Does the Bible Say Coexist?

Surely you've seen the COEXIST bumper sticker before: suggesting that Muslims, Hippies (I guess), the sexually confused, Jews, Wiccans, Taoists, and Christians should be more tolerant each other.

Before it looked like the Coexist logo you see on most VWs, first it included only the symbols for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It was made in 2001 by a Polish artist for a competition, later popularized by U2 on their Vertigo tour. This led to a legal dispute because you can't coexist when there's money to be made!

Yeah, it's hypocrisy. The facts coexisters don't want to discuss is that COEXI and S downright hate T, whom the sticker is directed at. I and S just prove atheists are religious. E wants to force everyone to bow to their sex gods. C's founder, Muhammad, killed people who wouldn't convert to his religion.

But Jesus and His apostles told Christians to live peaceably with everyone (Romans 12:18). Love your enemies and bless those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). When Jesus was reviled, He didn't revile back, but entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23).

Jesus said, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives" (John 14:27). No other religion or philosophy can give anyone peace. They are at enmity with others and with God. Only by believing in His Son Jesus do we have peace with God and will be saved on the day of judgment.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father but by me" (John 14:6). That message offends because it says all other beliefs are wrong. But this gospel of peace must be preached to the world so others may hear and coexist with God, when we understand the text.

Are You a Sinner?

By show of hands, how many of you are sinners? Yeah, everyone's hands should be raised. The Bible says, "All have sinned and fallen" way short of God's perfection (Romans 3:23).

Here's another question. How many of you are criminals? Raise your hand. The same hands should be raised. Most people might agree that they're sinners. Hey, no one's perfect, right? But hardly anyone thinks of themselves as a criminal -- even criminals! Yet that's exactly what sin makes us.
The Bible says. "Sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).

You might say, "Wait, I haven't broken any laws!" But you have. You've broken God's law. You've committed perjury, you've slandered God's good name, you're a murderer... "Hey, I haven't killed anybody." But according to Jesus, you have. If you've ever hated anyone or even called them names, you've murdered in your heart and you're worthy of hell (Matthew 5:21-22).

Whoa, that's a little extreme. Sent to hell because I said a bad word? Yes. God is so holy sinners cannot stand in His presence. Sin is no small thing. You think it's no big deal because, hey, you're a sinner! But remember, Adam and Eve's sin resulted in all of creation being cursed. That's how serious sin is.
“To Adam, He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.’” Genesis 3:17
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it...” Romans 8:19
It's so serious that you needed Jesus to live perfectly as your representative and die in your place as your substitute. Everyone who believes in Him will be forgiven and have eternal life. On the day of judgment you'll not be sentenced as a criminal but received as an heir of His kingdom!

Christ will send His angels to gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. But the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father (Matthew 13:41-42).

If God has pardoned you in Christ, live as someone who has been rehabilitated and do not return to a life of crime, when we understand the text!

What is Justification?

In Luke 18, Jesus told a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector who went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee prayed, "God, thank you that I'm not like other men, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give tithes of all I get."

But the tax collector wouldn't even lift his eyes to heaven, but he beat his chest saying, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" Jesus said, "I tell you this man went down to his house justified." But the other will be condemned.

What does it mean to be justified? Justification is a legal declaration in which God pardons the sinner of all his sins, and credits to his account the righteousness of Christ, so the sinner is made innocent in the sight of God.

What is the basis of this verdict? It is based solely on the work of Jesus Christ: His perfect obedience, His atoning sacrifice, and His resurrection from the grave. See, God doesn't merely expunge our sins, He expiates them. We owed a debt for our sin, and Jesus paid that price.

Colossians 2:14 says that God has "forgiven us all our trespasses by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross." The debt has been paid by Christ alone. He took our sin, and we received His righteousness, and we are justified by His grace as a gift.

How does someone receive this free gift? By faith in Jesus Christ. Turn from your sin and ask His forgiveness, and you will be justified, when we understand the text.

What's Wrong with Jesus Christ Superstar?

Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber. The musical has been popular ever since its debut in 1970, from Broadway to going on tour, several films, and a live concert version that aired Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, on NBC.

In case the mainstream success of Superstar is not a dead giveaway, the theology is a blasphemous mess. It comes across as a story told from the perspective of Judas, who opens and closes the opera with the first and last numbers. But even Mary Magdalene refers to Jesus as "just a man."

There is nothing miraculous or even caring about this Jesus. When the sick come to him for healing, he gets angry and tells them to leave him alone. When his disciples ask him about the future, he's annoyed and says he doesn't know. At the last supper, he tells them, "For all you care, this wine could be my blood. For all you care, this bread could be my body."

In his prayer in the garden, Jesus says he's uninspired and doesn't understand his purpose. He says being a martyr would be better, so he tells God, "Take me now before I change my mind." And then he dies and becomes a superstar but doesn't rise from the dead.

As lyricist Tim Rice said, "It happens that we don't see Christ as God but simply the right man at the right time at the right place" (Time Magazine, November, 1970).

The Bible says that when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, Jesus, to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and redeem them by His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. Whoever believes this gospel will be forgiven their sins and have eternal life. Whoever does not believe will not be saved, but the wrath of God remains on them. Accept no imitation, when we understand the text.
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." Galatians 4:4-5

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raise don the third day in accordance with the Scriptures..." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9

"Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel..." 2 Timothy 2:8

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life... Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." John 3:16, 36

How Many Times Did Jesus Clear the Temple?

The day after Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey's colt, to shouts of "Hosanna!" and "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" He went to the temple and drove out the merchants overturned their tables. And He said, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers!" (Mark 11:17)

All three of the synoptic gospels -- Matthew, Mark, and Luke -- tell of Jesus cleansing the temple after His triumphal entry. This would have been on the Monday before He was crucified on Friday. But the book of John records something different. It says Jesus cleansed the temple way at the start of His ministry, a few years before He was crucified. What gives?

These are actually two separate temple cleansings. It's in John's story where Jesus famously made a whip of cords, which He used to drive everyone out and He overturned their tables. But it's in what Jesus said that we see the biggest difference between the two cleansings.

In the first cleansing, He said, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade" (John 2:16). But in the second cleansing, He said, "My house shall be called a house of prayer." In the first cleansing, the temple was His Father's house. In the second, He called it His house.

And rightly so: Jesus is God, and it has always been His house. But the second cleansing was right after the triumphal entry, announcing Himself as King, that He referred to the temple as "My house shall be called a house of prayer, for all the nations."

Jesus gave His life to purify for Himself a people from every nation (Titus 2:14), that we might become a spiritual house unto the Lord, when we understand the text.
"These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7

"As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:4-5