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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Answers in Genesis is Winning

In the beginning was the Word, then pseudoscientists told us it couldn't be trusted and introduced an unscientific hypothesis which is nothing more than religion, and full of holes (holy?).

In 1859 Charles Darwin introduced his hypothesis through the work, "The Origin of Species", as a christianist minister, Darwin knew the ramifications of kicking Genesis in the leg...the rest would topple. Christianity is surrounded by trinitarian assemblies, we have a Triune God, we have a body, mind(soul), and spirit, and we have three distinct ages in History; preflood, postflood/pre-Christ, and post-Christ. Christianity stands on Creation, Conscience, and Grace. This is an extremely stable foundation, but if one is removed, the others cannot support the load. Humanists are sawing through the conscience leg now, but at current our big problem is that Creation has been compromised.

In 1960, a century after the Origin of Species, Creationists struck back with the first of many books on Creation. Evolution had a 101 year head start, but we have the Truth on our side.

Ken Ham, originally an Australian, began his ministry in 1970. This ministry today is called Answers in Genesis and they recently opened their Creation Museum just outside of Cincinnati. The grand opening was protested by extremely hateful and angry agnostics claiming to be atheists, but despite that, their museum has proved to be a hit.

They recently posted a press release announcing they had crossed the 100,000 visitor mark in seven weeks. Between 1800-2200 people visit daily, and are treated to a gorgeous display of dinosaurs, the Garden of Eden, and hundreds of scientific facts supporting the Creation Theory and destroying the evolution hypothesis.

Of my limited readership, all three or four of you, if you are active duty military then entrance into the museum is free, but it is reasonably priced otherwise.

Please pray for Ken and his wife Mally, and the entire team at Answers in Genesis. God has blessed their ministry abundantly, but as such they are faced with some of the harshest persecution in the free world. When the religion of evolution is only a memory, AiG will be credited as being a decisive force in fixing the Creation leg that Darwin broke; not just fixing it, but making it infinitely stronger.

In the words of AiG, Prepare to Believe.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Offense of the Cross

There is a great deal of unbiblical preaching for Christians to share the Gospel in love, peace, and humility, and to not be offensive. ‘We don’t need to offend someone or tell them they’re going to Hell, just tell them 'God loves YOU, Jesus died for YOU.'’ Oh!!! It makes me so mad! I don’t read my Bible as often as a I should, but I don’t fault people for not reading theirs as often as I read mine, as long as they're reading it. But I would think that if my spouse wrote me 66 letters bearing soul, mind, body, and intentions, I would at least glance at them to see what they say. My favorite Bible Verse(not because it’s all lovey-dovey, but because it contains the whole counsel of God) at the top of this page instructs us to share the Gospel in love, peace, and humility, but it says exactly the opposite of not being offensive.

When you preach the truth to the unregenerate, you are preaching directly in opposition to their nature, a nature which they’ve grown to love and one which defines them; telling them they’re wrong is going to be offensive. If that wasn’t bad enough, verse 26 tells us we’re arguing with agents of satan himself.

Paul never intended for us to be inoffensive, another of my favorite verses says "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles." (1 Cor 1:22-23)

Earlier in his ministry he called preaching, "The offense of the cross." (Gal 5:11)

The Cross is offensive, it attacks your self-righteousness, sets your conscience ablaze, and demands that you repent or perish.

In order to rescue your soul from the doom of Hell, your God had to subject Himself to the broken and diseased world of earth, where He lived a perfect example of faith, obedience, righteousness, and love; but His pointing out of faults was so offensive to the Pharisees that they KILLED Him for it.

God takes sin very seriously, He counts lust as adultery (Matt 5:28), hatred as murder (1 John 3:15), lying lips are an abomination (Prov 12:22), and all of these will be thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 21:8)

Our sin was upon Christ at the Cross, He bore our burden in love, He had no burden of His own to carry and carried ours solely so we could be rectified and God could be glorified. By me preaching to you that Christ carried your sin to the Cross, then that implies that you have sin, and not only so, but a great deal of it. Christ paid for your sin in His own life's blood, so that where sin increases, grace abounds all the more.

Repent of your sins, cease your transgressions, apologize to God for wrongdoing, and turn towards righteousness, and then place your full trust in the atoning work of Christ on the Cross. If you do these things, God will forgive you, your sinful heart will be replaced with a new heart, and you will be reborn into the family of God. Not because you are a good person, but because you are a bad person whose sins have already been to the Cross, and you have been forgiven by a good God.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Gospel According to Mohammed

Islam means “Submission to God”, as God has told us, “The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

So the submissive will indeed go to Heaven, as long as they submit to God’s will.

One verse that jumps instantly to mind is, “This is the will of God: Your sanctification,” God’s will includes demonstrating His righteousness, having upright followers, and that justice be done; but the most important from our earthly standpoint is that wrongdoers are rectified to Him, “he commands all men everywhere to repent."

Islam is in majority alignment with the Biblical understanding of Heaven and Hell; I think this is illustrated nicely in Surah 43 (Adornments), verses 70-77. Heaven is nice, and Hell is hot and eternal.

Where Christianity and Islam divide is how to get to Heaven; but how to get to Hell is the same in both religions.

Surah 43:74 tells us that “Sinners will be in the punishment of Hell, to dwell there forever.

Surah 83 speaks of our conscience, the Sijjin, a register fully inscribed that will be open on the Day of Judgment; woe to the sinner, his conscience records his wrongdoings.

God knows the secret thought life, and has appointed a Judgment Day for all mankind. The Koran accepts Moses as a prophet and the Law of the 10 Commandments which were given to him. “God gave Moses the Scripture and the Criteria between right and wrong.” – Al-Baqara 2:53

If all sinners will have their punishment in Hell, it’s in our best interest to find out if we’re sinners.

Answer these questions truthfully and you’ll know:

Have you ever told a lie? What does that make you?
If I rape one girl, I’m a rapist, if I murder one person, I’m a murderer. A single lie makes me a liar. The Koran says to, “Invoke the curse of God on those who lie!” – Al-Imran 3:61
The Bible promises that all liars will have their place in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.

Have you ever stolen anything? What does that make you?
Both the Koran and Bible have very strict punishments for thieves. Maida 5:38 tells us, “As to the thief, cut off his or her hand(s).

Have you always kept the Sabbath?
The Koran demands that you remember God on Friday, leaving off business and travel. – Assembly 62:9
Whosoever does any work on the Sabbath, he will surely be put to death. This is in order to make sure you worship the Creator above creation.

Have you ever worshipped money, power, science, or possessions above God?
Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of God. If any act thus, the loss is their own.” – Hypocrites 63:9
This you know, no idolater will see the kingdom of God.

Have you committed adultery?
The prophet Jesus said, “Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.
The Koran is clear, “Do not come near to adultery: for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils.” – Israelites 17:32
Clearly “coming near to adultery” is the same as Jesus taught, that a lust-filled glance is seen by God as shameful. Take note that the word for adultery in Arabic is sometimes translated as “Fornication”, sex outside of marriage.

Have you ever used the name of God in Vain?
Those before them also devised many a blasphemy, but God took their structures from their foundations, and the wrath befell them without them perceiving from whence it came.” – Bee 16:26
God will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

If you’re like me, you’ve broken every one of these, and these are only six of the 10 Commandments. The Bible says that we have stored up wrath for ourselves on the Day of Judgment. The Koran is nearly identical, “On the day when heat will be produced out of the fire of Hell, and it will brand your forehead, your flanks, and your back, 'This is the treasure which you stored for yourselves: you then taste the treasure you amassed!'" – Immunity 9:35

There is a minor difference in the Hell of the Bible and the Hell of the Koran. In the Bible it says that we will beg for a drop of water, but none will come. The Koran says that we will have an overabundance of water, albeit it will be superheated past boiling and we will be forced to drink it, and it will wreak havoc on our insides. Either way, Hell is not somewhere I want to go, nor do I want you to go there.

There is a way to be saved from this punishment we have earned, it is the Injeel which according to the Koran was given to the prophet Jesus. Injeel means, “Good News”, and avoiding such a terrible place as Hell is definitely good news.

Some think that the good news is that we can work our way out of Hell. Both the Koran and the Bible refer to God as a just judge, so lets see how an earthly judge might relate. Imagine you stand before a judge, there are six clear evidences of your guilt, and the judge puts on you a fine that you cannot possibly pay. You offer the judge your good works, you’ve given to charity, you pray unceasingly, you are nice to people, you ask for forgiveness daily, you help little old ladies across the street, and to top it all off, you washed the judges car on the way in to court. The judge tells you, you should do good things, but you've broken the law; he cannot let you go, because despite all of the good you’ve done, justice is due. You cry out in repentance and sorrow, and the judge tells you it’s good that you’re sorry, but there is a fine to be paid, and if you cannot pay it, you will be thrown into prison.

This is the earthly judge, how much more Holy and Just is the Judge of the Universe? Payment is due for your transgression, and the Bible and the Koran clearly state that the fine is the eternal fire of Hell.

But here is the good news, God gave us the gift of a holy son (Maryam 19:19), born of the virgin Maryam, this son’s name was Jesus, and because he was holy, He lived a perfect unblemished life, he was tempted but didn’t sin; in the writing of Moses about the Passover Lamb, the lamb must be without blemish, a male, taken from amongst its brethren (Exodus 12:5). Another name for Jesus is the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:12). Jesus was offered as the sinless sacrifice to take away the sins of the world (Johannes 1:29). Jesus was hung on the cross outside of Jerusalem on Calvary hill, a hill not two miles from where Ibrahim offered his son as a sacrifice 1700 years prior. Jesus died in our stead, he paid our fine in his own life’s blood. The wrath of God was poured out upon him and it pleased God to crush him. Jesus faced the wrath of God so we wouldn’t have to; in an infinite showing of love God sacrificed Jesus so that we can be forgiven, he was the propitiation for our sins.

Jesus said that, "Blessed are the pure at heart, for they shall see God (Mathias 5:8)." The Koran says that our sins are a stain on the heart, (Al-Mutaffifin 83:14); Maryam 19:60 says that if you’ll repent and believe, then you will see Heaven. Mohammed was quoting the prophet Jesus who said, "Repent and believe the Gospel, for the Kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15), in other words, repent and believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the atonement for your sins. Once you have done this, your sins will be forgiven, your stained heart will be replaced with a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19), and you will be born again into the family of God.

If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Friday, July 20, 2007

Awakening those Dead in their Transgression

Turn to Acts Chapter 12, It’s the year 44 AD, just before Passover, lets go to Herod’s prison, Herod the king has stretched out his hands against the church and sees that the unrepentant Jews were pleased with the persecution of the Christians. Herod’s men apprehend Peter and throw him into prison, heavily guarded with two guards chained to him.

Now Peter has a pretty good memory, especially since 11 years prior in his final conversation with Christ, Peter was promised that he would be a martyr, but not until old age; and as he sat in Herod’s prison, Peter was confident he would see another day.

This is faith; because while it’s been a while since the great persecution by Saul of Tarsus, who had Stephen stoned to death, just days prior James the Lesser was killed by the sword by the same men that now held Peter.

I especially like the book of Acts because before I became a Christian, I was a great lover of world history; I abhor soap-opera’s, and I try to avoid unnecessary drama in my own life, but when it comes to gossip in history, for some reason I can’t get enough. James dying by the sword reminds me of another person who died by the sword which is pertinent to this sermon.

In the early 1500’s a young English woman by the name of Anne Boleyn was living one of histories greatest soap-opera’s, her first marriage arrangement fell through as she, at the age of 15, cheated on her fiancĂ©; this affair was quickly stopped, not by her fiancĂ©, but by the King of England, Henry VIII, who saw not only a pretty young woman, but a political opportunity in wedding a person with ties to French nobility. But Henry was married already; so whilst he sought an annulment with Catherine, Anne had another affair, this time with a married poet. During this time we are fairly certain that Anne avoided Henry’s sexual advances, perhaps maybe because she saw the merits in Reformed Christianity, but based on her actions over the next eight years, it is hard to say she was a Christian. In a great battle with the Pope, Henry finally was able to divorce Catherine on a few technicalities, quite convenient because Anne became pregnant shortly before the divorce, and Henry married Anne, the two marriages overlapped by three months. Following the marriage of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, Anne gave birth to Elizabeth I, the future Queen of England. As the years passed, desperate for a male heir, Henry ceased to ignore Anne’s incessant infidelity; and six men were brought to trial, including Anne’s own brother, on charges of adultery and incest. One man was released, while the other five where given merciful executions via beheading under the axe.

Anne was found guilty as well, and with one of her last rights as Queen, requested an expert swordsman from France conduct the beheading. Kneeling over the execution block Anne was heard to say, “Oh Lord have mercy on my soul, to God I commend my soul, to Christ I commend my soul, Lord Jesus receive my soul.” And the swordsman unsheathed his sword, Anne had commented days earlier that the executioner would have it easy, saying, “I have a little neck.” The executioner, in order to prevent Anne anticipating the blow, asked “Now where is my sword?” as the execution commenced; Anne was correct in her little neck statement, it only took one stroke and it was over.

I tell this story in order to lead into Peter in captivity; ever faithful in Christ that he would see old age, verse six tells us on the very night Peter was taken, he was sound asleep, not fearing Herod or his men. Since the moment Peter was arrested, prayer began, and went unceasing, and God sent an angel who visited Peter in prison. The angel shined light on Peter but we see that Peter was so fast asleep that it didn’t awaken him, and the angel had to hit Peter to wake him up. As Peter became awake and saw the light and the angel, his chains fell off, the doors of the prison were opened, and following the angel, Peter was made free.

The stories of Peter and Anne are related in being unaware of captivity to the law; but I’m going to use each to shine some light on the Gospel. Peter was fast asleep in his captivity, just as Paul tells us in Ephesians that we were once dead in our transgressions, but are now made alive in Christ. Before the light could be seen by Peter, the angel had to smite him to wake him up; this is symbolic of telling the sinner about the Law so that they can see the light.

I find it very unlikely that anyone ever opened up the 10 Commandments to Anne Boleyn and preached to her about #7, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery; nor showed her the exceeding sinfulness of infidelity. Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount that “Whosoever looks upon someone to lust after them has committed adultery already with them in their heart.” Or showed her in Revelation where it says that the sexually immoral will have their place in the lake of fire, or in First Corinthians where fornicators are cut off from the inheritance of Christ and of God. No one related to her how wrathful and jealous God became when Israel played the Harlot. It’s a good thing Anne didn’t have access to the internet, lest she multiply her whoredom even farther. In Anne’s final speech she told her subjects that under the [English] law she was guilty and condemned to die, that if any should meddle in her affairs afterwards they should always think the best of her. This speech proved that no-one had ever told her that Godly sorrow leads to repentance, nor that God resists the proud, and especially that there is none good but God.

Despite all of these transgressions against a single commandment, Anne knew that where sin increased, grace abounds all the more, and that Jesus Christ became the propitiation for her sins on the Cross at Calvary, she called out to the Father and the Son to receive her spirit, but her unrepentant heart stood between her and forgiveness; she knew she had transgressed the worldly law, and her horizontal sorrow can be an example to us when Paul said there is a godly repentance the leads to life and a worldly grief which leads to death. Having studied Anne Boleyn’s departing prayers, I hope and pray that she was convicted of her sin against God while kneeling on the execution block, that she awoke to recognize the light that is the Gospel and was set free from her sin; but I’ll have to wait until I get to Heaven before I know her final fate.

Today we are at the hands of an executioner, the universal statistic is that 10 out of 10 die, James reminds us that life is but a vapor which exists for a moment then vanishes, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, we could hear, “Now where is my sword?” at any moment. God could grow weary of our harlotry and unfaithfulness at any moment; make sure you’re in good standing with Him, don’t step out of this world without Christ, flee to God in godly sorrow, and repent of your sins against Him; our Lord Jesus Christ has paid your fine on the Cross, put your trust in Him to receive your soul.

God will hear you and you will be forgiven; you will be set free just as Peter was from Herod's prison.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Doctrine of Slavery

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. – 1 John 2:18

A favorite scapegoat of the unbeliever is, “Why does the Bible condone slavery?!” followed by, “It says to give your slave a day off!”

I have prayed long and hard on this doctrine, knowing that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired, timeless word of God. The best I got from apologetics was that the slavery the Bible spoke of wasn’t the slavery of the 18th and 19th centuries. I don’t like squishy theology, and that was a squishy answer. The slavery of the 18th and 19th centuries may be argued to be crueler than Biblical slavery, but it undeniably fulfills the definition of slavery. Slavery is defined as a person being the property of another; contained within the term is hard undesirable work for no pay, garnishing the minimum necessities for life. I’m reminded of a quote describing slave-ownership by a particularly raunchy television show, “Him? He’s just a young foreigner who works for us in exchange for room and board.”

A favorite brainwashing technique of the Devil is that of this-then-that; in other words, if this is true, that is true. We have been massaged and manipulated by the despicable slavery accurately portrayed in the movie/book “Roots”, in which one ethnic group is oppressed and treated horrendously. The fallacy leads us to believe that if what happened to Kunta Kinte is bad(and it was), then all slavery is bad.

I assure you this is none more than a fallacy, and I will give you the example to prove it. The Bible says that we don’t need to sell our soul to the Devil, but rather we have lost our eternal security through transgression, freely given our soul away, that we are bound in the captivity of the Devil (2 Tim 2:26). We have become the property of the Devil through transgression of God’s laws. There are those Christians, including me, who claim to be Born Again, Blood Bought, Children of God.

If we were the captives of the Devil, and a price was due for our salvation, that price being an atoning death, then the following Bible verses show us how Christians have been purchased:

…the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” – Acts 20:28
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” – 1 Corinthians 7:23

In the theology realm, we are either under the ownership of the Devil, or the ownership of Christ, there is no middle-ground, and hence in philosophy, we should see the same thing.

Gone is the day when there was an actual deed of ownership written for our person. We live in the false security that we are our own keeper, that we are free to roam, careless of the watchful eye of our owners, and welcome to make any choice we feel compelled to make.

The slave-owner has been replaced by the Bank, by the Employer, and by the Bill-Collector. We have sold ourselves into slavery through debt and the pursuit of property. One difference today is that we are separated from our masters; the plantation owner is content now to let us make him money from afar; I am in the employ of Wachovia, having promised for a sum of money for room, to pay them 200% the original loan value over the next 30-years. What has changed is the transferability of my ownership; I could easily tomorrow arrange to be sold to Chase Manhattan or to Bank of America or to Wells Fargo; but my station would not change; I would still be indebted and working for a money-hungry indifferent master.

Our employment is another master, demanding the majority of our time for its purposes; and just as the Bible tells to give slaves time off, so must our employer give time off in order to maintain output efficiency and be compliant with labor laws.

We like to think we are free, but in the infamous words of a beautiful song, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” To be free of our debtors, free from our employers is to own nothing and have nothing.

Just as in the age of the Apostles, slavery is condoned in the Bible because slavery guarantees employment, productivity, room, and board. Once we realize that while we are not slaves to the tobacco plantations of South Carolina, we are owned by Capitalism; the laws and recommendations made in the Bible for slave treatment are as timeless and relevant today as they have ever been; no jot or tittle shall fall away from the law till this Heaven and Earth have passed.

This is a tremendous blow to the apologetics whom credit the great Christian William Wilberforce with abolishing slavery in England, and who give credit to Abraham Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation. These men should be credited for their attempts to show that all men are created equal, not that they abolished one form of slavery in order to usher in a new type.

Therefore avoid these false gospels of freedom for all men, recognize the antichristian doctrines of antislavery, and hold fast to your owner, God Almighty, and seek that His payment on Calvary might purchase a few more souls before the end.