Posts Tagged With: Gospel of John

Joyeux Noël

I have performed six Christmas concerts so far this December. Todays concerts were especially interesting. At the Rehab facility there was a young man named Vang (I believe he was Hmong) who seemed very interested in my Gospel presentation. When I prayed with the group he may very well have prayed with me to receive Christ and was eager to recieve a Gospel of John. He started reading it right away. I also felt led to give him a copy of my CD and he said he was glad to meet me. I am very glad because I think we have a new member added to the family of God!

At my last concert this evening I felt impressed to share about a movie I had seen called Joyeux Noël about a three day treaty that happened on several of the frontlines of World War 1 in 1914.

Here is the trailer for this movie:

It all started with the singing of Christmas carols among the soldiers.

A man spoke up at my concert, “Yes, it’s true. My dad was there and witnessed this event.”

Wow.

Please be praying for me that as I continue sharing the Gospel that many will respond and also that I continue to be led by the Holy Spirit as I was today.

Categories: Listening to God | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Is Jesus Really the ONLY Way to Salvation?

I came across this image on facebook, posted it, and enjoyed a lively discussion. Jesus claims to be the only way of salvation. That is an incredible and very exclusive claim, which contradicts every other proposition for salvation or enlightenment, doesn’t it? I want to share with you why I know this is true.

Jesus said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, repeats this idea as he addresses the Jews in Jerusalem:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV)

Could this be  true? Where does the evidence point? Or do we still care about such things as evidence and truth?

The Evidence:

Jesus fulfilled hundreds of specific prophecies, he performed miracles (even raising the rotting corpse of his friend Lazarus!), his Father testified about him from heaven in front of witnesses on three separate occasions, and he rose from the dead and appeared to more than 500 witnesses at once. I think it’s quite amazing that you can take the evidence that is presented regarding the resurrection and actually prove in a court of law that it did indeed happen. Everything hinges on his resurrection and God did everything to secure this ultimate witness and testimony to who his Son really is. I wrote and talked about this here: Resurrection

The Bible teaches us that God has revealed himself in Jesus. God has made a profound statement in Jesus! God is telling us, “If you want to know what I Am like, what I think, what moves me, what angers me, and how desperately I love you, then look no further than my Son Jesus.”

Why is Jesus the ONLY way?

Jesus came on a rescue mission to save the world. The cross was an essential part of this rescue but He didn’t want to go. Jesus was practically begging his Father, “If there is any other way, please, please, don’t make me endure this!”

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:38-39 (NIV)

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44 (NIV)

His Father listened with a profound ache in his heart as His Son pleaded with him for another way. Don’t you think that God would have provided another way to save mankind if there were one? If anything other than Jesus resulted in salvation for mankind, wouldn’t he have not sent his Son to suffer and die on a cross?

But this was the only way.

God knew it was the only perfect way to rescue us.

Only through the cross could God be both just and loving. A price had to be paid, sin must be judged and none of us could survive the weight of sins judgement. So God himself stepped in and became the One to save us. Jesus bore all punishment for sin… every last drop of punishment for every last sin.

 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Yes, God has made a profound statement to the world.

Here is your salvation, I give you my Son!

Jesus very name (in his own language is Yehoshua) literally means, “I AM Salvation” or “I AM your Savior”.

Those who receive him are made holy and new and free and have a glorious future in paradise with him. They are reconciled to God and have begun a relationship with him that will last forever. It’s this relationship – this connection – that is our salvation.

But Scripture is clear that those who reject him or ignore him are doomed. (Ignoring Him is rejection).

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

The wrath of God remains on them, and they will suffer the torments of hell. Forever alone. Forever suffering the same torments, agony, and rejection that Jesus has already suffered for them. Yet they chose to reject his sacrifice for them and chose sin and hell instead.

So you see, Jesus really is the only way of salvation and we must choose.

We are not free not to choose. We must surrender our lives to Jesus and ask him to save us. He will! Ask him to save you right now! Read the Gospel of John to get to know Jesus better and then read the New Testament and then the whole Bible. Get to know God!

What are your thoughts? Leave a Comment!

Categories: Gospel, Redemption | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

I AM Salvation, the Name of Jesus (Yeshua)

Here are a few thoughts regarding the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus and the Name of Jesus. After watching the word for word rendition of the “Gospel of John” (Visual Bible), I was stunned. My faith was challenged as I watched this actor playing the role of Jesus saying the audacious things he was saying.

If you read through John’s Gospel you can’t escape the fact that Jesus was claiming to be God. This flesh and blood, quite ordinary looking Jewish man, claimed to be God! Any serious look into who who exactly this Jesus was (and still is) forces us to wrestle with his claims and make a decision about him.

C. S. Lewis writes that for a man to make the kind of claims Jesus made he could not simply be just a prophet or just a good moral teacher. No, He would have to be much more than that or very, very much worse.

Lewis points out that either Jesus was a liar and a great deceiver, or he was a lunatic or, that he was and is exactly who he says he is. The LORD. God incarnate. The only way of salvation. The “I AM”. There is no way around it!

God has left it to you to decide. Will you believe in Jesus? Will you receive him or reject him? Will you submit to him or chase after sin? But you must not and cannot come with any patronizing nonsense about him being just a good moral teacher or just a prophet. He didn’t leave that option open to us. He did not intend to.

Well put C.S. Lewis.

God revealed his name to Moses as “I AM” (YHWH) in the burning bush experience (Exodus 3). This is often rendered Jehovah or Yahweh and in most bibles will read “LORD” (all caps) throughout the Old Testament. God progressively reveals himself to his people by pairing his Name “I AM” with his attributes. In Genesis 22 He reveals himself to Abraham as “I AM your provider” (YHWH Jirah) Genesis 22:14 . The Bible goes on to describe him with these names:

  • I AM your Righteousness (YHWH tsidkenu) Jeremiah 23:6
  • I AM your Healer (YHWH rapha) Exodus 15:26
  • I AM your Peace (YHWH-shalom) Judges 6:24
  • I AM here for you (YHWH shammah) Ezekiel 48:35
  • I AM your Creator (YHWH hoseenu) Psalm 95:6
  • I AM your Banner of victory (YHWH nissi) Exodus 17:15
  • I AM your Sanctifier (I make you holy) (YHWH-m’kaddesh) Exodus 31:13
  • I AM your Shepherd (YHWH-raah) Psalm 23:1
  • I AM Lord of hosts (armies) (YHWH-sabaoth) 1 Samuel 1:3

In his Gospel, the apostle John picks up on this theme and gives us at least 7 “I AM” statements of Jesus.

1. The Bread Of Life
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

2. The Light Of The World
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

3. The Gate
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

4. The Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

5. The Resurrection And The Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

6. The Way, The Truth, And The Life
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

7. The Vine
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

On one occasion Jesus makes his identity abundantly clear to his Jewish audience who then picks up stones to stone him for blasphemy. He says them, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!” (John 8:58 NLT)

They all knew what he was claiming and were going to kill him for it.

Here is another account where Jesus makes a claim that the people knew was a claim to be God from John 10:30-33 (NIV):

I and the Father are one.”

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,  but Jesus said to them,“I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Take a look at this account of when Jesus was being arrested in John 18:4-6 (NLT):

“Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.

“Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied.

“I AM he,”[b] Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said “I AM he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground!”

(Here is the footnote [b] John 18:5 Or “The ‘I AM’ is here”; or “I am the Lord”; Greek reads I am; also in 18:6, 8. See Exod 3:14.)

Amazing isn’t it? This Jesus whose very name means “I AM Salvation” is the very same God who spoke the world into existence, who created you and I for his glory, and then gave his life on a cross. His love for us made him do it.

I will leave you with this last verse I just stumbled upon:

“Unless you believe that I am you will die in your sins”  ~ Jesus (John 8:24)

The following are some videos I put together on this subject and more. I particularly like Part 2 and I think you will too:

Categories: Jesus, Love of God | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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