Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The Theological ignorance of many Christians is appalling. The self-centered arrogance is equally disturbing. A Christian friend of mine told me just the other day that he had a problem with the idea that there would be those in the resurrection at the last day who were not already Christians. The sad thing is that he believes this. He further stated that he did not believe that anyone could find out about Jesus and His salvation "after" death.

With this perspective in mind can you begin to see how many human beings who have lived on this earth would be excluded from eternal life in the glories of heaven. This man's idea was that all of these "lost" souls would just go to Hell and burn and suffer forever. Where is the God of Love in that picture?

If this sounds like bad theology to you--and it IS--let's now take a look at some scriptures which demonstrate that these individuals who never heard the name of Jesus were SAVED by Jesus and it will take the other side of the grave for them to find out about it!

Before you think that this is "Post Mortem" theology which says people have a chance at salvation after death, think again. It IS saying that all people were redeemed and reconciled to the Father by Jesus Christ. Many have died just not knowing it!!! The only way for them to find out about it is AFTER death. Then they will know they were loved and saved by Jesus and then have the opportunity to accept it and believe it.

They will find out that Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world thus His blood reached to all humans. ( Rev.13:8). They will find out that Jesus' blood covered their sins and was the propitiation for--the payment for--ALL peoples sins. They will realize that they too were crucified with Christ, raised with Christ, and ascended to the Father's right hand in Christ along side all humans who ever lived. ( Ehpesians 2:6). Then to experience this, they must accept it and believe it. By not believing it only misery and suffering would remain for them.

I can not believe that Christians are satisfied with multiple billions of people suffering in a state of Hell forever because they did not find out in this life WHO Jesus Christ was/is.

God's plan for mankind to be with Him forever was architected before the foundation of the world for ALL humanity. ( Ephesians 1:3-14).

Remember "as in Adam all die, so in Jesus Christ ALL will be made alive, EVERYONE in time." ( I Corinthians 15:22-23 ).

I believe Lord, help my unbelief.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Memorial Day. What does Memorial Day have to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Let's see.
Another name for Memorial Day is "Graves Day". This is from the practice of placing decorations on the graves of fallen soldiers from the past.

Jesus resurrects Lazarus to life in John 11, proving to Martha, Mary and others He had the power to resurrect the dead. In Matthew 27, after the resurrection of Jesus the graves in and around Jerusalem were opened and DEAD people rose up out of those graves. Again demonstrating God's power to resurrect the dead and to provide a forshadowing of the resurrection of ALL humanity in Jesus. Jesus had proclaimed in John 11:25, that " I Am the Resurrection and the life."

In Jesus Christ ALL are made alive in His resurrection and ascension to the Father's right hand. Ephesians 2:6. Christ was FIRST. But then EVERY man in his own time will share in Christ's resurrection. There is only one way a person can be resurrected and that is to pass from phyical to spiritual. To be changed. For those who have died regardless of the cause, in this case war, Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Remember in Adam all Die, but in Jesus Christ ALL are made ALIVE. I Corinthians 15:22. And this through RESURRECTION.

"War is Hell" as General Sherman declared during the March to the Sea as the Civil War came to a close. Mothers and Fathers have lost their sons and daughters. Grandparents as well. Loved ones have been separated through death in war. War is HELL. But the good news in Jesus Christ is that Death has been conquered. All are resurrected in Jesus. He is the Resurrection and the life for EVERYONE.

We honor those who have fallen in the service to our nation. And we are encouraged that the Mothers and Fathers and loved ones separated by those conflicts WILL be reunited with their loved ones in Jesus' Resurrection.

Because of Jesus Christ death is not the end but a beginning. FOREVER.

" Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Friday, May 16, 2008


Genesis 1:26-27 says that God created man in God's image, both male and female. There has been much speculation on this statement over the ages with books being written on the subject.

It has been postulated that what it means to be created in God's image is to have the ability to think, possess creativity, and be human in appearance as Christ was human. Further, to be able to love and be loved. To give and to receive. Also, to have a mind capable of great thinking and concepts of physical, mataphysical, philosophical and theological understandings.

While all of these are God given capabilities which no animals possess they all miss the point of what it means to be created in the image of God.

God speaking in Genesis 1 is not some unknowable, untouchable, cosmic Giant possessing "all everything" only to be revered, bowed down to, exalted, worshipped, and who is unapproachable as if He were some cosmic Budda or Zeus or one similar to these only infinitely greater.

John 1:1 shows God to be Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a Triune God of three persons yet one essence. . The word "with" here relates to relationship as the Triune God is "face to face" one with the other. Not just 'existing' but living in RELATIONSIP with one another in an entwined 'perichoretic' relationship of love, peace, joy happiness, acceptance, appreciation, honor, fun, and the mutually sharing of life together.

This love relationship overflowed to the point that this Great Triune God decided to make children to share this abundance of love with and to share LIFE with in this perechoretic relationship which would take humanity INSIDE God's life and include man in God's life through being 'Adopted' as God's very own children and placed inside this Divine relationship FOREVER. (See Ephesians 1:3-14 and John 14:20; John 17:20-26). And all of this to be done IN, BY, FOR, and THROUGH Jesus Christ. The Divine UNION was to be and WAS completed in Jesus. God in effect established man's destiny before ANYTHING was ever created.

Triune God is Spirit. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are Spirit. For man AND woman to be created in God's image in this Divine relationship demonstrates God's esteem for both sexes equally and His love for all of His children without partiality.

There simply is no other being in God's creation that in any way fits the description of one(s) being created IN God's image. Man and woman only can and do fit this profile.

The rest of the creation including all animals and all of nature and all of the cosmos was created FOR humans to be in charge of. Hebrews 2:5-8 shows that EVERYTHING created is to be under the "feet" --under subjection--to man. That day is coming but it is not here yet. The future world to come is not even going to be put under the authority of angels, but MAN.

This relates to man and woman being created in God's image. The fact that God is sharing His Divine Nature, His Divine LIFE with humanity demonstrates God's confidence in placing ALL things ultimately under man's feet--in subjection to man.

In the image of God is to be IN eternal RELATIONSHIP with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is to share mutual Trust, love, confidence, and nature. God will have billions of sons and daughters IN His image sharing in His LIFE and in the maintenance and care of the cosmos with ALL things being under their feet.

Great theologians such as Karl Barth, the great Athanasius, T.F. Torrance and others knew this truth and taught it.

Maybe now we can understand a little better another dimension of God's great love for all of us--love that will allow Him to share His very Divine life and eternity with us.

Friday, May 9, 2008


REPENT !!! Or else! Firey preachers have for centuries cried the repent warning. Flee from the wrath to come! Turn around and sin no more! Do a 180 in your life. Repent to be forgiven.
Sound familiar?

Since no one can remove all the sin out of their life many Christians live in the constant fear that they are not repentant enough, not good enough, haven't overcome enough, and literally live their life in mental BONDAGE to a wrong concept of what repentance really is.

Before we say what repentance is let us say what repentance is NOT. Repentance is NOT denying our humanity, not being sorry for all the individual and specific sins we have committed in our life and continue to commit, not turning our life around and ceasing from all sin and living a spotless life in this flesh. So what then is there to repent of? What is real repentance?

Repentance in scripture is translated from the Greek work, Metanoia, which means to "change one's mind or thinking." Or, " think again."

Repentance involves how we look at God and how He looks at us. Wrongly looking at God we would see a God who us just waiting to 'get' us for sins and not 'repenting' of those sins and therefore holding us over the flames of ( Plato's Hell) hell and burning us forever. Much the way Jonathan Edwards' sermon said in " Sinners in the hands of an ANGRY God". Oooooh, not good!

Rightly looking at God we see a Loving Father who devised an eternal plan for us IN Jesus Christ to place us in His life with Jesus making it SO! Through Jesus we have EVERYTHING needed to "make it happen." ALREADY!

Repentance is NOT looking to see what we can do to make it happen or how MUCH we can do to make it happen BUT, seeing what Jesus has already done to make it happen. Repentance is seeing how much God loves us and is DETERMINED to live forever WITH us. ( As Karl Barth said, " God does not intend to live forever WITHOUT us.")

All humanly devised religions have some sort of works and rewards program for the individual to live up to in order to see the after life in a good state. They are all contests to see if one measures up. Their 'repentance' is changing and doing SOMETHING to make it happen. All based on the individuals success and personal merits and accomplishments.

The TRUTH is different. God's plan is a GIFT to humanity IN Jesus without ANY requirements on man's part. In Jesus it is ALREADY done. It is a DONE deal. It is done because of God's GREAT LOVE for us from before the foundation of the world.

Repentance is coming to see this truth. It is coming to believe it. It is changing our mind from a perception of a god who is anything but love and who loves us ETERNALLY.

All of our sins and shortcomings have been taken care of in Jesus Christ. He is the payment or propitiation for ALL sin for ALL time for ALL humans. Period. We all stand in FORIVENESS in perpetuity. Perpetually. Continually.

Repentance is seeing what God has done. It is taking YOU out of the equation. It is reducing your only response to BELIEVING. This believing then WILL produce the changes in one's life through Jesus that demonstrate and witness to the person's repentance.

By not repenting, by not believing one can only live in continual suffering, pain, angst, misery, and in a state of perishing. And, frankly that theoretically could last forever!

"Repent and believe the Gospel." It really is GOOD NEWS!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008


How big is God? How much does God love all of His children? We say God loves us and the whole world. Most of us can not begin to understand the magnitude of God or the God who is Love. God does not just have love for us or extend His love to us. God's love is much bigger than this. John 3:16, perhaps the most famous verse in all of the Bible declares that God loved the whole world.

I Corinthians 13:8 states that Love NEVER fails.

I John 4:8 tells us not that God HAS love but that God IS LOVE. Throughout eternity God has always existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in LOVE. Love one for the other in the Great Triune God relationship. Everything that God is or does is an extension of His being LOVE.

God's original plan to create human beings and take them INTO His being, within His circle of life was a plan to place man INSIDE God's very being within the Triune relationship God shares with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ the bridge is crossed creating UNION between man and God. This union takes man into the same relationship Jesus has with the Father by the Spirit. The union takes man INSIDE God's life, inside God's love--permanently and eternally in relationship JUST AS JESUS lives in the eternal relationship with the Father. And, again I Corinthians 13:8 tells us that this LOVE never, NEVER, fails.

All of this salvation, Adoption, and Inclusion into the live of God is by God's DOING. It was planned from BEFORE the creation of the cosmos and this world. Its was mapped out, blue printed, and declared so by God for man backed by the Power of God to make it so IN Jesus.
( See Ephesians 1:3-14 ).

By God's LOVE sin has been defeated in Jesus. Humanity has been redeemed by God's LOVE in Jesus. Creation has been reconciled to God by God's LOVE through Jesus. All humanity has been given Justification and declared righteous by the Faith OF Jesus Christ and this because of God's GREAT LOVE.

How big is God's Love? Big enough to NEVER FAIL. And, He shares it with us ALL. The question is, " Are we BIG enough to believe it?"

I believe, Lord help my unbelief.

Pastor Paul