Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

If you claim to represent God, but refuse to live by His moral laws, please leave the church and stop lying to everyone! Enough. This story is both heartbreaking and disturbing, but darkness must be exposed, and wicked men must finally be held accountable. Those who commit or condone evil have again given Jesus a black eye.

Tragically, the Roman Catholic Church has known all about it: decades of sexual abuse and yet, they covered-up extensive abuse by its leaders – abuse that has robbed children of their innocence, further tarnished the church’s image, and destroyed countless thousands of lives. This is a gut-wrenching and sickening story.

First, some headlines:

  • A History of Cover-ups in Boston Archdiocese
  • Church Allowed Abuse by Priests for Years
  • Gay Sex, Booze Scandal, Shakes Boston Seminary
  • Scores of Priests Involved in Sex Abuse Scandals
  • Report details sexual abuse by over 300 priests in PA’s Catholic Church
  • ‘Predator Priests’ Named In PA Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report
  • Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

Our purpose as Christians is to know and obey God, to make disciples and make Him known by preaching the gospel, and to be light in the world – essentially to transform culture. The Catholic Church however, has again cast a thick, dark veil over the cross of Christ and the truth of His resurrection.

In a report 900 pages long, a grand jury in Pennsylvania alleges over 300 priests abused more than one thousand children. Predators guilty of criminal conduct were never brought to justice even in some cases going back seventy years. Many priests have died, others retired, but none will escape the justice of a holy God whom they have mocked.

…Sixteen years ago after one of many Roman Catholic Church scandals, Pope John Paul II said:

“The abuse of the young is a grave symptom of a crisis affecting not only the church but society as a whole.”

Where is the accountability? You may remember the 2015 movie “Spotlight” took home the best picture Oscar for its drama about the Boston Globe investigation of the Roman Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse by multiple clergy.

To be sure, abuse occurs worldwide by all kinds of people because the heart of man is sick (Jeremiah 17:9). But evil is even more horrific when committed by those in positions of authority who should know better.

…There is a righteous God that will judge the living and the dead. Yes, He is loving, forgiving, and patient, but He is also holding back His wrath. And one day God will unleash His justice and vengeance. 

Are you seeking the approval of God or man? Yes, it does matter. Stop conforming to this world!

The Apostle Peter wrote:

“…it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  1 Peter 4:17

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE (resource links included):

Advertisements

This just in! Once again, researchers are thrilled about the possibility of life on Mars! Maybe. A recent report of water a mile underneath a slab of ice seemed to boost the odds of life on the red planet. One scientist from the University of Arizona stated if they did find life, it would be microbial, somewhere in the Martian crust.

My question is this: why don’t we use this same determined, scientific, optimistic approach to find human life on earth? We’re often told a heartbeat in a human mother’s womb is not a sign of life. Come on.

NASA’s John Grunsfeld commented on the report at a news conference:

“It suggests it would be possible for there to be life today on Mars,”

Researchers said in the journal, Nature Geoscience, that further exploration is warranted to determine whether microscopic life exists there. One of the lead scientists says the only way to know is to keep collecting rocks from Mars and doing soil analysis on the specimens. It is astounding and bewildering to me that scientists, university departments, NASA, and independent researchers have been studying for decades hoping to find evidence indicating any sign of a living organism on Mars.

What about human beings, and why all the confusion about a living, developing fetus in a mother’s womb? We know it’s certainly not just a clump of cells because dead things don’t grow!

Twenty-three chromosomes from the mother and twenty-three from the father are joined together at the time of fertilization. At this early point, the unique, genetic makeup of the individual is determined, and the terms “conception” and “fertilization” are interchangeable.

Please consider sharing some eye-opening information about a newly conceived baby:

  • Its DNA, everything she will grow into, was fully present at the moment of conception.
  • Her heart began to beat eighteen days after conception.
  • Her brainwaves were detectable forty days (six weeks) after conception.
  • Your baby could move and she could suck her thumb (and hiccup!) between six and seven weeks.
  • Eight weeks after conception, all of her major organs are developed.
  • A baby’s respiratory system begins to function, and she begins to breathe amniotic fluid at nine weeks
  • She can smile, suck her thumb, and clap at eighteen weeks.
  • A baby can feel pain at approximately twenty weeks gestation.

This last medical finding has led to what is called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a U.S. Congress bill to ban abortions after twenty weeks, and especially late-term abortions.

A baby can feel pain, and a baby can feel joy. You may recall from the Gospel of Luke (1:43-44) when Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist said “the baby in my womb leaped for joy” when Mary visited her and was pregnant with Jesus. Since a fetus is in fact human, then destroying it is murder.

You may have heard the heartbreaking story earlier this year of 23 year-old Shelby Taylor who was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for throwing her newborn baby girl into a dumpster – umbilical chord still attached. Someone heard the baby crying and called police, and fortunately the baby is alive today.

But wait a minute! Millions of young women simply pay Planned Parenthood to remove their babies and it’s completely legal. Please understand that when God’s law makes something immoral, man cannot make it moral.

I appreciate what author and teacher, Peter Heck said about this:

“But it is also impossible to read this story and not acknowledge a mind-bending and confounding reality: had Shelby Taylor entered a Planned Parenthood facility that very day and had her baby girl decapitated and dismembered for a price, our society would justify that as a moral right of empowerment and liberty. But since she waited a couple hours and, with as horrible as her act of callous abandonment was, still gave her child a fighting chance at survival, she is going to prison for 25 years. This is not just morally incongruent, it is the height of absurdity…”

You do know what they do with all the baby body parts after ripping them out of a mother’s womb, don’t you? If they’re not sold for research they end up in dumpsters outside abortion clinics. Or perhaps you’re in denial like so many people whose consciences have been seared by a hot iron.

What does Scripture teach? See Jeremiah 1:4-5, Exodus 21:22-24, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 1:39-44.

The Bible treats babies in the womb as real persons. Verse after verse relating to pregnancy always refers to a living human being already in existence. It is crystal clear that God considers the unborn to be human beings who have value and should be protected.

As far as life on Mars goes – no confirmation yet. It’s pretty foggy and we may be waiting for a while.

Just for a few minutes, let’s set aside debates and arguments about things like politics, gender, abortion, evolution, same-sex marriage, and religious freedom – to name a few. What really matters? Everything in life hinges on whether or not Jesus is God. Think about it. We know He existed historically – but what’s the final verdict? Is He a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God?

Questions are good! But don’t deny the answers if they can be backed up with facts and evidence. Did Jesus tell the truth? Is there one living God or can we make up as many gods as we want.

Maybe you’re someone who thinks Jesus was just a good teacher. Is the Bible wrong about Him? What if the men He spent three years of His life with were all telling the truth? What about all the miracles they witnessed and the claims Jesus made? They believed Him enough to die for their faith.

Why didn’t the Jews and Romans who killed Jesus refute the testimonies of hundreds of eye-witnesses that saw the risen Christ? The burial tomb is still empty. Why couldn’t the authorities find the supposed dead body of Jesus and stop the spread of Christianity?

The events surrounding the life of Jesus, especially His virgin birth, crucifixion, death, and resurrection either happened or they didn’t. We’re talking about actual history and the fact that if these events documented in detail throughout Scripture really took place, it changes everything – and should affect how we live today.

C.S. Lewis stated:

“You must make your choice: either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us…”

So – is Jesus a Liar? Was Jesus wrong about anything He taught? Many call Jesus a good person, Rabbi, or a prophet, but if He didn’t tell the truth, can He really be good?

While the Old Testament prophets usually said, “This is what the Lord says,” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.” In addition, prophets spoke for God, but Jesus consistently spoke as God. The Jews knew exactly what He meant because on several occasions, they tried to kill Him for claiming equality with God.

Was He a Lunatic? Have you read what Jesus actually taught? He was pretty bold and controversial! For one thing, He declared to the Pharisees that He existed before Abraham (John 8:58)! Jesus made twenty-three “I Am” claims and used seven major metaphors such as, “I am the light of the world… the bread of life… the good shepherd… the resurrection and the life.”

Is Jesus Lord then? No one in all history has successfully proven Him wrong. If Jesus spoke the truth, then there are tremendous consequences for not believing in Him! For one thing, He promised to return one Day to judge the living and the dead. He also talked about heaven and hell as actual places, and the need for people to confess our sins and be saved.

Truths about Jesus Christ revealing He is GOD

  • Jesus was with God in the beginning, (John 1:1)
  • Jesus is equal with God, (Phil. 2:5-11)
  • He was born of a virgin; became a man, (Matt. 1:18, Jn. 1:14)
  • He forgives sins, (Mark 2:10)
  • He performed miracles, (John 10:32)
  • He is one with the Father, (John 10:30)
  • Jesus came from the Father, (John 16:28)
  • He is the Christ, (Mark 14:61-62)
  • He is the Messiah, (John 4:25-26)
  • Jesus came to give spiritual life, (John 10:10)
  • He gives the right to become God’s children, (John 1:12)
  • Jesus bestows eternal life, (John 10:28)
  • Jesus became man, (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • Jesus is fully God, (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • His death was a ransom for our sins (Matthew 20:28)
  • Jesus died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8)
  • Jesus rose from the dead, (Luke 24:46, Acts 2:24)
  • He ascended to Heaven and is at God’s right hand, (Mark 16:19)

Colossians 1:13-17 states:

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

And in Col. 2:9-10,

…In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Those of us who believe need to turn from the world’s ways back to God, stop playing church, and submit to the authority of Christ. If Jesus was in fact the predicted Messiah, then the Bible is true and all other gods must be false.

Every other way of salvation won’t work out in the end. Jesus overcame death and the grave, and His resurrection proves Jesus is the only way to the Father. If you’ve been following a different god or another path, don’t put off this decision. Please trust in Him while there’s still time!

Between its progressive history, Canada’s Supreme Court, and far left leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, our northern neighbors are gradually forcing Christians into the closet. But before you say ‘that could never happen in America’ or, ‘as long as it doesn’t affect me,’ let’s look at three disturbing news stories. 

Just across the U.S./Canadian border, a Christian bus driver was arrested and charged with a hate crime for evangelizing. Bill Whatcott gave out gospel pamphlets at a Pride parade saying homosexuality can lead to diseases, (which it can) and Jesus can save gay people if they repent of their sins (which He can).

Toronto Police said in a statement that Whatcott “distributed anti-gay material which promoted hatred toward the gay community.” The 51-year-old Christian man was charged with “willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, namely the gay community.”

Apparently, they’ve reinterpreted John 3:16 to suggest God so loved the world – except for the LGBTQ – that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to give His life as a ransom for the sins of whoever believes – unless you’re LGBTQ. This must be the New Liberal Translation.

But the Bible is true and every word can be trusted. So if you and I love our neighbors, whether they live down the street or across the Canadian border, the love of Christ compels us to tell them the good news that they can be forgiven and saved. It’s not up to us to convict or force them to receive the truth. We’re the messengers.

Bill Whatcott was not only fired from his job, but faces two years in prison as well. And Justin Trudeau became the world’s first national leader to march in a gay pride parade two years ago in Toronto. It was a proud first for his Liberal Party – a Party that also introduced a bill that would punish perceived “discrimination” of transgender individuals – with up to two years in prison.

And if you missed it earlier this year, Ontario Province now allows people born there to remove “male” or “female” from their birth certificates and opt for a “nonbinary” or unknown gender designation.

Next, according to Canadian elites and the LGBTQ mob, “diversity” now means all views and beliefs are welcome – except the Christian worldview.

Canada’s Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 against a Christian college, Trinity Western University’s (TWU) Law School, essentially forcing them to choose between biblical standards or accreditation, basically suggesting Christianity and academia are incompatible.

Since 1962, Trinity Western in British Columbia, has required its students and faculty to agree to live by a moral code. The audacity! Thousands of Christian schools across North America have similar requirements. TWU refers to theirs as a “Community Covenant.”

Trinity requires students and faculty to pursue a holy life ‘characterized by humility, self-sacrifice, mercy and justice, and mutual submission for the good of others.’ It requires members to abstain from using vulgar language, lying or cheating, stealing, pornography, and further adds:

“according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation.”

Some liberals in North America now think these Christian values are harmful to society. Remember: Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

But don’t be too quick to bash Canadians. Americans have gradually allowed discrimination against Christians in our own education system. So it would be foolish and naive to think religious intolerance won’t increase in the U.S.

And finally, a judge in Canada has officially declared two men and a woman parents of one child, on the child’s birth certificate. The unmarried threesome are in a relationship together known as polyamory meaning “many loves.”

The judge’s reasoning? Times change. He explains:

“Society is continuously changing and family structures are changing along with it; …This must be recognized as a reality and not as a detriment to the best interests of the child.”

Psalm 119:160 states:

The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

God doesn’t change, and fixed moral absolutes exist by which we govern ourselves and our culture. But to those wanting no accountability, relativism rules, man is god, and anything goes.

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis calls it social Darwinism. He explained:

You see, if naturalistic evolution is your starting point, there is no ultimate authority; The result is …a society clearly in rebellion against God. God created the institutions of marriage and family with one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27, 2:24), so he gets to define them.

Truth is eternal (PS. 117:2), and free speech should be protected, but this debate over what is in the best interest of children will continue; a debate that will soon find itself in the courts of America.

Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise appearance at the Watchmen on the Wall conference in our nation’s capital last week and implored pastors to share the good news of Jesus Christ. God bless him. But it’s what he said about the Johnson Amendment that we should peak our curiosity.

I don’t remember any president or vice president talking so openly and frequently about the Christian faith. Mike Pence boldly implored the people:

“Keep preaching the good news. Keep preaching in season and out of season as the Bible says. Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have,” (2 Tim. 4:1-2, 1 Peter 3:15)

Pence also received a standing ovation when he emphasized the fact President Trump is the most pro-life president in American history.

Because the Trump administration is strong on religious liberty, it makes sense he mentioned the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment, which restricts religious leaders when it comes to talking about politics.

Mike Pence stated:

“We are going to fight until we fully repeal the Johnson Amendment from the Internal Revenue Code, but it will no longer be enforced under this administration,”

No longer enforced. What a statement! So, what exactly is the Johnson Amendment and is there really an agenda to silence Christians?

The Johnson Amendment was passed in 1954 by Congress as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code… stating that entities that are exempt from federal income tax (such as non-profit groups) cannot “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”

This flawed law paved the way for the growing censorship of conservatives, particularly when it comes to restrictions on what can be said during church services.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Then Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a powerful liberal running for reelection as Senator, but two [conservative] tax-exempt groups were opposing him and passing out literature during the campaigns. He complained to the IRS but found what they were doing was perfectly legal, so he sought other options to fight them.

Johnson shrewdly appeared on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, and offered his amendment to a pending, massive, tax code overhaul bill. Records indicate an absence of committee hearings on the bill. No legislative analysis took place to examine the effect the bill would have, particularly on churches and religious organizations.

The amendment was simply created to protect Johnson. Why this horrendous law has not been repealed yet is mind-boggling.

Sadly, due to confusion, hype, and misinformation about the Johnson Amendment, religious leaders in America have been unnecessarily self-censoring for decades! The Left uses it to bully Christian pastors and groups with threats of losing their nonprofit status, and they wrongly insist religious leaders must not speak about the Bible as it relates to political and social issues – which are moral issues!

As a result, freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion have been trampled on. A huge amount of people now think the Bible (church) has nothing to say about politics (state) and that it’s illegal for pastors to address candidates and where they stand in light of Scripture or church doctrines.

We need to understand something here: the IRS has never fined a pastor or church. In fact, every year thousands of Christian leaders across the country purposely talk about politics during church services on what is called Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

This of course won’t stop those bent on removing Christian influence from society. President Ronald Reagan once said:

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying. Its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”

The truth is every time a law is passed, someone’s morality is legislated. Government affects every one of us. Man’s greatest problem is sin and our greatest need is forgiveness, and have every right to speak the truth in love.

The annual Watchman on the Wall conference hosted by the Family Research Council operates under the belief that problems facing America and this world ultimately require a spiritual solution. This could not be truer because the good news of Jesus Christ is the power of God to salvation.

If our hope is in people, politics, or possessions, we will eventually wind up empty. If however, we place our trust in the only One who can forgive and save us, we will have an unshakable hope and a secure future inheritance.

Are we willing to speak the truth to this generation including what the Bible teaches about sin, repentance, and salvation through faith in Jesus?

The IRS is not a true threat nor is government the ultimate authority! Quite frankly, if a pastor is worried about his non-profit status or being fined, then who is he serving, Caesar or Christ?

For the rest of us, real Christianity cannot be confined behind the walls of any church.

Originally published at Freedom Project Media!

Comments are closed.

You may have heard Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco, held what was called a ‘Beyoncé mass’ last week, and at an evening service where fifty people typically attend, about 900 turned out to hear music by Beyoncé featured.

People are free to worship however they want, but doing this at a church was both confusing and controversial. The Bible teaches Christians to be set apart from the world, not to blend in. And Jesus said if we love the things of this world, God the Father’s love is not in us (1 John 2:15).

The Beyoncé mass was inspired by a guest Reverend, Yolanda Norton, and by an actual class she teaches at San Francisco Theological Seminary: ‘Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible.’ 

Some might argue, ‘It’s just entertainment,’ right? The question is do secular entertainment and unbiblical themes belong in a place of Christian worship where the focus should be to exalt the name of Jesus?

…Good Fight Ministries did an expose on Beyonce and her 2013 Super Bowl halftime show when she mimicked the Hindu goddess Kali Kali – often associated with darkness of death – displayed the devil’s triangle, goat-headed Baphomet, and flashed the Illuminati symbol. You can actually see a transformation during that Super Bowl performance as her face distorts, appearing “fierce” and even masculine at times.

The spirituality behind contemporary feminism often comes in the form of goddess worship, and the fact many have a desire to overthrow the patriarchal structure in society. It is rebellion against God as “Father.”

During the actuaBeyoncé mass, an alternate, feminist perversion of the Lord’s Prayer was printed in the program for attendees to read out loud.

Our Mother, who is in heaven and within us, We call upon your names. Your wisdom come. Your will be done. In all the spaces in which you dwell… (more)

Referring to morality, Reverend Jude Harmon said “conservative Christians see a high wall separating the Church from the world; progressive Christians do not.” Grace Cathedral identifies as progressive and has a web-page noting that it is proud of its LGBT advocacy. Of course they are.

But is ‘Queen Bey’ an appropriate role model for African American women, particularly for women who do seek to follow the Bible’s teachings on holiness, morality, sanctification, and truth? These are not bad people; they’re just wrong. And this is another gospel.

Read the full post at DavidFiorazo.com:

Just a week ago I was in the hospital after having a procedure on my heart and guess what? Here I am, thank God! But not everybody makes it through surgery. In fact, not everybody makes it home from work.

It brings up the question of the ages: What happens to us after we die? Well, that depends.

What if I died on the operating table? First of all, this video wouldn’t exist. My body would’ve been prepared for a funeral, and my spirit would be on its way to be with my Master and Savior in Heaven; the One who created us all.

You may be thinking, ‘how can I be so sure?’ Faith. The Bible offers assurance of eternal life with Christ in Heaven for those who believe.

I realize most people would rather not think about it, but ten out of ten people die. Life comes to an end for people from every country, of all different ages, for various reasons. No one is exempt.

It’s just a matter of time.

Almost everyone has heard the Bible verse, John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus died on the cross to bridge the gap between us and a holy God. Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and when Jesus returns, He will judge those still living as well as those who have died.

For better context, let’s keep reading. Here’s John 3:17 and 18:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.

Prior to my surgery last week, I had to sign a consent form. Even before that, I was told of all the possible risks and complications including a torn heart muscle, punctured lung, torn artery, partial paralysis, stroke during the operation or even death.

The list of possible risks was long, but the absolute greatest risk we can take in this life is denying God by refusing to believe in His Son, Jesus, and not accepting the free offer of the forgiveness of our sins.

Acts 4:12 states: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

And Philippians 2:9-11 says:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

One day, even those who refused to believe will bow before the King of Kings upon His return.

I was at peace going in to surgery because I trusted Jesus with my life years ago, and knew regardless of the result, it would be a win win. This life is a vapor and for the Christian, we live for Him and to die is gain!

Forgiveness for our sins is mankind’s greatest need. In America, we’ve heard so much about a loving God and rarely hear about His coming judgment. It’s true God is loving, but He is not tolerant of sin in any form.

We’ve also heard the man-made idea God just wants us to be happy, problem-free, and give us favor so that every day’s a Friday and we can live our best life now.

Do you really believe the Bible teaches about personal gain and happiness rather than about denying ourselves and holiness? In addition, if every day were a Friday, let’s just party like it’s 2099. Finally, if we could live our best lives now, here on earth, then why would we need God and what’s Heaven for anyway?

Now, plenty of people think all it takes to go to Heaven is to be a good person, but the question is, ‘good’ by whose standards? Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Sure, we can do good things, but can we truly be good without God?

The Bible teaches there is nothing we can possibly do to earn salvation. If we could do it on our own, then Jesus didn’t have to be die for our sins and be raised from the dead. In Ephesians chapter 2 it says,

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Open your hands and receive the free gift of life. Salvation is not a result of good deeds – but of faith. It’s true God prepared good things for us to do, but – what we do doesn’t save us; it’s who we believe in and why.

So repent of your sins, confess them to God. Trust in Jesus Christ, and tell others this good news, the gospel, the power of God to save us (Romans 1:16). He will be faithful to complete the work He began in us and then, take us to glory when our time here is done.

*Originally published at Freedom Project Media

Historical, prophetic, and archaeological evidence confirms the resurrection of Jesus Christ – and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Easter bunny, chocolate or pastels! 

The Case for Christ movie came out last year based on the outstanding bests-selling book by author and former atheist, Lee Strobel. He was a Chicago Tribune journalist who set out to disprove Christianity and traveled the world in an effort to do so. 

He did meticulous research and interviewed the world’s top historians, theologians, and medical experts while examining the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Disappointed because he accumulated so much evidence supporting the Bible and none to refute the claims of Christianity, he sat in his office one day and a co-worker said to him:

“Lee, when is enough evidence enough evidence?”

His investigation was completed and Strobel became a born-again believer. 

Many historians outside the Bible wrote about Jesus, about His followers, Pontius Pilate, key events and places; they wrote about the crucifixion – including the solar eclipse occurring for three of the hours Jesus was on the cross, a great earthquake, and the persecution of countless disciples of Christ. 

Jewish non-biblical historian, Josephus writes about Jesus in “the Antiquities of the Jews.” Josephus was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D. Under the rule of Roman emperor Vespasian, Josephus mentions the execution of James and describes him as the brother of Jesus the Christ, and describes Jesus as a wise man and the messiah. 

Sources outside the Bible could be reconstructed this way: 

“Now around this time lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was a worker of amazing deeds and was a teacher of people who gladly accept the truth. He won over both many Jews and many Greeks. Pilate, when he heard him accused by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, (but) those who had first loved him did not cease (believing). To this day the tribe of Christians named after him has not disappeared…” 

And according to Old Testament scholar, Gleason Archer: 

“As I have dealt with one apparent discrepancy after another and have studied the alleged contradictions between the biblical record and the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, or science, my confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture has been repeatedly verified and strengthened…” 

Those who are open to the truth can research for themselves. You’ll learn about the early dating of the New Testament documents compared to other ancient literary works; overwhelming archaeological evidence, hundreds of fulfilled prophecies listing specific details about Christ, and of course, plenty of eye-witness testimony not to mention the thousands of people through the centuries willing to die for the faith. 

Acts 1:3 says Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles after the crucifixion, by many convincing proofs, AND appeared to them over a period of forty days! What did Luke mean by “Many Convincing Proofs”? 

To answer this question we need to go to the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15. 

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 

Why didn’t the Jews and Romans squash Christianity before it took off? First of all, we just read Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and that He appeared to more than 500 believers at the same time! 

If this weren’t enough, Paul testified to the fact most of these people were still alive at the time this was written (verse 6) so it could not be refuted! There were far too many eye-witnesses of the risen Christ. 

then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 1 COR. 15:1-7 

Weeks earlier, James was a skeptic. About the half-brother of Jesus, the Bible says “even His own brothers didn’t believe in Him.” But this James became a pillar in the early church and leader of the Jerusalem Council. Tradition holds that James was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. 

What changed his mind and radically transformed his life? The truth of the resurrection; Jesus appeared to James personally. Eye-witness testimony is critical in a court of law. 

Others the risen Christ appeared to included Mary Magdalene, the other women, Peter, the disciples including Thomas, Cleopas and one other on the Emmaus road, in Galilee to over 500 people, and to Paul on the Damascus road. These are just those we know of from Scripture. 

Then there’s prophecy: Seven hundred years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah said Jesus would be like a lamb led to slaughter, and: 

He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah. 53:45 

Christ offered Himself, voluntarily enduring brutal torture and death, so why do we call it ‘Good’ Friday and ‘Easter’? Because His shed blood washes us clean and because He lives, so will we! Those who believe are assured an everlasting Hope that anchors our souls.

Moreover, on what we know as Palm Sunday, the very gate Jesus rode through on a donkey the week prior to being crucified, the Eastern Gate, will be the gate through which He enters Jerusalem when He returns. 

Who could have ever manufactured such an intricate story – a masterpiece combining thousands of years of historical events, written by at least 40 different authors on three different continents, including prophecies in perfect and specific detail? Who could have created and insured the carrying out of such an elaborate plan in advance? 

It had to be God! Fulfilled prophecy reinforces the truth of Scripture. 

Before His death on the cross, Jesus told His followers over and over what He came to accomplish and how it had to happen. In Luke’s gospel, after Jesus’ resurrection: 

He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:44-48 

Examine the evidence – and believe! 

Vice President Mike Pence says God speaks to him, but some call it mental illness. Oprah says God will speak to her if He wants her to run for president, and liberals cheer. Is this glaring double standard the new normal?

It’s not just Joy Behar. Christianity is generally not tolerated in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. And they’re not shy about it.

But in a recent interview with Ann Silvio on 60 Minutes Overtime, billionaire entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey said she hasn’t heard God’s call to run for president, “Because if God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kinda tell me?”

And on The View recently, a clip was played of disgruntled White House staffer Omarosa Manigault trashing Mike Pence as an “extreme Christian” who has conversations with Jesus. The View panel then proceeded to mock the VP’s faith.

Behar ignorantly cackled,

“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”

One of the best responses I’ve heard was from Fox & Friends co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, a Christian herself:

“…she [Behar] doesn’t know Christ. She doesn’t know the joy and the love that He provides to so many people, so it just made me feel sorry for her.”

By the way, Pence didn’t say He heard voices. He said what millions of us believe regarding our relationship with Jesus Christ and how God speaks to us in various ways.

Speaking of double standards, what about Hillary Clinton who apparently still communes with the dead? Even hubby Bill reminded an audience several years back that she hears from Eleanor Roosevelt frequently. I haven’t heard a peep on that, have you?

So, on last week’s episode, after claiming people in Indiana hate the Vice President, View co-host, Sunny Hostin stated:

“When you have a Mike Pence who now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we’re in a dangerous situation.”

Dangerous? We’re not talking about ISIS here; not bomb threats, a viral outbreak, rape, or a shooting rampage. These women are referring to the Christian faith.

Mike Pence responded saying “it’s just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

Aside from religion, on previous episodes, Hostin referred to Pence as incompetent, and Whoopi Goldberg once compared Mike Pence to a member of the KKK who wanted to hang her on a tree. Seriously?

At least one person confronted the twisted dialogue on The View. Meghan McCain said:

“I understand, if you’re a liberal, obviously you have certain problems with Mike Pence. …We see the world through very different veneers.”

Some people do have wrong ideas about what it means to be a Christian. Joy Behar once said Timothy McVeigh was a Christian, and Goldberg actually claimed:

“There have been a lot of horrifying – there have been a lot of monster Christians. Hitler was a Christian.”

Sorry ladies. Wrong on both counts. Do some research.

Remember when Masterpiece Cake Shop owner, Jack Phillips was on The View and said endorsing a same-sex wedding and baking a cake for it would contradict Jesus’ teachings. Speaking for the Lord, Behar declared,

“Oh come on. Jesus would have made the cake.”

And in June 2017, the entire lineup on The View blamed Christians for taking away free contraception. I’m not kidding. Joy Behar asked, “How is it different from the Taliban? Let’s not forget they are trying to keep women in their place, barefoot and pregnant.”

I’m almost speechless.

Back to Oprah for a moment. Over at CBS on Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted 11 minutes to Oprah Winfrey’s conversation with Michigan voters. She asked people about accusations against Donald Trump and, of course, his mental health.

“There have been some members of Congress, including Republicans, questioning his stability and fitness for office. What do you think of that, and do you believe he has the temperament to be president?”

Regarding her “mental illness” comments, Franklin Graham weighed in saying all believers should be alarmed by the anti-Christian rhetoric on The View. He continued,

“For Joy Behar to say that all Christians are mentally ill is like suggesting we need to lock them up. They need to be taken out of society…”

Bigotry against any group is absolutely wrong, but if Joy Behar had said that about gays, feminists, or Muslims, she’d probably be fired on the spot. Criticizing Christ followers however, now gets a pass.

This is what often happens when someone on the left doesn’t understand something, especially spiritual things: they tend to attack or criticize it.

This may explain why many don’t even try cracking open a Bible.

 

Here’s Mike Pence’s first response to the debacle:

“I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness. And I’d like to laugh about it, but I really can’t. It’s just wrong; and it’s an insult …to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith. My Christianity is the most important thing in my life.”

“But I just think [this] demonstrates just how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that…”

Isn’t it nice to have someone in the White House defending Christians?

At the risk of stating the obvious, for centuries, millions of believers have claimed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He speaks to us in various ways including through Scripture.

We shouldn’t expect unbelievers to have biblical morals. They need the gospel and ironically, they need to talk to Jesus and confess their sins.

The good news is Americans are not only calling out ABC over this, but thanks to Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center, over 25,000 phone calls have been made so far demanding an apology.

Unless advertisers back out of sponsoring The View, I’m not holding my breath. Jesus said,

In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

 

 

*A shorter version of this article originally appeared at Freedom Project Media.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Is it too late for Christians to be more discerning? Satan has deployed enemies of truth into our culture and sadly, we have allowed them to influence us. The agenda had been gradual and subtle decades ago, but today the deception is out in the open for all to see – or ignore.

“If you really want to know the truth, it is revealed through Scripture because God is truth. He is the final authority. As you see people’s bad behavior and sin, including open adultery and sexual perversion, being promoted in our culture, remember they need Christ. Even the loud, proud activists. They are not necessarily bad people; they’re just wrong, and the Lord gives each of us the freedom to accept the truth or pay the consequences.

If we are lovers of God and followers of Jesus Christ, we should not approve of and love things of this world more than Him (Romans 12:2, Gal. 1:10). We certainly should not be celebrating what is evil or sinful, and, as we take a stand for what is right, attacks will come.

We must understand the Enemy’s tactics and how Satan, the Father of Lies, suppresses the truth, twisting words and meanings using everyday people to advance his agenda. I’d probably do the same thing if I were him.

Millions of Americans have apparently disregarded the faith they once held dear or have fallen away from the Judeo-Christian values which previously permeated this nation. Many in the church have been duped by the cult of liberalism and political correctness that basically says anything is permissible except biblical Christianity. We have stopped standing against evil and speaking up in defense of the gospel for fear of offending someone, and when Christians are silent, light is squelched and darkness wins.

According to the Bible, Satan’s power over us is already broken, death has been defeated, and the war has been won, thanks to the victory we have in Jesus through His sacrifice, death, and resurrection. The battle and warfare, however, continue – and they will intensify – until the Lord returns.

The cunning schemes of the devil are carried out all around us in this world system over which he has free reign. How does the Enemy work and advance his agenda of lawlessness, chaos, destruction, and unrighteousness? He uses people.

From a rainbow-colored White House to Hollywood hype over the latest perversion, from media selling sexual confusion to corporations proudly promoting political correctness, it is difficult to deny the moral and spiritual decline in America. If there’s any hope of slowing the decaying culture, hypocrisy must be called out, lies must be refuted, and truth must be told.

It is virtually impossible to correct and improve the direction of a country if people, especially Christians, are not convinced there are major problems and that we are way off course. Apathy is another issue killing America, but since we cannot make people care, we need to reach those who may be in the busy, unconvinced, or uninformed categories.

But as we try raising awareness in an intolerant culture that is redefining truth, opposition is guaranteed. The Left is shrewd at using words as weapons to silence those who do not agree with them. Enemies of Christ will not relax or ease up on their agenda, and one of the greatest battles in the country today is being waged by the LGBTQ movement. Author and teacher Peter Heck stated,

“They know the success of their cause depends upon the total abolishment of the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Moral Authority it teaches. That is why any belief that the homosexual lobby is merely a passive group of individuals wanting to peacefully coexist with others who have different beliefs and values is naively absurd.”

The Enemy advances when Christians relax. Though Christianity is growing, particularly in underground churches in persecuted nations around the world, who do you think is having more influence on America today?

The marketers of evil claim they are fighting because of discrimination, oppression, injustice, and inequality. They say they fight for love, acceptance, diversity, equal rights, and freedom. We’re onto their schemes and the tedious talking points trumpeted by the liberal media, the Left, Hollywood, and many within the government education system.

But it is not just those whose new religion is sex, and it’s not just those who claim they just want to “live and let live.” It’s also those who devalue human life and promote moral relativism. Planned Parenthood and advocates of murder cry out, “freedom,” “choice,” “it’s my body, not yours, not the government’s and not God’s.”

The Left is using atheists, communists, socialists, and LGBTQ proponents to blot out God, normalize homosexuality, lie about life in the womb, undermine natural marriage, tear apart the traditional family, create as much chaos as possible, and, well, promote lies instead of truth.

Since we’re talking about methods and people Satan uses to do his work, we should also take a sober look at how our perceptions have changed regarding morality and what has become acceptable or permissible to professing Christians. We must recognize the sin in our own camp and call out hypocrisy in the church when necessary.

We must pursue Christ, invest time in the Word, have accountability and fellowship with true believers, be disciplined, and work harder to build others up while we strengthen our faith and especially our marriages. Jesus told His disciples, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15). Looking at just two of the Ten Commandments, we must acknowledge the epidemic of idolatry and adultery within Christian circles.

We don’t talk often enough about adultery, which is now pretty much accepted by a majority of Americans, including many who claim to be Christians.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

Years before the Supreme Court gave its tyrannical opinion ruling against God-ordained natural marriage in 2015, the agenda was well underway to remove America’s moral anchors. What was most disappointing, however, was to observe the influence secularism was and is having on the American church. Today we can see the undeniable fruit of lacking a solid foundation, with increasing numbers of gay ministers and pastors in several churches and denominations.

The rise of apostasy is a sign of the times as more churches and leadership preach accommodation rather than conviction of sin leading to repentance and salvation. If we are not much different from the world, there’s a problem.

The Enemy is advancing through our country, our culture, and even many of our churches because we have surrendered much ground and have not defended the truth. Though there is always hope for a revival – and I have no idea what it might take for this to happen – the light is dimming in and on America, and the clock is ticking.

Many have already been deceived as the Enemy has had success defining the terms of battle, and in many cases, redefining words. The Left has been promoting sin as normal, natural, and healthy, and when Christians speak up, it leads to charges of intolerance. If we do nothing, even more people will call evil good.”

If most Christians continue to avoid these battles, if we are not established in His truth, and if we refuse to defend the faith, society will rapidly deteriorate. If we do not pray to the only living God to give us wisdom, strength, and guidance, we won’t be able to effectively share the gospel, influence culture for Christ and bear good fruit for Him.

*Book excerpt from Redefining Truth: Delusions of Replacing God and Calling Evil Good by author, David Fiorazo