Is Evil an Illusion or Reality?

Is Evil an Illusion or Reality?

Some religions suggest that evil is just an illusion. That it is a condition of the mortal mind. Others have said it is a result of ignorance and superstitions and if you don’t think about it evil will go away.

Our life experiences argue otherwise. We lock our cars and houses. We have security systems. We have laws against murder, rape, child abduction, lying under oath, etc. Yes evil is real.

It came about when Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to disobey God. There was only one commandment and they chose not to keep it. At that moment the human race and the earth began to experience the opposite of God’s goodness, evil.

Evil is the absence of God. We see it expressed in pain, suffering, discord, war and death. The ‘good news’ is that God reigns and one day evil will be overthrown. All those who put their trust in him will live eternally where there is no pain, no suffering and no death.

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Does sin matter if I’m basically a good person?

​​ This answer requires us to define two words, SIN and GOOD.

The Bible defines sin not as a bad deed, but rather anything that we do that separates us from an intimate relationship with God. We can recognize how adultery destroys the trust between a husband and wife often leads to separation. That’s what sin is like, an action that seems to be good, or one that we rationalize as good can cause a break in a relationship. Stealing items of value, or lying, or saying something that damages the reputation of another person are all acts that destroy trust and break relationships. We may not feel it at the time, but sinful acts often create feelings of guilt and shame and can lead to depression or worse.
 The second definition we have to consider is “good”.  What do you mean when you say that you are “basically good”? What is your objective standard for measuring goodness? In the Bible we are reminded that no matter how good or righteous we think we are, by God’s standard of holiness and perfection our righteousness is like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) So, it is clear by God’s standard that you are a sinner even when you believe you are a “good” person. You don’t get to place all of your goodness on one side of a scale and expect it to outweigh your sin on the other side of the scale. No matter how much good is attributed to you, if you do not believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you will not be able to experience God’s love and forgiveness.
The good news is that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Jesus paid the penalty for our sins at the cross. So now we can experience forgiveness and relief from sin that God offers when we put our trust and faith in Him. That also means that when we stumble into sin again we can seek God’s forgiveness and restore our relationship with Him. When we abide in Christ and walk in the light of God’s Inspired Word we are able to overcome sin and its power in our lives. Are you a follower of Jesus so you can enjoy God’s forgiveness and the abundant and eternal life that is available only in Him? If not, why not do it today. 

Can we really connect with God?

Can we really connect with God?

Connecting with God is easier than one might think. If you are asking the question, you’ve already taken the most important step: you believe that God exists. God promises to reveal himself to anyone who honestly and diligently seeks him. God’s revelation is all around us. From the complexity of each cell of your body to the vastness of the universe, God’s hand in creation is evident. The human mind reveals the work of a designer and creator that has gifted mankind with his own qualities of creativity, imagination, love, and so much more.

In Genesis, in the Bible, we read that after God created the universe, our world and everything on it, he created mankind.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:26,27

Because we are made in God’s image, we are able to connect with him. The easiest way to connect is by talking and listening. Speak to God with your lips and with your thoughts. Ask him to reveal himself to you. Then listen. Listening can take many forms, but one of the best is to read the Bible, God’s Word, for in that book you will get to know God and his son, Jesus. You will “hear” in your heart and mind what he want to tell you. You will learn about his love for you and his desire to guide you along a way that brings life to you and those around you.

If you are able, get a Life Application Bible in a good modern translation like the New International Version (NIV) and start reading in the Gospel of John. You will definitely encounter and connect with God as you read the chapters and verses. Be sure to pay close attention to the footnotes that will help you better understand what you are reading.

In addition to reading the Bible, meditate on the scripture you are reading. As you do, you will gain insights into the nature and character of God and be able to discern his will for your life.

As you encounter Jesus in John’s Gospel, decide to put your faith and trust in him as both Savior and Lord. Why? Jesus is the key to your connection to God and to both a meaningful life and to eternal life.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6) His words here are both exclusive and all inclusive. That actually keeps things clear and simple. It is only Jesus and no one else.

Finally, have a quiet time of prayer each day with the Lord sharing your life and listening for God’s responses. When you practice these activities regularly you will get connected to God. Guaranteed! Then share what God has revealed to you with others. You will be empowered to love your neighbor as yourself with that unconditional love that God alone provides.

Where did Moses get his information on creation and people like Noah and Abraham?

Where did Moses get his information on creation and people like Noah and Abraham?

We don’t know for sure, but biblical scholars and theologians, both Jewish and Christian, agree that Moses wrote Genesis. Moses was educated in the Pharaoh’s court In Egypt, was multi-lingual, and no doubt learned the Egyptian account of creation. But he was also raised as a youngster by his Hebrew mother and there, most likely, learned a great deal about the patriarchs that preceded him.

After 40 years in Egypt, Moses spent another 40 years in Midian, in what is today the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia. There with his father-in-law he would have learned a new language, in addition to Hebrew and Egyptian, and probably also learned more about creation, the great flood, and about a family headed by Abraham, who arrived in neighboring Canaan and prospered before being taken into captivity.

However, what Moses recorded in what is now called the Torah, or books of the Law, was given to Moses directly from God. When Moses led the Hebrew people, known as Israelites, out of Egypt, they refused to conquer the land God promised them and ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. During that time God punished a whole generation who did not trust him to lead them to victory over the inhabitants of what is today known as Israel.

Also during that time, God met with Moses frequently in the ‘tent of meeting’. There, we believe, God told Moses the true story of creation, the history of mankind and the calling of Abraham to begin a nation of God’s chosen people. Those people, the Israelites, were supposed to show the world who God was and what he was all about–the all-powerful God of love and mercy. They were to live lives set apart from others, worshiping God alone, and following a strict code of ethics.

Unfortunately, despite Moses’ warnings and the law given to the people from God through Moses, the people turned their back on God. They disobeyed God’s commands, worshiped idols, lost God’s blessings and were set aside as a nation. One day in the future however, Israel will regain the prominence they had during the reigns of kings David and Solomon and finally Jesus will become their King and Messiah.

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