Tag Archives: salvation

A New Year full of HOPE!

Yes! The lovingkindness and compassion from our Creator never cease and never fail!

Let us give thanks to the LORD for all His blessings throughout 2018, but also let us give thanks for all the challenges and difficult moments that we experienced, those were opportunities to grow and to understand that there is HOPE ahead, because God is certainly the source of HOPE!

And if you do not know God personally yet; this is a perfect time to open and give your heart to the lover of your soul, Jesus, the only true God and Savior. God is indeed your Creator but He also wants to be your Father. He sent His only Son, Jesus to offer Himself in perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. When we were lost in our sin, God thought of us, and gave us hope by sending His Son to died on a cross to pay for our sin and to give us HOPE for a new life. God wants to embrace us as a loving father embrace and protect his little child, as His Word clearly says:

“and I [Jesus] give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me [Jesus], is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I [Jesus] and the Father [The Creator] are one.” (John 10:28-30)

Today could be the day of  your salvation!
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The Only Reason for Christmas!

Christmas…

Over 2,000 years ago, humankind celebrated the first Christmas in history. ¡The only and true Savior was born! The one whose main purpose was to release this planet from the worse exterminator…sin.

The wages of sin is death. But, Jesus, the Savior came to give us life and life to the full.

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.                (Romans 10:9-10)

 

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Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path?

“There was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced …”

 

Recently, I shared some outdoor activities, in which I had the opportunity to take short and long walks on trails in the middle of natural forests. It was a unique experience, so I incredibly enjoyed it despite the complexities that arose at certain times.

Eventually, one of the trails was much more complicated than the others, not only more complicated but also longer, almost endless. And in addition, many obstacles appeared throughout the tour.

Endless slopes for climbing; some sections downhill, slippery with mud; suddenly some ditches to jump; and in some cases, small streams or mud pits that demanded some impulse to cross them.

 

 

To the rhythm of the spectacular twittering of the little birds that fluttered in the middle of the forest and suddenly accompanied by a pair of friendly canines that joined the group as if they took the role of guides, the walk along the road suddenly acquired a different nuance. Some were losing strength; others, with a short break in the middle of the path and a little water was enough to regain the strength; others found it tremendously common, they knew they would face obstacles and were ready to face them.
But for everyone, there was something that moved us not to stop or discourage us, but to continue despite the hurdles and perhaps the fatigue we experienced … a single, but powerful thing … our goal: to reach one of the majestic waterfalls of the area.

And so it was, after almost two hours, our eyes could not believe in front of us, one of the most wonderful spectacles, the Cascada de Cóndor Machay, fruit of the thaw of the Cotopaxi snow-capped mountain, located in the Ecuadorian province that bears the same name.

How refreshing it was to stand in front of this spectacular landscape, not

At Cascada Condor Machay

only by the breeze that threw the force of the fall of the waters of the Condor Machay, which definitely brought freshness to our faces and bodies; but also because it brought refreshment to our souls, upon knowing that we achieved our goal, we discovered the beauty of Condor Machay, more than 3,000 meters high. Amazing! What an extraordinary live stage!

Walking along these roads and in particular this one that took us to Condor Machay, at times seemed a myriad, endless and irresistible path, but our eyes were on the finish line, the inestimable goal that was finally achieved and enjoyed.

 

Have you ever experienced walking along an endless path? Have you ever thought that the path of life sometimes seems to be an endless and overwhelming path?

Many times, walking through life may seem like a path whereby we walk without reaching the finish line. We certainly face many obstacles, but unfortunately we do not reach our goal. Now, what is your goal? What do you want to achieve at the end of life?

Perhaps, having a successful marriage, children fulfilled both as persons and as professionals, a highly respectable professional development, businesses that reach their maximum magnificence; and all this can be valuable and if achieved, it will be truly worthy of admiration. However, even if all this seems stately and invaluable it remains purely physical and emotional. But, what about the spiritual realm?

Do we think perhaps that after all the innumerable hurdles overcome and the success achieved on this planet, everything ends there once we leave it?
Well, absolutely not, God, our Creator according to His Word, “… and has set eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are eternal beings, once we leave this earth, we will live – our spirit will live forever. The question is, where?

And while our life does not have a clear and transcendent purpose, all success achieved even in the midst of huge obstacles becomes transient, temporary, fleeting achievements and even futile. Why? Because very often everything we do, and with great effort, is simply done to bring about recognition to our own name.

The writer John Piper, in his book, “Don’t waste your life” states: “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself.”

The moment we recognize that we are creatures of God, the creator of the heavens and earth, of the human being, of the entire universe and of everything in it; our perspective will change completely. We are beings created by the great Almighty God and we are made in His image and likeness and we are created for good works; as His Word states: “For 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).

Then everything makes sense. It’s not about us, it’s about who made us and what He created us for. God is the one who gives purpose to our lives, He is the one who will fulfill His purpose in each one of us (Psalm 138: 8), of course if we turn to Him, if we seek His direction, if we long for His purpose in our lives.

The journey of life is complicated, exhausting and confusing at times; but if we are clear about our purpose and we set our eyes on it, we know that every obstacle will finally be overcome. Jesus said: “I have told you these things so that you may find peace in me. In this world you will face afflictions, but be encouraged! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). And He also said: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14: 2).
Today may be the day you find true peace and salvation. Surely, you may have been walking on seemingly blind alleys, endlessly. And perhaps, without any major achievements. But Jesus Christ invites you to leave all the burden at His feet today, to confess your sins before Him, to let go everything that troubles you before Him. Jesus today listens to you, He listens to your heart and invites you to release everything that overwhelms you. He is your Savior, your Healer, who forgives all your evils and is ready to welcome you with open arms.

You have tried to jump or evade so many obstacles but without any luck. If today you open your heart completely, without regrets, if you repent of all sin, Jesus promises you eternal life in His presence, and also to walk with you the path of life. At the end of the path, the majestic inexhaustible source of living water will surely await you, Jesus Christ Himself who will receive you with open arms, who will wipe away your tears, who will refresh your soul!

His Word indeed states: “The LORD Himself goes before you and be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged”                                                                                             (Deuteronomy 31: 8).

Photos:  Courtesy of CI colleagues.

In the Home Stretch …in the End of Times!

“God chooses a nation to become the geographical point, where the attention of the world will concentrate mainly in the end of times, and chose the nation of Israel.”

Dr. Armando Alducin

Dr. Armando Alducin, Founder of "New Life for the World."

Dr. Armando Alducin, Founder of “New Life for the World.”

Nearly 36 years ago, Dr. Armando Alducin had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
After having studied and experimented with various philosophies and religions he became an atheist, because according to him, no absolute truth could exist in any system of thought.
Happily, through his brother Alejandro and the missionary Emilio Aandereud, Dr. Alducin came to the knowledge of the truth and began his life in the Christian walk.
In 1982 he founded “Vida Nueva para México” [New Life for Mexico], which later on would change its name to “Vida Nueva para el Mundo” [New Life for the World], an organization that is currently bringing the Gospel to more than 55 nations. In fact, along with his brother Alejandro, Dr. Alducin has founded more than 40 churches in different parts of Mexico, the United States, Europe, South America and Israel. His ministry also sustains several missionaries around the world.

Dr. Alducin, how do you see the current picture in the geopolitical framework in relation to the so called “the end of times” stated as such by the Bible?

It is a great blessing to know that 2,600 years ago the Hebrew prophets in the Bible, in a chronological-supernatural way were able to draw us a map, a guide for us to know –those who have reached these times in the 21st century, that we are actually in the end of times of human history.

The prophecies mainly of the books of Ezekiel and Daniel are amazing in the light of the prophecies of the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. The Bible has chosen Israel to be a thermometer, thus, through Israel we can measure the temperature of the world; and we know that the Middle East started the beginning of civilization in Iraq and what is now Syria, which was Mesopotamia back then, and it was not yet divided, and civilization was going to end there.

It is incredible that now in the 21st century, we are right in this moment, in the month of November 2016, where the Middle East is a boiling pot. Now, the civil war in Syria is about to bring about an international social outbreak, in which many nations will have to be involved. It is wonderful, that this does not infuse us Christians any fear. Why? Because we know that these are signs that Jesus anticipated us, signs that were going to be manifested, that we really are in the end of times and we should rejoice. And Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

So, I think it is the time when the Church and those who are Christians be aware that there is a day of judgment approaching, and that the Lord created us as free and responsible moral agents, and that we have to repent of our sins to stand before the judgment of God some day.

In fact, we are living wars, rumors of wars and natural phenomena like tsunamis, among others. But many people assert, “There has always been the same thing.” What is the answer to that statement: “there has always been the same”, as we are now living that “end of times”?

Wars have always been there, ever since Cain killed Abel, there have been murders and wars; but not ever before the 20th century, the past century, had all the nations of the world been involved in the First and Second World War. And Jesus said in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13, that there would be wars and rumors of wars, and that nation would rise against nation. And this has never happened until the 20th century. We realize that this was the beginning of what Jesus in Matthew 24 proclaims, as the beginning of sorrows. In the First and Second World War, the United Nations was formed to try to prevent a Third World War and we know that since the Second World War up until now, the 21st century has seen more than 283 revolutions and coups d’État. Now, with all the technology that we have and with all scientific advances, we are on the brink of an international social outbreak of war in the Middle East.

Throughout history, we know that Israel has been hated by certain groups or nations. In fact, they wanted to exterminate Israel. In that perspective, how should we understand that Israel is the “thermometer of God”?

Many people say to me: “well, why did not God choose the Italians, the Spaniards, why not the Mexicans or the Ecuadorians”? This is the answer:
God chooses a nation to become the geographical point, where the attention of the world will concentrate mainly in the end of times, and chose the nation of Israel. God chose the nation of Israel, because the Messiah was born there, and this is proved by the genealogies of Jesus Christ in Luke and Matthew. Christ is the only person born in history, from whom his genealogy can be traced, from Adam or from Abraham. No other man, no matter what monarchic ancestry he may come from, not even the kings’ origins can be traced.

Jesus Christ proves that by being descendant from King David, from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He was really the Messiah that God had chosen.

Romans 9: 3 – 4 states that God chose Israel so that through the Jews, we obtain the Book of the books,

Dr. Armando Alducin, San Antonio, TX

Dr. Armando Alducin, San Antonio, TX

which is called the Bible. The book that was written in Hebrew and Greek has the earliest record of history, archeology, cosmology, anthropology, psychology, literature, poetry, among others. With respect to this book, I have always asked people and it is one of the questions whereby I like to challenge the scientific, political, philosophical, writers’ audiences, I always say: “tell me,” –and I have 35 years of preaching this message – “Which book do you know is better than the Bible?”; and up until this moment, after 35 years of standing before all kinds of fora and auditoriums, there has not been a single person who has dared to tell me that there is a book better than the Bible.

This is why God chose Israel. And I repeat, to be the point of the prophecies. Right now we realize that Israel is precisely surrounded by 22 million Arabs who are trying to exterminate it, and since 1948 when it became independent as a sovereign nation, 22 million Arabs have not been able to remove or push them to the Mediterranean.

This is to be fulfilled in the prophecy of Amos 9, which states that “they shall never again be uprooted out of their land,” and these are the evidences that the Bible leaves us, history shows that God exists.

Along these lines, there are other sacred writings such as The Quran of the Muslims, the Tripitaka of the Buddhists, and other religions whose followers claim that they are the sacred books through which their god speaks to them and conducts their lives. What should we say to them in the face of the Bible?

When we confront them with the Bible, let us remember the Hindus, they did the Vedas; The Maharani Nasutta; The Muslims, the Quran; The Tripitaka, the Buddhists; and so we can go through sacred books and none of these sacred books contains prophecies. None of them predicted when its founder was to be born. Buddha, for example, before dying, said: “seek the truth” to his disciples, he never said that he was the truth. Hindus have millions of gods. Buddhism is an atheistic religion, because Gautama Buddha did not believe in God; [speaking] of the Quran created by Muhammad, and here, this man’s moral profile is terrible upon marrying a 7 year-old-girl, for God’s sake, psychologically, he tells us that he was a psychopathic man!
No founder of any religion can even compare himself with the person of the Son of God or with the Holy Scriptures!

To conclude, what is your final message in the framework that we have discussed? Your message for our Christian audience and for those who do not necessarily identify themselves with the Christian Faith!

Firstly, I would like to remind all my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who we have experienced the new birth, about the words of Christ in Luke chapter 21, which states that when we see all these things, let us remember the following: “Let our heart not to be filled with carousing and drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and come suddenly upon us that day. Because as a snare, Jesus said: ´it will come upon on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man´[at his second coming].”

Dr. Armando Alducin & Cecilia Yepez, at the moment of the interview

Dr. Armando Alducin & Cecilia Yepez, at the moment of the interview

The Church has to understand something, we have a mission: to win souls and to disciple them. Every Christian has to seek a person, someone with whom they can share the Word of God and talk about Christ, to all the people we can, because time is up!
For the people who do not know Jesus Christ, the Bible states that the human being is a sinner and that these sins cannot be eradicated or erased with religions, and that by good deeds we could never obtain our salvation. The Bible asserts that there is a barrier between God and man, which is called sin; and only through the blood of Christ, only through His sacrifice on the cross, it was possible for this barrier to collapse.

This is the message of the Bible given by God to us, He offers us salvation without having to do anything but believe, what Jesus did in our place, on that cross. So, invite Him as your Lord and Savior, repent of your sins; believe that after 3 days He rose from the dead, and from then on, begin to feed yourself spiritually with the Bible, because that is the nourishment of the Spirit of the Lord.

It is important for us that during these times that we are going through, we take God seriously, people must repent in their lives and learn that there is a God who loves them eternally, and that this is perhaps the only opportunity you may have in order to determine the Eternal destiny of your soul!

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, ´God with us´.”

(Matthew 1:23)

ISRAEL, LAND OF THE MESIAH!

“This is the land of Jesus, the Anointed One who preached the Gospel to the poor, gave sight to the blind, set free the oppressed.”

 

Israel, the land of the patriarchs and prophets, the land of the apostles, and the land of Jesus according to the Bible accounts, is located in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Lebanon. This small territory lies at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

Here, at the junction of these continents, historically worthy Israel arises majestically and full of mystery.

In my recent journey to Israel, as I looked out over its capital, the old city of Jerusalem, the most

A view of the old city of Jerusalem

A view of the old city of Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock

predominant landmark was indeed the Dome of the Rock, as many have pointed out. It rests on the very place where Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, on Mount Moriah. This piece of land was later bought by King David in order to build the Temple, actually built by his son Solomon. That was the first glorious temple!

This first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians but after 70 years of the captivity of the Jews, they returned and rebuilt it. King Herod refurbished the temple, so 1,000 Levites were trained as builders,

because no laity could enter certain parts of the building.

Today, the Temple Mount is undoubtedly the symbol of “religious freedom” in Israel because it has been used by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Muslim praying at the Temple Mount

Muslim praying at the Temple Mount

In fact, 75% of the Israeli population is Jewish. Within this group, one may find secular Jews, modern

Ultra-orthodox Jewish

Ultra-orthodox Jewish

Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, and Reform or Messianic Judaism.

On the other hand, 17.5% are Muslims, 2% are Christians, 1.6% Druze, and 3.9% are not specified (CIA, 2013). This is quite evident as one walks along the streets of Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth as well as many other towns and interacts with people whose cultural and religious background is so diverse.

Jewish women praying at Wailing Wall

Jewish women praying at the Wailing Wall

But Israel´s diversity is not only present in the religious and cultural aspects of its population but also in its geography. Although small in size, Israel is surrounded by different topographical features ranging from forested highlands to desert landscapes and from the coastal plain to the semitropical Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.

Sea of Galilee

Sea of Galilee – It reminds us of a great event when Jesus calmed the storm!

Yes, this is the splendid Promised Land, the land of milk and honey that God promised to Abraham and his descendants! The land where Moses and Joshua led the Israelites on the exodus out of Egypt!

Moreover, this land embraces unique scenarios such as Masada, situated above the Dead Sea and one of the fortresses built by Herod the Great. This was a refuge for Jews who escaped from the Roman legions after the destruction of Jerusalem.

Qumran, on the western shore of the Dead Sea, is also

One of the Qumran caves in the Judaean Desert

One of the Qumran caves in the Judaean Desert

well-known for the most stunning biblical archaeological find in 1947, the discovery of the scrolls and manuscripts which are such a magnificent legacy for Christianity.

And of course, Israel is also well-known for the places where Jesus, the Messiah was born, grew up, taught and proclaimed the “Kingdom of God.” The beauty and peacefulness of the Sea of Galilee and its surroundings truly bring to mind the sweetness and loveliness of the powerful and everlasting teachings of Jesus such as the “Sermon of the Mount.” This is the land of Jesus, the Anointed One who preached the

The Gospel Trail or the JesusTrail begins on the southern outskirts of Nazareth at Mt. Precipice towards Chapharnaum

The Gospel Trail or the JesusTrail begins on the southern outskirts of Nazareth at Mt. Precipice towards Capharnaum, at the seashore of Galilee where Jesus´ministry started

Gospel to the poor, gave sight to the blind, set free the oppressed. Jesus is the Son of God who was sent to die on the cross in order to give us eternal life.

As one reads the prophecy of Isaiah 53, he / she cannot help but recognize that this word was fulfilled in the life of our Lord Jesus, as it is recorded in the Gospel account (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19).

“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Isn’t this amazing? This land is indeed the Holy Land, but sadly, it is also a divided land that has been in permanent conflict and spiritual blindness, because its people have not acknowledged the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

Israel and very especially its capital Jerusalem have been synonymous with conflict, wars and battles throughout history, even from Biblical times.

The Wall between Jerusalem and Bethlehem!

The Wall between Jerusalem and Bethlehem!

A controversial land in the sight of the world, but surely the chosen land in the sight of God.

Indeed, God has had His eyes on Israel, and His prophets have predicted its restoration. Jeremiah declared that God will restore the Israelites by bringing them together from all the nations. Ezekiel said that Israel would come to know the Lord. And Isaiah declared that Israel would still be a light to the nations and that Jew and Gentile would dwell together in peace through the Messiah.

Yes, God has His eyes on Israel, and so must we. Let us commit ourselves to pray for the restoration and salvation of Israel. Let us make as our own promise what David said:

The Korean church praying for Israel and  Palestine (Peace March 2005)

The Korean church praying for Israel and Palestine (Peace March 2005)

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper!”
(Psalm 122:6 NLT)

 

To conclude, this year 2015, this country is celebrating its 67th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. So, let me invite you to watch a very interesting film that I found about this land, produced by National Geographic.

This is how Israel is seen by the world. Enjoy the film and come to your own conclusions!

Shalom!  Peace be with you!