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The suffering of Jesus

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

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Is human activity responsible for climate change?

It is generally accepted that the earth’s climate is changing and that the greenhouse gases produced by the use of fossil fuels are responsible for much of this change.  In 2015 a group of nations signed an agreement known as the Paris Accord in which they agreed to take steps to ease climate change.  Earlier this year President Trump was criticized when the withdrew the United States from this agreement.

President Trump’s action was not as irresponsible as most people seem to think.  There are many scientists who think that human actions aren’t responsible for climate change.  You can read the arguments for both sides of this issue here:  Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?

Both sides are based on the opinions of scientists who have studied the data extensively.  For those who believe the Bible there is a third option.  The Bible teaches that humans do affect the climate but not by burning fossil fuels. Read the rest of this entry

Eliphaz’s questions

In addition to the suffering he experienced, Job had to endure the belief by his friends that his suffering was the result of some sin he had committed.  Eliphaz the Temanite asked these questions, “Who that was innocent ever perished?  Or where were the upright cut off?” (Job 4:7)  The implication was that the innocent and upright never suffered, so Job’s suffering was evidence of his guilt.  Eliphaz clearly had no idea what the right answers to his questions were, but we do because of what God has revealed to us since then.

“Who that was innocent ever perished?”  The only innocent person who ever lived was Jesus Christ.  The rest of us are sinners who deserve death.  Jesus didn’t deserve to die but chose to do so in our place so our sins could be forgiven.

“Where were the upright cut off?”  At Calvary, where Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice to atone for our sins.

Christ’s suffering

Crucifixion is one of the most painful methods of execution ever devised.  Here is an article that describes Christ’s crucifixion and also the suffering he experienced before it.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

He knew before his arrest what he would endure.  Is it any wonder that he prayed that God would enable him to avoid it if that were possible?

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.

Luke 22:41-44

He wanted to avoid the pain of being crucified but he wanted even more to do God’s will.  His death was the only way human sin could be atoned for, so in the end he submitted to being put to death. Read the rest of this entry

Truth and love

 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8

These two statements show that both truth and love are part of God’s character.  We need to express both of them when telling others about God.

Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

Ephesians 4:15

We must always speak the truth and what we say must be motivated by love.  But what will happen if we speak truth without love or try to practice love while ignoring truth?  We can find out by looking at two organizations in Topeka, Kansas, that do these things. Read the rest of this entry

The Great War

For a long time after World War I the war was referred to by many as the Great War, meaning that it involved more nations and people than had any other war up to that time.  When an even greater war began in 1939 people stopped using this term and began calling it World War I and calling the new war World War II.  But there is another war going on right now which really does deserve to be called the Great War and most of the world is completely unaware of it.  Here is how it began.

You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Ezekiel 28:15-16

This is addressed to the king of Tyre, but it obviously doesn’t refer to the human ruler but to Satan, who was the real ruler. Read the rest of this entry

Honoring Mary

Sin entered the world through the actions of a woman.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:6

God used a woman to bring the Redeemer into the world to atone for sin.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:18-21

Read the rest of this entry

Flood deniers

The Bible tells us that the human race grew so wicked that God sent a worldwide flood to destroy it.  He only found one righteous man, Noah, and he warned him to build an ark to save himself and his family from the flood.  You can read the complete story here:  Genesis 6-9

The Bible isn’t the only record of this flood.  Other cultures all over the world have legends of a worldwide flood in which only a few humans were saved to repopulate the world.  This article contains a list of some of these legends: Flood Legends From Around the World Read the rest of this entry

When a Christian sins

Can a Christian sin after he has been saved?  Here is what the Bible says:

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
1 John 3:9

It doesn’t say a Christian will never sin but that he can’t keep on living a life of sin.  Someone who professes to be a Christian but lives a life of sin proves that his profession is false.  A comparison of two kings, David and Amaziah, shows the difference.

Read the rest of this entry

Aliens

Is there intelligent life on other planets?  That is a question people have been asking as long as we have known that there are other planets.  When the telescope was invented astronomers discovered that some of the “stars” we see are actually worlds like our own and this led to speculation about whether or not there were people living on them.  We now know that there is no other life in our solar system but the possibility remains that planets revolving around other stars might have intelligent inhabitants.

Christians are faced with another question.  If humans ever do contact aliens will we have a responsibility to tell them about God and preach the gospel to them?

Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

Should Adam and Eve have eaten the fruit?

God told Adam he could eat the fruit of every tree in the garden of Eden except one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Of course everyone knows what happened next.  The serpent persuaded Eve to eat the fruit of the tree; she gave some of the fruit to Adam and he ate it too.  As a result they were expelled from the garden and eventually died, and all of their descendants experience suffering and death.

Read the rest of this entry

But the earth looks old!

Christians are divided between Young Earth Creationists and Old Earth Creationists.   The first group believes that the days of creation in Genesis 1 are literal days; the second believes that there is scientific evidence that the earth is billions of years old and the creation account must be interpreted to conform to this evidence.  In fact the research that leads to the belief that the earth is old fails to take into consideration the possibility of divine intervention in the running of the universe.  One of my previous posts deals with this subject:

It’s history, not science

There is scientific evidence that the earth can’t be as old as is generally believed and at the end of this post I list some sites where you can find this evidence.

Some people claim that young earth creation can’t be true because the earth looks old.  The earth does look old and there is a very good reason for that.  It is old.

Read the rest of this entry

Rachel’s death

Jacob had two wives, Rachel and Leah.  In addition he had children by Bilhah and Zilpah, the servants of his wives.  All four of these women could be considered his wives.  The Bible records the death of only one  of these women, Rachel.

Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.”

And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day.
Genesis 35:16-20

Read the rest of this entry

Rebellion in Hell

I found this on an atheist site.

We all know that fundamentalists use hell as an instrument of fear to keep people from leaving religion. This is my rebuttal, let’s assume they are correct and hell really exists. Even that will not work as punishment system, why? Because how may people will go there? Let’s say half of human population that is 3.5 billion people. Do you really think those 3.5 billion will just accept that and will not rebel against whoever manages hell? People are good in organizing ourselves against any common enemy – we all hate oppressive regime in the real world. Heck, 3.5 billion rebels in hell will topple whoever rules there.

The author has some misconceptions about what we believe but he brings up an interesting idea; is it possible that the residents of Hell will try to rebel?

Read the rest of this entry

The Euthyphro dilemma

Plato wrote of a conversation between Socrates and a man named Euthyphro in which this question was raised: Does God command us to do things because they are good or are they good because God commands them?   Many people feel that either answer creates a problem.  If God commands us to do things because they are good that implies that there is a standard of goodness independent of God to which he must conform.  If the things God commands are good because he commands them then good and evil exist only because of God’s arbitrary decision to call certain thing good and others evil.  This problem is known as the Euthyphro dilemma.

Read the rest of this entry

Brainwashing

God commands parents to teach their children the Bible.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

There are people who don’t believe the Bible and don’t think it should be taught to children.  Some claim that parents who teach their children the Bible are brainwashing them.  Those who make this claim are right; children who are taught the Bible are being brainwashed.

Read the rest of this entry

Joy to the World

There are many lists of the most popular Christmas carols.  The lists differ from each other but Joy to the World can be found on almost all of them.

This hymn shouldn’t be on any of these lists because it isn’t about Christmas at all.   It is about the future return of Christ.

Read the rest of this entry

Insanity

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
Luke 5:1-5

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  By Einstein’s definition Simon’s response to Jesus was insane.  Not only had he fished all night without results but he was a professional fisherman while Jesus was a carpenter.  Logically he should have been the one telling Jesus how to fish.

Read the rest of this entry

Born that way?

Some people are sexually attracted to members of their own sex.  There are different opinions about why this is true.  Some people believe this condition the result of their experiences but others believe it is has a genetic cause.  It is possible that different people are homosexuals for different reasons but the Bible gives us reason to believe that at least some people are gay because they were born that way. Read the rest of this entry

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