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Author Archives: Revzacc

About Revzacc

I pastor a church in Watertown, Massachusetts. I also enjoy traveling, hiking, and enjoying new places and experiences.

Last Days Preparation

Last Days Preparation

As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, we’re looking at the teaching of Jesus concerning the events in the last days. It will become more important for us to be spiritually prepared as His day approaches.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Luke 21:25-28 NIV

Jesus makes it very clear. In the last days before His return the world will be in anguish and perplexity. People will faint from terror; apprehensive at what they think is coming. If that’s you, then STOP IT! You’re not of the world.

The fact is that there will be different signs in the natural world. Pre-pandemic we went through a sequence of “Blood Moons” that had many believers in panic mode.

What is a blood moon? Most people – even preachers – don’t know what it is. Simply put, a blood moon is a lunar eclipse. Then why call it a blood moon? For effect – it sounds more exciting and ominous that way; and it sells more books.

Please forgive me if I sound a little critical about this. I really do love my brothers and sisters in the Lord who major on current events and try to fit them into end-time Scriptures.

Like I said in a previous post; I’ve studied the Second Coming since the 70’s. That means that I’ve seen a lot of these predictions over the years. All of them had a bunch of Scripture backing them up. It’s a very dangerous thing to try and take the predictions of the Bible and definitively link them to current events.

I remember one prominent preacher who said, based upon Scripture and current events, that the Communist flag would be raised in Washington, DC on July 4, 1976. Then there was the comet Kohoutek and the lining up of the planets. Both of which launched a number of predictions and books proclaiming that Christ would return at that time.

Of course, 40 years after the return of Israel to their homeland in 1948 we read the book 88 Reasons why Jesus is Returning in 1988. Soon to be followed by 89 reasons…

Many of you may remember the posters that were everywhere proclaiming that the rapture would occur in 1990. Then, there was Harold Camping’s prediction that it would happen in 1994. After that, there was Y2K and Saddam Hussein supposedly rebuilding Babylon.

Then Harold Camping was back claiming the rapture would occur in 2011. After that, even Hollywood picked up on the Mayan and Hebrew calendars ending in 2012. Then, we heard about all the blood moons that took place through September of 2015.

Now that we’ve gone through a world-wide pandemic, things seem to be ramping up. Instead of local problems, things are happening on a global stage. Remember, Jesus Christ told us that all these things had to happen before His return.

What bothers me about all this is that there are people in the body of Christ running scared. They’re spending their money buying survival supplies; fearful and confused about the future. That’s not what we should be doing.

As a believer, you will not survive because you prepared, materially, for the apocalypse. You’ll survive because God promised, “I will supply all of your need according to My riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

If you keep focused on Jesus, you won’t need to fear what’s coming on the earth. The Holy Spirit will impart the grace you need, when and where it’s needed.

Spend time in His presence. That’s the prep-work that you need for the coming uncertainty. We need to be strong in the Lord.

Question: How have you been affected by predictions of future events?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Jerusalem’s Fall

Jerusalem’s Fall

We’ve been in the Gospel of Luke, looking at Jesus teaching His disciples about the end-times. Having warned them of what they were about to face, the Lord now answers their original question that started it all (Luke 21:7).

He tells them the signs that signal the approach of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Because we live on this side of the historical event, it’s easier to look back and interpret the Lord’s words.

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.”

Luke 21:20-21 NIV

Jesus is referring to a prophecy from the book of Daniel. He makes mention of the desolation of Jerusalem. Daniel calls it the detestable thing that causes the city to be laid waste.

I know a lot of Bible teachers who say that this is a future event, and they have a variety of teachings and beliefs on this subject. I ask you to please read the Scripture without preconceived ideas about what’s being said. Put yourself in the place of the disciples who are hearing this for the first time.

The reaction of the disciples must have been one of surprise. This is because every God-fearing Jew knew that the reference Jesus gave them from the book of Daniel had ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED.

Around 170 BC there was a Syrian ruler named Antiochus IV. He was so full of himself that he gave himself the title “Epiphanes,” which means “the manifest god”. As many emperors did, he forced those around him to worship him.

Antiochus Epiphanes led his army to successfully conquer Israel. On December 15, 168 BC, he set up the image of Zeus on an altar in the Temple of Jerusalem. Ten days later, he dedicated it by sacrificing a pig in the Temple.

Heathen altars were then erected throughout Israel, their celebrations being compulsory. Any Jew would receive the death penalty if found in possession of the Torah. Observing the Sabbath and circumcision were forbidden. Because of their faithfulness to the Law of God, many Jews were killed in those days.

As the disciples heard Jesus speak about Daniel’s prophecy, they must have also thought about the reign of Antiochus. Now they’re hearing from the Lord that it will be fulfilled again. This was a new concept for them to grasp – the fact that a prophetic Scripture could have two fulfillments.

“For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Luke 21:22-24 NIV

This sounds all too familiar to the disciples. Throughout history, the Jews had been conquered again and again. Now one of the worst chapters in their history was going to repeat itself. All they could do was listen and be prepared.

I think the Lord is obviously talking about the times that the disciples were living in. He says that the Jews would be dispersed among the nations. However, there would be a time-limit on how long the Gentiles would be in control of the Holy Land.

We’ve seen this in our generation. Israel has once again returned to their homeland. And, by God’s power, they have once again become a sovereign nation. God is always confirming that His Word is true.

This should encourage us. I believe that this is how the Holy Spirit operates. If we’re listening, the Spirit will always prepare us for what’s ahead in our future. We need to continue developing our spiritual sensitivity to hear His voice.

Question: Why does the Holy Spirit want to reveal the future to us?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2022 in Israel, Return of Christ, Word of God

 

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Last Days Testimony

Last Days Testimony

I’ve been posting from Luke’s Gospel about how we should be living in the last days. In my last article I talked about what not to do. The last exhortation was, not to worry about your testimony. I believe this a vital piece of knowledge that we need in these last days.

Listen to what the Lord tells His disciples and us about standing before those who oppose us.

This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.

Luke 21:13-19 NIV

We live in a culture that is becoming increasingly more hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians look like they’re becoming more low-key in their proclamation of the Word of God.

Many believers are worried. “What do I say? What if someone from the LGBTQ+ community calls me out? I don’t want to be labeled a ‘hater’.”

The problem, as I see it, is two-fold. First of all, many modern believers have become lazy and scripturally illiterate. They go to church to be spoon fed from the Bible.

We have to realize the times we’re living in. Whether you want to accept it or not, living in the United States today as a Christian, is like living on the mission field. We need to know the Scripture and live it in order to survive, spiritually.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 NIV

When we allow the Holy Spirit to take us through God’s approval process, there’s no need for shame. Christians who get embarrassed about their faith show that they’re still in their spiritual childhood. It’s not a bad thing, but they need to get into the Word and grow up.

The second part of the problem is a little deeper. There’s an assumption in the words of Christ. He told His disciples that He would give them words and wisdom that none of their adversaries would be able to resist or contradict.

This assumes that God’s people know how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to them. That’s the number one problem in the church today. We’ve lost the ability to hear from God.

We try in our own intelligence to reason and debate with the world. We try to convince them that our way of thinking is correct. The result is that they resist and contradict us at every turn.

Then, when that doesn’t work, we try to give them a list of quotes from the Bible. We want them to see what God thinks about the subject. But, what we find, is that the last thing they want to hear is the Bible. Please understand – people of the world don’t believe the Bible.

We have to come to the realization that, today, we’re in the same position as the early church. We’re in a society like the Roman Empire. They were mildly religious, but ungodly. They need to hear a Word from God. That’s what will make the difference.

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Mark 16:20 NIV

You do understand that when this was written there was no New Testament. Christians had no Bibles. The only thing they could do was to pray and receive a Word from the Holy Spirit. They had no choice but to hear God’s voice.

Today, we have Scriptural overload. We’ve replaced time with the Holy Spirit with Bible reading. Please hear me – Bible reading is very important. I read the Word every day. But it’s no replacement for time with the Spirit.

The only hope for our society is a group of believers who hear from the Holy Spirit. This generation needs to hear from God. Only then will they hear a message that they can’t resist or contradict. That alone will draw them to the cross of Christ.

Question: How much time do you spend with the Holy Spirit?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Last Days – “Don’t”

The Last Days – “Don’t”

As we go through Luke’s Gospel, I’m taking a few posts to look at what our attitude should be like in the last days. Specifically, we’re dealing with the principles given to us by Jesus in Luke chapter 21.

First, I want to talk about three things that the Lord told us NOT to do.

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”

Luke 21:8 NIV

His first command to us is, don’t follow them. We are to ignore those who claim, “I am he.” We should already know that one. Jesus said that at His coming every eye would see Him. It will not be a private return.

In spite of this warning, many have come claiming to be another incarnation of Christ. Over and over again, I hear about people going to hear someone who claims to be a new messiah.

The second statement that the Lord made was a little more subtle. He said not to follow those who come in His name claiming, “The time is near.”

Please understand, I believe that the coming of the Lord is near. The difference is that this is only a small part of my message. Christ is talking about those whose whole focus is on the soon coming of the Lord and the signs surrounding it.

Remember what I told you in my last post. In Scripture, the Second Coming is never the main focus – it’s always the reason for living correctly. You have to be very careful when you see a whole ministry based upon “the time is near.”

Usually these “end-time ministries” like to play on the sensationalism of possible outcomes. Any new astronomical event, international crisis, or natural disaster gives them new ways to bend Scripture to look like the end is upon us.

This type of ministry seems to sell a lot of books. But most of them are only exciting reading for a year or two. Then, it becomes obvious they were on the wrong track with their predictions.

“When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”

Luke 21:9-11 NIV

The next thing Jesus tells us is don’t be frightened. You’re going to hear various bad reports. The world may be full of problems, but one thing remains true through the ages; Christ is still on the throne.

No matter what’s happening around us, Christians should never fear the future. The Holy Spirit is always with us. He leads and guides us. More than that, we know that He gives us the grace to stand strong in spite of the current situations.

Many people are predicting catastrophe for the United States. We don’t know what the future holds for our country. But I know the answer – Jesus Christ is Lord.

“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.”

Luke 21:12-14 NIV

The Lord’s final general statement is; do not worry…how you will defend yourselves.

“What if it becomes illegal to be a Christian?”

It’s happened before and God brought His people through victoriously. In the Book of Acts Paul was headed to Jerusalem. Churches were telling him not to go because of prophecies that spoke of his arrest. He said he was not only willing to be arrested, but to die for Christ.

The key is that if you’re called to go through persecution or martyrdom, then you’ll receive the grace to stand firm. So – don’t worry about it now – the Lord will give you what you need when you need it.

Question: What is the result of following these commands the Lord gave us?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2022 in Encouragement, Faith, Power of God, Return of Christ

 

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Ready for the Last Days

Ready for the Last Days

We are continuing our study of Luke’s Gospel. As Jesus prepares to go to the cross, He begins to tell His disciples about His return.

The Second Coming of Christ seems to be an exciting topic among believers. Pre-COVID, the rise of ISIS and the talk of Blood Moons had many people fearful about what was coming. Now, it seems we’re even closer to the Lord’s return.

We need to get back to the teachings of Christ if we’re going to navigate these times that we live in. It’s all about our attitudes.

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
Luke 21:5-7 NIV

Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. As they were looking around, impressed by the great structures, a question arose over the last days.

What a lot of believers don’t realize is that at this point in Jesus’ ministry, the disciples already had a good amount of teaching on the last days; they just didn’t know when it would occur. Jesus answered their questions with a pretty detailed talk.

I’ve been studying the Second Coming of the Lord since the early 1970’s. I believe that we’re living in the last days. The real question is; what should our attitudes be like? I’m going to take a few posts to talk about this section of Scripture.

We have to be careful when studying the Second Coming. Many people get off track because when it comes to the last days, they forget one simple rule about Scripture. KEEP IT IN CONTEXT!

In this chapter of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus deals with general and specific concepts. Verses 20-24 are the dividing point.

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city…They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Luke 21:20-24 NIV

This passage talks about Jerusalem being surrounded resulting in the Jews being dispersed among the nations. Then, after many generations, they’ll be returned to their homeland. It’s obvious from the pages of history that this prophecy is fulfilled.

Before that prophecy are some general principles. After it are some statements that are specifically for our generation, living after the fulfillment. So, we need to be careful that we make the correct applications of these verses.

There’s one more thing I want to talk about in this introductory post. Many people miss it. In Scripture, most of the time the Second Coming is not the main subject, even though it’s talked about. It’s only the jumping off point for the principle being taught. It’s more about how we should live. “Jesus is coming soon, therefore…”

In my next post I’ll start talking about how Jesus said we should live as we see His return approaching.

Question: What are your thoughts on the soon coming of the Lord?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2022 in Israel, Return of Christ

 

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True Treasure

True Treasure

We’re studying through the Gospel of Luke. Jesus is nearing the time for His sacrifice on the cross. As He sits for a while at the Temple of Jerusalem, it brings up some questions we need to answer in today’s church.

What’s your attitude toward offerings at church? Do you consider it a necessary evil? Do you look forward to the chance of investing in God’s kingdom? It turns out that the Lord takes an interest in how we give.

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.

Luke 21:1-2 NIV

There are some things about Jesus that you need to know, especially in regard to your giving. As the pastor of a church, I know that where people choose to sit tells a lot about them. Jesus chose to sit right in line with the offering boxes so that He could watch people as they gave.

It’s interesting that the literal Greek of this verse says that the Lord watched knowingly, how the people put their money in the box. Whether you know it or not, how you give is as important to God as what you give.

That’s because true giving is an act of the heart. Jesus explained the underlying principle.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:21 NIV

This statement brings it all into focus. At offering time, do you feel like you’re giving your treasure to God? Or do you feel like you’re giving money to the One that you treasure? In other words, is Christ your treasure, or is money your treasure?

As Jesus watched the rich give money, they weren’t affected by it. They gave out of their overflow. What they put in the treasury wouldn’t change their standard of living.

The widow, on the other hand, gave everything. Money that could have been used for food or other necessities was now gone. That made an impression on Jesus, and He called it to the disciples’ attention.

“I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Luke 21:3-4 NIV

The Lord’s commentary is important for us to hear. There’s a “break-even point” in our finances where our expenses equal our income. He explained that the rich gave from above that point. The widow gave all that she had, even though she had less than breaking even.

But there’s more Jesus said that we miss because of the translation. In the original, the Lord said that the widow put in all that she had, her whole life.

She wasn’t just giving her money to God. She was placing her very life in His hands. That’s the attitude that’s needed in our giving.

It’s not just my money that belongs to God. It’s everything that I have, even my very life. All that I am – my time, goals, dreams, possessions – I must place it all in His hands.

Offerings are not simply a tradition of the church that we have to do each week. It’s not something I do to get God off my back for another week. It’s an opportunity to once again confirm to myself and the Lord that all of my life is His.

This widow may have thought that her giving had gone unnoticed. But the truth is that God saw it, and it moved His heart. I know without a doubt that God met her need and sustained her because of her faith. That’s the true attitude of giving.

Question: What goes through your mind as you give your offerings?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2022 in Encouragement, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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Thanksgiving 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 100:4 NIV

Here in the United States, we’re preparing for our Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a day that’s supposed to be set aside to thank God for His abundant blessings on us.

Unfortunately, there are many who don’t look to God in thankfulness. Even worse, there are believers who don’t consistently thank the Lord for His goodness to them.

We look around at everything going on in the world today. Sometimes we may get the idea that things are out of control. But, for the Christian, we should be seeing the hand of God at work through it all.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 NIV

Only those who experience God’s grace can truly fathom it. That is why no one should be able outdo our celebration.

In the world, many people look at Thanksgiving as simply a great day to watch football. I look at the fans that flock to the stadiums. It’s a shame that football teams receive more praise than the Creator of heaven and earth.

God made this day so that we could experience His blessings. The verse above literally says, let us spin around under the influence of a violent emotion. God deserves the greatest praise.

The second half reads, and in this rejoicing, we will brighten up and be made glad. So, you don’t have to feel good to start thanking God. Thankfulness changes your emotions.

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:4-5 NIV

David learned this lesson. Giving thanks changes how we feel about things. And, when our emotions change, our whole outlook changes.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

Take some time this holiday season to give thanks to the Lord. Let it transport you out of the stress and anxiety that preparing these holidays may bring. Find the peace and joy that only comes through giving thanks to God.

Have a blest Thanksgiving!

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2022 in Daily Thoughts, Encouragement, Faith, Prayer

 

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Pure Motives

Pure Motives

We’re continuing through the Gospel of Luke. The end of the Lord’s ministry was quickly approaching.

That being said, there are posts that I really enjoy writing. There are others that I wrestle with God about publishing them. I don’t want to be the one who rocks the boat. Unfortunately, today’s post is one of those that I didn’t want to write.

Jesus was nearing the cross and the battle lines were being drawn between Him and the religious leaders of His day.

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”

Luke 20:45-47 NIV

In Jesus’ day, there were those who taught the Scripture, while at the same time having an element of self-indulgence. There were times that they taught the truth of God’s Word, drawing people closer to the Lord. At the same time, they were feeding their own egos and lining their pockets.

These religious leaders liked the fact that they were highly esteemed among the people. They were able to dress well and were readily recognized.  People wanted to be at the meetings when these leaders were present.

According to Jesus, for all of their training and knowledge, they weren’t scoring any points with God. As a matter of fact, the Lord warned the crowds that they needed to do what these leaders taught, while at the same time rejecting their self-absorbed lifestyle (Matthew 23:1-4).

Jesus also condemns the religious system itself. He points out the fact that their extravagant way of life is paid for by those who could least afford it.

That was the easy part of this post. Now on to the difficult section…

Lately, I’ve been becoming more and more disheartened by the direction of our modern system of Christianity. It seems like in many areas we’re taking on the attitude of corporate America.

What do I mean by this? In most large corporations, the senior executives make more money than they could spend in ten lifetimes. In that same company, the employees who do the bulk of the work can’t make ends meet with the one salary they earn from doing that job.

Now we have huge churches where the pastors have big homes, garages full of cars, private jets and a continual desire for more. Many of their members have to work two or sometimes three jobs to make ends meet. Granted, they’re preaching Jesus Christ, and many are getting saved under their ministry. But at what point is enough, enough?

I’m told that their luxurious lifestyle is the reward for their faithfulness in the ministry. As a pastor who has been serving the same church for over 30 years, I find that kind of thinking offensive. I gave up a career where I was on track for a six-figure engineering salary when God called me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not jealous of these preachers. If I had it to do all over again, I would gladly make the same choices for the honor of serving my Lord. I just don’t like being told that the car I drive or the house I rent is the indication of how faithful I’ve been to the calling of God.

It’s nothing new. The church has been dealing with this throughout history. I like Paul’s attitude.

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Philippians 1:18 NIV

That’s the attitude I want to portray. I apologize if I seemed to be ranting. I hold no ill will against any of my brothers or sisters in the ministry. I simply want Christ to be exalted in His church.

Question: What is the true indication of faithfulness to God?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Jesus Christ – God and Man

Jesus Christ – God and Man

As we continue to look at the Gospel of Luke, we’re at the point where Jesus is in Jerusalem, during the last weeks before the cross. The religious leaders were testing Him with questions. Their desire was to discredit the Lord before all of the people.

Instead, their plan backfired. Their hypocrisy was exposed for all to see. Now Jesus turns things around and asks them a question.

Then Jesus said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:

‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’

David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

Luke 20:41-44 NIV

Jesus is giving the crowd something to think about. It’s also a testimony as to who He really is. Any teacher of the Law would know exactly what He was saying.

First, the Lord asks a question. Why do the teachers of the Law use the term Son of David for the Messiah?

That’s important because the phrase Son of David is never used in the Old Testament in relation to the Christ. It does teach that Messiah would be a king from the line of Judah.

So they were right in assuming the connection to David. But the title, Son of David, was coined by the Rabbis. So in answering the question – they call Messiah the Son of David because their careful study of the Scripture pointed them in that direction.

The next question is harder to answer without a willingness to have your heart changed. If David calls Him Lord, how can the Messiah be his son? Jesus is quoting the prophecy of Psalm 110.

In the Hebrew, David gives a prophecy that “Yahweh will say to my Adonai…”. But in Scripture, both Yahweh and Adonai are names of the one, true God.

It’s through this teaching that Jesus declares to all the religious leaders who He is. By their own study, the teachers of that day should realize that the only way for the Son of David to be Adonai is for God Himself to take on flesh.

That’s what sets Christianity apart from all the seemingly Christian based cults. Jesus Christ declared Himself, on more than one occasion, to be God in the flesh. That’s the test of what is the true church versus the false.

Even in Paul’s day, there were those who would try to deny the deity of Christ. He condemned the church at Corinth for not being careful with their teaching.

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
2 Corinthians 11:4 NIV

That’s also what separates Christianity from all other religions. They all teach that man has to strive to reach acceptance with a god or struggle for perfection. The true God tells us that it’s impossible for us to do it on our own. So He took the initiative to take on flesh and provide the way of salvation for us through the work of Christ on the cross.

I am so grateful for the gift given to us by Jesus Christ. There truly is no other name under heaven that provides such a rich reward for those who choose to follow Him.

Question: What events brought you to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2022 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Children of the Resurrection

Children of the Resurrection

Continuing through the Gospel of Luke, we see a lot of opposition from the religious leaders. This is especially true from the Sadducees who don’t believe in the resurrection, angels, demons, or miraculous powers. You may want to read Luke 20:27-40 before continuing with this post.

They want to discredit Jesus publicly. So, they come at Him with a question that had stumped the Pharisees (who believe in the resurrection) for many years.

The question is about a woman who had seven husbands in accordance with the Law of Moses. They asked Jesus; at the resurrection, who would receive her as their wife, since she was married to all seven?

The Sadducees felt this proved that the resurrection was illogical. Therefore, it shouldn’t be believed.

Of course, these men had lost the battle before they ever approached Jesus. That’s because Christ is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25). There’s no way that these leaders could show the Resurrection that there’s no resurrection.

In looking at the answer the Lord gave them, I see some important truths we need to grasp.

Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage…”

Luke 20:34-35 NIV

The first thing I see is the great transition. The age we live in now, is temporary. Our Resurrection Day is the start of a brand new age. We change from being mortal to immortal (1 Corinthians 15:42).

The way Jesus describes this is absolutely great. The phrase, considered worthy, is, deemed entirely deserving, in the Greek. Because of what Christ did on the cross, you and I can now be considered entirely deserving of immortality.

However, there’s even more to be thankful for in this verse. The phrase, taking part, literally means to hit the mark.

We know that the word, sin, means to miss the mark, in both the Old and New Testaments. But now, because of Jesus, we can actually hit the mark of being worthy of the resurrection. This is something far beyond what any human being is capable of on their own.

…and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”

Luke 20:36 NIV

We put on immortality because we are now children of the resurrection. But there’s even more to it.

The phrase, they are like the angels, literally means, they have the same power as the angels. Please understand that we DO NOT become angels. (Don’t get your theology from It’s a Wonderful Life)

I think about the power of angels in the Scriptures. They have the ability to appear and disappear at will. One angel could defeat an entire army. We will be clothed in this same power one day.

But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Luke 20:37-40 NIV

As believers, we should never fear death. We know that when our body ceases to function, we simply change our residence.

Yes, we go through a grieving process when a loved one passes. But that should be because we know we will miss them for a while. We don’t grieve because we will never see them again. We know there will be a grand reunion one day.

Keep that truth before your eyes. Allow the hope of the resurrection to propel you forward for the Lord.

Question: How does the hope of the resurrection inspire you?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2022 in Power of God, Return of Christ, Revival

 

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