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Showing posts from 2017

A Virgin Birth? You're Not Serious!

“T herefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 Over 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Isaiah the prophet spoke these words concerning the conception and birth of the Messiah which were fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ.  Believing this is paramount, to believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Why was it important that Christ’s mother was a virgin?  There are several reasons, but first the problem.  The fallen or sin nature of Adam, who rebelled against God, was also passed on from generation to generation to all of mankind to this very day.  All men have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.  That means that all men have been separated from God, who is Holy, yet God loves His creation and has created a plan to redeem (restore us to Himself) all men and women who will believe in His plan.  In order to redeem the fallen human race there needed to be a genuine hu

The Lord's Prayer Part 7: For Thine Is The Kingdom And The Power And The Glory FOREVER!

In the last six articles we have looked briefly at the meanings of the different verses of The Lord’s Prayer.  This line differs from the rest of the prayer, except for the first line, in that it is not a beseeching from God, but recognition of praise to Him.   It is an acknowledgement praising Him and the eternal endlessness of His Kingdom.  It is actually a doxology, which means words that express glory to God, and is usually in the form of a song or hymn that is often sung in conclusion.  Another example would be of the well-known doxology  Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow  which is commonly known as  The Doxology .  Some theologians have argued their opinion that they do not believe that Jesus included this doxology when He taught His apostles this prayer and that it was added by scribes much later.  Luke does not include it in His recording of the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11), but some have said the reason is they are actually two different prayers and taught to two differe

The Lord's Prayer Part 6: But Deliver Us From The Evil One

Some may ask, “Why would I pray for protection from evil or the evil one, when I don’t believe there is such a thing as evil or the evil one?” (aka the devil or satan.)    To that person I would say, I am so sorry that you have become a product of Western secular education!    Ever since the “Age of Reason” took hold in the 18 th   century most highly educated people have denied the existence of evil, evil spirits or the devil as only a superstition carried over from an uneducated, primitive, superstitious past.    They may think of the devil as some old cartoon character that they have seen, where a good spirit and bad spirit whisper competing influences into the human’s ears.    Some might even remember laughing at comedian Flip Wilson’s humorous, “the devil made me do it” shtick, but to them the devil is just something to laugh about.       Their “reasoning” is that all we need to lead us to goodness is to be more reasonable (as in the Age of Reason) and that evil doesn’t make

The Lord's Prayer Part 5: And Do No Lead Us Into Temptaion

This can be a confusing part of the Lord’s Prayer… “Do not lead us into temptation…”    To some it gives the connotation that God would actually lead us into temptation but that would be in conflict with James 1:12-15 12:   “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the LORD has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” Did you know being tempted is not a sin?    It is giving into the temptation that is. This makes it quite clear that God does not tempt anyone or lead them into temptation but what tempts us is our own evil desire. Clearly God does not tempt us. So what does this mean?

The Lord's Prayer Part 4: And Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against us.

This may be one of the most misunderstood verses in this prayer.    Millions upon millions of people have prayed this prayer sincerely, but have missed the true meaning.    The reason, is that we are eager to ask for forgiveness for our trespasses (sins), but ignore the meaning of the next portion, “As we forgive those who trespass against us.”    As with most all of God’s promises there are conditions.    The word “ as ” brings in a conditional situation as does the words “ but ” and “ if ” that we see in other passages of the Bible.     In this text the Lord offers us His wonderful gift of forgiveness for our sinful trespasses that we have done,   but , on the condition we forgive others for what they have done to us. Later in Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus clarifies this by saying, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.    But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”    What He is say

The Lord's Prayer Part 3: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11 is a very important verse for us to have a greater understanding. It admits our need of God for all our provision, not just for bread.  The temptation, often subtle, when living in a nation like America where food is so plentiful  and there are literally multi-tons of it wasted and thrown out daily, is to develop an independent and self-sufficient attitude of pride and arrogance.  Even the poorest, “down and outer” is eligible for all sorts of welfare programs, food stamps, Christian soup kitchens, shelters, etc.  available for free. The point that Jesus is bringing to us is that we must not fail to recognize God as the source of all our needs.  Even more importantly, is that we would continue to recognize Him as the source of “all good gifts.”  (James 1:17).    Whatever the need we may have, we can have assurance that we can approach God for these things.  Some people are very reluctant to ask God for their particular needs

The Lord's Prayer Part 2: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven

  How often have we prayed “Thy Kingdom come” and not understood what we are really praying?  Wait a minute! We live in a republic not a kingdom. Aren’t kingdoms kind of going obsolete around the world?  No, this kingdom is God’s kingdom, He is the King and of His Kingdom there shall be no end!  Each time we pray this we are praying for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and for Him to establish His Kingdom on earth-as it is in Heaven.  This is very important for us to understand.  For those who are skeptical, consider the accuracy of the Bible.  In the Old Testament there are about 300 scriptures foretelling the first coming of Jesus Christ, which is historically verified.  Now, what are the odds that all of them have come to pass? However, there are over 2400 in the Old and New Testament that speak of His Second Coming and they too will all come to pass.  Thy Kingdom Come soon! The second portion of this verse of the Lord’s Prayer gives us a lot of needed understanding, for it

The Lord's Prayer Part 1: Our Father Who Is In Heaven, Hallowed (Or Holy) Is Your Name

As we begin praying we are instructed to follow this format.    The first is really revolutionary because as a disciple, that means we have surrendered and repented of our sin to Christ. We have received His forgiveness, His Spirit and are now “born again”.    We are now given the privilege of calling God our Father.    Romans  8:15  says we have been given a Spirit of adoption, that is adopted into His family and we cry out “Abba! Father!”    Abba means father/daddy…Wow that is wonderful! Notice that we pray to Our Father, the One who is in Heaven and Whose name is Holy!    He is our Father in Heaven, which distinguishes Him from all other so called gods, since all other “gods” and objects are created and are part of a created world or a created realm.    Only our Father is the transcendent Creator.   We are not to pray to statues, idols, objects including beads or crucifixes, people, deceased or living saints, angels, or even Jesus’ earthly mother Mary.    No! Jesus Himself i

Will the REAL Eugene Peterson Please Stand Up?!

The popular author of The Message Bible, Eugene Peterson has found himself in quite a mix up!   In an interview with Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Service he was questioned about homosexual “marriages”.  He said he “didn’t consider homosexuality wrong and would, if asked, officiate a same-sex “marriage.”  His reason; “I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian,” Peterson said, “and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do.”  Immediately there was a reaction including that of a large book distributor who said that it would no longer sell Peterson’s books!  Instantly Peterson recanted;  “To clarify, I affirm the biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman.  I affirm a biblical view of everything.”  Hmmm?  Now people are wondering who the real Eugene Peterson is and why has he “wishy washed” so quickly!  Is he just mixed up and wants to stay popular by being a man-pleaser OR is it the loss of book sales?   Regardless, there is a lesson in this for all of us.  

Situational Ethics

Secular Humanism and Situational (or Situation) Ethics has been taught in public education for the last 50+ years.  Briefly, Secular Humanism believes man, not God, is the center of all things and has the solution to all things.  Situational Ethics teaches that you can do or say whatever YOU think will benefit the situation (or you) best.  It can be a lie; it can be immoral and unethical, as under the “old rules”, but now it is perfectly acceptable! Humanist Max Hocutt says that human beings “may, and do, make up their own rules… Morality is not discovered; it is made.”  This is in agreement with John Dewey’s statement (mentioned in Secular Humanism) for without God “….. immutable truth is dead and buried.” and should that be the case then humans will arbitrarily make up “whatever seems right in their own eyes.” Since the Secular Humanists do not believe in God they have no healthy “fear” of doing what is wrong and displeasing to Him.  So if God does not exist, then He cannot

Secular Humanism- The Religion of America

If you aren’t familiar with Secular Humanism you certainly need to be.  It is everywhere in America (and Europe) particularly in our schools and government and it is growing.  What is Secular Humanism? It is the religion that seeks to usurp the Judeo-Christian’s recognition of God-Christ as the Creator and center of life by placing man at the center and solution of everything.  Secular Humanism can be a mixed bag, but for the most part it is atheistic, naturalistic, soul-based and is contrary to traditional religious morals, ethics and absolutes.  It is an antonym of Judeo-Christianity.   It is very organized and is evolving, there now being a progression of three different Humanistic Manifestos written.  This infers an inconsistency of thought and belief.  HS has shown that it is against “traditional religion” and its absolutes and is intolerant of it.  John Dewey, an atheist, evolutionary, secular humanist, signatory of the first Humanist Manifesto and also known as the “father”/arc

What Will We Ever Do In Heaven?!

Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like?  I am sure you have, and frankly most people don’t seem very excited about it.  After all floating around on a cloud by ourselves, strumming a harp in a white gown (of all things) forever doesn’t sound too appealing to most people…particularly to a male!  Unfortunately, that is the concept most people seem to have, but is that what heaven is really like? Recently I was visiting my good friend’s octogenarian father and the topic of heaven came up.  At 88 you have a lot of time to think on “what’s next” and rightly so.  Physical death is a coming reality.  Yet for most all of us this thought bring a great uncertainty, which has a proclivity to produce great fear for the future, rather than great hope and expectation.    For the person who has never asked Christ for His forgiveness, nor lived their life for Him, there should be a great fear.  The Bible warns us of this so that we might turn from the sinful lifestyle we have been living

Abandoning the Wall: A Response

As a result of my first posting on Separation of Church and State I was asked the question, "What does "abandoning the wall of separation between Church and state look like?", a statement made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist. The following is my response. •• Religious freedom, though guaranteed by our 1st Amendment, has been constantly and ruthlessly attacked for the last 50 - 70 or more years, by those who feel it their duty to wipe out all vestiges of God and Christianity from any and all areas of public property. Their battle cry is “Separation of Church and State!” Due to their diligence, a large percentage of Americans have come to believe this statement is found in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights or some other founding document, as I mentioned in the first article. For example, a few years ago I had lunch with a high school teacher with a PhD who was absolutely shocked when I told him the phrase “Separation of Church and St