Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

“My fate is sealed”

August 10, 2015

I had just finished walking up by the freeway that leads through downtown and was circling back around when i noticed that there was a different guy at the off-ramp holding his cardboard sign. I walked over to him and said Hi, reached in for some change and a “Born of the Spirit” card. After a short talk about the card, he tells me that he has died twice and went to hell each time. Then he said something that really made me jump up and take notice. He said that the last time this happened, he was asked by God to give up his hatred. He refused to do so, so he said……

“My fate is sealed”.

I then proceeded to ask him about Jesus to find out where exactly he stood with him. I asked him if he had been born again and if Jesus was his Lord and Savior. He said that he did not believe that he needed Jesus to get to God. He believed that he could go straight to God and bypass Jesus. I proceeded to tell him about the cross and the sacrifice that Jesus paid for him and that if he would believe so, Jesus would forgive his sins and he would not have to pay the wages for them which is death. Also that by receiving the forgiveness through Jesus, his fate in hell is not sealed. I told him that he is believing a lie that comes from the father of lies, Satan.

I then said, “It is quite possible that God would send this little nobody in a red shirt to remind you of His Son Jesus and what you could have today by believing in him”. He listened, but refused. At the end of our visit, the Holy Spirit had me get rather straight with him. I pleaded with him that he did not have to believe a lie and that Jesus is there waiting to forgive his sins so he would not have to go to the real hell and spend eternity apart from God.

Soon i parted. I am praying and believing that God in his love and mercy will still continue to reach out to this man before it’s too late.

A very sad encounter. Believing that your fate is sealed? But yet, not believing in the One who makes it all possible for one’s fate to not be sealed? Sounds like a lie to me.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom.6:23)

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Have you believed in God’s love for you yet?

October 16, 2013

God in his love provided a way for you to not come into judgement for your offences and what they require. He has provided a way to be forgiven and justified. It is only through His Son, Christ Jesus, who was the provision, the atonement for sin. That’s God’s love for you!

You don’t have to come into condemnation (judgement) for that which your offences require. You get to escape the just due penalty that they deserve, by believing on the Christ that was provided for you by God’s great love for you.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins.” (1Jn.4:10)

“By this was the love of God towards us made known, for God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (4:9)

We can’t live in God unless we believe on the Son and his atonement for us. Why? Because sin demands death. It goes all the way back to the beginning of mankind with Adam and Eve. God gave them one commandment and said that if they broke that command, “they would surely die”.

To live we must receive the love that He provided through his Sons atonement. This is how we receive life, and life eternal.

Believe and receive.

Christ has borne it all

December 23, 2011

Some of the “all” that Christ has borne for us is found through the Prophet Isaiah.

One such example is found in the 53rd chapter, verse 4a. It reads, “Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;”. Let us take a look at the word, “griefs”. The Hebrew meaning is “malady, anxiety, calamity, disease, grief, sick (ness). If you are like me, I saw the word “malady” and said, “what’s that?” According to Webster, it means, “sick, bad condition, an unwholesome condition”. Now, when I consider “an unwholesome condition”, it brings a lot with it, does it not? When you talk about this kind of condition, the sky is pretty much the limit, isn’t it?

I believe that we could also include “demon possession” into this “unwholesome condition”. Let us turn to the book of Matthew. Here we will see one of the many cases where Jesus healed. But, there is something to notice here besides just the physical healing.

Let us start with verse 14. “Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.” Here we see the physical healing of the fever. But, what is next? Starting with verse 16, we read, “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,”

Here we see that “many” were brought to Him who were “demon-possessed”. He casts out the “spirits” of demons that were in them, and He healed the sick. Together He did them both. He didn’t say, “tonight we are going to heal the sick, then tomorrow we are going to cast out the demon spirits. No, they were done the same day. We won’t take the time to read the many other accounts were Christ healed and casted out demons at the same time. Physical healing and the casting out of demons run hand in hand.

Now, check this out. Why was this done this way? Verse 17 explains. “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Here he was speaking about Isaiah 53:4. Even though the quote is worded a little different here in Matthew, it’s meaning is still the same. The word, “infirmities” here in the Greek means, “feebleness (as in body or mind)”. By implication it means, “malady”. Bingo! Where did we see that meaning before? Right. The same as the Hebrew word, “griefs” found in Isaiah. The definition goes on for “infirmities” with, “frailty, disease, sickness, weakness”.

In the end, we can safely say the Christ bore everything that was “sick, bad or any unwholesome condition.” This includes “Demon-possession”. Christ also bore this in his humanity for us. Isn’t this awesome! Nothing is left out! CHRIST HAS BORNE IT ALL FOR US!

Now, I can’t leave without asking the question, have you personally believed that Christ has borne it all for you? Whatever you have carried in your life to this point, be it “abuse”, be it “self-hatred”, be it “anger”, be it “unforgiveness”, be it “addictions” of any kind, Christ has borne it all. But, we must give it ALL to him, personally. He has already carried it, but you have to give it up. You can’t hold back and keep some, or part of it. All must go for Him to bare it all.

“God doesn’t answer my prayers”

November 26, 2011

Or, “I’ve tried God, it didn’t work for me”.

In ministry, I have heard many people make these kind of remarks. Basically, whenever they were in need, or had a crisis in their life, they cried out to God for his help. When they became desperate they needed or wanted God. This is common when we as human’s need something, or someone.

It is certainly not wrong to cry out to God in times of need. This is how most people come to have a relationship with Him. Most come when their backs are against the wall, so to speak. He does allow difficulties, and He also does cause them in some cases. Of course, when you mention “cause” that is very touchy ground. If I were to say that He caused some kind of tragedy, or unfortunate circumstance, most, if not all would run away from God, not towards Him. We of course, can’t know for sure whither He allowed it or cause it. In any case however, God is over all, and he is in control of all. Nothing happens in one’s life without Him not knowing, and not knowing why and how.

Everybody would jump on board if God was a “Santa Clause” God. If all he did was treat us like spoiled children and give, give and give without no obedience, no acting right, what kind of people would we be? I guarantee we would be as a people, way worse off than we are now. If there were no restraints with God? What happens with children when they are spoiled and given everything they want? What happens when they become adults? The answer is easily available, take a look around.

So, it’s hard to confront the reason why “God doesn’t answer our prayers”. Why? Because you have to deal with the most honest, difficult and hard realization there is. What is that? SIN. Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to bring it up. It’s offensive. It gets more personal than anything else you have to deal with in life. It’s the “hardest of hard”.

Now, there are two classes of people. Those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have trusted him for the forgiveness of their sins, and have allowed Him to be Lord of their lives. Then, there are those who have not yet believed and received.

In this post, I am not going to take the time to address “God not answering my prayers” to those who have yet to receive Christ. If you are one of these, this of course must be your first step. He is a God who does answer our prayers. But, the prayer He is waiting to hear from you, is that of crying out to Him in repentance (wanting to turn and give up sin) and asking for forgiveness for the offences that you have done against Him. It’s hard, but it must be done.

For those who have received Christ at one time, but are not currently living for Him and allowing Him to be above all in their lives, this is for you.

The Prophet Isaiah very clearly and pointedly puts forward the key for God answering our prayers. We would all agree, that one would have to first be able to “hear” our prayer before one could answer, right? So, the question would go out, why doesn’t God hear my prayer?

In the passage of Isaiah 59:1-3, it very clearly speaks of being separated from God. While the passage can also be used to teach us that sin separates us from God, when we are outside of a relationship with God, it also speaks to those who may have at one time had that relationship and walked with him. However, because of sin, they have become strayed from Him, and the wall of separation is being built, brick (sin) by brick. Where they might have had a one time relationship with Him, there is now no “hearing” from God for their prayers.

One must ask, “why is this the case!”. “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers!” These questions could very well be the best ones to ask. They could lead to finding the answer as to why doesn’t He hear me.

Isaiah speaks:

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities (perversity) have separated you from your God; and your SINS have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.”

It’s a hard passage, but true. It gives the answer as to why God will not “hear”. Again, he has to hear first to be able to answer.

So, if you want your prayers to be answered (and of course, answered according to the one who knows best what our needs are) or more importantly, heard, so He can began to move, repair, make new etc. his will for you, turn in prayer towards Him. Cry out to Him for help. Really desire to turn from sin. Realize that you are bound up in it, and that you cannot turn from it on your own. You want deliverance!

For He has said, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the sinner forsake his way, and the unrighteous person his thoughts; let them return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa.55:6-7)

There you have it. Come to the God of Mercy and Pardon. He is waiting to Forgive.

Light meets Dark

October 29, 2011

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we
think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls
you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let ’em fall
down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to
the ground
We’re here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This
is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the
dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets
out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But
too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame
won’t disappear

So let it fall down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you
let your walls fall to the ground
We’re here now
We’re here now,
oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing
starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the
dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace
collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don’t fight
This coming
light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is
where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you
come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light
meets the dark

FROM THE SONG “HEALING BEGINS” BY “TENTH AVENUE NORTH”

http://youtu.be/QF1X9VvQbD4

Sin, Sacrifice and Atonement for 2011

June 17, 2011

Even in 2011, as odd, weird or offensive as it may be, we must deal with “sin, sacrifice and atonement.”

Sin has always demanded a sacrifice. God himself initiated the first sacrifice. He killed an innocent animal and covered Adam and Eve with its skin just after they had committed the first sin. This was the initiation of sacrifice for atonement. One of the definitions of the word “atonement” is “to cover”.

All throughout the Old Testament this practice of animal sacrifices was used for atonement. The word also means, “to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel, appease, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

Expiate, means “to atone for, appease, to put an end to, to extinguish the guilt incurred by, to pay the penalty for, to make amends.”

From the beginning of the first man and women’s sin, we see sacrifice and atonement. The foundation back then was laid and put into place for which would become the ultimate sacrifice for mankind and his sins, The Christ, The Lamb of God.

Even in 2011, as odd, weird and offensive that it may be, we must deal with “sin” and the sacrifice thereof. For it is a foundational law, “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Heb.9:22). This was referring to the law found in Leviticus 17:11 which states, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,….”  Why?

Reconciliation

December 10, 2010

“To be restored to the divine favor of God”

HOW AWESOME IS THIS!

When sin entered the world through one man, Adam, the judgment of “Guilty” came to all mankind (all of us). His sin brought forth death, both physical and spiritual (separation).

BUT, then comes God’s free gift of His Son, Jesus. Now, the undeserved gift of “Not Guilty” is available to all who put their trust in Him. All who receive (by choice) God’s abundant grace are freely put right with God. They will rule and reign in this life through Christ, and Christ alone.

Don’t forget the “Main” reason….. to come to God

October 19, 2010

 

We live in a day where believers are sharing all kinds of reasons for people to come to God.

Just a few of them are :

Come to God, he will take all your pain. Come to God so you can go to heaven. Come to God so you can escape hell. Come to God he will get you a job. Come to God because he loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Come to God so you can be happy. Come to God and he will supply all your needs. Come to God so he will make everything better. The list goes on and on……….

While the above may be true, these are not the main reason for one to come to God. If any one of these reasons are shared as the reason to turn ones life over to God, big disappointment can come. Many have fallen away because they were sold on a reason to come to God that had to do with their needs being taken care of. Yes He does take care of our needs in his timing and way, but it not the reason to come. Many have come to God for the above reasons, then they have experienced difficulty after a period of time, then they have decided that this God turned out to be something other than what was promised.

An example would be:

Come to God and he will take all your pain. So this person who has just lost their husband, turns to God and finds great comfort for her loss. Time goes on and she begins to heal from her loss. She meets this guy and falls in love with him. He also is a believer. They get married and life is good. Five years pass, and soon he meets a lady at his workplace. They start having lunch together, which eventually leads to sex. The wife finds out and her life is crushed. She no longer wants anything to do with God. She has had pain once before and now she is done with this so-called God.

Another example would be :

Come to God because he loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. This persons life is in a mess before coming to God. He has no job, no wife, no home. Soon after coming to God, he gets a job. He meets a beautiful lady in church and they soon get married. They eventually buy a house. Life is good.

Three years into it all, he gets laid off from his job, they lose their house, and life takes on some bad stuff. To top it off, his wife comes down with breast cancer and dies a year later. He now is finished with this God. He has found temporary relief with the bottle now.

We must all realize that this life is not going to be perfect, and one should not strive to make it so. This life is filled with pain, sorrow and death. Turning ones life over to God is not going to make it care free, nor take all the problems and make it better. In fact, most believers would say that since they have given their hearts to God, they now have more battles, more difficulties and struggles than before. In no way does one’s life become a bed of roses when they give their lives to Christ. Usually, quite the contrary.

So what is the “main” reason to come to God? What is the main reason that we should be sharing with others?

First off, we must be reminded that we cannot properly share the Gospel without first getting into the subject of sin. Any other door that we open could very well be a misleading door that could set them up for fail.

I am well aware of how awkward the subject of sin is today. I have spent most of my saved life looking into the subject, studying the subject, teaching the subject and sharing with countless people on the subject. And as I have always said, God’s word deals with the subject front to back, more than any other subject. So we as believers must dig into the subject. We must learn it more than all the rest, if we want to be effective in bringing souls into the Kingdom.

So, the main reason for one to come to God through Christ is…….. forgiveness of our sins. There can be no other way to have a true relationship with God, unless we receive Christ as our own sacrifice for our own sins. In sharing the Gospel, one most first talk to them about their sins. We must, with the help of the Holy Spirit, convince them that they have sin. That there is sin in their heart. Now the good thing here is, that most don’t have a problem realizing that they have sinned. The problem is them knowing that they need forgiveness of their sins, if they are going to have a relationship with a Holy God.

One must share the holiness of God, and that He hates sin and will not look upon it. We cannot approach this righteous, Holy God on our own merits. Our sinful being is not capable. We must have someone to stand between us and God.

One must share in some detail the nature of sin. It is death. Not only physical, but more importantly spiritual death, which is “separation” from God. The sinner must realize that he or she is separated from God because of sin. I liken this to a wall. People that have yet to receive Christ, are separated from God. They must know that there can be no true relationship with God until the wall comes down. And it can only come down through the only gift that God gave for our sins, that being The Christ. For more on the subject of the wall and seperation see my post  https://rjperalta.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/the-wall-and-the-wrecking-ball/

YES, EVEN IN 2010, WE MUST TALK ABOUT SIN AND THE FORGIVENESS THEREOF.

There seems to be very little conversation going on about it, especially these days. We as believers must start the conversation as the Spirit leads. Be prepared to be looked upon as some “nut case”. So was Christ in his day. If we are afraid to talk about sin and forgiveness, then we are ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. How can you tell them about Christ, without mentioning sin? It can’t be done. You can’t offer the cure until they understand their condition.

So, if you are not talking about sin currently with those who He leads you to, what are you talking about? If it’s Christ centered, you must share the subject of sin. We must get used to it, if we are going to share Christ. I say, “sharing Christ”. It does little good, talking to people about God, without never mentioning Christ. Are we comfortable talking about Christ? Do we only just mention God, because of it’s more comfortable? Remember, the devil is somewhat satisfied if all you talk to them about is God. He also believes and trembles. But, if you mention Christ, the devils usually rise up. I see it all the time.

So in the end, don’t forget caught up in the popular reasons for coming to God today. Stay with the time-tested way of God’s Word. God bless you all!

Update on Jim

February 20, 2010

All to the glory of God, Jim is making leaps and bounds with God.

Since my first post, “Jim…. and his process of forgiveness” https://rjperalta.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/hawk-and-his-process-of-forgiveness/ he has called me twice. The first time he called, I didn’t recognise his voice and mistook it for someone else. What shocked me once I figured out who it was, was that he was sober. The first time we met he was intoxicated. But, this time he was clear as a bell. Praise God! He said that he is now not drinking.

He also said that he wanted to come to our gathering on Tuesday’s at the mall, but that he didn’t want to be out in his neighborhood after dark. He also informed me that he is looking for a church close to where he lives.

Today he called the second time and we had an awesome visit. I can hear his heart and God is doing big things. He said that he is going to try and make it next Tuesday night, and trust the Lord to protect him. He also said that he has an awesome CD that has a “God song” on it and he wants to bless me with it. Bless The Lord!

He also had friend that was an addict that was using him. He dumped her and now is living alone and getting his life together. Great things God is doing in his life! Praise Him!

Remember him in prayer

Jim…. and his process of forgiveness

February 10, 2010

He had orders to go into the town and kill. When he got there, all he found was one family. A man and his wife and their children.

Tonight’s gathering at the local mall (the mall church) was going to be the most unusual yet. I just didn’t know it.

I came down the same way as usual, coming from the “dollar store” getting the snacks for the gathering. As I was walking over to get our tables and chairs set up, I noticed a man sitting off in the corner eating. I continued to set everything up and when finished, I went over to visit this man and invite him to join us later.

After inviting him to join us, he went into giving me his testimony about serving in the Vietnam war. It was then that he mentioned to me how that he was given orders to go into the next town and wipe them out. When he got there he found the family and killed them.

He said his name was “Jim”. I shared with him that forgiveness could be found in Christ. He agreed, but he could not forgive himself. I assured him that he must receive forgiveness from Christ first, then Christ will help him to forgive himself.

As he told me his story about his time in the war and what had happened, my heart really went out to him. I could not relate with what it must be like to have gone through this process of trying to find forgiveness for what he had done. How about the sleepless nights and the pain?

He had a guitar with him and said, “that’s my baby”. I said he was welcome to join us and play his guitar. He said he knew “amazing grace”. I told him to please come when he had finished his dinner.

I got over to the tables and found another brother waiting there. We visited a bit, then Hawk came over and joined us. He pulled out his guitar and began playing for us. He played and sang some old 60’s and 70’s songs. They were great! And yes, he even played amazing grace! We were blessed to say the least.

Soon, he shared about his battles with drugs. One time in particular, where he had hit twelve times with the needle. He went on to explain his “out of body” experience that night. He said that God brought him back for a reason. I assured him it was so.

He no longer battles drugs, but alcohol has got him. This didn’t surprise me because I had figured that one out earlier. It is nothing new hearing about those who have returned from war and into drugs and or alcohol.

The whole time he shared, he would play his guitar and sing, then stop and share. He told us about his girl friend who was trying to get him to go to church. She had her own set of problems. She was battling Meth.

Then he told us how he had spent 10yrs in the state prison for killing his best friend. His friend was trying to kill him, in turn he killed his friend. He shared how in prison that he became the “gardener”. He grew a beautiful garden with big beautiful flowers and lots of vegetables. He shared God through his creation, he said.

Throughout his testimony of his life we felt his pain. We encouraged him to find Christ and his forgiveness. It was obvious that he was not enjoying his way of easing the pain any longer.

Then our brother Justin said that he had some scriptures that he wanted to share. He read from Isaiah 55. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,”………….

When he got the verse that says, “Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?”  I noticed that Jim took noticed to this verse. This is what he had been doing. God’s word had spoke to him and stopped him in his tracks.

The awesome thing here was that Justin was sharing these verses from Isaiah that he had been studying the past week. He had planned to share them tonight without knowing that this man Jim was going to be there. This is what I see and enjoy about God all the time. He is always right on time. He is perfect and exact in all His ways!

The mall security guards came over and said that he could not play the guitar in the mall. It was OK, because he was done playing anyways.

I sensed that it was time to pray. I asked him if I could have his hand. He hesitated, but finally gave it to me. I looked him in the eye and shared Christ’s forgiveness with him. This was a serious time and he listened. Soon we all held hands and prayed.

He prayed, “God help me to receive your forgiveness so I can forgive myself for what I have done.”  He finished with saying, “I think I’m going to get teary eyed.”

We hugged and reminded him that we meet each Tuesday night. He took my card and said he would come.

Please remember Jim in your prayers. Most of us can’t relate with what he has gone through.

YOU GOTTA READ THE UPDATE AND REJOICE WITH ME!  https://rjperalta.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/hawk-update/