How Could Jesus Speak to Large Audiences?

by Bill Rudge

Scripture indicates that Jesus spoke to large audiences (thousands of people) by the Sea of Galilee. Skeptics said it would be impossible for Him to speak to thousands of people without amplification equipment.

However, I was in Israel at the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The hill forms a natural amphitheater that slopes to the Sea of Galilee and amplifies the speaker’s voice. The air above the Sea of Galilee is very static so that sound waves travel easily. It’s possible Jesus stood at the bottom of the hill and spoke to the crowd who sat above Him.

Matthew 4:25-5:2 gives the following account:

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him. Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them ….

While standing on the site of the Sermon on the Mount, I was talking in my normal voice to one of the pastors in our group who was almost 100 yards away, and he could hear me plainly. Then, while standing on the shore, we became very quiet and, although several hundred yards away, we could hear two fishermen talking to each other on a small boat.

Once again the Bible is authenticated and skeptics are silenced.

The Truth About Pornography

by Darlinda McDonald

Former porn stars Shelley Lubben and Jessica Neely shine a light into the dark world of pornography:

In Lubben’s biographical DVD, Out of the Darkness, she states, “When people view pornography they are really watching mentally ill and physically diseased people have sex.” She also said that all the girls she has helped rescue from the porn industry so far, except one, did not have a good relationship with their father.

Lubben also has written a book called, Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn: the Greatest Illusion on Earth. The book reveals an industry that tries to portray a world of glamour and pleasure but the truth is that the adult film world consists of brutality, degradation, threats, manipulation, rape, trafficking, disease, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide.

In the January 13th LifeSiteNews article, Lubben was asked, “If you could say one thing to someone who’s looking at pornography, what would you say?” She said, “You’re contributing to your demise, and to your family’s demise, and your wife’s. I can’t tell you how many porn addicts have lost their families and jobs. And they’re contributing to children being raped. … Right now there are little children being drugged and raped. How could anyone click on porn knowing that?”

Former porn star Jessica Neely made this comment in the same article: “Lust is something that is never going to be satisfied. It is a trap that makes you resent your wife. My job was to make you hate your wife. Lust is a monster that can never be satisfied. The very end-road of an all-consuming addiction is a guaranteed death. You are going to lose everything.”

Salvation: Easy as A-B-C and D

bibleA – Admit you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness. There is nothing you can do to pay the penalty of sin or earn your salvation (Romans 3:23). The penalty for sin is death, and only God’s righteous and sinless Son could pay that penalty. So, there is no other solution to your dilemma other than coming to Jesus Christ in repentance, receiving His free gift of salvation, and accepting Him as your Savior and Lord. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

B – Believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead. Just believing in something doesn’t make it true, no matter how sincere you are. Nor is it the intensity of belief that makes something true. It is who and what you believe in that really matters. Jesus said, “…unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). To “believe in” is more than merely acknowledging the reality of Jesus Christ; it means “to trust in and rely on” –– a belief that results in committing your life to Him.

C – Confess with your mouth that Jesus died and rose again. Tell others that you have accepted Him as your Savior and Lord. “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).

When you sincerely act on A, B, and C, something amazing happens. God’s Spirit indwells you and begins to mold you into a new creation. Your name is written in the Book of Life! And when you depart this life, you will be welcomed into God’s eternal kingdom and receive all He has prepared for those who love Him.

D – Demonstrate your faith by growing in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ through regular Bible study and prayer, fellowshipping with other believers, and being a witness to those who do not yet know Him. Demonstrate a changed life as His Spirit and Word transform you and mold you into the person you were created to be.

Knowing and living for Jesus Christ is a wonderful spiritual journey with life-changing experiences and eternal blessings. Your acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will prove to be the wisest, most courageous, and most eternally significant decision you will ever make.

Whose Standards Are You Living By?

by Bill Rudge

I was having a conversation with “Joe” at his place of employment one day. A co-worker blurted out that “Joe” was living with one woman but also had several girlfriends in other cities. I told him about a voodoo witch-doctor I knew who had women in many different areas of Haiti with several children by them. Later, when he became a believer in Jesus Christ, I counseled the former witch-doctor to choose only one of the girlfriends as his wife, but support the others financially.

“Joe” said that he could never do that because his family has always lived this way. I informed him that God’s standard was to marry one woman and be faithful to her. He repeated that his family has always lived the other way and he could not change.

I asked, “If you let a buddy of yours move into your house, could he do whatever he wants or would he have to obey your rules? What would you do if he messed with your woman or trashed your place?” “Joe” emphatically said that his buddy would have to live by his rules and standards or he would throw him out.

“Your own words will be your judge” I quickly responded, “because God created this world and everything and everyone in it. He gave us standards to live by and we will one day stand before Him and give an account. He will respond to you that just as you required those who live in your house to honor your standards so God expects you to honor His.”

He looked at me and the other man who was listening and said, “I am speechless! I am speechless!” I think that was the first time he was ever speechless. I hope the day comes when he gives his life to Christ, and will be found living by God’s standards, and not his own.

When a person comes to Christ, God changes the inner man through the Holy Spirit, and one’s lifestyle begins to conform to God’s will and standards. This is something only God can do.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).