The Bible tells us that we are in a conflict and Satan is doing everything he can to make you fail. In 1 Thessalonians 5:6, we learn that we should not sleep as others do, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober”.
But how can you prepare for anything?
The very act of becoming Christians put us in unfamiliar territories. Christ has called his followers to stop seeking earthly riches as in Matthew 6:19,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”.
He also tells us not to worry about the future as in Luke 12:22
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear”.
We should also live sacrificially to seek the good of others as in Matthew 22:39
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”.
All these run contrary to what the world demands of us as Christians. Christianity offers ways to prepare ourselves, and they include:
If you wish to know what God wants, you have to begin by asking in prayer. He will lead and guide you to a place of peace and safety. Our prayer requests should be to learn the will of God.
We have to listen to the voice of God so that we can know and do God’s will.
Saint Paul teaches us to watch and be ready. We should watch with joy and gladness.
The kinds of things we need to store are those things that feed our light within.
Even though God does not expect us to be perfect, we should make sure that each day we are a little better than the previous day.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”This is why you need to spend time reading the word of God every single day. If you don’t have a Bible that’s easy to understand, you will find online versions that will befit your language.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).We learn that we are entirely new people because we’ve invited Jesus to be our Savior and Lord. Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and spend a moment listing all the things that are true of you as a Christian.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you belie ve and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Salvation is a belief which sits right from the heart of the Christian religion. When Jesus Christ, son of God, died on the cross, the Bible dictates that, in the act of doing so, he delivered humankind from pain and suffering.
The Bible states that salvation is a gracious, undeserved gift from God (Ephesians 2:5, 8). It’s available only to those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
Salvation, also known as ‘deliverance’, promises believers eternal life, full enlightenment and emancipation from the flesh and blood temptations that cause men to falter.
Although the various denominations of Christianity have different opinions on where exactly humanity’s need for salvation stems on, most agree on the doctrine of ‘original sin’ based on the ‘fall of man’ and Adam and Eve’s ejection from the Garden of Eden.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
Christianity revolves around hope and faith in Jesus Christ, the savior. The message of salvation was passed down to the rest of humankind by Jesus’ apostles.
Paul, who was not an original disciple and in fact despised Christianity, encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. This dramatic meeting inspired Paul to become the Lord’s most fervent supporter. Therefore he was disseminating the message of salvation through scripture, such as:
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (NIV, Romans 3:21-25)
‘and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem‘has led Christians to believe that salvation of the Earth will begin in the Holy City.
The Stone of the Anointing is also often called the Stone of Unction. It can be found just inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains the two most holy Christian sites in Jerusalem, Calvary where Jesus was crucified and
the Stone of the Anointing where his body was prepared for burial by anointing and being wrapped in cloth.
The Stone of the Anointing is of enormous importance to Christians across the world as it was here that Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the newly risen Jesus. She didn’t realize it was him and thought she was speaking to a stranger when she said:
“They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where to find him.”
For Christians, this is the most important event in the history of mankind, as it is when death was conquered by Jesus and from that moment on his believers felt they too could defeat death and experience eternal life. The importance of this event is reflected in the importance of the Stone of the Anointing.
Most historians are in agreement that the Stone of the Anointing is the place where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial. Because of this, the stone itself and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are very popular destinations for pilgrims and they have been the scenes of some difficult times throughout history.
The Roman Emperor Hadrian didn’t want a site of such significance to be available to Christians, so he built a temple to the goddess Venus over the holy site in the 2nd Century AD. Around 325 AD the Roman empire had its first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who oversaw the replacement of the temple by a church.
In 630 AD this church was damaged by a Persian attack and a difficult history of earthquakes, fires and repairs followed.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was totally reconstructed in 1810 and it was at this time that the current Stone of the Anointing was placed where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial.
The Stone of the Anointing remains a very holy pilgrimage site for Christians today. Pilgrims queue to either kiss the stone or rub it with oil or rosewater and then wipe it with a cloth. Priests burn incense around the stone and sometimes people place their own crosses on it in order to transfer the unction or anointing.
Rosewater is used to anoint the Stone of the Anointing because it is a perfume that has traditional use in a number of religions. For example, during Muslim burials rosewater is sprinkled into a grave before burial. Rosewater has in the past been used for the embalming of bodies as it has properties that are good for the skin.
Over hundreds of years, there have been stories of miracles and cures experienced by people who have visited and anointed the Stone of the Anointing. The atmosphere in the Church of the Sepulchre is one of reverence and worship. This is clearly one of the holiest places and somewhere that each and every one of us should consider visiting during our lifetimes.
Resurrection – or the promise of life after death – is integral to Christian belief. As such, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ form the central tenet of Christianity. The gospels of the New Testament don’t just describe the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion, they also point to at least one resurrection of humanity, often thought to be on the Day of Judgement.
The term ‘firstfruits’ has been integral in Christian culture as the holy offering of the first fruits of the harvest. The Bible employs this terminology to describe Jesus’ return to life three days after he was laid to rest in the tomb. In Corinthians, it is stated that
“Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]” [1 Corinthians 15:20].
Therefore, Christians believe resurrection to be God’s harvesting of mankind, the first and most important of which was carried out through Christ’s resurrection.
The resurrection of Christ is just the first part of God’s plan. In John, we are told Jesus said,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” [John 11:25-26].
The emphasis is on God’s intention for humanity’s salvation which too will feature a resurrection since “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16].
However, the Bible also suggests that resurrection does not point to the full assumption of a physical life after death. Instead, Corinthians explains “It is sown a natural [physical] body, it is raised a spiritual body” [1 Corinthians 15:44].
However, The resurrection of humanity cannot take place until what many regard as the Second Coming of Christ. At Judgement Day,
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52].
There is also some debate as to whether only true Christians will be resurrected in order to enter the Holy Kingdom, or whether both the just and the unjust will be resurrected to face their judgment.
We all know wonderful real-world examples of motherhood, but when we seek inspiration and a figure to model ourselves upon, there is none better than the divine mother herself. A woman worthy of emulation, we can find inspiration in her virtue, and in her unconditional love towards not only her son but humanity as a whole.
You see, when Mary agreed to bear God’s son, she also made a commitment to become our mother too, for we are each united with Jesus in the Mystical Body. Though taken up to Heaven millennia ago, it is in her manifold intercessions that we continue to receive the gift of eternal salvation. To us, she is an advocate, comforter, and benefactress in one single feminine form.
Through the study of her actions and defining traits, every woman can thus gift their children with an upbringing worthy of God: one where we exemplify acceptance, courage, endurance, faith, hope, joy, obedience, patience, strength, and trust.
More, we can learn a lesson in faith, and in teaching this to our children. Mary was asked to endure much – unwed motherhood, the disappointment of her betrothed, the torture and death or her son – and yet she came through all of these with her strength, courage, and faith in God still intact.
With Mary as a model of motherhood, we can thus endure every trial and tribulation that the role of parent thrusts upon us, the joys and the sorrows alike. For when we look to Mary for inspiration, we see that the way that a mother should love: devotedly, devoutly, and with an eternal and unwavering dedication to our faith.
In the New Testament, there are two scriptures relating to this supernatural event, confirming Mother Mary as a single, natural parent. They are also known as the infancy narratives.
Through the prophet, the Lord said:
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” Matthew 1:18-25
The event took place before Mother Mary was agreed to marry Joseph, and after that Angel Gabriel had made known the Virgin Birth, the New Testament records Luke’s reaction as follows:
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)
The angel also sought to reassure Joseph that he should still take Mary’s hand in marriage, despite him not playing a part in the birth:
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Luke 1:26-38)
The miracle birth is a belief which runs through Christianity, from the Orthodox to Catholic and Protestant churches.
There are several holy sites in today’s Israel, which are sacred to Christians all over the world. Some of them are churches pertaining to the Mother Mary.
The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes known as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a place of worship in the northern Israeli town of Nazareth. The Annunciation happened there, while Mary was taking water from a spring. Therefore the site features the Grotto of the Annunciation, and some say that Mary’s childhood home was in that cave. Today, there is a modern 20th-century church with two stories at the site. The first shrine at the Church of the Annunciation is said to date back to the 4th century.
The Church of the Assumption which is dated back to the 5th century is also located in Holy Land. According to the Christian tradition, Mary’s Tomb is found in this church. The church is at the bottom of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. There is also a niche which is dedicated to St. Joseph, Mary’s husband. The church is located in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls; not far from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. To the right of the church is a passageway which leads to the Grotto of Gethsemane, which is the site where Jesus gave his last lessons to his disciples.