"Why Was Lot's Wife Turned Into a Pillar of Salt?" July 6, 2014 Q) Why did God record imperfect lives of OT men & women?  “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.”                                                            (1 Cor. 10:6)   A. Lot’s life and influence – a Downward Spiral:                                          (Gen. 13:1-14:16; 18:1-19:38) Lot’s herdsmen quarrel with Abram’s herdsmen Lot selfishly chose the richer Jordan plain over Abraham   Pitched tent near Sodom (interest)        (Gen.13:12-13) Lived in Sodom (men of Sodom sinning greatly) Ignored warning of Sodom captured & he was a hostage His daughters engaged or married men of Sodom Lot “sitting at the gate” - a leader in Sodom Unaware that God was ready to destroy the city Ignorant that Abraham was interceding for him (10 people) 10. Welcomed angels into home - not stay in unsafe square 11. Said no to men who wanted to “Sodomize” angels 12. Offered evil men to rape his daughters to protect angels 13. Sons-in-law thought he was joking about Sodom’s end 14. Angels urgently led them out of Sodom to safety 15. Wife disobeyed in looking back & turned to pillar of salt 16. Scheming daughters got Lot drunk & had incest with father 17. Resultant children grew nations in conflict with Israel   B. Lot’s wife was disobedient and her life ended abruptly                                                 (Gen. 19:15-26) The Bible isn’t clear whether Lot’s wife was covered in the salt that rained down with the brimstone or      if her remains were dusted with a coating of salt later. “To Look back”: Is more than to glance over one’s shoulder It means to regard, to consider, to pay attention to She either identified too much with the city or neglected to fully obey God’s warning and died Irony:  She became a “pillar” or “deputy” watching over the Dead Sea where life does not exist   Brimstone = “burning stone”: Lemon-yellow colored stone know as sulfur When lit, it drips like liquid wax with cobalt-blue flame Sulfur dioxide fumes are toxic and can cause suffocation Commercially used for batteries, explosives, matches Is in molten rock and spews out in lava from volcanoes   C. The Carnal Slide in the life of a Christian: 10. Devoted follower of Christ                         9. Wonder – what if I make a bad choice 8. Make a bad choice + admit I am wrong   (1 John 1:9) 7. Skip time with God 6. Won’t admit wrong behavior or attitude  5. Luke-warm for God                     (Rev. 3:15-17) 4. Avoid Christians + start new friends with bad habits 3. Blame others for my bad choices 2. Justify wrong behavior –grieve Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:29-32) 1. Thoughts are continually toward evil           (Gen. 6:5-7)      0. Continue to support those who practice evil (Rom 1:32)   a. Circle what number would God say you have slid to: b. Place a square on the number God would want you to be:   D. 7 Steps to coming home:                             (Luke 15:11-24) 1. Acknowledge my bad behavior, choices and attitude 2. Admit that I was wrong 3. Express sorrow for offending God 4. Repent and ask God and others to forgive me 5. Choose to change + go home! 6. Select good friends + partner with the Holy Spirit 7. Say no to bad and yes to good (daily)
"Were There Dinosaurs on the Ark?" June 29, 2014 Bible quiz:  “Noah’s Ark and the Flood”   1. Was the flood worldwide?                 Yes Jesus Himself stated that the flood happened.  (Mt. 24:37-39)   Note:  If there were a worldwide flood, you would expect other cultures with a similar story.  In fact, every major culture has a flood legend. Of over 200 flood legends: 95% say the flood was universal; 88% say there was a favored family; 70% say survival depended upon a boat; 67% say animals were also saved; 66% say the wickedness of man was the cause; 66% say the remnant was warned; 57% say the survivors ended up on a mountain; 35% say birds were sent out; 9% say eight people were saved; and 7% mention a rainbow. A world-wide flood explains how great woolly mammoths died suddenly with food still in their mouths.   Vapor Canopy:  It had never rained up on the earth up to the time of Noah – a mist watered the plants (Gen. 2:5, 6) The vapor canopy around the earth collapsed causing torrential rains during the flood period.  (Gen. 7:11, 12) There were 40 days of rain, 110 days of flooding and 221 days of draining = 371 days of flood References to global flood: Gen. 6:17; 7:4, 6, 10, 19; 8:3; 9:15 Rock layers in the walls of Grand Canyon (more than a mile above sea level) contain marine fossils. 2. Was the Ark big enough to house all the animals? Yes www.carm.org/could-noahs-ark-hold-all-animals       (Gen. 6:15) 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high Built for lower, middle and upper decks with cages Volume = 1,518,750 cubit feet = 569 railroad boxcars The average size of an animal is smaller than a cat Space for Mammals (3,700 kinds X 2) = 31 boxcars Space for Birds (8,600 kinds X 2 X 7) = 250 boxcars Space for Amphibians (2,300 kinds X 2) and Reptiles (6,300 kinds X 2) = 37 boxcars; + insects Animals use 56%of space, 251 boxcars food + space   3. Was the Ark stable enough to survive the Flood? Yes The Ark was six times longer than it was wide (ratio of 6 X 1). It is the most stable ratio for modern shipbuilding. Model stability tests have shown that the design is stable for waves up to 200 feet high The ark could have rotated 90 degrees & righted itself. “Gopher” wood was resinous & coated with pitch could imply that there were laminated beams for strength.   4. Could there have been dinosaurs or other extinct animals on the Ark?           Yes Note:  There are locations where a human footprint and dinosaur print coexist in sediment rock. Some of the larger animals could have been “juveniles”. Some of the animals could have hibernated Predators and prey have been known to co-exist during situations of stress (fire, flood, earthquake).   “KINDS”:  There are vast physical and temperamental differences that exist in the nearly 200 varieties of dogs. There are Chihuahua, Beagle, Greyhound, Great Dane, etc.   “Variations within KIND” is the opposite of evolution.  A DOG is still a DOG, never a dog/cat.  God established the boundary line that cannot be crossed.   Though God destroyed the world due to its evil behaviors,      God saved a remnant!           (Gen. 6:5-10; 9:8-17)
"What is Good About Our Bad Fall?" June 15, 2014 Genesis 2 & 3 records the interactions between God, Adam, Eve and Satan.  With the resultant “Fall of Man” - sin, pain and suffering entered into the world.  What possible good could come out of this grave situation?   1.   God the Creator was revealed as Generous                                                 (Gen. 2:7-9, 15-18) God created this beautiful perfect garden for Adam God emphasized great freedom with one restriction God noticed that Adam was lonely God created Eve for Adam’s helpmate and partner   2.   Satan was exposed with Evil intent          (Gen 3:1-6) Satan disguised himself as a crafty serpent He caused Eve to distrust God’s character and question His motives He deceived Eve and then tempted Adam to sin Satan = “accuser” or “Father of Lies” attacks believers who are vulnerable in faith    (John 8:44; Rev. 12:9-10)   3.   Mankind was identified with the Propensity to sin      Eve restated                      God said      (Gen. 3:2-3)                      (Gen. 2:16-17) a. Belittled Privilege:           we may eat                       you are free to eat           eat fruit from the trees        eat from any tree b. Overstate Restriction:      you must not eat…and        you must not eat from      must not touch fruit          the tree + 0 c. Minimize Penalty:           or you will die                    for when you eat of it                                                 you will surely die 4.   Actions and Choices have Consequences                                                 (Gen. 3:7-19, 23-24) Sin choices caused a break in fellowship with God When we are guilty we tend to hide from God There was blame of another person and ultimately God (Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent did not have a leg to stand on) In the resultant curse impacts us:  man’s work became “work” and women would have pain in childbirth and there will be struggles for leadership between couples    Q) Why is it thought that Eve ate an Apple? She ate fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  In 4th century AD, the word “malum” appeared in the Latin Vulgate translation for “evil”.  The Latin word for apple is also “malum”.  So people assumed that Eve ate an apple.   5.   God’s Love and Grace is greater than our sin                                                           (Gen. 3:8-9) God initiates the relationship with people God provides skin garments for Adam and Eve, showing them the seriousness of their sin that blood was shed Broken relationships can be restored The lost can be found Redemption was set in motion – The Messiah Redeemer would be born through the offspring of Adam and Eve   Virgin birth:  Sin entered the world by the sin of one man Adam.  The sin nature is transmitted to each person through the line of the father.  Because Christ was conceived by the HS (and the virgin Mary), He did not have a physical father and thus had no sin nature!  He lived a sinless life and died a perfect sacrifice for mankind.   “For if the many died by the trespass of one man (Adam), how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”                                                           (Rom 5:15)
"Was the World Created in 6 Literal, 24-hour Days" June 8, 2014 What we are taught is the age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4,540,000,000 years ± 1%); an old earth.  Q) What if the earth was only 12,000 years old; a young earth?   Secularists teach - about the age of our earth: Great amounts of time are needed Time + Chance (ignoring the second law of Thermo-Dynamics – there is progressive disorder (increase in entropy) over time in a closed system) There is no God interaction; no supernatural   Radioactive dating – e.g. uranium gradually turns to lead over time; the degeneration of isotopes is assumed to be constant   Four primary views of the creation “days” in Genesis 1:1-2:3 1. Revelatory Days Theory:  These days were simply revelatory days during which God revealed the creation scene to Moses. Exodus 20:11 contradicts this view   2. Age Theory:  Each day represents an “age”.   A day is “like” (not “is”) a 1000 years (Ps. 90:4,           2 Pt. 3:8).  The emphasis is God is timeless.   3. Time Gap Theory:  Each day of creation were literal days separated by a huge time gap.          (Ps. 90:10,12)   *4. Literal Day Theory:  Each day of creation were literal days with no time gap between them. (Young Earth)       (Ex. 31:17) Historical:  Hebrew scholars tell us that whenever a number is used with the Hebrew word for day (yom), it always refers to a literal solar day (no exceptions).  Since God is said to have created the universe in six days, literal solar days must be meant.   Several challenges to the “old earth” theory: If the earth was 4.5 billion years old, then: we would expect… a.    Deltas on rivers like the Mississippi and Nile would extend much farther into the seas. Historical:  The Mississippi River carries 500,000,000 tons of sediment per year into the Gulf of Mexico – enough to extend the coast 300 feet each year.  (With recent rising sea levels, this “land building machine” has been abated.) b.   Depth of cosmic dust on the moon…. Historical:  When Apollo 11 landed on the moon surface, it was designed with four-5’ wide “coaster” landing probes on the lunar module to prevent sinking into the dust.  To their surprise, less than 1” of cosmic dust was found.    Conclusion: God created the world in 6 literal 24-hour days. 9 Implications:  If God is Almighty, All-Powerful then: Supernatural:  6 days (or 6 seconds) to speak the universe into existence is no big deal for God. The stars were created with light already steaming in a path for us to see them on earth The Bible does not imply Adam had a naval or that the first trees did not necessarily have growth rings God created the universe ex-nihilo (out of nothing) Creation was immediate, not gradual or trial-and-error God could have varying degrees of isotope discharge No one saw creation; even if a person was there, they would not have understood what was happening God chose 6 days to serve as a pattern for man’s work and then rest periods.                    (Ex. 20:8-11) Omnipotent defined:  “God can do anything that does not violate His nature; He is all powerful; nothing is impossible for Him; His power is unlimited and unrestricted except by His own choice.”
"The Great Commission is For Us Today" June 1, 2014 Last words are important:  Jesus’ last words were the Great Commission spoken some 2000 years ago to His Disciples and it is in effect for us today.   This is “The Great Commission” not “The Great Suggestion”   The Great Commission is so important that it is listed in each of the Gospels and Acts:  Mat. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:46-47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8   1. Authority:  Jesus said, “All authority (God-given) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”   (Mat. 28:18) During His earthly ministry Jesus exercised absolute authority by performing miracles, raising the dead, forgiving men’s sins, etc. His authority extends “to infinity and beyond!”                                                           (Eph. 1:20-22) With this unlimited authority He tells us to go and make disciples…                                      2. Command: “Therefore go and make disciples”                                                                             (Mat. 28:19) “Therefore go…” = It is assumed that we would go The main emphasis is to “Make disciples” Imperative (urgent, authoritative, critical, essential)   Disciple = Student, apprentice, follower, learner Follow a great teacher, spend time with him        (Mark 3:14) Emulate his life; enjoy intimate fellowship         (1 Cor. 1:9) Learn his teachings, instill his values      (Jn. 13:14-17) Serve others in selflessly                 (Mat. 16:24-25) Bear fruit and prove you are His disciples  (Jn. 15:5-8) 3. Scope:  “Make disciples of all nations”                  (Mat. 28:19) Includes family, friends, neighbors – local Includes national and international – distant Beyond our comfort zone of relationships Intentional interactions   4. Means:  “Baptizing them in the name of the Father,      Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  (Mat. 28:19-20) Baptizing meant identity with Christ and the family of God The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but the Triune concept is there. (Jesus’ Baptism (Mt. 3:16-17); Way to God (John 14:12-17); Intercession (Rom. 8:26-34) Teaching not just to know intellectually, but to obey (something to observe and act upon)   5. Partnership: “And surely I am with you always,      to the very end of the age.”               (Mat. 18:20) Assurance of His abiding presence with us We are not alone in our efforts   6. Love:  the caring atmosphere of the Christian The Great Commandment:  “Jesus replied:  ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two.’” (Mat. 22:37-40)   Love is the mark of the disciple or follower of Christ Our proof of our love of God is our love of people Our proof of our serving God is our serving people   Q) What will you give up, adjust or start doing to become an obedient Christ follower?   1. __________________________________________   2. __________________________________________  
"How to Get Back on Track" Part 2 May 25, 2014 This week we will address the issue of overcoming failures in our life. 1. We get blocked – remembering our failure(s) After Christ’s arrest, Peter denied (3X) that he knew the Lord: “Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’  Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him…he went out and wept bitterly.  The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating Him.”        (Luke 22:54-63)   The Lord was exactly right that Peter would fail Imagine how remorseful and heartbroken Peter felt when the Lord looked at him  I wonder if Peter felt that he failed so big that he could never again be used as a Disciple of Christ   Q) When we fail, what do we tend to do? ____ Hide the failure “under the carpet” ____ Become frozen – unable to act ____ Avoid the person we failed ____ Blame others for our failure or poor choice   2. Christ confronts our “Point of Pain”  (John 21:15-16) 2 kinds of love are mentioned: Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him (agape–selfless, devoted) Peter responded that he loved Him (phileo - cared as a good friend) Pain gets our attention to take action He asks the tough questions He does this to set us free 3. Christ challenges us: True love of God will serve men                                                           (John 21:17) The Lord said to if you truly love Me, you will serve by showing care and spiritually feeding others F.I.A. = Faith In Action              (James 2:14-18)   4. Christ challenges us to “Die to Self”:    (John 21:18-19) He brings us to our cross       Historically, Peter died in 64 A.D. during the reign of Nero.  Peter would actually die by crucifixion upside-down because he did not consider himself worthy of dying the way that Christ died.     5. We compare our self to others           (John 21:20-23) Peter wanted to know what would happen to the disciple John.  Jesus said don’t worry about that – You follow Me!   The Problem of Comparison; we feel:  Pride: Compare our strengths with other’s weaknesses “When we measure or compare ourselves by ourselves we are not wise.”                          (2 Cor. 10:12-13) Insecure: Compare our weakness with other’s strengths Remember there is always someone better than you in any given situation, skill or …     6. Christ challenges us to an “Audience of One”                                                           (John 21:22-23) I am on the stage and God is my audience (not people) I am independent of other’s likes or dislikes   Compare myself to God’s plan for me – did I do my best? “Love God and do as you please” Regardless of other’s responses – was God pleased?  
"How to Get Back on Track" Part 1 May 18, 2014 Introduction:  There are situations and people reactions that can influence leaders to turn away from their life calling.  How can we pull out of a downward spiral?   Context:  Three powerful years of training, miracles, hope and vision had collapsed with the abrupt end of Christ’s life.  Peter had denied Christ 3X. The Disciples had fled in fear.  They had seen the resurrected Christ, now what?   Peter’s Downward Spiral: 1. We slide into old - comfortable patterns.      “I am going fishing”                           (John 21:3) Why did Peter say he was going fishing? a. It was unclear what to do next in ministry b. Wanted to be useful rather than idle: Peter wanted to do something. They had to eat. Fishing came natural.  c. I quit.  I am going back to my old career of fisherman.  It is comfortable and I know I can do it.   2. We pull others with us. Others “Follow the Leader”; 7 of 11 Disciples go           “We’ll go with you.”   3. We work really hard and long hours They spent the whole night trying to catch fish.   4. Our results are meager or empty They caught nothing.   Have you “slid” with your commitment with Christ?  __Y  __N How to get our Life Back on Track – Pull Out of a Downward Spiral:   1. Hear from God:                                          (John 21:4) It takes focus and often quietness to hear from Christ. Notice that it is Christ who initiates the interaction We may not realize that it is God who is speaking to us through a friend, the Bible, a song, a situation, etc.   2. Admit Failure – the Backdoor to Success                                                                 (John 21:5) Honest questions need to be asked of our effectiveness in life and in ministry What was the goal?  How well was it achieved? Q) Why is it so hard to admit failure?  _________________   3. Challenge and Immediate Obedience brings Results:                                                           (John 21:6-7) Sometimes Christ’s requests or the impressions of the Holy Spirit make no rational sense “If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:5)   Peter was impulsive, always getting out of the boat to be with Jesus.                    (Also Mat. 14:25-33) Q) What “boat” do you need to get out of? ______________   4. Celebration – Restored Relationship:   (John 21:8-14) The astonishing catch of fish remind Peter of his calling “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” “So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.”    (Luke 5:1-11) The Lord will remind us of our commitment to Him   Next Week: 5. Refocus on Relationship - Mission to a New Level:                                                          (John 21:15-25) It is not about performance only.  It is about loving God in relationship and influencing or serving others. 
"Letting Go!" May 11, 2014 Song – “Let it go!” from movie “Frozen”, Idina Menzel   Moms let go of their children in many ways, we will note 6 ways: 1. Letting go of my future to accept God’s plan for my life Angel Gabriel came to Mary                     (Luke 1:26-38) “Greetings…the Lord is with you.” “You will give birth to the son; Son of the Most High.” “How can this be?…For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”              (Mary was willing, available, humble) Unmarried girl became pregnant. Explaining to Joseph; Joseph “adopting” Jesus What will others say? Intimidation of being the mother of God’s Son Song:  “Mary Did You Know?” Realizing God works all things together (Romans 8:28)   2. Letting go of my reputation to protect my child’s Rejection by others:  Inn - No room for me / us            (Luke 2:1-7) Others presumed premarital sex + illegitimate child Amazed shepherds were first visitors              (Luke 2:8-20) Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Escape Herod’s murderous plot      (Mat. 2:13-20)   3. Letting go by transferring my child to God’s influence Child - Being about what God intended: (Luke 2:41-52) Jesus was 12; parents heading home after Passover noticed Jesus missing; went back to Jerusalem to find Jesus in the Temple interacting with the teachers. Parents were astonished. Mary said, “Son, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.”      (Luke 2:41-52) “Why were you searching for me?  Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?  But they did not understand what He was saying to them.” “Grew in wisdom, stature & in favor with God & men.” “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.”   4. Letting go of control as my child launches out into life Joseph died (the father, Joseph was no longer mentioned) Mary - was a single parent with full responsibilities There were other brothers + sisters          (Mat. 13:55-56)   Letting go of son to the world     (John 2:1-11) Wedding at Cana Can’t control Him; He said that His “time” had not come She told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”   5. Letting go of my child being hurt by others or sick Feeling so misunderstood by crowds, leaders, disciples Pharisees were critical of Jesus and his ministry Christ was falsely tried and then scourged At cross: Letting go of Son at the cross – Savior of the World!                                         (Luke 23:1-49) Christ was buried but raised from dead 3 days later Jesus in spite of Himself suffering on the cross, said to John, the Disciple whom Jesus loved, to take care of His mother    and he did.                       (John 19:26-27)   6. Letting go of the future without my child                                                           (Acts 1:13-14) Mary was in the Upper Room when the disciples met to replace Judas and further the mission of Christianity   Q) What stage are you in the process of “Letting Go?”           Remember:  “Our children are on loan from God!”
"Got Questions?" April 27, 2014 Q) Did you ever get branded with a knick-name that you could not shake?  For a statement he made the Disciple Thomas has long been known as “Doubting Thomas”, but was he?   Let us look at the life of the Disciple Thomas: 1. Thomas was courageous and inspirational Context: Lazarus had become ill and died (John 11:14) The leaders in Jerusalem had become hostile to Jesus and His ministry           (John 11:57; 12:10) Jesus wanted to go to Jerusalem   “Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”    (John 11:16) Once convinced, Thomas had unquestioned loyalty   2. Thomas was pragmatic and asked tough questions Context:  Jesus was giving instructions on Him going to prepare a place in heaven for His disciples and that He would return for them                           (John 14:1-4) “Thomas said to Him, Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”(John 14:5) His question generated Christ’s famous response: “Jesus answered I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  If you knew me, you would know My father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”      (John 14:6-7) Tough questions precipitate profound answers!   3. Thomas resolved issues by evaluating the    evidence and believing Context: Thomas was not with the other disciples when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them. Thomas wanted physical evidence before he would believe   “Thomas said, Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it.”                (John 20:24-25) Jesus came and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”                  (John 20:26-27)   Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28) “Jesus said, Because you have seen Me you have believed; Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”                             (John 20:29-30) Thomas’ response initiated the timing for John to state his purpose for writing the Gospel of John (John 20:31)   Observations about Thomas’ faith journey: Thomas did doubt, but he was not a doubter He just wanted to see what other disciples had already seen…evidence of the risen Christ.   (John 20:19-23) Once convinced Thomas immediately responded in faith He remained convinced and traveled representing Christ   Thomas’ Martyrdom: (from historical sources) Thomas traveled to India to establish Christian churches He was stabbed to death with a spear   Observations about Christ: Christ went to Thomas and was not angry with him Christ provided the evidence to answer his concerns Christ validated Thomas – He made Thomas that way!   Questions are welcome at Calvary Bible Church 1)    Better to doubt out-loud than to disbelieve in silence 2)    Silent doubts rarely find answers 3)    It is not blind faith, but trust in a trustworthy God who makes and keeps His promises, that is part of answers   4)   “Got Questions?” _________________________
Saved...Just in Time! April 13, 2014 Jesus was crucified between two thieves We don’t know their names, just their crimes.   They heard Jesus respond to the soldiers who were crucifying Him: “Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”                                 (Luke 23:34) The Roman Centurion who witnessed the crucifixion said,   “Surely He was the Son of God!”             (Mt. 27:54)   These two criminals show the great contrast:  (Lk. 23:32-43) One bitter, resentful, blaming God, unrepentant One fearing God, humble, defending Christ   There are 6 truths about gaining eternal life: 1. There are no second chances after death       to accept Christ: There comes a point when it is too late to repent: Death -“It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment.”     (Heb 9:27 NASB) Hardened Heart                        (Ex. 9:34-10:1)   2. There is no such place as Purgatory Purgatory (Cleansing Place) was thought to be a place where souls go after death to be cleansed of small sins that prevent them from immediate entrance into heaven The concept of purgatory is not from the Bible,           it is from a non-biblical book - 2 Maccabees. The prayers or indulgences for loved ones who have died = 0 merit from God’s perspective Christ’s atoning sacrifice was for the whole world for all time (past, present and future)    (1 John 2:2)   3. Being a good person has no value in salvation The man on the cross was a robber. He had no ability to pay back his debt. The thief had no time to do good works or to be a good person – he was dying with in hours. Being baptized does not count toward salvation.   “All our good works are as filthy rags.”   (Isaiah 64:6)   4. Humility before a holy God is important Notice how respectful one robber is toward Christ.         (Lk. 23:40) God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jam 4:6)   5. Acknowledgement of your personal sin is critical Personal ownership for your behavior/choices    (Lk. 23:41) “Each of us will give an account of himself to God.”                                                                   (Rom. 14:12) Q) Who killed Jesus?           ___Roman soldiers,   ___Jews,  ___You,   ___Me   6. Acting in faith in Christ …… salvation: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, do that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)   “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”    (Rom. 10:9 -10)   Jesus said to the robber with faith, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.”            (Luke 23:43) Christ granted salvation due to his faith, not his good deeds     “Be with Me in paradise” (The dwelling place of God) Q) If you died today, would you go to be with God?  Q) On what basis?