|Volume 21 Number 7 July 2019||
Gary C. Hampton
Numerous religious groups look to a dynamic personality to set their beliefs in motion. None, however, has a leader like Jesus.
Jesus was “God with us.” The angel told Joseph that the child Mary was expecting was a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 (Matthew 1:18-25). John added to our understanding when he told about the Word that was with God at the beginning and was God. He was the one who walked among men, displaying the Glory of the “only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-2, 14).
Our Leader controlled the elements. He actually was the Creator. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). The apostles awakened our Lord in the midst of a terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee. “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:36-41).
Our Lord offered love to His enemies by coming to die for them (Romans 5:6-11). He also commanded His followers to do the same (Matthew 5:44). The mocking mob before the cross heard Him pray, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Judas, the Lord’s betrayer, recognized that our Master was sinless (Matthew 27:4). Pilate agreed with him (Luke 23:14b-15a). One of the thieves hanging with him referred to the unjust nature of the tortuous death the Lord endured (Luke 23:39-41).
The greatest distinction between our King and other religious leaders is His ability to save. The Revelation describes Jesus Christ as the One “who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5). We become sons of God by putting Jesus on in baptism (Galatians 3:26-27). He delivered the promise of eternal life (1 John 2:24-25).
Never doubt Jesus is different from all others who claim to be leading people on a great, spiritual journey. That difference should inspire us to follow Him!
Where in the Bible Will I Find
a Second Chance to Be Saved?
Just as there must have been those who cried out to Noah after the door of the Ark was shut and the water began to rise, no doubt, also, there will be those who will desire just one more day, hour or minute when the Judgment Day arrives!
Things of importance should be taken care of immediately when we know the right course. Procrastination or putting off our obedience to the Gospel will have eternal consequences (Mark 16:15-16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)! All men have a choice to make between the Lord’s church and the world, right and wrong, good and evil, the “narrow way” and the “broad way” (Matthew 7:13-14). Yes, all men have a choice, but none will have a second chance! “Now is the day of salvation” is the message, while, also, the apostle Paul exhorted all to not “receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2). The writer of Hebrews said, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:27-28).
Peter wrote to give the events of the sudden, unexpected appearance of Christ in these words. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:9-10).
Jesus said, “And these [the wicked] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46). All of these verses emphasize the importance of preparation “in this life.” There is no indication in the Bible that there will be a second chance, a place called purgatory or that after death we can escape from Hell into Heaven.
Paul wrote, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). Obey today (Hebrews 5:8-9)!