May 23

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“Why are there four accounts of the same events?” This is a good question and needs an answer. I will simply let the apostle John answer the question. He wrote “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31-31). What John wrote, while being guided by the Holy Spirit, is also true of all four accounts.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him“ (Hebrews 11:6). Now we have both the reason and the answer for the four accounts of the life, death, burial, resurrection and the ascension of Jesus, the Son of God. Therefore, let us say it this way, the four accounts are to build faith, as it would be totally outside the realm of logic for God to require something, then, fail to give us the means to have it! Thus, God has given us the means to arise from the state of unbelief, and through study of the four gospel accounts, we have faith that Jesus is the Son of God. Upon this, newly build within us, and we obey the gospel. How important is “obeying the gospel? Paul one of the thirteen “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20), wrote: “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess. 1:8-9). Yet, there are so many who refuse to take heed to Paul’s words. Now, we have looked at the requirement of “faith,” the means of building “faith,” and what is going to happen to all of those who do not “obey the gospel.” Therefore, the four accounts of the one Jesus, who is the Son of God. Therefore, as we look at the first four books on the first shelf, on the New Testament side of our library, we have four books, that are designed by God, to build “faith” the hearts/mind of all humanity! But we must keep in mind, that it is never “faith only,” but “only by faith!” As “faith” is the requirement that opens the door of salvation, but it is never the end but the beginning!
Now, let us move to the second shelf of our library. On it there is but one book! We may search the world over, reading this book and that book, but it is “The Acts of Apostles of Christ,” that reveals the answer to the greatest question upon the lips of man. What is the question? We shall allow the apostle Peter to answer our question. As Luke recorded the events of that great Pentecost day! When some of those standing before the apostles, asked, once “faith” was built within their hearts/minds, the great question: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Have you ever asked this question; if not, why not? Are you still standing, having heard/read the gospel accounts, which the loving God has given us, that we can build the required faith: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6), the “faith” within our hearts/minds but are you still rejecting the whole subject? Have you for whatever “reason” you have but you still stand having only taken the first step? Oh, ye of “little’ faith!
As we look at the fifth book of the New Testament, we have not yet answered the question of “faith,” that comes from the New Testament: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). These souls now understood that they were lost! They were seeking salvation for their soul/spirit! The apostles of Christ, who were given the greatest charge ever given to any group of men. Jesus said unto them: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:14). Mark recorded their actions in one statement at the end of his book but it would be Luke , who not only wrote the “Gospel according to Luke” but “The Acts of the Apostles, would write the more complete record! When those on the day of Pentecost ask that all important question; “what shall we do,,” the apostles answered in these words: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for (Greek word is “ice” and means: “into, unto, to, towards” – Thayer) the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 238).
The “world” heeds these words, but on that day Luke wrote this: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Oh, for men/women with honest hearts today! Do you have such a heart?

Frank R. Williams

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