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.
“Scientists Solve an Origin of Life Mystery“
A Google morning headline struck me today: “Scientists Solve an Origin of Life Mystery.” Maybe this article would help me understand what began the process of my creation. Unfortunately, the subtitle made it obvious that the main headline was misleading. It read:
“Seawater might have supplied the phosphorus required for emerging life.”
Hmm…the main headline seemed definite, whereas the subtitle used the word “might.”
And then there was the first sentence of the article:
“Researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Cape Town may have found a solution to the mystery of how phosphorus came to be an essential component of life on Earth by recreating prehistoric seawater containing the element in a laboratory.”
Hmm…”may” have found a solution? So, the main headline should probably read:
“Scientists May have Solved an Origin of Life Mystery“
A title like that would not have gotten my attention so much. I hope this article stays up for a long time so that this post doesn’t become obsolete. You may want to check it now to see that I am not pulling your leg. Actually, it doesn’t matter that much since articles like this happen all the time.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ARTICLE.
As I’ve been looking for a good reason to share a recent lecture with my readers, I now have a good place to put it. Anyone who is familiar with Dr. James Tour knows how great a scientist he is. This lecture was given at Rice University.
Dr. Tour works in relative obscurity compared to so many headlines like the one above. A guy calling himself “Professor Dave” has 10 times the hits on a YouTube video on this same subject. Professor Dave has nowhere near the knowledge of Dr. Tour and they disagree greatly.
The book of John begins with words that I believe:
1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. 5 And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.”
I will continue to watch for headlines like this and once a year comment on at least one of them.
In the continual effort to find materials that make complicated issues easier to understand, here is another discovery. This short video gives dates and information specific enough to help people understand quite a few things. As far as I know, it is all accurate. Please comment if you think otherwise.
After having “spoken” to a newly made Italian internet friend, it is now more obvious to me that the country where Rome resides is in great trouble spiritually. Statistics show that almost 80% of Italians consider themselves Catholic. My new friend informed me that no one he knows in the age group of 18 to 25 has a Bible. His grandparents and his parents were all atheists until recent medical problems that his father had led his father to have thoughts about God.
My new young friend seems very intelligent. When I asked him who Moses was he had to reach back, as he put it, to childhood memories. I know it is only one person but I’m guessing he is probably indicative of the average Italian and perhaps most Catholics; if they do believe in God it is not because they have studied the Bible on their own but they are believing what the pope or the bishop or the local priest is teaching.
I pray for my new friend and for my Catholic friends that they will trust in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.
I rarely see Mormons (Later Day Saints/LDS) here in Arkansas but was surprised to learn that there are over 32,000 of them. There are many in California where I once lived and there was a Mormon stake directly across from my High School. A stake is a group of local Church congregations usually meeting in the same place. I still think of the Mormon friends I met growing up. They are generally very nice people but they believe things that are, sadly, not scriptural. I still own each of the four books they consider the “Word of God” including a copy of the original “Pearl of Great Price.”
I think this video not only communicates truth but a concern for Mormons who sincerely believe what they are taught.
If you know little about what Mormons believe, this is a good introduction if you are interested.
If you are like me, you are subscribed to several You Tube channels that interest you. This audio file popped up there yesterday. I have heard Dr. James Tour teach on the Bible before but it has been awhile. He is not known as a theologian but as a world class scientist.
This Bible study struck a cord with me and I appreciated his challenge to “pour over the Word of God.”
Enjoy and be challenged!
“Two things I don’t talk about are politics and religion.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this and I don’t know how many times I’ve wondered if anyone could get through a week without talking about something in either area. If they can, they are much more creative than I. This post was born from recent reading in Jeremiah, Wikipedia sources on Christians who hold certain conspiracy theories, and thoughts about the current war in the Ukraine.
My thoughts concerning the title of this article continue to change as life rolls along but I want to share with you where I am right now. Just how does a Christian view the contrasting effects of politics and their beliefs about God in their daily lives? It is a question that could fill an entire book but I’ll attempt to make it short and sweet here using only a few realities in our world.
The first reality is the war in Ukraine. If a Christian wants to hold a position or opinion about a war, they should do what anyone else would do, and that’s to attempt to find out the facts. One would think that, with all of the communication we have these days, this would be an easy task. It is not always the case. Propaganda abounds as each side tries to make its case. In Ukraine’s case, a country has invaded another country and has killed innocent civilians who had no interest in politics except that they wanted to live a free and undisturbed life. Their country has been torn apart by bombs sent by a leader with odd ambitions and have been dropped by those who are willing to follow his orders.
As a Christian, I look at the words of a godly prophet who preceded Jeremiah who said:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Anyone can make the situation in Ukraine as complicated as they wish but, in light of this Bible passage, a Christian’s support for justice for the innocent is warranted.
A definition of “politics” can easily be found online:
“the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.”
It is obvious to me that justice must play a role in a definition like the one above. Thus, Christians need to be involved in certain aspects of politics.
Jesus was very clear about the civic duty of paying one’s taxes. He was not saying that all having government powers are righteous or just. He knew the book of Jeremiah well, having inspired it, where we find these words against Babylon, no question a political entity, written at the height of its power:
“cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.”
Jesus knew that the picture of Babylon above would eventually be a reality and, from reading Jeremiah 51, it is obvious that the ruins of Babylon are a result of rebellion against God and His people, a second reality.
God’s people rebelled against Him so he allowed a political solution to help them learn a lesson; Nebuchadnezzar would grow strong and take Israel into captivity. Eventually, the evil in the Babylonian empire would cause them to be destroyed to the degree seen in the photo here at the top. It is a picture of God’s justice. The sovereignty of God is at play here but that is a deep subject for another day.
There are always two sides to a coin. Jesus was very clear on paying taxes but he was silent when asked to defend himself, a third reality. From a human standpoint, it seems that Jesus had every right to defend himself against false accusations of any political nature (which are hard to separate from accusations of a personal nature if one reads the definition of politics above). But, he didn’t. I would submit that we should generally defend ourselves from false accusations because they do neither us nor our accusers any good. In Jesus’ case, his silence was the best thing for all involved including all of humanity. It displays how God’s position as King of King and Lord of Lords is cemented forever. The reason for his silence is explained in Hebrews 2:
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.“
Thus, God’s pronouncement that:
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts”
The Christian must accept that his/her understanding is limited so his/her wisdom regarding politics and religion and how they should interrelate is limited as well. At the same time, the Christian makes an effort to understand and make the best decisions he/she can in light of God’s Word.
Christians, or anyone else for that matter, will never figure out complete justice in politics or religion. In the end, complete justice will be decided by God. It is something we should ponder seriously but we should never put ourselves in the eventual role of God.
Just go out there and do the best you can, asking for the help of God, of course.
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
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Perhaps many Christians are yearning for the second fulfillment of these words in the year of 2021. It is an old song with roots that go back centuries. It has quite a history. Yet, the words echo many of the thoughts of believers worldwide in our day. Part of the song has a somber tone which denotes a request of God throughout the ages:
“Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight.”
But then there are these words:
“Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.”
It is the promise hinted at back after man had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God in the book of Genesis (3:15). He was to come the first time to ransom mankind from its fallen nature. It is what we think of this time of year. He will come a second time to right all wrongs and usher in eternity.
The Text of the Hymn
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Perhaps no other group can take this old Latin text and create a Southern U.S. version of this song as well as The Petersons.
And here is the more traditional version:
May God cause your heart to be thankful for the fulfilled promise spoken of in this song and to long for the second coming of our Emmanuel.
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.