Archive for December, 2022

Ask any believer why Jesus came to earth and they’ll likely proclaim that He came to save lost sinners. Some go as far to say that if they were the only human being on earth Jesus would have come to save them, but did you know that there are other reasons? Here are 16 scriptural references to consider. While not an exhaustive list, they help us to know a little more about our Lord and Savior’s character.

1) Jesus came to fulfill the law.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matthew 5:17)

2) Jesus came to divide.
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division (Luke 12:51)

3) Jesus came to claim His Kingship and bear witness to the truth.
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (John 18:37)

4) Jesus came for judgment.
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9:39)

5) Jesus came to call sinners.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17)

6) Jesus came to serve and give his life.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

7) Jesus came to proclaim good news.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)

8) Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

9) Jesus came that the world might be saved.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17)

10) Jesus came to do his Father’s will: to keep, save, and resurrect believers.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:38-40)

11) Jesus came to give abundant life.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

12) Jesus came so believers may not remain in darkness.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)

13) Jesus came destroy satan.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14)

14) Jesus came to suffer and die.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (John 12:27)

15) Jesus came to comfort, release, and heal.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:1-2)

16) Jesus came to reign as King.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

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According to some Bible scholars there are seventeen Psalms speaking prophetically of Jesus. They are Psalm 2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 41, 45, 68, 69, 72, 78, 89, 102, 109, 110, 118, and 132. However I think they may have missed one. Pour over Psalm 101 and see if you agree.

Psam 101

Vs. 1-2: I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

All Christians know that there was only One perfect man, the God man, Jesus Christ. But rather than recognize that fact, some interpreters of this Psalm set out to redefine the word perfect, essentially claiming that ‘perfect’ does not mean perfect (as we understand it Biblically), but rather it’s referencing a desire or intent to be perfect, in other words trying to do ones best with God’s help. If we maintain this is King David writing solely about himself, then the reality is that we’re forced to redefine what perfect means. But imagine this is not the king referring to himself, but rather David prophetically pointing to Jesus, as inspired by God (as in many other Psalms). It’s Christ’s mercy, judgement, power, and authority, as it righteously exists before God the Father. 

The Psalmist continues:

Vs. 3-5: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

Sounds like Jesus to me.

Vs. 5-6: Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Sounds like Jesus to me.

Vs. 7-8: He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house:he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.

Is King David implying all the ‘faithful’ and ‘deceit-less’ can live in his house? Does he have the power and ability to ‘destroy all the wicked’ of the land? Does he have the authority to ‘cut off’ all the wicked from city of the Lord? Seems to me that only Jesus has that kind of power and authority. This all sounds like ‘Second Coming’ stuff to me.

I’m not going to be dogmatic about it, but I will say again…

It sounds like Jesus to me.

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God…The fear of the Lord is to hate evil…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…The fear of the Lord prolongeth days…The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death…by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil…be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. (Assorted Proverbs)

Charles Spurgeon chimes in on the topic (150 or so years ago):

“Perhaps some of the Puritan fathers may have gone too far, and have given too great a prominence to the terrors of the Lord in their ministry: but the age in which we live has sought to forget those terrors altogether, and if we dare to tell men that God will punish them for their sins, it is charged upon us that we want to bully them into religion, and if we faithfully and honestly tell our hearers that sin must bring after it certain destruction, it is said that we are attempting to frighten them into goodness. Now we care not what men mockingly impute to us; we feel it our duty, when men sin, to tell them they shall be punished, and so long as the world will not give up its sin we feel we must not cease our warnings. But the cry of the age is, that God is merciful, that God is love. Who said he was not? But remember, it is equally true, God is just, severely and inflexibly just. He were not God, if he were not just; he could not be merciful if he were not just.”

I agree with Chuck – we have gotten away from preaching fire and brimstone, and for all the wrong reasons. Yes, we should share the Gospel message in love, but ignoring God’s immeasurable power, His justifiable and righteous wrath, eternal damnation, specifically as it pertains to the consequences of sin, is not loving. If the Bible declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, then it should be one of the first points we hammer down when sharing the Good News.

Read those Proverbs in the first paragraph again. If you’re still not convinced, look up the other 100+ places in the Bible where the fear of the Lord is taught. I got news for you, the fear of the Lord is not just a call to be respectful to our Almighty God. I submit to you that the literal interpretation of the passage is the proper way to proceed. I further submit that is can be conveyed compassionately, however sometimes a more fearful tone is required.

Jude 21-23 puts it this way:

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

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Captured by Satan

“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” Matthew 13:19

Why are these folks captured by satan, the wicked one? Because they do not have understanding. More specifically, they do not have the Holy Spirit who gives understanding.

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

Why don’t they have the Holy Spirit?

Because they are not true, born-again believers. They may like some of the concepts of Christianity – they go to church, try to be good, etc., but they haven’t grasped (understood) their sinful condition, the penalty for sin, and they have not given themselves over to Jesus Christ for cleansing, healing, rebirth, sanctification, purpose, and salvation. The Bible refers to these types of people as ’natural men.’

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

The ones who have been captured [by satan] were never really saved to begin with. They never came to sorrowful terms with their sinful nature, therefore they never had a faith-filled desire to repent. Sure, God may have been drawing them to Himself (the only way to be saved), but for whatever reason they rejected His gracious free gift of salvation and therefore His Holy Spirit [of understanding] never took up residence inside them. Sadly, the fault might be ours – the sowers of the seed.

As sharers of the Gospel message we need to remember that God is responsible for bringing folks into the family and our function is to be a conduit for an accurate message, without exaggeration and without Scriptural omission. When we do this the Holy Spirit will convict a person and the unsaved hearer gets the Salvation message directly from the Source. At this point if the listener rejects Jesus, it won’t be because they didn’t have the salvational-facts presented to them. Of course this is not to say that no seed was planted and that God might use another to water, another to cultivate, and another to harvest, but rather to say that we should know the Gospel message completely and share it with love and without compromise when God provides the opportunity.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

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