Monday, December 28, 2009

Yahweh is Salvation

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

As Christmas day dawns, it is a good time to remind ourselves of the primary reason for the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ: the salvation of sinners. Did you know that the very name—Jesus—embodies salvation. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, Joshua, meaning “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.” Indeed, the whole of Scripture is God’s unfolding plan of salvation from the fall in Paradise recorded in Genesis to the promise of Paradise restored in Revelation.
My prayer for you this Christmas—and indeed throughout the new year—is that you may be ever mindful of the reality that God has condescended to use you as the means through which the free gift of the water of life is dispensed to a parched and thirsty world.
Are you thirsty? If so, the concluding words of the last book of the Bible have direct application to your life—“Whoever is thirsty, let him come and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17, emphasis added). In essence, there are three steps to this fountain. They are encapsulated in the words realize, repent, and receive.
First, you need to realize that you are a sinner. If you do not realize you are a sinner, you will not recognize your need for a savior. The Bible says we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Furthermore, you must repent of your sins. Repentance is an old English word that describes a willingness to turn from our sin toward Jesus Christ. It literally means a complete U-turn on the road of life—a change of heart and a change of mind. It means that you are willing to follow Jesus and to receive Him as your Savior and Lord. Jesus said, “Repent and believe the Good News” (Mark 1:15).
Finally, to demonstrate true belief means to be willing to receive. To truly receive is to trust in and depend on Jesus Christ alone to be the Lord of our lives here and now and our Savior for all eternity. It takes more than knowledge (the devil knows about Jesus and trembles). It takes more than agreement that the knowledge we have is accurate (the devil agrees that Jesus is Lord). What it takes is knowledge, agreement, and trust in Jesus Christ alone. The requirements for eternal life are not based on what you can do, but on what Jesus Christ has done. He stands ready to exchange His perfection for your imperfection.
According to Jesus Christ, those who realize they are sinners, repent of their sins, and receive Him as Savior and Lord are “born again” (John 3:3)—not physically, but spiritually. The reality of our salvation is not dependant on our feelings, but rather on the promise of the Savior who says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
If you have just confessed your faith in Jesus Christ, you can rejoice in the angelic proclamation of salvation given to the shepherds on that very first Christmas: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11). If on the other hand, you have already experienced salvation, you have the inestimable privilege of taking the message of salvation to the world.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3:16–21)

16 comments:

Boris said...

It might be easier to believe Hank Hanegraaf if one first had a frontal lobotomy.

Anonymous said...

Alright guys, Boris is probably about to really use the copy and paste feature. Remember nothing we say to him will matter. His blood is not on our hands. Only God can change him so its useless to try. He only comes here to create uproar. Ignore him. He'll say stuff about how we ignore the truth and he'll bait you into responding to him. Don't.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Every website I have examined on the Historocity of Jesus (wikipedia, religioustolerence, christianorigins's reprint of Department of New Testament
Literature and Interpretation in
the University of Chicago, etc.) have placed Boris squarely in the minority of historians and theologians. Boris knows this.

He knows he is only planting seeds of doubt, because he also knows that while our "historical Jesus" evidence relies on mostly secondhand accounts, that is actually closer in time than MOST ancient historical accounting.

Furthermore, he knows (I guess I should say some of the sources he rips off know) that the evidence of Jesus's existence THAT HAS BEEN FOUND AND EXAMINED makes the case for Jesus more likely than not (to use a legal standard of proof that won't shift no matter how much Boris claims it will).

The bottom line is, either Boris is trying to convince himself he's not wrong and is using this blog as an exercise tool, or he is trying to place seeds of doubt in our minds about something which he cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt (neither can we except through faith). Either way, we won't let him succeed and we have no way of convincing him, so why waste any more effort?

The sources he cites (sometimes) have been qualified as outliers by the mainstream historians and theologians who have dedicated their lives to this venture. The mainstream lack of consensus allows any idiot to construe the evidence in any way he wants. And many have. Boris is simply trying to bring that to the forefront on Hanks blog.

Honestly, this is the extent of defense I have for Hank. I believe Hank is sorely mistaken on many issues (mostly his position against Word of Faith teachers). But Boris is just a child clanging a symbol hoping to distract us from real discussion. We respond out of fear that if his posts go unrebutted, some wayword person will be led astray. Trust me, the Holy Ghost wouldn't allow that to happen to a convicted soul looking for answers. So, please, don't fall for Bor[e]is's trap.

Anonymous said...

TO be honest I don't even read what Boris writes. I just don't care what he thinks. He's not my judge.

Anonymous said...

"Remember nothing we say to him will matter. His blood is not on our hands. Only God can change him so its useless to try. He only comes here to create uproar. Ignore him. He'll say stuff about how we ignore the truth and he'll bait you into responding to him. Don't."

Double Amen!

Boris said...

I can’t keep tack of all the anonymous posters. Why don’t you people make up a name and stick with it so people can tell you apart?

>Amen. Every website I have examined on the Historocity of Jesus … have placed Boris squarely in the minority of historians and theologians. Boris knows this.

Boris says: This is a logical fallacy known as an appeal to authority. Interestingly when it comes to creationism and Intelligent Design magic there is even a smaller minority of scientists who accept that nonsense than do evolutionary theory. But the creationists believe every lie about science these creationist hoaxers tell. So your appeal to authority fails on at least two counts. Honest historians won’t write about Jesus because history writers need evidence on which to base their literature. Theologians don’t count. The problem is that the Christian “scholars” or theologians who claim Jesus actually existed have a vested interest in doing this and have accepted Jesus by faith which disqualifies them as impartial and or unbiased critics. They’re merely religious propagandists. Plus anyone who believes in magic and magical beings such as angles, demons or Satan has no business calling them selves a scholar. Theology isn’t even a subject anyway.

>He knows he is only planting seeds of doubt,

Boris says: He who knows most doubts most.

>because he also knows that while our "historical Jesus" evidence relies on mostly secondhand accounts, that is actually closer in time than MOST ancient historical accounting.

Boris says: That is absolutely not true. We have first hand eyewitness accounts describing many figures and events from the same era and in many cases we have their own words and they aren’t littered with tales of the supernatural and talking magical beings like angels, demons and Satan. Also we know what many people from around the first century looked like because we have sculptures and portraits of them and even their likenesses on coins. There’s never been a physical description of Jesus because the Jesus of the gospels is simply an allegory for the sun in an ancient solar myth and no physical description was necessary in the story. The original Christians knew this. The gospels are full of hidden messages these people understood but are unintelligible to the literalist mind. “My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.” – John Dominic Crossan, ‘Who Is Jesus?’

>Furthermore, he knows (I guess I should say some of the sources he rips off know) that the evidence of Jesus's existence THAT HAS BEEN FOUND AND EXAMINED makes the case for Jesus more likely than not (to use a legal standard of proof that won't shift no matter how much Boris claims it will).

Boris says: What evidence has been found exactly? You’re nuts, a liar or both. The Fraud of Turin? I want you to post right here what you call evidence that has been found and examined and tell us who found it and when.

>The bottom line is, either Boris is trying to convince himself he's not wrong and is using this blog as an exercise tool, or he is trying to place seeds of doubt in our minds about something which he cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt (neither can we except through faith).

Boris says: No, I’m here to be a pain on Hank’s blog because I’ve got big problems with Hank Hanegraaf. I don’t have a problem with most Christians just fundamentalist Christians who think the Bible should be understood literally.

Boris said...

>Either way, we won't let him succeed and we have no way of convincing him, so why waste any more effort?

Boris says: Translation: “Our minds are slammed shut because other people have convinced us that certain things are above question and to do so is sinful and deserving of punishment in hell for all eternity.” If you people had some evidence to support your claims you could convince someone of them. But you aren’t convincing me for the same reason you aren’t convincing anyone else. Instead about 5000 American Christians a day reject their faith and stop going to church. An average of 3500 American churches a year have closed their doors forever now for the past 30 years. Christianity is founded upon a mountain of lies and it cannot survive much longer into the age of information. Christianity and its churches have been trying to stop the free flow of information for 2000 years especially scientific information. But the floodgates are open and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. Silencing your critics with violence is no longer an option and since it hasn’t been we’ve seen the steady decline of Christianity. Information is your enemy and you know it too because the Bible warns you about it.

>The sources he cites (sometimes) have been qualified as outliers by the mainstream historians and theologians who have dedicated their lives to this venture. The mainstream lack of consensus allows any idiot to construe the evidence in any way he wants. And many have. Boris is simply trying to bring that to the forefront on Hanks blog.

Boris says: I have a degree from a private Christian college that says I’m as qualified as anyone to comment on any literature from the ancient Near East. That would include the Bible. I paid my dues. As I have pointed out many times historical narratives do not contain dialogs of people speaking in complete sentences. Only fictive narratives do that. The Bible is fiction. Archaeologists have dug up half of Palestine looking for evidence to support ancient plagiarized myths. There’s hardly ever been a bigger waste of time. Almost all fiction is placed is some kind of historical setting and mentions historical people and places. Pointing to these things in the Bible proves nothing especially regarding any of the absurd claims about supernatural occurrences and beings described in the text.

>Honestly, this is the extent of defense I have for Hank. I believe Hank is sorely mistaken on many issues (mostly his position against Word of Faith teachers).

Boris says: Naturally. One of the few things Hank is actually right about. I used to like Hank until he got on this big anti-science kick in the last few years. I’m a long time listener though not a regular one.

But Boris is just a child clanging a symbol hoping to distract us from real discussion. We respond out of fear that if his posts go unrebutted, some wayword person will be led astray. Trust me, the Holy Ghost wouldn't allow that to happen to a convicted soul looking for answers. So, please, don't fall for Bor[e]is's trap.

Boris says: I’ve helped many people rid themselves of Christian superstitions and they were quite thankful for it too. Contrasting that none of you people have ever had any success converting any atheists other than the small innocent children you attempt to brainwash with your fear induced delusions. “If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth.” – H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

Anonymous said...

Ummm... Boris,
Hanegraaff is with TWO F's

Boris said...

No it's ft - Handmegraft

Anonymous said...

Good job Hank, I liked this one. Keep it up!

Don said...

"I can’t keep tack of all the anonymous posters. Why don’t you people make up a name and stick with it so people can tell you apart?"

lol! That would help me too!
Don- one of the Anonymous

John said...

Boris~
Is your real name Boris or the name you use on this site?

I think I will go by, John.

James said...

And I'm going by James on here.:-)

Fortune said...

Hello fellow brother in the Lord, I listened to you many times, especially in chicago, now I live in Dallas, and try from time to time....I agree with you on all Major issues in the Scriptures...I know that you and your team are good at researching, could you tell me what you know about: Pastor General David C. Pack of the restored Church of God ??
Thanks....

Boris said...

On December 29, 2009 at 3:55 PM Anonymous boldly claimed: Furthermore, he knows (I guess I should say some of the sources he rips off know) that the evidence of Jesus's existence THAT HAS BEEN FOUND AND EXAMINED makes the case for Jesus more likely than not (to use a legal standard of proof that won't shift no matter how much Boris claims it will).

On December 30, 2009 at 12:04 AM
Boris says: What evidence has been found exactly?

The silence is deafening as it always is when a person asks for evidence that Jesus Christ actually existed.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

It does seem unlikely that an angel would have told a nice Jewish girl like Mary to name her son Jesus, when that was the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yehoshua. More likely he was named Yehoshua, and the name Jesus was substituted when Christianity began spreading to the Greek gentile communities.