Jesus came to set the captives free!


Jesus came to set the captives free!

Jesus said:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised

Luke 4:18

This is God’s only answer for what the world needs today:



I received an email today, with this question in the subject line: Do you support the Homosexual Agenda?

Well first, let’s see what exactly is the homosexual lifestyle?

Homosexuality is a sexual orientation. A homosexual person is sexually and romantically attracted to people of their own gender. Men who are attracted to other men are called “gay.” Women who are attracted to other women can be called “gay” as well, but are usually called “lesbians”. People who are attracted to men and women are called bisexual. Together homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people make up the “LGBT community.” It is difficult to say how many people are homosexual. Homosexuality is known to exist in all cultures and countries, though some governments deny that homosexuality exists in their countries.

It is so ironic that these poor people have elected to call themselves “Gay,” when the evidence shows that they are anything but gay!

They have no reason to be. Check out these statistics:

  • 28 percent of homosexual males had sexual encounters with 1,000 or more males.
  • 79 percent said more than half of their sex partners were strangers.
  • Half of the white homosexual said that they had at least 500 different sex partners.
  • Some reported as many as 20,000 different partners.
  • Average age of death from AIDS ….. 35.7 years.
  • Expected average life span (of the homosexual community) 45 years.

According to reports The journal AIDS reported that in the Netherlands, where “gay marriage” has been legal since 2001, HIV and other diseases are soaring among homosexual men. The study notes that “partnered” homosexuals have “outside” lovers, and are contracting the AIDS virus at alarming rates. This puts more young people at risk for HIV, hepatitis A, B and C, “gay bowel syndrome,” human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.

My answer to the question is obviously “NO!” I cannot, and neither can any other Christian be for anything which God, in His Word calls an “abomination!”

Now mind you, it’s not the people who are an abomination, but it is their idolatrous lifestyle!

The truth is, the sin of homosexuality is no more lethal, spiritually, then any other sin… and the truth be told, without Jesus Christ, our sin will take us to hell just as fast as theirs, or anyone else’s for that matter! The Bible says, For all have sinned (have fallen short and have missed God’s standard)! Romans 3:23

What does the Bible say on the subject of Homosexuality?

There are twelve mentions of homosexuality in the Bible:

Old Testament
The first mention in the Bible is in Genesis 19:1-13. The wicked men of Sodom attempted a homosexual rape of two messengers from God who had come to visit Lot. As a result of this and other widespread wickedness, God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in a storm of fire and brimstone.

The next two mentions are in Leviticus:

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (NKJ, Leviticus 18:22)

If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NKJ, Leviticus 20:13)

Note:

Life was harsh in early Old Testament times. The wanderings and struggle for survival of the Israelites did not permit prisons or rehabilitation. Anyone who deviated seriously from the norm was either stoned to death or exiled. The Old Testament prescribed the death penalty for the crimes of murder, attacking or cursing a parent, kidnapping, failure to confine a dangerous animal resulting in death, witchcraft and sorcery, sex with an animal, doing work on the Sabbath, incest, adultery, homosexual acts, prostitution by a priest’s daughter, blasphemy, false prophecy, perjury in capital cases and false claim of a woman’s virginity at the time of marriage.

It must be emphasized that, according to the New Testament, we are no longer under the harsh Old Testament Law (John 1:16-17, Romans 8:1-3, 1 Corinthians 9:20-21). The concern with punishment is now secondary to Jesus’ message of repentance and redemption. Both reward and punishment are seen as properly taking place in eternity, rather than in this life.

In Old Testament times, homosexual activity was strongly associated with idolatrous cult prostitution as in 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12. (There was also cult prostitution by females.) In fact, the word “abomination,” used in both mentions of homosexual acts in Leviticus, is a translation of the Hebrew word tow’ ebah which, according to Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Dictionary, means something morally disgusting, but it also has a strong implication of idolatry. Thus, many Bible scholars believe the condemnations in Leviticus are more a condemnation of the idolatry than of the homosexual acts themselves. However, that interpretation is not certain.

New Testament
Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, but He did condemn all forms of sexual immorality:

What comes out of you is what defiles you. For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile you.
(Mark 7:20-23)

The apostle Paul, in one of his letters to the Corinthians, wrote the verses most often quoted on this subject:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

This verse has been translated in as many different ways as there are different versions of the Bible, so we have to look at the original Greek to see what Paul was really saying. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word translated here as “male prostitute” is the Greek word malakos which literally means “soft to the touch.” However, it was used metaphorically in a negative way to refer to a catamite (a boy kept for sexual relations with a man) or to a male prostitute in general. The word translated here as “homosexual offender” is the Greek word arsenokoites which means a sodomite, a person who engages in any kind of unnatural sex, but especially homosexual intercourse. Some believe this use of arsenokoites referred specifically to the men who kept catamites, but that is not certain.

There are two other New Testament mentions of homosexual acts, in Romans 1:25-27 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10. In this passage from Romans, again in the context of idolatry, Paul mentions women who “exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones,” which might apply to lesbian acts:

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator– who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
(Romans 1:25-27)

Examples in the Bible?
It is sometimes said that the friendship between David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:3-4, 2 Samuel 1:26) was an example of a homosexual relationship. The relationships between Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:14) and between Jesus and John (“the disciple Jesus loved” in John 13:23; 19:26; 21:7; 21:20) are also mentioned.

In modern Western culture we associate touching, kissing and the word “love” with a sexual relationship. But that was not at all the case in Biblical era culture. Most Bible scholars say these relationships were no more than close friendships. That is especially clear in the case of Jesus and John – the word translated as “loved” was the Greek word agape, which means kindness and respect rather than romantic or sexual love.

Same-sex Marriage
There is no mention of same-sex marriages or partnerships in the Bible, either for or against. The omission is probably because these issues were not even considered in Biblical times.

Issues and Questions
As with many Bible topics, there are uncertainties and different opinions about how the Biblical evidence should be interpreted. The challenge of accurate interpretation is to determine what message was originally intended and how it was understood by people of that time. That involves a lot of specialized knowledge of the original Biblical languages as well as the culture and issues of the time. The Bible often speaks of sexual matters in euphemistic and vague terms, and there is a lack of understanding of how the people of several thousand years ago used and understood those terms.

The traditional interpretation of Bible teachings is that homosexual acts of all kinds are serious sins. But in recent years, a number of questions and issues have been raised which challenge the traditional interpretation.

Our answers to these questions tend to be strongly influenced by our personal feelings about homosexuality. But, if we are sincere about using the Bible for guidance, we must not assume that the Bible passages on homosexuality support our own conservative or liberal viewpoints. Instead, we must put aside our own ideas, feelings and fears and prayerfully seek the truth. http://www.twopaths.com/index.htm

For my part, I tend to try and keep things more simple, so my simple mind can understand. As I see it, anything we do that goes crosswise against God’s original plan and purpose for our life is a sin.

The fact is, our sin problem is found in our very nature, and makeup as human beings, who have descended from Adam and Eve.

The sin problem for us is in our spiritual DNA, and it has been passed down to us, through our bloodline, having originated in our father Adam.

This is why Jesus had to be born of a virgin, because the bloodline, for all of us, comes down to us through our father!

Medically speaking, the blood of the mother never comingles with the baby, or you will have some serious medical complications that could cost both of their lives.

Since Jesus did not have the blood of Adam, neither did He inherit the same sin nature that you and I have. Though, as we understand from the Bible, He was tempted in every way, as you and I, He had the advantage of not being subject to the same sin nature as you and I.

Jesus also, though He was God incarnate (meaning in the flesh), and though as the Bible says He is the Creator of all things; nevertheless, He did not walk in His earthly ministry under the mantel of God, in the power that is available to Him. Though God He was, and God He is; Jesus choose rather to come to earth and experience life, as we do, as a mere man… subject to the same weaknesses and problems as any other person.

Jesus came to show us how our lives are to be lived, and how we need to learn to submit and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, in order that we may truly be about our Father’s business… Jesus came to show us the WAY!

If we want to know what the original plan for Adam and his descendants is, we have but to look to Jesus Christ, whom the Bible refers to as the “Last Adam!”

The Bible says of Jesus that He ONLY did the things He saw the Father do; and that He only even spoke what He heard the Father speak.

In other words, Jesus was always 24/7, in prefect sync with the will and purpose of the Father; and to the extent that we don’t do that, and we really can’t because it’s not in our nature to do so, we have ALL missed the mark, and ALL have sinned, and therefore we have fallen short of God’s minimum standards and requirements for entry into Heaven!

Here’s the point, folks… no one gets into heaven without a Saviour!

But then comes the Good News, the Bible says:

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid upon Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

I see it like this, God has given each of us the life we are now living (such as it is), and along with that life we have also been given a free will to choose, as to how we will spend it. The Bible says clearly, in the Book of Proverbs, that there is a way that seems right unto man, but that it ends in death!

One thing is for sure, and this is true for ALL of us, we did not create ourselves; and every beat of our heart, and every breathe that we take, it is ALL only by the grace of God!

This is also true, that no man knows the day and time of his death, and tomorrow is not guaranteed to any person.

So with that understood and said, our window of opportunity, for everyone, in order for us to make peace with God, and be reconciled back into His family, gets narrower and narrower with the passing of each and every day.

Whether you realize it, or not, there is a since of urgency here; because our only opportunity to get right with God, and make our eternal reservations in Heaven, can only happen, between when we come into this world, at birth, and when we leave in death. This is the only time we have to receive Jesus Christ as both our Saviour and our Lord, meaning we cease living for ourselves; and we live for Him!

So here’s the deal, as I understand it from my study of the Bible, God has given us the life that we have, that we are living today; and he also has given us the will to choose how we would spend it.

It is His desire and purpose that we spend it on Him; but He will not force that decision upon us; as He waits patiently for us to choose of our own volition to come to Him, and serve Him, because we love Him! He wants us to seek after His face, meaning God wants intimate relationship with each of us!

The decision is ours, however, and you also need to understand that we are all going to be held accountable for the decision that we have made; and only those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, will have access into heaven; and all others will have to answer for their own sin, without the benefit of having a Saviour… and believe me, you DO NOT want to be in that group!

There are many people, and I know because I used to be one of them, who call themselves Christian, without ever having read the Bible to know what a Christian is.

If you are relying on your own opinion, or what someone has told you, then you are making a grave mistake.

Listen to what the Master says about what a Christian is:

John 14:23-24

23
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

Matthew 22:37-40

37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a]
38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

For more information on this subject, and how to make your reservations… please go to this website: http://needhim.org/.

Know this, Jesus Christ and your having a personal relationship with Him, and knowing Him as Saviour is of absolute importance in determining your eternal destiny, so don’t you dare leave home without Him!

Have a blessed day!

Shalom,

Skip Barland


Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

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