Teaching on John 10 – The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

This was teaching I developed over the past month and finally delivered yesterday during lunchtime at Mimi’s Cafe to a group of about 15 men.  We’ve been going through the book of John and it was my turn to teach on John 10.

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. 7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

19 A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?” 22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 39 Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42 Many believed in Him there. (NASB)

Disclaimer (before we get started) – This study group is “multi/non-denominational”. We are all brothers in Christ–we believe in one Lord and one Bible. However, we may have different views on various matters of doctrine and theology.  John 10 is one of those passages the “Reformed Calvinist View” relies on as a proof text.  I am not a Calvinist (for biblical reasons), nor am I Pelagian or Semipelagian, though I do consider myself to be Reformed, holding to the 5 “solas” of the reformation.  I don’t plan to go into detail about my views because we won’t have time for that, yet I want to let you know up front that it is possible you will disagree with parts of this teaching (esp. on John 10:3&26 – I will devote significant attention to 26 – 1½ pages).  That’s ok with me and I hope its ok with you.  In preparation for this, let us receive wisdom from God’s Word:

Proverbs 18:17 – The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

The point is, maybe you haven’t spent a lot of time considering alternative points of view such things as unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace – on soteriology (or maybe you have…) I ask that you receive this teaching in the spirit in which I hope to deliver it – with humility, gentleness and respect.

Chapter 10 is chock full of great stuff!  Look at all the teaching & doctrine that flows from this chapter:

  1. 2 “I AM” statements by Jesus (v.7,9), (v.11,14), statements of His deity.
  2. Jesus is the only way of salvation for mankind – “I am the door” (v.9)
  3. False teachers/leaders — we must watch out for them (v.1,5,8,10,12-13)
  4. Jesus came to give us abundant life (v.10)
  5. The voluntary atonement of Christ for sins (v.11,15,18)
  6. Prediction of the Gentiles joining Jewish believers in one body, the church (v.16)
  7. Sheep / Shepherd metaphor permeates the chapter, reinforcing His deity (v.1-30)
  8. Jesus attended the “Feast of Dedication” a.k.a. Hanukkah (v.22)
  9. Unconditional election, irresistible grace and limited atonement (v.3,26-27,29)
  10. Jesus’ works are more than enough to prove that He is the Messiah (v.25,37-38)
  11. Eternal security of believers guaranteed by Jesus and the Father (v.28-29)
  12. The Jews attempt for the 3rd time in Gospel of John to stone Jesus (v.31-33)
  13. Jesus claims directly to be God (v.30-33)
  14. The inerrancy / accuracy of Scripture (v.35)
  15. John the Baptist was a true prophet and evangelist of Jesus (v.40-42)

We can’t cover each verse here today–MacArthur took 5 sermons (>=45 minutes each) to give an overview!

According to John MacArthur, this chapter records the final public declaration by the Lord Jesus of His Deity and the end of His public ministry. After this chapter, He goes away for 3 months of isolation across the Jordan with His disciples and others who believed in Him there.  After that He heads toward Jerusalem, after raising Lazarus in Bethany and then comes His passion week (during the Passover feast).  In fact in the next chapter, it explicitly states that His public ministry to the Jews was finished:

John 11:54 – Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.

Chapter 10 starts with Jesus’ discourse on Himself as the “good shepherd”. It flows directly from chap. 9, as Jesus continues to talk to the very same people on the very same day. The problem of chap. 9 was that Israel was led by false (blind) shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39-41). In chap. 10, Jesus declares Himself to be the “good shepherd” who was appointed by His Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-appointed, self-righteous & blind.

John 10:1 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.

Sheep were kept in a pen which had a door for entry and exit. Those who wanted to steal or harm the sheep would attempt entrance by another way.  The true shepherd enters at the door, being identified by the doorkeeper.  Ezekiel 34 most likely forms the background to Jesus’ teaching:

Ezekiel 34:1-21 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?”

Ezekiel 34:23-24a – Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them.

Literally, the whole chapter deals with sheep/shepherd metaphor. v.23-24 speaks of David in future tense, but he lived long before this.  So, apparently He’s talking about the Son of David (Messiah) who will gather His people, from Israel and from the nations, and lead them into the glory of the final kingdom.  Ezekiel 34 is a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus.  The Gospels themselves contain extensive sheep/shepherd imagery. For example:

Matthew 18:11-13 – [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.] What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.

John 10:3 – To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The doorkeeper is John the Baptist who prepared Jesus’ way and identified Him as the Messiah:

John 1:29-34 – The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

The old covenant Jewish believers accepted John the Baptist’s testimony of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and these are the specific sheep in verse 3 that “hear His voice”.  There will be a longer discussion on v.26…

John 10:7-10 – 7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Here He is the door. The shepherd led the sheep out of the sheep pen, here He is the entrance to the pen leading to proper pasture. Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures Himself as the door. He serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God’s salvation–Jesus’ explicitly states that He is the only way many times in the Gospel of John, for example:

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Only belief in the risen Christ, who paid for your sins, can save you from the just penalty for your sins and from being cast into hell. Only trust in Him as Savior and Lord can reconcile you to God. Jesus is the source for the knowledge of God and the one basis for spiritual security:

Heb. 7:25 – Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Q: When Jesus said He came to give us abundant life (v.10), why doesn’t this refer to health and wealth?

In John 10:11-18, Jesus is the “good shepherd” (4th of 7 “I am” statements of Jesus). Good (kalos) means beautiful, magnificent, winsome, attractive, lovely and excellent on all levels, vs. other word for good (agathos), which means moral goodness (pleasant, agreeable, upright and honorable).

 Q: Who are some well-known shepherds in the OT?  Is Jesus claiming Deity by this description?  Why?

John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

“lays down His life” refers to Jesus’ substitutionary death for sinners on the cross:

1 Peter 2:24 – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

Romans 5:8-9 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

John 10:16 – I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

Refers to Gentiles who will respond to His voice & become a part of the church. Jesus’ death was not only for Jews, but also for non-Jews. He will make both into one new body, the church.

John 10:17-18 – For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.  No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.

Jesus’ death was not the end. His resurrection was a demonstration of His Messiahship & Deity:

Romans 1:4 – who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 10:22-23 – At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

The “Feast of the Dedication” (Hanukkah) celebrates the Jewish victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, who conquered Jerusalem & desecrated the temple. The Jews fought the Maccabean Revolt (166-142 B.C.), liberated the temple, and rededicated it. This celebration is also known as the “Festival of Lights” on account of the lamps and candles lit to commemorate the event in Jewish homes.

Q: Is Jesus celebrating Hanukkah here?  How does it compare with Jesus’ celebration of Passover?

John 10:24-25 – The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly. “Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.”

Jesus didn’t expect people to have blind faith – to believe without reason.  We also see this elsewhere in John:

John 10:37-38 – If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

John 5:36 – But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish – the very works that I do -testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.

John 14:11 – Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Jesus even stayed with His disciples following His resurrection to give them evidence:

Acts 1:3 – After His suffering, He showed Himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Jesus had already demonstrated His Deity by His many miracles and rising from the grave. But He stayed for more than a month longer to give His disciples many convincing proofs.”

Q: Why didn’t the risen Jesus appear to the Pharisees to prove that they were wrong about Him?

John 10:26-27 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

The Reformed Calvinist interpretation of this passage is that God has chosen a fixed number of individuals (His sheep) before the foundation of the world. It is only they who will hear His voice, believe and follow, after they have been made alive (or quickened) by His Spirit (effectual calling).  The rest, who are not His elect, He “passes over”.  Thus, Christ died only for His particular sheep – not the whole world.  His atonement for sins is said to be “limited atonement”.

Although this doctrine seems to be supported by many Scriptures (Eph. 1:3-8,11, 2:1-9; Rom. 8:7,9:10-24, John 6:37-40,44,65, 8:47, 10:26; Acts 2:39,13:47-48,16:14; 2 Th. 2:13-14; Col. 2:13; 1 Cor. 2:14, etc.), we must also remember that the same Bible tells us the following facts:

  1. God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
  2. He desires all people to repent (2 Peter 3:9)
  3. He’s pleased when the wicked turn from their ways and live (Ezekiel 18:23)
  4. Not all repent/turn from their ways (Jn. 3:19-20; Mt. 7:13-14, 13:18-23; Rom. 1:18-25)

So, if this doctrine of particular individual election be true, then God elects only some to be saved and to repent even though, according to Calvinism, He has elected whoever He wants.

Note: I’m not saying this is unfair (Rom 9:14-21), nor that we can come to Christ without the Father and Holy Spirit drawing (6:44) or enabling (6:65) us.  Rather, it seems contradictory and not supported by “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).   We know that not all people repent and are saved.  Therefore, since God wants all saved and not all are, there seems to be some element of human choice that God has given us in salvation – this drawing of the lost to God appears to be “resistible”, not “irresistible”.

Salvation is pictured as a gift in the Bible:

Rom. 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A gift must be received – what good is a Christmas present if it is left under the tree?

John 1:12 – But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God

We receive the gift of salvation by faith, and Paul makes it very clear that faith is not a work:

Romans 4:2-5 – 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness

v.5 of this passage clearly says the one who exercises faith in God is not performing a work.  Is the believer just smarter than others because he “figured it out”? No, not any more than a recipient of a gift is smarter or more worthy because he “figured out” that he must open the gift to benefit from what’s inside.

Additionally, John teaches us that Jesus died for the sins, not only of His sheep, but of everyone:

1 John 2:1-2 – My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense –Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

The doctrines of unconditional election and limited atonement have significant practical implications for how we approach lost people in evangelism.  We are communicating the idea that God has genuine love for those whom He has chosen not to save, and that He sincerely offers them salvation. This presents one of the greatest dilemmas for the Calvinist view.  However, God’s love for sinners and His desire for the salvation of all people is communicated by Jesus in one of the most famous verses in Scripture:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life

God’s love for sinners motivated Him to send His Son. Whoever believes in Him will be saved.  He offers salvation to all—acceptance or rejection of that offer resides with each individual.

So, if “My sheepdoes not refer to a predetermined set of elect persons, then what does Jesus mean by it? One possible meaning is that “My sheep” refers primarily to the faithful sons of Abraham under the old covenant as it was revealed in OT, who were already prepared by their faith and repentance to embrace the promised Messiah at the time of His appearance. These included those under the ministry of John the Baptist, who was appointed to “prepare the way for the Lord”. In a secondary sense, it includes God-fearing Gentiles (e.g., Cornelius, Acts 10) who were led by God’s grace to repentance and whom He drew to faith in His Son.

Q: Dare I ask for any comments here 🙂 ?  Please tell me where I’m wrong…

John 10:28-29 – and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Jesus’ sheep are secure because He is the Good Shepherd–He has them safe. Neither thieves nor robbers (v. 1, 8) nor the wolf (v. 12) can harm them.  No stronger passage in the OT or NT exists for the absolute, eternal security of every true Christian. Verse 29 makes clear that the Father ultimately stands behind the sheep’s security, for no one is able to steal them from God:

Rom. 8:38–39 – For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Q: What about people who walk away from the faith?  Do you know anyone who’s walked away?

John 10:30-33 – “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

The Jews are trying to stone Jesus, because His claim He was One with the Father affirmed His claim to deity and caused the Jews to seek His execution. There was no doubt in the minds of those Jews that Jesus was claiming to be God.

The Mosaic Law did permit stoning for blasphemy:

Leviticus 24:16 – Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

However, in 1st century Palestine, the Romans reserved for themselves the right of capital punishment:

John 18:31 – So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death”

Nonetheless, out-of-control Jews at other times engaged in mob actions in lieu of legal proceedings:

Acts 7:57–60 – But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

John 10:34-36 – Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?”

Jesus quotes from Ps 82:6 where God calls some unjust judges “gods” and pronounces calamity against them. Jesus’ argument is an argument “from the lesser to the greater”. If mere men could, in some sense, be referred to as “gods,” why would anyone object to the Son of God Himself being called by that title?  Then He adds this parenthetical statement: “Scripture cannot be broken”.  This is Jesus Christ the Lord Himself affirming the accuracy & authority of the OT.

If you found yourself disagreeing with some parts of this teaching today, I would encourage you to read the excellent book “Deconstructing Calvinism” (currently $3.99 Kindle, $18.99 paperback).

You may also want to read 2 articles to get a balanced view on the topic of God’s desire that all be saved:

Are There Two Wills in God? Divine Election and God’s Desire for All to Be Saved (John Piper):

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god

Are There Two Wills in God? A Response to John Piper:

http://evangelicalarminians.org/john-piper-are-there-two-wills-in-god-a-response/

Robert Hamilton, “The Order of Faith and Election in John’s Gospel: You Do Not Believe Because You Are Not My Sheep”:

http://evangelicalarminians.org/files/Hamilton.%20The%20Order%20of%20Faith%20and%20Election%20in%20John’s%20Gospel..pdf

I also made significant use of the MacArthur Study Bible comments and his 5 sermons on John 10:

  1. I Am the Door (John 10:1–10)
  2. I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11–21)
  3. I and the Father Are One, Part 1 (John 10:22–24)
  4. I and the Father Are One, Part 2 (John 10:25–42)
  5. I and the Father Are One, Part 3 (John 10:22–42)

I also listened to Dr. R.C. Sproul’s series on Reformed Theology.

I also read Hermeneutics of 2 Peter 3:9—”Us all” or “you all”? http://calvinandcalvinism.com/?p=12652

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mid-week apologetics booster (10-25-2018)

Good morning friends,

Random quote from Nuggets:

When people are right with God, they are apt to be hard on themselves and easy on other people. But when they are not right with God, they are easy on themselves and hard on others. ~ John Newton

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Cactus Clash – this is a homeschool speech and debate tournament where you can volunteer to be a judge. They have an apologetics speech tournament which I judge each year. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed, in fact you will be greatly encouraged by these articulate and thoughtful young people make convincing impromptu speeches trying to convince you that Christianity is true!: https://cactusclash2018.homeschooldebate.net/community-judges
  2. What Do Americans Believe About God, Salvation, and the Bible? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJcy4dO9ngg
  3. Scientist Confirms: An Unborn Baby is a Human Being From the Moment of Conception | LifeNews.com: https://www.lifenews.com/2017/02/09/scientist-confirms-an-unborn-baby-is-a-human-being-from-the-moment-of-conception/
  4. Dennis Prager on Evolution: Stephen Meyer Turned Me Around | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/10/dennis-prager-on-evolution-stephen-meyer-turned-me-around/
  5. Tim Keller: Our Culture Was Built to Escape Christianity – evangelizing in western culture: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/tim-keller-our-culture-was-built-to-escape-christianity
  6. The Story Of David And Goliath Gets Archaeological Evidence Backing It Up | Daily Wire: https://www.dailywire.com/news/37279/story-david-and-goliath-gets-archaeological-hank-berrien
  7. Eight Ways Satan Tempts You To Question Your Salvation – Tim Challies: https://www.challies.com/vlog/eight-ways-satan-tempts-you-to-question-your-salvation/
  8. Gosnell Being Dropped From Movie Theaters Despite Solid Performance | Daily Wire: https://www.dailywire.com/news/37380/exclusive-gosnell-being-dropped-movie-theaters-paul-bois
  9. Human destinies: Hell | George’s Journal: https://georgesjournal.net/2018/10/20/human-destinies-hell/
  10. 5 Signs Your Church Might be Heading Toward Progressive Christianity – Alisa Childers: https://www.alisachilders.com/blog/5-signs-your-church-might-be-heading-toward-progressive-christianity
  11. Jesus Was A Case Maker | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/jesus-was-a-case-maker/
  12. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – Part 1 – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses
  13. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – 1. About the Jehovah’s Witnesses – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses/2-about-jws
  14. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – 2. Biblical texts used by JWs against the Deity of Christ – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses/3-biblical-texts-against
  15. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – 3. Biblical Texts for the Deity of Christ – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses/4-biblical-texts-for
  16. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – 4. Conclusion & Application – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses/5-conclusion
  17. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – Appendix 1. More on John 1:1 – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses/6-appendix
  18. What to say to Jehovah’s Witnesses by Mike Licona – Appendix 2. Should You Let Them In? – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/jehovahs-witnesses/what-to-say-to-jehovahs-witnesses/7-let-them-in
  19. Skeptics say we don’t know who wrote the gospels, but it wasn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. They’re using a double standard: http://isjesusalive.com/who-wrote-the-gospels/
  20. What Do Other Worldviews Believe? Rob Lundberg Apologetics: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/10/22/what-do-other-worldviews-believe/
  21. Answering Two Common Objections To The Author Of Life Argument: https://cerebralfaith.blogspot.com/2018/10/answering-two-common-objections-to.html
  22. Witches Outnumber Presbyterians in the US; Wicca, Paganism Growing ‘Astronomically’: https://www.christianpost.com/news/witches-outnumber-presbyterians-in-the-us-wicca-paganism-growing-astronomically-227857/
  23. A Journey from a Homosexual Lifestyle to Christ | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/family/homosexuality/journey-from-homosexual-lifestyle-to-christ/
  24. Evolutionists Sense Life’s Design and Deify Nature | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/evolutionists-sense-design-deify-nature
  25. The Talking Ape Who Couldn’t Really Talk | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/the-talking-ape-who-couldnt-really-talk/
  26. Testimony of a Former Skeptic | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/testimony-former-skeptic/

Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (10-18-2018)

Good morning friends,

Recently, I have been working on a new and updated version of my Bible nuggets program. You can try it here. The newly modified version contains the following features:

  1. Read and search the full Bible in 8 different translations
  2. Browse selected “Nuggets” from the Bible
  3. Links to biblestudytools.com Interlinear Bible for any chapter or passage you’re reading (this will allow you to explore the Greek and Hebrew text)
  4. Setup and practice Bible memory verses
  5. Browse the Bible by Topic
  6. Browse, search and memorize non-Bible quotes and facts
  7. Works great on mobile devices
  8. Content can be copied to clipboard for pasting into social media postings, emails or text messages
  9. There are many more features in this program that I’m continually updating, contact me if you have any questions about the features or how to use it

Note: if you would like to request a new feature or notify me about a bug, you can add a new issue on my GitHub page for this project!

Here is one random quote (of over 700) from this new program:

We may define a republic to be a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. – James Madison, Federalist 39, 1788

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Remember, if you login (no password required), you can create and store your own database of quotes, facts and Bible memory verses. Be sure to take advantage of this extremely helpful resource, which will help you grow in your Christian walk!

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Nazi child euthanasia and Hans Asperger – creation.com: https://creation.com/asperger
  2. Video: What is the difference between Mormonism and Christianity? – Summit Ministries: https://www.summit.org/resources/difference-mormonism-christianity/
  3. Is the Problem of Evil Really a Problem for Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/is-the-problem-of-evil-really-a-problem-for-christianity/
  4. Christian Apologetics: Who Needs It? | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/apologetics/christian-apologetics-who-needs-it/
  5. John Frames 9-Point Checklist for Evaluating Theological Writings: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/john-frames-9-point-checklist-evaluating-theological-writings/
  6. THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON AND JESUS: https://mannsword.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-new-testament-canon-and-jesus_26.html
  7. Christian Youths Leaving the Church: What Are We to Do?: http://www.cltruth.com/2017/christian-youths-leaving-church/
  8. Why does God allow natural disasters, i.e. earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis?: https://www.gotquestions.org/natural-disasters.html
  9. John Lennox and Paul Davies discuss aliens and the origin of life | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/10/10/john-lennox-and-paul-davies-discuss-aliens-and-the-origin-of-life-2/
  10. Historic Heresies Related to the Nature of God the Father: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/historic-heresies-related-to-the-nature-of-god-the-father-free-bible-insert/
  11. How to Be Smarter than Google: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/04/how-to-be-smarter-than-google.html
  12. Defending the Bible with Internal Evidence – Aaron Shamp Medium: https://medium.com/@aaronmshamp/defending-the-bible-with-internal-evidence-5f3453890298
  13. J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Detective: Evidence Led Him to Faith | The Stream: https://stream.org/j-warner-wallace-cold-case-detective-evidence-led-faith/
  14. Harvard Study Reveals Religious Upbringing Better for Kids Health, Well-Being | The Stream: https://stream.org/new-study-reveals-religious-upbringing-better-kids-health-well/
  15. The Christian Apologetics Mandate: https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/reflections/read/reflections/2018/10/02/the-christian-apologetics-mandate
  16. How Are Fossils Formed? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/how-are-fossils-formed/
  17. The Difference Between Believing the Gospels and Trusting the Gospel | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/the-difference-between-believing-the-gospels-and-trusting-the-gospel/
  18. Four Big Bangs That Kill Atheism – iApologia: http://iapologia.com/the-four-big-bangs-that-kills-atheism/

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

Blessings to you all

Discussions while serving the homeless

Yesterday was our church’s monthly time of serving the homeless at the Henry Unger Dining Room.  I was given the job of dishing out coleslaw on serving line, along with 3 others, who were dishing out the main course, vegetables and dessert.  It was very busy initially, but after about an hour we’d cleared through the line and had served everyone.  So, I was getting to know the others on the serving line.

The guy serving desserts next to me had what appeared to be a black eye.  I asked him where it came from.  He said he recently had a surgical procedure to remove bags under his eyes.  He also shared that he is 88 years old and currently has stage 4 melanoma.  I said, wow and sorry to hear that.  I asked him what the prognosis was.  He said, very bluntly, “death”.  So, I decided to ask him “so, are you right with the Lord?”  He replied, “I hope so…”  I replied, “You don’t have to be unsure, you can know you’re right with the Lord.  All you have to do is believe in Jesus!” (1 John 5:12-13)  He didn’t make any comment on that but rather talked to me about having had a good life and raised 6 good children.  I decided not to belabor the point.  I was amazed, though, at the age of 88, with stage 4 cancer, that he was getting cosmetic surgeries, serving the homeless and even planning on going skiing this winter!

Later, I was able to talk to the people on my right.  They were a brother and sister (older – probably 40’s or 50’s) who were from Nigeria.  The sister, Esther, was visiting from Nigeria for a month.  Her brother, Joe, is a pastor at a local non-denominational church.  I was small talking with them as we were serving.  Then I asked Joe what he was preaching on.  He explained his current series (our thoughts about God and His thoughts about us).  Some way, somehow, the discussion got into talk about the nature of God, specifically, the Trinity.  He mentioned that God is one God in one Person, with 3 offices.  It seemed like he was basing much of His theology on Isaiah 9:6:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Because of this, he believed that Jesus is the Father, and that when the Holy Ghost came upon Mary that was the Holy Ghost that was in her womb, but it Jesus that came out the birth canal!  I told him that the historic definition of the Trinity is one God revealed in 3 persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  He said it was not 3 persons.  I then asked him how he could explain or understand passages like John 17 where Jesus was praying to the Father?  Or verses like John 14:26, which explicitly describes the 3 persons of the Godhead:

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

He didn’t have an answer for these questions.  His only answer was that we’re  finite and it is hard to understand, but you just need to have faith!  I told him that I’m just reading the Bible (the whole Bible) and getting my understanding of the nature of God from the text.

At that point, we had to get back to work.  Our time was friendly and I wished him and his sister all the best as I left for the day and that I hoped that I would see him there again.

This morning, as I researched Joe’s views, it sounded like held to something similar to Sabellianism:

Sabellianism (3rd Century) This heresy, a form of modalistic Monarchianism named for its founder, taught God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit were different modes of one God (in relationship to man), rather than three distinct persons (in objective reality). Jesus Christ and God the Father were not thought to be distinct persons, but two aspects or offices of one person.

Leader(s) in the Heresy: Sabellius, a Roman priest and theologian (215AD?)

Corrector(s) of the Heresy: Tertullian and Demetrius (Patriarch of Alexandria) wrote against the heresy

Very interesting, day of serving the homeless and of interacting with people of different beliefs.  I hope that I was able to “put a stone in their shoe” that would “annoy them” (in a good way)!

Lunch conversation with Hindu Colleague

I recently met with a colleague who visiting our office on a business trip from another country in Europe.  It was lunch time and he was sitting at his desk.  I was on my way out to lunch, when I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit that I ought to see if he had plans and ask him to lunch.  So, I turned around and went back to our area and asked him if he had plans.  He had no plans for lunch that day, so I invited him to go to lunch with me.

I have had a history of working with him and it was very nice to get together for a meal.  We went to a Mexican restaurant, which he enjoyed, as he was able to get a vegetarian meal.  He is originally from India and we were talking about all the places he’s lived in India.  Then I asked about Punjab, commenting that I’d heard they have their own religion there.  So, we started talking about religion in general.  My colleague said that many different religions are practiced in India (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, etc.) and that India is very open about religion.  I asked him what he meant by “open”. He said that members of each religion will visit and talk with and be friends with people of other religions and even visit their respective places of worship and spend time together during festivals.  He even said he’s visited Christian churches in India before.  However he said that is not the case for Islam – as Hindus, they don’t go into mosques.

He went on to tell me more about Hinduism, his beliefs and some of the stories in their scriptures.  During our conversation, he described how the best schools in India were Christian schools – he specifically mentioned Catholic and Protestant.  I commented on his mentioning Catholic and Protestant and asked about his understanding of the difference between the 2?  He said that he understood that Catholic was the one true church until the protestant church split away.  I asked him if he’d heard of the Protestant Reformation.  He said no.  I asked if he’d heard of Martin Luther.  He said, “Yes, Martin Luther King, right?”  I said no, that Martin Luther King was the civil rights leader in America in the 1960’s.  I’m talking about Martin Luther.  He said, “Wasn’t he a philosopher?”  So, I went on to explain what happened during the Protestant Reformation.  He asked when all this happened, and I told him about the day (October 30th 1517) when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses (or complaints) against the Catholic Church on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.  I explained that Martin Luther was actually a Catholic Monk and he didn’t want to create a new church, rather he wanted to reform the church because he saw that they were straying away from the Bible – I also explained the situation that was occurring with selling indulgences.  I explained that the Protestant Reformation spread throughout Europe and the UK during that time period.  This was the time when the recent invention of printing press allowed the “common man” to have his own copy of the Bible for a cheaper cost, which helped the spread of this reformation.  We even talked about how the countries of Europe to this day are considered either Catholic (e.g. France, Poland, Italy and Spain) or Protestant (Germany, Netherlands, England, etc.).

During this part of the conversation, he even mentioned the level of Atheism in the UK, where he said that atheists represent about 20% of the population. I told him in the US it is somewhere between 5 and 10%.  We talked about how it is hard to believe that someone could believe that the Universe and everything in it came into existence from nothing with no cause, and that life in all of its complexity, including the DNA molecule, could come into existence without an intelligent designer. He agreed then he started to tell me about how in Hinduism there are three different gods Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer. I think they were Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva. Then he started to tell me in general about Hinduism and some of the scriptures. After I was asking him many questions he told me about avatars and how Krishna was an avatar. As we went on talking, I asked him about the concepts of Karma and Reincarnation.  He said that everyone must be reborn so that whatever body you’re living in now you will die and eventually be reborn into a different body. I was asking him a lot of questions during this whole time we were talking about Hinduism and learning quite a bit. For example he said the final state of a person according to Hinduism is Moksha. But the new thing that I learned was that Moksha according to him is a state of non-existence that’s the final state of a person (I had previously thought that Moksha was kind of like Nirvana).  He also revealed that there is a heaven and hell in Hinduism. There is one god that keeps track of all the things you do in this life. And there’s another god which, by his description of it, almost sounded like the grim reaper who will take a person to either heaven or hell.  According to him, after you have served your sentence then you’ll get reborn into another body.

Then I asked him if he knew what the concept of “grace” means in Christianity. He said he had definitely heard of that phrase – the grace of God, but what he described sounded more like the blessings of God. So I talked to him about the meaning of grace. I told him that grace is defined as “unmerited favor from God”, meaning, you didn’t do anything to earn it.  With grace, you are getting good things that you don’t deserve. Kind of a parallel concept, I told him about is mercy. Mercy is where you don’t get the bad things (i.e. punishment) that you do deserve. Those two concepts, I explained, are related like two sides of the coin.  He seemed to understand.  I explained that all people have sinned and are accountable to God for those sins and the punishment due for them.  I asked him if he had any idea how to obtain or access the grace and mercy of God?  He thought for a while – I let there be an awkward silence.  Finally, he said no.  I explained to him, this is where Jesus comes in.  God came to earth in the person of Jesus and lived a perfect (sinless) life.  He followed the 10 commandments to a tee.  I asked if he knew what the 10 commandments were.  He had heard of them, but couldn’t name any.  I explained that these are laws and rules for living that God gave to the Israelites long ago, and gave him a few examples.  So, Jesus lived a perfect life and did not deserve to die, but you know that he was killed by crucifixion on a cross, right?  He said yes.  I explained that Jesus was paying for punishment we deserved for our sins.  So, if we believe that we have sinned and deserved the punishment that Jesus experienced and that He died in our place, then we can go to heaven forever to be with God.  This is the Good News – this is the Gospel.  But if we don’t believe in Him and His sacrificial death for us, then we have to go to hell to pay for our sins ourselves.  In Christianity, this life is the time we have to choose Jesus.  After we die, there are no second chances – this is it!  The purpose of life is to know Christ and once you know Him, to make Him known to others.  He indicated he understood.

We covered a lot of ground in this conversation and I pray that God would take my imperfect witness and help my Indian colleague understand it and consider his relationship with God and his destination in eternity!

mid-week apologetics booster (10-11-2018)

Good morning friends,

Recently, I have been working on a new and updated version of my Bible nuggets program. You can try it here. The newly modified version contains the following features:

  1. Read and search the full Bible in 8 different translations
  2. Browse selected “Nuggets” from the Bible
  3. Links to biblestudytools.com Interlinear Bible for any chapter or passage you’re reading (this will allow you to explore the Greek and Hebrew text)
  4. Setup and practice Bible memory verses
  5. Browse the Bible by Topic
  6. Browse, search and memorize non-Bible quotes and facts
  7. Works great on mobile devices
  8. Content can be copied to clipboard for pasting into social media postings, emails or text messages
  9. There are many more features in this program that I’m continually updating, contact me if you have any questions about the features or how to use it

Note: if you would like to request a new feature or notify me about a bug, you can add a new issue on my GitHub page for this project!

Here is one random quote (of over 500) from this new program:

Our job isn’t to judge the people of the world. It’s to tell people about the Judge of the world. – Tim Barnett

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Remember, if you login (no password required), you can create and store your own database of quotes, facts and Bible memory verses. Be sure to take advantage of this extremely helpful resource, which will help you grow in your Christian walk!

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Stunning Results from a Survey of Millennials: https://www.drjamesdobson.org/news/commentaries/archives/2018/september-newsletter-2018
  2. When Your Eight Year Old Drops a Skeptical Bomb on You Rob Lundberg Apologetics: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2018/10/04/when-your-eight-year-old-drops-a-skeptical-bomb-on-you/
  3. Making the Most of your Research and Downtime – Salt and Grace: https://saltngrace.com/using-downtime-to-grow-in-christ/
  4. Why I am reading David Limbaugh’s new book ‘Jesus is Risen’ | Fox News: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/sean-hannity-why-i-am-reading-david-limbaughs-new-book-jesus-is-risen
  5. What if Everyone Lived the Sexual Ethic of Jesus? – Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-if-everyone-lived-the-sexual-ethic-of-jesus
  6. Why We’re Probably Alone in the Universe, Despite the Latest Planet Discovery | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/why-were-probably-alone-in-the-universe-despite-the-latest-planet-discovery/
  7. Evolutionary Relationships In Echolocation An Obsession that Smothers Wonder | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/10/evolutionary-relationships-in-echolocation-an-obsession-that-smothers-wonder/

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. They confronted him and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.” Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him. King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house –leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. 2 Chronicles 26:16-21

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (10-4-2018)

Good morning friends,

Recently, I have been working on a new and updated version of my Bible nuggets program. You can try it here. The newly modified version contains the following features:

  1. Read and search the full Bible in 8 different translations
  2. Browse selected “Nuggets” from the Bible
  3. Links to biblestudytools.com Interlinear Bible for any chapter or passage you’re reading (this will allow you to explore the Greek and Hebrew text)
  4. Setup and practice Bible memory verses
  5. Browse the Bible by Topic
  6. Browse, search and memorize non-Bible quotes and facts
  7. Works great on mobile devices
  8. Content can be copied to clipboard for pasting into social media postings, emails or text messages
  9. There are many more features in this program that I’m continually updating, contact me if you have any questions about the features or how to use it

Note: if you would like to request a new feature or notify me about a bug, you can add a new issue on my GitHub page for this project!

Here is one random quote (of over 700) from this new program:

Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. – The Love Dare

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Remember, if you login (no password required), you can create and store your own database of quotes, facts and Bible memory verses. Be sure to take advantage of this extremely helpful resource, which will help you grow in your Christian walk!

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. What Was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/articles/what-was-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah#.W6zRPmhKiUk
  2. The history of science has very bad news for the theory of evolution.: http://godevidence.com/2017/09/theory-of-evolution/
  3. Dr. Michael G Strauss: An Introduction to the Anthropic Principle and Fine Tuning: http://www.michaelgstrauss.com/2017/04/an-introduction-to-anthropic-principle.html
  4. Masturbation and the Christian – Christian Research Institute: http://www.equip.org/pmr-podcast/episode-091-masturbation-and-the-christian/
  5. Apologetics Will Not Make Anyone a Christian – Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2017/09/28/apologetics-will-not-make-anyone-christian/
  6. Unhinging the Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence Mantra | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2017/04/unhinging-extraordinary-claims-require.html
  7. 3 More Logical Fallacies to Avoid (and How to Tell When Someone Else is Committing Them) Apologetics for the Church: https://apolotheo.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/3-more-logical-fallacies-to-avoid/
  8. Are all sins equally bad? Or are there degrees of severity for different sins? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2018/09/30/are-all-sins-equally-bad-or-are-there-degrees-of-severity-for-different-sins-3/
  9. 4 Things Your Biology Teacher Doesn’t Want You to Say (pt. 1) Grounds4Faith: https://grounds4faith.com/2018/09/26/4-things-your-biology-teacher-doesnt-want-you-to-say-pt-1/
  10. Humans: Purposely Designed | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-the-meaning-of-life/humans-purposely-designed/
  11. In Arizona, Science Education Goes to a Vote | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/09/in-arizona-science-education-goes-to-a-vote/
  12. Suppressing Science at Brown University | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2018/09/suppressing-science-at-brown-university/
  13. Internal Telomere-like Sequences Are Abundant and Functional | The Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/article/internal-telomere-like-sequences-are
  14. The perils of scientific illiteracy – creation.com: https://creation.com/perils-of-scientific-illiteracy
  15. Letters to a Mormon Elder (full book online): http://www.novus2.com/alphamin/LETTERS/MAINPAGE.htm
  16. Is God an Exalted Man? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/is-god-an-exalted-man#.W7Nmu2hKiUn
  17. We have to stop divorcing apologetics from evangelism – The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network: https://www.thepoachedegg.net/2018/10/we-have-to-stop-divorcing-apologetics-from-evangelism.html
  18. Seven Compelling Evidences Confirm the Bible Is True | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/is-the-bible-true/seven-compelling-evidences-confirm-bible-is-true/
  19. Can God Be in the Presence of Sin? #3 Post of 2010 | Tough Questions Answered: https://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2010/12/29/can-god-be-in-the-presence-of-sin/
  20. 4 Reasons Why Christianity is True – Discover the Compelling Evidence: https://notashamedofthegospel.com/apologetics/4-reasons-christianity-true/

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Blessings to you all

AWANA Theme for the night “Deal or No Deal?”

Tonight at AWANA, I will be giving the opening teaching with all 3 clubs (Cubbies, Sparks and Truth & Training) in the main room.  Here is the content of what I’ve prepared for this 10 minute teaching opportunity I have:

The theme of the night tonight is “Deal or No Deal?”  “Deal or No Deal?” is an actual game show that was on TV from 2005-2009 and will be coming back in December of this year.  Here is how the game works:

On the hit game show “Deal or No Deal,” each night, the game of odds and chance unfolds when a contestant is confronted with 26 sealed briefcases full of varying amounts of cash – ranging from a measly penny to $1 million. Without knowing the amount in each briefcase, the contestant picks one – his to keep, if he chooses – until it’s unsealing at game’s end.

The risk element kicks in when the player must then instinctively eliminate the remaining 25 cases – which are opened and the amount of cash inside revealed. The pressure mounts as in each round, after a pre-determined number of cases are opened, the participant is tempted by a mysterious entity known only as “the Banker” to accept an offer of cash in exchange for what might be contained in the contestant’s chosen briefcase – prompting (Howie) Mandel to ask the all-important question – Deal or No Deal?  The contestant has to respond with “DEAL!” to accept the deal offered by Mandel.

A DEAL is defined as “an agreement entered into by two or more parties”.

God is offering all of us humans a “deal”.  And we need a “deal”, because the Bible tells us some troubling things about our situation.

In Romans 3:23, God has told us that all human beings (except Jesus) have sinned.

So, with that being true, none of us can be in Heaven with Him.  The Bible says “nothing impure will ever enter it (Heaven)” – Revelation 21:27a.

If that were the only information we had, that would be very bad news, wouldn’t it?

But that isn’t the only information we have, is it?  Can someone tell me how God promises to fix our problem?

Romans 3:25 (NLT) explains it:

For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.

The 1st part of that verse tells us what God did to solve our problem (God sent Jesus to take the punishment we deserved), and the 2nd part tells us how we can “accept God’s deal”: We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.

That’s good news!  If we believe in Jesus, as the verse says, we can go to Heaven and be with Jesus forever!