Archives for posts with tag: theology

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The book of Job is quite often quoted improperly, in sermons, Bible studies, commentaries, etc. One dream for this project is for those who read the novel, or watch the movie, to effortlessly and enjoyably come to a comprehensive understanding of the book of Job. As a result, it will become completely clear how to properly go about applying each verse, in this holy book, to our doctrine, thus to our lives. In order to properly understand the context for each verse, for this particular book, it is critical to understand the book as a whole.

Let’s say I am preparing a sermon. If I am quickly hunting for verses that agree with a point I am attempting to make, it would be quite easy for me to happen across some verses in the book of Job that seem to fit. Unfortunately, if I am not aware of the context of those verses, I may mistakenly quote verses that God said were folly; oops. It is insufficient to just read the neighbouring verses in Job to get the context, or even the whole chapter.

Next month we plan to post a colour-coded view of the book of Job to aid in clearly seeing such context.

Summary of the key points regarding the proper handling of the book of Job:

  • The folly in the book of Job is context for the astounding insights we get from the first two chapters, and from chapters 32-42.
  • God calls much of the book of Job, chapters 3-31, folly, or words without knowledge, so those verses cannot be used as a basis for doctrine. There are some who think the New Testament quotes from this section of Job, so please see this other article.
  • Though the “folly” and the “words without knowledge” sections of the book of Job cannot be used as a basis for doctrine, they can be studied to find out about the people in Job. This seems to comprise two main topics of study:
    1. Job’s righteousness
    2. What was known back in those ancient days, around 2000 BC?

We hope to inspire exploration of God’s Word, by pointing out the biblical sign posts that direct us in safely navigating the Scriptures. We also aspire to impact society, to change the world for the better. Imagine what it would be like if a good deal more Christians were freed to explore the Scriptures, instead of feeling unsure of how to take the proper safety precautions. This would be like a biblical appetizer, driving a craving for more of His Word.

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crown

Who is Lord? Think about that question. Who is Master and King? Who is on the throne? You know the answer. You have read it in the Bible. The preachers have told you. You could refer to several verses of Scripture that say “Jesus Christ is Lord,” “He is King of Kings.” Academically … intellectually … you know the answer.

Of course, there are people who deny it. They deny the Truth. It is written on their hearts. The preachers and the Scriptures have told them. You have told them, and they still deny the Truth. They are on the broad way to destruction.

Romans 10:8-13
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

9 … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

What if I believe in the resurrection and say the phrase, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then does that mean I am on the narrow way to Life? What if He is not on the throne of my life? What if He is not the master who makes all of the decisions about how I will live my life? What if I do not bow to His will in my life? Isn’t that what the word “Lord” means? He is my King, and I would not dare to live my life outside His Law.

9 … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus …

When I “confess” something, it does not mean that I am just repeating a phrase I learned from a book. It must be true in my life, to be a confession. I can’t just say an incantation to get into heaven. I must forsake my lordship and turn to His lordship. I must turn away from the path to destruction, and turn to the path of Life.

Who is Lord? Think about that question. Who is Master and King? Who is on the throne?

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Who is Jesus? If I believe in the resurrection and confess “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then does that mean I am on the narrow way to Life? We can easily make a list of false religions that claim that Jesus is part of their way of enlightenment. Does it matter which Jesus I believe in? It is easy to see the answer to that question when looking at an extreme case. What if there is a man down the street who claims to be Jesus? Obviously, if that is the Jesus to whom I refer when I confess “Jesus Christ is Lord,” then I don’t have the right Lord. If someone has the same name as you, does that mean they are the same person as you? Of course not. In the same way, when people fabricate their own version of Jesus to serve, they are still lost. Anyone who invents their own god to worship, is serving a false god.

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

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GlorifiedChrist

The word “human” is not in the Bible. Yet, in the sense that we use the word today, we know that the Bible teaches the humanity of Jesus, as well as His divinity. Why is this important?

Hebrews 4:15-16
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

2 John 1:7-9
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

At times, the New Testament uses the word “flesh,” or the phrase “flesh and blood,” in context, for human. For example:

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places.]

John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Jesus was flesh.

Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

John 1:1,14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus was a descendant of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:14-15
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3 is traced back to Adam, as proof of the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, as well as a descendant of David.

Romans 1:3-4
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Galatians 3:16,19
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

The Old Testament always means human when it uses the phrase “son of man,” for example:

Psalm 8:3-5
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Pronouns aside, “Son of man” is the most common way Jesus used to refer to Himself in Scripture, likely a direct allusion to Daniel chapter seven. “Son of man” always refers to Jesus in the New Testament, and the second chapter of Hebrews beautifully ties together the Old and New Testament uses of this phrase:

Hebrews 2:6-18
6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

All humans are of one blood.

Acts 17:24,26
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, …
26 … hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, …

When the Almighty God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, came, He came in the flesh. When He came, every physical attribute of Him; His bones, His blood, His brain … His body … was human.

In His sovereignty, God could have remained distinctly distant and exalted high above us lowly humans, but He did better than that. His nobility is so sure, His virtue is so holy, His eminence is so firm, that He was able to humble Himself as a baby in the womb, and even to a humiliating execution as a criminal.

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Why would anyone want to read about what I do day to day? Well, most people would not. Some people are curious. Some may be considering partnering with us in ministry, so this could be an introduction, to help you decide. Others might already know me and have wondered how I stay so lean. This answers that question. Or they may wonder why my joy and peace do not leave me in stressful situations. This bit of writing should serve for those reasons. I am mainly writing this so I can read it to my children.

Also, even if no one else ever reads this, I think it will serve well as a form of self-reflection. By thinking through what I am doing and why I am doing it, with each of these precious moments I have been given, I can hope and pray that my future choices will be closer to the best priorities.

If any historians happen to be reading this, in hopes of discovering what life was like back in this century, I have a bit of a disclaimer, of sorts. My life does not represent the common activities of this time and culture. Most people consider our family to be quite different from the norm.

Of course, my days are not each alike, so I will not be describing just one day. Rather, the topic will be day to day stuff, when and why. I do not intend to include such intimate details that you will be embarrassed by reading.

DayInTheLifeDayInTheLife

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gems

There are many songs in the Holy Bible — of course, the book of Psalms, but also The Song Of Solomon, Exodus 15, Lamentations, and several others.

Because of the nature of the language used in lyrics, some portions of these songs may have a wider range of possible meanings. When we attempt to choose which meaning is intended, then it is important to limit our selection to that which is consistent with sterling biblical doctrine. A crucial concern is that we need to have a solid scriptural understanding of the topic at hand, in order to properly see the message of a passage or phrase in the biblical songs.

When a person writes in verse, then we can try to discern its meaning based on the beliefs and values of the songwriter. In a similar way, when a song is part of Scripture, thus written by God, the whole Bible is the context.

For example, one might look at the following two verses and think of them as being contradictory, because one verse implies that God is asleep and the other verse says that God never sleeps.

Psalm 7:6 Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me [to] the judgment [that] thou hast commanded.

Psalm 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

To understand this correctly, we must conform our understand of the meaning to be completely consistent with all of the doctrine taught elsewhere in Scripture. From what we know of the nature of God, based on the vast teachings and examples in the Bible, it is clear that God would really never sleep. So, when the psalmist asks God to “awake,” it is simply a prayer that God would start doing something He is not yet doing, and poetically likening it to waking up. We are not going to quote Psalm 7 and insist that God really does sleep, in contradiction to everything we know about God.

When Jesus explained to His disciples about the prophecies that He fulfilled, the references included the Psalms. When Jesus said, “scripture cannot be broken,” He had just quoted from Psalms. So, yes, the Psalms are all inspired of God, and they are all good doctrine.

The Psalms and songs of the Bible are each a glorious expression of holy doctrine and biblical truth. These verses are not intended by God to be the foundation. Rather, they are ornaments that beautify the structure of doctrine, as they are securely fastened to the solid foundation of the whole counsel of God.

Some people do not find beauty to be of much value; God does. So, this view of our poetic Scriptures does not, in any way, reduce the appraisal of their worth. They are precious gems.

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scales-of-justice-silhouette

If two people disagree on the character of abortion, one believes it is murder, the other believes it is a question of social expediency, then any discussion between these two regarding abortion legislation is pointless. There is one exception, one point that can be discussed in this situation, that will be mentioned in a moment.

There are two levels of this topic that will be addressed in this post.

1) The character of abortion
2) Government policies on abortion

There is a deeper level, that has already been addressed in a previous post.

So, let’s start with the identity of the unborn child. Throughout history, there has been no debate that humans bear humans. Can we all agree that your mother’s progeny is human? If not, you can stop reading, at this point, and go back to reading “Alice in Wonderland.” Even though this has never been questioned, there is even more confidence now that it can be proven in a court of law, with DNA evidence, that a child is human, from the moment of conception.

Further, with the same DNA evidence, it can also be legally and scientifically proven that the mother and the unborn child are two distinct people. They are not the same person, since their DNA codes are unique. We already knew this also, but some want to claim that the unborn child is the woman’s own body, so they should be allowed to choose for themselves. Does this distinction in DNA happen gradually, as the child matures? No, the DNA code does not change at all, over time. From the moment of conception, the child is not, in any way, part of the mother’s body. You may choose to disagree, and place yourself in error scientifically, legally, philosophically, and biblically.

When does a human begin living? What is the definition of life? We know that life does not progress from partially alive to some point of being completely alive. You were no more alive the month after your birth than you were the month before your birth. You were no more alive the moment after your birth that you were the moment before your birth. The first cell of a new individual life is called the zygote. This cell is formed from the union of two gametes. No amount of protection and nourishment would cause either of these gametes to develop and grow. Yet, when they combine, the DNA is complete. This is the beginning of life, a new child. Stop hiding behind the word “foetus.” What is the definition of that word? A foetus is an unborn baby. Every abortion stops a beating heart.

To survive, a baby is dependent on those who provide protective care and feeding. You would not last long, if you were prevented from getting any food, clothing and shelter. If you take away the protection from harm, and the nourishment, from any person, they will die. Even if that is all abortion did, then it would be the pre-meditated taking of human life, without due process of law. That is the definition of first-degree murder. Maybe you need to be told that the process of abortion is far more brutal than simply allowing the baby to die.

What about the exception mentioned above? What can we discuss further, if we disagree about abortion being murder? There is one question that can be asked of a voter, or politician, who does not believe abortion is murder. What … if … you … are … wrong? Earnestly consider this! Are you so confident?! Are you so brazen, that you are willing to have the blood of innocent children on your hands?! If so, consider this story. The owner of a building has hired a demolition team, and addressed all of the legalities to permit this. When it comes time to ignite the explosives, there is one concern; the team is not sure if there is a child inside the building. Some witnesses are certain there is a child in the building. Imagine …

Complete the following sentence, “It is OK to kill a baby in the womb when …”

Seriously, can you finish the sentence? Can you honestly fill in the blank with a scenario when you would condone the actions of those who snuff out the life of an innocent child? If you can, then you are devoid of conscience and are unfit for holding public office or even voting.

Speaking to politicians, if you are willing to entertain the idea that it is possibly OK for government to allow abortion, we can have only one response, “You’re FIRED!”

Proverbs 24:11-12
11 If thou forbear to deliver [them that are] drawn unto death, and [those that are] ready to be slain;
12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider [it?] and he that keepeth thy soul, doth [not] he know [it?] and shall [not] he render to [every] man according to his works?

Proverbs 31:8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

Deuteronomy 27:25 Cursed [be] he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Genesis 9:6 … in the image of God made he man.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call Heaven and Earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

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FromHeaven

Job 35:2 Thinkest thou this to be right, [that] thou saidst, My righteousness [is] more than God’s?

There are many who object to the Judaeo-Christian world view, due to the accounts in God’s Word when God commands the Israelites to wipe out a nation, for example.

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Admittedly, this is a hard criticism to answer. There is no lack of a good answer, yet the same skeptic who condemns the God of the Bible, thinking their righteousness is more than God’s, would also likely reject the foundational tenets of this answer, if they bothered to read it. So, why answer? Because the answer honours God and His Word! Also, because many would be misled, if they only hear the skeptic and not the rebuttal.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

There is a good deal of overlap between this topic and Why Is There Pain And Suffering?, but there is enough difference that it deserves a separate article. Especially since it is also strongly addressed in the book of Job. One difference is that the deaths in the book of Job, for example, were attributed to Satan, not God. In this article we focus on the occasions when God commands, rather than allows, the death of individuals who have committed no capital crime. Please read that other article, so we don’t need to repeat a lot of it here. Thanks!

There are some who attempt to salvage God’s reputation, for ordering the Israelites to wipe out entire nations, by claiming that only the men would be remaining to defend the city. The women and children would have known of the coming attack and would have retreated to safety. Even the men who recognized that their nation deserved to be destroyed would not have stayed to defend it. So, only those responsible for the national rebellion would be wiped out in the battle. Whether or not that is true, this article will not be approaching the topic this way. Among other reasons, what about the flood of Noah’s day? The Bible does not say that God allowed Satan to create a global flood, but that it was the action of God Himself. The Bible is clear that the eight on the ark were the only people to escape destruction. So, the above thesis does not fully answer the challenge anyway.

God’s defence is His glory.

Revelation 14:7 … Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made Heaven, and Earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Daniel 4:34-35
34 … I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:
35 And all the inhabitants of the Earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of Heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the Earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Job 41:11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay [him? whatsoever is] under the whole heaven is mine.

Colossians 1:16-17
16 For by him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the Heaven and in the Earth [is thine;] thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.

We are all condemned to death.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 3:17, 19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: … unto dust shalt thou return.

Romans 5:12, 18
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
18 … as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Every breath is from God’s grace.

Job 34:12-15
12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.
13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?
14 If he set his heart upon man, [if] he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath;
15 All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.

John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Each breath we take is a gift from God. He does not owe us another one. God’s holiness and righteousness do not depend on our receipt of another moment of life. He need not provide any justification for when, or how, our earthly lives end. Though we can take steps to hasten our demise, there is no guarantee, there is no contract, that our lives will last. However you define “long life,” it still ends.

Job 33:12-13
12 Behold, … God is greater than man.
13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

The Biblical standard is high, for when mankind is to take a human life, and people get confused and start to misapply these criteria to God. By definition, God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Mankind is not … not even close. Just because we must provide biblical justification any time we take a human life, does not mean that God needs to answer to us. Sometimes God reveals to us the details of how the manner and timing of a person’s death fits into His glorious plan, usually He does not.

God can do some things that we cannot rightly do …

Isaiah 55:8-9
8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

2 Thessalonians 2:1,4
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, …
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

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physics-formula-vectors

Many prefer the elegance of simplicity, and who can blame them? It is very nice when something is simple or easy to understand. We are naturally drawn to scenes of organized and predictable arrangements. There are many occasions when we can hunt down, or create, these manageable solutions and enjoy the benefits of such a reliable system.

Life is complicated. Sometimes we can just avoid those knotty situations, but sometimes such avoidance would be sinful negligence. Complexity in life is not going to go away, just because we prefer simplicity. We may be tempted to treat complex issues as if they were elementary.

This is just speaking in generalities, so here is an example. Church discipline is complicated. Thus, it requires much prayer, and probably fasting, for wisdom and guidance, backed by several years of Bible study. That is just an example. You can probably think of several more cases where much diligence, discretion, or responsibility is due.

Much value is added when we make the effort to simplify, yet it rarely happens without this effort. There are portions of the Bible that are easy to study. In contrast, there are some doctrinal topics that are difficult to understand. A preacher does a great service for his audience when he studies the Holy Bible for many hours, then shares some simple insights that God provided. The congregation will never get, from the sermon, the full benefit that the preacher got from the study. But, if they are attentive, they may receive far more listening to a half-hour of preaching than they would have received from a half-hour of Bible study. Among other blessings, this is one profit we receive from the prophet.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

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compromise

You have been repeatedly told that science has disproved The Holy Bible. Do you believe these claims, or do you believe the Bible? Have you decided?

Some take another approach. Instead of deciding which one is true, they make a compromise. They change plain teachings of the Bible to suit the latest fad.

The Bible does not allow a compromise, since it claims to be the Word of God. If the Bible is not true, then you would do well to find a trustworthy source of teaching, rather than attempting to decide which parts of the Bible are true, and “adjusting” the portions you find disagreeable; putting your own authority above The Author.

Science does not require a compromise. When the claims, regarding science disproving the Bible, are examined, it is found that they are merely opinions about the implications of science. The assertions themselves are not properties of nature which are observable, repeatable, and testable, which disqualifies the claims as being science. Rather, they are ideology, yet another faith, the faith of Secular Humanism. No true scientific evidence has ever contradicted the Bible. The contradiction is in the interpretation of the evidence.

This humanist interpretation is to be expected from humanists. The foundational purpose of these assertions is an attempt to explain origins from a completely naturalistic, or materialistic, view point. It is a thesis striving to answer the question, “How could existence have arisen without God?” Thus, this atheist ideology will see all scientific evidence in this light.

If Atheism is true, then the Bible is not true. If the Bible is true, then Atheism is not true. There is no point in compromising between the two, or trying to harmonize them.

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

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whySuffering

One of the main excuses people give for rejecting the idea of a loving God, is the fact that there is so much suffering in this world. Their rationalized logic goes something like this: since there is suffering, then God is either not capable of ending the suffering, or He does not want to end the suffering; therefore, if there is any God at all, then He is either powerless or tyrannical. The existence of suffering means that God cannot be both all loving and all powerful, so He is not the God of the Bible.

For example, Charles Templeton decided to reject the omnipotent, benevolent God of the Bible, after “serving” Him for several years in the ministry, when he saw a photo. The photo was a picture of a mother crying because her baby was dying. His reasoning was that the baby was dying because of a drought and no one but God controls the weather, so this suffering disproved the existence of the God of the Bible.

Some would call this line of reasoning by the term “philosophy,” but that would not be exactly the correct word for it, since philosophy means the love of wisdom, and there is nothing wise about it. Since the gap in this logic is hidden, so that the conclusion seems reasonable, the correct word for this would be “sophistry.” Let’s turn to the Bible to shed light on this ideology to show it for the fallacy that it is.

In Genesis we see that God created everything very good. This evaluation was by God’s own standard, so it was perfect. There was no suffering in Eden. Of course, if we lived in Eden today, the foundation for the fallacy against a loving God would not exist. So, are we done refuting the sophistry? No, not yet. If we stop here, we have Deism; those who believe God created, but lacks the love or power to prevent suffering today. It is the suffering today that is the foundation for the sophistry. A Deist would argue that Eden is just a story made up to get God off the hook.

So, we need some more insights from God’s Word. In Genesis we see that the world was cursed due to Adam’s sin. God warned them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam rebelled against God’s throne, against God’s commandment, and plunged the world into sin, death and suffering.

Let’s park here for a minute, before we go on, to look at the correlation between sin and suffering. It is not always some specific sin of mine that causes some specific suffering of mine, is it? Let’s look at some examples.

Job 1-2

According to God, Job’s trial of faith was not due to his sin. God said to Satan that Job was destroyed without cause.

John 9:1-3

Sometimes people suffer because of their own sin, sometimes people suffer because of someone else’s sin, e.g., Adam’s sin. Jesus said this blind man suffered “that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Luke 24:25-27

It is clear that Christ suffered for our sins, since He had none of His own sins.

OK, so we can see that there is not always a direct correlation between a specific sin of mine and some specific suffering of mine. I will point out why this is important a little later.

For now, we are back to the stage in our Biblical analysis where the world is suffering because of Adam’s sin. So, have we been successful in moving the blame for suffering from God’s shoulders and placing the blame on Adam? Close, but not quite. Why not? Because our antagonist, though his argument is weakening, still counters that God is punishing us for Adam’s sin and that is not just, so God is not good. This is an attempt to put the blame back on God, using smoke and mirrors. It is still the same sophistry, but it is starting to be easier to see the foundation crumble when we realize that all have sinned. Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Throughout history, we have proved that we would have done the same as Adam. It is as if Adam represented us in the trial. Even though he was in a perfect environment, with no hardships, no lack of necessary knowledge, no degradation of mental capabilities from genetic faults, he still rebelled against God.

The last vestige of an argument from God’s antagonist is that God should not have allowed sin, thus suffering, into the world at all. This idea is so weak that it is almost self-refuting, but let’s look to God’s Word again to finish. I will grant that God knows better than us, so who are we to question the way He runs the universe. Even though I will grant that, an unbeliever will not. God’s Word has given us some insights into why sin is allowed, so let’s look at some of them.

There are at least three Biblical reasons that this last argument does not stand:

1) God made paradise on Earth. There is a second paradise, also made by God, where there is no suffering. We ruined Eden with our sin, but sin will not be allowed into the new paradise. If it were not for the sin of mankind, no one would die, and there would be no suffering, painfully hard work, disease or thorns. This evil is temporary, and ends in Heaven. So, God has made a world where sin is not allowed and you can choose to go there. This life is your time to decide.

2) God has a purpose for suffering. We learn a lot from suffering. Satan carries out the evil, but God can use all of it for good. It is the knowledge of good and evil. One of the ways we learn about God is by getting a taste of what the world is like without Him. It is like the black in the painting that brings out the colours more brilliantly. Here is where it helps to remember that there is not always a direct correlation between some specific sin of mine and some specific suffering of mine. God created the tree, now we have an entire world of knowledge of good and evil. This life is your time to decide.

3) God made us in His image. If He did not make us with a will to choose, then it would be the same as not making us at all. In order for us to do good, then there must be an alternative. Some claim it is unjust for God to create us with the ability to sin, then punish us when we do. Those same people are stealing God’s own standards of right and wrong, justice. This standard is then applied backwards. It was not evil for God to create us with a will to choose. Furthermore, it is your own decision when you sin, and God’s justice demands condemnation for evil. Do you really want justice, or would you rather have forgiveness? This life is your time to decide.

In the book of Job we have some lessons about the reasons for pain, death, and suffering in this world. Notice that evil men attacked and killed Job’s servants and stole his possessions. God attributed these evil actions to Satan. The point here is not to say that people are not responsible for their own evil actions, but that Satan was the conspirator behind all of this destruction and loss.

There are definitely occasions when we suffer because of our own sin, but one of the main points of the book of Job is that he was suffering in spite of his righteousness, even because of his righteousness. God said to Satan that Job’s destruction was without cause. This helps us to understand that suffering is not evidence of unrighteousness. This seems obvious, since it is easy to find examples, in the Bible and in our own experiences, of those who suffered for righteousness. But that is the very mistake made by Job’s three friends. They claimed that his suffering, and only his suffering, was sufficient evidence to prove that there must be some hidden sin in his life. We can learn from their mistake, or face God’s rebuke, as they did. God convicted them of folly and sentenced them to repentance and offering of sacrifices.

God knows best. We can learn from the book of Job that God is in control of, and limits the influences of, the evil affecting our lives. We can trust Him to gauge and foresee the blessings that only He can envision resulting from our trials. Jesus suffered unimaginably, then died on a cruel cross. From an earthly perspective, this was the most tragic event in history. Not only was it the most agony ever suffered, but it was the highest injustice, due to His complete innocence. From an eternal perspective, this same event was the pinnacle of history. No greater deed has been done. No greater love has been shown. The contrast between these two perspectives, of the same historical event, is a wide chasm. We cannot see across this chasm. We cannot judge, from our limited earthly perspective, the whole picture. Since we cannot see from God’s perspective, until He shows us, we also cannot reject the idea of a loving God on the basis that there is so much suffering in this world.

Psalm 119:71 [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

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