Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Defenseless Book???

In our day it's interesting to see that in all the cultural wars, and attacks brought against Christianity and the Bible, it seems that the Bible has an answer for every objection. It's as if the book itself was expecting attacks to come upon it. Could this be evidence of divine inspiration? In response I've decided to post a list of these attacks and objections along with Bible verses and passages that answer each. Here is a list of common ones:

"My sexual preferences are fixed and cannot change": 1 Corinthians 6-9-11

"Sex outside of marriage is fine": Hebrews 13:4

"My feelings determine my gender": Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:18; Genesis 2:23-24

"The Bible is corrupt and changed": Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25

"The Bible is not the word of God": 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21

"Do whatever feels right as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else": Romans 14:12

"Racism will never go away": Ephesians 2:11-14

"All world religions and religious books have the same validity": Isaiah 41:21-23

"There were no eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ who write the Bible": 2 Peter 1:16

"There is no evidence for God's existence": Romans 1:19-20

"Christians are hateful, bigoted hypocrites": Matthew 7:15-23; 2 Peter 1:4-9

"Jesus Christ is a myth": 2 Peter 1:16; 1 John 1:1

"You can't quote the Bible to prove the Bible": Deuteronomy 18:21-22

The words of the 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon couldn't ring more true in a day and age of such criticism: 

"Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself".

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Who is like the God of the Bible???

"Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works." Psalm 86:8

This is part of a prayer of the great king David of ancient Israel who acknowledges the uniqueness of God and his works throughout human history. If these words spoken by king David were ever needed during a time of human history it is definitely during our time, though I suppose that these words were of great value during the time of David as well. In a time when the nations in the Middle East worshipped many gods, David's own nation was also exposed to these gods, so it would have been all too easy to count the God of Israel as one God among many and to consider his power equal to all the rest. Today a similar comparison is being made, but not so much among those who worship different gods but rather by those who don't believe in any god. Often times the God of the Bible is compared to the Norse gods, or the Roman, Greek, and Egyptian gods to conclude that he is no different or that he was made through someone's imagination. Some even foolishly say that they are God. These are false comparison being made. When we take David's thought and apply it to this type of thinking are there truly any God's like the God of the Bible? Are there any that are like him in character, or are there any who have done the exact same works as him? Do any of the gods have the same perfection, love, or justice as the God of the Bible himself? Are there any gods who are said to have created everything in existence? Are there any gods who can control nature, create life, and guide individuals and nations to accomplish his purposes? Which god can predict the future and tell mankind the events that are to come? Finally, which God took on the form of a human being to serve us, love us, and suffer for us when we were hostile toward him in our works? Is there any god who fits this criteria? None but the God revealed to us in the pages of the Bible.

Lets consider again the words of king David: "Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works".

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Miracle that we can see.

Have you ever found it difficult to accept the Bible as a supernatural book inspired by God, or found it difficult to believe the Bible's claims about miracles? Perhaps you say "I don't accept Jesus as the Son of God", "I don't believe that Moses parted the Red Sea", or "I cannot accept that Jesus walked on water". I assume that these are doubted because you haven't personally seen these types of miracles yourself or any miracle for that matter! However, I want to inform you that there are miracles that point to the fact that the Bible is a supernatural collections of books, that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, that Moses parted the Red Sea, and yes, we can all see these miracles! So which miracles am I referring to?

See what the Apostle Peter wrote on the issue in 2 Peter 1:16-21:

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,[a] which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,[b] 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God[c] spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Notice in verses 16 and 17 that Peter says he was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ and heard the voice of God when He said "This is my beloved Son". He then says in verse 18 that he was with Jesus on the holy mountain when he heard this voice. Here is where the miracle that we can all see comes in: In verse 19 he says "so we have the prophetic word confirmed", and concludes the passage in verse 21 by saying that prophecy never originated from man, but from the Holy Spirit who moved men to speak. So what is Peter saying here and what's so special about it? Peter is telling us that prophecies in the Bible didn't originate from man's imagination or guesswork, but from God himself. The Spirit of God through man spoke the words of the Bible and specifically the prophecies of the Bible (though all scripture comes from God), and these are "a light that shines in a dark place". Lights are meant to give guidance, they are meant to illuminate, allow us to see truth, and which path to take! The prophecies in the Bible are just that, a guide for us to discern truth and the work of the true God. So, how do we know that Bible has been inspired by God? By looking to its prophecies. When we "Heed" or follow these then we will be lead to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins according to prophecy in the Bible, and rose from the dead three days later. The Bible is true because it's a book from God, and it has proven itself to be a book from God.

For examples please see: Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 110, Deuteronomy 18:15, Zechariah 12:10.

Compare these with the life of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament. Also read the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah to see how Biblical prophecy unfolded in history.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Atonement and the Abrahamic Faiths.

If you've been intentional about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others then chances are you have come across individuals who are of the Jewish faith or Islamic faith which are called the Abrahamic faiths. You've proceeded to tell them that Jesus died for their sins and rose from the dead, and that they can have complete forgiveness for their sins by trusting in Him. You tell them that they can be reconciled to God because their sins have separated them from Him. But they respond with the idea that they don't need someone to die for their sins because they receive forgiveness by praying to God directly, by fasting, doing good deeds, or by God arbitrarily forgiving them because He is merciful. No doubt if you've spoken with someone of the Jewish faith or Islamic faith then you've heard one of these objections thrown out to you so as to exempt them from their need of the gospel! It's also quite possible that you didn't know what to say at all when you had the opportunity for conversation.

However, we know from the Bible that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12), and that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). So, how do we as Christians respond when an objection like this comes out from a Jewish person or a Muslim? One effective way is to look for some common ground between you and your Jewish and Muslim friend. One of those common ground areas is Moses the prophet. Both Jewish and Muslim people believe that Moses was a prophet, and they both believe his words and consider them as words from God. When an objection like this comes up it might be good to say, "You believe in Moses as a prophet, right? Do you know what He said about how to be forgiven for your sins?" And proceed to show the person you're talking with the following verse:

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for the souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." Leviticus 17:11

These words were spoken by God through the prophet Moses, and they inform us that God has designated a means of atonement for the soul or life of a human being. In this context he is speaking to the nation of Israel, but this theme appears all through out the Old and New Testaments, and was practiced and affirmed by various writers and individuals in the Bible. God says that it is the blood that makes atonement, payment, or reparation for the soul, meaning that it is a direct transaction for any offense that a person commits toward God. It is meant to cleanse and cover ones sins. This was an integral part of Moses' revelation that he spoke to the people about how one receives atonement in the eyes of God. Yet, today Muslims and many Jewish people hope to atone for themselves by living a righteous life. Remember however, that followers of both faiths revere Moses and believe that he spoke the very words of God. When you show the person whom you are speaking with this verse, hold them to this point and then tell them about Jesus Christ who is the one who shed his blood for the world!

"For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:13-14

If you are reading this and are a follower of the Jewish or Islamic faith, where is your atonement?