"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . . Our Website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please be patient!

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

GOSPEL PRESENTATION – TURNING POINT TOWARDS ETERNITY


Life is full of turning points; we have all experienced them; where our life was heading in a certain direction, then an event happened, or a decision was made, and it affected the remainder of our life by going in a different direction. 

Sometimes we wonder, had we made a different decision in life, where it would have led.
Turning points include the choices we make: in who we make friends with, what hobbies or activities we engage in, where we go to school, what we major in, in college; what job we take, where we decide to move to, who we marry. All these decisions affect the path of life we are on. Turning points can lead to great blessing or terrible tragedy . . .


Four Examples Of Turning Points:

When Buddy Holly boarded a plane in 1959 he had simple motives; he wanted to do some laundry and finally rest before going on stage. The tour he had been taking part in had just been extended, and things were constantly going wrong in between concerts – the bus would break down, the heating was unpredictable, the long hours on the road were fatiguing. As a solution Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Jerry Lee Lewis chartered a small plane to expedite their journey. This decision, driven by several factors caused the world to lose some of the most promising musicians in a generation. The decision to board that fatal plane was one that forever changed the face of music.
~ ~ ~
There was an expedition in the South Pole in the early 70’s. They had a narrow window of time to conduct their scientific experiments before a series of winter storms moved in. The decision was made to get in and out before the storms hit. They couldn’t have anticipated an earlier storm but were caught out in it nonetheless. They tied a rope to every member of the party, yet on the way back to their home base, one of the men lost his way when his rope was cut. The blinding snow and the howling wind made it impossible to see or hear.

The party didn’t realize the man was lost until they were in range of the home base; and by then it was too late to go back and look for him. The storm was worsening, and nightfall was only minutes away. They had no choice but to wait until morning to launch a search party.

The next morning, they bundled up and headed out the door only to be confronted with a terrible sight. Not fifty feet from the door they saw the prostrate form of their team member, frozen solid.
He had been heading in the right direction; had he not succumbed to the freezing weather, had he made the decision to not give up, but to persevere, he would have made it safely back.

But he gave up too soon – that was the moment of truth, a turning point that cost his life.
~ ~ ~
High German officials had made up their minds that Hitler must die. He was leading Germany in a suicidal war on two fronts, and assassination was the only way to stop him. A coup d’etat would follow, and a new government in Berlin would save Germany from complete destruction at the hands of the Allies.
That was the plan. 

This was the reality:
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, planted a bomb contained in a briefcase during a conference that was to be held at Berchtesgaden, but was later moved to Hitler’s “Wolf’s Lair”, a command post at Rastenburg, Prussia. 

He placed the briefcase containing the bomb under a table, then left quickly. Hitler was studying a map of the Eastern front as Colonel Heinz Brandt, trying to get a better look at the map, moved the briefcase out of place, farther away from where the Fuhrer was standing. 

At 12:42 p.m. the bomb went off. When the smoke cleared, Hitler was wounded, charred, and even suffered the temporary paralysis of one arm—but he was very much alive. Four others present died from their wounds. The choice of moving a simple explosive secreted in a strategically placed briefcase a couple feet away, spared the life of a mad man and the result was the death of millions.

And one last example: Eve in the Garden of Eden was presented with an ‘option B’ to her life. She could either stick to the original plan and remain loyal to God (option A) or take Satan’s offer to ‘do it her own way’, partake of the forbidden fruit, and obtain godhood as the serpent promised. She, along with Adam chose option B, but instead of becoming gods, they became monstrosities of sin. It was a tragic turning point that sent them as well as the entire human race on a one-way course to chaos, corruption and cataclysmic death!
~ ~ ~
Today what we have before each of us is the opportunity of a turning point.
Have you ever wished that you could erase your past and start things again with a clean slate? Such a turning point as we have before us right now, can offer this in a very real way.

We are at a cross-road where we can decide to either go through life on our own, doing things our way, hoping to be good enough to go to heaven some day or to travel a different road: the road to righteousness, where we submit our lives to another, surrendering all to Him, and find His supreme gift of grace for us.

Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary of the house of David, of the tribe of Judah was born to a humble and poor family, the eldest half-brother of four brothers and some sisters. He began His ministry at thirty years of age, when after having been baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (who happened to be His cousin), proceeded to go out into the desert where He fasted and prayed for forty days.

It was at that time, He was confronted by Satan, who offered Him the ultimate temptation, after Christ turned down his two previous offers of (1) turning stone to bread, and (2) demonstrating His power before all of Jerusalem by leaping off the temple and landing safely on the ground below:

MATTHEW 4:8-9
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Christ came to save the world, and to rule in righteousness over all the Earth. What Satan provided here, was a means to do that, but without having to go to the cross. All He would have to do is submit to Satan (as Adam and Eve did), and the world would be His – and He could avoid all the terrible suffering and agony of the cross.

It was a turning point in the life of Christ. He made the decision to reject Satan’s offer and continued the course to the Calvary’s Cross. In theory anyway, if He chose the easier path, our salvation would have been utterly lost.

Again, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Father was preparing Him, His Son for the Passion, the shedding of His holy blood for the sinners of the world. The LORD in His supreme struggle prayed to the Father:

MATTHEW 26:39
39 And he
[Jesus] went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me:

Now He could have ended His prayer right there, yet He chose to end the prayer with:
. . . nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

Understand, that there was never a single prayer that the LORD Jesus prayed that the Father did NOT answer: except this one. He prayed “. . . O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.”

Yet there was no other way, there was no ‘option B’ that the Father offered to His Son; any other way would be an impossibility. It was this way, or no way!
The LORD Jesus confirmed the course He would take in vs. 42:

MATTHEW 26:42
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

What was this cup that the LORD Jesus was referring to?

REVELATION 14:10-11a
10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night
. . .

God’s indignation and wrath is against sin, against rebellion, against all the iniquity and evil of mankind – and it’s contained in this ‘cup’ against the sinners this verse is referring to.
Everyone of our sins is accounted for: sins in our deeds, and sins in our ideas, that is, the sins of our actions as well as our thoughts. Did you know that there is a record of every one of our deeds that God is keeping in reserve for the Day of Judgment when we will have to give an account to the Holy God of all creation for ourselves?

REVELATION 20:12-15
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire
.

Now you might say, “Well, I’m not perfectwho is? But I’m not all that bad, I think I’m OK as far as God is concerned. I think I’ll make it to heaven, after all, it’s not like I killed anybody or raped someone.”

Well, let’s perform a self-evaluation and see how we measure up in God’s eyes. First, we must understand what the standard of God’s righteousness is, and that is perfectly summed up in the Ten Commandments. If we want to be accepted by God, then we must be in complete obedience to the Law of God. His absolute and pure holiness demands this perfection, and if He finds that anyone has broken His Law, as a perfect Judge, He must judge that sin perfectly.

1) The Ninth Commandment:  
EXODUS 20:16
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
Have you ever told a lie, even a white lie or a lie with the best of intentions? What do you call someone who tells lies? A liar.

2) The Seventh Commandment:
EXODUS 20:14
You shall not commit adultery
This includes all forms of sexual sin, including fornication. Have you ever had sex outside of marriage? Anyone who does this is a fornicator or an adulterer. Jesus said even if you look upon another with lust in your heart, then you have committed fornication already. You see it’s not just our actions that will condemn us, but our thoughts as well!

3) The Eighth Commandment:
EXODUS 20:15
You shall not steal
Have you ever stolen something that didn’t belong to you, regardless of how insignificant it might be in value? What do you call someone who steals but a thief?

4) The Third Commandment:
EXODUS 20:7
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain
Have you ever taken the LORD’s name in vain as a curse word? That’s called blasphemy: God’s name is Holy, the angels of God surround Him in their worship and adoration, and to take the name of God that is exalted above every name (PHIL 2:9) and use it as a piece of verbal filth is very serious!

Based on these four commandments alone, we can determine that any one of us, myself included – all of us are lying, fornicating thieves who are also blasphemers.

Any judge who has a child molesting rapist standing before him and has been proven guilty has no other option but to charge him guilty and condemn him. And we agree with that judge – someone like that should be punished! 
But Imagine if that judge let that criminal go: how angry would that child’s parents be, and us along with them? And rightly so! Justice was not served! But justice upon that criminal is deserved!

And if we judge this matter righteously, we who are sinners by nature, how much more should the Holy God of all creation judge us sinners for the crimes we have committed against His Holy Law?

You might say, “Well, I may have made some mistakes in my life, but I do a lot of good things as well. I volunteer at a soup kitchen to feed the poor, I give to charities, I’m a Big Brother to a young boy who doesn’t have a father, and I go to church occasionally, I even read my Bible sometimes. . . I think God will balance out my bad deeds with my good deeds, and I’ll turn out OK. God will accept me.”

God doesn’t judge that way, any more than a human judge would; the guilty are charged regardless of any good deeds they may have done. If your view of God is anything like that, that He will weigh the good and the bad, and dismiss sin on the basis of your good deeds, then you are creating a God of your own imagination, and that makes you guilty of. . .

5) The First Commandment:
EXODUS 20:2
You shall have no other gods before Me
. God is self-defined in the Scriptures and He is not about to conform to your own ideas and beliefs about Who and What He is – to imagine such things is idolatry! You’re creating a God that suits your comfort zone.
The Bible plainly declares that we cannot be saved by our own works or good deeds:
EPHESIANS 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 
TITUS 3:4-5a 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. . .
And as we have seen in examining these Five of the Ten Commandments, there’s no one who is righteous before our Holy God:

ROMANS 3:19-20, 23
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the Law no one will be justified in His sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
.

So, how can we then be saved? 
And here we see the glory of God’s extraordinary, sublime and awesome mercy and grace!! Here is the good news of the Gospel!
Let’s say that you’re now standing before the Holy Throne of God the Judge of the Living and the Dead, and have had your book read, which has contained in its pages, every single thought you ever had, every word you have ever spoken and every deed you have ever done – all your sins and crimes are evident, there is no secret that remains covered, everything is exposed for God to see

You owe a debt to God for all of these because you have sinned against the eternal God and His eternal Law – and so the punishment must also be eternal.

Now, the LORD Jesus determined at every turning point in His life, to stay the course to Calvary’s Cross – and it was there that He accepted as His own, ALL of the sins, of ALL humanity, throughout ALL of the ages of time. 

And He likewise drank every last drop of the cup of wrath and indignation of God’s Judgment upon our sins – He took the punishment for us so that we would not suffer eternal damnation in hell!

ISAIAH 53:3-10a
3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So, He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people
[says God] He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked— but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin
,

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.



Yet that’s not all He did for us! Not only did He pay for our sins on the Cross, so we wouldn’t be condemned for our sins (JOHN 3:18 He that believes on Him is not condemned:) He also provided the Holy Spirit for all who receive Christ as LORD and Savior to inhabit us, to dwell in our hearts (GAL 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father) and cause us to be born spiritually (JOHN 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God).
The very spiritual life that Adam lost when he sinned, we have found in Christ and by receiving the Gospel.

2 TIMOTHY 1:9-10
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel
,

By receiving the Gospel we are born into God’s family, we become His adopted children because of Jesus. And it’s by the Spirit of grace that we are empowered as children of God to grow more and more into the likeness of Jesus, and have holiness and purity become stronger in our lives as we yield to the LORD, being filled with the fruits of righteousness.

And yet that’s still not all! We not only enjoy the LORD in the here and now, blessed fellowship with the risen LORD Jesus Christ, but we are promised to inherit the Kingdom of God and live for all eternity with God as our Father, Jesus as our LORD and Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Companion!

And so, we come to the moment of truth:
Today, you are in a crossroads – you have a choice as to which way to go; this is a turning point in your life. For all you know, this could be the last turning point you will ever encounter in your life which could possibly end today.

Take the road that you’ve been traveling down, and your destination is the Throne of God’s Judgment where He will have no choice but to judge you according to His Holy Law and condemn you. Remember though, it’s the heart of God to save rather than to condemn, but the decision is yours, it’s your choice.

Take the road that leads in the other direction, that road of righteousness that is provided for you, that road that is paved with the blood of the Lamb of God, the LORD Jesus Christ, and your destination will be dramatically changed!

God will receive you into His kingdom as His child, your sins washed, your citizenship secured forever in heaven – and a life here and now, encountering daily the blessed presence and peace of Christ.

JOHN 3:16-19
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

You have been exposed to this light, the light of Gospel Truth. Now, as a result, will you turn away from your life of sin and selfishness and share the life that God granted you, with Him?

Repentance is a change of mind, a change of direction about sin – before it was fun, but now you see that it is evil. 

Repentance is a change of mind about yourself – before you thought you were a pretty good Joe – or Josie, and now you see yourself as God sees you apart from His salvation: a guilty sinner. 


Repentance is a change of mind about Jesus – before He was a religious leader, a moral philosopher, a good teacher, but now you see Him as God made flesh, the LORD and Savior of our souls from sin, death and hell.

Will you repent, and by faith, receive salvation through Jesus Christ our LORD and receive His G.O.S.P.E.L.?

God’s Omnipotent (All Powerful) Salvation Proclaiming Eternal Love/Life.

Here are some testimonies of real live people who experienced the turning point found exclusively in the Person of Jesus Christ:

CHELSEA CROCKET (8 mins 28 sec)


DAVID KNOCH (7 mins 19 sec)



And if you wish to read my own testimony, you may do so here:


And the testimony of my dear brother and friend in Christ, David "Spoon" Fiorenza



And still others:




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