Sunday, July 7, 2019

Henrietta Mears, Billy Graham, and the Gospel

"I doubt if any other woman outside my wife and mother has had such a marked influence." (Speaking of Dr. Henrietta C. Mears influence on his life directly and indirectly). - Dr. Billy Graham1   

     Earlier this year I came across a paperback book titled What The Bible Is All About by Henrietta Mears (1890-1963). The Foreword of the book is written by none other than Billy Graham, who commends it with these words: "This book, What The Bible Is All About, will help make the reading and study of God's Word interesting, challenging and useful. We commend it to you."
     The book is a "clear, concise overview of the Scriptures" in easy to understand language. In the chapter titled Understanding 1 Corinthians, Henrietta Mears gives the following helpful explanation of the Gospel:

THE PILLARS OF THE GOSPEL 
     No doubt there was a group in the Corinthian church who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul in answering this starts out by giving a wonderful statement of what the Gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Paul did not give a new Gospel. It was the old Gospel, given in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus.
                1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (15:3). 
                2. He was buried (15:4).
                3. He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (15:4).
                4. He was seen by many witnesses (15:5,6).
     If we deny the resurrection, we deny one of the greatest of all truths of the Gospel. Preaching is vain; faith and hope are all vain. But more than all that, no resurrection would mean no Gospel at all for we would be worshipping a dead Christ. There would be no "good news," for there would be no proof that God had accepted Christ's death as an atonement for our sins. If a sailor on jumping overboard to rescue a drowning man were drowned himself, then we would know that he did not save the man after whom he went. If Christ did not come out from the grave, then He could not bring anyone with Him from the grave. Christ's body died, and it was His body that was raised again. His soul was committed into the hands of the Father.
     Because Christ lives, we shall live also. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?2


ENDNOTES:

1 https://www.facebook.com/pg/HenriettaMears/posts/">https://www.facebook.com/pg/HenriettaMears/posts/ (February 21, 2018).

2 Henrietta C. Mears, What The Bible Is All About (Ventura: Regal Books, Copyright 1953, 1954, 1960, 1966, 1980), pages 468-469.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

I Never Knew You

By Peter Hann 

Many people have different views on the passage in Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus says: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven". In a minute I'll give my personal view. 

Some people think Jesus' statement is addressed to believers who are living sloppy carnal Christian lives and they're going to lose their salvation if they don't correct. But you cannot lose your salvation! It's not dependent on how you or I live, it's all about what Jesus did. It's also all about grace otherwise it would be our works saving us and no longer grace (Rom. 11:6). Christians living carnal lives will face chastisement by the Lord but not condemnation (1 Cor. 11:32). 

Personally what I think Jesus is talking about in the Matthew 7:21-23 passage is people who think they are going to heaven because they have church membership, or they give money to the church, or Grandpa is a Christian so they think they're saved, or they've been baptized, or given to the poor, and the list goes on and on. These are people that have outward goodness or appear religious but don't have that faith in Jesus in a personal way. To be saved we must stop trusting in things like baptism and church membership and believe in our hearts that we are actually judgment deserving sinners. We must believe in our hearts that Christ died for our sins (Rom. 5:8), with His burial and resurrection validating who He is and what He did for mankind's sins. When we receive Jesus we truly know Him and He knows us, just like Jesus said: "My sheep hear My voice and I know them" (Jn. 10:27). It's like knowing Him on a personal level. It's knowing Jesus rather than just knowing about Him. 

A few years ago I sent a couple of photographs to Fox 6 Milwaukee's chief meteorologist Vince Condella, because on his weather forecast he shows feature photos that viewers send in to him and then he will display the photos during the broadcast. I gave him two pictures of Wisconsin scenery, like a shot of Lake Michigan and a view of a pond in central Wisconsin. As he was showing my photos it said on the T.V. screen: "Peter from Greenfield". I recorded the broadcast because I wanted to show it to a friend of mine but not tell her what it was. She was a little reluctant at first of seeing it but as soon as Vince Condella said "Peter from Greenfield" my friend started smiling. It was because she knew me and knew who I was. If it had said "Frank from Delavan" my friend wouldn't have been smiling because she doesn't know who Frank is but she knows who I am and that's why she was smiling. It's the same when we receive Jesus and we come to know Him on a personal level and now He knows us as well. So if you don't know Him receive Him today. Your eternity depends on it!