By the Numbers

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is There Life After Death?

                                                     Is There Life After Death?
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One issue of greatest concern to every person is whether there is life after death. Graves have been found to contain foods and weapons left for the dead person to use in life in the next world. Egyptians built large pyramid tombs for their pharaohs containing all kinds of precious objects for their use in the next life. Obviously, people thought or hoped we can live again in another life. But how can we know? Let's devote serious thought to this issue.
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What We Believe About Life After Death Influences our Present Lives.
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It's depressing and demeaning to think death means our extinction. For no matter what abilities, contributions, or efforts we put into living, we're on the same footing with the animals. There's nothing special about human life and person hood. It's just to do whatever it takes to survive as long as you can. Our legacy may consist only in a tombstone marker showing our name and dates if even that. Many die unknown and are thrown together into a common grave. We hardly count.
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It's destructive to personal relationships and ethical incentive. If animals be all that we are, then logically we live like animals meaning a survival of the fittest. Life's great purpose is survival and depends largely on who gets power over their peers. It promotes selfishness and destroys ethical value. Since life is short, is a struggle, with temptation on every hand, and desires oh so strong, why not limit myself to what advances me or seems to fulfill my desire at the moment. If what I think and desire verses what you think and desire, then I'm for me and you are of little if any concern. To cheat, lie, steal, rape, even murder really doesn't mean much when our only contest is our self and our survival. And yes we might get caught, injured or killed, but what is that since our only law is survival and we animals may cease to exist at any time?
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Non Biblical Faith Has No Objective Foundation or Evidence for Life After Death.
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A multitude of religions exist worldwide. They're based upon what one supposedly wise man thinks verses what another supposedly wise man thinks. He may show valued insights, arguments, possibilities, and have a following who highly respect his opinions as true. But can he show a cold stiff dead corps can come back to life, or that a dead person is alive even if taken another form in another life? The sprouting spring vegetation, birthmarks, and past recollection is no proof of reincarnation as pantheist religions suppose as all have better explanations. Dying persons seeing the death angel, and out of the body experiences may prove it to those who have such experiences but these too are subjective experiences. They can be given other interpretations depending on one's worldview. These religions do not give tangible visible evidences that can be objectively verified.   
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Biblical Believers Have Assurance of Everlasting Life in the Lord Jesus and His Promises.
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What's the evidence? Christians have objective evidence and assurance of everlasting life beyond the grave.  Eyewitness knew Jesus was cold stiff dead when taken down from the cross and  they  saw him alive after just three days. At Pentecost only fifty days later it was known in many languages and spread abroad (Acts 2:23-28).  It was published in less than thirty years (1 Cor. 15:1-8). His resurrection was predicted by ancient prophet (Psalm 16:10), and by Jesus himself to unbelieving disciples, who died to verify it. Here's the evidence--Jesus who claimed to be God was seen alive from the dead by hundreds of people (1 Cor. 15:1-8). See my article, Did Jesus Arise from the Dead?
for further details.
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What decides whether heaven or hell? Sinners faith in or rejection of the Savior decides whether they exist eternally in Heaven or in Hell.  Jesus promised that "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life" but also warned, "and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). So whether we trust in or reject the Savior makes the difference whether we go to Heaven or to Hell. 
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The Kind of Life We Have After Death Is Our Choice.
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It's simply the principle of justice. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Gal. 6:7). It would be so unfair for someone living for God most of his life and a new convert to get the same heavenly reward. Likewise it's unfair for an unemployed grocery thief who only wanted to feed his starving family to receive the same punishment as a serial killer. We all do good or evil in different areas and to different degrees. Scripture mentions repeatedly that each person is judged according to THEIR OWN works or deeds (Psalm 62:12; Matt. 16:27; Luke 12:47-48; Rom. 2:6; 1 Cor. 3:8-15; Rev. 20:13) and a multitude of other passages.
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So rewards of Heaven and punishments of Hell are somewhat different with each person. Saints are said to receive crowns which they throw at Jesus' feet. I believe the crowns are metaphors acknowledging that they could perform these services only in their Lord's strength and direction. Rebel sinners are said to be caste into a lake of fire where the worm never dies and fire doesn't go out. I believe this too is a metaphor that represents the all inclusive wrath of God (John 3:36) or else it seems to teach all will be punished alike instead of according to their particular sins as clearly taught in above passages. Bible mentions degrees of sin John 19:11, and of reward 1Cor. 3:9-15.
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Dear reader, this is the most crucial decision of life. We can't know all the answers but Scripture is clear on essentials. Jesus and what we decide about Him makes the difference between heaven or hell. Won't you pray, Lord come into my life, be my Savior and help me live a holy life for You. Then share this wonderful news with loved ones and others. Tell them about these important blog articles. Thank you. God bless.
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Unconcerned Anti-intellectual Christians

                                     Unconcerned Anti-intellectual Christians
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The American President Barack Obama said on public TV that Americans are fat and lazy. I agree  that many are undisciplined in both mind and body. Many Christians are indifferent toward vital spiritual issues. But is life  just fun and party when people's health, well-being and very lives are at stake? Spiritual matters are the foundations that have momentous consequences for our everyday lives. The big question is: How far should we limit our concern on spiritual matters?
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Should We Limit Our Concern to Our Own Family?
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Our families are our immediate concern. There may be no time for the porch rocking chair to watch the grass grow. Dad's making a living takes us most of his time and he flops down to rest when he comes home at night. Mom wants to socialize. Daughter is concerned whether she looks well at school in her jeans. Son wants to be on the winning team at school. And if they feel up to it, they may make it to church or mass this Sunday. Of course, limited finances  can curtail  many activities. It's me, my wife, my son, my daughter, us four no more.  But that's not the Bible teaching.
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But should family be our only concern? Don't we largely take time for the things we give priority too? According to the Bible, we will all face God one day and give account of how we spent our lives and how we used our God-given time, talents, and opportunities. Does our concern go any further than ourselves, our family, our local situation? Jesus said regarding helping others, "Assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to me of the lease of these My brethren, you did it to Me" (Matt. 25:40). What will the real important issues be when we face God?
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Should We Limit Our Concern to Surface Issues?
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Persons hold widely different views today. With so many divorces, a  marriage license is just an unnecessary piece of paper. Different beliefs between couples isn't really important as people have a right to their own thinking. Those rich guys should pay all the taxes to support us nonworking people. The government will take care of us if we be politically correct.  I'm not sure  atheism is wrong since I haven't seen God and if He exists there wouldn't be so much evil in the world. The Bible warns, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2). Shouldn't Christians be more concerned with the Lord's biblical instructions than what the world thinks?
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Do our beliefs have a logical factual beneficial basis? Have we thought about how such beliefs affect other persons?  Do we consider  our behavior  honest, fair, and compassionate? Do we want others to treat us in these ways? Where do such beliefs lead? Do limited, fickle, selfish desires and opinions lower us to an animal level?
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What if we're overlooked something and atheism isn't right? Can we prove no personal ethical God exists? Don't government dictators enclave and impoverish their citizens? Do we just die like dogs, lights out?  We may realize one day too late we were absolutely wrong! The Bible warns, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12). Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
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Further, isn't there a definite connection between creed and conduct? If the Bible's God doesn't exist, then how we believe and behave has no moral significance. We're just evolving soulless dirt or recycled energy. No authoritative foundation exists to guide our lives or give us hope of life after death. It's just each person's feelings, opinions, and preferences. But according to the Bible, we are made in the mental, moral, immortal image of God. And if a personal ethical God exists, that calls for our personal ethical decisions based upon God's Word (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16).
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Should We Limit Our Concern to Our Own Religious Connection?
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Isn't religion a personal private matter? I'm of the -----------------------------  faith. I've been that all my life. I'll never change. My dead parents would turn over in their graves if they knew I changed my beliefs. Besides, my family would persecute, or disown, or murder me. I could lose my job, my good standing in the community. I would be thought a fool or fanatic.
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According to the Bible the King of kings said, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell . . . and he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matt. 10:28-39). With all the different beliefs, how can we know and show our particular beliefs alone are correct? In Christ alone we have divine claims and definite eyewitness evidences.
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But what about non Christians religions? They can have some good principles we can agree with --for example the negative Silver Rule: Don't do things to others you wouldn't want them do to you. They may even have arguments there is only one true personal ethical God, though revelation alone shows that one God is a Trinity. 
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We should always be respectful and caring about persons and their right to their religious beliefs as long as they're not humanly hostile or destructive. When believers don't support each other's right to their beliefs, persons opposed to such beliefs will eradicate each group one by one. Strength and security is found for all in unity.
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Christians are to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:13-15). But unlike other religions, Jesus gave definite visible evidences that show He alone is the sinless God-man.  He alone died to save us from sin and give us life eternal. His resurrection is the only real proof of an afterlife.
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After His resurrection, Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always to the end of the age. So be it." (Matt. 28:19-20).
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Shouldn't We Christians Limit Our Chief Concern to Clear Christian Essentials?
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I mean what C.S. Lewis called "Mere Christianity." What are the essentials on which Christians can stand? So-called authorities in many fields disagree somewhat on issues and Christians are no exception. May I suggest some biblical essentials clearly taught by the apostles of the Bible?
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We Christians  believe  our expanding cooling dependent universe shows its Creator's eternal self-existence and  glory.  He made us directly in His mental, moral, immortal image. God revealed Himself in history as one God in three personal distinctions called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Jesus the Son is the God-man born of a virgin, who lived a perfect life, died to atone for our sins, and arose from the dead. Before many eyewitnesses, He fulfilled ancient prophecies, performed numerous miracles, claimed to be God with us, promised to return, and ascended into Heaven.
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All who trust  Jesus as their Savior and Guide will live a more Godly life, escape Hell, and one day dwell with Him in the new Heaven and earth. Though imperfect, we should strive to live holy lives in accord with the Scriptures.  In God's grace and for His glory, we declare this apostolic teaching absolute truth. See Col. 1:17; John 1:1-5, 14; Matt. 1:23; 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 11:7; Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10;  2 Cor. 5:21; John 21:24-25; Acts 4:12; 16:31; Cor. 15:1-8; 1 John 4:1-7; 1 Peter 1:18; 2:24; 3:15-18; 2 Peter 1:16-18; Rev. 21:1-8, 27;  Gal. 5:16-26 and numerous others .
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I suggest a few books from time to time but can't possibly include a bibliography and footnote everything in a 3-4 page article. Moreover, so-called experts can be quoted on both sides of an issue. I'm more interested in facts than in so-called expert opinions.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

God's Gospel Truth

                                       God's Gospel Truth

 #Truth #Gospel #God #Salvation 

I'm a good person. I pay my taxes. I obey the laws. I treat people right. I work to support my family. My granddaddy was a preacher or priest. I'm a lot better than those judgmental so-called Christians and church people. They're just hypocrites anyway. If anybody goes to Heaven, I think I will because I'm a good person and I deserve it. God will appreciate me and I will tell everybody about my good accomplishments. It's all about me.
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When we give reasons like those above for going to Heaven could we have overlooked something? Does our thinking agree with what God says? Shouldn't it be His Word, His criteria and His right to say who enters His HeavenIs it just about us, or really all about Him? I will discuss this under the following three questions.
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                                                        What Is God's Gospel Truth?
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It's Christ's death, burial and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-8). Ancient peoples feared their gods, sacrificed to them, but never loved them. Soldiers sacrifice themselves for love of country. Mothers die for children they love. But Jesus showed supreme love giving his human life for us guilty rebels in his death on the cross (John 15:13; 2 Cor. 5:21). Though innocent, Jesus was rejected, condemned, severally beaten, ridiculed, slapped, spit on, and hung naked before staring eyes. Ancient prophets foretold it (Gen. 3:15; Psalm 2; 22; Isaiah 53). Jesus predicted it (Matt. 17:9; 27:63; Mark 8:31).  Miracles testified to it--darkness, earthquake, temple vale torn, resurrections (Matt. 27:51-53; Luke 23:44). It announced, "God so loved the world that He gave His unique Son (sinless God-man) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). But it would be a dead hope apart from Jesus' resurrection.
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Jesus' resurrection established the most crucial things. There's life after death. Jesus is the God-man with power of life and death. As God, all Jesus taught in and of Scripture is absolute truth.
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Humans created in God's mental, moral immortal image have dignity and freedom. Ethics make sense--our thoughts, words, deeds are accountable to God so life has purpose. Our conscience, justice and love make sense. As created and controlled by a rational God, the world is meaningfully moving toward a climax. Experimental science is possible. No other religions provide a basis for these things.
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Jesus divided our thinking about history into Before Christ and After His Death. This personal ethically perfect God offers us wayward rebels forgiveness, cleansing, and eternal life with Him forever through faith in Jesus, the Lord and Savior of us sinners. Spreading this hope and love is imperative education--without it, all is lost.
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It transforms societies in many beneficial ways. Persons in Christ are new creations with new desires, a new outlook, a new hope, a new concern for human well-being (2 Cor. 5:17). And because of this, they established great universities, brought education to the masses, put in writing many of the world's languages as people needed to know the gospel. They engineered capitalism and free enterprise to raise the standard of living everywhere. They devised representative government for civil liberties to abolish slavery and oppressive elitest state dictatorships.
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They experimented with nature as God created a rational world for human benefit. They elevated the dignity and value of life, of women, children, and all people in God's image. They established the Good Samaritan ethic, organizations of charity, benevolence, and rescue missions. They built hospitals to heal persons suffering from injury and disease. They sought to make laws that would eliminate destructive human behaviors such as adultery, polygamy, incest, homosexuality, prostitution, rape, sex slavery and sex with animals. They developed beautiful art, music, and literature. And most of all they sought to spread the gospel that is the power of God which is the basis and incentive to all the above.
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                   "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God
                              to salvation for everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).
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                             Why Then Are Some Persons Ashamed of God's Gospel Truth?
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 It tells the ugly truth about us. We love our sin that brings us pleasure for a season, and makes us popular and accepted with other sinners. When confronted with our sins, we excuse our guilt blaming it on our genes, the environment, the devil, parents, even God for creating us. We take pride in our supposed moral accomplishments, never mind our sins, rebellions, and need for the Savior of us sinners. See Hebrews 11:25; Romans 1:18-32; First Corinthians 6:9-10.
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It separates us from the evil world system opposed to God. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Love of the world is evidence we don't know God or do His will. Satan will tempt us but we're to resist him by knowing and abiding by God's Word. We can gain the whole world and lose our own soul. To be without Christ is to be without God and without hope. Christ came to save us from the world's evils and we are to be as salt to prevent sinful decay and as light to dispel the darkness of ignorance and evil. Many persons love neither Christians nor Christ but love the evil world and ignore or deny the consequences. See James 4:4; Matthew 4:1-11; 9:50; 1 John 2:15-17; Mark 8:36: Ephesians 2:12).
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It exposes our human guesses, opinions and preferences. If God is omnipresent eternal spirit as the Bible teaches, He surrounds us and our human senses never detect His presence. Atheists can shake their fist toward Heaven and demand God appear and perform a miracle for them to believe. But if God is Lord, there is no rule He must do it for their amusement. Atheism is a foolish excuse to live a Godless life just as the Bible says (Psalm 14:1).
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Reincarnation religions are based upon nature's yearly vegetation cycles, thinking birth defects unjust, and feeling we have lived former lives. But the earth's yearly revolution, genetic defects, and imagined past life recall better explain such things. Besides, karma is a brainless principle that can't know good or evil.
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Muslims and Mormons base their religion upon an angel who they claim gave their founder God's revelation. Nobody but the founder has knowledge of the angel. Couldn't anybody make such a claim? God's apostle Paul warns of alleged angel gospels (Gal. 1:8-9). So such religions have no eyewitness testimony or fulfilled prophecies, prophetic miracles, or God verifications--they're just our guesses, opinions, and preferences.
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It's so simple yet so difficult to believe. It doesn't matter if we live in Australia, Africa, or America, we're taught the same thing. From childhood, we're taught that if we were good, we will be rewarded, but if we were bad, we will be punished. So we grow up feeling if there's a good God and some kind of good place we can go to after death, then surely we must try to be good to go there--that seems so reasonable. Just trusting in a Savior of us sinners seems too easy. But could there be some things we don't know or haven't thought about?
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Yes! The biblical God is morally perfect who regards us as unacceptable self-centered rebels. God's prophet Isaiah says, "We are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are like filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6; Gal. 5:19-21). Further, the biblical Heaven is perfect excluding unclean defilers (Matt. 5:48; Rev. 21:27; 22:15). The biblical teaching is that we're saved by God's grace (unearned & undeserved favor) and not by our good deeds (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Cor. 1:29-31; Titus 3:5). So God's ways and our ways go in different directions which make sense with an all-knowing perfect God and ignorant wicked people (Isa. 55:7-9; Rom. 11:6; Gal. 2:16). The Bible is abundantly clear and rational to all willing to receive God's message that Jesus alone is our Savior (John 1:29; 3:36; 7:16; Acts 4:12; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 1:18; 2:24; 3:18).
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                                                    Why is the Gospel Such Good News?
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The gospel is God's authoritative Word supported by rational fact. We could not know God's salvation except given us by God's apostles and prophets who saw the risen Lord (Eph.2:20; 3:5). People were living at the time Scripture was published who knew Jesus, his fulfilled prophecies, miracles, claims to be God, and resurrection.
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Secular writers also wrote details about his life. Archaeologists uncovered artifacts verifying Scripture. His disciples were tortured and murdered for their faith. No world religion has any Scripture or any founder like Jesus. The Bible is history, not some made up stories centuries later. (Luke 1:1-3; Acts 1:1-3; 2:22-24; 4:33; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; 2 Pet. 1:16). Moreover, it's translated from comparative copies of early original languages with the highest degree of accuracy of any ancient documents. We have every reason to trust in the Bible as God's authority and truth, and in Jesus as the sinless God-man sent to give us abundant life and save us from Hell (Luke 19:10; John 10:10; 3:36; 7:16; 8:24).
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The gospel is God's power for worship, walk and witness. The harder we try to do right, the more aware we become that we cannot be perfect. God's great apostle Paul, admitted he couldn't fulfill God's law and that we have deliverance only through Christ (Rom. 6). Realizing our sinful estate and God's forgiveness, love, and sustaining grace in Christ, lifts us up to worship, walk, witness for Him (Rom. 8). God is our power in the gospel to live and share the love of Christ.
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The gospel is God's offer of abundant life now and of Heaven's reward after death. This is the gospel truth and the best news ever. It respects our dignity and freedom of choice. There can be no better offer than abundant and eternal life. The alternative is the self-chosen eternal death of darkness, despair, tears, and torments. Won't you pray, Lord Jesus I trust You as my Lord, Savior, and Guide forever? Now share God's gospel with those without Christ, without God, and without hope. Ephesians 2:12-13. Be a good news messenger. God bless.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Will Postmondernism Destroy Us?

                                 Will Postmodernism Destroy Us?  
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Biblical Christianity, modernism, and postmodernism have serious consequences that will decide the fate of the world in which we will find ourselves. I don't claim to be an expert on anything. I read books, think, and pray asking the wise Lord for guidance to give clear, accurate, helpful information. I will first explain these three worldviews and then postmodernism in relation to biblical Christianity.
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Christians believing the Bible as God's inspired Word have confidence in a rational world since a rational God created it and made us in His mental, moral, and immortal image to understand it and have relationship with Him. We are to be His stewards taking good care of His world and developing it for our good. Under God, people are to show respect for God and all His creations. There is no superstitious, hocus pocus, or magic that makes the world unintelligible. But man chooses to disobey His Maker with decisions and desires opposed to God. In love, God sent His prophets, and finally His Son to tell us to trust Him and His way as best for us, or regretfully pay the consequences both now and hereafter.
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Modernists, also known as secularists, materialists, naturalists, have adopted certain beliefs radically different from Bible believing Christians. They contend that there is no personal ethical God, only nature; man is its pinnacle and is basically good. And since there are no divine revelations and miracles there is no religious authority. But we can acquire objective knowledge through human reason and scientific testing of hypotheses. We can progress in knowledge and build a good world and come to live together in peace and prosperity. God, divine revelations, miracles, angels, and an afterlife is just an imaginative dream or ideal, but we must face the real world.
Postmodernists have taken the modernist beliefs a step further. Evolution is supreme so everything is in flux and we can have no absolute, universal or objective truth or moral standards. Each person must decide his or her own beliefs and language is ambigious. We can't know the changing world but knowledge is not so important. We are culturally conditioned--so we must be tolerant. There may be mystery even magic and science is not always right. It's the journey, relationships, diversity, tolerance, and experiences that are important, not an all inclusive philosophy or even progress and truth.
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Where Will Postmodernism Lead Us?
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Postmodernists claim a Godlike knowledge that no God exists. But how do they know? Have they looked over every hill, around every curve, behind the moon and planets? Do those who affirm this even know what's taking place in the next room or outside their office or school? The Bible's God is an  all-knowing eternal spirit that exists everywhere and manifests Himself only when He wills. Could this postmodern claim be bias arrogance?
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They are certain no absolute truth exists. Something seems amiss here. Aren't they saying the only truth is that there's no truth? But if there's no truth, how is it even possible to know that? And who can live on that assumption? We know people make mistakes, but we believe doctors, lawyers, police, food labels, and direction signs generally are true? Don't professors who make such statements expect us to believe their teachings true and grade us accordingly? Did we pay our money for them to tell us a bunch of lies? Of course, what they really believe is that the Bible's God and moral Lawgiver is a myth so evolutionary flux discredits absolute eternal truth?
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I want proof to believe it. Show me proof this dependent running down universe created itself from nothing. Show me proof mindless molecules can arrange themselves into men. Show me proof the Bible's God doesn't exist. I don't accept unwarranted assumptions--I want facts. I don't believe I'm just a more fit evolved animal destined for extinction. My dignity and destiny are at stake here.
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Postmodernists judge people hypocrites who judge other people's beliefs and behaviors. If there's no absolute truth, then anything goes. One person's opinion is as good as another's. This destroys moral standards. It puts each person's ideas and preference above criticism--thus deception, adultery, homosexuality, theft, rape, murder, sex slavery, sex with animals all become acceptable. Would they do away with law, judges, jails? Don't postmodernist judgments show the very hypocracy of which they accuse others?
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They even quote the Bible claiming Jesus said not to judge people's actions."Judge not, that you be not judged." They conveniently ignore the context that Jesus is calling people hypocrites who rebuke others yet have worse sins themselves. Jesus in context didn't say there's no sin or that sin is justified (Matt.7:1-5). Nonspiritual persons  regard spiritual  truths  foolish while God's spiritual people judge with the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:14-16).
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They affirm fickle feelings and desires right, but ignore or discount obvious moral facts and injustices. Politicians as public servants may feel they deserve inside stock information for which citizens would be jailed. Mothers who don't want their freedom restricted may abort their baby. Horny people don't deserve being tied down with marital obligations.  Homosexuals were terribly treated by a parent and just need love. Political parties feel public deception is justified when they have the right agenda. Lawyers must win their case no matter how deceptive and unjust. She caused him to rape her. Since my people are better than yours, I can show you disrespect. Jihadists use innocent persons as human shields. When truth and morals are downgraded any evil can be justified.
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They claim opposing viewpoints can both be true--it's my truth and your truth. A proposition is universally either true or false. The opposite of true is false and what corresponds to reality is true. People once believed the world was flat but now know it's round. In temperature 75 degrees some persons are hot and others cool. Situations, perspectives, understandings, cultures, beliefs and commands may change, but truth is the same for all persons at all times and all places. The world was always round and 75 degrees is the same everywhere regardless of how people may feel. One can't even deny truth without affirming their denial true.
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They are intolerant of rational and especially religious people. Relativists can't tolerate persons who show respect and give good reasons their beliefs are true. It makes relativists look bad, hurts their feelings, angers them, and makes them feel guilty. They shout insults, throw things, threaten, and become violent and destructive to overthrow their opponents. They plot behind closed doors, have no logical factual evidence that can withstand scrutiny, and must try to force their position. Consider two American protest groups. The Tea Party were economic conservatives and lawful patriots while the later socialists were takeover welfare recipients requiring lawful removal. Their intolerance or politically correct stance stifles freedom, leads to anarchy and then harsh dictatorship maybe even a blood bath to restore and maintain order.
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They deny others objective statements to affirm their subjective interpretations. They claim all language is ambiguous in multiple cultures, so we have to deconstruct it providing our own understanding. Thus, our school system must dismantle oppressive outmoded lifestyles showing many gender types and experiences. They follow atheists  such as  Nietzsche, Marx, Derrida, Foucault, Rorty and many others.
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We have dictionaries and we have minds that can understand clear intelligent speech. A survival of the fittest animal mentality leads to constant human conflict, destruction and dispare. Marxist countries have to build walls to keep citizens from risking death to escape terrible oppressive conditions. They came to an exceptional land of the free and home of the brave to have rights and opportunity--it's no accident that America's founders were Bible believing Christians and taught Bible in its schools for its first 150 years. Postmodernism is simply atheist propaganda which leads to destruction of societies, human achievements, warfare, and oppressive dictatorship.
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Where Would Biblical Christianity Lead Us?
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Is Biblical Christianity idealistic or realistic? If facts, logic, and evidence should be the structure upon which we base our lives, thinking and behavior, then here are some things requiring honest consideration. (1) The claim there's no Lifegiving God and Judge exists who can, or has, or will act in our world is something no right thinking person can make. To ignore the possibility is the most serious and foolish thing we can do. (2) To discount the hundreds of ancient detailed Bible predictions of things impossible for men to guess, engineer, or occur accidentally can only be explained by an all-knowing God. (3) To deny or ignore the multitude of eyewitness miracles  recorded by intelligent Bible persons fully aware of nature's normal patterns as we today and who staked their reputation and lives on its reality is just not realistic. How else could God's show us His reality other than visible miracles and fulfilled prophecies? Idealistic--yes! But isn't hope better than dispare? And when it corresponds with facts, logic, and good evidence--that's reality! In Christ alone we have a future of hope, progress, freedom, and fulfillment. The alternative is darkness, dispair, chaos, conflict and eternal tears and torments.
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Christian faith calls for wholehearted commitment and conduct. In the Bible, Christians are said to be many things depicting their behavior in relationship to world conditions. We are soldiers fighting a war against evil, ambassadors representing the government of the King of kings, athletes disciplining our bodies and minds for the race to win the prise. We are farmers sowing seed of God's Word on human hearts, fishers of men who seek to save them from polluted waters, salt preserving the world from decay, light dispelling the world's ignorance and darkness of God and His way, a city on a hill to light the way for others to come, and other metaphors.
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We're not perfect but have a great God and a great future if we embrace it and work to bring it about. It's the highest honor to be one of God's people working to bring about a better world. It begins with trust in the Savior to cleans us from sins and to keep devoted to know Him and His will for our lives. Won't you join this holy band to give yourself wholeheartedly to the greatest task ever?
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Let me recommend some important books discussing this and other vital subjects. For students: Understanding The Times, by David A. Noebel. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, by Ed Hindson & Ergun Caner. I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, by Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek. For professors. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, by Norman L. Geisler.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

College Students Question Biblical Christianity!

                        College Students Question Biblical Christianity!  
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We've grown up hearing what our parents and religious teachers said was true.  College professors often challenge that view. We want to base our beliefs upon good evidence and logic?
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 Too often, we base what we think upon hearsay, bias, misunderstandings, or falsehoods. That's not fair or right with any ones beliefs. Honest thinking persons' ask these questions and they deserve good answers. They concern the most serious issues of our lives so we should give these questions our utmost attention and thoughtful consideration.
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What Are the Consequences of Denying Existence of the Biblical God?
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Affirming the biblical God has seriously good consequences. Nature, an impersonal force,  carved pieces of wood or stone, can be called gods But they are dead objects that can neither know nor care about us. But the Bible's God is a Creator and Upholder of the universe who is personally and ethically aware of everything we think or do. His will is that we live in obedience to Him. We will one-day kneel before Him who will either condemn or commend our every action. Biblical Christianity makes all life purposeful and bursting with meaning. It gives people dignity, freedom, ethical responsibility, security, purpose, hope, love, joy, and a destiny of their choice.
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Denying the Bible's God has terribly serious consequences. It means as far as we know there's no life after death. Ethics has no higher authority than each person's preference--some eat chicken, others prefer to eat people. The world will one-day be destroyed and our lives have no purpose except to satisfy our own desires. Everything is evolving so there's no final or ultimate truth--my truth verses your truth. We're all just evolving animals waiting to die--lights out!
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What  Arguments Supposedly Show Non-existence of the Biblical God?
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One major argument is that evil disproves God. If there is a good and powerful God, then why is there so much evil? If God were good, He would destroy evil, and if He is almighty, He could destroy evil, but evil remains--so no good or powerful God exists. But if so, why do some atheists seem to hate a non-existent deity? Do they demand God tailor all life to their interests? Is it the true God they hate? Could God have a good reason for delay?
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Several replies deserve mention. First, God didn't bring evil into the world--man did and still does. Evil is a corruption of the good world God made like blindness in an eye made to see. We often blame God for the evil and suffering we cause. Second, if there is no God, evil has no meaning--it's just the way things are. Third, evil is always an alternative option when we have free choice. But our having free choice gives us dignity and is far better than being robots. Fourth, if God destroyed evil, he would have to destroy us all since we're none perfect. And, any degree of evil is always up for objection. Fifth, our Lifegiver, Owner, and Lawgiver's purpose and plan is sovereign over all. Finally, our infinite Creator may have a purpose we self-centered limited people have overlooked--such as His greater glory. Apart from our fall into sin and salvation in Christ, we're unable to understand experiencially God's great forgiveness, purity, goodness, mercy, love, peace, truth, joy, or even our need of Him. Praise the Lord for His gracious provision for our limited understanding!
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The other major argument is that evolution makes God unnecessary. Evolution is the belief that all life originated by chance over time from one primary life form. In other words, molecules arranged themselves over time  into all life forms including man. Evolutionists claim we don't need God since evolution explains everything. Just a thought: If there's no God, does anything we think or do ultimately matter? 
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But does evolutions explain everything? Evolution destroys human dignity reducing us to soulless evolving dirt. It destroys hope for life after death. It reduces ethics to each person's preference--deception, adultery, rape, murder, incest, sodomy, sex slaves, sex with animals--there can be no absolute law against them. It destroys absolute truth as everything is in flux. It results in the irrational chaotic destructive world that we see increasing today. Doesn't evolution ultimately make us mindless matter? 
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The evolution claim ignores all the facts that disprove it. First, this dependent universe with all its galaxies and design didn't pop into existence from a powerless nothing--it took a cause that is eternal, self-existent, intelligent all-powerful will or person or God to bring it about. Second, we know scientifically that heat energy is cooling and that we can't backtrack eternally. Third, we know life doesn't arise from non-living chemicals over any amount of time but requires a Life-giver. Four, we know that life forms left alone don't improve but break down which shows evolution impossible. Fifth, we know life forms show specified irreducible complex systems and organs working together. Animals can't exist with partly developed reproductive or digestive systems, eyes and legs. Such had to exist and be functional at the outset. They cannot be attributed to blind mindless chance, but require an intelligent mind and will--God.
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Sixth, no known mechanism exists for evolution to take place--natural selection doesn't add anything new to the gene pool and mutations are destructive mistakes like a monkey wrench thrown into a machine. Seventh, breeding is selective design. we do observe small adaptations within microbes, monkeys, and men, but they don't change into different life forms. And, of course, some life forms didn't adapt to a changing environment and died out. Eight if true science proves its theories by experimentation, what experiment proves evolution? NONE! Nine, the real proof of evolution would be thousands of intermediate fossils showing each step in the evolutionary process. But with millions of fossils found since Darwin only a handful are claimed to show anything and even they are disputed. Tenth, what we actually know is best explained by a Divine Designer throughout life's forms rather than by a common ancestor. Evolution is based upon naturalistic philosophy, not true scientific research. Moreover, it takes away everything good biblical Christianity gives humanity--the biblical God is the most reasonable.
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Why Couldn't a Creator of the Universe Take on a Human Nature, Body and Walk Among Us?
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In agreement with the above, the Bible says, "All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (Col. 1:16-17).  The Creator and Upholderer of this vast universe of matter, space, and time can do anything that suits His purpose. He is an infinite, self-existent, perfect Spirit everywhere present with all power, knowledge, wisdom, goodness, and truth. The Bible further says, "God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27). So while God created all things, only man was created in God's image because God wanted relationship with us.
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God walked and talked with man in the garden paradise and gave him instructions to test his obedience whether he would trust and love God above all else. But man failed. So God set in motion His plan and purpose to save us self-centered rebellious persons hinted at in Genesis 3:15. Satan's seed is unbelievers (John 8:44), and the woman's seed is Christ and believers who will one day defeat them (Rom. 16:20; Heb.2:14-15; Rev. 20:10). God tests us human beings every day in the thoughts we allow and decisions we make for or against Him. Are our thoughts of love and gratitude for our Life-giver and one day Judge?
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Why couldn't Jesus the God-man die for sinners and arise from the dead it that's His will? "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians. 1:7). There's no problem for man's Maker to take on a human nature and body in a holy virgin birth (Matt. 1:18-23). Jesus walked among us experiencing firsthand all that we do, yet without sin qualifying Him to be our Savior. Jesus" death for our sins was God's plan and purpose. Foolishness calls  Jesus bearing our sin and counting believers righteous unjust. As our omniscient Creator, He alone qualifies as the standard of justice and the Judge to execute it. Limited, conflicting, changing human opinions amount to very little.
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What benefits does Christ's resurrection mean for our world? There's life after death. Jesus is the God-man with power of life and death. As God, all Jesus taught in and of Scripture is absolute truth. Humans created in God's mental, moral immortal image have dignity and freedom. Ethics made sense--our thoughts, words, deeds are accountable to God so life has purpose. Our conscience, justice and love make sense. As created and controlled by a rational God, the world is meaningfully moving toward a climax. Experimental science is possible.
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Jesus divided our thinking about history into Before Christ and After His Death. This personal ethically perfect God offers us wayward rebels forgiveness, cleansing, and eternal life with Him forever through faith in Jesus, the Lord and Savior of sinners. Spreading this hope and love is imperative education--without it, all is lost.
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We decide how we want to live whether for self, the world and the devil. or for the God who loves us and died to give us abundant and eternal life. We're never going to be perfect in this life (Jn.  8:7; 1 Jn. 1:8-10). We're never going to understand everything (Isa. 55:6-9; 1 Cor. 13:12). We can experience peace, love, joy in Christ but should not depend upon feelings but upon our love-trust relationship with Him that issues in obedience (John 15).

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Won't you say, Lord Jesus Christ, I turn from sin to trust in You as my Savior, Lord and Guide throughout life? If you pray this honestly trusting in Him, you will become a child of God. Then grow in Christ through prayer, study of God's Word, worship with His people, and sharing this good news with others. NOW, God bless you on your journey to the promised land, Heaven.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is Postmodernitry Subjective Suicide?


               Is Postmodernity Subjective Suicide?

A foreboding crisis of faith darkens the Western world. Traditional institutions seem unable to reach their goals. Capitalism hasn’t reduced disparity between the wealthy and the poor. Wasteful throwaway societies trash earth’s resources and environment. Science and technology haven’t solved our problems. Governments tax citizens into poverty taking their money, or wasting it on ineffective projects. Special interests usurp democratic systems making them unresponsive to citizens. Nations hoard weapons of mass destruction threatening to devastate each other. Greed and corruption appear everywhere. Traditional religions don’t improve the situation and fight among themselves. We fear global warming, an asteroid from space, or that aliens among us may destroy us. We no longer believe in absolute authority, truth, and morality. Let’s look at five stages of change. Change can be either progressive or regressive and in different ways.
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Pre-Christian Barbarism.
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 Before Christ, it was a brutal world where human life had little value. Half the world were slaves of no concern, dignity, or rights. They could be beaten, raped, sold or killed at their master’s will. They usually were put to death when their master died. Women were considered their husband’s property and animals might be thought more valuable.
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Unwanted babies were thrown away to be starved or eaten. Children could be put to death without pity or not live beyond the age of eight. Women could die in childbirth and men in war. City-states, tribes and empires fought all the time and authority rested in whoever had superior weaponry and army to dominate the others.
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People thought killing was the way to gain your enemies strength. Cannibalism, human sacrifice, sexual orgies, sometimes sex with animals were part of many people’s lives and used in worship of their gods. Their gods were as brutal, indifferent, jealous and cruel as were their worshippers. They knew of the one high God but felt estranged from him as isolated peoples do today. Plato (350 B.C.) made an amazing statement, “We wait for one be he a God or an inspired man to instruct us in our duties and to take away the darkness from our eyes.”
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The West’s Hope in Jesus and the Bible until 1960.
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The death and resurrection of Jesus as taught in the Bible radically changed the Western world’s thinking. Ancient peoples feared their gods, sacrificed to them, but never loved them. Soldiers sacrifice themselves for love of country. Mothers died for children they loved. But Jesus showed supreme love giving His human life for us guilty rebels in his death on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21).
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Though innocent, Jesus was rejected, condemned, severally beaten, ridiculed, slapped, spit on, and hung naked before staring eyes. Ancient prophets foretold it (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 2; 22; Isa. 53). Jesus predicted it (Matt. 17:9; 27:63; Mark 8:31). Miracles testified to it—darkness, earthquake, temple vale torn, resurrections (Matt. 27:51-53; Luke. 23:44). It announced, “God so loved the world that He gave His unique Son (sinless God-man) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). But it would be a dead hope apart from Jesus’ resurrection.
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Jesus resurrection established the most crucial things. There’s life after death. Jesus is the God-man with power of life and death. As God, all Jesus taught in and of Scripture is absolute truth. Humans created in God’s mental, moral immortal image have dignity and freedom. Ethics make sense—our thoughts, words, deeds are accountable to God so life has purpose. Our conscience, justice and love make sense.
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As created and controlled by a rational God, the world is meaningfully moving toward a climax. Experimental science is possible. Jesus divided our thinking about history into Before Christ and After His Death. This personal ethically perfect God offers us wayward rebels’ eternal life with Him forever through faith in Jesus, the Lord and Savior of sinners. Spreading this hope and love is imperative education--without it, all is lost.
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We could not know all this except for the Bible. Christians collected the Gospels written about Jesus and the letters of His apostles before A.D. 100. People were living at the time Scripture was published who knew Jesus, his fulfilled prophecies, miracles, claims to be God, and resurrection. Secular writers wrote details about his life. His disciples were tortured and murdered for their faith. No world religion has any Scripture or any founder like Jesus.
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The Bible is history, not some made up stories centuries later (Luke 1:1-3; Acts 1:1-3; 2:22-24; 4:33; 1 Cor. 15:3-8). Moreover, it’s translated from comparative copies of early original languages with the highest degree of accuracy of any ancient documents. We have every reason to trust the Bible as God’s authority and truth and in Jesus as the sinless God-man sent to give us abundant life and save us from Hell (Luke. 19:10; John 10:10; 3:36; 7:16; 8:24). All the unparalleled benefits Christianity bring without commitment to Christ and the Bible will pass away to pre-Christian barbarism.
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Modernity’s Self-sufficient Rejection of the Christian Worldview by 1990.
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Like waves pounding shoreline rocks turning them to sand, unbelief relentlessly pounds Godly faith intent on beating it to pieces. We decided we don’t need God—evolution explains everything. Scientific method and logical reasoning will lead us to truth and progress. Our objective thinking can make things right, save us, and make us free. Jesus, the Bible, and divine authority haven’t worked. Though imperfect, we quickly excuse ourselves pointing the finger at persons struggling to live God honoring lives.
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We blame the world’s evils and sufferings upon superstitious belief in God though we bring them about ourselves. We decided the Bible’s miracles were only imaginative tales of later prescientific writers--it contains numerous absurdities and contradictions—never mind checking out any facts. We were confident our new gods of science, technology, democratic government, law, diplomacy, a good economy, and a strong military could correct any adverse conditions. But then adverse conditions seem to pile up to overwhelm us without relief and without faith.
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Postmodernity’s Lost Faith in Human Achievements from 1991 to today.
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Loss of faith in the personal ethical God demonstrated in Jesus and the Bible has brought about loss of faith altogether. If we’re only evolving animals that return to dirt, we have no great dignity or destiny. If no personal ethically perfect Creator exists who knows and guides our lives, each person’s purpose is freedom to please them self. But it’s a freedom to destroy us. God warns us, “All who hate me love death (Prov. 8:36).
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To follow Darwin, Marx, Muhammad, or some other dictator will lead us to poverty, virtual slavery, and possibly a blood bath. Check it out in history. When we have no objective authoritative guide, we call good evil and evil good. C. S. Lewis in Christian Reflections warned us of the poison of subjectivism that can remove all restraints to evil. Politically correct lays the groundwork for government takeover and imposition of tyranny. It destroys honest objective thinking.
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Science and technology cannot save us and may even destroy us. It is what has enabled us to build weapons of mass destruction but gives no guidelines about using them. Terrorism increasingly stalks our lands. Could the real problem be that we ignore the selfishness, greed, overindulgence, injustice and indifference of our rebellious hearts? With little thought for others, all we care about is our being happy and having life’s good things on our terms. Is our self-occupation and self-sufficiency all we need to make things right? Where are our limited, conflicting, self-centered lives leading us? Those who make the subjective claim there’s no absolute truth and morals, believe they’re making a true statement, and that makes them liars and opens the door to every evil.
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What Does the Future Hold?
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As I see it, we have three options. One, the West can avoid barbarism and return to its former glory of the Christian worldview with serious commitment to Jesus as Savior, Lord, and the Bible to Guide us as we are so prone to sin. Sin is the basis of all our problems. Then, the Lord will hear and bring healing, renewal, and restore us as light to the nations (2 Chron. 7:14; Isa. 55:6-7). God may rise up strong godly national leaders such as Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Daniel.
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Two, it may be that since the West turned its back on the Lord, God will give the East opportunity it’s not had before (Rom. 1:28; Acts 16:6-10). Many in the East are coming to Christ. Three, many believe we’re near the rapture, the revealing of the Anti-Christ, and world domination and persecution of everything Godly. Then, the Bible predicts a Golden Age like the Garden of Eden ending in a final conflict of good over evil. More will be said about these things in God’s later articles.
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Dear friends, thank you for reading my articles and for your concern. Let me plead with you again. We never know how much time we have left. Turn to the Lord Jesus who can save us sinners and be our Guide for life. He alone has given us evidence He’s real, not just conflicting human guesses, opinions and preferences. He’s humanity’s only hope, authority, and absolute truth. Everything else is subjective suicide. Pray, Lord Jesus, save me and control my life.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Did Jesus Really Perform Miracles?


                                                Did Jesus Really Perform Miracles?
#miracles   #Jesus   #supernatural-faith 
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The universe’s expansion, it’s running down, the impossibility of eternal backtracking, and its complexity, all point to its being the effect of a self-existing, eternal, infinite, unchanging intelligence and will which best explains the world and is rightly called God. And since this Creator God exists, it’s a small thing for him to perform miracles or even take on a human nature and body and walk among us as said of Jesus. Several factors require honest consideration.

Jesus’ Miracles Require Open-minded Consideration

Some object saying that’s religious, bias and unfair. But isn’t government refusal of research grants to religious universities biased? Isn’t Bible study and prayer illegal in public schools biased? Isn’t forbidding discussion of Christian ethics on TV and radio biased? Isn’t politically correct secular legislation against the Bible, prayer and Jesus biased? Isn’t a judge’s opinion contrary to a nation’s will biased? Secular politically correct philosophy is what's biased and unfair--God made us with the right to free speech and to know the truth.

Some claim nature’s laws make miracles impossible and it would destroy science.  Ridiculous! A rocket going to the moon didn't destroy gravity or make science impossible. Jesus' turning water to wine, walking on water, feeding the hungry demonstrated he was nature's Lord. Unless God did extraordinary astonishing things beyond nature’s usual patterns, we would never recognize his presence and power.  Nature’s regularity is required in order to identify miracles as exceptions and Jesus as its Lord. Miracles show conclusively there is a God who can act in our world.

Others claim the scientific empirical method alone leads us to knowledge as only repeated experiments under controlled conditions can insure a predictable outcome. Scientific method can’t prove ethics, history, macro evolution, or even the scientific method itself. And there’s no rule the Almighty must submit to our controlled experiments for us to believe in him. God could be the primary sustaining Cause and nature’s patterns secondary causes. We can’t show nature is everything
without exhaustive knowledge. Do we even know what's taking place in the house next door?

Good objective science doesn’t exclude God and miracle before investigation. Science’s role is to describe what is, not prescribe what can and cannot be. supernatural--that's a closed-minded, biased, unscientific dogmatism. Beware of biased scientists who say there's no God and no miracles. 

The skeptic philosopher David Hume said miracles were impossible but he never weighed the evidence of Jesus’ miracles. He assumed overwhelming evidence of natural events outweighed their possibility. He said miracles would violate nature’s laws. No wise man, only ignorant superstitious persons in some unknown corner believes them. Hume claims also that miracles occur in all religions alike that discredits their opposed teachings. He never examined the exceptional nature of Bible miracles.

Hume’s objection would eliminate the possibility of any unknown or exceptional event even when we know it occurs, such as walking on the moon. Unlike other miracle accounts, Jesus’ disciples were eyewitnesses and martyred for their belief. Jesus’ miracles astonished his disciples and his  hostile  critics couldn’t deny them, which shows all knew nature’s laws. We know miracles impossible only if we  know no miracle working God exists and that requires exhaustive knowledge we don’t have.

Naturalistic philosophy makes us soulless material manipulative dirt without dignity, worth or rights. Pantheism makes us illusion cycles of energy awaiting absorption into nothingness. If Jesus arose bodily from the grave, it assures everybody’s vital human needs and rights. For only Jesus showed life beyond the grave. Since only God the Creator has power over death, we can know Jesus Christ is the incarnate God-man who walked among us. God grants us the right to life, dignity, and free speech as created in His image for His glory and for relationship with Him.

What basic momentous things did Jesus teach? The Bible is God’s message to man. We’re beings of great value in God’s rational, moral, immortal image. God gave us laws, justice, love and his human life to save us. Jesus alone can save us from sin. Heaven and Hell are eternal realities-- we decide our destiny. Jesus makes history climactic, life ultimately meaningful, truth and ethics realities, the world understandable, experimental science possible, and our daily choices crucial. Wow! Can speculative philosophy and religion match that? No way!

Now, let’s examine Christ’s miracles. Our present well being and eternal destiny could be at stake. Unless we have irrefutable proof it can’t be true, we’re most wise to give it utmost honest consideration. Jesus’ miracles were God’s exceptional acts within nature showing his claims true.

Jesus’ Miracles Are True History

Several lines of evidence establish Jesus’ miracles as real historical events showing he was the God-man who walked among us. But even then, it requires open-minded consideration.

Historians accept two primary sources as verifying events and three as excellent. Jesus has six independent sources each telling the same general events but with different details: the four gospels, the sermons of Acts and statements of Paul and Peter in their epistles. Except for an anti-supernatural bias, that alone would establish historical fact.

Matthew and John were Jesus’ disciples for over three years. Mark was a close associate of his chief apostle Peter while Luke was Paul’s disciple and an extensive eyewitness researcher. That’s immediate documentation. And while other historical events have few manuscripts to document them with the New Testament there are thousands.

The Gospels mention well-known persons, places, dates, events, and customs. Archaeological and historical research has repeatedly verified the Gospels as history. Luke mentions thirty prominent names of that time and place known to secular writers and archaeologists. For example, Tiberius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, Herod Antipas, Herod the Great, Pilate, and high priests as Caiaphas and Ananias. An ossuary or bone box recently found may contain Caiaphas’s bones. He mentions social Jewish customs, laws, places, feasts verified as true to the time. Fiction writers dare not mention things fact hunters would expose.

Published by A.D. 100, the whole New Testament amazingly circulated among churches less than seventy years after Christ. The few copies of other ancient documents are dated hundreds of years after publication. Over five thousand Greek copies, thousands of copies in other languages and New Testament quotes of all but eleven verses of the church fathers give far greater evidence of accurate history than the few surviving ancient secular documents. Scholars point to creeds and hymns of the early church the apostles received and incorporated in their letters (Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 11:23-33; 15:3-8; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 1:15-18; 1Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:8; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; 1 Jn. 4:2-3). They date them as early as A.D. 33 to 48, which rules out any legendary and imaginary embellishment. So the accounts of Jesus’ miracles then are true history.

Jesus’ Miracles Show He Is God

Biblical prophets and apostles performed miracles grouped around three crucial periods in Israel’s history. During slavery in Egypt, Israel needed miracles to establish Moses as their leader to the Promised Land. Again, miracles group around Elijah and Elisha to save Israel from Baal worship. Finally, miracles occur with Christ and the apostles to show God’s new revelation. Of course, the Creator can heal and provide miracles any time. But these grouping in crises times show they are not everyday occurrences. What’s different about Jesus’ miracles is that he alone claimed to be Israel’s predicted Messiah and humanity’s God. What is the character of Jesus’ miracles that elicit faith?

First, the Gospels mention only 35 miracles but Jesus performed hundreds if not thousands (John. 3:2; 21:25). Individuals and groups requested healing for over three years wherever he went between towns, in people’s homes, by the seaside and at the temple. Hostile critics accused Jesus of blasphemy claiming to be God, said his miracles were Satanic, but could never deny them even when challenged to do so (John. 10:33; 11:47-48).

Second, Jesus performed visible close-up miracles before watching crowds and critics in the daylight. Sleight of hand tricks in darkness or at a distance and freakish accidents or anomalies of nature were simply impossible.

Third, wherever Jesus went both individuals and crowds requested healing, and they were healed on the spot (Luke 4:40). He healed the nobleman’s son (Jn. 4:46-53) and the centurion’s son (Matt. 8:5-13) from a distance. Preplanned healings among strangers might be faked, but not spontaneous healings among well-known townspeople and relations.

Fourth, Jesus’ miracles were of varies kinds and in four categories. He did nature miracles such as stilling the storm, walking on the water, cursing the fig tree and ascending into Heaven—no magic or anomalies of nature here. He healed obvious visible ailments such as blindness, deafness, leprosy, dropsy, and paralysis—no deception or hypnotism possible here. Demons acknowledged Jesus as the holy one of God who cast them into pigs restoring the possessed to sanity. Jesus raised three stiff cold people from the dead. He visibly showed control of all nature, disease, demons and death. Natural causes can’t explain away Jesus’ miracles.

Fifth, Jesus works identify him as God. Only the God-man could live without sin, forgive sins, and die to save sinners. Only God could fulfill scores of detailed ancient prophecies of a divine Messiah. Only God could come down from Heaven, existed before creation, raise the dead, command angels and demons, knew people’s inner motives, change into Light. Only God could claim to be the only way, truth and life to the Father. Jesus showed himself the self-existing I Am of the unconsumed burning bush. No sorcerer or anyone was like Jesus.

Sixth, Jesus’ miracles stand alone in the world’s knowledge. Modern medicine can’t heal every disease and do it instantly as did Jesus. World religions don’t claim anything like Jesus’ supernatural actions. Jesus’ miracles were not freakish bizarre myths like moving statues, one-eyed giants, snake headed Medusas or flying carpets in some far away land. Jesus turning water into wine, multiplying food and catching fish in great abundance show the natural order. What better visible proof could we have that Jesus is in fact nature’s Lord and our God? He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

But, the decisive question is this: Is Jesus your Lord and Savior from sin, self, Satan and Hell? As rebellious sinners before a morally perfect God, we face an eternity of darkness, despair, tears and torments. Or, we can have an eternity of love, fulfillment, joy and service with our Maker. Won’t you humbly say, Lord, I’m an unworthy sinner deserving Hell? But I trust Jesus taking my place bearing my sin upon the cross. I accept you right now as my Savior, Lord and Guide throughout life. Thank you Lord. Help me live a life pleasing to you and share my godly faith with others according to your Word. So be it. Feel free to link & share these blog articles, even translate them into other languages.
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