Posts Tagged ‘God’s word’

The new mantra these days that you have your truth and I have mine is simply an extension of the 1960s, “If it feels good, do it.” So, should sin be redefined based on ever-changing times and pop-culture? What about the Law of Nature and nature’s God? Is there a moral standard? And now, we may soon find out if America is ready for an open-homosexual to be president – who, by the way, claims to be a Christian!

But feelings don’t change the truth. So the debate continues: Can we make up our own individual morality? Should the Bible be rewritten? The fact is God never changes, the human heart is wicked, man is sinful, and we all need a Savior.

John Stonestreet at Breakpoint is right, saying there’s an epidemic of self-centered faith in our culture as well as our churches.

If there were an Americanized translation of the Apostle’s Creed for today, it would be something like this: “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, who always supports my feelings.”

Enter openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, now a 2020 presidential candidate, who claims his homosexual lifestyle and marriage to a man has brought him closer to God. He also thinks God made him gay, so he obviously concludes homosexuality can’t be a sin.

The mayor may be most well-known for attacking the faith and character of Vice President, Mike Pence who responded with grace. Pete says he’s a Christian, but he doesn’t get to invent another doctrine or his own version of Christianity. That’s called idolatry. Either way, the media sure loves him.

They’re on board, promoting this new progressive 2020 candidate with glee. Senior editor of CNN, Kyle Blaine even sent an eye-opening tweet, saying:

This Buttigieg/Pence episode illustrates a core question many LGBT people have to confront at some point in their life: Can you be “friends” with someone who believes that something at the very core of who you are is wicked and should be changed?

First, there’s no “episode.” Buttigieg is good at insulting Mike Pence and others who disagree with his twisted theology, but Pence has not retaliated. He compliments the Indiana mayor as a “dedicated public servant.” The victim card may not work as Buttigieg intends.

CNN’s Kyle Blaine is actually suggesting every LGBT individual must question whether or not they can even be a friend of someone who is a truly converted Christian. What I mean by using descriptors is there are millions of pretend or “professing” Christians who do not believe the whole Bible nor do they live by its teachings.

What we’re talking about here are authentic, born-again Christ followers who trust Jesus, God’s Word, and understand holiness and sanctification. CNN and others continually provide a platform for people like Blaine who indirectly suggest a Christian is not worth befriending.

The truth is by nature, we are rebellious toward God. Scripture reminds us “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

Author Peter Heck points out the fact teaching about the sickness of the human heart goes back before the early church to the Prophets. We all need redemption.

That’s not just “the gays.” It’s everybody. And since every human being is wicked at our core, we Christians believe that the heart of every human being must be changed; We recognize it for all mankind, including ourselves.

But many progressives cannot allow themselves to believe man is inherently evil. Even Jesus said no one is good except God alone. Man at his best falls short; we need a Savior, but this doesn’t bode too well with those who have redefined sin.

We are made in God’s image, but we each have a conscience and moral awareness. I don’t have a problem with who Buttigieg is; I simply disagree with what him doing whatever he feels like doing and calling it “Christian.” There are too many hypocrites and posers in American churches trying the same thing, the difference being their sin of choice is something other than homosexuality.

Human identity is much more than the sum total of someone’s sexual inclinations. Everett Piper of the Washington Times responded to Buttigieg this way:

[T]he “creator” whom you so boldly reference makes this pretty clear. There is no place in His entire biblical narrative where He defines us by our desires. All of us, however, are known by our choices. …You see, Mr. Mayor, this is a matter of your proclivities, not your personhood; If you want us to stay out of your bedroom, please shut the door. Stop opening it up and forcing us to applaud and celebrate.

When feelings trump truth, we’re in serious trouble. It has become trendy to ignore biological, natural roles our bodies have in procreation, as well as the historically accepted meaning of marriage between one man and one woman. But sadly, feelings have practically become the new authority or at least the measure of personal identity.

What may be most concerning however, is the biblical illiteracy in our churches as well as the radical shift in public opinion when it comes to God, government, and being gay. In all three, evil is being called good and good, evil. Our great grandparents and founding fathers would be extremely confused by today’s America; and perhaps indignant. One thing is certain: they would not remain silent.

Freedom Project Media video

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

all-lives-matterOne danger in our society is many people have gotten used to the back and forth debate over the most sacred of rights on earth – life. Though the pro-life movement has had some recent success, there is so much political give and take depending on who gets elected and who follows through on campaign promises, too many people tune out.

It’s tragic however, when Christians, religious folks, and true conservatives look the other way as well. Make no mistake: this is a battle of worldviews. Who should be born, how long should people live, and who determines the quality, productivity, and value of human life?

Pastor David Platt often emphasizes God’s heart for the unborn and recently said:

“Children are so precious. They are a treasure to be cherished. And yet, we live in a culture where children are a problem to be avoided.”

Most of us have heard the argument by some pro-abortion activists insisting pregnancy is comparable to a disease that must be cured and thus, a baby is something to be removed. The logical progression of this extreme thought process and its lack of value for human life doesn’t stop at the dismembering of baby body parts. Support for assisted suicide has also increased – even among church-goers in America.

First, in a story ignored by the media and that few paid attention to because it came out just before Christmas, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee published a 500-page report on Planned Parenthood. The report gives a small glimpse into a very dark, strange and chilling world of selling baby parts, a world where nothing goes to waste in this huge, profitable business.

And it is a sick, twisted industry. The law is very clear: it is illegal to make any profit from the body parts of fetuses or any body parts of any human. But the documents subpoenaed from Planned Parenthood and related companies show how the law was completely and willfully ignored.

Journalist and filmmaker, Phelim McAleer produced the Gosnell movie and co-authored a book about America’s most prolific serial killer, abortionist Kermit Gosnell. McAleer describes how the Committee documented how one $15 an hour “technician” spent his time on a summer day in 2014:

The ABR “technician” obtained a 20 week-old fetus at a [Planned Parenthood] clinic. From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325; both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer; its thymus and for $325 and another portion of liver to a fourth customer; and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer. These fees are merely the service fees for the specimens themselves; ABR separately charged each customer for shipping, disease, screening, cleaning and freezing, as applicable. So from that single fetus for which ABR paid a mere $60, ABR charged its customers a total of $2,275 for tissue specimens…

…How long has it been since America lost its collective conscience and heart for truth? Just like Kermit Gosnell who was allowed to kill for years, most of us have turned a blind eye to the baby-part selling even though hundreds, perhaps thousands of professionals were part of it.

Incidentally, it costs $120 to send an aborted baby’s brain through FedEx Priority Overnight. The report does not detail where the parts were shipped but presumably they went to universities across the nation who kept signing the invoices and paying them.

And just today there was more breaking news – “Congressional panel publishes final report on Planned Parenthood body parts scandal.”

Representative Diane Black said the report should “incense all people of conscience.”

In another breaking story, Alabama becomes the seventh state (Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia) to allow wrongful-death actions before the pre-born child becomes viable.

Next, two more unreported stories came out last month on the subject of euthanasia. One activist in Australia claims assisted suicide is not just for the terminally ill and the option should be available to everyone. Philip Nitschke once wanted to make suicide pills available in supermarkets, even to “troubled teens.”

It may seem like an extreme position to believe that individuals have the right to dispose of their lives for any reason, but this has more support than most of us realize.

Why discuss this issue in the same context as abortion and profiteering from baby body parts? For many decades, we have allowed the culture of death to spread across America right under our noses and with the approval of many Christians.

A majority of Americans – including 4 in 10 professing evangelicals – want doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives and believe it is morally acceptable. A recent article reveals opposition to assisted suicide is dying and the heart of the problem is our apathy and indifference as a civilized society. It proves we may not have the will to take a stand for righteousness and truth.

Even the American Medical Association (AMA) has described physician-assisted suicide as a serious risk to society and “fundamentally incompatible with a physician’s role as healer,” but apparently millions of Americans disagree.

Man thinks he knows best about life and death and should be able to play God; what could go wrong?

Read the extensive post here:

*Photo credit: Times of Malta

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Graphic courtesy of Biblical Worldview Institute – a division of Cascade Christian schools

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. …And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth – (John 1:1-3, 14).

What we believe about truth affects everything we do in this life. How we view God, people, and how we understand the world – past, present, and future – depends on what we believe about absolute truth. If there are no absolutes, then anything goes! As Christians, what we believe about absolute truth depends on what we believe about Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Old Testament refers to God as the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16). The Word of God is perfect. From indisputable historical facts to archeological evidence, the Bible has yet to be proven inaccurate or wrong.

Enemies of truth can make up stuff about the Bible, write their books attempting to debunk Scripture, and create their own documentaries with lies and fabrications, but it won’t change the fact that God’s Word is eternal. Does truth depend on where we were raised, what church we attended, what a teacher taught us, or what the media says is true? Does truth change with the times, technology or circumstances? What is truth?

Jesus prayed to the Father in the presence of His disciples and said:

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth (John 17:17).

According to the Bible, truth is the self-expression of God. Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, and being of God. There is complete unity between the written Word of God and the perfect expression of God in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us Jesus existed in the beginning. In the New Testament, Scripture is called the Word of Christ (Colossians 3:16). The person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Word of the living God then are in full agreement. This is the basis from which we must discern, perceive, and reason. There is no ambiguity whatsoever!

Try defining truth apart from God or without universal absolutes and see where that gets you. Apparently, there is plenty of confusion not only in the world, but also in the church regarding how truth is defined and understood. There are professing Christians who say they believe in “most” of the Bible. Really? We don’t have the option to pick and choose only those Scriptures that suit us or the verses we agree with. The entire Bible is true or our faith is a lie.

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting (Psalm 119:160).

Furthermore, in the book of Revelation, Jesus is called Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11) when He returns to conquer and reign. Here’s where our worldview starts, and it takes faith: Either God is or God is not. This is something many grapple with. God created all things, but how did He come into existence?

Before the mountains were born, Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Psalm 90:2).

God existed in the beginning, before anything and everything. All we need to know is that when Moses asked, God said to him, I AM WHO I AM in Exodus 3:14. We get Lord from the original name of God, YHWH, which is derived from the verb HAYAH, meaning “to be.” Our faith also holds that Jesus is God.

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Truth has been under attack from the very beginning of time, and in America, opposition to Jesus Christ has intensified. People are avoiding, denying, and suppressing the truth more than ever. They can ignore it, they can mock it, and they can pretend it does not exist, but that changes nothing. The sad thing is there is some debate about what is true even among Christians!

In 1995, approximately fifty percent of Christians said there are moral truths which are unchanging, and that truth is absolute, not relative to the circumstances. Not surprisingly, ten years later in 2005, The Barna Group conducted a poll revealing only 35% of Americans believe in absolute standards of morality, that right and wrong do not change with time or circumstances.1 (33% didn’t even know how to respond!)

ESTABLISHING A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

A person’s worldview is a significant step toward self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-understanding. Your worldview as a Christian needs to be based on a foundation of God’s Word. Our sovereign God is not surprised, but it must grieve His heart to see the condition of our country, the world, and the church today. Holiness and righteousness are practically meaningless to some religious folks. The Word of God is being watered down, truth is being diluted, and this has led to moral and cultural confusion.

Here’s a quick example: I’m pro-life and sure hope you are as well. I have learned that even in the church, believers have different views on abortion and when life begins. This proves either we don’t read our Bibles as much anymore, or we believe the talking heads. Especially in the church, building on a foundational worldview of biblical truth is paramount.

In a Crosswalk.com article, Michael Foust wrote:

“Barna defines a biblical worldview as believing that: moral absolutes exist; the source of truth is the Bible; the Bible is “accurate in all of the principles it teaches,” salvation is by grace alone; Jesus lived a sinless life; believers have a duty to witness; Satan is real and not just a symbol; God is the “all-knowing, all-powerful maker of the universe who still rules that creation today.”

This worldview is the foundation for every decision you make in life. I don’t care who you are, how old you are, where you live, or what kind of family you grew up in; if you have not considered exactly how your personal beliefs, philosophy, and worldview were formed, it is time to take a serious look at what you believe and why.

We must be undaunted in establishing God’s Word as the basis of our thinking, our faith, and our lives. If we don’t make this critically important decision, we’ll be in danger of seeing the world through our own feelings, personal experiences, opinions, Hollywood, media, and what others have told us, instead of through God’s eyes. Some of us have lived much of our lives believing what we have heard or read at one time, instead of believing what God says. May the Lord have mercy on our biblical illiteracy!

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teach­ing, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness – (2 Timothy 3:16).

Is it possible to live authentically and effectively as a Christian and not believe the entire Bible word for word? If you do not believe in parts of the Bible, then how can you trust God’s Word in its entirety? Is Jesus a liar? Did he only really mean most of the things He said? This is where people living on a spiritual fault line panic at the first sign of a life-shaking trial, revealing their foundation wasn’t very solid.

You may be reading this right now and God is nudging you to evalu­ate what you think about truth. Jesus promised his followers the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13). If you think the Bible is a history book or a moral guide, then you are missing out on knowing Jesus. Evangelical Christian theologian, author, and pastor, Francis Schaeffer stated:

“Truth always carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.”

The battle over what is true divides people. This is the state of America today because if opponents of truth can convince people to believe that God doesn’t exist, then there are no moral restraints and anything goes. In his book, 78 – How Christians Can Save America, author and radio talk show host, Peter Heck, included a fascinating interaction with a caller to his program. Here’s a portion:

James: “…There are different ways of looking at the world, and there are different perspectives people have, and …saying that this is a concrete right, and this is a concrete wrong may be true given your perspective, but it’s not maybe true given mine….”

Peter: “…do you realize that Hitler was doing what he thought was right? He was merely speeding up the evolutionary process. He was attempting to bring about a master race and extermi­nate all the riff-raff. It’s the same thing Planned Parenthood was founded to do. Get rid of all the lesser folks. Now, maybe you don’t agree with his strategy, but he just had a different per­spective on how to improve the lives of humanity than Mother Theresa, but ultimately they both wanted the same thing, right?

“What if I said that it would have been better for Mother The­resa to kill all those impoverished people she lived with? Take them out of their misery! Why is this perspective wrong? …There has to be a truth that is fixed, that is right for all men, or we’re in a lot of trouble.”

The truth established from the beginning is God. He is eternal. Though humanists have made progress in their goal to blot out God, ultimately it will be impossible. Even if they could eradicate Christianity from America one day, we know He is everlasting; He is the beginning and the end, and He holds the universe in his hands.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T BELIEVE, START WITH THE TRUTH

In my personal conversations with people who do not believe the Bible is the Word of God, my intention is never to try to force them to believe or to convince them about Jesus; that’s the job of the Holy Spirit. My job is to speak honestly to whoever will listen and allow God to work through me. Some people simply don’t want to believe, and that is the beauty of free will. We serve a loving God who refuses to force His creation to worship Him.

The road to life is a narrow one, but whoever believes in Jesus can have everlasting life because God is no respecter of persons. Take the necessary time to thoroughly examine the Scriptures. Even though God knows some will refuse to believe no matter what, He desires all people to know the truth and be saved through Jesus Christ because there is only one God (1 Timothy 2:3-5), and Christ is the only Media­tor between God and man.

If someone gave you this book, and you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s not too late to be saved unless you are simply unwilling to ask. Please search your heart right now and see if you honestly want to know the one true God personally. He loves you and He is waiting for you with open arms. He is the only God who is alive! It’s not wrong to have doubts, but those doubts need to be dealt with – and He’s knock­ing right now.

If you are sincerely ready to accept God’s will for your life, here’s a prayer God always answers: “Father in heaven, please show me the truth about who Jesus Christ is.” He wants to reveal His love and truth to you and show you His plan for your life. God never promises an easy life, but He does promise us a better life. Our part is the faith, His part is the fulfillment.

Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).

It is easy for people to criticize what they do not understand. The Bible tells us the message of the cross is foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18) to unbelievers because God frustrates those who think they are intelligent or wise. Proverbs 3:7 warns us to not be wise in our own eyes. After all, who can fully comprehend a perfect God?

Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels, announced to the nations; He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory (1 Timothy 3:16). 

Jesus is the cornerstone, which is one reason why there is so much division over him. Everything written in the Bible concerning Him is true. On the other hand, some think Jesus was simply a persuasive teacher, the leader of a rebellion, or even a lunatic because of the claims He made. According to Jesus, He is the bread of life, the door, the gate, the light, the truth, and the way. Jesus said He was not of this world and that He overcame the world.

Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples He was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them and then return for them because He wanted His followers to be with Him in God’s glory. He also told them they should know where He was going and how to get there. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus answered:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:6-7).

This statement by Jesus Christ must be dealt with, because it does not allow for wiggle room. The Bible is the God-breathed, Holy Spirit-inspired Word of life. If you doubt the Bible can be infallible, since it was written by men, then you are putting God in a box.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Is anything too hard for the Lord? God’s ways are higher than ours, and if we believe in the Creator then we must believe He gives us our intellect. Without a creator, without a design, and without a plan, you and I are just cosmic accidents living a purposeless, random existence.

After all, without God, our lives are based on ourselves (we’re number one!) and on living for today. But if God’s Word is true, and we really are sinners in need of rescue, then there must be right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, light and darkness, and moral absolutes.

Our godless society has been heading full speed away from Christ, and many people seem to hate the very truth that could save them! As a whole, our secular progressive culture has denied the truth of God and the authority of the Bible, in order to defend and justify their unholy living. The result is chaos, confusion, moral relativism, self-exaltation, and countless forms of spirituality apart from Christianity. It is dif­ficult for the natural man to grasp the sovereignty, omniscience, and omnipotence of a perfect God. Even in the church, doctrine divides denominations and the best of Christians. Riding the fence with a foot in two different worldviews is not an option.

CHRIST BEFORE ALL THINGS

John [the Baptist] testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me (John 1:15).

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule… (Genesis 1:26).

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spo­ken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radi­ance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power… (Hebrews 1:1-3)

These verses confirm and bear witness to the fact Christ existed before He came to live on earth for 33 years. This can be hard to grasp with our human minds, but it is essential to understanding the truth. It also reinforces the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Believers don’t consider the creation account often enough. All things were created by Him and for Him. Colossians 1:17 tells us He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

In addition, Jesus said the following in John 5:39, 40, and 46:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life…. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.

The religious leaders flipped out when they heard Jesus say this, and then they blew a gasket when Jesus told them He existed before Abra­ham (John 8:56). This challenges us to dig deeper into our faith. John R.W. Stott was an English Christian leader and was very influential in the worldwide evangelical movement. He said it is the uniqueness of Christ that we defend:

“So, because in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in his birth), then bear our sins (in his death), then conquer death (in his resurrection) and then enter his people (by his Spirit), he is uniquely able to save sinners. Nobody else has his qualifications.”

Most Christians don’t have a problem with the above assertions or Scriptures, but some have a hard time with being saved by grace alone. A few religions overemphasize good works – doing as much as you can to be accepted by God or to get to heaven – which is not what the Bible teaches. In Ephesians 2, Paul writes that we are saved only through faith because of God’s grace. Grace is undeserved favor. Grace has nothing to do with our efforts.

However, it is also important to balance out our faith and good deeds because faith without actions is useless. We are to live what we believe in full expression and demonstration of our faith. The Bible also teaches faith works through love (Gal. 5:6). But please do not miss the point that there is absolutely nothing you or I can do to get God to love us more or accept us more. Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).

Then there are others who don’t think they need to put their trust in Jesus to go to heaven. They might say, “I am a good person. I have never murdered or raped anybody. I try to follow the Golden Rule. I love the planet and recycle, and I even volunteer.” I would ask them if they think Jesus was a good person.

As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone (Mark 10:17-18).

No one is good enough on their own to approach a holy God. He also made the point that we are incapable of keeping the command­ments, so how can anyone be saved by trying to be good through their own efforts?

Have you ever lied, stolen anything, coveted something someone else had, hated someone in your heart (murder), or lusted after another person (adultery)? Have you always honored your mother and father? Have you ever idolized a person or a thing over God? (Like a Hollywood actor, rock star, sports team, athlete, celebrity, bike, car, boat, house, etc.) Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? Not one of us is good, and it’s impossible for us to keep the laws and commandments of God on our own. That’s why the gospel truly is very good news. Those of us who confess Jesus is our Lord and Savior, believing in our hearts, are forgiven, saved, set free, redeemed, restored, sanctified, and blessed. We have a bright future and an eternal hope!

PRAY FOR THOSE WHO REFUSE TO BELIEVE

I recently had a good conversation with a very liberal guy who is not a Christian. Though he didn’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that Christ alone is Lord, he listened to what I shared. Sadly, the conversa­tion left his heart unchanged. He complimented me on being a person of conviction even though he disagreed with me.

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The natural man may be wise according to the world’s wisdom and intellect, but that won’t get him very far when it comes to discerning spiritual things. His pride, earthly success, degrees and worldly educa­tion prevent him from admitting he needs God. Though this person I talked with hasn’t read much of the Bible, he had formed strong beliefs and negative opinions about Christianity and religion in general. Not only that, but he also taught this worldview to his children, and they now take bits and pieces from many religions.

I call it cafeteria Christianity. They choose what they want, when they want it, and avoid what they don’t like in the Bible. It is being dangerously mired in the mucky middle. But if you have an unwaver­ing faith in Jesus Christ built on the solid foundation of God’s Word, your beliefs will not be shaken. Your faith will withstand the debates, opinions, talking points, arguments, and attacks of opponents. We don’t have all the answers, so we don’t need to pretend we do.

I love the Lord because He changed my heart. I am convinced about the truth of Jesus Christ because of massive evidence – archeological, biblical, and historical – and years of personal research and study. This other person was just as convinced in his views by his upbringing, by liberal friends, and higher education. We both believe our convictions are right and true. So what is the lesson? Don’t get discouraged when you talk to someone who simply doesn’t want to believe. Pray for them. The results are in God’s hands.

The more I study the Bible, the more I realize I need to learn. Our responsibility is to always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15). Are you prepared to explain the reason for your faith in Christ? The Holy Spirit will instruct us and teach us. People may not know exactly what they’re looking for, but they are searching. Everyone has a void only Christ can fill. We are ambassadors for Christ commissioned to share the truth, so speak it with boldness.

Biblical truth has been forced out of the public square, followed by a purposeful shift away from Christianity in America to the point where we are confused about church and state issues. Since truth matters, we need to look at what our founders believed and how this country was established. While doing this, we must understand the founder’s intent and the connection between God and government in the United States. We’ll tackle this in chapter two…

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is jus­tified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 13 ESV).

This is an excerpt (Chapter 1 in its entirety) from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, by David Fiorazo. “Why Truth Matters.”

How then should we live?

Worldview Culture Circles

Graphic courtesy of Biblical Worldview Institute – a division of Cascade Christian schools

gods-guide-for-marriage

We’ve just been given another wake-up call, this time from the U.S. Supreme Court as it struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) this week. That provision prevented married gay couples from receiving tax, health, and retirement benefits.

This is another reminder that it is up to the people rather than secular government to defend God’s principles in an ungodly culture.

God created the heavens and the earth, and mankind is made in His image. God’s plan for marriage is woven through Scripture and has been implemented throughout history. Marriage predates kings and governments.

By the intricate engineering of the male and female bodies, science also confirms we are uniquely designed for procreation and for the opposite sex.

Apparently, none of this matters to five of these nine judicial appointees. Man often thinks he knows better than God. Defining marriage is still up to individual states as the Supreme Court did not impose federal law on marriage. That said, this decision is likely to embolden activists and sends the dangerous message that children do not necessarily need a mother and a father.

It also means states that have already passed same-sex marriage laws can now force the federal government to recognize their mockery of society’s foundational institution.

The question must again be asked, ‘will gay activists be content with this decision or will they aim to advance their agenda?’

Answer: Immediately following the court’s decision, top activist lawyers stood on the Supreme Court steps and reiterated their promise to push gay marriage nationwide. It will not be enough for them to be content with a few legal victories until they enforce their agenda and will upon all Americans, including the majority that disagrees with them.

Living in proud, open rebellion to God’s laws, they not only refuse to obey and submit to His authority, they aim to take it away as an option for us as well. They will protest our free speech when it comes to faith and religious liberty proving their intolerance of those of us who believe they are wrong.

We didn’t get here overnight.

Sadly, the media’s promotion of homosexuality and their lobbying for the Left has had a major impact swaying the minds of the uninformed. They influenced public opinion to the point where more Americans are softening towards sin; this includes Christians. A recent Pew Forum survey on media coverage exposed the truth; in their reporting, the media supported same-sex marriage 5 to 1 hoping the public would soon think it is inevitable. Breakpoint’s Ben Booker wrote:

This is a major failing on the media’s part. The purpose of the press is to inform the public about what is occurring in society. Yet instead of representing the real opposition to same-sex marriage, the media has decided to promote the idea that same-sex marriage is a foregone conclusion. Its limited perspective has been detrimental in several ways.

But even with their biased reporting, it is fascinating that in Illinois, one of the bluest of blue states, the legislature failed to pass a same-sex marriage bill because they didn’t have enough votes for it. Illinois is a Democratic stronghold and yet it still didn’t go the way of California, whose liberal court (The Ninth Circus) overturned the will of 7 million voters that cast their ballots in favor of marriage between one man and one woman in 2008.

The media portrays the issue as already decided and more people assume there is no reason to debate it, which is what activists want.

Christians may never have fair representation in the media, but we can’t stop raising awareness and sharing the truth. Religious leaders and pastors must actively and purposefully preach and teach on marriage so that their congregants are informed and able to defend traditional marriage.

The Court can declare same-sex “marriage” a legal right in the eyes of government, but judges cannot make it morally right in the hearts of the people.

Regardless of what the Left, the media, government, Hollywood, and activists want us to believe, we’re still the majority. We have the power of prayer and elections, for starters. It still comes down to the people.

Nothing the marketers of evil do should surprise us anymore and we must refuse to let a court’s definition of marriage discourage us from understanding the times and seeing the big picture. Some put their stock in a temporary, worthless certificate of same-sex marriage, but we put our faith in the priceless, eternal truths of the Word of God.