Archive for April, 2019

5 Reasons to Believe the Bible, Resurrection of Jesus

Posted: April 26, 2019 by David Fiorazo in David's Blog

5 reasons to believe jesusIf Jesus was not raised from the dead, then the Bible isn’t true, heaven isn’t real, and this life is as good as it gets. But thank God the evidence proves otherwise. Christianity stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for over two thousand years, no one has proven it to be false.

Jesus once said the truth will set you free. It’s not that people can’t know the truth, the problem is they don’t like what they find because they don’t want to change how they live. Let’s look at a fraction of the overwhelming evidence supporting the historical resurrection of Jesus as well as the accuracy and reliability of the Bible.

1. Minimal Facts Agreed Upon

First, even liberal scholars and historians agree on these basic facts:

  • Jesus was publicly executed and died by crucifixion
  • His tomb was empty; the body was missing
  • His disciples believed he rose and appeared to them
  • James, former skeptic and half-brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.
  • The church persecutor Paul was suddenly and radically changed

How do you explain the fact Christianity rapidly expanded in the first century? Within one generation of the death of Christ, this movement spread from Israel to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Where did it start and is there a way to know for sure?

In Luke 1:4, he gives the reason for his gospel;

“…so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”

Christianity is the only religion which bases its faith on a verifiable event.

2. Extra-Biblical Sources

Second, if you’re not a believer yet and are skeptical about the Bible’s claims, consider a few ancient historians.

  • According to Thallus, there was a darkness during the day for three hours followed by an earthquake that occurred at the point of Jesus’ crucifixion.
  • Jewish historian, Josephus lived in the first century and wrote about events surrounding Jesus in more detail than any other non-biblical source.
  • Roman historian, Suetonius wrote about new levels of punishment Nero inflicted on Christians, and described Jesus as having had immediate impact on His followers.
  • Tacitus confirms Christianity was founded by a man named Christus, whom he said was “put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius.”

Some used to claim Pilate and Caiaphas never existed. A first-century inscription discovered at Caesarea in 1961 confirms Pontius Pilate was indeed procurator of Judea from 26-36 A.D.

Jesus was on trial before the high priest, Caiaphas before He was taken to Pilate. The tomb of the Caiaphas family was discovered in Jerusalem in 1990 and inside were the very bones of the infamous high priest mentioned in the Gospels! History and archaeology are very inconvenient for mockers and skeptics.

3. Eyewitnesses to the Resurrection

Third, this is one of the most compelling proofs of the resurrection of Jesus. Thousands of people saw Jesus’ miracles, at least hundreds of people were eye-witnesses who saw Him after being raised from the dead, and many were mentioned by name in the Bible. You better make sure you have your facts straight if you name names.

The eyewitnesses include:

  • Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18),
  • the other women at the tomb accompanying Mary (Matthew 28:1-10),
  • the Roman guards (Matthew 28:4),
  • the Eleven disciples (John 21),
  • two others on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35),
  • over five-hundred people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6),
  • James, and then Paul (1 Corinthians 15:7-9)

Jesus lived on earth another forty days before ascending to Heaven so it’s safe to suggest there were many more eye-witnesses.

The disciples truly saw the resurrected Christ. Only an event of this magnitude could turn scared, scattered, and skeptical disciples, with no prior concept and expectation of a crucified and risen Messiah, into courageous proclaimers of the gospel willing to suffer and die for their belief that Jesus rose bodily from the grave.

4. Early Dating of New Testament Manuscripts

Fourth, this is such an important point regarding the resurrection of Jesus: we have books in the New Testament that were written during the period when eye-witnesses were still alive! At least two books may have been written within fifteen years of the resurrection. The earliest documents include James, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and perhaps Mark or Luke. No wonder the Jews and Romans couldn’t refute the facts.

The Bible includes both primary and secondary sources of reference. Primary means the books were written by eye witnesses while secondary means other books were written by men who interviewed eye witnesses – those who saw the actual events. Fortunately for truth seekers, there’s an abundance of historical manuscript evidence in both categories.

5. Missing Motives

Fifth, if it was a lie, what were the motives of Jesus’ disciples? Certainly not popularity! Experts suggest when a conspiracy is formed, the basic motivating factors are:

  • Money or greed
  • Power or fame
  • Lust or sexual passion

Most of the disciples were killed for their faith. Christianity faced huge obstacles because it was a brand new movement. They had no money, they taught about love, sacrifice, and self-denial, and they were subject to intense hatred and persecution.

Why then, have so many Christian martyrs through the centuries been willing to go to prison or even die for their faith instead of deny Jesus? The only logical reason to believe the gospel is because the resurrection actually occurred. 

The Jews and Romans did not refute Jesus’ resurrection and stop Christianity from spreading. Why? Because they could not.

Anyone living around Jerusalem could have examined the empty tomb for themselves, and thousands probably did go to the tomb of Christ to look for His body. The historically indisputable fact is that something happened to the body.

After thousands of years of attacks, opposition, and scrutiny by critics − warfare that no other work has ever seen − the Bible has withstood the onslaught, has gained credibility, and the Christian faith has continued to thrive throughout the world. No other written work has the power to convict people of their sin, the ability to change human nature, and offers a permanent solution to man’s greatest problem.

There are no second chances after you die. You can ignore the evidence and deny the truth – or acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus, believe in Him, confess your sins and be forgiven, and have everlasting life. This could be the most meaningful Easter season you will ever have!

BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! 1 Cor. 15:3-8, Romans 10:8-10, John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-13

Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

Hope in the Resurrection and Return of Jesus Christ – teaching by David Fiorazo

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Hollywood, Dems Deaf to Heartbeats in the Womb

Posted: April 26, 2019 by David Fiorazo in David's Blog

heart beat ekgGeorgia Governor, Brian Kemp, has been under pressure from the left including Hollywood celebrities and feminists because he promised to sign a bill protecting human babies when a heartbeat is detected. Then there’s Virginia Governor and supporter of infanticide, Ralph Northam who recently signed a law that would make animal cruelty a felony – just months after legalizing abortion on demand, up through the birth process.

So, killing babies is acceptable, but harming animals is illegal. This is the moral disconnect with conscience Democrats such as Northam seem to have. Now, I don’t know anyone who supports animal cruelty, but here’s a far left Governor who seems to be out of touch with the people he represents.

More than seven thousand people descended on the Virginia State Capitol April 3 and marched for Life to stop ‘pro-abortion extremism.’ Do you think he’ll get the message?

A few states away, Georgia Governor, Republican Brian Kemp promised those who elected him that he would sign what is known as the heartbeat bill this week. Life begins at conception and a heartbeat is detected at around six weeks. The “fetal heartbeat” bill, (HB 481) sent to the governor’s desk Friday, would reduce abortions when a heartbeat is detected, and give the state one of the most restrictive laws of its kind in the nation.

But Hollywood doesn’t approve!

Struggling actress, Alyssa Milano, is leading the pack of liberal celebs using their influence to create outrage over the Georgia bill. Milano admitted that she doesn’t even live in the state, but she delivered a protest letter to the Governor’s office and pointed a finger at a state representative saying,

“These are the men that are voting on what goes on inside my uterus.”

The list of activists includes Alec Baldwin, Rosie O’Donnel, Sean Penn, Mia Farrow, and Ben Stiller.

Kemp responded by saying he’s not going to govern based on what Hollywood thinks about him.

Meanwhile, pro-life actress Ashley Bratcher, who stars in the new film “Unplanned,” has been defending Georgia for trying to protect the unborn. The movie is doing exceptionally well despite lack of support from the liberal media, of course. She said:

“I’m incredibly proud of my home state for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats,”

The god of Hollywood is obviously not the one true God. Abortion is a moral issue, not just a political one, and every church should be vocal about defending life. Ashley Bratcher asked why Milano, a women’s rights activist, refuses to also speak up for the rights of the unborn woman or girl in the womb:

The extremes to which liberals are willing to stoop shouldn’t surprise us any longer.

Last month’s viral video asking the question ‘Should a Christian support the Democrat Party?’ really hit a nerve; and rightly so. Every single Democrat who voted against a recent bill that would allow care to babies born alive in botched abortions received money from Planned Parenthood.

Once again, the radicals are ignoring the will of the people. And according to a recent Marist poll, 71 percent of Americans strongly oppose abortion after 20 weeks.

Moreover, during the past decade or so, more pro-life legislators have been elected on the state level who are working to limit abortion procedures and laws. Though there’s much work to be done in the fight for life, the results are encouraging:

  • Some 27 states have enacted waiting periods
  • Another 18 mandate some kind of pre-abortion counseling
  • More than 40 states have laws limiting how far along in the pregnancy an abortion can be performed
  • Nearly 300 such measures have been passed since 2009.
  • At least eleven other states are now considering “heartbeat bills” like Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia.

Just last week, a federal appeals court handed pro-life groups a major victory, upholding a Kentucky law that requires abortion doctors to let women hear the unborn baby’s heartbeat and see images of the baby on an ultrasound. Studies have shown a majority of young women then change their minds and keep their baby!

Also, Ohio joined a growing group of states that have moved to cut Planned Parenthood funding after a court ruling upheld a law blocking our tax dollars to the abortion corporation. So keep encouraging our pro-life representatives and let’s vote more into office. We must protect the most vulnerable, lives formed in the image of God, and promote the value of every single human life.

Let’s also work to make abortion unthinkable as well as illegal. But above all, remember that Jesus is the only answer for a sin-stained world; hope and forgiveness are found in Him alone. People need to hear the gospel and be saved that their hardened hearts can change. Then perhaps their minds will also change about abortion.

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The Left may be godless, but they’re not stupid. Their deceptive and shrewd use of strategic words has helped them change public opinion, gain political power, and frame nearly every controversial argument or debate. They weaponize words such as choice, freedom, do no harm, inclusive, justice, fairness, affordable, tolerance, and nondiscrimination.

Liberal Democrats are now pushing the so-called ‘Equality Act’ which would give LGBTQ individuals – not equal rights, but special rights. There’s a difference. This bill would silence Christians in America. Don’t be deceived: there’s nothing equal about the equality Act.

Words matter, and the left knows exactly how to manipulate language and use positive-sounding terminology to sell their agenda. Semantics is part of the game for LGBTQ activists looking to steamroll citizens for their beliefs in the Bible, including marriage and biological sex.

The Equality Act – H.R. 5 and S. 788 – would actually amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adding “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity’ as protected classes throughout the federal code.” This modified amendment would apply to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and much more.

The bill would essentially state that religious beliefs cannot be defended in a dispute between gay rights and constitutionally protected religious rights. If you believe the Bible is true and agree with God-ordained, natural marriage, too bad. You lose.

The Heritage Foundation’s Monica Burke wrote an excellent piece for the Daily Signal in which she thoroughly explained seven reasons why the Equality Act is anything but. If the bill passes it would:

  1. Impose sexual ideology
  2. Compel speech
  3. Shut down charities
  4. Allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports
  5. Coerce medical professionals
  6. Lead to more parents losing custody of their children
  7. Enable sexual assault

The logical aim of their ideology is to eradicate God, His word, and biblical morality from our culture and country. Why? Because Christianity is one of the only obstacles in the way of the radical Left gaining complete power and control of practically every aspect of America.

Due to decades of leftist progress, activists have been emboldened and we’re now seeing open hostility toward Christians – in a nation founded on biblical principles.

We didn’t get here overnight, and this effort did not start with the LGBTQ movement. It goes back to the 1950s, when the unconstitutional Lyndon Johnson Amendment was used to silence Christians, nonprofits, and conservatives. Today’s liberals are simply taking another step.

The freedom of religious expression is one of our most basic and valued freedoms in our society.

Let’s go back a bit further – to America’s founding. The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others as well as restricting an individual’s religious practices. The key word here is ‘practice.’ Your faith is not something you do only behind church walls.

Don’t be so naive to think the Pelosi Democrats merely want to level the playing field. They’d snuff out Christianity if they could. They refuse to allow open discussion of biblical creation, human life in the womb, and of God’s design for marriage and gender roles.

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet stated:

“The supporters of the Equality Act don’t want debate or discussion. The Equality Act is designed to effectively shut down debate about human sexuality, about gender, about same-sex attraction. That’s a national debate that we’ve actually never had.”

To clarify, discrimination is wrong, but disagreement is not hate. We should have the right to disagree with policies, ideologies, and behaviors that oppose biblical teachings. The Equality Act would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes, impose a nationwide bathroom policy, and it would defeat the purpose of having anti-discrimination laws.

Don’t fall for the lies of the left, and don’t buy into the so-called ‘Equality Act’ no matter how virtuous it may sound. We know what their end game is. What can we do? Fight for the truth, pray, speak, and vote. Then trust God regardless of the outcome, knowing judgment is coming soon.

Originally published by Freedom Project Media

Is God-ordained marriage being deconstructed  in America? In order to eliminate natural marriage in society, it must first be rendered meaningless. How could that happen? You might say ‘gays and lesbians pushing same-sex marriage for several decades’, and you’d only be partially right. Many factors lead to marriage being redefined.

Recent surveys done by Barna Research concluded that adultery, premarital sex and cohabitation have basically become the new normal in America. In addition, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, seventy-five percent of Americans say it’s okay to have and raise children when the parents are living together but not married. So how did we get here? 

Fifty years ago, a Gallup poll was done showing only 21% of Americans said premarital sex was acceptable; 68% said it was wrong. That was 1969. So what happened to change the attitudes of people about marriage over five decades?

Skyrocketing divorce rates among heterosexuals have added to the problem, as well as the increasing divorce rate among Christians. Did you know that since around the early 1960s, the divorce rate in America has increased over 100% to where now more than one out of every two marriages ends in divorce?

Bisexual, pedophile, and sexologist, Alfred Kinsey did much damage to people’s healthy views of sex and marriage in the 1950s. Dig up the truth about Kinsey sometime, not the whitewashed Hollywood version. He used children in his sex experiments as well as prostitutes. 

Planned Parenthood’s founding feminist, adulterer, eugenicist, racist, and atheist, Margaret Sanger promoted sexual freedom at a time when the word abortion was spoken about in hushes and whispers. She was among the first to promote monogamous marriage as a ball and chain! We’ve now reached the point where killing a baby in the womb is just another form of birth control.

The Feminist movement and cry for women’s liberation and equality sounded good in its early stages, but it is no longer about equal pay or equal rights. It has become a liberal, anti-family, socialist movement detrimental to God-ordained, natural marriage and healthy families. 

Then, a major cultural event happened fifty years ago, billed as “3 Days of Peace and Music” in White Lake, New York. Woodstock drew nearly 500,000 people in 1969. There were drugs, nudity, sex, rock and roll, and a lot of mud from the rain.

It is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in pop music history and the peak of the hippie counterculture. Ideas of rebellion against authority, peace, love, sex, tolerance, and unity resonated throughout the country – bringing us to today’s godless culture in which two thirds of adults (65%) say it’s a good idea to live with one’s significant other before getting married.

But one of the saddest findings to me is that in a survey of professing Christians, almost half of them (48%) live with or have previously lived with their boyfriend or girlfriend. This makes me wonder if we’re all reading the same Holy Bible.

We didn’t see all the causes decades ago, but we’re sure seeing the effects today…

(Read the full post at DavidFiorazo.com)