Monday, March 16, 2015

Did Jesus Die for ALL Sins?

Did Jesus die for every sin that will ever be committed? Did He die for everyone or only for those who will believe in Him? These theological questions have been debated for centuries. Those who believe in “Limited Atonement” teach that He only died for those who will be saved. Those who believe in “Unlimited Atonement” teach that He died for everyone. The answer becomes clear when we examine the Scriptures.

1. Jesus died for all sins for all time. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “The world” means everyone in the world and not just believers. “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:10,12).

2. Jesus is potentially the Savior of everyone. “We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). He is potentially the Savior of everyone because He died for all sins, which makes it possible for anyone to be saved. He is the actual Savior only of those who put their trust in Him and have received the free gift of salvation. If I bought you a gift and offer it to you, it’s potentially yours but it doesn’t actually become yours until you receive the gift from me.

3. God wants everyone to be saved. “God desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). The Lord is “not willing that any should perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Although the Lord wants everyone to be saved, each person must choose to receive the free gift of eternal life.

4. Everyone who repents and calls on Him will be saved. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5). “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).

You can receive salvation by praying this with a sincere heart: “Heavenly Father, I realize I am a sinner and need to be saved. I am truly sorry for my sins. Jesus, come into my heart and save me. I give my life to you. I ask the Holy Spirit to empower me to live a life that’s pleasing to you. Thank you for giving me eternal life. Amen.”

If you sincerely prayed that prayer, you have been born again and Jesus has come to live inside you. Welcome to the family of God!

BIBLE STUDY: Calvinism vs. Arminianism vs Evangelicalism  This is a more detailed study of “Limited Atonement” versus “Unlimited Atonement.”

SONG OF THE MONTH “Forever Live” by Kari Jobe.  This powerful song (begins at 1:58 mark) describes the moment Jesus rose from the dead.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Can You Answer 10 Bible Questions?

Imagine going to college for four years and never learning anything. If that happens, something is wrong with the teacher, the student, or both. Now imagine going to church for years and never learning what’s in the Bible. Sadly, this is happening all over the country. If you’ve been attending church for 5 years, you should be able to supply the missing words below.

1. The sons of Adam and Eve were _________ and __________. (Genesis 4:1-2)
2. Moses received the 10 Commandments on Mount _____________ (Exodus 31:18)
3. King Saul threw a spear at _______________ (1 Samuel 18:10-11).
4. Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find ___________ on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
5. Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their __________?” (Matthew 16:26).
6. Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves ________________ in heaven.” (Matthew 6:20).
7. Jesus said, “Unless you ___________ you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)
8. “It is the _________ of God that leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4)
9. “It is by _____________ you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
10. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they __________ Me, and I give eternal life to them.” (John 10:27-28).
Answers: 1.Cain, Abel  2.Sinai  3.David  5.soul  6.treasures  7.repent  8.kindness  9.grace  10.follow

If you couldn’t answer these questions, the solution is reading small sections of the Bible every day on your own. Here is a good Daily Bible Reading Plan to follow. If you cannot read all the verses each day, continue following the plan even if it takes you two years to read through the Bible.

BIBLE STUDY: “How Do We Know the Bible is True?”  Why would you want to read the Bible unless you believe that it’s true? This article will help you decide.

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why Prayers Aren't Answered Like You Asked

Romans 8:26 says, “We do not know how to pray as we should” but the Holy Spirit will help us in our praying. This means He will reinterpret our prayers and the answer may arrive differently than the way we asked for 3 reasons:

Reason #1  I’m asking for something that will produce harmful consequences.
We ask can for things that are not God’s will, which would sooner or later make us regret it. Sometimes we ask without any consideration of how it will affect ourselves or others.  

If I keep praying for something and God keeps saying no, it means that He must know something that I don’t know. Since God knows the outcome of everything (and I don't), I’ve learned to let Him determine how the answer comes. I’ve learned to thank Him for His “NO” answers because He’s simply trying to protect me. He loves me so much that if I ask for something that will hurt me, He will deny the request. 

Reason #2  I’m asking with the wrong motives.
A pastor asked a little boy if he prayed every night. The boy answered “No.” The minister asked, “Why not?” He answered, “Because I don’t want something every night!” Prayer isn’t just for asking for toys and candy. James 4:3 tells us that if we ask for something with the wrong motives, He won’t let us have it. Although the Lord wants to bless us, He wants to do it when our motives are correct so that it won’t increase our selfishness.

Reason #3  God has something better for me than what I’ve asked for.
Many times when God says no, it’s usually because He has something better for us than we asked. Andrew Murray said, “God reserves the very best for those who leave the choice with Him.” If you have surrendered your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, you need to remember God’s promise:  “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). He will give you His best but you might need to wait for a period of time for it to come. However, when it does arrive you’ll be so glad you waited!

BIBLE STUDY: How did we get the Bible?  Do you know how the Bible was compiled?

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174
Thank you to all who support this discipleship ministry. 
Contributions to Making Life Count Ministries are tax-deductible.