How could God make something–creation–out of nothing?

How could God make something–creation–out of nothing?

This is a frequently asked question and in a way a mystery but there is a simple answer…because He is God and He can. As such, He is the Creator of all and has existed forever.

In the Bible God is referred to as, I Am. But, a more explanatory answer is that He is a ‘transcendent’ God meaning He is in a separate world of dimensions well beyond ours and is not limited to time and space as we humans are. With God in eternity there is no time. He ‘spoke’ our universe into existence through the power of His Word and both time and space were created. We are unable in our limited dimensions to comprehend this fact. We also cannot understand time. It just is! It is there to mark the days and years and the seasons of life. But, He did give us practical, positive and understandable evidence of His existence and presence and creative power. A few examples are:

  1. 1. Nature: The greatness, grandeur and magnificence of all on this earth, and the laws that govern the sciences.
  2. 2.Life: The concept of all life and how it all fits together for it’s reproduction and existence. We know that humans are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)
  3. 3. The Bible: We know it is God’s inspired Word because only He sees all of human history as if it’s already happened. That’s how there can be hundreds prophecies of future events that are 100% certain like the first and second coming of Jesus…. God’s omniscience and power on display.
  4. 4. Divine Intervention: God heals diseases, answers prayers, influences our decisions and most importantly transforms lives. Examples of these are endless. Think about John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, transformed from slave trader to preacher and hymn writer.

In summary, God created the universe out of nothing because He wanted to demonstrate His love for all who desire a personal relationship with Him in this life and for all eternity in a new dimension, heaven. That relationship and salvation is possible for all those who trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9&10)

Why is life unfair? Why does life hurt so much?

Why is life unfair? Why does life hurt so much?

This life is not fair and hurts. When this life hurts, we can draw upon God for comfort and love. We are all imperfect people who are given the freedom, out of love for us by God, to make choices. When we make choices out of selfishness, pride, anger, fear or any other negative emotion or motive, we hurt others, but even more, hurt ourselves. This is sin, or missing the best that God desires for us and started with Adam and Eve disobeying God in the Garden of Eden.God can use anything, even evil, done to us for our own good.

God cares more about our character and heart than anything, and allows us to go through hurt and pain, so that we can grow and mature. We can thank God that he is just, and isn’t fair with us either. We have failed and hurt God by our actions most of all. God, out of his love for us, sent his only son, who was perfect and without sin, to Earth to take upon himself the sins of everyone, not just us, so that we could enjoy a life in relationship to Him. Jesus dying in our place was unfair, but necessary, for God’s best for all of us.

Should Christians try to convert those of other religions?

Should Christians try to convert those of other religions?

Another great question as all Christians are called to go and make disciples of all nations. ( Matthew 28:19) First, it must be said that Christians do not actually convert others. Christians are to be Jesus’ ambassadors to the world bringing the Good News of the Gospel that Jesus alone saves. God does all the convicting of sin and the need for a Savior and the converting through His Holy Spirit. Second, a Christian’s conversations and testimonies are to be shared in love and compassion to all those of other faiths, to those who have no knowledge of God and even to those who are agnostics and atheists who deny there is a Creator. (John 3:16)

Christians do all this because they are instructed to do so in many passages of scripture and because they want to share God’s love and that joy of knowing Jesus as Savior. They want every person to experience that new wonderful transformed and meaningful life He gives now and forever to all who believe. When a person experiences God’s love and forgiveness and are saved from God’s wrath. So, why would they not want to tell others about their new life and Savior. Remember, Christians only tell others about Jesus, the Gospel and how He died and rose again for each person. We are only His ambassadors. We go and tell just like the Apostle Andrew said to his brother Peter, “Come and see. We have found the Messiah, Jesus.”

There is nothing greater than seeing a lost soul find Jesus as Savior. Now how about you? If you are a Christian do you tell others about Jesus? Perhaps it’s a family member or friend or colleague that needs to know Him. We encourage you to be that Christian friend that shares the ‘Good News” and points them to Jesus just like Andrew did to Peter. Then watch in wonder as God does a marvelous transformation in that person’s life. What happens really does surpasses all human understanding but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

What does the Bible say about conflict resolution?

What does the Bible say about conflict resolution?

This life is tough and the hardest things are relationships, especially when they aren’t healthy.

For the most part, we can control ourselves and our actions; we can’t (or shouldn’t) control others. People offend us and we will get hurt. There’s no hiding from that. Sometimes, it’s intentional and other times it’s not; sometimes they aren’t aware of how and when they have hurt us.

The Bible tells us to forgive in all things, though sometimes, we need to confront the other person (in love) (Matt. 18:15-17). Ultimately, Jesus died for all of our sins. God’s grace and mercy extends to all, and should be passed through you to others. He forgave us even before we even asked for forgiveness, and we will never deserve forgiveness, just as other might never deserve it, Jesus even told us He would forgive us our sins, as we forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15). It is a hard thing to do to forgive, but it is required to have true peace. God’s Holy Spirit inside of believers enables us to forgive.

Ask God for the power, wisdom and make the choice to forgive today; the feelings will come later.

Does the Bible claim to be the Inspired Word of God? 

Does the Bible claim to be the Inspired Word of God? 

First, an easy, direct answer, YES the Bible does claim to be inspired and has shown itself to be so by the hundreds of predictions exactly fulfilled in date and event hundreds of years later. This is so because God knows the entire experience of the human race as if it has already happened. The apostle Timothy wrote,

“ All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Some additional comments are worthy of note. Translations, and there are many, make the best effort to capture the intent and context of the inspired original. Hermanutics is the study of Scripture. One must go to the original language as far as possible to get the authors’ full intent, meaning, and purpose of that written. Context, that is who is writing it, when was it written, to whom was it written, what were the circumstances surrounding the passage, etc. are all relevant to gain understanding and discover the treasure of truth contained in the Bible.

It is important to remember, early languages, Hebrew in particular, had a limited vocabulary estimated at 4000 words or less compared to English today of 400,000+ words. Hence most original Hebrew text words had multiple meanings making context of the passage very important. Greek originals of the New Testament were more precise and therefore were more easily translated into modern English.

Finally, the Bible is absolutely the inspired WORD of GOD and God purposely provided it the way He did. This makes one’s study of it so much more exciting and fun. Every time one reads the Bible they discover more truths and the inspiration for living a meaningful and purposeful life. Some say that the word BIBLE is an acronym for the phrase, ‘Best Investigated Before Leaving Earth.’

We urge you and everyone to diligently, take time, and read and study His Word. We encourage you to make it a daily habit. It’s one you will never regret. It will lead you to Jesus who is the only way to Heaven. (John 14:6)

Why did Jesus talk more about hell than heaven?

Why did Jesus talk more about hell than heaven?

Jesus spoke more of Hell than Heaven but we do know He spoke a lot about both.You know God tells us that He loved us so much that “… while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8). So God’s purpose for each of us is to bring us into a present and future Heavenly relationship with Him. So warning us of the consequences of not giving our hearts and lives to Christ is a further evidence of this love for us. Jesus it seems wanted to make the choice simple and obvious.
It is similar to you and your children whom you love. If you see them entering a dangerous situation don’t you immediately warn and stop them and tell them of the danger?
Christ’s persistent warnings about Hell tells us that it is a real place and He doesn’t want anyone to go there. Remember, a person’s ultimate destination at death is either Heaven or Hell. The point is that Jesus is saying that there is existence beyond physical death and there are only two possible outcomes.The fact is that God would have all come to know and trust Him and gain eternal life, but He gave everyone the free will to choose.
So, how about you? Have you come into that life-transforming personal relationship with Jesus and now know for sure where you will be for eternity?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Romans 10:9&10 (NIV)

Why is being ‘Gay’ viewed by Christians as a sin?

Why is being ‘Gay’ viewed by Christians as a sin?

This question really has two parts. The first is what is sin? The second is what does being gay involve? Is being gay a mindset, an attitude, or a behavior? Now sin is simply breaking any of God’s laws in word, thought or deed. What is important to understand is that it’s not how Christians view sin but what God views as sin. The condition of being gay suggests an unnatural intimate relationship with a person of the same sex. Note that it is the practice of homosexual activity, not same gender attraction, that is a sin.
So, let’s see what God has to say about homosexual activity. In the Bible book of Leviticus 19:22 it is called an abomination. It does not get more explicit than that. In the book of Genesis chapter 19 we find that God totally destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their unnatural homosexual desires and practices. It is easy to see that God detests homosexual activity because it breaks God’s order about the relationship between a man and a woman.
In Genesis 1:27 we find that, “God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Further on we read,” man shall become one flesh with his wife and be fruitful and multiply.” God’s intention is for mankind to be joyful, healthy, safe, to love and to be loved. It is also for the forming of families in which to raise children where godliness can be learned and practiced. Now to be clear, it is not just homosexual behavior that God calls sin, but all sexual activity outside of the marriage between one man and one woman. Just think how much emotional, spiritual and physical pain would be eliminated if mankind followed God’s plan for human relationships.
When one’s life is surrendered to Jesus, one of the great things that happens is that God’s Word in the Bible certainly makes sense. We often wonder how they were so blind to the truth the Bible contains. God’s Word has the power to cause one to pause and reconsider what he or she may have believed before; and now to seriously doubt what the culture is proclaiming today.
Accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord allows the power of the Holy Spirit to begin the process of overcoming temptations and transforming behavior. If the idea of a life lived according to God’s Word is appealing to you, why not ask Jesus into your heart and begin this wonderful journey into the newness of life today.

Truth vs. Tolerance. Does it matter?

Truth vs. Tolerance. Does it matter?

Tolerance once meant a free and open discussion in search for the truth. Modern science is based on searching for the truth. Tolerance used to be a respectful discourse open to “all points of view”. In Western culture today it has become the god of liberal elitists and ultimately it leads to chaos and loss of freedoms. Denial of God’s truth, as found in the Bible, the gold standard for morality and reason, results in 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. So, does it matter? 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, “you will know the truth and the truth will make you free”.

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

Is the Move of The US Embassy to Jerusalem Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy? (Part 2)

Is the Move of The US Embassy to Jerusalem Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy? (Part 2)

Let’s start the response by looking at where we are today. We will explore five perspectives to get a better understanding of upcoming events.

First from a Moral Perspective

America today, and also Europe, Australia, and even New Zealand are in a progressive state of moral decay. Bible commands on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, and others are being disregarded by governments and peoples everywhere. And it gets worse each year not better. The Bible actually prophetically describes these present conditions in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 4:3-4;

“…there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, un holy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power… always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth…”

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Today every one of these is being fulfilled. If you doubt it, just listen to the news.

Second from a Physical Perspective

The Nation of Israel has been restored. On May 14, 1948 it was recognized as an independent nation, a biblical miracle after 1878 years in dispersion. Now all the promises and words of prophecy regarding Israel can be fulfilled literally. Additionally, Israel and of course Jerusalem, is at the center of world problems with enemies surrounding it on all sides as predicted. Also Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, etc., are all in a position to fulfill the invasions of Israel foretold in Ezekiel chapters 37-39.

Third, from a Communication Perspective

The proliferation of smart phones and the 24/7 news cycle along with a host of other technologies, allows people in every nation throughout the entire world to see events as they occur. That provides one way of fulfilling Bible prophecy that all the world will see Jesus when He returns.

Fourth, from a Current Events Perspective

Technology and powerful forces in the financial sector are laying the groundwork for a single international financial system and a single economic system, just as predicted in the Bible 2000 years ago. The era of a cashless world is not far away. Curious? See what China just worked out with Turkey. Is this the technology that will be used during the reign of the Antichrist?  Additionally, anti-semitism against Israel is growing daily fulfilling the prophecy that all nations will turn against her including even America once the Rapture has occurred.

Lastly

Jerusalem is to become the world capital of all nations under the Antichrist . America recognizing it as Israel’s capital and moving our Embassy there is a real beginning. Watch as many nations will follow. Every nation will want to have an embassy in Jerusalem as it will surpass the influence of Washington D.C., Beijing, and Moscow combined.

In Summary

The Bible has been exactly correct for 3000 years and there is no reason to believe the remaining prophecies will not occur exactly as stated. CAUTION IS REQUIRED however, as we cannot know the day or the hour of Christ’s return. SO DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PREDICT ONE. We are just to be aware of the times and BE PREPARED, as it could be at any moment.      ARE YOU READY? DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND!

Is the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?  (Part 1)

Is the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? (Part 1)

WOW what a timely question. To set the stage for answering this question, let us first review the Bible’s End Time events and then see if and how this move of the Embassy may tie in. We will need to have a two part answer to properly respond due to the complexity of the considerations. So Part 2 will be posted next week. You won’t want to miss it.
We are now in the Church Age period and many Bible scholars say the next event for those who have trusted in Jesus is what is termed The Rapture. Jesus comes down from Heaven in the air and takes all the dead believers and the living believers up with Him. (See our 11-20-17 posting for more details on the Rapture event)
The nation of Israel signs a peace treaty with a person called The Antichrist. Israel relies on the treaty with the expectation of a world peace. This begins what is called the Seven Year Tribulation Period and although the effects of the rule of the Antichrist are worldwide, Israel is the center-point at this time. (See Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg)
After three and one half years into the Tribulation, the true nature of the Antichrist is revealed and he, along with a false Holy Spirit and Satan, attempts to destroy the nation of Israel. It is during this second half of the tribulation period when catastrophic and devastating events occur worldwide. This is God’s wrath poured out on unbelieving nations.
A remnant of Jews escape Israel and at the end of the seven years Jesus returns with believers and defeats the Antichrist and his cohorts in a final battle, Armageddon.
Following this Period, Jesus rules with His people on earth for 1000 years, a time known as the Millennial Reign. The Bible also suggests that at that time King David, the king of Judah who reigned 1,000 years before Jesus, will return as regent to rule over Israel. (Ezekiel 37:24) These will be exciting times. Stay tuned.