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Choose Life! ©
Pastor John Stemmons, Amazing Grace Church, Fujisawa, Japan, 061104; rv 112208

It's Your Choice!

Rev.3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...

You may think that you are already healthy and prosperous, but the bible declares this: Jesus doesn't need anything from you, but you need everything from Him. It is His desire to bless you, and never to harm you. What are you worried about? If God could raise Jesus from the dead, He can take care of your problems! Let Jesus take your stress, worry and fear. He'll give you health, wealth, and eternal life. Without Jesus, you can be a fantastic success on earth, but when it is time to leave earth, you will leave as a failure! Without Jesus, you have nothing in your future but poverty, sickness, and the second death, but with Jesus, you are guaranteed victory, and you have already been made an overcomer! Just say "yes" to Jesus.

Jesus loves me, this I know!

3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

In this scripture is expressed the God-kind of love, and the very purpose for the work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

1 JN 3:8b - For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to do that, it was necessary to break the three-fold curse on humanity. What was the three-fold curse? DT 28-30 tells us of the curses that come upon those who break God's law. They fall into three basic categories: poverty, sickness, and the second death.

GAL 3: 13a Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us...
2 COR 5: 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus destroyed the works of Satan by becoming a curse for us. He didn't just take the curse, He became the curse We became the righteousness of God in Christ, a covenant exchange.

The Second Death is not God's will!
REV 20: 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

What is the second death? Death for a human being never means extinction, but rather it always means separation. There are two kinds of death, physical and spiritual. In physical death, the spirit and soul are separated from the body. In the second death, the spirit and soul are forever separated from the life of God. Such a person has lost all chance of Heaven and being united with God. Since they can never die, they will experience the tortures of hell for all eternity. God does not want any man to go to Hell. Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels, not for man.JN 10:10; JN 3:16; MT 25:41

Poverty is not God's will!
Religion tells us that God wants us poor, so that we can be humble. Jesus wants us to be "poor in spirit", and of course, he is referring to humility, but poverty does not make you humble. In fact, poverty makes us think more about ourselves! Jesus said the poor would always be with us, but He wasn't suggesting that His own children should be poor! We are the ones who are supposed to help the poor! Poor people cannot help anyone, not even themselves. It is God's will for you to prosper in at least seven different ways: 1) physically; 2) mentally; 3) emotionally; 4) spiritually; 5) socially; 6) in your family; and 7) financially.
How can we be sure that God doesn't want us poor?
2 COR 8: 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
DT 8: 18a But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth,;
PS 35: 27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.;
PVB 3: 9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
V10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
LK 16:8b....for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light

It is sad that many Christians are not as adept at handling money as the children of this world. If you want to follow the Holy Spirit, you need to learn how to handle money, because God wants bless the world through His children. Jesus wants us to love people and use money, instead of the other way around! Besides this, the gospel is free, but it takes money to take it around the world.

Sickness is not God's will!
I have heard some Christians say that they thought that God was teaching them a lesson by making them sick. But then those sick people go to the doctor! If it is God's will for them to be sick, then they are out of God's will trying to get well! Do you love your children? Would you give your children cancer to teach them something? Don't you think that God is a better parent than you? Don't you think that God has a better way to teach his children than to put sickness on them? Of course He does! God's will concerning all kinds of sickness, disease, and infirmity, is abundantly clear through the scriptures, both O/T and N/T.
IS 53: 3. 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.
V4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
V5. 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.;
MK 16: 18b they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.;
ACTS 14: 8. And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his @mother's womb, who never had walked:
V9. The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
V10. Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
ACTS 10: 38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
JAS 5: 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
V15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

These are just a few of God's promises, and God keeps His Word!

Religion distorts the picture!
Our picture of God has been so distorted by religion that God's own children picture Him as just waiting to punish them for the slightest infraction. Jesus proved beyond a doubt that that picture is wrong, wrong, wrong! We can never achieve rightness with God. All we can do is accept righteousness as a free gift from God.
EP 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
RO 5: 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

Some religions even demand that men sacrifice even their children to a god. Our God gave Jesus, His only begotten son, as a sacrifice for us!
JN 3: 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
God does not send people to hell, but rather came to our rescue, through Jesus. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we avoid the second death. But there is much more! We can also begin to experience the life of God, while we are still on earth. 2 Pet 1:4 tells us that we can experience the "divine nature" through the very great and precious promises. Heaven starts now!

Jesus told us to ask for anything!
JN 14: 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Decide what you need from God, and find his promises concerning that need. There are more than 7,000 promises, and everything is covered. Plant that promise in your heart by speaking it out of your mouth, loud enough for your ears to hear it. God says to put Him in remembrance of His word. IS 43:26 Memorize the promise. Asking in faith means that once you have asked God, according to His promise, it is done! And if it is done, stop asking and start thanking. The seed of the promise is contained in the promise and it will bear fruit...the fruit it bears is the faith you need to receive that promise!

JN 10: 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

God has provided everything we need to fulfill His desire for us to be His beloved, prosper, and be in health. God is a good God and he is good all the time! It is the devil who wants you to be sick and in poverty!

The most important job on earth!
MK 16: 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

All of this has been done so that those saints that really want to do the will of the Lord will be equipped to do it. All the things that the Lord has done for us, and then he tops it all off by letting us work with him. With him! Doing what?
We are doing the most important job on earth, the salvation of humanity. We are in perhaps the ripest of all the harvest fields on earth, the country of Japan!

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