Remember the true message of Easter

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In the March 27 edition of The Augusta Chronicle, the Rev. Ed Rees uses a teaching of Jesus to show we should not take the entire Bible literally. The verse he refers to is Matthew 5:30: "And if your right hand offends you, cut it off, and cast it from you, for it is profitable for you that one of your members perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell."

This does seem extreme that one should take this literally and actually cut off a hand, but would it be better to have two hands and end up in hell? That is the proposition that Jesus is presenting. He is balancing all you have in your life that is holding you back and preventing you from having a relationship with Him against the prospect of spending eternity in hell. The subject of hell is not brought up often enough in church today; it is an unpleasant subject and we mustn't upset the congregation. But Jesus is serious here.

Each year the world remembers the death and resurrection of Jesus because there is a hell! Jesus did not die as a martyr, but as a substitute in our place, on the cross to make a way of escape for each one who would receive Him. If there is no judgment of sin -- no hell to be afraid of -- there would have been no need for Christ to go to the cross. The reality of hell, with its eternal flames, was real to Jesus, and that is why He said if your hand is keeping you from receiving Him, it was better to cut it off than to go there!

But it is not the hand that keeps us from turning our lives over to Jesus. It's the wrong crowd of friends and the wrong places we go. It's alcohol and dope and lustful pleasures, or maybe a destructive self-image, or a past that we can't forgive and forget. They stand in the way.

However; all this can be changed and washed away in a minute by turning your life over to Jesus Christ, the risen Lord.

Gil Ward

Evans

Comments (15) Add comment
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Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 04/02/10 - 11:39 pm
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Great letter! Jesus said,

Great letter! Jesus said, "... What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26 ESV). We shouldn't think anything in this world is important enough to keep us out of heaven.

Trey Enfantay
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Trey Enfantay 04/03/10 - 12:03 am
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GGpap - Please do not say a

GGpap - Please do not say a thing on this Easter weekend. Thank you in advance, Sir.

GGpap
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GGpap 04/03/10 - 01:52 am
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Trey Enfanty, since I'll be

Trey Enfanty, since I'll be busy entertaining the easter bunny this weekend I'll be glad to oblige. Have a nice easter, Sir. GGpap

Trey Enfantay
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Trey Enfantay 04/03/10 - 01:58 am
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Thank you, Sir as well. I

Thank you, Sir as well. I hope it's a pleasant one!

Jane18
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Jane18 04/03/10 - 08:54 am
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Gil, you need to go back to

Gil, you need to go back to verse 29 of the afore mentioned text. Jesus is speaking not of the flesh body, he is talking about the many membered body of the `church'. Right of anything usually speaks of power. `Members' are not parts of the body but the people, a group. HE is telling us to separate or cut them off because of false teaching and anything that distracts us from HIS WORD. We must separate ourselves from a person(s) that are not teaching or living as a true Christian is supposed to. The church is not a building, it is the people that love and live for HIM.

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 04/03/10 - 09:16 am
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My isn't it convenient to
Unpublished

My isn't it convenient to pick and choose which verses are or are not meant to be taken literally. Too bad God didn't sit down and write the bible himself... I bet it would have sounded a whole lot different!!

orgpsych
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orgpsych 04/03/10 - 10:31 am
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This is a very profound time

This is a very profound time of year for many. Let's respect their beliefs.

A Happy Easter to you all.

Jane18
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Jane18 04/03/10 - 11:56 am
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Much of the Bible IS to be

Much of the Bible IS to be taken literally. But much of it also is in parables, using nature to represent something or someone, and some of it is a mystery that some will understand and some will not. GOD IS the author of the Bible, HE had man write it in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. And then man translated that for us, eventually in the King James Version. Were there some mistranslations? Sure, man is not perfect.

grouse
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grouse 04/03/10 - 01:05 pm
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Re: letter: Man! That people
Unpublished

Re: letter: Man! That people still believe in superstition that is thousands of years old is almost beyond comprehension...but there it is. There is no evidence for God, so quit worrying and enjoy your life.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 04/03/10 - 01:54 pm
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Perhaps Christianity would be

Perhaps Christianity would be taken a bit more seriously if the churches cast out the lying, cheating, stealing, hypocritical, pedophilic, morally challenged members of its clergy and congregations and focused its energy inwards in an attempt to create something positive and righteous instead of trying to oppress others, be self-serving, and promote negativity.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 04/03/10 - 05:10 pm
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Baron, we were waiting for

Baron, we were waiting for your driveby, negative comment on Christians. We'll say one thing for you: you are certainly consistent -- consistent in avoiding the real issue. Why do you hate the teachings of Jesus Christ so much? Were you abused by so-called "priests" as a child?

corgimom
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corgimom 04/03/10 - 05:36 pm
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I don't see any hate in his

I don't see any hate in his comment. What did he say that wasn't true?

corgimom
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corgimom 04/03/10 - 05:38 pm
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And, howdoyou, may I point

And, howdoyou, may I point out to you that his reasons for liking Christianity, or not liking it, are his personal business, not yours, and it is extremely inappropriate, not to mention downright offensive and REALLY none of your business, to ask someone if they were sexually abused as a child. I do not know why you would think that was a proper thing to do.

orb
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orb 04/03/10 - 06:16 pm
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As we celebrate the

As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ I have an Easter message for some who have expressed themselves above: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. [Psalms 14:1]

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 04/03/10 - 06:57 pm
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Corgi, Baron and I (and a

Corgi, Baron and I (and a couple more posters) have had an ongoing discussion of this issue on many previous posts. Unfortunately, all he does is say how bad and horrible Christianity is, and then runs away. Other posters have asked him the question about why he is so negative about Christianity, but no answer is forthcoming. Others have brought up the idea that maybe he had a very negative experience with a "religious" person in the past. It was not meant to accuse Baron, but to hopefully start a healing process (whatever the reason). But, no one wants to pry into his business. Still, he makes it his business to constantly criticize Jesus Christ, but never provides any real substance for his opinions. People have asked why Baron is so steadfastly negative about all things Christian. No offense intended at all.

corgimom
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corgimom 04/03/10 - 11:16 pm
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Howcanwe, he doesn't have to

Howcanwe, he doesn't have to explain. If he is against Christianity, let him be. Hate to break the news to you, but there are billions of people in the world that are negative about Christianity.

I cannot imagine how you think a "healing process" would begin with anyone, when you ask someone if they were sexually abused as a child.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 04/04/10 - 08:17 am
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Corgimom, although it may be

Corgimom, although it may be Barron (and yours) personal right to be negative about Chrisitianity but if you had someone speaking negative and disrespectful about your Father all the time, would it not be also your right to ask why and explain. It may not have been the polite thing for howcanweknow to ask Barron if he/she were sexual assaulted by a "so-called" priest but he/she made the accusation. For Barron, you will find liars, cheaters, thiefs, hypocritcs, pedofiles, and morally challenged individuals in any group of people. Christians are not perfect, but by the Grace of God we try and live our lives according to Christ teachings. For those you find oppressive, maybe if you would seek out those who are living Godly lives and concentrate of the good instead of dwelling only on the bad, you'd see that there are some good Christians out there. Corgimom, a "healing process" in any circumstance, comes once you understand the Love of Jesus and just what He did for you and I. Until then you are under a false hope.

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