Tag: Jesus

GET OUT OF THE STORM

GET OUT OF THE STORM

How to know if your “brother” or “sister” is saved or not.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”, Matthew 7:21

I believe that there is probably no other Scripture in the entire 66 books of the Bible that is as tragic as this one.

The whole truth of the matter is that there will be people, a good many people, that stand before the Lord, assuming they are about to enter into the Glory of the Lord, the long-awaited reward…HEAVEN.  Only these poor tragic souls will be told they’re on their way to hell.  This is just reality folks.  I am so sorry to tell you this.  Can you imagine a worst possible illusion that you can have, one BIG mistake about your everlasting destiny?  Can you imagine, for a moment with me, in that moment to be mistaken about your salvation?

I’m often asked the question, “Are Roman Catholics Christians (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhist, pick one)?”  And I will turn it around and ask, “Do you think Protestants are just naturally Christians?”  What about this one, “Are evangelicals necessarily Christians?”  “But more important than any of these questions; Are you a Christian?”  Now, believe they will not want to embarrass themselves any more than they have and they will always say, “Yes, yes I am a Christian.”

This tragedy would make a Shakespearean play tragedy of tragedies blush!   Sadly,  it will occur and it does occur and it will continue to occur that someone would sit in church and end up saying, “But, Lord, but, Lord,” only to hear, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”

Don’t you know my friend that, Christianity is filled with people in all kinds of religious activities?   The church programs, etc.  Just think of all the Christian organizations, there’s no end to them.  With all of this confusion, with every shingle on every counselor’s door, every church building and crisis center will say, “Christian or Jesus”, how can we tell if someone is a Christian?  Is it really that important to know if so and so is really saved?

Wouldn’t a better question to ask is if you are saved?  Yes, that is a great question.  Please see my essay, “How to Know You Are a Christian: Ten Ways To Keep The Devil From Barking.”

For now, how can we tell if someone is a Christian?  Because he or she says they are?  Because their Pastor says they are?  Maybe they have one of them REALLY BIG BIBLES.  Or maybe they own Jones & Smith Christian Counseling.   Or maybe their Band is a Christian Rock Band called, I AM A ROCK!

Well, let’s get into it and see if we can figure this out.

Jesus tells us that there are two ways to know if someone is saved, that is if they are going to Heaven when they die.  This is important, I will explain why later.

  • They have LOVE FOR EACH OTHER. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
  • BY THEIR FRUIT (what fruit? I’ll tell you in a second.) Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

What FRUIT?  The Fruits of the Spirit (big S…Holy Spirit) ….are these 9 things evident in their lives?

FRUIT (beneficial results):

LOVE (Love is the greatest gift God can give.  This love is not a feeling, but a choice. It is the choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another’s needs greater than one’s own (Philippians 2:3). Agape is used in all of the “hard” love verses in the New Testament.  God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.)

JOY (Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled.  we have joy because of God’s grace. The next step in the progression is to allow our joy to become an action as we express it, although sometimes joy can be so great it is inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8).  Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4). )
PEACE (God’s methods of warfare are not what we expected. Instead of a battle, He sent us the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus’ goal in coming to earth was more than simply to cease hostilities; He came to bring about a full and abiding relationship of restoration and love. The cost of this peace was His life (Isaiah 53:5).  Just as we cannot force another to be at peace with us, even Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did not ensure that we would accept His terms of peace.  The Spirit-filled Christian has a peace that is abundant, available in every situation, and unlike anything that the world has to offer (John 14:27). The alternative to being filled with the Spirit and His peace is to be filled with alarm, filled with doubt, filled with foreboding, or filled with dread. How much better to let the Spirit have control and perform His work of growing fruit to the glory of God!)

LONGSUFFERING (Having patience in spite of your troubles.  Patience comes from a position of power. A person may have the ability to take revenge or cause trouble, but patience brings self-restraint and careful thinking. Losing patience is a sign of weakness.  The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).)

Gentleness (Might restrained. Humility and grace, to be gentle is to recognize that God’s ways and thoughts are high above our own.  we will correct others with easiness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, knowing that their salvation is far more important than our pride.  Quick to forgive.)

GOODNESS (virtue and holiness in action, desire to be a blessing, uprightness of heart and life.  It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person.  Giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative.)

FAITH (strong belief in God, complete trust in God.  Faithfulness is believing that God is who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite the vagaries of life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven.  We are called to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).)

MEEKNESS (Meekness is a valuable and important fruit and requires much study.   Putting God first in all things.  Meekness loves to learn. And it counts the corrective blows of a friend as precious (Proverbs 27:6).  Meekness begins when we put our trust in God. Then, because we trust him, we commit our way to him. We roll onto him our anxieties, our frustrations, our plans, our relationships, our jobs, our health.  James says, in this quiet confidence we are slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). We become reasonable and open to correction (James 3:17). James calls this the “meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).  Meekness is so important that it is the third characteristic Jesus mentions in His foundational teaching, the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Obviously, the world’s ideal of the perfect man is very different from His. The meek are among those so favored that they will share in Jesus’ inheritance of the earth.  Three people in the Bible are specifically described as being meek: Jesus (Mt 11:29)
(Mt 21:5), Paul (2 Cor 10:1), and Moses (Num 12:3). Each of these men was amongst the most persecuted men in the Bible.  MEEKNESS IS A SIGN TO AN UNBELIEVING WORLD THAT CHRIST IS IN US.  Meekness does indeed require much study.

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus links meekness with lowliness: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek, KJV] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Ephesians 4:1-3 states:

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness [meekness, KJV], with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The King James version is correct, as the Greek text uses prautes. “Gentle” and “gentleness” are incorrect because in this context they are only an aspect of the meekness we should express in our dealings with others.

Godly meekness cannot be divorced from its association with gentleness. However, this gentleness is not usually seen in the situations where the Bible’s writers use meekness. Notice II Corinthians 10:1: “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.” Here, meekness appears with gentleness, as though a similarity exists alongside a specific difference.

This does not mean the meek will take everything “lying down.” Notice Moses, who as we have seen, was the meekest man of his time. He did not hesitate to order the execution of about three thousand of the idolaters who worshipped the Golden Calf while he was with God on the mountain (Exodus 32:25-28). Against evil, this meek man was as stern as steel.

A meek person will feel the wrong done against him and feel it bitterly. But because he is not thinking of himself, his meekness does not allow his spirit to give vent to a hateful, savage and vindictive anger that seeks to “get even.” He will instead be full of pity for the damaged character, attitudes and blindness of the perpetrator. From the stake Jesus uttered, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).

A Valuable Fruit

This much misunderstood and maligned virtue is the antidote for most of the nervous anxiety that is greatly intensifying the normal day-to-day stresses of life. God commands us in Zephaniah 2:3:

Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility [meekness, KJV]. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.

How valuable is that blessing?

There is more:

The poor [meek, KJV] shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! (Psalm 22:26)

Further, “The Lord lifts up the humble (meek, KJV); He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:6).

Finally:

The humble [meek, KJV] also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 29:19).

This is not a virtue to ignore because carnal men consider it a weakness. It may appear to them as weakness, but the spiritual reality is that it is great strength, an attribute of Almighty God and a fruit of His Spirit we greatly need.)

Temperance (abstinence from alcoholic drink, or self-control, self-restraint in all things.  Temperance is the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts.  Believers need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans 7:21-25). Like a vulnerable city, we must have defenses. A wall around an ancient city was designed to keep out the enemy.)

I BELIEVE THAT GOD DIDN’T JUST PUT WORDS IN HIS WORD TO FILL UP SPACE.  EACH WORD, UNLIKE MY RAMBLINSG ?, EACH WORD HAS SPECIFIC MEANING AND VALUE.  Jesus taught us how to separate the sheep from the goats…the sinner bound for hell and the Christian saved by Grace on his way to Glory because of Christ’s finished work upon the cross.

Why is it so important that Jesus made sure we knew how to tell if someone was a Christian?  I believe that answer is simple and to the point.

Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

In order to protect us.  It is one thing to be a Christian and yet and entirely different thing to say we are a Christian.  If someone says they are a Christian…and they preach a gospel…and they are not saved, you will be blown to and fro…confused with the knowledge of the true gospel.  Remember, GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, 1 Corinthians 14:33, BUT THE AUTHOR OF PEACE.

Colossians 2:8, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

I have seen the face of mental illness. I have seen what it is like when people are unable to hear God because their minds are broken and cannot seem to connect to God even when they want to connect to God. And I know whatever gets your mind gets you. So one of the most important things we need to learn and teach others is how to guard, strengthen, and renew our minds because the battle for sin always starts in the mind.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

It is important to know God’s Word, be in prayer.  The Bible says that if any man lack wisdom to ask for it.  James 1:5 We must know we are saved and we must have confidence in our salvation.  See my essay, “How to Know You Are a Christian: Ten Ways To Keep The Devil From Barking.”

Even though they are in church many people are uncertain of their salvation.  Some denominations teach that you can lose your salvation.  Some Christians believe they can lose their salvation.   Some teach and others believe you can’t lose your salvation.  Which is it and if it be so, how to keep from losing your salvation.

How can you be sure that you are a Christian?   Here are 10 true Christian values that will keep the devil from barking and you can rest assured that you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, working in you, which provide solid, biblical evidence that you are a Christian and that you can know that you are saved.  On the other hand, we may prove that even though you think you are saved, that you are not, even though you truly desire to be saved.

Let’s get to the truth and at the end, I promise that either way, if you want to be saved, you will be and you will have confidence that you are.  On the other hand, if you read my thesis and decide, nahhh, I’m fine, who cares, you will not be saved and you will know why.   Why in the world would you want to read my poorly written essay if you had no desire to be saved?  ?

See you next time, may God bless you and yours,

Rev. Kevin Airrington

Airrington Ministries

The Bible Rescue Co.

www.airrington.com

www.thebiblerescue.co

Keeping the Sabbath

Keeping the Sabbath

Rev. Kevin R Airrington
October 22, 2010

The 4th commandment tells us to keep the Sabbath Holy.  All through scripture we see this command.  Many Christians who love God, sort of hang their hat on this commandment.  And, there is nothing wrong with this, in fact, God bless them.  Jesus said if we love Him we would keep His commandments.  Although, He probably was not just speaking about the 10 commandments found in Exodus.   (John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”)  Christians that try and truly “keep the Sabbath” as we understand it, are really saying, “I LOVE YOU JESUS.”  Who can argue with that?

No Sabbath Day holder would ever disagree with the following statement, “The primary purpose of the Sabbath is for us to rest from our worldly labors and to seek God.”  As an avid student of the Creation account and the Bible in general, I can assure that God was not tired after is creation work was complete.   *God set aside a special time for His people.  We will discuss the last sentence in more depth later.  God blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it or set it aside for a holy purpose.  We are commanded to set aside time for a holy purpose.

In this essay, I would like to discuss why I chose to not go to church on Saturday and I do not honor some of the traditions surrounding the Sabbath.

  • *The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
    1. Mark 2:23-28 “… The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
    2. Isaiah 58:13-14 The Sabbath was intended to be a delight, not a burden. The focus of the Sabbath should be on what we can do and not what we cannot do. (More on this later)  The Sabbath is a time we put down our own desires and spend time with God.
  • When is the Sabbath?
    1. Leviticus 23:32, “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” This scripture is clear that on the 9th day of the month from evening to evening we should celebrate our Sabbath.   Is this every Saturday?  According to this passage it may not even be on Saturday to begin with.
    2. Saturday in Hebrew is Shabbat, which means rest.
      1. Except for the Sabbath day, the individual days of the week have no names, just numbers.
    3. When God created the heaven and the earth, there were no calendars. Thus, no way to tell us when the first day of the week was.  Perhaps He may have begun on a Wednesday and ended the following Monday.
    4. It is only from our tradition that we assume that God started His creation process on Sunday and ended on Friday.
    5. Rabbi Yose ben Halafta (Died in 160AD) changed the Jewish calendar. So even the Jewish calendar cannot be relied upon.
    6. Exodus 20:8-11 “remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy.” “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

I THINK IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE DO NOT LET THE “DAY” BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE “INTENT”.  Don’t let the “day” become more important than the “intent”.

From Scripture there is no way we can tell when the Sabbath was.   Even from outside evidence all we know is in the Hebrew it means “rest” not specifically what day of the week it is.    We cannot simply compare it to our weekly calendar and say, “well, we are not complying”.

  • In today’s modern society it is impossible to keep the Sabbath.
    1. I am sure that, “Sabbath Holders have run into this before and have their answer. Which is fine, but I cannot get away from what the scripture says.
    2. Exodus 20:10, “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:”
      1. If you use lights, gas, eat food or do anything that causes anyone else to work then you are not keeping the Sabbath.
      2. If your dog fetches your paper or your slippers you are not keeping the Sabbath.
  • There are other activities that the Bible tells us to refrain from in order to keep the Sabbath.
  • Going to Church…Worship on the Sabbath.
    1. Luke 4:16 is an example and Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves.
    2. We should go to church on the Sabbath and we need fellowship, uniting in worship and prayer.
    3. Today, it takes electricity to run the lights…causing people at the light company to work. If we flush the toilet then we cause the person at the water company to work.
  • What did Jesus do with the Sabbath day?
    1. While nowhere in scripture can we find an example of Jesus preaching on the 4th commandment, given He preached on the other 9, we do find examples example as in Luke 4:16 where Jesus entered into the Tabernacle on the Sabbath.
      1. This is different that “Keeping the Sabbath”. He did go to “Church”, showing us as in number 4 above that we need to be in church on the Sabbath.  Nothing more could or should be read into this.
      2. JESUS PREACHED ON ALL 10 OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS EXCEPT THE 4TH COMMANDMENT, THERE IS NO PREACHING ON THE SABBATH BY JESUS.
        1. Jesus was clear in His teaching of the Sabbath, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath!”  He also proclaimed that HE WAS LORD OF THE SABBATH.  Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5
        2. Isn’t someone who created something the owner of it?  Can’t they do whatsoever they please with it?  In this way, Jesus, being the Creator (John 1:3; Colossians 1:6), has every right to do whatever He pleases on the Sabbath, just as anyone of the disciples had when they were with Him.  That’s why Jesus said that He was Lord of the Sabbath.  The word Lord denotes sovereign rights and ownership so who can tell Jesus what He can and what He cannot do on the Sabbath?  Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of the day because they were making the Sabbath something that no one could possibly
    2. Matthew 12:5-6, “Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?…” Jesus was saying that even though the priests violated the Sabbath it was okay because there was something more important than the Sabbath.  The temple and the sacrificial rites were more important.
      1. Jesus, however, is more important than the temple and its sacrifices. The logical conclusion is that he is also more important than the Sabbath. Even before his death and resurrection, he was more important than the Sabbath.
      2. Although Christianity tends to reject the temple and the rites…the principle is still the same…”Some things are more important than the Sabbath.
  • The Pharisees needed to worry more about Jesus (The Holy One) instead of a holy activity on a holy day.
  1. Jesus then summarized his argument about the Sabbath and about his own identity: “If you had known what these words mean, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (verses 7-8).
  2. Jesus is telling the Pharisees that love for humans is more important than sticking to worship rituals.
  3. The Sabbath was holy only because God had designated it so, and here was God himself telling them He was Lord of the Sabbath.
  • Then they tried to set Jesus up in (V9-11). Healing on the Sabbath was work that was for forbidden.  Jesus replied, “If your sheep fell in a hole would you not get him out?”  Meaning, sometimes we have to do things even if on the Sabbath.  If your child drank a bottle of bleach…would you take him to the emergency room on the Sabbath?
  • There are other examples of Jesus healing on the Sabbath in the Gospels.
    1. John 5:1-18 — The Gospel of John has some additional stories about Jesus’ Sabbath activities, and they reinforce the emphases we have already seen. On the Sabbath, Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. And he told the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (verse 8). The Jews accused the man of breaking the Sabbath because he was carrying his mat.
      1. I think accusing a man of breaking the Sabbath by carrying his mat his mat is an example from God’s Word of how we can get carried away with (no pun intended) our keeping of the Sabbath.
    2. Jesus risked His life by His activities on the Sabbath.
      1. Jesus never broke the Sabbath, nor did he teach others to break the Sabbath. But neither did he teach against circumcision and sacrifices. He could point out administrative problems, and present himself as the Lord, but it was not yet time to publicly reject any particular law (see John 16:12-13). But the implications are there.  When John describes Jesus as working on the Sabbath, he does not feel compelled to explain that Christians cannot. When Luke says that people are freed on the Sabbath, he does not feel compelled to qualify what he said. Jesus’ example regarding the Sabbath is liberty, not rules.
      2. If Sabbath work actually dishonored God, then the Sabbath would have priority over humans in need and sheep in pits, since correct worship of God is more important than human lives and sheep. If absolute rest were essential to worship, then Sabbath-keepers should let houses burn down, since that would only be a monetary loss, and God’s honor is far more important than our material goods. This indicates that the command to rest on a specific day is a ceremonial matter rather than a moral one. God’s spiritual law does not have any exceptions.

Summary

The only time Paul mentions the Sabbath by name is when he exhorts us not to judge one another concerning the Sabbath days (Colossians 2:16-17).  Respectfully, asking if I keep the Sabbath or I conform to the Sabbath is the wrong question.  I wonder how Jesus would have responded to that?  His answer may have got Him stoned.

The Sabbath was made for man and not the other way around is perhaps the most profound statement in this whole discussion.  God created the Sabbath for man…and God healed on the Sabbath and partook in other activities on the Sabbath.   Jesus’ example regarding the Sabbath is liberty, not rules.  What a blessing the Sabbath is.

There is also no way we can determine the exact day or days (sometimes it is plural) of the Sabbath.  There was no calendar when the Sabbath was created by God.  Even the scriptures seem unclear; calling it day, days and the 9th of the month.  My thinking is the “day” is not so important as is the “intent”.

The Bible says that we are not to cause others to work, not even strangers on the Sabbath.  There is no one…not one who can “keep the Sabbath”.  If this is all there is to the Sabbath.  There has to be more to the intent than a day or whether we do some work.

We see from the Apostles, the early church and Jesus (God) that the Sabbath is going to Church.  We also see in the same breath this is for fellowship, worship and prayer…not forsaking the assembling of one another.

Finally, we have Jesus’ own actions concerning the Sabbath.  Jesus did not (and this is not meant to be a mockery) hide in his house from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.  He worked on the Sabbath and he went to Church on the Sabbath.  He even rebuked the Pharisees over the Sabbath telling them there were more important things like the Temple and people than the Sabbath.  Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath!

The Sabbath is very important to me as a Christian.  We need to just as the scriptures demand; keep the Sabbath Holy.   We need to set aside time for God.  Sundown to sundown…frankly, I don’t think this is enough.   The intent has got to be more important than the day.   I have joked with my Seventh-day Adventist friends saying, “I am a seven day Adventist” meaning, I try to keep every day holy.   However, I am like Paul; I am not judgmental on how anyone cho oses to honor the Sabbath.  If it is sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday…God bless them.  If they do this Wednesday…God bless them.  If it is Sunday morning in Church…God bless them.

I think we should be in worship and in church.  The point is we need to give God or time and that time needs to be holy and hollowed.  After all, He took the time to come down from Heaven, was beaten, tortured and murdered for us.  He deserves our worship; more worship than we can humanly give.   God wants more than our Saturdays.  He wants our Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays too!

Copyright © 2010 Kevin R. Airrington, Airrington Ministries

INNER PEACE

INNER PEACE

Rev. Kevin R. Airrington
Isaiah 25:4

With all the unrest in the world today, in this Presidential Race and certainly I am feeling a storm brewing in my personal life I think that today is a good day to draw on that peace that surpasses all understanding.

Friends, ultimate peace is not the absence of storms, but inner peace in the middle of the storm. Hear me this morning, you will never find lasting inner peace until you find peace with God. You will find peace in spite of life’s storms when you surrender to God.

Have you found that peace? I hope that you will. Knowing Christ as your Lord is the beginning of the peace that surpasses all understanding.

MEMORIZE Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

HOW TO GROW

HOW TO GROW

A person who is “born again” starts a new life similar to that of a newborn infant.  Years ago I ran across seven rules that promote good health in babies . These can be adapted and applied to a Christian’s spiritual growth:

1. Daily Food. Take in the “pure milk of the word” by study and meditation.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!” 2 Timothy 2:15

2. Fresh Air. Pray often or you will faint. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

3. Regular Exercise. Put into practice what you learned in God’s Word.

“And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21

4. Adequate Rest. Rely on God at all times in simple faith.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

5. Clean Surroundings. Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”  Proverbs 13:20

6. Loving Care. Be part of a church where you will benefit from a pastor’s teaching and from Christian fellowship.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

7. Periodic Checkups. Regularly examine your spiritual health.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

When you were a kid did your parents stand you against the wall and mark off your height?  How exiting it was TO SEE THOSE TICK MARKS GO UP UP UP THE WALL.  Of course we can’t measure spiritual growth by mere marks on the wall. But as we study the character of Christ, each of us can examine our life to see if we are growing more Christlike.

Great Christian leaders agree that we can measure our growth in grace by the growth of our love for private Bible study.  And we can be sure that there is something seriously wrong when we lose our appetite for the Bread of Life. Perhaps we have been eating too many sweets; or taking too little exercise; or we have not been regularly breathing in the fresh air that sweeps over the mountain tops of spiritual communion with God.

This next Sunday my cousin Melody is getting baptized.  I just spoke with her on the phone.  She is so excited.  For years I have tried to share Christ with her…and  she would smirk and perhaps make fun of me a little bit.  A few months ago…she gave her whole heart to God.  She is not perfect….but I see her growth.  It is exciting to watch her.  She said her new bed partner was her Bible and devotional books.  She goes to church, women’s group…home group.  She just wants to be involved.

Oh to be young again!  Remember the zeal you had when you were first saved?  The zeal that Melody is experiencing right now…we can all experience.

John MacArthur says: “The more we grow, the more exciting the Bible becomes to us. The Word is a source of life that helps us mature and grow stronger. Then we are able to defeat Satan, and we come to know more about God and His character. We are enriched in every possible way.”

If you are not growing…maybe you need to have a look at our walk.

God Bless You,

Reverend Kevin Airrington

YOU STUPID MOTHER F******* CHRISTIANS!!!

YOU STUPID MOTHER F******* CHRISTIANS!!!

I have had it! I cannot keep silent no longer.

Rev. Kevin Airrington
July 22,2015
There is way too much cursing on television these days.

I remember when George Jefferson saying H-E-L-L in the 70?s was a big, huge deal. Watch prime time television and you will see times have certainly changed. I’ve seen folks cursing on television (the real curse words) and pray right after! *Whew*  That is a comment from godsygirl.com.  She is right, I have heard EVERY WORD.  F…S…and the one that makes my blood boil GD!  Praying right after is great but let me ask you this, “Why in God’s name would you invite garbage into your living room that you would not do via your television?”  It’s just a question.  🙂

The problem is we have become desensitized to sin.  Now, I am a big boy and the rule at the Airrington house is, “NO RATED R MOVIES!”  Have I watched rated R movies…well of course I have.  But, I have also walked out of a theater, wasting the 60 bucks on tickets, popcorn etc.  I have heard Christians and pretenders say, “I just ignore it.” I’m sorry how can you ignore a bunch of F BOMBS and people taking MY LORDS NAME IN VAIN!!!!  or “It don’t really bother me that much!”  This one is very revealing.  This “Christian”, probably a PRETENDER uses profanity on a regular bases.  I guarantee it.

I have a very dear brother…and I say that with all sincerity.  He is a dear brother.  Before we go to movies together…I check with Focus On The Families Online Movie Review Guide: PLUGGED IN.  My brother is in the category of, “I just ignore the bad language.”  I have known him for about 20 years and I have never heard him swear.  Together we try and pick movies with little swearing (almost IMPOSSIBLE)

Although, I don’t think he knew he was doing this at the time but my cousin Rob Rossi paid me a compliment awhile back. First you have to understand we are different. We love each other…we get along (most days)…but we are different. We have different values, we raise our families different…not wrong just different. I am what some might call a man of God and he is what some might call a man of Busch Beer. smile emoticon

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One day Rob says, “Cuz…” That’s what he calls me when he has something real special to say to me. smile emoticon “Cuz…I see a lot of Christians they do this and they do that and they swear like I do but you don’t and that impresses me.” Now, if my cousin says he is impressed you better listen up because he don’t hand out the compliments often. This doesn’t mean he is a bad guy…he just don’t compliment often. And in spite of what some people may call a flaw in his character…I think he is a pretty nice guy…

My first thought was to use an old Billy Graham line in a 20/20 interview years ago with Barbara Walters…He said, “I am no better, I just repent daily.” And I do, believe me. But that almost sounds a like, “I am better than you.”

I too notice a lot people who claim to be Christians…make no issue of letting the profanity fly. I am not talking about your slip here and there (Although this is questionable as well)…but they swear like it is a part of their vocabulary. What? Christian you are not in control of your mouth? Then who is? The Bible warns us not to be under the control of anything, except the Holy Ghost.

The Bible is clear…swearing is a sin.

The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7, Joshua 1:18). It is furthermore described as imaginations of the unrenewed heart (Genesis 6:5; 8:21), defiling (Proverbs 30:12; Isaiah 59:3), disgraceful (Proverbs 14:34), and unrighteous (1 John 5:17), among other things.

Jesus specifically taught that what comes out of a man’s mouth is evidence of what is in his heart. Luke 6:45

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

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Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” John MacArthur has written of this verse, “The word for ‘corrupt’ refers to that which is foul or rotten, such as spoiled fruit or putrid meat. Foul language of any sort should never pass a Christian’s lips, because it is totally out of character with his new life in Christ.”

1 Peter 3:10 says, “For He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”

This bears repeating in case you went to sleep on me. The Bible speaks loud and clear on the issue of cussing. The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7, Joshua 1:18). We can conclude that from the Biblical definition of sin, our overview of cursing and Scripture’s many expressions on the use of our tongue is without question a sin to curse. As Christians, we are expected to rest on the promises of God, “cleansing ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Cursing is contrary to resting on God’s promises for it is a failure to follow the Lord’s greatest commandments–to love God and to love people (Matthew 22:37-40). When we curse an individual, we do not love people; and when we curse God, we do not love Him. And if you tale the Lord MY GOD’s Name in vain…that is using His name as a curse word. Holy S., GD, Jesus Christ (as a cuss word)…this is very serious!!!

Now, this is gonna sting. I believe if you are not in control of your tongue, then you probably are not saved. Jesus gives us two examples of how to determine if someone is a Christian. I believe He means for us to know the difference. He said you will know them by their love and you will know them by their fruits. How can you show love to someone when you curse them or God? And how can you have good fruit if your are producing what John McArthur calls spoiled fruit or putrid meat.

I do not cuss because it does not please my Lord. Not because I repent daily…who cares…I mean not who cares because I do repent daily…but I don’t swear because I know that it does not PLEASE JESUS. Nowhere do we have a record of Jesus swearing. Are we not Christians? Doesn’t that mean to be Christlike?

So, Kevin, I have trouble with my tongue am I going to Hell. Well, maybe, however, we are all guilty of breaking the law. All 10 commandments. You say, “I never committed adultery.” Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust you have committed adultery. Well I never murdered. 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” We have all lied, stolen, etc.

We are all guilty of breaking the law. Thankfully, God became a man nd he dwelt among us and then died on a tree and on the third day rose again…God forgives us of our sins through the redemption found only in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). He is just to forgive sins if we confess them. If you have trouble with your tongue…repent! Get right with God. Ask the Holy Ghost to be in control of your mouth. What a terrible example…an ambassador of Christ you are spewing swear words!

Listen you cannot convinced me heaven is your home if you cannot control your tongue…so listen up!!! Please…I am trying to warn you not judge you.

Be sure and Like and share if this message touched you. Also, if you Love Jesus…tell someone about Him today.

P.S. Many of you know me…and understand how at times I use shock value to get my post read. This is only because I feel it is important. I apologize if it was offensive to anyone.

Incoming search terms:

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Here I am, your loving Savior, Jesus the Christ
Just like I promised I would be
I will never forsake nor leave you iced
I’m your best friend
Just like you want me to be
I loved you so much that I died for you in the end
Did you think that your Savior would stand here and lie to you
As your moment begins passing you by
Oh I am here daughter of mine just say the words, say I do

I am waiting for your change of heart
It just takes a single beat
To turn your heart around to make a fresh start
Yes I’m waiting for your change of heart
At the edge of my seat, holding my breath
Please turn around and you will see the Son of Man with His arms wide apart
I will embrace you and forgive every transgression, I will

You are leaving me with a hunger for that special closeness we once shared
The clock ticks and then days go by
The pain I feel is driving the nails back in, I thought you cared
Don’t you see, I want you to fly
Back to when you were in love with me
When tender moments bring you back to my Word and you’ll never ask why.
And then the world lied to you and is still deceiving you
While your Savior stands here waiting for you
Waiting for your change of heart…that will be my queue

As long as you hear the world
You cannot hear my voice
All of your thoughts will be twirled
You may wonder who you will disappoint
It is me that you have already disappointed
What you need is a turning point.

The blind leading the blind
Never hear my laughter…never feel my touch
Searching through eternity you are going to lose your mind

Nothing reveals the answer, I have always been the answer
If its truth that you’re looking to find
It is nowhere other than in me and the whole world is a cancer
I will wait for you my daughter
Although with each breath you take your heart grows harder
Waiting for your change of heart…I will give you water.

Your King and Your God… I love you, Jesus

What is your Verdict?

What is your Verdict?

VALIDITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
Copyright ©2012 Pastor Kevin R Airrington


Juries in the United States are asked every day to determine if there is enough evidence in a criminal trial to convict a person “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In this article I am going to ask you to weigh for yourself the historical and the physical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from about 29 a.d. and then, you judge for yourself if the Bible is a credible document.

About 2,000 years ago an event was supposed to have occurred and the Bible records evidence of that event.  Much of the evidence that is recorded in the Bible is supported by outside documents and first-century historians.  If the man we call Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead then the Christian faith and the New Testament are complete and entire frauds.  In short, prove the Resurrection to be false and the entire Christian religion would fall apart and Jesus would found to be a liar.

But if true, this single event, above any other in the history of mankind, provides something solid to believe in. It provides evidence of the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth more powerfully than anything that he ever said or did.  It proves that Jesus is who He claimed to be: the Son of God.

Any event that claims to be historical must satisfy certain tests of authenticity.  For example, we know that people and events were historical by the things that were said and not said about them in their own time and the time immediately following.

Examine within these few pages the arguments that demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was truly raised by God from the dead. You will then have a solid basis for faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and with your whole heart, soul, and mind lay hold upon the hope of eternal life.

If true, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the single most important event in the history of mankind, and therefore the one most crucial to establish as an authentic historical event. In fact, the Resurrection is the very linchpin of the Christian faith, holding together every claim and every blessing. If the Resurrection could be proven a fraud, Christianity would disintegrate as a total fabrication with little redeeming merit. Jesus would not even be an example of a “good moral teacher,” as some maintain, for his most important prediction—that he would be raised from the dead—would be found a lie.

As Christians, our very salvation depends in large part upon the reliability of the four historical records of the birthlifedeath, and especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.   The most important, most vital element for our salvation is a deeply held historical factual raised Jesus from the dead.   Romans 10:9 asserts: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  We are trifling with the bedrock of our salvation when we entertain doubts about the historical accuracy of any part of Scripture.  But most crucial are those parts that make historical claims upon which our salvation depends.

Therefore, those who argue that historically the resurrection is not provable and even unnecessary are contradicting the testimony of the apostolic witnesses.  The Apostle Paul’s entire ministry was built upon the foundation of the Resurrection, and it was his personal encounter with the risen Christ that caused him to develop a firm conviction in the reality of this event. In the following verses, I have highlighted in bold type Paul’s statements of the consequences to the Christian faith if the Resurrection of Christ did not, in fact, happen.

1 Corinthians 15:14-20

(14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

(16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

(17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

(18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

(19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Later in his life, Paul’s public testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his proclamation of the Gospel in Ephesus caused such uproar that the Roman authorities took him into protective custody lest he be killed by the Jews.  After several appeals according to Roman law, Paul found himself standing before King Agrippa, his last level of appeal before the Emperor himself.

Given permission to speak freely, Paul launched into a passionate account of his life, concluding with his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.  When Paul then verified the Resurrection from Old Testament prophecy, the governor, Festus, interrupted him and told him he was crazy. The truth of Paul’s brilliant reply remains emblazoned across the pages of human history.

Acts 26:25-26

(25) “But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

(26) For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.

Amen! And that is why, taken together, the following historical proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ present evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Resurrection narratives have the ring of historical truth

The Resurrection narratives (Gospels) bear unmistakable signs of being historically accurate. The earliness of these accounts, at a time when hostile witnesses were present, would have made a fabrication unlikely and dangerous.  There is agreement on the main facts and great variety in the witnesses given, yet they are not a mere repetition of some standardized story with all the discrepancies worked out.  The accounts of Christ’s resurrection appearances are clearly independent of one another, as their surface dissimilarities suggest.  Deeper scrutiny, however, reveals that these appearances are non‑contradictory.  Henry Morris writes:

It is a well‑known rule of evidence that the testimonies of several different witnesses, each reporting from his own particular vantage point, provide the strongest possible evidence when the testimonies contain superficial contradictions that resolve themselves upon close and careful examination. This is exactly the situation with the various witnesses to the resurrection.1

2. The Apostle Paul’s life and ministry is a strong witness of the Resurrection

At the time Paul met the resurrected Christ, he was an ardent antagonist to the Christian faith.  A highly educated man, he was not easily persuaded of anything that appeared contrary to or inconsistent with the Mosaic traditions.  It could be said that he would have been the last person on earth to accept the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah based on the Jewish expectations of the time. The fact that he became so fully persuaded of the resurrection of Christ that he completely dedicated his life to his risen Lord is powerful evidence of the reality of the Resurrection.   Canon Kennett writes:

Within a very few years of the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus was in the mind of at least one man of education [the Apostle Paul], absolutely irrefutable.2

3.  The empty tomb is a historical given

No reputable New Testament historian doubts the historical fact that the tomb in which Christ was placed after his crucifixion was empty. Therefore, there are only three explanations for it. His enemies took the body, his friends took the body, or Jesus was raised from the dead. The first possibility is extremely unlikely, because his enemies would have certainly displayed his body if they could have, in order to humiliate his disciples, quell the rumors of his resurrection, as well as to cut short any new religious movement that threatened their Mosaic traditions.

It is equally unlikely that his friends would have taken his body, because after his crucifixion they were profoundly disappointed and discouraged and did not believe that he would be resurrected. It is absurd to think that under these conditions they would invent a scheme in which they would steal away the body to fabricate a story they obviously did not believe.

4. The disciples were devout Jews

The disciples were Jews who took seriously their Jewish privileges and obligations. Therefore, it is unthinkable that they would have been party to making up a new religion for personal gain. To a first‑century Jew, such an act was equivalent to lying against the God of Israel, as Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15:12‑19 (where he called it bearing false witness, contrary to one of the Ten Commandments). For a first‑century Jew, lying against God and perverting His revelation would mean risking one’s salvation and future participation in the Messianic Kingdom. Would such a person risk divine retribution for a few years of prestige as a leader of a new religion? The answer can only be an emphatic “no.”

5. The testimony of women

The presence of women at the tomb is strong evidence that the biblical record is true. Women had virtually no credibility in the firstcentury Jewish culture, and their testimony in a court of law was considered worthless. For example, if a man was accused of a crime that only women witnessed, he could not be convicted on that basis.  If the account of Jesus’ resurrection were a fable added later in an attempt to authenticate Christianity, why would the record have women be the first to see him and testify to the empty tomb, unless it had really happened that way? Women bringing testimony of his resurrection that is then denied by the male disciples makes the latter look bad, and these men were the first leaders of the Christian Church.  A fabricated story added later by the Church would certainly have painted their first leaders in a more favorable light.

6.  Jewish propaganda presupposes the empty tomb and the missing body

The Jewish Temple authorities paid those who had seen the tomb empty to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body, and they even murdered many of those who preached about his resurrection. With such a powerful incentive to squash the new movement, they would have stopped at nothing to produce Jesus’ dead body if they could have. The fact that they did not means they could not because he was risen.

7. His enemies would have produced his dead body to silence the believers

If he did not rise from the dead, what became of his body?  If his enemies stole it and never showed it openly, that would have encouraged the very rumors of a resurrection that they were very anxious to prevent.  But the decisive proof that His enemies did not take the body is that they surely would have quickly produced it with great fanfare, for they stopped short of nothing to discredit the story.  As William Lane Craig argues:

This is historical evidence of the highest quality, since it comes not from the Christians but from the very enemies of the early Christian faith.3

8. There was no veneration of the tomb

If Jesus was not resurrected, why is there no record of his disciples venerating his tomb as so often happens to religious leaders?  Though God forbade it, the practice continued among the Israelites to the point that God Himself disposed of the bodies of Elijah and Moses lest their followers venerate their gravesites.

9. A non-Christian historian testifies in support of the Resurrection

Josephus, the firstcentury Jewish historian, wrote about Jesus Christ and the growth of Christianity as follows:

And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake him; for He appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him. And the tribes of Christians, so named from Him, are not extinct at this day.4

Though some have tried to dismiss this corroborating secular testimony as fraudulent, this is unlikely because Josephus’ writings were well received at the time of their writing by both Jews and Romans. He was even made an honorary Roman citizen.

There is no record of any objection being raised to this passage by early detractors of Christianity, and had this been a fraudulent and late insertion into the writings of Josephus, this fact would have been openly debated in the literature of the day. Because this did not happen, the silence of the critics is damning to their cause.5

10. No alternative explanations in the early non-scriptural sources

There is no alternative explanation for the rise of the Christian Church given in early historical sources that would even attempt to give the “real” story.  In the event that the story was fabricated, surely some critic would have attempted such an alternative explanation.  But the only adequate explanation for the rise of the Church that has ever been given is that the early Christians believed Jesus had been raised from the dead.

11. The biblical records of the Resurrection appearances give a unified witness

The Four Gospels and the Apostle Paul give a unified witness of eleven resurrection appearances.  Because these records are harmonious and noncontradictory, the burden of proof is upon those who would say that they do not tell the truth.

The eleven resurrection appearances, in their likely order, are as follows:

  1. To Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:11–18)
  2. To the other women (Matt. 28:8–10)
  3. To Simon Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5)
  4. To the two men on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13–35)
  5. To eleven of the disciples (except Thomas-Luke 24:33–49; John 20:19–24)
  6. To the twelve a week later (John 20:24–29; 1 Cor. 15:5)
  7. To seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1–23)
  8. To more than five hundred followers (1 Cor. 15:6)
  9. To James (1 Cor. 15:7)
  10. To all the Apostles [this could be speaking of the Ascension](1 Cor. 15:7)
  11. To the Twelve at the Ascension (Acts 1:3–12)6 

12. The idea of Christ’s new body was a totally foreign concept

The disciples had enough trouble believing that Christ would die and then be raised, and would never have even conceived of the idea of the Messiah having a different body.  It is virtually inconceivable that early Christians fabricated such a story, which even today sounds like science fiction to many doubters.

13.  Modern scholars and historians admit that there is strong evidence of his bodily resurrection

J. P. Moreland confirms this and quotes other scholars:

Almost no New Testament scholar today denies that Jesus appeared to a number of his followers after his death. Some scholars interpret these as subjective hallucinations or objective visions granted by God which were not visions of a physical being.  But no one denies that the believers had some sort of experience. The skeptical New Testament scholar Norman Perrin admitted: “The more we study the tradition with regard to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based.” Dunn, professor of divinity at the University of Durham, England, agrees: “It is almost impossible to dispute that at the historical roots of Christianity lie some visionary experiences of the first Christians, who understood them as appearances of Jesus, raised by God from the dead.”7

Thomas Arnold, former Professor of History at Rugby and Oxford, and one of the world’s greatest historians, made the following statement about the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died, and rose again from the dead.8

Simon Greenleaf is one of the most highly regarded legal minds ever seen in America. He was an expert on the laws of evidence, and the founder of the Harvard Law School. He analyzed the accounts in the Four Gospels of the resurrection of Christ in terms of their validity as objective testimonial evidence, and concluded:

It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.9

14. The conviction of his followers in the Resurrection

Those who first published the story that Jesus had risen from the dead believed it to be a fact.

They rested their faith not only on the fact of the empty tomb, but on the fact that they themselves had seen Jesus alive after his burialHe was seen not once or twicebut at least ten recorded times; and not just one at a time, but in groups of two, seven, ten, eleven, twelve, and over five hundred.

15. The martyrdom of his followers for their belief in the Resurrection

The firstcentury believers preached and acted with conviction about the truth of his resurrection, many of them even dying because of their belief. If his friends had stolen the body to make it look like he had been resurrected, they would have known that they were believing a lie, and men do not become martyrs for what they know to be false.

16. The unanimous testimony of eye-witnesses, who could not all have been deceived or deluded

Some critics say that the early Christians had a vision or a hallucination of Christ after his death, in the same way people today claim to have “seen” the pop icon Elvis Presley.  Could it not have been an ecstatic visionA dreamA fantasy of an excited imagination?  Perhaps an apparitionNone of these is at all probable, for different groups of people do not keep on seeing the same hallucination. Over five hundred people in a crowd would not all dream the same dream at the same time.

Some modern Christian apologists have argued that it is irrelevant whether or not Christ actually was physically raised, because his “spirit” went to be with God.  God then supposedly gave Christ’s followers a “vision” of Christ continuing to live “spiritually” at God’s side. Such a mystical and spiritualistic concept would not have satisfied the Hebraic mind of the disciples, however, who believed the dead to be dead until raised in a bodily, physical resurrection.  It would also have placed the Christian faith on a subjective, mystical basis without historical claims and would not account for the early disciples’ energetic witness of the bodily resurrection of Christ.

17. The unbelief of the disciples concerning his resurrection

With the exception of Joseph of Arimathea, the followers of Jesus did not believe that he would die and then be resurrected. They were not expecting the event, and when it happened they did not believe it at first. They considered it an “idle tale” (Luke 24:11 ‑ KJV). They did not believe it until they had to, when they were directly confronted by the risen Lord.  Henry Morris writes:

One thing is certain: the disciples could not have fabricated the story of the resurrection from their own imaginations. On the contrary, they somehow failed to anticipate it even after such an abundance of prophetic preparation for it, both from the Scriptures and from Christ. It took the strongest of evidences to convince them it had actually taken place.10

18. The idea of a resurrected Messiah was a hard sell to the Jews and absurd to the Greeks

The picture of Jesus was not in keeping with then current conceptions of what the Messiah would be like (a theocratic ruler who would deliver Israel from Gentile oppression) and it would have been hard to convince others of its truth.  The Greeks, with their doctrine of the immortality of the soul, thought the idea of a bodily resurrection absurd and unnecessary (Acts 17:32).  If the disciples had invented an event or a doctrine around which to build a new religion, it would have been more in line with the standard expectations of the day.

19. He could have gotten out of the tomb only by resurrection

The “swoon” theory has proposed that Jesus was not really dead when they buried him, and that he “came to” again. But in that case, weak and exhausted, encased in heavy grave wrappings; he could scarcely have moved, much less removed the heavy stone door (about 2,000lbs) and gotten out of the tomb.   Furthermore, the Roman authorities had sealed the door, and even if he had been successful in moving the stone, the guards would have rearrested him and further humiliated him. Since there is no record of such an event, it must not have happened, because his enemies would have made much of such a bizarre happening.

20. The very existence and growth of the Christian Church makes no sense if he was not raised

Some critics say that the resurrection was a later addition to the story of Christ, invented years later by the Church to glorify a dead hero.  But it is known, from historical records outside Scripture, that the sect known as Christians came into existence in the reign of Tiberius, and that the thing that brought them into existence was their belief that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The Resurrection was not a later addition to the Christian faith, but the very cause and incentive for itThey rested their faith, not on historical records, but on what they had seen with their own eyes. The records were the result of their faithnot the cause of it. Christianity hinges on the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection, for without it the entire faith is found fraudulent.  Had there been no resurrection, there would have been no New Testament, and no Christian Church.

21. The disciples had nothing to gain by fabricating a story and starting a new religion

His followers faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyrs’ deaths. In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie.  Religion had its rewards for them, but those rewards came from a sincere belief that what they were living for was true.

22. The unanimous testimony of the early Christian leaders

If the empty tomb and resurrection was a fabrication, why did not at least one of the disciples break away from the rest and start his own version of Christianity?   Or why did not at least one of them reveal the claim as a lie?  The Temple authorities were willing to pay good money to anyone who would provide such information.  Or if money was not alluring enough, what about the possibility of proving the Resurrection a lie in order to draw disciples away to follow some enterprising would‑be cult leader?  History has shown that this role is a popular one, and this would have been a golden opportunity.

Without the strong and persuasive evidence of the Resurrection, the continued unity of the early Christian leaders is inexplicable in light of the human tendency to want to promote oneself.  The assumption that they were all committed to the truth of their message is the only adequate explanation of their continued unity and the lack of any revelation of fraud.  Those who lie for personal gain do not stick together very long, especially when hardship decreases the benefits.

23. All of the alternate explanations proposed for the Resurrection lack credibility

In light of the evidence of the empty tomb, the Resurrection appearances and the rise of the Christian Church, a reasonable person should conclude that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a wellestablished historical fact.   In a court of law, such evidence would compel conviction unless contradictory evidence could be brought forward to introduce “a reasonable doubt.”   But all alternate explanations and theories are extremely doubtful and counter‑intuitive.

Therefore, Christians are being rational, sensible, and fully consistent with common sense when they rest their faith on this wellestablished historical event.  Not only is there compelling historical evidence to back the beliefbut extravagant benefits in the future are promised to those who believe it.  According to the Bible, the only sure promise of everlasting life for mankind, both individually and collectively, depends upon belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As Halley writes:

What a Halo of Glory this simple belief sheds on human life. Our hope of resurrection and life everlasting is based, not on a philosophic guess about immortality, but an historic fact.11

What is your Verdict?

From my research I have found 23 pieces of evidence proving the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We have more evidence of proof of the Resurrection than we do evidence that Abraham Lincoln ever lived.  Yet, you believe Abe lived, don’t you?

Maybe this article has helped you come to your own verdict and you are ready to offer the same kind of prayer that changed my life over 23 years ago.  Perhaps you are still skeptical; let me encourage you to continue in your research, but act quickly as the Bible says we are not guaranteed our next breath here on earth.  Hear me for just a moment, there is a lot riding on your verdict!  If Jesus really is the Son of God, then your eternal future depends on how you respond to Him.  John 8:24 says, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”  Those are strong words; I get it!  But please understand my friend, they are meant with the most concerning love for you.  Jesus paid it all for you.  He is opening the door to Heaven for all who will put their trust in Him.  The choice is yours.  The evidence is in; it is not disputable — what is your verdict?

1.  Henry Morris, The Defender’s Bible (World Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995), p. 1576.

2. New Bible Dictionary (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1975), p. 1087.

3. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics   (Crossway Books, Wheaton IL, 1994), p. 277.

4. Translated by William Whiston (originally published in 1737), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus (The Winston Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1957), p. 535.

5. For more on the authenticity of Josephus’ reference to Jesus, see Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1999), pp. 55–57.

6. Traditionally, Judas Iscariot is excluded from the number witnessing his ascension because of the record in Matthew 27:5 that seem to indicate that Judas went and “hanged himself” shortly after the crucifixion. It seems more likely, however, that Judas was received back into the company of the disciples in the period between his repentance and the Ascension, which he witnessed. After he saw Jesus ascend, and all hope of the restoration of a Davidic kingdom lost, Judas went and killed himself. His absence then precipitated the need to replace him, which became the first order of business after the Resurrection (see Acts 1:16–26). If Judas had killed himself before the Resurrection, it is logical to assume that Jesus himself would have been involved in choosing his replacement, since he chose the original 12. The fact that Judas was received back into the company of the disciples after his betrayal of Jesus speaks volumes about the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus, as well as the committed brotherhood of the disciples.

7. J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1987), pp. 171 and 172.

8. Thomas Arnold, Sermons on Christian Life (London, 1854), p. 324.

9. Simon Greenleaf, the Testimony of the Evangelists (New York: 1874), p. 28.

10. Morris, op. cit., The Defender’s Bible, p. 1574.

11. Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1955 edition, p. 497. 

 

Other Information, Books, Booklets, and Articles available from:

Airrington Ministries: www.airrington.com

Save a VillageTM: www.saveavillage.org

For Further Evidence

Craig, William Lane, Reasonable Faith, Westchester, Ill Crossway, 1994

Geivett, R. Douglas, & Gary R. Habermas. Eds. In Defense of Miracles. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press 1997

Habermas, Gary, & Antony Flew. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987

Hanegraaff, Hank.  The Third Day. Nashville: W Group, 2003.

Morrison, Frank.  Who moved the Stone? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987

Wilkins, Michael, J. and J.P. Moreland, eds. Jesus Under Fire. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985

Wilson, Ian. Jesus: The Evidence. San Francisco: Harper 1988

Schonfield, Hugh. The Passover Plot. New York: Bantam 1965

Johnson, Timothy Luk. The Real Jesus. San Franscico: Harper 1996

Strobel, Lee. The Case For Easter. Grand Rapids:Zondervan 2003

 

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