Saturday, June 25, 2011

June/July Recommended Reading-Ultimate Proof of Creation

What happens when different groups of people look at the exact same evidence and come up with two completely different conclusions? Will one side ever be able to convince the other using the same information that has already caused them to believe what they already do? It's like having a bloody glove in a murder case. One side says, "the glove proves so-and-so was the murderer." The other side replies, "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit" while going out of their way to make it not fit. Likewise, in the creation vs evolution battle, we all have the same evidence. One side however goes out of their way to make the evidence "not fit" making their view of it totally impractical. So, if we cant use evidence to convince evolutionists that there was a Creator, what do we do? What is the Ultimate Proof of Creation?

This book by Dr. Jason Lisle from Answers in Genesis will help you use things like morality, laws of logic, and uniformity of nature to show how the biblical worldview is the only one that has any legs to stand on in these areas and how any attempt by the evolutionist to adhere to any of these is trespassing on christian grounds. This is a must read for anyone who is serious about sharing their faith with the new breed of people who oppose Christianity these days. There is also a DVD that accompanies this book which can be found here. Additionally there is an article on the Answers in Genesis website by Dr. Lisle called Evolution: The Anti-Science that you should check out. I highly recommend reading this so you can get a better idea of what kind of content you will find in the book. This is really great information!

Finally, I am embedding a video of an episode of On the Box from Way of the Master. It features Sye TenBruggencate( talking about pre-suppositional apologetics. This episode is where I found out about Dr. Lisle's book from Sye as well as Chad Williams. Fortunately for me, my wife had already bought it about a year ago along with the DVD! If you read the book, leave us some comments and let us know what you think!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When Great Work Goes Unsaved

Imagine working on a super important project for work, or school, or let's say even just for fun. You put hours, days, maybe perhaps years of research into this depending on what it is. It doesn't really matter whether it's a spreadsheet, a slideshow, or even just a Word document. What matters is the time and effort that has gone into your task. You feel great about the great things you have done to get this project in order. The idea has flowed from your brain to your computer screen better than you could have ever intended it to. You have found the perfect quotes, pictures, and anecdotes to go with your ideas. You hit spell check and find that, as usual, there are no squiggly red lines under any words. Everything is spelled correctly. There are no green squigglies to indicate run-on sentences or fragments. Just as you begin to pat yourself on the back and reflect on how great you are, the screen goes black. Your computer begins to smoke. The computer just died and all of your work with it. You look down at the Lexar 16gb USB flash drive with the horrible realization. "I never saved."

Now for a moment picture your life as your work. Maybe you have lived a great life. Masters degree on the wall. You don't drink. You don't swear. You've never been to jail. Never even gotten as much as a parking ticket. You go work at homeless shelters a couple times a month and even swing by church on Christmas and Easter or to light an occasional candle or two. The final "period" of your work is the Ugandan refugee boy that you adopted last year. Your self righteousness is at an all time high. The world just looks at you and says, "man, that is one great person!" If there was a "spell check" of life, yours would be devoid of any red marks. You of course pat yourself on the back in agreement. The drunk driver that just t-boned your car isn't impressed. Now your computer screen goes black. Life is over. Your good works didn't save you as indicated by the flames, anguish and screams of torment. Hell is real and you and the other people who thought good was good enough are there, wondering why.

Hell is the destiny, sadly, for many people who the world would consider "good". This fiery Eternity is also the end result for people in works based religious systems. As sad as it may seem, being good and doing good works and being religious just won't cut it on our day in Eternal Court. We are not going to be able to bribe the Judge with our righteous deeds, kind acts, and religious fulfillment of duties on Judgment Day. The only way to satisfy God's wrath is the only Way He gave us. Jesus Christ. John 14:6 tells us, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He makes no mention of any other "way" to the Father. There is no "auto save". You are not going to Heaven because your mom is a Christian or because you fed the homeless. You are not going to get past the pearly gates by way of infant baptism, ashes on your forehead once a year or flying a plane into a building. All of those are religious "duties" and none are sufficient. Remember what Jesus told the religious people of his day after He gave the list of righteous activities they would display for him. "Depart from me, all you workers of evil." Why is this the case? Because it doesn't matter if you like to go to Church once in a while to make yourself feel better. It won't matter if you've fed every homeless person from Los Angeles to Amarillo if you have ever told one lie. Even a lie, which is minor in human estimation, is punishable by the Lake of Fire according to the Bible. If you use your eyes to look with lust, that is adultery according to Jesus. Hatred is murder according to 1 John 3:15. These are just 3 of the 10 Commandments. We are all guilty regardless of whatever good deeds we have done or how religious we are.

Now some are going to say, "doesn't the Bible say that faith without works is dead?" Well yes, yes it does. What this means is that you should do good things if you are saved so that you will be known as a Christ follower by your fruit, not because you will be saved by doing them. So how does one get saved? Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross as the payment for your sins. God will accept no religious filler or bribes as a substitute for His perfect sacrificial Lamb, Jesus. Ten out of every ten people die. That is the ultimate statistic. Don't get to this black screen of life without being saved at the end. Ask forgiveness. Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead. Repent and believe the Gospel. Read your Bible daily and obey what it says.

Job 34:25

English Standard Version (ESV)

Thus, knowing their works,
he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.(italics added)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not enough time...

So it's been a real long time since I posted. I have had a lot of adversity going on in my life. More than words will allow to fit in this blog, I know I mentioned in the past to update all with whats going on but I don't think its time for that quite yet, instead the message I have for you today is that no matter what you are going through, you are not going through it alone. God is right there with you and if we are to be Christ-like and obedient then we are to be good stewards for Him. We are to carry out what Christ had commanded, whether we are busy or have all the time in the world. We need to make the time to share the Gospel with everyone that we can, if you are busy or in fast paced environments and time doesn't permit for you to preach or have a 1 to 1 conversation than that is when a Gospel tract becomes a perfect message for Christ. God's Word will not return void, we have that as a promise. What we can do is carry tracts and pass them along to someone in passing, be that walking or a cashier or even through the drive through.

Lately for me its been in the Hospitals, going through parking garages and giving to attendants or placing them in the Hospital for others to find, its not about me being the messenger as much as it is about being obedient about delivering the message and allowing God to use that for His Glory. So while I do carry tracts and hand them when I can and share with folks, I also do something else twice a month. When I pay the bills, I send out tracts. If you haven't tried this method I highly encourage you to do it. When you get that junk mail every other day in your mailbox, dont rip it up or throw it away without first opening and removing the self-addressed stamped tract carrying envelope.
Every month I send out anywhere from 5-20 tracts with my bills that I mail each bill gets a tract and the free postage envelopes from the junk mail get one too, I pray for those who might open and that God would reveal Himself to them and that someone might read the Gospel for the first time or maybe the tenth time and come to true repentance. So while I have been busy and each of you in your own way, don't quit sharing the Gospel, use whatever vehicle you have, be it tracts in your pocket or tracts with your bills and junk mail or on your social media pages that we all seem to have more than enough time to loiter on. If you are discouraged or going through a tough time think about this, your adversity or tough times does not make who you are, you are who God created and you need to be ready to answer the call no matter what is going on in your life. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel, get out there and share the Gospel!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

God's Word is alive and well. The old lady in the shoe, not so much.

There was an old woman,
Who lived in a shoe;
She had so many children,
She didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread;
She whipped them all soundly,
And sent them to bed.
Even if it's been a while since you've read or heard the above story, we all recognize the story of the old lady in the shoe. We don't really sympathize with her plight because we can read this and instantly know that this is obviously not a true story. It is without a doubt, a fairy tale. Now I want you to read something that many claim is simply just a "fairy tale."
2 Timothy 3:1-5
English Standard Version (ESV)
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Many, especially our youth, have discounted the Bible. They feel it is only a fairy tale book of stories. The above passage doesn't sound like a fairy tale book to me. It sounds a lot like where we as a society are at today. It sounds very, very real. And it is. That's because the Bible is always 100% accurate in it's words and predictions. So you can take it to the bank that when God says in His Word that "it is appointed for men to die once then judgment"(Heb 9:27), that it will happen. How will you do on that day? How about if you were to die today? How would every lie, theft, hatred, lustful look, blasphemy and idolatrous thought that you've ever committed look on Judgment Day in the sight of a holy and righteous God?
You may think that you are a good person. And compared to the next door neighbor, co-workers, family, even someone you know who claims to be a christian, you might very well be good. Perhaps very good. But God's standard is not "the next guy". He doesn't grade on a curve. His standard, the 10 Commandments, has never changed. The Bible says that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. It tells us that no thief, idolator, or adulterer(lust) will enter the kingdom of Heaven. God will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name. So by His standards, not your own, how will you do if you were to die right now?
If we are reasonable and listen to our conscience(Romans 2:15) we will see that our best attempts at being good won't be good enough (Isa 64:6) in light of God's standard on Judgment Day. So since we can not count on our own goodness to save us, maybe you are thinking that God's goodness will save you? Don't count on it. God is a good judge. He can not simply overlook sin. He is a just judge. Justice must be served for the breaking of these commandments. Justice that damns guilty sinners to a real place called Hell.
I know that it's not looking good. Hasn't everyone broken these commandments? Not exactly. Everyone except one. And therein lies the good news. That God sent His Son Jesus Christ, as prophesied, to be born of a virgin(Isa 7:14). He was fully God, yet fully man(John 1:1-14). He lived a sinless life yet He died on the cross for all of our sins(Romans 5:8). God's justice and wrath was carried out on Jesus so that it wouldn't have to be taken by us. Jesus rose from the dead three days later, defeating death so that if we repent(turn from sin Mark 1:15) and trust in Him alone for salvation(Acts 4:12, Eph 2:8-10) we shall not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16). Your part in all this? Pray to God today for forgiveness. Repent. Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead and you can be saved!(Romans 10:9) Then read your Bible daily and obey what it says.
Go back to the top and re-read 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 1-5. Is that where you are today? Are you fulfilling the Words of the Book that you deem "just a fairy tale"? You can look all day and be hard pressed to find a lady who lived in a shoe that had so many kids she didn't know what to do. It will take you less than 5 minutes to find a person such as described in Paul's letter to Timothy. A self loving, God hating, disobedient, unholy, lover of pleasure is very, very easy to track down these days. 8 years ago you could have looked to me to find that person. God, who is rich in mercy, called me to salvation through repentance and faith in His Son Jesus-the only way to get to God (John 14:6). Please consider and pass along this message to your unsaved friends and family.
2 Peter 1:16
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Monday, June 6, 2011

3 Questions

Two Fridays ago, our Kindred outreach went to the Gardenwalk out here in Anaheim California. This is a great place to witness because it has a sidewalk near the street that is public property. This means that we are able to freely hand out tracts, have great one to one conversations, and even do some open air preaching without getting chased out by security. I got to speak to a man named James who had been, as he called it, "out of the game" for a while. The conversation went really well. I also got to talk with David, who believed but wasn't quite living for the Lord. That also went pretty good. There were a few others that I talked to but one person still stands out to me. A big teddy bear looking guy named Sean. As I saw him walking towards me, I handed him a million dollar bill tract. He looked at it and knew what it was. He informed me that he had rejected the message on the back of the bill some time ago and that he was in a hurry to meet a friend for dinner at a nearby restaurant. So I asked him if I could as him three questions before he ran off. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Would you consider yourself to be a good person?
Sean: Yes
Me: Have you ever told a lie?
Sean: Yes

Timeout. So at this point I realized I only had one question left. I then told him that it might be more like 6-8 questions, to which he said, "hey now you're lying!" We both started laughing and I reiterated that I would stick to my original three questions, as promised.

Me: What do you call someone who tells lies?
Sean: A liar

Me: Ok Sean, the Bible says that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. It also tells us that if you try to keep the Law but stumble at one point you are guilty of breaking all of it.

I proceeded to tell him what God did so that did not have to happen. That Jesus Christ lived a perfect life but took our sins on Himself and died on a cross. Three days later He rose again, defeating death so that if we repent and trust in Him we won't perish but will have everlasting life.

Sean did not start weeping over his sins but he did shake my hand, thank me, and even folded the tract and put it in his front pocket. I wanted to share this with you guys so that you will have a way to get the good news to a person who is in a hurry and even use the Law to show them their need. The conversation lasted literally no more than two minutes and Sean was able to meet his friend at the restaurant right after we talked.

Final Thought: Why does lying make me a murderer, adulterer, blasphemer, idolator, and covetous person? How is it fair that if I break one commandment, it's like breaking all of them? Well Greg Crouse, fellow team leader, said it best during his open air preaching. Imagine hanging over a pit of fire from a chain made of ten links. Your handle is hooked to the bottom link. Does it really matter which one you cut? No! Any of the ten links of the chain, if broken, will make you fall. And that is the point. We are all sinners in God's eye and apart from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, God's wrath abides on us. Some of you are hanging over the Lake of Fire today. Which link(s) are gonna cause you to fall into it? You don't have to fall. Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself because God doesn't want anyone to perish. He will catch you. All you have to do is ask. Repent and trust in Jesus. Get down from that chain today and fall into the hands of the loving savior.

James 2:10

English Standard Version (ESV)

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.