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The Resurrection of Christ: Hoax or History? Part 3 of 4

Written on Saturday, April 23, 2011 by

jesus_resurrection

Refuting the “Swoon” Theory

Perhaps the most absurd of all theories created to explain away the empty tomb is the “swoon” theory. Those who hold to this view believe that Jesus really didn’t die on the cross. Rather, he almost died. Mistaking him for dead, the soldiers placed the bloody and fainted body of Christ in the tomb. After three days, he “swooned” back to strength and convinced his disciples that he was truly alive.

The first challenge to this theory is the vivid account of the details surrounding the death of Christ recorded in the Gospels. The Scripture indicates that before he was crucified, Jesus nearly died from scourging. Dr. Truman Davis describes the effects of the Roman flagrum used in whipping:

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across [a person’s] shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped. (1)

He was so weak and bloody from the beating that couldn’t even carry the cross bar (Luke 23:26). After Jesus had hung on the cross for several hours and gave up his spirit, the guards pierced his side with a spear and a mixture of blood and water poured out (John 19:34). Medical experts have concluded that this is a sign of heart failure. Lastly, the Romans often broke the legs of those who hung on the cross to hasten their death. But Jesus was already dead and his legs didn’t need broken. There are simply too many historical details that indicate Christ was truly dead before he was buried.

For the sake of argument, however, let’s assume that Jesus did not die. How feasible would it be that he could proceed from the tomb as a victor over death? Imagine the scenario. Three days after his near death experience, a man bound in mummy-like burial cloth, laden with pounds and pounds of spices and laid in a cold tomb suddenly jumped up and rolled back a gigantic stone. Hobbling on scarred feet he walked past the guard and into the city to convince his disciples that he had conquered death. This is hardly a scene of victory. The most obvious flaw with this theory is that Jesus would eventually die a natural death in the future, which would simply cancel out his earlier claim of victory over the grave!

Refuting the “Hallucination” Theory

Another theory claims that all of Christ’s followers simply experienced a hallucination and imagined that they saw the resurrected Christ. Of course, Jesus was seen by hundreds of people. From the women who found the empty tomb and the disciples to the men on the road to Emmaus and the 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6). It is impossible that so many people at different times could all hallucinate a risen Lord. Thomas J. Thorburn states,

It is absolutely inconceivable that as many as (say) five hundred persons, of average soundness of mind and temperament, in various numbers, at all sorts of times, and in diverse situations, should experience all kinds of sensuous impressions—visual, auditory, tactual—and that all these manifold experiences should rest entirely upon subjective hallucination. We say that this is incredible, because if such a theory were applied to any other than a ‘supernatural’ event in history, it would be dismissed forthwith as a ridiculously insufficient explanation. (2)

Refuting the “Contradictory Gospel Accounts” Theory

Sometimes skeptics will avoid the difficulty of explaining away the empty tomb and simply attempt to discredit the Scriptures altogether. One popular approach is to say that Gospel accounts are contradictory and are therefore false testimony. It is true that there are four somewhat differing accounts of the Resurrection of Christ given in the Gospels. But believe it or not these slightly different accounts actually confirm the reliability of the Gospels! Imagine that you witnessed a car accident. The police interviewed you and three other witnesses who were all at slightly different vantage points when the accident occurred. Would your accounts be identical? No. The main points would be the same but the details may be recorded with slight variation. In fact, if the accounts were absolutely identical then one could assume that there was a conspiracy. Dr. Sayers states,

One is often surprised to find how many apparent contradictions [in the Gospel Resurrection accounts] turn out not to be contradictory at all, but merely supplementary… Divergences appear very great on first sight… But the fact remains that all of [the Resurrection accounts], without exception, can be made to fall into a place in a single orderly and coherent narrative, without the smallest contradiction or difficulty and without any suppression, invention, or manipulation, beyond a trifling effort to imagine the natural behavior of a bunch of startled people running about in the dawn-light between Jerusalem and the garden.(3)

In conclusion, we must remember that Christ and His disciples gave the world the highest ethical standards. Would they build their entire lives on a lie and be willing to die for it? No. That’s why the Gospel has changed countless individual lives and the course of history for the last 2,000 years.In the final part of this series we will consider how the Resurrection of Jesus Christ changed the world.

  1. Davis, C. Truman. “The Crucifixion of Jesus.” Arizona Medicine. March 1965
  2. Thorburn, Thomas James. The Resurrection Narratives and Modern Criticism. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1910.
  3. Sayers, Dorothy. The Man Born to be King (Harper and Brothers, 1943), p. 19f. Her comments are in her introduction to the radio plays on the life of Christ she prepared for BBC Radio. Also see: G.E. Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus (Eerdmans, 1975), p. 79f. John Wenham, Easter Enigma: Are the Resurrection Accounts in Conflict? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1992). He says NO!

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  • http://patriotupdate.com flatcreek

    Jesus is not a hoax, he is the real deal

    • susanm

      IF YOU BELEIVE, ITS THE TRUTH.

    • Chuck

      Rather, it is The Truth whether you believe it or not. It remains The Truth!

    • zookepper

      If, as a Christian I am right, I will have an eternity of peace. If I am wrong I will not know it, I will not exist. If I am a non-believer I have lost eternity. If I am right, I will not know because I will not exist. Which side is worth investigating fully?

    • Chuck

      Your human spirit is eternal since you were made in the image of God. Or, more correctly, Adam was made in God’s image and all humanity has come from Adam. The seed of everything is in itself. Your spirit is eternal, so you will continue after death in God’s presence or away from it.

  • http://none Audre Zembrzuski

    Do not try and change what people believe in.
    Remember the Bible was written by man and
    many of them lost the pages that they wrote
    on, and some had secretaries that added their
    two cents to the bibles. This takes in all
    the bibles written. It is like being at a kids party and they play the game starting at one end of the table and when they get to the last person, the whole thing has changed.
    The important thing is to believe in whatever Faith you believe in. and I am not
    infavor of gun control. I believe in the NRA.

    • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

      Your First 6 Days in Hell

      Most vacations include an itinerary. You have an idea what you will see and do before you arrive at your destination. The Bible has enough information to project an itinerary for those whose destination is hell. Let’s look at the first 6 days…

      The trip originates at the gate of death. Since departures are made daily, you are called upon to begin your trip on short notice. Since the journey is only one way, there is no need to concern yourself with return plans. Your initial point of departure may prove more than a little frightening as you suddenly realize the finality of your destination. The trip itself will leave you with little time to contemplate what awaits. As you pass through the doorway of death, you will notice almost immediately that your direction is taking you away from the light toward what appears to be complete and utter darkness. With each passing moment the darkness becomes more intense. At first the absence of light is only annoying, but you feel it becoming more ominous and threatening. The intensity of the darkness is matched only by the absence of any joyful sounds —no music, no laughter, no sounds of merriment. As you move farther, faint sounds of moaning and wailing become detectable. They seem to be coming through the darkness from every direction. You become aware of a faint light. It flickers like a flame, yet thick clouds of black smoke dance all around it, keeping the flame from casting off any real hope of light. Suddenly you find yourself obsessed to know what day and hour it is. Already it feels like you’ve been here for an eternity…and it’s only Day 1.

      The continuing darkness is stifling. It’s as if something is lurking in the veil of night that surrounds you. You yell, you threaten, you even plead, but to no avail. Whatever it is just stays there, producing fear like you’ve never known before. As your eyes struggle to adjust to the dark, you become aware of a new sensation. The heat. It’s right at the edge of unbearable. Hot, searing, intolerable heat. You crave water. You’d give anything for a drink, and you try unsuccessfully to push that desire out of your mind. The air is thick, choking, miserable…and it’s just Day 2.

      At least you think it’s day 3. It seems as if it has already been forever. You’ve not been able to sleep. You still can’t believe you’re here. Where are the friends you thought you would see? The knowledge that they would be here too had brought you some comfort in your lifetime. Where is the fun you thought you would have? It isn’t at all like what you were led to believe. You stumble upon a group of others. You pour out a litany of questions. As they open their mouths, no words come out…only the sounds of weeping and wailing. Some in the group don’t even try to respond. They gnash their teeth, as if in some invisible pain. You wonder when this nightmare will end. You wonder why somebody can’t make it stop…and it’s only Day 3.

      How you wish you could send a message to those you left behind. You’d warn them about this place. You’d tell them what it’s really like, so they’d never come. The thought of your loved ones coming to a place like this is unbearable. You can’t help but think back upon that day when you made your decision to come here. You understood that your rejection of Jesus meant that you would spend eternity in hell, but it didn’t seem real or important then. Looking back, you think how foolish you were to reject God’s offer of salvation. You wish you could choose again. You find yourself hoping that your loved ones will choose differently, even though you realize such a choice means you’ll never see them again…never touch them…never speak to them. What a horrible realization…and it’s only Day 4.

      You’ve become acutely aware of the absence of any good in this place. There’s nothing sacred, nothing holy, nothing of God anywhere to be found. You’re amazed at how evil evil can be. For the first time since your arrival, you begin to sense the great gulf that is fixed between where you are and where God is. The span is beyond your comprehension as you try to realize the degree of distance that will separate you from God and those who chose to serve Him. God is on the other side of that gulf. Loved ones in Christ are on the other side of that gulf. What a lonely realization… and it’s only Day 5.

      Through the darkness you saw a new face today. A new arrival. He stopped to speak with you. You could see the terror in his eyes. He asked questions that you had been asking only days before. You opened your mouth to reply, but all that would come out was the sound of weeping and wailing.

      You’ve just spent your first 6 days in hell. Unfortunately, an unholy, unhappy eternity stretches out before you…and all because you rejected Jesus. If only…. But wait! The fact you’re reading this says you still have a chance! In His mercy, God is giving you an opportunity right now to change your eternal itinerary. “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). Oh, friend, do it now…before it’s too late.

    • American with a birth certificate…

      Once again Raymond,spoken like a true champion for CHRIST. Thank you.

    • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

      American with a birth certificate… says:
      April 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm
      Once again Raymond,spoken like a true champion for CHRIST. Thank you.
      ……………………………………………………………………….

      Hi American,
      Like many others I wish to serve Jesus until I die or the
      rapture happens. I’m hoping the rapture happens first…
      I look around me and see that evil is growing and becoming
      more bold with each passing day. I long for heaven.
      I long to bow my knee at the feet of Jesus. I long to do
      what He wants me to.. The world says that i’m a fool for
      following Him but I don’t care what the world thinks.
      It’s important for every child of God to remember that what
      we do for Jesus will follow us into eternity. :-)

    • American with a birth certificate…

      correct once again Raymond, Stay Blessed….Happy Easter…

    • Indian Cowboy

      The Lord Bless You And Keep You!!!

    • Ron

      Thank you….from a guy who grew up in the Bronx just went through bankruptcy…almost divorce….now forclosure…out of work over 2 years with only one contract job for 3 months in between… life savings and 401k gone….but you know what I have Joy true Joy to have Jesus whom I finally have decided to submit to and I know where Im going when I die…and that is greater then all things. Thank you Jesus for loving this putrid lot enough to redeem us from hell…and thank you Raymond for enforcing my decision to serve the King of Kings.

    • Tracy

      Thank you Ron for your words of inspiration. I too am going through almost the same thing except for the divorce. I turned back to Jesus about 2 years ago and even with all the trials and tribulations in my life have never been more at peace. Funny isn’t it. Thanks be to God and God bless you and everyone here. Happy Easter!

    • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

      Ron says:
      April 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm
      Thank you….from a guy who grew up in the Bronx just went through bankruptcy…almost divorce….now forclosure…out of work over 2 years with only one contract job for 3 months in between… life savings and 401k gone….but you know what I have Joy true Joy to have Jesus whom I finally have decided to submit to and I know where Im going when I die…and that is greater then all things. Thank you Jesus for loving this putrid lot enough to redeem us from hell…and thank you Raymond for enforcing my decision to serve the King of Kings.
      ……………………………………………………………………….
      Hi Ron,
      I’m sorry for your difficulties.
      I long to hear my Lord say to me ‘Well done thou good and
      faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The
      trouble we experience in this life will pale against the joys
      we experience in heave. We will never again feel pain, we will
      never get sick, we will NEVER die again. Our bodies will be
      perfect in every way. I’m an old man and I could use a new body.

      My name is written in the Lambs Book of Life and that brings
      me joy.

    • American with a birth certificate…

      There is only one way to HEAVEN and that my friend is through JESUS.If you do not choose JESUS then you have chosen death. Forever is a long,long time to pay for a bad choice. JESUS CHRIST is the one true living GOD and the creator of everything and the one who died for us all. But now he sits on the right hand of the FATHER and we all need to be ready to give an account to him. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD and that my friend I do freely.GOD BLESS AMERICA….

    • Chuck

      If you see someone going down a pathway to destruction and you do not warn him, you are guilty of his blood.
      Yet you say we should let someone go quietly to their eternal destruction without so much as a word from us? Think about it.

  • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

    God’s Plan of Salvation

    You Can Know That You Have Eternal Life

    Like most people, you probably want to know where you will spend eternity. The God who made you, loves you. He wants you to know that you have eternal life. This knowledge comes from hearing and believing the Word of God. Please consider these four great truths so that you canknow that you have eternal life.

    Truth 1 – The Reality of Sin

    As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)
    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
    Let’s be honest, no one is perfect. Every one of us has done wrong at least once. Righteousness is not relative; God is the standard of right. When we are not perfect, we miss that mark, God calls those misses “Sin”. It really does not matter by how much we miss the mark. If I had to jump a 12 foot crevasse to be safe, jumping 11 feet, 11 inches is just as fatal as jumping 6 feet. Earning God’s favor is an all or nothing proposition. It takes only one sin to fall short of His demand. It takes only one sin to become a sinner. It takes only one sin to come short.

    Truth 2 – Sin Must be Punished

    For the wages of sin is death; (Romans 6:23a)
    Have you ever wondered why we grow old and die? Your body can fight off every injury and illness. It just doesn’t. There is no biological reason that we should die. Sin is not just a wrong action, it is also the power that causes us to commit sins. Sin is the reason people die. Untreated, it will cause eternal death.
    God declares that sin pays wages. At the end of each week most of us expect to receive a pay check for the work that we have done. In the same way, sin pays wages. Its pay check is spiritual death. That spiritual death is described in Revelation 20:14-15.
    And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
    The person who meets God without dealing with SIN must collect wages of sin in a place God calls The Lake of Fire, Hell, and The Second Death. It is a place of torment by fire, brimstone, darkness, and conscience that last for ETERNITY. You might protest, “How can a loving God send anyone to such a horrible place?” The answer is simple. God doesn’t want to send anyone there. He has done everything He can do to keep us out of Hell. This leads us to the most wonderful truth in the Bible.

    Truth 3 – God Made A Remedy for Sin

    but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ out Lord. (Romans 6:23b)
    Since He knew that we could not earn it, God made eternal life a free gift. There is nothing to be joined, nothing to be paid, nothing to be earned. Eternal life, the opposite of the second death, is a gift. It is free to us, but it was not free to God.
    But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
    God loves you. He did not want to make you collect the wages for your sins. He decided to collect those wages for you. How did He do that? The Lord Jesus, who is God, became a man and lived an absolutely SINLESS life. He earned eternal life. Judgement had no claim on Him; He was perfect. But, His perfect life was not enough. Before God could forgive us, someone still had to collect the wages of sin. Jesus voluntarily died IN MY PLACE. Jesus voluntarily died IN YOUR PLACE. He collected our wages.
    In Heaven, God, the Father, wrote our sins under the account of His Son. On the Cross, Jesus Christ absorbed the full punishment for our sins. When He had completed paying for our sins, He cried “It is finished!” and died. Three days later, He rose from the grave to prove that He had accomplished His work. Death could not hold Him. He is alive today. Salvation is a simple bookkeeping transaction. But, just as Jesus chose to take our guilt, we must choose to take His righteousness.

    Truth 4 – You Must Choose to Receive Eternal Life

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:9 & 13)
    Notice what the last verse says. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” You must understand that YOU MUST RECEIVE THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE. God has paid for it, but you must accept it. He will not force you to be saved. He will not force you to have your sins forgiven. He will not force you to go to Heaven. But He has made a way for all these things to be done.
    Once you realize that you are guilty and need God’s pardon, He offers it freely. All you need to do is ask for it. Why don’t you ask Him for it right now? Just pray this simple prayer:
    Lord Jesus,
    I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve to be punished for my sin. Thank-you for taking my punishment. Please come into my heart and save me right now. I am trusting in you to forgive my sins and give me eternal life. Thank-you for saving me. Amen
    God said that if you call on Him that He would save you. If you have called on Him, you have been saved. You now know that you have eternal life.

  • TE DEUM

    Another major attack on Christians, Business as usual. Some people need to understand what the word “FAITH” means. These people are so bright, so much brighter than you or I , that they have to analyze to death anything to do with our faith. How about a similar article right here about the NON religion called islam? About that pedophile, murderer, homosexual mohammad, and add their name to the article, if they have the balls to do that?

    • Chuck

      Christianity is supposed to be a belief system based on unconditional love though many who have been called “Christian” have not demonstrated that love very well.
      Islamic believers, on the other hand have pretty much been consistent in demonstrating the main tenet of the Muslim religion which is unconditional hate. They not only hate Jews and Christians, but anything which is not Muslim. They even kill each other for petty disagreements and murder their own family members.

  • skyghost

    The Bible and other religious writings confirm the resurrection clearly. They also confirm the death clearly. In my mind there is no doubt about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I can feel his presence and know he lives. Science cannot prove otherwise. That is what science would have to do to change anything about Jesus and they will never do that. The truth is hard to change.

  • lovemyusadoyou

    I am going to tell you all a true story and that Jesus is alive and watching over us all. He is there when your time comes, as witnessed by me during the last hours of my husband life. At PM, on Feb. 7th my husband was visited from some neighbors, he said to one of the neighbors, ” hey Dave the big boss is coming over tonight. Dave look at my husband, with a strange look on his face and said, ” That great”. dying from cancer and on Hospice, I thought my husband was not thinking straight, and we ignored the statement.. After the neighbors left, I was preparing my husband to bed, since I had not realized his body was breaking down, and he was losing some of his body fluids. As I was dressing him, he said, ” Hey the big mother said, she is given me a special blessing”, I said you mea the Blessed Mother, and with smile on his face, he said yes. I then got him into bed, and started to walk out of the room, when he said, ” Stop, you got to remove these walls, the big boss is coming to night”!Amazed and confused, I replied, I don’t know what your are saying. With a very sad tone, my husband say, ” How come everyone is this room, I understand me but you”. At 11Pm that night he went into a coma and passed away on Feb 8th .My husband was not a religious man nor was his a Catholic. Yet he was alert and happy knowing that our Lord had sent his Angels for my husband
    .

    our Lord Jesus Christ is alive and well in each of us that believe.

    God bless all that reading this and a very Happy Easter to all.

  • American with a birth certificate…

    I hope everyone everywhere understands that JESUS CHRIST is LORD of all and his return is sooner than most people think. As the days of noah and those days are here. Please wake up and accept JESUS while you still can. Happy Easter and may the KING OF KINGS BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU.THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!!! JESUS IS MY LORD AND MY SAVIOR!!!!!!!!!GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!

  • Fordblood

    6 days in hell?? Eternaty has no tme. Hell is discribed in the Bible as Fire and brimstone. . Have you ever had a burn?

    • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

      Fordblood says:
      April 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm
      6 days in hell?? Eternaty has no tme. Hell is discribed in the Bible as Fire and brimstone. . Have you ever had a burn?
      …………………………………………………………………………

      You missed the point.

  • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

    Does God Really Send People to HELL?

    “God is good and loving. A good and loving God will not send any of His creatures to the lake of fire.” Many people really believe this statement is true and quote it as if it were found in the Holy Scriptures. Let us consider what the Bible actually says about God sending people to hell or the lake of fire.

    God is Good and Loving

    The first part of the statement indeed is wonderfully true. God is good (Psalm 100:5; Luke 18:19; John 10:14) and God is love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8,16). God in His love has provided sinful man with a way of escape from an eternity of judgment in the lake of fire. He has punished His only begotten Son on the cross as the Substitute for sinners. Thus God has made it possible for every man, woman, and child to be saved from eternal punishment, simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour and accepting His free gift of salvation. At the same time, God does not force salvation upon us. He will not drag people kicking and screaming into heaven. “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth [or remaineth] on him” (John 3:36).

    God Allows Man to Reap the Natural Consequences of His Deeds

    “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of gardening knows that one doesn’t sow thistle seeds and expect carrots to come up. Jacob sowed lying and deceit (Genesis 27:18-29) and reaped the same in return (Genesis 29:15-30). King David committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11), and even though he repented of these sins and God forgave him (Psalms 32 and 51), the natural consequences remained. He had trouble in his own family–including adultery and murder–for the rest of his days.

    We see the same thing all around us today. Lung cancer, mental impairment, and AIDS are a few of the many natural consequences of smoking, alcohol abuse, and illicit sex, respectively.

    People who end up in the lake of fire will be there as a natural consequence of their actions. This can be seen by analogy with one drifting down the Niagara River in a canoe. Someone on the shore calls out a warning of danger ahead and throws out a life ring. If the warning is heeded and the help accepted, well and good. However, the response may be (1) unbelief–“You are jesting”; (2) macho–“It sounds like fun”; (3) self-reliance–“I can paddle to shore on my own”; or (4) neglect–“It’s a long way yet to the falls.” God today is warning sinners to repent, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. Is He unloving in not rescuing those who despise His warning and refuse the help He has offered them? Certainly not. Therefore, those who reject God’s gracious offer of salvation will receive the natural consequences of that rejection. There will be eternal “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13) at the realization of what they are missing (see Luke 16), and the constant memory of their foolishness in despising, rejecting, or neglecting God’s offer of salvation.

    God Gives to People What They Have Always Wanted

    “He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul” (Psalm 106:15).

    “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20). Sadly, there are many today who desire to remain in spiritual darkness. They do not want God’s penetrating light to shine upon their lives and bring the hidden things of darkness out into the open, or to the upper reaches of their consciences. They do not want God messing with their lives. Since these people desire to remain in spiritual darkness, God will grant them exactly what they desire–they “shall be cast out into outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12), eternally separated from God, the Source of all light.

    “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13,14). Just as there are many who desire to remain in spiritual darkness, there are many who have no interest in quenching the thirst of their minds and desires for the pleasures and excitement and adventures that can be found in this world. To their deluded minds, the living water would be insipid, lukewarm, the end of all their enjoyment. Since these people desire to remain thirsty, God will grant them exactly what they desire “And [the rich man] cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24). These people will enter into eternity with all their fleshly and worldly cravings and will have absolutely no way to satisfy them.

    God’s Punishment of Man is No More Severe Than His Punishment of His Own Son

    When the Lord Jesus suffered for our sins on the cross He experienced spiritual darkness, separation from God (Matthew 27:45); He had intense thirst (Psalm 22:15; John 19:28); and He cried out in anguish of soul (Psalm 22:1; 69:3,10,20). Would it be fair to the Lord Jesus Christ, after all the suffering He endured to save sinners, for God to go ahead anyway and save those who despise and reject the Saviour?

    In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we do not find one hint that the rich man thought it unfair or unloving of God to have sent him to hell. He only wanted to warn his five brothers “lest they also come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:28). Dear reader, if you are not yet saved, I appeal to you to heed God’s warning to you and accept His free offer of salvation–TODAY! Otherwise you may live forever to regret the day that you despised His warning and refused His offer. “Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

    • Chuck

      God would never ever send anyone to Hell. He doesn’t have to. He has given men/women the built in ability of self determination. We are in charge of ourselves. Free to go whatever way we choose.
      People send themselves to Hell in rejecting God’s offer of salvation from the destruction of sin.
      Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life and all who come to God must come through Him.

  • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

    The Heart

    “Tomorrow morning,” the surgeon began, “I’ll open up your heart…”

    “You’ll find Jesus there,” the boy interrupted.

    The surgeon looked up, annoyed.

    “I’ll cut your heart open,” he continued, “to see how much damage has been done…”

    “But when you open up my heart, you’ll find Jesus in there,” said the boy.

    The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly.

    “When I see how much damage has been done, I’ll sew your heart and chest back up, and I’ll plan what to do next.”

    “But you’ll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. The hymns all say He lives there. You’ll find Him in my heart.”

    The surgeon had had enough. “I’ll tell you what I’ll find in your heart. I’ll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And I’ll find out if I can make you well.”

    “You’ll find Jesus there, too. He lives there.”

    The surgeon left. He sat in his office, recording his notes from the surgery, “…damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, and widespread muscle degeneration.

    No hope for transplant, no hope for cure.

    Therapy: painkillers and bed rest.

    Prognosis (here he paused): “death within one year.”

    He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said. “Why?” he asked aloud.
    “Why did you do this? You’ve put him here; you’ve put him in this pain; and you’ve cursed him to an early death. Why?”

    The Lord answered, “The boy, my lamb, was not meant for your flock for long, for he is a part of my flock, and will forever be. Here in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be comforted as you cannot imagine. His parents will one day join him here, and they will know peace, and my flock will continue to grow.”

    The surgeon’s tears were hot, but his anger was hotter. “You created that boy, and you created that heart. He’ll be dead in months. Why?”

    The Lord answered, “The boy, my lamb, shall return to my flock, for He has done his duty. I did not put my lamb with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost lamb.”

    The surgeon wept…

    The surgeon sat beside the boy’s bed; the boy’s parents sat across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, “Did you cut open my heart?”

    “Yes,” said the surgeon.

    “What did you find?” asked the boy.

    “I found Jesus there,” said the surgeon.

  • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

    The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just
    couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow
    that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when
    the door opened and a homeless man stepped through. Instead of throwing
    the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come
    and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,”
    said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.””Not without something hot in your belly.” George said. He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty stew … made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”Just at that moment he heard
    the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There
    in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The
    driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep
    Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the
    hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.
    “You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.
    “But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George, as he went inside. He went to the office wall & got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.” George helped put the woman in the truck and, watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ‘em the truck, their tires were shot too.
    That ‘ol truck has brand new .” George thought he was talking to the stranger,
    but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup
    beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.
    George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It
    cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had
    been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve
    meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the
    bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to
    himself. So he put a new one on.”Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em
    through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old
    Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car
    anyway. As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and
    beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left
    shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”George helped the officer
    inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He
    knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought.
    The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels.
    He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix
    anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease. “Something
    for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These
    ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills.
    “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.” The phone was
    dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your
    car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard
    destroying the two way radio.He went back in to find the policeman
    sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy
    that shot me is still in the area.” George sat down beside him, “I would
    never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George
    pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is.
    Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff
    though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”George got up and
    poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.”None for me,” said the officer.
    “Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
    The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a
    gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was
    shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this
    before. “That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.
    “Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put
    the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”The young man was
    confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the
    cash!” The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George
    said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.” He turned his
    attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well
    then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter
    away.” George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young
    man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released
    his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at
    this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on.
    “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”
    George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of
    squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the
    best we can.”He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a
    chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the
    young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us
    human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm
    and we’ll sort this thing out.” The young man had stopped crying. He
    looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”
    “Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said. George could hear the sounds of sirens
    outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through
    the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded
    officer. “Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”
    “GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did
    this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
    Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”
    George and the young man both looked puzzled at each
    other. “That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.
    “Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning.
    Boy lost his job.” The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the
    stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered,
    “Why?” Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and
    thanks for everything.” “Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break
    there. That ought to solve some of your problems.” George went into the
    back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go,
    something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it
    would come in handy some day.” The young man looked inside to see the
    biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It
    means something to you.” “And now it means something to you,” replied
    George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.” George reached into the
    box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the
    oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of
    yours.” The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that
    the old man had handed him earlier. “And what are you supposed to buy
    Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your
    family.” The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll
    be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.” “Nope.
    I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”
    George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I
    thought you left?” “I have been here. I have always been here,” said the
    stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”
    “Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree
    and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with
    Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little
    chubby.” The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do
    celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I
    was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a
    great doctor. The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from
    being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a
    rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you
    keep it as good as any man.” George was taken aback by all this stranger
    had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.
    “Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are
    done you will be with Martha again.” The stranger moved toward the door.
    “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there
    is a big celebration planned.” George watched as the old leather jacket
    and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A
    golden light began to fill the room.”You see, George … it’s My birthday.
    I’m the Lord Jesus, I created Heaven and the Earth. I was there when
    you were born & i’ll be there when you die.

    George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, LordJesus”
    Merry Christmas!!

    • Chuck

      Raymond, for a minute there I thought I was looking at the novel, “War & Peace”.

    • Mary

      Hee! Hee! Hee!

  • Bill

    Praise my Lord and Risen Savior Jesus Christ, the the Savior of all who believe and confess their faith in the risen Christ before men. Read the following scripture references in your Bible and you will find other valuable words to ponder. Remember dead people make no decisions.

    Romans: 3-22 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    Romans: 6-23 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Ephesians: 2: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
    Luke: 18: 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
    ST. John:3: 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
    1 Corinthians 10: 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
    Romans 8: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Romans 10: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
    II Corinthians 6: 2 For he says,
    “In the time of my favor I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a] I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
    Acts 9: 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
    36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

  • bozo19

    If anyone reads down this far, I would like to point out that prior to His burial Christ was wrapped in linen soaked with Myrr, which hardens like shellac on cloth. if that is true then Christ would be “encased” in this linen, solidified,burial cloth, yet when John looked into the empty tomb he saw the empty shell with no tears,breaks, yet no body eithet.imagine thatscene and try to explain how Christ could leave the tomb with no assistance,no cuts or tears in fabric, just a burnt on image..hmm, maybe a miracle, I believe so.