuation orders after Northern California authorities warned an emergency spillway in the country’s tallest dam was in danger of failing Sunday and unleashing uncontrolled flood waters on towns below.
This week, in his first White House visit with President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s priority will be to make sure Israel is kept in the loop and that the two countries’ positions are generally aligned, according to Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. for much of Obama’s term.
India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have largely escaped U.S. President Donald Trump’s glare on trade, but he may yet come looking. The U.S. runs trade deficits with all of them, in some cases quite big ones.
India’s monthly oil demand fell the most since May 2003 as the government’s crackdown on high-value currency notes continued to reverberate through the country’s $2 trillion economy.
The Pentagon is paying hackers to test its key internal systems for vulnerabilities — and they are finding weaknesses faster than expected.
Nigeria recovered more than $160 million in alleged corruption proceeds last week from four people, including $9.2 million from a former head of the state-owned oil company, said Information Minister Lai Mohammed.
AP Top Stories
Philippine authorities have begun to restore electricity and water supply to areas hit by a 6.7 earthquake that rocked Surigao City on Friday night powerful that killed six and damaged public infrastructure.
Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church faced off on Sunday with thousands of protesters in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg over the fate of a cathedral that is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. The city is preparing to hand over control of the central St Isaac’s Cathedral — Russia’s largest — to the Orthodox Church after decades as a museum.
The EU on Monday sharply improved its gloomy predictions for the British economy next year, admitting that the Brexit vote would have less impact than earlier thought.
Calling their dead “second-class victims”, Serbian families of civilians killed by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian rebels in the late 1990s hope a new court at The Hague will finally bring them justice. Nineteen international judges were appointed this month to the tribunal, which will try crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in its fight for independence from Serbia, a conflict that left 13,000 dead.
Yale University will change the name of its Calhoun College after protesters said the Ivy League school should drop the honor it gave to an alumnus who was a prominent advocate of U.S. slavery, the university said on Saturday. Yale said it will rename Calhoun College for Grace Murray Hopper, an alumnus who received a PhD in mathematics and mathematical physics in 1934.
The Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival, held on the 15th day after the beginning of the Lunar New Year in Tainan City, Taiwan, is an annual tradition that has been celebrated for more than 130 years. Participants in Yanshui District gear up with motorcycle helmets, fire-retardant clothing and thick gloves to prepare for the hundreds of thousands of firecrackers that go off at the same time.
Several hundred police returned to their patrols on Sunday after eight days of strikes in a southeastern Brazilian state that was plunged into violence during the work stoppage.
Greece’s military has successfully deactivated an unexploded bomb from World War II found under a gas station Sunday morning in Thessaloniki. The large explosive prompted the evacuation of estimated 75,000 people in the country’s second-largest city.
Swiss voters on Sunday approved making it easier for third-generation immigrants to become citizens, dismissing suggestions that the move could pose a security threat.
New York doll maker Tonner Doll Co. will soon release a doll based on teen activist and TV personality Jazz Jennings – a doll believed to be the first doll based on a transgender person to hit the market.
The Swedish government has defended its decision to have its officials wear headscarves during a trip to Iran, saying that failing to do so would have broken the law. Sweden says it has the world’s first “feminist government”. A prominent Iranian women’s rights activist and Swedish politicians have criticized the decision. She said that since the only other option would be to send an all-male delegation, she was required to wear a headscarf.
Tens of thousands of people in Mexico have taken to the streets to protest against Donald Trump’s immigration policies and plan for a border wall. Demonstrators in more than a dozen Mexican cities, dressed in white, waved Mexican flags and anti-Trump placards.
A suspected suicide bomber has targeted a protest rally in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, killing at least 11 people, local officials say. The blast occurred when owners of medical shops were demonstrating against amendments to a law governing drug sales in Punjab province.
North Korea says it “successfully” test-fired a ballistic missile on Sunday in a launch supervised by leader Kim Jong-un. State news agency KCNA described the device, fired into the Sea of Japan, as a “surface-to-surface medium-to-long-range ballistic missile”.
Hundreds of rallies were held across the United States on Saturday to express opposition to abortion, the Planned Parenthood abortion business, and especially the $500 million or so in taxpayer funding that goes to the abortion industry leader each year.
At UMass Amherst, students are required to take two “social justice” classes to earn diploma, and this course – Education 115: Embracing Diversity – fulfills one of those requirements. Another assignment has them coming up with ways to make a university more welcoming to a low-income black lesbian majoring in engineering. New vocabulary words thrown at students include “internalized classism” and “cultural imperialism.”
The Briefing 02-13-17
Why the judicial usurpation of politics is a threat to the American constitutional order
Neil Gorsuch refuses to get political in catch-22 Q&A session with Senator Schumer
How worldview impacts demographics and demographics reveal worldview
Top News – 2/13/2017
Turkey’s Erdogan: Israeli settlement push an ‘absolute provocation’
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday condemned Israel’s decision to ramp up settlements in the West Bank as an “absolute provocation”. Israel announced plans last month for 3,000 more settlement homes in the West Bank. It has also retroactively legalized about 4,000 settlement homes built on privately owned Palestinian land, a move that brought condemnation from the United Nations and the European Union.
IDF arrests suspected terrorists responsible for West Bank shootings
The IDF, in cooperation with the Shin Bet security service, arrested two Palestinians from the West Bank village of Rantis that carried out a shooting attack against an Israeli vehicle between the Israeli settlements of Beit Aryeh and Nili in December. According to the army, the two Palestinians shot at the car driven by an Israeli citizen at close range, injuring the driver when the gunfire shattered the window on the driver’s side sending glass shards into his face.
North Korea says ballistic missile test was a ‘success’
North Korea says it “successfully” test-fired a ballistic missile on Sunday in a launch supervised by leader Kim Jong-un. State news agency KCNA described the device, fired into the Sea of Japan, as a “surface-to-surface medium-to-long-range ballistic missile”. South Korea’s defence ministry called it an armed provocation to test the response of US President Donald Trump.
Brexit: Theresa May accused of ‘switching her language’ over Irish border
Former taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Bertie Ahern has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of “switching her language” over a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit. He told The Observer that “any kind of physical border” would be “bad for the peace process”. Mrs May has said she wants a “seamless, frictionless border” after Brexit.
Inside the black bloc militant protest movement as it rises up against Trump
The movement first made its presence felt in California more than two decades ago, then built its forces amid the protests against the Iraq war. Out of the sea of largely peaceful antiwar demonstrators marching in San Francisco’s Financial District in 2003, a more militant subgroup emerged…Since then, the so-called black bloc protesters have become a force in the Bay Area and beyond.
America’s Biggest Creditors Dump Treasuries in Warning to Trump
In the age of Trump, America’s biggest foreign creditors are suddenly having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government. In Japan, the largest holder of Treasuries, investors culled their stakes in December by the most in almost four years, the Ministry of Finance’s most recent figures show. What’s striking is the selling has persisted at a time when going abroad has rarely been so attractive. And it’s not just the Japanese. Across the world, foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before.
Hamas elects new radical leader in Gaza
Yahya Sanwar has been elected to lead Hamas in the Gaza Strip after internal elections were held for the organization’s institutional and leadership positions, according to reports from Al Jazeera. Sanwar was on the most senior officials released by Israel in the Shalit deal in which hundreds of terrorists and political prisoners were released in exchange for the return of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Netanyahu opposes Palestinian state, Israeli minister says ahead of U.S. visit
Benjamin Netanyahu opposes a Palestinian state, a senior Israeli cabinet member said on Monday, but left it unclear whether the prime minister would say that publicly in talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington this week.
Oh, the Irony: Liberals Threaten to Homeschool Kids After DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary
In protest of school choice advocate Betsy DeVos becoming the next education secretary, some liberals threatened to homeschool their children. Lost on them, apparently, is the irony of that threat
Spillway at tallest US dam in California about to collapse, tens of thousands evacuate
Tens of thousands of people have been fleeing California towns downstream from the Oroville Dam after fears of an imminent collapse of its spillway prompted an evacuation order. Authorities are seeking to stem the breach with the help of helicopters.
Juncker says Britain may divide EU over Brexit talks
Jean-Claude Juncker said he fears Britain will divide the European Union’s 27 remaining members by making different promises to each country during its Brexit negotiations. “The other EU 27 don’t know it yet, but the Brits know very well how they can tackle this,” Juncker told Deutschlandfunk radio. “They could promise country A this, country B that and country C something else and the end game is that there is not a united European front.”
At least 749 earthquakes hit Dardanelles since Feb 6
Professor Haluk Özener, the head of the Kandilli Observatory and the Earthquake Research Institute, said the quakes were “unsurprising” and noted that earthquakes between the 5 and 5.5 magnitude range were “natural” for the region. Prof. Dr. Övgün Ercan, an academic at the Faculty of Mines at Istanbul Technical University, warned about another wave of earthquakes, saying a major earthquake was expected “within the next 15 to 20 days.”
New quake rocks Lesvos island
Another earthquake, measuring 5 on the Richter scale, rocked the Greek island of Lesvos on Sunday afternoon, coming on top of string of relatively large tremors over the past week. The 5-Richter quake struck at 3.48 p.m. and its epicenter was just off Turkey’s western coast, north of the Greek island
Mysteries of Ark’s Journey Revealed as Excavation Begins at Site of Ark of Covenant
This summer, archaeologists will begin the first-ever excavation of the major Biblical site where the Ark of the Covenant was kept for two decades before King David conveyed it to Jerusalem. The site, known in Hebrew as Kiryat Ye’arim and often transliterated at Kiriath Jearim, is mentioned over a dozen times in the Bible as a Judean town near Jerusalem during the period of Biblical history associated with the judges and King David. Today, it remains one of the last such Biblical landmarks unstudied.
Rabbi, Archbishop, Sheikh and President Reopen Church of Loaves and Fishes at Interfaith Event
Rivlin emphasized that Jews, Christians and people of all faith suffer together when equality and tolerance are compromised, but noted that freedom of religion is a cherished principle in the Jewish state.
Officials order evacuation of residents near California dam
Marysville police say the city and Yuba County are under mandatory evacuation orders because of the feared collapse of the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville Dam. Yolo County officials said in a tweet that they do not expect any impact.
North Korea tests Trump’s resolve with latest missile launch
North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test triggered swift condemnation Sunday from the international community as the hermit nation’s move challenges President Trump in his first month in office.
Zimbabwe 2.0: South Africa’s President Vows To Redistribute White-Owned Land And Businesses
“Today we are starting a new chapter of radical socioeconomic transformation,” South Africa president Jacob Zuma said last week, as he pledged to break up white ownership of business and land to reduce inequality.
Apple’s Tim Cook Urges “Massive” Government Crackdown On ‘Fake News’: “It’s Killing People’s Minds”
“We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader…It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public… It’s killing people’s minds in a way… In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate.”
Russia Will Not ‘Sell’ Snowden To Trump; Here’s Why
The report obviously worried Snowden himself, who tweeted that the report proved that he was not and never had been a Russian agent. That suggests that he took the report seriously. Snowden should not be worried, since the report is groundless and is clearly a provocation. To see why it is only necessary to look at the NBC report itself, which makes it clear who is behind it…
A new recession is coming, and Donald Trump needs it to begin sooner rather than later. As I explained last week, most American voters tend to care about their pocketbooks more than anything else. If the next recession were to officially start during the first quarter of 2017, it would be very easy for Trump to blame it on Obama, and then he could portray himself as the one that pulled the U.S. economy out of recession in time for the 2020 election. But if the next recession does not begin until 2018 or 2019, everybody is going to blame it on Trump even if it is not his fault. In politics, who gets the blame for whatever goes wrong is often the most important thing, and if Trump wants to avoid blame for the next recession he needs for it to start as quickly as possible. (Read More…)
The “Trump bump” has been dramatic. There was a collective sigh of relief from investors as they watched Obama fly away on Marine One. Maybe, finally, the economy would be allowed to breathe.
Perhaps to some degree. But David Stockman warns correctly that the debt monster looms over the economy and that the debt monster is hungry. If we see a real move up in interest rates that debt, roughly 20 TRILLION dollars, is going to be much more expensive to finance.
Top Headlines – 2/13/2017
Posted: 13 Feb 2017 08:19 AM PST
By almost any metric, the churches in our nation are much less evangelistic today than they were in the recent past. In my own denomination,…
Posted: 13 Feb 2017 08:15 AM PST
When Daniel Calveti was just 6 months old, his parents made a promise to God. Their baby boy was deathly ill with bacterial meningitis, and…
Posted: 13 Feb 2017 08:03 AM PST
At least 188,000 people were under evacuation orders Monday as crews raced against time to keep an emergency spillway at the country’s tallest dam from…
Posted: 13 Feb 2017 05:51 AM PST
ISIS’ vandalism of one of Syria’s most important historic sites looks set to escalate as Russian intelligence suggests that the militant group plans to wreak…
|Hawaii Bill Could Legalize Prostitution Industry
Posted: 13 Feb 2017 05:43 AM PST
Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution in the state after the speaker of the House introduced a bill that would also legalize buying sex and…
|Anti-Trump Employees Quit Jobs at Companies with Ties to Trump
Posted: 13 Feb 2017 05:38 AM PST
President Trump has gathered many CEOs and business leaders together since becoming president, but some of these company leaders are facing a backlash from their…
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 08:05 PM PST
The Gem State has been hit hard by Mother Nature. First the pummeling snow, and now a fast melt causing flooding. On Saturday, Governor C….
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 08:02 PM PST
After a year of heavy rains, California’s Lake Oroville—home to the country’s tallest dam—has almost reached its maximum capacity, and its infrastructure is feeling the…
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 05:52 PM PST
EMERGENCY EVACUATION ORDER ISSUED: Officials are anticipating a failure of the Auxiliary Spillway at Oroville Dam within the next 60 minutes. Residents of Oroville should…
|3 Slippery Ways Your Worship Could Morph Into Witchcraft
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 05:36 PM PST
Can Christians delude themselves into thinking that they are worshiping God, when in fact they are engaging in witchcraft? Sound a little incredible? And yet,…
|5 Signs You Aren’t Letting God Have Control
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 05:34 PM PST
(By Shannon Popkin) Control Girls often don’t realize that they’re control girls. I sure didn’t. I spent the first 35 years of my life completely…
|DEVELOPING: California dam emergency spillway used for first time amid rising waters…
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 05:24 PM PST
For the first time since Oroville Dam was completed in 1968, water from its storm-swollen reservoir overtopped the emergency spillway Saturday, sending sheets of water…
|Blizzard conditions, feet of snow to bring New England to a standstill by Monday
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 05:19 PM PST
A blizzard will unleash feet of snow and threaten to bring travel to a halt across eastern New England through Monday. In some areas, this…
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 05:13 PM PST
A Canadian school has canceled trips to the US because of the “unsafe” political situation created by President Trump’s travel ban. The decision was taken…
|Sears and Kmart Remove Trump Line of Home Furnishings from Websites
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 11:31 AM PST
Sears and Kmart have stopped selling products from the Trump Home line on their websites, Business Insider reports. Items from Trump Home, which is part…
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 11:24 AM PST
Pro-life Americans nationwide took to the streets on Saturday to call on Congress to defund the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood. Demonstrations took place…
|North Korean test missile flies 500km, lands in Sea of Japan
Posted: 12 Feb 2017 11:20 AM PST
North Korea on Sunday launched a missile in the direction of Japan, South Korean and Pentagon officials have said. Although the projectile landed into the…
Our Time is Short
What is The Gospel?
God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.
The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.
Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.
God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.
But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.
And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.
This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.
God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.
God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.
Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.
There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.
The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.
The Gospel In A Nutshell
Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.
Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl
This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.
A Message from God
What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.
Why Is the Gospel Good News?
So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?
Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:
- Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
- What is our problem?
- What is God’s solution to our problem?
- How can I be included in his solution?
Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.
- We are accountable to God.
- Our problem is our sin against him.
- God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
- We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.
Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.
The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!
When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.
It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.
Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”
But . . .
The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!
When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!
But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”
What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.
To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.
Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!
Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:
The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:
1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension
Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:
1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.
2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.
3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.
4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).
5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.
That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.
Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel
This is the Gospel:
Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).
And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.
And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.
And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).
Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?
A Gospel Presentation
God is Holy
The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.
God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.
We are Sinful
The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.
And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.
There is a Penalty for Sin
But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50).
The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.
And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.
God Became Man
But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.
He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.
Jesus Paid the Penalty
And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.
At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.
After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31).
Law or Gospel — Which comes first?
Sometimes in life, the question is posed to us, “Which do you want first — the bad news or the good news?”
In response to this question, some choose to hear the good news first. It appears they desire to be thoroughly overwhelmed with the positive before getting their dose of the negative.
Others choose differently. They would rather hear the bad news first, get it out of the way, and put behind them their wonder and worry. Then, after processing the ramifications of the bad news, they hope to soothe the pain an end the conversation on a good note with positive vibes.
Well, Scripture does not offer us options. The Bible makes the choice for us, and it chooses to present the negative before the positive. The Bible declares bad news before declaring good news. It first presents the holy, wise, beneficial and condemning Law, then it publishes the “good tidings of great joy” or the Gospel. (Is. 60:1-2)
Understanding God’s Law
God’s Law was first presented in the opening chapters of Genesis. Some of it was stated; all of it was written upon man’s heart. Adam and Eve were to be entirely holy and obedient. They were to worship God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, all the time. Whether they ate, or drank, or whatsoever they did, they were do to it all for the glory of God. As image-bearers, they were to keep up God’s image. As men and women created in his likeness, they were to be like God. Vocationally, they were to enjoy and steward the garden and all God’s creatures. Relationally, they were to love one another and populate the planet. Ceremonially, they were to enjoy and glorify the Lord by walking with him in the cool of the day and never eating from the forbidden tree. These were some of their obligations, and as long as they performed perfectly they were guaranteed life in the family and kingdom of God.
However, things soon went from glorious to ghastly. Outside of them, they experienced the testing of God and the temptation of Satan. Within them they chose to question God’s truth, wisdom, and affection. Then, drawn away by their own lusts and enticed, they followed their internal sinful inclinations and externally ate of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the holy, wise, and beneficial Law became a harsh taskmaster. It showed them the standard, showed them their guilt, and plagued their consciences. It encouraged them to hide, fear, and religiously self-medicate. It declared them wicked, separated from God, at enmity with God, and deserving of death, and it promised this for both them and their children. Yes, the Law of God promised to give them that which they deserved. It promised to pay them based upon performance, and this proved to be very, very bad news.
Understanding God’s Gospel
God, through the Law declared to Adam and Eve who they were, what they had done, and what they had justly earned — condemnation. Then God mercifully, graciously, and lovingly went to work. He performed on their behalf and promised them an eternity of undeserved blessings:
He predetermined to love his enemies.
He sought out his enemies while they hid from him in fear.
He called to the man and woman who vainly had self-medicated themselves.
He promised to rescue them and their children; they would be removed from Satan’s family.
He promised to do so by means of a special Son – one to come who would be fiercely bitten yet ultimately victorious.
He promised to damn the Evil One.
He then covered or clothed Adam and Eve by means of his ceremonial sacrifice.
He perfectly performed for and made promises to them who had performed so wickedly for him.
Friends, are we seeing the difference? The Law presents our duty to perfectly perform, and it only results in bad news. For there is none who keep all the Law, all the time, both internally and externally. However, the Gospel is not like the Law. The Gospel presents not our duty to perform for God, but it presents God’s performance and promise for us. Through the Law we lose our credentials to be a part of God’s family and enjoy his kingdom. Through the Gospel we gain credentials that cannot be earned or lost.
A Great Illustration
Perhaps nowhere is the distinction better seen between Law and Gospel than on Calvary’s cross. On that day, the Law had placed a criminal beside Jesus. There he was guilty, vile, dying, hopeless, and still hurling insults at the Son of God. He was getting that which he earned and deserved. He was being treated justly and fairly. His payment was based upon his performance, and he had hell to pay. The Law had nothing good to say to the thief on the cross. But then God went to work; Jesus granted the Law-breaking criminal complete pardon, intimate communion, and never-ending paradise. These blessings were not based upon any labors of his own, but only based upon the performance and promise of God. These blessings were not earned; they were a gift. A divine swap occurred. Jesus (The Law Keeping Man) received that which he did not deserve so that the thief (The Law Breaking Man) might also receive that which he did not deserve. And this is a fantastic picture of the Gospel. Communion with God that was lost by man seeking to keep the Law, was granted to man as a gift of God.
Responding to the Gospel
Therefore, how should we respond to the Gospel? While believing in divine sovereignty, what is our human responsibility?
Let us make the Gospel our Gospel. Along with the Apostle Paul let us call it “mine.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offer this gift to you. They command you to receive it and enjoy it. If you find yourself with faith, willing to repent and receive, call out to Jesus in prayer right now. Call Jesus, “My Jesus.” Call Jesus’ righteousness, “My Righteousness.” Call Jesus’ Gospel, “My Gospel.” (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As a matter of fact, if you draw near to God, it is only because he has already been drawing nearer to you.
Let us not water down the Gospel. This is always our tendency, to add human works to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Friends, re-read the letter to the Galatians. If we must perform, it is not Gospel. If we must labor, it is not Gospel. If it involves our works, it is not Gospel. If it is conditioned upon us in anyway, it is not Gospel. If it is a contract, it is not Gospel. If it can be lost, it is not Gospel. The Gospel represents the unilateral work of God on behalf of men. The Law ought never be divorced from the Gospel, but it must never be confused either.
Let us celebrate the Gospel. William Tyndall wrote of the Gospel, “It makes a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” It is the best of news. It means we can sabbath. It means we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. It means we are seen as Christlike image-bearers. Give God the celebratory praise he deserves. He has labored perfectly on your behalf, give him reverent and radical praise and worship.
Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom.1:16) Paul wrote, “Woe if I do not preach the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16) He wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Good News.” Friends, just as Adam and Eve were to physically reproduce, we are to spiritually reproduce around the world. This is our mission. This is our great mission. This is our Great Commission. Let us be humble, for we cannot make someone believe. Let us be zealous, for God has a tendency to honor those who labor hard. And let us become flexibly relevant in order to better spread the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:22-23) As Gospel-lovers and Gospel-beneficiants, let us do that which is Lawful and bring in the Gospel-harvest.
Then, let us live Lawfully in accordance with the Gospel. Now that we have been saved from having to perform, let us perform. Yes, with Gospel-eyes, let us look at the Law and enjoy practicing that which is holy, wise, beneficial, and worshipful. Living in the power of the Gospel, let us enjoy becoming more and more like Jesus — the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And when we look at the Law, let us not get frustrated and despondent. Instead, let us glory in the Law, for there is the description of who we are in Christ today, and it also shows us all we will be in glory tomorrow when our old flesh is finally exterminated.
Bottom line, the Law shows us how to perform for God, but the Gospel shows us how God performs for us. This is radical. This is crazy. This is beautiful. This is truth.
And now, God promises that…
- if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
- and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
- and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
- and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,
…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.
In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.
Don’t Waste Your Life
God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.
And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.
So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?
Ready to start your new life with God?
Who do you think that I am?
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.
Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more
CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.
Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!
30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints
Notice all the Scripture references!
It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).
The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).
In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).
Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer
This post was originally posted on:
(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).
“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.
A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.
*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.