What does it mean to give my life to Christ Jesus???

What a wonderful question and I am so happy you are interested in giving your life to Christ. It’s not an easy decision but it’s the best life you can have and the greatest life changing decision you will ever make.

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Jesus took all of our sins with Him to the cross. When He died, He took all of our sins, past, present, and future, with Him. Then when He rose from the dead, He showed that He conquered death, and that we too can have have an eternal life with Him.

So, when you give your life to Christ by repenting of your sins, accepting Jesus as your lord and savior, and inviting Him into your heart, you are freed from an eternity separated from God (who cannot be with sin) and instead are granted salvation and eternal life. You are saved.

While still on earth, you will see that He will slowly, over time, transform you into His likeness. Things that used to seem important to you, earthly things, will no longer dictate how you live. You will have immense joy and a burning desire to live a life worthy of His praise. It is an amazing and indescribable feeling but one you will want to share with everyone you know.

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Isn’t that great news! If you are looking to take this step, I would recommend finding a local fellowship or community type Christian church and talking to one of the pastors. If you need help finding one, you can contact anyone at The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation on google+ or facebook, where a friendly person will help point you in the right direction.

https://plus.google.com/communities/101417819153430644768

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1836724716593323/

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The Salvation Prayer.

You give your life to Christ by confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he died and rose again. Here’s how you do it, just say these words out loud.

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.

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Welcome to the Christian family brother or sister and may God truly bless you, now and always.

Does God Control “Random” Events?

What about seemingly random events? Does God control them?

THE FLIGHT OF AN ARROW

First Kings 22 contains a striking case. Micaiah, speaking as a prophet of the Lord, predicts that Ahab, the king of Israel, will fall in battle at Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22:20–22). Ahab disguises himself in battle to avoid being a special target for enemy attack (v. 30). But God’s plan cannot be thwarted. The narrative describes the crucial event:

But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he [the king] said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” (v. 34)

“A certain man drew his bow at random.” That is, he was not aiming at any particular target. An alternative translation would be that he drew his bow “in his innocence” (ESV marginal reading). The alternative translation might mean that the man shot at Ahab, but he did not know who it was (he was “innocent” of knowing it was the king). Whichever interpretation we take of this detail, we should notice that the arrow struck in just the right place. Ahab was dressed in armor. If the arrow had struck Ahab’s breastplate, it might have simply bounced off. If it had struck his scale armor, it would not have wounded him. But there happened to be a small space between the scale armor and the breastplate. Perhaps for just a moment Ahab turned or bent in such a way that a thin opening appeared. The arrow went right in, exactly in the right spot. It wounded him fatally. He died the same day (1 Kings 22:35), just as God had said.

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God showed that day that he was in charge of seemingly random events. He controlled when the man drew his bow. He controlled the direction of his aim. He controlled the moment the arrow was released. He controlled the flight of the arrow. He controlled the way Ahab’s armor was put on earlier in the day, and the position that Ahab took as the arrow came nearer. He controlled the arrow as it struck in just the right spot and went in deep enough to produce fatal damage to organs. He brought Ahab to his death.

Lest we feel too sorry for Ahab, we should remind ourselves that he was a wicked king (1 Kings 21:25–26). Moreover, by going into battle he directly disobeyed the warning that Micaiah the prophet gave in God’s name. It was an act of arrogance and disobedience to God. God, who is a God of justice, executed righteous judgment on Ahab. From this judgment we should learn to revere God and honor him.

Ahab’s death was an event of special significance. It had been prophesied beforehand, and Ahab himself was a special person. He was the king of Israel, a prominent leader, a key person in connection with the history of God’s people in the northern kingdom of Israel. But the event illustrates a general principle: God controls seemingly random events. A single outstanding event, like the arrow flying toward Ahab, has not been narrated as an exception but rather as a particularly weighty instance of the general principle, which the Bible articulates in passages where it teaches God’s universal control.

COINCIDENCES

We can find other events in the Bible where the outcome depends on an apparent coincidence or happenstance.

In Genesis 24, Rebekah, who belonged to the clan of Abraham’s relatives, happened to come out to the well just after Abraham’s servant arrived. The servant was praying and waiting, looking for a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac (Gen. 24:15). The fact that Rebekah came out at just the right time was clearly God’s answer to the servant’s prayer. Rebekah later married Isaac and bore Jacob, an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Years later Rachel, who belonged to the same clan, happened to come out to a well just after Jacob arrived (Gen. 29:6). Jacob met her, fell in love with her, and married her. She became the mother of Joseph, whom God later raised up to preserve the whole family of Jacob during a seven-year famine (Genesis 41–46). When God provided Rachel for Jacob, he was fulfilling his promise that he would take care of Jacob and bring him back to Canaan (28:15). Moreover, he was fulfilling his long-range promise that he would bless the descendants of Abraham (vv. 13–14).

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Daniel in the Lion’s Den Daniel 6:19-20

In the life of Joseph, after Joseph’s brothers had thrown him into a pit, a caravan of Ishmaelites happened to go by, traveling on their way to Egypt (Gen. 37:25). The brothers sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites. They in turn happened to sell Joseph to Potiphar, “an officer of Pharaoh” (v. 36). Joseph’s experiences were grim, but they were moving him toward the new position that he would eventually assume in Egypt.

False accusation by the wife of Potiphar led to Joseph being thrown into prison (Gen. 39:20). Pharaoh happened to get angry with his chief cupbearer and his chief baker, and they happened to get thrown into the prison where Joseph now had a position of responsibility (40:1–4). While they were lying in prison, both the cupbearer and the baker happenedto have special dreams. Joseph’s interpretation of their dreams led to his later opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams (Genesis 41). These events led to the fulfillment of the earlier prophetic dreams that God had given to Joseph in his youth (37:5–1042:9).

After Moses was born, his mother put him in a basket made of bulrushes and placed it among the reeds by the Nile. The daughter of Pharaoh happened to come down to the river and happened to notice it. When she opened it, the baby happened to cry. The daughter of Pharaoh took pity and adopted Moses as her own son (Ex. 2:3–10). As a result, Moses was protected from the death sentence on Hebrew male children (1:16, 22), and he “was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). So God worked out his plan, according to which Moses would eventually deliver the Israelites from Egypt.

Joshua sent two spies to Jericho. Out of all the possibilities, they happened to go to the house of Rahab the prostitute (Josh. 2:1). Rahab hid the spies and made an agreement with them (vv. 4, 12–14). Consequently, she and her relatives were preserved when the city of Jericho was destroyed (6:17, 25). Rahab then became an ancestor of Jesus (Matt. 1:5).

Ruth “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz” (Ruth 2:3). Boaz noticed Ruth, and then a series of events led to Boaz marrying Ruth, who became an ancestor of Jesus (Ruth 4:21–22Matt. 1:5).

During the life of David, we read the following account of what happened in the wilderness of Maon:

As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.” So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. (1 Sam. 23:26–28)

David narrowly escaped being killed, because the Philistines happened to conduct a raid at a particular time, and the messenger happened to reach Saul when he did. If nothing had happened to interfere with Saul’s pursuit, he might have succeeded in killing David. The death of David would have cut off the line of descendants leading to Jesus (Matt. 1:1, 6).

When Absalom engineered his revolt against David’s rule, a messenger happened to come to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom” (2 Sam. 15:13). David immediately fled Jerusalem, where otherwise he would have been killed. During David’s flight, Hushai the Archite happened to come to meet him, “with his coat torn and dirt on his head” (v. 32). David told Hushai to go back to Jerusalem, pretend to support Absalom, and defeat the counsel of Ahithophel (v. 34). As a result, Hushai was able to persuade Absalom not to follow Ahithophel’s counsel for battle, and Absalom died in the battle that eventually took place (18:14–15). Thus, happenstances contributed to David’s survival.

When Ben-hadad the king of Syria was besieging Samaria, the city was starving. Elisha predicted that the next day the city of Samaria would have flour and barley (2 Kings 7:1). The captain standing by expressed disbelief, and then Elisha predicted that he would “see it… but… not eat of it” (v. 2). The next day the captain happened to be trampled by the people who were rushing out the gate toward the food (v. 17). “He died, as the man of God had said” (v. 17), seeing the food but not living to partake of it. His death was a fulfillment of God’s prophecy.

When Athaliah was about to usurp the throne of Judah, she undertook to destroy all the descendants in the Davidic family. Jehosheba happened to be there, and she took Joash the son of Ahaziah and hid him away (2 Kings 11:2). So the line of the Davidic family was preserved, which had to be the case if the Messiah was to come from the line of David, as God had promised. Joash was an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

During the reign of king Josiah, the priests happened to find the Book of the Law as they were repairing the temple precincts (2 Kings 22:8). Josiah had it read to him, and so he was energized to inaugurate a spiritual reform.

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The story of Esther contains further happenstances. Esther happened to be among the young women taken into the king’s palace (Est. 2:8). She happened to be chosen to be the new queen (v. 17). Mordecai happened to find out about Bigthan and Teresh’s plot against the king (v. 22), and Mordecai’s name then happenedto be included in the king’s chronicles (v. 23). The night before Haman planned to hang Mordecai, the king happened not to be able to sleep (6:1). He asked for an assistant to read from the chronicles, and he happened to read the part where Mordecai had uncovered the plot against the king (vv. 1–2). Haman happenedto be entering the king’s court at just that moment (v. 4). A whole series of happenstances worked together to lead to Haman’s being hanged, the Jews being rescued, and Mordecai being honoured.

Blessing.

Have a great day Brothers and Sisters of the CJCN, The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Today, we are asking you to donate $50 cents to our church and our worthy causes…………

May God bless you all and ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’, Amen.

Please look at the DONATIONS page if it be on your heart to make a donation to the lords work in this place. Thank you.

Another great question…… Can We Still Believe in Life After Death?

An answer by Pastor Don Roy Hemingway….

Wow, what a great question and I think we must be very careful how it is answered. Let’s take a look at some evidence of life after death, as presented by Jesus himself.

Tell me, have you ever met a Sadducee? Don’t bother to answer by e mail, I already know the answer and to your answer I say, Me neither!

That’s not surprising considering that the last one died 2,000 years ago. And even back then, there were never very many of them. It was always a very select group, like a club for the very wealthy. If you lived in Jericho, you were much more likely to run into a Pharisee than a Sadducee. They were a very select group with some very strange views.

And that’s part of what makes this story so interesting. It starts with a weird question and ends with a very surprising answer. If we just skim it on the surface, we might assume that it has nothing to say to us in the 21st-century. But we would be wrong about that.

This story presents us with an issue of profound importance. Can we still believe in life after death?

*The Sadducees said no.
*Jesus said yes.

CBS News poll revealed that 78% of Americans believe in life after death.

The most religiously observant Americans are most likely to say there is an afterlife: about nine in 10 of those who attend religious services weekly or almost every week believe in it. This view is shared by seven in 10 of those who rarely or never attend services. Americans of all age groups believe in an afterlife. So do most men and most women.

The poll went a step further and asked if science will ever be able to prove there is life after death. Here the response was even more overwhelming. 8% said yes while 87% said no. That leaves us in a fascinating place.

*Most people believe in life after death.
*Most people believe it will never be proven by science.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of this question. If there is no life after death . . .

*Death really is the end.
*There is no heaven or hell.
*There is no reward or punishment.
*There is no resurrection of the dead.
*There is no purpose to history.

And if there is no life after death, then those of us who believe in Jesus have been profoundly deceived. We are, to borrow a phrase from the Apostle Paul, of all men most to be pitied. If there is no life after death, then we have believed a fairy tale, a nice story that has no real meaning. If there is no life after death, why pray? Why believe? Why live for Jesus? Sometimes I hear well-meaning Christians say, “Even if it’s not true, Christianity is still the best way to live.” Count me out. If it’s not true, then I want no part of it. I know some people say that Christ is so wonderful that even without heaven, it’s good to be a Christian. Listen, if this life is all there is, then what we call “Christ” is just a figment of our collective Christian  imagination. To borrow some words from Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

So is there life after death? Thousands of years ago Job raised the same question. “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14). That is the question, isn’t it? We all die, but what then?

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
Is that all there is?

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And that brings us to our text, an encounter that took place two or three days before Jesus was crucified. It was around the weekend and just before the onset of the national shabbat of passover, in the time we now often refer to as Passion Week. Jesus has come to Jerusalem for the final time, he knows only too well the fate that awaits Him. Pilgrims crowd the city in anticipation of Passover. Because of his rising popularity with the people, the Jewish leaders have already decided to find a way to put Jesus to death. Knowing that his time is short, Jesus takes every opportunity to confront evil and to present himself to the people so they can decide whether or not to follow him. Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to listen as he debates the religious leaders of that day. Mostly he deals with the Pharisees who were the largest religious group in Judaism.

But on one occasion he faced off against the Sadducees who were very much unlike the Pharisees. Luke 20:27-40 tells us what happened when they came to him with an absurd question about a woman with seven husbands. From Jesus’ answer we learn a great deal about life after death.

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I. The Sadducees’ Insincere Question   

In order to get a handle on the strange question they asked, we need to know something about the Sadducees. They were not the Pharisees. In fact, the Sadducees and the Pharisees were two different groups of Jewish leaders who had no use for each other. The Sadducees came from a small group of aristocratic families that represented the “old money” of the Jewish nation. As such, they tended to congregate around the temple in Jerusalem. You could find the Sadducees in the priesthood and in the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. Because they were sticklers for law and order, the common people didn’t like them. And because they collaborated with Rome, they had power and influence.

When you think of the Sadducees, you need to know what they didn’t believe.

They didn’t believe in angels.
They didn’t believe in heaven or hell.
They didn’t believe in life after death.
They didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead.
They didn’t believe in the immortality of the soul.

The Pharisees believed in all those things, which was a major reason why the two groups didn’t get along. In 21st-century terms, the Sadducees would be like today’s religious liberals who don’t believe in the supernatural. It was a rich man’s religion that offered power with no accountability to God. You live, you die, and that’s it.

Jesus was a direct threat to all they believed.

This passage is notable because it records their only direct run-in with Jesus. By definition a Sadducee couldn’t become a follower of Jesus without giving up what he believed. So that’s why they came with a question that seemed absurd in that day and sounds ridiculous in our day.

“Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” (vv. 28-33).

This is not a sincere question. It’s obviously a made-up situation designed to trap the Lord and discredit him in front of the crowds that followed him during his final days in Jerusalem. The Sadducees intended to ridicule the doctrine of the resurrection. They often used questions like this to tie the Pharisees in knots.

In order to understand the question, we need to go back to Deuteronomy 25:5-10 which describes the law of levirate marriage. Because of the importance of preserving the family name, the law provided for the brother of a man who died childless to marry the widow and have children in the name of the deceased brother. It was a sacred obligation.

So the question is, after she marries seven brothers, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? In her case, Jesus’ answer was reassuring. Besides saying in essence, “That’s a stupid question,” Jesus says there is no marriage in the resurrection. She was probably happy about that. Seven husbands is plenty-and probably a few too many. The good news is, she won’t be married to seven men at the same time. The Sadducees framed the question precisely so we would laugh about it.

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“Maybe she’ll be married to the first one.”
“Or the last one.
“Or the best-looking one.”
“Or the one with the most money.”

You could imagine the snickers in the crowd. The point is, you can’t say for sure whose wife she will be. The Sadducees used questions like this to show what they considered to be the absurdity of believing in life after death.

But behind the question lay an important (and wrong) assumption that the afterlife is only a continuation of this life. People often wrongly assume that eternity is nothing but the extrapolation of time into the future. They think the conditions in the age to come are the same as the conditions here. But that is not the case. In this life things are so messed up that we can’t imagine how God can straighten them out. But as someone said, “God has an eternity to make right what has gone wrong in this life.”

So the question, though insincere, does raise some important issues regarding what heaven will be like. And the answer is, it won’t be exactly the same as life on earth.

That’s good news-even if we don’t totally understand it all

Four Ways in which God Leads His People.

By Pastor John Piper.

I see at least four methods that God uses to leads us in his will. I put them in four “D’s” to help me remember them.

1) Decree: God sovereignly decrees and designs circumstances so that we end up where he wants us to be even if we don’t have any conscious part in getting there. For example, Paul and Silas found themselves in jail, and the result was the salvation of the jailer and his household (Acts 16:24-34). This was God’s plan, but not Paul’s. God does this often—putting us in places that we did not plan or decide to be. This is the leading of decree. It is unique above the other three leadings because it includes them (since God’s decrees include all our decisions) and because it happens infallibly (since “no purpose of [God’s] can be thwarted,” Job 42:2). The other three leadings of God involve our being consciously led.

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2) Direction: This is simply what God does for us by giving us the commands and teachings of the Bible. They direct us specifically what to do and what not to do. The Ten Commandments are one example. Don’t steal. Don’t kill. Don’t lie. Or the Sermon on the Mount: Love your enemies. Or the Epistles: Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Put on humility. This is the leading of direction. God reveals his directions in the Bible.

3) Discernment: Most of the decisions we make are not spelled out specifically in the Bible. Discernment is how we follow God’s leading through the process of spiritually sensitive application of biblical truth to the particularities of our situation. Romans 12:2 describes this: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” In this case God does not declare a specific word about what to do. But his Spirit shapes the mind and heart through the word and prayer so that we have inclinations toward what would be most glorifying to him and helpful to others.

4) Declaration: This is the least common means of God’s leading. He simply declares to us what we should do. For example, according to Acts 8:26, “An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.’” And according to Acts 8:29, “The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.’”

Notice three implications. First, we should always rest in the decrees of God. They will always be for our good if we love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This should remove worry from our lives and put us at peace as we seek the “directed,” “discerned” and “declared” leading of the Lord.

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Second, there is the implication that God’s leading of decree may bring about acts that are contrary to his leading of directiondiscernment or declaration. In other words, he may direct, “You shall not kill,” but decree the murderous death of his Son (Acts 4:28). There are mysteries here, but it is manifest in dozens of places in the Bible that God wills that some things come to pass which he forbids in his word.

Finally, our confidence that we are tracking accurately with God in each of these leadings increases as we move from the bottom to the top of this list. Subjectively perceived declarations from God are the least common and most easily abused of all the ways God leads. Our confidence that we have known the will of God in this method will not be as great as in the other methods which relate directly to God’s written word. Discerning what to do on the basis of biblical principle when we do not have a specific command for our exact decision will yield less confidence than when we have an explicit direction in the Bible. And the truth that God is sovereign and guides all things is the rock bottom confidence under all others. It is a good place to rest.

Blessing.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

May God bless you all and ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’, Amen.

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