Why Don’t We Have More Genuine Accounts of Christ?

may23

Since Christ had twelve apostles, plus other followers, why aren’t there more gospel accounts? It seems logical to us that all twelve should have written their own eyewitness accounts of our Lord’s ministry. Many theologians have their theories but here’s what the Bible says.

John summed up his account with the reason why he hadn’t included more reports of Jesus and his doings. John 20:31 (KJV) states, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Certainly there were many other stories of Jesus which could have been included. John 21:25 (KJV) explains, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
may23a
Some folks might point to books such as the gospels of Thomas, Judas, and Barnabas as additional examples of accounts of our Lord. These have been proven by professional scholars to be false gospels. People who used textual criticism found that these Gnostic gospels were penned a few hundred years after the ascension of Christ. On the other hand, the genuine accounts were written as early as thirty years after our Lord arose from the tomb.

These pseudo-gospels also record words which contradict what the accepted gospels state. One of those phony gospels claims that Jesus turned Mary into a man since Peter said it wasn’t fit that a woman should be a follower. I forget the exact wording but I’m sure Google could find the quote.
may23b
We also know that many verses in the New Testament mention the soon return of Christ. Believers back then assumed that he would return during their lifetime. This caused a crisis of faith for some of the church members whose loved ones had perished. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 (KJV)  “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” “Prevent” in this verse means precede.

I’ll be writing more regarding the veracity of the Bible in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? If Holy Scripture contains only fables and moral lessons, we lose all hope of being in paradise for the rest of eternity. But since it’s the Word of God Almighty, we can trust it in every point.

Why Didn’t Christ Appear Publicly?

may11Having written about Christ’s post-resurrection appearances, I suspect that some folks are wondering why Christ didn’t show himself publicly to prove that he was alive. I’ve given this much thought and here’s what I’ve found.

In my previous post, I wrote about Christ and his forty days of instruction to his disciples. I believe that he didn’t want to waste time with willfully-blind individuals like the Pharisees.

We can see just how determined those religious leaders were to disprove the resurrection in Matthew 28:11-15  (KJV). “Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, ‘Say ye, “His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.” And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.’ So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
may11a
I’ve also written previously about how people wouldn’t believe even when God did great miracles. The deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage is a case in point. God sent ten plagues on the land and spared his people. When Moses raised his staff, God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry land. Then he made the waters to come together to drown the Egyptian army.
may11b
God led the Israelites through the desert with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He gave them manna and when they craved meat, he sent them quail. He even made water come out of a rock. After all those miracles, people still grumbled and wanted to return to Egyptian bondage.

I’m in the process of writing my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? I once thought that if God healed me of my poor vision, people would be convinced and believe in Christ. Now I know that it’s the work of the Holy Spirit which brings people to salvation.

What Do We Learn From the Emmaus Discourse?

May9Continuing on with the theme of discipleship, we often miss key points of Christ’s teaching because we’re too familiar with the gospel. It’s like when a person hears a piece of familiar music and suddenly a lyric or instrument surprises the listener.

I’ve had that experience with songs like “Are You Experienced” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. On it, Jimi pressed the A key on a piano repeatedly. Until recently, I hadn’t noticed that a few of his notes weren’t on time.

In the same way, we all hear seemingly-new things when we study Scripture. One point I missed for years is what Christ did on the Emmaus road.
may9a
In Luke 24:25-27 (KJV), we read how Christ chastised two disciples for not understanding that the scriptures, what we call the Old Testament,  spoke of him. “Then he said unto them, ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

But this isn’t a fault peculiar to those men. It’s too easy for us to miss key points in the midst of the gospel story. John 5:39 (KJV) clearly states, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” We become so engrossed in the squabble Christ had with the Pharisees that we miss the truth that the Old Testament foretold what would happen to him.
may9b
Another point which is lost to the minds of most people is that God commands us all to be under the rule of his Son. That’s partly why I’m writing my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven. Being a Christian isn’t just keeping rules or not committing serious crimes, as some folks think. We must all have a relationship with Jesus who died in our place and rose to give us new life. If only people could grasp the ramifications of that.

What Must We Do to Have Eternal Life?

apr20I’ve shown in past posts that surrendering our wills to Jesus is the only way we can spend eternity in Heaven. But what must we do to inherit eternal life?

Jesus gave the answer in John 3:15 (KJV) when he said of himself, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The word “believe” means to have implicit trust in Jesus and his gift of salvation.

We must realize that we are hopeless sinners and ask the Lord for forgiveness of our rebellion against him. Then we must become Christ’s disciples, following and obeying everything he commands. As the Apostle Paul pointed out in Romans 6:23 (KJV), “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
apr20a
But merely believing about Jesus isn’t enough. We must be a hundred percent devoted to following him and to do so every day. Look at what Paul wrote to his protege, Timothy. He said in 1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV), “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

We can also see the guarantee of our entrance into heaven in 1 John 5:11 (KJV). “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

And as it says in Jude 1:21 (KJV), “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

We can therefore put our full trust in Christ because he is God. Peter realized this when he said to Jesus in John 6:68 KJV), “Then Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.'”
apr20b
There was a time when I thought that just believing about God would get me into heaven. Then I learned at a vacation Bible school meeting that I must repent and place my trust totally in Jesus Christ. This is what I’ll emphasize in my upcoming book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Far too many people claim to be Christians but they haven’t yet placed their lives in his hands. My goal is to let as many people know about true salvation in Christ alone as I can through my writing.

Why Didn’t Christ Save Himself?

apr18Speaking of naive believers, I used to wonder why Jesus didn’t save himself from being crucified. When I was a child, I thought that he was Pilate’s victim. How wonderful it is that the Lord had everything under his sovereign control.

Jesus himself knew that he would die on the cross and rise again. He said to his disciples in Matthew 26:2 (KJV), “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

As I pointed out in a previous post, he had power to lay down his life and take it up again. He wasn’t the hapless victim of the Romans and Jews as some people believe.

We can see this truth of the Lord’s sovereignty in his answer to Pilate which is recorded in John 19:11 (KJV). “Jesus answered, ‘Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.'”

Jesus could have easily defeated the Romans. He knew it too since he said in Matthew 26:53 (KJV), “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
apr18a
Consider what one angel did in 2 Kings 19:35 (KJV). “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

Being human as well as divine, the prospect of the cross and taking the filthy sins of his people upon himself terrified Christ. Matthew 26:39 KJV) reads, “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.'”

And because Christ submitted himself to the Father’s will, he suffered physical, psychological, and spiritual agony. Look at what the prophecy in Isaiah 52:14 (KJV) says of him. “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”
apr18b
Because of these scriptural proofs, we can be assured that Jesus was the victor and not the vanquished. He rose on the first day of the week and ascended up to heaven after forty days of instructing his disciples.

I’ll be writing much more about this in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? The resurrection of Christ gives us hope that we too shall rise to live in his kingdom.

Was Judas Substituted for Christ?

apr13Here’s another incorrect doctrine. According to The Bible Answer Man, some Muslims believe that Judas was substituted for Christ and was crucified. They claim that Allah tricked the Roman soldiers and the Jewish officials into crucifying the wrong person.

This is manifestly wrong. The whole plan was for Christ to be the Christian’s substitute on the cross. Jesus himself said in Luke 18:31 (KJV), “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished’.'”

Jesus also described what would happen to him in Mark 10:33 (KJV). “Saying, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles’:”
apr13a
One of the clearest prophesies showing that it was Christ who would suffer is Isaiah 53:3 and 4 (KJV). “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Nobody treated Judas like that. In fact, it was he who betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 27:5 (KJV) clearly states, “And he (Judas) cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” So how could he be Christ’s substitute if he hung himself?

No, it was Christ who, like the Passover lamb, shed his blood for us who believe in him. Romans 5:11 (KJV) says, “And not only so, but we also joy in God  through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the  atonement.” No mere mortal could have accomplished that.
apr13b
Christ’s substitutionary atonement is one of many doctrines I’ll feature in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? As Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 15:19 (KJV), “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” If Jesus didn’t pay the price for our sin, we would be facing eternity in hell and been found to be liars.

Was Christ really dead for three days?

apr11I wrote in a previous post about scoffers who made fun of the descriptions of hell in the Bible. Just as wrong-headed is the notion that Christ wasn’t crucified on Good Friday. People who hold to that view say that Jesus was in Joseph’s toomb for seventy-two hours. What they don’t realize is that first-century people told time differently than we do.

In all four gospel accounts, Christ was crucified on the day before the sabbath. After the sabbath was the first day of the week. And as you can read in the first chapter of Genesis, sundown was reckoned as the beginning of the new day.

The Jews also were told not to leave a dead body unburried on the sabbath. As John 19:31 and 32 (KJV) explains, “The Jews therefore, because it was the  preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on  the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought  Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken  away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.” Since Jesus was already dead, a soldier shoved a spear into his side to make sure he was deceased.
apr11a
These things were done before sundown to fulfil the law. Not yet being the sabbath, the day was claimed as a full day without any fussing about  hours and minutes. This meant that Christ was put into the tomb on that first day, his body was there on the sabbath, and he rose early on the third day.

Assuming that it had to be exactly seventy-two hours and zero minutes is foolish at best and prideful at worst. Misapprehensions like that come from ignorance of the customs, laws, and regulations of the time in which the scriptures were being written. This is why Bible readers must learn all about the times and ways of the folks to whom the books of the Bible were written.
apr11b
When I get out of debt and save up enough money, I want to publish my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Many people mistakenly claim various ideas as biblical when they actually arent. Additionally, naive believers fall for these blasphemous lies. My hope is that my writing will prevent them from falling for spiritual scams.