Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The parable of the Prodigal Son is a word picture of God the Father's Love for sinful humanity. That is why He gave His Son Jesus Christ to REDEEM us from the power of Darkness and to translate us into the Kingdom of His Own dear Son Who was crucified for our sins and rose again for our Justification! Please receive Him into your heart and life today and you will become a born again Child of God. - Pastor Max Solbrekken

COME HOME TO JESUS: HE WANTS YOU                                                               Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
 JESUS CHRIST said: “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’ ” (Matt.11: 28 -30)
“All that the Father giveth to Me shall come to Me; and Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6: 37). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16: 16); “Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson they shall be as white as snow.”(Isaiah 1: 18,19)
Our Lord issued a personal invitation to all who are burdened, stressed and overwhelmed by the multiple problems we face in our society. His offer is still valid today because He is alive and able to answer our prayers and meet our needs!
YOU MAY ASK: “How is that possible since He lived so long ago and was crucified on the cross of shame outside the walls of Jerusalem on Mount Calvary? And what is your answer to all the atheists, agnostics, dingbats, money hungry vultures, anti-Christian journalists and writers, film producers and kinky Hollywood actors who continually spew out blasphemies and outrageous lies about Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords?”
MY FRIEND, NOT TO WORRY: We often find that bigoted, hate-filled, shallow, little-learned, boozing, drug-taking, porno-loving and sexually perverted junkies are like dogs barking at the heels of the horses as the caravan moves forward.  They could also be likened to someone constantly releasing flatulence at a gathering. The sounds and the smells are there for a while to annoy those around them but are soon gone!
God’s Word is holy, sure and steadfast. It is true, faultless and eternal. God’s Word is precise, prophetic and inspired. According to the Holy Scriptures, one day the sun will refuse to shine, the moon will turn to dripping blood, the sky will scroll away like a scroll and time will be no more. God will stop the ‘Clocks of Time’ and start the ‘Wheel of Eternity’ and we will all stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. The sea will give up the dead in it, death and hell will deliver their dead, to answer the final call of the awesome ‘Judge of the Ages’!
The Bible says: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. And I saw a great white throne from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no pace for them.
“And I saw the dead small and great stand before God and the books were opened, and another book was opened which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the books were cast into the lake of fire.`(Rev. 20:10-15)
You may say, “Wow; that is something I had never imagined. I thought that Jesus of Nazareth was only a good man, a role model, meek and lowly and a prophet who was rejected and who died on a rugged cross.” It is true that Jesus of Nazareth, in His humanity, came as the ‘lamb of God” to suffer, bleed and die for the sins of the world, but when He comes again He will come to judge the living and dead. Jesus the Son of the Living God will then come as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!
The Bible says: “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him and they also which pieced Him. And all kindred of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev.1: 7); “…and they shall look upon me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech.12; 10)
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as a sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth herb untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
“And the heaven departed as scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the chief captains, and the mighty men and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For that great day is come and who shall be able to stand? (Rev.6: 12-17)
             Although His Presence, Power and Glory fills Heaven and earth and transcends everything is Above all, yet He is omnipresent and knows everything about everyone. He is the High and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy (Isa.57: 15), Yet He lives among a people who need Him more than anything in this world. And he is not far from anyone of us. He states: “And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify Me.” (Ps.50: 15)
              Again the Lord states: “Call unto Me and I will and I will answer you and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jer.33: 3)
You may ask: “How is all this possible?” It is possible because He is ALIVE and the same yesterday, today and forever! (Heb.13: 8) That is why Jesus Christ could say: “Come unto Me ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” And that is exactly what everyone needs: Rest from guilt and condemnation; Rest from anxiety, worry and fear; Rest from sickness, disease and pain; Rest from poverty and heartache; Rest from Satan’s enslavement and a lost eternity. We are secure, because Jesus is our REST!
Three days after His sacrificial death for us, God raised our LORD from the dead and He is alive forevermore and has all power in Heaven and in earth!  Here is the Holy Record about that glorious event that changed history for time and eternity!
The Bible states: “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightening and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
“And the angel answered and said unto the women; Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen as He said. Come and see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and behold He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him.” (Matt.28: 2-7)
No greater love story has ever been told and no greater love song has ever been sung, than the amazing story of God’s love for His creation, mankind!
The Bible says: “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. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16, 17).   
 “He was in the world and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1: 10-12)
 John’s Gospel is about God the Son becoming a man through the INCARNATION (God in human flesh) which is the greatest miracle this world has ever witnessed. More than 700 years before His Virgin Birth in Bethlehem, Isaiah made this prophetic utterance: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
Leading Hebrew and Greek Scholars state that “a virgin” is better read “the virgin”. The Hebrew definite article ha indicates that a specific woman is in view. The word virgin used here is the unique Hebrew term ‘almah. A comparison of the six other instances where it occurs (Gen.24: 43; Ex. 2: 8; Ps.68: 25; Prov.30: 19; Song 1: 3; 6: 8) shows that it is the most precise term the prophet could have chosen to indicate that the young woman in view was indeed a virgin. The more common word betulah is used twice to refer to a married woman (Deut.22: 19 and Joel 1: 8)
Thus the Septuagint Translation of ‘almah as parthenos (virgin) is correct, as is Mathew 1: 23. Shall conceive is a feminine adjective connected with an active participle (“bearing”) and should be translated “is pregnant”. Thus the scene is present to the prophet’s view, and he sees the pregnant virgin about to bear a Son. That this prophecy must refer to the virgin birth of Christ is obvious since the virgin is pregnant and is still a virgin. Immanuel is a symbolic name meaning God is with us. He is the incarnate Son of God who is further pictured as the Child-Prince in Isaiah 9: 6. – Taken from Nelson Study Bible.
MARTIN LUTHER threw out this challenge: “If a Jew or a Christian or a Mohammedan can prove to me that in any other passage of Scripture ‘almah means a married woman, I will give him a hundred florins, although God only knows where I may find them.” No-one took him up on his challenge!
Never in the history of mankind has a virgin given birth to a baby without a man’s seed through sexual intercourse or artificial insemination! Of such importance was the sign that God gave concerning the birth of His Son that the prophet emphasized, ‘The Lord Himself ’ shall give you a sign!!!
The Holy Scripture says: “Behold while he (Joseph) thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in  a dream saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
“And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now, all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold a VIRGIN shall be with child, and shall bring forth a SON, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.” (Matt.1: 20-25)
Jesus of Nazareth was born to die. He was born crucified! Facing the humiliation of the cross, He said: “Now is My soul troubled’ and what shall I say, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12: 27)
Answering Pontius Pilate, Jesus said: “Thou sayest I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Everyone that is of the Truth heareth My voice.” (John 18: 37)
St. John stated: “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3: 18). And Jesus declared: “The thief (Satan) cometh not but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I am come that that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 10)
Our LORD warned: “And ye have not His Word abiding in you; for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not. Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me that ye might have Life.” (John 5: 38-40)
“And He said unto them, Ye are from beneath: I am from ABOVE, ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: For if ye believe not that I AM HE, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8: 23, 24)
Again He stated: “I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing. If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 5, 7)
What are the two most powerful arguments that atheists and agnostics cannot overcome, that rattles their chain? The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus! If Jesus did not rise from the dead, what happened to His body? Any normal person would understand that because the Jews kept meticulous records of His crucifixion and with the chief priests witnessing JESUS’ death and asking Governor Pontius Pilate to guard His tomb, that He was crucified, dead and buried!
When St. Paul arrived in Rome to preach the Gospel he found many had already been converted to Christ. How did that happen, being so far away from Jerusalem. Who had preached the Gospel in Rome? They called him Centurion Longinus. He was probably the soldier who pierced JESUS’ side with his long spear. He was the man who witnessed the darkness at noon and the earthquake that opened the earth that collected JESUS’ blood and ripped open the veil in the Holy of holies and shook the temple. It was Centurion Longinus who cried out with his soldiers, “Surely, This was the Son of God!”
SAUL OF TARSUS was one of the most learned and brilliant young men in Palestine who had become a Zealot for Judaism causing havoc and great harm to believers in Jesus the Messiah. He hated and despised the very name of Jesus of Nazareth and travelled far and wide, visiting every synagogue in every town and village, even going as far away as Damascus to track down, beat, imprison and force Christ’s followers  to blaspheme His Worthy and Holy Name.
While on such an unholy vendetta, Jesus Christ met him in a blinding light on the Damascus Road. And Saul cried out: “Who art Thou Lord?” Jesus identified Himself by saying: “I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks (goads)”. Then, trembling and astonished, Saul the persecutor of ‘believers in Christ’, who earlier had been “breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” cried out; “What wilt Thou have me to do?” (Acts 9: 6)
That proud Pharisee humbled himself before the Lord Jesus Christ and spent the rest of his life travelling, fasting, praying, writing and preaching the Word of God while building the Kingdom of God on earth. He was consumed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and never stopped declaring the unsearchable mysteries of the cross and the shed blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and eternal Life! And in the end, he gladly gave his life as a martyr for our Saviour!
St. Paul wrote: “For when we were yet without strength (hopeless), in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5: 6-10)
No other human being was privy to the great mysteries of God and the secrets of the Almighty like St. Paul. To him was revealed the great hidden secret and purpose of the INCARNATION. He wrote: “Even the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this MYSTERY among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.
“Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (mature) in Christ Jesus.” (Col.1: 26-28)
WHO IS JESUS CHRIST? He is the Sin Bearer. He is the Heart Healer. He is the Mind Restorer. He is the Great Physician. He is the Demon Expeller. He is the Holy Ghost Baptizer. He is the Joy Bringer. He is the Fear Remover! He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Liberator of mankind and the Saviour of the world!                                                                   

And He wants to be your Lord and Saviour, my dear Friend! Open your heart to Him and He will come into your heart and life. He will forgive all your sins and take away the condemnation in your conscience. He will heal the hurts in your spirit soul and body because He is the Great Physician!

Here is His call to you: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice, and open the door (of his heart) I will come in to him and will sup (fellowship) with him and he with Me.” (Rev.3: 20) Amen.