I hope you have heard a good sermon lately. If not, you might want to watch Alistair Begg’s message from Sunday.
Parkside Church is in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and their service is aired weekly on the YouTube channel above.
There are many other good options for those who, for whatever reason, would like to hear a sermon of a different man of God.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London for almost 30 years during the late 20th century. People of all ages came to hear his sermons. Thankfully, his studies of God’s Word were recorded in numerous sermons that can be found HERE.
Occasionally, I find myself hungering for one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years in the later half of the 19th century. We do not have any recordings of his voice but almost every sermon he spoke was written down. His mining of God’s Word for gold can be found HERE.
Besides reading your Bible, it is always a blessing to hear a man of God give a good sermon. This video definitely fits that description.
It is Easter 2022. So much of the world finds itself in chains on this day. There is the dark country of North Korea where there is “no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, and widespread malnutrition.”1 There is Myanmar where one Christian states: “Every day I hear gunshots and grenades. The sound comes only one bus stop away from my house.”2 There is China which “is setting up a vast surveillance system that tracks every single one of its 1.4 billion citizens.”3 And, of course, on this Easter, many are thinking of the Ukraine where 4.1 million of its citizens have fled to save themselves and their children from the onslaught of Russian bombs.4
There are many other examples of places in our world where freedom is not allowed this Easter.5,6
Very soon after man began walking this Earth the oppression and outright murder of others has been the news of the day. Soon after this evil behavior started God stepped in and had a plan for the freedom of mankind. The plan goes back millennia and can be found in Genesis 3:15. It is the first forecast that a Savior would be sent into the world to save mankind from its bondage.
One doesn’t have to look far to find the bondage in our world. In my country, the United States, people are in bondage to sex, drugs, material wealth, power, wanting things that others have, and the list goes on and on. The plan of God to release people from bondage to these things is the reason for Easter. Most of the world knows the story of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection days later. Unfortunately, many do not believe the story and do not understand the promise of freedom given for those who come to faith in the only One who can save the world from bondage.
For those who do believe and understand the story, true freedom is a process in the soul of becoming more like the Jesus. The only way anyone can know who Jesus is and was is found in the Bible.
The Bible simply states that all men are in bondage to sin and that the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus. Easter is God’s answer to man’s bondage. Jesus Christ took the punishment that we deserved for our sins (bondage) when he died on the cross. His resurrection made the promise of freedom a reality for all who believe in Jesus as their Lord.
In 2022, when so much of the world is in chains, there is a great promise. It is a promise of freedom and peace. It is not a freedom or peace that the world can give. It is a peace in the heart and soul. Before Jesus was crucified, he told His disciples:
“Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.”7
Even Jesus’ disciples didn’t understand His words at the time. As time went by they came to understand and experience the words that Jesus spoke. His disciples were sinful, just like every man. Eventually they understood just what Jesus had done for them. There was nothing they could give to repay God for his sacrifice. No amount of wealth or attempts at perfection or great works could save them. This is what makes Jesus different from all of the other “saviors” the world has to offer. The followers of Jesus trusted His promises and lived by faith. They were still sinful men but as they lived they grew to be more like their Savior. They prayed a lot. We can do the same thing today and ask God to help us with our struggles.
The lack of worldly freedoms that people face in North Korea, Myanmar, China, and the Ukraine can be offset by a freedom that much of the world does not understand. Christians in those countries bleed and feel pain just like everyone else but they have the promises in God’s Word. God’s promises bring comfort in times of great trial.
A Christian life is full of ups and downs. We fail and find ourselves back in bondage until we remember, once again, the freedom that God has to offer us. We ask God for forgiveness and His mercy is constant. As life goes by, we find ourselves becoming a little bit more like Jesus. It is a humbling experience. Then, the next moment we can be like Peter who denied that he knew Jesus. We regret our actions and return to God, once again, remembering the words of Psalm 103:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
6 The Lord performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.”
May God grant you a freedom that only He can give on this Easter day.
7 John 14:27
I think this post is very important for my Catholic friends. Elizabeth has done her research and, with her, I would ask:
“To anyone reading, I would say… if you have not already done so, please read the Bible sincerely and prayerfully, preferably starting in Matthew.”
One of my other blogging friends had parents who were Catholics and when he was cleaning out their home after they died he did not find one Bible. I found that very sad.
When man adds things to God’s Word problems always follow. In order to know if things have been added to the Bible, one has to be familiar with the Bible. Reading it yourself is the only way to do that adequately.
May God bless you in your search for the truth.
According to Roman Catholic tradition two people were immaculately conceived: Jesus and Mary, while John the Baptist, it is widely believed, was merely born without sin. However, according to scripture, only Jesus was conceived, born and lived without sin. All other individuals ever born into this world inherited the taint of Adam’s race and consequently needed a Saviour. “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke1v46&47)
Really, when we consider the truth or otherwise of any dogma or doctrine declared by mankind in the “Christian” realm, we must return to God’s Word as contained in Holy Scriptures. It is not enough that we listen to a proclamation given by any man (however revered that man may be) and simply believe everything that he declares to be true.
In 1545 Rome decreed that man’s tradition was to be equal in…
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In recent weeks there has been a surprising number of origin of life articles pasted to social media of all types. I tend to notice such things because I am interested in how we got here. One of these articles is seen every month or two and then, BOOM, a bunch of articles can hit at the same time. Some of these articles are written as if our modern scientists are close to figuring it all out.
One of the many articles that popped up lately is entitled, “Redo of a Famous Experiment on the Origins of Life Reveals Critical Detail Missed for Decades.” This article explains nothing new about the origin of life theory. It states:
“The prevailing theory now is that on a highly volatile early earth lightning struck mineral rich waters. And that the energy from lighting strikes turned those minerals into the building blocks of life: organic compounds like amino acids. Something we often refer to as the “primordial soup.”
It is the same thing I heard years ago when I was in college. The article describes the famous Miller-Urey experiment of 1952 and suggests “the experiment’s container played an underappreciated role. That perhaps it was also critical to the creation of organic building blocks inside their laboratory life soup.” The “perhaps” isn’t a surprise after reading article after article that doesn’t really seem to get us any closer to knowing the origin of life.
The article, published in the Scientific American a few days ago, is typical of these types of articles. A new and exciting discovery has been made that may perhaps change the course of science as we know it. The reality, however, is that we aren’t any closer to understanding how the primordial soup could have possibly produced a living cell.
In the past several years a scientist who knows a lot about the cell and its makeup has been attempting to educate the public about the problems associated with a simple cell originating in a primordial soup. In the following video, he makes the case that we are no closer to understanding the origin of life than we were in the 1952 experiment. Dr. Tour has made the statement that we may actually be further away from understanding the scientific origins of life because of new knowledge of the cell’s complexity among other things. This is a video that anyone interested in the subject should watch.
If anyone is interested in Dr. James Tour’s credentials, you can find them here.
Today, this was the top item on my Google phone app. It is similar to many of the articles that have been seen on major social media platforms lately.
It begins with “So here is the creation story as told by Science.” It continues with “In the beginning there was an ocean of energy.” At the end we find out that “Nearly 13.8 billion years after it all began we emerged blinking into the light.”
The video is visually striking and very creative. In the 3-minute piece there is no mention of God’s involvement in creation.
Contrast this effort with the first few verses in the Gospel of John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
These brief explanations are surely something to chew on.
Both descriptions bring up many questions. Where did the ocean of energy come from in the beginning? If such long ages were involved, how can we narrow the time frame to our emergence after 13.8 billion years?
Many Christian theologians identify “the Word” in the Gospel verses as Jesus Christ. Was Jesus there at the beginning with God and was He involved in creation? If the “Word was with God and the Word was God” are there two Gods?
I am no scientist and I would be considered an average theologian at best. At the same time, I enjoy both science and theology. I am always glad to see someone like Dr. Tour come along and question the status quo. Not only does he appear to know what he is talking about, he is likeable. It is unfortunate that only two scientists who disagree with Dr. Tour have been willing to have a public discussion with him even though he has offered to discuss origins with anyone at his own expense.
While I’ve been typing, I see that another interesting science article has popped up. It brings up part of the problem in many of today’s articles dealing with science and theology.
This article is titled:
Anyone reading the title and neglecting to read the article might get the wrong idea. The same thing happens all of the time with articles about the study of the nature of God and religious belief (theology).
So, how do people figure out what they think about the origin of life?
I suppose it comes down to what one believes is most authoritative. In my case, I believe the Bible to be the greatest authority. I think that the Bible is “living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Because of this belief, certainty comes from verses like this:
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
I would hope and expect scientific articles to continue to be published just like I hope theological articles will never cease. Topics related to these two areas of study are important in so many ways. I am interested enough in the claims of some of these articles to read them and consider them. There are many claims made by one Man and his followers that are 2,000 years old. They are unique claims. They are claims that every human being should assess. If God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life, it should get the appropriate attention.
Here is another such article/video on the subject that popped up on my phone just hours ago. It popped up because I am subscribed to a certain YouTube channel. The introductory screen tells us that “This video was produced in collaboration with a team of 5 PhD scientists.” It has that and the comments about the video are mostly supportive. Even though this video is much more detailed than the “Redo” article, I am not knowledgeable enough of the subject to know how accurate it is. So, I do the same with it as I do with the “Redo of a Famous experiment on the origin of life…” article mentioned earlier in this post. It does not immediately become factual in my mind although I am curious enough to want to know what is being stated so that I can digest it along with other things I read and watch over time.
If you have any comments about the accuracy of this video, please share them with me. Also feel free to express your views on anything else I have written in this post.
I have been following Pastor Jim’s blog named The Domain for Truth for several years now. He is a defender of the Christian faith as I understand it and the “about” on his blog tells you a little about him:
“His interests include Christian history, military history, apologetics, philosophy, politics and theology. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran, a graduate of UCLA and holds an MDiv and ThM.”
I am posting this for myself as much as for my readers. I want it in a place where I have easy access to it as I haven’t read all of these.
By the way, Apologetics is not about winning an argument.
Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse. Early Christian writers (c. 120–220) who defended their beliefs against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called Christian apologists.
Reading through the Bible recently, I came across these verses from a true Prophet named Jeremiah:
20 “The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 “I did not send these prophets,
But they ran.
I did not speak to them,
But they prophesied.
22 “But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.
Prophecy has a major role in the Bible. One source states that there are 1,817 prophecies which are found in 8,352 Bible verses. If this subjective number is close to correct, then 26% of the Bible is prophetic. If even 1% of the Bible is prophetic, its value cannot be understated.
A good example of true prophesy is found in the book of the prophet Nahum. In it Nahum wrote specific prophecies that God had given to him. He used the words “Thus says the Lord” (1:12) to describe upcoming events involving Nineveh, the great city of the Assyrian Empire.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments there are warnings about false prophets. The deceitful prophets mentioned in the verses above were not sent by God, but they ran with zest to announce self-produced words.
As I read the verses, I could not help but think of the past year and a half and how, in that short time, many of today’s false prophets have been dramatically exposed.
Many of today’s false prophets who imply or say without hesitation “Thus says the Lord” meet with or hear from God on almost a daily basis. It is a serious problem that needs to be discussed and unmasked. People are being duped.
The false prophets of our time have been consistently wrong about recent momentous events. Not one of them that I’m aware of warned us that something like the coronavirus was coming. Almost all of them stated or “prophesied” that Mr. Trump would win the 2020 election. If election fraud was as bad as some think, wouldn’t God have told them about that? I have watched videos about the messages that “God gave them” for the upcoming year as 2020 approached. Most of it turned out to be woefully erroneous. One common theme was that huge amounts of wealth would be redistributed to “God’s people.” Another theme was that God’s spirit was going to move in wondrous ways.
These modern day false prophets are nothing like the prophets in the Bible.
An evangelist who knows a lot about the subject is Justin Peters. He is featured in the two videos I have shared below. The first video discusses the problem. The second video is a round table discussion about the recently published Prophetic Standards Statement which has been signed by 685 people. They have allowed us to see some of the more “prominent” signers. The statement was designed to blunt the criticism that the “prophets” have received over the past year or so.
Some of the statement is pretty good but there are seriously flawed sections:
“WE REJECT the notion that a contemporary prophetic word is on the same level of inspiration or authority as Scripture or that God always speaks inerrantly through prophets today, since the Bible says we only know in part and prophesy in part (1 Cor. 13:9).“
Really? Then why in the world would anyone even listen to these people and why are they called prophets?
The second to the last paragraph describes three types of prophets.
There are only two types of prophets: real ones and fake ones.
The first video is aptly named and is divided into six sections (approx. times):
- Introduction 00:00 – 4:28
- Major missed events (by the false prophets) 4:28 – 27:30
- Presidential prophecies pre-election 27:30 – 58:45
- Post-election prophecies 58:45 – 2:12:00
- Interview with Dr. Nathan Busenitz 2:12:45 – 3:05:55
- Conclusions 3:05:00 – 4:28:00
The “missed events” and the “presidential prophesies” are difficult to listen to. The interview with Dr. Busenitz is very interesting. The second time I watched the first video I realized that near the end Justin uses the same scripture that inspired this post.
I can’t help but wonder if this situation is going to get any worse. I recognized a number of the false prophets exposed in the first video. I also recognized a few signatures on the Prophetic standards statement but there are a lot I had never seen before. Obviously, the real Christian Church, the true Bride of Christ, needs to be informed about this sad sign of our times.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
***Evidently, I am not the only Christian blogger who has been thinking about this subject lately. “False Teachers” is the name of a poem Deborah Ann published a day before I got this post up. HERE IS THE POEM IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ IT.
Abiogenesis definition – the origin of life from nonliving matter; specifically : a theory in the evolution of early life on earth: organic molecules and subsequent simple life forms first originated from inorganic substances. – Merriam-Webster
For anyone who is not familiar with the term abiogenesis, the definition above should help. Abiogenesis is the theory that life came from things that weren’t alive.
This morning, near the top of the stories featured on Google was one from COSMOS entitled:
The article is almost a year old but it is very similar to many articles written by those studying how life could have possibly come from non-living things. It is written for people like me who have no authority to speak on such an issue but who think, like one of the young scientists featured in the article, that:
“The origin of life is part of humanity’s narrative.”
“Learning more about it isn’t only beneficial for science, it’s helping us develop our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe.”
After reading the article, two things are clear:
1) These scientists aren’t kidding around. They are serious about their work and seem to be trying to find answers.
2) It certainly seems possible that they are looking in the right places and that they may be getting close to discovering how life came form non-living things.
Thankfully, the recent series by Dr. James Tour has been a help to me in this area of understanding. The series covers many items including topics that the layman (like me) would not understand. Dr. Tour discusses “the building blocks for life, including amino acids, nucleobases and lipids,” the exact same things mentioned in the Cosmos article.
The main difference between the COSMOS article (which is a pretty good representation of many scientific articles presented for layman) and the series by Dr. Tour is the explanation of how difficult it would have been for life to have appeared “spontaneously.” (It seems that the world spontaneously is a word frequently used to describe how non-living things became living things; the problem is that no one has ever explained how this happened.)
Dr. Tour’s credentials speak for themselves. You can read about them HERE. Not only is he one of the best synthetic chemists in the world, he is a Christian. In his series about Abiogenesis, he only speaks about the science of the subject according to his understanding. He does not mention the Bible. He is well versed in the scriptures but his career has been in the field of synthetic chemistry where: “Based on the impact of his published work, in 2019 Tour was ranked in the top 0.004% of the 7 million scientists who have published at least 5 papers in their careers. He was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015.” (Click HERE for more information about Dr. Tour.)
I have been following Dr. Tour’s work for years now. I know “appeals to authority” are often looked upon with disdain but let’s face it, everyone does it. Personally, I don’t see any problem with it whatsoever. The question in every area of life becomes: “Who do I trust to tell me the truth about this subject? ”
I am thankful that someone of Dr. Tour’s stature is speaking out on this subject. He is being ignored by many scientists in the origin of life field. He is also being treated as someone who doesn’t know what he is talking about, which is only one of the reasons he has made this presentation. Much of the course is Dr. Tour’s comments on a video that was made criticizing his own past comments. Dr. Tour handles the criticism well but is clearly frustrated by the lack of clarity that he feels is presented not only by the video discussed but by many articles in the scientific literature. One of his stated goals in this course is to provide clarity to those seeking answers about the possible origin of life.
The episodes are anywhere from twenty-five minutes to 1 hour and twenty-five minutes. You may want to pick out one of the sessions which looks interesting or you may want to start at the beginning and go from there.
A Course on Abiogenesis by Dr. James Tour
“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.”
Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.
“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.
‘Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,
‘Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:
The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
(Mr. Spurgeon finished this devotion with a portion of the Hymn “I Hear the Words of Love” by Horatius Bonar.)