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April 2018

 
 

paSTOR`S PAGE

April 2018

 

April 1

 

     Like all other miracles, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus shocks and is inexplicable. The practical part of the resurrection of the Lord is in the fact that the saints will be resurrected in the same miraculous way and people’s perception of this event that will happen soon will be equally shocking. In fact, the shock that people will experience is not just the reaction to the supernatural as much as it is a reaction of unbelief.
His resurrection gives us a new and glorious perspective on life, death, and eternity, proclaiming final and total victory over the devil, over death, and over sin. The resurrection is God’s confirmation in regards to the plan of salvation realized in Christ. The message of the resurrection is majestic, motivating, and hopeful:
     1. It confirms the sovereignty of God – “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24). God is the only person in the universe who does whatever He wants and whatever is needed, both being actually one and the same thing.
     2. It confirms the authenticity of the Bible. “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Hundreds of years prior, the Bible prophesied about the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Savior. In an uncertain world, the Bible is the only Book in which you can have complete trust. If even once the Bible had said something that was not fulfilled, people would have lost their faith in it.
     3. It confirms the salvation of mankind – “… Jesus Christ, our Lord, was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). People are justified in the face of divine righteousness because of atonement achieved through the death and resurrection of Christ. “Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
     4. It confirms the sanctification of believers – “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 8:34).
     5. It confirms the calling of believers to the ministry of God – “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead” (Galatians 1:1). The dedication for God and for other people is possible in the name and through the power of Christ who was resurrected from the dead.
     6. It confirms the return of the Lord and the rapture of the Church – “… and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The saints wait for the resurrected King, He will resurrect them and will move them to heaven.
     7. It confirms the righteousness of God – “For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). The judgement of unbelievers is fully justified because God also judged Christ when He assumed the sins of men. The method was the cross, the goal was salvation, the proof was the resurrection, and we were the reason.
Christ’s resurrection confirms, promises, guarantees, and fulfills.
CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

   

April 8

 

     The South Kingdom had glorious and decline periods for about two hundred years, depending on the person on the throne. This is how the reigns of Athaliah, Ahaz, Amaziah, and Manasseh were a misfortune for the country, promoting idolatry. On the other hand, the reigns of Joas, Hosea and Hezekiah led to spiritual awakening and national reform. The young King Amon, the fifteenth king of the South Kingdom, is presented by the Bible as an evil king, not interested in holy things, but, on the contrary, preoccupied with pagan religions and idolatry. Although he was the grandson of Hezekiah, one of the most righteous kings of Judah, Amon made history as one of the most idolatrous kings. The example of this king is a painful lesson for the children's education and psychology.
      1. His father's negative testimony irreversibly influenced Amon. Manasseh was a bad king, but in his last years he repented, radically and positively changing his life. His son, Amon, was heavily influenced in his childhood by the negative example of his father, Manasseh: "He (Amon) did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did his father, Manasseh. He offered sacrifices to all the carved images that his father Manasseh had made and worshipped them" (2 Chronicles 33:22a). Manasseh never thought that, while he was passionately building idols, they would become the way the Devil entered into the heart of his child forever.What parents do will forever mark the character and destiny of their children. Manasseh's obsession with pagan religions was transferred upon his son, Amon, and became the religion of this child for the rest of his life.
     2. His father's positive change did not influence Amon. Amon was influenced in his childhood by the negative example of his father, thus acquiring a pagan, idolatrous and unscrupulous character. When Amon became an adult, his father, Manasseh, repented, but the positive change in Manasseh's life failed to also change his son. Amon remained with his father's initial lifestyle, unable to follow the example of repentance: "And (Ammon) did not humble himself before the Lord, as his father Manasseh did, but Amon became more and more guilty" (2 Chronicles 33: 22b). How frustrating it was for Manasseh to see his son enslaved by his former lifestyle, an example he gave his son in the first part of his life... The mistakes displazed by parents to their children will become their religion when they are adults. Manase repented when he became old, but his son, Amon, could not repent anymore. A father who distroyed his child by his personal example...
     Moreover, Amon became much worse than his father before God. Amon died abandoned by God, despised and murdered by his own servants, in his own house. Not only his life and his short reign, but also his death were a freat failure for Israel. Amon was killed by his father's negative example, even though he repented in the last part of his life.
     Dear parents, the sins we tolerate in our lives can kill our children, because we can never hide from them. Later, we can correct ourselves through repentance, but the personal example written on the first pages of our children's memory may influence them negatively forever. When we tolerate sin in our lives, as parents, we do not only risk our lives only, but our children`s lives as well.

 

 April 15

 

Man's life is full of crises and they are different in causes and effects. There are illness, personal, family, social, economic, material, relational, natural crises, or crises when we lose a dear one. The 10 leprous people were in a crisis. Leprosy is a very old, serious, and contagious disease. Through their example we receive a life lesson about the way we need to address the crises of life.
1. When you are in a crisis seek God: "While (Jesus) come into a village, ten lepers met Him." Why? Their crisis made them look for God. The Bible mentions that "Jesus was passing through Samaria and Galilee." Jesus is always passing by, you just have to call Him.
2. When you are in crisis pray to God. "They stood by, lifted up their voice, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." The prophet says, "You will seek me and you will find Me, if you
will seek me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13)
3. When you are in a crisis trust in God: "Have mercy on us," the lepers said, hoping that the Lord would help them. Christ gave them a Bible commandment: "Go and show yourselves to the priests." They listened to the Lord and went to see the priests. The miracle was hidden in their obedience and trust. "As they went they were cleansed."
4. When God takes you out of the crisis, thank God. "One of them, when he saw himself healed, returned, glorifying God with a loud voice... He bowed down at the feet of Jesus, and thanked Him."
5. When you come to God, seek the salvation of the soul, not just a solution to your crisis. The healed leper who returned to thank the Savior and was also saved from his sins.
     People are desperate when they get sick physically, they go to a doctor, spend their money, do everything that depends on them to regain their health. It is hard to understand that people are at peace when they are spiritually ill – the spiritual disease being sin. Physical illness affects our biological life, which is temporary, but spiritual illness affects our spiritual life, which is eternal. This logic is simple enough and is available to anyone. If we believe in
God, in the salvation of the soul and in eternal life, why are we not seeking the salvation of the soul, why are we afraid of hell? If you are now in a crisis, look for God, for He will pass by you through the message of a Christian song or the explanation in a sermon or the reading of the Bible... If God got you out of a crisis, come back to thank Him. If you thanked Him, think about the salvation of the soul, the forgiveness of the sins that make you guilty before God.
The time has come to do everything for the body and also for the soul.

 

  April 29

The Savior Jesus Christ entrusted to the Church the mission of evangelizing the world, but the Devil entrusted to the world the mission of secularizing the church. In the social and religious realms, the collision of these two missions creates conflict, the great historical conflict. In every generation this conflict gains new bearings; defeat and victory seem to move from one camp to another. In the generations of our parents and grandparents, people were simple, and often poorly educated. Still, they knew that the Devil, the world, and the worldly being are the enemies of the spiritual man, reason for which they declared war against them. This is how they came to believe that the television was a medium through which sin enters the soul and the family and they chose to reject it. The method was harsh, especially for children, but the results were holy. They had clear rules in the church, extravagance was excluded, fashion was discouraged, and God and His will for the church were more important than man and his never-ending desires. In their lives and in their services, they emphasized simplicity and holiness. In order to stay far away from the Devil and the world and in order to overcome the worldly being, they emphasized humility, the sanctification of their lives, prayer, and fasting. They prayed when they left and they prayed when they arrived home, they prayed when they met, and their services were not too long for them nor were prayer services too boring. They were very aware of the fact that the Devil uses world to secularize the church, and so they felt responsible to their given mission, and despite adversity specific to their generation, they filled the world with churches, in both Romania and the United States. Our generation tends to be all-inclusive, tolerant, rational, and sophisticated. We are tempted to perceive services as being too long and too often, and many Christians only attend one service a Sunday. These Christians have a lot of information and seemingly know everything, except that their way of life is lacking in life. Because of these precedents, our generation risks entering in the history of Romanian Evangelicalism as being the generation that wished to spend less time with God. These Christians need more entertainment, more socializing in the virtual world, but less church. Are these manifestations already evidence of the secularization of the Church? Our children and grandchildren will evaluate these decisions when they become adults, and they will grant an objective grade to the quality of our spiritual lives and our ministry. We prayed to God to give us money, houses and cars, and now maintaining these and the need to enjoy them keep us so very busy, that we don’t have time for prayer, bible study, and church. Even some of the people who serve in ministry in our church no longer are passionate about holy things, accenting the secularization of the church through their personal example. The wrongful administration of these blessings, the loss of balance in relation to material things, and the lack of personal spiritual discipline push us to repeat the dramatic history of the historical churches, which we tend to say are left only with their “forms”. The mission God has entrusted us with remains the same, regardless of what we chose to do with it. If the church of our generation will not fulfill its mission to win the world, then the world will fulfill its mission of secularizing the Church. Sooner or later, our generation will exit the scene of ministry and then the will exit life. What remains behind us, an evangelized world or a secularized church? Don’t forget, our time is short! Beyond this, all that follows is either punishment or reward!