I have just finished reading this book and it brought great conviction to my heart. Sometimes I don't think that the American church has a clue as to what our brothers and sisters in Jesus have to endure in most parts of our world today. I must admit that at times while reading the story of Brother Yun, my cheeks burned with shame. While great portions of the western church listens to its messages on 3 steps to a better personality or 5 steps to prosperity, Christians around the world are suffering greatly for their faith and yet will not compromise the true message of the cross of Jesus Christ.
I highly recommend that every single Christian read this book. Someday, a taste of the rest of the world may come to the shores of America and we are not ready for it, believe you me.
This astounding report of a Chinese believer will stir your soul and penetrate your heart. Brother Yun endured great persecution and hardships at the hands of the Chinese government. One Evangelist said that reading this book was like reading something from the book of Acts. The Lord so faithfully provides for His true servants.
Again, let me strongly encourage you to read this powerful book that brings glory to Jesus Christ. We will be stocking a limited number of these books for a short time and you can e-mail me as to how you can secure your copy. They are also available at your local christian bookstore.
Forgiveness is of such importance to each of us that we must realize that the basis for our forgiveness is the Cross of Jesus Christ. We can be forgiven only on the basis of what Jesus did on our behalf. Before Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, Isaiah the prophet gave us a picture of what He was to do and why He was to do it. In Isaiah 53 Isaiah describes the suffering death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
" Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:4-6
That is the basis of God's forgiveness. It does not compromise His justice. The justice of God was fully and finally satisfied because Jesus became our substitute and took our iniquity, our rebelliousness, and our guilt. Isaiah and Paul both emphasize that none are excluded from the need of forgiveness. [Romans 3:23] It may not be some atrocious crime of murder or rape that each of us is quilty of, but Isaiah says that we have all gone astray. We have all turned to our own way. We have been rebellious. We have been self-pleasers. We have lived by our own standards. We have robbed God of His glory. This is all summed up in one strong word of scripture, iniquity. But thanks be to God, the Lord laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. The Hebrew word that is translated " laid on Him" is a vivid word. It means " made to meet together on Him". All of the sins, all the burdens of men, all the guilt, of all ages, of all races, past, present, and future, came and met together upon the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as He hung on the Cross.
Jesus did not die for His own sin. He never sinned. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. Please take note how closely linked healing and forgiveness are. Many times people are seeking healing, when what they really need is forgiveness before they can be healed. It is also true that, at times God does heal people who are not forgiven as yet. We also see that the consequence of forgiveness is peace. Because Jesus was punished on the Cross for our sin, God offers us peace and reconciliation. On the Cross, Jesus was our substitute.
We cannot earn our forgiveness. Period.. In Romans, chapter 4, Paul bases his teaching on the experience of Abraham. Paul points out that Abraham did not earn his relationship with God. Abraham was justified because he believed, not because of what he did. Read Romans 4:1-5 If we lead perfectly good lives then we would have received the reward of righteousness as a due. But Paul says because none of us has led perfect lives, we cannot claim it as a due. We have to receive it out of God's graciousness as a free gift to us. Paul then goes on to quote the words of David in Psalm 32. He talks about "blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." [verses 1-2] When we receive Christ and what He did for us at Calvary; our sins will never be counted against us... Paul continues by telling us in Romans Chapter 4:20-25 that it is Christ who was raised to life for our justification. As we put our faith in what Jesus did for us at Calvary this becomes a reality for us. We are justified through faith in the death of Jesus on our behalf. When all our sins are forgiven us because of our faith in Jesus, we are reckoned righteous with the very righteousness of Jesus Himself.
When God forgives us through our faith in Christ, He does not partially forgive us. God totally forgives us. Lets look at Micah 7:18-19. "Who is a God like unto you, who pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retains not His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Isn't that so beautiful? Everything that we have ever done wrong-- everything that could ever make us feel guilty, every accusation that the enemy could ever bring against us-- God treads them under foot and then hurls them into the depths of the sea. If God has forgiven you then you are forgiven.
God's forgiveness is total. In Isaiah 43:25 God speaks to His people: "I, even I, am He Who blots out your transgressions for My Own sake, and will not remember your sins." When God forgives us, He gives us a clean record. It is as though what has been forgiven had never taken place.Not only does God blot out the record, but He blots it out from His own memory. He says that He will not remember our sins any more. When God forgives, He forgets... All because of Calvary...
Many of you have been asking what we know about the Sky Angel Christian TV system. If you call 1-800-Sky Angel, you can obtain info. on all their packages. To my understanding, they do have a way that you can watch using your high-speed internet. Feel free to call them for more info.
On March 1st, our dear friend Scott Corbin began airing Brother Paxtons sermons on his internet radio station. Brother Corbin pastors a great church in Spartanburg, South Carolina called Truth Chapel World Evangelism Fellowship Church. We strongly support this Brother and his wife Nikki, and we urge all of our readers within driving distance of their church to, by all means pay them a visit. And if you are looking for a good home church, this would be the place for you.
You can catch my programs on Saturday's at 12 noon, and Sunday's at 1 am and 8 am. Sound Of Truth Radio has an excellent line-up 24 hours a day. Please give it a listen by going to the www.siwministries link on this Cross focus blog or go directly to the site.
We want to take this oppritunity to tell you about our other locations on the web. Very soon all of these will be linked at our main web-site, which is www.acts2618.com
We have just launched a new blog and you will find it linked on this Cross Focus blog and as I have already stated, very soon it too will be linked on our main site. It's called Cross Talk and I think it will be a blessing to you. We have made it so you can leave comments on that blog as well as from time to time, we will have polls for you to cast your vote. Let me strongly encourage you to do so. It is a more interactive site.
It is kind of geared to the younger people but young and old alike can be blessed by what will be posted there.
The Lord would have us do all we can to tell the good news of Christ and Him crucified and we are trying to do just that. Please, once again let me encourage you to participate as much as is possible and let us know that you are out there and are reading.
Thank you so very much, In the Masters service, Len and Angie Paxton
"And Jesus said unto him, No man,having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God". [Luke 9:62]
By the grace of God, I started out living for Jesus many years ago. Along the way I have stumbled and made many mistakes and missteps. Always and without exception, when I reached out for the Lord to pick me up, He did. Never has there been a time when He left me to my own devices or to wallow in my defeat. Because of the finished work of Christ upon the Cross, I am saved today and preaching this glorious gospel. Whether on the mountaintop or down low in the valley, the object of faith has always remained the same; Christ and Him Crucified. There is no other solution for any of us nor do we need any other.
We live in a world today that is very, very different from the world at the time I received Christ. Today, political correctness is all the rage and tolerance is demanded. Compromise is on the lips of many top christian leaders these days. Nowadays, so many in the church are trying to mix Jesus in with the rest of their "stuff". In the world of seeker-sensitive evangelism it is a crime to mention the word sin or to call men sinners. I never would have gotten saved had not a true man of God told me that I was a sinner that needed a savior. I did not receive Christ for life enhancement; I received Christ to escape the wrath to come. I have broken the laws of God, as we all have, and can do nothing myself to set it right. I need and in fact must have, a savior. I did not receive Christ to merely "enjoy the trip", I want to be saved from the judgement at the end of the trail. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way that man-kind can become right with God again and though that is not popular today, I will never quit preaching it. It is the truth!
No power in this world [or in the church for that matter] can compel me to change my convictions just because a mob wills it. Our enemy, satan, would love for us to stop preaching the true gospel and the message of the Cross. Because the moment the preaching of the Cross stops, people stop getting saved.[ 1 Cor. 1:18, 21-23] When a preacher like Joel Osteen states that he never mentions the Cross or sin, how can people truly be saved?When we allow a man like Rick Warren to try and bring all religions together in our christian churches, what does that say about the significance of our faith in the Lamb of God? And by the way, isn't Jesus enough purpose? Did not Jesus provide us with the real "Purpose Driven Life" when He went to the Cross? Why do we seem to think we need some fad to take the place of what Jesus did for us at Calvary?
Just like David did, you and I need to stop hiding from the things we fear and go after them face-to-face. Shake no hands with the enemy. If you are a true gospel preacher, then do not negotiate with the powers of hell. Don't flirt with your enemies and do not let them flirt with you. The enemy and his demons are not in charge of me. Refuse to allow anything or anyone to conform you to the spirit or the ways of the world. Do not be conformed, but be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.[Rom.12:1-2] We need to boldly march into these last days and follow the path least chosen instead of following the path of least resistance.
The world and the modern liberal, seeker-sensitive church can do as it desires; But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. [Joshua 24:15]. Its high time to cease halting between two opinions and choose this day whom you will serve. As for me, I will take the way of Calvary.
Every person you meet will either be saved or perish. People of the world will perish without Jesus Christ.[Rom 6:23] But God is not willing that any should perish. [1 Tim. 2:4 ; 2 Pet. 3:9]
Soul-winning should be the focus of every believer. There should be no lack of urgency to reach others and yet, we live in a selfish, narcisstic, "I" centered society. Someone once said that if we really believed in the horror and pain of a fiery, devils hell, then we would crawl across broken glass to tell one poor, lost soul about Jesus--who [Jesus] is the only way to escape an eternity in the awful place called hell.
Soul winners are wise. [Prov. 11:30] Soul winners are partners with the Lord. [2 Cor. 6:1] Soul winners will shine brightly. [Daniel 12:3] Soul winners are happy people. [Psalm 126:5-6] Soul winners cover a multitude of sins. [James 5:19-20]
Jesus Christ commanded all Christians to go and make disciples.[Matt.28:19-20] Jesus love for me and my love for Him compels me to be a soul-winner.[John 14:15, 21]
It is written in the Jewish Talmud that God has said " In every place where you find the imprint of men's feet, there am I."
" For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." [John 3:16]
Soon we will be celebrating Resurrection Sunday again, and what a celebration it is. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was buried and on the third day, rose again to be seated at the Fathers right hand. He ever lives to make intercession for us. Hallelujah!
Last year a program on the Discovery Channel called "The Lost Tomb Of Jesus", was yet another attempt to disprove the authenticity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If a Christian minister says anything negative about another religion it provokes an uproar. But when some Hollywood movie producer blasphemes the resurrection of our precious Lord Jesus Christ we are encouraged to be tolerant and willing to dialogue about the matter. We are accused of being narrow minded if we respond any other way. Rubbish, I say.
By the way, the so-called "evidences" of that particular program has been refuted by the worlds leading experts.
I have always believed that the truth can stand the tests of time. Nothing which is true is threatened by the claims or so-called evidence of those who oppose it. We have always tried to respect the thoughts and beliefs of those who differ with us, but this is different. You can't have a discussion with EVIL. I emphasize the word evil because I refer not to a person--James Cameron, who produced "The Lost Tomb Of Jesus". I do not refer to those who chose to air the program or even those who wholeheartedly brought the lie. Though that is evil to be sure, the evil I am refering to is the one Jesus called "the Evil One"[Matt. 5:37,6:13,13:19,13:38, John 17:15] Satan himself is who is behind this..
Make no mistake about it, we have an enemy who would like nothing better than to strip people of the belief that Jesus Christ indeed rose from the dead and convince them that "your faith is vain" [1 Cor 15:14]. THE FACT IS: Jesus Christ DID rise on the third day. He said He would arise and He did. His disciples, who cowered in fear in an upper room after His death, became bold, confident preachers who were willing to die for the Gospel after His Resurrection. More than 500 people saw Him personally after He arose.[1 Cor 15:6]. An infant church in Jerusalem that was threatened with extinction because of persecution became so passionate about telling the news of His resurrection that you and I know the Gospel today because of their witness. Volumes have been written over the past 2000 years that contain all the evidence that is necessary to demonstrate the validity and reality of the resurrection. Also, we know that He Arose because we have met Jesus Christ and have been forever transformed by Him. That is, born-again Christians have. That's all the proof I need. I KNOW Jesus is alive. We were just talking together this morning.
JESUS IS ALIVE.. That's the true message of Easter. Some things aren't up for debate. Call me narrow-minded. Tell me I'm wrong. I don't care. Grace doesn't require that we shrug our shoulders and smile when people assault our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus rose from the dead and He lives in my heart today and He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and Jesus Christ is coming back soon. Its just that simple!
Recently, on TCTV-2, I did a 3 program mini-series on "The Sin Nature". I personally feel that this is a vital teaching that everyone of us needs to hear over and over again so that we get it down into our spirits. That is why we have captured the audio of these three shows on one CD.
We want all of our regular readers and listeners to obtain their copy of this all important teaching. You may go to our web site and e-mail us for information on how you can secure your copy.
"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people,saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. [IS 40:1-2]
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, IT IS FINISHED: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost. [St John 19:30]
As long as you and I live in the body we will face challenges and struggles. It is a story as old as time. But on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ won the victory for all who will place their faith in Him. During hard and difficult times I do not have to lose my peace and joy because Christ is my peace and joy as well as everything I need. The world around me may be shaking and falling apart at the seams but as a Christian, my confidence is in what Jesus has provided for me.
With faith and patience we inherit the promises[Hebrews 6:12]. Jesus has already defeated the powers of satan on the Cross[Colossians2:15]. Because of Calvary, we can have a clean heart and walk in the purity and righteousness of the Word of God. The battle is no longer our battle but the Lord's battle.
Here are several things to consider when you are in a battle and waiting for the victory to manifest itself in your life. 1- Satan can cause a battle to happen, but he cannot determine the final outcome. 2- Your reaction to the trouble will determine if God, or the enemy, is allowed to work in the situation. 3- A setback is only temporary and not final. A small defeat is no sign that the enemy has won. 4- God has already set a day, hour, and moment for you to come out of your fiery furnace. You must keep your faith in what Jesus did for you at the Cross until you see the victory take place. 5- God calls this fight " the good fight of faith"[2 Timothy 4:7] A good fight is a fight that is already won. God says to us through Calvary " The warfare is already accomplished!!"
God is never surprised when conflict comes to us. He already knew all about it before satan even began his strategy. The Lord wants us to keep our faith in Him at all times. The victory is already WON!!!
God says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."[Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV].
Every battle is already predetermined that YOU come forth the victor, because Jesus is the victor... When the battle comes, some give up, give in and lose heart. Only then can satan take advantage of us. Faith in what Jesus did at Calvary will ensure a completed victory. The warfare is accomplished at Calvary!