The Eternal Kingdom

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight (Mark 1:1-3 KNJV).’”” Before the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God sent a messenger, John the Baptist.  His purpose was to prepare the hearts and minds of the Israelites for the coming of their King. 

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Saving Faith?

Saving faith is sadly an integral part of many mainstream churches today. It is also deadly to people that believe it and those they teach. As a concept, it is derived from the Calvinist doctrines of Unconditional Election and Perseverance of the Saints. To sum up the concept of ‘saving faith’ in a few words; it is something that the predestined to election receive upon hearing the word.

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Five Questions for an Atheist

1. What is the origin of the universe?  The current consensus of Science is that the entire cosmos (including time and space) came into existence at a precise point in the past.  All of our observations, equations, and physical laws testify to this point.  Given this troubling possibility that the universe may indeed have a finite beginning, consideration must be given to these questions: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” and “Where did it all come from?”  If the cause of creation was not God, what was it? 

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He Told Me Personally

In Ezekiel 2:4 God tells Ezekiel that he is being sent to the children of Israel, “a rebellious nation,” to say to them, “thus says the Lord.” Ezekiel, throughout the entire book of prophecy bearing his name, states the same thing: thus says the Lord. (See Ezekiel 6:1, 12:17, 22:33, etc.) This is a very important statement made in Ezekiel, and he is not alone among the prophets in its use. Jeremiah begins his book stating these were the words of the Lord (1:2,4).

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What Sin Can Do to You

The word “sin” appears 427 times in the King James Version of the Bible.  That’s not counting appearances of all its derivations (sinful, sinner, sinning, etc.).  The Biblical writers use nine Hebrew and three Greek terms in their discussions of it.  It is central to the message of Scripture, and poses a potentially eternal threat to us all:  “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  In light of this, we do well to understand it.

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There is Only One Way

A Times magazine article titled "Christians: No One Path to Salvation" reported in a survey that 70% of respondents agreed with the statement "Many religions can lead to eternal life." ( Times Magazine, by: David Van Biema Monday, Jun. 23, 2008) This movement as a whole is very disturbing. It points to the erosion of biblical knowledge even by those claiming to be Christians.

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Do You REALLY Love God?

Have you ever known someone who says they love you, yet their actions demonstrate that they do not love you?  I know I have been guilty of such hypocrisy.  Perhaps you have as well.   Just as a living faith requires works, so too a living love requires action, “let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)  If you asked the average religious person, “Do you love God?”, I venture they would say, “Yes.”  Of course, there might be some question as to WHICH god they love, but for those who believe in a monotheistic Creator, most would likely affirm their love.  But then the question becomes, “What does it mean to love?”  Is our love for God merely a verbal expression, a warm feeling, a sentimental tear?  How do we express our love for God?  How does He want us to express our love for Him? If God is Your Father, You Must Love the Son

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What translation are you reading?

Over the last sixty years there has been a drastic increase in the number of available Bible translations.  By my count, there have been at least fifty full (both Old Testament and New Testament) English Bible translations published since 1949, and at least twenty-five of those fifty were published after 1990.  It appears this trend will continue with more translations being published every year. There is no doubt that the Bible being translated from the original languages (Old Testament was written in Hebrew and New Testament was written in Greek) into other languages is a praiseworthy event.

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Calvin on Baptism

The Protestant Reformation is rightly viewed as a reaction against the theological, doctrinal and moral abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. Many educated members of the Latin church applied reason and scripture to what they witnessed in the common European religion of the day and saw that not only was the papacy and the bishopric corrupt, but it was also unscriptural. 

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Bad Religion

“I have faith, I just don’t believe in organized religion…”  Wasn’t sure what to think when I heard this for the first time.  A close friend of mine made this statement after listening to a long and lively classroom discussion on religion.  This wouldn’t be the last time I would hear something like this.  Another friend later said, “I go to church, but I’m not a member anywhere… Christianity is about a personal relationship with Jesus, not an affiliation with a specific church…”  Each person had a very different approach to their faith, but they were equally disillusioned toward organized religion by past religious experiences.

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Why Can’t We Just Have the Good in Life?

With regard to the subject of life, the psalmist writes in Psalms 90:10, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” The strength, or boast, of this earthly life is labor and sorrow. Then we die. These are sobering words, to read that even in our best years we can expect nothing more than labor and sorrow.

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Full of Murder

"Then God said, `Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ...” (Genesis 1:26). "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being"(Genesis 2:7).  "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him..." (Genesis 1:27).  God imagined man, incorporated him, and imbued him with life. On the day of man's making, God blessed the capstone of His creation (Genesis 1:28), teaching us that He who "...forms the spirit of man within him" (Zechariah 12:1) counts His creation valuable.  This truth was further communicated in His declaration to Noah:  "Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man.  From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man.  Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man" (Genesis 9:5-6).  Clearly then, life is sacred, and its taking no small thing.

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The Honor that Comes from God

In the world, confidence is placed in the credentials of professionals. An honorable society of men and women bestow accolades upon their peers and those who join their ranks, giving them a standing. For the most part, we count on this when committing our affairs into the hands of others. It is generally wise to consult and do business with those who have some form of recognition in their field of expertise.

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Unity

As you know the winter Olympic games are being held in Vancouver. Around this time the word unity is bandied about quite a bit. This cry for unity is not new and it is not unique. In Genesis chapter 11 mankind joined together in the kind of utopic harmony modern ideologues only dream about. People came together to build a city and a tower to ensure the continued unity of mankind. 

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Theistic Evolution

In the ancient world, humanity often concluded that matter is eternal, that divine beings took of what already existed and fashioned the world around us. Epicurus wrote, "the sum total of things was always such as it is now, and such it will ever remain,". This idea persists today in beliefs like the "Big Bang Theory" which propose that what we observe is the product of what has always existed. Hebrews' author clearly refutes such ideas by reiterating the Bible’s.

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Why Believe the Bible?

Undoubtedly, this concept is especially pertinent to Christianity and the Bible.  Why believe the Bible over other holy books and texts?  The Bible makes some very extraordinary claims about salvation and even the creation of the universe, but why should we believe it?  When we read the Bible, can we trust it to be reliable, accurate, and credible?   

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I Didn't See That Coming

Daniel Defoe makes an interesting observation through the eyes of Robinson Crusoe when he describes the "Savages" that had come to the island. These intruders, he finds, had encroached upon his turf for the past 20+ years, but he had no notion of their existence. Upon realizing how often he had not recognized them, he remarks that the mind is only afraid when it recognizes the dangers that lay ahead. Though a danger exists, it is not until we recognize danger that we become fully aware of its potential hazards for our life. It is no wonder then that Christ warns us in Matthew 24:42, "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." Christ makes it very clear that we do not know when He will return again for judgment, but we must always be watching.

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What is Your Life?

In his latter days, Solomon recalled his former deeds: “I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards.  I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.  I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.  I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house.  Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me.  I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of provinces.  I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.  So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-9).

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