Servants Of Christ m.m.

JESUS CHRIST loves you and so do WE

Christian Perspective

Although I love fall rides, all the colorful foliage, its also a sign that bike season for 2018 is drawing to a close. It has been a good spring and summer and I have enjoyed many rides both solo and with friends, and we have had some good turn-outs for our Servants of Christ mm bike nites that were held at the Beacon Fall Fire Dept.. I offer my heartfelt thanks to the city of Beach Falls, the Beacon Falls Fire Dept., and all those who ride that supported us by attending our events. I am also looking forward to next May 2019 when our bike nites again resume. Even though the season is ending, I am optomistically looking forward to next spring, a new beginning, a time to start again.

I believe the same logic applies to life itself. At 66 years of age, I have indeed entered the fall of my life. I’m not suggesting that I am going to be leaving this life soon, I hope to be around for many years yet to come, but I am forced to admit that I probably don’t have another 66 years of riding ahead me. 

Proverbs 27:1 says “ Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Or in other words, don’t brag about tomorrow when you don’t even know what is going to happen today. In Hebrews 9:27 we read “… it is appointed  unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:”

As I said, I have indeed entered the fall of my life, but I also realize that I have no guarantees that I will be alive tomorrow. 

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote in the book of Lamentations chapter 3 verses 22 to 26 “ It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.The Lord is good unto them that wait for him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”

Hebrews 9:27 quoted above looks like a doomsday prediction, but the thought is completed in verse 28 and reads as follows:

“And as is is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

I do not believe that death is an ending but rather a new beginning. I believe that death is the doorway between mortality and immortality. I believe that as we pass through that doorway, there is a judgement, God’s judgement that determines our eternal destination. I believe that one destination “eternal life" is eternal joy “heaven”, and the other destination “eternal death" is eternal suffering “hell”. I also believe that we can make a choice in this life that determines our eternal destiny. 

Proverbs 14:12 says “ There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 3:23, 24 says “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that’s in Christ Jesus”

John 3:36 says “ He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

A drowning man needs a life raft not words of encouragement. A sinner needs a Savior not a feel good philosophy.

I believe that the Bible is objective truth, truth that does not change with circumstances. There is always evidence to support objective truth if you are willing to look for it.

What do you believe? More importantly, why do you believe it?

I am placing my faith, my trust, in Christ my Savior who shed his blood in payment for my sins on a cross at Calvary.

Where are you placing yours?

Patiently awaiting my “new beginning”,
George E. Onze
Servants of Christ mm

Christian Perspective

How often does that which is urgent delay or replace that which is necessary? Have you ever received a phone call that caused you to drop everything that you were doing, no matter how important, and place your complete attention on something entirely different? Often times, this urgent matter causes us to delay or even replace doing something that is necessary. As an example, my wife and I were both technicians in our respective fields of employment, she working in a hospital and I for a newspaper. Although sleep is necessary in order to function efficiently in any kind of employment, I cannot count the number of times that she or I were called in the middle of the night to address an urgent or emergency situation that either delayed getting any sleep that night or eliminating sleep altogether. I once worked on an emergency breakdown that lasted more than 33 consecutive hours. Upon reaching 33 straight hours I had to stop and rest as I could no longer function efficiently.

The same logic applies to our spiritual life, our relationship with God. In order to grow spiritually, to grow in friendship with God, it is necessary to spend time daily reading God‘s word the Bible and also spend some time alone with him in prayer. But how much time do we actually spend with God? How often do we rush through reading God‘s word just to get it done or even put it off because there was something else that we want to do? How often do we pray repeating something that was memorized rather than actually talking to God from our hearts? Like any friend, it is necessary to spend quality time with God if we desire our friendship with him to grow stronger. Jesus is the best friend that I have ever had, but often I must ask myself if I am truly a best friend to him.

So, what truly is Christianity? It is not a religion or set of rules but rather it is a relationship. To be a Christian, one must be a follower of a person named Jesus, but not just any Jesus. It is to be a follower of the one who is called the Christ, the anointed one of God. In Acts 11:26 we read that “the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch”. A disciple is defined as a follower or student of the teacher, leader, or philosopher. Being a member of a church doesn’t necessarily make one a Christian because membership in a church does not automatically make you a follower, a disciple of Jesus. To be a Christian requires a personal relationship, a friendship with Jesus. There are many people that go to church faithfully every week, sometimes more than once each week and never pick up a Bible and read it, instead, relying on what someone else has to say or in effect preach. The question is, how do you know that what is being preached is correct? There must be some standard for truth.  2 Timothy 3:16, 17 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”. In the beginning of the Gospel of John, we read that Jesus is the word of God, verse 1 and verse 14. To know what the Bible says is to know what God says.

Only you can choose whether or not you will be a Christian, a follower or disciple of Jesus. No one else can make that decision for you.

Ephesians 2:8,9 says “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast”. In other words, grace, unearned favor or blessing, is a gift that cannot be earned, only accepted by faith or rejected by unbelief.

Starting in John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world (the people not the planet), that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”  

We are all sinners (Romans 3:10, 23) and we all need a Savior. Just as a drowning man does not need words of encouragement but rather a life raft, so also we are sinners and do not need a good philosophy or a set of rules to follow but a Savior.

As I have asked before, so will I ask again: what do you believe, but more importantly, why do you believe it?

Where there is objective or unchangeable truth, there is always evidence to support it.

Life is short and death is sure. Statistics show that eventually 10 out of every 10 people will die.

In Matthew 7:13, Jesus says    “Enter in at the strait (narrow)gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction (hell), and many there be that go in thereat: because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life (heaven), and few there be that find it.”

Trusting in Christ alone,

George E. Onze

Servants of Christ mm

Christian Perspective

As near as I can tell, when it comes to the subject of God, here are only three groups into which people fall. There is one group that rejects the idea that there is a God at all. The other two groups involve believers. One group of believers see themselves as good persons that God will accept and the other group sees themselves as sinners seeking God’s forgiveness and mercy. 

When it comes to believers, there are many religions from which to choose. The idea that there are many different paths to the same God just doesn’t make sense to me. One religion says do not kill, another says it is ok to kill those that reject their religion. Many religions believe in Jesus but one says he is God in the flesh, another says he is a prophet and others say he is just a good man. They can’t all be true! Simple logic shows that two different roads that go in two different directions will not bring you to the same destination. Some say that if you are sincere in what you believe, that God will accept your sincerity but is this really logical? What happens if a sincere pharmacist puts the wrong customer label on a prescription or the wrong pills in a bottle, or if a person eats a poison mushroom sincerely thinking that it is healthy and nutritious, or if someone gets on a plane for NY sincerely believing that he or she is heading for California? It is possible to be sincere and yet sincerely wrong!

The most important question is: what is the truth? If you look at most religions, you will find that there is something that you must do, some set of rules that you must follow in order to be accepted by God. In other words, salvation must somehow be earned. One problem is each different religion has a different set of rules that must be followed. I see religion, any one, or all of them, as merely man’s attempt to be righteous in the eyes of a Holy God. Religion is man reaching up to a Holy God trying to make a connection that leads to heaven and eternal happiness. 

There is one teaching that is different and that is Biblical Christianity. The Bible is the core teaching of this faith or belief. The Bible teaches that we were created by God to have a relationship, a friendship with Him. The Bible also teaches that this relationship, this friendship was broken by something called sin. Although evil by nature, the word sin doesn’t mean evil, but simply means to miss the mark. If you are target shooting and you miss the bullseye, this is sin as you have missed the mark, the bullseye. With God, the target or mark we aim for is God’s Holiness. In Leviticus 11:44 we read “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy:” And again in 1 Peter 1:15 and 16 we read “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner conduct; because it is written Be ye holy; for I am holy” which is a New Testament reference to the Old Testament verse written in Leviticus. Also, sin does not mean you are an evil person, only that you are separated from this holy God; your relationship or friendship with him is broken. The first question that comes to my mind is: What does Holy mean? Basically, holy means to be perfect in goodness, perfect in righteousness, perfect in love, perfect in justice, perfect in judgement, perfect in kindness, perfect in mercy…; in all manner of personal conduct, in thought, in word and in action, to be perfect. For me, by my best effort, this is an unreachable goal, a mark or bullseye that I   will never hit. Good people are still sinners!

Romans 3:10 says that none of us are righteous.
Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and missed the mark of God’s holiness.

The good news is Romans 3:24 which says we are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ, Jesus. Grace means unmerited  or unearned favor. It is a gift to us from God that restores our relationship, our friendship with God. This grace can only be received through Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh of a man. He is the only man who ever lived that never sinned. 

Religion is sinful men and women reaching up to a holy God trying to make a connection; Grace is a merciful, loving and forgiving God reaching down to sinful men and women saying I have already made that connection through Jesus Christ!

Ephesians 2:8, 9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (grace) not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

John 3:16, 17, 18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

We are not good people that need a religion or some other philosophy, we are sinners that need a Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God who shed his blood that our sins might be forgiven.

To close I only ask: What do you believe and why do you believe it?

Trusting only in Jesus Christ my Savior,

George E. Onze
Servants of Christ mm

Christian Perspective

Motorcycle season has again arrived and I am excited to be riding again. I have always preferred using my bike for my primary mode of transportation. For a productive and safe season, certain preparations must be made, such as ensuring tires are good and properly inflated, motor is tuned and running properly with clean oil and plenty of gas. Also, wearing good protective gear is recommended. Good preparations always ensure the best possible results. 

Good preparations are important in all aspects of life. We do what is necessary to maintain good health, care for our families and protect our investments. But how much preparation is made regarding eternity? One thing is certain, one day we will all pass through the portal called death. Hebrews 9:27,28 says "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." 

John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

In Romans 1:16, the apostle Paul writes "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes..."

God has made all the preparations for eternity; salvation or judgement. 

1 John 5:13 says "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God."

John 3:36 says "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

Salvation or judgement! What is your choice?

Praying that all would come to Christ,

George E. Onze

Servants of Christ m.m

Christian Perspective

"The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. There is a way which seems right onto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." - Proverbs 14:11, 12

God will be the God He chooses to be in spite of any attempt by man (or any other of God's creations) to mold him into something that he is not. He created us; we did not invent Him!

God does not require our belief to exist, but our very existence depends on Him. We see the issues of life and death as pertaining to the time that we spend on this earth in the flesh, but God's view of life and death is different. According to the Bible we are created in the image of God. God is eternal, and so are we. The question is what happens after physical death. There are many different religious organizations that claim to have an answer to that question, and yet they are all different answers. Is God the author of confusion? Or is it possible that the devil, Satan, is the author of all the confusion in the world? Satan is known as a destroyer, the deceiver, and the author of all lies. He is filled with hatred for all the things of God and desires one thing more than all else and that is to be worshiped above God.

So, what is truth, and where do you find it? It is possible to believe something your entire life and still be wrong. We determined the things we believe by listening to what others say, sometimes because of a gut feeling. But there is another way. We can search for the evidence to support what we believe. Since God is not the author of confusion, it is certain that he has provided the evidence to support His truth. Are you willing to look for it? There is more evidence to support the historical accuracy of the bible than for any other book from antiquity. It's not hard to find. If you have a computer or even an iPhone, the search is not hard to find the source of and historical evidence supporting any and all religions.

"And if it seems evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your father's served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,  that whomsoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16

What do you believe?

As for me and my house, we will follow the LORD

George E. Onze
Servants of Christ mm

Christian Perspective

"And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

First of all God's purpose is that all should come to repentance and be with him in heaven for all eternity. That said, I sometimes have trouble with the "all things work together for good" part of this verse. There is nothing in the Bible that promises anybody a great life filled with joy and wealth. I repented and turned to Christ for forgiveness for my sins over 30 years ago. That doesn't make me special, or better than anyone else; only forgiven. I'm not saying this to complain, but this past year ain't been easy. I got hit by a car last June and my bike got totaled. I got pretty busted up too. Found out two weeks ago that my collarbone is still broken so last Friday I had surgery to put a metal plate in my shoulder to fix that. And it's only April 1.

Anyway, I'm healing and getting better each day, And praising God that I'm still alive and able to tell others about his grace. It looks like I won't be riding again this year but my heart and my prayers are with all who do for your safety and security on the roads. But even more important, my hearts desire and prayer is for the eternal security of your soul, when this life is past. Look to Jesus and live! 

In loving service to my savior Jesus Christ,

George E. Onze

Servants of Christ mm

Christian Perspective

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8 & 9

Nothing takes God by surprise. Nothing is hidden from Him, not even the deepest secrets hidden in our hearts and minds.

Sin separates us from God who is holy. Holy means perfect in goodness and righteousness. We all know what sin is because we all know when we do something that is wrong. We can't hide it from ourselves and we can't hide it from God.

Romans 5:8 says that "God showed His love for us, in that , while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

This is the perfect demonstration of grace. Grace is receiving what we don't deserve and not receiving what we do deserve. We deserve eternal separation from this Holy God because of our sin, yet God offers us the free gift of salvation. But this free gift of salvation can only be be received through Jesus Christ, who is God our savior.

We all must choose. There is no middle ground. Believe and receive God's gift of grace or don't believe and reject this free gift. No-one can make this choice for you.

Admit to God that you are a sinner and ask Him for forgiveness. He can change your life and your eternal destination if YOU let Him.

In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man can come to the Father, but by Me".

Excited to know Him and joyfully awaiting His return,

George E. Onze
Servants of Christ mm

 
 

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