Category Archives: Jesus


Forgiveness is a hard trait for anyone to master. It is most difficult when we try to forgive ourselves. Those who live in Christ must learn to forgive. Hear the words of Jesus:

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14, 15)

Jesus says that if I do not forgive others who have offended me, I will not be forgiven of my trespasses. A parallel verse is in James 2:13, “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Personally, I crave both forgiveness and mercy. I need copious amounts of both; I suspect you do too.

If anyone in the Bible had a reason to hold a grudge, it would have been Jesus. The purest one ever born had come to earth for one reason: “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). But despite his sole purpose of helping humanity, Jesus became the target of their wrath. He was arrested, maltreated, and crucified on an old rugged cross. Yet, as he hung on that cross, he uttered this immortal statement, “father forgive them (Luke 23:34).” As the ultimate example of a holy life, Jesus teaches us to forgive.

Christians don’t always live up to the master’s example. Christians can be just as petty and unforgiving as non-Christians. But our failure to exemplify Christ does not lessen the imperative of forgiveness.

Those outside of Christ are often amazed when they see acts of true forgiveness. For example, Georgia Congressman John Lewis’ public forgiveness of Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Or the beautiful image of Botham Jean’s brother embracing and forgiving convicted murderer Amber Guyger as she was being sentenced for the murder of his brother. True forgiveness is so rare in our world that it always turns heads when it happens.

Forgiveness and Hypocrisy

People occasionally blur the line between forgiveness and hypocrisy. They see or hear of a Christian doing something sinful. They immediately cry, “hypocrisy!” But what they overlook is that the Christian is struggling to overcome sin. Along the way, he stumbles. But God has forgiven him. 1 John 1:5-10 is enlightening. We know first the necessity of “walking in the light.” Second, even while walking in the light, the Christian needs forgiveness. And three, forgiveness is forthcoming from a loving God.

There is no hypocrisy. There is only a real struggle to overcome sin in daily life.

This is not to say that hypocrisy never occurs; it does. And sometimes, Christians deliberately act contrary to God’s holiness. In that case, they are hypocrites. But to assert that every stumble or error is an act of hypocrisy is just wrong. Certainly, you and I would not want to be judged that way.

Hiding behind Hypocrisy

Occasionally a person will use the perceived hypocrisy of someone else to justify their own misdeeds. Maybe they’re not really trying to justify themselves as much is there trying to raise their stature among other people. They point out the weaknesses in failings and other people and then conclude that their sin is no worse than the others. It is true that any sin separates a person from God. But it is also true that another person’s sin has no bearing on your standing before God. Another person’s sin does not justify you. We will be judged individually (Romans 14:12).

Hiding behind hypocrisy evidences an unwillingness to confront one’s own sins. It also suggests a desperation to be seen as righteous but without a penitent heart. If you are outside God’s kingdom and judging it by its citizens, you are missing the most important part. We are not and will not claim perfection. We rely on God’s promise of forgiveness as we strive to know Him and pattern our lives after Him each day.

In the beginning, we said forgiveness was a hard trait to master. It’s also a hard act to understand. No matter the depth or depravity of your sin, you can be cleansed and stand righteous before the Lord. After a laundry list of common sins, Paul said: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Come now for the healing and forgiveness found only in Jesus!

The Rapture: Come Lord Jesus

Part three of the Come Lord Jesus series on the final return of Christ at the end of time.

The Rapture is the idea of a secret, preliminary return of Jesus to take his saved away from the earth. It is an integral part of dispensationalism. The idea is novel and has no recorded basis in the Bible itself. There are, however, some early threads of dispensational thought in the second century. The Rapture was popularized by the Scofield Study Bible (1909), The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), and the Left Behind series of books (1995). Today, it is the subject of innumerable memes and posts on social media. Interest in the subject tends to rise in times of distress, such as the present COVID fears and political disruptions. Despite its appeal, it does not square with Biblical teaching on the return of Jesus.

Believers suggest that at some unspecified time, Jesus will return and suddenly take away believers. This they call The Rapture. Images of driverless cars, pilotless aircraft, and missing masses are common. Various flavors of dispensational teaching differ on what comes next, although the most common is seven years of incredible tribulation and suffering for those not taken away. After the seven years, Christ will return and wage battle against the forces of the antichrist. After a great battle, Armageddon, the victorious Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years. We will study each of these ideas in coming articles.

Rapture Secrecy

1 Thessalonians 4:17 is a key verse for Rapture adherents:

“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

The doctrine teaches that Christ takes his people away from the earth but does not appear to anyone other than the saved. Is that what the Bible teaches? No. Let us observe the context of the very verse they hold dear. The preceding verse (1 Thessalonians 4:16) describes the Lord’s coming:

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”

The Bible uses words like “cry,” “voice,” and “sound of the trumpet.”  Instead of being a secret arrival of Jesus, as taught by the Rapture, it is a thunderous and public arrival. There is nothing to suggest any secrecy here!

A close parallel to 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is Revelation 1:7.

“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”

I say this is parallel because in both cases, Jesus is coming in the air (air = 1 Thessalonians 4:17; clouds = Revelation 1:7). Please note that everyone will see his return, even the wicked men who nailed him to a cross. “[E]very eye will see him.”

The only way this secret return of the Rapture can be sustained is if this coming is not related to the end of time and if there is a third coming of Jesus at the very end. To get around this, dispensationalists argue for a preliminary coming of Jesus. In our next article, we will examine the multi-return teaching.

A Dickens Reminder

God bless us every one” is the plea of little Tim Cratchit in Charles Dickens’ immortal A Christmas Carol. Bobbi and I watched the Patrick Stewart version (George C. Scott is the best, just saying) last night. The lead character is Ebenezer Scrooge, a tight-fisted, always-grumpy banker who is visited by four ghosts. First, his deceased business partner, Marley, who warns of a mighty chain that Scrooge is weaving in the afterlife. Then three ghosts who come to prompt Scrooge to change before it is too late. Scrooge’s answer for the poor is to put them in prisons or workhouses. If they die, that will “reduce the surplus population.” Scrooge changes when he is forced to look upon the poor and downtrodden that fill 19th century London and when his own impending death is revealed.

A Christmas Carol was published in 1843 in London. Sharp socioeconomic divisions faced England. These divisions were the background for Dicken’s work. Mid-19th century London was not so different from early 21st century America. The lower economic class has grown poorer while the wealthiest have increased their assets.

The answer is not taxation, which only increases the wealth and the power of the political class, but true charity from Christians who give willingly and not by compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7). Charity cannot be compelled.

Out of 230 nations, the CIA Factbook says the United States has the third-highest gross domestic product. In 2019, before COVID, Sally, elections, and divisions in the populace, just over 10% of our citizens lived in poverty.

Two-thirds of Americans report living paycheck-to-paycheck. Just one shutdown or one serious illness can destroy 110 million citizens.

Meanwhile, the stock market has soared almost 60% since its pandemic low in March (S&P index).

People become poor for many reasons. Sometimes it’s a layoff or termination, perhaps a sudden illness or accident. Some people are poor because of really bad decisions. Drugs, alcohol, and gambling hurt families at an alarming rate. Maybe surprisingly, the Bible doesn’t use a litmus test to determine who needs help. Maybe, because the victims of poverty often are not the cause of their poverty. Those who refuse to work are excluded (2 Thessalonians 3:10), but their children indeed are not.

Moses wrote, “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be” (Deuteronomy 15:7, 8). In verse 11, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” God’s wrath burns against those who abuse the poor: “The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: “It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts” (Isaiah 3:14 – 15).

Jesus’ command to the young ruler of Matthew 19:21 was clear: Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  This underlines what Jesus previously said about our priorities. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19 – 21).

Last night,  after watching A Christmas Carol, Bobbi heard of a family that had been thrown out of the house where the four of them had been “couch-surfing.” This morning, It dropped to 25 degrees. Can you imagine the mother’s fear?

Thousands of currently employed, hard-working people are facing possible termination because of government-imposed lockdowns.

Many are in your zipcode.

What a mismatch between the happy crowds at the store who buy frivolities for the holidays and those who have less than nothing.

Remember the poor. Do what you can to help, for your work is of the Lord.

Jesus as Propitiation: A Gift for All

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2

You have never received a gift comparable to Jesus Christ. He is beyond imagination. The wealth flowing from His presence is immeasurable. The dimensions of his gift cannot be known by mortals, at least not now. The verse above is probably the most succinct description of his endowment to men.


Propitiation is not a common word in the Bible. It occurs only four times (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10). In the broader Greek writings, it is considered a rare term when used as a noun as it is here. So, we must use the Biblical context to appreciate the use of the word by John.

Propitiation is closely associated with sin, more specifically, the removal of sin. Every New Testament verse that includes propitiation also includes the word sin. Paul links the word with Jesus’ blood and the resolution of God’s forbearance (Romans 3:25). The writer of Hebrews also connects it with sin and Jesus’ action of resolving the people’s sins.

Recalling that Hebrews is written to a Jewish community well-versed in the Law of Moses, we must see this propitiation of Jesus as linked to the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. Consider John the Baptist’s exclamation, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Isaiah’s prophecy is on point here, for he says, “with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The prophets use of words like “stricken” (vs. 4, 8), “afflicted” (vs. 4), and “crush” (vs.10), point to the horror awaiting the Savior. We also note Isaiah’s inspired claim that all of this was done by the Lord,  “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; (Isaiah 53:10). This statement parallels Acts 2:23 that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”


We conclude that God planned the suffering of Jesus. But why? When you and I view the cross and all the attendant events, we are peering into the wrath of God against sin. Wrath, unlike propitiation, is not a rare word. It occurs over 200 times in the English Bible. We understand wrath as powerful anger directed against an enemy. Because this wrath comes from God, we may say it is a divine or righteous wrath. This is no temper tantrum, but the outpouring of appropriate and holy retribution for that which spoiled the perfect creation – sin.

Concerning the mistreatment of widows and orphans, God says, “my wrath will burn…” (Exodus 22:24). We may think such a response is harsh, but we understand that His divine wrath is directed at evildoers. But why Jesus?

Nahum offers, “Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him” (Nahum 1:6). The obvious answer is that no one can stand before God’s wrath, for none are innocent (Psalm 14:1 – 3).

Following these verses, we discover that we are all lost and have only a fearful expectation of destruction from before the holiness of God. We need a shield, an absorber, to soak up the wrath of God and protect us. We need a propitiation.  We need Jesus. As a shield, Jesus stands between us and the wrath of God. Our sins are removed, and we no longer fear destruction

In some unimaginable way, the same God that destroys in his wrath finds a way to save the objects of his love by focusing his wrath upon Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for this unspeakable gift!

Jesus is the gift for all. Sadly, most will never accept the gift. We must proclaim the nature of the gift to all the world. It awaits for all men. Let us all be heralds of this wonderful gift!

Jesus in 6 Verses

Just six verses in the New Testament tell us almost all we need to know about Jesus. That’s a mouthful, but it’s true. Pause what you are doing and read Colossians 1:15-20. This great “Christological statement” about Jesus is brimming with pictures of Jesus.

Paul says that Jesus is:

  • The IMAGE of God
  • The FIRSTBORN of creation
  • The OWNER or POSSESSOR of all creation
  • BEFORE ALL things
  • The SUSTAINER of all things
  • The HEAD of the church
  • The FIRSTBORN from the dead
  • The PREEMINENT one

We follow Jesus because he alone can satisfy every need of every person. What is your need? Are you struggling with fear or anxiety? Jesus is the answer. Maybe financial troubles are mounting. Jesus can help. Is a relationship imploding? Turn to Jesus.

Larger than any of these is the problem of sin. Satan is a lying, brutal enemy. His arrogance even led him to attack Jesus (Matthew 4) in the Wilderness and later at Calvary. His deception is boundless. His hatred of all things good is beyond understanding. Satan is the root of every problem we face. Only Jesus can defeat him.

[bctt tweet=”I’m only half-joking when I tell people that I have the best interpretation of Revelation: Jesus wins!” username=”Preachers_Study”]

I’m only half-joking when I tell people that I have the best interpretation of Revelation: Jesus wins! Despite all that Satan has thrown at Jesus, our Lord bests him. Notice from our list that Jesus is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). This is the body that Satan has raged against for centuries but has been unable to destroy. Why? Because Jesus declared that the gates of hades would have no power over it (Matthew 16:18). Hades is death or the power of death. It is the supposed reign of Satan, but Jesus overcame death and is victorious over it (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Likewise, he is the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18). He wasn’t the first to rise from the dead but is the greatest. Death could not hold my Lord! Because of this, it cannot hold me either (1 Corinthians 15:19-28).

The last two on the list speak to me loudly. He reconciles me to God and thus makes peace between me and God against whom I have horribly rebelled (Romans 5:1-10). [bctt tweet=””Jesus reconciles me to God and thus makes peace between me and God against whom I have horribly rebelled…”” username=”Preachers_Study”]

In six verses, Paul highlights everything Jesus does for us. There is no greater friend.

“What a friend we have in Jesus…”

— Bryant Evans

Beyond Myself

Would you agree that most people today think first of themselves and then of other people? Would you also agree that for most people the world revolves around them? Galileo had nothing on today’s people. Most folks think they are the center of the universe. Consider the last 10 posts you read on Facebook. How many of them were begging you to like or in some way to indicate your approval of what the person had written? It really seems as if people have become infatuated with themselves and have lost concern for anybody else.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Jesus reasoned differently than modern man. According to the Lord, our first concern is to God. Our second concern is our neighbor. Only then do we begin to think about self. In Luke’s account of the same story Jesus follows up with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Remember that in that story a man greatly inconveniences himself both physically and financially as he provides care for someone else (Luke 10:29 through 37). It’s the kind of story that you don’t hear much today. I suspect most of us would be just too busy to stop and help somebody who is bleeding nasty and maybe even at the point of death. That’s a pretty serious indictment of our culture, I know. Just look around. We’ll see many people who are terribly needy and pitiful and no one stepping up to help them.

That is not Jesus’ way.

We live in an incredibly affluent society. We are sloppy rich compared to many people in the world. We have the means to help others if we look beyond ourselves. Jesus said in Galatians 6:10 that we are to do good to all men. We are to serve our fellow man. Do you remember what Jesus did in John 13? Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The washing of the guest feet was customary in ancient times. But on this occasion, nobody got around to the simple act of hospitality. Finally, Jesus got up took a towel and a basin of water and began to wash the dirty feet of his disciples. I imagine there was an awkward silence in the room. When Jesus finishes this humble act, he says: “if I then, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). In Mark 10:45 Jesus said he did not come to be served but to serve others. We live in an incredibly affluent society. We are sloppy rich compared to many people in the world. We have the means to help others if we look beyond ourselves.[bctt tweet=”We live in an incredibly affluent society. We are sloppy rich compared to many people in the world. We have the means to help others if we look beyond ourselves.” username=”Preachers_Study”]

That is Jesus’ way.

The man whose heart is anchored in the world looks at Jesus in confusion. Why would God leave heaven, come to this old earth, suffer disrespect, and finally death? What is the gain? What is the profit? What’s in it for God? The worldly man doesn’t understand because he spends his time focused on himself. [bctt tweet=”The man whose heart is anchored in the world looks at Jesus in confusion. ” username=”Preachers_Study”]

So here is my question and I pray that you will answer it honestly. When was the last time you did something that was completely selfless? When was the last time you went out of your way to help somebody else when there was absolutely nothing in it for you? Jesus says that it is by our love that other people will know that we are his disciples (John 13:35). You see, we don’t have to wear a crucifix around our neck or put the fish symbol on the back of our car for people to know that we are Christians. Instead, our love for the Lord, for one another and even for those outside of the body of Christ will demonstrate our faith in a way that cannot be ignored. [bctt tweet=”When was the last time you went out of your way to help somebody else when there was absolutely nothing in it for you?” username=”Preachers_Study”]

Let today be the day that you do something solely for Christ. Remember, Jesus loved the world enough to die. Let us reflect that love to a world that doesn’t even know him.

Serving or Served?

There are many problems in the world which run the gamut from inconvenient to catastrophic, from too many meetings at work to nuclear proliferation. I probably cannot do much about nuclear bombs and I probably can’t help you with your work schedule but I am not powerless to serve.

The follower of Jesus seeks to serve others because Jesus served.

But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:43-45

I was recently in a restaurant. I noticed there were far more customers than servers. That’s to be expected in a restaurant but not in the church. We need churches full of people who serve others in some way. Church leaders must ensure ample opportunities for service among their people.

According to Jesus, greatness is in serving. That’s upside down from the world’s thinking, but Jesus says that we must become slaves in order to become great. Slaves. Who wants that? Jesus was a slave who went to his death to serve us (Philippians 2:8).

What have we done to serve others?

We do not have to die to serve, but we do have to serve in some way.

  1. Look for opportunities to serve. Seek them out. Do not wait for someone else to point out a need.
  2. Act on opportunities. A church program or another leader is unnecessary. You do what needs to be done.
  3. Pray for unseen opportunities. Sometimes, the deepest needs are hidden. Ask our Lord to open your eyes.
  4. Don’t miss the small stuff. A phone call or a card can do much to brighten the day of someone struggling. Your thoughts and prayers matter.
  5. Ask to serve. There are many ready-made opportunities for service. Get involved somewhere.

We all have talents. Use your talents to their maximum. Be like Jesus and serve others!

See How He Loved Him!

Lazarus was dead and in the tomb for 4 days when Jesus arrived. Friends told Jesus of Lazarus’ sickness but the Lord delayed coming to Bethany “for the glory of God” (John 11:4) and so that his disciples might learn to believe (John 11:15). Lazarus, his sisters Martha and Mary, were dear friends of Jesus. So, when Jesus finally arrived at their home he was met with some confusion.

“If you had been here, my brother would not have died”  quipped Martha. Mary would say the same thing (John 11:21, 32).

In response to their pain and the grieving of those assembled, Jesus was “deeply moved”  and “greatly troubled.” The inspired writer says, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). To this display of divine emotion, the Jews remarked, “See how he loved him” (John 11:36)!

I invite the reader to see how Jesus loves us too!

From his attendance in Creation, Jesus showed his love for man. Man was created as the pinnacle of all creation. He was placed into the beauty of a prepared garden, given a specially designed mate, and allowed unique access to God (Genesis 1:26-2:25). See how Jesus loves us!

Despite the rebellion (Genesis 3:6), he continued to love us. While punishing the serpent,  the man, and the woman, Jesus was promised as a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15). This is all the more remarkable when we consider that Jesus, in his Redeemer role, would have to suffer and die. Imagine that! The Creator dies for the creation! But this came as no surprise to Jesus. His coming passion was known from before time (1 Peter 1:20; Matthew 13:35; Ephesians 1:4; Proverbs 8:23; Micah 5:2). So, before the world was created, Jesus knew that his creation would sin and that he, Jesus, alone, could save them from deserved punishment through his own suffering. He created us anyway! See how Jesus loves us!

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords left his glory to mix and mingle among the poor and downtrodden (1 Timothy 6:15; Philippians 2:7). He made lower than the angels so that he could suffer death (Hebrews 2:7, 9)! The immortal took on mortal frailty! See how he loves us!

Jesus described God’s love as that of a father. Matthew 7:7-11 is so revealing. God gives us all that we need just as a father gives his children all that they need! “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.” You surely love your children. How much more shall we know the loves of God toward us? Whatever our need, God always gives what is best! See how he loves us!

No parent wants to be separated from their children. Sometimes it is necessary but it is never desired. I suspect that most of us would love to have our children in the same town as which we live. We love them and we want them close. Jesus has promised to bring us all together into his home for eternity. “I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again…where I am, you may be also” (John 14:2, 3). Although apart from God briefly, we will be reunited with him soon (2 Corinthians 5:6-10).  It is Jesus who ensures that we can be reunited with him in heaven! See how he loves us!

The story of Jesus and his love for man in inexhaustible. Every page of Scripture abounds with evidence of his love for us. May we bask in the warmth of his love knowing that he has given all for us.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed.

Jesus Only

Jesus OnlyEvangelism is a vital part of what we do in service to our Lord. We teach and preach truth so that some might hear and come to a knowledge of that same truth. People will be saved through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus there is no hope; there is no salvation.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

John 14:6


This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:11, 12

Culture Rejects Jesus Only

In this multi-cultural-anything-goes world, Jesus is considered one path of many to God. The world rejects the unique savior in favor of god more to their liking. The world desires a god who conforms to their lifestyle rather than the other way around.

There is nothing new in this hodgepodge of religious confusion. Adam and Eve rejected the Creator in favor of the serpent. Abram was called from the pagan world of the Chaldees. The Israelites were enslaved in idol worshipping Egypt. Israel itself would worship idols on many occasions despite repeated warnings from Jehovah through her prophets. In Jesus’ day, Rome ruled an empire wholly given over to idolatry. Who can forget Paul’s consternation at Athens, a city full of idols?

The parade of idol worshipping continues. Today, many worship at the altar of self. They need no stone idol. Instead they bow to their own wants, desires and habits.

Neither an idol of stone nor self can save. Jesus is the only answer.

The Church Must Demand Jesus Only

It is false to teach any doctrine that rejects or discounts Jesus only. We must not even call ourselves a “Christian” if we ignore this most basic claim of our savior. “No one comes to the father except through me.”

The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:20). The church was bought by his blood (Acts 20:28). How is it possible that the very people who compose the called together body and even consider that Jesus is not the only way to salvation? Yet some in Christendom ((A broad term including all who claim to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.)) wish to give a nod to other paths as a possible means of salvation.

If we are to be his servants, we must speak as he speaks. We must teach his teachings and reject all others. We must demand Jesus only for the world.

We began by speaking of evangelism. The world is ready for the message of true salvation. The world needs a clear, unwavering message of truth not clouded by creeds or opinions. We must be making Christians only by teaching Jesus.

What the world needs now is Jesus only!

I would love to hear your thoughts? Are we focusing on Jesus as we should?

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

Friends for Dinner

Jesus_and_the_disciples_at_the_Last_SupperA man once remarked that he might have to work with a person he did not like, but he did not have to break bread with him. He is right. We do not invite our enemies to dinner. We cherish friends and relish spending time with them over a meal. We invite our friends to dinner, not enemies.

Given that friends, not enemies, eat together, it is astonishing that Jesus invites us to eat with him. Think about it. Before coming to know Jesus, we were enemies. Paul writes that we were sinners (Romans 5:8) and that we were aliens to the Divine (Ephesians 2:12, 19). It was because of our sins that he endured shame, reproach, and death (Isaiah 53:3-5). There was no sense in which we ever showed ourselves friendly to Jesus until he extended his love to us.

Despite our horrendous behavior, despite our sin, Jesus invites us to share dinner.

Jesus offered a parable in which a great man gave a fine banquet. This man invited many to join him, but none came. He then turned to the outcasts and called them to the banquet table. They came and rejoiced in his invitation (Luke 14:16-24). Today, we are the outcasts. We are the invisible throngs too dirty to be invited to the Jesus’ great banquet. Yet, Jesus calls us to banquet with him.

A banquet, or as we say in Alabama, a get-together, is always populated by friends. Jesus makes us His friends and invites us to His table. Stop and let that sink in.  As Blues artist B.B. King would say, we are Riding with the King!

Jesus invites us to another table too. He calls us to a special memorial meal: The Lord’s Supper. Communion is multi-faceted. In it, we remember Jesus and we examine ourselves. The Lord’s Supper represents the ultimate earthly communion with Jesus and all of our brethren. In Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23, Jesus joins his friends for the Passover meal. In all Israel, there was no more special time than this when one gathered with his closest friends and family to commemorate deliverance from Egypt. Now Jesus reclines with his dearest friends to partake of the Passover.

Using this momentous time, Jesus establishes a weekly meal which brethren enjoy together. But we do not commune only with friends. Jesus Himself joins us at the communal table. Here, the reality of his friendship is seen most clearly. Here, we see Jesus joining with the very people who caused his death. We see Jesus telling his former enemies to remember his death for them. We see former enemies joining in the most precious fellowship of all.

Our friendship with Jesus begins with Him. Left to our own schemes, we would never think to reach out to Jesus. And certainly, we bring nothing to Him worthy of his friendship. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19)!

The implications of friendship with Jesus are staggering. The Creator (John 1:3) has extended Himself to the created. The King has reached out to the commoner; the Lord has reached out to the lowly (1 Timothy 6:15). The Master embraces the slave (Matthew 10:24) and the teacher communes with the student (John 13:13). Even more, Jesus loves us so much that he shares his inheritance with us (Romans 8:17).

As you assemble around the Lord’s Table this week, consider the invitation to commune with Jesus. Think of what it means to be his friend and to heed his invitation to banquet with him.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.