Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Twin Towers

There are two towering philosophies at war in the New Testament.

The first tower is occupied by the Pharisees and by the functional atheists of the day. Like I’ve said before, functional atheists and Pharisees are very similar in many ways.

The first tower looks like this:

. Spiritual self-sufficiency, the creation of one’s own spirituality with it’s own dos and don’ts, it’s own right and wrong. It’s own invented code of morality.

. No acknowledging of one’s own sin

. No mourning and grieving over who one is

. Eschewing meekness and promoting individual strength and self-assertiveness

. No desire for righteousness, rather a longing to acquire the “good” things of the world

. Nothing merciful - demanding punishment for those who do wrong

. The cultivation of impure thoughts and lusts.

. Designing to do away with the worship of Creator God and His Son Jesus

. Attacking, either verbally, socially or physically those who follow Jesus

Perhaps you know someone like this? An atheist or two? A Pharisee perhaps?

The second tower of philosophy looks like this:

. Knowing that one doesn’t have any spiritual resources on one’s own to make one acceptable to God

. Deep sense of sorrow and repentance for the sin that is present in one’s life

. Truly fear God in light of one’s own unworthiness and His holiness

. Deep longing and desire for righteousness and yearn for God’s holiness and love

Because of the above characteristics, this person:
. Bestows mercy and grace on others without question to their spiritual state

. Their thoughts and actions are pure, not scheming on how to get from others in order to satisfy one’s own lusts.

. Eager to spread the message of peace between God and humans through Jesus Christ

The people in the latter tower will be hated and ridiculed by those in the first group.

Jesus condemned those who are determined to live in the first tower and said “Blessed are you,” to those who reside in the second tower.

Jesus said, “See first the kingdom of God (The Second Tower) and everything that you need will be given to you.” Matthew 6:33

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says, If universal common ancestry is true, then all organisms will have one or more traits in common.

This is simply not the case. While it’s true that organisms MIGHT have one or more traits in common, on the theory of evolution there is no logical reason why completely novel organisms could not arise in one or more lineages. In the absence of specification for a mechanism of descent, there is no way to tie the traits of the descendants to those of the common ancestor.

While “common traits” which we see in nature does fit with the theory of a common Creator, common traits are not necessary for the theory of universal common ancestry.

“The belief that evolution predicts biologic universals is one of evolution’s major illusions.” (ReMine, 92.)

On evolution, after life’s origin, nothing prevents life from branching and leading separate lineages that are entirely lacking the known biologic universals. If evolution is true, then distant ancestors and descendants can be totally different. While evolution can accommodate biological universals it never did predict them.

It is only because we see common traits that 1.6% of the population insist that common traits would be predicted by the theory of common ancestry.

Even though these people say that without observation and verification nothing can be believed, and even though common ancestry is not a predictor for the common traits that we see, these people will believe with a deep and fervent faith in common ancestry to their dying day.

That’s just that way these people are. It’s how they think.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The biochemical similarity of living things fits easily within a creation framework. As biochemist Duane Gish explains:

A creationist would also expect many biochemical similarities in all living organisms. We all drink the same water, breathe the same air, and eat the same food. Supposing, on the other hand, God had made plants with a certain type of amino acids, sugars, purines, pyrimidines, etc.; then made animals with a different type of amino acids, sugars, purines, pyrimidines, etc.; and, finally, made man with a third type of amino acids, sugars, etc. What could we eat? We couldn’t eat plants; we couldn’t eat animals; all we could eat would be each other! Obviously, that wouldn’t work. All the key molecules in plants, animals, and man had to be the same. The metabolism of plants, animals, and man, based on the same biochemical principles, had to be similar, and therefore key metabolic pathways would employ similar macromolecules, modified to fit the particular internal environment of the organism or cell in which it must function. (Gish, 277.)

The claim that all organisms have one or more traits in common is true in the sense that all living things necessarily have the traits by which life is defined, but that is simply a tautology — living things all have the traits of living things.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that a fossil record of fully formed creatures that appear suddenly, do not change and disappear suddenly is evidence of macro evolution.

These people have to maintain this implausible position not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world view will collapse.

That’s what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My 5-Year-Old Tops Barney

The Setting: I’ve just gotten out of the shower. My 5-year-old is lying on my bed watching the kid’s show “Barney the purple Dinosaur.”

I hear Barney say, “And remember, I love you.”

She must have thought about this on previous occasions because without a second’s hesitation my little girl says to Barney, “But you don’t even know me!”


A little kid with a discernment regarding love that eludes many adults. It’s certainly a maturity of understanding regarding love that the creators of Barney don’t have.

Real love is not a feeling.
Real love is a choice.
Real love is a choice based on knowledge.

For example, my wife knows the absolute worst about me and has still chosen to treat me with love.

Knowing the absolute worst about YOU, God has chosen to love you so much that He died for you so that you might live forever in eternal paradise with Him.

My 5-year-old understands love.

Do you?

P.S. For what it’s worth, this is the same kid that when she was just barely three, I’d just put her down for a nap. As I was closing the door to the room I heard her say to no one in particular “God loves me, Jesus loves me, mommy loves me, daddy loves me. EDDY BUDDY LOVES ME!”

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that the Bible can’t be trusted in what it says.

Example: Atheists used to say that land of Ophir did not exist.

Why would they say this? Well, according to atheists, if any historical document has been included into the Bible it should automatically be considered a lie or legend or myth.

The Bible speaks of Almug trees (sandalwood), precious stones, gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.' [1 Kings 10v11-12] being brought to Solomon’s court from Ophir. Ophir must have been a considerable journey away from Solomon's port at Ezion-geber on the Gulf of Aqaba (near today's Eilat), for the return journey seems to have taken `three years' [1 Kings 10v11-12] to complete. The quantities of gold from Ophir imported into Judah were sizeable - "and they came to Ophir and fetched from hence gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver to overlay the walls of the houses...." [ 1 Kings 9.28; 1 Chronicles 29.4]

While the Bible wrote of this as though it was historical fact, all this was scoffed at by atheists for the reason described above.

Then was found, 'Gold from Ophir for Beth-horon 30 Shekels' an inscription on a potsherd that was found at Tell Qasileh (near Tel Aviv).

Once again, atheists are proven wrong and the Bible is shown to be historically correct.

Will this and several dozen similar examples put an end to these people’s claim that the Bible can’t be trusted. Of course not.

This 1.6% of the population still maintains their position that the Bible is a useless bronze age rag, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.

This is what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Atheists Killing Christians

Catchy title, don’t you think?

Killing Christians has always been a popular atheist past-time - 100 million in the 20th century alone. This story however falls more along the lines of, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," Regarding Christianity, atheists and Muslims are much closer in ideology that either of them would like to admit.

Atheists across America and on FaceBook have called for the drawing of Mohammad - especially on the ground as that is particularly offensive to Muslims.

Good atheists love to be as offensive as possible. They call it comedy.

Anyhow, this action of atheists in North America is resulting in the death of Christians in India.


Because Muslims in India see anything that takes place in North America (apparently even if it’s done by atheists who share with Muslims a virulent hatred of Christians) as taking place in a Christian nation.

For atheists, this is the best of both worlds. Christians get eliminated and someone else takes the heat.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that it isn’t improbable at all that digitally encoded and specifically sequenced instructions in DNA arose unaided out of inorganic gases.

Even though encoded information is worthless without a system that can process the information.

Even though the cell’s information-processing system "evolved" separately from the DNA information system.

These people say, “It was bound to happen in some universe. We’re just really lucky that it happened in ours.”

These people believe this is what happened and they believe it with as great a faith as anything found in any fundamentalist Christian. They must have this depth of faith or their belief system will collapse.

That’s what these people are like. It’s how they think.

I for one could never summon enough faith to be an atheist.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

That’s Not The Point

It’s not uncommon for those who aren’t Christians to vehemently protest that Ghandi should be allowed to spend eternity in heaven. They say that it’s profoundly unfair that such a good man would be banished from God’s presence just because he didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about.

First of all Gandhi knew everything that anyone needs to know about Jesus and rejected everything that he needed to accept. Like every single atheist who blogs, Gandhi could not plead ignorance. Gandhi absolutely understood the concept of grace and rejected it. He, like most everyone else rested his chance for salvation upon being good enough.

On the other hand, I doubt that Gandhi was so stupid as to believe, to actually believe that one day he will stand before the Creator of the Universe and tell Him that He did it all wrong. Neither Gandhi nor anyone else will stand before their Creator and try to justify their denial and rejection of the offer of forgiveness.

“One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus the Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings. And those who denied Jesus will be cast into utter darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” There won't be any debating. There won't be any pointing out to their Creator, "Don't you know that I'm a Bright?"

There are fools who think that they will appeal to their Creator and explain their rejection of His offer of salvation. However:

. It does no good when you’re penalised in hockey to tell the ref how good you are in bowling.

It does no good when someone says you aren’t doing the right thing in Poker to refer to some rule in Bridge that you do keep.

You can tell the cop that you’ve never run a red light in your whole life but that has no bearing on you being impaired while driving now.

You need to compete according to the rules of the game that you’re playing, not according to some other game. You might plan on telling your Creator what a good person you are, but according to Jesus being good is a non issue. “No one is good. All have sinned and fall short of God’s expectations for us.” Forgiveness is the issue and pretending it’s otherwise makes no sense. This is not a difficult concept. You either play by the rules of the game or you get disqualified.

Gandhi might have been a good person in your eyes (I’m sure his wife did not appreciate his adulteries and lies but that’s another story) but according to Jesus, being better than someone in this or that behaviour has nothing to do with anything regarding where you will spend eternity. You can never be good enough to be good enough for heaven because the only acceptable standard is perfection.

The only thing that matters is what Jesus taught about salvation. The means of receiving salvation and forgiveness for your sins is laid out so very clearly that no one is capable of misunderstanding. If you’re going to talk about heaven, then you need to discuss it from the point of view of Him who came from heaven to show you the way home.

If you’re going to reject what Jesus taught, you’d better be damn sure that Jesus wasn’t who He said He is. You need to be certain not beyond a reasonable doubt but beyond all doubt. Jesus can and will bring you to that point, but you have to ask. That's the point. You have to ask. Only pride and arrogance can keep you from missing the point.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that the Bible can’t be trusted in what it says.

Example: Atheists used to say that the Biblical account of Nebuchadnezzar’s attack on Jerusalem in 586 BC never happened. These people said that because until recently, the only known description of this attack was written in the Bible.

According to atheists, if any historical document has been included into the Bible it should automatically be considered a lie or legend or myth.

Then, what is now known as The Lachish Letters, were discovered 24 miles north of Beersheba. This find described the attack exactly as described in the Bible.

Once again, the atheists are wrong and the Bible is correct.

Will this and several dozen similar examples put an end to these people’s claim that the Bible can’t be trusted? Of course not. Even though these people say that without observation and verification nothing can be believed this 1.6% of the population still maintains their implausible position, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.

This is what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reply to Gandolf

I'd told Gandolf that it was a dangerous thing to focus on those of us who live out our faith poorly and use that as an excuse to ignore what Jesus is saying to HIM.

He then went off on another tangent about being threatened with eternity and how atheism would never do such a horrible thing.

My reply:

So, rather than seeing Jesus' words to YOU as a warning, you see them as a threat? I wonder why? When I tell my kids about playing in the street, is that a threat or a warning? When I tell my kids about smoking, is that a threat or a warning? When I tell my kids about STD's, is that a threat or a warning? When I tell my kids about good and bad touching, is that a threat or a warning? When Jesus tells you about how He came to rescue you from eternal separation from God and how to access that rescue, you see that as a threat instead of a warning. Why is that?

Now, as to the beauty of those who think we should all reject faith.

People who aggressively eschewed faith killed almost 100 million people in the twentieth century. Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Honecker, Castro, Ho, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Kim, Ceausescu and virtually every atheist that blogs about religion says that the world would be a better place if Christianity was made a thing of the past. The point of their agendas is, ‘Religion is harmful. Get rid of it and everything will begin to move toward civil society.’ Marx and Engels put it bluntly, “Abolish all religion and all morality.”

The fallacy in the belief that peace will reign if religion is dismantled is seen in the fact that in the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the October Revolution, the Russian Civil War, the Sino-Indian War, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, the Chinese Civil War and other conflicts around the globe, both past and present, religion is nowhere to be seen while atheism is front and centre. Richard Dawkins simply cannot bring himself to admit that atheism was the driving force from which atheists, directing governments made up exclusively of atheists was obsessed with spreading anti-God propaganda, and specialized in the murder of millions of believers. Soviet rulers, people who thought that humans without faith were more peaceful than people of faith systematically and efficiently destroyed the majority of churches and killed the majority of religious leaders during a period from 1918 - 1941.

Does this somehow absolve Christians and other religious people from the evil that has been perpetrated in the name of that religion? Not at all. That is simply the other side of the human coin.

ALL of us have sinned and fall short of God’s expectations for us. There is a price to be paid for that sin, that evil that resides within us. Jesus said, not “Mak” (it’s not my faith) but Jesus said that you can either let Him pay that penalty or YOU will suffer the consequences.

Trying to draw attention away from this fact by saying you don’t agree with how the universe was arranged will not help you avoid the reality of the fact that a decision has to be made. Jesus is warning you, Gandolf. Why reject that warning?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good Without God

That was a portion of the title of an atheist book. The obvious question becomes, if you CAN be good without God, then why aren’t you?

Of course, from a Christian perspective, from an eternal perspective, the question is not one of goodness but of being forgiven. Nevertheless, the most recent example that atheists can't be good is 10's of thousands of them drawing pictures of Mohammed, on the ground no less on Draw Mo Day.

Now, I’m no fan of Islam, it’s about on par with atheism for the value it holds for humans. On the other hand, to deliberately provoke a couple billion people by placing their most revered symbol, ON THE GROUND, which in their belief system is the greatest affront possible is a long, long way from good.

The fact is, atheists don’t even live up to their own moral standards. They find themselves telling “big” lies when they told themselves that only “little” lies were ok. They find themselves flat out fantasising about someone else’s spouse when they’d told themselves only a little lust was fine.

In order to see themselves as good, atheists move the goal posts and "Ta Da! I'm a good person."

The definition of whatever behaviour or thought they can’t say no to, is simply changed from bad to good. Porn is good, lust is good, objectifying women while jerking off is good. "Since that stuff is no longer wrong, I'm now a good person."

A second step in order to see themselves as good is either to flat out lie to themselves or “comparing down.” Atheists compare down to those who do worse things than they do. This is of course just a different form of lying to self. Yet this is the standard for those who say they don’t need God in order to be good. "See, I'm not as bad as he is, therefore I'm a good person."

One of the things that appealed to me most about Christianity was that it completely does away with this delusion of goodness. “No one is good. All have sinned and fall short of God’s standard for us."

Atheists, as a group, as no worse than anyone else. But neither are they any better. Their belief that they are morally and intellectually superior to others is proof that they cannot be good, with or without God.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that since they a priori reject anything other than naturalism, it doesn’t matter if there is a lot of evidential support or absolutely no evidential support for what they believe. The conclusion will be the same, i.e. - Naturalism is how LIFE came from inanimate and inorganic gases and that’s all there is to it.

From time to time, someone in this subset says something like, “When it comes to how specified, formulated, coded instructions (1,000 volumes worth) came to be in the first replicating cell, the answer is, “I don’t know.””

That sounds like honesty but at best, this is only a half-truth. What these people really mean is, “I don’t know the details of how this vast quantity of information came to be in place by natural means, but by natural means and natural means ONLY it most surely came about.”

There isn’t anything, nor has there ever been anything but intelligence responsible for the production and design of specified, complex, formulated coded information. Nevertheless, this 1.6% of the population says that the first replicating cell is the lone exception to this rule. These people weren’t there to see it, but they know that’s how it happened. It’s what their faith system requires.

Even though these people say that without observation and verification nothing can be believed, believe they do, with faith every bit as fervent and devout as any evangelical Christian.

These people must maintain this implausible position or their belief system will collapse.

This is what they’re like. It’s how they think.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tel Magiddo

Yesterday I did a post about Har Magiddo. Jesus grew up at the place that is proverbial for the battle between good and evil.

Tel Magiddo - down, down and down archaeologists have dug until they found this.

“They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire.” Jeremiah 7

“The people of Israel have provoked Me by all the evil they have done. They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears My name. They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters.” Jeremiah 32

“You took your sons and daughters whom you bore to Me and sacrificed them to idols.” Ezek. 16

Tel Magiddo - Har Magiddo - Armageddon - The Battle between good and evil.

People - very spiritual people worshipped the fertility god Baal and his wife Ashera. In the spring these people would gather at the high places where the priests and priestesses of these gods would go onto the high place or alter. There they would have ceremonial sex in full view of the worshippers gathered. They would do this in an attempt to induce Baal and Ashera to also have sex and bring about fertility for the people’s crops. After the priest and priestess had done their thing, people would bring their infant children. On the alter was an oven in the shape of the idol Baal. The idol and his outstretched arms were heated red hot. After having engaged in sexual intercourse before the people, the priest and priestess would take these infants and place them - alive - on / in this red hot oven to be sacrificed. When the children had been burned alive, the male worshippers would engage in sex with the temple prostitutes. These prostitutes, at one point, numbered ten thousand.

Har Magiddo - The site of the battle between good and evil. A place where life and sexuality were both defiled.

Har Magiddo - The site where people sacrificed the lives of their children in the pursuit of financial gain and ease of living.

Har Magiddo - A place where a burial ground covering an area of 60,000 square feet, filled to the brim with the burned remains of children - children sacrificed to the god of financial wealth.

Har Magiddo - The site of unspeakable evil hidden under the Tel or Hill over which many generations have built and rebuilt, each generation as corrupt as the one before.

Tel Magiddo - What’s buried in your heart? Are your children sacrificed for the pursuit of wealth?

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that the Bible can’t be trusted in what it says.

Example: Atheists used to say that any and all of the kings mentioned in the bible were non historic. They denied any part of 1st and 2nd King as being historically accurate.

Why would they make such a statement? Well, according to atheists, if any historical document has been included into the Bible it should automatically be considered a lie or legend or myth.

Then at Tel Dan in upper Galilee in Northern Israel inscriptions on basalt stone were uncovered. They were part of the paving near the entrance of the outer gate of the ancient city of Dan. This Aramean victory stela could well have been destroyed by the Jews (2 Kings 15.29 2. 1 Kings 22.10 3. 1 Kings 15.16-20) and its fragments used in the construction of the area surrounding the entrance gate to the city.

At any rate, the inscription was the first reference found outside the Bible to 'The House of David.' The conquests recorded on the stones are related to the events written in the first book of Kings, where Asa, king of Judah, bribed king Ben- hadad to go to war with Baasha king of Israel 1 Kings 15v16-20] When Israel recaptured the city of Dan, after Ahab king of Israel's defeat by Ben-Hadad as described in 1 Kings 20. Since then, all of the Kings listed in the Bible have been confirmed as historical figures by extra Biblical inscriptions.

Will this and several dozen similar examples put an end to these people’s claim that the Bible can’t be trusted? Of course not. This 1.6% of the population still maintains their implausible position that what the Bible says cannot be trusted, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.

This is what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Har Magiddo

Does that name mean anything to you?

It doesn’t?

Isn’t that odd.

Seriously, it’s where Jesus grew up.

So what?

Well Har Magiddo means The Hill Magiddo, or Mount Magiddo.

Still nothing?

The hill Magiddo overlooks the plain, the passage way, the main route through from Assyria to Egypt. It’s said that more battles have taken place on this plain than anywhere else in the world.

The country that controls that route has historically controlled the world.

Har Magiddo.



How about Armageddon? It's Greek for Har Magiddo.

Ok. So now we’re getting somewhere.

Jesus grew up at Har Magiddo
Jesus grew up where the final battle between good and evil is said to take place.

The battle between good and evil.


That’s where He grew up.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Response to Hugo

In a post that I did a couple days ago, I told about an atheist archaeologist converting to Christianity. This conversion took place after he had set out to disprove the book of Acts - -

I asked people to think about what might have been the deciding factor in this man’s conversion. Hugo gave me an answer that I guess he thought was suitably ludicrous for an atheist. For when I didn’t immediately respond to his comment Hugo said, "You cannot possibly agree with the way I reasoned about him.”

Well, my response to it now is, Even an atheist can stumble onto the truth without knowing it.

You and I and everyone else have been in a similar situation to the former atheist archaeologist Ramsey. Evidence equal in quantity and quality has been placed before us.

You, Hugo, and others like you look at the evidence and see nothing of import.

I and Ramsey and others look at the same evidence and something dramatic happens. The "something dramatic" has happened TO us, not because of us.

It wasn't what Ramsey did that brought about the change. In fact Ramsey's desired outcome was exactly the opposite of what came about. "It does not depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." Romans 9:16

The difference is exactly as you stated, Hugo. God intervened.

In Genesis 21 there is an account of Hagar being sent away with her son Ishmael. She and the boy are near death from lack of water.

Verse 19, “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”

Nothing new had been created. She did nothing physical or intelligent to acquire the water. All she did was sit there and call out to her Creator.

The well had been there the whole time.

As happened to the archaeologist Ramsey and me and a couple billion other people, God opened Hagar’s eyes.

The evidence for God’s existence has been right in front of all of us for 14 billion years. In fact, humans have come on the scene at the only time in history (in a cosmological sense of timing) to be able see almost all the way back to the beginning. No one is without excuse when it comes to denying the existence of Creator God. Yet, atheists look straight into this evidence and see nothing.

In fact atheists say, "What evidence?" Many of them are flat out serious.

They can be staring straight at everything they need for life and salvation and see nothing. They are spiritually blind, as well as theologically dull of mind and slow of thought. The blindness however is of their own doing, their own making, their own desire. It is a self-willed blindness. A self-willed inability to think and discern.

God has known from before the founding of the universe who would and who would not accept His offer of forgiveness. For those who will accept, God uses all manner of circumstance to move them toward the day of salvation. As with the archaeologist Ramsey, God will even use their determination to demolish the truth of the Bible as a means of bringing them to salvation.

For those who will not accept His offer of forgiveness, God uses all manner of circumstance to move them farther and farther along the road to their desire to be eternally separated from Him. God will even use an atheists reading of the Bible itself to foster in these people a disbelief that they cannot overcome.

As Pascal once said, “God has given us just enough evidence so that those who are looking for Him will be able to find Him. And He has given us just enough evidence so that those who do not want to find Him will not be able to find Him accidentally.”

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says, “The Bible tells us to not judge other people so you can’t tell anyone that they’re wrong.”

The Bible does not say that. It clearly means, “Don’t judge hypocritically.” Eg. Matt. 7:1-2 - ‘Take the plank out of your own eye so that you will be able to judge correctly.’

1 Thess. 5:21 tells us to test everything and not believe every spirit - That is judging.

This population will listen to that and then say, “But the Bible tell us not to judge other people so you can’t tell anyone that they’re wrong.”

These people have to maintain their highly implausible position. not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world view will collapse.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo Shop Jesus?

“If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn't gladly and freely do for us?” Romans 8:32

Jesus experiencing absolute death (not the “sleep” that we will experience but absolute abandonment, undiluted rejection, complete separation from God the Father) is a way of God asking us,

“What more could I have done to prove My love for you?”

We who believe look at the cross and see God’s love for us. We can do this pretty good until the distraction comes. A child dies, the shadow shows up on the x ray, the Plant closes and the bank forecloses.

When these things occur it’s easy to take our eyes off the cross and stare at the difficulty. That’s when it’s important to move the picture.

Like photo shopping, we need to swing the picture around so that we cannot see the difficulty without also seeing the cross in the background.

Circumstances do not determine the degree of love that God expresses to you.

Feelings do not determine the degree of love that God expresses to you.

The cross is the picture that must be used when doubts arise about God’s love for you.

All the rest of life needs to be evaluated in light of Creator God’s love for you.

Never let anything or anyone take away the picture of the cross from your line of sight.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that the Bible can’t be trusted in what it says. A couple even say that “evidence” actually turned them from Christianity. This of course is simply not possible. Either their claims of examining evidence are severely understated, or they’re simply lying.

Example: Determined to undermine the historical accuracy of the Bible, William M. Ramsay, a professor at Oxford studied archaeology with the aim of disproving the Bible. Once ready with the necessary scientific tools and learning, he travelled to Palestine and focussed on the book of Acts, which he fully expected to refute as nothing more than myth. After a quarter-century of work, Ramsay was awestruck by the accuracy of the book of Acts. In his quest to refute the Bible, Ramsay discovered fact after fact after fact which confirmed Its accuracy. He had to concede that Luke's account of the events and setting recorded in the narrative were exact even in the smallest detail. As an example see:

Far from attacking the biblical account, Ramsay produced a book, "St. Paul, the Traveller and Roman Citizen," which supported it. Eventually, William Ramsay shook the intellectual world by writing that he had converted to Christianity.

Ironically, this man who set out to refute the Bible, found himself accepting the Bible as God's Word because of his explorations and discoveries. For his contribution to Biblical knowledge with his many books, he was knighted also.

Despite numerous examples of this type, this 1.6% of the population maintains their implausible position, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.

It's what these people are like. It's how they think.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And We Are All Together

Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I Am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:24

The question becomes obvious, “Who did Jesus say that He is?”

Just ask the Pharisees. They knew exactly who Jesus said He was and the crime for that is called blasphemy. The evidence was Jesus claiming to do those things that only God can do - forgiving sins being the most important of them all.

“The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”" Luke 5:20-22

"We are not stoning you for any of these, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." John 10:33 -

"Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does." John 10:37 -

"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered. - Matt 26:64-66

Jesus told people in no uncertain terms that He was not just a Rabbi, not just a prophet but God incarnate. On numerous occasions Jesus equated Himself with Father God. When He was accused of working on the Sabbath (John 5:17) Jesus said, (supported by Ps 121:4 and Isaiah 27:3) that God works 24/7 and He, Jesus, is God who is Lord of the Sabbath. The Pharisees got the message loud and clear. He didn’t just break the Sabbath, Jesus called God His Father, making Himself equal with God vs. 18. Jesus had, in fact, been calling Creator God His Father since the age of 12 (Luke 2:49). The next time that it was recorded was when He said, “My Father’s house is to be a house of prayer.” In John 5:19 to the end, Jesus claimed equality with Creator God:

in person,

in His works,

in His knowledge,

in His sovereignty over life and death,

in His judgment of sin and forgiveness,

in His self-existence,

in His deserving of honour as God is deserving to be honoured,

in His knowing and doing God’s perfect will, and

Jesus said that Creator God’s whole purpose was to bring glory to Jesus and Jesus whole purpose was to bring glory to God.

Jesus was emphatic that, “If you have seen Me, you have seen God.”

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matt.7:21

"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. Matt. 10:32

"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matt. 11:27

"You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." John 8:20

"My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me." John 8:54

"Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:37,38

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that the Bible can’t be trusted in what it says.

Example: Sceptics (read atheists) used to say that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and perhaps even Moses were simply imaginary creations.

Since then archeology has confirmed the place of these individuals in history. Does this matter to this portion of the population? Not a chance.

This 1.6% of the population still maintains their implausible position, not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.

This is what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So You Want To Obey?

I hear that a lot. “I find it so hard to obey God. I’m so prone to wander. I want to learn to obey Jesus.”

As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for.

“Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.”

We are told in the Bible “Jesus was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief and suffering.”

These are familiar words, but to what exactly are they referring? Some say that what
Jesus suffered was what He experienced on the cross. Certainly Jesus was obedient “even unto death on the cross.” However you don’t bench press 100kgs. before you’ve first learned to lift 50kgs. Jesus had obviously learned obedience in lighter issues long, long before He lifted His cross. Just a few of the many examples:

. He was born, on purpose, into grinding poverty and purposely remained there throughout His life on earth.

. He was born into a race of people that is almost universally hated.

. He later experienced the hatred of people from His own race.

. He experienced undiluted rejection by those closest to Him - His own family

. He experienced at a young age the death of someone close - His Dad

. He will have born the weight of responsibility - Oldest Son

. He was misunderstood by literally everyone, including his closest friends and students.

Certainly Jesus knew suffering but what can His followers learn from Him about suffering?

“I want to know Jesus, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering.”

This statement of Paul’s from Philippians 3 indicates the change in attitude that comes to a person who is in an intimate healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus. Listen to this!

“That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2nd Corinthians 12:10.

Most people spend their whole lives avoiding suffering. When you have experienced the presence of Jesus IN your suffering, difficulty becomes something that almost draws a person. We certainly no longer have to run from it.

“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 2:2- 4.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2 - 4.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” 2nd Peter 1:5 - 7.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16 - 18

“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” 2nd Timothy 1:12

“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1st Peter 2:21

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1st Peter 5:1

Jesus came to earth, in part, to give us options; options in how we deal with others, options in how we respond to others. Regardless of what happens to us, we are safe in the arms of a loving, merciful, kind and generous Creator. He wants to grow us into kingdom people; people who are ready to reign with Him in eternity. It is a simple fact of life that we cannot become the kind of people He wants us to become in the absence of suffering and difficulty. Life as we experience it is no accident.

Once we accept the fact that we chose this kind of world with all it’s suffering simply because it doesn’t include God as our Lord, then we can also accept that God has taken the kind of world that we’ve created, a world with suffering and tragedy and He uses it for His own purpose.

He uses it for our good, His glory and the furthering of His kingdom.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that it’s possible to call themselves scientifically minded while maintaining that it’s absolutely impossible that any intelligence of any kind existed prior to biological life on earth?

That’s what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sucking up won’t help.

A Pharisee named Nicodemus seemed intrigued by the moxy that Jesus showed the first time He cleared the money changers out of the Temple. When he heard Jesus refer to the Temple as “MY Fathers’s house,” questions arose in Nic’s mind that needed to be resolved.

Of course Nicodemus was no fool. He knew the power that his brother Pharisees held. He could get into a lot of trouble just for appearing to be taking sides with Jesus. Regardless, Nic wanted to talk to Jesus to find out what made Him tick, so he went to where Jesus was staying under the cover of darkness. When Jesus opened the door and invited Nic inside, the Pharisee greeted Jesus with,


Wow! That’s no small thing that just happened. Nic, who was himself a Rabbi, was referring to Jesus as an equal. For a Pharisee, that was huge. After they were seated by the fire and Jesus had filled their glasses with the best wine in the house, Nic began, “We know (he’s been talking about Jesus with other Pharisees) that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Nicodemus knew how to work the public. First addressing Jesus as an equal (if Nic only knew who he was talking to), now this compliment about coming from God. He did his best to get Jesus in the mood for talking about Himself. And Jesus reaction?

“Dude, you are so spiritually blind you wouldn’t know someone sent from God if he walked up to you and kicked you in the butt.” That’s my paraphrase but Jesus really was that blunt with Nic. But here’s the thing. Nic didn’t get up and leave. He continued to show Jesus respect. He even tried to find out what Jesus meant by, “No one can see the kingdom of God (You’re so spiritually blind) unless he is born again.” Here was a religious LEADER in the community and Jesus told him that he’s not even in the spiritual starting gate.

That’s the thing about Jesus. Out of love, He tells us what we need to hear. And when the Holy Spirit is doing the leading, we stick around to find out what Jesus has to say about our spiritual condition.

This was a big deal for Nicodemus to hear. He and the other Pharisees, more than the average person on the street, really believed that being good and keeping all the rules would cause them to find favour with God. To be told to throw out any such notion, to be told that everything that you’ve worked for is rubbish (Philippians 3:7-11) and that you need to start again (born again) would have been quite a shock. Yet, Nic stuck around to hear more.

The pattern of Jesus ministry, at least regarding the corrupt religious system (and it’s always corrupt to varying degrees) is flat out confrontation. This encounter with the Nicodemus is the only semi friendly dealing that Jesus had with any Pharisee. And even this one begins and ends with Jesus challenging and pushing the religious teacher relentlessly toward a recognition of the lost spiritual state in which he lives. And Nic listened.

That’s what happens when the Holy Spirit comes calling. The blunt force truth quickens your soul. You realise that you are in the presence of Truth and it instills in you the desire to ask, so that you can find out more. It causes you to knock so that more is opened up to you. You begin to seek so that the location of the treasure can be made known to you.

Sucking up won’t do. Pretending that you’re good enough won’t do. We come to God empty handed, with nothing of value to offer, and He, at His own discretion brings us on a journey the quality of which we’d never dreamed possible.

We see Nicodemus only two more times in the Gospels. The next time is when he is defending Jesus to the rest of the Sanhedrin who were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus. When Nic said, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?” (John 7:50, 51), they turned on Nicodemus as well. The last time we hear about Nicodemus, he and the only other Pharisee that we know of who were secret followers of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea were preparing Jesus’ body for burial. The courage, through the Holy Spirit, that would later indwell the disciples was with these two Pharisees on the evening of His death.

They were no longing sucking up to their Saviour. They were serving Him.

Atheists and Circular Reasoning

The more atheists try to prove that Intelligence has nothing to do with the rise of life, the more they show that Intelligence was absolutely required.

. Laws of nature (or biochemistry), which denote regular patterns, produce the opposite of specified complexity.

. The Chance hypothesis fails because there is simply not enough time nor resources in the whole universe since BB to have brought about the known outcome - specified complexity.

. DNA and RNA first scenarios don’t produce specified complexity.

Every model either presupposes specified complexity without explaining its origin, or simply moves the problem to another area without explaining its origin. Either way, the origin of specified complexity is ignored, sidestepped or purposely avoided - for good reason. Atheists know that to date, none of their hypothesis provides the Best Evidence for what we observe.

And then Hugo gives me examples of how scientists have shown how RNA replicates.

Good grief man! Each and every decision that the scientist makes is an Intelligent Design decision to either remove one by-product and not another or to empower one compound and not another. Each of these actions puts into the system huge amounts of specific information. Any success that these experiments may have, have been achieved by Intelligent deliberate and conscious actions of an Intelligent Mind.

The experiments themselves are clearly NOT simulations of actual events and are instead a clear indication of an Intelligent Agent working to bring about a desired outcome.

Computer Based Algorithms are probably the clearest case of Intelligent input. None of the experiments to date would have been possible without functional information being put into the system, information that simply would not have been there in the conditions atheists tell us existed at the primordial earth. Computer programs to simulate natural selection all have a target selection programmed in. There was / IS no such foresight in nature.

“Target selection” does not simulate natural processes.

Rather, it highlights the Intellectual powers of the computer programmers. Every computer algorithm is a testament to Intelligent Design.

Hugo specifically mentioned ribosyme replication.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones who enable self-replication to proceed.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones who select molecules that have a slightly enhanced ligase capacity.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones that preserve the optimal molecules.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones that enrich the molecules by repeated selection and amplification.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones who intervene before any of the other ways that polymerases perform.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones who anticipate the future function in a way that is not possible in nature.

. Intelligent Designers are the ones who choose RNA sequences knowing beforehand the required condition to bring about self-replication.

And then they say, "Look! Life could have arisen by natural means."

That is the atheist influence on science. True science, pure science, science uncontaminated by atheist bias could never make such a statement. Under the bigoted drive to eliminate Creator God, that is the only statement that is allowed.

I find that profoundly sad.

None of this foresight is present in nature.

Yet, this is what atheists are like. This is how they think.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says, . . . .

. Replication happens only AFTER specified complexity is in place.

. Specified complexity, as we know from uniform experience only appears in the presence of or at the direction of Intelligence that has designed that complexity, OR in DNA, RNA, and Proteins.

. We have every reason to reject protein-first theories, DNA-first theories, RNA-first theories, none of these are able to explain the origin of the information that is needed for living cells to emerge and evolve.

. No living molecule is self-reproducing. Not only is DNA incapable of making copies of itself, but it is incapable of “making” anything else. The proteins of the cell are made from other proteins, and without that protein-forming machinery nothing can be made.

. If all of these systems evolved, then proteins with a decoding ability evolved before the protein with the decoding system itself evolved.

. The synthesis of proteins requires a tightly integrated sequence of reactions, most of which are themselves performed by the synthesis of proteins.”

. The (DNA) code is meaningless unless translated. The modern cell’s translating machinery consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are THEMSELVES coded in DNA: the code cannot be translated other than by products of translation.

. If proteins must have arisen first then how did they do so, since all extant cells construct proteins from assembly instructions in DNA. How did either arise without the other?

Oh, my bad. This 1.6% of the population doesn’t say this, nor do they even ask about this. In fact, this 1.6% of the population tries to not even think about this because if they did they have to give up all hope of believing that time plus chance brought about the arrival of life from non life.
Even though these people say that without observation and verification nothing can be believed, these people must maintain their hopelessly ignorant position or their belief system will collapse.

This is the way these people are. It’s how they think.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don’t You Think He Would Have?

He was despised and rejected
He was wounded and bruised
He was oppressed and afflicted
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter
He was cut off from the land of the living
He was a man of sorrows, well acquainted with suffering
He was beaten to the point that He was unrecognisable. (Isaiah 53:3-8)

My kids are different. They’re brain damaged and their behaviours are not always socially appropriate. They will never be on the “A List.”
My kids sometimes get teased.
My kids sometimes get picked on.
They sometimes get punched and taunted.

I want to hurt and mangle and rip and tear apart those who hurt my kids.

Instead I sit with a bursting heart and wonder at a cruelty of our world.

Atheists mock the brutality of what was done to Jesus the Christ. They mock their Creator and say that He could have done it differently. In their ignorance atheists say, “Well, why didn’t He just create a different kind of universe?”

The greatest possibility in the whole universe is Love closely followed by the freedom to choose. Because of His inherent love, God created beings who could also experience the best thing ever.

To achieve that goal God stood back and watched you nail His Son to the cross. He watched you exercise your right to choose and turn your back on love.

What do you think that was like for Him to watch His perfectly innocent, holy, pure and loving Son endure the fallout of our sinfulness?

What do you think that was like for Him to watch us reject the good that He had created and choose the destruction of ourselves and our planet instead?

If the goal of saving your soul could have been done in a different manner, don’t you think God would have done it differently?

The fact is, God couldn’t have done it differently. Jesus pointed out to His disciples “that He MUST (not could, would, or might, but MUST) go to Jerusalem and suffer many things and be killed and be raised on the third day.”

We don’t understand the reality of sin; a reality that brings death, the death of an unblemished sacrifice, the Lamb of God. When he first saw Jesus, John the Baptiser said, “Look, the Lamb of God who has come to take away the sins of the world.” For those steeped in a sacrificial system, these were deep and profound words. The night of the Passover in Egypt was played out again at the Passover Remembrance Celebration when God's Son was sacrificed so that we might live. Jesus came not to destroy evil (in some sense that I don’t understand evil must exist) but to defeat evil. That defeat cost the death of God the Son, as a sacrifice for our sins.

If the goal of saving your soul could have been done in a different manner, don’t you think God would have done it differently?

If I was God, and someone did to my Son, what you and I did to Jesus, heads would roll. Yet, all God wants from you is to apologise. “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand what I was doing. I really didn’t. Please forgive me!” All He wants from you is to acknowledge that what He did, He had to do in order to give you the opportunity for forgiveness.

That’s all He wants but some people would rather pretend that it didn’t happen. And if it did happen, they say, it wasn’t that big a deal.

The Lord of lords, the King of kings, the Creator of the universe stepped down from His throne and out of pure love came to earth to dwell among us. Out of love He came into our lives knowing in advance that He would be abused, misunderstood, mistreated, rejected, insulted, betrayed and ultimately have humanity do our absolute worst to Him. Yet He entered into a covenant relationship with us anyway because He loves us.

If the goal of saving your soul could have been done in a different manner, don’t you think God would have done it differently?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

God Can’t Do That!

I’d said on a post a couple days ago that “God cannot contradict His own character.” Some atheist jumped all over that with, “Oh really! Are there other things that God can’t do? I thought He was all powerful. I guess not.”

That’s what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Atheists ask, “Could God create a rock so heavy that He couldn’t lift it?” and they believe - they REALLY BELIEVE - that makes them sound clever. It’s kind of like when they ask, “Oh ya! Well when did eternal God begin to exist? Huh? Huh? Who created this eternal God of yours? Huh?” Again, these type of questions are asked with an air of, “I’m a Bright and you’re not!”

In their ignorance of all things theological, atheists have assumed that if God exists, and if He’s Omnipotent then He can do anything. Sorry, no. The Omnipotence of God does not imply that He can do anything.

The Omnipotence of God DOES mean that He can do anything that can be done.

Apart from the fact that God created the entire physical Universe out of nothing, even though He is Immaterial / Spirit and transcendent to the Universe, the questions that atheists ask in this regard are conceptual absurdities. Other examples of this type of question are,
“Can God create a round square?” Or,
“Can God create a four-sided triangle?”

No, He can’t - but not because He's isn't Omnipotent.

The reason that God cannot do these things is because,

“These kinds of things cannot be done - PERIOD!”

God IS infinite in power, but power only relates to what can be done, NOT to what is impossible! It is absurd to say that any power, even infinite power should be able to do what can’t be done. It should not surprise us when these kind of people ask these kind of questions because these kind of people adhere to a belief system that is itself absurd, illogical and incoherent.

While God can do whatever is possible to be done, in reality, He will do only what does not contradict His character. (Yesterday I’d used the term “contradict His nature,” and an atheist said, “Oh so you’re saying that God is natural therefore matter HAS always existed.” Again with atheist thinking).

What I meant when I said that God cannot contradict His own character is:
A Being who IS Love and who IS Just cannot act in a non loving or unjust manner.
A Being who is the epitome of honesty cannot lie.
God who is the very definition of Love, cannot create beings with the ability to express this type of real love without also giving them the freewill choice to NOT love.

Atheists say this shows that God is not all powerful. They are, once again, wrong. With only a small amount of consideration the average person can see that:

. There are many things that are possible, that you and I cannot do.
. There aren’t ANY things that are possible, that God CAN’T do.

That’s what being Omnipotent means.

Atheists will probably NEVER be able to grasp that concept.

They get insulted when I say that it’s because they’re dull of mind and slow of thought but what other reason is there? I suppose philosophically bigoted would fit.

The fact is, to say that God is lacking in power just because He cannot make a 90-year-old teenager is to imply that He COULD do so if He simply had more power.

That’s what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Making a house that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside, or making an animal that is at the same time both white all over and black all over - to propose such things is to support logical contradictions and absurdities. Since these kinds of questions come from people who adhere to a belief system that is itself illogical, incoherent and absurd, this should not surprise.

Just as atheists hold conferences where they actually debate which holds the greater truth:
We don’t believe in God or
We’re non believers in God,
these people sit around imagining logical absurdities that cannot be accomplished AND THEN, based on the conclusion they reach, atheists say that God does not possess infinite power or that God does not exist.

Omnipotence does not mean that there are no limits to what an omnipotent Being can do. There several things that God cannot do, the most important of which affects atheists in a dramatic eternal manner.
God cannot be tempted by evil.
God cannot show partiality or favouritism
God cannot forgive the individual who will not repent of h/ her sin.

. It is profoundly important to understand that you may live in such a manner that even Creator God cannot save your soul.

. It is profoundly important that you not put yourself in a position from which even Creator God cannot rescue you.

There are some things even God can’t change

Heaven or Hell - The Choice Is Yours To Make

“I take no delight in the death of the wicked. So turn from your sin and live.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

It’s Jesus or Nobody

Most people who attend Christian Churches in North America are familiar with the reasons that Jesus is said to have fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah. There is one, however, that for me is ultimately important. The usual ones are:

Born of a virgin

Family line of Abraham

Family line of Isaac

Family line of Jacob

Tribe of Judah

Family line of Jesse

Family line of David

Born at Bethlehem

Preceded by a messenger

Ministry to begin in Galilee

Ministry of Miracles

Teacher of parables

Enter Jerusalem on a donkey

Stumbling stone to the unbelievers


The following were prophesied from 1000 - 500 years before Jesus was born but were all fulfilled in one day.

Betrayed by a friend

Sold for 30 Pieces of silver

Money thrown into God’s house

Forsaken by his disciples

Accused by false witness

Quiet before his accusers

Hands and feet pierced

Made intercession for his persecutors

Hated without cause

Garments parted and lots cast

Gall and vinegar offered Him

His forsaken cry

Committed himself to God

Bones not broken

His side pierced

Darkness at noon

Buried in a rich man’s grave

Jesus had no control over the prophecies about:
1. Place of birth
2. Time of birth
3. Manner of birth
4. Betrayal
5. Manner of death
6. People’s reaction
7 Piercing, and
8. Burial

Professor Peter Stoner, while Editor of ‘Science Digest’ calculate that the odds of the 20 prophecies of what happened to Jesus on the last day of His life here on earth, to be 10 ^ -157, against them coming true in one man, accidentally. Scientists agree that 10 ^ -50 is the same as zero - impossible.

Having said that, the one prophecy that stands out for me is this one.

“And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom you desire. “Behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire.” Malachi 3:1-2

Out of all the prophecies of the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled this is perhaps the most important for one reason. The Messiah, the One whom the Jews were seeking, the One who they longed to see would, according to Prophecy, come to the Temple, suddenly.

Why is that important?

The temple no longer exists.

The Messiah, according to prophecy, had to come to His temple suddenly, without warning, as a refiner’s fire, which Jesus did when He drove out the money changers. In no uncertain terms, Jesus said, “You have turned MY Father’s house . . .” He didn’t say, “Our Father . . . but “MY Father.”

Jesus let them know that the Son of God had arrived at the Temple as prophesied.

If the Messiah hasn’t appeared by 70AD, when the Temple was destroyed, He isn’t coming at all.

If the Messiah isn’t Jesus, it’s nobody.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that since their beliefs are not supported by science:
. things can come into being without a cause,
. matter has always existed,
. ours is just one of an infinite number of universes,
. life can spontaneously arise from non life,
their perception, or desire to have something be true, in their mind, makes it true.

It's faith but because of it religious connotations, these people don't like to use that word.

Even though these people say that without observation and verification nothing can be believed these people must believe these things anyway or their belief system will collapse.

This is what these people are like. It’s how they think.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Atheists, Logic and Hell (2)

In yesterday’s post I looked at living a life with the reality of Creator God present in our minds. Whether you think Him a monster or not, Creator God does exist. Deal with it!

In this post I’m going to look specifically at the issue of punishment in hell for those who refuse God’s offer of peace.

An atheist stated, “god could have created a universe that didn't require death and punishment,”

The same atheist asked, “Have atheists been brought into existence just so God could watch them burn forever?”

I’ll address both of these in this post.

I’ve said that one of the reasons that God allows suffering, pain, trials etc. is to separate the wheat from the chaff.

. Pain takes those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and draws them closer and closer to God.

. Pain takes those who are against God and drives them deeper and deeper into their state of rebellion.

Something to remember, the importance of which is impossible to underestimate is that rebelling against your Creator may feel brave and noble to you. The problem is - that rebellion does not take place in the absence of consequence. Rejecting God carries negative consequences during our time on earth AND in the next stage of life.

. The consequences of denying God while on earth are meant to be CORRECTIVE in nature. Physical, spiritual and emotional pain are meant to be a warning that something is wrong; that something needs to change.

. The consequence of denying our Creator that we will experience after death has nothing to do with correction.

If you want to follow along, then turn to 2nd Thessalonians 1:3-10. Notice in verses 8,9 that:
. The punishment for those who are against God is not corrective in nature. It’s punitive.

. The punishment for those who are against God is not meant to be transforming. It's retributive.

. The punishment that God is going to hand out is “eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord.”

. These people will be forever separated from anything good.

. This is what is promised by God for all those who refuse to know God and who refuse to obey the gospel of Jesus the Christ.

Like I said in yesterday’s post, God doesn’t care one bit whether you like this or not. Call Him a monster if you want. The fact is, there is going to be hell to pay for those who reject, deny and rebel against their Creator.

Some people have a mental picture of God that simply doesn’t allow for Justice to be carried out. These people say that Jesus is ONLY a God of love. They ignore the fact that Creator God is also a God of justice.

Notice also that retribution is not the only reason for the punishment of those who refuse God’s offer of salvation. The punishment of those who deny God is also meant to serve as
a counter balance,
a back drop,
a comparison,
a contrast
to the glorious mercy, grace and glory of those who have accepted the forgiveness of their sins.

Both the suffering (v 8,9) and the reward (v10) will be eternal.

“But,” you ask, “How can a God of Love also be a God of Vengeance?”

There are three reasons why God could not dispense with hell.

Because Creator God is a moral Being who genuinely loves, and because a moral universe where genuine love exists is better than an amoral universe where robotic love would exist, God created a moral universe. Because we live in a moral universe:
1. Those who deny God will be receiving exactly what they deserve. I said a few posts back that:
. Those in hell will understand beyond all doubt that they deserve to be there.
. Those in heaven will understand beyond all doubt that they don’t deserve to be there.

Paul tells us in Romans 2:5 that those who reject God are even now, in their earthly “rejecting” phase of their lives, “storing up wrath for themselves.”

Judgment will be the rule of the day.

2. Because God is Just, and because this is a moral universe with objective right and wrong, God cannot allow wickedness to go unpunished. To do so would be to say that evil is acceptable and tolerable. In a moral universe, evil is neither of those things.

3. One day, God and His righteousness will be vindicated. Right now, atheists accuse God of being a monster. They accuse God of being evil. They accuse God of being responsible for the presence of evil. For now, God allows people to think what they want. A day is coming, however, when Truth and Righteousness will be put on display in such a manner that all will know, and no one will argue about the wrongness of rebellion against God. God will be shown to be Holy and faithful and true.

But the atheist said that God COULD have created a world where none of this is necessary. Actually, in a moral universe where Justice is seen to be carried out, that’s not true. God cannot contradict His own rules of logic, nor can He contradict His own nature. A God who is Just cannot ignore Justice. On the other hand, for believers, the scenario that atheists say COULD have happened has already been carried out. Jesus dying on the cross has:

. Satisfied the requirements of justice (point #1)
. Upheld the moral universe (point #2)
. Vindicated Himself as truth and faithful and forgiving of sins. (point #3)

Yet hell and the promise of eternal punishment remains.

What does this tell you?

The answer should make your knees wobble.

All COULD have been forgiven under what Jesus has done yet God has seen to it that not all WILL be saved.

. Knowing in advance that some would reject His offer of forgiveness, God still went ahead and gave us the freewill choice to reject Him.

. Knowing in advance that some would reject His offer of forgiveness, God put in place a means of forgiveness and reward AS WELL AS a means of punishment for those who maintain a position of rebellion toward their God.

THIS is the reality in which we live and those with wisdom will adjust their lives accordingly.

Your Creator doesn’t care if you don’t like it.
You Creator doesn’t care if you think He should have done it differently

God is justified in bringing this future judgment upon the ungodly and He has chosen to exercise that authority.

God is justified in forgiving anyone of His choosing and He has chosen to exercise that authority.

More than that, as is graphically illustrated for us in Romans 9:22-24, God has chosen to use the DESTRUCTION of some to highlight His grace, and mercy and glory in the SALVATION of others.

It’s difficult for atheists to understand but everyone, until the day that they became followers of Jesus, thought that they would NEVER become a follower of Jesus. God knows who will accept His offer of salvation and He draws those people to Jesus.

Are atheists brought into existence solely for the purpose of eternal destruction? Like the above paragraph states,
Some are
Some aren’t
Some will remain atheists till their dying day
Some will change their minds and convert

Knowing in advance, those who would deny His existence, God has prepared them for destruction. He has raised them up for the sole purpose of their destruction. He will endure their presence patiently during their earthly life while waiting for all those who are going to come to salvation through faith in Jesus.

In the mean time:
Creator God will rescue those who are not looking for Him,
He will treat with love those who hate Him, and
He will make peace with some of those who are currently His enemies.

The rebellious cannot complain because they are in fact guilty of rebellion.
The saved cannot boast because they have done nothing to deserve salvation.

The question then is not:
Could God have created a world where hell need not exist?
He didn’t - so act accordingly.

The question is not:
"Why did God create billions of people who are destined to be eternally separated from Him?"

The most important question is:
“Why Did God Create and Then Save For Eternity in Paradise, Billions of People Who Should Have Been Eternally Separated From Him?”

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that only natural causes were responsible for the beginning of our universe.

1.6% of the North American population says that they only believe in things for which there is evidence.

Natural forces cannot account for the Singularity because natural forces, indeed, time, space, matter and energy did not exist until the Singularity.

That means that something outside of and transcendent to nature, something supernatural caused the singularity.

1.6% of the North American population says that’s not true because - well they don’t know why it’s not true - they just say that it had to be a natural cause even though nothing natural existed.

When 1.6% of the North American population says that they only believe in things for which there is evidence, that is a flat out lie.

They’ll even believe in imaginary time AND imaginary space if they think it will get them out of having to deal with a universe with a beginning.

These people have to maintain this implausible position or their belief system will collapse.

This is what they’re like. This is how they think.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Answer to Snackbar

I couldn't seem to get my response to take on the post so I'll do it here.

“Anne Dillard”

Ms. Dillard is a fine writer. Sadly, in making this joke she’s forgotten about Romans 1:18-20. As I said before, whether we’re an Eskimo Caucasian or anything else, if we move toward God, He will also move toward us. No genuine seeker will be abandoned by h/her Creator. That is why “No one is without excuse.”

“I'll tell you the thought that got me questioning Christianity, when I was a child... "What of the native Americans who never heard of Jesus?"

It’s time to move beyond your childish thinking snacker. Abraham, Noah, Rahab - none of them knew about Jesus but all responded correctly with faith based on what they instinctively knew about God.

All of them were counted as righteous by God based on their response to the evidence of God that was provided for them. People from all over the world have the ability and the option to do the same, including your in-laws.

“You have purchased for God men from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Rev. 5:9b

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne.” Rev. 7:9

“He determined the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and find Him.” Acts 17:26,27

God knows before they’re even born who will accept His offer of forgiveness. You can be absolutely certainly that no one who wants to respond rightly to the existence of God and to His offer of forgiveness will miss the opportunity. In fact, God has placed all such people in a place geographically and in history where they will get adequate information about Him.

How serious is God about making sure that no one gets missed? In Revelation, Saints who have been martyred ask God, "How long until you avenge our blood?" And God says, "Wait until even more Christians have been killed. Wait until everyone who is going to become a Christian has become a Christian."

No one is without excuse for their rejection of their Creator.

You on the other hand snacker, have had every opportunity to receive God’s offer of forgiveness. To date you have used technicalities to reject the offer of an eternity. My prayer is that this is not a permanent condition.

"Since they did not know any better, God will make an exception, given they are good people."

Read Romans 2:11-15. No one who responds correctly to the knowledge they have been given will be cheated out of eternity in paradise.

You've been exposed to more accurate information about Jesus than perhaps 90% of the people in the world - yet - to date you have used technicalities to reject the offer of an eternity. "How can they survive, those who have rejected so great a salvation?"


Ah, again with the “I’m a good person.”

Where’s the cut off snacker?

Who decides who’s good enough?

Who decides who deserves to go to hell?

I think I’ve told you this before but in case it was a different atheist - I worked in the federal corrections system for ten years. Maximum security for five and a Super Max for the criminally insane for five. Rapists, murderers, drug dealers, child molesters, child killers, armed robbers. NOT ONCE in all that time did I find someone who thought he was a bad man. Every single one of them would, could and did point to someone who he believed was a worse individual and thereby justified his own character on that basis.

They used exactly the same method of judging their goodness as you do to judge yours.

“Look at what he’s done! I’m not as bad as him.” Or
"Look at those people. I could be a lot worse."

Whether or not you deserve eternity in hell is not your decision to make snacker.

Your Creator says that “No one is righteous. All of have sinned and fallen short of God’s expectations for them. BUT all can be justified freely by God’s grace through the person’s faith in Jesus.”

No one is good enough to be good enough for heaven.

"I'm not turning my back on Jesus Christ. I SIMPLY DON'T BELIEVE CHRISTIAN DOGMA."

Jesus is not asking you to believe in Christian dogma.

Jesus is begging you to believe in Him.

Jesus is begging you to turn to Him for the forgiveness of your sins and the salvation of your soul.

Jesus isn’t asking you to belong to this or that denomination.

Jesus isn’t asking you to take part in this or that ritual.

Jesus is begging you, “Come to Me!”

Jesus is begging you to understand, “I Am the only way to salvation.”

Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Me is not condemned but whoever does not believe in Me stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18

If you aren’t turning to Jesus you are absolutely turning away from Him.

HOWEVER... If you're looking for the grace of Allah, YOU'LL FIND IT.

Are you kidding me? Allah / Islam knows nothing of grace. And if you think Islam teaches grace then you no nothing of Islam or grace. Islam, like atheism says to be and do and much good as you can. Islam and atheism both tell a person to work and work and work and work and if you do enough then maybe, just maybe you’ll somehow be able to justify your miserable existence.

Christianity and only Christianity teaches grace.

No other religion in all the world teaches grace.

Grace sets Christianity apart from them all.

All other religions / philosophies, including atheism are based on works - doing enough good, washing your hands a certain number of times per day. Praying a certain number of times per day. Placing this offering in front of that idol. Doing and doing and never knowing if you’ve done enough.

Only Jesus, through Mercy and Grace says that snacker can have his sins forgiven - and know it.

Only Jesus, through Mercy and Grace says that snacker can be free from real guilt - and know it.

This forgiveness is not because snacker is good enough but because Jesus died for him, and paid the penalty for snacker’s sins while snacker was still His enemy.

Atheists, Logic and Hell (1)

In this post, I want to talk about how some people look at the pain in their lives or the lives of others and decide that:
a) God isn’t a God of love
b) God doesn’t have the power to stop bad things from happening
c) God doesn’t exist.

Tomorrow I’ll return to the issue of hell and punishment etc.

Had we not already experienced the reality of God’s love, my wife and I could have looked at the death of our only biological child and say that a God of love does not exist.

. We could look at our brain damaged adopted children and say that God isn’t capable of preventing such problems.

. I could look back on my 50 years of crippling arthritis and say that God may in fact be a sadist.

. I could look at my childhood sexual abuse and wonder how God could just sit back and watch it happen.

. We could suffer along with our youngest adopted son who is in the bottom 5th percentile intellectually and say if there was a God who started things, He’s long since left the building.

Yes, if Wendy and I hadn't ALSO experienced the palpable presence of a loving God day in and day out, if we had only experienced all the other sorrows and difficulties that come with this existence then there is a good chance that we might say that based on the life that we’ve been dealt, God is not a God of love. As many, many people have done, we could conclude that any God that would condemn people to an eternity of unparalleled agony is in no way a God of love. We could say that. It isn’t true, but for some people there is enough evidence to allow them to turn their backs on God.

For the sake of argument, I'm going to propose that God does exist. He is the Creator. He is the First Cause. He is a monster and a savage, sadistic Creator who allows sorrow and evil to spread like gangrene. Everything that Chris Hitchens and Dennet and Dawkins and others have said about Him is true. Creator God is cold - heartless - manipulative. He’s the ‘God of the gottcha’ as some describe Him. Yes, He’s all these things and more - but

- He is God

- He is real

- He exists.

Not only does He exist, it’s also true that things are turning out just like the Bible has said. History is winding down. World events, from naming Cyrus the Great by name, by the prophet Isaiah, 160 years before Cyrus came on the scene, to the prophesied combination of widespread denial of God’s existence in concert with widespread acceptance and promotion of the sexually disoriented, and finally to the world-wide persecution of the Christian Church that is well on its way, all are playing out as only a real God could predict and bring about.

God is real and you don’t like Him one bit. So be it. But there is a problem isn’t there? There’s a dilemma to confront. Something important needs to be dealt with. If God is real, and there’s a great deal of evidence that points to His existence, then that means that Hell is real too. Like it or not, in fact hate it all you want, our Creator God says emphatically that we either get on side with Him or we’re gonna pay - big time.

Get on side? You mean there is a chance to escape this kind of punishment / torment?

That’s what the Bible says. That, in fact is what God said when He came to earth in the form of Jesus. The Bible says that

“God was in Jesus Christ reconciling the people of the world to Himself.”

God seems to have created not only Hell. He has created a way to escape going to Hell. He has said that if we place our trust in Jesus, if we obey Jesus then He, God, will take us to paradise. He describes Heaven as a place that has no more pain or sorrow, no more fear or guilt or despair.

In fact Heaven is exactly the type of place that atheists say a loving God would have made for us now - if He actually existed.

But if Jesus is God and if God is a monster and if I’m to obey this monster, don’t I have to compromise my own set of values to come on side with Him? Well, no actually. While hell is nothing more than a means for justice to be served (and atheists are HUGE fans of justice - at least in regard to it being done to other people), there seems to be a side of God that we cannot in any way describe as monstrous.

In fact, this Jesus, who is God, seems to actually be a person of Love.

So here we are:

. Pain and evil do not negate God’s existence. The existence of pain and evil actually confirms the Bible’s diagnosis of our nature.

. God allows pain and evil to exist for a short time. As it turns out, He uses it for our eternal good.

. God is a God of love who is willing to rescue us, at His own expense, from an eternity of torment.

. Because He is a God of Love, it is logical to assume that the horrific punishment that unforgiven sinners will one day incur upon themselves is only difficult for us to understand now, because we don’t comprehend the monstrosity of sin. In fact we accept sin. In many cases we don’t just tolerate sin, we celebrate and nurture sin, even as it destroys us and our relationships.

. Because He is a God of Love, there is a reasonable and logical explanation for the presence of pain and evil in our world now. We don't understand pain, even though we (both religious and non religious) can in hindsight see the good that it has brought about in our own lives. We don’t understand pain, but Jesus explains how it is only through suffering that the believer is changed from a self-obsessed, self-loving horror show to someone who is able to love others with an intentional, deliberate, willed, volitional Christ-like love.

Like Him or hate Him, God is real. God is a force that needs to be acknowledged and reckoned with. Just because you don’t like a certain reality doesn’t mean that you can make it go away by pretending that it doesn’t exist.

This might be your last day to decide which side that you’re going to be on. I can tell you from experience, as can almost two billion other believers, that the word Love hardly describes how wonderfully God treats those who have turned their allegiance to Him.

Blessing upon blessing fills my days.
Mercy upon mercy envelopes me as I live in a hostile and angry world.

I and other Christians are not promised, nor do we experience freedom from the sorrows of the world. The reason that we no longer interpret those struggles as coming from a “monster” God, is that we, as adopted members of God’s family, are now immersed in His loving presence. We’re given His guidance and counsel and freedom from guilt. We have been set free from the power of sin to destroy us.

Believe what you want about God. Boldly claim, if you wish, that you would never worship a God who allows such pain in the world or who would cause such a great punishment for the "intellectual" position you now hold. You are free to do that, but you will also experience the consequences of that decision. Or, if you are wise, you are free to accept God as Lord of your life and experience the consequences of that decision. Good luck on your journey.

“One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that the Bible can’t be trusted in what it says.

Example: A common comment by this group is, “The Old Testament has been rewritten so many times that it’s full of copyist errors.”

That was a comment that couldn't be challenged until hundreds of scrolls were found at Qumran in Palestine. They included copies of Old Testament books, in fact all but Ester, and those copies - a thousand years older than what was available at the time - “were virtually identical” to the copies that people were reading at home.

Even though these people say that without observation and verification nothing can be believed, this 1.6% of the population still maintains their implausible position that the documents can’t be trusted. Not because of the evidence but in spite of the evidence. They must do this or their world-view will collapse.

This is what they’re like. This is how they think.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Original Grace

Atheists make a quite a deal out of God knowing in advance that people would decide to disobey Him. For some reason atheists define who God is and then tell Him what He can and cannot do according to their definition of His character.

Well, yes He did know that we would choose to ignore good and seek out after evil. That’s why He provided for a means of forgiveness before any disobedience had ever taken place.

Our Creator provided for a means of salvation before we were ever created.

Nothing was left to chance.

Yes there is sin, but God’s grace is greater.

Yes there is evil, but Love was here first.

Because God is all powerful, He CAN rid the universe of evil.

Because God is all good, He WILL rid the universe of evil.

Why is there still evil present in the universe? God uses the suffering, pain and tragedy that comes with a fallen world as a means of separating those who are for Him from those who are against Him. When this process is completed -

God CAN and WILL rid the universe of evil.

He promised to do that and He showed us the bloodied corpse of His Son as a deposit and guarantee that nothing will stop Him from accomplishing His goal.

Original Grace put in place the opportunity for you to experience salvation even before you knew you needed it.

Love - not evil - will have the final word.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population says that people become Christians only because they grew up in homes where Christianity was the norm.

These people forget:
Christianity began in a culture where no Christian homes existed and where people were tortured and killed for being Christians. Nevertheless, after the first gospel message was preached, 3,000 people gave their lives to the risen Christ.

These people forget:
The greatest growth, today, is in cultures where Christianity is not the norm. The newest Christian converts today have not come from Christian homes and where again, job loss, imprisonment and death are not unusual for becoming a Christian.

People in this 1.6% of the population say, on the one hand that people become Christians because they’ve adopted the beliefs of their parents, not because of the truth of these beliefs.

These people also say that those who grew up in Christian families are rejecting those beliefs in larger and larger numbers, all the way up to 1.6%.

These people have to maintain this implausible and contradictory position or their belief system will collapse.

This is what they’re like. This is how they think.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Prince of Peace

Based on God’s “foreknowledge” (Rom. 8:29), Jesus came to earth to bring peace and reconciliation between Creator God and those of His choosing. The inevitable result of that work is all out war with hypocrisy and false teaching.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Matt. 10:34.

Jesus is talking about the absolute division between a loyalty to good or a loyalty to evil. Jesus creates a division that’s as cleanly separated as if it had been cut in two with a sword. This separation occurs between those who are genuine followers of Jesus and those who pretend to be His followers while rejecting His Lordship in their lives. See

“Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and heal people and cast out demons in your name? And Jesus will say to them, “Get away from Me, for I never knew you.”

No middle ground.

No, “Let’s talk about this so I can hear your point of view.”

Just, “Get away from Me.”

Now, some will see this as hate on Jesus’ part. They’re partly right.

Jesus hates hypocrisy and false worship because it destroys our relationship with God.

Jesus hates it when we put our allegiance to other things besides Him because that makes reconciliation with our Creator impossible.

Jesus warns us to get rid of anything that might come between us and a healed, forgiven relationship with God.

He is brutal in His honesty. Jesus came to earth on a rescue mission. It cost Him His life.

Leaving us in our sin is simply not an option.

According to Jesus, that which is killing us, must itself be destroyed.

The Prince of Peace will bring destruction to that which destroys peace between us and our Creator.

The 1.6% Solution

1.6% of the North American population say they are proudly sceptical of everything - except the faith system they hold as true. These people hold to their world-view with religious fervour and blind faith. No matter how much evidence is put before them showing that atheism is absurd, illogical and incoherent they refuse to question their beliefs.

“One who claims to be a sceptic of one set of beliefs is actually a true believer in another set of beliefs.”

These people have to maintain this implausible position or their belief system will collapse.

This is what they’re like. This is how they think.