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Alex answers some of life’s many questions concerning the Gospel, faith and God’s Word.
In the biblical sense, what is really meant by the word “love?” Our culture often defines love in terms of emotion, and the way another person or thing makes us feel. But in a scriptural sense, love is the commitment to meet another’s need. Commitment breeds action, making love more “verb” than “noun.” Biblical love stands undiminished even in the face of changing circumstances or personal betrayal. It is the type of love Jesus shows humanity (“… not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10).
Redemption is God’s love demonstrated. Scripture presents human redemption as completely dependent on the blood of Christ: (Christ has) “released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5). Hebrews 9:22 teaches that Christ’s work on the cross is God’s once-and-for-all payment of our debt of sin. Scripture is clear that if not for Christ’s blood, given on the cross, no redemption would be possible.
Some ministers, writers, and composers try and “clean up” the Gospel for a modern audience, eliminating the unsettling (to them) concept of blood from their presentation of Christianity. Such revisers present a message that fails to convey God’s wonderful plan of redemption. Removing Christ’s “blood payment” from our message has serious theological implications, and presents a Gospel with less love, not more.
God is Love! The Father is love, and His love is revealed from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus is love, and His love was most gloriously demonstrated on the cross. The Holy Spirit is love, and all who belong to Jesus experience His love by His indwelling presence. Praise be to God who first loved us so we are able to love (1 John 4:19).
Without the Book of Job giving any definitive time markers or specified number of days or years, we cannot know how long Job suffered. We can know that it had to be more than a just a few weeks based on:
It was only after Job’s three friends left (Job 42:9), and when Job prayed for his friends, that God restored Job (Job 42:10).
Some have suggested the course of events might have been as long as two years, which would mean Job suffered for that time. Others have suggested it might have been 42 months, as a whisper of the Great Tribulation. But again, there is no way to determine how long Job suffered. The Bible simply does not say. This might be why the book of Job is not included with the historical books, but instead is part of the writings. Without any specific mention of dates or historical events it is impossible to conclusively date the book or determine the length of events and Job’s suffering.
Distance from God is something that all Christians experience from time to time. Sometimes it might feel like prayers are unheard, but we must remember that we know they are heard (1 Pet 3:12). There might also be times when reading the Bible feels unfulfilling, but every word you read is from God so reading the Bible is beneficial even when it’s not felt (Ps 19:7-8).
The answer to overcoming a perceived distance, i.e. when God seems far away, is to remember that this is a feeling and feelings can lie to us. We must remember what we know to be true. Jesus has promised that He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5). The feelings of God being distant is usually because of circumstances, emotional struggles, confusion, or some other challenge or difficulty in daily life. Continuing to seek God, in prayer and by reading the Bible will increase one’s knowledge of His presence, and restore the feeling of communion with Him. When we feel something that is not true (i.e. God is distant), we must return to the truths of God’s Word that we know to be true and steadfast.
The apostle James says to “draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Because God is already near (He is omnipresent), this means that when we draw near to God we will be blessed by feeling His presence, His love, His grace, and all the other good and perfect gifts from the Father of Lights (James 1:17).
Read the promises that God made to His people of old, knowing that these promises hold true for you also:
Josh 1:9 …Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Deut 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
Isa 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Zep 3:17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Mat 28:20 …lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Some Christians will talk about intelligent design and claim that it points to God and proves evolution false, but that’s not really trueIntelligent design, which is sometimes called ID, points to the apparent order in the universe and infers that it could not have come about through random processes, as evolution teaches. ID says that if we see design, it’s logical to infer that there is also a designer. Intelligent Design, however, does not necessarily point to God. It claims a designer but does not name that designer as our Creator God. As Christians, we are creationists. We believe that the Triune God, who is revealed in the Holy Bible, is both Designer and Creator!
Yes, from the names of ancient kings and cities to the locations of battles and settlements, time and again the Bible has been supported by archaeological finds. For example, it was claimed that King David of the Old Testament was just a legend until archaeologists found tablets from a neighboring kingdom mentioning David, King of Judah. And the Cylinder of Cyrus, unearthed in 1879, gave evidence of Cyrus’ kingship and his rule. Furthermore, the Dead Sea Scrolls (found in a cave in 1946) are evidence of the truths of the Bible. Archeological finds are one of the great proofs of the Bible.
Yes. There is sufficient evidence to prove God. There are ample proofs in nature that there is a creator, and the truths of the Bible assure us that this creator is the God Christians worship and serve. “Theism” (the belief that a creator exists who not only made the world but who also has acted in this world) is defensible on philosophical, historical, scientific and experiential grounds. Further, all of the possible objections against the existence of God can be sufficiently answered. Based on these lines of evidence and the absence of legitimate counter-evidence, it is rational to conclude that God certainly must exist.
Living a good life will not get anyone into Heaven. Jesus said that the way to enter Heaven is to be perfect (Mat 5:20, 48), not good. No one can do that. If it weren’t for Jesus, we would be hopeless. But Jesus came to save us. He is God and He came to earth and lived a perfect and sinless human life. He then took our sins upon Himself and died. In doing so, He satisfied/paid the penalty for our sin and opened the way to Heaven. The ONLY way anyone gets into Heaven is to trust in Jesus, and ask His forgiveness of their sins. He is faithful to forgive a repentant sinner, wash them clean, and give them His righteousness. Then, when they stand before God, they are seen as perfect.
Being a Christian means you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.
It means that there was a time when you turned to Jesus in faith. That means you trusted in His work on the cross as the complete and final payment for your past, present, and future sins, and you asked Him to forgive your sins and save you.
If you have done that, He has been faithful to forgive you and wash your sins away. That means He has saved you and given you eternal life.
Now you are free to serve Him. That means you get to know Him better through reading His word, attending church, and fellowshipping with other Christians.
Being a Christian is a positional standing. Acting like a Christian is another thing.
Witnessing to someone who doesn’t know God, or even a Christian who has turned from God, can be more effective when empathy, discernment and listening is employed.
Often rejection of God comes from a hurting heart. It might be a personal tragedy, trial, or even an encounter with a religious person who was a poor example of Christ or a poor witness. The same strategies that are effective when witnessing to the lost apply are effective when witnessing to the wander (a Christian who has turned away from Jesus). In loving and ministering to all people, empathy, discernment, and a listening ear will take the conversation much farther than a data dump of biblical facts.
I suggest five strategies for effective witnessing:
Strategy 1: Ask questions.
Strategy 2: Listen
Strategy 3: Focus
Strategy 4: Pray
Strategy 5: Don’t converse to “win.”
Most Important: Be Bold. Be Kind. Be Wise. Start by asking questions and listening. Then share truth and hope — found only in Jesus.
Science reports recent Hubble discoveries that show galaxies millions of light years from earth. If the light we see TODAY is from these galaxies, then that means the light left the surface of the galaxies far beyond the existence of the earth due to the distance it travels. We know that light travels 186,000 miles a second and the earth was created in 6 days. But if the statements are true, then either light must travel faster than the known calculations OR the galaxies are closer to us than what is reported.
For one thing, we don’t know for sure that the speed of light is constant. Additionally, photons (light particles) have a drag coefficient and are subject to friction so we don’t know that photons travel at the same speed in deep space.
So let’s answer the question, how do we witness to those who argue what science reports? The answer: in the same way we witness to anyone. Don’t spend time arguing scientific facts. Turn the conversation to one of spiritual importance. Briefly address the science issues, but then move on. Don’t let a debate about science direct the conversation or cloud the importance of the gospel message. Be bold, be kind, and be wise. Share the love of Jesus and tell of His desire to give salvation to any who repent and trust in Him. Read more: How Can I Effectively Witness? How Can I Witness if I Don’t Have the Gift of Evangelism? Fear is A Liar – A Witnessing Encounter; Be BOLD or Be Gentle When Witnessing?
The Bible doesn’t just outright command anyone to remove the practice of slavery in all forms, just as it doesn’t speak directly against certain other practices that develop in some cultures and not others. Instead, it spends it’s time mostly on revelation of God’s nature and of general truth principles that can guide people at any time in any culture. For example, Jesus teaches people that the whole law is essentially expressed by loving God and loving your neighbor the way you love yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). If you have that guiding principle, you’ll move towards loving people well in the more specific ways that the law helped Old Testament believers to do, such as not stealing from them or killing them. And no one wants to be enslaved, so people transformed by the truth of the “golden rule” would choose to get rid of slavery as they grow in Christ if slavery was part of their culture to begin with. And that’s what happened in history when nations like the United States and Britain conformed to Christian truth; slavery was abolished nationally, largely due to Christian influence.
The Bible does, however, speak on slavery since it was part of the lives of the people at the times in which various books were written. In the New Testament, Paul speaks in the letter to Philemon about Onesimus, a “slave” who was parted from Philemon his master, and Paul asks Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a brother and not as a slave (Philemon v.15-18). The actual word Paul uses is bondservant, not slave, which refers to someone who submitted to servanthood to repay debt, though he may not have wanted to continue to serve willingly later, but he would yet have been bound to do so legally. But Paul elevates these believers’ relationship to being brothers in Christ. As he says in Galatians 3:28, all that matters now is oneness in Christ, not whether someone is free or enslaved. Paul abolished all worldly divisions in light of the Gospel.
Paul also gives guidance on proper treatment of slaves by masters and conduct for slaves towards masters (e.g. Col. 4:1, 1 Tim. 6:1). Those slaves would also likely have been the voluntary sort in the sense that they chose to go into a slave-like, indentured servant relationship with an “owner/master” in order to pay a debt. The same was true of ancient Israel when Israelites were slaves to each other, and the law laid out rules of conduct offering slaves certain protections. Also, every seven years, debts were forgiven, and slaves were set free.
The Bible is clear that baptism, while important, is not necessary for salvation. Physical baptism is something men do, and God made it clear that all are saved by faith in Jesus’ finished work and not by works (Eph. 2:9), which means nothing can be added by man to the work of Christ. We have a righteousness earned by Christ alone (Phil. 3:9), and He Himself becomes our righteousness by faith (1 Cor. 1:30, 2 Cor. 5:21).
And when we determine whether something is necessary for salvation, there can be no other Scripture that disagrees with what we find in a given Scripture passage. The fact is, the Bible has clear examples of believers who are saved without baptism. In Acts 10, we witness Peter visiting the home of Cornelius where that man and a house full of people are saved and receive the Holy Spirit without having yet been baptized, which we are sure of because Peter says they ought to be baptized afterwards. And before Jesus died, he hung next to a thief with no chance to be baptized: Jesus told the thief he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. Baptism, therefore, cannot be necessary. And, more importantly, choosing to say so ruins the reality of our need for Christ’s work alone for salvation.
Many people have this question in their minds as they read the book of Timothy, and much of that misunderstanding has to do with the cultural lens through which we see this passage. What isn’t immediately obvious to some of us in the modern Western world is the fact that Paul, as Jesus did, is actually lifting up women as he writes both this letter and other Scriptures, giving women appropriate status and value before a world that did not esteem women highly at the time.
The words there in 1 Timothy 2:11-14, “let a woman learn” at first sounds restrictive, but it is really permissive in an affirming sense, giving women permission to learn alongside men as church family in a culture that typically only offered such learning to men. The text does get restrictive when it says not to let women speak, but then it clarifies what it means when we read further, as the “don’t let them speak” relates to “teaching or exercising authority over a man.” That is the true issue at hand.
The very next section of this letter to Timothy just a few verses later moves right along to say that leaders/shepherds/elders of the church are to be men and are the ones who lead in teaching. Women are restricted from holding those positions of authority over men because of God’s created order described in the 1 Timothy 2 passage, and that is what gives us our understanding for how to take the admonition for women not to “speak” or teach in church. Elsewhere God’s word affirms women are meant to teach one another and children, so they aren’t restricted from all teaching.
Though God’s law never passes away, and all must be fulfilled, Jesus came to fulfill the law for us (Romans 8:3-4). Only in Him can the righteous requirement of the law be fulfilled. That’s what the gospel is all about—the reality that Jesus lived the life we can’t live and offered to trade places with us, becoming our sin so we might become His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). This was a huge issue in the early church, because many of the Jews who came to faith were convinced they still needed to keep either the whole law or some measure of the law. In Acts 15, we see this episode of the church’s early life play out. Peter realizes that they’ve made a mistake in trying to teach new converts to keep the law, saying, “…why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will” (Acts 15:10-11).
Paul then walks through this with the church of Galatia, giving us a stronger sense of what God’s heart is for us on this issue. It would be beneficial to read the whole letter or at least Galatians 3 onwards, but Paul’s conclusion is this: “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith’” (Galatians 3:10-11). He then says, “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:24-26).
Paul walks through this more as the book continues, in chapter 4 actually getting upset with the Galatians for observing days and months and seasons and years. And though that part might seem a little unclear, Paul goes into the same issue with the Colossian church with more clarity, saying Jesus’s finished work canceled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands by nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:14-15), and he goes on to say in the next verse, “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17). The very next chapter goes on to make clear what sort of holy lifestyle God’s people are called to, so this message from Paul is not a message of license to sin, it’s simply a message of freedom in Christ from the law to serve God out of a renewed spirit rather than pressure to meet requirements.
The short answer is “yes,” because of God’s merciful character. The good news is, our God is a God who is not willing for any to perish but desires all to reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9-13), so you can bet He will do everything possible to allow people as much time as possible to come to Him. In fact, that passage referenced here teaches us that God has only waited to judge the world because He wants more people to get the chance to come to Him, and He is calling us as the church in that passage to help hasten His coming by calling more people to reconcile with Him.
The Bible shows us that God is willing to save even during the tribulation period described in the book of Revelation when God is pouring out judgments on the earth. Before Jesus returns for good to defeat all evil, He calls His people up to join Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17), what people often call the “rapture.” After that, believers are gone from the earth for the time being, but people still living on earth do appear to get a chance to repent and believe after the rapture. People who did not get called up to join Jesus clearly were not true followers of Him, but there are true followers of Jesus spoken about during the tribulation period after the rapture in the book of Revelation—those who are killed for not taking the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:7-10, 20:4), which shows us that some people do come to saving knowledge of God after the rapture.
Once Jesus does return the final time, the Bible is clear that He comes for judgment at that time (Revelation 19), and everyone who has not chosen to hide in His body on the cross by faith will face the judgment of God for their sins and will be killed. All have the chance now to be covered in Jesus and to hide in Him so they can escape that judgment, but we must encourage and persuade them to choose Him now before it’s too late. For those who think they know Jesus but are not confident, it is critical that they heed the many Bible passages encouraging them to test themselves to see whether they are in the faith.
The United States is certainly not mentioned by name in the Bible since it didn’t exist at the time of the writing of the Scriptures, but the Bible tells some of the future after all, and many of the nations of the world today are mentioned by other, older names for their given locations, so it’s possible the United States is one of those.
Though there are many theories, some of which you can find here www.gotquestions.org/united-states-Bible.html , none of them is a clear and certain interpretation of the Scriptures in which we can have confidence. The things we know for sure are that God’s Word says He will bless any nation that blesses His chosen people through Abraham (Israel) and curse those who curse them, and that all nations will be judged in the end at Christ’s return. Our best chance is to remain committed to God, supporting Israel, and spreading the truth about His Son so every knee can bow and tongue can confess before Jesus returns rather than on judgment day.
God is never going to turn away from someone or turn someone away if they are willing to seek Him truly. The one true God, the God of the Bible revealed through Jesus Christ, has revealed His heart for us all throughout the Scriptures.
The Bible says God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). And when people wonder why God hasn’t come to judge the world, God says He is waiting for more people to turn to Him in repentance, “…not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He promises to all who look for Him that they can find Him if they look with all their heart (Jeremiah 29:13). And Jesus said before He died that once He was lifted up, He would draw all people to Himself (John 12:32). In fact, Jesus even says no one comes to God unless the Father draws them (John 6:44), so if we’re feeling drawn, we can know it’s God reaching out to us.
We can see God’s heart clearly in His Word, and He’s reaching out to each of us. The question is, what’s going on in our hearts? We don’t have to worry if He cares. He does. God left His throne to come to earth to rescue us and restore our relationship with Him through Jesus’ perfect life lived in our place, through His death that paid our sin debt, and through His resurrection that will give us new life as we place our trust in Him. That shows us our value. Though He won’t turn us away if we come to Him, our time on earth is limited. Any day could be the last for any of us.
The Bible speaks of believers being cleansed of all sin and covered in the righteousness of Christ, but it also testifies that believers have to give an account of their lives before God. When passages like 2 Corinthians 5:10 tell us we must appear before Christ’s judgment seat, we can’t discount the clear meaning. But there is an important implication to which we must pay attention. In that very verse, it says the purpose of appearing before the judgment seat for believers is to receive what is due for what we have done in the body. That language is the language of reward, though the verses certainly pose themselves as a sort of warning as well.
Throughout the Bible, there is a strong theme of reward for genuine service to God through faith. We can think of the judgment seat of Christ for the believer as that time when God determines how much additional blessing we are to receive for the life we have lived in Christ. Thankfully, every believer gets to experience God’s kindness and grace poured out on them for eternity (Ephesians 2:7), but the Bible does make it clear that we have varied levels of reward within that framework of eternal blessing. In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul shares with us an understanding of God’s judgment as weighing our work. It’s not so much about us as what we’ve built with Jesus while we’ve been here. If we waste our time and talents here, our work will fail to pass the test, but we will pass the test and be saved yet because of Jesus standing in our place.
This is perhaps the most important part. Justification is about guilt and righteousness. We who believe are justified by grace as a gift through Christ (Romans 3:24), and Jesus Himself becomes our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). That means we are justified by faith, which means we are “held as guiltless” by the Judge Himself. We are no longer guilty because Jesus paid it all. This is what allows us to be reconciled to God and spend eternity with Him. And we can rejoice in that. But the work we do as justified followers of Christ will be weighed at the end of our time to determine its value.
Eternal security is really all about Jesus and His finished work—and that is permanent. The Gospel, after all, is good news that God has come to do what man can’t, bringing us back to Himself to experience eternal life with Him. Jesus lived the perfect life we can’t live and died the death we deserved to die, and by faith alone He offers each of us a trade, His righteousness for our sin. He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus makes us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), a permanent work that can’t be undone. No one can snatch us out of God’s hand once He gives us eternal life (John 10:27-30), and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
The very idea of being able to lose salvation goes against the nature of the Gospel message. To lose salvation would be to undo Jesus’s finished work in saving us, cleansing us, making us new creations, adopting us, and uniting us as one with Himself. That can’t be done. For some passages that help us see the permanence of Christ’s work, we can look to 1 Corinthians 1:8 which says Jesus will sustain us to the end, blameless on the day He comes, and Hebrews 10:14 which establishes that Jesus not only forgave our past sins by His death on the cross but also did the work required to make us perfect.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” All people will be judged after they die, which determines where they will spend eternity. Jesus Himself speaks of people either receiving eternal punishment or eternal life (Matthew 25:41-46), but He also makes it clear that the only thing that determines their destination is whether they put their trust in Him alone. John 3:18 says about Jesus, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Anyone we know will only be condemned by not trusting in Jesus.
For the timing of that judgment, we can look to Luke 16:19-31, which shares with us an account of a rich man who dies and is immediately tormented by fire (v. 23-24) and a poor man who is comforted (v. 25). The passage makes it clear that the rich man wants to change his mind and even convince his family to change their minds, but he can’t (v. 26-27). While this is very sad, it helps us understand that this life is given as an opportunity for people to choose to walk with God. If we choose Him now, we get Him forever. If we don’t choose Him while we live, we will be forever without Him by our own choice, and the place without His presence is a lake of fire created for the devil and his rebellious angels (Matthew 25:41).
If you’ll read Revelation 20:11-15, you’ll see judgment day in action and witness how people are judged for what they’ve done, and the only thing that rescues people is having their name written in the Lamb’s book of life, which we know from John 3 is only by Jesus giving us His own righteousness by faith. His deeds become ours so that we don’t have to be judged for our failings on judgment day!
The Bible does not teach that people can lose salvation once it is gained. Rather, it teaches that salvation is a permanent experience accomplished by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), and no one can add their works to His to gain salvation, therefore no one can lose salvation by failing to work hard enough. A better understanding of what this particular passage is teaching can be found by reading the context.
In this passage chapter, the writer starts the chapter by saying he wants people to move on from repenting from dead works and believing in Christ. He wants them to mature instead of worrying about getting saved all over again, essentially. He then launches into those controversial verses where it can sound like somebody is losing their salvation, but what it says right after that passage captures the heart of it. He says in verse 9, “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things, things that belong to salvation.” He’s saying that God’s people he’s writing to don’t have to worry about the scary situation he just described! For them, he’s sure of better things, of salvation.
The following chapters describe to this church how the law couldn’t perfect anyone, so Jesus had to come rescue them and sacrifice Himself as a better sacrifice that would last. The message culminates in a beautiful verse in Chapter 10 that says, “…by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). Jesus didn’t just forgive sins on the cross, He took care of the whole picture, forever perfecting in spirit those who would believe. And you can’t lose that once you have it. What Jesus did, as He said on the cross, is finished! For all time.
God sent down fire from Heaven every time a sacrifice was consumed. However, in the Old Testament, there are at least seven very significant recorded occurrences of fire from Heaven:
There is no record of fire being sent from Heaven by God in the gopels and the writings of Paul and the other apostles. However, James and John asked Jesus to call down fire from Heaven…but He didn’t do it. (Luke 9:52-54). And the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and appeared as cloven tongues of fire, but this was only the appearance “as” fire. (Acts 2:3-4).
During the Tribulation), the false prophet will “make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Rev 13:13), but this will not be fire sent from Heaven by God. It will be Satan’s work of copying what God does. But fire from Heaven will come down again one last time. Following the millennial reign of Christ, when Satan is loosed, the nations are deceived, and Satan gathers followers to battle against God, then God will send fire to devour Satan and his troops.
Rev 20:9 And they [Satan and his troops] went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city [Jerusalem]: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine…
We interpret “not given to wine” to mean not allowing wine to influence one’s thinking, words, or actions, in any way or to any extent. The Bible does not disallow wine. In fact, Paul suggested to Timothy that he drink a little wine instead of water for a stomach ailment (1 Tim 5:23). However, while the Bible does not disallow wine (or alcohol), it firmly warns against any kind of drunkenness. Drunkenness, in and of itself, is most definitely a sin. Drunkenness alters and controls one’s mind and diminishes one’s self-control and thereby induces sins in thoughts, words, and actions.
The admonition in Titus 1:7 is that bishops are to be above reproach. Bishops are in a leadership role in the church, so they are to be an example of living life according to God’s will and ways. All Christians should follow the admonition not to be given to wine. Therefore, in the selection of any church leader this is a requirement. And, the only way to be 100% certain that one will not be “given to wine,” or any mind altering drink or drug, is to abstain from the intake of any such drink or drug.
Hope this helps in your discernment of 1 Titus 17.
This question is often asked because one wonders if, as a Christian, they will have to give up a sin that they enjoy or take on a task they don’t want to do. God has given you a free will, so He will not make you give up anything. However, His Holy Spirit will convict you of your sin and He will work to change your heart. The more you know and love Jesus, the more you will desire to turn from your sin and live in accordance with God’s purpose and plan.
Regarding taking on a task you might not want to do: If God wants you to do something (e.g. witnessing to others) He will equip and empower you. He will also change your desire so that it will be something you want to do and something you will enjoy doing. Trust that God loves His children and desires that they find joy and purpose in all their activities.
This question is a favorite of skeptics. Cain was a member of Adam’s family. After Cain killed his brother Abel, the Lord put a curse on him and drove him from the land, into the land of Nod, east of Eden, where he took a wife. Since there were no other people on earth at the time, the question becomes where did Cain find someone to marry?
Genesis 5:4 tells that by the time Adam was 800 years old, he had had “other sons and daughters.” One of these siblings would have been the female Cain married.
Yes, Cain married one of Adam’s daughters, making his wife one of his sisters. To read why this intermarriage was acceptable, read the whole article, here
The Scriptures are clear that those who believe in Jesus will be saved (see John 1:12). But what about those who live in unreached people groups?
First Timothy 2:4 clearly states that God “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Acts 17:26-27 asserts that God has determined the times and places for everyone to live “so that men would seek him and reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”
Scripture and contemporary missionary evidence support the claim that those who seek God based on the light they have received will be able to respond, even if part or all of the process happens supernaturally. This conclusion has been held by Christian thinkers throughout the centuries. It satisfies the claim that a loving God makes salvation universally available (by revealing Himself to all people), and avoids the problematic claim of inclusivism, meaning people can be saved without knowledge of the gospel.
Regarding those who are incapable of responding to God’s light, we believe God’s mercy is magnified.
The bottom line is: We can trust that God loves the whole world, and He will act justly in all situations. Our job as Christians is simply to bring the gospel to a world that desperately needs it.
Re-birth is one of the most important doctrines of our faith. When sin entered the world through Adam, the spiritual life of his soul died.
In John 3:3, when Jesus told the Pharisee Nicodemus that he must be born again to see the kingdom of God, Jesus was saying that his soul was in need of regeneration, i.e. being born again.
We know that after Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to regenerate repentant sinners and give them new birth, new life—eternal life. “You must be born again” means you must turn from yourself and turn to Jesus in faith, and trust in who He is and what He has done to pay for your sins.
Paul said that he was commissioned by Jesus to preach the gospel (see 1 Cor. 1:17) and the gospel message predates Paul, so it could not have originated with him. The gospel message is presented throughout the Bible, from the prophecies of the One to come, to Paul’s writings about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Paul’s writings, specifically 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, echoes a creedal statement that scholars date to within mere months after the crucifixion (see The Case for the Resurrection, by Gary R. Habermas and Michael Licona). This creedal statement is an affirmation of what really took place, which Jesus Himself spoke about (Mark 10:32-34; Matt. 20:17-19) and which Peter proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2).
Christians do not “substitute the ideas of Paul for the teachings of Jesus.” “The ideas” (the teachings) of Paul affirm and illuminate what Jesus taught in His earthly ministry. Paul’s teachings also include further revelation, given to him by Jesus, to edify and grow the Church. So when Christians preach and teach Paul’s words, they are faithfully sharing God’s words.
This so-called gospel and numerous others like it, such as the Gospel of Thomas, are considered to be false documents because they teach things at odds with orthodox Christianity. Such books often date to many centuries after the life of Christ and they contain teachings that are clearly influenced by Gnosticism and Greek Neo-platonism.
Only the 66 books of the Holy Bible are considered to be God-breathed, “given by inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16)
We can trust on very good authority and evidence that the Bible we have today corresponds to the original texts.
The evidence we have is the thousands of complete and partial Bible manuscripts that date very close to the actual events. Except for minor textual differences, none of which affects a major doctrine, there is remarkable similarity between ancient and modern texts.
The authority we have is God Himself. He has promised to preserve His Word, and what God promises, He is faithful to do.
There is a doctrine called the Immutability of God. It means that God does not change. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That means the God revealed in the Old and New Testaments is the same God.
What has changed is the revelation of who God is and the covenant between God and man. With the incarnation, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, God was fully revealed.
God also raised up the apostles to record all the information about who He is, what He has done, and who we are in Jesus. The Bible is a book of progressive revelation about the God of all creation who is eternal, without change.
We know that the Bible is self-professing to be the Word of God (see Pss. 93:5; 119:89; Prov. 30:5; Matt. 24:35; John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16). And when the Bible is studied, it’s divine origin becomes self-evident.
The credibility of the writers, their accuracy and detail, and even their unbiased recording of historical data supports the claims that the Bible makes about being God-given, God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16).
Habakkuk 1:13a says, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness…” That certainly implies that God cannot look at sin. However, that is not what the verse means.
The next sentence reveals that God does look upon sin: “Why do You look on those who deal treacherously…” (Hab 1:13b). “Those who deal treacherously” would be sinning, so it would be a contradiction if it were true God that can’t look on sin.
The proper understanding comes in reading what comes next. After asking, “Why do You look on those who deal treacherously…” Habakkuk added, “And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?”
Habakkuk 1:13 is really saying that God’s eyes are too pure to look upon sin and tolerate what He sees. God will judge all sins. But He will do so in His time and in His ways.
This explains how the Holy Spirit can dwell inside Christians who continue to sin. Their sins have already been judged by God, paid for by Jesus, and fully forgiven. In God’s eyes, a forgiven sinner is positionally righteous and secure. However, in continuing to sin, a Christian still needs to confess sins to be cleansed and restored to closer communion with God. The sins Christians commit cannot break their union with God, but will harm their communion with Him. Confess and be cleansed:
1 John 1:9 What is the Christian “Bar of Soap?”
What you need to know about Sanctification & Glorification
The resurrection accounts are very consistent and the supposed contradictions that skeptic raise can be explained. It’s true the accounts are different, but they are also complementary and without contradiction.
Unique nuances from each of the Gospel writers contributes to the credibility of each account being true. Only if the four accounts were identical (which they are not) could Matthew, Mark, Luke and John be suspect of fabrication and collaboration. In fact, each writer delivered different details about the same event, based on different perspectives and on the message the Holy Spirit inspired them to write.
Two examples that appear to be discrepancies in testimonies, but are not, include:
Neither of these are contradictions. They are simply accounts from two different perspectives with varying details.
Lee Strobel, a respected journalist, legal scholar, and former skeptic, after extensively interviewing New Testament scholars, concluded,
“The harmony among the Gospels on essential facts, coupled with divergence on some details, lends historical credibility to the accounts. The early church couldn’t have taken root and flourished right there in Jerusalem if it had been teaching facts about Jesus that his own contemporaries could have exposed as exaggerated or false.”
As to whether the events of Matthew 27 could have happened, the answer is “of course.” It was a miracle, worked by God. The fact that we know very little about these people, how or why this happened, or what happened to them, does not make the miracle any less real.
We can’t prove this miracle, but we do have trustworthy testimony from people who witnessed it. There are no accounts from that time period of people refuting what the Gospels claim and the Bible has been proven to be historically accurate in its records of historical events.
So, the question for non-believers should not be if a miracle recorded in the Bible is true. Instead, it should be whether or not the Miracle Worker is real. Non-believers understand that if God exists, then miracles are not only possible, they are to be expected. Non-believers reject the Miracle Worker, who is God. And as long as they desire to reject God, they will cast doubt on His miracles, including the one in Matthew 27.
The miracles of Jesus were not added to make Him look like a wonder worker. They are included in the Bible because they really happened. God worked miracles through Jesus to reveal who Jesus was during His earthly ministry and there is strong evidence that the miracles were recorded very near the time they were performed. Of course, we trust the accounts because the Bible is God-breathed, but even secular historical ancient books and writings, as well as archeological finds, testify to the accuracy of Jesus’ miraculous works.
The Bible is not an ancient codebook. And while there are many literary styles in the Bible, including what the Jews called remezes (hidden meanings), people need to be very careful about looking for hidden codes. All too often, the popular books that claim to have uncoded biblical codes do so with forced reasoning and manipulated evidence. When it comes to Nostradamus, he never claimed to be speaking for God. God’s prophets spoke the words God gave them, and we have those words recorded in the Bible. They are the very words of God. Moreover, Nostradamus’s predictions are highly ambiguous, written in such a way that you can find fulfillment in any number of events. Not so with the Bible. With hundreds of biblical prophecies having been fulfilled with precise accuracy, we have no doubt that prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled will come to pass.
Even the apostle Paul faced this struggle; he said he was “chief of sinners,” (1 Timothy 1:15-16) in part because he knew he had a terrible past. He had persecuted the first Christians and tried his best to ruin their lives. But God showed him mercy. And this same Paul said he was confident nothing could separate him or us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). If Paul can remember that kind of life and be confident of God’s love for him, think of what that means for us.
There are a couple of very important things to remember here, things that can help us as weapons against the enemy bringing up our past; it is a fight, we must keep that in mind. The enemy roams about looking for someone to devour, and he heaps condemnation on us. But what’s the truth? “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Romans 8:1). Anything that brings our past to us to disqualify us is a lie. And we need to take those thoughts captive to obey the truth of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). What we need to remember to fight those lies are who we are and Jesus’ finished work. And we have to learn to wield the sword of the word every time these thoughts rear their head until our enemies learn to leave us alone about it and our minds learn a new way of thinking, being renewed.
If we trust Jesus, God has given us a new identity, that of a beloved son that He’s pleased with. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, behold the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17). We are baptized into Christ’s death so our old identity dies, and baptized into his resurrection so a new man rises up (Romans 6). And that new man is clean, washed by the pure water of the Spirit. That man is righteous and good because Jesus is, and Jesus became our sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). If Jesus became our sin and nailed it to the cross, then the enemy has nothing to touch us with (Col. 2:13-15). We can memorize some of these truths and use them anytime those thoughts come, and we can begin to believe and live out of a new identity, enjoying the freedom Christ bought for us.
A few words from Alex to encourage Christians during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Take one minute to be encouraged and to reflect on two verses from God’s Word.
There are some suggestions about how this superstition originated but however it began, the question should be asked, how should Christians feel about Friday the 13th (and other superstitions)?
All superstitions are unbiblical. Friday the 13th, walking under a ladder, a black cat crossing your path, spilling salt, etc. are not something for Christians to fear. The dictionary defines superstition as “a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.” NOTE that it says, “unjustified belief in supernatural causation.”
As Christians we live by a firm and justified belief in the proven and trustworthy Word of God.
Prov 30:5 Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
1 Th 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Every day of life is a gift from God. Have a blessed Friday the 13th!
Affliction comes upon everyone. We all suffer. But how we suffer is a choice. Do we suffer with Christ, and find peace and rest in Him? Or do we suffer alone, relying on our own strength to cope? And when we are afflicted and are suffering, what real strength do we have?
This is one of the most inspiring messages you will ever hear. Born without arms, Daniel Ritchie has known affliction from as far back as he can remember. And yet, he glorifies God in his afflction. We too can make a choice to suffer with Jesus and for His glory.
This message is from the Truth for a New Generation Conference in Murfreesboro, TN and well-worth your time to watch and be encouraged and inspired.
The right church is one that teaches the truths of God’s Word— beginning with Genesis and all the way to Revelation. There are core doctrines that all Christians must believe and all Christian churches must teach.
The best way to qualify a good church is to judge using God’s word. Does the church believe and teach the following
Look for a church that faithfully teaches the Bible and you’ll likely find one that stands firm on all core Christian doctrines.
How can you tell if thoughts are coming from your sinful side or Satan?
Satan cannot enter into a blood-bought, Holy Spirit sealed Christian. He can mess with us on the outside, but he cannot enter in, or put thoughts into our minds. However, he can tempt us with things that will cause us to think bad thoughts. But we always have a free-will choice.
Whenever a bad thought begins to enter our minds, our choice should always be to turn our thoughts away from the bad and think on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report…” (Phil 4:8).
We also want to stop bad thoughts before they arise by renewing our minds every day (Ro 12:2), by remembering the Lord’s promises and His faithfulness, and by keeping our minds focused on Jesus (Heb 12:2).
With renewed minds, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to conquer any temptation.
Promises About the Mind: Col 3:2, Matt 22:37, Prov 27:12, Ro 12:3
College has increasingly become a place where one’s faith in Jesus is being attacked. We know from multiple studies that many young people leave their faith while in college.
Seven ways young Christians can keep their faith strong while in college:
What happens when we choose not to obey the promptings of God? Will the Holy Spirit continue to lead you if you continue to sin?” Let’s be clear: All Christians commit sins. I John 1:9 promises God’s forgiveness to Christians who confess their sins, but the Bible is clear that Christ’s followers are not to willingly and repeatedly sin. Christians are not to harbor sin in their lives. Romans 6:14 says that “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” I John 3:9 indicates that habitual sin should not be characteristic of the believer. So what are the steps to overcoming habitual sin?
While we all hope that our beloved pets will go to Heaven, we must look at what information the Bible gives to answer if it is so. Sadly, we find there is no biblical support to suggest animals (domesticated or wild) will go to Heaven.
We agree that the pain of losing a pet is great. Therefore, the best we can offer in comfort is to remind people to not let go of the memories that will make them smile. A great sentiment to focus on memories, rather than seeing the pet again, is: “No longer by our side, but forever in our hearts.”
Many times people will say, “it WON’T be Heaven if my DOG isn’t there.” That is, of course, not true. It WILL be Heaven because our GOD is there. We certainly wish our pets might be there, but we can only reason from what the Bible teaches. Be a Berean and search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11).
If you find anything to support pets going to Heaven, please let us know. We would love to be wrong on this, but for now, we stand on what we have found Scripture to reveal.
While words are “just words,” every word carries a meaning and an influence that is used to communicate and that’s why words matter.
First, let’s define profanity. Strictly speaking, profanity means taking God’s name in vain—to profane it. Therefore, words that are profanity have meaning that conveys disrespect of God. God commands that we not profane His name because His name is holy and it is to be honored and respected. We are to praise His name (Ps 148:13).
Today, a lot of what is called profanity is actually just vulgar speech. It’s really more a matter of propriety that we not speak in a vulgar, irreverent way. The apostle Paul commands us to avoid foolish speech and coarse joking (Eph 5:4).
This is something all Christians experience from time to time, but God has not moved away. It only feels like He has.
The answer to overcoming a perceived distance is to remember that this is a feeling and feelings can lie to us. We must remember what we know to be true. Jesus has promised that He will never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5).
It’s usually a circumstance, emotional struggle, confusion, or some other challenge or difficulty in one’s daily life that causes one to feel that God is far away. Continuing to seek God in prayer and reading the Bible will increase one’s knowledge of His presence, and restore a closer communion with Him.
Only God knows the time and the hour when Jesus will come back (Mat 24:36), but we do know that His return is drawing closer and closer.
We don’t know when Jesus will return. It just might be in our lifetime. Therefore, we (Christians) have work to do.
We have been commissioned by Jesus to tell the world that He came first as a suffering servant to seek and save the lost. He was the Lamb of God who died for the sins of the world. We are also to tell that Jesus will come again, first for His Bride (the Rapture), and then with all the Saints (the Second Coming).
There are six important reasons Jesus came.
There are five core doctrines (teachings) that all Christians must believe. I (Alex) came up with an acronym years ago to make them simple to remember: IVDAR
Each of the letters stands for a doctrine of Christianity.
I — Inerrancy of Scripture
V — Virgin Birth
D — Deity of Christ
A — Atonement
R — Resurrection
Q. The universe is so vast—in all likelihood, there are countless universes and life on other planets. Why do you think the earth is unique, and that God (if He exists) would single out humanity for His love and some special plan?
A. There is no evidence to suggest there is life on other planets. In fact, there is much evidence to prove that some of the planets are without life. Therefore — “in all likelihood” — the earth is the only planet with life.
We know that God made earth suitable to support the life of the man and woman He created. But we do not know why he chose the earth. He could have made another planet suitable to sustain the life of Adam, but He did not. To speculate would be futile.
What we do know is that life on earth is not how God intended it to be. He created all things perfect, but Adam’s sin changed everything. God in His mercy and grace sent Jesus to redeem man and one day He will restore all things to His intended perfection.
Being spiritual can mean many things? The question is: what spirit are you looking to for correction, direction, and life? And, what makes you believe the spirit is alive, true, and able to guide you?
Why do you need to be a Christian? Because you need your sins forgiven. There is ample proof to claim that the God of Christianity is the only true Spirit, and only He can deliver you from your sins
Heaven and a Hell are real places. Being a spiritual person will not get you into Heaven, but refusing God’s gift of salvation will get you into Hell.
All people have sinned, and all need to be forgiven and made new in order to enter Heaven. God provided the way by giving His Son, Jesus, who took all sin, including yours, upon Himself and paid for them. All you need to do is turn to Him in faith and trust in Him. He will forgive you and give you eternal life in Heaven. No other spirit can do that.
Q. Since God knows everything, He would have known how much suffering would eventually come into this world. Why didn’t He stop the process before it all got started and save His creatures from all of the pain that would befall them?
A. From before the foundations of the world God purposed and planned to create man in His own image. His purpose was to reveal more of Himself, because only man is in His image (the planets or stars are not). He also wanted a relationship with those in His image, and yet He knew that man would sin and He knew that He would provide a way for man to be forgiven.
Suffering entered our world as a result of sin. So we might want to reframe the question to be, “why would God create man knowing he would sin?” The Bible does not explicitly answer this. However, I (Shari) suggest that before sin entered the world, one of God’s attributes was not evidenced. Without sin in the world, there was nothing for God to forgive and God’s forgiveness demonstrates His mercy. When Adam sinned, God forgave him and magnified His mercy throughout all creation. Thereby God was glorified and His mercy continues to be magnified every time He forgives us for our sins.
God is love, but He is also holy and just. God cannot ignore sin, because doing so would make Him unjust. Therefore, God must judge all sin and the penalty for sin must be paid.
God, in His mercy and grace, sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for us and to open the way for all people to be forgiven of their sins. By trusting in Jesus, a person’s sins can be forgiven and the person will be given eternal life.
Sadly, those who reject Jesus will die in unforgiven sins and will not be worthy to enter Heaven. It is a free-will choice, and only by one’s free-will choice will anyone go to Hell.
God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. They choose to go there by choosing to reject the gift of forgiveness that God offers in Christ Jesus. Tell someone about God’s love and salvation in Jesus today.
Actually, these three major religions of the world don’t teach the same things. This generalization is frequently trumpeted within the media, but differences between the major faith systems of the world are well documented.
There are many other points on which these religions contradict each other. The important question, is which one is true?
While our language is finite and our God is infinite, we can be certain that our language is adequate to know God personally and to share His truths with others.
Therefore, we can trust that God’s Holy Word and His Holy Spirit are sufficient to enable us, with our finite language, to share truths about our infinite God.
It’s true that Christians are no better than non-believers in that they sometimes don’t act in accordance with what they believe and with the ways that God tells them to live (that’s the definition of hypocrisy). The difference is that Christians know this is sin, because it acting against God’s will.
So why do Christians behave in ways that are inconsistent with the clearly defined morals, ethics, and God-honoring behaviors the Bible teaches? Because Christians aren’t perfect and they still sin. But when they sin, God is always present to convict them, forgive them, and turn them back to act in accordance with their Christian faith. And, all Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit to teach them and empower to live according to God’s ways.
All people are hypocritical. Non-Christians also act hypocritically — inconsistent with what they profess to believe. But they have no one to turn to for correction. They have no one to give them power to change. They can only depend on themselves. Plus, their sins are not forgiven. But God, in His mercy, offers them the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. Tell someone about Jesus today.
Religions do not cause wars. It is sin that causes wars. It is man’s self-centered, self-serving nature and his inability to sacrificially love his neighbor and live at peace that causes wars. If all mankind followed God’s will and ways there would be no war. But we know that won’t happen because of man’s sin nature.
So man continues to war with his fellow man and some have used, and still do use, Christianity and other religions as their justification. However, that does not mean that religions are the root cause of wars anymore than we could say politics is the root cause. Religious and political beliefs may influence warring men and women, but it is the people themselves who enter into wars.
War is a choice, and so also is peace. All wars start when leaders fail to chose peaceful methods to mediate the issues between them.
The Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer God of the Bible calls His people to make every effort to live peaceably (Rom. 12:18). And in His Word, God gives directives on how that can be done (Rom 12-16). The Bible’s Judeo-Christian morals, ethics, and teachings, when followed, actually prevents wars. The further away from God’s teachings any person is, the further away the person will be from seeking and finding peace with others.
Changing the hearts of men and women by turning them to Jesus is the only way to stop wars.
“Intellectual checkmate” does not exist between God and His people. There is an answer to the ages-old question about God’s ability to make a rock so heavy He can’t lift it.
First understand that God is omnipotent, which means He is all powerful. There is nothing He cannot do. The earth and the planets certainly weigh more than any rock and God formed those and placed them.
So let’s answer these questions:
I think you get the idea. No matter how big the rock gets….God is still bigger and more powerful enough to move it.
So although this question tries to suggest there is something God cannot do, it really proves that there is nothing outside God’s power and ability to do.
It really is an illogical question. God doesn’t created things to prove Himself. He created the world and the universe to reveal Himself so man can know Him and love Him.
By attributing human characteristics of self-centeredness and conceitedness to God, one is misunderstanding who God is. Three very important points bring clarity to understanding God:
1. God is not human. His ways and His thoughts are higher than man’s. (Isa 55:9) God is not capable of such human behaviors, thoughts, or emotions. Therefore, they cannot be attributed to Him. We don’t need to try to make God more human to be able to understand Him.
2. God did not create the universe to worship Him. The planets and stars reveal God’s creative nature, and thereby bring Him glory, but they do not worship Him.
3. God did create man with the ability to worship Him. But God also gave man a free-will choice. Man is able to choose to enter into a relationship with God through Jesus, and to worship God and pray to Him. But man is also free to choose to reject his Creator.
So while God created man desiring a relationship with him, God will not force that relationship upon anyone. True worship is:
Not all religions can be true, since they make mutually exclusive claims. The question is really, which truth claims are really true?
There are many reasons why Christianity can be proven to be true. Three important reasons Christians believe and trust in Jesus are:
1. What they believe comes from a reliable book. The Holy Bible is clear, consistent, and complete in recording God’s creation work, history as it has unfolded for more than six millennia, God’s redemptive plan for man, and His restoration plan for all creation. God has promised to preserve His Word and Christians trust that He has done this because He has been faithful to fulfill His promises.
2. There are historical documents and archeological finds that support the Bible’s truths. They give evidence that supports the biblical records of ancient people and their lifestyles and beliefs, ancient places, cultures, laws, and religions, the occurrence of ancient events, etc.
3. Those who have trusted in Jesus have experienced the gift of salvation from God and therefore have a relationship with God through Jesus. They are able to understand God’s teachings because the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truths to them, just as Jesus promised He would.
Yes, it’s true that Christians think the beliefs of all other religions are false. The reason is because every one is in contradiction to what the Bible teaches, and Christianity is grounded in believing God’s Word and finding hope in Jesus. Therefore, because Christians accept the Bible as the true and faithful Word of God, all other religions cannot be true.
A worldview is basically the lens through which you interpret the world around you. It colors everything you perceive, just as colored lenses on a pair of glasses would give a certain tint to everything you see.
A theistic worldview interprets the world with an understanding that God created and is involved in the world. An atheistic worldview is the opposite—no God, no Creator. Atheism sees the world as a collection of random events and ultimately without any purpose or meaning.
Everyone has a worldview whether they realize it or not. The Christian worldview is based on the truths of God. The Bible presents these truths. It gives clear, accurate, and time-proven truths for the world around us and tells of the God who created it. On what is your worldview based?
Over six decades (late 1910s-1980s), it’s counted that 205 people died in public shootings in America. Contrast that with the early 1980s unto today, in which more than 1,400 people have died in public shootings. From 205 in a span of 60 years to 1,400 in only 30 years. That’s a staggering increase.
So why has there been a 700%+ escalation in public shootings over the last 30-40 years? What has changed?
In the early 20th century, Americans had access to guns, cars, entertainment, and intoxicants (alcohol, opium, heroin, etc.). Today, we have guns, cars, entertainment (including technology), and intoxicants (legal and illegal). In no era is there a shortage of opportunity for vice, but today there is definitely a shortage of virtue.
In the late 1970s, militant secularist agendas had really gained momentum, and since that time those agendas are increasingly felt in our country. In countless university classrooms, professors with activist hearts (many of whom came from the 1960’s anti-establishment ‘wakefulness’ movement) are influencing more young minds than ever before with secularism. Today, the few brave students who speak up for God and country are usually mocked by professors; and we are endlessly told that any mention of God or morality violates the First Amendment.
Sadly, respect for human life continues to diminish in our culture. Belief in God is waning and biblical truths, morals, and ethics are disappearing from our laws, classrooms, entertainment, media, and culture.
For evil to decrease, good must increase. And, “what is good?” It’s not “what.” It’s who! Jesus said, “why do you call me good? Only God is good.” (Mat 19:17, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19) Jesus is God, and truly, only God is good. The solution to the problem of evil in this country is to turn the hearts of the people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then His Holy Spirit will work in and through them to multiply the good that only He can increase, and thereby evil will decrease.
We grieve over the loss of life in all the mass shootings in our country. We pray for God’s comfort for all who have lost loved ones to such senseless violence. But to those who maliciously work to keep America “free” from Christian morality, ethics, and biblical truths, let it be known that the bloodshed will continue to happen as evil in our country continues to grow.
Pray for our country. Pray that God has mercy on us. Pray that Jesus is seen and received. Pray for a revival. That will change our country!
“The occult” is a very broad label that includes beliefs in the supernatural, the paranormal, and practices such as divination, magic, witchcraft, and alchemy. The word occult means knowledge of the hidden or knowledge of the paranormal, as opposed to knowledge of facts or that which is seen and measurable. So what should Christians think about occultism?
Jesus calls us to love all people, so gay people should always be treated with love and kindness. The only thing Christians are to hate is that which God hates—and God hates sin; but He loves the sinner. There are people who would say that Christians have no right to judge homosexuality as sin, but is that true? First, Christians don’t judge homosexuality as sin — God does. God says that any sexual behavior outside of marriage, between a man and a woman, is an abomination, i.e. a sin (Lev 18:22, 20:13). Second, God ordained marriage and sexual union to be between a man and woman. During His earthly ministry, Jesus confirmed that God intended that only man and woman would become one flesh (Matt 19:4-6). So God is the One who defines homosexuality as sin.
As Christians, we are to be loving and kind to all people, even those who engage in any sin. Yet, we are not to condone their sin. While we are not to judge a person’s heart, we can judge their fruits (their behaviors) by what God says in His Word. So when a Christian says homosexuality is a sin, it’s really God’s judgment of the behavior.
In our time, most everyone knows and loves someone who claims to be a homosexual. Love them enough to tell them about Jesus. All of their sins will be judged and they need the Savior to forgive them. However, and whenever, you share the gospel, be kind and loving; but do not compromise by accepting or approving of any behavior that God calls sin.
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