What is evil?

What is evil?

People use the word evil to describe all sorts of behavior. More often than not, evil is associated with people other than themselves or with actions with which they disagree. Politicians are labeled as evil when they take a position that is at odds with the person or group calling them evil. Some people argue that abortion is evil because it involves the taking of innocent lives. Others argue that opponents of abortion are evil because they want to force women to carry an unwanted baby to term. Some people argue that allowing people to own “weapons of war” is evil while others brand as evil, those who want to deny them the right to own those weapons.

It is interesting that some philosophers, ethicists and religious leaders have suggested 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. While we may not brand as evil those with whom we disagree, we nonetheless recognize that evil is all around us. We lock our cars and houses. We install security systems. We support laws against murder, rape, child abduction, lying under oath, etc. We recognize the manifestations of evil, and as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in his concurring opinion in the 1964 Jacobellis v. Ohio case, with respect to identifying hard-core pornography, “I know it when I see it.”

We know evil when we see it because the creater God who made us, planted within us a recognition of right and wrong. 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. Unfortunately, many refuse to recognize evil because they believe that they know more than God knows. They don’t see that they are going down a dead-end road. All men are evil and are capable of doing evil things. When Jesus was teaching he reinforced what we think of as the Ten Commandments, pointing out that men and women are not capable of enjoying a right-relationship with God because of the evil that infests their thinking.

That’s why Jesus did more than teach, he willingly died on a cross to carry all the sins of the world to the grave, and then rose again to assure us that eternal life with God is possible. He only asks that each of us accept his free gift of atonement for our evil lives. That’s the ‘good news’ of Jesus’ triumph over evil. God reigns and one day all 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.

If you would like to know how you can enjoy the assurance of forgiveness for your sins, we wncourage you to read our postHow does one become a Christian? 

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What is Amazing Grace

What is Amazing Grace

Both the words and the tune is familiar.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

But Amazing Grace is more than the song. It is the description of God’s greatest gift to mankind–a free gift that provides a pathway to a forever relationship with the God who created everything, including every individual who has ever walked on this earth.

It is God reaching out to us. Yes, reaching out while we were separated from him because of our sin. God sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of death that we deserved.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection is God’s gift to all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. God’s grace is his unmerited favor bestowed upon repentant sinners. People can do nothing to earn it nor do they deserve it. It is an expression of God’s love for the world he created.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

This is the Amazing Grace that the song is all about. People are saved from an eternity separated from God and all that is good. Those who accept that sacrifice that Jesus made on their behalf are no longer blinded by their own sin and begin to see what true love, happiness and contentment look like.

Sadly, not all will experience God’s Amazing Grace, but if you want to know how you can, please visit our post, How does one become a Christian?

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Both the words and the tune is familiar.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

But Amazing Grace is more than the song. It is the description of God’s greatest gift to mankind–a free gift that provides a pathway to a forever relationship with the God who created everything, including every individual who has ever walked on this earth.

It is God reaching out to us. Yes, reaching out while we were separated from him because of our sin. God sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of death that we deserved.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection is God’s gift to all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. God’s grace is his unmerited favor bestowed upon repentant sinners. People can do nothing to earn it nor do they deserve it. It is an expression of God’s love for the world he created.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

This is the Amazing Grace that the song is all about. People are saved from an eternity separated from God and all that is good. Those who accept that sacrifice that Jesus made on their behalf are no longer blinded by their own sin and begin to see what true love, happiness and contentment look like.

Sadly, not all will experience God’s Amazing Grace, but if you want to know how you can, please visit our post, How does one become a Christian?

What is Eternal Life?

What is Eternal Life?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

Both of the above verses from John’s Gospel talk about eternal life. The eternal life referred to her begins in this life and continues on after death for those who believe in Jesus as Savior, repent of their sins and allow God, through the Holy Spirit, to guide them. This eternal life is ultimately in the presence of God, a place referred to as heaven. Another eternal existence is that which awaits those who reject Jesus and his free offer of salvation.

This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:49-50

The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:13-15

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

Heaven is a destination Jesus promised for all who put their trust and faith in him as their Savior. He is the only way to that eternal place of peace, joy, abundant love and eternal life. In John 14:3, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am you may be also.” That is one of the greatest promises ever made to mankind. It’s called God’s grace. God giving us something we did not deserve and never could earn by our own good works.

In another sense, eternal life is much more than heaven. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” ( John 17:3)  What this simply means is that when you have an intimate personal life with Jesus as your Lord and Savior you have eternal life here and now. Then you will experience an abundant and exciting adventure with the one through whom God created the entire universe. 

As you let Jesus transform your life into his image you will see and experience life as you never could have imagined. Then you have eternal life and your spirit/soul will never die. It will go to heaven where one day you will get a glorious new eternal body. That is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you would like to learn more about how you can know that you will enjoy this eternal life, we encourage you to read our post, How does one become a Christian?

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

Both of the above verses from John’s Gospel talk about eternal life. The eternal life referred to her begins in this life and continues on after death for those who believe in Jesus as Savior, repent of their sins and allow God, through the Holy Spirit, to guide them. This eternal life is ultimately in the presence of God, a place referred to as heaven. Another eternal existence is that which awaits those who reject Jesus and his free offer of salvation.

This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:49-50

The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:13-15

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

Heaven is a destination Jesus promised for all who put their trust and faith in him as their Savior. He is the only way to that eternal place of peace, joy, abundant love and eternal life. In John 14:3, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am you may be also.” That is one of the greatest promises ever made to mankind. It’s called God’s grace. God giving us something we did not deserve and never could earn by our own good works.

In another sense, eternal life is much more than heaven. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” ( John 17:3)  What this simply means is that when you have an intimate personal life with Jesus as your Lord and Savior you have eternal life here and now. Then you will experience an abundant and exciting adventure with the one through whom God created the entire universe. 

As you let Jesus transform your life into his image you will see and experience life as you never could have imagined. Then you have eternal life and your spirit/soul will never die. It will go to heaven where one day you will get a glorious new eternal body. That is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you would like to learn more about how you can know that you will enjoy this eternal life, we encourage you to read our post, How does one become a Christian?

How tolerant should a Christian be of other viewpoints?

How tolerant should a Christian be of other viewpoints?

Understanding what you mean by tolerance is an important first step in answering this question. Tolerance once meant a free and open discussion in search of the truth. Modern science is based on searching for the truth. Tolerance used to be a respectful discourse open to “all points of view”.

Today, however, the word has taken on a new meaning. Many in Western culture today view tolerance as accepting any and all viewpoints as being equally valid so long as those viewpoints comport with their worldviews. They no longer view truth as absolute and reject scientific reality. As a result, they are no longer tolerant of traditional systems that provide guidelines for moral living and governing

For example, many today deny God’s truth, as found in the Bible, a gold standard for morality and reason that has guided mankind for thousands of years. The result is the moral decline of society. That decline includes, but is not limited to, lying, fraud, failure to protect the sanctity of life, immorality, infidelity, disrespect for authority, selfishness, greed, and much more. Secular tolerance has become a new god where people offend no one and stand for nothing. The only thing they don’t tolerate is Christian and biblical truths. This new notion of tolerance is leading to chaos and loss of freedoms.

Interestingly, Jesus, God’s son, entered the world during a time when many of the so-called faith leaders showed no tolerance for those who did not strictly subscribe to their way of doing things. That intolerance was couched in religious terms so as to suggest that one group of people, the elite, had it right and everyone else needed to live by their standards — their version of truth

In his Sermon on the Mount, and throughout his ministry, Jesus demonstrated by words and deeds, that he would not be tolerant of the beliefs or behavior of others who had a warped view of God’s teaching. He turned the system upside down by restoring a right-reading of scripture and calling people to give up their sinful ways. He went so far as to go to the cross to die in the place of you and me so that our wrongdoings could be paid for and we could become Children of God.

This truth has had a profound impact on the world over the last two thousand years. Yes indeed! If Christianity is not the truth, then the Christian faith does not matter. History suggests strongly that Christian faith and the truth do matter. Western civilization is rooted in the Christian experience and worldview. When Christian truths are replaced by the god of tolerance, America, as we have known it — it’s virtues, values and freedoms — will no longer exist. Jesus said,

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31, 32

Yes, Truth matters! Our democracy and our freedoms depend upon it. Never be afraid to defend the truth that makes you free.

So, does that mean that Christians should not be tolerant of other viewpoints? No. But Christians should not mistake tolerance as acceptance. When other viewpoints go against the expressed teachings of God, Christians should challenge them. For example, God’s clear teaching on marriage, sexuality, the sanctity of life, divorce, the role of the government, murder, lying, and stealing represent truth on which a Christian should stake out a position when confronted by others who demand acceptance of their positions under the guise of tolerance.

This truth has had a profound impact on the world over the last two thousand years. Yes indeed! If Christianity is not the truth, then the Christian faith does not matter. History suggests strongly that Christian faith and the truth do matter. Western civilization is rooted in the Christian experience and worldview. When Christian truths are replaced by the god of tolerance, America, as we have known it — it’s virtues, values and freedoms — will no longer exist. Jesus said,

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31, 32

Yes, Truth matters! Our democracy and our freedoms depend upon it. Never be afraid to defend the truth that makes you free.

So, does that mean that Christians should not be tolerant of other viewpoints? No. But Christians should not mistake tolerance as acceptance. When other viewpoints go against the expressed teachings of God, Christians should challenge them. For example, God’s clear teaching on marriage, sexuality, the sanctity of life, divorce, the role of the government, murder, lying, and stealing represent truth on which a Christian should stake out a position when confronted by others who demand acceptance of their positions under the guise of tolerance.

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