Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Is Life Our School?

It's that time again. Students, some of them reluctant, are heading back to classes. All the school supplies have been purchased and the names of the children enrolled. I dare say that many parents are glad to have the house to themselves during the day too.

I liken this world as our boarding school where we are prepared by God to enter heaven. Sanctification is the ongoing process of making us like Christ. As with microwave cooking, it works from the inside out. That's why we seem half baked to the world.

Through the Bible, we can see a progression from the primary law given from God to Moses to the advanced teaching of the apostles. Look at what Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24 (KJV), "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Though Old Testament saints were justified by their trust in God, the law guided their understanding.

Christ's sacrifice and the gift of the Holy Spirit have allowed us to advance from rule-keeping to intuitive principles of obedience and love. Paul continued his thought in Galatians 3:25 (KJV) when he explained, "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

Christ also obeyed the law perfectly, the first person on earth to do so. As Hebrews 5:8 (KJV) states, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;" This is our example on how we should obey God.

When Christ returns, this school of hard knocks will be over. I long for his appearing like I yearned to go home from Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind. As I joyfully returned to my parents and siblings during Summer, Christmas, and three Easters, so will those who place their trust in Christ go to our heavenly Father at death or when Christ returns.

By the way, I wrote about how I was sent to that blind school for six years and how I coped with that exile. Write to me for details regarding my memoir of those days.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

How is Christianity Intuitive?

Previously, I wrote about how the law given to Moses was primary to our faith but grace is intuitive. How is this so? This isn't the best example but it does fit this question fairly well.

In the old days of computing, people had to type in commands in a machine language or poke out tabs in punch cards to get the computer to execute commands. If one keystroke or hole in the card was wrong, it messed up the entire program.

I remember learning MS DOS in 1992 and how each command had to be typed in correctly. Otherwise, all the computer would say was "Bad command or filename."

DOS commands were rather cryptic as well. For example, this is how you would move text files from the hard drive to a floppy disk:


When Windows 3.1 came out in the early nineties, Microsoft introduced an intuitive point-and-click system. It allowed people to highlight files and move them to different places without typing in a command.

The reason I'm mentioning DOS and Windows is because the Old Testament law and the New Testament grace are similar to those two operating systems. Instead of specific commands, we now filter everything through the love of Christ. By loving him, we obey his commands to love others and spread the good news of salvation to all the world. No more do we need to remember a lot of "thou shalt not" commands since the Holy Spirit motivates us to do good works.

This is one reason I'm working on a new book called You Think You're Going to Heaven. People mistakenly think that Christianity is a religion of rules rather than, as it truly is, a lifestyle of love. I hope to publish it next year.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Did We Exist Before Our Birth?

Believe it or not, there is absolutely no mention of humans existing before their births. I've read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation twenty times and nowhere was there a mention of us existing prior to our conception.

People who believe in reincarnation often claim to be somebody important in a supposed previous life. They somehow get a vague idea of being in a certain place before and their over-active imaginations fill in the details.

The only being in the universe who existed before his birth was Jesus Christ. He obliquely mentioned this in John 8:56 (BBE) when he said to the Pharisees, "Your father Abraham was full of joy at the hope of seeing my day: he saw it and was glad."

Mocking his apparent mistake in claiming that Abraham saw his appearance on this planet, the Pharisees asked in verse 57, "Then the Jews said to him, 'You are not fifty years old; have you seen Abraham?'"

Our Lord hinted at his pre-existence in verse 58.   Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I am.'" Those final words, "I am," was the holy and unspeakable name of God Almighty. That's why the Pharisees picked up stones to stone him to death. His time hadn't come yet so he slipped through the crowd of enraged religionists. They knew what Exodus 3:13 and 14 said about what God's name was."And Moses said unto God, 'Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, "The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you;" and they shall say to me, "What is his name?" what shall I say unto them?' And God said unto Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM:' and he said, 'Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.'"

I once joined an errant house church, unaware that it was a cult. Its lay minister taught many blasphemous doctrines, one of which was that we existed as space aliens before we were born into human bodies. Check out my book, How I Was Razed, at Amazon and discover how wonderfully the Lord freed me..

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Should We Not Care for Planet Earth?

Some readers of my previous two posts might assume that Christians need not take care of God's creation. After all, and as many believers have said, it's all going to burn. This is an irresponsible idea at best and it also flies in the face of God's command to humanity.

In the beginning, the Lord placed Adam and Eve in the garden to care for it. As Genesis 1:26 (KJV)reads, "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'"

This doesn't mean we should foul it with noxious chemicals and wanton destruction, as some critics of Christianity suppose we believe. Genesis 1:28 (KJV) states, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.'" That doesn't sound like we should trash the creation to me.

Additionally, some misguided believers assume that we don't need to care for the planet because God will destroy the old heavens and the earth. Nowhere does it say in the Bible that we should destroy his creation. That will be his job when he makes way for the new heavens and earth.

Meanwhile, we aren't slaves to the planet, as atheistic environmentalists want us to be, but caretakers. Until Christ returns, we should care for this wondrous world he made for us to live in.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

What Kind of People Ought Christians to Be?

One thing I've noticed over the years is that material possessions matter less and less to me. Forty years ago, I felt overjoyed about my new stereo with the turntable and built-in 8 track recorder. But the stereo and the cartridges are long gone. Only the memories and speakers remain.

I find myself today wanting practical things such as an electric lawn mower and extendable aluminum ladder. I still buy myself a few nice gadgets, such as the portable AM/FM/WX/SW radio I recently purchased,  but I no longer crave such things as I once did.

I've become far more focused upon spiritual topics since truth will last eternally. As Saint Peter wrote, this world will pass away someday. Look at what he declared in 2 Peter 3:10 (BBE). "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; and in that day the heavens will be rolled up with a great noise, and the substance of the earth will be changed by violent heat, and the world and everything in it will be burned up."

As much as I love radio, its day will pass. As much as I enjoy tinkering with my PCs, they too shall be dissolved when God pulls the pin on the "weak force" which scientists say holds atoms together. He'll replace them with new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. That's worth infinitely more than the latest technological advance.

Consider carefully what Peter wrote in the next verse. "Seeing then that all these things are coming to such an end, what sort of persons is it right for you to be, in all holy behaviour and righteousness." No matter how many cool gadgets we own, they'll end up in the recycling facility. No matter how many honours we earn, they'll be no use when the Lord comes to judge the wicked.

This is why it's crucial that we pursue righteousness as our top priority. Gadgets are nice but they're irrelevant in light of eternity.

My next book, You Think You're Going to Heaven, will focus on what God requires of us instead of what people believe. After all, his Word is the measuring stick which all things must be judged by.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

But Why Do Christians Still Suffer?

In my previous post, I mentioned the benefits of surrendering our lives to Christ. Some people might wonder why then do Christians suffer mistreatment. Look at what Christ said in Mark 10:30 (KJV), "But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."

The Apostle Paul recognized the good that persecution eventually accomplishes when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10 (KJV), "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." The strength he spoke of comes from God working through him.

Paul also wrote in 2 Timothy 13:10 to 12, "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

So why bother being an outspoken Christian when it earns you abuse? Paul wrote in Philippians 3:14 (KJV), "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." And what a glorious prize it is too.

Satan hates the truth and wants to stifle or distort it. We by our very belief in Christ  wage war against him. Therefore, he tries everything in his power to destroy or distract us.

In my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven, I'll outline just how the Devil seeks to destroy humanity and how to avoid being his inmate in hell. Watch this space.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Who Can Fill the Emptiness of the Soul?

Have you ever heard of a radio show called UNSHACKLED!? It features dramatizations of true life stories of real people who were once lost in sin but whom Christ freed from their bondage to wickedness. Some of these folks were violent robbers, drug dealers, alcoholics, spouse abusers, and even good citizens who realized that something essential was missing from their lives.

What the human heart craves above all else is rest from seeking fulfillment in life. Many people try to fill the void by numbing their pain with drugs. Others place their self worth in sporting achievements. With many folks, it's possessions which they hope will end their restlessness. Then their are those few who place their confidence in religious duties. In the end, all these things let us down.

How sad it is that people ignore or reject the one person who will help them. The Bible says in Matthew 11:28 (KJV), "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." All those people whose lives were dramatized on UNSHACKLED! craved that rest and found it in Jesus Christ.

Neither is this the only promise of spiritual satisfaction given to us by God. Look at what Isaiah 58:11 (KJV) states. "And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." In a land suffering frequent dry spells, this promise meant a lot to the prophet's hearers.

Moreover, this provision of the Lord provides for all of our true desires for rest and peace which we lack before we become born again. Jesus contrasted the Devil's robbery of our joy and contentment when he said in John 10:10 (KJV) "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

So we can see just by these few verses that surrendering our lives over to Christ brings many benefits in this life as well as the one to come. I plan on writing more about this beneficial surrender in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People often assume that worldly achievements and possessions will give them lasting happiness. Only being a part of Christ's body of believers brings true, lasting joy.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

How Does Our Faith Help us in This World?

One objection I often hear from non Christians is that we who believe in Christ teach a pie-in-the-sky religion. It does nothing good for us now and it only makes its adherents miserable. We know differently but they don't. Therefore, I want to point out a few scriptures to refute their assertions.

As adopted children in Christ's spiritual family, we are provided with what we need in this world. Look at what the Bible in Basic English says about this matter in Mark 10:28 to 30. "Peter said to him, 'See, we have given up everything, and come after you.' Jesus said, 'Truly I say to you, There is no man who has given up house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or land, because of me and the good news, Who will not get a hundred times as much now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and land--though with great troubles; and, in the world to come, eternal life.'"

But what of Christians who have families and haven't left home? The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19 (KJV) "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Since this is so, why are some believers dirt poor? This isn't because of a lack of faith, as charismatic preachers claim, but God always gives us what we need, not what we think we need. As Jesus said to the crowd in his Sermon on the mount in Matthew 7:11 (KJV) "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

I once believed that the heavenly Father was stingy because he wouldn't give me 20/20 vision. I wanted it so I could give him glory and so I could find a job easier. Now I know that he gave me much more spiritually and even physically than I could have imagined back then. I wrote about this marvelous transformation of my soul in a book called How I Was Razed. Read more about this miraculous testimony at Amazon.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Should We Celebrate Spiritual Birthdays?

John MacArthur spoke on Grace to You recently regarding the proofs of salvation. In one sermon, he asked the congregation to raise their hands if they could remember the exact time and date when they gave control of their lives over to Christ.

John pointed out that this isn't a guarantee that a person is saved. It merely tells people that you committed yourself at a certain stage in your life to the lordship of Jesus and that you follow him.

But what of those folks who don't remember the transition from believing about God and believing, a.k.a. trusting, in Christ? Are these people not Christians because they can't pinpoint their exact time of conversion?

Look at what Christ himself had to say about the matter. During his Sermon on the Mount, he said in Matthew 7:16 (KJV) "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Jesus spoke of those who seemed like believers in the Father outwardly but were unchanged inwardly.

As Christ concluded in Matthew 7:20, (KJV) "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." This means that their lifestyles will reveal which sort of persons they are. If people have a genuine desire to obey God and crave more knowledge about him from the Bible, that indicates their salvation is genuine. If, on the other hand, those people live the same way they did before, it's certain that their profession of faith wasn't from the heart.

So it is today that our lives reveal if we really were changed by our commitment to Christ or not.

Yesterday was the forty-sixth anniversary of my surrender to the Lord. I can see by what I wrote in my How I Was Razed memoir that I truly was changed. Even in the face of taunting from schoolmates regarding my love for Jesus, I still stayed true to him. Check out my wonderful testimony at Amazon.