Category Archives: Easter

To Free Grace Believers, Sunday is Not “Easter”

By Jack Weaver

This coming Sunday, March 31, 2013, is not “Easter.” We who place our faith in Jesus Christ alone for our eternal salvation do not worship Ostara, one of the Nordic or Germanic pagan goddesses of fertility for whom “Easter” was named. It is not a day to celebrate with eggs and bunnies.

I must admit, before I trusted Christ as my Savior and even some time after, we celebrated the world wide pagan tradition of Easter — with bunnies, eggs and such gifts for the children. But now — it is clear:

Our celebration is the remembrance of the RESURRECTION of our Savior, Jesus Christ who showed Himself alive after He gave Himself to be crucified for the sins of the world (to pay the death penalty we owe). The crucifixion was three days and three nights earlier, just as Jesus predicted. (Matthew 12:40)

John 3:16-18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten [born] Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name [JESUS] of the only begotten [born] Son of God.”

As a child of about six or seven I memorized the 1st verse in that series but never understood or believed it until age 35 when it was fully explained. Until I trusted Christ as my Savior, I had no idea that what we called “Easter” was actually a celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead.

It is important that we put those verses in context with these:

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if [forasmuch as] ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ [The Messiah, Savior] died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” [and factually witnessed by many]

The Resurrection (not “Easter) is a fact and is vital to the Gospel of our salvation:

1 Corinthians 15:17
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

The Gospel of our salvation is only by believing it is God’s Gift of eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. His Salvation is eternal – it is NOT probation!!

Let us be thankful and remember — this Sunday is not Easter! It is the remembrance of the Resurrection of our Dear Savior.

If you are not absolutely sure of Heaven, please read the next verse from the Bible, click below, read, and believe the link below and trust in Jesus Christ as your only Savior.

Titus 3:5
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; “

Have the peace and Joy of KNOWING:  Eternal Life is FREE << Click

Christian Evidences: Why Should I Choose Christianity? Where is the Evidence?

Recently a man wrote to our behind-the-scenes mailbox asking a very profound, albeit a bit sarcastic, question (detailed below). Now the brief imaginary scenario below actually brings up to Christians a valid question: Why Should I Choose Christianity?

Submitted by Jerry K: “Please convince me!”

Jerry’s comment: Once there was a young man in search of God. In his pilgrimage he first met a Christian minister who told him that if he didn’t accept Jesus, he would suffer in hell throughout eternity. This didn’t sound like a message of love so he continued on and met a Sunni Muslim who told him that if he didn’t accept Sunni’s Allah he would die and suffer for eternity in hell. He continued on and met a Shia Muslim, a Mormon, and a Roman Catholic, all of whom told him the same thing. So the young man didn’t know who to believe so he lived out his life worshiping an unknown universal god and loving his fellow people. When he died god told him that since he guessed wrong he was going to hell. “How was I to know, they all told me the same thing” asked the young man. “Tough luck,” replied god.

Now, Jerry’s question cannot be answered quickly, lightly or superficially. Indeed, countless volumes have been written on the subject over the centuries. Nothing short of a doctoral dissertation will really serve to answer the vast implications of his question. About all that one can do in this very limited setting and format is to give a brief general outline of evidences for the validity of Christianity. Other commenters may certainly join in and fill in some of the gaps and/or provide other evidences. Of course, for the hardened atheist, or the obstinate skeptic, possibly no amount of proofs will pierce the crusty shell of unbelief.

Selected Evidences for the Validity of Christ and Christianity:
.
Recommended Reading: “A Case for Christ,” by Lee Strobel

1. Uniqueness of the Bible: written by forty authors from eight countries over fifteen hundred years in three languages and all with a consistent and unique message of a God of love who ransomed us from our sins.
2. Old Testament prophecies fulfilled hundreds of years after the time of their writing in and through the person of Jesus Christ (over 300 by many counts). Examples: precise details of Christ’s crucifixion were written in Isaiah 52-53 and Psalm 22 (crucifixion, used as a means of capital punishment would not even exist for several hundred years to come at the point that the prophecies were made).
3. The Book of Daniel correctly predicted in detail the rise and fall of several world empires, including Rome, Greece and Persia.
4. One of the greatest “name” prophecies of Scripture was that of King Cyrus of Persia. Think of it, God prophesied through Isaiah (Isaiah 44:26-45:3) that a great leader named Cyrus would be God’s instrument to bring the Jews back to their homeland in Jerusalem and Judea nearly two hundred years before the events occurred! To prophesy generalized events which will occur is one marvelous miracle, but for the prophet actually to name the individual through whom the prophecy will be accomplished is nothing short of breathtaking! This is a situation in which Scripture really comes alive as the reader digs beyond the casual glance and compares various texts. Not only does Isaiah’s prophecy from God name the leader who would carry out the fulfillment of the prophecy, but the text (especially Isaiah 45:1-3) specifies the means by which the fulfillment was to take place: “to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him so that the gates will not be shut: . . . I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” These statements are a distinctly perspicuous reference to Cyrus’ leadership of the Medes and Persians on that fateful night in which they diverted the Euphrates River, cut the bars of iron under the walls of Babylon, and stormed the city. Secular tradition also details that the inner bronze gates were mysteriously left unlocked that night which allowed the soldiers, once through the outer wall, easy access into the heart of the city. All of these descriptions dovetail perfectly with the events of the takeover of Babylon as described by Daniel in chapter five.
5. Modern archaelogical evidences verify the authenticity of the Bible. Examples: The Nabonidus Chronicles and early cylinders (British Museum) authenticate leaders and events mentioned in Daniel. (See for one ref., Edwin Yamachi, “The Stones and the Scriptures”): Excavations have proven the veracity of the events of Joshua 11, the taking of and destruction by fire of the city of Hazor.
6. Ancient secular historians, such as Tacitus and Josephus, verify the historicity of Jesus, the crucifixion and events surrounding and including the early Christian church.
7. Ancient very early manuscript evidences (Rylands Papyrus of part of John, dating to 135 A.D.; Dead Sea Scrolls predating the Christian era by a couple of hundred years or more contain almost the entire Old Testament intact).
8. The Books of Acts and 1 Corinthians chronicle that hundreds of eyewitnesses verified the reality of the resurrected Christ Jesus. Christianity is unique in being the only religion or belief system which has a living founder!
9. Twenty centuries of Christendom validate the magnificent impact of Christ Jesus on the world.

I’ll stop for now and give others a chance to add to the list.

Do Lordship “Salvation” Folks Deny the Resurrection and Christ’s Proclamation, “It is finished”?

By Jack Weaver

As Resurrection weekend approaches let us analyze the terrible lie and denial by those who teach Lordship “Salvation.” Do their false teachings deny the Resurrection and Christ’s very words?

God’s salvation requires no more than believing the Gospel and then believing in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. Therefore we conclude that the Lordship “salvation, faith, probation” (LS) folks cannot sincerely believe Christ’s last statement on the cross, “It is finished…” John 19:30b

They must deny the death, burial and resurrection as being Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice for sin for every person in the world, past, present and future. The Lord God sealed His Promise of Christ’s words, “It is finished”  when He raised Jesus Christ from the grave three days later. The Resurrection is proof. LS folks therefore deny His Gospel of Salvation by Grace through their teaching. They demonstrate their misery not knowing that JOY that comes with God’s assurance.

Here is such a denial, according to the guru of Lordship “salvation” :

Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Heresy !!! Thus says JMac as he proudly denies the sufficiency of God’s Grace alone, our faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, to save all who believe in Him. He is claiming null and void Christ’s last words on the cross, “It is finished.”  (“Finished” is the Greek word Teleo meaning complete, executed, concluded, discharged (a debt) :- accomplished, make an end).

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain [useless, empty)]” 1 Corinthians 15:14

You may have “heard” the Gospel and you may have “come to the knowledge of Christ” or “know” the Gospel but you alone must, at some time, make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ, that He died and was resurrected as your substitute, in your place, for your sins, that He is your Savior. Then, He freely GIVES you the Gift of eternal Life (forever)..
Study John 3:16-18 “.. He that believeth is NOT condemned…”

Christ died, that’s history, Christ died for ME, that’s Salvation.

Christ IS RISEN and coming again!!!

But what if, after Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, He had not been resurrected from the grave? There would be no salvation.. There would be no proof that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. That is Satan’s message. We see such a lie touted by “liberal” theologians from the time shortly after Jesus was put to death by the Roman court.

Matthew 28:1-8

  • “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers [guards] did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.”

Luke 24:6-7

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

GREAT JOY” is an understatement!! Imagine yourself being there with them. Imagine their circumstances, the Person they trusted, worshiped and followed had just been humiliated, crucified was dead and buried. They visit the tomb expecting to complete their mourning. Then they see the tomb empty and hear the words, He is not here: for He is risen.” HE IS RISEN! Just imagine the JOY!

The following has been called “The Gospel in a Nutshell”:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.1 Corinthians 15: 3-6

Witness after witness after witness is certainly additional evidence of His resurrection.

Salvation by God’s Grace is understanding and believing that we are imperfect; that God calls this sin and that our sin requires a death penalty. But God with love beyond infinity, loved us so much that He sent His Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to make that death penalty for the whole world. He came to the Jew first and then the Gentile so that all who would believe or trust in Jesus would have everlasting life in Heaven with Him. Jesus, He fulfilled the law and paid the death penalty we humans owe. He did that and arose from the grave just as He promised. Now the responsibility is upon us. Do we trust Jesus alone as our Savior, our complete and all sufficient Savior, apart from depending upon our good works, our promises, our commitment to serve or a life lived in obedience? If we do trust Jesus alone as our Savior, God’s Word says we HAVE everlasting life, guaranteed.

  • John 3:16-18
    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Dear friend, at this time of year when we remember the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, perhaps you do not know for sure you possess eternal life in Christ. If you are not sure, please believe Him and trust or rely upon Jesus alone as your Savior to deliver you to Heaven; to give you eternal life. It is not thorough an organization, behavior, church or your good works, but simply Jesus alone. I pray you will make this one time decision as it is the most important one you will ever make during your entire life on this earth.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope [guarantee] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“ 1 Peter 1:3

HE IS RISEN — GREAT JOY!!!

God’s FREE Gift of Eternal Life << Click

Hope Defined, Hope Declared: What is Hope? (Vintage Expreacherman)

by Jack Weaver (reposted article)

For centuries man has misunderstood or misinterpreted many words in God’s Holy Scripture. “Scholars” debate the meanings of Biblical words and we must determine whether such interpretations are errors or truth. If errors, whether they are accidental or deliberate. Let’s take the wonderful and exhilarating word “Hope” and see if we can understand it. Of course this writing will be an abbreviated explanation of the word but it is a start.

One may say, “I hope it will not rain today.” “I hope my car will start when I have an emergency.” “I hope my children will grow up to be great citizens.” “I hope. I hope. I hope.”

The standard dictionary definition, and one that is generally accepted by most of the world is “to FEEL that something desired MAY happen:” The words “feel” and “may” are two very indefinite and vague words, but such a definition of “hope” exemplifies the thinking of most people.

The dictionary definition of the word “hope” is NOT the Biblical Hope of which we speak.

Let us investigate the Old and New Testament meanings of the word “Hope.”

Psalm 33:22

“Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Hope in this verse is the Hebrew word, “yachal” meaning “trust.”

Psalm 130:7

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”

Again this is the same Hebrew word, “trust.”

Psalm 39:7

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Here we see a slightly different Hebrew word towcheleth but with the same root but meaning “expectation.” These and many, many more verses illustrate the Psalmist’s reliance upon the trustworthiness of the Lord. The Lord CAN be trusted. He WILL keep His promises.

Now, in the New Testament we see the word “Hope” in several verses. This word “Hope” is an absolute, a guarantee without a doubt. It is the Greek word “elpis” meaning “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.”

Romans 5:2

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

We rejoice in the glory of God, not with uncertainty but with joyful anticipation — guaranteed.

Colossians 1:5

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

The Hope of Heaven is not a maybe — but an absolute and definite guarantee by the Word of the Truth of the Gospel.

Titus 1:2

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

Eternal life — guaranteed and promised by the God of the Universe. He cannot lie.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Every true believer in Jesus Christ may look with confidence to the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt!

Titus 3:7

“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

We are Justified by God’s grace, guaranteed — Rendered innocent or free by God’s Grace, eternal life guaranteed!

As you read this, I want you to have that Hope or guarantee personally. God offers you this by His Grace.

Just briefly, no one deserves to live in Heaven or have eternal life with the Righteous God (Revelation 21:27). We are all sinners by nature and deed. Simply put, we have all sinned and come short of the mark of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:23). All sin requires a payment that must be paid — and that penalty is spiritual death, being apart from God in Hell (Romans 4:23).

By God’s Grace and Love He provided a Sin Bearer in the person of Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sin, was buried and rose again. This Grace is available to the whole world — including you personally (John 3:16). It is not determined by how good you are — or how hard you try — or by your good works, but by Grace alone, which means “undeserved mercy.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

How can we KNOW that Hope is real?

1 John 5:13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

You can KNOW. God promises Heaven, the Hope (guarantee) of eternal life is when you trust that Jesus paid the death penalty in your place. He promises — and all you need do is to trust Jesus as your Savior. Believe His Word — He died for you.

If you have never trusted Jesus alone as your Savior, do that right now. Believe His promises of eternal life which are yours the very moment you trust Jesus as YOUR Savior.

Remember and believe this:

Jesus died — That is history. Jesus died for ME — that is salvation.

When you make that simple decision, your eternity in Heaven is secure in Jesus Christ. It is God’s guarantee, thus your HOPE of Heaven is guaranteed eternal. You are immediately declared righteous before a Holy God with no possibility of losing His Gift of salvation. Eternal life is ETERNAL — without end, beginning the moment you trust Christ as your personal Savior.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [gentile].”

Please, trust Jesus Christ as your Savior NOW! God has no strings attached! Claim that wonderful HOPE.

Learn How to Have Eternal Life.

The Resurrection? What’s That?

The Resurrection (Greek “Anastasis” = raised to life again) of Jesus Christ is the bedrock of Biblical Christianity – if missing and not true, as so many New Age, Contemplative leaders declare, our faith is void and useless. The Resurrection truth is the very reason so many left-leaning “theologians” and new paraphrases of God’s Word try to downplay and ignore it.

However, Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh, the Savior. After He was resurrected from the dead, He was not an apparition, nor a phantom nor a ghost. He was/is the Messiah, Jesus Christ in the Flesh.

The Truth from God’s Word, KJV:
“In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:1-6

HE IS RISEN!! The resurrection of Jesus is not only Biblical fact but is also recorded in secular history. One such historian is Josephus, a Jewish Pharisee and possible a near contemporary of Jesus testifies to the reality of Jesus and His resurrection. (Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63 )

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope [guarantee] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

The Gospel: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:1-5

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain [useless]. 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. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” 1 Corinthians 15:14-18

Without the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we as well as all believers in Jesus throughout history have no hope, no Heaven, no fellowship with Christ and no eternal life.

But YES!!
“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.” 1 Corinthians 6:14

The Resurrection of Jesus is real, factual and not to be denied or minimized. We thank God for His promise of eternal life. We all deserve to be eternally separated from God but Christ paid that death penalty for everyone and said that all who Believe or Trust in Him alone (without works of righteousness, not joining, not “following”) HAVE eternal life. Then we who have trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior will likewise be with Him eternally in Heaven!

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

Jesus died and arose, that’s history.

Jesus died and arose for ME and I believe it, that’s Salvation.

Click here — Find out how to be absolutely sure of Heaven.