Monday, April 5, 2010

His Story: The Choice - April 6, 2010

Acts 10:34-43 (New International Version)
34Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

1 Corinthians 15:19-26 (New Living Translation)
19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.

It's interesting that as I have been posting verses from the Bible depicting the path that Jesus took to the cross over the last several days, there have been those that have had their doubts about the validity of the Scriptures. There are those out there that even when presented with the facts about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, they refuse the believe that it is true, and they have a hard time believing that it makes any difference in their lives. There are those scoffers and skeptics that ridicule what Christians do, demean what they do and believe in, choose to make fun of the real reason for Easter, and discount anything having to do with Christianity.

If you don't believe that Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf means anything and it is really not that important to you, there is a whole world out there that hopes that you will always believe that. They would rather have you believe that you arose from a primordial soup and after millions of years and countless forms, you somehow ended up being born. They would rather have you believe that any religion out there leads everyone one to the same thing. They would rather have you believe that you are responsible to yourself alone and you can do whatever you like. There is though one fact that no one can dispute. Someday you will die; and on that day you had better be on the right side of the truth.

That leaves us all with a choice: Do you believe that God created it all, and because of the fall of man, in His grace and mercy He sent His son Jesus Christ into the world, to give up His life as a sacrifice for our sins? Do you believe Jesus lived and ministered to those around Him, telling all those who would listen about God's love and the kingdom to come? Do you believe that He suffered at the hands of evil men, was condemned to death, although He did nothing wrong, and was executed by crucifixion on a Roman cross? Do you believe that He was buried in a well-guarded tomb, but rose again three days later confounding those who killed Him, and that He was seen by over 500 people before ascending into Heaven? Do you believe that as a result, those who witnessed His death and resurrection believed that what they saw was true enough to have died a martyrs death for that truth? Do you believe that if you will surrender your will to God, accept His provision on your behalf that you will live with Him for eternity?

The choice is yours.

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