« Last post by BabyShark on November 23, 2017, 09:20:12 PM »
There is ample evidence Scripturally and historically for the following:
1. Jesus did many miracles during His ministry on earth
2. Jesus was crucified and died.
3. Jesus rose from the dead.
It's plastered all over the entire Bible. His disciples witnessed His death and resurrection. They were killed for telling the truth. No one would die for something they know is false. It is not Scripturally or historically refutable that Jesus died and rose from the dead.
It is because of the hardness of sinful hearts that the truth is rejected.
Everything in Scripture needs to be understood in the light of other Scripture.
In the story of Jonah, God sends Jonah to preach against Nineveh because it was a very wicked city.
Jonah does not want to, and gets on a boat to run away from God. God wants to give His love and mercy to sinful people, but Jonah actually wants the Ninevites to be destroyed, and perhaps fears what they may do to him if he confronts them.
No one can hide from God, of course, and Jonah's escape journey is interrupted by a raging storm. Jonah admits to the others on board that this is his fault, and asks to be thrown overboard. They comply. God sends a large water creature to swallow Jonah, where he stays for 3 days and 3 nights, and prays to God, who commands the great beast to vomit him out onto dry land.
God again commands Jonah to go preach to Nineveh. The Ninevites actually believe God and repent of their evil ways. A fast is declared (everyone refrained from eating and drinking) and put on sackcloth to humble themselves before God.
When Jonah saw that God was showing mercy to these wicked people, Jonah became very angry. Jonah says this is why he ran away, because he did not want these evil people to have God's mercy, but rather to be destroyed by God's just wrath for their wickedness.
There is much foreshadowing in the Bible, pointing to Jesus.
Jonah is one of many examples.
There are almost too many to list.
Abraham being asked to kill his son Isaac to show that he loves God more than his beloved son, and passing the test of ultimate love. This is a picture of God sacrificing His beloved Son Jesus Christ for all of us. Abraham's son is spared as he holds up the knife to slay his son.
A picture is a picture that points and foreshadows, but is not exact in all aspects.
The Bible must be looked at as a whole that all fits together. Everything in Scripture is centred on Christ sacrificed for our sin and raised back to life.
Pictures to demonstrate points are very common in Scripture:
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Someone who is being just silly could say, oh see, Jesus said he was a plant. He is delusional and the Bible has a mistake in it! That's just being facetious.
It is obviously a picture to illustrate a truth, in this case, that our life comes from Christ, and without Him, we wither and die spiritually. All who are not rooted in Christ are spiritually dead and condemned by their own wickedness to spend eternity in hell, because they reject the grace and truth and salvation of God in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to repent. Now is the time to turn to the Lord on our knees and humble ourselves before a righteous and holy judge who now shows mercy through Jesus Christ. We do not even know when the time of grace will run out. All of us will one day take our last breath if Jesus does not first return in His glory to judge the world.
2 Corinthians 5:10
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
That passage in John 12 says that the word of Christ found in Scripture, when men reject it, will be the very words that judge them. So these words you are reading right now quoted from Scripture, the words of Jesus Christ, if you choose to reject them and Him, if you reject His love and grace and mercy with which He SAVED THE WORLD, these words that you rejected and refused to believe will be the words that judge you in the end, either when Jesus comes back to judge the world, or when you die and face judgement.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they[e] killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The passage you quoted comes right after these verses about the day of judgment.
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
Jesus said the men of Nineveh, whose barbaric and bloody, wicked ways were feared by surrounding nations, repented, and would judge and condemn the generation of unbelieving scribes and Pharisees.
The scribes and Pharisees were supposed to be the religious leaders and teachers, and they did not even believe in the Son of God that God had prophecied from old who came to fulfill the prophecies and save the world of its sins. They were trusting in their own good works and zealous following of laws and their blood relation to Abraham to save them. This is why Jesus said of them:
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
The reason they would receive greater condemnation is because they were the leaders, who had been given Scripture to study and learn, who had all the opportunity to believe the words of Christ, but rejected Him.
Matthew 23 is devoted to Jesus crying woe to the scribes and Pharisees for their unbelief and rejection of Christ. Their works and attempts to follow the law were to look good for people, not out of love for God and neighbour.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
They who were supposed to be the leaders and guides to point people to God, were lost in unbelief. They did not believe in Jesus, and being jealous of His influence, wanted to get rid of him, trying to catch Him saying something that they could get Him arrested for.
20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.
21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Why do you test Me? 24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?”
They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”
25 And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.
37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”
41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
Walk in the Light
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
They loves the praise of men more than the praise of God.
That describes us today as well. When we care more about what other people think than what God thinks, we are being short-sighted fools, in light of the fact that God is the one who is going to judge the world and all of our thoughts, words, and actions.
We are so full of sin of every kind and are completely unable to save ourselves by our own efforts.
ONLY JESUS can save us.
After healing a lame man, Peter and John were arrested and questioned.
5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
The name of Jesus was used by his disciples to heal the lame.
The name of Jesus is the ONLY NAME BY WHICH WE CAN BE SAVED.
The name of Jesus is hated by Satan and people who belong to Satan.
Jesus' followers and God's true prophets have been persecuted throughout the Bible by people who want to remain comfortable in their sins and unbelief.
God's Word is truth!
Jesus has given us salvation and righteousness.
It is ONLY the righteousness of Jesus Christ who lived a holy and sinless life that is good enough to get into heaven with.
The righteousness of Jesus Christ is the righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
GOD IS PLEADING THROUGH HIS PEOPLE AND HIS WORD
BE RECONCILED TO GOD
GOD LOVES YOU
GOD WANTS YOU
Jesus Christ who had NO SIN was made sin for us, that is, our sins were placed on HIM, so the wrath of God that should have fallen on US, was placed on HIM, and the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SINLESS SON OF GOD IS MADE OURS!!
That is how our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees! Not by our works! By the righteousness of JESUS CHRIST which we claim as our own through faith in Him!
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
I thank you for sharing your thoughts and I pray that you will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and His great love and mercy for you!