Friday, December 28, 2007

When Theory Drives Understanding

A theory is something we postulate to describe what we have observed, and it becomes a Law when it is repeatedly shown to be able make accurate predictions. Ok at least that's the simple version of the story? Good enough for our purposes? Not good enough, ok read this. I haven't read it... so view at your own risk. :) Google makes me smile sometimes.

So this post is going to be about science but I want to sort of relate it to theology. Because understandably there are things people don't understand about "theology" hence the "ology" at the end of the word. It's a study, and our theology ends up describing what we have observed and think we understand about God.

There are many "theories" of theology. There is the Calvinist system which is summed up in TULIP.. and there are many others. (tulip is easy to type so I picked it) and these theories sometimes program our thinking to the point that they are all we can see. So when we search the Scriptures we see what we've been told instead of what is there. It happens OFTEN...and it's the source of many arguments that should never really happen at all.

So when I read a story about how time might actually be slowing down (which I'm not arguing against or for btw) I get a kick out of the spin it stirs up in the scientific community. The theories that men have about how the universe are so mixed up and built on top of each other that no one seems to be really sure what happens when one is proven to be false. The idea that light moves at a "constant" rate has been disproved and that affects nearly everything about astrology, cosmology... the idea that dark matter might not actually exist... that galaxies are spinning WAY to fast to have "evolved" or formed as is often described. There are so many theories that are treated as "fact" that are based on these already disproved things it's mind boggling.

And what does that cause us to do? Invent new theories to make up for the holes in the ones we already have...

Here's a quote;

For a decade, scientists have puzzled over a surprising phenomenon: Supernovae stars viewed at extreme distances seem to be moving away from us faster than those nearby.

Most researchers have assumed that the stars have somehow accelerated – or that, more precisely, the rate of the expansion of the post-Big Bang universe itself has accelerated over time.

This was particularly odd given that the universe was thought to be dominated by matter, which should, through the aggregate gravitational effect of each bit pulling on the others, have led to a deaccelerating expansion, rather than the opposite. Thus, scientists have postulated an unknown kind of energy, now known as "dark energy," which would be responsible for the acceleration.

So instead of re-evaluating the theories that already exist, and taking note of the fact that they do not make accurate predictions... the idea that gets adopted is to suppose there is such a thing as "dark-energy" that magically fixes the problems with the other failed theories.

This happens in Science and in Theology... it happens everywhere men stick their noses. Why? Because pride follows our noses. We buy into something and then defend it at all costs. I laugh, literally, when people tell me that scientists search for truth.. or reality. The only answer I can come up with it. I suspect there are some scientists who do. But the rest of them are just like the rest of us.

Anyway, if you want to read the latest panic in the Scientific community check out WIRED's short article on how Time Itself May Be Slowing Down. I guess I'm not getting as old as I used to be getting. Sweet!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Jesus!

We had Birthday Cake after dinner this evening to celebrate the Birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Sure He wasn't really born on the 25th of December, but to be honest... after 20 some .. errr 30 some years it doesn't matter to me that I was born on a particular day or even that people celebrate with me on that specific day. What warms my heart is when people remember ME. And that is the point of our celebration of the Lord's birth too. That we remember Him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How Impossible Needs Are Met

If there's one thing I'm learning it's that if something seems impossible it's just a good opportunity for God to show how limited our view of things is. Faith is seeing that before He does something to make it clear.

In just a few days the world will be celebrating something most people find impossible to believe. That God Himself became a little baby boy. That He was born out of the womb of a virgin. That He lived a perfect life. And that He willingly let His life be taken to pay a price that is impossible for anyone else to pay for themselves.

I learned something new about Jesus Christ recently. There is a tone of information on the Internet that will give you all kinds of proof that Jesus is God. And there is nearly an equal amount of information about how He had to be sinless to be the perfect sacrifice, like a "spotless lamb." All important information. But I have never been taught the reason why the only one who could die for our sins is God. Oh yes I've heard the argument that only God is "good" (perfect) and this is true, absolutely.

But the Lamb, Jesus Christ had to be God in order to "die for our sins" 1 Cor 15:1-10 because all of creation (everything that God created, which is everything that came to be John 1:3 Gen 1:1 ) was cursed because of sin. So EVERYTHING suffers death because of the Curse that God put on Creation. In short it's why your car rusts, and it's why we die. Everything in creation is subjected to it. Gen 3:14-19 Rom 8:20-22

So if Jesus had not been God, He would have been a "created" being and so subject to death as per the Curse. So when He died it would have been "for the Curse" like every other person. But Jesus Christ died "for our sins" 1 Cor 15:3

We all have an impossible debt to pay. Sin causes and requires death. There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. Heb 9:22 So we can't pay our price and live, so it's an impossible debt. But impossible needs are met in impossible ways. Eternal God Himself, in His great mercy and unimaginable love became a man and died for our sins. He rose again three days later, as a sign for proof. And also for our life.

So as Christmas morning comes for you and yours, would you ponder what you are celebrating? Will you try to imagine what it must have been like for Holy God Almighty to take on the form of a helpless child? Will you ponder the kind of love that motivated the creator of the universe to step out of the glories of heaven? All, so He could personally die on account of all the terrible things, and the little bad things, and even the things you're convinced were "good" so that He could honestly and justly offer you forgiveness - free for your taking, if you would just take it.

Though I rest in this, I will be pondering the wonders of it myself. Sure that I have not yet seen the fullness of He who died for me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

Wow... dry spell for blogging. I've been really busy.. mostly being sick. Some sort of virus took up residence in my muscles.. and then moved to my lungs. I missed 8 or 9 days of work! But I've recovered now thank God.

I've been doing a crazy workout program that involved running in a swimming pool. OK the running part is hard but I'm getting good at it now. The second part of the program is moving your arms and legs like you're skiing in the water... this is beyond hard. The woman running the program denies ever having seen someone die in her pool... but I'm pretty sure she was crossing her fingers when she said it. As for the "No Running In The Pool" sign... I guess if someone sees us we're all going to be in trouble.

Just the other day I read the first valid argument for someone adhering to King James Bible Onlyism ever. This man needed to draw a line in the sand, to have a final authority. He chose the KJV Bible because of it's history of "good fruit." He doesn't think it's the only good Bible but he is convinced it reveals God's Word and his conscience convicts him to obey it. He doesn't force his view on others as though everyone should only use the KJV. I myself have decided to trust the Spirit who has come to lead believers into all Truth. John 16:13 He is my line in the sand, and He reveals what is written in the Word of God and that is my final authority.

I went to watch The Golden Compass today, on assignment for The Cross Current. Just like what is being reported, the movie theater was only 1/4 full. I took 7 or 8 pages of notes during the movie as research for the next episode of TCC Radio. Even though the tone of anti-Christianity and more so Anti-Catholic message of the books has been dulled greatly for the movie, I still think this movie shows how important it is for people to study the Bible. This movie injects seemingly endless ideas that are anti-Christianity into the mind of the viewer. These ideas are so woven into the plot that I honestly doubt anyone who isn't grounded in good doctrine would even notice. Ideas like that adults can't be changed only kids can. That faith demands a willful ignorance of science. That Christians seek to control the world. And that this mission to control the world is hidden behind the idea that we tell people what to do to help them. The movie is an anti-evangelism indoctrination message for people of all ages who are open to suggestion. The movie doesn't cover the entire series of books.. no surprise they want to make two more movies. I thank God that evangelism is carried out by the Holy Spirit and whoever He wants He is going to get. No one was more willfully blind, more against God than I was. I tried to run away. He saved me anyway.

I've got a bunch of other projects going on.. the TCC team is building a new witnessing framework which is a little more honest, a little more complete, and a lot more about Christ than what we have been trained to use in the past.

God continues to stretch me well beyond where I want to be. He doesn't seem to be satisfied with me living at all in my old ways. He's changing me.. and proving my faith. Life is full of great challenges. But as the challenges show themselves I can see God's sustaining power and His provision for all things.

Friday, November 09, 2007

When people do what they believe

Answers In Genesis discusses how one student really believed in Evolution and acted on it.

I am prepared to fight and die for my cause, . . . I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection. No, the truth is that I am just an animal, a human, an individual, a dissident . . . . It’s time to put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST back on tracks!
These are some of the last words of a Finnish teen who really believed what he was taught....

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quoted at Important Blog

Logged on to the net today to visit Sharper Iron and I was greeted with a private message that Lou Martuneac had quoted me at his blog, which is related to his book (currently being revised for publication later this year) In Defence Of The Gospel.

I came across Brother Martuneac in my search for information about the Lordship Salvation "issue" that has swept into Christendom recently. And at the same time I came to know several people in the Free Grace community. I quickly realized that while Lordship Salvation is an over reaction to what is sometimes called "easy believism" some in the Free Grace camp have gotten so zealous in their reaction to Lordship Salvation that they are equally in error. Either by addition or subtraction error in the Gospel still denies fellowship because without "The Gospel" the True Gospel of Jesus Christ then there can be no fellowship or "sharing of our new nature in Christ" with each other. While the fight against Lordship Salvation is what introduced me to Lou, it has to be the wanting to find the "Truth" that has kept me returning to his blog and finding fellowship there. Neither turn to the right nor the left we are told and that is seldom easy in this world. But on the Gospel we have no choice because by going even just a bit to the right or the left makes it no Gospel at all.

As I wrote in this post, we are in a unique time in Church history. Brother Martuneac built on my thoughts by looking at the responsibility of the Shepherd to be watchful for error creeping into Christendom.

I particularly like the words inscribed in the pulpit at his church. "Sir, we would see Jesus." Quite a lot said in that instruction from the assembly wouldn't you say?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tough day

Well today didn't end the way I had hoped and prayed for.. but it went better than I feared it might.

Cryptic I know...

In the end today was just another day like many others have been... tough or not it's over. Maybe the next day like today will end the way I want it too. Or maybe it won't.. somewhere in all of this there is growth and hope.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

A Unique Time In Church History

The Gospel has been under attack since the very first day when the soldiers who had been tasked with guarding the tomb where Christ's lifeless body had been laid were bribed to say that He had been stolen by his followers. Mat 28:11-15

In the dark ages the Scriptures were kept out of the hands of the general population and controlled by a religious elite. But the Great Reformation's Martin Luther gave the Scriptures back to the average person.

Over the centuries the Scriptures have been attacked and undermined.. good doctrine has been pushed aside for poor.. Thankfully though there has always been a remnant of Truth, and true believers.

What is unique about today is that the whole Church (the complete Body of Christ, all believers in Christ) can be instantly aware of these attacks and the fights against them now. We are in a privileged and dutiful position. In the dark ages the average believer had no idea what was happening in Luther's study as he sat there translating the Bible. But today, we know that people like the Free Grace Aliance are fighting for the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ. Working against things like the Crossless Gospel and the Lordship Salvation Gospel. We can also see other attacks on faith and Christendom in real time.

It's our privileged and duty to respond in real time, prayerfully and with fervor. The Gospel is the definition of our unity in Christ. No matter if some are adding to it, or taking away from it we must stand firmly in it's complete whole and utter Truth. Otherwise, as the false teachings spread they will trickle down into the preaching at pulpits where the rank and file Christian may not be prepared to defend themselves and their families from error - though they should be.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Promise Of Faithfulness

We all like to read promises from God right? Well one that Jesus gave Peter might have made most of us swallow hard and quake in our sandles. But I believe it was the most encouraging thing the Lord could have said to Peter, because Peter really did Love the Lord that much.

That Peter denied the Lord three times the night He was betrayed is a commonly told story. Jesus foretold that Peter would do this in Luke 22:34 and we read about his denial in Luke 22:54-61

The Lord restored Peter and gave him an incredible ministry as an Apostle. The recounting of his restoration is beautiful in the English translations but more so, even deeply graceful in the Greek. When I imagine myself in Peter's shoes it moves me tears.

We read it in John 21:15-19
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
It's beautiful, Peter had denied Him three times, and for this the Lord restores him with three statements of love. But it's much bigger, deeper and graceful than just that. The Greek reveals it to us.

In verse 15 Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. The word for love is the Greek agapao which is linked to God's perfect love Agape which is a selfless complete love. Peter responds with "yes Lord, You know that I love You" But the word he uses for love is the Greek phileo which is much more of a friendly love. Peter is admitting that while he loves the Lord, he obviously doesn't love Him the way he should.

The second time they both repeat the same words in the same question and answer.

Now the third time the Lord asked him if he loved Him. The Lord uses the same word that Peter has been using, phileo. And Peter wept because the third time He asked "Do you phileo me?"

The Lord stepped down to where Peter was. He went to get Peter. Just like He does for those who will trust Him today.

The depth of restoration goes beyond even this wonder. Peter had said that he would not forsake the Lord, that he would willingly go to prison or die with Him. Luke 22:33 Yet he abandoned and denied the Lord that very same night.

So here is where the full depth of Peter's restoration is shown. After having given Peter his mission in ministry for his life, the Lord goes on to tell Peter of his future faithfulness to the promise he had made to the Lord in Luke 22:33. In John 21:18-19 The Lord tells Peter that right now he goes where his heart wants to run, but in the future he was going to die on a cross much like Jesus had. The Lord was telling Peter, you will be as faithful in the future as you want to be right now. It was the Lord's promise to Peter which did come to pass, unlike Peter's promise to the Lord which did not.

If you have repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, then He has made the very same promise to you through the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:6, and Romans 8:29 He has promised that He will complete the work in you. No matter what the starting point is, He will complete it.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Short definition of Repentance

This is a short version of what I have written in the past.. and actually might be more complete in spite of it's shortness.

Here is the long version which is more fully supported and explained.

Repentance means a "change of mind" when we are discussing Repentance with regards to Salvation we aren't actualy trying to define the word Repentance we must define what needs to be repented of. In my long version I get into this concept a lot deeper. Here I just want to look at the things we must change our mind about in the Gospel. Also discussed in the longer version is how confusing what can lead to the change of mind, or what happens because of the change of mind with the actual change of mind is a dangerous error. The fruit is not the tree and the tree is not the fruit. When we focus on the fruit instead of on what brings the fruit we create a religion. We effectively teach people to act like they are saved instead of actually getting saved.

Repentance can be found the middle of Paul's declaration of the Gospel of 1 Cor 15:1-10

1 Cor 15:3-5 reveals the following;

I am a sinner - so I must die
God came and lived according to the Scriptures - He is faithful
God died in my place - the payment for my sin is made (finished)
God rose from the dead - security in Him.

Repentance that saves is a judgment of self, an appraisal of Christ, and the resulting transfer of trust from self to Christ.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Debate on the existence of God - UPDATE

I missed it... wife came home and it was just wonderful to spend some time with her this evening.

Anyway I was linked to this article about the debate and I was intrigued by this protrayal of Dr. Dawkins' arguments. He's well known for building straw-man arguments in his books and debates and since the article doesn't address this one I will. Here's the description of his statement.
Dawkins said religion's demand not to be questioned leads to violence. "It leads to terrible acts done in the name of religion," he said. "The one gift I would give to any child is skepticism."
And my answer is 1 Thes 5:21 "Test all things; hold fast what is good."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Debate on the existence of God

The famous atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins will debate the also famous Creationist Dr. John Lennox in just a few hours at 7pm Central in Alabama.

Here's a link to the info page. I'll be listening on the Moody Broadcast myself.

The debate will center on Dawkins' views as expressed in his best-seller, The God Delusion and their validity over and against the Christian faith. This will be the
first significant discussion on this issue in the "Bible Belt." Consequently, we believe that it will focus much public attention on this important issue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

You don't see many of these posted here on my blog. I've hit the streets witnessing with the godly men from this organization and I share their burden for the lost. Here is their request;
Dear Praying Friend,

How are you today? Tonya and I are doing well. We hope you are too.

Urgent Prayer Request:

The City of Boston just reinforced a new law that says they won't allow us to have any of our equipment such as our sketchboard, paints, speaker, bags etc. on public property. This has been difficult for us since downtown Boston is our main "fishing hole" for lost souls. We also went to Boston University last Friday and had a great time witnessing until we got shut down by the police.

What do we do? Some have suggested, just not use the sketchboard and paints and just preach. However, from over 100 years of faithful service as an organization, we have seen time and time again the visual attraction is a must for people to stop and pay attention. So, we are willing to battle over this freedom trying to be taken away from us.

I just off the phone with a lawyer from Florida and he is willing to take our case for us. Lawyer Rick Nelson has represented OAC Baltimore twice and have won both cases for them. Rick does not ask for money from us, but asks that we get as much people praying for this situation as we can. Forward this on to as many people as you want. OAC Boston witnesses and preaches to over 50,000 people a year. Let's fight together to keep the gospel going forth.

Please pray for me that I will be strong in the Lord and in His Mighty Power to withstand the pressure and trials coming our way. Also, Rick and Dovie Moore from Plano, Texas just arrived last week to join our staff in Boston full time. He has come at a difficult time, so please pray Rick will stay encouraged. If you have any questions or comments, please keep in touch. Take care.

Until the Net is Full,

The Wentz Family

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Monday, September 24, 2007

A courtroom drama that doesn't tell the whole story

We at TCC spend a lot of time witnessing to people on the street. We often explain Christ's work on the Cross by using a court room drama.. where the person is on trial.. is found guilty but someone comes in and pays the price for them so they can go free.

Of course this drama, while simple and effective enough for most people to get an idea of what Jesus did on the Cross for us.. doesn't really tell the whole story. Nor is it completely accurate. As some critics of The Way Of The Master have noted. here. Now this critic also suffers because of WOTM's use of the so-called Lordship Salvation Gospel which adds an impossible stumbling block to the Gospel of the Grace of Christ Jesus defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 15:1-10 and so robs it of the "Good News" that the Gospel actually is but that's another topic.

It's always bothered me... but lacking a better more clear way of presenting truth of the situation I have used this example myself. That is until just this last week when a friend of TCC asked the question of us and I was tasked with answering it. What follows here is an adaptation of the answer I gave her. The information is valuable and has really defined what I always thought I knew.

She basically had two questions, when her request was boiled down. First Aren't the sins people do just a symptom of the sin nature we have all inherited and therefor involuntary to some extent? And second based on John 3:1-18 doesn't the reason people go to “Hell” because they haven't believed in Jesus and not due to their sins?

A third question, which is implied by the nature of these first two is this – is it Just for God to damn someone who did involuntary sin, or who is guilty of only a very minor sin?

I hope to deal with all three here today.

The first one is fairly easy, and actually relates to the answer for the second one and so the bulk of this post will be about the second question. The answer to the third will become evident of it's own but I'll make sure to answer it specifically. The answer is YES, people sin because of their sin nature. Rom 5:19 and is it involuntary, yes to a large extent it is. Sinners walk as slaves to sin. Chapters such as Rom 6 describes sinners as such. Ephesians 2 describes sinners as walking according to the course of this world, following the prince of this age. There is an involuntary nature to the sin we do. And this can lead people to the wrong idea that it is injustice for God to then destroy someone for doing what they did in some involuntary manner.

The second question.. There is a lot to deal with here, but I'll stick to the important stuff. What people often call "Hell" the Bible referrers to as the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death. Rev 20:14 The people who are cast into the Lake of Fire are those who's names are not found in the Lamb's Book of Life. Rev 20:15 Many have taken this, and the John 3:1-18 section to mean the sinner is condemned not because of their sins, but because they haven't believed in Jesus. While this is a true statement factually... it does not contain the Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing BUT the Truth. It's not the reason.. it's the just the facts and without a Biblical interpretation of the facts involved we can build a very wrong set of reasons which leads to a theology that is lacking.. and confusion for sinners when you're talking to them. Many of whom are great thinkers and able to see inconsistencies in simplified arguments.

Here are some points relevant to this study;

1. Jesus died, paid for, the sins of the World. The whole world... all the sins. John 3:16, John 1:29 The Apostle John wrote to Christians that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and not just ours but the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 Wow. That means that Jesus satisfied God and His wrath for the sins of the whole world, past, present and future. So we're not condemned by the lie we told in 3rd Grade as God has already been satisfied for that lie. In fact He's already been satisfied for the lies you, I and every sinner are even yet to tell.

2. The Mosiac Law, which the 10 Commandments are part of, was not given to the Gentiles (all the people in the World other than Israel). But all people were given a Conscience. This conscience is a Law for us to obey. Romans 2:14-5 It would be a distraction to get into this in much depth, but the Apostle Paul tells us that we are to obey our Conscience even when it restricts us from liberties we have in Christ. He also tells us in Acts 17:24-31 that our Conscience is the morality of God in us. That's the same thing the 10 Commandments are. So we use the 10 Commandments in witnessing as a tangible way of interacting with a person's Conscience to get to the "heart of the issue" - who the person really is.

3. When a person is Reborn - through believing the Gospel 1 Cor 15:1-10 they become a "New Creation" 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are actually given the New Nature which is Christ Jesus living through us. Gal 2:20 We retain our Old Nature, which the Apostle Paul calls "the old man" but we now have the New Nature as well. Eph 4:17-24 No person who has not been Reborn has this new nature. So all they have is the nature to sin.

4. PLEASE READ UPDATE BELOW THIS POINT. Back in the Old Testament there was a thing called a manslayer. This was a person who had caused the death of another person - without intent. They had killed, and were therefore "killers" and guilty, but it was involuntary. These people were removed from the cities and sent to special cities prepared just for people like this. This was done to keep Israel pure. It was not a punishment for that person. It was for Israel's good, and is a type and shadow of the future Great White Throne Judgment. Numbers 35

UPDATE: Point #4 seems to be in error. I have to go back over my study tools to see how I came to this position. It seems, as Martin pointed out when he recently contacted me that the manslayer was sent to the city of refuge as protection for him, not protection for Israel. I think that I was thinking it had something to do with inciting more murders out of revenge, and I'm honestly still leaning that way. If the person found the manslayer out side of the city and killed he would not be guilty of killing the manslayer. It could be bending scripture but this too could be a means of stopping vengeance killing. If the man is not guilty under the Law then he can't be killed legally. Right now I'm working from memory, and a VERY brief review of Numbers 35 and parallel portions in Deuteronomy and Joshua. Sorry for this confusion.

5. The New Heaven and New Earth will both be completely sinless. There will be no one there with the ability to sin, as all those people will have been already cast into the Lake of Fire. Rev 21:27

6. Jesus said that unless a person is Reborn they can't enter the Kingdom of God. John 3:3 You can read this through the light of Paul's writings (from whom we get Church Doctrine) as "Unless you are a new creation, with My nature, you can not enter Heaven"

This brings us to the issue. The sins that we do are because of the nature of Adam which we have inherited. None-the-less, this is who we actually are. When we talk to someone about their sin, or we evaluate ourselves about our own sin, we see "who we are". Sins don't keep a person out of Heaven, who he or she "IS" keeps them out of Heaven. Without the New Nature, that of Christ, we can not enter Heaven because there will be nothing in Heaven that sins after the Judgments. So we ask a person if they've ever told a lie. Not because that individual lie condemns them but because it shows what Jesus said is true - they are "condemned already" because they ARE a sinner. John 3:18 At the Cross Jesus was declared guilty of our sins, judged and punished, in our place. Even in the place of people who would not ever believe in Him. The question is then not punishment or no punishment. The question is the Second Death or Salvation. Those who do not choose Salvation will suffer "eternal punishment" as per Matthew 25:46, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 so the Second Death is a punishment for the sin nature, not the sins. What must be understood is that punishment happened for every sin at the Cross. If you have the new nature, then when resurrected you are in that new nature and there is nothing left to be punished.

If a person doesn't ever believe in Him, they are never reborn.. so the facts described by many about damnation because someone hasn't believed in Jesus hold up. The only people from today who don't get thrown into the Lake of Fire are those who believe in Jesus. But this does not equate to the reason for being thrown in is that one hasn't believed in Jesus. The reason is because they ARE sinners, and God can only fellowship with perfect righteousness. Because to have "fellowship" is to have unity or "likeness" it is the sharing of "who we are", not just hanging out together. So Holy God can not share "who we are" with our Sin Nature because He has no sin. Without the perfect righteousness of Christ one can not enter Heaven to fellowship with God. John 14:6

At the Great White Throne Judgment - which is where and when sinners will be judged these poor souls will have their natures revealed to them by their "works". God will compare what they have done with what He has told them to do - not only by the 10 Commandments or Mosaic Law.. but each person will be held up to the Law that was given to them. So Israel will be held up to Mosaic Law and their conscience (and some other things..) and the Gentiles will be held up to their Conscience. God will expose their nature - they'll be known by their fruit - and then when the Truth is known by all, God will look in the Lamb's Book of Life to see if their names are written there.. all those not found in the Book will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:11-15 This is why it's completely JUST to cast a person guilty of only 1 lie ever into the Lake of Fire. It's not punishment for having lied, it's punishment for the sin nature.. the fact that the person IS a sinner. All the misery we see around us today in this world started from one tiny little lie. Genesis 3 It's protecting the New Heaven from the sin nature of that person. Because there will never be another “fall of man” or anything else. All sin and rebellion will be dealt with and eradicated before the New Earth and the New Heaven are established.

So the court room drama that we often use on the streets with people, doesn't really tell the whole story. The Truth is, the person standing on Trial has already had their offenses paid for. But just like our "corrections" system is supposed to "correct" people before they are allowed to rejoin society God does the same thing. The Judge has been paid for the offenses, but the person standing in judgment must also be "corrected" or "born again" so that they can enter fellowship with God and the Saints. They must repent by judging themselves guilty and trusting God instead of their own supposed goodness, that He Jesus Christ, died for their own sins and rose again. This brings about the "rebirth" which gives us the New Nature so we have been "corrected" and can now fellowship with Holy God because we have the perfect righteousness of Christ.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Character Assassination

I know a thing or two about character assassination, like many people I've been a victim of it.. like even more people I have taken part in the vileness of it. At one my normal internet hangouts.. I have been chatting about prominant Christians... and their past mistakes. When is it ok to call someone on their error.. when is it ok to call heresy, well heresy? But more importantly, when is it proper to stop holding something against someone? Is there forgiveness available to a Pastor who says on live television that there is more than one way to get to Heaven than just Jesus Christ? (this clearly being in contradiction to the Bible, John 14:6 being an example of why)

Can this person continue in ministry? Can they be restored to ministry?

I personally think yes they can be restored! If there is a person so evil that God can not restore them then what hope is there for any of us? If Jesus' blood is not sufficient then it wasn't finished on the Cross ( John 19:30 ) and He didn't really die to take away the sin of the World ( John 1:29 ) nor was God satisfied for all our sins by His sacrifice ( 1 John 2:2 ).

I personally choose to believe the Bible that Jesus' blood paid for it all. That even a man who commits heresy on live Cable TV can be restored. And lacking evidence that the man hasn't been restored I will treat him as though he has been.

Does anyone have any thoughts to add?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Forgive Each Other

Ephesians 4:32
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
In this world we expect people to appologize to us... to promise to do better.. to show some sort of a change.. to earn our trust...

But we've been told to forgive as we have been forgiven. See God doesn't forgive people based on our good performance, our promise to perform well, our being changed or promising to change or even wanting to change. God forgives us because of who He is and what He has done.

So, we ought to forgive others "even as God in Christ forgave" us. God forgave us by coming and dying on the Cross then rising from the dead three days later. He came and did what it took for us to be forgiven.

What a different place we'd live in, what a different group of friends we'd have, what a true unity we'd have in our assemblies of believers if we each forgave as we have been forgiven. If we each took it upon ourselves to do what it takes, no matter what, so that we could forgive that person who has wronged us.

I know this is the cry of my heart today, that I could forgive people the way God has forgiven me. What about you?

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Vertical Fellowship

I'm very behind on personal stuff.. emails.. and posts here. I normally like to make longer more thought-out posts here but I think I'm going to post a couple of short things in hopes that some conversations break out about them.

Lately I've been thinking about Christian Fellowship.. how does it really work? I find myself looking at 1 John 1:1-4
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
It seems to me that I have fellowship with Christians primarily through my fellowship with God. Time fails me to post it all, but we see in Scripture that a Christian has fellowship (unity, commonality.. in a personal way) with all Christians around the world - and in Time, past present and future. Yet when I listen to Christians talk and interact with them on-line it seems that most of us think our fellowship is a horizontal thing.

I see the Brethren judging the Brethren based on fleshy things.... going so far as to judge another's salvation based on performance. While there IS Biblical discipline, it is a very structured thing that is not done by one person and so is not subject to an individual's personal bent on the Word of God or ideas about Christianity. How are we to look at each other if not directly at them? If not directly at their sin, their spots.. the specks in their eyes so to speak. Paul gives us the answer in 2 Cor 5:14-17
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
We're actually not supposed to look at people in the flesh any more. Because we've seen God come in the Flesh and He has done His work on the Cross. Now we should see people as God sees them. How does God see a Christian? As Christ Himself. Again I only have moments to post this so I can't put a full defence of this but if it comes up in conversation that would be good.

How do I see the person in the pew next to me as Christ? Especially when I see him tired.. maybe fighting with someone.. maybe not acting the way I think a Christian ought to act?

I keep my eyes on Christ. My fellowship is Vertical. It goes up and down between God and I. This other's Christian's fellowship is also vertical going up and down between God and he. So if I have fellowship with God, I can have vertical fellowship with the person beside me as well. My fellowship with him comes down from God to me. So if I'm looking at God and see Christ (as should be my focus) and God sees that person as Christ then when I'm looking at God I'm seeing both God and the person beside me in Christ.

Now if that person (or I) breaks fellowship with God, that will firstly and primarily be between he and God. When it becomes evident to me that he has broken fellowship then I need to go through the proper discipline actions in the Church. But amazingly, the Person I'm still focused on has not changed so my view of this person beside me still has not changed.

This is so incomplete.. but it's been on my heart in a big way.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Why I Got Baptised Again Today

Updated: 29 Aug 2007 - added email from Kevin

I was Baptised today. :)

I went through the process of Baptism in the Spring of 1995. Yet over the last two years I've been asking myself was I actually saved then. I had been asking the wrong person. God answered today as I listened to Exodus.

Before I was "dunked" in Porter's Lake I was asked 4 questions. What where you like before you were saved, what brought you to Salvation, what has your life been like since, and what do you expect your life to be like in the future.

I was a hypocrite - playing the part of a religious man.

God exposed my hypocrisy, and left nowhere else but Him to run to and that was 2 years ago today I believe - strange eh?

My life since Sunday, 26 Sept 2005 when God took my repentant heart and saved it, has been crazy. It's been a ride, my faith has been stretched to the limit. But He has kept me.

What do I expect of the future? I don't know. I know only that one day I will stand face to face with the Lord in Glory - and know as I have been known.

So what in Exodus brought me to this? Well the debate was - was I really saved back then? I had no "fruit".. I lived in deep sin... I was horrible to people.. I did not love.. I had no concern for the Salvation of others. But I had prayed a little prayer... I had thought I was "saved" even though I had no idea what it meant. Today God revealed that no I was not saved - I had not repented and put my faith in Christ alone.

Here is the section of Scripture that He used to show me this today - just an hour before our Church was to have a Baptismal Service. I was out for a jog listening to Exodus when Chapter 4 came God silenced the rest of the world so I could listen to it.

Exodus 4:1-17
1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’”
2 So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”He said, “A rod.”
3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand),
5 “that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6 Furthermore the LORD said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow.
7 And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh.
8 “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign.
9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river[a] and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.”
10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
11 So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?
12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”
14 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and He said: "Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do.
16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God.
17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

God took the thing that Moses used to get the most out of his own strength - his walking stick (the rod), and showed Moses that his reliance on it was sin by turning it into a snake. God asked Moses what it was - Moses was ignorant to what it really was and God showed him. Moses was fearful of the snake - but God say take it by the tail and when Moses did it became a rod again. Now it was a rod of God's strength.

God then made what He was showing Moses even more clear by having him reach into his heart, then pull his hand out to see the disease of sin that was in there, and God then showed him the that He had cleaned it!

Then God told Moses that he must do this sign in Egypt. Moses didn't think he was able that God should send Aaron instead. But God was about to really show Moses what He meant by the rod becoming a snake and then a rod again. It is by God's strength that Moses did go to Egypt to lead His people out of captivity. It is by God's strength that even today Moses - through the Law - shows us the true nature of our hearts so that we will know we must rely on God and not ourselves.

As I was listening I was asking God to make this clear - why was it so important to me I wanted to know. He spoke, in the way only He can, that this is what I had never done before two years ago. I had never reached into my heart to see it's diseased state, I had not thrown down the reliance I had on myself and started to rely on Him. I hadn't pulled my hand out of my chest to see it clean. In short, I hadn't repented and put my faith in Him until just two years ago.

So, my baptism in the Spring of 1995 was an act of religion and not faith. It was not real. I got home from my jog, and my wife from her run (cause she is FAST!) and we sped off to the service which we had thought of going to watch - but now I had an appointment and a purpose to be there. Just like Moses had to go perform this sign in Egypt I had to go perform this sign in Porter's Lake. I had to get Baptised for real, to proclaim that I am in His death and I am in His resurrection!

And that's why I got Baptised again today.

UPDATE: My dear old friend (lol) and Brother in the Lord who has a really cool first name sent this along through email. He is in a different country right now and we have only been able to connect in person once in the last few years - to explain some of his wording. This e-mail has been edited to remove some personal details. I personally like the part where he says to "keep kicking butt" ;)


just a quick note to say hi and congratulate you on your public profession of faith. I stop by your blog occasionally and have been very happy to see the progress you have made. I have seen you go a little offline at times aka secondary filling, but do great work in your defense of the Gospel ( The Cross less issue). I will state one thing though and as per normal you know I am terrible at trying to say things without sounding belligerent.

Your statement on not being saved before 25 Sep 2005 is to put it quite simply, ludicrous. At what point did you think the ‘quality’ of your conversion had anything to do with the meritless gift of salvation bestowed upon a believer. Have you given up on individual versus corporate election, with God providing enough volition to ensure responsibility (soft determinism)? Or did you decide that this time you really repented so therefore merited being saved? That sounds like a ‘religious experience’ but it doesn’t jive with what you have written to date or advice you have given others. I have seen people saved who’s lives that instant were different and others that took time for the Spirit to work, but none the less in time they were transformed. I have just looked at some emails from you from years ago and remembered some of our conversations and you most certainly were a Christian. Not a fruitful one for sure as you continued to ignore the Spirit and live separated from the Father due to Sin in your life. Do you honestly think that before Sep 2005 your prayers were not being heard? The Lord put you in a position to face the consequences of your actions and via the process you have learned about repentance and the necessity to be repentant in order to maintain your walk. I sincerely believe you have confused salvation with your preparation for Discipleship, two separate things as you well know. Looking at one of your very old emails, your worry about witnessing effectively still makes me smile – you were always so hard on yourself. Kevin it is wonderful that you are in a position to be of service for the Lord and you are doing great. Please do not let this email be a bummer for you, it’s just an observation and you can do with it what you do wish.

Keep kicking butt bro, I believe the Lord has a purpose for you and you are well on your way!

It's not often I receive such an encouraging letter. Brother Kevin makes some very good points.. and brings up an issue that has been of interest to me recently - Election.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

What if you had cancer?

People who have cancer go through a period of denial - this is pride thinking they can beat it on their own, or even that it's not real, or THEY won't die of it.

Eventually they tell someone about it - this is repentance of their pride.

Then they trust in Someone who has the cure - this is repentance unto life.

Then though their bodies have been ravaged from the cancer they are separated from the death that would have come to them - this is Salvation.

So then what?

Other people are still going to die from Cancer right? Does everyone that has cancer actually know they have cancer?

Should they -

Walk around healthy so everyone can see there's "something different" about them and ask them about it? In the hopes that by being an example of the Cure others will want the cure too?

Possible problems with this is, only a very few people in the world knew they were ever sick in the first place.. and those people are probably in denial about their diseases too.

OR should they -

Go looking for sick people anywhere they might be and show them their sickness so that they too can be sparred the death that will come to them if they ignore the disease they may not even know they have?

Possible problems with this includes the really strange truth that sick people who don't know they are sick often don't like it when someone suggests they might be dying. However, once they find out it's true they are overjoyed that you took the chance to tell them. Because had you not told them - they would have died.

Think about it this way, what if YOU were the one who had cancer and didn't know?

Got a minute to think about it?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lord of your life or Lord of the universe?

I've been spending so much time thinking and studying about the Gospel in response to a recent idea that you can somehow get saved without knowing about the Cross that I had almost forgotten the insidious attack on the Word that Lordship Salvation is.

The topic came up again at a familiar spot. I'm going to basically copy and past some posts I made on a forum here. This is the thrust of the point -Jesus is Savior of the Sinner unto Rebirth and Lord of the Disciple unto Maturity in His Image. The issue in case you are not aware is some persons preach that it's impossible to be saved unless you have "submitted to Jesus' Lordship" This however has yet to be adequately defined. Not surprisingly, it tends to have a different meanings depending on who's preaching and who's being preached to.

Paul is very clear about WHAT the Gospel is. He is also very clear that to be saved we must "obey" it, which is to believe it, trust it is so.

I Cor 15:1-8 NKJV
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

This is THE Gospel by which we are saved. You'll notice that Repentance is here in verse 3.You'll notice that Faith is here - verse 1-2.You also OUGHT to notice there is zero reference to Christ's Lordship. Jesus is referenced as God's Anointed (Christ) which John the Baptist explained as being the "Lamb of God"

There are lots of doctrines in the Bible and Jesus Christ's Lordship is surely one of them. Jesus IS Lord and will return as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. The Gospel is as precious a doctrine, teaching and entity as there is in the Bible. It is what we sow that we might reap Eternal Life. There can be no common ground with error on this most holy of subjects.

We are told to preach the Gospel of Reconciliation - that of Christ having paid the price for us and having raised from the dead. We are not told to preach Christ's Lordship. A person is saved when they put their faith in the Savior. If you protray the Savior as Lord, and that the person must submit to "Lordship" to be saved you are ONLY putting a stumbling block in front of their feet.

JESUS IS LORD - He'll take care of it. In fact Heb 12 promises that He'll take care of it. So we ought to get over ourselves.We can not do a better work than the Lord can. Jesus IS Lord and He WILL exert His Lordship. He doesn't need our help. All we're truly doing if we preach this false doctrine is robbing yourselves of good fruit.

Please check out the links on the left about the Gospel, and Repentance.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Eye Has It

Wired backward? I think not. Scientists have recently realized the Human Eye is an example of incredible design.

Not only is the inverted wiring of our eyes a good design, necessary for proper functioning, it is also coordinated with an ingenious fiber optic plate. So the vertebrate eye has the advantage of a rich blood supply behind the receptors without the disadvantage of nerves blocking out light. Such fine coordination of parts makes sense with a Master Coordinator, while it’s a puzzle for evolutionists.
Check out the full article at CMI

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Victor Wooten does Amazing Grace

This blog is also supposed to be about my love of the Bass Guitar and this just makes a nice mix. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Good discussion on the "Crossless Gospel"

Lou is hosting a discussion on the Crossless Gospel and proper Biblical understanding of how people have been saved throughout the dispensations.

I don't want to comment too much here because there is valuable conversation going on at Lou's Blog and I'd rather you see it all in context.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Non-Destructive Testing?

For a period of 18 Months one of my duties as an Aircraft Technician deployed with the Canadian Forces was to carry out "Non-Destructive Testing" (NDT) on a few critical parts of the CH124 Sea King. Now NDT is an important safety enhancer to the operations of Aircraft around the world. Incidentally it's also what is done on bridges to make sure we know they are safe to drive on, unlike this bridge in Minnesota.

The point of NDT is to test the strength or "serviceability" of something without damaging it. One method uses "Liquid Penetrant" that is colored to help an inspector see cracks in metal so small that you can't see them unless the glow in the dark liquid shows you them. Tiny cracks can make seemingly strong parts fail, resulting in terrible accidents.

This is man's wisdom. If we were to bend the metal to see where it breaks, it would be broken and useless to us. Effectively we would have simply caused the item to fail.. not checked to see if it's safe to use.

God's wisdom is a bit different. He already knows us through and through. When He is testing us, it's not so He can find out where our breaking point is. Not at all. He's showing us how strong our Faith is. And the cool thing is, He's not looking to show us the cracks. No, again, not at all. He's looking to show us the incredible strength.

Where man uses "non-destructive" testing, God uses fire. Prov 17:3 and Prov 25:2-5 show this quickly. God's purpose for testing our Faith with the trials of life can be seen in 1 Peter 1:3-12 Showing us how strong our Faith is, empowers us to live life and to glorify Him.

What's more, the "purifying" process of using fire to burn off the "dross" in the lives of Believers actually strengthens our Faith. So, while NDT reveals defects and can not improve the item being tested, God's testing actually shows the strength and strengthens!

This is why Peter tells us we can and ought rejoice during trials in our life!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Special Invitation

I don't know you.. so how can I give you a special invitation? Well, most "special" invitations are given to a person who is considered special (uniquely in a position to do something..) well this invitation isn't like that. You're just like everyone else, and I'm not inviting you to give me anything or support me in any way - unlike most "special" invitations. This invitation is special and unique that way, and in others.

Since I don't know you I can't personalize this, so I'm going to rely on things that I know are true of you, because they are true of me and of every other person I've ever met. I'm gonna "chance it" that while you're special in your own unique way, you are also just as human as I am.

Many of you will have heard this "invitation" before. I want to start right off by apologizing to you for all the nutty ways it's been presented to you.. and more for all the times it's been used to get something from you. I'm truly sorry. You don't know me either.. so would you just take my word for that?

Here it is - we're all sinners and we're all accountable for our sins. We're all going to die and we're all going to stand in judgment. The price of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:23 Are you 100% sure that if you died tonight that you'd go to Heaven?

Some of you stopped reading at the last paragraph, yet there are some who have continued. Please let me help you to make sense of this. I'm not asking you to commit intellectual suicide. Really what I'm asking is for you to just be honest for a couple of minutes. It won't take long.

The promise made above is based on the Gospel which is.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. For
I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

You'll notice, that just as in Romans 6:23 someone had to die for our sins. Yes "our" sins. You are also a sinner, just like I am. Someone who had no sin had to die to pay the price for you and I. If He would have had sin of His own He would have had to have died for His own sins. Since He was sinless - never did anything wrong at all - He didn't have to die but instead chose to on our behalf. God Himself, knowing we couldn't fix our own problem of guilt came here to not only live as we live but also to willingly die for OUR sins.

But are you really a sinner? I know I am, but let's see if you can find out about you. Because, you won't be able to take the Cure unless you honestly see you have the sickness. There IS a Cure, be sure. This might be painful, but it is needed so you will be able to make sense of what I've quoted above.

Regardless of the situation have you ever lied about anything for any reason? Be honest now, it's between you and God. You've got no one to impress.

Regardless of the situation have you ever stolen anything of any value for any reason? Again, be honest. Have you ever taken anything that doesn't belong to you? Cut off early from work? You can think of the situations that apply to you.

Have you ever lusted after someone, looked at them and wanted them sexually or took sexual pleasure from looking at or listening to them?

OK, now that's about the things you and I have done and they are bad enough. Because we can't go back in time to change them and the price to be paid is waiting for us when we die. But even beyond the things we do, God who is the Good Judge of the Universe, is concerned about who we really are.

So, looking forward. Can you imagine any situation were you'd be willing to lie for any reason? The classic example that most people give trying to show that lying can be ok is when it comes to protecting a woman who's being chased by lying about which way she went or where she is. There are several variations but the idea is that it's better to lie than to tell the truth that might get her hurt. This just goes to show how corrupt our thinking has become. Notice I use the word "our" including myself. The "best" option would be to protect her. If we were a "good" person we wouldn't think to lie we'd protect the woman to keep her from being hurt.

Looking forward again, can you imagine any situation where you might be willing to steal something?

How about looking ahead in time to see if you can imagine a situation where you might lust after someone?

If you've been honest, you can see that it's in your nature to lie, steal and lust. If "the price of sin is death" doesn't make these offenses seem serious enough to you check out the way Holy God sees them.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for
murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars,
their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur,
which is the second death.
See, "all" liars. We suppose there are "white lies" and "black lies" and shades of "grey" but God says that every single person who is a liar will share in the Lake of Fire, what He calls "the Second Death."
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:
neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men
who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
We see here that thieves will not inherit the Kingdom of God. They will not see Heaven.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If we even just look at someone with "lustful intent" we have committed Adultery in our hearts. Which means this is who we really are.

Want to try something else? Have you ever been angry at someone? Or could you imagine becoming angry with someone in the future?
Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.
Getting angry is equated with Murder in God's eyes.

OK this is getting long, and at this point it's starting to not look so good for you and I. I know I'm guilty of all of the above. And after having spoken with hundreds of people about this topic and working with an organization who's main purpose is to have this conversation I can confidently guess that you too are guilty of all the above.

We're going to die and we're going to be judged by the only truly "Good" Judge in the Universe.
Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
We just looked at our performance compared to three of the 10 Commandments fairly closely and at the end I tagged on a 4th. You can read them yourself in Exodus 20:1-21 These 10 Commandments reveal God's "Moral Absolutes" to us. It's absolutely wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery and murder. There is never a situation where any of these are the "right" thing to do. Yet we have all done them. What's more God is going to Judge us according to His Moral Absolutes and in our own selves we would be found Guilty.

I quoted the "Gospel" to you near the start of this. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 That Christ Died for our sins, was buried and rose again three days later. All in accordance to what the Scriptures predicted and demanded thousands of years before He was even born. He was seen by more than 500 people on at least 12 occasions in His bodily flesh - really alive. And when these accounts were written down most of the people who had seen Him were still alive.

It's up to you at this moment. You know you are a sinner. You know that because of your sins, and your sinful nature - the real you - that God must cast you into the Lake of Fire - the Second Death on Judgment Day. But He didn't create you to kill you. He created you to have glorious fellowship that He might lavish you with Holy Love and that you might love Him back and to glorify Him. He takes no pleasure in anyone that must die the Second Death.

Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live,
declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back
from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
You part is this, do it right now. Believe on Jesus Christ for your salvation. Judge yourself, that you are a sinner ( this is Repentance which you can learn more about in this post ), and Trust that the payment of that has been made by Jesus Christ. That He did rise from death three days after having died for your sins. Put your faith in Him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Going back to the beginning of this post;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
and know for sure;

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

If somehow the seriousness of this has escaped you, consider that God thought it was serious enough to die for. To experience not only death, but death on a Cross.

Put your faith in Him. He paid the price you can't afford. If you haven't already done so while reading this, may I suggest you follow the model that King David gave us when he was caught in terrible sin. This man, a great sinner, was called by God - "A man after my own heart" in 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22

David gave us this example to follow in repentance of our sins;

Psalm 51
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Then start reading the Bible daily and obey what it says. A good place to start is the Book of John.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Looking for the answer

So here I am realizing that yes there is some form of reception of the Holy Spirit POST salvation. And that this reception empowers Christians to be something other than hypocrites. I don't know how it all works, yet, but I am learning. My Pastor - who I have disagreed with on this issue, that is until I honestly looked at Acts 8:14-17 It becomes apparent that you can be a "Sealed" believer, a Saved, Born Again Christian - and still not have fully received the Spirit. There is something about having the Spirit fall "on" you.

I have not "jumped off the deep end" here at all. I am totally against what is aptly called "Charismania" but I am completely for what the Bible says - even if I am often a hypocrite.

My Pastor gave me a good book to read by Chuck Smith called Charisma vs Charismania. I am SO glad he did, because it has put my heart further at rest. My dear Pastor, whom I love beyond what makes sense to me, has always shown himself to be about order and Truth. So I've been confused by his stance on this issue - seeing as I'm always right and all..... lol

Just now I found this book published on line for free reading. I'm blessed to be able to share it with you. There are two things that in his book that I'm still looking at to see if I can find agreement. I'll likely post more about them later, but for now I'm gonna be late for church. Doh!

Charisma vs Charismania by Chuck Smith

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Big birdosaur blues

New fossil creates problems for dino-to-bird evolution theories

The media has recently been buzzing with the latest claims of a dino-to-bird missing link, a 1,400-kg so-called ‘bird-like dinosaur’ from China dubbed Gigantoraptor erlianensis (meaning ‘giant thief from Erlian’ [a city in Inner Mongolia in China]). However, when you look at the report in Nature, you find that Gigantoraptor has done more to confuse evolutionists than confirm dino-to-bird evolution.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Walk - long over due update

Well as the title of this Blog implies it's really about where "I" am on my walk towards Christ. God is capital G - Good! He is faithful and true.

I'm sure many Christians can relate to the problem of sin calling to them. The constant tempter teasing your brain. Well, thanks be to God for His Grace, I have been set free of that which I could not conquer myself. A temptation that has hounded me, well for as long as I can remember. I have never experienced what it is like to be "delivered" from something before but I see a clean break all of the sudden.

I will share this much, because it applies to all issues - the break did not come of my efforts. It came from surrender and supplication. I read confirmation in Prov 18:23 today. He that is poor speaketh with supplications. Jesus says blessed are they who are poor in spirit in Mat 5:3 and Paul speaks of praying with supplications at all times. Interestingly enough, he even tells us, in Philippians 4:6-7 to be "careful" about nothing but instead to prayer and supplication - in other words be weak before the Lord and cast your cares on Him who is able to keep us from falling.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Waterfont Fun With The Gospel

While Friday night was about hostility and the faithfulness of God for our protection Saturday was about us being like an unmovable Ox. As in Prov 14:4 an Ox makes a mess but God's work gets done through it. We were shut down a couple times by the cops and security guards on Saturday. But all the while they were focused on us there was another team preaching the Gospel just out of sight of us. They were protected and given liberty because the "authorities" were too busy harassing us. We did not ask them to stay, they simply gathered around us continually as you'll see in the pics below.

Here is Todd of Open Air Campaigners doing a presentation with a sketch board. You'd be amazed at how effective this is.

I arrived a little later than most everyone else, here you can see me in the background getting prepared in the Word before I get involved.
Here's some of us talking with a cop who was hired to help security at the Tall Ships event.

Here I am with a group of security people. Not at all in violation of anything they had asked me not to do. They were simply drawn to me.

Here's Dennis taking some of the heat off of me.
We actually had a great day! And in the end some of those security guards got Tracts and left us with a smile and a wave! We didn't end up chatting with all of them - there were thousands of people for them to look after - but we are in prayer for them and I hope you will be too!

Update: It should be mentioned why the security guards, and the hired police officer were even talking to us in the first place. There was some question over whether Todd was allowed to be doing his presentation in the areas we were in. We were on Public owned ground (by all accounts even the Police Officer) but there was a special event going on. Vendors had been required to buy permits from a company in order to set up. Not all vendors had done so, but the "requirement" was there. When asked to move, we discussed with them, and then complied even though we felt we were fully with in the rights given us as Citizens of Canada.

Then we moved to the sidewalk, and the company again claimed it owned access to this area again so we then moved across the street.

In the end it all worked out great!

Is John's Gospel Enough?

Have you ever put off writing something you just knew had to be written? Knowing, not just believing, that there are more qualified, more intelligent, more eloquent and fluent writers who have much more right to take up the 102 or so daggers under every blogger's finger tips than you do – have you ever?

I find myself no longer able to hold back. Still it's my hope that, when all is typed the sum total will not be of my voice at all.

A new mantra is sounding in Christendom. And it goes something like this - “Jesus is the guaranteer of Eternal Life and that is what one must believe to be saved. John's Gospel is the end-all be-all for evangelism. The Gospel is not needed for Salvation, the presentation of the Gospel is merely a build up for the invitation or offer to believe in Jesus.”

I'm not one to enjoy employing “Straw-man Arguments” so I will attempt to refrain from stating anyone's purposes or argument. You can read some of what I am responding to here. My intention is not to bring about shame, or to even make accusation. Even if any be warranted. What's more, I am NOT writing this to bring about debate. And here is why.

You need not submit to Truth, it is True so with submission or not it applies to you. You can not argue with Truth, it is absolute. Truth does not consider any argument or thought against it. Truth is simply True. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I contend that the Evangelist & Apostle John, author of the Gospel of John, did explain we must believe the Gospel, not simply that Jesus is able to give Eternal Life. So, I intend on answering this new doctrine completely from John's Gospel. I also contend that if one seeks after God that this same one will find Him. That if one obeys the light given, that same one will be given more light. I agree with God that ALL scripture is needed to furnish the man of God unto all Good Works. That anyone who limits himself to one portion of Scripture for knowledge of ANY purpose is mistaken. Even I as I have written this all from John, is actually done from my fleshy pride. That I would not really on the full length of the Sword just so I can prove a point...

Preachers of this new mantra use John 20:31 as their evidence supreme. Stating that it indicates the Gospel of John “precisely and specifically expresses the terms for receiving eternal life”.

John 20:31 - but these are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life in his name.

When I read this verse I see that it lays out the Gospel. Yet when it is quoted in the referenced post above it is done so like this -

"...and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:31)

With nearly 2/3rds of the verse omitted. Might this be connected to the fact that the man was arguing that you need not believe that Jesus is The Christ, and the Son of God to be saved. Yet even in the very verse used to proclaim this new doctrine as biblical, it is seen to be in violation of Scripture.

That Jesus is “The” Christ – The Anointed One of God. John had already explained this in John 1:29-33. The Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World anointed with the Holy Spirit.

That Jesus is the Son of God – or God's equal, God Himself. John 1:1, John 10:36-38.

Now we read in John these few titles for Jesus - The Christ, and the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the only begotten Son of God, the Son of Man, the Bread of Life... there are many, these are but a few.

We see that Jesus is the Anointed one who is the Lamb of God, and that He “is” the Son of God. If you can read more than a single verse you know that this the Gospel. Jesus, a man, God Himself, therefore sinless, died for our sins as the Lamb that takes away the sin of the World, and rose again because He IS alive and IS the Son of God.

It takes no reading into the text to see this. Any student of the Word will see the Gospel written out in that one verse. John 20:31.But to continue with my contention that the Gospel of John does require the sinner to believe the Gospel to be saved I offer the following.

John 3 is Jesus explanation of the Gospel to Nicodemus. Nicodemus wants to know how you get saved. Jesus tells him one must be “born again” that is to be born not only of water (flesh birth) but also of the Spirit. This just confuses Nicodemus – and if you've ever witnessed you know that Nicodemus is not alone in being confused about it. I make argument that those who believe salvation comes without belief in the Gospel continue to be confused about it.

Jesus, rebukes the man for being a poor student, then explains how rebirth happens in a way that Nicodemus ought to understand. He uses a foreshadow of Himself on the Cross. John 3:12-16

Jesus tells him these are Heavenly things – v12, the Son of Man is from Heaven and can descend from it and rise to it v 13, as Moses lifted up the serpent on a staff in the wilderness so must the Son of Man be lifted up – Moses had to lift that serpent up because of the sins of Israel so that any who would look at the serpent on the staff would be saved – and Jesus says this is the same way He must be lifted up v 14, He was “given” so that anyone who believes on Him would have eternal life. v15-16

The Israelites who didn't look at the serpent lifted up on Moses' staff perished – no matter if they believed “in” the serpent or not. They did not see their sin lifted up – judged.

John 6 is also very clear. John 6:48-58. Jesus spoke of giving His flesh for them to have life if they believe in Him – eat His flesh and drink His blood. He out rights states this in John 6:53 -

Jesus therefore said to them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Unless ye shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of man, and drunk his blood, ye have no life in yourselves.

Unless you have eaten His flesh, and drunk His blood you have no life – let alone life eternal. Without the Gospel there is NO salvation.

The Gospel is that Jesus, the Lamb of God, God Himself, a flesh and blood man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, willingly went to the Cross to die for our sins, and rose again on the third day after and if you believe that He did these things for you and your sins, then you are saved eternally.

All of this is from the Gospel of John. As I started this, I believed I would have to explain the different dispensations, how trusting, or putting your faith in God has ALWAYS been the way of Salvation, that Salvation has ALWAYS been based on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ that what God had said before was not complete for this Dispensation but that it was for those because the requirement is that we believe Him. I was going to go into Proverbs to show that the principle of self-judgment before salvation (of any kind) has always been in place and is so even today. I was going to go through Paul's epistles to show that he always preached the same Gospel and always claimed it had the same effect.

I had thought of appealing to the Apostle John's other writings to show how Jesus' worthiness as the Kinsman Redeemer is not being judged, assessed or even tested today – not by us or anyone but how that day is coming.

I also had intended on addressing the straw-man argument about what Judgment might look like for someone who believed a that “Jesus gives eternal life”.

But by God's will and provision, none of my efforts were required. Simply a quick dirty read through the Gospel of John shows that the Gospel is what is needed to be believed for salvation. In this the Gospel of John is sufficient and provides truth which is not found by trying to disprove what the rest of Scripture says.

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