Tag Archives: New Testament

Two Questions That Have Always Bothered Me

I came to believe in Christianity the hard way. I rejected all teaching from my youth and searched the Bible and History for answers to all my questions. But two things have never quite been settled for me and I will question again and again until it is completely answered.

The first is: Why do we insist on calling it Easter? It is the Day of the Resurrection and the Sunday after the Passover in all aspects of Christendom, yet the English speaking people want to call it Easter. And as a result we take Christ out of it and put in all kinds of myths, secular traditions and party time attitude rather than Worship the Risen God in Awe and Wonder. It is a time to dress up, feast a lot and play silly games of hide and seek for colored eggs.

The second is: When did Christians stop believing in the Fullness of Christ in Holy Communion? I know that the vast majority of protestants do not believe in the Transformation of the elements into the Body and Blood of Christ yet until the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, all Christians the world over believed that the words of Jesus, “This is My Body,” and “This is My Blood,” where actual fact and not metaphoric.

I suggest that everybody read these three texts from the New Testament and study them:
1: John 6:35-59
2: Mark 14:22-25, Matthew 26:26-29
3: 1 Cor 10:15-18

Why the Great Commission.

( All verses are from the ESV translation unless stated otherwise)

In the Gospel of Mark it is written: “…Then they reported all these instructions briefly to Peter and his companions.  Afterward Jesus Himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life. Amen.” (Mark 16:8 NLT) [This ending is not found in all translations.  Most copies of Mark omit this section of verse eight and add eleven more verses to the text. You can find the Commission otherwise in Mark 16:15 KJV] We call this the Great Commission to spread the Good News of the Gospel to the whole world.  It has always been my belief that none were to be spared the Good News, that none were to be denied the grace of salvation.  I searched the scriptures to prove this point and there is ample evidence that all who choose to come to the call of God and accept Jesus and the reconciliation of the Father are answered in the affirmative.

What I list in this article are only some of the scriptures that support this belief.  I  start with the Gospel of John 1:9-13, ” The true light which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  …He came to His own and His own people did NOT RECIEVE HIM, but to ALL who did receive Him, who believed in His Name,  He gave the right to be called the Children of God… .”   This scripture clearly states that it is not a exclusive club that only a few can join but that any and all who choice to accept the Word of God through Jesus are to be added to  the family of God.  I know that most of the Christian world has memorized John 3:16 so I don’t think that I have to quote it here but it is further evidence that Salvation is available to all who seek it.  But I what to bring up other verses in the New Testament that support the Grace of Salvation is readily offered by the Father through Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:2.  “(Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins, and not only ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  

 Couple this with the prior verse that we have an advocate with the Father who is Jesus Christ the Righteous, we are led to believe that the sins are forgiven of all who seek the advocacy of Jesus. We can still sin, we are human but we are forgiven of those sins by our Faith.  Just as the unsaved still sin, we are not totally free of the desires of the world so we will still slip up.  The difference is that because we have an advocate, we can call upon Him to grant us forgiveness.  Jesus is the satisfaction, our offering.  This in no way denies the forgiveness to others.  They must be willing to ask for it.  NO ONE is exempt from the forgiveness of the Father.  Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, no one is beyond forgiveness.  I know this because Jesus forgave me of the blasphemies of my heart and the vileness  of my regard for the believers.  When I sing Amazing Grace, it is my heart that tells the story.  Oh I know that I was dedicated at my birth, but my life was not of God’s will but of the Evil One.   Yet by Grace I was saved, I still had to make the choice.  If I did not ask for and accept the forgiveness of Christ, I would still be unsaved and doomed.  Jesus sacrificed Himself so that the like of me could know His Love.

Lazarus, and the Rich Man, part two continued

Read: Psalm 61:1-2, Ezekiel 18:10-17

The Lazarus’ in the world are caught up in the many conflicts of the nations, but they are also victims of Natural causes; floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and cyclones and the such.  They are victims of plagues, famine and draughts.  Jesus took those to the cross as well as our sins.  Jesus became the Lazarus for them all.

In the story Jesus tell, the only ones who gave mercy to Lazarus were the dogs.  They were the ones who licked the wounds of the victim of the plights of the world.  To the Jews, all Gentiles were as dogs, so it is fitting that the Gentiles came to Jesus after the cross.  In the Lazarus story, the dogs lick the wounds but they are not healed.  We can try by our own efforts to give comfort and mercy to others, but with out the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are no better than the dogs.  Right now when there is so much tragedy in the world, we give aid to just about every cause, but without the Grace of God behind our efforts, little is done. 

We need to see Jesus as  Lazarus, because clearly, he was making reference to himself with this story.  He was rejected by the people that God had chosen to call His Own.  He was left out of their homes and their hearts.  Jesus took upon himself, the sores of rejection, abuse and neglect.  He took to the cross the woulds caused by sin.  He bore the grief of the loss of grace and He sat on the garbage heap of our wasted lives.  He took the abuse that the people laid on others and He died.

Lazarus, the Rich Man, and the Bossom of Abraham (part 2)

In part one I dwelt on the plight of the rich man.  Now I want to spend some time on Lazarus and the Jesus connection.

Scripture: Psalm 146, Luke 16:19-31, Isaiah 53:3-5

I will concentrate my story on Lazarus because I am concerned with the Lazarus’s of our lives., the lazarus of the World.  We have over the last few decades seem to placed our “Religion” on the “Jesus Loves ME (first)” mode and have as did the rich man rejected or ignored the plights of the poor, sick and rejected of the World.  But we don’t have to go to the far reached of the Third World countries to find the rejected and sick, they are in our home towns, or byways and under the overpasses of our highways.  They are in the streets of our cities; the homeless, the runaways and the underpaid single mothers of our affluent societies.  Just how many Lazarus are there? I haven’t a clue but I know that they number in the Millions.  The evidence of all the people that could be a Lazarus is all around us.  In fact, maybe there is a bit of Lazarus in you.

We have tried to help many of these rejected and ignored people in the World, we send workers into the refugee camps, protest civil right abuses, pass laws to protect and contribute to the needs of Missionaries.  But is this enough?  What we need to see is that there is a connection between Jesus and these Lazarus’s. We can go back in History and see how the Nations created the Lazarus’s, Starting with the U.S.A. with the oppression of the Native American, and the slavery of the Blacks to the practice of shunning and child labor.  But America was not alone in this and we have made great strides to change.  What is great about America is that we confess our sins to the World and try to make amends.  Throughout the World, there is over mounting evidence that Evil is done to the people and that whole peoples are turned into Lazarus.  People of all walks of life find themselves rejected and dispised through no fault of their own.

This is the Jesus connection.  I believe that when Jesus told the parable about Lazarus, He was speaking of Himself.  Just as the event of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was to illustrate His three days in the tomb, the Parable was to relate to how the Son of Man was rejected by the very Chosen of Israel.  As Lazarus suffered the sores of the flesh, Jesus suffered the sores of the sins of man.  As Lazarus was locked out of the home of the rich man (whom you notice is unnamed), Jesus was locked out of the Hearts of Man.  As Lazarus was rejected so was Jesus rejected.  That is why I wanted you to read the passage from Isaiah with this Parable from Luke.  And as Lazarus is carried to the Bosom of Abraham, Jesus was Lifted up to the Heavens and sits with the Father.

 (to be continued)


Lazarus, the Rich Man, and the Bosom of Abraham (part 1)

Read Luke 16:19-31

I found three lessons in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The first is the lesson of the greed of the rich man and the failure to be concerned with the beggar at his door. the second is the fate of the poor, sick Lazarus and the reward of God. The third is the relationship of God (AKA Abraham) with both men.

In this lesson (part 1) I want to relate to the rich man and His greed and selfishness. It is because so many people of faith have fallen for the “prosperity gospel” that I feel that it is important that we be made aware that prosperity is not that God rewards us with material wealth as some teach today but that we prosper in the Word of God. It is not with money or property that we are to be rich, because those are things of the world and the flesh, but the things of the Spirit and the Glory of God.

Amos 6:1,5-9 reads: “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, the distinguished men of the foremost nations…Who improvise to the sound of the harp, and like David have composed for themselves, Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls while they anoint themselves with finest oils, yet have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.”A clear call to those who are “comfortable’ in their walk and think that they are justified in acquiring vast wealth while at the same time, ignoring the plights of the world and thanking God they are not like the poor man in the back of the church. When John Wesley started to preach to the poor and the working masses, these self-righteous men of the church cast him out. They falsely believed that because they where rich, they were special to God and that the poor were sinners and deserved their fate. Jesus talked to the pharisees about the same thing, saying that their gift from their plenty was less to God than the meager offerings of the poor woman.

Mary and Zechariah


Once again Christmastide comes on the scene, and once again Mary’s great speech will be overlooked by many churches. I see it as Mary being prophetic.

Luke 1:46-55, “The Magnificat of Mary”, starts with her Praising God, her rejoicing in her savior. God took notice in her, a lowly village teenager, a nobody in a nowhere town, a place nothing more than a suburb of the great Capitol of Israel, a place we would call in today’s terms, the hicks, or the skids. God took notice of her and chose her to be the mother of Grace Incarnate. She knew that her son was the Son of the Most High, the Mighty One. She gives one line to her being blessed and being called blessed and that was in response to her cousin, Elizabeth’s greeting to her.