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Failure is not fatal.

heaven_emptyThe God of second chances can help you turn your life around – if you’re willing.

How many times will God forgive you when you sin? As many times as necessary. Is there a limit to God’s mercy? Not according to Jesus.

When the apostle Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive our brother when he sins against us, Jesus responded, “Seventy times seventy” (Matthew 18:15-20).

In other words, indefinitely.

This must have stunned the Jewish disciples who were still thinking in terms of the Rabbinic Law (3 times), rather than in the unlimited terms of the New Covenant of grace.

God wants us to have forgiving hearts like Him.

Because God forgives over and over, we must never give up on ourselves, or on God. I’ve heard many people tell me, “God can’t forgive me. You don’t know the things I’ve done in the past. I’ve gotten to the point of no return.”

That’s not true. There is no such thing. There is no sin or number of sins that God cannot forgive. His mercy is unfathomable. If you go to the very depths of the sea, you’ll never get away from God’s mercy. He’s always waiting for you to repent and seek His forgiveness, always ready to give you another chance.

Ted Bundy, one of the worst serial killers in American history went to the electric chair a saved man. Dr. James Dobson went to witness to him in prison prior to his execution and Ted Bundy accepted the forgiveness of God through Jesus our LORD.

Jesus died for the sins of all men, no matter how evil – if they repent.

So if God can forgive a serial killer like Ted Bundy who was convicted of raping and killing over 30 women, he can certainly forgive you. Don’t believe the lies of the devil. It’s never too late to make a U-turn and get your life right with God. Today could be the start of a new beginning for you. With God’s help, you can be spiritually born again and become a new creature in Jesus the Messiah. Pray right now and ask Jesus to become your Savior and Lord.

– Luis Josephus

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www.LuisJosephus.com
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Scripture References:

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ Jesus God forgave you. “ – Ephesians 4:32

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!“ – 2 Corinthian 5:17

 

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Mary Magdalene: Prostitute or Saint?

Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ disciples who had an unsavory reputation. Many Bible scholars believe she had been a prostitute before her conversion. In this article we examine her life in closer detail.

Mary Magdalene, also known as Mary of Magdala, was one of Jesus’ disciples that is frequently mentioned in the gospel accounts. Since she was free to follow Jesus of Nazareth during His many journeys, this suggests that she was an unmarried woman or a widow without any home obligations. She was also a woman of financial substance and was able to support the missionary ministry of Jesus and the apostles.

Some Bible scholars have even suggested that Mary Magdalene was the unnamed sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with an alabaster jar of perfume:

“As she stood behind him at his feet, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (Luke 7:38).

The Jewish Talmud affirms that Mary Magdalene had an unsavory reputation. Therefore, we must assume that, in all likelihood, Mary had formerly been a prostitute before she met Jesus and repented of her previous life. She had also been possessed by seven devils before Jesus cast them out. Demon possession is often found in individuals who have practiced a life of sexual immorality since demonic transference generally occurs from one partner to another during sexual intercourse, as well as sexually transmitted diseases.

In my own family, I once had an aunt who had been a prostitute for many years. When we were kids growing up and full of mischief, we used to secretly follow my aunt to work and watch her enter the local whorehouse each day. The obvious “Madam,” who managed the brothel would come to the front door and let her in. My aunt would emerge later in the day after she finished with her male customers. Fortunately, my grandmother never found out what her daughter really did for a living, and we kids never divulged her secret life. Like Mary Magdalene, however, my aunt later met Jesus, repented of her sinful life and was saved. She became a powerful evangelist and led many people to Christ. After years of serving the Lord, she died a new creature in Christ, washed of her sins by the blood of our merciful Savior.

After her conversion, Mary Magdalene also emerged as one of the most faithful and beautiful characters of the Bible. A striking feature about Mary the reformed prostitute is that, whenever she is mentioned in the gospel accounts in connection with other women, she always heads up the list, implying that she occupied a place of prominence in service to Jesus by His female disciples. She stood closed by the cross when Jesus was crucified, and was the first woman to whom Jesus appeared to after His resurrection. It seems that no other woman superceded Mary Magdalene in her utter devotion to the Master (To whom much is forgiven, much is expected...).

Rahab, in the Old Testament, is another example of a prostitute that was gloriously saved and transformed by the mercies of God. Not only did she risk her life to hide the Israelite spies, but she also became the great grandmother of King David. (see my previous message, “Rahab the Prostitute“).

What about you?

Have you ever wondered if God could forgive you? It does not matter what you have done in the past or where you have been, there is no sin too great that God cannot forgive – if you call upon Him in repentance. Jesus paid the penalty for your sins, no matter how bad. Won’t you pray right now and ask Him to forgive you? If you do, you can be washed clean and begin a new life in Christ. You can receive a fresh new start and be transformed into the person God created you to be. Amen.

– Luis Josephus

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Rahab the Prostitute

Rahab 2READ JOSHUA CHAPTER 2:1-24

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” – Joshua 2:1

Many people will be surprised to discover that Jesus was not only a physical descendant of King David, but also of Rahab the ex-prostitute of Jericho. Keep in mind, however, that Rahab was a harlot who changed her ways and came before the living God in repentance.

Rahab was a Canaanite woman who ran an “Inn” in Jericho. It was actually a house of prostitution where men could spend the night with the woman of their choice. Murray Johnson writes: “It is very important that we understand what the text really says about Rahab. It says Rahab was a harlot. What better place for the spies to hide out than at Rahab’s house? With all the comings and goings of a whorehouse, they could blend in easily. However, these men were on a righteous mission. “

Rahab was a prostitute herself.

As a Canaanite, she was also a worshipper of a great number of deities of the Canaanite religion, including Baal (god of fertility), Dagon (god of the crops) and Molech (god of fire). When Joshua sent two of his men to Jericho to spy out the city for destruction, they came to Rahab’s place. When the king of Jericho heard about their visit, he sent his soldiers to kill them. Rahab took sides – not with her own people – but with the children of Israel. She protected the two spies at great peril to her life, and hid them on her roof for three days. She also lied to the king’s soldiers and sent them on a wild goose chase, because she told them that the spies had already left out of the city gate.

After the soldiers departed and the coast was clear, she went up to the roof and made them promise to protect her and her father, mother, brothers and sisters. The two spies agreed to protect her and her family when Joshua and his army returned to destroy the city.

Rahabs confession of faith.

She declared, “…for the Lord (Yahovah) your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.  Joshua 2:11. Rahab’s faith in the eternal God of Israel was greater than her fear. By embracing Yahovah God – the only true, living God, she was renouncing all pagan gods that she had previously worshipped. The moment she made the confession of faith, “…for the LORD [Yahovah] your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below,” Rahab was saved from her sins, spiritually born-again, and immediately accepted into God’s family. It did not matter that she was formerly a prostitute or an idol worshipper, God is no respecter of persons; whoever will come to Him in repentance and faith will be accepted by Him. Rahab is a prime example of how God loves to take the worst of sinners and turn them into saints. His arms are always open to anyone who “feareth Him and worketh righteousness” (Acts 10:34-35).

Rahab, the prostitute, was transformed into a new creature in Messiah.

Her faith was backed up by the evidence of good works when she risked her life to save the two spies. She is praised twice in the New Testament. The apostle James describes her justification by her good works:

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by [good] works, when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way? (James 2:25)

Working together, Rahab’s faith and actions were approved by God who forgave her of her immoral past and justified her (acquitted her of guilt) in His sight. The writer of Hebrews also praises Rahab in Hebrews 11:31. She perished not with the rest of her city when the walls of Jericho fell down and Joshua’s men killed all who lived there. Rahab’s faith and the scarlet thread she let hang down from her window (which was a type of the blood of Jesus Christ) looked forward to the time the Messiah would come.

It paralleled the Passover lamb. Just as the blood of the lamb was put on the houses of the Israelites in order to protect them from the judgment of God, so the scarlet cord hanging from Rahab’s house brought safety and deliverance for her and her family.

Rahab marries a Jew.

After converting to Judaism, Rahab became a righteous woman. She joined herself to the people of God – the children of Israel. She left her sordid past behind, continued to travel with the Israelites, and eventually married a Jewish man named Salmon of the tribe of Judah. Their marriage gave birth to Boaz who married Ruth, who birthed Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David. What an amazing testimony of how God can re-write your life! He transformed a former prostitute into the ancestral grandmother of Israel’s greatest king : David, the man after God’s own heart. In Matthew’s geneology, even our Lord Jesus Christ was an ancestor of Salmon and Rahab (Matthew 1:1,5).

Whosoever calls on the Lord shall be saved.

If you’ve been struggling with a life of sin, or you’ve done something in your past that is so bad you’ve never told anyone; perhaps you’ve wondered if God could ever forgive you, remember what He accomplished in the life of Rahab the ex-prostitute and idol worshipper from Jericho. There is no sin too big for God – He will forgive you if you sincerely repent and call upon His name in faith. There is always hope and forgiveness in Christ Jesus:

”And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:21

“Whoever” means you! There is no sin so grievous that Jesus The Messiah cannot forgive. He died on the cross and shed His blood to forgive all types of sins – small sins. as well as big sins. Call upon Jesus today and be forgiven and saved from your old life. From this day forward, He will give you a new life and transform you into the man or woman God created you to be.

Pray this prayer right now:

Dear Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins. I repent of my past life. Please forgive me. I promise to live for you from this day forward. I receive you today as my Savior and Lord of my life. Amen.

If you just prayed this prayer,  contact us and let us rejoice with you. We’ll also send you a free Bible and other literature to help you grow in your new life in Messiah.

– Luis Josephus

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