Verses to memorize for sexual temptation

It is a fact of life that most men (and many women) battle against sexual temptation.

God has prescribed the way that He wants His children to live. He tests each of our hearts (not just what is on the outside). Here is what He expects to find:

1 Chronicles 29:17a

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity

Not only is He pleased with integrity, but Jesus even said several times in the Scriptures, that He expects anyone who follows Him (Christians) to deny themselves, rather than to “give-in” to themselves:

Luke 9:23

Then He said to them all: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

He wants us to put Him first, not our own evil desires. We need to have the attitude of John the Baptist:

John 3:30

He must become greater; I must become less.

So, to help us along in our quest for holiness, I have listed some verses for you to memorize to help you resist sexual temptation. The Psalmist stated the benefits of memorizing Scripture:

Psalms 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

The benefit is clear: “that I might not sin againstGod.

I have memorized each of these passages myself and have found them to be of great benefit

Let’s start off the list with one that states God’s mandate very clearly and directly:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

This passage tells me that I am not my own. I can’t just do whatever I want with my body. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. He is living in me and sees everything I do. Which leads me to the next verse:

Hebrews 4:13

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

He sees all and we will have to give account for all He sees. As Ray Comfort commented, “What happens in Vegas stays in God’s mind until Judgment Day.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Romans 14:12

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Am I saying that you’ll be thrown into hell for committing an act of sexual immorality? No. When you were saved, you were justified. All sins, past, present and future were paid for by Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. Yet, we as believers are expected to behave in a way that is “worthy of our calling” (Eph. 4:1). Sexual immorality is definitely not worthy of our calling!

God takes sexual immorality – especially the physical act of adultery – very seriously. So seriously, in fact in the Old Covenant with Israel, the penalty was the death sentence for both involved parties:

Deuteronomy 22:22

If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

However, sexual immorality is not an external, behavioral issue only (such as adultery). This sin starts in the mind with our own evil desires (James 1:13-14). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus raised the standard of purity so that no one can escape the charge of guilt in this matter:

Matthew 5:27-28
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus is seeking obedience from those that call Him Lord:

Luke 6:46

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

Don’t be a hypocrite, one day calling Jesus Lord and then another day, committing sexual sin.

Job was a godly man and was certainly aware of this standard as he strove to avoid lust in this way:

Job 31:1

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.

Daniel was also a godly man, living in exile, in the midst of a vile, wicked, depraved and idolatrous culture. In the beginning of the account, we see his resolution:

Daniel 1:8-9

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel

Have you resolved not to defile yourself by what your eyes consume? Daniel’s strong resolution here ought to challenge and inspire us to do the same. By resolving, he had made up his mind what he was going to do when he was put in that situation. Don’t just wait until that moment of temptation comes to decide what you’re going to do. If that is your approach, you will fail. Rather resolve ahead of time what steps you’re going to take to avoid defiling yourself in sexual sin.

David, a man after God’s own heart, a man acquainted with moral failure (see 2 Samuel 11), resolved not to let sin come through his eyes:

Psalms 101:3

I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all crooked dealings; I will have nothing to do with them.

We need our minds renewed by Scripture so that we no longer conform to the pattern of this world, which is so full of sexual temptation:

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Many of these passages can be summed up in this wise counsel from the Apostle Paul:

Romans 13:14

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

What have you done to “make no provision” for your flesh? There are many practices and safeguards that one can implement, but the one thing we should all be doing is putting on the Lord Jesus Christ daily – that is the number one strategy in this battle. Don’t make it is easy for your flesh to gratify its evil desires!

And, yes, this is absolutely a battle! It is not a battle against flesh and blood, but at the core it is a spiritual battle:

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

And since it is a spiritual battle, it needs to be fought with spiritual weapons from God:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.

Have you ever considered that when we are committing sexual sin, at that moment, we don’t fear God? Think about that… Even one of the thieves on the cross next to Jesus asked the other thief if he feared God, because it was evident by the way he was talking that he didn’t:

Luke 23:40

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?

Unknowingly, the first thief was affirming a great truth of Scripture, often repeated:

Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

And:

Isaiah 8:13

Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else.

Jesus told His disciples to fear God because of His ability to throw them into hell:

Luke 12:4-5

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.

So, yes, the fear of God is a healthy attitude to have and can keep us from committing sexual sin!

Scripture also states that sin will hinder your prayers:

Psalms 66:18

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

Do you stumble into sin? Or do you cherish sin? Our goal should be to avoid both, but worse by far is the one who cherishes (or relishes) sin.

Isaiah echoes the same sentiment about our sin causing separation from God. In the context of the following passage, God was speaking to His “people and to the house of Jacob” (Isaiah 58:1):

Isaiah 59:1-2

Listen! The LORD is not too weak to save you, and he is not becoming deaf. He can hear you when you call. But there is a problem — your sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sin, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.

But God gave us the solution for having our prayers heard again:

2 Chronicles 7:14

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The essence of that phrase “seek My face and turn from their wicked ways” is the concept of repentance! There is no change and no transformation without repentance – and God commands it!

Acts 17:30

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

By the way, after reading this blog, you can no longer claim ignorance.

In the midst of admonishing believers not to argue over foolish and stupid things, the apostle Paul talked about people who are held captive by the devil to do his will:

2 Timothy 2:26

and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

As believers, we ought not be held captive by anyone or anything except Jesus Christ (since we are His slaves). We are told specifically:

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

Additionally, we as believers ought to be discerning enough and acquainted enough with our own depravity to know what situations, places and people put us into temptation, and that we need to avoid those:

Proverbs 4:26

Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.

We ought to be able to see the danger ahead and take refuge:

Proverbs 27:12

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

In addition to pondering where you go and what situations you put yourself into, you need to be intentional about your thoughts:

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

And:

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Sexual temptation requires much more than casual action, it requires drastic action on our parts! Though we may be “pondering the path of our feet” and thinking about “whatever is pure”, we are still “in the world” (John 17:14-16) and therefore it is possible, with the best of intentions, that we may find ourselves in a tempting situation. The following verse tells me what to do when I encounter anything that stimulates lust – RUN!!!

2 Timothy 2:22

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts

It is also encouraging me who to hang out with – that’s really important too.

As usual, Jesus ratchets up the response even more with His teaching on how to deal with sin:

Matthew 18:8-9
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

The eye and the hand are are certainly used to commit much sexual sin… Jesus is not advocating self mutilation here, but this is to be understood as instructing us to take whatever actions are necessary to limit our access to those people, places, situations and technologies that give us opportunities to sin.

Another passage that is terrifying when you consider what is being said in it is this:

Hebrews 10:26-27

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.

Does that mean that if we continue to sin at all after having been saved, there we will experience the wrath of God? Well, it depends. One who is truly saved will not continue in an unrepentant pattern of sin for an extended period of time. I consider this a warning for us as believers to examine ourselves:

2 Corinthians 13:5a

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.

This should be a regular practice of all believers, to examine your life critically and see if it represents the life of a true born again Bible believing Christian.

The following passage is one of the key passages when it comes to sexual immorality:

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God

Not many places in Scripture tell you explicitly what God’s will is – the above passage is one of them. This passage tells me that I need to learn to control my own body. That tells me that it is not “natural” to control my body. I have to go against what feels natural and control my body. Likewise, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 9:27

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Yes, this requires discipline. It is a spiritual battle and therefore demands your daily and even hourly attention so that you do not get caught off guard! In fact elsewhere Paul reminds us to be on our guard:

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.

The Scriptures contain many other such warnings. For example, the apostle Peter warns us to be on our guard, using different words:

1 Peter 5:8

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself even strongly admonished His disciples to keep alert, but added prayer as a way to gain victory over temptation:

Matthew 26:41
Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!

So, how much sexual immorality is acceptable for the child of God?

Ephesians 5:3-6

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater –has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

The above passage even speaks of God’s wrath as a consequence of these type of behaviors. You don’t want to go there…

The passage below has really helped me. It tells me that as a regenerated follower of Jesus Christ, I do in fact have the power and ability to not let sin reign in my body or to obey my body’s evil desires. What an encouragement that is!

Romans 6:12-14

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

The above passage raises the question about who you’re letting reign, in other words, who are you serving? Jesus told us you can’t serve two masters:

Luke 16:13

No servant can serve two masters ; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

While the above verse is about money, the same principle applies to your illicit sexual desires.

You know that if you ask some people about why they continue to fall into sexual temptation, they’ll claim that that’s just the way God made them. They have these desires and they were meant to be fulfilled. That is human logic – that’s the way of thinking that “seems right”:

Proverbs 14:12 (&16:25)

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

But that way of thinking really leads to death.

Here’s a good one from Proverbs

Proverbs 14:2

He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.

This directly ties “upright” behavior to fearing the LORD and “perverse” behavior to despising Him.

Next are some words from Jesus that hit me like a ton of bricks:

John 3:19-20
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

These words are powerful because, in this passage the “light” which has come into the world IS JESUS. So, when it says “everyone who does evil hates the light”, its saying that everyone who does evil hates Jesus! Wow.

Here is a good one from Paul:

Titus 2:11-13

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

This one tells us that God’s grace actually teaches us to “just say no!” to “ungodliness and worldly passions” – that would certainly include lust and sexual sin. But it doesn’t only tell us what to say no to, but it also tells us how to live: “self-controlled, upright and godly lives”. That is a picture of holy living. Notice the phrase “self-controlled”. According to this passage, you have the ability to control your participation in these forms of behavior.

Then, there is the most concentrated teaching on worldliness in all of God’s word:

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Notice – this passage talks about 2 things that are directly related to lust and sexual sin: “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes”. If anyone “loves” this kind of stuff, the love of the Father is not in him. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, we need to distance ourselves and reject these kind of worldly affections!

John MacArthur, in his excellent sermon on Romans 7:14-25 says that one of the categories of sin is the “sin of remembrance”. Sometimes, the mind of the believer will wander back to ponder some past sin. We must not allow ourselves to fall into that trap. Peter admonishes us:

1 Peter 1:14

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

Later on in the same letter, he encourages with the example of Christ Jesus’ suffering:

1 Peter 4:1-5

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do–living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Notice, that we are not to live the rest of our earthly lives for “evil human desires” – this includes many things. He goes on to list some of those evil human desires: “debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry“. He ends up the passage by indicating that those who live like this will “have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead“. If these behaviors are the impenitent, pattern of your life, it indicates you are not saved.

Then, this one from the author of 1 Kings regarding the prophet Elijah’s challenge to the people to “get off the fence“!

1 Kings 18:21

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.

How is this applicable to illicit sexual desire? Just replace the phrase “if Baal is God, follow him” with “if [your sexual desire] is God, follow [it]”. That is what we’re doing when we’re giving in to sexual sin – we’re making it our God. Don’t do that!

Did you know that whenever you’re tempted to sin sexually, God will show you a way out? This is an iron-clad promise – you can take it to the bank. The following passage tells us not to be over confident when you’re in a season of strong obedience, but that we should be careful. Then it explains that we’re in the same boat with others:

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Praise the Lord that He is faithful, and that He will not let the temptation become too strong!

Jesus was once asked what was the essential or most important teaching in the old testament:

Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Notice that He summed up all the expectations of the believer into 2 concepts – Love God and Love others. We cannot do those 2 things while committing sexual sin!

The following verse may not seem to be related to sexual temptation:

Romans 1:25

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.

But if you think about it. Your sexual desire is a created thing. If you worship and serve it (especially in an illicit manner), you are exchanging the truth of God for a lie…

Sometimes, you’ve gotta follow Jesus’ example and just tell Satan to “get lost” if you’re being harassed:

Matthew 4:10

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’

But notice – we not only should be telling Satan to get lost, but we need to be worshiping the Lord our God and serving Him only!

There is a favorite verse of many people that says:

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Again, what does this have to do with sexual immorality and sexual temptation? Well, if you think of it, you’ll realize that your behavior in the world affects God’s reputation in the world, either positively or negatively. But your behavior does not change whether He exists or whether He is glorious or good. So, if you are behaving in an immoral way you are bringing God into disrepute. Then it can be said of you, as in Romans 2:24 – “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Serious stuff! Don’t do it – you love God too much for that!

Finally, the passage that has been most helpful to me in battling sexual temptation is:

Matthew 23:24-28
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

The reason this passage is so powerful for me is that, as a Christian leader and teacher, I receive those words from Jesus as directly applying to me. Especially the finishing line which says “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”. That one cuts to the heart. Jesus knows what’s “on the inside” – no one else does. I may be able to fool other people, but I can never fool Jesus. Jesus hated hypocrisy with a holy hatred – probably more than anything else. This chapter records the greatest rebuke he ever delivered regarding sin – the sin of hypocrisy. And sexual sin in the life of a believer makes that person a hypocrite, professing one thing with your lips, but thinking and behaving in opposition to that. So, when I hear Jesus’s rebuke directed at me, my unrighteous desires immediately melt away – its like pouring cold water over me. Paul gives us some very good counsel about how we should be viewing our Christian walk:

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Notice that we already have these promises (that he’d been talking about in the prior chapters – especially chapter 5). So, we are not avoiding sexual sin in order to get saved, but rather, now that we are saved (we have these promises), we are to live in a holy manner. Why? “Out of reverence for God”.

Brothers and sisters, I pray that you are convicted and cut to the heart like I am and that you would memorize each one of these passages so that you might be led away from sin when you’re at the moment of temptation. Remember God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) if we are willing to take it. He is faithful and will protect you from the evil one:

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

Appendix

Additional Verses

Psalms 119:9

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

Psalms 141:4

Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.

Psalms 86:11

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalms 119:37

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Psalms 23:3

he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalms 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Titus 1:15-16

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Galatians 5:19-21

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars –their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Titus 3:3-7

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Acts 3:19

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Romans 7:18-19, 7:24-25a,

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doingWretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Hebrews 4:15-16

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

mid-week apologetics booster (6-11-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

“That you may be careful to do everything written in it.” (Joshua 1:8) This must be the dominating motive and object. God’s Word is to be appropriated and masticated–fed and meditated upon–not for the purpose of understanding its prophecies, or obtaining an insight into its mysteries–but in order to learn God’s will for myself, and having learned it–to conform thereunto. God’s Word is given to us chiefly–not to gratify curiosity or to entertain our imagination–but as “a lamp to our feet–and a light unto our path” (Psalm 119:105) in this dark world. It is a Rule for us to walk by–it is a heavenly standard for the regulation of all our conduct. It points out the things to be avoided–the things which would harm us. It tells of the things to be followed and practiced–the things which are for our good and our peace. It contains not only good advice–but is clothed with Divine authority, commanding implicit and unqualified obedience. – Arthur Pink

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. New Resurrection Book: Dr. Andrew Loke: Investigating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: A New Transdisciplinary Approach (Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies).  At the present time, this book is FREE on Kindle. THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/06/09/new-resurrection-book-dr-andrew-loke-called-investigating-the-resurrection-of-jesus-christ-a-new-transdisciplinary-approach-routledge-new-critical-thinking-in-religion-theology-and-biblical/
  2. The Problem of the Unevangelized Once More | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-problem-of-the-unevangelized-once-more/
  3. Your Students Are Willing to Delay Gratification, If You Are | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/your-students-are-willing-to-delay-gratification-if-you-are/
  4. Is It Reasonable to Believe in Minds Even If We Can’t Explain How They Interact with Brains? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-it-reasonable-to-believe-in-minds-even-if-we-cant-explain-how-they-interact-with-brains/
  5. How Can You Trust Christianity Is True When There Are So Many Unanswered Questions? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-can-you-trust-christianity-is-true-when-there-are-so-many-unanswered-questions/
  6. Human Zoos How Science Fueled the Racial Fire | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/06/human-zoos-how-science-fueled-the-racial-fire/
  7. A Brief Defense of the Pro-Life Position: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-brief-defense-of-pro-life-position.html?m=1
  8. How to Be ‘Salt of the Earth’ Kind of People: https://brandonacox.com/salt/
  9. Why is the human brain so efficient? Over the past decades, engineers have taken inspiration from the brain to improve computer design.: http://nautil.us/issue/86/energy/why-is-the-human-brain-so-efficient-rp
  10. Can we believe in God in the scientific age? | Is there a God?: https://www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/6reasons/can-we-believe-in-god-in-the-scientific-age/

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Ecclesiastes 7:10

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (5-7-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

In God’s universe, nobody really “gets away” with anything. – Dr. Michael Brown

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Mount St. Helen’s, Living Laboratory for 40 Years – Nothing put a damper on uniformitarianism like the Mount St. Helen’s eruption on May 18, 1980. That explosion still echoes through the halls of the scientific establishment 40 years later. | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/mount-st-helens-living-laboratory-40-years/
  2. Bobby Conway interviews Natasha Crain – What’s In Your Control As A Christian Parent?: https://www.facebook.com/OneMinuteApologist/videos/543119703291763
  3. Should Christians be motivated by the fear of missing out (FOMO)? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/05/01/should-christians-be-motivated-by-the-fear-of-missing-out-fomo-3/
  4. How The Atheist-Communist Soviet Union Tried to Eliminate Religion Bishop’s Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2020/05/03/how-the-atheist-communist-soviet-union-tried-to-eliminate-religion/
  5. How to Trust God During the Coronavirus Outbreak | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/coronavirus/pandemic-provision-trust-god-during-coronavirus-outbreak/
  6. The Frustrating Fallacy of Friendship Evangelism | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-frustrating-fallacy-of-friendship-evangelism/
  7. 10 Questions Churches Should Ask Their Gen Z Members | Facts & Trends: https://factsandtrends.net/2020/02/17/10-questions-churches-should-ask-their-gen-z-members/
  8. The One Dollar Apologist Called to One, Not Millions Women in Apologetics: https://womeninapologetics.com/the-one-dollar-apologist-called-to-one-not-millions/
  9. Could the Universe be Eternal? – Jesus is Not Fake News: https://jesusisnotfakenews.com/could-the-universe-be-eternal/
  10. In Case You Missed It : An In depth Study of the New Apostolic Reformation Movement Reasoned Cases for Christ: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/in-case-you-missed-it-an-indepth-study-of-the-new-apostolic-reformation-movement/
  11. How Can We Be Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty at the Same Time? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-can-we-be-pro-life-and-pro-death-penalty-at-the-same-time/
  12. Good News: Crisis has Closed Churches, but Americans Feeling more Religious Anyway: https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/matt-philbin/2020/05/05/good-news-crisis-has-closed-churches-americans-feeling-more
  13. Our Ancestors Would Be Amazed At Our Cowardly Coronavirus Hysteria: https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/06/our-ancestors-would-be-amazed-at-our-cowardly-coronavirus-hysteria/

“Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.  O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.  Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.” – Daniel 9:15-17

Blessings to you all

AWANA meetings in the age of COVID-19

As with everything else nowadays, AWANA is likewise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our AWANA program has chosen to meet each Wednesday at the normal times via Zoom video. Surprisingly, I would estimate that at least 75% of the kids still attended once we went virtual. We start off at the intro Zoom meeting with all the clubbers together – praying, reciting the pledges, singing the AWANA song and hearing a short lesson. Our AWANA director has been very creative in trying to stay faithful to our original AWANA calendar themes that had been planned – here is the calendar for March/April:

She encouraged parents to take pictures or video of themselves and their kids doing some of these activities (such as hiking, pool or shopping) and then she made a video of the submitted activities.

Counsel time for our club (Truth & Training) is prepared by our director ahead of time and posted on YouTube. Parents are expected to have the clubbers watch the counsel time lesson before the night’s activities start. Then, after the main Zoom meeting, we break off into handbook time. I have two 4th graders who have faithfully attended each week since we’ve been meeting virtually:

Actually, I think this has worked out very well. The two clubbers I have were prepared and engaged each week and we had some great conversations. I think there was actually less distraction and “goofing around” in the virtual meeting compared to the normal handbook time.

Our small group had some great discussions about the following topics:

  1. Faith in light of the current coronavirus crisis
  2. The plausibility of Noah’s ark fitting all the animals (when discussing some verses from Genesis 6)
  3. The Trinity (while discussing the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23). Emphasis being that the Trinity is One God, revealed in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery, but it is not a contradiction.
  4. The topic of who or what you’re living your life for. Are you living your life for XBox/Fortnite or for Jesus? If it is for Jesus, does your life show that?
  5. The spiritual rebirth (being born again) and righteousness – both behavioral and “imputed” (while discussing Ephesians 2:10 and 1 Timothy 6:11). During the discussion on being born again, as I explained to them what it means to be born again. I taught them the meaning of a saying that I will never forget: “born twice, die once; born once, die twice”. They really liked that one once I explained it to them.
  6. The reality of heaven and hell while we were discussing the “path of life”. We discussed how each person has the choice where they go.

I have treasured these times and I hope they have been meaningful for these 2 clubbers as well! One of them even asked if we could continue to meet over the summer!

Praise be to God!

mid-week apologetics booster (4-16-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Impress on my mind the shortness of time, the work to be engaged in, the account to be rendered, the nearness of eternity. – Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. C. S. Lewis Advice To Students During A Pandemic Will Do Us Good: https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/09/c-s-lewis-advice-to-students-during-a-pandemic-will-do-all-our-souls-good-right-now/
  2. Placing the Cross in History – Can we know the exact date of Christs death? The Bibles firsthand accounts give us plenty of historical details that narrow down when it fell within the Roman Empires tumultuous early days. | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/jesus/crucifixion/placing-the-cross-in-history/
  3. One of the Greatest Gifts to Give Your Kids This Easter is a Sense of Hopelessness: http://christianmomthoughts.com/one-of-the-greatest-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-easter-is-a-sense-of-hopelessness/
  4. Letter to An Aspiring Christian Apologist | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/letter-to-an-aspiring-christian-apologist/
  5. How to Be a One Dollar Apologist in the Second Half of Life | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-to-be-a-one-dollar-apologist-in-the-second-half-of-life/
  6. Why I Believe in Jesus Resurrection – The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/04/11/why-i-believe-in-jesus-resurrection/
  7. Are Ghosts Real? Many people claim to have experiences with what are commonly known as ghosts. There are many TV shows and movies that encourage these ideas. The standard view is that these are the deceased spirits of real people. But is this the case? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MUxkuiz6J8&feature=emb_logo
  8. “The most influential life in history.” This is from the I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist podcast (Frank Turek): https://subspla.sh/c8t5ywz
  9. Joe Average – design of life | Living Waters: https://youtu.be/f4gkpcLitL8
  10. 4 Tips for Slaying Pornzilla. “It is impossible for a man to be freed from the habit of sin before he hates it.” – Ignatius | Living Waters: https://www.livingwaters.com/4-tips-for-slaying-pornzilla/
  11. A Look at the Cognitive Dissonance Objection THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/04/12/a-look-at-the-cognition-dissonance-objection/

The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. The truly righteous man attains life, but he who pursues evil goes to his death. Proverbs 11:18-19

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (4-9-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Allegedly, the atomic scientist Enrico Fermi was once discussing the topic of extraterrestrial life when he asked the profound question: “Where is everybody?” Since there are multiple billions of planets in our galaxy, and since in the secular view these are all accidents, it is almost inevitable that some of these had the right conditions for life to evolve, and if some of these worlds are billions of years older than ours, then at least some of them would have evolved intelligent life eons ago. The universe should therefore have countless numbers of technologically superior civilizations, any one of which could have colonized our galaxy ages ago. Yet we find no evidence of these civilizations: “Where is everybody?” This problem has become known as the “Fermi paradox.”  This paradox for evolution is a feature of creation.  The earth is designed for life. With its oceans of liquid water, a protective atmosphere containing abundant free oxygen, and a distance from the sun that is just right for life, earth was certainly designed by God to be inhabited. The other planets of the universe were not. From the sulfuric acid clouds of Venus to the frozen wasteland of Pluto, the other worlds of the solar system are beautiful and diverse, but they are not designed for life.  – Dr. Jason Lisle

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Record low number of Americans (only 6%) hold biblical worldview, recent Barna survey says: https://www.christianpost.com/news/record-low-number-of-americans-hold-biblical-worldview-survey-says.html
  2. Be Prepared to Share: 1 Peter 3:15 – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJoehrRa8Q&feature=emb_logo
  3. If God, Why the Coronavirus?: https://youtu.be/KQfmcdrnH6g
  4. Coronavirus – Tom Hanks points people toward faith in God: https://youtu.be/Jyl3wOazMqo
  5. Dr. Frank Turek interviews MD about coronavirus (03/21/20): https://subspla.sh/vsr3sbq
  6. Here’s How to Use Precious Family Time, Wisely | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/04/heres-how-to-use-precious-family-time-wisely/
  7. Puppies and Pandemics | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/puppies-and-pandemics/
  8. Racial mixing is perfectly biblical! – creation.com: https://creation.com/racial-mixing
  9. RNA Virus Genome Decay Confirms Creation | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/rna-virus-genome-decay-confirms-creation/
  10. Teaching Kids About Creation During Quarantine | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/teaching-kids-about-creation-during-quarantine/
  11. Three Positives from COVID-19 | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/three-positives-from-covid-19/
  12. RNA Virus Origins Fit Genesis Creation | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/rna-virus-origins-fit-genesis-creation/
  13. Is Jesus Christ God? Who do you say Jesus is? Take care in your answer, it’s the most important one you’ll ever give. In this message, Dr. Stanley teaches from the Gospel of John, illuminating exactly who Jesus is God Himself. What you believe about this carpenter from Nazareth not only determines your life here and now, but also in eternity. Discover how Jesus is the perfect image of God the Father.: https://www.intouch.org/watch/is-jesus-christ-god
  14. Quarantine Questionnaire: Does Christian Hypocrisy Falsify Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quarantine-questionnaire-does-christian-hypocrisy-falsify-christianity/

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:18-19,24-25a

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (4-2-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

One reason Christianity has failed to exert much influence on the major intellectual institutions of America is that too many Christians hold their beliefs in an uninformed and precarious fashion. Instead of pursuing answers to the toughest questions an unbelieving world can marshal, they attempt to preserve certainty through ignorance and isolation, relying on platitudes rather than arguments. – Douglas Groothuis

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. An Easy Way to Explain the Role of Apologetics in a Christian’s Life THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/an-easy-way-to-explain-the-role-of-apologetics-in-a-christians-life-3/
  2. Origins of pathogenic microbes: part 1 – The vast majority of microbes do not inflict damage on their hosts. They are non-pathogenic. The majority of microbes inhabiting humans are classically harmless commensals (one organism benefits, the other is not harmed or benefited). Microbes are present in large numbers in and on the human body and ensure our survival. They aid digestion and provide nutrients necessary for our well-being.: https://creation.com/origins-of-pathogenic-microbes-1
  3. Illustra Media videos on intelligent design are FREE to watch for 2 months | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/03/26/illustra-media-videos-on-intelligent-design-are-free-to-watch-for-2-months/
  4. A Trillion First Responders | To keep us safe, our body coordinates with a vast network of foreign agents that have joined our side.: https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/trillion-first-responders/
  5. Pope: Confess sins directly to God if no priests available during virus pandemic – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-confess-sins-directly-to-god-if-no-priests-available-during-virus-pandemic.html
  6. Here’s why there’s more evidence for Christianity than you might think – J. Warner Wallace : https://youtu.be/UcqeQG5l3Yk
  7. Nearly half of young adults with ties to Christianity say church can’t answer their questions: survey – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/news/nearly-half-of-young-adults-with-ties-to-christianity-say-church-cant-answer-their-questions-survey.html
  8. COVID-19s Impact on AiG and a Biblical Response by Ken Ham | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2020/03/27/covid19s-impact-on-aig-and-biblical-response-by-ken-ham/
  9. The Ultimate Proof of Creation-Dr. Jason Lisle : https://youtu.be/-j9-cyRbFcs
  10. PDF – PREPARING Your CHURCH for Coronavirus (COVID-19) A Step-by-Step, Research-Informed and Faith-Based Planning Manual: https://www.wheaton.edu/media/humanitarian-disaster-institute/Preparing-Your-Church-for-Coronavirus.pdf
  11. 5 Ways to Disciple Your Kids and Love Your Neighbor Through the Coronavirus Pandemic – Mama Bear Apologetics: https://mamabearapologetics.com/coronavirus/
  12. Can Science Explain Everything? Book Review | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/can-science-explain-everything-book-review
  13. Majority of Americans praying for an end to the coronavirus pandemic: Pew Research Center poll – Washington Times: https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/31/majority-of-americans-praying-for-an-end-to-the-co/
  14. Bart Ehrman Has a Change of Heart (no, he’s not saying Christianity is true…): https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/bart_ehrman_has_a_change_of_heart
  15. You’re Probably Doing It Wrong: Tips for Speaking to a Camera | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/youre-probably-doing-it-wrong-tips-speaking-camera
  16. NYT Ignores The Evidence To Slander Christians As Coronavirus Deniers: https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/01/new-york-times-ignores-the-evidence-to-slander-christians-as-coronavirus-deniers/
  17. What is a Christian to do with Politics?: A Look at Politics and Worldview Integration (video) – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/what-is-a-christian-to-do-with-politics-a-look-at-politics-and-worldview-integration/
  18. What Are the Most Powerful Arguments for the Existence of God? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/what-are-most-powerful-arguments-existence-god
  19. This Month’s Issue of Acts and Facts | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/aaf/index/
  20. Milking Roaches for All They’re Worth | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/creepy-crawlies/insects/milking-roaches-all-theyre-worth-unlikely-reminder-gods-provision/

I will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me. Micah 5:15

Blessings to you all

Conversation at with a homeless man (2-8-2020)

This past Saturday our church was serving the homeless as we do every 2nd Saturday of the month.  My job was working garbage and taking dishes from our clients and rinsing them in the soap water.  Then the dishwasher would come over and pick up the plates to bring them back to the kitchen and wash them.  The dishwasher was a volunteer who is also a homeless person, who revealed to me that he’d been living out of his car. I will call him “Carl”.  Carl was a great guy – very funny, energetic and a VERY hard worker – like the energizer bunny. We had been talking about various things and joking around during most of the shift. He was acting and speaking like he was Mexican – joking that people call him a “wet-back”, but there’s no water around here!  However, he later revealed to me that he is actually a Native American from one of the local reservations here. During the conversation, he said he was trying to “rile up” his people on the reservation to go protest the government, but all they want to do is sit around and drink alcohol. He said they’re lazy and not motivated.

Later during the shift, I said to him, “Carl, your people don’t need the government, they need Jesus!” He replied that his people have a different culture. I told him that this is not about culture this is about you’re going to die one day and you need Jesus because you’ll be standing before God. He brought up the problem of pain and suffering in this world. He talked about how he’s seen babies born with mangled limbs. How could there be a God it is all this bad stuff happening?  I explained that it wasn’t always like this.  In the beginning, there was no suffering, but then sin came into the world and along with it, suffering, death and disease.  One day, when this is all over, there will be no more death, suffering or pain (Revelation 21:3-7).  I also admonished him not to make excuses. I warned him that he’s going to die one day and he’s going to have to give account for his sins to a holy God.  Carl commented that went he died (made a gesture like going to sleep), he would be good enough to go to heaven. I explained that God demands perfection and that he can’t make it be just “being a good person” or “doing good works”.  I explained the gospel to him that Jesus died for his sins and that he needs to receive Jesus. He listened – he didn’t either affirm or deny. I told him that I would talk to him next month when I’m there.

Pray for “Carl” that he would contemplate his eternal destination and would receive Christ as his Lord and Savior!

mid-week apologetics booster (9-19-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1300) from Nuggets:

There’s a reason it’s okay to gas termites and not Jews. It’s because we know that people are different from other creatures in an important and wonderful way.  – Greg Koukl, The Story of Reality

To view more of these quotes, visit:

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

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. What does it mean to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16)? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/wise-serpents-harmless-doves.html
  2. Piers, When Did Jesus Say That? | The Stream: https://stream.org/piers-jesus-say/
  3. What are the consequences of sin? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/consequences-of-sin.html
  4. Thoughts from Greg and Amy on Having Meaningful Spiritual Conversations | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/thoughts-greg-and-amy-having-meaningful-spiritual-conversations
  5. 3 Reasons Why Christians Should Be Learning About Other Religions Christian Defenders: https://christiandefenders.org/3-reasons-why-christians-should-be-learning-about-other-religions/
  6. My Favorite Argument for the Existence of God: https://thinkdivinely.com/my-favorite-apologetic-argument-for-the-existence-of-god/
  7. Magnificent Motors | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/magnificent-motors/
  8. What Is the Preborn? | Human Defense: https://humandefense.com/what-is-the-preborn/
  9. Netherlands: Muslim who stabbed Jews grew more devout in the months before the assault: https://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/09/netherlands-muslim-who-stabbed-jews-grew-more-devout-in-the-months-before-the-assault
  10. Exposing the Truth About Jihad – Part 1 on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/327205953
  11. Exposing the Truth About Jihad – Part 2 on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/327532185
  12. The Muslim Brotherhood: Origin, Identity, and Agenda (2019 Edition) on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/333453389
  13. Correcting four myths about the history of the Crusades | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2019/09/11/correcting-four-myths-about-the-history-of-the-crusades-6/
  14. Johns Hopkins professor on child transgender trend: Many will regret this | The College Fix: https://www.thecollegefix.com/johns-hopkins-professor-on-child-transgender-trend-many-will-regret-this/
  15. Newly passed California resolution blames religious groups for LGBT suicides | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/newly-passed-california-resolution-blames-religious-groups-for-lgbt-suicides
  16. The LGBT endgame is to destroy Christianity | LifeSite: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-lgbt-endgame-is-to-destroy-christianity
  17. ASSURANCE, by J.C. Ryle: https://gracegems.org/Ryle/assurance.htm

He who has ears, let him hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Matthew 13:9-11

Blessings to you all

Conversation with a teacher on a plane

Today, I was on a plane trip for business and was sitting next to a person who is a teacher of Electrical Engineering at a community college and also works at a local university. Initially, there was just the normal chit chat, then she started to sleep for a while, and I started to read the book that I brought with me:

Is God Just a Human Invention?
And Seventeen Other Questions Raised By The New Atheists

It is a fantastic book – this is my second time reading it – and while she was sleeping, I made it through chapter 1 (Is Faith Irrational?) and was starting to read chapter 2 (Are Science and Christianity at Odds?), when the flight attendants came by and asked if we wanted a snack or to order any food, which woke her up and got me to stop reading.

So, after we were given our snacks, we both started to eat and then started to engage again in some conversation. There was a lot of talk about why there are not that many women in technology fields and other various topics.
Then at one point I saw an opportunity to bring up a “theological term” in the context of our conversation (which I then explained). That gave her an opening to ask me about the book I was reading. She’d noticed it and was curious what it was about. I read the title to her and she asked who the author was. So, I handed her the book, (open to the table of contents) so she could see all of the titles of the chapters. she also took note of the editors/authors, Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, from the back of the book.
After taking note of that, she asked me, “So what’s your position on these topics?” That was a good sign, that she was willing to talk about these topics! I’m guessing that she thought maybe I was a skeptic, who was investigating the truth of the Christian worldview. So I told her that I was a Christian.
What ensued over the next 1.5-2 hours was an in-depth conversation about science, religion and (specifically) Christianity. It was a great conversation – we were very respectful, calm and engaged, listening to each other as we learned about our respective worldviews.
We started this part of the conversation talking about the existence of God. I quickly found out that she is a person who, though being in a technical field herself, believes that there are many truths, and many realities. Each person can have their own truth that is meaningful to them. I also found out that she doesn’t really find the questions about God as relevant to her daily life. I suggested to her that questions of our ultimate destination are in fact meaningful to everyone on the earth. That is one issue that we will all have to face. assessing what we will experience on the other side of the door of death. She, however, feels that our behavior and how we get along as people here on earth, and well as preserving the earth are the most important things. During the conversation, I tried to explain to her, the nature of my faith – that, all humans are like jurors who are hearing both sides of a case from opposing “expert witnesses”. We have to evaluate what is said by the opposing expert witnesses and determine which case seems more reasonable. So, my faith is not a “mystical” thing – not a blind faith – but rather that I view the existence of God and the Christian view of the nature of Jesus to be the best inference from the evidence that we have available.That being said, I do have faith in Jesus, which is really a synonym for trust. This seemed to really puzzle her, and she communicated that she does not believe that there’s any evidence for the existence of God and that faith is an individual thing that is meaningful to the person. She was curious to know what I thought was evidence for the existence of God. So I talked about the universe and the fact that it had a beginning – that whatever begins to exist must have a cause. We now know from science that the universe began to exist – that is – all space time and matter came into being at the Big Bang. So, whatever was the cause of the universe had to be spaceless, timeless, and immaterial. She seemed to take issue with me saying it had to be. Additionally at this point, she brought up the question of who created God? To which I responded, since the beginning of the Big Bang was the beginning of time, the cause of the universe must be timeless, that is eternal.
She was wondering what the current scientific response to what I was saying was. I explained that the current thinking is what is called the multiverse. She was completely unfamiliar with that term. So I explained that the multiverse is a sort of universe generator, which supposedly has generated innumerable other undetectable universes, and that we just happen to be in the universe that appears to be designed for life, and thus, are here and able to observe it. Then, she was curious about my statement that the universe appears to be designed for life. So, I explained about the cosmological constants and quantities that are fine-tuned to particular values which, had they been different, would prohibit the existence of life in this universe. She seemed to understand these constants and quantities, and I didn’t have to give any further explanation on that topic. But oddly enough, she was very hesitant to agree that the Big Bang is actually the explanation for the beginning of the universe. She clarified that this is the best that scientists can come up with right now, and that future scientific discoveries could change that.
I went on and continued to explain other evidence for the existence of God, such as the argument from the design of DNA (the informational equivalent of roughly 8000 books inside every DNA molecule) and the complexity of biological life at the cellular level.
During this conversation, we talked about many other topics and she raised many other objections against Christianity and theism in general – again, this was all done in a very congenial and friendly conversational way. There was no animus in the conversation at all.
Here’s a summary of what I think she believes.
She believes that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person (or someone like him actually existed).
She believes that the Bible was written so long ago that it’s hard for her to see it as being real. I clarified that the important time Gap is the time between the events, and when they were recorded, not the time between the events and today. We also had, at this point, and discussion about how she knows about the existence of George Washington, and his doings. I was trying to get her to agree that the same way she knows about (and trust the accounts of ) George Washington, is the same way she can know about Jesus.
She completely rejects all miracle reports. In response to this, I asked her, “if there is a God who created the universe and everything in it, isn’t it reasonable to believe that the Being who created the universe and established all the laws that govern it could alter how things occur inside the universe?” She countered with an example that, if a woman gives birth to a baby, does that mean the woman can control everything that happens inside the baby? I acknowledge that that was a good point, but the human mother and the baby are of the same species. But God in the universe are completely different. So I think the analogy fails.
She finds it more difficult to believe in the existence of a Creator of the universe than she does to believe that Jesus existed. At this point, I referred back to the cosmological argument that I’d talked previously with her about. I also emphasized that, if you think about it, there must have been something that was eternal, whether that be God, or the universe itself. One of them must have been eternal. Otherwise, there would be nothing at all. I asked her to consider the point, why is there something rather than nothing? She had a problem understanding the question, then I explained it and, again, she didn’t think it was irrelevant question. she, unlike me does not think about questions of our origin, or our destination.
Even if Jesus existed, and there were eyewitnesses of him, she doesn’t think that what he is reported to have said in the Bible is necessarily what he actually said. At this point, I spoke a little bit about the fact that the Bible was written as 27 books by 9 authors, over a period of 50 years, within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. so, with that information, what you have to evaluate is the reliability of these eyewitnesses. much in the same way that our criminal justice system evaluates eyewitnesses. Were they there and available to observe the event? Do they have any reason to lie?Is there corroboration from other sources? We also talked a little bit about the nature of eyewitness testimony and that diverging details are to be expected in authentic eyewitness testimony. In the case of the eyewitnesses that wrote down the historical accounts of Jesus, they were willing to go to their deaths proclaiming an account that they knew whether it was true or false.
She stated that the people who wrote it down wrote it down long after he lived.She also stated that these people couldn’t even write. In response to these assertions I explained that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is not even mentioned in the New Testament.So, that is evidence that the writing was before 70 AD oh, well the other eyewitnesses we’re still alive. also I mentioned to her that the apostle Paul, who wrote one half of the New Testament books was a scholar, so yes, he could write.
She talked about wars in the name of religion, and she talked about people who are “true believers” who do horrible things. I readily agreed with her on this point, that there are those who, throughout the history of Christianity, have done horrible things in the name of Christ. That grieves me as well.
She contrasted the behavior of atheists, with that of Christians, and suggested that sometimes, the atheists actually behave better because of the way that they were brought up. In response to this point I talked about how there is no one perfect, and that according to the Christian worldview, everyone has sinned.we are all guilty before God. She admitted to not really understanding what sin was. I explained that anything less than perfection was sin. I asked her if she had ever told a lie? She said yes but only in a moral dilemma where it was better to lie than to tell the truth so as not to hurt someone. I asked her about stealing and lust. She would not admit to doing anything wrong (wow). But yet, when she agreed that no one was perfect, I explained that God’s standard is perfection, so in this sense, everyone is guilty before God. And I went on to emphasize, that wouldn’t this be a wonderful world if everyone did follow those rules listed out in the ten commandments, that they would love their neighbors theirselves, that they would respect and honor their parents, that they would not lie, steal, commit adultery and she agreed that this would be a utopia if that were the case.

She believes that the term Christian can mean whatever the person feels it too mean. She personally believes that Christian is more of a disposition, or a way of behaving. That we say that when someone is kind to another or charitable, they are acting “Christian”. I asked her, since she’s also an anthropologist, whether she knew what the origin of the term Christian was. Oddly, she thought that didn’t matter. I told her that Christian means follower of Christ, or little Christ. I also asked her at this point what she thought that Jesus would think about this issue. What would he consider a Christian?of course, since she doesn’t think that we have the actual words that Jesus spoke, she claimed to have no idea what Jesus would think about this.

We talked a little bit about evolution. She said she didn’t know whether I believed in evolution. I asked her, “what do you mean by evolution? If you mean change over time, I certainly believe it, it is undeniable. However, if you mean that all life forms on earth today descended from a single cell organism in the distant past, I don’t think that the fossil evidence supports that assertion.”. I went on to explain that in Darwin’s day, there was limited knowledge of the fossil record, but now over a hundred and fifty years later, we have explored much more of it, and are still unable to find the evolutionary precursors of many of the existing life-forms today. At this point, I also mentioned the Cambrian explosion. She was unfamiliar with it. I talked about how over 20 of the current phyla of animals came into existence in a “geological instant” – with no precursors found in the fossil record. This fossil evidence demands an explanation. She didn’t have an answer for this topic. However, she said that she thought Christians in the 19th century were against evolution, not based on scientific evidence, but rather, because it conflicted with their view of the world. She also mentioned that there are Christians who evidently believed that the universe is only 4,000 years old. So we continued on this topic and I explained to her the controversy between old earth creationists and young earth creationists. she was surprised to learn that there are in fact old earth creationists who accept the scientific dating of the universe and of the earth, yet still believe that God was the creator of the universe.I explained to her the different meanings of the Hebrew word for day and how there are many Christians who interpret “day” to mean “age” or “epoch”, not a normal 24 hour period. I also explained to her the young earth creationists contend that there are assumptions built into the scientific dating methods and therefore they are unreliable, and have shown at times to be unreliable when samples of known age are submitted to laboratories for testing and I received back with much longer ages than known age. At this point, I also talked a little bit about the historical situation in the 16th century with Galileo. How at that time there were the “fixed earthers” who believed that the sun rotates around the earth and who believe that the earth must be stationary, because the Bible says that it is fixed in space and rests on pillars. Then there were those (including Galileo) who believed that the earth rotated around the sun. Nowadays, hardly anyone, Christian or secular, believes that the earth is fixed in space. We unanimously believe the evidence which suggests that the earth rotates around the sun. It is non-controversial. I think that one day we may get there on the age of the universe, where all Christians come to accept the scientific consensus without controversy. We also talked about the problem of distant starlight. I told her that I typically try to stay out of those controversies about the age of the earth and the age of the universe. Normally I remain engaged on the topics of the existence of God, the design life, and the resurrection of Jesus.

So, all of this dialog occurred in a very respectful way, and was interspersed in our conversation. She didn’t bring up all these objections at once. During the course of the conversation, I tried to answer most of her objections. We spoke for a long, long time, so there was a lot of back-and-forth conversation. I wouldn’t even call it a debate.
I wish I’d had a tape recorder running, because I would’ve loved to be able to go back and hear all the things that she brought up and how I’d responded to them.I certainly did not list them all here. Overall, it was a very good conversation and we ended the conversation on a positive tone. It sounded like much of what I was telling her in response to her objections she had never heard before.
So, I think it was a successful encounter. Earlier in the day, I’d been praying to God for the opportunity to talk to someone on the flight. Then as all the passengers were boarding the plane, and I was already seated, while they were walking down the aisle, I was praying that God would be preparing someone to sit next to me who’d be ready to hear what I would have to say. I feel that He did answer that prayer! I will be praying for her, that maybe I put a stone in her shoe, and gave her something to think about, something to annoy her (in a good way). I didn’t share the gospel in a classic sense, but I did talk about God, Jesus, sin, heaven, hell, and faith, so we covered just about all the basics.
Thank you Lord for blessing me with this great opportunity. May you make it fruitful. In Jesus’ holy and precious name I pray, Amen.

Conversation while serving the homeless

Yesterday was our church’s once a month time of serving the homeless. There were 2 groups serving there yesterday – our church group of 5 people and a group of volunteers from a large company who has an office in our city. After our set-up time cutting vegetables, the leaders gave us our assignments. I was assigned to trash duty along with another young gentleman – let’s call his name Eric. Eric was the boyfriend of a woman who was from the company we were serving with.

Eric and I hit it off right from the beginning. He is in IT and is also a software developer like myself. Most of our conversation centered around technical topics, such as agile development, Angular, the MEAN stack, etc. It was really fun.

Eric has only been out of college about a year. He went to our local university and received a degree in Computer Science. While Eric and I were working garbage, one of the women (not Eric’s girlfriend) who was the volunteer coordinator for the company serving with us came over and talked to us at the trash station. Let’s call her Joan. We were talking about serving the homeless and I mentioned that the Bible says:

… “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.” -Luke 3:11

Joan replied “Amen!” At that point, I guessed she was a Christian, so I asked her if she was. She said yes. I asked her what church she goes to and she told me that she attends a church in our area (a large mega-church that I’m familiar with). Joan went on to recount her testimony of her life “pre-Christ” and how her life is totally changed after she found Christ. I also recounted some details about my conversion to Christ and the dramatic changes that ensued. It really was a blessing to meet another Christian there… This whole time, Eric was present in the conversation and listening, but not really saying anything. So, I asked him, “So, Eric, are you a Christian?” He replied, “No…”. I asked, “Why not?” He said, “It’s just not really my thing.” I asked, “Have you ever been to church or had any history with Christianity?” He said that he’d gone to church some times as a child, but not for many years. So I left it at that and Joan left us and went throughout the dining room visiting with other volunteers.

Eric and I continued to handle the garbage, talking while we worked about our jobs, our hobbies, our plans for the weekend, interesting new consumer electronics devices and anything else that came up. I really enjoyed my time with Eric. As we were getting toward the end of our time serving together, I wanted to get back to that conversation about God. So, I asked him, “Eric, I know you said you’re not a Christian, but do you think that there is an afterlife at all?” He replied, “No…” So, I probed further, “What do you think happens when you die?” He said, “Nothing… It’s just lights out – that’s the end of you.” I said “Really?” He said, “Yeah, I know it sucks, but that’s just the way it is…” Then I asked him, “How did you come to the conclusion – that there is no life after death? What makes you think that is true?” He really didn’t have an answer here. I think he said “I don’t know – that’s just what I believe…” So, I said, “Well, I used to think the same things too. I was very skeptical at one point (reading plenty of Neitche, Freud and science writers), until I was challenged to look into these things. When I did, I realized that I had not developed my views with an open mind – that I was only looking at one side of the argument. I’ve come to find out that there is good evidence for the existence of God. For example, the existence of the universe.” I asked him, “What do you think caused the universe?” He replied, “Uh… I guess, the Big Bang?” I clarified, “Well, that describes what happened at the beginning of the universe, but it is not saying anything about what or Who caused the Big Bang. Whatever begins to exist must have a cause, and science tells us that the universe began to exist.” He didn’t have anything to reply to this, and our conversation was kind of coming to a standstill. So, I just encouraged him to have an open mind and to follow the evidence to see if God exists. I said that I, probably like him, being in I.T., am a logically minded person and a naturally skeptical kind of guy -I don’t believe things without evidence. I would not believe God exists and Christianity is true if there were no evidence for it. That being said, I’m not saying the evidence is absolutely conclusive, but that you need to look at all the evidence and try to determine what is the most likely cause for the universe and the existence of life. I encouraged him to read one of 2 books which give pretty good evidence for the truth of Christianity:

  1. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – I whipped out my phone kindle app and showed him what the cover of the book looks like. I also told him that it comes on Audible too
  2. Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists – I told him that this book had helped answer the questions of another person his age.

He took note as I showed him the book and described the 4 main topics I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist talks about:

  1. Does Truth Exist?
  2. Does God Exist?
  3. Are Miracles Possible?
  4. Is the New Testament historically accurate?

He seemed interested in the content of the I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist book and said that he has always made decisions in his life on the basis of evidence, so he would be willing to explore the evidence as I encouraged him to do. This was the end of our conversation about this topic.

At the end our time there, I met his girlfriend and I told Eric that I really enjoyed our time here and we both hoped we’d see each other in the future. Since we’re both in the same line of work, I asked him if we could link up on LinkedIn and we did.

I pray that somehow the words I said to Eric would “put a stone in his shoe”, annoying him in a good way. That he would consider someone like me, who, in the past, was very much like he is now, and yet, believes Christianity is true, beyond any reasonable doubt. That he may come to believe, as the Apostle John stated in his Gospel:

… that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:31

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)!

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!

mid-week apologetics booster (6-28-2018)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. An Atheist Explains the True Reason Religion Terrifies Him | Intellectual Takeout: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/atheist-explains-true-reason-religion-terrifies-him
  2. Ten Steps to Becoming an Effective Tent-Making Christian: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/ten-steps-to-becoming-an-effective-tent-making-christian-case-maker/
  3. 5 Reasons Why It’s Unreasonable to Ask Who Created God: http://www.cltruth.com/2017/who-created-god-reasons-why-its-unreasonable/
  4. Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts – The New York Times: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/why-our-children-dont-think-there-are-moral-facts/
  5. The Cambrian Explosion Mystery Deepens: http://www.icr.org/article/cambrian-explosion-deepens/
  6. Afraid to Die? You’re Probably Not a Christian: https://www.christianpost.com/voice/afraid-to-die-youre-probably-not-a-christian.html
  7. Do quantum fluctuations show that something can come from nothing?: http://www.shenvi.org/Essays/QuantumFluctuations.htm
  8. A Parent’s Guide to the 5 Skeptics Who Want to Shame Your Kids for Being Christian | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/parents-guide-5-skeptics-who-want-shame-your-kids-being-christian
  9. Apologetics: An Alternative for the Next Generation | The Stream: https://stream.org/apologetics-alternative-next-generation/
  10. 8 Proverbs for Apologists When Talking with Unbelievers – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/8-proverbs-apologists-talking-unbelievers/
  11. 5 Tips For Beginner Apologists | Hope’s Reason: http://www.stephenjbedard.com/2015/06/18/5-tips-for-beginner-apologists/
  12. 6 Questions College Students Must Be Ready to Answer: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/6-questions-college-students-ready-answer/
  13. 40 Trillion Reasons Evolution Is Dead iApologia: http://iapologia.com/40-trillion-reasons-evolution-is-dead/

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/27/2018

Tactics Book – Chapters 5-6

Today in my Apologetics Class, we covered chapters 5 and 6 from the excellent book Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions.  Again this week, we both listened to the Tactics audio book (from Audible) and I displayed the Kindle book on the screen using read.amazon.com.  Below is the note-taking form I handed out to the class so they could follow along and fill in the blanks:

Tactics Book Part 2: Chapters 5-6 (5/27/2018)

Chapter 5 (1:59:55 – 2:32) Using Columbo to Lead the Way

  1. We ask leading questions, which take the other person in the direction we want to go
  2. With each leading question, you accomplish 2 things. Every time you ask a question and get a favorable response, the person is telling you:
    1. He u________________ the point you’re making
    2. He a___________ with the point you’re making, at least provisionally
  3. We want to win someone to our point of view – not force our opinions, but rather p__________
  4. Your leading questions will be used to:
    1. I___________ – to indirectly explain your own ideas
    2. P___________ – to indirectly advance your own ideas
    3. S_____ up the t___________ – Set up the “terms of the conversation” to put you in a more beneficial position for your next move.
    4. R____________ – Defeat what you think is a bad argument or a flawed point of view
  5. “The Q_____________” – you will eventually be asked this question (in some form): “You’re saying that people who don’t believe just like you are going to Hell?
  6. You have to know w______ Jesus is the only way before it is helpful to tell people that he is the only way.
  7. The Jewish attorney who didn’t understand why he needed Jesus. Greg asked 2 questions:
    1. Do you think people who commit m________ c__________ ought to be punished?
    2. Have you ever committed any moral crimes?
    3. That puts us in a tight spot, doesn’t it? Do you know what I call that? Bad news!
    4. This is where Jesus come in. We both know we’re guilty, that’s the problem.  So God offers a solution: a p___________, free of charge.  But c______________ is on His terms, not ours.  Jesus is God’s means of pardon.  He personally paid the penalty in our place.  He took the rap for our crimes.  No one else did that.  Only Jesus.  Now we have a choice to make.  Either we take the pardon and go f__________, or we turn it down and p__________ for our crimes ourselves.
  8. “Tell them something they know” – these are the most powerful and persuasive questions.
  9. Shannon, an American college student living in Europe, although she’d been raised in a Christian home and had a strong relationship with the Lord, was perplexed by the idea that others were l___________ apart from trust in C_____________. Greg used questions to remind her of what she already knew and to “connect the dots” for her.
  10. If religion, or sincerity, or ‘doing our best’ cannot save you and me, then how can any of those things save someone else? Either Jesus rescues us by taking the p______________ for our sin on Himself, or we are not saved and we have to pay for our own crimes.  It’s no more complicated than that.
  11. The “P__________-A______________ T_____________ Trick” – when someone asks for your personal views about a controversial issue, preface your remarks with a question that sets the stage – in your favor – for your response. Say, “You know, this is actually a very personal question you’re asking.  I don’t mind answering, but before I do, I want to know if it’s safe to offer my views.  So let me ask you a question: Do you consider yourself a tolerant person or an intolerant person on issues like this?  Is it safe to give my opinion, or are you going to judge me for my point of view?  Do you respect diverse points of view, or do you condemn others for convictions that differ from your own?”  Now when you give your point of view, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to call you intolerant or judgmental without looking guilty too.
  12. Everyone thinks his own beliefs are c_____________. If people didn’t think their beliefs were true, they wouldn’t believe them.  They’d believe something else and think that was true.
  13. If you’re labeled intolerant…”Why is it when I think I’m right, I’m intolerant, but when you think you’re right, you’re just right? What am I missing?”
  14. Example of a student / professor conversation in “Icons of Evolution”:
    1. Teacher: Okay, let’s start today’s lesson with a quick review. Yesterday I talked about homology [how different organisms show remarkable similarity in the structure of some of their body parts]. H__________________ features, such as the vertebrate limbs shown in your textbook, provide us with some of our best evidence that living things have evolved from common ancestors.
    2. Student (raising hand): I know you went over this yesterday, but I’m still confused. How do we know whether features are homologous?
    3. Teacher: Well, if you look at vertebrate limbs, you can see that even though they’re adapted to perform different functions, their bone patterns are structurally similar.
    4. Student: But you told us yesterday that even though an o_______________ eye is structurally similar to a human eye, the two are not homologous.
    5. Teacher: That’s correct. Octopus and human eyes are not homologous because their common ancestor did not have such an eye.
    6. Student: So regardless of similarity, features are not homologous unless they are inherited from a common a_________________?
    7. Teacher: Yes, now you’re catching on.
    8. Student (looking puzzled): Well, actually, I’m still confused. You say homologous features provide some of our best evidence for common ancestry. But before we can tell whether features are homologous, we have to know whether they came from a common ancestor.
    9. Teacher: That’s right.
    10. Student (scratching head): I must be missing something. It sounds as though you’re saying that we know features are derived from a common ancestor because they’re derived from a common ancestor. Isn’t that c______________ r_______________?
  15. When professor says “science has proven that miracles don’t happen”, you could ask “Professor, would you please explain to me exactly how the methods of science have disproved the possibility of s_______________ e_______________?”
  16. Pay close attention to the answer to the question, “How did you come to that conclusion?” then, ask yourself if the person’s conclusion is j_______________ by the evidence he gives.
  17. You can use the leading questions to:
    1. C_____________ a point
    2. C_____________ new information
    3. Expose a w________________
  18. Remember, as an ambassador for Christ, you don’t have to hit a h________ r_______ in every conversation. You don’t even have to get on base…sometimes just getting up to bat will do.
  19. Point out weaknesses in a view, but don’t be pushy, condescending, or smug (offensive).
  20. Soften or cushion your approach by using “H_________ you c_________________” to preface your question.

Chapter 6: Perfecting Columbo (2:32:01-3:02:02)

  1. In any encounter, there are 2 different times when the pressure is off (and these are perfect times to focus on improving your technique):
    1. Before the conversation begins
    2. After it’s over
  2. There are 3 specific things you can do to ready yourself to respond:
    1. You can a_____________ beforehand what might come up
    2. You can r_____________ afterward what took place
    3. You can p____________ the r_______________ you think of during these reflective moments so you will be prepared for the next opportunity.
  3. After each encounter you have, immediately reflect on how you could’ve done better.
  4. 3 Skills of an Ambassador:
    1. K__________________ – an accurately informed mind
    2. W_________________ – an artful method
    3. C__________________ – an attractive manner
  5. When you’re alone in the car, you can listen to talk radio (or a debate) and then pause it or turn down the volume and try to respond to the challenger yourself. This places you in an actual dialogue in a way that is completely safe.
  6. Even people who don’t usually like taking tests don’t mind them at all when they know the answers to the questions.
  7. There are 2 things that will help generate the c_________________ you’ll need to face a challenging situation:
    1. P_______________ – being prepared will give you confidence
    2. A______________ – eventually, you must actually engage. Interacting with others face-to-face is the most effective way to improve your abilities as an ambassador.
  8. Objection: “I just don’t believe any unwanted children should be allowed to come into the world”. Answer: Not wanting to bring unwanted children into the world may be a legitimate reason for birth control, but it has nothing to do with abortion. When a woman is pregnant, the child is a__________ “in the w___________”, so to speak.  The human being already exists; he or she is just hidden from view inside the mother’s womb. This woman’s response assumed that before making the journey down the birth canal, the baby simply does not exist.
  9. Objection: “People t________ the B__________ all the time to make it say whatever they want”. Answer: People do twist Bible verses all the time.  It is one of my own chief complaints.  The student’s point wasn’t really that some people twist the Bible.  His complaint was that I was twisting the Bible.  Yet he hadn’t demonstrated this.
  10. Once you see how unprepared people are to answer for their own views, you’ll be tempted to use your tactics like a c___________. Don’t give in to that urge.  As a general rule, go out of your way to establish common ground.  Whenever possible, affirm points of agreement.
  11. When someone uses the Columbo Tactic against you:
    1. You have no obligation to cooperate with anyone trying to set you up with leading questions. Simply refuse to answer them, but do so in a cordial way.
    2. “My sense is that you want to explain your point by using questions … I’d rather you just state your view directly”
  12. When a question is not a question: What gives you the right to say someone else’s religion is wrong? This is not really a question – there’s no curiosity at all.  It is a statement disguised as a question.  Response: your question is confusing… Do you really want to talk about rights?  Do you really want to know what my credentials are or what authority I have to speak on these things?
  13. The most important thing to remember about these questions is that behind them lurk strong opinions that are open to challenge if they can be flushed into the open.
  14. 2 Approaches of Columbo:
    1. B__________________ approach (like Lieutenant Columbo) – meant to p_____________, win the person.
    2. C__________________, aggressive (like a lawyer) – meant to r__________________, target is the audience.
  15. Sheepish in Seattle:
    1. Statement: Some religion beliefs seem foolish. Objection: That’s oppressive, not letting people believe what they want to believe!
    2. Response: Do you think I’m wrong then? … If you don’t think I’m wrong, then why are you correcting me?  And if you do think I’m wrong, then why were you oppressing me?
    3. Objection: All religions are basically the same. Response: Really?  In what way? Then, consider this: Either Jesus is Messiah or He isn’t, right? If He isn’t Messiah, then the Christians are wrong and the Jews are right.  If He is Messiah, then the Jews are wrong and the Christians are right. …  Under no circumstances can they both be basically the same, can they?
    4. Objection: No one can ever know the truth about religion. Response: Why would you believe a thing like that?
    5. Objection: The Bible has been changed and translated so many times over the centuries you can’t trust it. Response: Even if the Bible vanished from the face of the Earth, knowledge of God could still be possible, at least in principle…How do you know the Bible’s been changed?  Have you actually studied the transmission of the ancient docs?

Discussion Questions

  1. There are 2 “modes” of Columbo, (1) to persuade and (2) to refute. What is the benefit of each approach?  What situations might you use each one?
  2. What is the “Passive-Aggressive Tolerance Trick”? How does this help us in this modern, tolerant and politically correct environment?
  3. What are 3 uses of asking leading questions?
  4. How can you defend yourself when Columbo is used against you?

 

Annihilationism

I found a YouTube video on a critique of William Lane Craig’s (WLC) response to a question about hell.  The speaker is Glenn Peoples.  Here is the video:

 

I am not an annihilationist and I do have interest in WLC, so I watched the video and took some notes on the views presented therein.

The speaker misquotes a verse reference early on:

I think he meant to put 2 Thessalonians 1:9.  Even so, I can’t find any translation with exactly that wording shown.  As the speaker correctly mentions in the video, all of them that I can find mention destruction, not exclusion.  But the destruction is “away from the presence of the Lord”, so I would ask how someone could be annihilated (put out of existence), but still be located “away” from anything.  The speaker says

what they’re actually recalling is simply their own understanding of the doctrine of hell – and not a passage of Scripture at all.

I would definitely take issue with that. The 2 Thessalonians 1:9 talks about “punishment” and of course Jesus talks about conscious punishment (Matt. 25:46).

Since the guy made a point about the 2 Thessalonians 1 passage, I looked up the Greek on it.  Here is the interlinear page for 2 Thessalonians 1:9 in the most literal English translation (NASB):

https://www.biblestudytools.com/interlinear-bible/passage/?q=2+thessalonians+1:9&t=nas

Notice that the word ‘away’ is in the Greek (he seemed to suggest that it is not in the original language). Here is the information about this word in the Greek:

The definition of away (Apo) seems to allow for physical separation of one thing from another.  Additionally, I don’t think that the language of destruction in this verse must be understood as annihilation as he was suggesting.  Again, if you look at the Greek word for destruction (Olethros), it can also mean ruin.  Like some kids who have the annoying habit of “destroying” pumpkins on Halloween by smashing them on the streets – unfortunately they don’t cease to exist, but rather litter our streets and are no longer fulfilling the purpose they were made for.

The speaker says (4:49) “The reality, is that Scripture nowhere speaks about hell or Divine judgment as something that locks them up somewhere to be miserable with their bad self”.  Here is the graphic he presents:

It is interesting that he doesn’t mention Revelation at all in here.  For example Revelation 14:9-13 (NASB).  The first part of this passage talks about the people who worship the beast, his image and receive the mark of his name.  These will be tormented and have no rest day and night…  The second part talks about the believers:

Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger ; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever ; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘ Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ ” “Yes ,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

Now, we can try to understand if this passage covers all people (all believers and all unbelievers), or whether those who worship the beast are in some special class of unbelievers, but it seems clear from the above that there is in fact a place of eternal torment for someone…

He also conveniently skips Matt. 25:46, where hell is referred to as eternal punishment and heaven as eternal life – both using the same Greek word for ‘eternal’ (Aionios) in the same verse.

I think he made a decent point about WLC’s argument, where, if we understand hell as a person being left with their “bad selves”, then it doesn’t follow that Jesus “stood in our place” for that specific definition of hell.  However, he neglects to mention that if we understand hell in the sense of Matt. 25:46 or Revelation 14:9-11, then Jesus was punished in our place and took the wrath of God upon Himself, which would’ve been ours to endure.

I will admit that some passages he cites seem to suggest “annihilation” (e.g. Heb. 10:27), however, Jesus warned people about going to hell (e.g. Luke 12:4-5, Matt. 18:8-9, Matt. 25:46).  And if we’re going to warn people about going to hell, like Jesus did, we shouldn’t warn them about the “lesser” version of hell (annihilation), but rather of the more severe/scary version of hell (eternal conscious punishment).  I would hate for a person I’ve witnessed to to walk away thinking that if I don’t go to heaven, I’ll just be annihilated out of existence.  That doesn’t sound too bad… Then after death, they find out that they’re being cast into hell where the worm doesn’t die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:47-48). And they wonder, why didn’t he tell me that this was my fate if I didn’t accept the free pardon of Jesus?  I would’ve made a different decision!

If you’re a believer in the doctrine of annihilationism, I’m probably not going to convince you of my view, though hopefully you’ll acknowledge the validity of some points.  Likewise, you’ll probably not convince me of your view, having read many writings about annihilationism and viewed this video, but again, I acknowledge that when the Bible talks about hell, it is not unanimously clear that it will involve eternal conscious punishment (ECP).  As I stated above, if I’m going to communicate with a non-believer on this topic, I would like to communicate the worst case scenario to them (ECP), rather than softening the blow to annihilationism.  If I’m wrong and they get annihilated out of existence after death, they won’t even exist to be able to reflect on the fact that misled them by overstating the consequences for rejecting Christ.  However, if I’m right that hell is ECP, then they’ll be conscious and will know that I warned them in a truthful way.

Hopefully, I’ve handled this in a fair manner, not overstating my case and communicating that my claims are provisional in nature.

mid-week apologetics booster (9-21-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Even Caesar Confirmed the Resurrection | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/archaeology/even-caesar-confirmed-resurrection/
  2. Dr. Michael G Strauss: Facts vs Faith: http://www.michaelgstrauss.com/2017/09/facts-vs-faith.html
  3. Good Arguments Aren’t Enough in Defending the Faith | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/01/good-arguments-arent-enough-in.html
  4. Six Scary But Important Words Every Christian Parent Should Say to Their Kids About Faith: http://christianmomthoughts.com/six-scary-but-important-words-every-christian-parent-should-say-to-their-kids-about-faith/
  5. Matt Walsh: Dear churches, you’re killing yourselves and this is how The Blaze: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/matt-walsh-dear-churches-youre-killing-yourselves-and-this-is-how/
  6. The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: Five Questions Every Worldview MUST Answer Coherently and Cohesively: http://roblundberg.blogspot.com/2017/09/five-questions-every-worldview-must.html
  7. What is Unitarianism? | Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: https://carm.org/what-unitarianism
  8. How to Talk to Jehovah’s Witnesses About Jesus | Desiring God: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/in-the-beginning-was-the-word/excerpts/how-to-talk-to-jehovah-s-witnesses-about-jesus
  9. Nabeel Qureshi (1983-2017) | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2017/09/16/nabeel-qureshi-1983-2017/
  10. Nabeel Qureshi (1983-2017) | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/nabeel-qureshi-1983-2017/
  11. Nabeel Qureshi Dies at Age 34 | CBN News: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/september/nabeel-qureshi-dies-at-34
  12. Ravi Zacharias: Why Nabeel Qureshi resonated with so many before his death at 34 – The Washington Post – So hard to believe that Nabeel is acknowledged even in this liberal newspaper: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/17/why-this-muslim-turned-christian-speaker-resonated-with-so-many-before-his-death-at-34/
  13. Nabeel Qureshi, Servant of Jesus Christ, 1983-2017 | The Stream: https://stream.org/nabeel-qureshi-servant-of-christ-1983-2017/
  14. Why Didn’t God Heal Nabeel Qureshi? | The Stream: https://stream.org/why-didnt-god-heal-nabeel-qureshi/
  15. Why Didn’t God Heal Nabeel Qureshi? Good (and brutally honest) article. There are a lot of comments at the end as well that are worth reading.: http://christianmomthoughts.com/why-didnt-god-heal-nabeel-qureshi/
  16. Did Jesus Claim to be God? | Ask Dr. Brown: https://askdrbrown.org/library/did-jesus-claim-be-god
  17. 8 Proverbs for Apologists When Talking with Unbelievers – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/8-proverbs-apologists-talking-unbelievers/
  18. Faithful Thinkers- Defending God’s Existence and Compatibility of Science with God and the Bible: Book Review: Forensic Faith: http://lukenixblog.blogspot.com/2017/08/book-review-forensic-faith.html
  19. Turning On Your Brain: 10 Christian Apologetics Quotes: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2012/12/turning-on-your-brain-10-christian-apologetics-quotes.html
  20. Opabinia – the strangest animal of the Cambrian: http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2610-opabinia-the-strangest-animal-of-the-cambrian
  21. A List Of Extra-Biblical Sources For The Historical Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/a-list-of-extra-biblical-sources-for-the-historical-jesus/
  22. Sorry to Tell You, But Jesus is Not Returning on September 23 | The Stream: https://stream.org/sorry-tell-jesus-not-returning-september-23/
  23. Are People Born Gay? The Biological and Genetic Basis for Homosexuality: http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/homosexuals_born_gay.html
  24. A Carbon Tax Won’t Stop Hurricanes | The Stream: https://stream.org/carbon-tax-wont-stop-hurricanes/
  25. Questions from a Muslim about the Trinity | Reasonable Faith: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/questions-from-a-muslim-about-the-trinity

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ ” The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (7-20-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Seven Costs to Being an Evangelistic Leader in Your Church: http://thomrainer.com/2017/07/seven-costs-evangelistic-leader-church/
  2. Christian Worldview and The View: http://www.breakpoint.org/2017/07/breakpoint-christian-worldview-and-the-view/
  3. Please Don’t Tell Your Kids to Believe in God Just in Case He Exists: http://crossexamined.org/please-dont-tell-your-kids-to-believe-in-god-just-in-case-he-exists/
  4. How a 29-Year-Old G. K. Chesterton Flipped 4 Arguments Against Christianity Upside-Down | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2016/01/21/how-a-29-year-old-g-k-chesterton-flipped-4-arguments-against-christianity-upside-down/
  5. Is There One Point of Evidence That Proves the Existence of God? (Video) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-there-one-point-of-evidence-that-proves-the-existence-of-god-video/
  6. 5 Ways to Love God with Your Mind Discover: https://cccdiscover.com/5-ways-to-love-god-with-your-mind/
  7. Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? Tim Barnett: http://subsplash.com/standtoreason/v/mzeycxu
  8. Prohibition – Can You Make People Be Good? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYfPxqrl988&feature=youtu.be
  9. What About Those That Have Not Heard, Part 1 – Listen to JP Jones from Truth That Changes Lives: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/truth-that-changes-lives/listen/what-about-those-that-have-not-heard-part-1-515491.html
  10. What Are the Differences Between Judaism and Christianity? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/what-are-differences-between-judaism-and-christianity/
  11. Surtsey Still Surprises – Formed by a volcanic eruption in 1963, the Island of Surtsey, near Iceland, has intrigued scientists because it looks like landscapes most think are much older.: http://creation.com/creation-videos?fileID=olcVAb_oNWg
  12. Surtsey, the young island that looks old – creation.com: http://creation.com/surtsey-the-young-island-that-looks-old
  13. World Famous Atheist Illusionist, Andre Kole, Tried to Debunk Jesus & Converted Instead | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/world-famous-atheist-illusionist-andre-kole-tried-to-debunk-jesus-converted-instead/
  14. Biblical Inerrancy: What It Means To Say Scripture Is : http://reasonsforjesus.com/biblical-inerrancy-what-it-means-to-say-scripture-is-inerrant/
  15. Christian Leaders, Please Speak the Truth About Homosexuality Plainly and With Love | The Stream: https://stream.org/christian-leaders-please-speak-truth-homosexuality-plainly-love/
  16. The Real Issue Podcast Why Christian Students Fall Away from Their Faith and What We Can Do to Help Them – The Real Issue Podcast | podcast garden: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/the-real-issue-podcast-why-christian-students-fall-away-from-their-faith-and-what-we-can-do-to-help-them_109569
  17. The Freethinking Argument | The Apologers: https://apologers.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/the-freethinking-argument/
  18. Tree fruit and the relevance of Genesis creation – creation.com: http://creation.com/tree-fruit-and-the-relevance-of-genesis-creation
  19. The Agonizing Ordeal of Eugene Peterson – You Might Be Next – AlbertMohler.com: http://www.albertmohler.com/2017/07/17/eugene-peterson/

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth –to every nation, tribe, language and people. Revelation 14:6

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (5-25-2017)

Good morning friends,

Here are your weekly links:

  1. Teaching Series on Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM – This page has 6 embedded youtube videos: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/teaching-series-on-why-the-resurrection-of-jesus-matters/
  2. Apologetic Engagement-Fish or Cut Bait – Southern by His Grace: http://southernbyhisgrace.com/apologetic-engagement/
  3. Are Objective Moral Truths Merely a Matter of Cultural Agreement? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/are-objective-moral-truths-merely-a-matter-of-cultural-agreement/
  4. Defending the Age of Accountability | SOTERIOLOGY 101: https://soteriology101.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/defending-the-age-of-accountability/
  5. What Happens to Our Pets When They Die?: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-happens-to-pets-when-they-die
  6. ACLU and Planned Parenthood Fighting for Teens to Get Secret Abortions Without Their Parents Knowing | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/18/aclu-and-planned-parenthood-fighting-for-teens-to-get-secret-abortions-without-their-parents-knowing/
  7. Atheist Astrophysicist Explains Her Journey To Jesus | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/atheist-astrophysicist-explains-her-journey-to-jesus/
  8. Modalism | carm: https://carm.org/modalism
  9. Creation Clips – CMI Mobile: http://creation.mobi/creation-videos?fileID=YddmGJofbL0
  10. Leading Millennials? Core Issues You Need to Know | ChurchLeaders.com: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/303966-leading-millennials-core-issues-need-know.html
  11. Six Enemies of Apologetic Engagement – bethinking.org: https://www.bethinking.org/apologetics/six-enemies-of-apologetic-engagement
  12. Are Christians Intolerant Haters? The Charges are Not New – Michael J. Kruger: http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/michael-j-kruger/are-christians-intolerant-haters-the-charges-are-not-new.html
  13. Four Iowa Planned Parenthood Locations Closing After State Cuts Funding to Abortion Facilities | Christian News Network: http://christiannews.net/2017/05/22/four-iowa-planned-parenthood-locations-closing-after-state-cuts-funding-to-abortion-facilities/
  14. Case-Making 101: How does the Bible compare to other ancient documents? Truth, Faith and Reason: http://truthfaithandreason.com/case-making-101-how-does-the-bible-compare-to-other-ancient-documents/
  15. Who Has the Burden of Proof When Discussing God? | Strange Notions: http://strangenotions.com/who-has-the-burden-of-proof-when-discussing-god/
  16. Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: True for You, but Not For Me? by Brett Kunkle: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2017/05/video-true-for-you-but-not-for-me-by.html
  17. Pro-Abortion Students at Catholic Notre Dame Walk Out of Pro-Life VP Mike Pences Commence Speech | LifeNews.com: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/05/22/pro-abortion-students-at-catholic-notre-dame-walk-out-of-pro-life-vp-mike-pences-commence-speech/
  18. Is Right and Wrong Simply a Matter of Human Flourishing? | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/is-right-and-wrong-simply-a-matter-of-human-flourishing/
  19. Four Things We Wont Need in Heaven (But Ought to Pursue Here on Earth) | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/four-things-we-wont-need-in-heaven-but-ought-to-pursue-here-on-earth/
  20. How to Become a True Student and a Better Apologist: http://crossexamined.org/how-to-become-a-true-student-and-a-better-apologist/
  21. Nature & Scripture: Argument for the Early Dating of Christian Theology and Christian Writings: http://natureandscripture.blogspot.com/2017/05/argument-for-early-dating-of-christian.html
  22. The Trinity is Not A Problem, Its A Solution | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/the-trinity-is-not-a-problem-its-a-solution/
  23. Why I Wish Christians Would Argue MORE (No, Seriously) ChurchLeaders.com: http://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/301281-wish-christians-argue-no-seriously-trevin-wax.html
  24. The Empty Tomb | The John 10:10 Project: http://thejohn1010project.com/the-empty-tomb.html
  25. Matthew 7:1-6 Why the Confusion About Judging? | Dr. Mike Spaulding: http://www.drmikespaulding.com/?p=1993
  26. Apologetics Mission Trips – Brett Kunkle | Stand To Reason – Opening monologue is pretty powerful: http://subsplash.com/standtoreason/v/5nfgovh
  27. Pastor James MacDonald – Are You Saved? – Very convicting sermon, which I like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVRUTknpA7Q
  28. What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson. – Sean McDowell: http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/what-is-the-best-evidence-for-intelligent-design-interview-with-brian-johnson

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest– I would flee far away and stay in the desert; “Selah” Psalms 55:4-7

Blessings to you all

Apologetics Class 5/21/2017

We had a good message in the Apologetics class today. This was not the traditional Apologetics material per se, but none the less, I still think it was relevant to Apologetics. Here is the video on YouTube (47 min):

Are you saved? (click on image below to open youtube video in a new tab)

Below, I’ve pasted in the notes (with fill-in blanks) and attached the notes with answers.

We have one more week before we break for the summer

Blessings to you all!


Are You Saved? James MacDonald – John 8:30-36

  1. 100 years from today, this will be the only thing that matters to you – your s______________.
  2. The Bible teaches that you are lost in sin – you have a t____________ condition known as sin.
  3. You’re not saved because you say so any more than you’re in Cincinnati because you know how to get t____________.
  4. To the question, “Are you saved?” rather than telling you how they k_______ they’re saved, they tell you how to g_______ saved.

6 Points in the message from John 8:30-36:

  1. Many people b____________ in Jesus (John 8:30)
    1. Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) – 4 types of soils / people / heart condition.
    2. All true Christians bear f_________.
    3. Parable of the wheat and weeds (Matthew 13) – early on, it’s not obvious which is “the weeds” and which is “the wheat”.  T________ will tell.
    4. Matthew 7:21 and following – it’s what you do that proves the g_________ of your faith
    5. If your faith hasn’t c_____________ you, it hasn’t s___________ you.
  2. Genuine disciples a________ in Jesus’ words (John 8:31)
    1. Salvation happens at a p__________ in time, but it is p___________ over
    2. You can say it, but over time we’re gonna know whether it’s really t_________ by what we see in your life.
    3. How do you know you’re saved? “I have a growing l________ for God’s word”
    4. How am I different because of following Christ? (spiritual self-inventory)
    5. I’m not what I c________ be, I’m not what I s_______ be, but I’m not what I w_____…
  3. Abiding leads to f__________ (John 8:32)
    1. Freedom from the p____________ of sin (penalty of sin is already taken care of)
  4. False disciples don’t recognize their b__________ (John 8:33-34)
    1. You refer to your spiritual heritage as p____________ that you’re okay.
    2. False disciples are not especially c_____________ by their sin

Bondage Checkup

  1. Do you have a s__________ sin? (that’s increasing its intensity in your life)
  2. Do you have a capacity to “hold on” to an o_______________?
  3. Do you have a “reflex reaction” to r_____________ about sin? True Christians know how awful sin is and they want it out of their lives.
  4. Do you find overt discussions about s______________ intensities disquieting or even aggravating?  It’s because you’re not like that and you think that people like that must be making it up because for you to be like that you’d have to make it up.
  5. Do you battle a c____________ spirit toward people who appear devoted to Christ?

Points (cont’d)

  1. False disciples don’t r____________ in Christ (John 8:35) – a message like this could be subtitled “Operation Crowd Reduction”.  It’s not about a quantity of disciples, it’s about a quality of discipleship.
    1. Your assurance of salvation is not based on your conversion story, it’s based on your l__________, looking at it (how you’re living).
    2. Maybe people who’ve walked away from God have just b___________ and He’ll bring them back if they’re really His children.
  2. “Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).  So, here’s the question: Are you s____________ or u_________________?

Discussion Questions

  1. In what way was James MacDonald’s message relevant to apologetics?
  2. Is a James MacDonald telling us that a Christian must work for their salvation?
  3. Did you find this message personally convicting?
  4. Do you have anyone in your circle of friends or acquaintances that claims to be a Christian, but is not living that way? (do not reveal names)  How could you approach them?
  5. James MacDonald said hear the end of the message, “I deserve hell and I’m headed for it”. How can anyone believe that he or she deserves hell?  How would you communicate that message to a non-Christian in conversation?
  6. What does it mean to “examine yourself to see if you’re in the faith”? (1 Cor. 13:5a)
  7. What did James MacDonald mean in this message when he referred to having “fire insurance”?
  8. How can believers in Christ have assurance of their salvation?
  9. Is James MacDonald saying that a Christian can lose his or her faith?
  10. If someone grew up in the church and in a Christian family, at what point are they truly saved?
  11. How can we strike a balance between grace and truth in communicating with ‘weeds’ that may be among us in the church?

Here is a link to the answers.

mid-week apologetics booster (4-20-2017)

Good morning all,

I hope you’re having a wonderful week following our resurrected Savior, Jesus the Christ.  If you are following Him, your wonderful week is likely full of:

  1. Denying yourself
  2. Taking up your cross daily
  3. Following Him
  4. Losing your life for Him
  5. Not gaining the world
  6. Not being ashamed of Him or His words

Jesus made that clear when He said:

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  Luke 9:23-26

Like Paul I hope we can all say, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”  Philippians 3:8-9  That’s the true joy, knowing Him.

And like anyone else we know and love, we will defend our belief in them in the face of attack, but with gentleness and respect – that’s Apologetics – Paul practiced it, Peter practiced it and Jesus practiced it.  Let us do likewise:

  1. Hank Hanegraaff’s Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2017/april/how-should-we-respond-to-hank-hanegraaffs-switch-to-orthodo.html
  2. 10 Worst Nations To Live In As A Christian | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/10-worst-nations-to-live-in-as-a-christian/
  3. Notecard Answers for Why I Believe the Bible | TGC: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/erikraymond/2015/10/15/notecard-answers-to-why-i-believe-the-bible/
  4. World-Famous Physicist Drops Bombshell “God” Discovery… Atheists Will NOT Like This: http://conservativetribune.com/physicist-bombshell-god-like/
  5. Funsized Tactics: Chapter 9 – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/funsized-tactics-chapter-nine/
  6. Why I Put My Son Back in Public School: http://thinkdivinely.com/why-i-put-my-son-back-in-public-school/
  7. It’s Time for Youth Pastors to CH.A.T. With Their Students: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/its-time-for-youth-pastors-to-ch-a-t-with-their-students/
  8. Gender-neutral Chromium code – I’m a software developer and during the course of technical reading I do for work, I ran into this.  I include this just to emphasize how this insanity is permeating every part of society now: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/master/styleguide/gender_neutral_code.md
  9. Four Ways the Earth Is Fine-Tuned for Life | Cold Case Christianity: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/four-ways-the-earth-is-fine-tuned-for-life/
  10. Three Important Questions to Balance in the Wake of Gun Violence: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/three-important-questions-to-balance-in-the-wake-of-newtown/

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Blessings to you all

AWANA Teaching on Romans 1:16 (4/5/2017)

Today, Lord willing, I will be teaching the AWANA 5th and 6th grade clubbers on one of their memory verses, Romans 1:16.  Below are the slides and the speaking notes (above each slide), as well as a self examination survey (Are You Ashamed of the Gospel):


Can anyone quote this verse from memory?

Someone please read it.  This is a rich verse!  There’s so much in it. Just look at all these important words in this verse!  We’re going to go through this phrase by phrase to make sure you understand it.

What does it mean to be ashamed? (wait for answers)  Ashamed means that you’re embarrassed about something or someone and you don’t want to be associated with them.

Our verse tells us that Paul is not ashamed of “The Gospel” this word appears 91 times in the New Testament, so it’s a pretty important word.  What does the word Gospel mean? (wait for answers)

The word Gospel literally means “Good News”.  Let’s read this definition together: “the Gospel is the Good News that Jesus died and rose again and offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life if we will repent and trust Him as Savior and Lord.”  That is what Paul is not ashamed of.

The Gospel is only made possible because of what happened on Good Friday and Easter.  It is only made possible by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If there was only Christmas (Jesus coming into the world), there would be no Gospel – no good news.  If He only came into the world, but didn’t die for our sins and rise again, we would not even know about Jesus today – and our salvation would be impossible!

This verse says the Gospel is “the power of God”. The word translated “power,” is the Greek word dunamis. That is the word from which we get “dynamite.”

What is the Gospel powerful for?  The next phrase talks about “salvation”.  For the salvation of everyone who believes.

Salvation, means to rescue, to de­liver, to set free.  Talk about picture of guy drowning…

Like the guy drowning in the water, we also need to be saved from something:

1.From the Penalty of Sin – Hell / the Wrath of God – Romans 5:9 says we are “saved from God’s wrath” through Jesus’ blood shed for us.

2.From the Power of Sin – We are no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:14 says “for sin shall not be your master”

3.From the Presence of Sin (one day) – when we get to Heaven – Revelation 21:27 says “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful

(may want to ask if they know what sin is – talk about sins of commission [doing or thinking wrong things] and sins of omission [not doing what you know you ought to do – James 4:17])

Then it says “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”. Most of the first believers in Christ were Jews.  But the Gospel was intended for everyone. Jesus said that He was sent to the Jews (Matthew 15:24). Paul initially tried to share the Gospel with the Jews, but they opposed him, so he went on to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). You and I are (most likely) Gentiles.

Now that we’ve gone through the verse one phrase at a time, do you have any questions? (wait for questions)

Now, before we continue, I want to make sure you know that none of what we’re talking about here applies to you if you’re not saved.  So, I have to stop here and ask you point blank – are you saved?  Only you know the answer to that question.  I would suspect that for many of you the answer is a definite yes.  The Bible says “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Now back to our verse Romans 1:16 – I’d like to focus in on the part of the verse where it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel”.  This is very important for us as Christians.  God specifically says in His word that He does not want us to be ashamed.

In fact Jesus specifically warned us not to be ashamed of Him and His words. In Luke 9:26, He says “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  Matthew 10:32-33

The Apostle Paul also tells us in other places not to be ashamed, for example in 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul says “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

The Apostle Peter tells us, “if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name

Then of course, there’s the AWANA verse: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

So, the Bible is really clear – God does not want us to be ashamed of the Gospel – He wants us to be proud of it and to share it whenever the opportunity comes.

Now we’re going to take a little self-assessment survey.  You don’t have to turn this in and I won’t ask you your answers. It’s to get you to think about whether you’re ashamed of the Gospel.

(here is the survey that I handed out to the clubbers to have them work on it – if they have enough time, in class)

Self-examination Test: Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?

Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Question Your Answer
Do your friends and those at school know you’re a Christian?
Have you ever talked with someone about your faith?
Have you ever invited someone to church or AWANA?
In a group, if others were making fun of Christianity, would you speak up?
Are you worried about offending people?
Are you worried about pleasing people or pleasing God?
Do you care more about what people think of you than what God thinks of you?
Are you afraid that you won’t be able to answer people’s objections or questions about your faith?
Have you ever had to go against the crowd when they were all doing something wrong?  If so, when they asked you why did you mention your faith?

Finally, this is my last night of the AWANA year for teaching the 5th and 6th graders.  It has been such a pleasure teaching all of you, that I want to give you some small gifts as a token of my appreciation.

(end of presentation)


I pray that this teaching would draw any non-Christians in the group to repent and place their faith in Christ, and that it would embolden any Christians in the group to not be ashamed and to share their faith with those in their circle of influence.  Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and one of the things He has commanded us (that we have to teach to the disciples we’re making), is the command to go and make disciples.  So, I’m trying to teach the believers to go and make more believers – it’s a self-replicating process – that’s how God designed it!

mid-week apologetics booster (3-30-2017)

Good morning friends,

Once again, I had the awesome privilege of serving in AWANA (3rd – 6th grade) last night.  Our Pastor had come to AWANA last week to talk about what a pastor is.  He described that pastor means shepherd and that Jesus is described in Scripture as being the Good Shepherd.  Later in the evening, one of the clubbers asked a really good question.  The question was, ‘If God is a Shepherd, then why does he allow bad people who hurt and kill others?’  It’s hard to give a quick answer to a question like that in a minute during AWANA handbook time, so we decided to show this excellent little ~2 minute video to the clubbers at the start of Counsel Time last night:

This really hit home with the clubbers!  They were able to summarize the message of the video and make additional comments on the topic.  In fact it was so popular, many of them wanted to watch it again!  But when we told them it would take away from their game time, they opted not to 🙂  It was such a blessing to see these precious young clubbers excited and interacting with this topic, thinking deeply about their faith!  We also had a great sword drill during Counsel Time, focusing on God’s faithfulness (e.g. 2 Thess. 3:3).  I pray this prayer for them:

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. ”  Numbers 6:24-26

Here are your weekly links:

  1. 5 apologetics arguments Christians should avoid: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-apologetics-arguments-Christians-should-avoid
  2. Watch “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” on YouTube – this is really good – 4 ½ minutes – cartoon video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyZ1l7faKSw
  3. Spiritual Inventory Questionnaire – I ran into this while searching for some spiritual inventory questions.  It is REALLY extensive (10 pages long), but seems to be really good – note: it is a PDF file: http://www.bethanychurch.com/home/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/1_Personal-Spiritual-Inventory.pdf
  4. Sanctuary Cities in the Bible: https://historyforthechristianfaith.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/sanctuary-cities-in-the-bible/
  5. CE 5: You’re Only Christian Because You Were Born in the West – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/ce-5-youre-only-christian-because-you-were-born-in-the-west-2/
  6. Watch “Tim Keller on evangelism in the 21st century” on YouTube (first step is let ‘em know you go to church): https://youtu.be/DHQBoLo31Ns
  7. The Jihadi Who Turned to Jesus: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/world/middleeast/the-jihadi-who-turned-to-jesus.html
  8. Is Christianity Jewish?  Dr. Michael Brown:
    1. Watch “Is Christianity Jewish? w/ Dr. Michael Brown 1/2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kjkm6XS149s
    2. Watch “Is Christianity Jewish? w/ Dr. Michael Brown 2/2” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cwDWnXdyV9U
  9. Was Jesus’ Death & Resurrection Copied From Krishna? | Reasons for Jesus: http://reasonsforjesus.com/was-jesus-death-resurrection-copied-from-krishna/
  10. Top 10 Lies Christians Believe: http://www.unsealed.org/2016/05/top-10-lies-christians-believe.html
  11. Christianity is rejected because of dislike rather than rational reasons | Real Life Apologetics: https://reallifeapologetics.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/is-the-rejection-of-christianity-an-emotional-or-a-rational-decision/
  12. The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians | PragerU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytdMUddGe-U
  13. Tell Someone | Harvest Online Courses – free course with video teaching on evangelism sent to your inbox: https://tellsomeone.harvest.org/register/tell-someone/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=harvestamerica&utm_campaign=tellsomeonecourse&hs_fb_account_id=22405970&hs_fb_campaign_id=6052164846641&hs_fb_adset_id=6053392481041&hs_fb_ad_id=6070678863441&hs_parent_creative_id=6070679192041&source
  14. C. Boycott Over Bathroom Bill Fails Magnificently: https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/03/22/this-just-in-boycott-of-n-c-over-bathroom-bill-dies-with-a-whimper/
  15. How Christianity Led to the Rise of Modern Science: http://www.equip.org/article/christianity-led-rise-modern-science/
  16. Stop Using the Term “Fetus”: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/stop-using-the-term-fetus/

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.  Galatians 1:11-12

Blessing to you all!

mid-week apologetics booster (3-16-2017)

Good morning friends,

I was reminded again last night of the importance of heeding the words of 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 3, Colossians 4:5-6 & 2 Timothy 24-26 – being ready to give an answer.  Our AWANA Truth & Training leader gave our 3rd to 6th grade clubbers a chance to ask questions about the Bible and their faith last night during counsel time.  What a great session it was.  Once we got them started, the questions were non-stop and we had to cut it off at the end due to running out of time.  Here were some of the questions asked by these young, precious ones:

  1. Who made God?  How could He just always be there?
  2. Why did God make hell?
  3. Why did God create the first people if He knew they were going to sin?
  4. Why did God put the tree in the garden if He knew they were going to eat from it?
  5. Why did God make Satan?
  6. Why doesn’t God (Jesus) come back to earth to prove to everyone that He exists?
  7. How do we know Angels and Devils exist?
  8. (the answer to the prior question prompted this one) How do we know the Bible is true?
  9. Why did God love Satan more than any other angel?
  10. Why did God make people if He knew they were going to be evil and bad like stealing things and killing?

It was a 20 minute session and, wow, were the clubbers engaged and loving it… Unfortunately, I don’t have the time (or the memory) to remember all the answers the leaders gave, but it was a great session – they asked tough questions – deep questions.  We even had one of the 4th grade clubbers answering one of the questions and she was right on target!

I pray to God that this session was meaningful for these clubbers.  It is so important that kids at this age know that they are welcome to ask questions and that it is OK to have questions and even some doubts.  And it is extremely important that we adults have done what Peter has stated (as a command for all believers) “always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you”.  That means you can’t be “winging it” at the time you’re asked.  That command implies that you have (already) been preparing yourself through study prior to the child asking the question.  I truly believe that the parents are the number 1 apologists in our culture.  We need to be ready when the question is asked.  Being ready can consist of having answer ready “off the top of your head” or knowing about a resource that you can get to that explains the answer.

Because this is such an important command, I continue to bombard you with these articles and videos each week.  I pray that you find something useful here, coming just at the right time!

  1. When the emotions are gone, what’s left? Engaging the mind as well as the heart is vital: http://creation.com/emotion-gone
  2. Why would a loving God allow death and suffering? – This is a very good (and very long) article that gives comprehensive, Biblically based answers to this issue – excellent!  http://creation.com/why-death-suffering
  3. The Absence Of A Papacy In Early Responses To Christianity: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-absence-of-papacy-in-early.html
  4. Indulgences – CHRISTIAN HISTORY TODAY (March 15th) – “My guess is that if Pope Leo X knew what he would set off by allowing the sales of indulgences on March 15, 1517, he’d re-think that one. The building of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican had gone way over budget (it would be almost 80 years until it would be completed) and the Pope’s financial adviser suggested the idea of buying an indulgence would help get a repentant sinner out of purgatory sooner and it was a “win-win”. Then a regional indulgences salesman stopped by the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany and ran into a priest named Martin Luther who decided he’d read about the sale of indulgences in the Bible and found no basis for it. The rest, as we like to say, was history.
  5. Questioning Jesus’ Existence: http://breakpoint.org/2017/03/questioning-jesus-existence/
  6. Staying Outside The Shack | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/staying-outside-the-shack/
  7. Parents, Hollywood wants to brainwash your kids. Don’t let them: http://www.theblaze.com/podcasts/matt-walsh-parents-hollywood-wants-to-brainwash-your-kids-dont-let-them/
  8. Does James 1:5 teach about praying for a testimony? http://www.mrm.org/james-15-testimony
  9. Celebrating gender confusion: http://creation.com/celebrating-gender-confusion
  10. Convergent evolution of crocodile and dolphin skull shapes | Uncommon Descent: http://www.uncommondescent.com/news/convergent-evolution-of-crocodile-and-dolphin-skull-shapes/
  11. A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely-Tuned Cosmos (with Dr. Luke Barnes) – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/a-fortunate-universe-life-in-a-finely-tuned-cosmos-with-dr-luke-barnes/
  12. Biblical Faith VS. Blind Faith | Crossexamined.org: http://crossexamined.org/biblical-faith-vs-blind-faith/
  13. Every American Needs Know Qur’an (Bill Federer) | Video | C-SPAN.org: https://www.c-span.org/video/?314071-10/every-american-needs-know-quran
  14. Watch “How to Listen to the Lord (Mark 4:21-34)” on YouTube (this is a John MacArthur sermon I watched on Sunday since I couldn’t go to church because I was sick): https://youtu.be/RFzGD7S-w3g
  15. DOES GOD REALLY HATE ESAU? http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/05/25/does-god-really-hate-esau/
  16. Why did the early church decide to indoctrinate a canon of New Testament books in the first place? https://www.josh.org/early-church-decide-indoctrinate-canon-new-testament-books-first-place/
  17. Will We Ever Colonize Mars? http://www.icr.org/article/9900
  18. Greg Koukl Stand to Reason podcast – at about 26:30 into the show, an atheist calls in (he calls himself the “Street Epistemologist”).  They are talking about the difference between mind and brain and whether there is a “non-physical realm”.  It is quite a long call (and very cordial, not adversarial at all): http://subspla.sh/0376859
  19. What You Can Learn From the Pilgrims (Bill Federer): http://subspla.sh/7277698
  20. Watch “Wretched: Nothing made everything.” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/sK2yNkTuJkY
  21. 3 Horrific Consequences When a Nation Rejects God — Charisma News: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/63453-3-horrific-consequences-when-a-nation-rejects-god
  22. Q&A with Sam Allberry: Same-Sex Attraction, Synod Remarks, and Why The Gospel Is Truly Good News For All | RZIM: http://rzim.org/global-blog/qa-with-sam-allberry-same-sex-attraction-synod-remarks/
  23. Planned Parenthood abortion quotas: https://m.facebook.com/video_redirect/?src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent.fphx1-2.fna.fbcdn.net%2Fv%2Ft42.1790-4%2F16616327_245823025863146_1673784158666620928_n.mp4%3Fefg%3DeyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9%26oh%3D6e69f150dc01e34d1c5525689be4b732%26oe%3D58CABADF&source=misc&id=10154959592988728&refid=52&__tn__=F
  24. Here’s 5 things to say when discussing Planned Parenthood: http://www.liveactionnews.org/heres-5-things-to-say-when-discussing-planned-parenthood/
  25. Watch “Hollywood and God” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Fohrk2jt0LA
  26. Watch “Mark Spence & Shaw the atheist” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dfsS3BB5C-I
  27. Book of Job: https://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Job.html
  28. Cannabis boosts risk of stroke and heart attack, independent of tobacco, new study finds: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/09/cannabis-boosts-risk-stroke-heart-attack-independent-tobacco/

Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. ” Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear ; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see ; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. “Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. “Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.”  2 Kings 19:14-19

Blessings to you all

Conversation at St. Vincent de Paul Saturday February 11th

This past Saturday at St. Vincent de Paul, where our church volunteers once a month to feed the homeless, I had a conversation with a guy who was with another group volunteering there.  He was a parent of one of the girls on a high school sports club. Right off the bat, another Christian brother and I were talking with him and we let him know that we were Christians. That opened up the conversation for spiritual topics.  So, my friend asked him if he goes to church, and he said, “Well not so much anymore because we’re really busy, we’ve got the girls going to Lacrosse, we have a lot of other things going on, so we don’t really have time.”  I followed up with a question, “So then, would you consider yourself to be a Christian?”  He said, “Oh definitely!”  I filed that in my back pocket. Not much else was said right then, but I knew that since we’d both been assigned to work on the garbage, I would be having a lot of time to talk to him.

At one point during our shift when there was a lull in our garbage work, I asked him about his spiritual journey. He repeated the statement about him not having enough time to go to church. I replied, “Well, it’s only one hour a week, and we have a 168 hours a week. The truth is, we make time for things that we want to make time for. I’m not trying to convict you – I was there too and I know that life does get busy – I understand that. But, consider this: 100 years from today, we will not be concerned at all about what we’re concerned about today. Things that concern us today will be just a distant memory.” He replied, “Yeah because I’ll be dead.” And I said, “Well, you said you were Christian, so as Christians we believe in the afterlife, so actually you won’t be dead, you’ll be alive and you’ll be in one of two places either heaven or hell. So it’s important for us to have an eternal perspective as we go through life.  We sometimes need to back up and just take a look at the big picture and realize that we’re all going to die one day. With everything we’re doing in life, we need to ask whether it will matter 100 years from today.  Am I spending my time on things that will matter eternally?”  He seemed to acknowledge that without much to say in return, but I could see that I made him think about it.  That was pretty much all I said related to spiritual things.  We talked about all sorts of other things including career and how he thought it was so good to be doing this volunteer work.  He thought it was good for us and it makes us feel good as well.  He mentioned that it was good for his daughter, who was there, to see that.

So I hope that this conversation I had with this fellow will make some impact on him and get him to reconsider his priorities in life.

In Jesus’s Holy and Precious Name I pray, Amen!