Abraham’s nephew Lot separated himself from Abraham and went to live in Sodom. His decision soon got him in trouble. Genesis 14:1-16 describes how a coalition of kings led by Chedorlaomer overcame Sodom and its allies and took as prisoners the people of those cities, including Lot. When Abraham heard of this he called out his followers and rescued Lot and the other captives.
After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). (Genesis 14:17)
But before the king of Sodom met him he encountered Melchizedek.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:18-20)
Among those who believe that God created the earth there is disagreement as to how and when he did so. Some believe he created it in six literal days, just as the Bible says. They are known as young earth creationists or YECs. Others believe he created the earth gradually over millions of years and used evolution to bring the human race into existence. They are known as old earth creationists or OECs.
I have sometimes wondered if there were some who could be called middle age earth creationists or MAECs, and I have come to the conclusion that such a group exists.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8)
On the basis of this verse some believe that each of the days of creation is one thousand years long. Like old earth creationists they ignore the fact that the Bible says each day of creation consisted of an evening and a morning, but they shouldn’t be classed among the old earth creationists because six thousand years is much less than the millions of years OECs believe in. There aren’t many MAECs but they do exist.
Here is the intorduction to Psalm 18.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.
(David celebrated his deliverance from the hand of his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Even though Saul had often tried to kill him, David apparently didn’t consider him an enemy.)
David begins the psalm by describing past troubles when his life seemed to be in danger. He called to God for help and God rescured him and gave him victory over his enemies. He said that God delivered him because of his righteousness. Read the rest of this entry
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (1 Peter 1:10,11)
The Old Testament prophets tell us of the suffering Christ experienced when he was crucified; they tell us of the glory associeated with his rule over the earth during the Millennium. But what do they say about the time between these two events, the time in which we are living now? The answer is: not much. In fact they say nothing about the most important aspect of this era, the formation of the church. The apostle Paul was given the task of revealing this truth to us.
When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:4-6)
The Old Testament teaches that Gentiles will be saved; it never tells of the formation of a new body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul not only teaches us about this body but he also tells how it will be removed from the earth through the event known as the rapture. Read the rest of this entry
Most people get married at some time during their life. What happens when married people die? Are they still married? Some Sadducees once asked Jesus that question.
The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:23-30)
It is clear that the marriages we enter into on earth will no longer exist in Heaven but the Bible speaks of a different kind of marriage that will exist there. Read the rest of this entry
On December 6 President Trump announced that the United States embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, this seems like a reasonable step to take, yet this decision has been met with protests all over the world. The United Nations voted 128 to 9 to condemn it. The Palestinians have objected and threatened violence because they consider Jerusalem to be their capital.
Israel is unique among the nations of the world. It began when God told Abraham to go to another land and promised to make a great nation of his descendants.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. The descendants of Isaac became the nation of Israel and fulfilled God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation. Jerusalem became the capital of Israel. God’s temple was there and it was where Jesus was crucified, fulfilling the promise that all families of the earth would be blessed in Abraham. Read the rest of this entry
There is a logical fallacy known as the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. Here is how it is described in Wikipedia.
Philosophy professor Bradley Dowden explains the fallacy as an “ad hoc rescue” of a refuted generalization attempt. The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:
Person A: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
Person B: “But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge.”
Person A: “Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
This fallacy is often used in debates about evolution and creation. The evolutionist claims that scientists believe in evolution. The creationist points out that a lot of scientists believe in creation and reject evolution. The evolutionist says that they are not true scientists.
Even Christians sometimes use this fallacy to dismiss other Christians with whom they disagree on doctrine. I was once engaged in an internet discussion with someone who believed that the only true Christians were those who believed in the five points of Calvinism. Anyone who rejected this belief was not a true Christian. (If you don’t know what Calvinism is, you can find out here: What is Calvinism? )
1 Kings 22:1-40 describes the battle in which King Ahab of Israel lost his life. He asked Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, to join him in taking Ramoth-gilead back from the Syrians. Jehoshaphat agreed to help but insisted that they ask God’s guidance first.
Ahab called 400 prophets and asked whether he should go to war. The prophets were not true prophets but cared more about pleasing Ahab than delivering God’s message. They all assured him of victory. Jehoshaphat apparently realized they weren’t prophets of God and asked Ahab if there was another prophet they could ask. Ahab said there was another prophet, named Micaiah, but he hated him because he prophesied evil for Ahab. Jehoshaphat insisted on hearing him so Ahab ordered that he be brought in. Sure enough he predicted that Ahab would be killed in the coming battle. Read the rest of this entry
Rudyard Kipling wrote a story called “The Man Who Would be King.” It is about two Englishmen who took control of a small state in Afghanistan and set up a kingdom there. You can read the story here.
The Bible tells of a man who would not be king. He was offered the kingship of Israel and turned it down. In view of what happened afterward I think he was wrong to do this.
The man’s name was Gideon. You can read his story in Judges 6-8. God called Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites. With only 300 men he was able to overcome a Midianite army of 135,000. The people of Israel were so grateful they offered to make him their ruler. Read the rest of this entry
Christianity is based on love. It was love that made God send Jesus to die for our sins.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
All that God wants from us can be summarized in two commands.
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40)
We are saved through faith but love is more important than faith and is the only acceptable motivation for what we do. Read the rest of this entry
On October 31 1517 Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenburg, Germany. He claimed that the Church had departed from accepting the Bible as its sole authority and that many of the doctrines it taught were based on human traditions and opinions. This was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
Today there is a new error that is causing many Christians to reject the Bible’s authority. Most people believe that the earth is millions of years old and that all life developed by a process of evolution. This belief is so pervasive that many Christians accept it and interpret the first 11 chapters of Genesis to accommodate it. Read the rest of this entry
Before his arrest Jesus prayed that if it were possible he might avoid being crucified.
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:39-46)
He wanted to avoid the crucifixion but he submitted to God’s will and as you know it was God’s will for him to be crucified. Read the rest of this entry
Whenever someone opposes same sex marriage he is accused of hating gays and his opinions are often called hate speech. Proponents of same sex marriage have attacked those who oppose it and have caused some to lose their jobs and have their businesses ruined. Some people do hate gays but Christians who oppose same sex marriage do so because we care about gays and want to protect them the harm that they will experience.
To see why this is so we need to look at what the Bible says about marriage. The first marriage was between the first man and the first woman. Read the rest of this entry
If you have a problem and need a professional counselor you probably won’t have much trouble finding one unless you want a counselor who believes the Bible and uses that as the basis for his work. Most counselors base their work on secular beliefs. One organization that does offer Biblical counseling is Restoration Counseling Ministries. Here is their website: Restoration Counseling Ministries.
The Restoration Counseling center was founded in January 2016 by Dr. David Johnny Nixon and Joshua Agan. Both have served as church planting pastors and still serve actively in ministry today. The counseling center is designed to be a help to pastors by lightening their load and offering specialized help as they strive to shepherd the flock God gave them.
Based out of South Georgia, Restoration Counseling serves as the official counseling provider for multiple Georgia municipalities, several private organizations, and most importantly, we help pastors and churches across the country.
They offer both local and long distance counseling. Here are the services they offer: Getting Started
I met Joshua Agan several years ago on an internet forum and I have read one book that Dr. Nixon has written so I am confident that they both know the Bible well and will use it as the basis for any counseling they offer.