WHY IS DAILY PRAYERS IMPORTANT?

Nath.jpg

 

Quite simply, for followers of Jesus Christ prayer is the best way to communicate with God. Prayer is the vehicle for daily dialog with the One who created us. The importance of daily communication through prayer cannot be overestimated. It is so important that it is mentioned over 250 times in Scripture. So why is daily prayer so important? First, daily prayer gives us an opportunity to share all aspects of our lives with God. Second, daily prayer gives us the chance to express our gratitude for the things He provides. Third, daily prayer provides the platform for confessing our sin and asking for help in overcoming that sin. Fourth, daily prayer is an act of worship and obedience. And finally, daily prayer is a way to acknowledge who is really in control of our lives. Let’s take a look at each of these important reasons in a little more detail.

Daily prayer gives us an opportunity to share all aspects of one’s life with God. Life’s circumstances change on a daily basis. In fact, things can go from good to bad to worse in a very short time. God calls us to bring our concerns to Him for disposition and potential blessing. He also calls us to share our joys and triumphs with Him. In fact, Jeremiah 33:3 states, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” God wants us to call on Him so that He can answer our prayers. He also wants to share with us incredible blessings that we might otherwise have missed had we not reached out to Him through prayer. And finally, James 4:8 tells us to “draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” God wants us to be close to Him at all times.

Daily prayer gives us the chance to express gratitude for the things in life that He provides. It is no secret that we must give thanks to the Lord for all the things that He provides and all of the things He does on our behalf. His goodness and lovingkindness to us should be recognized on a daily basis. In 1 Chronicles 16:34, we are commanded to “give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” The psalmist tells us in Psalm 9:1, “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.” We pray on a daily basis to acknowledge His faithfulness and His abundant provision in our daily lives.

Daily prayer provides the platform for confessing our sin and asking for help repenting of that sin. Let’s face it, we all sin daily whether we know it or not. So as followers of Jesus Christ, what must we do? Scripture makes it very clear: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’— and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). Tell God what He already knows and do it on a daily basis. Daily prayer time is a great place to unburden one’s self from the debilitating effects of sin. So often Christians walk around with unconfessed sin that hinders our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, when we should humbly submit ourselves and ask for forgiveness in prayer. Another important element of daily prayer is asking God for the strength to repent of our sins. Only God can help us turn from our sins, and, for this to be so, He needs to hear our plea to repent.

Daily prayer is an act of worship and obedience. Perhaps no other verse better summarizes why we should pray on a daily basis than 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It’s God’s will for His children to rejoice in Him, to pray to Him and give thanks to Him. To pray without ceasing simply means that we should make prayer a regular habit and never stop doing so. Prayer also is an act of worship because by praying to Him we are showing Him how much we adore Him. Daily prayer is also an act of obedience that brings joy to the Lord to see His children following His commands.

Daily prayer is a way to acknowledge who is really in control of our lives. As Christians, we know who is really in control. God is sovereign. Nothing happens without God knowing about it (Isaiah 46:9-10; Daniel 4:17). Because He is sovereign over all, He deserves our worship and praise. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all” (1 Chronicles 29:11). God is our great King and as such He controls every aspect of our lives. Each day we should acknowledge His proper place in our lives humbly and with a reverence reserved for such a great and awesome King.

Finally, prayer is something that we all should want to do on a daily basis. Yet for many Christians it can be a challenge to humble one’s self in daily prayer. For those who have been walking with the Lord for many years, daily prayer may become stale and lacking in proper conviction or reverence. Whether one is a new believer or an established one, prayer should always be considered as THE best way to speak to God. Imagine not speaking to a loved one or a close friend. How long would the relationship last? Daily prayer with God is daily fellowship with our heavenly Father. It is truly amazing that God would want to have fellowship with us at all. In fact, the psalmist asks, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4). Daily prayer is a good way to understand this incredible truth and the marvelous privilege God has given us.

Prophet Nathan Emol

OUR SINS ARE WASHED AWAY:

Saved

Yes, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Such an exclusive statement may grate on the postmodern ear, but it is true nonetheless. The Bible teaches that there is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He is not a way, as in one of many; He is the way, as in the one and only. No one, regardless of reputation, achievement, special knowledge, or personal holiness, can come to God the Father except through Jesus.
Jesus is the only way to heaven for several reasons. Jesus was “chosen by God” to be the Savior (1 Peter 2:4). Jesus is the only One to have come down from heaven and returned there (John 3:13). He is the only person to have lived a perfect human life (Hebrews 4:15). He is the only sacrifice for sin (1 John 2:2; Hebrews 10:26). He alone fulfilled the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). He is the only man to have conquered death forever (Hebrews 2:14–15). He is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). He is the only man whom God has “exalted . . . to the highest place” (Philippians 2:9).

Jesus spoke of Himself as the only way to heaven in several places besides John 14:6. He presented Himself as the object of faith in Matthew 7:21–27. He said His words are life (John 6:63). He promised that those who believe in Him will have eternal life (John 3:14–15). He is the gate of the sheep (John 10:7); the bread of life (John 6:35); and the resurrection (John 11:25). No one else can rightly claim those titles.

The apostles’ preaching focused on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Peter, speaking to the Sanhedrin, clearly proclaimed Jesus as the only way to heaven: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul, speaking to the synagogue in Antioch, singled out Jesus as the Savior: “I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin” (Acts 13:38–39). John, writing to the church at large, specifies the name of Christ as the basis of our forgiveness: “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name” (1 John 2:12). No one but Jesus can forgive sin.

Eternal life in heaven is made possible only through Christ. Jesus prayed, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). To receive God’s free gift of salvation, we must look to Jesus and Jesus alone. We must trust in Jesus’ death on the cross as our payment for sin and in His resurrection. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22).

At one point in Jesus’ ministry, many of the crowd were turning their backs on Him and leaving in hopes of finding another savior. Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” (John 6:67, ESV). Peter’s reply is exactly right: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68–69, ESV). May we all share Peter’s faith that eternal life resides only in Jesus Christ.

 

When the Bible speaks of our sins being washed away, it means we are forgiven. Our sins, which had defiled us, are gone. By the grace of God through Christ, we are no longer spiritually corrupt; we stand justified before God.

The concept of having our sins washed away is first introduced in the Old Testament. When God gave instructions for consecrating the Levites, He said, “Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of purification upon them, and let them go with a razor over all their body, and wash their clothes and cleanse themselves” (Numbers 8:7). Isaiah 1:16 commands the rebellious people to “wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil.” God often used physical illustrations to help us understand spiritual truths. We understand that washing with water makes us physically clean, so the Bible takes that concept and applies it to our spiritual state.

Throughout the Old Testament, God commanded people to purify themselves by following rigorous instructions about sacrifices, ritualistic bathing, and types of clothing to wear (Exodus 30:20; Numbers 19:21; Joel 1:13). From ancient times, God’s people understood that sin makes us dirty, and dirty people are unworthy to enter into the presence of the Lord. Many of the laws in the Old Testament were given for the purpose of contrasting God’s holiness with man’s unholiness.

David wrote of his need to have his sins washed away. After his sin with Bathsheba was exposed by Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 11), David repented with great sorrow. In his prayer of repentance, he says, “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). Jesus refers to Nicodemus’s need to have his sins washed away: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Human beings have always needed some way to have our sins washed away.

The New Testament continues the theme of washing sins away. Ananias told Paul to “be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). God had demonstrated through the Law that we cannot purify ourselves; only He can. So when Ananias instructed Paul to be baptized to wash away his sins, Paul understood that, despite his exalted status as a Pharisee, he was as sin-covered as the lowest tax collector (1 Timothy 1:15–16).

The Bible makes it clear that every human being is born into this world as a sinner (Romans 3:23). That sin makes us ceremonially unclean and unfit to enter into the presence of God. The blood of Christ is what washes our sins away (1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:19). Hebrews 9 contrasts the old methods of cleansing with the new covenant that came through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth to establish a new way of being made right with God. Hebrews 9:13–14 says, “The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

When we, through faith, apply the blood of Jesus to our unclean souls, God pronounces us ceremonially clean (Titus 2:14; 3:5). He washes our sins away, as it were; He places our sin debt upon His own Son and declares us righteous in His sight (Colossians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God chooses to forget our sin and remove it far from Him (Psalm 103:12). We are still sinners in practice, but righteous in position. An adopted child becomes a son the moment the judge declares him so, even though he may not know the parents well, understand their house rules, or be deserving of their love in any way. Over time, he grows to know and love them, assimilating into their family life, and becoming in practice what he was already declared to be in position.

So it is with us. Our sins are washed away the moment we place our faith and trust in the saving work of Jesus on our behalf (Acts 2:21). Over time, we grow to know and love our Father, assimilate into our Christian family, and become in practice what we have already been declared to be in position (2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:3). The joy of the Christian life is that, even though we are not perfect, we can live every moment with the confidence that our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus and we have been pronounced “clean” by the final Judge (see Genesis 18:25 and Romans 8:33).

Prophet Nathan Emol

JESUS TOOK OUR PLACE

For you

On the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserved for our sin. He did not deserve to die, but He willingly took our place and experienced death for us. Jesus’ death was a substitution, “the righteous for the unrighteous” (1 Peter 3:18), the innocent for the guilty, the perfect for the corrupt.

The doctrine of the substitutionary atonement teaches that Christ suffered vicariously, being substituted for the sinner, and that His sufferings were expiatory (that is, His sufferings made amends). On the cross, Jesus took our place in several ways:

Jesus took our place in that He was made sin for us. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB). As Jesus was hanging on the cross, suspended between earth and heaven, the sins of the world were placed on Him (1 Peter 2:24). The perfect Son of Man carried our guilt.

Jesus took our place in that He experienced physical death—not just any death, but the death of a lawbreaker. Everyone dies, but there is a difference between dying a “natural” death and being executed for one’s crimes. Sin is the violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4), and “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, ESV). Since we have all sinned, we all deserve death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Jesus releases us from that penalty. Although He had committed no crime (see Luke 23:15), Jesus was executed as a criminal; in fact, it is because He was sinless that His death avails to us. He had no personal sin to pay for, so His death pays for ours. Our legal debt has been paid in full (John 19:30). As the old gospel song says, “He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay.”

So, Jesus took our place judicially, bearing the penalty of sin and dying in our place. “When you were dead in your sins . . . , God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13–14). In other words, God nailed all the accusations against us to the cross. God will never see believers in Christ as deserving the death penalty because our crimes have already been punished in the physical body of Jesus (see Romans 8:1).

God’s Law says, “You are guilty of sin against a holy God. Justice demands your life.” Jesus answers, “Take My life instead.” The fact that Jesus took our place shows God’s great love: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

But the penalty for sin extends beyond physical death to include a spiritual separation from God. Again, in this matter, Jesus took our place. Part of Christ’s agony on the cross was a feeling of separation from the Father. After three hours of supernatural darkness in the land, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, we need never experience that sense of abandonment (Hebrews 13:5). We can never fathom, at least in this life, how much God the Son suffered in taking our place.

We know Jesus’ suffering was intense. In the days leading up to the crucifixion, Jesus expressed distress about what was coming (John 12:27). But those who tried to dissuade Him from going to the cross were sharply rebuked—the offer to avoid the ordeal was a temptation from Satan himself (Matthew 16:21–23), and Jesus had not come to take the easy way out. On the night of His arrest, Jesus was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). Even with having an angel to strengthen Him, Jesus actually sweated blood (Luke 22:43–44).

In order for us to be saved, Jesus had to take our place and die for sin. He had to lay down His life as a sacrifice, because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). His sacrifice was perfect in holiness, in worth, and in power to save. After His resurrection, Jesus showed His scars to the apostles (John 20:26–27). As long as our salvation lasts (forever), the marks of our Savior’s suffering will be visible (Revelation 5:6)—an eternal reminder that He took our place.

“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering. . . .
He was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. . . .
The Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all”
(Isaiah 53:4–6).

Prophet Nathan Emol

NOT GOING TO HELL:

Hell.jpg

Not going to hell is easier than you think. Some people believe they have to obey the Ten Commandments for their entire lives to not go to hell. Some people believe they must observe certain rites and rituals in order to not go to hell. Some people believe there is no way we can know for sure whether or not we will go to hell. None of these views are correct. The Bible is very clear on how a person can avoid going to hell after death.

The Bible describes hell as a terrifying and horrible place. Hell is described as “eternal fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12), “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), a place where “the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49), and “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Revelation 20:10 describes hell as a “lake of burning sulfur” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Obviously, hell is a place we should avoid.

Why does hell even exist, and why does God send some people there? The Bible tells us that God “prepared” hell for the devil and the fallen angels after they rebelled against Him (Matthew 25:41). Those who refuse God’s offer of forgiveness will suffer the same eternal destiny of the devil and the fallen angels. Why is hell necessary? All sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), and since God is an infinite and eternal being, only an infinite and eternal penalty is sufficient. Hell is the place where God’s holy and righteous demands of justice are carried out. Hell is where God condemns sin and all those who reject Him. The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10-23), so, as a result, we all deserve to go to hell.

So, how can we not go to hell? Since only an infinite and eternal penalty is sufficient, an infinite and eternal price must be paid. God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14). In Jesus Christ, God lived among us, taught us, and healed us—but those things were not His ultimate mission. God became a human being so that He could die for us. Jesus, God in human form, died on the cross. As God, His death was infinite and eternal in value, paying the full price for sin (1 John 2:2). God invites us to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, accepting His death as the full and just payment for our sins. God promises that anyone who believes in Jesus (John 3:16), trusting Him alone as the Savior (John 14:6), will be saved, i.e., not go to hell.

God does not want anyone to go to hell (2 Peter 3:9). That is why God made the ultimate, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice on our behalf. If you want to not go to hell, receive Jesus as your Savior. It is as simple as that. Tell God that you recognize that you are a sinner and that you deserve to go to hell. Declare to God that you are trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior. Thank God for providing for your salvation and deliverance from hell. Simple faith, trusting in Jesus Christ as the Savior, is how you can avoid going to hell!

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please, leave a comment below so that we can help you with prayers.

Prophet Nathan Emol

DESTINATION AFTER DEATH:

1.jpg

The Bible is absolutely clear that, ultimately, there are only two options for where you go when you die: heaven or hell. The Bible also makes it abundantly clear that you can determine where you go when you die. How? Read on.

First, the problem. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23). We have all done things that are wrong, evil, or immoral (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Our sin separates us from God, and, if left unresolved, our sin will result in us being eternally separated from God (Matthew 25:46; Romans 6:23a). This eternal separation from God is hell, described in the Bible as an eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:14–15).

Now, the solution. God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 10:30). He lived a sinless life (1 Peter 3:22; 1 John 3:5) and willingly sacrificed His life on our behalf (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 1:18–19). His death paid the penalty for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). God now offers us salvation and forgiveness as a gift (Romans 6:23b) that we must receive by faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9). “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Trust in Jesus alone as your Savior, relying on His sacrifice alone as the payment for your sins, and, according to the Word of God, you are promised eternal life in heaven.

Where do you go when you die? It is up to you. God offers you the choice. God invites you to come to Him. It is your call.

If you feel God drawing you to faith in Christ (John 6:44), come to the Savior. If God is lifting the veil and removing your spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4), look to the Savior. If you are experiencing a spark of life in what has always been dead (Ephesians 2:1), come to life through the Savior.

Where do you go when you die? Heaven or hell. Through Jesus Christ, hell is avoidable. Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, and heaven will be your eternal destination. Make any other decision, and eternal separation from God in hell will be the result (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

If you now understand the two possibilities of where do you go when you die, and you want to trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, make sure you understand and believe the following, and as an act of faith, communicate the following to God: “God, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that because of my sin I deserve to be eternally separated from you. Even though I do not deserve it, thank you for loving me and providing the sacrifice for my sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I trust in Him alone to save me. From this point forward, help me to live my life for you instead of for sin. Help me to live the rest of my life in gratitude for the wonderful salvation you have provided. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me!”

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please comment below so that we can help you with prayers.

Prophet Nathan Emol