Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Crown of Thorns

Science Daily has reported that the NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies. NGC 7049 is found in the constellation of Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG).

Scientists, not theologians, gave NGC 7049 the nickname "The Crown of Thorns." The nickname comes from the well-known scene in the Bible account of the death of Jesus.

"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a reed in His right Hand. And kneeling before Him, they mocked Him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' And they spit on Him and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to crucify Him" (Matthew 27:27-31).

The God who created the Universe and all it contains, including NGC 7049, is the same God who "made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee would bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:7-11).

It is this same majestic and holy God before whom you will stand one-day to give an account of your life. He will judge your every thought, word, and deed. To see how you will do on that day, please carefully consider the following.

Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? Have you ever murdered in your heart by hating another person or by being angry without cause? Then, according to God’s perfect and holy standard, you are a lying, thieving, blasphemous, murderer at heart. The Bible says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31)—the God who created you and before whom you will one day stand.

If God finds you guilty of breaking His Law, then He must punish you. And the punishment for sinning against God is eternity in hell (Revelation 21:8). But there is good news! God has provided a way for you to be rescued from His wrath to come.

Two thousand years ago, God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ (fully God and fully man) to this earth (John 1:14). He lived the perfect life that you cannot live. He was nailed to a cross, shed His blood, and died taking upon Himself the wrath of God sinners deserve (Mark 15:22-26). Three days later, He rose from the dead defeating sin and death. As a result of Jesus Christ's perfect life, shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection, God grants forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe (John 3:16). But in order for this to happen, Jesus said you must be "born again" (John 3:3). Being born again is a supernatural work that only God can do when He gives you a new heart and dwells in you in the person of the Holy Spirit. This change results in a hunger for righteousness that will cause you to repent, turn from your sins, and put your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Look again at "The Crown of Thorns" galaxy. Although recently discovered by mankind, it has sat in the heavens millions of light-years from Earth, since God spoke the Universe into existence. You are but a speck on a planet that is a mere speck, in a vast Universe that God holds in the palm of His hand. Your life is but a vapor. You have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Will you even awake in the morning? Repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ while you still have time. Read the Bible every day and obey what it says.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This Week on Ambassadors Alliance Radio

Listen to Ambassadors' Alliance Radio on BlogTalkRadio talk radio

Join Tony and Bart for another edition of Ambassadors Alliance Radio, Thursday night, 8-10PM (PST)

On this week's program: Tony will discuss the "Mission Good Friday" project. Bart is goin' fishin'. Listen to a conversation Tony had on a college campus with a professed Christian and a backslidden Hindu. The chat room will be full and lively. And Tony will be taking your calls.

Join us!