I have been wracking my brain all day, trying to decide what to say. I have decide not to say anything. As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, I ask you to consider what the disciples felt as they had to live through the Saturday after the crucifixion of Jesus. What would you have felt?
This is a day of mourning. Of apprehension. We should never take for granted the resurrection. The disciples did not know for sure if it would take place. We have the benefit of history and scholarship to buttress our faith. Let us not be cavalier about Jesus death.
God bless you on this Holy Saturday.
I have often wondered if the first disciples of Jesus felt it was appropriate to call the Friday Jesus died “good.” It is difficult to fathom how anything that took place that Friday afternoon could have been considered good. Trumped charges led to a bogus trial led which to the execution of an innocent man. The circumstances of that day are anything but good.
This evening, during our services, we had a time of confession and repentance. It was a time where we could reflect and submit to God those sins holding us back from fully surrendering to God. It was a powerful moment. At the end of the service I could see the slips of paper that had been laid upon the cross of Jesus. As I stood there looking at them, the following thought passed through my mind.
If these represent one confessed sin (among the many possibilities) of one fellowship of believers, how must have the cross looked to God when the sins of the world, for all time, were laid upon Jesus?
I was stunned by the reality of how our sinfulness had affected the purest life to have ever walked upon the earth. The unstained, undefiled, unadulterated beauty and perfection of Jesus was ravaged by our sin. He hung on a cross, suffering because if I had to do it I would go to hell. It was the innocence of Jesus that revealed the diabolical nature of our sin. We will never fully understand what the cross of Calvary means. We can experience its benefits. We can know we have been changed, redeemed, and set upon a new path. We just do not have the capacity to process all God did for us in Christ.
Today is Good Friday, not because it was good for Jesus, but because it was good for us!
Remember the sorrow this day represents, but look forward for Sunday is yet to come. The following video is such a wonderful reminder of this simple reality.
(If you can’t see the video click HERE)
There are many reasons why I will not read and will not attend the upcoming movie “Heaven is for Real.” The most important is that I will not be lead astray by accounts about heaven or hell that are unbiblical and unwarranted. I have come across a variety of responses to these kinds of accounts. Some might see these as mildly entertaining and essentially harmless. Others would argue they serve as conversation starters with people who are otherwise closed off to the Gospel. And still others would go so far as to argue that this (my response) is why some in the world outside the church are disenchanted with the church.
I would like to give an answer to each of these.
If we, as the church, are going to entertain every frivolous account about doctrinal questions, we need to stop complaining about the church being too strict on other doctrinal subjects. Whatever might be wrong with the church and anything else we may want to complain about related to what people are doing in the church are not reason enough to entertain lies. Lies are deadly. Any argument to the contrary undermines the testimony of the bible and reason itself. In fact, a lie is the reason sin entered the world and lies are the reason hell exists. Lies are eternally harmful.
Not only are lies harmful to the church, a believer’s witness and faith, a lie should not be the opening statement of the Gospel to a non-believer/seeker. This is pure madness. Not only does it show a lack of trust in the Holy Spirit/God’s Word/God/Jesus, it trivializes the problem of sin. We have to stop allowing the world the access of dictating to us, the church, how it should do its work and fulfill its mission.
I know there are many who think I am overreacting. And they may be right. But, my question is why aren’t more believers reacting at all? The problem is if we never react at all, when the time comes for the needed strong response, it will be too late. We will have waited too long and lost too much ground. The truth must be the bastion of our faith and evangelistic efforts.
I find myself growing wearisome of the constant droning about why this group or that group are leaving the church. Could it be more true that people are leaving the church for the same reason they leave everything else? Maybe the church is not “me” centered enough. It is possible that people are leaving the church because we are trying harder to get them in the building, rather than spending time trying to get HIM in the building.
I am not going to allow those who are not on the journey of faith with me from altering my focus and direction. There are many issues the church needs to address, many concerns that must be answered. But, these issues and concerns will not be solved by listening to the masses. It was the crowd that called for the death and crucifixion of Jesus. Or have we forgotten this as well?
The world and those who love it are not the counselors we should seek. Only the counsel of God is necessary and will be sought.
Whether we like it or not, the Gospel is at stake if “Heaven is for Real.”
The following video by Dr. David Platt provides a succinct and compelling reason for avoiding material (regardless of medium) that is not clearly and undeniably grounded in God’s Word.