I watch this DVD movie, The Apocalypse with Richard Harris, every three or four months to remind myself of what the first Christians faced for the first several years after the Crucifixion of Jesus.
The early Christian Church, the Body of Christ, was able not only to endure great persecution and tribulation, but to also grow and thrive, changing the world as we know it forever. Who is this Jesus and how do we know we can believe the scriptures and what they reveal about Him?
Approximately 700 years before the birth of Jesus the prophet Isaiah foretold: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaiah 53:4-7 These prophecies plus others dealing with specific details about the place of Christ's birth, His sacrificial death and resurrection were all fulfilled.
Jesus said: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me John 14:6
It was Jesus who also said: “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47
Jesus spoke to a teacher of the law who asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
Just like the early Church, our love for the Lord inspires us to share His message of salvation to a lost and dying world that is spiraling downwardly to a destruction unlike this world has ever seen.
True Christians, know that our citizenship is in heaven. God has given us the spiritual understanding and knowledge of the Truth through His Word.
Many non-Christians think that Christians are, or can be a peculiar and foolish people, worshipping One God, who is revealed in three persons.
Many Christians compromise their faith when seen by their non-Christian friends doing the things a Christian should not do. Those Christians' lack of sensitivity to sin has come about mostly because of a failure to read God's Word and not spending time with Him in prayer, in other words, not seeking first His Kingdom and His Righteousness.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus speaking to followers of Christ, "The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." Romans 8:7-11
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
Therefore, As we are being transformed in the likeness of Christ, our hearts become aligned with His and our love for the lost will increase. The forgiveness of God should pour out of lives into our interactions and attitudes towards others. It is a direct result of His Mercy, Grace and Love in our lives.
Remember, 'Whomever has been forgiven little, loves little; but he who has been forgiven much, loves much' and this I can confirm within my own life. There was my life before Jesus came into my heart and all the pain and suffering therein, and then there is my life since Jesus became my Lord and Savior, bringing His Love, Joy, Peace, Grace and Forgiveness. And I will never be the same ever again. Praise the Lord!!!