Inside Front Cover
This book, entitled The Rejected, But Victorious Jesus, is one that needs to be read by many people. The information is well arranged into an easy to read yet completely scriptural approach to Jesus who came and lived among men and set an example for all of us to follow. The author has very carefully and skillfully developed the facts found in the Bible into a writing that can be readily read and understood by most people. Frequent references to Scripture are laced throughout the information presented. The reader should consult his or her Bible while reading this book and study the Scriptures referred to by the writer.
The writer is a very dear and lovely Christian lady that had the privilege of growing up in a home where God was the center. Her father was an elder in the Lord's Church, and she has been taught the Scriptures from her youth. She taught in public schools many years and retired a few years ago, but continues to be involved in the work of the Lord. She works each week at Mission Printing, Inc. in Arlington, Texas, and is a faithful member of the North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington. She has also written some other books. One of these writings is a series on Jesus Loves Us which was written to help children learn about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. There are eight books and a teacher's manual in this series. Another of her books is entitled, The One True Living God. I commend to you all of these books written by her. Over a six year period, it has been my privilege to get to know personally the writer, Sister Odeal Pearcy. She is a fine Christian example to those of us who know and work with her.
May the reading of this book cause you to want to become a follower of Jesus or, if you are already one of His, may you be determined to live daily for Him the remainder of your life.
—Harold (Rusty) Russwurm
“He [Jesus Christ] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:10-11). “Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John [the Baptizer], whether he was the Christ or not,” (Luke 3:15). Since the Jews were looking for the Messiah, why did they reject Jesus? Did the people have the opportunity to see and know Jesus? Did many people see Him perform His many miracles? Were His miracles well reported? Were His teachings well known? Was there plenty of evidence to cause the people to believe Him and follow Him?
His birth in Bethlehem was not a secret. An angel appeared to some shepherds and told them. “There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Then, a multitude of the heavenly host joined the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).
This was certainly an unusual event and the shepherds were very impressed with the importance of the occasion. After they had seen the baby Jesus lying in a manger in Bethlehem, they made widely known what the angels had told them and what they had seen (Luke 2:17). Can't you see them telling everyone they saw about this wonderful event? No doubt, they told this exciting story the remainder of their lives. This is what most people would do.
Of course, there were no modern ways of communication. Palestine was a small country. A chain reaction of neighbor telling neighbor must have spread the good, strange news all over the land.
Wise men came from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2). This news disturbed King Herod and all Jerusalem. He gathered all the chief priests and scribes and asked them where Christ was to be
born. They told him Bethlehem was to be the place of His birth according to the prophecies. Of course, after the wise men had found Jesus, they worshipped Him and presented their gifts to Him. God told them to return home another way—not through Jerusalem—so Herod would not find the baby Jesus. But we learn that all of the chief priests and scribes heard of the wise men seeking the King of Jews because they had seen His star in the East (Matthew 2).
When Jesus was a little over a month old, Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. While they were there, a man named Simeon of that city came by the Spirit into the temple. He took the Baby in his arms and blessed God for letting him see the salvation God had prepared for His people (Luke 2:22-32).
Also, an elderly lady, Anna, came into the temple at that time. She gave thanks to the Lord and “spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38).
Surely, there were many people in the temple who heard these two praise the name of Jesus.
In Luke 2:41–50, we are told of Jesus at the age of twelve years going with His parents to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of the Passover. After the feast, Joseph and His mother had gone a day's journey toward their home in Nazareth, when they discovered that Jesus was not in the homebound crowd. After a three–day search, they found Him in the temple in Jerusalem. He was “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions. All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers" (Luke 2:46). Do you suppose those teachers of the Law ever forgot about that young man?
As prophesied in Isaiah 40:3–5 and Malachi 3:1, John the Baptizer was sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah. He testified of Jesus, telling the people who Jesus was.
“All the land of Judea and those from Jerusalem went to John the Baptizer and were all baptized by him in the River Jordan” (Mark 1:5). He told them, “He who is coming after me is mightier than I, .... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 3:11; see also Mark 1:7–9; Luke 3:15-18).
When the people wondered if John was the Christ, he said, “I am not the Christ” (John 1:20). “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me” (John 1:15).
The next day John stood with his disciples and, looking at Jesus, he said, ”Behold! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). “And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God’ ” (John 1:32–34).
Jesus had come from Galilee to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. When He came out of the water, having been baptized, the heavens were opened to Him. He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. God spoke from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
We should remember that many people came to be baptized of John. Even though they might not have seen the Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus as John did, they surely heard God acknowledging His Son. Jesus, while acknowledging John's testimony of Him, said, “But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36).
Jesus preached everywhere he went, teaching them of His Heavenly Father. He performed many miracles to confirm His teachings, to prove that He is the Son of God (John 20:30–31). He made the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dead to live again.
Did all or most of the people of Palestine see Jesus perform miracles, or at least hear of His wonderful works? Did they hear Him teach? Did they have the opportunity to see and hear Him?
In Capernaum, a city of Galilee, Jesus taught the people on the Sabbath. They were astonished at His teachings, for His word
was with authority. A demon came out of a man when Jesus commanded it to do so. The people were amazed, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out” (Luke 4:36). “And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region” (Luke 4:37).
After Jesus cleaned a man of leprosy, “the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities” (Luke 5:15).
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon–possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan” (Matthew 4:23–25). At another time, “the whole multitude sought to touch Jesus, for power went out from Him and He healed them all” (Luke 6:19)
After Jesus caused Jairus' twelve–year–old daughter to live again, “the report of this went out into all the land” (Matthew 9:26).
The men of Gennesaret recognized Him and brought all who were sick to Him that they might touch the hem of His garment. As many as touched Him were made perfectly whole (Matthew 14:34-36).
In Capernaum, the people sought Him and tried to keep Him from leaving them, but He explained to them that He must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also (Luke 4:42–43). Jesus went through every city and village preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:1). The multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God (Luke 5:1).
When Jesus fed five thousand men, besides women and children, with five loaves of bread and two small fish, the people said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14). Jesus perceived they were about to take Him by force
to make Him a king; so He departed again to a mountain (John 6:5–15).
Later Jesus fed four thousand men, besides women and children, with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Surely those multitudes did not keep this miracle a secret (Mark 8:1–9).
“And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there he stayed. Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.’ And many believed in Him there” (John 10:40-42).
After Lazarus had been dead four days, many people were present to witness the raising of him to life again by Jesus. Then many of the Jews believed in Him (John 11).
Even King Herod heard about the wonderful works of our Savior. In Mark 6:14, we are told, “Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known.” Later, during Jesus' mock trial, Governor Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, hoping the king would pass sentence on Jesus instead of his having to do so. Herod was exceedingly glad to see Jesus, for he had desired for a long time to see Him. He had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see Jesus perform a miracle. Be assured our Lord would not satisfy that evil man's curiosity (Luke 23:7-11).
The enemies of Jesus admitted that He performed miracles. On the Sabbath, as Jesus entered a synagogue and taught, the scribes and Pharisees watched Him to see if He would heal the withered right hand of a man there. They knew He could! And, He did! (Luke 6:6–11).
When the chief priests and Pharisees learned that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, they gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs” (John 11:47). They not only plotted to murder Christ, but Lazarus as well.
While Jesus was hanging on the cross, the chief priests and scribes mocked Him saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God” (Luke 23:35). They admitted He was able to save
people. On the day of Pentecost following Jesus' death and resurrection, Peter told the people who had gathered, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22).
Sometime after Jesus had raised Lazarus to life again, the people came to Jerusalem to observe the Passover as they did every year. They heard Jesus was coming. They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. They cried, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” (John 12:13). Later, these people rejected our savior. Why?
Jesus taught God's word and performed miracles openly. Years later the apostle Paul said, “For the king [Agrippa], before whom I also speak freely, knows these things [about Jesus]; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner” (Acts 26:26).
Not only did John the Baptizer and Jesus' miracles testify that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, but prophecies in the Old Testament told of His coming. In John 5:39, Jesus told His hearers, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” Again, He said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words” (John 5:46–47)?
After His resurrection, Jesus told His apostles, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44).
The apostle Peter told his hearers after Jesus had ascended back to the Father, “All the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days” (Acts 3:24). In fact, these very people who rejected Jesus as the Christ, who demanded His crucifixion, helped to fulfill these prophecies.
There is sufficient evidence that the people of Palestine and surrounding regions had the opportunity to hear Jesus teach and to see Him do many miracles. Many experienced His miraculous works for they were healed of their diseases. How could He have done these miracles if He had not been sent by God. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, told Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him” (John 3:2).
Then why did many of the people never really believe Jesus to be the Messiah for whom they were looking? Why did many believe Him and then turn against Him in the last days and hours of His life?
Some were depending on their leaders instead of thinking and searching for themselves. Some from Jerusalem said, “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ” (John 7:26)?
Some definitely wanted the approval of their leaders. After Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, some of the witnesses, wanting the approval of the Pharisees, went their way and told them about this miracle, evidently wanting to persecute Jesus (John 11:45-46).
On a Sabbath, Jesus made a man who was born blind to see. The Pharisees had a terrible time with this. The former blind man told them several times that Jesus caused him to see. When they asked his parents how he received his sight, they refused to tell the truth for they did not want to be put out of the synagogue. The Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue (John 9:20–22). Peer pressure! So much of the time we want to do what others are doing. We don't want to be different even though our peers are wrong! “Even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42–43).
Some did not like His doctrine, His teaching. Some of His disciples said of some of His teaching, “This is a hard saying;
who can understand it” (John 6:60)? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).
“Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ ” (John 6:67–69).
Since His apostles, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and many others believed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Christ who was to come (John 6:69; Matthew 16:16; John 11:27), could not everybody believe Him, too?
Some tried to make Him king (John 6:15; Luke 19:35–40). They expected the Messiah to come for the purpose of restoring the land of Palestine to the Jews; to set up an earthly kingdom. They wanted to be free of Roman rule. Even his eleven apostles, after Jesus' resurrection, asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). They did not understand until later that Jesus' kingdom was to be a spiritual kingdom (John 18:36; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 6:10–17).
The people, including the priests and leaders of the Pharisees, did not know the scriptures of the Old Testament as they should. When the Sadducees tried to trap Jesus about the resurrection of the dead, He said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). After Jesus' resurrection and ascension to the Father, the apostle Peter told some of the people who had crucified Jesus that he knew that they had crucified Jesus through ignorance, as did their rulers (Acts 3:17). The scribes made copies of the Scriptures and should have known them and that they testified of Jesus as the Messiah.
In Isaiah 6:9–10, the prophet wrote:
“Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.
Make the heart of this people dull
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”
Jesus said the people of His time were like this (Matthew 13:13). How tragic! Closing their eyes and ears so they could not understand! They did not recognize the Messiah for whom they had been waiting so long.
Because of His wisdom, Jesus was rejected by the people of Nazareth where He had been brought up. Because He was someone they had known all their lives, they could not accept Him. They thrust Him out of their city and wanted to throw Him over a cliff. When they had heard Him read the Scriptures in their synagogue, they had marveled at His gracious words, but, all at once, they remembered He was a home town boy. They immediately changed their evaluation of Him (Luke 4:16–30).
Governor Pilate, before whom Jesus had been taken for trial, knew that the Jews had delivered Him because of envy (Matthew 27:18).
After Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:47–48). They were more interested in politics than their own souls. At any cost, they must keep their power and try to increase it.
So, for all these reasons, and perhaps others, the chief priests, their council, and many of the people rejected Jesus as the Messiah, clamoring for His death on the cruel cross. They choose Barabbas, a murderer, to be released in His stead (Luke 23:18; Acts 3:14).
So Jesus, the Christ, was crucified on the Roman cross for the sins of everyone—for those who cried for His death, the ones who drove the nails through His hands and feet, those who cursed Him and slapped Him, those who spit in His face, those who placed the crown of thorns on His head and mocked him, for all who rejected Him, for Governor Pilate, for Barabbas, and
for you and me that our sins might be forgiven and that we might live eternally in heaven with Him. Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet–smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:2). His love passes knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). It is difficult for us to understand such great love!
But all did not reject Christ. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both rulers of the Jews and members of the council that condemned Jesus to death, had not consented to His death. They tenderly buried our crucified Savior (John 19:38–42; Luke 23:50–53).
Although His eleven apostles forsook Him and fled when their Master was arrested (Mark 14:50), they returned to Him and carried out His great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Matthew 28:18–20). Peter wept bitterly after three times he had denied knowing the Lord. Peter preached Christ crucified for the remainder of His life (II Peter 1:13–14). He wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3). Although His apostles were persecuted severely, some even to death, they would never again deny their Lord.
After His resurrection, Jesus was seen alive by His apostles and five hundred brethren at one time, and many others (I Corinthians 15:5–8). Although Jesus' brothers in the flesh did not believe Him during His personal ministry, they believed in Him when they saw the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:14).
The Pharisees, Sadducees, the scribes, and chief priests, who had Jesus arrested, thought that when they had Jesus nailed to the cross they had silenced Him forever. Old Satan thought he had won the victory, but Jesus had won the victory over Satan, for the devil was not able to get our Savior to yield to temptation (Matthew 4:1–11). Throughout His lifetime on earth, He did not commit sin (Hebrews 4:15). “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (I Peter 2:22–23). He suffered the pain, the agony, and the shame of His
trial and the cross without committing a single sin. He became the perfect sacrifice. His blood was shed on the cross to give forgiveness of all sin to all obedient believers. That is victory! Jesus had conquered sin!
How could anyone who could raise a dead person to life again have his life taken away from him or stay in the grave?
Jesus' life was not taken from Him. He gave it voluntarily. He said, “I lay down My life for the sheep. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:15, 17–18). He submitted to the cross that “He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9), “that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17–18).
On the third day after His crucifixion, which was the first day of the week (Luke 24:1, 7, 13, 21), the grave could not hold our Savior any longer. He was resurrected! Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Jesus had conquered death!
After His resurrection He lived on earth forty days. He was seen by His apostles and many others. At the end of this forty–day period, He told His apostles to go to Jerusalem and wait there until they received the promise of the Father. There they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. He told them they were to be witnesses to Him in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:3–8). Then, on the mount of Olives, near Jerusalem, after telling His apostles He had been given all authority in Heaven and on earth, He ascended in a cloud back to the Father and sat down at God's right hand (Acts 1:9; Mark 16:19). Jesus said from Heaven, while talking to the apostle John, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:17–18).
On the first Pentecost (Jewish feast) after Jesus' resurrection, the apostles were assembled in one place in Jerusalem as Jesus had instructed them to do to receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2:1–8). The Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to speak the truth of God without making any errors. Jesus had told them that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13).
On that day a multitude of people from sixteen or seventeen nations came together when they heard a sound from heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind. They were amazed and marveled because everyone heard the apostles speak in the hearer's own language. They asked, “how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born” (Acts 2:8)?
Peter preached to them, proving that this Jesus they had crucified was the Son of God and that God had made Him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
This miracle they were now experiencing, their remembrance of the miracles Jesus had performed, and their seeing Jesus on the cross and not pleading for mercy or cursing His enemies, but asking God to forgive them, caused them to believe. They had experienced the earthquake and the three hours of darkness while Jesus was on the cross (Matthew 27:45, 51; Luke 23:44). Luke tells us “And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned” (Luke 23:48).
Now when these hearers on the day of Pentecost believed and realized they had crucified the Son of God, they asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do” (Acts 2:37)?
Peter answered, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). About three thousand souls gladly received his word and were baptized. This was the beginning of Christ's church that He had promised to build (Matthew 16:15–19). “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
“However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand” (Acts 4:4).
“Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).
“...a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:1, 4).
Countless thousands throughout the centuries have believed and obeyed Christ's commands and they became Christians. We see that Christ did not die in vain, for many have accepted Him as the Anointed One of God, the Son of God.
Jesus Christ is now King, seated at God's right hand, reigning over His kingdom, His church (Matthew 16:17–18). He wants you in His church. He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
Our sins put Jesus on the cross, not just the sins of those who clamored for His death. Let us not reject Him now. Let us study God's holy word to find out what He wants us to do so we will know when religious leaders are speaking the truth or error.
When we learn what to do to be saved from our sins, let us not allow our peers, friends, or relatives to keep us from obeying the gospel of Christ.
Some in Jesus' day quit following Him because they did not like His doctrine. We must love and obey His doctrine regardless of our preconceived ideas of what Christ and His apostles taught.
We must not allow our ears to become dull of hearing—not caring what God's word teaches us.
Jesus Christ was rejected by people while living on earth; He is still rejected by many today, but He was and is victorious. He defeated Satan and conquered sin and death.
He is now on His throne (Hebrews 1:8). He is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), High Priest (Hebrews 2:17), Mediator (Hebrews 8:6), Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25), and Shepherd and Overseer of the souls of Christians (I Peter 2:25; 5:4). “He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). He is in control and promises, “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
Jesus is coming again some day, not to live on the earth, but to resurrect His faithful disciples from their graves and take them to Heaven to live eternally with Him (Acts 1:11). “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16–17; see also I Corinthians 15:51–54). “...then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54–55, 57). What a victorious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Consider what the victorious Jesus says: “For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
“... but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:3).
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9–10).
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’ ” (Acts 2:38).
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3–4). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self–control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22–24).
“Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
In Revelation He says, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5).
Don't you want to obey your Savior Jesus Christ and serve Him the remainder of your life?
Inside Back Cover