Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Atheism’ Category

A lot of people have lived on this earth since the first man and woman, but this man was different. He was different to such a degree that many people act as if they wished he had never existed. He should have had no enemies, yet those who misunderstood him took his life.

It wasn’t so much the things he did that turned some against him. Even his enemies acknowledged that he had performed great miracles before their very eyes (John 11:47-48). According to our best historical records, he healed many who were sick, gave sight to the blind, raised more than one person from the dead (Mark 5:22,24, and 35-42, John 11:1-45). Even the ancient writings of those hostile to his teachings bear witness that strange events surrounded his life.

He taught us to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-40) and our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45). He taught that real love means treating one another fairly (Luke 6:31), and that we are responsible to God for our actions. The thing that bothered many people the most was concerning who he claimed to be.

He claimed to fulfil Old Testament prophecies and to be the Jewish Messiah (Luke 4:16-21, John 4:23-30,39-42), the only begotten son of God. He said in John 14:6-9, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Some of the things he said infuriated the leaders of his day (John 10:19-33, ref. John 1:1-5,10-14). That is why he was killed.

Modern doubts concerning him aren’t based upon an honest evaluation of actual history, but upon the same misguided opinions that he faced in his own day. He wasn’t widely known during his lifetime, but the impact of his life and death affected history from that point onward. That is mainly because on the third day after he was killed and entombed, the man was alive again.

The man who was, is, and is yet to come again. Eye witnesses of his return to life risked everything and told the good news everywhere. Because of this disclosure, many of them were persecuted and lost their own lives. Arguments against Christianity date from this time, and the resulting persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire is part of world history.

Many people today are taught only a distorted view of the event, if they hear of it at all. The Empire still wants to silence the news of the resurrection. Roman officials wrote to one another concerning their problem. It wasn’t enough to kill and bury him once. Too many people claimed to have seen him back alive, and even though the tomb had been under guard, the body was gone.

No doubt, these things played a part in the suicide of Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who presided over the crucifixion of Jesus. The first followers of Jesus believed his promise to someday return, and reveal himself to the world.

Much of the world continues to fear this promise as if it were a threat to our freedom, but no, the words of Jesus are the spring of freedom, and of life itself. The true Easter is all about him (ref. My April 2011 post, Dawn of the Rising Son, and The Secret Name, from February 2017). The return of Spring should be a perpetual reminder of this. “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, and the time of the singing of the birds is come, (Song of Solomon, 2:11-12 KJV).”

One day, the man who was, and is (Revelation 1:17-18), will return to this world that he created and that he died for. After the end is the new beginning, Heaven will come to Earth (Revelation 21:1-4).

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The pursuit of happiness often leaves misery in its wake. Dear God, we want to reach out to those around us who are hurting, and we pray for them everyday. We pray for those who must helplessly watch their loved ones fall deeper into despair. Many of us have been there in both situations. Even if we could go to the cross for others, as you did Lord, sometimes things can’t be helped. Sometimes the darkness gets such a hold on the human soul that there seems to be no hope.

Lord, you know the terrible nightmares I used to have, dreams of being wrestled and crushed by something invisible in the darkness. Coming to faith in you Lord Jesus changed that dream, and your name would come to me even in my troubled sleep. I was no longer paralyzed by the dream, but I became able to struggle against the grip of the darkness. I thank you Lord that now I haven’t had that nightmare in years. Hope in you Lord, made the difference. Hope is alive.

We usually don’t know how troubled those around us really are but right now Lord, I see someone sinking. Help us Lord not be as helpless as I once was in that dream. I pray Lord that you, with or without the hands of another human being, break the chains of darkness that are wearing away a precious life. Help those of us who believe in you to not be so helpless when nightfall is around us. You went to the cross for us, but you are alive again, and hope is alive.

God is love; eternal happiness is only with you, and in your kingdom there will never again be a need or desire to pursue it further. Happiness will be a bird in hand, free to fly as never before. Time, that taunts and tortures us now, will be meaningless in the light of forever.

Yet Lord, I pray for happiness here and now, and joy in our journey. I pray this for my friend. My friend confesses your name, but even Christians still need you. We yet need you almost as much as those who don’t even want to know you.

The pursuit of happiness is many times in vain, but if we follow you Lord, you will one day take us there. Your hope is a song in the night (Psalms 42:8). It wavers, but it lives. Wouldn’t we be surprised if we could see, as God has seen, the chains that hope has broken when it was thought to be dead.

Read Full Post »

I think it is as if, from God’s perspective you and he are alone in this world. He has the time for you whether or not you are conscious of him. It is very easy to be unaware of God because we are born into a world that is alienated from him. To be “conscious” means “to know,” and the similar word “conscience” means to “know guilt.”

Our con-science can trick our consciousness so that we are unaware of God, and so that we try to avoid the thought of him. Our conscience stands between us and God, magnifying the differences between us, telling us only distorted versions of the truth. We begin to try to find other, more “comfortable” explanations for life.

I once believed the theory of Evolution. Now I know it’s only a modern myth that provides a temporary escape from personal responsibility. The theory creates a mosaic from billions of puzzle pieces of life, forcing them together in ways to roughly fit our picture of “NoGod.”

Most of those who teach Evolution are responsible people, having “learned” the theory from generations of respectable “teachers.” Ultimately, the theory offers no real hope for man. Many try to mix the theory with Christianity, but evolution is truly the cornerstone of Atheism. It would be bad enough if evolution were true. Instead, it is one of the most intelligently crafted deceptions ever to exist. It’s no wonder that so many young people are drifting into atheism.

God is not the oppressor, but man has portrayed him that way. Mankind has built a wall that becomes a cross to God, and God meets us there where he is crucified. On his part, it is an attempt to reach us, to break down our violent rejection of him. He stands on a nail, and reaches out for us, as far as our nails in his hands will let him reach.

His crown is of thorns, and “the best of us is a briar.” Our rejection of his loving forgiveness can result in a final and total alienation. This is happening even now, and people don’t know that God is dying, trying to save us from this terrible separation.

God will live on for the sake of those that he can finally touch. He will live, and we will live, and in an eternity beyond the reach of time, all tears will be wiped away, and nothing will stand between us and God. Our conscience will become clear, and we will see God as he really is (1st. Corinthians 13:12). We will become fully conscious for the first time.

Read Full Post »

I don’t know why you are hurting, or how you may relate to others in your pain. Only God knows all the reasons and the depth of our suffering; God is not the reason for our pain, but he understands. Some people become angry with themselves, with God, or with everyone. The same person may react in different ways at different times. People who are hurting may wound other people in turn, even if only through the empathy of others. The ripples often run much deeper though. Loneliness begets loneliness. Emptiness leads to emptiness. Our frustration creates frustration in those around us. We lash out at others, dragging them down with us. Sometimes this is even intentional. It is difficult to believe but sometimes people take pleasure in the suffering of others.

Don’t make the common mistake of blaming this mess of a world on God. There are several things that the Bible says that God is not, or is not to blame for. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love (2nd Timothy 1:7). God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1st Corinthians 14:33). When Elijah had been instructed to come out of a cave where he was hidden, first there came a terrible wind, then an earthquake, followed by a fire. The Bible says that God was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire (1st Kings 19:11,12). Elijah heard him afterward as a still small voice.

“Never blame the rainbows for the rain.” Don’t blame God for the problems of life. On the sea of Galilee, when a storm threatened his disciples (Mark 4:37-39), Jesus “arose and rebuked the wind.” That implies that the storm had an outside cause. There is such a thing as judgement, but the undiscerning and unaffected either think it’s all or nothing; some think it non-existent, and others imagine it in every instance. Job’s “friends” insinuated that his suffering, even the loss of his children, was due to God’s judgement of him (Job 4:1-5:4), but God judged that they were wrong (Job 42:7-8). Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

The Bible says that when one hurts, we all hurt (1st Corinthians 12:26). We are all in this together, but there is a spirit of misunderstanding and deception that often plays us against each other. It can sometimes turn us against God, but remember that when we are hurt, God is hurt (Isaiah 63:9). Don’t forsake prayer regardless of the situation. I think that God is the actual target, and that his love for us makes him vulnerable. I believe that we are being used as human shields by a deceptive enemy in an all-out war against God. I understand why people seek an escape, but ultimately there is no real hope apart from Jesus.

God, as Jesus Christ, put himself within our reach. He became vulnerable, became God incarnate, to use a more religious sounding term. It is a theological mistake to try to set him on a pedestal out beyond the stars somewhere. That isn’t what he wants (Revelation 21:3-5)). He wants his presence to make a difference in our lives, here and now in this world, and in the next, and not to have to leave us to our own devices.

By the way, the word “world,” (werald, or weralt) means “old man.” According to the dictionary, it comes from the old English words “wer,” which meant “man,” and “eald,” an ancient spelling of “old.” By the same token the word “werewolf,” for the fictional creature of horror stories, simply means man-wolf. This changing world is often the real horror story. I don’t need to try to tell you all about it. We all hear a bit of the news. All of us have our own experience.

In my short lifetime the world has begun to grow old, but I think that this is only the temporal reality. God has promised to eventually create a new heavens and a new earth. He will have to, for man will destroy this one. No deception or misunderstanding will ever darken the new world (2nd Peter 3:13). The hearts of its inhabitants will be ready for a new day (Hebrews 8:10). It will be what God wanted from the very beginning.

Wherever we are or whatever we are going through, we are not as alone as we may feel. God is with us. It is a simple matter to be found; all we have to do is call (Acts 2:21). As the world goes on, the good shepherd is searching through time for his children yet unborn.

Read Full Post »

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1st Corinthians 14:33). Remember that verse, and that we should not blame God when life leaves us dumfounded. Man has created an environment that isn’t conductive to reason or peace, and there is little time to figure life out. Sometimes even truthful people word things poorly, and sometimes there are no “right” words. We misunderstand a lot of things. The truth of life is not going to come easy.

God is not the creator of confusion, yet there is a fight over practically every word of the Bible, as well as over everything else in the world. All human beings suffer from the effects of Eden’s tree of knowledge (Genesis 3:1-5). A little bit of “learning” along some branch of knowledge and we think we know what we need to know. All people in all fields disagree amongst themselves, and the best ideas and explanations are often lost in the babel.

False beliefs, lies, things that are not true cause our confusion. Some people call it all “God’s will,” but it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Man however, is very creative when it comes to falsehood (Romans 3:4). Much of what we’re taught is purely theoretical, and at the same time man has forgotten the more important things (Romans 1:28, 1st Corinthians 8:2, & 13:2).

I honestly believe that God deeply desires to prove himself to man, but how is the best way to do this with such unreasonable creatures? The ways in which we attempt to test him are shallow and unfair. Our “tests” for God are usually ultimatums requiring him to override the freewill of other human beings or to cater to us in some way.

Before the fall of man, nature would have been a good witness for God, but now it seems to tell two different stories. Nature yet testifies of God, but it also shows evidence that something is very wrong with our world. Besides knowing that God exists we also need to understand that he is good, and that we fall somewhat short of that concept.

Knowledge can be abused and used deceptively, and we have an adversary who is “a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). The “forbidden fruit” has infected the interpretation of all knowledge. How is God supposed to prove his love to a dying world which cannot be sustained in its present condition? What would it take to actually change this insane world? Perhaps, very carefully chosen words could say it, if we had time to listen, but not in the babel where we exist.

What if God were willing to come down to us, die with us, offer resurrection and paradise to whoever will trust him (Luke 23:42-43, John 3:16). According to the Bible record, that’s what God has done. His suffering and death on the cross proves his love to us in a way that nothing else would. God becomes one of us, and his cross cuts through all of man’s high-minded theological confusion. It cuts to the heart of love. God is offering us a new world where confusion does not reign, and lies can’t divide us (John 10:10).

Satan is a liar, and the father of it. By persuading Adam and Eve to believe a lie in the garden of Eden, he stole the life of mankind. Don’t let the thief by whatever trick of ideology or theology destroy the simplicity of the words of the promise of Jesus. Talk is cheap among human beings but that isn’t God’s fault.

People treat words as meaningless, and that leads to more and more trouble. It means that God had to sacrifice himself in order to reach us. Sometimes, even that doesn’t touch us. Please believe the records of Jesus contained in the Bible. Believe the evidence. It makes sense. Then trust that his sacrifice will sustain us. In time, beyond the final Antichrist, we will experience the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus. It isn’t a testimony written in words only but in the life-blood of our creator. (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Read Full Post »

There is a lot of basic doctrine to be found in the pattern for prayer that Jesus gave us in Matthew 6:9-13. It is usually called “The Lord’s Prayer,” but it is actually a general prayer guide for his followers. It was given at the request of one of his disciples (Luke 11:1-4). I don’t see anything in the Bible that annuls this pattern or supersedes its particular doctrines. As usual, please forgive my inconsistent grammar in this writing.

“Our Father in Heaven,” I am glad that you have a haven where all would be welcomed if all would welcome you; a place where you can take us when this world becomes more than can be borne. Evolutionists believe in “Father Time,” but time is not our father. Time is a creation of God, our caring Father.

“Hallowed be your name.” The name of God; the name of Jesus, is despised, dishonored, and dragged through the mud.

“Your kingdom come.” The peaceful kingdom where the lion eats straw like the ox will become a reality. This earth whose nations now reject you, and wage war upon each other, will one day become a world where there will no more hurt or destruction. Your kingdom will become a physical reality (Isaiah 11:6-9).

“Your will be done on Earth as in Heaven.” Jesus is Lord, but we don’t yet see all things in submission to his will (Hebrews 2:8). We are far from it, which is why we are to pray for it. The perfect will of God has not permeated this world since the day Adam and Eve undertook to reinterpret all knowledge. Things are not beyond God’s control, but God is not a puppeteer.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Sustain us Immanuel (manna and man, Man of Heaven); bread that is broken for us.

“Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We all offend in many ways (James 3:2), but love covers a multitude of sins (1st Peter 4:8).

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” A man in the Old Testament (Proverbs 30:8-9) prayed for God to give him “neither poverty nor riches,” but only that which was sufficient for him. He recognized the fact that just about anything can lead to trials for us. Lead us in some other way Lord. Let us not enter temptation. God tempts no man (James 1:13), even though all are tempted by life itself. Do we really want what we feel like we want? Sometimes our freewill does not feel free. Deliver us from the evil one.

“For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, to forever.” You have the right, and the power when you choose to exercise it. Hallowed be your name. One day your name will be cleared. Man’s assumptions and accusations against God will be proven false, and the truth will be evident. That is the true definition of the “glory of God,” not the vainglory of human definition. One day Jesus will be seen in his own true light, without our shadows casting doubts and deceptions about him. “For your’s is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, to forever. Amen.”

Read Full Post »

Prejudice is always an injustice, and we should not misjudge the Bible’s stand against it. The tint of our skin is never justification for prejudice. Miriam, the sister of Moses, displayed prejudice against his Ethiopian (Cushite) wife, but God rebuked Miriam (Numbers 12:1-15) allowing her skin to temporarily become “white as snow.”

The Bible’s teachings regarding marriage between “believers,” and “unbelievers,” do not reflect prejudice, but were given for the sake of children, and as a safeguard for marriage. The differing viewpoints of believing and unbelieving spouses can create extra conflict within the close confines of marriage, and turn children against God. God knows there will be enough stress without those differences, and doesn’t want families fighting over everything under the sun. The Bible is promoting peace, and not prejudice.

There are special instructions in the Bible concerning marriages where only one spouse is a believer (1st. Corinthians 7:12-17). There are also a few special cases for such marriages (ref. Ester 2:1 through 4:14), though it is never wise to think of ourselves as a special case.

Besides that of Moses, there are other examples in the Bible where marriages between people of different nationalities were not condemned. God is not prejudiced (Acts 10:22-43). Whether we descended from Shem, Ham, or Japheth, is cause for neither pride, nor shame. Actually, we’re all so mixed up that it would hardly matter except for certain genetic diseases and things. Consider this; God, in becoming a man and uniting with us, took upon himself our sicknesses and our sins (Matthew 8:17, Isaiah 53:4,5). He became sin, who knew no sin (2nd. Corinthians 5:21). He did not become a sinner, yet he died because of our sin.

There are many prophecies throughout the Bible hinting that he would do this, thus the genealogies given in the Bible are primarily intended to help us identify the living God in a world of false ideals about God. They establish the bloodline of the God-Man, the Messiah (the Christ), the anointed sacrifice. The Bible genealogies begin in Genesis, and keep branching off until they lead to Jesus, and there they end. Another reason for the genealogies is to inform us that we all descended from Noah.

The Lord chose a family through which he would enter our world. Jesus, the only begotten son of God (John 1:14), was born of the virgin Mary, as foretold in Isaiah 7:14. The lineage of Joseph, his stepfather, is given (Matthew 1:1-16), as well as that of his mother (Luke 3:23-38). The lineages of Mary and Joseph converge at David, the King of Israel.

Jesus was of the bloodline of Noah’s son Shem, but some of his ancestors were not Semitic. Rachab (Rahab), of Matthew 1:5, was the Canaanite woman of Jericho who hid the Hebrew spies. The scarlet line that she hanged from her window to identify her family for protection during the siege (Joshua 2:18,21) is symbolic of her faith in the lifeline of God. She is in the bloodline of Jesus.

The Hebrew word translated as “line,” in these two verses, is in other Bible verses translated as “hope.” Many times in life, hope is the only lifeline that we have. Without hope, life becomes meaningless. Hope often makes the difference between life, and death. This lifeline is something God has labored to make real. Though secularism and false religion have striven relentlessly to hide the fact, the hope of Jesus is affirmed by history, science, and the experience of life. It isn’t an immaterial, empty wish that we grasp for in the mist.

In accordance with the prophecy in Isaiah 53:8 (ref. Acts 8:26-35), Jesus did not marry. He had no physical children. From Jesus forward, the bloodline of God runs in children of faith such as Rahab became.

The genealogies of the tenth chapter of Genesis are a significant part of the history of the nations of the world. I won’t go into detail, but Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, expands upon this historical chapter. He also refers to “secular” historians of other nations, to validate material included in this section of the Bible.

On this subject, as with everything that I have written about in this blog, great and wonderful books could be written. Some good books have been written, of course, but there are none which do full justice to the subject matter of the Bible. I can only attempt to give a reader a little glimpse into them. Mysteries will remain until the Lord returns.

The prophetical genealogies of the Bible lead us not only to the family of the Lord, but to where he would be born, and to the place where he would live his life, and it is the land of Canaan. If there was a “curse” on the descendants of Ham, (ref. My preceding post on Canaan), then it was largely that Canaan chose to settle in an area that would later become a crossroads, trampled by most of the warring empires of history.

It is the land of the cross. Most of the land once occupied by Canaan is held today by the tiny nations of Israel, and Lebanon. Consider this also, that a town called “Cana,” in this land of Canaan, is the place where Jesus performed the first miracle of his earthly mission. Many of the miracles of Jesus took place in Samaria, and Galilee, which were areas of mixed populations. The Lord wants to include everyone in his bloodline (Revelation 5:9).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »