Thursday, May 29, 2014
Genesis 32 records the night that Jacob wrestled with God. This passage refers to God as "the Angel of the Lord," which is one of the titles applied to Jesus before His birth in Bethlehem. Theologians call this a theophany, or pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus on earth.
In other words, seeing Jesus' face and seeing God's face are two different things. No one has looked at the face of God. Obviously, multitudes have seen the face of Jesus.
Nice try, contradiction watch dogs. But once again, the Bible validates itself.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Question: What is the first of the Ten Commandments?
Answer: The first of the Ten Commandments is, "You shall have no other gods before Me."
After God reminded Israel that He was the one who brought them out of bondage, He gave them the first command--that they should serve no god but Him.
And why would they? With each of the Ten Plagues God directly assaulted one of the gods of the pagan Egyptians and showed Himself to be the only powerful God. Consider how Yahweh showed up these other gods:
*Khnum was the guardian of the Nile River, and Yahweh turned it to blood.
*Hapi was the frog goddess, and Yahweh invaded their land with millions of frogs.
*Seb was the earth god, but he could do nothing about the lice.
*Uatchit was the fly god, but he could do nothing about the millions of flies.
*Amon and several others were gods of cattle, but Yahweh destroyed their herds.
*Sekhmet was the goddess of epidemics, and Yahweh sent boils.
*Nut, the sky goddess, could not stop the hail.
*Serapia, the protector from the locusts, was proven powerless over the 8th plague.
*At least five sun gods could not stop the darkness from the 9th plague.
*The death of the firstborn was judgment against Pharaoh and all of Egypt's gods.
The people of Israel would be foolish to look to any other god after all they had witnessed. Today, why would we turn to any god besides Yahweh?
No god offers forgiveness, new life, inner peace, eternal life, heaven, Holy Spirit power, and a relationship with man. No god had eternal power, yet stepped down from his throne to be near mortals. No god willingly died so that humans can be forgiven. And without a doubt, no god has ever come back from the dead.
No god, that is, except the God, Yahweh.
No other gods? No problem.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Did you catch how Adam contradicted himself?
He does not believe in God, yet believes in the laws of the universe. How is there a law with no law-giver? If there is a law, who is the judge that enforces it?
Random chance does not create laws. Evolution does not explain any of the laws that govern this universe.
This universe, and the laws that govern it, are all governed by God. It's the only feasible explanation.
Maybe the thought of facing a Judge has Adam Carolla freaked out.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Q. What does the introduction to the Ten Commandments teach us?
A. The introduction to the Ten Commandments teaches us that, because God is Lord and Redeemer, we must keep all of His commandments.
Before God gave Moses and the young nation of Israel the Ten Commandments, He introduced them with these words:
“I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Too often we skip over these words and get right to the commandments, but these 18 words that introduce them serve as an important preface. God did not just randomly appear to the Israelites and say, “I’m God; obey me.” He certainly would be justified in saying that, because, after all, He is God.
But instead God gently reminded them of what He had already done for them. They were in bondage to the Egyptians; their sons were being drowned in the river; they were forced into labor, and then God stepped in, and sent a deliverer named Moses.
Before there were ten commandments, there were ten plagues. In each of those plagues the Israelites saw divine protection while their enemies felt the wrath of God. When they left Egypt they were pursued by Pharaoh and his army, and when there was nowhere to go, God parted the Red Sea, led them to safety, then drowned the army in those same waters.
God’s point was clear: He had demonstrated that He is the only God worth following. But following Him, like with any relationship, has rules.
Today we are just like that nation of Israel; God did not deliver us from the bondage of Egypt, but from the bondage of sin. He did not free us from the tyranny of Pharaoh, but of Satan. He did not send us a deliverer in Moses, but in His Son Jesus Christ. In light of what He has done for us, He is a God worth obeying.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Whoever made this image is getting the biblical record wrong.
It was the Bible, not science, that first said the earth is round.
It was the Bible, not science, that first said the earth is suspended in space.
When science says we evolved from pond scum, we should probably stick with the Bible there too.
He who sits above the circle of the earth…
hangs the earth on nothing.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Q. What benefits do believers receive from Christ when they die?
A. When believers die their souls are made perfectly holy and immediately pass into glory. Their bodies, which are still united to Christ, rest in the grave until the rapture.
What happens to Christians when they die?
This is a question that most people will ponder at some point in life. When we think about a deceased loved one, or even our own mortality, we find ourselves wondering what happens when life ends.
Paul did not want us to be ignorant on this issue. To use his words to the Christians at Thessalonica, who were wrestling with this same topic:
“I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, that you do not sorrow, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even those also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with them. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-15)
For those who have died in the Lord (sleep), their souls are immediately ushered into the presence of Christ (Hebrews 9:27), but their bodies remain on earth. On that day known as the rapture, their bodies will reunited with their souls in heaven. At this time their bodies will be glorified, free from sickness, fatigue, or death. Paul described those bodies this way:
“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
(1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
Paul concluded that passage in 1 Thessalonians by telling believers to comfort each other with those words. Whenever we are brokenhearted or find ourselves missing a loved one, we need to remember that this is not our home, and that heaven awaits us.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Q. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the process whereby God sets us apart, or makes us holy.
Last week we saw that justification is the process by which God forgives our sins (He makes me “just if I” had never sinned); this week we will see that sanctification is the process by which God makes us holy.
Sanctification happens in two ways: it is both positional and progressive. It is positional in that our position changes immediately when we put our faith in Christ; we change from sinner to saint.
A lot of people say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace,” but they should say, “I was a sinner, but have been saved by grace.” Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
We are no longer named by the sins we once committed if we have been sanctified. Even though I still sin, I am a saint who sins, and not a sinner. There is a big difference between the two.
Besides a positional change, sanctification also brings a progressive change; this means that we make progress every day until the day God calls us home. In Luke 9:23 Jesus told His disciples they needed to take up their cross daily and follow Him. Just because we have been changed postionally does not mean that our work is done; we must continue to make progress each day.
Sanctification is not just positional and progressive, it is also permanent. Hebrews 10:10 says, “We have been made holy (sanctified) by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.”
Here is an easy way to remember what sanctification means: When God sanctifies me, He makes a saint out of me.