Tag: Faith

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

In this world of struggles and disappointments and hardships and loss it’s refreshing to be reminded that there’s something worth celebrating every day of our lives, and that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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The Greek word translated “gospel” in the New Testament means “good news”, and in the context of the Bible the gospel is the “good news” about Jesus Christ. But what exactly was and is that good news, and what does it mean for us?

In answer to the second question first, read what Jesus said:

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

The Bible speaks of a love-gift from God. That gift is forgiveness of all our sin, and eternal life with our Creator. The only requirement is that we accept God’s son, and attempt, through him, to live God’s way instead of our own.

Contrary to the common view on the street, as promoted by Hollywood and by certain authors, the gospel, the scriptures and the essential Christian doctrines were not all invented hundreds of years after the time of Christ’s life on earth. Lee Stroebel, with an MA in Law from Yale University, and a former award-winning investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune, in his book “The Case for Christ” interviewed a number of believing scholars such as Cambridge educated Sir Norman Anderson. Anderson was a Professor at Harvard, and lectured at Princeton. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of London. Anderson said that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians can be confidently dated to around 55 AD (1).

Dr. Gary R Habermas, a New Testament historian, received his Ph D from Michigan State University and his DD from Emmanuel College, Oxford. In his book “The Historical Jesus”, Habermas discusses the creed quoted below as found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, and writes:

“That this confession is an early Christian, pre-Pauline creed is recognized by virtually all critical scholars across a wide theological spectrum” (2).

THE GOSPEL

Here, then, is Paul’s first century definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which he had given his life to, despite all opposition and threats, having once been a persecutor of Christians:

“Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time….Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…” (1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 8).

So the gospel of Jesus Christ-the good news we can accept or reject-is this:

1 Christ died for our sins, as prophesied in Old Testament Scriptures (we can be forgiven for all our sin because of Christ’s death on the cross);

2 He was buried;

3 He was raised from the dead on the third day;

4 He appeared alive to his disciples after his resurrection.

5 He has promised peace in this world and eternal life to all who trust in him.

NOTES

1 Lee Strobel “The Case For Christ” (Pub. By Zondervan, © 1998) p. 230.

2 Gary R Habermas “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ” (College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, © 1996 Gary Habermas) p 153.

ROCK ‘N SOUL

It’s amazing how many things evolutionists and creationists agree on, without realizing it. A well-known creationist* when debating evolutionists, loves to point out that they believe humans came from a rock. The Bible says something similar…

When the evolutionists protest that they believe no such thing, he explains. According to the evolutionary history of the universe, space, time and matter came from nothing, or virtually nothing, when it expanded into all the universe we see today. A part of that matter, a large lump of rock, became the earth. Rain appeared on it magically, and created a soup in which life with all its incredible intricacies popped into existence (none of this was ever observed). That life developed itself over enormous amounts of time, until, well, here we all are communicating, pro-creating, and writing blog-posts. Voila: life from a rock.

Not only does this very wry creationist have a point, but actually, so do the evolutionists, because Scripture says something similar. Early in the book of Genesis we read that God created man out of the dust of the ground:

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

Here is one example of agreement between evolutionists and creationists: humans originate from the earth itself. The most obvious difference is that we believers acknowledge that intelligence is required to make information: DNA and life, even in the simplest of cells, is mind-bogglingly rich in information.

Another difference between the two accounts of man’s origins is that according to Scripture, we (mankind) have a spirit within us, also created by God. Believers (and everyone else) get an incalculably valuable bonus which most evolutionists don’t seem to want: an immaterial, immortal soul. We are more than rock plus information.

However, we believers, along with our unbelieving brothers and sisters-in-flesh-if-not-in-spirit, sometimes get inflated ideas of ourselves and of our value. We think that our Creator owes us all kinds of goodies and service. We think we can act our way and not His way without consequences. We’re like a painting which attempts to assert rights and privilege over the artist and the owner. We think that we are the important ones and the artist is irrelevant.  With this principle in mind, John the Baptist drew the attention of those he was preaching to where they had come from-that is, the ground:

“And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Matthew 3:9).

God made us from the dirt of the ground, adding information and life. So then let’s not insult our Creator by compromising with the evolutionists about our origins: a painting does not paint itself, and information does not come from nothing or from chaos. Let’s instead give God the honor and reverence He deserves, for creating us with a certain amount of dignity, with a spirit, with a little free-will and intelligence, and the promise of much more even than that:

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Thanks for reading.

*Kent Hovind

 

 

THE WORLD THAT ISN’T GOD’S

The book of Revelation, in speaking of cataclysmic end-of-days  events and the judgments of God, states this:

 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

So a pertinent question is this: If the kingdom of the world only becomes God’s upon the enactment of end-times events, to whom does it belong now?

Over there in Washington, men and women fight and scratch and kick and grab for power. Whose bidding are they doing? Whose kingdom do they want to control? Under whose influence are they? The answer can be seen in several Bible passages, not least the account of the temptation of Jesus Christ. Here, Satan offers to give Jesus Christ all the world, without having to go the way of the cross:

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9).

Jesus didn’t argue with Satan: the kingdoms of the world, that is, the kingdoms of mankind, do belong to our enemy, for now. That fact explains quite a lot, doesn’t it? I’m not one who thinks Christians should not be involved in politics-we absolutely should, to hold back the flow of evil and just plain bad government as much as possible. And I’m in awe of the President for attempting to do just that. But no matter who manages to gain control of the “free” world on the surface, and no matter that it is under the power of the evil one, its future belongs to our God, and to His Christ.

SEEING GOD

Millions of people make the gigantic mistake of expecting God to peep through the clouds, or to audibly speak the winning lotto numbers, before they’ll believe he’s there. God isn’t undetectable. He isn’t “the God of the gaps” as one famous evolutionist insists we evangelicals believe. He isn’t only in the things we can’t explain.

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In fact, God is so there that it’s really impossible not to see his handiwork, unless you are that determined not to see it. What evolutionists observe while intentionally ignoring the fact, is God’s workmanship. Go and look outside, or look in the mirror: there’s all the evidence you’ll ever need that there’s an amazing, mind-bogglingly intelligent Creator, full of beauty, love, power and order. What we can see, hear and touch, and the fact that we can see it, is proof enough:

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

ARE SCIENCE AND GOD INCOMPATIBLE?

A common argument against any consideration of the existence of God and of divine Creation is that science and God are two separate things: God is all about “faith and fairy tales”, whereas science is concerned with reality. This, dear reader, is poppycock…
Prinicipia-title.png
 My initial rebuttal in this situation is that God IS the Master mathematician, and the Master scientist: no God, no universe! Evolution is an “opt-out” excuse for those who want to ignore God and hope that he isn’t there.
Great scientists of the past-those who actually made the discoveries rather than being indoctrinated and then employed according to their obedience to the politically correct views, recognized that science proceeds from the mind of an omnipotent creator. They were the men upon whom the foundations of true science were built. Those who try to fudge this fact are really trying to defend evolutionism by calling it “science”.
True science is observable and testable: evolution is a theory which cannot be demonstrated or observed. You may have been told that some bacteria in the lab underwent some sort of change. However, those little creatures are still bacteria, are they not? This is not evolution in the sense of microbes to man: it’s variation. It does not prove that you are related to a slug, and it does not prove that life came from non-life.
Sir Isaac Newton gave us the three laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation, among many other amazing things. In discussing these laws The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois states:
“Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and his Law of Gravity are probably the most famous of all physics. He was one of the greatest scientists in history” (note 8).
Newton said in his “Mathematica Principia” in 1686:
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all, and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God, Universal Ruler.” 
(note 7).
Larry Vardiman, PhD, writes, “The modern scientific method was developed in the 16th and 17th centuries. Many Christians contributed to the procedures for doing science. The use of careful observation, experimentation, the development of laws, hypotheses, and theory, and the use of mathematics were all important parts of its development. Scientists like Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Johann Kepler, Blaise Pascal, and many others who were Christians believed Genesis and honored God in their science” (note 1. See also an article by T.V. Varughese, PhD note 2).
Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895) was a French biologist in the nineteenth century. He was a microbiologist and chemist, renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases. He created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax.
Pasteur said:
“The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the creator” (note 3).

 

Galileo Galilei, famous for his scientific achievements in astronomy, mathematics, and physics, and infamous for his controversy with the church was, in fact, a devout Christian who saw not a divorce of religion and science but only a healthy marriage:

“God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word.” 4

Michael Faraday, who became one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century, began his career as a chemist.  His major contribution, however, was in the field of electricity and magnetism. He was the first to produce an electric current from a magnetic field, invented the first electric motor and dynamo, demonstrated the relation between electricity and chemical bonding, discovered the effect of magnetism on light, and discovered and named diamagnetism, the peculiar behavior of certain substances in strong magnetic fields (6). Faraday said:

‘God has been pleased to work in his material creation by laws’ (5).

NOTES
7 Principia Mathematica, by Sir Isaac Newton.