If we should have to die for our faith

If We Should Have To Die For Our Faith

No one is beyond saving.

That was the headline in a recent story from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) about an ISIS fighter who came to Jesus after a dream he had, in which Jesus said to him, “you’re killing my people.” Nabeel Quereshi (author of the book, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus“) talks in that book about how God often speaks to muslims in dreams and visions.

We all know and admire who “The Apostle Paul” is. But sometimes we gloss over what “Saul of Tarsus” was like before he was confronted by Jesus in a vision. When you read the story in the book of acts about how Paul was saved, it is easy “skip on by,” and ignore the fact that Saul was a murderer and a chief persecutor of the church when this happened. It’s not that we deny it, or even that aren’t aware of it. But we move past it quickly. After all, we see how Paul turned out in the end, so we see that moment through the lens of a Christian eternity. Yes. He was a murderer. But God worked in it.

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CON-CERN Erupts Over Portals, Particles & The Large Hadron Collider


In Part 1, we asked the question: What are the scientists at CERN really looking for? The information seems fantastical or even apocalyptic, but is it conspiratorial?

Principia Scientifica is an interesting site with some good finds. It generally passes Cogny's "smell test." Read more here: https://thecognitiveman.com/feed/con-cern-erupts-over-portals-particles-the-large-hadron-collider/

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Sustainability vs. Resilience in a Volcanic Future


The year 1816, known as the “Year Without a Summer,” stands as a stark historical example of how vulnerable human society can be to climate anomalies.

Principia Scientifica is an interesting site with some good finds. It generally passes Cogny's "smell test." Read more here: https://thecognitiveman.com/feed/sustainability-vs-resilience-in-a-volcanic-future/

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Reaching For The Lock


In time, a disciple would come to understand mysteries about
God, the Scriptures, and the right way to live. A good rabbi would set up
continuous learning opportunities. He would not merely explain everything in
one sitting, but would invigorate their learning ability with questions,
observations and joint problem-solving. The rabbi wanted his disciples to know
everything there was to know about himself and paid careful attention to each


What was a disciple reaching for? What mysteries could they
unlock by following their teacher?



Matthew 16:

13 Jesus
went to the area of Caesarea Philippi. There he asked his disciples, “Who do
people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They
replied, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. Still others say
Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

15 “But
what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah. You are the Son of the living God.”



Jesus would lead his disciples to specific places and
specific people to teach the ways of God. On this day when Simon Peter would
show an exceptional understanding of who Jesus was, the place had special
significance. This was Caesarea Philippi.



The pagans of Jesus’ day commonly believed that their
fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth
each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that
their gods traveled to and from that world through caves.

To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at
Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their
city was literally at the gates of the underworld, the gates of hell. In order
to entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea
Philippi engaged in horrible deeds, including prostitution and sexual
interaction between humans and goats



Why would Jesus bring his disciples to such an ungodly
place? And why was it an important backdrop for understanding the true identity
of Jesus?



Matthew 16:

17 Jesus
replied, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! No mere human showed this to
you. My Father in heaven showed it to you. 18 Here is what I
tell you. You are Peter. On this rock I will build my church. The gates of hell
will not be strong enough to destroy it.

19 I
will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. What you lock on earth will be
locked in heaven. What you unlock on earth will be unlocked in heaven.” 20 Then
Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.



They were standing on the rock by the cave known as the
gates of the underworld. It was in places like this that the world would see
the power of God revealed.



When Jesus brought his disciples to the area, they must
have been shocked. Caesarea Philippi was like a red-light district in their
world and devout Jews would have avoided any contact with the despicable acts
committed there. It was a city of people eagerly knocking on the doors of hell.



Jesus tells Peter and all of us– I will give you the keys
to the kingdom of God. You will have authority to lock and unlock things on
earth. The authority of Heaven is given to disciples of the Messiah.


It is the Kingdom of God that can empty out the den of
iniquity. It is the Kingdom of God that will set captives free and bring about
a new way of living. The demonic forces will be overcome, and disciples are
being handed the keys.


So, who are you with? I want to be Jesus’ disciple. I want
to abandon all else to enter the Kingdom of God.


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