Why are Orthodox churches celebrating Easter this Sunday?

Why are Orthodox churches celebrating Easter this Sunday?

The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus is the most important day in the Christian calendar. That day differs in the western Christian tradition and among churches in areas of the world that have been influenced by the eastern or Orthodox tradition.

It all goes back to the Roman Empire and a division that took place one thousand years ago between Rome in the West and Constantinople in the East, the two capitals of the empire. Following the split of the government, church leaders aligned themselves with the respective governments. In what has been described as the Great Schism of 1054, the Pope-led Catholic Church in Rome excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople, leader of the Orthodox Church, who in turn excommunicated the Pope. Though now separate, the two churches agreed that believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection and acknowledging Christ as savior was central to Christianity.

For the next 500 years everyone in Christianity used the same Julian calendar and set of rules to celebrate Easter after Jewish Passover which was dictated by the Jewish lunar calendar. The problem of two dates for Easter cropped up after countries in Europe began adopting the Gregorian calendar that more accurately accounts for the vernal equinox and summer and winter solstices. The Catholic church began using the new calendar, but Orthodox churches did not even after the countries in which they were situated made the switch. So, Orthodox churches around the world will celebrate Easter this Sunday. In many countries, Egypt, for example, most non-orthodox churches follow the lead of their local Orthodox churches and celebrate Easter at the same time.

For millions of Christians, this is the week they end their 40 days of Lent. This is the week they commemorate the betrayal, trials and crucifixion of Jesus. On Sunday, they will celebrate the resurrection just as hundreds of millions of Christians did three weeks ago. The next time all Christianity will celebrate Easter on the same day will be in 2034.

Do you celebrate Easter? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If you’re not sure or would like to know more about Jesus, please contact us. We would love to talk with you about how you can enjoy a renewed life and assurance of where you will spend eternity.

How do we know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

How do we know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

The human authors who wrote the Bible did not do so by an act
of their own will or natural inspiration. Rather, the Holy Spirit
exerted supernatural influence upon these writers as stated in
2 Peter 1:21, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the author of the
Bible.

The Bible is timeless and true, containing no inaccuracies with
regard to history or factual science. Although written by 40
men over a period of 1500 years, it flows harmoniously and seamlessly
void of any inconsistencies or contradictions. As King David
said, “the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me and His word was on
my tongue.” (2 Samuel 23:2). All the words of the Bible are
“God breathed” and therefore, the Bible is infallible, prophetic,
completely free from error and absolutely trustworthy.

As stated in 2 Timothy 3:10, the Bible is profitable for doctrine,
reproof, correction and for instruction in righteousness. God’s
word has special power as written in Hebrews 4:12, “For the
word of God is living and powerful, sharper that any two edge
sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit.” The
Bible is the God inspired operations manual for life and it is
Best Investigated Before Leaving Earth!

What does it mean to glorify God?

What does it mean to glorify God?

To glorify God means to recognize and talk about his magnificent and unfathomable attributes as creator of the universe and all life forms on planet Earth. Those attributes include his majesty, holiness, grace, love, omnipotence, omniscience to name just a few. Glorifying God also includes loving God, keeping his covenants and obeying his commands. This said, we will take a look at specific references to bringing glory to God from the Scriptures.

We need to first look at God’s glory as defined in Isaiah 6:3. It says, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Psalm 19:1 says: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” And in Romans 1:20 we read: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

God created the world in all its splendor and beauty for His glory so He could communicate His glory to us and draw us to Him. Isaiah 43:6 says, “Bring my daughters and my sons from afar, everyone whom I have created for my glory.”

As you can see, God’s desire is to draw all men to himself. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are told to shine their light before men reflecting his glory so men may look to him and discover the salvation he offers only in Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”

The Westminster Catechism written in the 1600’s to clarify the Christian faith asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer: “A Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” It is very clear from the Bible that we are to be mindful of our thoughts, words, and actions and be about glorifying God and not glorifying self!

In what ways is the Bible God’s operating manual for life?

In what ways is the Bible God’s operating manual for life?

The Bible is the best selling book of all times. It has guided and transformed hundreds of millions of lives down through the ages and continues to do the same today. It has provided mankind with truths for living, for developing personal core values, for defining one’s worldview, for establishing a moral compass, and for discovering God’s love and plan for redemption from sin and eternal life. But, there is much more to be gained from the Bible.

One of the amazing things about the Bible is that it actually does provide the information on how to live our lives. The basics for living a godly and satisfying life can be found in what are known as the Beatitudes which are Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew chapter 5. Throughout the New Testament there are many examples for dealing with man’s more common problems. However, the Bible should not be taken as a stand-alone troubleshooting guide. Equally important is to know and trust God and depend upon him. God stands ready to help throughout life and to give both guidance and wisdom if he is asked.

The apostle John, one of Jesus’ disciples, explained further the way to life with God: “Yet to all who received him (Jesus) to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12-13) God’s children have direct access to God the Father on all issues of life. God’s operating manual offers help through all of life’s trials. As God’s children, they are welcome anytime to come before God knowing with confidence that he will listen and respond. It’s called prayer. Everyone who lives according to God’s inspired words and accepts Jesus as Savior will be blessed in this life and in the life to come.

Finally, if you have a Bible, you need to check out these books of wisdom: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs in the Old Testament. They along with the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) and the Beatitudes referenced above (Matthew 5:2-11) will give you God’s basic operating manual for life. Reading, studying and internalizing the truth and wisdom contained in just these four of the 66 books of the Bible will provide guidance and a moral compass for living a meaningful and productive life that brings honor and glory to God.

Trying to live a Godly life without God to direct you will prove to be a futile task. If you have not placed your trust in God and would like to know how you can be assured of both eternal life and a fuller understanding of life on this earth, check out our Next Steps page.