Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Jesus On The Problem of Evil – Stand To Reason

June 1, 2018

This morning, I read a very hard-hitting essay over at Truth 2 Freedom’s blog regarding the problem of evil in this world.

[Note: Scroll down past the long introduction to read the post]

This problem can often be used by those who don’t believe in Jesus as an excuse, or even the ultimate reason to be an atheist or agnostic in their individual personal beliefs regarding Jesus and God the Father.

Several months ago, a young man (who is not a Christian) attended church with our family.  The pastor had pointed out this portion of Scripture during the sermon:

Unchecked Copy BoxJer 17:9“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?*

After the service, our guest complained that such a thing can’t be true of everyone, and he objected to the pastor using that Scripture to make his point.

Well, I sympathized with our guest over the harshness of that verse. No one wants to think of their own “heart as deceitful” or “desperately wicked.” To cool the fire of his objection, I shared the next verse with him:

Jer 17:10
I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.**

The LORD searches our hearts!  So, it DOES MATTER what we hold in our hearts, what we think in our minds, and what we do during our lifetime on this earth!

From Truth 2 Freedom’s blog:

In Luke 13:1–5, we have Jesus’ clearest teaching on the problem of evil:[1]

Jesus’ answer to the problem of evil is that all fallen, unregenerate sinners born in Adam are worthy of death. Whether we die by murder, accident, or disease isn’t anything more than we deserve. It is only by God’s grace that anyone is saved, and it is only by God’s mercy that anyone is kept alive.

What implications does this have for Christian apologetics? At least three:

First, it means that Christian apologists need to take the consequences of sin and the reality of human depravity seriously when addressing the problem of evil.

Second, when addressing the problem of evil, Christian apologists need to present a theodicy that minimally includes the biblical teaching of original sin and human depravity. Why God allows evil won’t make sense unless we have the problem of sin clearly before us.

The subject of sin is vital knowledge…. If you have not learned about sin, you cannot understand yourself, or your fellow-men, or the world you live in, or the Christian faith. And you will not be able to make head or tail of the Bible. For the Bible is an exposition of God’s answer to the problem of human sin and unless you have that problem clearly before you, you will keep missing the point of what it says.

The same is true for the problem of evil. The subject of sin is essential because in raising the problem of evil, the skeptic must put forth an anthropodicy (justification of man) by arguing that man is “basically good” and God is unjust for allowing the suffering and evil He does. In response, the theist must show these assumptions to be false and, in their place, put forth a theodicy (justification of God) that includes evidencing the depths of human depravity and arguing that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing the evil that He does. Until we clearly articulate and defend the gravity of sin as well as the universal corruption and guilt of humankind, many of our answers to the problem of evil will largely remain unpersuasive.[4]

Third, the present moral and natural evils we see are appropriate segues into our need to practice and preach repentance in light of the final eschatological judgment. Those who experience such evils are not any more deserving. Rather, these disasters serve as warnings to all of us that final disaster awaits everyone who remains hardhearted and unrepentant. Clay Jones concludes,

So when disaster strikes, let us not wring our hands over the mysterious ways of God but encourage everyone to reflect on their sinful and doomed state in hopes that some will escape the Final Disaster that awaits the ultimately unrepentant.

Hat tips to all links.

*******

* Portion of a Commentary by David Guzik

3. (Jer 17:9-10) The folly of trusting one’s own heart.

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

a. The heart is deceitful above all things: To this point the Prophet Jeremiah has given some reason to be cautious about the inclinations and direction of the heart. He noted how the evil heart of the people of Judah had led them astray.
· Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart (Jeremiah 11:8) · They prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart (Jeremiah 14:14) · Each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me (Jeremiah 16:12)
b. The heart is deceitful above all things: Our hearts often deceive us, presenting heart-fulfillment as the key to happiness. What we desire is often not what we need. The advice “be true to your heart” fails when the heart is deceitful above all things.

i. “In the OT usage the heart signifies the total inner being and includes reason. From the heart come action and will.” (Feinberg)

ii. “The pravity and perversity of the man’s heart, full of harlotry and creature confidence, deceiving and being deceived, is here plainly and plentifully described; and oh that it were duly and deeply considered.” (Trapp)

c. And desperately wicked: The heart is not only deceitful, but also wicked – and desperately so. Many have been led to rebellion, disobedience, and great sorrow by following their heart, without challenging their heart and judging it by the measure of God’s truth. “Follow your heart” is poor advice when the heart is desperately wicked.

i. The sense of the Hebrew for desperately wicked seems to have sickness more than depravity in mind. “Unregenerate human nature is in a desperate condition without divine grace, described by the term gravely ill in verse 9 (RSV desperately corrupt, NEB desperately sick).” (Harrison)

d. Who can know it? The heart’s deceit and wickedness are advanced enough that even the individual may not know or understand their own heart, and outsiders have even more difficulty in discerning the heart of others.

** Portion of a Commentary by David Guzik:

e. I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind: Though knowing the heart of one’s self or others is difficult and sometimes impossible, God searches, tests, and knows the heart and mind. It is wise to trust what God says about us more than what we think or feel about ourselves.

i. I test the mind: “A second word is here set in parallel to heart, literally, ‘kidneys’, hidden depths. These, Yahweh assays or ‘tests’…the two terms ‘heart’ and ‘kidneys’ cover the range of hidden elements in man’s character and personality. Nothing is hidden from Yahweh.” (Thomspon)

ii. “The Lord is called by his apostles, Acts 1:24, kardiognwsthv, the Knower of the heart. To him alone can this epithet be applied; and it is from him alone that we can derive that instruction by which we can in any measure know ourselves.” (Clarke)

f. Even to give to every man according to his ways: Because God perfectly knows the heart and mind of man His judgment is true. God knows to what extent the heart either justifies or condemns the doings of a man or woman.

In his commentary, Mr. Guzik includes:

1. 4. (Jer 17:11) The folly of trusting in riches.

2. 5. (Jer 17:12-13) The folly of failing to trust in the God of all glory.

3. 1. (Jer 17:14-17) A prayer for deliverance and defense.

Ultimately, we all need to pray a prayer for deliverance and defense!

David Guzik writes:

a. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: In contrast to the foolish people of Judah who trusted in man, in their own heart, or in riches, Jeremiah looked to Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel. Jeremiah was confident that healing or salvation from the Lord would be true healing, true rescue.

i. It’s hard to say if the healing Jeremiah cried out for was literal or spiritual in nature, and in the bigger picture it doesn’t really matter. Either need is real, and God’s ability to heal both our physical and spiritual need is true and proven.

b. You are my praise: Even in his need of healing and salvation, Jeremiah could praise God, even making God Himself his praise. Though in pride others demanded an immediate revelation of God and His power, Jeremiah was willing to wait and trust in the Lord.

c. As for me: In a series of brief statements, Jeremiah defended and justified his ministry before God. He did this to contrast himself with those who demanded God bring immediate revelation and resolution.

· I have not hurried away from being a shepherd that follows You: Jeremiah was confident in his pursuit of God’s call on his life.

· Nor have I desired the woeful day: Jeremiah spoke much of the judgment to come, but he did not desire it. It was a painful message for him to deliver.

· You know what came out of my lips: Jeremiah could appeal to God as the One who heard and judged his message, seeing that it really was faithful to the voice and the heart of God.

· You are my hope in the day of doom: Jeremiah proclaimed his trust and hope in God alone, not in the folly of most of the people of Judah.

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Discernment Through Christ, With Love Incorruptible

May 3, 2018

On Monday, May 2, 2018, I watched a Dr. Phil show about a young woman who was brought into a cult group known as “The Church of Wells.” Readers can see several videos about this cult at YouTube.

Here is one video describing the two-part broadcast on this cult:

I saw the second broadcast which was mostly about the tragic story of the Grove family whose daughter has been there since 2013. She tried to escape four times.

Parents:

A photo of their daughter before she was brainwashed and indoctrinated:

A photo after years with the cult:

It was truly heartbreaking and very sad to hear how desperately grieved the parents were over the mind control and indoctrination that made their daughter into a completely different person!  Apparently, she made it home one time but left and returned to the cult.  Sometimes, the mind control is so strong that it renders the victim helpless to break out of it.

The “church” building is creepy!

The “elders” are creepy!

 

 

*******

Can “love” be corrupted?  I think so.  It can be corrupted,  by unregenerate people who utilize obviously extremely wicked, heinous and vile techniques and ideas on others, as well as those who are more sneaky and subtle in their “counseling” approach.  “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong.  It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”C.H. Spurgeon

 

You might think that Christians would know to avoid such obvious examples of cult behavior and severe indoctrination techniques (i.e. secretly drugging them through water given; plus food, bathroom and sleep deprivation, and the “deep dive” mind control methods) which were used on the victims at Wells.

Perhaps.

But how about the more subtle cases of pulling someone away from their family and friends?

How?

  1.  Through mind control
  2.  Anti-biblical indoctrination techniques (often disguised as “counseling”)
  3.  Making victims think that their previously good upbringing was somehow “bad” for them.
  4.  What about the churches who steer people away from the truth of the Bible?  There are so many of them!  And, the Bible warns us that the closer we get to the end times, many who aren’t discerning about such churches will be fooled.

That is where recognition of such errors is ESSENTIAL in order to avoid heresy and to utilize the discernment Scriptures in the Bible when any individual needs to, and should, evaluate what someone with possibly subtle nefarious intentions is doing to them!

Excerpt with some good advice and a warning:

Only the spiritual man (regenerate) possesses the knowledge of God’s will….because he has the mind of Christ.  Henry calls to our attention that it is through reading the scriptures that the spiritual man receives the knowledge of His will.

Before we move on we must add a word of caution from blogger and author Tim Challies.  Speaking on discernment in “How can I increase my spiritual discernment?” he wrote:

Some have mistakenly defined spiritual discernment as a God-given awareness of evil or good spiritual presences—the ability to tell if a demon is in the room. While some people may possess this capability, it is not the biblical meaning of discernment. Spiritual discernment ultimately has to do with wisdom and the ability to distinguish truth from error.

So – how do Christians grow in spiritual discernment?  Two ways.  By allowing the Holy Spirit to be their guiding light; likewise, thorough carefully studying the Bible.

What should we do to determine if a person’s teaching is unbiblical? We are commanded to test what’s being taught. In fact, Paul urges believers to “test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Likewise, John encourages us to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” How does one test a spirit?  By reading the scriptures, in context, for that’s where Truth is found. Why is “testing” so important? “For many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) False prophets/teachers distort the truth….which is why the Bible refers to them as false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing.  It’s no exaggeration to say that a large number of charlatans knowingly—and without a smidgeon of guilt–lie through their teeth. Admittedly, examining someone’s teaching is no easy task.  But nowhere in Scripture are we told that it should be left to “professionals”; it is clearly our responsibility.

We mustn’t ignore the fact that any teaching that fails to line up with what the scriptures say is not from God.  And if the Bible’s not the source of his/her teaching, most likely its source is the “spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.”  Satan’s not called the father of lies because he’s a truth teller!

Far too many Christians rely on the discernment of other believers, like those of us involved in online discernment ministries. It’s okay to learn from each other (iron sharpens iron), but again, we must do as the Bereans did – test!  Regrettably, when it comes to testing for errors, a growing number of professing Christians deserve a failing grade.

Yes!   We must do as the Bereans did – test!

FYI, In a question and answer page at the Berean website, a pingback link to TalkWisdom’s post entitled “Syncretism Stew” is at the bottom of the page.

My prayer continues that through the leading of Jesus Christ in my life that I would be corrected when needed in my writings here and most of all, be led to write Biblically accurate and discerning posts for as long as I run this blog.

I also pray, dear readers, that you each would be led towards discovering the truth within God’s Word through diligent study of the Scriptures so that each of you can earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

In Jesus,
Christine

Hat tips to all links.

GQ says the Bible is one of the most overrated books

April 24, 2018

Before I get to the GQ article, I also wanted to share that while I was watching “Fox and Friends” this morning, there was a segment where Dr. Oz was interviewed because of his heroic effort when he stopped to help after seeing a bus on fire on the side of the road.   It wasn’t the first time he had done this.  In the past, he also stopped upon seeing other accidents that had happened; in an effort to help anyone who may have needed to be rescued.  His decision to help (while many cars just drove past the burning bus) is quite admirable.

However, during the Fox and Friends interview, he said something that I thought was very odd.  While discussing the concept of evil, he said,   “Evil is not when bad people do bad things.  That is going to happen.  Evil is when good people watch bad people do bad things.”

What???  Isn’t evil both of those things?  Dr. Oz only focused on just one concept (his own belief, apparently) of evil and that sounded very odd to me.

Dictionary.com attempts to explain the term “evil,” but noticeably avoids any reference to the Bible’s definitions/explanations about the term and the source of it.

The Blue Letter Bible search of the term “evil” shows that “evil”
occurs 485 times in 457 verses in the NKJV.
Page 1 / 10 exact matches
(Gen 2:9–Jdg 9:57)

So, why would Dictionary.com not include at least some reference to the Bible regarding that term?  Maybe even one like this verse:

Unchecked Copy BoxJhn 3:19“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Perhaps Todd Starnes latest article, The Bible gets a bad review from GQ Magazine — Although it’s the bestselling book in history helps explain not only why an online dictionary editor might make the choice to eliminate any reference of the term “evil” being discussed and defined by the Bible, but also why a magazine like “GQ” would choose to give a bad review about the best selling book in history!

Excerpt from the GQ article:

“The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Starne’s reply is quite humorous and shares the GQ editor’s foolishness as well:

As a longtime Southern Baptist, I’ve grown accustomed to such foolish declarations from the “enlightened” crowd. I suspect the highbrow editors at GQ Magazine would not know the difference between John the Baptist and Balaam’s Ass.

There are many Bible passages and verses that I could cite here. One of the best is John Chapter 8. Many people know one or two familiar verses from that chapter:

John 8:31
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 8:32
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

But I suggest reading the entire chapter because it is one of many segments in the Bible that shares the Gospel of Truth; and yet, the ending verse of the chapter shows how easily unrepentant men will reject Jesus and the truth that He shares.

Todd Starnes writes:

The truth is the Bible documents the greatest story ever told – a story about agape love and sacrifice and redemption – everlasting life.

And it’s also the best-selling book of all time – more than 5 billion copies sold, according to Guinness World Records, which also reports that the whole Bible has been translated into 349 languages and says at least one book of the Bible has been translated into 2,123 languages. Statistics Brain estimates even more Bibles have been printed – just over 6 billion.

“The Holy Bible is God-breathed, it is living and active, and it is sharper than a double-edged sword,” the Rev. Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook. “There is nothing more powerful, and there’s nothing more needed by mankind than the Word of God.”

Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, explained that the subject of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is Jesus Christ.

“And one day soon, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord,” he declared.

Now far be it from me to tell the pompous, erudite, literary crowd at GQ Magazine what books they should and should not read, but they might want to glance at John 3:16 before they kick the bucket. It states “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Hat tip:  Todd Starnes article at Fox News.

March 15, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

March 15, 2018

Truth2Freedom blog’s author has put together a great essay that explains why, we as born again believers in Jesus, know that He is the Savior of the world. Great passages for the upcoming season of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday!

Truth2Freedom's Blog

Christ’s Impression on the Samaritans

From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (4:39–42)

Following the interlude of verses 31–38, the Samaritans reenter the narrative as the story builds to a powerful conclusion. Many of the villagers believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” Surely we can assume that…

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But, How Do We Love?

March 13, 2018

Here’s a question to answer:

Do we love (someone/others) because (______________ ) (fill in the blank)?

When first falling in love with someone, can it be “like breathing?”

Because of great “chemistry?”

 

Or,  do we love (someone/others) although (______________) (fill in the blank)?

Often, the thought that “we love although” happens when others hurt us.

I put that question in a search engine to see if it had been addressed elsewhere online, but after going seven pages deep, I did not find that exact phrase, however, I did find something close to it.  Lo and behold, it was written at a link to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

The question was written specifically, but the answer was more valuable because it was written as a general answer to that person’s question.

Here is a copy of the question:

I’ve heard that the Bible tells us to love others, but everyone in our family agrees that one of our cousins is impossible to love. He’s obnoxious and conceited, and no one likes being around him. How can you love someone you don’t like?

Here is a copy of the answer:

Yes, the Bible certainly tells us to love others, even if they aren’t very lovable! When Jesus was asked which were the most important of God’s laws, He summarized them in two commands: to love God, and to love others (see Mark 12:28-34).

But what does it mean to love others? All too often, I’m afraid, we confuse liking someone with loving them. In other words, we think loving someone is similar to liking them, only much stronger. And this isn’t necessarily wrong, as far as it goes; a husband (for example) should genuinely like his wife and enjoy being in her company.

Does this mean we can’t love someone who’s difficult to like? No, it doesn’t, not if we understand the kind of love God has for us. God loves us not because we’re perfect, or even likeable, because we aren’t. We fall far short of what He wants us to be, yet the Bible says He still loves us. And unlike our love for others, His love means He always wants what’s best for us, although we don’t deserve it.

This is the way God wants us to love others — by seeking what’s best for them. No, your cousin may not be likeable, but have you ever asked God to change him? Have you ever gone out of your way to show love for him, even if he doesn’t deserve it? Open your heart and life to Christ’s transforming love. Then remember: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

 

I love you this much!

~ Jesus

Hat tip: Billy Graham.org.

“To The Ruin of the Hearers.” – 2 Timothy 2:14c

December 28, 2017

It is a tremendous privilege to share the Gospel of Christ; to share and explain Bible verses to those who may not have studied the Word of God diligently.  It is also an extreme responsibility for the Christian teacher to “get it right.”  How does a Christian achieve this?  I think that 2 Timothy 2 gives us much insight, and I will also share some applicable commentary from David Guzik at Blue Letter Bible.

2Ti 2:10
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

2Ti 2:11
This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.

2Ti 2:12
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.

2Ti 2:13
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

2Ti 2:14
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

David Guzik:

c. To the ruin of the hearers: This shows that it is a serious matter and there is much to lose. If we take the focus off the message of God, and put the focus on human opinions and endless debates, it will result in the ruin of the hearers.

i. The Bible says, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Yet if people do not hear the word of God, then ruin comes by hearing the opinions and speculations and entertainment of man.

Guzik stresses that we NOT focus on human opinions and endless debates.  Why?  Because it will result in the ruin of the hearers!  Why?  Because if all that people are subjected to is “the opinions and speculations and entertainment of man,” then they won’t hear the Word of God.

The crux of the matter is this:  we must be diligent, approved unto God so we are not ashamed; and in order to do this we must be “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In the very next verse, we are told to:

2Ti 2:16
But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

This, my dear readers, is why there are those who claim to be Christian, but they are far removed from Christ because they reject the teachings of the Bible and lead others to “more ungodliness” because they do not “shun profane and idle babblings.”

David Guzik:

2. (2Ti 2:15) Keep focused; pay attention to your own life and ministry.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

a. Be diligent: Paul often had to exhort Timothy to courage and action. Earlier in the chapter (2 Timothy 2:3-5), Paul encouraged him to hard work and endurance for the service of the Lord.

b. To present yourself approved to God: Timothy’s goal was not to present himself approved to people, but to God. He wasn’t to regard the job of being a pastor as a popularity contest but instead as a call to faithfulness to God.

c. To present yourself approved to God: Timothy wasn’t to worry so much about presenting other people approved to God (though there was a place for this in his pastoral ministry). His first concern had to be to present himself approved to God.

d. A worker who does not need to be ashamed: It is embarrassing to do a job poorly and then to have your work examined. The Bible warns us that the work of each Christian will be examined at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore we have another motivation to work diligently for the Lord, so we will not be ashamed when our work is examined.

i. “It is better explained as a workman who has no cause for shame when his work is being inspected.” (White)

e. Rightly dividing the word of truth: This was to be a focus of Timothy’s hard work. He was to work hard so he could rightly divide the word of God.

i. Timothy, as a faithful pastor, was to be rightly dividing God’s Word. That is, he had to know what it said and didn’t say, and how it was to be understood and how it was not to be understood. It wasn’t enough for Timothy to know some Bible stories and verses and sprinkle them through his sermons as illustrations. His teaching was to be a “right dividing” of the Word of God, correctly teaching his congregation.

ii. “Swords are meant to cut and hack, and wound, and kill with, and the word of truth is for pricking men in the heart and killing their sins. The word of God is not committed to God’s ministers to amuse men with its glitter, nor to charm them with the jewels in its hilt, but to conquer their souls for Jesus.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Rightly dividing has several ideas associated with the ancient term.

· Rightly handle the Word of God, as one would rightly handle a sword.
· Plow straight with the Word of God, properly presenting the essential doctrines.
· Properly dissect and arrange the Word of God, as a priest would dissect and arrange and animal for sacrifice.
· Allot to each their portion, as someone distributing food at a table.

f. Rightly dividing: This also means there is such a thing as wrongly dividing; not everyone cuts it straight. We must understand that Biblical truth is not just an issue left up to everyone’s interpretation. There is a right way and a wrong way to understand the Bible, and a pastor especially must work hard to master the right interpretation.

i. For example, many people love to say when the Bible is quoted, “Well, that’s just your interpretation.” Their idea is, “You interpret the Bible your way, I interpret it my way, and another person interprets it their way. We can never really know what it means, so don’t judge me with your Bible verse.”

ii. When someone tells me, “That’s just your interpretation,” I think in response: “It’s true that it is my interpretation, but it isn’t just my interpretation, it is the correct interpretation, and we need to pay attention to what the Bible says correctly interpreted.”

iii. This is an important point: The Bible does not mean just what anyone wants it to mean. There may be many people trying to twist the Scriptures to their own ends, but they are wrongly dividing the word of truth. We can’t just pick the interpretation that seems most comfortable to us, and claim it as true – it must be rightly dividing the word of truth, and it must be consistent with what the Bible says in the specific passage and with the entire message of the Scriptures.

iv. For example, a correct interpretation of Matthew 7:1 (Judge not, that you be not judged) is not the idea of “You have no right to judge my behavior or any one else’s behavior.” If this were the case, then Jesus repeatedly broke His own commandment, because He often told people their behavior was wrong in the sight of God. The correct understanding of Matthew 7:1 is easily seen by reading Matthew 7:2: For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Jesus was saying “Don’t judge anyone by a standard you are not willing to be judged by. God will hold you to the same standard you hold others to.” This clearly does not forbid judging someone else’s life, but it does prohibit doing it unfairly or hypocritically, or living with a judgmental attitude.

v. The point is clear: There is a right way and a wrong way to divide the Matthew 7:1, which is one verse in the word of truth. Every Christian, but pastors especially, must work hard to be rightly dividing the word of truth. Though perfection in understanding God’s word is impossible, and should never be assumed, we should still work hard at it.

3. (2Ti 2:16-18) The price of not keeping focus: The faith of some is overthrown.

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

a. But shun profane and vain babblings: This refers to anything that takes the focus off of the gospel and God’s Word. These babblings are profane because they are unholy in contrast to the holiness of God’s Word. They are vain, because even though people like to hear them, they don’t have lasting value.

i. Man’s opinions, man’s teachings, man’s opinion polls, man’s stories, man’s programs, are all profane and vain babblings compared to the simple Word of God. When these things become the focus of the message from the pulpit, it will increase to more ungodliness.

b. Their message will spread like cancer: The message of profane and vain babblings may spread quickly and be popular. They are like a cancer that spreads fast and captures an audience.

i. Who in 2 Timothy 2:18 “Implies that Hymenaeus and Philetus were only the more conspicuous members of a class of false teachers.” (White)

c. Hymenaeus and Philetus: Hymenaeus is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20 as a man whom Paul delivered to Satan that [he] may learn not to blaspheme. This is the only place where we hear of Philetus, and here Paul tells us of their error.

i. They were of this sort – that is, they had a message full of profane and vain babblings, and apparently the message was somewhat popular, because it spread quickly.

ii. They had strayed concerning the truth: Apparently, they started out correctly, and then strayed from that correct position.

iii. They were saying that the resurrection is already past: It seems they were teaching that we were already in God’s millennial kingdom, or that there was no resurrection to come – it had already occurred.

iv. They did overthrow the faith of some: Though the only false doctrine Paul mentioned regarding these two is that they taught that the resurrection is already past, the effect was to overthrow the faith of some. Undoubtedly, this was not their only error; and a fundamental error in such an area often leads to many more strange beliefs, until one has abandoned Jesus and His truth all together.

v. Many today accept and honor teachers who are way off in one area or another; and they justify it by saying, “I eat the meat and spit out the bones.” This kind of thinking will certainly overthrow the faith of some, because some will certainly choke to spiritual death on the bones you say you spit out.

vi. Notice Paul said, they overthrow the faith of some. We shouldn’t require that everyone be led astray by a teacher before we avoid them; even if some are having their faith overthrown, it is bad enough.

So, we can see clearly in this portion of Scripture how VERY IMPORTANT it is to “rightly divide God’s Word!”  Why?  Because:

[a]nd a fundamental error in such an area often leads to many more strange beliefs, until one has abandoned Jesus and His truth all together.

Hat tip:  David Guzik commentary at Blue Letter Bible.

What Is A True Friend?

December 15, 2017

Heh heh heh…I couldn’t resist putting that graphic up there before delving into this post!

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

The burgeoning world of social media has redefined the notion of friend–on one platform in particular.  When that platform debuted in 2004 many early users raced to accumulate as many friends as possible; high numbers were a status symbol.  Then people realized most of their friends weren’t friends at all and they started “unfriending” (the word entered the dictionary in 2009).  This process raised a good question which continues today:  What is a true friend? – Turning Point email, December 14, 2017

Ah yes, I remember it well when I was on Facebook several years ago.  I had a “friend” who unfriended me because I disliked the policies of Obama.  I wonder what she now thinks of that terrible administration now that a lot of scandals are being found out?

I also had someone criticize me on there because of my pro-life views.  I guess she objected to my saying, “Choose Life, Your Mother Did.”  I would think that particular “saying” would be difficult to counter and it might be very hard to object to it; without being able to agree that abortion is the killing of a baby in the womb.

All people who are pro-abortion have been born and are living (or, had lived on this earth)!  The over 50 million babies who have egregiously been aborted in the U.S. since that awful Extreme Court decision in 1973 had no say in the matter, did they?

You name the cause and there will be people for and against it.  Relatives and friends who are so rabidly anti-Trump are difficult to speak with or to even have a civil, rational, or polite conversation with them.  Therefore, I have chosen to avoid the arguments altogether.

However, one sweet relative (who is very liberal/progressive in her views) did say to me that she wasn’t going to let our differences over the 2016 presidential election harm our friendly relationship.  I really appreciated that so much!  I do know that she is going to get politically active to defeat Trump in 2020, but so what?  At least the heartfelt friendship that we have hasn’t been destroyed by our political differences.

The political arena these days is so difficult to watch anymore!  The hatred and disdain that politicians, TV news pundits, Hollyweird actors, political operatives, hate groups that protest (and harm their opponents and destroy property) snobby college professors and their snowflake students, the various races in our nation, etc. have all taken the vitriol, anger, intense dislike and extreme aversion and hostility to levels that I have never seen before in my 63 years of life on this earth!  Sometimes I think, “Dear Lord, how much longer will you tarry before you rescue us from this place?”

But then, I look at my sweet granddaughter.  I hug and kiss her, play with her toys with her, go to the playground with her, read books to her, play “ring around the rosy” with her, and watch endless episodes of “Peppa Pig” on TV with her!  The joy of life with her makes the rancor that surrounds any and every news cycle fade away.  In fact, when I don’t watch the news I am happier!

Family!  Family is what matters most in the life!  God created the family for a specific purpose.  Those relationships and the bond that they create are supposed to be for a lifetime!  Sometimes that’s not the case when arguments, disagreements, perceived “unhealthy communications” and the overstepping of certain “boundaries” happen that cause young adult married children to choose to be estranged from their parents.   Healing can occur and relationships can be repaired when the chance to talk about and resolve such issues happen.   However, both parties need to “come to the table,” sit face to face and agree to talk with each other in order to “hash it all out” and be reconciled.

Back to the Turning Point Devotional email:

The Bible talks about friendship.  Abraham and God were friends (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).  Jonathan and David were friends (1 Samuel 18:1)–they were friends that were closer to one another than to their own brothers (Proverbs 18:24).  These friendships imply something deeper than a blood connection–intimacy, love, and loyalty.  The ultimate expression of such friendship was expressed by Jesus when He declared His disciples to be His friends for whom He was prepared to die (John 15:13-15).  Jesus extends His hand (His life) of friendship to all who will accept His invitation.

Jesus has declared His friendship for us–His intimacy, love, and loyalty.  It is up to us to do the same for Him.  Friendship is a two-way relationship.

Yes!  Friendship is a two-way relationship!  Love of family members with one another is a two-way relationship!  And what does Jesus tell us is required?  Intimacy, love, and loyalty.

Friendship cannot be faked.  Either one of the adherents suddenly “knows” that a friendship is over, or perhaps both have a mutual agreement not to be friends anymore.

When I was on Facebook, the only true friends that I had on there were (mostly) people that I knew in person.  The rest of the “friends” were usually superficial (except for those who I had corresponded with on this blog or via email).  Superficial can be defined as:

5. shallow; not profound or thorough:

a superficial writer.
6. apparent rather than real.

7. insubstantial or insignificant:  superficial improvements.

Yes.  That’s it!  That is where all that “unfriending” on Facebook comes in.

Jesus tells us:

Stretch Out Your Hand

December 13, 2017

 

When a person refuses to discuss his or her grievances in person and/or refuses to hear the other side of an argument that has developed during a conflict that has arisen,  what can be done?

I don’t think that anything can be done until the person refusing to talk it out is willing to sit down and discuss the grievances that exist.  Silence is not a solution.  Staying angry, playing games of trite types of communication (e.g. emailing someone, getting a reply from that person, then not replying back for several days or weeks) isn’t helpful; it’s harmful.  Continuing to ignore the requests for conversation with the hope for conflict resolution with the people involved is not a solution.

Someone I know tried to re-establish communications with her son through her daughter-in-law.  Apparently, both of them have been ignoring her plea (as well as the pleas from her husband and their daughter, the son’s sister) for dialogue for five weeks now.  The mom thought that if she could touch the heart of her daughter-in-law, maybe her son would consider speaking with his mom again.  Here is what she wrote (with name changes as requested):

Dear Aurora,

Since Carey has blocked me (on text, email, phone calls and Facebook) I am appealing to you to encourage him to talk with us.  His request to avoid “unhealthy communication” and to not cross certain “boundaries” can easily be discussed and resolved, but not when communication of any kind is completely cut off.  In the spirit of the celebration of our dear Savior’s birth, it is my prayer and hope that you and Carey can forgive us and be willing to start healing.

I pray you will join me in claiming 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18.  When people intentionally or unintentionally hurt us, as Christians we are not to repay by hurting them back, but rather to “always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”  Verse 5:18 says, “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God bless and hope to see you and Carey soon.

In Jesus,

Mom 

Unfortunately, the mom thinks that maybe her daughter-in-law also blocked her on email, phone, text, and Facebook; so that message didn’t make it through.

What can be done when there is no modicum for respect left for this mom, dad, and the rest of the family?

The term “anger” appears in the NKJV of the Bible 233 times in 228 verses.  In the New Testament we are told:

I think that one of the most interesting accounts regarding “anger” and one that can be a lesson for the “hardness of hearts” that can happen within family disputes, is in Mark 3:1-6. This portion of Scripture is about Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. Take special note of what the Pharisees did as a result of the healing.

Mar 3:1


And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.

Mar 3:2
So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

Mar 3:3
And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”

Mar 3:4
Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.

Mar 3:5
And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.[fn]

Mar 3:6
Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

The Pharisees hated Jesus, and despite the miracle that they had just witnessed, their anger towards God’s Son made their hearts so hardened that all they wanted to do was to plot how they might destroy Him!  See how easily anger can be turned into sin?

David Guzik’s commentary on this portion of Scripture gives us more insight.

Here is a relevant part of the commentary:

Quote:

a. A man was there who had a withered hand: “The man’s hand was withered, but God’s mercy had still preserved to him the use of his feet: he uses them to bring him to the public worship of God, and Jesus meets and heals him there. How true is the proverb – It is never so all with us, but it might be much worse!” (Clarke)

b. They watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath: The critics of Jesus expected Him to heal this man with the withered hand. By their expectation, they admitted that Jesus had the power of God to work miracles. Knowing this, they watched Him closely… so that they might accuse Him. They knew what Jesus could do, yet their knowledge didn’t draw them to Jesus. It was as if a man could fly, but the authorities wanted to know if he had a pilot’s license.

i. The religious leaders watched Jesus closely but with no heart of love for Him. They knew about Jesus, but they did not know Him.

ii. They also knew Jesus would do something when He saw this man in need. In this sense, these critics had more faith than many of us, because we sometimes doubt that Jesus wants to meet the needs of others.

c. Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? In His question to the religious leaders, Jesus emphasized the truth about the Sabbath: there is never a wrong day to do something truly good.

i. According to their Sabbath traditions, if you cut your finger, you could stop the bleeding – but you could not put ointment on the cut. You could stop it from getting worse, but you weren’t allowed to make it better.

d. He had looked around them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts: This is one of the few places where Jesus is described as having anger, and He was angry at the hardness of men’s hearts.

i. Jesus was angry because this was a perfect opportunity for these critics of His to change their minds about Him and their traditions. But they refused to change their minds, and rejected Jesus instead. In this we can see that Jesus deliberately used this occasion to provoke a response. Jesus could have done this the next day. Jesus could have done it privately. But He chose to do it at this time and place.

e. Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible – to move his paralyzed hand. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

i. “This man might have reasoned thus: ‘Lord, my hand is withered; how then can I stretch it out? Make it whole first, and afterwards I will do as thou commandest.’ This may appear reasonable, but in his case it would have been foolishness. At the command of the Lord he made the effort, and in making it the cure was effected!” (Clarke)

f. The Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him: Jesus did nothing but a wonderful miracle. In response, two parties of former enemies (the Pharisees and the Herodians) agreed together in one cause: to destroy Jesus.

i. “The Herodians were not a religious party; they were a group of Jews who were sympathetic to King Herod and supported his rule.” (Wiersbe) /unquote

*******

So, how does this relate to the anger of the son towards his family for “unhealthy communications” and crossing “boundaries?”

In this way.  The son, just like the man with the withered hand, must make the first move to reap the rewards of healing.

Note, again:

e. Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible – to move his paralyzed hand. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

“The Woman Taken in Adultery” – Truth2Freedom’s Blog

November 28, 2017

Truth 2 Freedom’s blog has a great essay up today on The Woman Taken in Adultery.

I suggest going to the link above and reading the entire essay. Here is just a portion of what is written there:

Sin’s Horror

First, the story reveals sin’s horror. And, of course, I do not mean the sin of the woman. I mean the sin of the rulers. Adultery is sin, certainly. The woman was guilty of adultery. But compared to the sin of the men who were using her in an attempt to trap Jesus, her sin was minimal—a mote in her eye compared to the beams that were in their eyes (Matt. 7:1–5).

To understand precisely what these men were doing we must understand that not only was their approach to Jesus a trap; they actually had already been active in trapping the woman. In fact, it could hardly be otherwise, on the basis of their testimony and in light of the very exacting requirements of Jewish law in this and other capital cases. Under Jewish law, as it was practiced by the rabbis in the time of Christ and later, it was necessary to have multiple witnesses to the act of intercourse before the charge of adultery could be substantiated, and even this was to be under the most exacting of circumstances. Thus, as one scholar points out, “There is absolutely no question of [the witnesses] having seen the couple in a ‘compromising situation,’ for example, coming from a room in which they were alone, or even lying together on the same bed. The actual physical movements of the couple must have been capable of no other explanation, and the witnesses must have seen exactly the same acts at exactly the same time, in the presence of each other, so that their dispositions would be identical in every respect.”

Under these conditions the obtaining of evidence in adultery would be almost impossible were the situation itself not a setup. We are justified in supposing that the liaison had been arranged, perhaps by the very man who committed adultery with the woman. Was he a member of the Sanhedrin? Whatever the case, the arrangement must have involved the posting of witnesses in the room or at the keyhole.

We see the horror of the sin of these men in another way too. For the fact that only the woman was brought to Jesus reveals their dishonesty. If adultery could be proved only by the testimony of witnesses who had seen the couple in the very act of adultery and if this is what the rulers were claiming, as they were, where then was the man in the story? Why was he not brought with the woman? At the least, the rulers allowed the man to escape. At the worst, the man had been in on the plotting and had been granted immunity beforehand. How horrible! Yes, but it is only the old case of the double standard that exists still today. Men should take their stand with the women in such cases, confessing their share of the guilt, which is usually greater anyway. But they do not. The poor woman had to bear the shame alone.

God of Circumstances

The horror of sin is not the only subject these verses introduce, however. They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.

I love that last sentence.  “They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.”

My comment at the link:

Great essay on the encounter with the adulterous woman and how Jesus dealt with it. I learned several new things about this portion of Scripture, especially when you wrote:

Some suggest that this was a symbolic action, intended to remind the accusers of Jeremiah 17:13—“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust.”

It makes me wonder whether or not any of the accusers in this encounter genuinely saw the need to repent of their sins.   Or, did they just drop the stones because they knew that they were guilty of sin in their lives. The feeling of guilt does not necessarily bring someone to the point where they see their individual need for repentance.

If they were not truly sorrowful for their sins, then what happened was that it probably made them even more bitter towards Jesus for having their sinful guilt pointed out by Him. The prophetic verse of Jeremiah 17:13 applies very well here.

Hat tip:  Truth2Freedom’s Blog

Trouble In This World

October 27, 2017

Sometimes when I look at the posts in my blog reader list, I shake my head in disbelief as to what is happening in this crazy, corrupt, and vile world.  It seems like so many of the evil perpetrators are not being caught, arrested, tried, and jailed as would be the case in a “perfect world.”  Jesus told us that “in this world, you (we) will have trouble.”  Jesus never minced words and told the utmost truth in all circumstances.  That is why I believe in Him and follow Him.  He is the Living Word and the Bible is the written Word of God.

When the news of the day gets REALLY crazy, I’m so glad that God gave us the ability to have a sense of humor.  It is a kind of relief from many of the cares and troubles of this world.

For instance.

Here are two examples that appeared on my blog news feed over the past few days:

Image may contain: 19 people, people smiling, text

It is funny to see the faces of people who have, and are, trying to undermine the American people in a swamp, circling the drain.  What is not funny is the realization of the terrible things they believe in, have done, and continue to do that hurt everyday Americans.

As a Christian conservative woman, I understand that people like this hate me, hate my beliefs, hate my advocacy for Jesus Christ and God’s Word, the Bible; and attempt to do everything they can to diminish me and those like me.  The derogatory phrase, “those who cling to their guns, Bibles, and religion” comes to mind.

 

No automatic alt text available.

Now, this one is funny because the fake news “dossier” that we now know that HiLIARy and Podesta devised and paid for, and the minions in the media of mass deception (who all cried when she lost the election and may even scream at the sky once again as the anniversary of the date of her loss approaches), put forth lie after lie after lie over the past 11 months in order to make it appear that President Trump colluded with Russia.  It ended up backfiring…big time!  It just blew up in her face.

Hat tip for the graphic:  Pastor Ward Clinton’s blog.   Also see Hillary Didn’t Know…

Also, recall that Hillary labeled a large portion of Americans as “a basket of deplorables.”

Oh wait…one more!

Fellowship of the Minds: New Amazon service gives contractors a key to your house for deliveries.

One sentence made me laugh:

“What could possibly go wrong???”

Then, even after having a few laughs, the reality of this fallen world creeps in yet again.  I was going to list some here but all one needs to do is to type in any evil proclivity into a search engine and you will get a disgusting eyeful of evidence.

I often write about the topic of “a woman’s right to choose” (code word for acceptance of abortion) at this blog.

My viewpoint?

Choose Life, Your Mother Did!

When someone tells me that I have “no right to tell women what to do with their own bodies” (which is code word for allowance and acceptance for abortion) and claims that it’s not “evil,” “abhorrent,” “murder of a baby in the womb,” etc.; what they are doing is actually advocating for their own fleshly beliefs and desires.  Even some Christians are guilty of this!  They see this particular idea and definition of “choice” as  more important than LIFE, as well as that new spirit that has been created within them by God through being born again in Jesus Christ.

 

It is a war within between the flesh and the spirit.

 

Excerpt from As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith: The War Within

The Bible teaches us that when we come to Christ and are born again, we become “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)

God creates within us a new spirit, a new man, a new nature, born in His image, in the likeness of the Spirit of God.

He gives us new desires. He gives us a hunger for righteousness and holiness and a longing to please our Heavenly Father.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell within us, the Comforter sent by God helps alongside and empowers our new man to walk after and seek after those things which are right.

However, we still dwell in the same old fleshly body with the same old sin nature. And therein lies the war.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”  (Rom. 7:18-19)

The joy of having the Lord in my life is most important, precisely because every other type of happiness proceeds from it.

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

David Jeremiah writes:

It’s not a “positive sentence” [like a typical mantra from man], it is manna from heaven because it is a promise from God.

[Self-control] is a battle that begins in our minds.  Our minds as well as our hearts need to be focused on God and His Word.  Daily Bible reading is the one habit that will make you happier–and holier–every day.

The Bible contains all the information needed for life’s challenges.  Its words provide strategies for every situation we face.  They are life-changing and life-giving.  God’s promises are never-failing, and His truths are infallibly reliable.

Also see:
The Eyes of Faith: Three Spiritual Enemies

Excerpts:

Our enemy is that old deceiver and liar, the devil. But he works with two associates to tempt us and keep us from the victory. These companions of the devil in his endeavors are the world and the flesh.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1John 2:16)

When we become a Christian, the Bible teaches us that God has “…delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col. 1:13)

That is why the Bible tells us in 1 Peter that the devil goes about as a “roaring lion” seeking “whom he may devour”.

This is done by understanding the way that the devil uses the world and flesh together to deceive us and draw us into sin and iniquity.

The enemy’s goal is to wound us to the point of losing hope and faith, so that we give up and our sins become presumptuous to the point that we are unable to be used of God.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18)

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Ti 2:21)

Hat tips to all links.


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Truth2Freedom's Blog

The mindset in postmodernism is that objective truth does not exist. But in post-truth, the person believes that objective truth exists, but they subordinate truth to their preferences, or their comfort. In other words, one doesn’t care that truth exists or what the truth is if it doesn’t line up with one’s preferences. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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