The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

One of the most enigmatic verses in the entire bible is also one of the most intuitively obvious once someone is honest with themselves about the state of this world, the great wickedness that we witness daily, the injustice of war, the corruption of authority, and all other horrors of humanity.

Indeed, this verse captures the natural, Holy, and true response to the violence, sexual perversion, and delusion that we see, experience, and sometimes even partake in in our own shame.

“And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.” (Eccelsiastes 4:2-3, ESV)

What an obvious statement–its almost a truism or a platitude. This verse, more importantly, completely cedes to the Atheist the most poignant criticism against God that there is: God should not have created at all, if the known result was that the elements of His creation would go on to form the molecules of evil and suffering whatsoever.

This criticism is still the strongest in academia today, and it was also my own greatest criticism of a good God. It was what I shook my fist at God for. It was why I cursed him whenever I saw injustice and evil. It was why I resented all that was comforting, sweet, kind, and charitable, because I “knew” it was a fantasy and a lie.

Ultimately was why I laid all of the world’s dysfunction at God’s feet to blame, rather than men. Worse of all, it led me to become a very, very bitter person.

Therefore, you could imagine my surprise when I find that the bible itself completely cedes the premise that it is better to not be born and experience life if that experience includes any form of evil. Moreover, it fascinated me that this book could be inspired, and thus considered infallibly true, by Christians! However, my experience with deep thinking Christians in life and throughout history spared me the foolish and intellectually dishonest exercise of merely chalking it all up to religious doublethink.

However, in my fascination with the book of ecclesiastes as a book considered to be inspired literature, I considered not that it was merely some contradiction or limited human musing as many biblical teachers often lazily claim (my thinking was and is that if the bible is true, ALL of it must be true–infallibility is nonnegotiable).

Now, for many other reasons, the book of Ecclesiastes was the book that led me to salvation in the resurrected Son of God, the Jewish Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. However, this verse was the wrecking ball that shattered my criticism.

How so?

Well, as the late Dr. Chuck Missler was fond of claiming, whenever you find a supposed contradiction in the bible our reaction ought to be to rejoice because we are about to learn something!

Therefore, I turned to the only way of solving it that I could think of: making an equation.

Solomon as laid out the following dynamic: To be dead is better than being alive, and better is the one who experienced neither. Therefore I wrote the following:

Life < Death < Unbirth

However, the one who has died has also experienced life with evil, therefore death includes within it life with evil. So, I amended the equation as such:

Life < (Death + Life) < Unbirth

However, with not much else to go on, I left that to continue reading the rest of the book. When I got to the final verse, I found the following:

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiates 12:14, ESV).

Since I knew from childhood bible studies that Revelation described this judgment as a second death (Revelation 20:6; 20:14; 21:8), I realized that I could then amend the equation for those all man as the following:

Life < (2 x (Death) + Life) < Unbirth

However, all these really proved to me was that the situation was even worse than I originally contemplated. Not did evil make life not worth living, but this was death compounded on itself when all of us are eventually judged for the evil we ourselves did. I felt my despair and cynicism vindicated, but I still didn’t solve how in the right mind any Christian could happy believing this was true!?? And clearly they existed, but I could not find an answer that I found satisfying.

Discontent, I shelved it…and it wasn’t until I found myself reading the words of the Lord himself did I get my answer like a punch in the gut:

“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’” (John 3:3, ESV).

Aha! My equation, Solomon’s equation, was incomplete.

I quickly amended it:

Life < (2(Death) + Life) < Unbirth < (2(Death) + 2(Life))

It was the second birth that changed the math in favor of God’s impetus to create. The second birth was the death of the old wicked sin, and the promise of eternal life in the presence of the Holy. It was the same crucifixion of Christ that made the second birth possible that also paid the cost of the wickedness that tarnished life. Therefore, it is the Christian life alone that is worth living.

Bonus:

In case you are a math nerd like me and need proof that this is even possible, you can also plug in numbers whose value represents moral betterness:

Life = 2

Death = 3

Unbirth = 9

Life < (2(Death) + Life) < Unbirth < (2(Death) + 2(Life))

2 < (2(3) + 2) < 9 < (2(3) + 2(2))

2 < (6 + 2) < 9 < (6 + 4)

2 < 8 < 9 < 10

Living Life < The Judged Life < The Lifeless < Life in Christ

 

The Christian Life Alone Is Worth Living

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Not Another Fish In the Sea

Not Another Fish In the Sea

Not Another Fish In The Sea

I have had an ongoing fish tank for the better part of 3 years.

It has been a very interesting journey of stewardship as this fish tank has gone through ups and downs in its history, generations of fish coming and going.

Recently, however, the switch that controls the power source of my fish tank accidentally disconnected.

This meant that the filters, the light, and the automatic filter all ceased to function.

What this caused was a massive near-extinction event of the population in my tank as nearly all my fish died.

This left only a handful of guppies left, my proverbial Adams and Eves, by which to restart my tank after giving it some TLC.

Nothing to restart my tank but 2 young pairs of guppies in a glass bowl on my table until I restored the tank to livable conditions.

I am in charge of their world.

Bring them food.

I defined the times they have light.

Laid the soil that brings nutrients to their plants.

I provide for them.

By removing my provision for the tank, most perished as the tank decayed.

Our world likewise is having the majority perishing, however the removal of provision from this world is not by the accidental flipping of a switch like in the case of my tank.

In our world, it is judicial as mankind dives further into his sin, making it evermore like the days of Noah.

This period of time is heavily documented, more than the time that Jesus walked the shores of Galilee.

Those who are saved will not go through this period of time; instead they will be like the survivors of my fish tank, resting safely away from the tank as it is sifted clean.

This sifting, the Day of the Lord, the Time of Jacob’s trouble, this Great Tribulation is not a mere warning or threat.

We are going into darker times, and our world is experiencing changes and technologies that will change everything about life (more than even the last 100 years).

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:22, KJV)

But why would it be that the elect should care if those days not be shortened?

For the same reason that the days of my fish tank were shortened when, nearing certain death, those who were still alive were taken up and out.

God is intervening.

However, God didn’t set up a clockwork universe that is slowing losing its momentum.

No, God set up a paradise and then, unlike me who accidentally doomed a fish tank, cursed mankind’s world when Adam sinned.

God then intervened to save some from the certain death of his world through the patriarchs down to Moses, then Moses to Christ who died on the cross for our sins.

There was the first Adam and the second Adam.

While the first brought death to the entire world, the second brought life.

It is Jesus Christ, preeminent in all things, who brings salvation and judgement to the world.

To Him all will bow and confess, whether they like it or not. Unlike my fish, we are not some frustratingly replicable pet.

God knows each and every one of us by name, and he calls his own to him.

And he asks the very simple question:

Do you want to be in the decaying tank or in the bowl outside?

 

Not Another Fish In the Sea

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Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

It seems like every time I turn around our news media is promoting a new thing to fear.

Now that we are neck-deep in the Coronavirus scare (real or otherwise) the news media has 24 hours of coverage from all over the world. Statistics are showing how many people have gotten the virus to how many have died with many showing supermarkets’ hoarding of food and of all things, toilet paper.

The US government, as well as local towns, are putting their people on lockdown and are told not to meet in large groups. Movies, restaurants, coffee houses, as well as churches, are being closed for a time.

I do not remember a period that so much fear emanating from the far reaches of the globe and right here in the United States.

What has happened?

Social media has had a great impact. The speed at which the news travels is another one along with the harsh realities of political discourse.

Over the years I have watched the Christian culture crumble in our country, but it has also disintegrated all across planet earth. I do not mean to say God is not working in different places BIG time like in China, Africa, and South America but in places that Christianity stuck its flag of salvation through Jesus Christ in past centuries is now history.

The gospel has become week and almost unrecognizable in a place like the USA and Europe. The very places that Christianity sprang from to reach the rest of the world through missions and heavy-duty reading of scripture and the many powerful preachers and teachers of God’s Word have dwindled.

The Bible is not being read with as much passion as it once was. Certain aspects of God’s Word have been jettisoned like the teaching of Hell and Homosexuality and many other parts of scripture that people have deemed old and outdated in our modern-day. Human opinions have trumped God’s perspective.

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

Our churches are a confused bunch in many ways.

We have been sucked into this present culture because it seems to be more exciting. Our worship has become a performance-based and entertaining as you would encounter at a rock concert.

The preachers are afraid of talking about hard subjects like hell and homosexuality for fear of alienating the people that sit in their pews or criticism from the outside world

God’s Word has become just another bunch of words to be endured and Jesus is just another smart holy man that lived many years ago.

Who needs God when we have science?

Many Christian much less the rest of the culture we live in really do not believe much of the bible is the inspired word of God. Evolution is where many think life sprang from and not God’s intervention in our world. Most people do not have an understanding of evolution itself but blindly follow what atheistic scientist say.

To this day scientists have not produced life from non-life in laboratories with all the perfect conditions. Many of these scientists have come to believe life itself is just too complex to come from the primordial ooze so they have come up with alternative idea’s like the multi-universe and seeding of life from space.

It does not stop them from promoting alien life somewhere else in the cosmos or that we have been visited by these beings. Every other day we read in the news how astronomers have discovered a new planet that has all the right conditions for life.

I had to come to terms with what the Bible said where mankind came from in Genesis. How could I believe in the rest of scripture and what Jesus said in the New testament if I did not believe where we came from in the first place. My whole belief system would unravel.

Fear not!

Fear is the single most driving force in our lives. When you take God out of your life, fear can be an overwhelming. You are left to your own devices to figure everything out. You begin to put your faith into humans, governments or even yourself to figure it all out.

Fear in the news media has not just come from this Coronavirus but Climate Change before that. We needed the right president to deal with racism or homophobia. How many people became so fear-based after the 2016 election that it seemed like it changed politics in the country overnight.

Abortion has become the word and practice of the day. It is if God made a mistake by having a human growing inside of another and we need to correct his mistake because as all-knowing humans, we know better.

When you take God out of a culture fear begins to reign. Humans are very short-sighted and do not have a basic understanding of unintended consequences.

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

How can we?  

We do not know the future nor were we around when God made it ALL and put it into motion. We have no idea what His intentions are. The one place that He spelled it all out for us to have even the smallest understanding has been rejected or given a distant second place on the self.

Our modern culture has become increasingly godless. It believes that if you believe in God then you are believing in a fairy tail. We know better because we have come to understand that humans do not have the answers deep in our hearts. Just look at the history of mankind. The Coronavirus shouts it out to us.

Fear not!

“Fear not!” is the most repeated command in the Bible. It’s been said that there are 365 “Fear not” in the Bible — one “Fear not” for every day of the year! … God doesn’t want us to go a single day without hearing his word of comfort: “Fear not!”

I wrote an article about fear and climate change a couple of months ago that you might like to read that goes into depth on this subject. Climate Change: Is God A Fool.

Like I said at the end of that blog:

Do not get all caught up in the hysteria and fear. Do not let mere humans with their narrow incite and opinions shout over God’s voice of reason.

He created you and me and has a hope and future for each one of us. He also created this time and space called a universe and is not surprised by anything. He knew it would come down to this in the end.

Do not let fear rule you!

Jesus walked on this planet, died and rose again so we could have a future.

That you can take to the bank!

 

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

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Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

The theory of evolution has brought confusion in many people’s minds and nowhere is it more apparent than our children. Many adults suffer from this confusion also, especially in the last 60 years.

Darwinian Evolution has been taught in all our school’s science classes at the high school and college level as undisputed fact. Sometimes it is being taught even earlier in grade school. 

Natural selection (the process of evolution) promotes that all life forms sprang up from some sort of primordial ooze as basic life on a bacterial level and then began to slowly evolve into more complex forms of life over millions of years. It took many different paths as it mutated into fish and birds to land-dwelling creatures and millions of other combinations. We have been told by scientists, that this is what the fossil records show.

Evolution at its core teaches us that there is no need for some sort of Intelligent Designer. Life came about through many mindless mistakes over all these eons of time to where we are today. No need for God. 

We go to church and send our children to Sunday school and we are told that there is a God. The Bibles tell us in Genesis that God Himself made all life forms and also how He designed the universe by speaking them both into existence.

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

 

When our children start going to public high school, they are being taught something completely different. When adults tell them two different things that are so basic as how life came to populate this planet, how can they not be confused? Two different messages. How can adults not be confused? How can we trust the rest of the Bible if it can not get this basic fundamental truth correct?

I was an atheist until I was 30 years old. When I did become a Christian I still wrestled with these elemental questions. Was Genesis true or was it a fairytale, or some sort of metaphor written thousands of years ago. 

Can science and faith coexist?

I needed to know ‘BIG Time’. My doubts were overwhelming to the point, that I stopped going to church, praying and resumed pursuing a secular lifestyle once again. I became an angry man again and made living with very hard for my family and myself. I had to know if this is all there is in life and when we die, is that it? Nothing beyond this very temporary life. We live for a few decades and then we are gone like billions before us.

God brought me back through a series of hard events. I missed Him! I also started to research more on some of my doubts like evolution. What I found surprised me. I found and joined a Christian organization that is led by astronomer Hugh Ross and a few other scientists that make their home at something called Reasons to Believe. I joined their local organization in my hometown and found I was not alone on many of my questions and doubts.

I felt liberated to connect with God again and not be ashamed of the doubts that were plaguing me. I began to follow a number of Christian apologetic leaders that were on the internet like Dr. William Lane Craig at Reasonable Faith. He is one of the foremost Christian debaters on the planet. He uses logic and reasoning to prove the hope that we have within us. There are many others that I follow and will leave a small list and links for you to check out at the end of this blog.

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Some of The 1,000 Scientists at Dissent from Darwinism

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

 

 Is evolution an undisputed fact? 

When I comes to evolution, I have found that in spite of what the prevailing push of what many scientists say, Darwinian Evolution is not a done deal. Far from it!

There are many objections by scientists that work in the fields of Microbiology, Biophysics, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Quantum Chemistry and the study of DNA that are ringing the alarm that evolution has many problems and they are voicing their concerns.  

I found a website that lists over 1,000 scientists worldwide that have come together to voice their objections called “Dissent from Darwinism”. I was shocked at how many there were and the diverse scientific fields they came from.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer has written a book that has taken the science world by storm called “Darwin’s Doubt”. A scientist himself, he points out from a scientific standpoint why there are many problems with this theory.

It is a hard book to understand, in that he goes into detail on many aspects of how life works and functions. 

One of the things that caught my attention from his book was how all life is very complex and it was right from the beginning right down to the smallest cells.

If it is so complex and was from the start, how did it get going in the first place?

The scientific world still has no idea how life first began. They have never been able to duplicate the start of life in a laboratory. 

Questions on the Cambrian Explosion
Questions on DNA

What are they hiding?

Why is the evolutionary world hiding the fact that evolution is not a done deal or a fact beyond dispute? First, many scientists are atheists and will not even entertain the idea that there is an Intelligent Designer in our universe and will fight back tooth and nail at the very idea. Many evolutionary scientists have spent their whole lives as professors in universities teaching that evolution is beyond dispute. 

The ACLU has entered this fray. 

Whenever a teacher brings up doubts about different aspects of Darwinian Evolution in high school or college, they will sue them, so they are silenced. So much rides in our culture today on the belief that there is no God. Abortion has a lot riding on it. It is easy to kill an unborn human if you have convinced yourself deep inside that there is no God to be accountable to. 

The USA has truly become a post-Christian culture.

We have followed Europe in this regard. If there is no God, then there are no true objective morals to follow and nothing but our own opinions as to what is right and wrong.

Our Christian churches have ill-equipped our children.

When our young adults enter college many things will demand their attention. We have not made them aware of the push back they will receive on many issues about being a Christian. When they object to different things like evolution, they will be accused of believing in a fairytale and anti-science and looked down upon by fellow students and professors. They will have many doubts about their Christian faith, because they had no answers to this onslaught and many of them will walk away from the faith, they grew up in. 

So many adults have these same doubts just as I did. Churches need to address these hard questions of our faith through the study of apologetics. A safe place, that we can ask tough questions and discuss them with one another. A safe place, that we will not be looked at as if we were some sort of heretic, or told we just need more faith. A place where logic and reason are used to dig deep into our Christian Faith.

Make it safe and interesting for our children to learn about the hard and uncompromising world they will face. Treat them like adults and have them stretch their minds and logically look at things from God’s perspective. Promote the asking of questions. Many of our Church leaders and teachers are uncomfortable with talking about these hard issues because they do not know how to answer these questions.

The Bible Tells Me So

That answer is not good enough anymore. It never was good enough. All it tells someone is that you have no answer to what they are asking. You have not really studied the issue and want the easy way out. They are not worth your time to go into detail. 

How would you answer these next set of questions if someone asked you?

If He is such a great God, why did he make a place called hell? 

How do we know Jesus really walk this planet?

Can you have morals without God? 

Why do bad things happen to good people? 

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Is the universe only 10,000 years old?

Can science and faith coexist? 

Why were certain books put in the Bible and why not others?

These are just a few questions that Christian Apologists confront and try to answer. I find it exciting and very thought-provoking to listen to different people that are involved in this field. Some are debates between individuals or groups (my favorite) and others are articles and blogs like this one you are reading from. 

They stretch my perspective on how and what I believe. Sometimes I do not know how to answer a particular question, but I try to be honest and ask if I can get back to them. Then I will do research and try and figure out what it is I believe in a certain subject. 

I think apologetics is a form of worship. We are learning about God on how and who He is. What makes Him tick. Looking at the universe on a dark night and be blown away at His creation. 

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Related Christian Apologetic Websites

 

Reasons to Believe: – Astronomer Hugh Ross – Where Science and Faith Converge.

Reasonable Faith: – Dr. William Lane Craig – One of the top Christian Apologetics. His debating skills are second to none.   

RZIM: – Ravi Zacharias – Difficult Questions. Thoughtful Answers.

The Case for Christ: – Best Selling Author Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics.

Discovery Institute: – Dr. Steven Meyer’s – Scientist – Books – ‘Darwins’s Doubt’ and ‘Signature of the Cell’.

Cold-Case Christianity: – J. Warner Wallace. The Evidence Whisperer.

Cross Examined: – Dr. Frank Turek. Free Apologetics Resources.

Dissent from Darwinism: – 1,000 Scientist World Wide Voicing Their Objections to Darwinian Evolution.  

 

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Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

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Keeping Prayer Intellectually Interesting

Keeping Prayer Intellectually Interesting

Keeping Prayer Intellectually Interesting

Christian’s of all intellects and IQ’s find prayer challenging at times. All the common prayers (without training) fall into words used like help, bless, protect, love, heal, etc.

Of all my “helps” in prayer, the most superior one by far is using the Scriptures from the Bible.

For example, in praying for another person I could try to collect thoughts from my own mind or look for inspiration directly from the Holy Spirit into my mind,  but if I really want to have a richer, deeper, far more interesting prayer I can use the Word as an inspiration directly from God.

God became a man and dwelt among us (Jesus Christ) and communicated with us directly.

James 4:2 relays the truth that “we have not because we ask not”, meaning, God has given us an incredibly gift of being able to go to Him and actually ask for Him to do something, possibly something He won’t do unless we ask.

He so wants us to be intimately involved with Him that He limits His doing certain things to our asking Him.

Keeping Prayer Intellectually Interesting

Think of a father responding to the request of a child. He is delighted to grant the request if it falls into his general will of what is ultimately in the best interests of the child.

So, if we believe our lack of prayer could limit what God wants to do, then we would want to know what His general will is for His children, and that is most clearly and easily for in His written word.

Why waste time praying if you aren’t confident about what you are asking for?

Scriptures teaches that Christ Himself is praying for us on the Throne in heaven.  I want to know what He is praying and be in agreement with Him. I believe I can clearly find His will in the scriptures.

And so, I come “boldly unto the throne of grace and find help in time of need” because I can clearly determine God’s revealed will in the scriptures.

So how do you use scripture to pray?

Literally, an easy way to begin, open your Bible and pray, ” What is Your revealed will for me or Jon or Mom?”. Look for His revealed will. Look for the point He is trying to make or communicate. And then agree with Him!

Can we actually release the will of God from heaven onto the earth?

 

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