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.
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“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
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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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.”
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.
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All of Christianity hinges on the answer to this question. If there was no resurrection, there would be no Christianity. So what transformed 11 scared and dejected disciples into fearless ambassadors? It was Jesus’ return from the dead and subsequent ascension into heaven. There were over 500 witnesses to Jesus’ return to life after being crucified dead and buried.
Was he really dead? The Romans made no mistakes when they killed someone. They were experts at the art of death. So when a soldier wanted to hasten the death of a man who had already endured a terrible whipping and was bleeding from wounds in his hands and feet, an upward thrusting spear through a lung and into the heart would do the trick. So certain of his death were the soldiers that they didn’t break the legs of Jesus. That was the usual way Roman soldiers finished a crucifixion. They knew that once a man could no longer support himself with his legs, he would suffocate since he could no longer breathe. The soldiers also knew that Jesus wasn’t coming back to claim his robe, so they gambled to determine who would get it.
To ensure that Jesus would stay dead and that his disciples would not try to steal his body and claim he came back from the dead, the tomb was sealed and soldiers were tasked with guarding it. To fail to do so could result in their executions.
Yet, three days later, Jesus appeared to his disciples, to several women, to two men walking on the road to Emmaus, to a doubting Thomas and two others. Jesus was definitely dead and he was definitely resurrected.
His disciples witnessed his ascension into heaven. So yes, Jesus is definitely alive. It is his power and authority that holds every atom in the universe together. One day Jesus will return to earth just like he left it to rule and reign as King of kings. Given the events of these times, it could be soon. Are you ready? (see Matthew 25: 30-35)
Since the beginning of time, plagues have altered the course of history. Some were definitely by the hand of God to punish people for their sins and to bring about a change in behavior. (Exodus 7:14-11:10) Others have been through the natural course of a fallen world. Every living organism eventually dies. Our bodies are giant chemical factories that are continually destroying cells and replacing them with new ones.
Dangerous organisms continually test our body’s defenses. Viruses live within us all the time. Sometimes a virus mutates and our body struggles to recognize and defend itself from the mutating virus that may attack and destroy other cells. All these chemical and biological actions have been created by God. He designed them for good, and created mankind in his image so that he could commune with us. But man rebelled against God and that’s where the perfect harmony between man and God broke down. (Romans 5:12)
The resulting chaos on earth and the death that accompanies it are
the punishment for man’s sin. So, in that sense, the current COVID-19 crisis is
a result of God’s wrath. But God’s chief adversary, the devil, the embodiment
of evil, has been given temporary dominion over the earth. He is responsible
for the pain, loss and fear that billions of people are now experiencing.
People are suffering and dying from the virus, but people are also suffering and dying from other diseases, wars, famines, and accidents. Death will always be part of the human condition, but Jesus came to give life. (John 10:10) His death and resurrection opened the doors to a pain-free and death-free life everlasting with God.
Whether or not the Coronavirus is a direct punishment sent by God for the sinful action of men and women around the world, we know that through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we can know peace in the midst of uncertainty and fear. (Isaiah 41:10 and John 14:27) As with plagues in the past, people are searching their hearts looking for answers. Many are calling out to God for His mercy. (Revelation 21:4) He stands ready to extend it to all who trust in Him. (Revelation 3:20)
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In one sense, they are the same. Heaven is a place where time will not exist as we know it on Earth. This means life in heaven will be eternal; no more death. 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.
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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.