Archive for March, 2016

What Do You Believe?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

In these uncertain times, a lot of people question their faith in whatever it is they believe. My faith will not be shaken. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

I believe that it matters greatly what you believe about the origins of mankind, because whatever you believe about our origins will either strengthen or weaken your faith in and understanding of God, and how you view the authority of the Bible.

I believe that God is in charge – not that He controls every aspect of what goes on. Bad things happen because mankind has rebelled against God, not because God is vengeful. I believe that bad things happen to cause us to repent and seek His forgiveness, and that good things happen so we can praise and glorify God. It’s all about Him, not all about us.

I believe that we are rapidly approaching the times Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 24, and other places in the Bible.

I believe that the Christian life is to be lived as a separate culture within our surrounding worldly culture. That the Christian life is to be so distinct, so pure, that the outside world sees our sharing, caring, and humility – and they ask us for the reason. I believe that is biblical evangelism. Not big programs, not knocking on doors, but love lived daily and consistently.

I believe that there is an evil in this world that is far worse than anything we have seen or can imagine, and that it is just now beginning to flex its muscle. I believe it is going to be increasingly more difficult to live the Christian life, but that God will multiply His church in the coming days.

I believe that God is pure love, pure righteousness, pure justice, and that He has adopted me into His family through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Allelujah!

So let me ask once more, what do you believe?



The Lord is in Control

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Although it seems that our world is coming apart at the seams, we can rest assured that the Lord is in control of all things. Romans 13: 1 tells us that the authorities that exist have been established by God, and then Paul continues to give further explanation. We also know that God is delaying the end of the world until the full number of souls have believed in Christ. (2 Peter 3: 9).  God exists outside of time, so he knows everything that has happened and will happen, as if he is looking into the bubble of time from the outside. Nothing can happen in that bubble of time without his direct knowledge, and nothing can happen outside of his control and will.

People who don’t know God see this as a cruel, hateful God, but truly, he is a loving, caring God who wants to give everyone a chance to repent and turn to him. The violence and tragedies that we experience were brought on by ourselves – rebelling from God and rejecting his guidance and love.

So as the world winds seemingly out of control, I can rest calmly knowing that it is not out of God’s control, and at the right time he will save his own. In the meantime, God is with us every moment of our lives. There is no greater peace than to rest in that knowledge.



How a Christian Deals with Tragedy

Monday, March 14th, 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a very common question: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” or for the atheist, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

I would take the person asking to the same conclusion, but would likely approach it a bit differently depending on who is asking.

For the atheist, I would ask on what do they base their judgement of good and bad? In a world where we are nothing more than the result of millions of years of chemical reactions, there is no such thing as good and bad. Morality makes no sense, other than “survival of the fittest.” There could be no universal “good” or universal “bad” in their worldview. So ultimately, to the atheist, it should not matter what happens to anyone.  In fact, their version of natural selection requires that the weak, sick, or otherwise undesirable ones should die off, leaving the strong and healthy ones to continue the species.

For anyone who believes in a god, I would ask “What do you believe is the origin of suffering and death?” Because the answer to that reveals who they think God is, and what is man’s relationship to God. Anyone who believes in millions of years (whether they claim to be Christian or not) has an invalid view of God. I can say that because in that worldview, the fossil record shows suffering and death before man came on the scene. Therefore, man cannot be blamed for those things, and the only one who could be blamed is the god who started it all. So that god is not seen as loving, or caring, or even holy or righteous in their eyes.

But the God of the Bible is emphatically and repeatedly described as a just and holy God, intolerant of evil, yet loving toward his creation and particularly mankind, whom He created in His own image.

So now, let’s consider where suffering and death really came from. According to Genesis chapters 2 and 3, when God created Adam, he only gave him one rule: Don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Then God formed Eve, the first woman, and she was deceived into eating the fruit of that tree – and Adam did so deliberately. The ensuing punishment from God for this evil (remember, He is totally holy and righteous, and cannot tolerate evil in His presence) was that man should suffer and die. This was one of the greatest acts of love God could have done, because had He not demanded death for our sins, we would live forever in a sinful state. But in His great plan for us, he sent His own Son to take the ultimate penalty for all our sins, defeat both sin and death, and restore us to a righteous condition before Him.

Now for the answer to the question, “How could a good a loving God allow suffering and tragedy?”  First of all, no one is “good” in God’s eyes. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” and “No one is righteous, no not one.” The Bible makes it clear we all are destined to die (physically) for our sins. (For it is appointed for man to die once, and after that to face judgment.) So the question being asked is the wrong question in the first place. The better question is “Why has God not destroyed us all already?” – That is what we deserve.  For the Christian, death is merely the transition into the presence of God.  Like Paul in Romans 7, we look forward to that day.  Jesus made it clear that tragedy is not tied to specific sins of specific people, however, tragedies are tied to our sinful condition and the judgement God imposed on the original sin. Tragedies result in bringing us into God’s presence, fully restored and free from sin. People who die in tragedies (or any other way, for that matter) who have not believed in Jesus as the Son of God, will be cut off from God for eternity. But those who believe in Him will be covered by the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, and will be ushered into God’s presence for eternity. This is why it is so urgent to spread God’s message of forgiveness and restoration.

So when bad things happen, there is a strong element of love from God, in bringing those dear ones to Himself. It is hard on us, yes, because we love them and miss them. But ultimately, we all will die and go to meet our Maker. Personally, I am looking forward to that day on one hand, but longing to stay in this life with my loved ones as long as I can.