Sunday, December 6, 2015

Home for Christmas



Home for Christmas

(ESV)

Earlier this year, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. A Christmas song which became popular during that conflict is the familiar “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” It speaks of the longing of someone who wants to be home for this very special holiday, but knows he probably won’t: I’ll be home for Christmas, / If only in my dreams.

Most of us, when we are away working for a company, at school, or in the military, want to go home for special occasions. We want to be with family and friends. This is only natural. Sometimes someone might say, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like it here?” But that’s the wrong question. Home is home, or as an older song says, “There’s no place like home.” Or, as the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.”

Abraham left his home in Ur with his father and brothers and moved to Paran. Later he left them there for Canaan, which became his earthly home for the rest of his life. But to him it was not really home. The writer of Hebrews says, “By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (11:9-10).

It is this outlook which is reflected in another song, “This World Is Not My Home.” For those of us who are the spiritual heirs of Abraham, who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, our real home is not here, but in Heaven, in the New Jerusalem, the city made by God. When a Christian, a believer in Christ, dies, we may say, “He (or she) has gone home.”  Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” One way to interpret this is to see God as welcoming His children home.

Several people we know, relatives and friends, and friends and relatives of those we know, have passed on so far this year. Some of them have gone on during the past month or so. Most of them were Christians. So as we celebrate the holiday here, they are home for Christmas.

Wesley Vaughn
Dover, OH

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS BY STEVE FINNELL

Contrary to what men believe, only God can forgive the sins that have been committed against Him. Joseph Smith nor Brigham Young can forgive sins. Catholic priests cannot forgive sins. Lutheran ministers cannot forgive sins. There are no men dead or alive who can forgive the sins that men commit against God.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS!

Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS!

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity...

Only God pardons iniquity. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Catholic priests, nor Lutheran ministers have the authority to pardon iniquity.

Daniel 9:98 To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;

Mankind has rebelled against God and He alone can grant forgiveness.

THE SCRIBES UNDERSTOOD ONLY GOD COULD FORGIVE SINS!

Mark 2:6-11..the scribes...7...He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone? ....10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins"---He said to the paralytic, 11 "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home."

The problem with scribes was they did not realize that Jesus was God in the flesh. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Catholic priests, Lutheran ministers, nor any other men, are or were, God in the flesh.

DID JESUS GRANT THE APOSTLES THE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS? NO HE DID NOT.

Acts 8:18-22 ....20 But Peter said to him....22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.

The apostle Peter did not grant forgiveness to Simon, he told Simon to pray to God for forgiveness. Note, Simon was already a Christian.

THE PROOF TEXT.

John 20:19-23 ....23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."

Jesus was not giving Peter and the rest of the apostles the power to grant forgiveness of sins to men on an individual bases, Jesus was not ordaining them as priests with that power. Jesus was giving Peter and the apostles the authority to proclaim the terms for forgiveness of sins. Peter and the apostles did just that on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-41...36 Therefore let the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ---this Jesus whom you crucified. 37...Peter and the rest of the apostles....38 Peter said to them , "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)

Peter and the apostles did not forgive sins on the Day of Pentecost nor on any subsequent day. They declare God's terms for pardon.
FAITH: John 3:16
REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38
CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10
WATER BAPTISM: Acts 2:38

Christians are not asked to confess to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Catholic priests, Lutheran ministers, nor any other men, in order to have their sins against God forgiven!

Christians are to confess their sins to God in order to receive forgiveness. (1 John1:5-9 ....God is light... 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness.)

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between men, the man Christ Jesus,

The only priest standing between men and God is the high priest, Jesus Christ.

NOTE: Confessing sins and asking God for forgiveness is only available to Christians. Non-Christians must have FAITH, REPENT, CONFESS JESUS AS LORD, BELIEVE IN HIS RESURRECTION AND BE BAPTIZED IN WATER IN ORDER TO THEIR SINS FORGIVEN.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS!

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