Manasseh: A Picture on How Old Testament People Were Saved
Reference: 2 Chronicles 33
This is the story of Manasseh, ruler of Jerusalem. He became king at the age of 12.
"Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years."
He was evil in God's eyes. There was too much idolatry in this man.
"He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles."
In the book of 2 Kings it was mentioned that Manasseh...
"Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD." (2 Kings 21:16)
The Lord punished Manasseh for these acts.
"The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon."
In this great time of difficulty, Manasseh called upon the God he insulted and asked for forgiveness.
"In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him..."
And surprisingly, the Lord still listened and forgave Manasseh.
"the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God."
The Faith of Manasseh and his repentance on what He has done has brought His salvation through God's grace.
As proof here was the fruits of Manasseh's faith.
"He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings [b] and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel."
Manasseh was saved through faith alone. Even with His evil deeds, an all merciful God looks at our heart and knows if our repentance is true. That we indeed have a change of heart, humbly accepting that we are sinners. And asking for forgiveness and accepting God as our saviour makes us in fellowship with Him again.
Manasseh indeed showed through His subsequent actions that His repentance was genuine. But his acts of goodness were not criticial here. Remember that God blessed him and restored him to power even before he took out the idols.
Just like us today when we put our trust in Jesus Christ alone. Why Jesus Christ because He and the Father are one.
"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
If we humbly admit to Jesus that we are sinners and through faith believe that His sacrifice on the cross is enough to save wretches like us then we will be with God come judgment day.
First Posted at Pinoyexchange
Technorati tags: God
/ Old Testament
/ How Were Old Testament People Saved
One day three kids asked their mom if they could play outside. The mother said ok but told them that they won't be able to enter the house if they have mud on them. So the three kids happily went outside and play.
During their time outside, one kid spent the whole time playing in the mud without a care to the mother's warning. One also found it kind of fun so he just played with only with his hands and thought to himself that he would wash after playing. The last kid wondered as well how it would feel like to play with mud so he just played and trampled on it with his slippers, telling himself that its only a little mud and it was very easy to wash off. They were so enamored with playing that they forgot the time and when they remembered they were in a hurry to go back. So much so that they forgot to wash!
Their mom was waiting for them at the front door and were ready to examine them. Who do you think was allowed to go inside the house? Of course none for all of them have mud that they will bring inside the house.
People have this notion that since they never did a serious sin like stealing or murder that they can get by and probably go to heaven since they did well. But the Bible says... "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Just as the kids fell short of the expectation of the mother so did we fall short of the glory of God.
People are not sent to hell by God because of crimes they commit or some nasty thing or the lifestyle they live! People are sent to hell because of their sins. It is as simple as that.
Most say for example that homosexuals are not going to heaven because of this sinful lifestyle as told in the Bible. But homosexuality, rape, murder or being a thief isn't anymore serious than the other sins in our lives like the simple act of 'lying' for example.
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelations 21:8)
But who can stop lying? Then no one will be saved? What does Jesus say?
"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (Matthew 19:26)
This is because people will be saved not because of them but because of God's mercy and His Son Jesus Christ.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If you admit you have mud on your soles then admit it to Jesus directly and He accept you and cleanse you.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Posted at: Pinoyexchange
Technorati tags: mud / Jesus / Christ / Saved / John / Romans / Revelations
Did Judas have free will?
What a question and albeit a difficult one!
I am of the opinion that Judas had free will and at the same time he was the one predestined to betray Jesus. Huh!? Judas could've chosen not to go on with the betrayal but God knew what was in heart and God just knew that Judas cannot withstand such pressure from Satan. Remember that God is all-knowing. Plus He allowed this for a greater purpose.
I also think that Judas did not merely betray Jesus because of the 30 pieces of silver. I think the bigger motivation was his disappointment that Jesus did not fit the mold of the idea of the majority of Jews of what a messiah should be. This was an ideology and it is stronger than any financial gain.
Actually this question gives birth to two more interesting questions.1. If Judas repented of his sins and accepted Jesus as Lord, and did not commit suicide, would he have been forgiven and be with Christ as well in Heaven?
The answer is YES! Judas after such a mistake could have repented and ask God for forgiveness. Throughout biblical history we saw this in the great heroes of faith like Moses, David and even the prostitute Rahab! Remember as well that Jesus' death and resurrection is for all sinners who will admit their sins, repent and accept Christ into their lives.2. Is Judas really the main culrpit in Jesus' death? You can also include here the Sanhedrin as well right?
This was the root of the controversy in movie the "Passion of the Christ" right? That Jews are being depicted as killers of God.
If you watched the Passion movie and got angry at Jews and the multitudes who were crying for blood then you got it all wrong! Jesus died for your sins, my sins and the sins of the whole world! So it wrong to say that Judas or the Sanhedrin or Pilate killed Jesus. Mel Gibson symbolized it well when he used his hand as the hand which hammered the nail on Jesus' hands. We (all of us) were the ones who crucified Christ not just Judas, the Sanhedrin or Pilate or the Roman soldiers.
Now should you hate yourself because Jesus died due to your sins? No! Jesus did not come here to condemn. He was not angry at us. He knows we cannot solve this on our own. That is the reason He came for us because He loves us and wants us to be with him in His Kingdom forever.
Posted at:PinoyexchangeTechnorati tags: God / Jesus / Judas / Free Will / Salvation
Hungering for the Word of God
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV)
This passage tells us about hypocrisy and that we should desist from this dangerous habit. If we are truly Christians we should start acting like one.
A Christian is someone who really wants to do good. This is not because it is for the person's ticket to heaven since he or she is already assured of this. A Christian wants to do good because after receiving such grace from God, he does it as a love expression to Him. It is the most natural thing to do and the person does it out of genuine willingness.
Christians also hunger for God's Word. Whether one admits it or not, we feel something wrong if he or she hasn't been reading the Bible for quite sometime. It's like not taking in healthy food for periods of time.
This journal is my attempt to keep my hunger for God's Word. It's kind of hard at times but it's really a useful tool to have during quiet times. It has opened my heart to God's truths as I read and write down what God is saying to me through the Bible.
Technorati tags: God / Peter / Christian / Hypocrisy