Video: The immense vacuum

We were created for relationship—to know and love the awesome God of the universe. But this relationship was broken by sin. Watch how in By This Name, John Cross explains mankind’s drive to make himself right with God.

“Mankind was left with an immense vacuum within—a craving hard to describe—an emptiness only a loving God could fill.”

By This Name, Page 81

By This Name has a video component consisting of 66 clips in which author John R. Cross teaches key concepts during the chronological journey through the Bible. These short video clips include visual aids (like the Tabernacle, Passover, altar, etc.) to help bring clarity to the story. They also take the viewers to key sites in Israel, Egypt and Jordan to provide historical and geographical context. We present a selection of these video clips. All of them are included with By This Name, either on DVD or accessible online.

Going Deeper: Final words of a dying Saviour, Part I

Jesus made seven statements during the final hours on the cross before his death. These are recorded for us in the Gospels, and GoodSeed’s primary tools emphasize three of them. In this two-part Going Deeper article, we will examine the deeper significance of all seven statements.

Bible writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each give us unique insights into the crucial few days surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion.

Setting the Scene

Jesus of Nazareth has been arrested in the night on trumped-up charges. Falsely accused, he is paraded through a series of courts. These court sessions are simply a pretext to provide legality to what is already a foregone conclusion in the minds of the Jewish religious leaders: a sentence of death for blasphemy. Jesus is beaten and mocked before he is sentenced to death by crucifixion by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor.

The Crucifixion

The intent of this barbaric form of execution was to prolong the agony of dying as long as possible. However, the crucifixion of Christ lasted a relatively short time, from the “third” hour—about 9:00 a.m. (Mark 15:25) to about the “ninth” hour—3:00 p.m. (Mark 15:33).

As a person reads the description of what happened during those six hours, what isn’t found are sensational, lurid details of the physical suffering Jesus experienced as he hung on the cross. The Bible doesn’t indulge our curiosity. There are none of the horrific details that one might expect in modern journalism. Rather, the account of the crucifixion is told in a simple, straightforward manner without any dramatics. This is not to minimize the physical agony Christ felt on the cross. His pain was very real, but pain isn’t what Scripture highlights. Instead, the Bible gives us glimpses of Jesus’ heart for humanity through seven statements he made during the final hours before his death. Just as the final words spoken from the deathbed of a loved one hold great significance to family and friends, so these words of Christ are such that they have reverberated down through history.

Continue reading “Going Deeper: Final words of a dying Saviour, Part I”

Using the Worldview Survey, Part 1: Sharing the gospel when time is short

Five full days of street evangelism! Under normal circumstances, if someone had suggested this idea as a potential evangelistic pursuit, my response would have been, “No thanks! Not for me!” However, here I was in a large van heading to the big city. My husband, Troy, and I were the designated leaders, no less, for a dozen or so college-aged students. And we’d be standing on a street corner in no time at all, attempting to get into deep spiritual conversations with all kinds of scary strangers.

The first day went by much as I expected. Many were closed to hearing about the Lord, a few were willing to get into a discussion and most walked by completely indifferent. That week on bustling city streets was quite the adventure, arming us with stories and experiences that still effect our approach to sharing the gospel when time is short.

Even if you never participate in street evangelism, it’s good to be prepared for the moment when you have a quick opportunity to share the Bible’s message with a passing stranger. Your brief opportunity may come while sitting in front of your hairdresser, or with the salesperson at the door, or while you’re passing time in a waiting room. No matter the scenario, there are certain common obstacles that brief interactions present, as well as good ideas to navigate those obstacles.

Continue reading “Using the Worldview Survey, Part 1: Sharing the gospel when time is short”

From a muddy pond to pure, life-giving water

Many, these days, seem to borrow religious ideas from a variety of sources. Claude* was one such individual.

In his mid-fifties, Claude was very religious. While he identified himself with a traditional church, he had gleaned so much of his thinking from other religions that his views were very muddled and hardly representative of his own church’s belief system.

He had become especially interested in the Eastern practices of yoga, chakra, astral voyage and so forth, as well as in the occult. His driving desire was to find that which was true. So his search continued.

A naturally curious individual, Claude was happy to learn more about religion when given the opportunity to study the Bible. He and Henri began their sessions, reading By This Name together and progressing through the Bible’s message in a way that was organized and clear.

Continue reading “From a muddy pond to pure, life-giving water”

Video: No big deal?

Just how bad is sin, anyway? According to the Bible, it’s not just a matter of “oops, oh well.” When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the ramifications were eternal and devastating. Watch how in By This Name, John Cross uses the visual aid of a rotten rat to show how sin has separated us from God.

“Sin has infinite and eternal ramifications. Just like we would not want to live with the rotten rat next week or at any time, God will never allow sin to dwell in his presence. So it was that sin destroyed that first friendship. A barrier, a chasm now existed between God and man. Man was ‘… dead… in transgressions and sins’ (Ephesians 2:1, NET).”

By This Name, Page 77

By This Name has a video component consisting of 66 clips in which author John R. Cross teaches key concepts during the chronological journey through the Bible. These short video clips include visual aids (like the Tabernacle, Passover, altar, etc.) to help bring clarity to the story. They also take the viewers to key sites in Israel, Egypt and Jordan to provide historical and geographical context. We present a selection of these video clips. All of them are included with By This Name, either on DVD or accessible online.

Seeing the Holy Spirit at Work is Extraordinary!

Have you ever prayed for months and years for the salvation of a particular person? Sometimes it’s easy to become discouraged and wonder if it’s any use.

Carole* was an older woman and an unbeliever. However, she had a sister and a daughter who had been praying faithfully for her salvation for a long time. Would the time ever come when their loved one believed the good news of the gospel?

One day Lily approached Carole, offering to do a Bible study with her. The book they would read together was called By This Name, and it would give Carole a clear understanding of the Bible’s message. Carole agreed.

The two women met once a week for 15 weeks. Lily related, “It was such an extraordinary experience to see the work of the Holy Spirit before my very eyes.”

Continue reading “Seeing the Holy Spirit at Work is Extraordinary!”

Video: God makes a promise

Thousands of years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God made a promise to Adam and Eve. He promised the coming of a Deliverer who would crush Satan. Watch how in By This Name, John Cross unpacks Genesis 3:14-15—the promise of the offspring of the woman.

“This was the first of many promises about this future offspring of Eve. This man would be known as the Anointed One because of the special assignment given to him by God. The task the LORD had for this Chosen One was to deliver or save mankind from the consequences of sin. For this reason he would also be known as the Promised Deliverer.”

By This Name, Page 73

By This Name has a video component consisting of 66 clips in which author John R. Cross teaches key concepts during the chronological journey through the Bible. These short video clips include visual aids (like the Tabernacle, Passover, altar, etc.) to help bring clarity to the story. They also take the viewers to key sites in Israel, Egypt and Jordan to provide historical and geographical context. We present a selection of these video clips. All of them are included with By This Name, either on DVD or accessible online.