Galatians Video Bible Study

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Join me Friday for a 30 minute introduction on the book of Galatians. This will be especially helpful for those involved in the Facebook Bible Study but it is designed for everyone who wants to get to know their Bible better.

The event will be interactive and live and all are invited to attend. If you are not able to make the live event, the link below will take you to the archived copy so you can watch it on your own schedule.

DAY: Friday, 12/20
TIME: 3:00pm (Chicago time)

Here is the link for the event.


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Heaven's Unemployed

, by Christopher D. Hudson

I’ve heard that someone once e-mailed Billy Graham the following note: “To be honest, I’m not even sure I want to go to Heaven. It sounds so boring, just sitting around on a cloud doing nothing.” I always admired Dr. Graham for offering clear and practical answer. I’m sure that in this case he helped the person understand that such views of eternity are based on images from popular culture. Nowhere does the Bible say we will be assigned individual clouds to sit on or harps to play. Instead, passages such as Revelation 22:3 suggest that in heaven we will be given the opportunity to do what we were created to do: serve God.

In heaven our service will not be hindered by distractions, boredom, disinterest or exhaustion. We can and will serve him forever – and we will find deep satisfaction and purpose in our service.

The unique nature of heaven and its inhabitants will affect the kind of service God requires. Certain types of ministry that are essential in this life – evangelism, to name just one – will be unnecessary in the next. I know that irony was not lost on Billy Graham and his staff. Dr. Graham was fond of telling the story of how his longtime song leader Cliff Barrows would kid him about having a job in heaven while Dr. Graham would be unemployed. With a twinkle in his eye, Barrows would explain that worship leaders will likely be in high demand in heaven. After all, someone has to direct those heavenly choirs! The need for preachers, on the other hand, would seem to be nonexistent.

“I assured him that I wasn’t worried about it,” Dr. Graham explained, “because I was confident God would find something else for me to do. He might, I added, even change me into a choir director!

An edited version of this article will appear in my book Heaven & Hell: Are They Real (February, 2014).


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Gospel of John, Video Study (Part 2)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Join me this Friday for part 2 of The Gospel of John. This video Bible study will look at the second half of the book of John (Friday, 12/13 @ 11am)

Please RSVP here.

And if you missed part 1, you can watch it by clicking here.

John, part 1
John, part 2 (Upcoming: December 13, 11am CST) Click to RSVP



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Death as a Doorway

, by Christopher D. Hudson

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 

My Greek professor at Wheaton College used to open class with devotions and prayer. His insights were so heartfelt—and so profound—that those few minutes became the highlight of my day. I remember him speaking quite often of a faithful man named Enoch (Heb. 11:5). 

The Greek word that Scripture uses to describe Enoch’s transition from this life to the next means “translation.” It implies movement from death to spiritual life. “Death isn’t something to be feared,” my professor would say. “It’s just translation from one life to the next, like a simple word translation from one language to another.” The essence of who we are is unchanged; just the language, or expression, has changed. Have you ever thought of death in that way?

If that translation process, that passing from one life to the next, seems frightening or unsettling, it’s only because of our limited perspective of our journey. We cling to this life—with all its frailties, imperfections, pain, and sorrow—because it’s all we know. Yet Scripture makes it clear that what awaits us in God’s presence is beyond even our fondest imagination.

One of Jesus’ final statements on the cross—“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46)—offers comfort and assurance to all who follow him. The moment we pass from this life, we will find ourselves in the hands of our loving heavenly Father. We have no reason to fear that passage—and every reason to look forward to it.

A friend of mine tells the story of traveling home for Christmas break during his freshman year at Taylor University. At the time, first-semester freshmen weren’t allowed to have cars on campus, so my friend had to wait for his parents to make the fifty-mile drive to campus from their home in central Indiana.

By the time they arrived, the campus was nearly deserted. Dire warnings of an approaching “storm of the century” had prompted most students and faculty to accelerate their departures. A campus job and a particularly unfavorable final exam schedule had prevented my friend from doing the same.

He and his parents quickly loaded the car, a 1982 Lincoln Continental, as a nasty mix of snow and ice began to fall. They made their way with some difficulty through the tiny towns and back roads that surrounded the campus until they reached Highway 13, the two-lane road they would follow the remaining thirty-five miles home.
And that’s when the excitement really began.

Visibility dropped from a mile to half a mile to one-tenth of a mile, until it descended into near whiteout conditions. The temperature plummeted. A radio newscaster warned of the dangers of the below-zero windchill factor and strongly advised all listeners to stay in their houses.
Unfortunately, staying put was no longer an option for the family, who were ever-so-slowly working their way south on Highway 13. With no snowplows in sight and a windshield that was freezing over faster than the defrost blower could warm it, improvisation became a necessity. In certain spots, my friend, who was riding shotgun, and his father, who was driving, were forced to open their doors and peer down at the ground in order to make sure they were still on the road. My friend’s mother, meanwhile, sent up white-knuckled prayers from the backseat.

The Lincoln steadily inched its way along as the tension inside the car mounted. One ill-advised turn of the wheel, one momentary loss of tire traction, could have been disastrous. That particular stretch of road was notoriously desolate. What’s more, the family had yet to see another car on Highway 13. And in those days before cell phones, there would have been no way to call for help if they had found themselves stranded.
So they pressed on, mile after agonizing mile, praying and sweating it out every inch of the way.

Some six hours after they had started their journey home, they spotted a welcome sight: the red and blue flashing lights of two police cars from their hometown parked perpendicularly across the northbound lane of Highway 13. Just beyond them was a large “Road Closed” sign in the middle of the highway.

The family pulled alongside the stunned police officers, who informed them that Highway 13 had been shut down for hours in both directions due to impassible road conditions.

Imagine the joy, relief, and thankfulness those family members felt when they finally walked in the door of their home—the destination they had envisioned for so long. Imagine how good it must have been to reunite with their loved ones there.

Perhaps that’s just a very small taste of what it will be like to pass through heaven’s doorway.

A couple of years ago, that beloved Greek professor was translated from this world to the next. I was sad to see my mentor leave this earth, but I look forward to rejoining him as my own life is translated from a faulty earthly language to a perfect heavenly tongue.

An edited version of this article will appear in my upcoming book Heaven & Hell: Are They Real (Releasing February, 2014).


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What Happened to Jesus' 12 Disciples?

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Crucifixion of St. Peter by Caravaggio
The Cost of Following Christ

Jesus' disciples promised to follow him to the end. When he challenged them, he said:

"Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized." Mark 10:38-39

The baptism Jesus was referring to was his death. Just as Christ would be killed he was letting them know that those who were faithful to him may die as well. He was challenging them: Are you really willing to be killed for the sake of the gospel and the kingdom of God? And while they readily agreed, they did not know that 11 of the 12 disciples would die a martyrs' death.

The fate of Jesus’ followers: What happened to John and the other disciples? 

  1. James was the second recorded martyr after Christ’s death. His death is recounted in Acts 12:2, which reports that Herod Agrippa killed him with a sword. Date of martyrdom: AD 44–45. 
  2. Peter was crucified by Roman executioners because he would not deny his Master a second time. According to Eusebius, Peter thought himself unworthy to be crucified as his Master, so he asked to be crucified “head downward.” Date of martyrdom: ca. AD 64. 
  3. Andrew was hanged from an olive tree at Patrae, a town in Achaia. Date of martyrdom: AD 70. 
  4. Thomas was impaled with pine spears, tormented with red-hot plates, and burned alive. Date of martyrdom: AD 70. 
  5. Philip evangelized in Phrygia, where a hostile audience had him tortured and crucified. Date of martyrdom: AD 54. 
  6. Matthew was beheaded at Nad-Davar in Ethiopia. Date of martyrdom: AD 60–70. 
  7. Nathanael (Bartholomew), unwilling to recant of his proclamation of a risen Christ, was flayed and crucified. Date of martyrdom: AD 70. 
  8. James the Lesser was cast down from the top of the temple in Jerusalem and beaten to death with a fuller’s club to the head. Date of martyrdom: AD 63. 
  9. Simon the Zealot was crucified by a governor in Syria. Date of martyrdom: AD 74. 
  10. Judas Thaddaeus was beaten to death with sticks. Date of martyrdom: AD 72. 
  11. Matthias replaced Judas Iscariot as the twelfth apostle of Christ (Acts 1:26). He was stoned to death while being crucified. Date of martyrdom: AD 70. 
  12. John is thought to have been exiled to the island of Patmos during the reign of Emperor Domitian. Church tradition says he was tortured by being boiled in oil but died of natural causes around AD 100. *
Mark 8:34-38 says, 
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

In many parts of the world, Christians face physical danger for their faith. For others, following Christ may cause them to put their own plans and dreams on hold while they die to their own interests and pursue Christ's plans for them.

Where will your faith in Christ take you?

* The list above is taken from my book Navigating the Bible, which will be published by Barbour Publishing in February 2014.


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What Waits for You In Heaven?

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Do you ever wonder what eternal life will be like? Or have you thought about what Christians will receive in Heaven?

In working on my new book Heaven & Hell: Are they Real?, I built a list of 10 things that will greet Christians as they step through death and into the door of Heaven.

1. We will get our first glimpse of our Savior.
Stephen was being stoned to death when he caught his first glimpse. Despite his dire earthly circumstances, he exclaimed with wonder and awe, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56) That same sense of wonder and awe awaits us.

2. We will be escorted to our heavenly destination by angels.
In the middle of his story about an encounter between a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus, Jesus offers this tantalizing description: “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:32). When Jesus’ followers go to heaven, they go in style.

3. We will enjoy a private reception with Jesus.
As Stephen felt his life slipping away, he made one simple yet profound request: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). Is it a stretch to suggest that Jesus honored his request – or that the Lord personally welcomes all of his faithful servants into eternity?

4. We will break free of the curse once and for all.
Revelation 22:3 reveals that the curse that God placed on his creation as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden will be lifted in heaven. For the first time, we will be able to experience God’s creation as he intended.

5. We will discover what it is like not to suffer.
The promise of Revelation 21:4 is enough to bring tears to the eyes of anyone who has endured pain, suffering, depression, hardship, loss or grief. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

6. We will experience the joy of the Lord.
The words the faithful servant heard in Matthew 25:21 will be the same words we hear when we are welcomed into heaven: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”

7. We will be welcomed into the presence of God.
In the Old Testament, God’s presence was accessible only to a select few, at very specific times and under extremely restrictive conditions. That will not be the case in heaven. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).

8. We will serve him.
“His servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3). If that prospect seems less than appealing, consider this: we were created to serve him. In heaven, we will know what it is like to find true fulfillment and soul-deep satisfaction in our work.

9. We will become like Christ.
The apostle John explains it this way: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

10. We will spend eternity with our Creator and our Savior.
At the heart of the most-quoted verse in all of Scripture is the guarantee that our fellowship will never end: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Everything that is wrong in this world will be made right in heaven. Rather than dread the end of our time in this world, we can eagerly anticipate a place where the things that really matter will be the only things that matter.
An edited version of this article will appear in my upcoming book Heaven & Hell: Are They Real (Releasing February, 2014).

** This list was inspired by **


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Video Bible Study: John

, by Christopher D. Hudson

I recently hosted an online Bible study that introduced the Gospel of John. In this 30 minute study we looked at:
* WHO was John?
* WHAT did he write?
* WHY did he write it?

This Bible study augments an ongoing Facebook Bible Study based on my upcoming book Navigating the Bible (February 2014 release)

If you are interested in joining the Facebook Bible study, you can do so here.

If you missed the video broadcast, you can watch it by clicking here or or scrolling to the bottom of the page. You can also watch other videos in this series include.

Part 2 of the video Bible study is scheduled for Friday, 12/13 @ 11am (CST). RSVP here.

John, part 1
John, part 2 (Upcoming: December 13, 11am CST) Click to RSVP



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Sometimes God Says No

, by Christopher D. Hudson

When I was a kid growing up in New York, I dreamed of playing for the Yankees. Unlike many kids who shared that dream, I worked extra hard to turn my lofty goal into a reality. I played baseball year-round, went to camps, and even met some coaches and scouts who I thought would help me one day. And as a Christian, I had one more tool to help me achieve my goal: prayer. Since God loves to answer prayer—I was told—I had no doubts about my future.

As I aged into my late teens, my prayers continued but the phone calls never came. I never grew those final inches, my throwing arm never matured, and my rotator cuff started to tear. My professional career in the Bronx simply wasn’t going to happen. To be blunt, it wasn’t going to happen anywhere. But since my dream was dressed in prayer, how could it fail? Was God unloving for not realizing the one dream I cared about? Was he too weak to grant a simple request to a good kid?

Recently, I was told by a well-meaning Christian that God always answers yes to prayers whenever they are for “good things” like health, wealth, or success. When this friend said that, my mind shot back to my career not playing for the Yankees. Would playing baseball in the Bronx have been good? Oh yeah. Would keeping my shoulder intact have helped? Without a doubt. Would catching for pitchers like Andy Pettitte or Mariano Rivera brought me wealth? Okay, these are easy questions. So how could a loving God say no to my prayer that would have brought me such happiness?

I have some answers, but they aren’t all warm and fuzzy. In fact, my well-meaning friend is not going to like the rest of this entry—you may not either. Hopefully, we’ll still be friends. Frankly, there are a lot of reasons God says no.

1. God says no because he sees the big picture. 
I didn’t make it to the Yankees because God had other plans for me (see Jeremiah 29:11). If I had a career in baseball, I would not have met my wife, had my amazing kids, and be involved in the church where I’ve served weekly for nearly 20 years. And who—besides God—could possibly know what the plan is for my son (or his great-great-great-grandson), who has a life because I didn’t play professional baseball.

If I had been catching fastballs in New York, I would have missed out on God’s plan that he had prepared in advance for me: “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 niv).

2. God says no because we are too shortsighted.

Our prayers often revolve around what we want: money, a spouse, a better job, a long life. We focus on these external things. I think God might pay these things notice in the same way as I learned to appreciate my toddler’s interests, but his concerns are much greater: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 niv).

When my kids were toddlers, I learned to play their games and spend time with them at their level. But imagine what a terrible father I would have been if I did not have a bigger picture and purpose for my kids. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not calling prayers for a spouse or health trivial. But compared to God’s glorious plan, they do pale in importance. Like a child who has a limited view, we may not agree with God’s plan, but one day we’ll realize that God’s plan is bigger.

3. God says no because his primary concern is not my earthly happiness.
Ouch. Did I really write that? I can see someone saying, “Wait a minute. I read what you wrote, but you couldn’t have meant it that way.” 

I’m sorry. I did mean it that way. 

I serve a God who is bigger than I can ever imagine. He stands outside the timeline of humanity so that he can see all human history with just a glance (see 2 Peter 3:8). God’s goals are to demonstrate his love to earth (John 3:16), to reveal his glory (Isaiah 48:9–11), and to bring as many people to salvation as possible (2 Peter 3:9).

Is it reasonable that someone’s poverty could cause the kingdom of God to advance (#MotherTeresa)? Is it possible that someone’s horrific suffering might bring others to faith (#CorrietenBoom)? Is it feasible that an awful, untimely death might lead to the salvation of thousands (#JimElliot)?

God does not cause evil, but he is big enough to bring good out from it. If my spouse dies, is God uncaring? If I contract cancer, is God unfeeling? Not at all. God cares deeply as a good father would. But he can also see outside this moment of awful pain to a purpose we cannot understand.

It is no accident that the above examples of Mother Teresa, Corrie ten Boom, and Jim Elliot are 30–50 years old, because sometimes it is only with the perspective of age and time that some of these senseless things begin to make sense.

Does God always answer our prayers? Yes. Does he always answer them the way we want? Thank God, he loves us too much to do that. If God answered prayers only by granting our requests, he would be no more than a genie or good luck charm. 

Thank God, he is bigger than that.


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Navigating the Bible: Mark

, by Christopher D. Hudson

I recently hosted an online Bible study that provided an overview of the Gospel of Mark. We looked at three basics of this short Bible book:

* WHO was mark?
* WHAT did he write?
* WHY did he write it?

You can watch below or visit this link to watch the archive.

This Bible study augments an online going Facebook Bible Study based on my upcoming book Navigating the Bible (February 2014 release)

If you are interested in joining the ongoing Facebook Bible study, you can do so here.

You can also watch other videos in this series include.




The Mark study can be also watched below.


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New Children's Book

, by Christopher D. Hudson

I've wanted to create BIBLE TELL ME: WHO for years.

When I was a kid, I learned all about the books of the Bible and picked up all kinds of trivia. I also learned of God's love for me and his plan of salvation.

The more I was introduced to the Bible, the more I found that I wanted to get to know one topic better: the people in the book.

Even as I teach Sunday School today or give talks to adults, I see how eyes light up when I start telling about the characters of the Bible. As readers, we love to identify with the people found in Scripture, relate to their struggles, and even share in their joys.

For 10 years, I've wanted to create a kid's book that traces the story of the Bible through the eyes of its people. During this last year, Time, Inc. gave me that opportunity with BIBLE TELL ME: WHO.  This special edition book is available now and will also appear on magazines shelves later in 2013.  This book tells the story of 90 Bible characters and offers short biographies that are coupled with a life lesson. 

Aimed at early readers (ages 4-8), this book introduces the Bible, its story, and its main characters in a colorful way. I'm grateful to Time for publishing and for the chance to work with the very talented Pascale Lafond who provided the illustrations. 

Below are some sample images from the book.

The book is available wherever books are sold. Here is a direct link.


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Email Devotions

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Do you want to read more of the Bible?I spend a lot of my day on email, I've been looking for ways to bring the Bible to my inbox. I've recently solved that with the help of one of my publishing partners ( Together we're making available some of my favorite Bible reading plans along with their devotional books available for free through email.

What are email devotions?
You choose from the reading plan below that looks most interesting to you. For the next 30 days, we'll email you a devotional or Bible reading every day.

How much does this cost?

Nothing. These plans are free.

Why are you doing this?
My publishing partner (TheBiblePeople) and I love the Bible. We want you to help you read it, too.

What kind of reading plans are available?
Our plan is unroll a number of these. Here  are the first seven.Click the picture to sign up.




Who is doing this?
My mission is to help people read, understand, and apply the Bible. My publishing partner ( has the same goal. Together we've teamed up to bring you God's word in a unique way. We both come to this from a conservative evangelical, Christian perspective.

Here is my bio.
Here is the facebook page for TheBiblePeople

Thanks for joining me. And may God bless the reading of His Word!!


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Sacred Places (New Book)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

My team and I recently created a photo-driven book called SACRED PLACES. Writing and editing this book really helped me understand the Bible better and I know it will do the same for you. Why?

Sacred Places explores actual Bible locations. The Red Sea, Mt. Sinai, Jericho, Golgotha — each forms a textured backdrop to a story in the Bible. 

The significance behind King David’s climb of the Mount of Olives is important. The passing references to Jesus’ ministry in Galilee are significant. No event in the Bible happened by chance, and each story’s unique time period and setting provide meaning and purpose. Sacred Places also reveals how the spreading of the gospel has influenced sacred structures around the world. This book will help you read the pages of Scripture with a new perspective. 

Do you remember that when Jacob and his family moved to Egypt, that Joseph urged them to request a home in the land of Goshen? Check out this page and you'll instantly understand why that was the best region for Jacob's sheep and cattle.

After the Hebrews left Egypt, do you remember how quickly they complained about the lack of food and water? If you are like me, maybe you just chalked that up to them being ungrateful. Check out this picture from the Sinai Desert and you may understand their complaint a little better. (Especially if they had been living in Goshen not so long before!)

Would a better picture of Jesus' world benefit you? Here are some of my favorite Sacred Places pages from the locations that involved Jesus' ministry.

This book was published by Time Inc., and in partnership with American Bible Society. It is available at Amazon here: Sacred Places


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5 Surprising Things About God's Forgiveness

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Sometimes I think the apostle Paul stole a page from my journal when he said, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst" (1 Timothy 1:15). Does anyone else resonate with that line?

What surprises me the most is not the severity of my sin, but God's eagerness to forgive. Here are five truths about God's forgiveness that constantly surprise me.

1. When God forgives, He treats me as though my sin never happened.
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your  flesh, 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.

Yes, I was guilty. Yes, I deserved to be punished, but God forgives. He took my sin and nailed it to the cross. He completely forgave the debt I owed him. It's gone. He won't wave it in my face or bring up the past. In God's eyes, it's over. It's as though my sin never occurred.

2. Being forgiven is who I am. It is not something I need to maintain."There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:1.
Jesus' work on the cross was final and perfect. There was nothing I could do to earn forgiveness and there's nothing I can do to maintain it. Being forgiven is just something I am.
3. God's forgiveness is final."For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:34

Did you know there isn't anything a Christian can do in the future to cause God to change his mind? He will not "unforgive" me. He can't. It's just not in his nature to do so. His choice to forgive was the final word and the final answer.

4. Jesus died for my future sins too. 
"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." 1 Peter 3:18

It's easy to understand that Jesus forgave my past sins. But if Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was complete, then it also covers future sins--the ones I haven't even thought of yet. I will never sin so badly that Jesus' timeless forgiveness can not cover me.

5. Forgiveness is possible.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9

Perhaps this fact is the most mind blowing of all. Even though God is perfect and holy, he is willing--even eager--to forgive. If I face my sins and see them as ugly as they are, seek his forgiveness, he promises to forgive. He'll do the same for you.

That's the most surprising thing of all.


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