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Modern society calls it “Easter.”

The one thing I find that people most often stumble over is the fact that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.

Just a few Years ago I was gravely disappointed with Three of our community’s prominent Churches who along w/ a community university sponsored a Pseudo- Intellect who presented to our community a series of lectures attempting to explain “Why the Bodily resurrection of Jesus isn’t   Necessary to believe in.

Consider This:

Thomas Arnold (Professor and world-renowned historian)  “I can tell you that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history”.

C.S. Lewis: {about the Resurrection of Jesus} ….something perfectly  new in the history of the Universe happened….. Christ defeated death.

 Tim Keller: 21st C. author and pastor in  Manhattan, NY) “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul Said:  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins..

The Point is Simple:

Either The Resurrection we celebrate TODAY is REAL and ACTUAL or it is NOT….

Jesus’ Resurrection did happen, it isn’t a myth. It isn’t merely a nice idea that Christians have, Rather, it is something which occurred in history.

The truth is everyone in the world is affected by the resurrection of Jesus.

Nobody can live unchanged by this great historically accurate event!

Resurrection Evidence reveals that….

* The New Testament story is not a legend:  New Testament documents were written within two generations of the events by eyewitnesses or their contemporaries. The New Testament story-line is corroborated by non-Christian writers.

* The New Testament story is not an embellishment: New Testament writers were meticulously accurate as the well over 140 historically details demonstrate.

* The New Testament writers were not deceived: The New Testament writers were not wrong about what they saw! If all their other historical details has proven to be Accurate, why do you think they would be deceived about the resurrection?

There will always be people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead!

Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection.

Instead, Be filled with hope because one day you will see the living proof when Jesus Christ returns.

What does the resurrection mean to every one who by Faith accepts it?

I can have confidence that the apostles early teaching was true.

I know I am forgiven for my sins.

Finally, Because of the Resurrection I know that  God is a Living Sovereign. The Resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign.

* The founder of Buddhism is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

*The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

But the founder of Christianity Jesus —made a number of appearances after His death over a 40 day Period.

For Instance:

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the women that came to Jesus tomb (Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and Joanna),

He appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road.

He also appeared to the remainder of the Twelve Disciples with Thomas absent.  Later he appeared to them with Thomas present.

There was also an appearance to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee.

On another occasion Jesus appeared to over five hundred people at the same time.

There is also an appearance to James.

Finally Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus – the man who became the Apostle Paul.

Jesus is Not DEAD IN THE GRAVE

 HE IS RISEN.  Have you received HIM today?  I would love to help. Please contact me.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

William Barclay and other commentary writers refer to the passage in Luke 2, regarding Jesus, as a boy, in the Temple as “Supremely Important!

Why is the New Testament story about Jesus, at age 12, in the Temple so vitally important?

The answer lies in What the Passage is Teaching us About the Person and Mission of Jesus.

This passage is supremely important because it answers the Vital Question:

Who is JESUS?  This passage is an occasion for Jesus to teach us about HIS Relationship with GOD….

Jesus is God, the Second Person of the TRINITY.

Unfortunately, there is so much inaccurate understanding and false teaching about the Person and Mission of Jesus by cults, world religions, some politicians, many talk show hosts, numerous religious leaders and too many pastors in our own community.

The “Hypostatic Union” is the term Christians use to explain What Makes Christianity different from all other religions (Islam, Hinduism, etc.) and cults (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Ageism, etc.) that exist today.

It is hard to discuss this event in the LIFE OF JESUS as reported in Luke 2:41-49 without referencing the theological term “the hypostatic union.”

The hypostatic union is the term used to describe how God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time.

The doctrine of the hypostatic union is an attempt to explain how Jesus could be both God and man at the same time. It is ultimately, though, a doctrine we are incapable of fully understanding given it is impossible for humans to fully understand how God works.

What makes Christianity different from cults like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc., and world religions like Islam, Hinduism, etc.?

It is the Teaching that Jesus has always existed (John 8:58,10:30).

Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived.

Only Christianity Teaches the Truth about Jesus; Jesus and God are One!

This is very important for Christians to understand, since the term, “Hypostatic Union” speaks to how Jesus Limited HIMSELF of certain facets of DIVINE ADVANTAGE in order that HE might have a legitimate experience of temptation and REAL life HUMAN struggles.

You may not understand ‘The Hypostatic Union” but you can UNDERSTAND this….according to the Scripture, on earth JESUS was:

100 % God

100% Human

100 % of the Time.

Don’t be misled; the divine nature of Jesus is not diminished by His human nature, and His human nature does not lose identity because of His divine nature.

Jesus has always been God; Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles

(For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human  in every way,  in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins  of the people. Hebrews 2:17 NIV)

and to Die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins

(In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to  his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing  by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8 NIV).

It does matter what you believe about Jesus!  The Luke 2:41-49 passage is important because it is teaching the TRUTH about JESUS, which is IMPORTANT TO OUR SALVATION.

Because Jesus is FULLY GOD and FULLY HUMAN….HE is the Only Way to the FATHER.

The Bible says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”.  John 1:12

Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, that there is no mixture or dilution of either nature, and that He is one united Person, forever.

Please, let’s not back up on Jesus.  Instead, let us commit to the biblical truth about JESUS; eternity weighs in the balance. 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

“I’m basically a good person, so I’ll go to heaven.” “OK, so I do some bad things, but I do more good things, so I’ll go to heaven.” “God won’t send me to hell just because I don’t acknowledge Jesus. Times have changed!” “Only really bad people like child molesters and murderers go to hell.”

These are all common rationalizations, but the truth is that they are all lies.

Getting into heaven is not based on whether our good outweighs our bad; we will all lose out if that is the case. “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6). We can do nothing good to earn our way to heaven (Titus 3:5).

When God created the world, it was perfect and good. Then he made Adam and Eve and gave them their own free will, so they would have a choice whether to follow and obey God. But they were tempted by Satan to disobey God, and they sinned. This separated them (and everyone that came after them, including us) from being able to have a close relationship with God. He is perfect and holy and must judge sin.

As sinners, we couldn’t reconcile ourselves to God on our own.

So God made a way that we could be united with Him in heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus was born to die for our sins so that we would not have to. Three days after His death, He rose from the grave (Romans 4:25), proving Himself victorious over death. He bridged the gap between God and man so that we may have a personal relationship with Him if we only believe.

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Most people believe in God, even Satan does. But to receive salvation, we must turn to God, form a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, turn away from our sins, and follow Him.

We must trust in Jesus with everything we have and everything we do. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference” (Romans 3:22). The Bible teaches that there is no other way to salvation than through Christ. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is the only way of salvation because He is the only One who can pay our sin penalty (Romans 6:23).

No other religion teaches the depth or seriousness of sin and its consequences.

No other religion offers the infinite payment of sin that only Jesus Christ could provide. No other “religious founder” was God become man (John 1:1,14) – the only way an infinite debt could be paid. Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die.

Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Read more about it at  www.gotquestions.org

 

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Will You Stand in the Line of Paul, Jude, Peter and John?

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

 

 

Not everyone is “TALKING” about the Same Jesus.

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be Ashamed of Jesus.  Christ Followers are not  narrow or  intolerant when it comes to proclaiming truth about Jesus.  He is the Only Way for eveyone.  That’s not narrow.   Don’t be afraid to speak.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Please Discover for yourself the True Jesus.

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

The one thing I find that people most often stumble over is the fact that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.

 It did happen, it isn’t a myth. It isn’t merely a nice idea that Christians have, Rather, it is something which occurred in history.

 The truth is everyone in the world is affected by the resurrection of Jesus.

 Nobody can live unchanged by this  great historically accurate event!

  Keep this resurrection truth in mind:

 Resurrection skeptics provide unverified

Alternative theories; Christ followers provide First-century resurrection evidence.

  What does the evidence reveal regarding the resurrection of Jesus? 

 * The New Testament story is not a legend:

 New Testament documents were written within two generations of the events by eyewitnesses or their contempories.

 The New Testament storyline is corroborated by non-Christian writers.

 * The New Testament story is not an embellishment:

 New Testament writers were meticulously accurate as the well over 140 historically details demonstrate.

 * The New Testament writers were not deceived:

 The New Testament writers were not wrong about what they saw!

 If all their other historical details has proven to be Accurate, why do you think they would be deceived about the resurrection?

  Regarding the resurrection of Jesus, how do skeptics explain away the resurrection?

  There will always be people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead!

 Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection.

           Instead,

 Be filled with hope because the knowledge that one day you will see the living proof when Jesus Christ returns.

 Alternative theories of resurrection skeptics.

  The hallucination theory:

 Response:  Jesus appeared to men and women in various  settings over a 40 day period.  Why did the roman authorities not just parade around the dead body of Jesus?

  The wrong tomb theory:

 Response:  The Jews knew where the tomb was. The roman authorities knew where the tomb was.  The wrong tomb theory doesn’t explain away the sightings of a resurrected Jesus, or the empty tomb.

 The swoon theory:  (appeared dead)

 Response:  Non-Christians sources affirm that a spear was thrust into the heart of Jesus. In addition, Jesus was wrapped in spices and 75 lbs. of bandages

 The stolen body;

 Response:  This would makes the disciples deceivers, not deceived!  So…..the disciples stole the body of Jesus so they could be beaten and tortured?

What does the resurrection mean to every one who accepts it?

Because of the resurrection I have confidence that the apostles early teaching was true.

Because of the resurrection I am forgiven for my sins.

Because Christ is raised those who have died in Christ have not perished.

One final word about “who is Jesus”? 

C.S. Lewis who clearly shows that we must do something with Jesus: either accept his love and forgiveness, or totally reject all of his claims.

He writes:

I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him:

 “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say.

 A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said… Would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic… or else he would be the devil of hell.

 You must make you choice.

 Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse.

 You can shut him up for a fool,

You can spit at him and kill him as a demon;

You can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.

 But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

Very few people question whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus’ full identity is discussed. Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good teacher or a godly man.

 

Christianity, however, teaches that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man—Jesus is God in the Flesh.   While on this earth Jesus was 100% God, 100% man, 100% of the time!

C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following: 

“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”

 

So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He is? First, let’s look at Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God’” (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus’ statement as a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example: “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” Again, in response, the Jews took up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus’ announcing His identity as “I am” is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He had not said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?John 1:1 says “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says “the Word became flesh.” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The apostle Paul describes Him as, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The apostle Peter says the same, “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus’ full identity as well, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).John 14:26)?

 So, as C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain away the words of Jesus, modern “scholars” claim the “true historical Jesus” did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God’s Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a “scholar” two thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself.

Why is the question over Jesus’ true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or Not Jesus is God? 

The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

 

Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die.

 

Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus’ deity is why He proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

 

Will you accept Jesus today?

 

 

 

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 All prayer should be directed to our triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that we can pray to one or all three, because all three are one.

To the Father we pray with the psalmist, “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray” (Psalm 5:2). To the Lord Jesus, we pray as to the Father because they are equal. Prayer to one member of the Trinity is prayer to all. Stephen, as he was being martyred, prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59).

We are also to pray in the name of Christ. Paul exhorted the Ephesian believers to always give “thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Jesus assured His disciples that whatever they asked in His name—meaning in His will—would be granted (John 15:16; 16:23).

Similarly, we are told to pray to the Holy Spirit and in His power. The Spirit helps us to pray, even when we do not know how or what to ask for (Romans 8:26; Jude 20).

Perhaps the best way to understand the role of the Trinity in prayer is that we pray to the Father, through (or in the name of) the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. All three are active participants in the believer’s prayer.

Dr. Tom Smiley is Senior Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”.  His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, faith, current events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/.   His books: “Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org.