If God made us in his image, why do so many Christians seem to hate gays and transgender people?

If God made us in his image, why do so many Christians seem to hate gays and transgender people?

The Bible is clear in calling out homosexual acts as detestable (Leviticus 20:13). It is even made more clear in Romans 1:27 how God views homosexuality, “men committed shameful acts with other men, and received and themselves the due penalty for their sin….so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so they do what ought not to be done.”

That said, God’s word in Matthew 7:11 warns Christians not to judge others lest they be judged. Perhaps you have heard the expression, “hate the sin but not the sinner.”  Christians are not supposed to hate anyone including gay or transgender people. That kind of hate is actually a sin from which one needs to repent and seek God’s forgiveness. (Galatians 5:19-21) Christians should be caring and compassionate taking every opportunity to share the gospel message of love, repentance, forgiveness and salvation.

With respect to the subject of gender, in Genesis we read that God created man and woman or male and female. A person who declares him or herself as transgender goes against God’s design for humanity and his wisdom in creating beings that can be joined together in marriage, have children and create families. That is God’s design for the basic structure of a loving and compassionate society.  Here again, a Christian should not hate but reach out to everyone with the truth of God’s word in a loving never hateful way.

I believe in Jesus. Is that good enough?

I believe in Jesus. Is that good enough?

The real question seems to be, “Good enough for what?”  To believe in Jesus is to believe that God was present in a particular human life–and if that is true, that life is of supreme importance for all of us. If Jesus is God, then learning about God and God’s ways, following Christ in everyday life and a host of things called, “Discipleship” become very important. Believing in Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord of your life is enough, and ought to motivate you to follow Jesus and live like Jesus. Simply passively believing is not enough, as even the devil knows about Jesus.

To become a faithful follower of Jesus requires spending time in God’s word, the Bible, learning about his life, his teachings, his character, his cause, his reliance on the Father, his commandments, and his perseverance in the face of many challenges. When you trust and believe in him intimately and imitate his life, that will be good enough.  Ultimately, Jesus wants you to know him as your best friend now and for eternity.

If you would like to learn more about the gift of life that God offers, we encourage you to read our blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

Why does the Bible have an Old Testament and New Testament?

Why does the Bible have an Old Testament and New Testament?

The entire Bible, all 66 books, was written over a period of 1500 years. The Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, was written to reveal God’s plan of Creation, redemption and salvation through the coming Messiah. It is focused on the nation of Israel and prophecy. It was compiled in the B.C. era, i.e. before Christ. Remember that God first revealed himself in the Creation and then in the written Word. Malachi is the last of the books in what is referred to as the Old Testament. It was written about 400 years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

After 400 years of silence, God revealed himself in the living Word, Jesus Christ. The first four books of the New Testament, called the Gospels, recorded the life, teaching, miracles, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. They are followed by the historical account of the establishment of the Christian Church, titled the Acts of the Apostles. After Acts, the New Testament contains 21 letters written to churches and individuals laying out the theology of Christianity and providing instructions on how to live lives that reflect the great gift of salvation bestowed upon then by the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God.

The last book of the New Testament, believed to be written near the end of the first century by John, one of Jesus’ closest friends, is a vision of the risen Christ in all his glory and a view of “end times” events.

To summarize, there are two testaments, Old and New, because they reflect the times in which they were written. Together they provide a full revelation of God’s plan for mankind. They tell us about God’s nature and character, the sin nature of mankind and the need for salvation. They then explain God’s answer to man’s sin, the sending of his son, Jesus to rescue mankind and provide a way for individuals to be brought back into a relationship with God.

The two Testaments tell us all we need to know to receive God’s gift of love and grace in Christ to gain eternal life. The Bible is truly the operating manual for life and is Best Investigated Before Leaving Earth.

How will my friends react when I become a Christian and follow Jesus?

How will my friends react when I become a Christian and follow Jesus?

That depends on you. When you choose Christ for your friend, building his kingdom for your cause, the Bible for your guide book, the Christian church for your fellowship, then these consciously chosen influences will transform your life. You will be different. Guaranteed your friends will notice. How they react is up to them. But what they do, to some degree depends on you.

Will they see someone who cares about them even if you choose not to engage in behaviors that may not honor God? Will they see someone willing to share your discovery of the greatest friend anyone can know? Will they see a joy in you that makes them want to find out what’s changed?

You may fear that you will be rejected, and we all know that fear of being different is a big problem in life— and it does not go away however old you may be. We all want to be liked and accepted. However, if Jesus is God in human form, then living like Jesus will be different.

It’s possible that you will discover that some of your friends treat you differently and may reject you. You may find new friendships among other Christians or those who want to befriend someone who lives a positive Christ-like esistence. Once you embrace the understanding that as Christians, we are in communion with the living God, your outlook on life and friendships will change as well.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to be ‘salt and light’ to a darkening post-Christian world. Our world desperately needs Christians to tell them about Jesus. It is more important to be a loyal friend of Jesus than to worry about being different. So, we encourage you to dare to be different for Jesus!

Is the Biblical view of marriage outdated?

Is the Biblical view of marriage outdated?

According to the Bible, marriage was given as a gift of God at the time of creation. (Genesis 1-3) The Creator made humans in His own image, both male and female. God’s stated intention still is that the two shall become one in a blessed partnership. One of the most important roles of that partnership is parenting. A man and woman join together to give birth and to raise and nurture children.

This is the blessed relationship for the family for the good of life on earth. Without it there would be no future generations of human beings capable of experiencing and sharing God’s love and forming a moral society. So, we can say with confidence that never is the Biblical view of marriage outdated. Challenged yes, perhaps politically incorrect, but never passé.

The glorious gift of sex symbolizes and sustains this intimate divine union. The sexual act for humans is intended only within the boundaries of marriage. Marriage is intended to be a life-long relationship, “Until death do us part,” based on mutual trust, fidelity, and chastity. After giving the gift of marriage, the Lord stepped back and proclaimed,” It is very good.”

God’s beautiful dream of what marriage was meant to be has unfortunately been tainted by sin and our secular human updates such as divorce, adultery, slavery, spousal abuse, and more recently so called “open marriage,” same-sex unions and sadly broken homes with single parents.

We can say with certainty that there will never be an acceptable substitute for a Biblical view of marriage. The gift of marriage as God intends is evident yet all around us. Loving, healthy family life is still one of the best parts of our broken world. It is the fundamental nurturing institution of any nation. Biblical marriage outdated? Heaven forbid! Thankfully, no.

Image by ekseaborn0 from Pixabay
What does it mean to sell your soul?

What does it mean to sell your soul?

Usually, when someone thinks of selling one’s soul, he or she thinks of selling it to the devil, aka Satan. The idea derives from an ancient German parable and subsequent Elizabethan play entitled The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus. Here a man exchanges his soul (that part of him that is eternal) for 24 years of pleasure, wealth and magical powers.

More commonly, the selling of one’s soul to the devil, is commonly associated with anyone who is willing to do that which is immoral, unseemly or otherwise evil, to amass wealth, gain power or fame, or achieve a seemingly unattainable degree of personal pleasure. Satan dangles all manner of temptation before individuals in an attempt to lure them away from his archenemy, God. He is so bold and so convinced of his personal power that he even tried to get Jesus to sell him his soul. Matthew records the story of this remarkable attempt by the devil to get Jesus to turn on God, his father.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 4:1-11

Satan may influence an individual to do evil, but God always has the last word. No matter how great one’s sin, the price for that sin has already been paid in blood on a Roman cross 2000 years ago. Satan has been defeated and he has limited power on earth until Jesus returns and gets rid of evil forever. Satan’s power is defined in the Bible.

The power of deception

…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15

The power to challenge angels

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Jude 9

The power to bring havoc

“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Job 1:10-12

Power that is limited

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Power that can be thwarted by those who place their trust in God

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:11:12

You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil to gain the greatest gift in the world…peace in this life and an eternity free from pain and suffering while feasting with the creator of the universe. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the gift of life that God offers, we encourage you to read our blogpost: How does one become a Christian?