Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal!

This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and ALL that He has done for me—who saved and changed (inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!"

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Serving in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia-Olsonღღღ

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Latest on ITLJournal - True Woman 201: Interior Design

Element One: Building Your Life on Sound Doctrine – Discernment
Element Two: Reverent in Behavior – Honor
Element Three: A Heart for Home – Affection
Element Four: A Self-Controlled Life – Discipline
Element Five: The Beauty of a Pure Life – Virtue
Element Six: Working at Home - Responsibility
Element Seven: The Power of Kindness – Benevolence
Element Eight: What Does It Mean To Be Amenable? – Disposition


1 Peter 1:15-16 ~ "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy."

The True Meaning of Easter

By: Dr. Ted Camp
(Founder of the Silent Word Ministries specializing in Deaf Ministry)

The True Meaning of Easter - There are many religions but only Christianity has a Risen Saviour.  No other religion gives eternal hope for life after death.  Easter represents the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ died alone on the cross to become the last sacrifice for sin.  There is a song, “He could have called ten thousand angels, but He died alone for you and me.”  On the cross Jesus Christ alone became the final sacrifice for sin.  God only had two options in dealing with fallen humanity.  He could let justice prevail and just ignore mankind, or He could provide a sinless substitute to pay the penalty for Adam’s sin (Deuteronomy 17:1) The only solution was to send His beloved son as the Perfect God-Man, as the sinless sacrifice and substitute for the sin of man (John 3:16).  Through Adam, all inherit the curse of sin.  Through Jesus Christ, the curse of sin is removed (Romans 5:12-17).  Jesus was the sacrifice for sin and substitute for the sinner.  He alone was the Perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…” (Hebrews 9:28).  As He died, He cried, “It is finished!”  The last sacrifice for sin was made.  “There is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18).  Many thousands of lambs were offered for past atonement of sin, but when Jesus died, the sacrifices ceased.  Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice for our sin.  In the tomb, He was the substitute for our death, and the resurrection validated Him as the Risen Saviour.  He then ascended to His rightful place in Heaven at the right hand of God.  He sat down and could say, “The will of God has been done! It is finished!”  Because of Easter, all can now be saved.  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).  Jesus alone paid the penalty for Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:22).  His sacrifice restored mankind again to God.

The Sonrise Service – The Day “Him” became “It” and  “It” became “Him”.  Notice in the Gospels, before death, Jesus was referred to as “Him”, they bound Him, led Him, delivered Him, betrayed Him, examined Him, stripped Him, clothed Him, saluted Him, smote Him, worshipped Him, mocked Him, spit upon Him, smote Him, chastised Him, scourged Him, unclothed Him, and crucified Him.  Pilate said, “I will…chastise Him, and release Him.”  They led Him…to crucify Him, followed Him, offered Him vinegar, gave Him to drink, and finally crucified Him.  Before death, He was referred to as “Him.”  After death, His body was referred to as “It”.  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb” (Matthew 27:59-60).  “Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes” (John 19:40).  He “begged the body of Jesus.  And took it down, and wrapped it in linen and laid it in a sepulcher” (Luke 23:52-53).  After death, His body was referred to as “It” not “Him”.  But after the resurrection, “It” (His body) became “Him” again!  The angel said, “He is risen; He is not here…tell Hid disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him (not “It”).  “Tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth…into Galilee: there ye shall see “Him(Mark 16:7).  On Friday, He died; “Him” became “It”.  On Sunday, He arose; “It” became “Him”  After His resurrection (pardon my grammar), “Him” got back to “It” and “It” became “Him” again.  If “Him” had not become “It” and “It” had not become “Him”, our hope and faith would have been in vain.  “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…And if Christ be not raised, your faith in vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:13-17).  No one is saved without the resurrection.  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).  The resurrection validated and confirmed that Jesus Christ is the Risen Saviour, the Son of God.

The resurrection was God’s “Amen” to Christ saying, “It is finished!”  Because He lives, we also shall live! (1 Thessalonians 5:10).

Only Christianity has a Risen Saviour!  “Him” never became “It” again.

He is Risen.  He is Risen indeed! 
"He is not here; for He is risen, as He said." (Matthew 28:6a)

Allah or Jesus?

Penned By:  Rick Mathes
(Executive Director of the Mission Gate Prison Ministry)

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance.

During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths who explained their belief systems.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.

After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers. When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked:
"Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad (Holy war) against the infidels of the world.
And, that by killing an infidel, which is a command to all Muslims, they are assured of a place in heaven.
If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?"
There was no disagreement with my statements and without hesitation he replied,
"Non-believers!"
I responded,
"So, let me make sure I have this straight. 
All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. 
Is that correct?"
The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

He sheepishly replied, "Yes."

I then stated,
"Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Pat Robertson or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!" The Imam was speechless. 
I continued,
"I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me.
Let me ask you a question.
Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?"
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.

Chuck Colson once told me something that has sustained me these 20 years of prison ministry.

He said to me,
"Rick, remember that the truth will prevail." 
And it will! 
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"If God had meant for today to be perfectHe never would have invented tomorrow." (Anonymous)
Philippians 2:5-11 ~ "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

How Do You Know You Are Going To Heaven?

By God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation: What Does It Mean To Be Saved (Born Again)?

"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Hebrews 9:27).

Dear Friend,

God is asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again—which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today.

How?

First, you must realize you are a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. "For the wages (payment) of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell ...."it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27). But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. "...He hath made Him (Jesus, Who knew no sin) to be sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11). "...without shedding of blood there is no remission(forgiveness)" (Hebrews 9:22). "...But commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Although, we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie. "God ... now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: "...'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...'" Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. "But many as received Him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Just take God at His Word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church. no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it.

Just Pray:

Oh, Father in Heaven, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe that His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I believe that apart from Your Son's finished works on the Cross, there is no other way I can go to Heaven except through Him and in Him alone. I now receive Him as my Lord and Personal Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen."

God simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, "Surely, it cannot be that simple." Yes, that simple! It is Scriptural. It is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, I'm encouraging you to read this journal over and over again, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Let God save you this very moment. God's power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian Life. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God's promises. They never change. After you are saved—there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray—you talk to God. Read your Bible—God talks to you. Witness—you talk for God. After you are saved—you should be baptized (by water immersion, a symbolic picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection) in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." (2 Timothy 1:8) ..."Whosoever therefore shall confess (testify of) Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 10:32).