Dec 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all. I pray that the birth of our Lord and Saviour is the forefront of your celebration this Friday for this is what Christmas is supposed to be all about.

AS prophesied of hundreds of years before the Christ was born.
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (Is 7:14)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Is 9:6,7)

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity." (Mic 5:2)


Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:
when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US." (Matt 1:18-23)


Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
Luk 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luk 2:1-21)


video


Merry Christmas to you and yours. May you see the need for the salvation that the Saviour came to provide, and receive for yourself. God offers His gift to you. The greatest gift of all, salvation bought and payed for by the blood of His son. Repent and trust in Him today.

P.S. no I didn't put this video together. I just downloaded it from youtube.

Dec 13, 2009

Theistic Evolution

Theistic Evolution is the idea that tries to counter atheistic evolution with the notion that yes evolution is true but there is a God and He used evolution to create the world.

So where does theistic evolution stand when it comes to Scriptures?

Well theistic evolution (TE) would read the scriptures as such; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"... and then they would take whatever theory that the most recent science textbook has come up with and replace the words of the God that they say they worship with the words that they really trust in. Everything written in the Bible after Genesis 1:1 is a moral fairy tale according to the teaching of TE.

When it comes to the authority of Scripture, TE would side with the world. Instead of a great miraculous show of such awesome divine power some 6000 years ago as the Bible says, TE believes that God started the world however many billions of years ago (which is nothing more than a uneducated guess which changes as much as I change my socks) and then used evolution to advance the beginnings of His creation into the pinnacle of evolution - man. TE advocates that during this process God comes along and guides the process with injections of DNA (the embarrassment of evolution, as well as the fossil record, all the rest of modern scientific knowledge) because how else will one animal turn into another when it does not have then DNA to do so.

Right now I'm not going to argue this from a scientific point of view (I will have many posts for that later on. If you want some great scientific resources for that right now check out www.icr.org and www.answersingenesis.org) but I am going to challenge this from a theological side.

The biggest theological road block that TE is faced with is if they can't trust the first 11 chapters of the Bible to be true then how can anyone trust the rest of it? Every Old Testament author talked of the creation account as true as did Jesus and the Apostles.

Besides that little chestnut, I want to bring up another point which isn't talked about enough. If God used evolution, than how could we ever call God a kind and loving God? Think about it, if God used evolution as His process for creating man, than when the Bible says that man is the one responsible for introducing death, disease and suffering to creation when he chose to disobey God and thereby bringing upon all of creation a curse of death, well that's wrong. That's because God would be the one who is responsible for death, disease and suffering because that is the process of evolution.

According to evolutionary science, evolution is advanced by the survival of the fittest, and the survival of the fittest advances by means of the disease, suffering and death of the weaker species. Evolution needs these horrific factors in order for it to work. As far as evolution is concerned, these are helpful, beneficial, good things.

I don't think that those who are so quick and ready to compromise the Scriptures have really thought this through.

If TE is true, than God and God alone is the creator and sustainer of all the disease, suffering and death we see in the world today. He has to be, it can't be denied. Therefore anyone who holds this view can say that such circumstances are bad and are not the will of God, because these situations are directly from God for the purpose of His plan of evolution.

The Bible however, says that disease, suffering, and death entered this world as the direct result of Adam's disobedience to God and subsequently thereafter because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned"...
Romans 5:14-19 - "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

So we see that as the Scriptures say, man is the author of sin, the consequence of which is a cursed creation. All of which is sovereignly ordained, allowed and even controlled by the all-powerful, all-knowing God. Yes God is in control even of such evil, and thanks be to God for that, because could you imagine how things would be if He wasn't in control?

So if the TE is going to be consistent in their denial of the truth of Scripture, the next time someone asks them why would God allow such tragedies and why is there such a thing as all this evil in the world, they have to say that it is from God. In this case all of this is really not contrary to God's nature.

Be not troubled though, for the Bible is true, and God is loving and kind, and He has overcome the world. And God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:8-10

Go now, and be Like a Thessalonian.

Dec 11, 2009

Like a Thessalonian

Like a Thessalonian? What does that mean?

I believe that I have been given the gift of evangelism by our Lord. Of course every man and woman who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ for salvation are commanded to share the gospel, ...and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." Luke 24:46,47, but there are a few who have been given a special gift of the Holy Spirit for evangelism, "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers..." Eph4:11 . These are the servants of God who are ones who devote more of their time to go into streets and the market places to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, and I am one of these.

The inspiration I find for my ministry comes from 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8; "You also became imitators of us and the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonian and Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonian and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything."

That is an amazing commendation from the apostle Paul. The believers of the Church of Thessalonika are told that they are doing such a good job with what they have been entrusted with, the gospel, that Paul says that he doesn't even have to be there to preach it, and they are an example to all believers in Greece.

Nowadays it is common for many evangelical churches to try and entice the lost to come into our church where they might here about Jesus. This is usually done by striving to become "relevant" or "cool like them" so that they might think that we are cool and not like Ned Flanders and then maybe they might think Jesus is cool and want to maybe add Him to there lives.

Churches are constantly putting so much effort into trying to figure out what would be the next cool or entertaining event to lure the world into the church. They spend days doing natural church growth reports, and surveying the community asking those outside the church what the church could be doing, or how the church should be acting.

Have we forgotten that they are the unsaved haters of God? Rom 1:28-32; "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."
Did not Jesus say that we would be hated because of Him? John 15:18-20; "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also."

Why then are we trying to gain the approval of the world and try so hard to get them to like us?

If we desire the church to grow, and not for pragmatic reasons, but sincerely desire the salvation of those of the world who are lost then we would forget all this foolishness and encourage and train evangelists to go into the streets and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ for that is how the gospel is spread through preaching. "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" ...So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ."
Romans 10:14-15,17.


When I was saved, it was my desire to share the gospel with friends and family. My problem was that I didn't really know how, I did but I didn't. Sure I could share my testimony, but how do I put the gospel into more understandable words than "you have sinned against God, and you need to ask for His forgiveness and trust in Jesus Christ." I know most would say that that is not a terribly bad message, it is the truth, but I always thought that it needed a little more explanation. What exactly is "sin?" How do I explain it so that it would cut to their hearts and they would say 'yes I have done that?'

I was driving through Wisconsin one day listening to my Sirius satellite radio and I came across this program named "The Way of the Master Radio" with Todd Friel hosting and aslo with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (yes the little 'Growing Pain'). What I heard has since opened my eyes to a full understandable reasonable presentation of the gospel. It is so simple I can't believe I didn't get it earlier, especially since it is repeated throughout the scriptures. For example; "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin...for the Law brings about wrath..." Romans 3:19-20,4:14

Of course. The 10 Commandments. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything? Jesus said that lust is the same as adultury, and of course everyone has worshipped other things rather than the true and living God.

Another thing that The Way of the Master emphazised that most churches do not is the supreme holiness of Almighty God. That is why even hell is reasonable for the crimes we have committed against Him. It's not exactly that all the crimes we have committed against Him are sooo spectacular but it's the One whom we have committed them against. God is so holy that lying lips are an abomination to Him, and a crime against an infinite God deserve an infinite punishment.

Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ came to our defense in this supreme court of God. He stepped in and took the punishment that we deserved in His own life's blood. The just for the unjust, and then three days later Jesus Christ rose again from the dead, proving His sacrifice as satisfactory to appease the wrath of God. Jesus Christ lived a perfect sinless life which is accredited to our account and our sins, past, present, and future, were put on Jesus Christ and payed for on the cross. We are fully justified in the eyes of a holy God, seen as righteous although not yet righteous.

And all we have to do is repent of our sins (not that that is such an easy thing to do, since you must die to yourself), and put our faith in Jesus Christ.

That is what we are to preach in the highways and byways. That is what will lead the lost sinners to God. "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:30-31

We do not need to conjure up some exciting new ways to try and sway people into making a feelings based desicion for Christ, but rather with the conviction of the law, the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement and it the Holy Spirit who brings about repentance and conversion so that the sinner will cry out "God have mercy on me a sinner."

Let us go now and sound forth the word of the Lord like a Thessalonian.