New Beginnings

We think about a New Year in human terms and for new human beginnings. But, there is an ultimate and true start that brings new beginnings for Jesus’ followers – and will bring an end to all else (Revelation 22:11-13).

Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. —Revelation 22:11-13.
Examples of human New Year celebrations:
• American/European: January 1st
• Chinese (Also known as the Spring Festival): 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar
• Jewish: Religious – Pesach (Passover): The 1st Jewish month; Agricultural – Rosh Hashanah: 7th month on the Jewish calendar

Human New Year resolutions: We usually make them to bring hope of a new human beginning (perhaps that the next year will be better than the last). We also make them as ‘do overs’ – we want to change what we don’t like.

But, let’s look at a new human and spiritual beginning in Jesus. Why would we care? To move toward God and life, and away from judgment and spiritual wrath. Here’s how:
• Believe and Repent (our focus) (Mark 1:15)
• Be baptized as an outward, physical manifestation of new faith (Mark 16:16)
• Grow in faith, live right, and tell others the good news (i.e. Matthew 19-20)

Interestingly, both human and spiritual new beginnings require repentance.
• Defined: A change in heart that results in a change in behavior
• Enables forgiveness, and salvation (Luke 24:47 and Acts 11:15-18)
• It’s what God desires of everyone (2Peter 3:9-10) and often disciplines us for (Revelation 3:19)
• A beginning that leads to good habits and better health (relationship, emotional, physical, and spiritual)
• We don’t practice sin once we repent (Galatians 5:20-23, John 8:3-12, and 1John 3:2-10
• Not repenting will lead to judgment and wrath (Romans 2:5-10)

Repent, experience a new beginning, and don’t look back! The results will be spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally rewarding.

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from http://www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

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