What is meant by Intelligent Design of nature?

What is meant by Intelligent Design of nature?

Intelligent design is the theory that there is a guiding force behind the creation of the universe and everything in it. The first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, posits a created universe. Subsequent verses describe the work of a creator who rationally designs the solar system, the earth, and all living flora and fauna. It provides a basis for understanding science, mathematics, genetics, and man’s ability to think and reason. Intelligent Design presupposes a designer and therefore suggests that there is a purpose to the creation. Since we’re talking about creating something out of nothing, the “intelligence” behind the design must be a transcendent being, one that is not made of the same matter of its creation. That transcendent being or intelligent designer is called God.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:1-10
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What is the primary difference between Christianity and all other world religions?

What is the primary difference between Christianity and all other world religions?

The simple answer is, Jesus! Why? Because he alone saves.

When Jesus was comforting his disciples, he explained:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Only Christianity offers absolute assurance of eternal life as it is a gift of God’s grace for all who by faith trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Ephesians 2:8). Christianity is about Jesus, the Cross (forgiveness of sins) and his Resurrection and Ascension, and his second coming.

The founders of all other religions are dead. They have offered some sound platitudes for living a moral life, but no hope for eternity based on solid evidence.They are religions of good works and self sacrifice to gain a pardon for the worshiper’s sins.

Why do people resist the loving grace of God?

Why do people resist the loving grace of God?

​ Some Bible scholars think today’s resistance to the Gospel has always been due to the “hardness of men’s hearts”. (Matthew 13). Also an obstacle is delay…people just put off until later to even think about their relationship to God.

Though people refuse to acknowledge it, much of society (humanity) worships idols. They may not be carved images, but are idols, nonetheless. Materialism has replaced spirituality as a driving force in our society. That has led people to resist the loving grace of God.   

One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the need for instant and tangible gratification and pleasure. For example, we are bombarded with electronic media designed to address our every desire. Movies, TV programs, sports, news, advertisements and social media provide an endless array of distractions. Another reason is the growing need to compete for bigger and better everything which feeds the need to purchase unnecessary items and which drives financial decisions.

Lastly, society makes idols of celebrities and sports stars. (Exodus 20:4). Sadly worshiping these idols brings brief satisfaction and distracts people from seeking and knowing the loving grace of God.

As COVID-19, massive demonstrations and violent protests seem to be undoing the foundations on which our nation was founded, some people are rethinking their lives and the assumptions on which they have been built. When man-made idols fail to deliver the physical, emotional and spiritual relief that men and women are seeking, will people turn back to God and discover his loving grace? Perhaps. Throughout history, when people’s idols failed to deliver, many began searching for the one true God who is ready to help them find peace.

If you are wondering what a relationship with God might do for you, take a look at our Next Steps page.

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.

Photo copyright: verkoka / 123RF Stock Photo

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.



Image by nellyaltenburger from Pixabay

Can anyone really know if they will have eternal life?

Can anyone really know if they will have eternal life?

This is one of life’s most important questions. The Bible is God’s Word. There you will read these words of assurance:

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus Christ as Lord and believe in your heart God has raised him from the dead you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9,10

The certainty of eternal life is a consequence of two actions on the part of an individual, but, paradoxically, the actions that guarantee this eternal life took place 2000 years ago. Jesus, the son of God, came to earth to die and atone for all the wrong actions of every man and woman who ever lived and whoever will live. When you, or anyone else, sincerely believes that Jesus provided a way to cover your sins, as if they never happened, and if you confess that you accept his death and resurrection from the dead on your behalf, you can be secure in knowing that you will spend eternity in the presence of God. This promise of God is sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. At that same instant God’s spirit becomes part of your body, mind and soul. From that moment on you are a new creation in Christ, a child of God and a member of God’s family.
 
Now for the practical evidence of that decision. Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Do you tell others about Jesus and what he has done for you? (Your personal testimony)
  • Do you read and live by the truth of the Bible, God’s word?
  • Besides just reading the Bible, do you study to discover God’s plan for your life?
  • Are you acquiring a Biblical worldview?
  • Do you experience God disciplining you like a father teaches a son or daughter?
  • Is your conscience and heart right with God? Do you fully trust and obey Him?
  • Do you reflect God’s love in your relationship with others?
  • Do you attend a church where Bible truths are taught clearly and regularly?
  • Do you enjoy collective worship of God and fellowship with other Christians??
  • Do you feel forgiven of all your past sins?
  • Do you pray regularly and continue to ask God for forgiveness when you do sin?

If these things are true for you, then you can rest assured that you are really saved and are a Christian and can live in the joy of God’s love now and forever and have a life full of meaning and purpose.   

Image by Karin Henseler from Pixabay

What is Truth?

What is Truth?

Welcome to an elite group of thinkers,” the sages of the ages;” Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and many other philosophers who have been seeking the answer to this very question. It wasn’t until Jesus Christ came to earth that it was answered clearly and directly.
 
Jesus said, “I am the truth.” (John 14:6) He is the embodiment of truth about all of creation and life’s really important and significant matters; life and death, heaven and hell, sin and righteousness, creation and evolution, good and evil and so many more including even the little things in life.
 
Webster defines truth as, “that which is true; that which conforms to fact or reality.” Jesus’ life is a fact and He is the ultimate reality. In order to know the truth one needs to know Jesus, not  just know about Him.
A few of Jesus’ profound truth statements for you to carefully consider are;

  • “You must be born-again to gain eternal life.” (John 3:3)
  • “No one comes to the Father (heaven) except through Me.” (John 14:6)
  • “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)
  • “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born I Am.” (In this statement Jesus confirmed He was God, I Am, and eternal, i.e., He existed before Abraham in eternity past.) (John 8:58)

Remember, truth is always truth. Two plus two is always four. Jesus’ words are truth although many choose to believe otherwise at their own peril.
 
One final thought on truth. It is a truth that every human being ever created that does not repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior when they die they will face God as Judge on Judgment Day. That’s a sobering truth that needs to be remembered and considered seriously. It’s a truth that should be a life changer. The ‘Good News’ is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Examine the Gospel of John to discover more of Jesus’ surprising truth statements. You won’t be disappointed.  

Where is God

Where is God

Everybody asks this and the answer is actually simple and direct. He is here, right now no matter where you are or what you are doing. It’s referred to as being Omnipresent. God’s Spirit is present everywhere throughout Creation.

In His great power and knowledge God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) That means He was before the creation of the universe and thus all space, time and matter that was created when our universe was created. This means that God transcends these dimensions, not being limited by them but over them. Because He transcends what he created, God operates in and out of them at any time and any place in anyway He wills. He is not in just one place.

When Moses inquired of God who God was, God’s answer was simple “I Am”. (Ex 3:13-14) Jesus gave the same answer. (John 8: 58) “I Am” means God was, is and always will be. No one else can say that. When Jesus physically left this earth He had promised that He would send the Holy Spirit, the third part of the triune God to be with us and He did. Being spiritual, the Holy Spirit is not limited by space, time and matter. Thus God is everywhere, all the time as the Holy Spirit. God literally is with you.

When you pray you are talking to God but do not envision that your prayer is going up to some far away throne with a bearded old man sitting on a throne. No you are face to face with God through the Holy Spirit whose purpose is to intercede on your behalf with God. (Rom 8: 26-7) Through prayer you can draw even closer to God, so close that God is in you.

( Text provided by, G. Lee Southard, Ph.D Author, To Know With Certainty)

Photo Copyright by Brian Regrut