Bible Prophecies: The Promise of Eternity

, by Christopher D. Hudson

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 

When you live for Jesus, people react. This reaction may come in several forms, ranging from tolerance to downright animosity. At some point, someone will ask you, “Where do you get your hope?”

Peter writes that we need to be ready to answer these questions, and be ready to do so with meekness and fear. In other words, we must be ready to respond with humility before God. This is a serious subject matter.

Our hope comes from the cross. It comes from the freedom that we get from Jesus. And it comes from the promise of eternity. That’s a big answer to give! That is why the Holy Spirit will help us find the words when the time comes. In the meantime, let us strive to live in such a way that will spur people to ask us where our hope comes from.

This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Study Bible by Barbour Publishing. You can learn more about it here
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Bible Prophecies: Jesus' Return

, by Christopher D. Hudson

And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. 

Many people seem to enjoy speculating as to when Jesus will return, but we just don’t know.

The truth is that the Son of Man will return when we are not expecting it. It is not our responsibility to try to figure out when He will arrive . So then, what is our responsibility?

In light of His return, our responsibility is twofold: one, ready our hearts; two, spread the gospel. Whether He returns before we die or we die before He returns, we will meet Jesus soon. Don’t you want to meet Him with a pure heart?

And whether God plans to send Jesus back tomorrow or in a thousand years, the seconds are precious, because there are lost souls on this earth right now who need Jesus. Let us not waste time watching the clock. Let us live every day like Jesus could show up at any moment.

This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Study Bible by Barbour Publishing. You can learn more about it here

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Bible Prophecies: A Prophet Like Moses

, by Christopher D. Hudson

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.  And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Deuteronomy 18:15-18

Moses foretold that a great coming Prophet would arise from within Israel and be “like” Moses (Deut. 18:15). God commanded the people to listen to this person when He arrived, or He would hold them accountable.

There are many parallels between Jesus and Moses. Both were sent by God (Ex. 3:1–10; John 8:42). Both were nearly killed by kings shortly after birth (Ex. 1:22; Matt. 2:16). They were both mediators of covenants (Ex. 19:3–9; John 1:17; Heb. 8:6–7; 9:15). Both were referred to as prophets (Deut. 18:15–18; 34:10; Luke 24:19; John 4:19; 6:14; Acts 3:22; 7:37). Scripture says they both revealed the glory of God (Ex. 34:33–35; John 1:17; 2 Cor. 3:18). And, they both made God’s name known (Ex. 3:13–14; John 17:6, 11–12).

However, the writer of Hebrews proclaimed Jesus is better and greater than Moses (Heb. 3:3). Moses was a picture of Jesus in his position as a mediator between God and His people, as a priest, as a prophet who declared God’s will, and as a giver of the Law. Jesus fulfilled, or perfected, the work foreshadowed in Moses.

This blog post has been adapted by Barbour Publishing's The KJV Prophecy Study Bible. You can learn more about it here

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Bible Prophecies: Jesus' Suffering

, by Christopher D. Hudson

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

Long before Jesus hung on the cross, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would come in the form of a plain, common man. Isaiah foresaw that Jesus would undergo severe physical suffering on our behalf. And most importantly, Isaiah knew that this suffering would heal us: "with his stripes we are healed" (53:5).

Jesus suffered so that we wouldn’t have to. He stood in for us, and He continues to do so. He is at the right hand of God right now, continuing to plead our case (Rom. 8:34). We never have to feel like we are alone, adrift in our suffering. We are never alone. We always have a Savior on our side, bearing our burdens and interceding for us. How blessed are we!

This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Bible. You can read more about it here
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Bible Prophecies: The Promise of Salvation

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

One of Moses’ last acts on earth was to pronounce this blessing over Israel. He blessed individual tribes, and each blessing also stood as a prophecy. Then he concluded with a general blessing that also promised salvation.

This promise would be executed through Jesus, whose Hebrew name Yeshua means, literally, “God saves.” The apostle Paul wrote that all of Jesus’ followers belong to “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), and this final blessing from Moses belongs to believers today.

We can live through the struggles of this life with joy in knowing we are saved by the One who helps us with His shield and the “sword of [His] excellency.” Our enemies will be proved liars, and we will ultimately “tread upon their high places” (Deut. 33:29). Our sufferings can be real and brutal, but how can we live with anything less than divine hope if we know this future will be ours?

This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Bible. You can read more about it here

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Bible Prophecies: The Scapegoat

, by Christopher D. Hudson

And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. 

On the annual Day of Atonement, the priest would send the scapegoat out of the camp. This goat was, of course, sinless, but it carried with it all the transgressions for all the Israelites for that entire year. The goat was sent out into the wilderness, as Jesus would be crucified outside Jerusalem.

This covering for sin was only good for one year. The ceremony had to be repeated annually. Jesus changed all that. He is our Scapegoat, and He has taken our sins upon Himself, and away from us, once and for all.

When we believe this, when we know this, we have no right to feel guilt over past transgressions that have already been forgiven. Jesus has done all this so we may live freely. When we choose to walk in this freedom, we honor the work of the cross.

This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Bible. You can learn more about it here

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Bible Prophecies: The Promise of Deliverance

, by Christopher D. Hudson

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 

The children of Israel were afraid. They were trapped between water and the Egyptians, and they didn’t believe that God could or would rescue them. Moses knew different. God had told Moses where to go. God had told Moses that He would deliver the children of Israel.

So Moses told them, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord . . . the Lord shall fight for you.” And true to His word, God delivered them to safety with His miraculous power.

Why do we doubt such a God? Why do we so often try to do things on our own power? God has promised us that He will deliver us to safety. If we are in Christ Jesus, we are not condemned. But this is not of our own power. This is all God. All we have to do is trust the Lord and let Him fight for us! Christ has already done the work of our salvation. We have nothing to fear.

This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Study Bible by Barbour Publishing. You can read more about it here
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Bible Prophecies: The Trinity

, by Christopher D. Hudson

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

God said, “Let us make man in our image.” This is the Bible’s first mention of the Trinity. If we start reading the story from the beginning, this is the first we hear about Jesus. It is not until the New Testament that the details of the Trinity are revealed.

Yet God knew, from the moment of creation, and spoke through Moses, that there is indeed a Trinity, and that humankind would be modeled after the Trinity, that we would be trichotomous: body, spirit, and soul.

As we seek God and the transformation that comes from a relationship with Jesus, we would do well to remember these three elements of our being. If we work at the growth of one element while ignoring another, our growth will be slowed.

God made us body, spirit, and soul for a reason. We are made in the image of the Trinity so that we can reflect God to a lost world. But in order to do so, we must surrender all three parts of ourselves to Jesus and allow Him to transform us entirely. 
This blog post has been adapted from The KJV Prophecy Study Bible by Barbour Publishing. You can learn more about it here.

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Imitate Jesus

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 

The apostle Paul boldly encouraged believers to imitate him because he was imitating Christ. He said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

According to Scripture, imitating Jesus is the ultimate aim of everyone who believes in him. In its simplest form, imitating Jesus is a three-step process.

1. Study the original.
It’s been said that U.S. Treasury agents learn to spot counterfeit money by carefully studying the real thing. Likewise, the more closely you study Jesus—his words, his priorities, his boldness, his commitment, his love, his interaction with hurting and broken people—the easier it will be for you to identify areas in your life where you can become more like him.

2. Try and try again.
Admittedly, Jesus set the bar impossibly high. He lived a sinless life, after all. Decidedly imperfect people trying to imitate a perfect Savior might seem like an exercise in futility. But it need not be.

The apostle Paul was an accomplice to the murder of Stephen, the first known Christian martyr. In Paul’s letters, he freely shares his struggle with sinful habits—a struggle he occasionally lost. Paul was the first to admit his imperfection. Yet he set himself up as an example to follow.

Paul understood that imitating Jesus is an ongoing pursuit. When you stumble, you confess your failure, learn from it, and move on. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t disqualify yourself as an imitator of Jesus. Don’t become paralyzed by the enormity of the task.

Instead, draw wisdom from your failures. Lean heavily on God’s forgiveness and grace. Resolve to try again and again—with each decision you make, each interaction you have, and every thought you entertain. Make it your goal to live in a way that helps others see Jesus.

3. Follow Paul’s lead.
After you’ve spent time studying Jesus’ example, gained experience as a follower of Christ, learned hard lessons about the ups and downs of imitating Jesus, and established yourself as a mature Christian, you can make the same offer that Paul made in 1 Corinthians11:1. You can offer yourself as a role model to young Christians looking for direction. 

This blog post has been adapted from Walking with Jesus, a special-edition magazine that is available wherever magazines are sold.

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The Hope of the Resurrection

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

The angels declared, “He has risen!”

The explanation for the surprising vacancy at Jesus’ grave site is found in these three words (see Luke 24:6). The women who had come to tend to Jesus’ body two days after it was laid in a cave were distraught to find the tomb empty. Angelic messengers assured the women that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. No one had stolen Jesus’ corpse; in fact, there was no corpse.

Jesus was alive.

Easter Sunday is announced with the words “He has risen!” The darkness of Good Friday is lifted. Sadness and grief are abated. The power of death is broken.

“He has risen!”

Christianity rests upon these three words. According to Scripture, two enemies stood between God and his creation: sin and death. Jesus defeated sin by living a blameless life before God and offering himself as a sacrifice to pay for sin.

He defeated death by giving up his life on the cross, going into the grave as a corpse, and emerging two days later as a living, breathing Savior—a bridge between God and humanity.

The apostle Paul emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ resurrection in stark terms:

If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. . . . And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17–19)

The good news—the best news of all, in fact—is that the events of Easter render such dire possibilities moot. Jesus has been raised from the dead. And as another New Testament writer observed, Jesus’ resurrection makes possible the resurrection of everyone who follows him:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3–4)

This blog post has been adapted from Walking with Jesus, a special-edition magazine that is now available on store shelves. 
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