Jesus Christ

Q/A Friday: Why Was It Advantageous for Jesus to Leave Earth?

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

First, the Son’s departure came via the cross which was necessary for salvation. For the work of salvation to be complete, Christ had to leave this world. If He didn’t, His words on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30) would be a lie; nothing would be finished. His work would be incomplete and therefore salvation would not be attained for any of us. Read carefully how Paul states this truth in Galatians 4:4-6, “…God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5) Now watch this – after Christ’s adoption was complete. “And because you are sons, God has sent for the Spirit of His Son in to your hearts…” (Galatians 4:6). This sending of the Holy Spirit could only be done once the Son left the world after the work on the cross.

Second, the Holy Spirit can be in all places at all times; the Son – in human form – could only be in one place at one time. This is significant because the disciples would be scattered all over the world. They would not all be able to be with the Son for personal encouragement and guidance. However, the Holy Spirit can be everywhere, because He would be indwelling them.

Third, because of the Holy Spirit’s arrival, the disciples could now do greater works than Jesus (John 14:12). The word “greater” doesn’t mean “better”; it means “more extensive.” The ministry was to be “greater” in its extent or the number of people reached. For example, the ministry of the Son would go outside of Palestine which hadn’t taken place during Jesus’ life; that would not be the case with the disciples spreading the Gospel throughout the known world unto all nations (Acts 1:8). Their works would be greater in the number of conversions, further miracles and the recording of the N.T.

Fourth, if Son remained on earth in bodily form, there would have been no room for the exercise of the disciples’ faith. By the Son’s absence, the disciples would become twice the men they were called to become. In summary: they would grow in their faith by trusting what He said was true. In this time of waiting, their faith would increase.

If you have a question you would like to submit to our blog to be answered in the future, please email it to charlesheck@cox.net or post your question in the comments section.

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Q/A Friday: What Is the Purpose of the Triumphal Entry?

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ is an event recording the very last time Jesus would enter Jerusalem. Instead of riding in a golden carriage, Jesus chooses to ride a donkey; instead of being surrounded by money being thrown at him, Jesus is surrounded by people waving palm branches; instead of Jesus putting a golden crown upon His head, Jesus would place a bloody crown of thorns there; instead of Jesus ascending a throne, Jesus ascends a common ordinary cross.

But for what reason(s)?

First, by the Triumphal Entry, Jesus shows He is willing to lay down His life voluntarily. Jesus is moving towards His execution from His own time-table and not the one of the religious leaders. J.C. Ryle says in his commentary, “He did not bleed, and suffer, and die, because He was vanquished by superior force, and could not help Himself, but because He loved us, and rejoiced to give Himself for us as our Substitute. He did not die because He could not avoid death, but because He was willing with all His heart to make His soul an offering for sin. Jesus was willing to accomplish the Father’s will by dying on a cross for sins.

Second, by the Triumphal Entry, Jesus fulfills prophecy. 2 specific prophecies were fulfilled in this passage: one from Psalm 118 and the other from Zechariah 9. The Bible is filled with thousands of prophecies and not 1 prophecy has ever gone unfulfilled. Every prophecy has been completely fulfilled. You can verify these both biblically and historically. Jesus came as a priest (He sacrifices for sin), a king (He is the ruler of the world), and a prophet (He fulfills all prophecies about the Messiah).

Third, by the Triumphal Entry, Jesus demonstrates He is the true Messiah and what kind of king He will be. He is not the political Messiah and deliverer they hoped He would be to redeem them from Rome, but He is the spiritual Messiah and deliverer that would redeem them from sin. Many people want Christ on their own terms; they want Him to be some kind of crisis counselor or some type of good friend and buddy. But the world does not want Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But this is who He is and always will be.

If you have a question you would like to submit to our blog to be answered in the future, please email it to charlesheck@cox.net or post your question in the comments section.

Why Jesus Return Will Be Worth It

“…As you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 1:7b).

Life is hard. Sometimes it feels impossible. Other times it seems bearable. But no matter your daily experience, keep this in mind: all of this is going somewhere. The waiting for Jesus’ Second Coming makes the thorny journey worth it. We are being perfected but we are not there yet.

The Second Coming of Christ is something every Christian should eagerly wait for – no matter the level of spiritual maturity. Here are just four reasons why:

#1 – The Second Coming means Christ will be exalted. Paul said in Philippians 2:9-11, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

#2 – The Second Coming means Satan will be defeated. The Apostle John writes, “And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:9-10).

#3 – The Second Coming means martyrs will be avenged. Those who have paid the ultimate price for their faith ask how long until God’s judgment will fall on those who brought such persecution. Paul says in II Thessalonians 1:6-7, “Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.”

#4 – The Second Coming means believers will be glorified. In another letter to another church, Paul says Christ will come back for the church so “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26-27).

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Will Jesus Fulfill All the Prophecies About Him?

Jesus will be born of a virgin – Genesis 3:15 and Isaiah 7:14. Fulfilled in Matthew 1:23.

Jesus will be of the lineage of Abraham – Genesis 12. Fulfilled in Matthew 1:1 and Galatians 3:16.

Jesus will be of the tribe of Judah – Genesis 49:10. Fulfilled in Matthew 1:2.

Jesus will be of the lineage of David – II Samuel 7:12-16. Fulfilled in Matthew 1:1.

Jesus would be risen from the dead – Psalm 16:10; 22:22. Fulfilled in Matthew 28:6 and Acts 2:27-28.

The death of Jesus would be painful – Psalm 22. Fulfilled in Matthew 27:39, 43, 46; John 13:36; 20:25.

Jesus would ascend into heaven – Psalm 68:18. Fulfilled in Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:9-11.

Jesus will have a forerunner – Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. Fulfilled in Matthew 3:3.

The death of Jesus would be violent – Isaiah 52-53. Fulfilled in John 19:1, 18.

Jesus will be born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2. Fulfilled in Matthew 2:6.

Think Jesus will return to set up His kingdom? (Psalm 2; 24; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-16; 35:1-10). The Bible says so and His track record on fulfilling prophecies is 100% so far!

A Christmas Poem in May

“As with Gladness Men of Old” by William C. Dix

As with gladness men of old; did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light, ;eading onward, beaming bright,
So, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led by Thee!

As with joyful steps they sped, Savior, to Thy lowly bed,
There to bend the knee before; Thee whom heaven and earth adore,
So may we with willing feet ever seek Thy mercy-seat!

As they offered gifts most rare at Thy cradle, rude and bare,
So may we with holy joy, pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King!

Holy Jesus, every day, keep us in the narrow way;

And when earthly things are past. Bring our ransomed souls at last

Where they need no star to guide, where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright, need they no created light;

Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown, Thou its Sun which goes not down.

There forever may we sing alleluias to our King!

 

Q/A Friday: What Does It Mean That Jesus Is Our Advocate?

The word “Advocate” is sometimes translated “Paraclete” (from the Greek word paraklaytos), which you might recognize as a title given to the Holy Spirit in John 14 and 16. The word means “helper,” but it was used to describe someone who offered legal aid or one who interceded on behalf of another. It is one who came alongside another to aid or assist them in their greatest need and our greatest need is salvation or deliverance from the consequences of sin.

Picture a courtroom – a Divine Courtroom. God is the Judge. Satan comes as the accuser or prosecutor and man is the accused. Jesus Christ is our Defense Attorney; He is our “Advocate.”

What makes him unusual is that, in this case, he is the only Defense Attorney that comes into the courtroom and doesn’t proclaim we are innocent but admits our guilt! He declares our guilt, but he comes alongside of our need for redemption and paid the price in full on the cross. While Satan is yelling, “Sin,” Jesus is calmly saying to the Father Judge, “Cross. Paid in full.”

One of the most encouraging by-products of Jesus being our “Advocate” is this: we are assured sin will most definitely be paid for and that our salvation is secure. Why? Because Jesus never has, nor never will, lose a case. Jesus said, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me …” (John 6:39). That word “nothing” means “nothing.” No one will be lost that He has saved!

As he concludes Romans 8 and the Spirit’s sealing our salvation, Paul asked a rhetorical question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). Once saved, always saved.

What an encouragement that is to the believer! We don’t need to feel hopeless in this life. When we sin, we don’t need to crawl into depths of despair. Instead, our rejoicing should be loud and boisterous that Jesus advocates for us. There should be such a level of confidence and celebration that Jesus saves and keeps us saved that we could echo these words from Charles Spurgeon: “He has said that he was so sure of his salvation that he could grab onto a cornstalk, swing out over the fires of hell, look into the face of the devil, and sing, ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!’”

If you have a question you would like to submit to our blog to be answered in the future, please it to charlesheck@cox.net or pose your question in the comments section of this post.

If Christ Is Not Raised (Part 7)

As Christians, we are people of hope, because Christ accomplished something we couldn’t accomplish – a perfectly righteous life and an acceptable sacrifice of death and resurrection. And this guarantees us salvation if we call upon Him as Lord and Savior. But if that stone remained over the entrance to the tomb, and Jesus stayed wrapped in his garments, and His body decayed and He never rose from the dead, Paul says, “we are of all people most to be pitied.”

That may be the ultimate example of wasting your life. Charles Spurgeon said, “To be born into the Christian life, which gives great pain and sorrow, would be a miserable thing if it were not compensated by the hope of glory that we have in Christ.”

The sad reality is that many are living without hope!

Many refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Lord so there is no reason to hope past this life, and there is no comfort in death. They are living as if they resurrection didn’t happen.

Here is our hope – “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Cor 15:20). And it’s because of truths like this that we can sing refrains like this

“Christ alone; cornerstone

Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love

Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all.”