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.   

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What Does it Mean to Worship God?

What Does it Mean to Worship God?

Worship is the grateful response to a gracious and loving God. It means honoring the God of creation who has given life and the assurance of eternal life for all put their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Worship is a spontaneous and voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved sinner to the Savior.

Simply stated, worship is just saying, “thank you God for all your blessings.”  The fact is that every good thing a person has in life is a gift from God. So in worship, we praise God for his amazing works in creation. We praise him because His power is great and His unfailing love is even greater. In a greater sense, worship reflects the condition of the human heart and lifts the human spirit. Worship connects people with God at the spiritual level.

In the Christian perspective, Stewardship is worship. Service in missions and in the church is worship. Good works, done in Jesus name, is worship. Singing praises to the Lord as worship. Sharing the good news of the Gospel with others is worship.  In other words, all of life’s activities should be worship. Worship will be one of the primary activities for eternity in heaven. In worship we say, “To God be the glory. Great things he has done!”  This is what it means to worship God.

Do I have to choose between my Christian faith and what science teaches?

Do I have to choose between my Christian faith and what science teaches?

No, the Christian faith fits the scientific facts. Science now confirms that the intricacy and complexity of the design details in both the macro (cosmic) and micro (biological) Sciences point to an Intelligent Designer.  That designer is God.

Recent scientific discoveries demonstrate also that evolution could not have produced new life forms on planet Earth including humans. No matter how many eons of time one selects, the mathematical probability of evolution producing life forms is zero. 

Even though the universe came into being, the Big Bang, about 13.8 billion years ago and the earth about 4.8 billion years ago, in all that time, the extensive number of fossils discovered, including those in the Cambrian strata (billions upon billions of fossils), not a single transitional species was found. All fossil species appear distinct; that is no evolution. The foundation of the evolution theory is a gradual transition of species thru random probabilistic transition. This is the essence of the theory yet NOT ONE transitional species has ever been found where there should be billions if not trillions.

Remember this too. The older Earth age does not conflict with the Genesis seven days of creation because the Hebrew word for day, ‘ium’, has four possible meanings one of which is, “A long period of time,” which could be millions or billions of years. In other words, God took His time to get Earth ready.

Regarding evolution, one must keep in mind that evolution was a theory which is now a worldview masquerading as scientific fact. It is fundamentally the religion of atheists who reject the idea of God or even an intelligent designer and that a human being has an eternal soul. Why, so that atheists can be their own god, live life as they please, fabricate their own truth and believe that life ends at death with no Judgment Day and no eternal condemnation or punishment. In other words, a life with no hope, no meaning, and no purpose of any eternal value. In that worldview, human life has no value greater than the lives of animals. Despite overwhelming evidence, evolutionists say, “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the scientific facts or the idea of intelligent design by a Creator God.” So sad!!

So, choose faith and study more about how science supports the Genesis account of creation. While you are searching for truth, you will also discover God’s plan for your life. 

Photo copyright: johndwilliams / 123RF Stock Photo

Did Jesus really come back to life?

Did Jesus really come back to life?

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)

I’m afraid of the virus, is that normal?

I’m afraid of the virus, is that normal?

Yes. Fear is part of the fallen human condition. When we are confronted with something that may alter our future, we become fearful. With the 24-hour news cycle reminding us of ever-increasing numbers of cases of COVID-19, blasting out stories of deaths and body bags, and reminding us of our dire financial straits, fear is inevitable. As the disease enters our communities and we hear of a friend or neighbor that has taken ill or died, we wonder if “I’m next.”

We’re also asking how this event will change the lives of our loved ones. And we’re probably wondering why God has let this happen. Contemplating these questions leads to anxiety and fear.

Fortunately, God knows us better than we know ourselves and wants us to turn our focus from our personal situation and our inward focus to an upward focus on Him and an outward focus on others.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

The Bible has a lot to say about fear. We read of great men of God who became fearful. And, we saw how God turned fear into Joy. When David was being pursued by men who wanted to kill him, he cried out to God. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you,” he wrote in Psalm 56:3. From the many Psalms David wrote we see a man who was regularly afraid but knew that God was there for him, no matter the outcome.

The apostle Paul encountered many life-threatening situations and shared what he discovered with others. In his letter to the Church in the Greek City of Philippi he wrote: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Paul knew that we all fear, but he wanted people to understand that fear did not have to control us. He reminded his disciple, Timothy: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

In 1 John 4:18, Jesus’ disciple, John, reminded readers “that perfect love drives out fear.” Here for what is translated as “perfect” John used the Greek word, teleios, a word that means complete, finished or fully grown. He is reminding Christians that when we refocus on God’s love, a love so great that He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that we might know peace in this life and a fear-free eternity with him. It’s a journey, not a destination.

As you meditate on scripture, sing songs of joy and hope, and seek ways to help those around you who are fearful and suffering, you will find your fears receding into God’s love. In a 100-year-old gospel hymn, we are reminded that “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through; My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” COVID-19 is part of this world, not the next. It may make you sick. It may result in your financial ruin, and it might even cause your death. But don’t let fear paralyze you. Don’t be afraid to tell others of your fears and even seek professional help if necessary. But right now, stop and direct your thoughts to God. Tell him your fears, ask for his help and listen quietly for the Holy Spirit to begin guiding your thoughts.    

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Is the Coronavirus God’s punishment?

Is the Coronavirus God’s punishment?

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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