Thursday, 29 October 2015

Did Jesus go to Hell?

A line in The Apostles' Creed puzzled and disturbed me when I was a child. The thought of Jesus descending into hell didn't seem right to me. So I asked one Sunday school teacher  in the Anglican church and she told me it meant that his body was placed in a tomb. It didn't mean that Christ's spirit went to hell.

Recently, I learned from radio shows such as The White Horse Inn and The Bible Answer Man that the line about Christ descending into hell was added in the fourth century to this ancient creed which the church adopted many years earlier.

Even so, it is true that the Lord's body was placed in a tomb and he did rise on the third day. But many preachers have claimed that Jesus went to hell and took the keys of hell and the grave from Satan. Christ's own words disprove this errant doctrine.

"It is Finished," Jesus declared just before he died. He also promised one thief who was crucified next to him that he'd be in paradise with him. Hell isn't paradise and neither was the comma misplaced as some claimed. Christ finished his work on the cross, not in hell.

Some claimed that Jesus preached to the captives in hell from the time of the flood. Hank Hanegraaff explained that it means that through the preaching of Noah, the people of that time heard the gospel. That makes much more sense than the narrative some preachers state.

I once believed errant nonsense like that. My How I Was Razed memoir shows how God providentially led me to the truth. Contact me for details about this marvelous testimony.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Why Must I Repent?

Before I can answer that question, I need to explain what repentance means. Simply put, it's a spiritual U turn. After a person asks God's forgiveness for disobeying his laws, those who repent abandon their old lifestyle and let Christ govern their conduct. They become disciples, learning his teachings and practicing them.

The old lifestyle is actually a death style, leading humanity to eternal agony in hell. Like it or not, the ways of the world bring nothing but long-term misery to everybody who insists on living that way. It might seem fun at first to do our own thing but It soon feels hollow and pointless.

This is because we were made to worship God. Genesis shows how humanity had it made and there was only one rule our founding parents needed to obey. They failed the test when they believed Satan's lie that God was holding some good thing back from them. That broke the fellowship Adam and Eve had with the Lord.

Since it's natural for us to sin, we need supernatural help. That's where Christ's death on the cross comes in. God transferred all the punishment for sin on him from whosoever will believe in him. When you accept this trade and become an adopted child in Christ's family, God treats you as innocent because of his son's sacrificial death.

I once lacked a full appreciation of this glorious trade. The cult church I became involved in taught blasphemous doctrines masquerading as advanced knowledge. Now I know that they lied to me. How I Was Razed shows how God led me into the sunlit land of his truth. Contact me directly regarding this marvelous memoir.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Why did God make his son die for us?

I've heard that some militant atheists accuse God of being a sadistic monster who forced Christ to go to the cross. A simple reading of Scripture shows this idea as manifestly false.

Jesus had plenty to say regarding his impending crucifixion. For instance, he said he had power to lay down his life and to take it up again, thus showing his confidence in his resurrection. He also declared that, "Greater love has no man but that he should lay down his life for his friends." These two statements alone show that he was willing to take our sins upon himself in order to rescue us from hell.

Furthermore, the scripture declares that Christ's mission to save whosoever believed in him and his atoning work was planned before the universe was created. It wasn't some half-baked plan or, as some think, that everything went sideways on Jesus. The gospels record several incidents where Christ could have been killed. The first one was when Harod had all the children two years or under killed in Bethlehem. The Pharisees and a synagogue congregation tried to murder him as well but he slipped through the crowd for his time was not yet come.

God is portrayed in the Bible as the heavenly Father because he has tried so hard to protect humanity from harm but without turning us into robots. Israel, through whom he established the lineage of Christ, constantly went through periods of apostasy but God didn't utterly snuff them all out. Think about this. Would you or I tolerate the horrendous disrespect and scorn continually heaped  on us as is dished out to God? I doubt it.

Old Testament prophesies also predicted that God's innocent son would take our punishment for sin. Read the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. It's like he saw and recorded the whole trial and crucifixion of Christ. I could dig up more instances but this blog post would become too long.

You Think You're Going to Heaven is my next book and I hope to delve deeply into this and other questions which people invariably ask. I've wondered about these things myself and I want to share the answers I've found.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Who Made You an Expert?

Folks often ask this question when they don't accept a person's argument. Even so, it's a fair question when people present their views on God, heaven, and other spiritual matters.

In my case, my authority is the Word of God. It has continually proven itself correct in its prophecies, history, archeology, and it's power to convict us of sin.

The Bible's message is astonishingly consistent. Its sixty-six books were penned over a 1,500-year period by different authors from diverse lands. Furthermore, the texts from ancient fragments of bible books are consistent with what we have in our Bibles today. And unlike what I was taught by a false prophet in a cultic house church, the texts have remained almost totally unaltered  through the thousands of years they have existed.

Some folks might ask, "How do you know that your interpretation is correct?" First of all, Jesus Christ said the Holy Spirit will lead his disciples into all truth. I rely upon those spirit-led men to present the unadulterated revelation from God. When I become puzzled, reliable scholars such as John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul show me what abstruse scriptures mean.

Hermeneutics, the science of interpreting scripture with scripture, is a skill I've learned by way of exceptional Bible scholars. The Word of God must be treated literately, understanding the various genres of the books and of the times they were written in. Idioms are used in the Bible which make no sense when translated into English. Knowing their meaning clears up so many misunderstandings.

I've learned the hard way that not everybody calling himself or herself a Bible teacher is really teaching the scriptures properly. The cannon of scripture was closed in the first century. Any purported revelation since then has been proven false.

In my How I Was Razed testimony, I wrote about the outrageous nonsense which a false prophet taught me and how God led me to the truth. Contact me for details on how to obtain this wondrous memoir.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Where's the Proof That God Exists?

I know it's rude to answer a question with a question. Even so, what do people who ask this question mean by proof? According to the Bible, God has shown himself through nature, divine revelation, and in the person of Jesus Christ.

In creation, we can see his purpose and foreknowledge. Though we live in a fallen world where nature is red in tooth and claw, the wonders of his created works declare that they didn't happen by chance and random processes. For example, Monarch butterflies metamorphose from almost blind caterpillars to graceful flyers with excellent eyesight. They travel thousands of miles to winter in Mexico, all without aid of GPs or compass. This is just one of many examples I could cite.

I've blogged before about prophecy and how the prophets spoke of events which came to pass years or centuries later. We've continually seen just how far off human-inspired predictions have been so those fulfillment's of ancient prophecies can only be from a divine source.

God also visited humanity via Jesus Christ. Since his appearance in the dark clouds and fire on the mountain frightened the crap out of the Israelites when Moses led them out of Egypt, he became a human being who people could touch and relate to. By the way, the folks who gave Christ the most grief were the Pharisees, not common sinners. Those experts in the scriptures should have recognized all the fulfilled prophecies of the Messiah in the person of Jesus, yet they couldn't let go of their stamped ideas of what he would be like. Therefore, they framed him and had the Romans put him to death. When Christ rose again, the Pharisees bribed the tomb guards to say they fell asleep and the disciples stole his body.

My point here is that whatever proof people demand, they most likely won't accept the evidence already provided by God.

I once had stamped ideas about God before he freed me from them. How I Was Razed is a testimony of how the Lord providentially led me to freedom. Contact me for details about purchasing this wondrous story of God's providential grace.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Why Give God Thanks?

In this increasingly secular society, the true meaning of Thanksgiving Day is becoming lost. To many individuals, it's just a break from work and another day to sleep in. If only people could understand that we have God Almighty to thank for our daily blessings.

Scientists have taught people that we just happened here by accident. The perfection we see in nature is merely a function of natural laws. But why should these laws be present and active universally in the first place? Gravity works the same way across the cosmos. Light travels at a constant speed everywhere. Effects always have causes. The only way an effect, such as life, came into being is by a cause greater or equal to itself.

Evolution relies upon random chance and billions of years to explain how life came into being. The flaw in that idea is entropy. If a single protein molecule came into being by chance, so many destructive factors would cancel it out. Forming two protein molecules would take infinitely more time. Some scientists postulate the notion of parallel universes but that only magnifies the number of random destructive forces.

As I've pointed out earlier, all biological processes need to be  present and working simultaneously or the organism in question dies. The chemical reactions in the human eye alone show that there couldn't have been a slow process of additive mutations to create the end product.

God's fingerprints are all over creation. We can ascertain his existence by the wondrous interrelationship of various organisms and the intelligence present in their DNA. Even our ability to reason is a gift from the Lord.

The sophistry of evolutionists once fooled me but now I know better. I wrote about this in a book called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Contact me for details on how to purchase this awesome testimony of God's providence.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Where is God Anyway?

I've heard that a Soviet cosmonaut once quipped that he couldn't see God when he was in orbit. Whatever people think, the Bible has the right answers to our questions.

We know that God lives in heaven but that he is also omnipresent. But how can he be in heaven and also everywhere at once?

Hank Hanegraaff has a plausible and logical explanation. He believes that heaven and our universe are superimposed on each other. Both are separated by a dimensional division. When Christ returns, this separation will be abolished and heaven will become part of the new creation.

The Bible also mentions three places called heaven or the heavens. Our atmosphere is described as one heaven, particularly when Christ said he'd be riding the clouds of heaven at his second coming.

Space is the second heaven. Scripture often speaks of the stars of heaven or the heavens pouring forth praise.

God's throne is also said to be in another heaven, apart from this sin-cursed universe.

The only way to reconcile him being omnipresent and also in one place is to realize that it's a metaphor. God condescends to our finite understanding by describing spiritual realities in ways we can relate to, hence the throne analogy.

The Apostle Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Wherever we are, we who trust in God and have surrendered our lives to him enter his presence at death. Logically, spirits have zero mass so the idea of heaven being somewhere is a category mistake.

I'm eternally grateful to the Lord for leading me out of toxic, soul-destroying doctrines and into his truth. My How I Was Razed book describes the glorious journey on which he led me. Contact me for details on how to purchase this remarkable memoir.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What is Sanctification?

I used to wonder what that term meant when I was a new Christian. Whenever I did ask, the answer elders gave me sounded so convoluted that I zoned out. Consequently, I never quite grasped that concept.

It's quite simple. When a person believes in their heart that Christ rose from the dead and confesses that Christ is their Lord, the Holy Spirit enters into that person and begins to make positive changes. It's like microwave cooking. The radio waves enter the food and agitate the water molecules. Their increased motion creates heat which cooks food from the inside out. This is why born again Christians appear half baked to non believers.

What are these changes? First, a born again (born from above) person falls in love with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. All the old habits such as swearing, telling dirty jokes, and the like suddenly seem repulsive. So does selfishness and human pride become disgusting to the regenerated person.

Sanctification takes time. We like everything to happen immediately or sooner but that doesn't work with the new life Christ gives us. Just as we had no influence on our physical birth, we didn't earn our new spiritual life.

The child analogy also works in regard to the growth of our trust in the Lord. Christians give in to sin on occasions, just as children get into mischief. But God is merciful to forgive us our wicked behaviour when we ask his forgiveness with an attitude of humility.

I've learned much in the forty-six years of my new life in the family of Christ. I wrote these lessons down in a book called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Contact me for details on purchasing this wondrous story of God's awesome providence.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Why is Christianity so Full of Rules?

Where do people get the notion that Christianity is just a bunch of DOs and DON'Ts? Study the New Testament and you'll find out that there aren't as many "rules" as people think. Let me explain why this is.

Jesus Christ said that the whole Old Testament law hung on two commandments: love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbour as yourself. That's all a Christian needs to do.

I liken the Old Testament law and Christ's new commandments to be similar to MS DOS and Windows, though the analogy is a bit shaky. To start a program in DOS, you needed to type in its exact name or initials. In Windows, you click on an icon and the program starts. That's much easier for most people.

The Old Testament Ten Commandments, and subsequent ordinances, were like DOS in that they were specific. Christ's commandments, like Windows, are both intuitive.

How is this so? When you love God, you won't make any idols and bow down to worship them. You automatically want to put the Lord first in every aspect of your life. Neither would you murder, lie under oath, covet what isn't yours, dishonor your parents, or do any other evil thing. In fact, you will naturally want to worship the Lord and do good things for others.

Some folks think this is too simplistic. They want to impose rules upon rules to keep people in line. That is why many denominations have come up with regulations which aren't in the Bible or have been superceded by the New Testament. These legalists want to go back to Sabbath worship and some think certain activities such as gambling and listening to rock music are sinful. Truly, there's no "thou Shalt not gamble" commandment in either testament.

I know from bitter experience about legalism. The cult church elders objected to me listening to rock music, talking on the CB, and the like. They also treated me cruelly because of my poor vision. I wrote about how God delivered me from those false Christians in a book called How I Was Razed. This glorious testimony of God's providential grace is available directly from me.