The Value of Humans

Staff – images from pixabay.com

 

 


More Mouths to Feed?

Crowd of People – images from pixabay.com

How many times have humans thought enough food could not be produced for a growing population only to be fooled by GOD. GOD gave humans brains and intelligence and GOD blessed us also with the ability to keep up with change. Find ways to harvest more food is just another example of GOD given intelligence used correctly.  When food fails to reach the hungry it is not because there is not enough of it: it is because of selfish and greedy people living according to their sin.

Luke 12:24 ESV

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

Black Birds – images from pixabay.com
Consider what are the real reasons some people seek ways to control populations? This goal is is not in GOD’s plan.
Politician – images from pixabay.com

 

Fat Cat – images from pixabay.com

Genesis 1:28 ESV

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

GOD Created Life: it is Sacred

Life is Special – images from pixabay.com

Jeremiah 1:5 ESV

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”


SONG: Sandi Patty – Masterpiece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY0JMB4MqWM


Great effort is exerted to save premature babies; couples who have a problem conceiving spend a lot of money to become fertile. Yet some people find  parents inconvenient and to seek what GOD has created. Why?

Infirm less useful?

Infirm and Old – images from pixabay.com

Leviticus 19:14 ESV

You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

Tyrants and ruthless leaders sometimes seek to rid their populations of any person that cannot contribute to their agenda. History has deplorable examples of this. Add genocide, infanticide and males of military age to the hideous annihilation.

Grey Crown – images from pixabay.com

Too Old?

Proverbs 16:31 ESV

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

 

Some cultures place great value on the elders. The older members of society have much wisdom and experience to share with the young. These elders are held in high regard and are often valued with great affection.

In 1st Kings 12 King Rehoboam (son of Solomon)  rejected the council of wise elders and instead listened to his young friends the result? The kingdom split.

Next Week: When Each Day Becomes Precious

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

What is the Meaning?

Staff – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

Old and New Ways – images from pixabay.com

Three Ways to Approach the Bible

Translations of the Holy Bible abound in many languages but there is only three approaches to translating into your language (with some blending of these in some versions): a) Word for Word, b) Thought-for-thought and c) Paraphrase.

Hebrew – images from pixabay.com
Scroll – images from pixabay.com

If you were alive when the Bible was written in Hebrew and Aramaic and translated with precision into Greek and you knew these languages all the modern versions would not be necessary. It is because of this we often refer to several versions in English or another language to grasp meaning as accurately as possible.

 

Reading a Scroll – images from pixabay.com

https://www.ucg.org/vertical-thought/infographic-types-of-bible-translations


SONG: Thy Word – Amy Grant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u_NMSH3hR8


Egyptian Papyrus – images from pixabay.com
Dead Sea Scrolls – images from pixabay.com

The Holy Spirit Helps

John 14:26 ESV

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

When you became (or become) a Christian you receive(d) The Holy Spirit to help you understand and acquire better skills as to what is right and what is wrong.

Mysteries Unfold

Christianity shares one aspect with other religions because as humans we have a number of hindrances that limit our understanding of somethings. These are not mystical or crime mysteries however: The Trinity, How GOD hears all our prayers . . . and so on.

Colossians 2:1-3 ESV

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

Bottom Line

Electronic Book – images from pixabay.com

We begin as an infant in The Lord and learn to crawl, walk and then run with knowledge and understanding; we become more Christ Like if we are obedient and diligently study The Word.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

 

 

NEXT WEEK: How to Become a Christian

THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Still, You Can Pray

Praise – images from pixabay.com

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Tranquil Waters – images from pixabay.com

Reality: One side wonderful the other dreadful.

When Storms Come – images from pixabay.com
Praying Hands – images from pixabay.com

Easy to count our blessings in good times and times of plenty but, in times of lacking, trials and painful destructive experience what can we do?  We may feel helpless and tired and impotent . . . what can we do? Pray. No matter what, we have, a GOD of Love to pray to, in The Name of Jesus Christ.  GOD hears and GOD answers according to GOD’s will. There is always an answer from GOD: No; Yes; Not Now. Remember GOD is not human and we are not gods.

Prayer Calms Us – images from pixabay.com

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If an answer to our prayer is yes there is little room for doubt but if it is no:

SONG: Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEplqV0scyo

Song: Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4gFWuYh50

Psalm 66:18 ESV

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

When GOD says maybe (not now later) how do we respond?

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Like the soldier’s motto, “Ours is not to reason why; ours is just to do or die”. Leave it to GOD.

Jesus Pays for Sin – images from pixabay.com

Mark 14:36 ESV

And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus paid the price for sin including ours and believing in Him achieves an eternity in Heaven. Yet until in the fullness of time the things of Revelation come to pass and Jesus returns, the world we live in remains flawed. Still, you can pray.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do; demonstrate the Love of GOD teach others about Jesus and Salvation.

Next Week: Can You Escape from Reality?

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Who is Your Shepherd?

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String instrument – images from pixabay.com
Shepherd – images from pixabay.com

 

Secular Leaders – images from pixabay.com

 


Matthew 6:24 ESV

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Whom do you follow?

Seek God – images from pixabay.com

Will he or she lead you to good, evil, life or death? Do they appeal to this temporal life: pleasure, riches and luxury. Or, do they lead you to eternal life with GOD? There is much wisdom accumulated from the most ancient of times but not all pertains to your eternal welfare.  Maybe it is just good for a time ; the time of our lifetime.

SONG: Chris Tomlin – I Will Follow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI

 

1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Pray for Guidance – images from pixabay.com

What seems good to a child will not seem good when you are an adult . . . we all live an learn.

1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Sands of Time – images from pixabay.com

Why not avoid some of life’s painful lessons by giving your parents,  teachers, elders and religious mentors a listening to.  Why not closely pay attention to the wisdom of the Bible – GOD’s Word. Stories, parables, allegorical example and literal truth from thousands of years of experience but, more important, from GOD.

 

My first extensive reading of the Bible was Proverbs and followed by Ecclesiastes.

Bible Wisdom – images from pixabay.com

Proverbs 12:15 ESV

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 19:20 ESV

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

No, at first I did not understand it well nor did I get the messages however, when calamity overwhelmed me and GOD got my attention I accepted Jesus.  From that moment The Holy Spirit helped me to understand and change.  Christians seemed to appear from nowhere and they helped me is so many ways.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 ESV

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

Facing the End – images from pixabay.com
New Life – images from pixabay.com

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: The Love of GOD vs. Human Love

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Cults, Evil and Destruction

Ensemble – images from pixabay.com

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Cults distort truth and lead people astray

The Battle – images from pixabay.com
Cult Example – images from pixabay.com

Small percentages take the headlines but the vast number of people and events are lumped in as just ordinary people and events; this is the same for Christians. When Jim Jones “Peoples Temple” and David Koresh “Branch Davidians sect” came to a horrific demise along with many of their followers the news headlines around the world provided the details, editorials and religious implications.  While these tragic events commanded our attention millions upon millions of Christians went on about their lives without being noticed. Cults distort the reality of being a Christian.

Brutal Myan Cults – images from pixabay.com

2 Peter 2:1 ESV

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Evil defies the good of GOD and is the opposite . . .

 

War and Strife – images from pixabay.com

Instead of love, empathy and assistance, evil is hate, uncaring and provides no good. Just the recent news stories report  rapes,murders, home invasions, pushing elderly people down stairs, hostage taking and a great deal of stealing.  The most insidious may be killings over parking spaces, road rage or for thrills.  I find understanding and great comfort from the truth revealed in GOD’s Word The Holy Bible.

1 John 4:8 ESV

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 

Destruction undoes GOD’s creation, beauty and wonderful places and things . . .

Great Sorrow – images from pixabay.com

Killing, defacing, marring and annihilation of the good and beautiful; human nature without GOD destroys the wonderful things GOD has created and pronounced good.

Lush World – image from pixabay.com

Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day

Jesus Suffered – images from pixabay.com

The torture, disrespect and murder by Crucifixion of  Jesus Christ is the most hideous example of all that is evil.

DO NOT LOOSE HOPE. WE STILL LIVE IN GOD’S BEAUTIFUL CREATION

SONG: God Speaking by Mandisa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jUqkjDA4CA

God’s Beautiful Creation

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: Who is Your Shepherd?

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Christians in Society

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String instrument – images from pixabay.com

Revival leads to Christians throughout society

Walks of Life – images from pixabay.com

It was explained to me that if a Christian ran an honest business he or she already charges a fair price for their goods or services.

Service 2 – images from pixabay.com
Goods 2 – images from pixabay.com

SONG Link: Jesus and Me by Glen Campbell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kWZX7JW8hY&list=PLU2YlMvSPGM2RToFF1POaqMQo9iD2XFJK&index=11&t=0s

Goods 1 – images from pixabay.com
Service 1 – images from pixabay.com

This implied to me, if I asked for a special consideration as a brother in Christ something was not right. The business person either was charging non-Christians too much or, if I obtained a special discount it was at their personal expense – coming out of what they needed for themselves and their family.

Jobs All – images from pixabay.com

Honest Christians functioning with integrity are needed in all jobs, careers and leadership roles.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: Cults, Evil and Destruction

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Sudden Death

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String instrument – images from pixabay.com

 


 

Your tomorrow is not guaranteed . . .

 

Lightning Strike – images from pixabay.com
From: Luke 12:13-21 (ESV) The Parable of the Rich Fool
Gone in an Instant – images from pixabay.com

. . . “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, ‘ ‘ ‘

Sudden Death Goal – images from pixabay.com

In sports there are conditions when the team that scores wins immediately: Sudden Death This in American Football overtime for example.

You can secure your eternal destiny “right” now and know you will always be with GOD because of what Jesus has done. Your personal spiritual insurance policy.

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Endless – images from pixabay.com

Mighty to Save – Hillsong United

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR8rlTIU8_Y

A long struggle with an illness or injury may afford

. . . ample time to prepare for our demise, but what if we fall victim to a violent death: accident, natural disaster, explosion or even at the hands of another? Would you be confident of your eternal future? Sometime in this world GOD allows a physical struggle because our response can illustrate to others our faith. We are in this world but not of this world; we in our own abilities cannot correct the evil and the wrongs; only GOD can.  We can demonstrate GOD’s Love and teach others to share the hope we have and, the assured eternal salvation.

Apostle Paul (ST Paul) atests to this condition:

2 Corinthians 12:7 ESV

Thorns are Painful – images from pixabay.com

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

 

As a Christian we believe Jesus and know what our eternity will be like and where.

Glorious Light – images from pixabay.com

John 14:3 ESV 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Mansion – images from pixabay.com

 

If you have any doubt accept Jesus as your Lord and savior . . . if you need help seek it from a believer . . . a christian.

 

 

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: Christians in Society

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Surrounded with Darkness

Free as the Wind – images from pixabay.com

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Steven Curtis Chapman – For The Sake Of The Call [Official Music]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkmbB8LWE8&feature=youtu.be

Russian Christian Songs…All To Jesus I Surrender

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgO5KLcrGOQ

The darkness around Earth in this photo is a metaphor for the evil that surrounds us in the spiritual struggle.

Surrounded – images from pixabay.com

It is a Spiritual War played out in the flesh

Crusaders – images from pixabay.com

The Crusades were ill-conceived and therefore wrongly prosecuted because people did not fully understand the true nature of the war between good and evil – or ignored the truth.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV 

Spiritual Warrior – images from pixabay.com

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

So we may wonder how someone could slay those children in such a hideous way; why destroy life for small material gain? Abuse helpless people? Cheat those dying in a famine. Murder because they are different in appearance? The value of life so cheap? The reason behind all of it is an ongoing spiritual war:

Ephesians 6:12 ESV 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Then what can we do?

Ephesians 6:11 ESV

Metaphor for Spiritual War Prep – images from pixabay.com

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

The Word of GOD is our weapon and our protection.

Old Bible – images from pixabay.com
As Christians we are to be the light to the world as Jesus said:

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: Sudden Death

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Our Core Beliefs Part IV

 

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Ensemble – images from pixabay.com

 

 

What makes us Christians? Part IV

The last segment of the core tenets of Christianity require more study than what I can provide in my blog.  If you want to know more or have trouble understanding these I suggest a Bible study or at least a quality study guide; one (of many) such book is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Grudem

16. Justification and Adoption

Romans 5:1 ESV

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Oprhans – images from pixabay.com

Romans 9:8 ESV

This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

17. Heaven

Heaven – images from pixabay.com

John 14:2 ESV

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

18. Final Judgment

Judgement – images from pixabay.com

Revelation 20:11-12 ESV 

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

19. What is Sanctification and Perseverance?

Baptism of Christ – images from pixabay.com

1 Thessalonians 4:3 ESV

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;

Perseverance – images from pixabay.com

Galatians 6:9 ESV

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

20. What will happen when Jesus returns?

Jesus Returns – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:36 ESV

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

1 Corinthians 15:52 ESV

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

I hope these four blog posts encourage you as a Christian to study GOD’s Word: go to church, go to Sunday School, attend Bible Study or read commentaries. If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ I encourage you to do so now.

Share the Word . . . Christian revival can help turn the trends toward evil back. Thank You.

NEXT WEEK: Revival and Happy 4th of July

 

 

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Our Core Beliefs Part III

 

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Ensemble – images from pixabay.com

 

 

Song and Lyrics co-written by Gordon Kennedy and Pierce Pettis sung by Susan Ashton (similar to Garth Brooks):

What makes us Christians? GOD Moves us to act according to GOD’s standards:

Part III

“Christianity as a great hall, denominations as rooms” – from C.S. Lewis’ preface to Mere Christianity

Part III of my blog posts on the core of Christianity.  The purpose is not to diminish GOD, Jesus or The Holy Spirit; it is to enhance our common purpose to bring Christ to the people. It is only through what GOD wants for us that we can have what is good and lovely on this planet as we await the return of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.

Ref:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Grudem

Angels Satan Demons – images from pixabay.com

11. Angels, Satan and Demons

Angels are associated with serving GOD in Heaven but some rebelled the most prominent was Satan. Many people know the story about what happened in the Garden of Eden: Satan convinced Eve and Adam they could be like GOD if they ate from the Tree :

Genesis 2:9 ESV

And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Who was this Satan? A fallen angel? An adversary of GOD?   See Link:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/satan/

Demons seem to be associated with Satan and also do evil:

2 Peter 2:4 ESV 

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

Christian – images from pixabay.com

12. What does it mean to become a Christian?

You can become a Christian quite easily:

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Living a Christian life is a process; we improve each day we diligently work to that aim but know we will never be perfect here in this life and are always subject to temptation. We are not left to struggle alone:

Acts 2:38 ESV

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Choose or Chosen – images from pixabay.com

13. What is Election

This is a concept froth with debate: How does one know whether or not they became a Christian by exercising free will were chosen by GOD? We really do not know though some people claim it can be known. You will need to study this tenet on your own. Though we are instructed to accept Jesus there is also scripyure like this:

Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV / 88 helpful votes

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

– images from pixabay.com

14. What is Death?

If you know some one who has died the definition is clear. If you do not believe in an afterlife that is it (that’s all there is). If you are a Christian you expect to be granted eternal life sometime after death. John 3:16 ESV

Revelation 21:4 ESV

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

The Church – images from pixabay.com

15. What is the Church?

The Church is NOT a building, not an organization nor a place; The Church is the aggregate of believers in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Romans 12:5 ESV

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

 

Next Week Core Beliefs IV

 

 

 

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