Enter Email to be notified of new posts

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Moses and Thanksgiving

Just saw a preview for the new "Exodus" movie. Just like all of the others, they neglect the fact that Moses was 80 years old when the exodus occurred. Just like Daniel was 80 years old when he was put into the lions' den. I expect this movie to be like the recent "Noah" movie, long on action but short on accurate Biblical content.


I mentioned this before on my old site. As you watch the Thanksgiving episodes of your favorite TV shows, I want you to notice something. There will probably be a scene where everyone is gathered around the table. In turn, they will state what they are thankful for. Notice, though, they will most likely not mention who they are thankful to. As you celebrate Thanksgiving, remember James 1:17. If good things happen to you, it's only because God allows it. The world is evil. People are evil. If left to themselves, men will do evil. This Thanksgiving, remember the one who gives you the blessings you are thankful for.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Listen to me talk

I found the link to the talk I gave on the six days of creation several years ago. Here it is.






Thanks to archive.org for hosting it.

Some Old Notes Part 1

I keep a notebook with my Bible and, whenever I feel inspired, I write some thing that occurs to me. Basically, these are things that I've been meaning to post for a log time but have never gotten around to; mostly because they are just snippets of things I jotted down.


I came across this the other day. It is a question regarding the age of the earth. As you probably know, since it's most likely what you were taught in school, most scientists teach that the earth is around 4.5 billion years old and man did not appear until only around one million years ago. Now this is certainly at contradiction with the Bible because, if you add up the genealogies in the Bible back to Adam, we find that Adam was created only around 6000 years ago. Many well meaning Christians try to believe in Adam but also accept the old earth theory.


The question I jotted in my notebook is this "If the purpose of the universe is for God to have fellowship with man, why did he wait billions of years before he created him? What would be the point of an earth with many plants and animals existing for at least millions of years and even going extinct before man was created? The only reason for there being an old earth is because it would have taken millions of years for the species we currently see, including man, to evolve. If you believe in your heart that man evolved from a lower form, then there's no reason to believe in God because evolution could have occurred without him.


This is one reason why I believe in a literal six day creation approximately 6000 years ago. God created the entire universe just for man. He created man on the sixth day while all of the plants and animals he originally created were still alive. Remember, death is the result of sin, so nothing could have died until Adam sinned. The main reason I believe is because that's what the Bible says, unless you try to shove modern scientific ideas into it.


By the way, If you are coming to my Sunday School Class tomorrow, please read Genesis 41. We will be discussing "Overcoming Hard Times" by looking at how Joseph prepared Egypt for the great famine.


If I don't post again before Tuesday, Happy Veterans' Day to all of my fellow former servicemen.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Buy my NEW book

Beginnings: A Commentary on Genesis 1-4 is now available at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/BrianVermeer
for only $1.99. You can get it in a variety of e-book formats.

It is a verse-by-verse explanation of the first four chapters of Genesis (Creation through Cain and Abel.) In a very easy to read format, I cover the many difficulties that some have with this, the most disputed section of the Bible.

If you haven't bought my first e-book Answering Darrow : What William Jennings Bryan Should Have Said (Thank you to the four of you who have.) It is still available at the same site for only 99 cents, as well as at other major online retailers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When is the Sabbath?

While on vacation this year, I picked up a free book from an old newspaper machine called "Sunday is Not the Bible Sabbath" published by Harvestime Books. Whenever there is a free book presenting a view that seems to be different from mainstream Christianity, it seems the writers and publishers go out of their way to not let you know up front which church they represent. Usually, though, it's not hard to tell. If it's published by Watchtower, for example, it's Jehovah's Witnesses. If it's published by Deseret, it's Mormon, etc. I noticed the last chapter of this book quotes from "The Great Controversy." That and the subject matter quickly let me know that this was from the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

While most (myself included) would not come right out and call the SDA church a cult, they do have a couple of characteristics that make them suspect. First, in addition to the Bible, they add the teachings of their founder, Ellen G White, to almost scriptural status. Any church that says "In addition to the Bible, you need the writings of this person," or "You can't understand the Bible correctly, until you read what this person has to say," is one to be wary of. Also, any group that pushes one particular doctrine as most important (other than maybe the deity of Christ, or salvation by faith,) to the exclusion of all others is also suspect. In this case, the issue is Sunday worship. The writers of this book seem to be saying "If you worship on Sunday, you are going to Hell."

They claim that God never changed the Sabbath to Sunday. With this point I agree. But I don't agree with their assertions that the Catholic Church deliberately changed worship to Sunday so as to incorporate pagan worship. The book says if you worship on Sunday, you are worshipping the Sun God since Sunday was named for the Sun. What they don't mention is that Saturday was named for the pagan god Saturn. So if you worship on Saturday, are you worshipping Saturn? They also don't mention that in most languages, the day we call Sunday is named using some variation of "The Lord's Day." For example in Spanish, the day is called Domingo, not dia del Sol.

I am also not convinced of their arguments that because of Jesus, we don't have to obey the Mosaic law at all except for the Sabbath laws. While it is true that Paul and the other Apostles continued to go to synagogue on Saturdays, that was because that's where the people they wanted to preach to were. We also know that the early Gentile Christians (most of us in the world are Gentiles) met and worshipped on Sunday because it was the day of the resurrection.

It is interesting to note the first Christian council, the Council of Jerusalem, covered in Acts 15,  mentioned this issue. Specifically, the issue was whether Gentile Christians had to obey the Law of Moses. The decision reached by the church (by the Holy Spirit, verse 28) was no except for four things mentioned in verse 20. Interestingly, the Sabbath is not one of the things mentioned. Therefore, Gentile Christians were not required by the church, or the Holy Spirit, to worship on Saturday. Also, Paul specifically told the Colossian church "Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah." (Colossians 2:16-17)

That being said, That does not mean that Sunday is the Sabbath. The Sabbath always has been and always will be Saturday. (Or actually from Friday evening until Saturday evening.) But as Christians, we are free to worship on any day we please. If  "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," (words of Jesus himself in Mark 2:27) then man is greater than the Sabbath and is not bound by it. Don't let anyone tell you different. This is not an issue on which your salvation depends. If some groups choose to worship on Saturday, that is their option. But don't let anyone scare you into thinking that Sunday worship is the mark of the beast (Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God "Who or What is the Prophetic Beast p38) or anything like that. The only thing on which your salvation rests is your relationship with Christ. See Here

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Posting Again Soon

I just got back from a 10 day vacation and am physically and mentally exhausted. Some of you may know I have had health problems stemming from severe asthma and anxiety disorder. Please keep me in your prayers. I am waiting for school to start so my daughter will be out of the house all day and I will have quiet times to post. (I love my daughter but anyone with an eight year old knows they can be a handful.) I am also finishing my second book. It will be a commentary on Genesis 1-4. (Look to the right to order the first book)
See you soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

National Pride and Does God Care Who Wins Soccer Matches?

I just saw something amazing. I'm watching the first match of the World Cup between Brazil and Croatia. They are playing in Brazil and midway through the Brazilian national anthem, the music stopped. The crowd wasn't fazed, though. They started singing louder. I wonder what would happen at an American sporting event if the music stopped during the national anthem?

To the point, though: Skeptics will take occasions like this to ask something like the following.
"The Americans are praying for their team to win. The Brazilians are praying for their team to win. And so on for the other 30 teams. How can God answer all of their prayers?"

The truth is this. God hears all of their prayers, but that doesn't mean God will answer all of them in the way the prayer hopes. Many times the answer to our prayers is "no." God knows what we need. (Matthew 6:8) We pray to acknowledge his provision and our dependence on him.

That being said, I really don't think God cares who wins the World Cup or any sporting event fr that matter. He may be doing some work through individual players or fans but to say that a particular team winning would be either with or against his will would be pushing it.

But I'm still going to pray for the USA. They'll need it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday School Notes: God is Love

I have a bad headache and sore throat this morning so I will not be able to teach my Sunday School class today, but here are the notes from today's lesson.

Last week we looked at God's holiness, today we are looking at another attribute of God, love.

Picture at beginning of lesson asks "What makes you love someone?" For example, why do you love your spouse or kids? When you make a friend, when does liking turn to loving?

New Testament Greek uses three different words for love
philos - (Where we get philanthropist - lover of people) love you feel for a friend or family member
eros - (Where we get erotic) Sexual love or love for a spouse, which I hope is different than what you feel for your friends.
agape (ah-gah'-pay) - Love between us and God. A reverential love.

Reading is from 1 John. Written by the apostle John who is called "The one Jesus loved." Most likely means he was Jesus' closest friend.

First reading is from 1 John 4:7-8
In verse 7 we see that true love comes from God. If we truly love someone, it is because God has given that love to us. Many people think they love others but if they don't know God then what they feel is not true love.  As Kirk Cameron said in "Fireproof"  "You can't give what you don't have."
In verse 8 we see that if someone has no love, then that person does not know God.  Jesus said "This is how the world will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another."  It also says that God is love. An interesting exercise is to substitute the word "God" for the word "love" in 1 Corinthians 13.

Next reading is verses 9-10
One of the greatest passages in the Bible. The only reason God sent Christ to die for us is because he loves us. How many people would you willingly give your life for? How many people that you don't love would you willingly give your life for? Paul said "Hardly would anyone die for even a good man, but Christ died for us while we were sinners." In verse 10 John says that God did not do this because we loved him, but because he loved us. "Propitiation" (Pro-pitch-ee-ay'-shun)means "acceptable substitute." Christ's death was an acceptable substitute for our deaths for our sins.

Last reading is verse 11-12
Verse 11 is pretty obvious. If God loved us enough to die for us, we should love each other. Remember, Christ died for everyone, even those that we find unloveable, so we should love them, too.
In verse 12, John reminds us that even though no one has seen God, if we love others, they will see God in us because we are showing God to them.

Links go to corresponding passages at www.BibleGateway.com. A great site for Bible study and comparison of different Bible translations. Feel free to leave comments or questions about this or any other subject below.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gay Marriage Encouraged by the Church?

I just read that the United Church of Christ along with others is suing the State of North Carolina over its ban on same-sex marriages. What part of Leviticus 18:22 don't they get? To think that a church is suing to allow its ministers to perform something which the Bible says over and over is wrong.

Before the normal arguments come in...
1. Leviticus 18:22 clearly says that homosexual behavior is sinful.
2. As Christians, we are not required to obey the Law of Moses for salvation, (1 Corinthians 6:12) but the Gentile Christians were advised not to participate in sexual immorality. (Acts 15:20,  1 Corinthians 6:13)
3. Jesus does tell us to love others, but that does not mean condone their sinful actions or worse, encourage them. (John 8:11)

So how a church that calls itself Christian can call for a government to allow homosexual marriage is beyond me.

To avoid another argument, homosexual marriage is not about equal rights. It is about the homosexual community getting the government to sanction their beliefs. Homosexuals already had equal rights as far as marriage. They were not allowed to marry the same sex: Heterosexuals weren't allowed to either. They were allowed to marry the opposite sex: So were heterosexuals. They claim they weren't allowed to marry the one they loved: Neither were polygamists, pedophiles or people who wanted to marry animals. Should we allow them to marry the ones they love, too? By the way, polygamists are already suing for the right to have more than one spouse using the same argument as homosexuals.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why is Abortion Wrong?

A question about abortion

Christians will tell you that if a baby dies it goes to heaven. Why then are they so against abortion? All the child is being deprived of is the opportunity to go to hell. Either that or god expects unborn fetuses to accept Jesus.   


Abortion is a very hot topic. Rush Limbaugh once said that it would be the nation's next civil war.  While I hope it won't go that far, this is not a topic that should be discussed lightly.

Like most Christians I am against abortion for any reason except possibly to save the life of the mother. Our reasons for this stand come from the fact that we believe that, from the moment of conception, the unborn child is a human 
being in every sense of the word. If the child is a human who has done no wrong, then to kill it by abortion is the same as committing murder.

Some of our reasons for this belief come from the Bible itself.

"Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?" Job 31:15

"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;" Isaiah 44:24

"Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb," Isaiah 44:2

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

and others.

These verses show that people are human and called by God even before they are born. If God considers a fetus to be a human then shouldn't man do the same?

Other reasons come from science.

From the time a fetus is formed, it has its own set of DNA. The DNA is human DNA, not fish or monkey or anything else. The DNA is different from its mother, father or anyone else.

Before the woman even realizes she is pregnant, the fetus has its own brain, heart and blood. The blood is separate from the mother and may even be a different type.

And there are many other reasons.

So the reason most Christians are against abortion is we believe it is murder of an innocent human. Exodus 20:13

And, yes, God desires that, after they are born, all of these children would accept Christ, although he knows that not all of them will.

Click on the links to get further commentary on the selected verses from www.biblegateway.com which is a great site to get Bible Studies.

Jesus' DNA


Here's another question from the skeptics. If God is the father of Jesus, what is Jesus' DNA like? Does God have sperm? If he doesn't, where did Mary get the DNA from that was needed to make Jesus? This would make Mary asexual and Jesus would then be a girl. No Y chromosome.   

 As a scientist, I have always said that I'd love to get a look at Jesus' DNA. We aren't given the biological details of Mary's pregnancy in the Bible  because (as the skeptics are so fond of saying) the Bible is not a science book. In other words, the details are not essential to the message of the Bible. All the Bible says is  "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

If God can create the universe, then he can certainly create a Y chromosome for Jesus' maleness inside Mary's egg along with the rest of the other half of Jesus DNA during this "overshadowing". (Don't you wish you could decide exactly what your son's DNA was like?)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Answering Darrow Now 99 cents

If you haven't noticed, (and by the sales figures, you haven't) My first book Answering Darrow: What William Jennings Bryan Should Have Said is now available at major e-book sellers for only $0.99. That's right. Get it now and see where Bryan went wrong and caused Creationists to become laughingstocks, allowing evolutionary thought to permeate classrooms.

Available at 
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379716

also at Barnes and Noble.com and iTunes in a variety of e-book formats.

Fat Tuesday

Today is Mardi Gras and as I live in extreme southwest Arkansas some fifty miles from the Louisiana state line, it's a pretty big thing. When I was a teacher, I would have several students come in with Mardi Gras decorations or clothing (especially beads). I would ask them if they were celebrating Mardi Gras to which they would reply "yeah!" I would then ask them what they were giving up for Lent and they would say "Huh?"
For those that don't know, Lent is a season that begins on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. The purpose of Lent is to prepare one's mind and body for Easter by going without something for the 40 days. This commemorates the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the wilderness after his baptism. The Christian is asked to forgo something that he would miss for the 40 days. That is, that it would be somewhat of a hardship to do without. Many use this time to begin a diet or stop smoking or other bad habit. The goal is to take the time and money that would be devoted to the habit or thing and give it to God. After Easter, you may begin doing again whatever you stopped doing.
The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday then, is the last day you can do whatever you are giving up for Lent. Some would use this day as a time to go overboard on their vice. Eventually it evolved into a huge day of partying. Since the custom in the US came mostly from the Catholics in French Louisiana, the day was named in the French "Mardi Gras" which literally means fat (or large) Tuesday.
Today (like others), this holiday has been usurped by many who have no idea of its origins. It is used as an excuse to get drunk and engage in other forms of debauchery. The Christian origin is either forgotten or ignored. This is why I was irked by my students. It's time that Christians took back our holidays. If you do not plan on observing Ash Wednesday or the Lenten Season, you have no right to celebrate Mardi Gras. It is not your holiday. It is Christ's.

Expect a similar rant on St. Patrick's Day and Christmas.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"If a soul is non-physical and the human body is physical, how does a soul stay in our bodies?"

I had a friend at college who was a big Star Trek fan (Bigger than I am. His room was decorated in Klingon.) He loved to ask the question, "What happens to the soul when someone is beamed down to a planet?" That is, if the body were dissolved into atoms, what would happen to the soul? There are a lot of questions about the soul's relationship to the body. 
Is the soul a part of the body or is it completely separate? Does the body die when the soul leaves or does the soul leave when the body dies? Does someone who is brain dead, but still on life support still have a soul? I was in the room when my wife's grandmother passed away and tried to see some evidence of the soul leaving, but couldn't. Some scientists even tried to measure the mass of a body before and after death to determine the physical mass of the soul. Unfortunately, the reason we know very little about the physical makeup of the soul because the soul is not physical. The soul is supernatural. It is the immortal part of ourselves. The soul doesn't die. The soul is what separates humans from animals.
We do know that the soul is corporeal. It has a shape and can be recognized. (Revelation 6:9) Apparently, our souls look like ourselves.(1 Samuel 28:14) And one day, our souls will be reunited with our bodies to either be rewarded in Heaven or punished in Hell.
How does the soul stay in the body? The Bible doesn't say. All we can say is because God allows it. When God decides to take it away, we die.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Has Satan Twisted the Bible

Another question from the internet

"I have often heard from many believers that even Satan has a presence in the church, which is why even in church people can still have impure thoughts. If Satan can find his way in the church, how do Christians know that Satan didn't find his way into the Bible and twist the whole book?"

See this post for why I believe we can trust the Bible. As far as Christians having impure thoughts even in church; If a Christian has an impure thought, it is not Satan's fault. People have impure thoughts because of their own sinful 
nature. Satan cannot put himself into a Christian's mind. Satan can set up situations to tempt people to sin, but a person sins by himself. He can always choose not to give in to the temptation. (James 1:13-16)
By the way, I do believe that some versions of the Bible have been "twisted." (e.g. the New World Translation used by Jehovah's Witnesses)


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I'm now a member of Bible Gateway

Bible Gateway is a great site for Bible study. You can read the Bible in many translations, study individual verses, and read many different Bible Study Blogs (like this one.)
From themselves

BibleGateway.com, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is the most visited Christian website with 130-140 million views per month, 637,000+ Facebook fans, 60,000+ consistent blog readers, and 44,000+ Twitter followers. Founded in 1993, it’s the original multilingual online Bible resource. It empowers global users to freely read, search, study, compare, and share the Bible in 70+ languages and 180+ versions, using their desktops, laptops, tablets, ereaders, or smartphones.

Check it out.

Where is the Devil?

Another question from internet skeptic sites. 

If god (sic) cast the devil into hell and hell is a place for eternal punishment from which even god cannot grant a pardon, then why do the preachers tell us the devil is walking up and down the hallways of high schools tempting 
teenagers to do drugs and have premarital sex? A warden who allows his prisoners the freedom to go out and kill and rape would be terminated for incompetence.

Answer

After reading that last sentence, I'm tempted to say something about prison furlough programs but I won't.


The simple answer is because, contrary to popular belief, Satan has not been cast into Hell, yet. He won't be sent to Hell until just before Judgement Day. (Revelation 20:10) Satan was cast to Earth. (Revelation 12:9) So, he could be 
roaming the halls of our high schools.

But, actually, Satan himself probably doesn't mess with too many people, himself. He is too busy accusing people before God. (Job 1) However, he does have a large (but not infinite) number of demons who do much of his tempting 
for him. Also remember, people are tempted when they are already led away by their own desires. (James 1:13-14) Demons may set up a situation, but people sin by their own choice. Satan doesn't need to tempt people. Their own sinful nature does that for him.

Another thing to remember about Hell is that it was not meant for man. It was intended to be a place of punishment only for Satan and his follower angels. (Matthew 25:41) Man only goes there because, by rejecting Christ's gift of Salvation, he chooses to side with the devil.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Do You Know Jesus?

The reason this ministry exists is to tell others about Jesus. Because, in the long run, it doesn't matter what you believe about creation. It doesn't matter what you believe about science, abortion, then end times or anything else. All that matters is, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

In the beginning, God made Adam and Eve. (Genesis 1:27, 2:7, 2:22) He told them they could do whatever they wanted except eat from one particular tree.(Genesis 2:17)  After listening to Satan, they chose to eat from the tree anyway. (Genesis 3:6) Please notice; their sin wasn't eating the fruit, it was that they disobeyed God. That's all that sin is, disobeying God.

Since God is perfect, he can't tolerate sinfulness in his presence. Man has to do something to pay for his sin. Since the consequence of sin is death, (Romans 6:23) something has to die to make up for man's sin. God started a sacrificial system to do this. However, sacrificing animals doesn't really cover man's sin because the animal is incapable of sin itself. The only one who can die for a human's sin is another human. The problem is that all humans have their own sins for which to die. I can't die for your sin because I have my own sin to die for. The only acceptable sacrifice would be a human who had never sinned himself. But all humans have sinned (Romans 3:23) so it seems there is no hope of making up with God.

Knowing this, God already had a plan. He would come to the world himself as a human to be the sacrifice. Temporarily setting aside some of his Godly attributes, God came to Earth as the man Jesus. Jesus was born as a human, lived as a human, and experienced human emotion and feelings, including pain and temptation. He taught us about the way God wants us to live. He taught us that God judges our intents, not our actions. (Matthew 5)

Jesus allowed himself to be killed in the most horrific and painful way man has ever devised as the sacrifice for our sins. But three days later, he physically and bodily rose from the dead to show his power over death and as a promise that, one day, we will live forever as well in resurrected perfect bodies.

Do you want to live forever? All it takes is to receive this gift from God. We can't earn our way into Heaven. There is nothing we can do that is so good that God must let us into Heaven for our actions. But also, there is nothing so bad that we can do that God can't forgive us if we repent and ask forgiveness. God wants us to be with him forever. But to do so, we must admit that we can't make it on our own. We must agree with God that we are sinners and repent of 
our sins. That means to turn away from our bad actions and thoughts and honestly try not to sin again. (John 8:10-11) We must believe that Christ died for our sins and accept his death as our sacrifice. We must accept Christ as our savior and Lord. That means we must ask Jesus to enter our lives and rule over us. We must be willing to submit to the authority of Christ and follow his lead in our lives.

Simply pray a prayer like this and be honest about it.

Father,

I know I am a sinner. I know I've done things that displease you. Right now I want to repent of my sins. I want to turn my life around and follow your lead. I believe that Christ died for my sins. I accept his sacrifice as payment for my sins. Please come into my life as my savior and Lord. Please help me to follow your instructions. Thank you for hearing me and saving me.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer and meant it, congratulations, you are now part of God's family. You are an adopted child of God and heir to his richness. And, I, and many others, will see you in Heaven someday.

Now for the awful truth. You are still going to commit sins. Being saved doesn't make you perfect, and it doesn't mean your life will suddenly become a bed of roses. But it does mean that you can always pray for help. You can trust God to hear you. You are also part of a worldwide family of Christians. I highly recommend that you become involved in a local church. Tell the pastor of your decision to become a Christian. He will be thrilled. Follow the lead of Christ in baptism. Get involved in church activities and become friends with other Christians. This will give you the strength to follow Christ. Most of all begin a regular habit of prayer and Bible study. And, if Satan tries to remind you of your past life, remember that you are a child of God, now and you belong to Him. And he will never let you go. Nothing you did before matters, now.

Please let me know of your decision, too so I can pray for you. Comment on this post or send an e-mail to bvermeer0@gmail.com.
 I'm waiting to hear from you.

Has Satan Tricked Us?

Another question from the internet.

If Satan is the ultimate trickster, how do we know that Satan hasn't tricked Christians into worshiping him as God (Yahweh) and are actually rebuking the "real" God in his own name?


If Satan has everyone believing the wrong thing about God, then one of two scenarios must be true.
1. God is allowing Satan to deceive everyone OR
2. God can't prevent Satan from deceiving everyone.

If scenario one is correct, then God is a deceiver. Why would God deliberately hide his truth from humans, when their immortal future is at stake? This would make God cruel, deliberately sending people to Hell and not allowing them an avenue of escape.

If scenario two is correct, then Satan must be more powerful than God. If God can't stop Satan from spreading false doctrine, then maybe Satan is the one to be followed anyway.

The truth is that Satan can only do what God allows him to do. God reveals his truth to everyone. (Romans 1:20) Some people choose not to believe the truth. After a time, God will allow them to be tricked by Satan since they have refused to follow God anyway.

By the way, scenario one is one of the main problems I have with the Mormon church, the Jehovah's Witnesses or other groups that say that the entire church went apostate a long time ago and God had to re-reveal his truth to their leader,prophet, etc.  I don't believe that God would have allowed his word to completely disappear from the Earth. (Matthew 24:35) This would have condemned millions of people without any chance of salvation because no-one on Earth would have known the truth.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

God's Word is Reliable (Short Answer)

Here's a skeptical question found in several places on the internet. 
"Why would God entrust the spreading of 'His' word to one of his 'fallible' children?  He knows men are sinners and are untrue, I doubt a professor would allow one of his students to teach a class if all the other students' futures were at stake.  If God loved us so much and he wants us to be with him, why would he put our eternal souls at risk like that?"

Here's the short a
nswer


The professor might allow the student to teach the class if he personally guided the student when the lesson was written to make sure that all of the important topics were covered. Also if the professor observed while the lesson was being taught to make sure nothing was left out. Whenever I had a student give a report in class, I made sure what he said was correct, and corrected him if he wasn't to make sure the class understood the truth.


This is how God prepared his word. He guided the authors, by the Holy Spirit, to only write what God intended to say. He did not necessarily dictate word for word to the authors, but he made sure all that they wrote was correct. He also made sure they wrote everything he intended for them to write. As preachers and missionaries spread the word, they should be guided by the Holy Spirit to say what God intends for them to say. That doesn't mean that they all are, but that they all should be. There are times when I am speaking or teaching my Sunday School class that I can feel the influence of the Holy Spirit guiding my words. That reassures me that I am saying the right things.

Men may be fallible, but the Bible is infallible because it was written by God 
through men guided by God.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I Don't Believe in Aliens

Do you believe in UFOs?


This was one of the most common questions my students would ask me in class.  I answered "Certainly." UFO simply means "unidentified flying object." I believe there are many flying things people have seen that have not been positively identified. Usually that's because the viewer cannot give a totally accurate description of the object in question. Now, do I believe that UFOs are from somewhere out in space? No. I believe that most UFOs have simply natural and boring explanations. Unusual weather patters, unknown (to the viewer) aircraft, stars, planets, or more commonly meteors and comets.

The question usually then turns to "Do you believe in alien life?" While I won't completely rule out the possibility of microbial, plant or even animal life on other planets, I do not believe in intelligent life beyond Earth. The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image. (Genesis 1:27) This was the culmination of the creation week. That is, everything else in the universe was created before man. (Genesis 1:31-2:1) It is reasonable to assume, then that the entire universe was created for man. Therefore, man is the most important item in all of God's creation.

If there exist other intelligent creatures on other worlds, then they must have been created by God, also. (John 1:3) This poses some problems. Were they also made in God's image? Do they possess a sinful nature? If, so, then how are they saved? Did Jesus come to their world, also? What would be God's point in making two intelligent species? No where in the Bible is there any hint of life outside of Earth, in spite of what the UFO people say about Ezekiel. (They claim that Ezekiel's vision of the "wheel within a wheel" (Ezekiel 1:15-16) was actually a flying saucer and the living creatures he saw were aliens.)

Now, while I said that most UFO sightings could be explained, I also won't rule out the possibility that demons could cause themselves to appear to people as UFOs or aliens to get them to question their faith in God. However, this, I believe is a rarity. (For more information read Gary Bates good book Alien Intrusion. available at www.answersingenesis.org.)

By the way, the whole argument in favor of aliens is basically an evolutionary argument. If life evolved on Earth, the argument goes, then it must have evolved elsewhere also. The universe is just too big for Earth to be the only inhabited planet. That is, the main argument in favor of extraterrestrial life is a purely speculative one.

Another thought, UFO people are also the hardest to try to talk to. Most of them have the conspiracy mindset. I had an interesting conversation about Roswell with a student. He asked why doesn't the Air Force just release their information about Roswell. I told him that the Freedom of Information Act required the Air Force to release the information in 1998. The did and showed that the crash in Roswell was of a spy balloon system. He didn't believe me and said that was just what the government wanted us to think. I said "OK, suppose I took you to Area 51 into Hangar 18 and showed you the wreckage and it actually was a spy balloon system. Would believe me, then?" He said "No, I would think you were just showing me what you wanted me to believe." The problem wasn't that he couldn't believe the government. It was that he wouldn't believe the government.


Many people are the same way about the Bible. You can show them all the evidence there is that the Bible is true and they still won't believe because they don't want to believe. Usually that is because they don't want to give up a sinful lifestyle. You will never argue anyone into Heaven. But, hopefully, with your arguments, you will open their hearts to hear the gospel.

BC/AD

Here's a question about time to start the new year.

I received this question in my e-mail a while back.

"OK, think about this.....The politically correct terms now are CE (Common Era) and BCE )Before Common Era. I know it was done to get Christ's name out of it, but if the time is the same and 1 CE was at His birth what was accomplished by the change. We are still acknowledging Him, right? Or am I missing something? (worth discussing on your website? or am I the only one
"not getting it"??)"

There does seem to be a trend among the academic circles to change the method for numbering
the years from B.C..  (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini i.e. "The Year of Our Lord") to the less religious B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era.)

One thing to remember is that the numbering of the years is completely arbitrary. Instead of using
the birth of Christ as a reference point, any event in history could have been used. For example, the Hebrew calendar bases its number on the years since creation, making this year 5768. The early church did not originally use the current system either.  It was not invented until the sixth century. Most early Christians continued to use the calendars of their particular cultures.

Arguments in favor of changing are usually based on the idea of religious neutrality. "How would Christians like it," they ask, " if the years were numbered since the birth of Buddha?" People who
work with others of many cultures and religions prefer the new system because it supposedly eliminates cultural bias. However, this does not change the fact that the years are still numbered from the supposed year of Christ's birth. (He was actually born around 4 B.C. There was an error in the in the initial calculations.) When future schoolchildren question the origin of the calendar, the secularists would still have to admit that the turning point from BCE to CE was based on the birth of Jesus.

Actually the fact that this is how the years are numbered actually attests to the fact of Christianity. If Jesus wasn't anyone important then why would most of the world change their time system to honor him?

By the way, many people think that AD stands for "After Death" referring to the death of Christ. I always like to point out that if this is true then what about the years between his birth and death. AD actually stands for the Latin "Anno Domini (the year of the lord.)" That is A.D. 2014 (the A.D. should come first) means 2,014 years since the Lord came.