Following the Resurrection of Christ those who had so vehemently sought for His death were left with an Empty Tomb. The watchmen who had been assigned to guard the tomb were given large sums of money by the chief priests with instructions to say to anyone who asked, “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept.” In Jewish culture today this belief is still “commonly reported among the Jews until this day,” as Matthew recorded in his day (Matthew 28:11-15). For a Jew to finally meet the Messiah the Old Testament Prophets foretold about is truly life-changing.
On October 31, 1517 a German monk named Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg seeking a discussion on the selling of Indulgences for the remission of sin by the Catholic Church. The aim of the Church in selling the Indulgences was to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Luther, who had become the Professor of Theology at the college, knew from his reading and studying of the Scriptures there was no forgiveness of sin except through the blood of Jesus Christ. The people were being put under great deception by being told by their priests the Catholic Church held the key to God’s forgiveness through the purchase of Indulgences. The simple act of Martin Luther on that day began a Reformation to return to the Truths of Scripture and away from what had become the tenets of a man-made religion.
During Martin Luther’s early days as a monk he came under great conviction of his sinfulness before God. Whereas other monks in the monastery would spend a few minutes a day confessing their sins to the priest, Luther would spend hours confessing his for he was cognizant of how sinful man is in his fallen state. It was not until he read in Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith,” that he realized it was not by the works of confession, simplicity of living as a monk, or even self-flagellation that provided forgiveness of sin but having a living faith based totally ALONE upon Jesus’ voluntary death on the Cross for man’s sin, His burial, and bodily Resurrection triumphant over sin and death (Romans 10:9-10). As a repentant sinner, Luther placed his full faith and trust in Christ apart from the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church from which he was eventually excommunicated and proclaimed anathema, bound for hell.
Only available in Latin and confined to only being read and interpreted by the Catholic Church, Luther began translating The Scriptures into the language of the German people so they, too, could read for themselves, “The just shall live by faith,” and find salvation in none other name but Christ Jesus as the Apostles preached on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 4:12). In doing so, Luther found himself having to be in hiding to complete the task as those led by the demons of Hell sought to stop his work. The Scriptures we hold in our hands today, written in our own language, found its beginning in the days of Luther on that fateful day in October 1517 when God opened the floodgates, that whosoever reads and keeps those things written therein will be blessed (Revelation 1:3).
For those who in their own mind try to deny the existence of God, Ray Comfort of Living Waters Publications speaks with several willing participants of the Truths of God’s Creation and His Word, showing them the fallacy of their thinking. Transformation takes place for some as they begin to clearly see the error of their way and consider what they had refused to understand before. A powerful presentation with breathtaking views of God’s Creation, “The Atheist Delusion” uncovers the root of atheistic belief.
In Jesus’ final words to His disciples gathered in the Upper Room before His arrest and crucifixion, He made it clear the only way to forgiveness of one’s sin and a right standing before God was through Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,” (John 14:6). Within two centuries of Jesus’ return to Heaven there began to creep into some of the early churches a teaching that baptism was the way to salvation.
Known as “baptismal regeneration,” this was and is a most serious deviation from the Scripture, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7). Man’s desire to make baptism the way of salvation contrary to Scripture is evident from the introduction of baptizing infants. It was thought if salvation could be obtained by water baptism, the earlier one was baptized the better. When infant baptism was first introduced babies were fully immersed under the water, but centuries later pouring or sprinkling of water came into vogue in most erring churches.
It was baptismal regeneration along with infant baptism that brought about the numerous denominations in the world today. Whereas Baptists alone continued to stand firm on “by grace are ye saved through faith,” in Christ Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), declaring non-fellowship with those early churches which accepted and practiced the errors of baptism, it was not long before, in A.D. 416, a law was passed in the Roman world making infant baptism compulsory. Ten years later in A.D. 426 the Dark Ages began, lasting 1,000 years, during which time many Bible-believing Christians were martyred for their faith and their stance against the corrupting of the Scriptures taking place in their midst.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus spoke of those who would stand in the judgment and be told “I never knew you: depart from Me,” (Matthew 7:23). For those who do not come to God His way in repentance of their sin and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ Alone by His blood, but desire to come by water baptism or any other means, those words will be their doom. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I declare unto you the Gospel… by which you are saved… How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Baptism is not the means of salvation; baptism by immersion is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the repentant sinner who has placed their faith and trust in Him pre-baptism, identifying with Him for eternity.
Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child reaches far beyond the gift boxes delivered to millions of children each year. A 12-week Bible study provided through local churches and volunteers in countries all over the world titled “The Greatest Journey” is made available to the children who receive the boxes . Through the Bible study over three million children have made decisions for Christ, lives have been changed, and homes restored since 2010. This video documents those changes as the Gospel goes forth into all the world. “The harvest truly is plenteous” (Matthew 9:37).
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Here am I; send me.”
As the Prophet Ezekiel endured captivity in Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, the Word of the LORD came to him as recorded in Ezekiel 18 saying, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
The LORD gave further explanation as to those who could live eternally with Him and not die a spiritual death, saying, “But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right… hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity… hath walked in My statues, and hath kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.”
Concerning the next generation that follow after sin, God said, “If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things… he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.”
If the next generation follows after righteousness, God says, “Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like… he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.”
Reiterating in verse 20 of Ezekiel 18, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” the LORD continued, “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:
“The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
The LORD then gives how one could be saved, “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statues, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
“Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; Cast away from you all your transgressions; Make you a new heart and a new spirit: For why will ye die?”