The Lord is My Shepherd

Many times, Psalm 23 is read in death bed ministry. But this Psalm was also meant for those who are living and follow the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

Look at these words and read them with me.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Look at this Scripture one more time and reflect on these facts:

1. By following the Lord and allowing Him to be our Lord & Savior, we will never want for anything. He will provide all that we need.

2. He makes us lie down in green pastures means that He many times wants us to rest in Him. We are recharged when He leads us beside still waters. He restores our soul. He makes us whole again.

3. As long as we allow Him to be our Lord & Savior, He leads us down paths of righteousness for His glory.

4. Even when we walk through the darkest valley, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. We could be facing death and He is with us every step of the way. It is through belief in Christ Jesus that we will have an inheritance in Heaven with Jesus.

5. Jesus’ rod and staff comforts us, like the shepherd of sheep. When sheep stray away, the shepherd uses the crook of the rod or staff to move the lost sheep back into the fold so nothing will happen to it. To know that Jesus is there to comfort us during our most difficult times is very comforting and reassuring.

6. Even if our enemies are attacking us, Jesus is there with us. He anoints our heads with oil. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. His relationship with us is such that our enemies are left out. Our salvation and relationship with Him is protected. No one or thing can rob us of eternal life with Christ Jesus. Our love for Christ Jesus will overflow our hearts.

7. As Followers of Christ Jesus, goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives and we, when we die, will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

This chapter in Psalms ministers to me daily. I pray that you will see that Christ Jesus loves you so much that He gave His life for you freely. Only through Jesus you will inherit eternal life and only through Jesus, you will be able to dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Copyright August 3, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Defending Democracy

Just yesterday, I had the opportunity to view the first hearing of the January 6, 2021 Capitol assault and riot. For me, it’s upsetting to see the body cam footage of those Capitol Police Officers trying to hold the line and defend Democracy! It is very upsetting and eye opening to those who have indifference to what happened.

Regardless, if people think it was Antifa or the protestors, we all should be appalled and mad as fire that people would assault those protecting the Capitol. I know well the fear and terror of someone trying to kill me! Unless you have literally faced death, you do not understand what I am talking about.

Are we to just sweep this sad day under the carpet and act as though it never occurred? Are we to compare this to other insurrections during last Summers riots? The attempt to disrupt the certification of the election was an assault on our Republic. To think that there are Americans that wanted to literally kill the Vice President because he would not do what the President wanted him to do is horrific! For one, the Vice-President could not challenge the results. He had to follow the Constitution and certify the Election.

For us who call ourselves Christians, we need to be literally on our knees and praying for our nation to turn to God and repent from the sins of our nation. We need to come together as one people, one nation, under God, unified! But I am afraid that our nation has slid so far backwards and have kicked God out that it is almost too late! How much more hatred and sin can mankind do to each other and continue to curse God’s name before God says enough is enough and severely punishes the United States? We live in the greatest nation in the world and yet we treat each other with indifference and malice.

I am calling all Christians to commit to praying for our nation, for repentance and revival. Please pray for our leaders even if they are not in your preferred party. The Bible calls us to pray for leaders. See 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Photo Credit: Department of Justice

Copyright © July 28, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Has God Removed His Hand of Blessing and Protection from the United States?

In the last seventeen years, our nation has instituted laws that at one time was considered defilement in the Word of God. Abortion has been on the rise like a fever pitch to where it is being funded by a godless nation. God has been removed from our nations courthouses, government buildings, and schools. What was once called sacred is now considered hate and what was once called deviant is now considered the norm. Our nation has basically spat in God’s face.

Young people in our nation do not know about the Living God because some pastors have failed to teach from the pulpit the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of political correctness, certain pastors and ministers are holding back the “True Gospel of Christ.” They are preaching to tickle the ears of their congregants, thus helping the evil one to lead them to hell. See 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Children do not respect their elders or their parents and people have no respect for any minister of the Gospel of Christ who is teaching and preaching the truth. These are signs of the last days. Please see Mark 13:3-13:

“3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

There is a consequence for this vile behavior against the Commandments of God, which all Scripture supports. Our nation has become an unrighteous nation, which was originally founded on Christian principles, has now turned her back on God’s principles. God will punish the unrighteous as foretold in the following Scripture. See Romans 1:18-32:

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

Unfortunately, the above passage from Romans 1:18-34 describes the United States today and its culture. But God still loves every one of us. That is why He sent His Son Jesus, to die for the redemption of our sin. But God also will send His wrath to punish our nation and lift His protection because of widespread disobedience and wickedness.

There is hope. Just like God called to the Israelites and gave them this proclamation found in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, “13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

If sinners will turn from their wickedness, God will heal our land. But if they do not, God will allow His wrath to be unleashed to punish our nation as well as the world. Notice in verse 13 of 2 Chronicles 7, the word pestilence. Let us define that word. Pestilence as defined as “a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating especially: bubonic plague.” What did we just experience in the last 15 months? We experienced Covid-19, a Coronavirus which was described as a plague. Many were protected from it but unfortunately, many millions died from it. I believe that God allowed it to happen because our nation as well as the world has turned their backs of the ways of God, therefore God allowed the pestilence to ravage the world.

We are also seeing horrific things happening all over the world, from mass shootings and murders to earthquakes to wars and rumors of wars. Most recently, I heard about a minister who had a dream about another minster whom he did not know, who was living a life of sin. This other minister had a girlfriend and he was also married. This minister and his girlfriend were attacked by bees, swarms of them, and those bees killed them as well as all of those who were unrighteous in the eyes of God. I took this as an indication that God may be removing His hand of protection and blessing from our nation. I believe that what we just went through is just the beginning of God’s wrath and punishment of our nation. I pray that this is not so, but let’s be honest with each other. Our nation has turned away from God, and wickedness is running rampant throughout the land.

Most recently, I was cursed out by a young person on social media because I made a comment that she did not subscribe to. In today’s culture, one cannot have an opinion or a discussion on what we believe. The unrighteous wants us to shut-up and stay silent, lest we be persecuted. This is known as the cancel culture. We are to shut up and stay silent or face persecution.

I believe that Christ Jesus is coming back soon. Does soon mean tomorrow or does it mean in 50 to 100 years? The fact is that no one knows the day that Jesus will return, not even the angels. See Mark 13:32-37, “32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

I believe that His return is imminent. But even though time is still short, people still have a chance to come to Him. If you do not know the Living Savior, Jesus, please consider reading the following Scriptures describing who He is and why He came. Then pray and ask Him into your life. Once you die, it is too late for salvation and forgiveness.

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this simple prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

Once you have prayed, please seek to attend a Bible believing church. What this means is that they teach from the Bible. They are excited about sharing their faith with others. Go to church and get discipled in how to live your life daily. The Bible says that we are not to forsake the assembly meaning that we are to attend church so that we may encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25). The Bible also says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Also, please buy or obtain a Holy Bible. I enjoy reading a Bible that has a translation called the English Standard Version. Consider getting one with a concordance which will help you understand some of the Scriptures meaning. I pray that you will come to know the saving grace of Jesus. He is the only one you can turn to in these dark times that we face ahead. I pray that you come to Him today!

Copyright May 31, 2021. Joseph T. Lee, Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Blood Moon: Are You Ready for Christ Jesus Return?

Acts 2:17-21

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above. And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’”

Most recently, someone had made a TikTok about the End of the Age. I posted on his video, “Come Lord Jesus. Come quickly!” Another person who proclaimed to be a Christian, a “true follower of Christ” posted a response to my post. He said, “I don’t want Jesus to come back yet because I have so much life to live and want a family!” I thought to myself, “Wow!” This man would rather live a life on earth than to be taken up in the Rapture and to live with Jesus for eternity in a glorious place! A place where we will never die and that we will be with the Father and with Christ Jesus.

Can you imagine that this man would rather live a life of trials and tribulations on earth as opposed to be taken up in the Rapture and be with Jesus for eternity? I can certainly understand that people do not want to die, but being taken up into the clouds when Christ returns is what I would think most Christians would want to experience.

Look at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

When people are asleep, that means they have died and are already in their graves. But when Christ Jesus comes again, the dead will rise first to meet Jesus in the air. Then those remaining on earth shall rise into the air and will be with Jesus forever. That is a lot better than staying on this sin filled earth. After the Rapture, those left behind will face horrible persecution and turmoil.

If you do not want to be left behind, then read these Scriptures and pray this simple prayer. Believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God.

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this simple prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

Photo Credit – Blood Moon: Anita Girardi Goode

Copyright May 26, 2021. Joseph T. Lee. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Where Do You Stand on Racism?

Were you aware that a wrong doesn’t make a right? Just within the past few days, a young black man in South Carolina was assaulted by a white Army Sgt. while the black man was walking in his neighborhood. On this particular day, he was just walking through. It is reported on two previous occasions, this young man touched a neighbor and picked up a child. Now I do not know if these previous accusations are true or not, but as my Mother always told me as a child, a wrong doesn’t make a right.

If the neighbors had issue with this young man, they should have called the police to come deal with him. Unfortunately, the Army Sgt took the law into his own hands and angrily ordered the young man out of his neighborhood and ultimately assaulted him by pushing him and then violently shoving him. That constituted assault in which the assault was captured on video and the Army Sgt was arrested for third degree assault.

Now people are coming to the defense of the Army Sgt stating that he had the right and he was defending people or he was defending his neighborhood. If this is true, what was the crime of the young man that day? Was it walking through the neighborhood? The young man was on a public sidewalk. What was his crime?

Regardless of what someone does to us in the past, we have many mandates (commandments) from Christ Jesus in how to live and conduct our lives. Not only are we to love God with all our hearts, soul, and minds, we are to love our neighbors as our selves. See Matthew 22:37-40.

We have other mandates as well. Jesus said that we are to forgive those who do wrong against us seventy-seven times seventy. This means that we are to forgive indefinitely regardless of what others do to us or do to others. See Matthew 18:22. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us in the 12th verse of Matthew 6, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In some translations it says trespasses. The point is that if we do not forgive, then God will not forgive us. See Matthew 6:14-15.

Many might say I do not understand their anger at another because I am not in their place. They may say I do not understand because I haven’t experienced loss of a family member murdered or an assault. Well the fact is I have experienced a murder in my family. My sweet uncle was murdered by a young Black man in North Carolina with a shot gun during a robbery. Although I have never met this young man that killed him, I can say without a shadow of any doubt of anger that I have forgiven him. I forgive that man. My mandate by Jesus is to forgive those who trespass against me and my family. I do not have prejudices against anyone of color.

In a separate incident, I was almost killed in the line of duty when I was a police officer. A black man tried to kill me and my field training officer on a traffic stop. Since that incident, I have forgiven that man.

Jesus said we are to forgive regardless. He said we are to love others regardless. Whatever the young man in South Carolina did previously did not warrant him being assaulted. I will stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves, regardless of their skin color or differences. If we want to see change in our world, it needs to start with you and me. We need to follow Jesus’ commandments.

In my opinion, the Army Sgt took the law into his own hands and assaulted that young man. He will now have to answer for his crimes against that young man. This all could have been avoided if the Sgt had called the Sheriff’s Office and allowed law enforcement to handle any issues. But the Sgt took it into his own hands and this is where he is today.

The point of this post is this. As a Christian, we should take a stand for what is right and just. It wasn’t right for the Army Sgt to do what he did to that young man. I choose to stand on Biblical principles and stand tall. Forgiveness and love is the key to changing the wicked hearts of men and women in our society today. Where will you stand?

Copyright April 16, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Forgiveness: What does the Bible say?

Have you ever written something or said something that might have offended another Christian? Well I have. I think that we all have offended someone in our past and may unfortunately offend another Christian in the future. The offense could be a number of things. It could be your opinion of a political party, candidate, or leader. It could be an opinion of where our country is going. It could be anything.

When the Christian we have offended brings it up to you in conversation, what is the Biblical mandate? What did Jesus tell us to do? When a Christian offends someone, which is not related to the Gospel of Jesus or how Christians are supposed to live their lives, if the offense is not faith based, the Christian should ask forgiveness of what was spoken or written if it caused hurt or offense towards another Believer. If the Believer states that asking forgiveness is not required, but brought it to your attention, then there is a Biblical requirement of both the offender and the one offended.

The following are a list of Scriptures mandating forgiveness.

Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Colossians 3:13, “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”

Mark 11:25, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Matthew 6:15, “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Proverbs 17:9, “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

There are many more Scriptures I can list, but will stop with these. We are to forgive those who have trespassed against us. Look at the Lord’s Prayer, which is Matthew 6: 9-13,

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Although I removed the verse numbers, in verse 12, it reads “and forgive our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.” This one verse is crucial in the mandate of forgiveness.

Last year, I had an encounter with another Christian pertaining to a music ministry. I asked an innocent question. I wasn’t aware of what was happening in that church. My question prompted the pastor to call me. We had a discussion pertaining to the question and why I had asked that? My intentions were innocent as my wife and I had been in other ministry opportunities and we did not know what was going on at that church pertaining to the leadership or the ministries. The pastor and I had a discussion and the following Sunday, because of what I understand to be Christ’s mandate for asking forgiveness, I asked the pastor to forgive me if I caused a problem or offended by asking that question. Although I did nothing wrong, my intention was to heal a relationship. The pastor’s response was “We just had to make sure.” I did not hear the words, “I forgive you!” To this day, I feel like I am unforgiven by this pastor.

I am speaking openly about this because I see this same scenario happening among Christians today. If you are a Christian, and you bring to the attention of another Christian something that person has said or written that has offended you, according to Jesus, you must forgive the person who has come to you and asked for forgiveness. If you say that is not needed, you are incorrect in your thinking. If someone says, “Please forgive me,” your response should be, “I forgive you!” By not telling the other Believer that there is no need for forgiveness, but you have accused the other Believer, and received the response you were looking for, and yet you have not verbally acknowledged that you have forgiven the other person, then you have left that person unforgiven. Jesus said we are to “forgive seventy times seven,” which means indefinitely.  

As for the prior pastor, I have chosen to forgive him even though I did not hear the words, “I forgive you.” I did what I felt was mandated by Christ and now I must move on.

To reemphasize, if someone has offended you and you bring it to his or her attention, if the offender has asked forgiveness and attempted to make it right, your requirement is to forgive them. And how will the other person know that you have forgiven them? It is through these three simple words, “I forgive you!”

I pray today if someone has hurt you, that you will go to them, make it right, and tell them, “I forgive you!” Even if the other person does not apologize or ask for forgiveness, we are to forgive. But if that person does ask forgiveness, then you should tell them that they are forgiven. If you have truly forgiven them, then do not bring up that offense again. Move on and pray that God will heal that relationship. Continue to give all hurts and offenses to God. Pray that Jesus will change hearts and also change yours.

Copyright © April 11, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Days Before Jesus Arrest

On Monday, a day after Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple. According to Luke 20: 1-8, the chief priests and scribes with the elders came up to Him and said to Him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” The religious leaders discussed it and it was decided that if they said from heaven, then why didn’t they believe John? If they said from man, all the people would stone us to death because they thought John was a prophet. So the religious leaders took the easy way out and said that they did not know. Then Jesus replied to them and said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Jesus continued to do His ministry freely, but the religious leaders were plotting against Him until they could have him arrested and put to death. Jesus came into this world to be the Savior of the world, and not to condemn it. He chose to help the lowly, those who were wrapped in sin, poor people, prostitutes, tax collectors, and those who were not worthy according to the religious leaders to enter the Temple. These people were wrapped in a sinful nature and yet Jesus was sent by our Heavenly Father to take the wrath of the many years of rebellious sin upon His back, to redeem God’s chosen people for thousands of years of sin and rebellion.

Although Jesus was God’s one and only Son, he was also part man. He felt pain and could become weary in His life because of adversity and strain. This coming week, He would surely experience the weight of the world and God’s wrath upon His shoulders. He knew what was coming up later in the week, and yet He continued to teach and try to convert the people to believe and to turn from their wicked sins, and go and sin no more.

Jesus went on during that week to teach the people about how to live a godly life. All the while He was trying to change lives and win people back to God. The scribes, chief priests, sought to lay hands on Him. They challenged Him every step of the way and yet could not catch Him in error.

Isn’t that they way it is today, where the unsaved and the wicked tries to find fault with Christianity as well as Followers of Christ. They look for anything and everything that a Believer may do that would be construed as a mistake or error. Then they throw fault at that person.

Here is the thing. We all sin and we all fall very short of God’s glory. But I am telling you, there is hope in Jesus Christ and His Ways. His plan of salvation will never fail you. I pray this week will be the week that you will truly make a decision to follow Jesus. The plan is simple. The transformation is eternal.

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

Photo Credit: The Passion of the Christ Film

Copyright March 29, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Unpardonable Sin Explained

First, let us read Luke 12:8-10, “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

According to RC Sproul, “Frequently the unforgivable sin is identified with persistent and final unbelief in Christ. Since death brings the end of a person’s opportunity to repent of sin and embrace Christ, the finality of unbelief brings the consequence of the termination of hope of forgiveness.”

”Sproul also wrote, “Blasphemy is something one does with the mouth or the pen. It involves words. … When Jesus warned of the unforgivable sin, it was in the context of His accusers declaring that He was in a league with Satan. His warning was sober and frightening. Yet, on the cross Jesus prayed for forgiveness of those who blasphemed against Him on the grounds of their ignorance. ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’” – Luke 23:34

Sproul also wrote, “But if people are enlightened by the Holy Spirit to the degree that they know that Jesus is the Christ, and then they accuse Him of being satanic, they have committed a sin for which there is no pardon.”

Sproul’s last statement is very sobering. I would wonder though if one truly came to Christ, then they would surely never leave Him or call Him satanic. I would say that they never knew Jesus as Savior. But if they truly did know Him and then called Him satanic, then for that sin, there is no pardon in this life or the next. If that person truly knew Jesus as their Lord & Savior, and they committed this sin, they have lost all hopes of Heaven and are doomed to Hell fire in the next life.

Christians have the choice of free will and left to their own devices, they could possible commit the unpardonable sin. But God who has called His “Elect” would most likely restrain His “Elect” from ever committing such a grave sin that would cause one to lose their salvation permanently. Many Christians may feel they have committed this sin, but most likely they have not. Those who would commit a sin such as this, their hearts are most likely hardened to the point that they feel no remorse for it.

Sproul ends his commentary with this. “Though the occult and Satanism provide a context of perilous danger for the commission of the unpardonable sin, if radical blasphemy occurs here it may still be forgiven because it is committed in ignorance by those unenlightened by the Holy Spirit.”

There have been many Christians who have asked about the unpardonable sin. This was the best answer to their questions using a well renowned theologian and minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our hope to bring answers to your questions on a regular basis so that it will help strengthen your walk with Christ.

References:

RC Sproul, General Editor, The Reformation Study Bible (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2015) 1739.

Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc.; Copyright © March 7, 2021.

Living Water

I have many favorite Bible stories taken from the Word of God. One of my favorite is that of John 4:1-45. In this story, Jesus and His disciples were traveling and they took a short cut through Samaria to get to Galilee. You see, back in that day, Jews and Samaritans were not fond of each other. As a matter of fact, the Jews would cross the Jordan twice to avoid going through Samaria.  Jesus did not follow this practice and He led His disciples into Samaria, near the town of Sychar, in a field of where Jacob had given his son, Joseph. In that field was a well called Jacob’s Well. Jesus was so wearied from His travels that He sat down at the well.

Let us look at the text from John 4:1-6, “Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. (The sixth hour was noon and in the heat of the day.)

So, Jesus is sitting there and along comes a Samaritan woman to draw water for her household. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples were not there as they had gone into a nearby town to purchase food for them and for the journey. The woman asked Jesus why He had asked her for a drink since the Jews and Samaritan’s had no dealings together. As a matter of fact, Jews despised Samaritans. Jesus asked her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is asking you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you the Living Water.” The woman still did not understand as her response was that He did not have anything to draw water from the well because of how deep it is. Where do you get that Living Water?

See John 4:7-15, “A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Now look at verse 13, Jesus said “Everyone who drinks of this water (Jacob’s Well) will be thirsty again.” The water that Jesus was talking about is from Jesus and will provide a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Then the woman asked Jesus to give her the living water so that she does not have to come to the well anymore.

Then Jesus makes an astounding proclamation to her. See John 4:16-26; “16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

When Jesus told her to go and call her husband, He already knew that she did not have a husband but have had five husbands and that the man that she was with now was not her husband. With that, she perceives that He is a prophet. Jesus gives her an invitation to believe in Him when He tells her that the hour is coming that neither this mountain nor Jerusalem will be the places to worship the Father. He told her that she worships what she does not know but true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The time “is now here” because Jesus is present and has begun the work leading to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Jesus has opened an invitation for her to believe in Him and accept Him as the one and true Messiah.

Meanwhile, the disciples came back and saw that Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman. Then the woman quickly went back to her town and started to tell everyone “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” The Word said that they “marveled” at the fact He was talking with her. See John 4:27-30, “27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.”

After the woman left, Jesus’ disciples urged Him to eat, but Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” Jesus goes on to explain that although harvest is four months away, the harvest of men’s souls is ripe and the fields of hearts changing are ready to harvest right now.

See John 4:31-38, “31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

In the final passages of John 4:39-45, it is learned that the Samaritans of the town believed the woman’s testimony. I can imagine that they came running as fast as they could across the fields to see the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus while He was at that town. They were so hungry for the “truth” that they asked Jesus to stay with them. Jesus stayed for two whole days, teaching and converting Samaritan’s to follow the God of Israel who will be the God of the world. When Jesus departed after two days, He went to Galilee where the Jews who were at the feast welcomed Him with hugs and open arms. The Galileans had seen all He had done in Jerusalem.

John 4:39-45, “39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” 43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.”

Jesus is no longer just the Savior and Messiah of Israel, but He is the Savior and Messiah of the entire world. He was well received by a hated class of people as their hearts were hungry for the “truth” of our Heavenly Father. They believed in Him.

Jesus came into the world to save it and not condemn it. See John 3:16-17.

Do you want to know Jesus? Do you want to drink the living water which only through Jesus can you obtain through belief and forgiveness?

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

Copyright February 25, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

For God So Loved the World

Today, we are going to study John 3:16-21. Although the most famous and proclaimed salvation Scripture used throughout history has been John 3:16, there is more to this story of belief and faith. Read through these Scriptures with me.

John 3:16-21, “16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Looking at my commentary pertaining to verse 16, RC Sproul wrote, “Some have insisted that God send Jesus to die in order to make salvation possible for everyone without exception. However, Jesus makes clear the salvation of those whom the Father gives Him is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty. All those whom God has chosen will come to Christ, who has laid down His life only for His sheep and not for those who have not been chosen from the foundation of the world. See John 6:37-40; John 10:14-18; and John 17:9. The point made by “the world” is that Christ’s saving work is not limited to one time or place or people (the Jews), but applies to the elect from all over the world no matter the era in which they live or their ethnicity. Moreover, in John, “the world” often opposes God (See John 1:10; 7:7; 14:17; 15:18-19), so the wonder of God’s love is displayed in the unworthiness of its object. Those who do not receive the remedy God has provided in Christ will perish. It remains true that anyone who believes in Christ will not die (be separated from God) but live in God’s presence forever.”[1]

In verse 17, Jesus will not judge the world because that time has not yet come. There will be judgement on the last day, but that has not occurred yet. The world was and is already in a threatened state of judgement before He came into the world. With Jesus’ coming, salvation becomes a reality to a hostile world.

Moving on to verse 18, Sproul wrote, “Unbelief is not the only basis for condemnation, but constitutes the climax of rebellion by resisting even God’s gracious offer of salvation in Christ. Jesus comes into a world that is already condemned because of its rejection of God’s self-revelation. (See Romans 1:18-32); and apart from the faith that unites one to Christ, individuals remain under condemnation for their sins (See John 3:36).”[2]

In verse 19, people loved the darkness more than they loved the light. It is shocking to realize that people even in today’s society would rather love and live in an abomination of sin against God as opposed to loving the light of God and of His Son Jesus. Jesus gave the reason for the worlds rejection of Him. The people loved the wickedness of the world more and as they came to the light; their wickedness would be exposed. The wicked hates exposure to their sin and they also hate the one who gives light which is Jesus, the one true Son of God.

In the last verse, whoever does what is true comes to the light. Jesus speaks of doing “truth.” Truth is a matter of both thought and practice. Living by the truth is contrasted with doing what is wicked (See v.20). “But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Where are you in your belief in God? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came into the world to save the world but not condemn it? Jesus is calling you to come to Him. He wants a personal relationship with you. If you do not know him, won’t you pray this simple prayer? But before we pray, please read through these faith Scriptures:

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

References:


[1] Sproul, RC; General Editor, The Reformation Study Bible (Reformation Trust: Orlando, FL, 2015), 1858.

[2] Reformation Study Bible, 1858.

Copyright February 23, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.