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Reincarnation

It seems incredible to me that anyone could profess to be a Christian and yet believe in reincarnation.  However such people do exist.  Here is a post I read in a Christian forum by one who claimed he was a Christian.

Was John the Baptist really Elijah? If so, does that mean reincarnation is a biblically backed position? What do you make of these passages—

Matthew 17:11-13
11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Reincarnation of Elijah

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A tale of two prophets

Jeremiah 26 describes the fates of two prophets.  One of them was Jeremiah.  God told him to go to the temple and warn the people that Jerusalem would be destroyed if they did not repent.  Here is the response to his message: Read the rest of this entry

Is climate change the result of human activity?

It is believed by many that climate change is caused by human activities such as the use of fossil fuels.  Others disagree with this assessment and believe that humans can’t affect climate.  I have read arguments on both sides of he issue and I have noticed that both sides have one thing in common.  Neither side looks to the Bible for answers to the question.  That is unfortunate because the Bible has a lot to say on the subject. Read the rest of this entry

Seeing the kingdom of God

Jesus made an astounding prediction.

But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:27

Aside from Jesus himself everyone who was there is now dead, so this prophecy must have been fulfilled.  But just when did its fulfillment take place?  The prophecy appears in three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and in all three is immediately followed by the event known as the Transfiguration.

Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Luke 9:28-36

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Climate change

California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history.  Here are some of the steps it is taking in response: California Drought

These things will help to alleviate the harm done by the drought but will do nothing to end it.  Israel once suffered a severe drought.  Perhaps a study of that drought will give some ideas about how to cope with the one in California.

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A curse in disguise

When someone bad happens to someone but  good results from it the experience is sometimes called a blessing in disguise.  But often people experience something that at first seems good but has harmful results.  One example of this is people who have won a large amount of money in a lottery and then found their lives ruined as a result.  I have never heard anyone call such an event a curse in disguise but it would be an accurate description.

One time Jesus encountered a curse in disguise but wasn’t hurt by it because he recognized it for what it really was.

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Doublethink

The word “doublethink” was first used by George Orwell in his novel 1984.  It means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Orwell invented the word but the practice existed long before he was born.  First Kings 18 describes the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal to determine who is the true God.  Here is what Elijah said to the people.

And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.”
1 Kings 18:21

Some of the people practiced doublethink by worshipping both Baal and the LORD.  God condemned this practice and demanded that they choose one side or the other.

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A Canaanite woman’s faith

Matthew 15:21-28 describes an encounter between Jesus and a Canaanite woman.

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.”

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The missing prophets

First Kings 18 describes the confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal to show who the true God is.  Elijah was badly outnumbered in this contest.

Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.”
1 Kings 18:22

In the end Elijah won the contest, proving that the LORD was the true God, but the fact that he was alone is rather surprising when we consider something that had happened earlier. Read the rest of this entry

Missed opportunities

Abishai was one of the leaders of David’s army. Second Samuel 23:18,19 says,

Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them and won a name beside the three. He was the most renowned of the thirty and became their commander, but he did not attain to the three. Read the rest of this entry

WTFAI

It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth, in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear! -Anthony de Mello

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