Saturday, March 26, 2016

Apostles' Creed: Judge the living and the dead

"He will come again to judge the living and the dead."

Many times if a Christian tries to point out sin to someone they will be accused of judging.  Is an unmarried couple having sex and/or living together?  Are two men or two women in a sexual relationship?  Is someone considering abortion?  Usually if we point out sin past or present, then we are judged as judging.

However, one day Jesus will come back and judge both the living and the dead for all we have done.  I will be judged for both my sins and my good deeds.  Praise God, however, that we do not judge you or anyone else.  We told you the problem, but we have a glorious solution!  Jesus came to save sinful men and women and then to heal them from their sins.  We can all be saved from even our favorite sins and changed so that we no longer desire them.

At the same time, just knowing that if you do not give your lives to Jesus, then when he comes again and judges the world, you will not be saved from hell.  Knowing that this judgment is coming should be enough for anyone to seek recovery.  Whether it is for something external like adultery, theft, even murder, or something internal like codependency or anger, it is wonderful to know that Jesus will save you if you confess his name and believe in him.  You can either turn to him or stay lost in your sins.  If you pass up this glorious opportunity for freedom from your sins then you will die in them.

Please do not do this.  The Lord will not turn away anybody who come to him in repentance and he will faithfully change their hearts and lives and they can live with him in blessing and happiness forever.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Apostle's Creed: Ascended into heaven, seated at right hand

"He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."

When you are recovering from an addiction or a sin, what a blessing it is to know that Jesus's body lives in heaven and always sits by the Father pleading for me and for anyone else who believes in him.  Although we were once eaten away by our sins and separated from God, he sent Jesus to pay the penalty for them.

We rejoice in him being with the Father because God always delights in his Son.  Because of that, he will save all that Jesus died for.

And in this crazy election where no godly candidate is winning and all the ones who were godly are now caving and going for the ungodly men and women, it is wonderful to know that Jesus is still in office in heaven ruling the world.  The world that we see is all His and nobody comes into power without him allowing it.  And he will bring it all under his rule both now and for all time.

Right now, while we wait we must think of that and continue to do his will.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Apostles' Creed: Descended into the dead, rose on the third day

With election season in full swing and no good candidates leading, it is good to hear some good news  Here is the next step in Recovery following the twelve divisions of the Apostles' Creed from tradition.

The first part: he descended into the dead.  I came from a tradition that says he descended into hell.  Most just say Hades.

The important thing is that he truly died.  Jesus took the complete punishment for my sins and for the sins of all his elect believers and suffered God's wrath on the cross in my place.

I do believe he experienced the hell that the reprobate will experience for eternity, but he experienced it all on the cross.  He did not go there after he breathed his last breath.  He was immediately in Paradise with the thief who was next to him on his cross.  But indeed, he truly died.  He did not fake it.  It was not an illusion.  God the Son really died and suffered God the Father's wrath.

Part two: He rose again on the third day.  He wasn't even dead three days.  One evening, one whole day, and then Sunday morning, he was alive.  His body was alive, people touched him, watched him ate, and he partied with his disciples for 40 days.

Recovering?  Remember that he did both of these things for you if you believe in him.  Believe on him and you will be saved.  You, too, will rise from the dead.  The people you love who have died who believed in him will rise from the dead.  In fact, everyone will rise from the dead and then some will go to eternal punishment while God's redeemed experience eternal live and an eternal kingdom ruled by God on this earth and in this universe.

Start living for this kingdom now.  Trust him.  Put away your idols and trust him.