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THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF YOUR LIFE!!!

BORN AGAIN?

John 3:1-21
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, apparently because he was afraid that his peers might question him about why he came to see Jesus. He was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews and most of his peers hated Jesus because He didn't totally comply with their version of the law. He saw something different in Jesus and acknowledged that he knew He had come from God because otherwise he wouldn't be able to perform the miracles that He did. Jesus must have seen that he was troubled and anticipated his question because before he could even ask Jesus answered him. His response to the unasked question was that unless a man was born again he could not see the Kingdom of God. This puzzled Nicodemus, and he asked Him how a man could be born again, he couldn't enter into his mother's womb again. Jesus replied that he had to be born of water and of the Spirit. Nicodemus was still confused so Jesus tells him that He is going to be lifted up (die on a cross) and that whoever believed on him would not perish but have everlasting life.

When Jesus told him to be born again he had to be born of water and the Spirit, I was kind of confused as to what he meant by water, as we are not saved by being baptized in water. I asked the Lord for help to understand this and I believe this is what He showed me concerning the birth of a natural baby: "As the fertilized egg grows, a water-tight sac forms around it, gradually filling with fluid. This is called the amniotic sac, and it helps cushion the growing embryo." www.webmd.com
I believe that being born of water is our preparation period, a period of development we go through so we can be ready for and accept our new birth, some people readily accept, for others it takes a while. (Although water baptism doesn't save us Jesus does want us to follow his example of being baptized in water and I think I understand more about why now, not only does it represent our death, burial and resurrection, it also represents the time an embryo spends in it's mother's fluid till the time of it's birth, Romans 6:3 states that we are baptized into Jesus death, so his blood is like the fluid in the mother's womb that protects the embryo, when we come up out of the water (blood) it represents our new birth, it's not our salvation, it's a witness that we are saved.) Another possible answer is the one Jesus gave a Samaritan woman when He asked her for a drink, she was surprised because He was a Jew and they usually didn't have dealings with Samaritans. Jesus told her he could give her living water, and that anyone who drank that water would never thirst again, that it would be in that person a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The following verse explains being born of the Spirit: You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him -Romans 8:9- The Holman Christian Standard Bible. Being born of the Spirit is accomplished by believing and accepting who Jesus is: the Son of God, the Word made flesh---the Son of man; why He came: that the World through Him might be saved; that He died for our sins, His sacrifice is the one and only payment for sin that God will accept, in other words He took our place, our deserved spiritual death; that He rose again, death and sin had no claim on him, he was perfect, had never sinned, he was able to cast off the sins and judgments of all who would believe in Him. Jesus told Nicodemus being born of the Spirit was like the wind blowing, you could hear it but you couldn't know where it originated from or where it ended up, in other words it had to be taken by faith.

THIS WAY TO A NEW LIFE.

A rich young man asked Jesus how he could have eternal life. Jesus recited some of the commandments to him and he said he had done all those things, but something was lacking, what else could he do? Jesus told him to sell everything he had, take up the cross, and follow Him (Mark 10:21). Jesus didn't mind that the young man had money, but he knew that the money had the young man in bondage, it was an obstacle to what he really needed to do which was to follow Christ (be obedient to Him in every way). Mark 8:34-38 Jesus tells the people He is speaking to and His disciples and tells them that they must deny themselves (their old bound up cursed lives with it's affections and lusts) and take up their cross (their death to sin) and follow Him, because nothing we have here is worth our eternal souls or spirits. God blesses His children with good things to enjoy in this life, but we are not to be in bondage to these things. Obedience to Jesus Christ is to be the first and formost concern of people who have become the children of God through him.

Read 2 Cor. 5:14-21

In Romans 10:9-10, when it says to be saved we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, for with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, you are doing much more than just repeating a prayer someone asks you to pray to "get saved", you are making a total life commitment. Confessing Jesus as Lord means that from now on obedience to Him and following His will for your life is your first priority and believing that God has raised him from the dead means that you understand that everything necessary for your salvation was accomplished in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. In death he took your place so you wouldn't have to die in your sins, he became your sacrifice; during His burial period He went into Paradise where all the righteous dead had gone, (Jesus told one of the thieves who was crucified with Him, and had acknowledged belief in Him, that he would be with Him is Paradise that day - Luke 23:39-43) but Jesus didn't stay there and no longer would they, He brought them out and took them to Heaven with Him (Eph. 4:8-10 and Matthew 27:52 and 53 states that after the resurrection of Jesus the graves of many saints were opened and they that slept arose, came out of their graves, went into the holy city, and appeared to many; in His resurrection He broke free and set all who recieve His salvation free from every sin and bondage.

We are made righteous when we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts God raised Him from the dead, but we are spiritual babies who make mistakes, and our Father, God, has given us God the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us so we can learn and grow into perfection.

THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF YOUR LIFE!!!

At some point in your life you will have to make a decision about whether you will accept or reject God's free gift of salvation to you, if you will allow Jesus Christ to take the punishment for your sinful nature and give Him your life that He paid for with His blood. Other decisions may affect you for a lifetime, this decision will affect you for eternity. This message contains a sample prayer you can pray when you are ready to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord.

Some things you need to acknowledge or be aware of before you make this decision are:

1. You were born with a sin nature, therefore you have sinned.
Rom. 5:12 Rom. 3:23 1 John 1:10
2. The price of sin is death.
Rom. 5:12. Rom. 6:23
3. Jesus Christ paid the price of sin for us.
Rom. 6:23 Heb. 9:26-28
4. We only have access back to God through Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 Romans 8: 1 - 39
5. You are not saved by confessing all your sins but by confessing with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and believing in your heart God raised him from the dead.
Rom. 10:8-13 Eph. 2:8,9

When you decide to accept God's free gift of salvation, you are doing much more than just repeating a prayer someone asks you to pray to "get saved", you are making a total life commitment. Confessing Jesus as Lord means that from now on obedience to Him and following His will for your life is your first priority and believing that God has raised him from the dead means that you understand that everything necessary for your salvation was accomplished in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. In death he took your place so you wouldn't have to die in your sins, he became your sacrifice; during His burial period He went into Paradise where all the righteous dead had gone, (Jesus told one of the thieves who was crucified with Him, and had acknowledged belief in Him, that he would be with Him is Paradise that day - Luke 23:39-43) but Jesus didn't stay there and no longer would they, He brought them out and took them to Heaven with Him (Eph. 4:8-10 and Matthew 27:52 and 53 states that after the resurrection of Jesus the graves of many saints were opened and they that slept arose, came out of their graves, went into the holy city, and appeared to many; in His resurrection He broke free, and set all who receive His salvation free, from every sin and bondage. Death and sin no longer had a hold on Him nor on anyone else who would believe in and accept Him as Saviour and Lord.

A PRAYER YOU CAN PRAY (or pray your own prayer from your heart)
(Repeating these words won't save you, praying them to God and meaning them from your heart will change your life and your eternity.)

FATHER GOD, IN THE NAME OF JESUS I COME TO YOU TO ACCEPT YOUR FREE GIFT OF SALVATION. I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED IN MY PLACE TO TAKE MY SINS AND MY SINFUL NATURE FROM ME, HE TOOK MY PLACE SO THAT I WOULDN'T HAVE TO DIE AN ETERNAL DEATH AND SO THAT I CAN LIVE WITH YOU FOREVER AS YOUR CHILD. HE PAID THE WAGES OF MY SIN, WHICH WAS DEATH. I BELIEVE WITH MY HEART THAT YOU RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD, THAT IN HIS RESURRECTION HE BROKE THE POWER OF SIN AND DEATH OVER MY LIFE, HE WAS THE FIRST ONE WHO COULD RIGHTFULLY ENTER HEAVEN TO LIVE WITH YOU, AND NOW BECAUSE OF HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION I CAN LIVE WITH YOU FOREVER. LORD JESUS I NOW ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND SAVIOUR, YOUR SPIRIT WILL LIVE IN ME AND I WILL KNOW THAT I AM A CHILD OF GOD. FATHER, I BELONG TO YOU, I AM YOUR CHILD. I AM RESPONSIBLE TO BE OBEDIENT TO YOU AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO TAKE CARE OF ME AS YOUR CHILD. THANK YOU FATHER GOD AND MY LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR SAVING ME.


You were made righteous and became a child of God when uou confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believed in your heart God raised Him from the dead, but you are a spiritual baby who will make mistakes, and your Father, God, has given to you God the Holy Spirit and a selection of many good bible believing churches to teach and guide you so you can learn and grow into perfection.

You need to learn more about God, we need to read His covenant with us (The Holy Bible - especially the New Testament). You need to pray (Matt. 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.),God wants us to communicate with Him. You need to find a good church that believes the whole bible is the inspired Word of God and teaches you the truths from the bible, as a spiritual baby you need some help to learn and grow.

This is a link to a site where you can look up scripture references in many different versions of the bible: http://www.biblegateway.com

HOW MUCH ARE YOU WORTH?

The price of sin was death, both physical and spiritual, eternal separation from God. But God had no intention of losing us forever, He had a plan. Life is in the blood and blood would be spilled, a death had to occur to atone for sin, God would allow a sacrifice to take our place. In the Old Testament of the Bible God set up a system of sacrifice in which animals were killed, their blood was spilled to take the place of the spiritual death of men. This was just a representation of the perfect sacrifice that was yet to come, it could not gain people entrance into Heaven. Until the blood of the perfect sacrifice was shed the people who died in faith and obeyed the laws of the sacrifice were taken to a place called Abraham's Bosom or Paradise. Luke 16:20-31 is the story of two men who died, a rich man and Lazarus, a beggar. The rich man went to hell but Lazarus was taken by angels into Abraham's Bosom. The tormented rich man wanted Lazarus to give him a drop of water but was told by Abraham that there was a great gulf fixed between the two places making it impossible to pass from one place to the other. Paradise was not Heaven, it was an underworld place adjacent to Hell. But Paradise was not to be the eternal abode of the righteous, one day God's perfect sacrifice would bring them out of there, and take them to Heaven.

"But when the time had fully come, God sent His son to be born of a woman and born under the law, to purchase back those that were under the (imperfect) law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Gal. 4:4-5 KJV paraphrased.
Jesus Christ, God made flesh, was born for one reason, to become the perfect, unblemished, sinless sacrifice for our sins. When He died on the cross he took our place so that we could again be sons and daughters of God and live forever with Him.

This is my own thought, I've never heard it in a sermon by anyone or read it in a book, but I think of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as a type or representation of Christ and his death on the cross, when Adam and Eve took from the tree and ate of it, they took what was perfect and made it imperfect and received in themselves the curses of sin and death. The Lord was not evil or sinful but He knew about evil and sin and they also received that knowledge. When Jesus died on the cross it was as if the perfect fruit was placed back on the tree and took all sin and evil back into himself and destroyed it in the lives of those who accept His sacrifice for them.

HOW COULD A GOOD GOD ALLOW_____?

A perfect world is what Adam and Eve enjoyed. They walked with and fellowshiped with God. They couldn't get sick, they couldn't die, there were no tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, no famine, no poverty. They couldn't murder because people couldn't die, nor would they want to. They couldn't commit adultery, they couldn't covet because they owned everything, but... they had free will. Without free will they could not truly have been created in the image of God. They could do anything they wanted, but in order to exercise their free will there had to be a test of it. God gave them one thing they could not do, eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent (under the influence of Satan) tempted them and they succumbed. They were no longer covered by the Glory of God and they felt naked and ashamed. The first sin was disobedience to God. They immediately died spiritually. They separated themselves from the God who created and loved them. With the first bite they brought death and devastation into our lives. They caused all mankind to become separated from our loving Creator and Heavenly Father. He was put in the position of having to judge and take vengeance against the sin which he loathes because of the harm it creates. A son of Adam and Eve, Cain, murdered his brother Abel, eventually Adam and Eve died physically, now we all face sin, sickness, poverty, disasters (both natural and otherwise), and death. But the worst part of the curse of sin is our separation from God.

Sin brought with it a curse on us and our world, and the results are what we suffer from today. When something dreadful happens you often hear someone say "How could a good God allow this to happen?", but it was mankind, not God that brought suffering and devastation into the world. Proverbs 19:3 (NIV) reads "A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord."

Satan also attacks us with disasters and diseases. Satan was permitted to test Job by the death of his family, destruction, poverty, and sickness. Job actually put himself in the position to be able to be tested, in his agony he revealed the truth (Job 3:25 "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.") Job 1 reveals that he constantly offered burnt offerings for his children to sanctify them because he was afraid they might have done something wrong. He was allowing fear, rather than faith in God, prevalence in his life. Luke 13 recounts the story of a woman bound by a "spirit" of infirmity for 18 years and was bowed together, Jesus healed her, and when the ruler of the synagogue complained that it was done on the Sabbath day Jesus replied that a daughter of Abraham, who was bound by Satan for 18 years ought to be loosed.
1 Peter 5:8 admonishes us "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Most of what we endure is a result of the curse that sin brought on us, that is not to say that sometimes God will not use disease, disaster, or even humans as judgment against certain human actions and lifestyles. It was God that brought the judgment of leprosy on Moses' sister, Miriam (Numbers 12:9), when she spoke against Moses (but He also healed her after seven days because Moses asked Him to), and on King Uzziah for transgression in the temple of the Lord (2 Chronicles 26:19). It was God that commanded Saul to slay every man, woman, and child of the Amalekites and their animals, because they ambushed the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt. God brought the flood that destroyed everyone except Noah and his family and select animals, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot's wife for looking back to her destroyed city. Romans 1:27 states that people with a deviant lifestyle "received in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet," in other words they are justly paid back for the sins they commit. The just God that created Hell for Satan, fallen angels, and demonic spirits, but will also allow the people who refuse to reconcile themselves to Him to be confined there for eternity is also able to use sickness and disasters as judgments against sin. Absolutely God is Love, his perfect will is to reconcile us to Himself and be our Father and our protector, not our judge.


CREATION.jpg
IN THE BEGINNING...

HOW IT ALL BEGAN
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1

There seems to be a descrepancy between the Bible and Science because scientists say the world is millions of years old, yet many Christian's believe it is only about six thousand years old. Science is right! But the bible is not wrong. There could be eons between verse 1 and verse 2 of Genesis 1. Verse 2 actually should read "and the earth became without form and void". The rest of Genesis 1 is not the story of the creation of the earth, but the story of the re-creation.

HOW ART THOU FALLEN?
What happened between Genesis 1:1 and 2?

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
2 Peter 3:5-7.

The world of Noah's day didn't perish, these scriptures refer to the period between Genesis 1:1 and 2. Notice that Genesis 1:2 states that the "darkness was upon the face of the deep (or waters). And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters." Genesis 1:9 states "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place and let the dry land appear, and it was so." God didn't create the earth filled with water, He created the earth and it was destroyed by a great flood, long before the re-creation of the earth and the creation of present day mankind.

But why?:

The New Living Translation
Ezekiel 28:12-17
"Son of man, weep for the king of Tyre. Give him this message from the Sovereign LORD: You were the perfection of wisdom and beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone – red carnelian, chrysolite, white moonstone, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald – all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created. I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. "You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. Your great wealth filled you with violence, and you sinned. So I banished you from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings."

Lucifer (king of Tyre) was placed on earth as a guardian, perfect in beauty, blameless in all he did, till iniquity was found in him, his heart was filled with pride. He actually thought he could dethrone Almighty God and take His place. His beauty caused his pride, but could it have been something else as well?

The New Living Translation
Isaiah 14:12-15
"How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.'
But instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.

There were pre-Adamic nations on earth before the world was destroyed by a great flood and re-created for present day mankind. We know that Lucifer deceived them and they were destroyed. Could it have been that they began to worship him because of his beauty, is that why his heart was lifted up? Or was it because he became so enthralled with his own beauty that he deceived them into worshipping him instead of God? We can only conjecture about this because the bible doesn't reveal much about this period.

This was the period of the dinosaurs. Maybe they were a judgement of the people of that period because they began to worship Lucifer. Maybe they were gentle and became ferocious, again we can only conjecture.

The bible does reveal that these pre-Adamic nations were weakened by Lucifer's rebellion and pride and eventually destroyed. We don't know how long the period was between this destruction and the re-creation of the earth and the creation of the Adamic race in Genesis 1:2-31.

Lucifer was cast down to the earth because of his fall, not to hell, but to the earth. He was already here as Satan when Adam and Eve were created, ready to tempt them to sin. He is called the "Prince of the power of the Air" (Eph. 2:2), his dwelling is in the atmosphere of the earth, not in heaven or hell. I'm sure if truth were known, he doesn't want to go anywhere near hell. But he doesn't mind deceiving us and causing our destruction like he caused the destruction of the pre-Adamic nations.

Recommended reading: "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible";
http://www.dake.com/
"God's Dispensational and Prophetic Plan"
by John G. Hall.
HOW MUCH FAITH DO YOU HAVE?

Where did we come from?

The Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are taught as if they are scientific facts. The word "theory" is usually ignored. (Theory: A proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural. Conjecture: The formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof. -Random House Webster's College Dictionary 1991.) These "theory's" are quite convenient for those who do not wish to believe in an eternal, omnipresent, creator God.

But what does it take more faith to believe?

The big bang theory? First there was nothing at all, and all of a sudden a "infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense" singularity formed, which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown, which inflated, expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe, and continues to expand and cool to this day (from
www.big-bang-theory.com). The cooling led to the evolvement of atoms, protons, neutrons, quarks, etc., and apparently, eventually--us, I assume. And thus we have the universe and everything in it, organized, efficient, all parts moving in sync, all brought together by a random, unintelligent something or other. Take your car apart, piece by piece, how many millions of years do you think it will take for all the parts to come back together to make a whole car, or something better, without an intelligent being putting it back together? (The parts will be kind of rusty by then.)

Then there is the theory of evolution. We all came from the sea, and over time evolved from sea creatures, to land creatures, to us. Apparently going from improvement to improvement. I wonder what we will be a million years from now under this theory??? Nature teaches us matter doesn't improve over time, but diminishes and decays. We get old and we die, we don't get younger and better. Metal rusts, cloth wears out, flesh goes back to dust.

Creation (not a theory) is explained in the Word of God, how an intelligent, eternal, omnipresent, everlasting, Spirit -- God, created the all that exists, and created a Spirit Being -- Man (not a non-spirit being -- ape) after His image and likeness, and man became a living soul.

Which explanation of creation takes more faith to believe? I suppose if you don't want to believe that everything, including us, was created by God, then you can probably stretttttttttch your faith way, way out there and accept that everything came about randomly as in the big bang theory or things are progressing and getting better and better as in the theory of evolution. It's just much easier for me to believe in an intelligent Creator.

This is a link to a site where you can look up scripture references in many different versions of the bible:
http://www.biblegateway.com