Friday, November 10, 2023

 A blessed Remembrance Day for everyone remembering those that lost their life in defending Canada in time of war. And may God bless Israel who is battling to save their Nation from the brutal butchers of Hamas, killers of babies and kidnappers of Jews. May God protect and liberate them. Amen.

       JESUS CHRIST: SAVIOUR                                                       Son of God & Friend of Sinners                                                                          By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

 One of the accusations brought against Jesus by the Pharisees was that He received sinners and sat down to dinner with them. “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, this man receiveth sinners...” (Luke 15:2). They called Him “a friend of publicans and sinners”. (Luke 7:34)

That is GOOD NEWS - Jesus is a friend of sinners.  How marvellous, wonderful, and thrilling!  Sinners have someone they can trust, someone who cares for them and someone who is able to save them!

“This man”, they accused, “receives sinners and eats with them”.  And their accusations were true, He reached out to the sinful, poor, maligned, sick and needy and gave them hope, peace, forgiveness, healing, and joy! And this disturbed the Pharisees!

The Pharisees were the politically oriented, elite, exclusive branch of Judaism.  As teachers of the law, they were self-righteous, proud and very legalistic! They made up their own laws which had nothing to do with God’s Word - laws which neither they nor anyone else could keep.  These religious “do-gooders” were often sterile, cold, and harsh, and ruled the people with an iron fist!


He was kind, understanding and friendly.  He was fair, as well as compassionate, caring and filled with wisdom and power from on High!  And He loved the people because God is love and He was God in the flesh! (1 John 4:8)

By His touch lepers were cleansed, the blind were made to see, the deaf received hearing and deadly diseases died as God’s healing power flowed from the Saviour into the lives of those whom He encountered!

His compassion ran very deep, and His mercy extended to people like the widow woman at Nain, whose only son had died.  Jesus raised the young man from the dead so that the mother would have someone to look after her!  To the two blind men whose sight He restored when they cried out to Him, the leper whom He cleansed and the Canaanite woman whose demon-possessed daughter Jesus delivered, He showed great mercy and compassion!

God’s grace through Jesus Christ reached into the heart of the ‘woman taken in adultery’, the Roman centurion whose servant was sick and Zaccheus the corrupt tax collector! The critics of Jesus’ life and ministry stated:

He receives sinners and eats with them! 

He has saved others,

Himself He cannot save!

He trusts in God!

He claims to be the Messiah, the Son of God!


What a list of pluses! A commendation extra-ordinaire.  He receives sinners and forgives them.  He is the Saviour! His enemies, who were seeking to twist His words and discredit our Lord Jesus Christ, were testifying on His behalf. They derisively stated, “He saved others, but cannot save Himself.” Unknowingly, they were calling Him the Saviour!

What they didn’t grasp was that He had come to earth as the Redeemer and must die for the sins of the world, theirs included!  The very purpose of the incarnation (God becoming flesh) was to be our Substitute, which had been prophesied 700 years earlier by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah:

“Surely He hath 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.” (Isaiah 53:4,5)


If He would have succumbed to the challenge: “Come down from the cross and we will believe on you”, there would be no salvation for anyone, because His death and resurrection were necessary to assure our salvation!

The angel prophesied to Joseph, “...for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name Jesus: For He shall save His people from their sins”. (Matt. 1:20-21)

The Bible says, “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:17, 18, 36)


 What a commendation!  The Bible says, “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 4:5). Yet, His accusers stated, “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: For He said, I am the Son of God”. (Matt. 27:43)

 Oh, that men today would trust in God, instead of in position, government, or wealth! 

The Scripture says, “It’s not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, saith the Lord”. (Zech. 4:6). Repeatedly Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God and He remains today the same yesterday, today and forever.

The Bible calls Him the only begotten, one and only Son of God. The High Priest demanded of Him, “...I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” (Matt. 26:63)

Jesus affirmed in no uncertain terms that He is the Christ, the Son of God!  “Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said, nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven”. (vs. 64, 65)

 The Bible records state: “Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou the Christ the Son of the Blessed?  And Jesus said I am...” (Mark 14:61, 62)

The Central verse of the Bible is John 3:16. “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)


A question rises within us all, believers in Christ as well as unbelievers: “What does all this have to do with me?”  And the answer is, “Everything!”  It has everything to do with us! You may ask “Why?”  Jesus came unto the world to save sinners.  He was born crucified, born to die to atone for our sins.  To bring us to God!

The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom. 3:23). “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom. 6:23). “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil”. (1 John 3:8)

He came to earth, the promise to fulfill, A rugged cross He bore on Calvary’s Hill; And for my sins He cried, ‘Father forgive’; Born to die, that I might live. Born to die, a cruel cross to bear; Born to die, His everlasting love to share.  Between two thieves He bowed His head and cried: ‘It’s finished now, I came to die’.


“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee. Ye must be born again”. (John 3:3,7); “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “He that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16)

The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. (Acts 16:31): “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God”. (John 5:1)

Believe on Him today, call upon His Name and you will be saved!  I have never been sorry that I received Jesus Christ as a young man of 24 and I know you will be satisfied with Christ!

The High Priest rent His clothes and accused Jesus of blasphemy and the council condemned Him to death for making Himself equal to God. (Matt. 27:20; John 5:18)

The Chief Priests then forced Pilate, the Roman Governor to crucify Him, saying: “...If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar”. (John 19:12)

There are numerous witnesses who testified that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, including the Roman Centurion who stood guard duty beneath the Cross! “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly, this was the Son of God.” (Matt. 27:54)

St. Paul summed it up in his letter to the Roman Church: “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Rom. 1:3-4)

The Bible says, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; He that believeth not hath made Him a Liar because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life”. (1 John 5:10-12)

 Jesus Christ is indeed the world’s only Saviour and Redeemer. He is the risen, glorified Son of God.  He is also the friend of Sinners and our Soon Coming King of Kings! All Honour, Glory, and Praise be to His precious and Holy Name!

                            FREDRIK FRANSEN: THE FIRE PROPHET

Fredrik Fransen was an itinerant Gospel preacher in Norway around the turn of the 19th Century. At that time, it was almost impossible for a preacher to conduct Gospel meetings outside the Lutheran State Church. Fredrik Fransen had been invited to stay at the home of an elderly man while evangelizing the city of Ålesund, which lies near the Ocean.

His work ended abruptly, when an agitated crowd turned ugly and threatening. The preacher was told in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted in that city and a very large gathering of town’s people literally chased him out of Ålesund.

He stopped on the edge of town and faced the mob with these words, "As you have driven me out of your city, one day all of you will flee from this city on this very road." 

About a year or so later a fire started when a cow kicked a torch in the Ålesund Preserving Company’s factory at 2:00 AM on January 23, 1904. A gale from the sea propelled the fire forward and almost the entire City burned to the ground. The fire leaped over the house belonging to the man who had given the preacher lodging. It is still preserved as a ‘heritage site’ until today.

As the fire swept across the city devouring almost everything in its path, the owner of the house fell to his knees and prayed. His relatives said: "Hurry, you religious nut. Get out and run for your life." He answered: "I didn't start the fire and I'm not leaving." They said: “We are all carrying what we can to the top of the mountain. We will take your furniture, you old fool. You will die." He answered: "You are free to take what you want. I didn't start he fire and I'm staying."


The fire raced up the mountainside to the look-out (A restaurant is there now) and burned every one's furniture. True to the Preacher's words, thousands of people literally ran for their lives out of Ålesund down the very road they had chased Fredrik Fransen.

At the 100th anniversary of the fire January 23, 2004, I was preaching in that city and was invited to the Museum at Midnight to hear the history and enjoy some musical renditions performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra. At midnight several hundred brave souls made a two to three hour walk about the city to hear the Curator / Historian relate some facts about the fire 100 years earlier.

Pastor Haaken Nilsen introduced me to the Curator and informed him that I could speak Norwegian and that I knew the history of Fredrik Fransen. The Museum’s Curator said that the House had been recently struck from the tour, and he would be pleased if I would relate to the crowd the story of Fredrik Fransen and the reason the fire did not engulf that house, because many had not heard it.

I stood on a chair at about 2:00 AM and shared with several hundred die-hard History buffs the great historical event of the Ålesund Fire and why it happened, and that God not only loves us but also Judges mankind because of our sins. Everyone there were very attentive, and I prayed for the City and all their loved ones! Praise the Lord.

 Max Solbrekken World Mission, Box 44220 RPO Garside Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6  Email: [email protected];; YouTube, Face Book. Donations can be made by e-Transfer. Make your donation to [email protected]. Thank you!