Judgment, Morality, Prophecy, salvation, The Bad News, The Good News, Transforming Society

Hope for Ukrainians and Promise of Judgment

Why Is There War in Ukraine?

The war in Ukraine has me asking whether the people of Ukraine had been, like Job, fearing God and shunning evil. In other words, were they building their lives on faith in God and righteousness? It’s a rhetorical question, for they are not unlike most people in every nation of the world who go about life with little thought for God, mounting up judgment upon themselves.

The Hope for Ukraine, Russia, and all Nations

In a post, A Time of Peace, Joy, Judgment, and Wrath, I wrote of the hope found in Isaiah 2 for the people of Ukraine and all other nations. It includes one of the most beautiful pictures of restoration between people and God and between one another found in the Bible. Pray that God sends more workers into Ukraine with His gospel and the entire word of God so that they may rebuild with Christ in the center.

God Has Promised Judgment and Wrath

A closer look at Revelation allows one to see that wars and pandemics are just some ways that judgment comes from God upon people. If the war in Ukraine is a judgment on seemingly good people, one can imagine what is in store for our nations and, especially, those not yet saved. And think what judgment is in store for Putin and Russia if they do not repent and seek God’s mercy.

“For we know him who said, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:30-31).

As I write, the Russians appear to be preparing their people for a protracted war in Ukraine and their Foreign Minister spoke ominously of the potential for World War III. Hopefully, it’s just a ruse.

Fear God

And what of those who are saved? How are we to live? Are we in need of the discipline of God?*

“Since everything will be destroyed [by fire] what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Pet. 3:11-13).

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others” (2 Cor. 5:11).

*For more on Jesus judging His churches, and those in them, as well as people in the world, you can read, Don’t Say the J Word, a post I wrote during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rob Morley

Eschatology, Faith, Judgment, Prophecy, salvation, The Antichrist

Ukraine Under God’s Judgment, a Russian Beast, and Nations Warned

Edited Picture:
fangol (Robert Proksa)

Why War Has Come To Ukraine

Don’t get me wrong when you read this. I am all for Ukraine and its people and am incredibly inspired and impressed by their resilience against extreme Russian aggression. But as a student and teacher of God’s word, I must ask why God’s judgment has fallen on them? For such losses and devastation speak to this. Or is Ukraine like righteous Job, and am I like his friends?

For some, the idea that God is judging them might not sit well, for Ukraine has been a peaceful country (except, of course, having to ward off Russian separatists and face the Russians in war). It is not an easy reality for me to proclaim either. But do they have peace with God? How have they responded to the gospel? This is the most important question that the people of Ukraine and all people of the world must answer. For it has to do with so much more than the destiny of a nation and its people. It’s their eternal destiny. For, though Russian aggression is unwarranted in human terms, nevertheless, the circumstances speak to and warn all on earth who have rejected Jesus Christ.

Jesus As Judge

Consider the following passages:

“Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psa. 2:12, NIV).

“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish’” (Luke 13:1-5).

Similarly, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ teaches that people are judged for rejecting Him. It depicts Jesus as the judge who brings wars, famines, economic despair, plagues (e.g. COVID-19), etc. on those who have rejected Him.

Have Ukrainians wholeheartedly turned to Christ? And, what about you and your nation? Yes, what of America, Russia, England, etc.? Are we better than the Ukrainians? No, far worse in some cases.

The Beast Gets Judged

But if God’s judgment on Ukraine is this severe, consider how bad it will be for Putin, despite God using Him to this end. Yes, woe to Putin and his allies, for he is Russia’s manifestation of the beast of Revelation, whose end, barring repentance, is destruction in the lake of fire.

Finally, be warned America, for you have coddled your very own manifestation of Revelation’s beast, with white evangelicals as his false prophet, and he has not gone away. I have written more on this in several posts and my book, THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST: Evangelicals in Bed with Trump.

Repent

Turn to God with all your heart. For, as Jesus warned, “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:5). Have you peace with God? Perhaps you would like to read my post, Are You Saved and Assured of Your Salvation?

Pray

Pray for all Ukrainians and Russians. For God, in His mercy, is willing and able to forgive any who come to Him and repent of their sin. Even President Putin.

Rob Morley

Jesus, Judgment, My Bible, salvation, The Bad News, The Good News

The Bible Is Both Good News and Bad News

Do You Want The Good News or Bad News First?

The good news is that the Bible is 100% accurate and God’s word. The bad news is that the Bible is 100% accurate and God’s word. It is either good or bad depending on how you answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16:15).

The Good News

God chose to save the world by sending Jesus to die on the cross and pay the debt of their sins so that He could forgive any who seek Him for mercy and a new start. For though “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), “[H]e is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). “God made [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Is God’s Message of Salvation and Judgment, Death and Life

” . . . we [who share God’s word] are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life” (2 Cor. 2:15-16). For “[w]hoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).

The choice is yours. God, in His love for you, already made His.

Rob Morley

Faith, In Christ, salvation, The Good News

Are You Saved and Assured of Your Salvation?

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30 NIV).

Picture by dotlizard (Karen Kelly) @ Rgbstock

Revelation That Leads to Salvation

All people, everywhere, experience revelation from God about Himself. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Some receive clearer revelation than others. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). Sadly, because people are sinful, they tend to marginalize God or completely negate Him, suppressing what He reveals (Rom. 1:18-20).

Some people experience a dramatic encounter with God on their life’s journey that brings them to salvation. Consequently, it is easy for them to know the moment that they have become a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). For many others, salvation is not a clearly identifiable point in time. However, even though they cannot pinpoint when it happened (and may even misidentify the timing), the miracle of their behavioural change makes them know that at some point they must have been “born again” (John 3:16). They might not even know these terms, but, if explained to them, they will identify with them.

Salvation Examination

Many other people who have believed in God and His Son, have ended up falling away. This is because they never fully understood. Instead, they believed in their own notion about God and His salvation. Consequently, they had never come to be justified by God and born again.

Paul told the members of the Corinthian church, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5). From his words, we can deduce that merely thinking that you’re in the faith is no real evidence of actually being in it. However, being spiritually joined to Christ, so that He lives within you, is Paul’s definition of whether or not someone is truly in the faith.

Evidence of Salvation

God’s word has a range of evidence that can help a person identify whether or not they been saved from spiritual death to eternal life. Here are just three of them:

  • An inner witness. One evidence that you’re actually in the faith, with Christ dwelling within you, is an inner knowing. Paul writes, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16).
  • A supernaturally changed life. Another witness to true salvation is a supernaturally changed life. This is because Love Himself has joined Himself to that person. Jesus said, “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
  • A witnessing life. There’s an overflow about God and His goodness that comes from the mouths of those who are saved. This is because God, and what He has done to save us, really is good news. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

Caveats Concerning Salvation

Not all Christians excel in all of the above evidence. That said, to live their new life to the full, they ought to grow in each of them. Also, although the fruit of a person’s life is usually the clearest evidence of salvation (or the lack thereof), many loving, generous, and pleasant people are unsaved. Conversely, there are many saved folk who are caught up in selfishness, worldliness, and sin. Consequently, we don’t always know who has been saved, therefore, we must not simply assume that someone is or isn’t.

On another note, not everyone who has been saved has understood that biblical faith gives assurance of salvation. Consequently, despite being justified by God, these folk may, at times, because of sin and feelings of unworthiness, feel unsaved.

Assurance of Salvation

God has gone to great lengths to lead people to a faith that saves and to assure them of their salvation. For example, the apostle John says in his gospel, “…these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Then, in a letter to believers, John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). God clearly wanted people to believe and, having believed, be assured of their salvation.

Assurance of one’s salvation is often found on the journey of discipleship. For, even after someone is saved, they will continue to receive revelation about their salvation. Consider what Paul had prayed for the Christians in Ephesus: “[I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19a, Amplified Bible).

Are You Saved?

All people have sinned against God, nevertheless, because of His great love for the world, He offers salvation as a free gift to everyone who repents and receives Jesus as Lord of their life. For He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and take our sins upon Himself so that we could be acquitted. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus offers mercy and new life to all who humble themselves and come to Him.

Rob Morley

salvation, The Afterlife, The Good News

Am I Going To Heaven?

Heaven (600 x 400)
Image: Kevin Tuck, http://www.rgbstock.com

How do you know if you’re going to heaven?

You can know that you’re going to heaven if you are trusting in God’s way to get you there. The Bible tells us that God has made a way for us to get eternal life and go to heaven. This good news is so certain that the Bible says we can actually know that we have eternal life.

But, what exactly is this good news?

God is offering salvation as a free gift to all who have sinned. Jesus, who lived a perfect life, took our sins upon Himself. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, He offers mercy and new life to all who come to Him.

How do we get eternal life?

Each of us needs to realize that we have sinned and need God’s forgiveness. The Bible says that we have all sinned. Also, we must believe God’s word that says that our sins separate us from God, which results in death and permanent separation from Him. Then, we need to trust God’s way to save us.

When you believe God’s good news for you in Jesus, you are immediately made right with God and given a new life. That is how you can know you’re going to heaven. Our confidence about going to heaven is not based upon our works or on our goodness, but only on God’s promise of mercy and eternal life to all who turn away from their sin and who come to Him to be forgiven.

Rob Morley

Life in the Spirit, The Good News

The Promise of the Spirit

Photo by Sias van Schalkwyk http://www.rgbstock.com/user/Seepsteen
Photo by Sias van Schalkwyk
http://www.rgbstock.com/user/Seepsteen

Jesus’ Offer of Salvation

John 7:37-39, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, IF ANY MAN THIRST, let him come unto me, and drink. HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, as the scripture hath said, OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

Jesus’ offer of salvation was all about receiving the promise of the Spirit to those who would believe on Him. Salvation was offered as an experience that would satisfy spiritual thirst and flow as living waters out from a believer’s belly. The Spirit would indwell and flow out from a believer’s life.

Together We Drink Into One Spirit

In writing to believers, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; AND HAVE BEEN ALL MADE TO DRINK INTO ONE SPIRIT.”

Two Gifts in One

Essentially two gifts are given when we come to Christ. Our forgiveness (our justification) and the promise of the Spirit. Yet, sadly, just as many believers don’t fully grasp God’s forgiveness and experience little freedom from their guilt, many don’t fully realize and enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit who resides within to enable them to live a godly life, empower them for service and manifest in their lives with gifts, signs and wonders.

Rom 8:9, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” Compare this to John 7:37-39 above.

Manifestation of The Spirit

When we first experience something extraordinary like tongues or a word of knowledge, it is not the baptism in the Spirit that we are experiencing, but a manifestation of the Spirit through a gift to someone already baptized in the Spirit. It is simply our first awareness of a supernatural flow or manifestation of the promised Spirit which we already received at salvation.

Receiving The Spirit

No long drawn out prayerful tarrying (waiting) is necessary to receive the Spirit. You will have received Him when you believed on Jesus. Rather, simply ask be filled by Him. To tarry or to wait was simply a command to the first believers who were to receive the promise of the Spirit at the feast of Pentecost, God’s appointed time to first give the Spirit to all who believe (see Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4). In so doing God fulfilled the feast to which Pentecost had pointed throughout the Old Testament.

Also, no turning over a new leaf is required either. Justification is sufficient. Just look at the Corinthians! They were not exactly an example of holiness and yet were experiencing the dynamic of the Spirit moving in and through the Body. That said, ungodliness can hinder, frustrate and quench the Spirit.

Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

This is what salvation is all about: from a life in the flesh to Life in the Spirit. The context of this passage implores us to simply ask. And, asking is sufficient because faith is all that is required.

The Outpouring Begins

The outpouring of the Spirit on 120 disciples at Pentecost manifested in them praising God in languages unknown to themselves, yet recognizable as the mother tongues of Jews who had come from all over the world to the feast. This manifestation drew 3000 people to pay attention. (Note that according to 1 Cor 15:6 there were at least another 380 believers elsewhere who would receive the Spirit too.)

Peter told the crowd, drawn by this inexplicable event, that what they were witnessing was promised by the prophet Joel concerning the Spirit. Peter said that the outpouring of the promised Spirit was related to Jesus being exalted to God’s right hand (being glorified, see John 7:37-39) and Him having received the promised Holy Spirit to give.

Repentance and Forgiveness

It was the man, Jesus, whom they had rejected and had killed. As a result, they were cut to the heart and were led to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, which, Peter said, would mean that they would receive the Spirit. The Spirit, who was used as the bait for their salvation, was the goal of their salvation.

Salvation By Receiving The Spirit

We have preached salvation from sin and stopped there as though it was the main goal. But, Jesus’ message in John 7:37-39, and elsewhere, and Peter’s message at Pentecost was about the promise. God’s promise was the Spirit. God’s gift was the Spirit. Repentance and even justification, as costly as it was to purchase for us and as meaningful as it will forever be to us, remains the means and not the end. These are the pathway to the promise.

Similarly, when Peter spoke to Cornelius (a gentile) and his household about Jesus and got to saying, “’To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins’ …the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”

What Are We To Do?

So, what should we who have received the Spirit now do? Having received the Spirit at salvation, a continual life lived from Him is available to us. The fruit of His presence in our lives (Gal 5:22) along with His wisdom, power and gifts for service.

If we lack in love we should ask to be filled with the Spirit, and if we lack in power we should ask to be filled, and if we lack in wisdom we should ask for it, and if we desire a gift we should ask for it too.

Eph 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be (continually) filled with the Spirit”

Gal 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Have Faith in God’s Goodness

A continual revelation of God’s goodness, of His deep desire for relationship with us and His unmerited favor toward us will impart faith to continually ask to be filled.

Gal 3:5, “…he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you … by hearing with faith”.

Rob Morley

Jews, The Good News

Jewish Salvation

 
Photo: Alex Bruda
Photo: Alex Bruda
Continued Conjecture and Confusion over the Jews

Conjecture over the timing and process of Jewish salvation has brought about much confusion and sadly false teaching in the church. This has happened to the point that, if some of us really knew what Paul was saying, he would probably be considered by them to be “anti-Semitic”.

In chapters 9-11 of his letter to the Romans, Paul addressed certain questions and speculation over the future of the Jewish people and their salvation in the light of what appeared to be a huge disconnect between Jews in general and their Messiah. He addressed questions like, why were Jews not embracing the gospel? And, had God rejected them?

Unfortunately, Paul’s attempts to do this have sadly also been misconstrued by those who wildly speculate over the process of Jewish salvation or who have been taught the theologies of such speculators. Perhaps Peter’s words are true of some of these people too, where he wrote, “Paul … wrote … some things … that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist … as they do the other Scriptures” (2Peter 3:15-16).

Separate Plan for Israel after the Gentiles is False

A twisting of Paul’s writing on this issue of the future of the Jews in God’s plans is the common misinterpretation that AFTER the “fullness of the Gentiles has come in,” THEN Israel will experience salvation. People read this idea into Romans 11:25-27 when it isn’t there, especially if they have been taught this idea. Yet, a simple reading of the passage will show this to be untrue.

Read it for yourself:-

A PARTIAL HARDENING has come upon Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And IN THIS WAY all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob’; ‘and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’”

Note:

A PARTIAL HARDENING” speaks of the NATURE of Israel.

UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” speaks of the duration of this partial hardening.

“And IN THIS WAY all Israel will be saved” speaks of the MANNER of the salvation of “all Israel” and NOT THE TIMING of it.

“as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins” speaks of salvation through the promised deliverer and the promised new covenant, i.e. through the gospel of Jesus and the new covenant.

Nothing here speaks of Gentiles coming in “BEFORE Israel will be saved”.  This idea gets accidently read into the passage by readers who expect the passage to be saying this, when it doesn’t.

Explaining the Passage

At this point in this passage, Paul, whose heart is to “somehow…save SOME of them (fellow Israelites),” is addressing the Gentiles in order to give them a sober and accurate understanding of what is happening to the Jews.

He is saying, something like, “Gentiles …In case you get the wrong idea of what is happening through your own evaluation of what you see, let me explain a mystery. A PARTIAL (not complete) hardening has come upon Israel as a people. And, this will be the case UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And, in this way, despite their condition of partial hardening, all Israel will be saved, as it is written, through a Savior who will remove their ungodliness with God’s new covenant!”

Drips and Drabs and Spurts

Essentially, as far as the Jews are concerned, while the Gentiles are coming in, and until the end of that time, they too will be coming in, however, because of a partial hardening, it will be in drips and drabs with occasional spurts.

At the time of Paul’s writing it was more like drips and drabs, while the Gentiles were coming into the kingdom in spurts. This was something that drew attention and caused possible speculation and pride among the Gentiles in the church in Rome, which Paul addressed here.

He addresses any idea that the Jews are LARGELY or COMPLETELY hardened as a people and as a result ABANDONED, by explaining that a PARTIAL hardening has come upon them, hence their lack of receiving of the gospel en masse.

So, just as the fullness of the Gentiles come in with drips and drabs and with occasional spurts, so too, will the fullness of the Jews. And, together they comprise Messiah’s “all Israel,” a Holy Nation and a Kingdom of priests.

A Duty to Tell the Jews about Jesus

Like Paul, we have a gospel to preach to a hard world, including to the Jews who have experienced ONLY a PARTIAL hardening.  And, although, at times, it may appear that the Jews are abandoned by God, this is not the case. They, too, must have their ungodliness banished through the Savior with His new covenant. Quite frankly, reaching Jews with the gospel is not harder than reaching atheists in the West or Japanese in Japan.

The time for Jewish salvation, like for everyone else, is NOW. And, it’s through their Messiah, Jesus, with God’s New Covenant.

Just as a missionary in Japan doesn’t stop sharing the gospel at the rejection of it by countless Japanese, we shouldn’t let the rejection of the gospel by many Jews keep us from sharing it with them.

Rob Morley

The Good News

Good News – No More a Sinner!

Once a week I have the wonderful opportunity to teach a group of 11-12 year olds about God and the Bible and what Christianity is really about. Recently, I challenged their views on how God sees each of them and I believe God blessed many with a fresh realization of the GOOD NEWS!

Photo: rgbstock

I started the class by asking them why Jesus came. Quickly, and somewhat expectedly, I got the answer, “To die for our sins.” I agreed, but wanted to expand on this truth. The verse that came to my mind was 2 Cor. 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” and I wrote it on the board. I then explained its meaning and, although everyone seemed satisfied, I wanted to see if they really understood what it meant to them individually. So, just as we had agreed upon in previous sessions, I had them again recognize that we have all sinned and still often do sin. And, that in fact, we had all probably fallen into sin a number of times over recent days.

Sinner or Righteous

Then, I wrote two headings on the board, RIGHTEOUS and SINNERS. I asked if Jesus were to return today and separate the RIGHTEOUS from the SINNERS, would they know what group they belong to. It seemed without a blink that each put themselves in the group of SINNERS. Now, I am sure that among them there were some not yet born again and that answer would be true for them. However, the believers among them also classified themselves as SINNERS. It seemed, both groups needed to hear the GOOD NEWS again. The SINNERS for salvation and the RIGHTEOUS (who called themselves SINNERS) for realization of what they had received in Christ.

Good News!

Undoubtedly, the focus that the Christians in the group had was on their behavior rather than on their pardon for sin and new identity in Christ. And, the non-believers probably had a blurred grasp of the GOOD NEWS. Using the above verse I again explained the good news, only in this instance I took the time to show them what the verse really meant to them PERSONALLY. I showed that Jesus who hadn’t sinned actually became SIN, that all of our personal sin and that of the world was put upon Him. And, that He did this, so that we could be called RIGHTEOUS and not SINNERS anymore. That’s GOOD NEWS!!!

Three Men Crucified

Then, to bring it home, I spoke of the three men who had been crucified (Jesus being one of them) and how the whole message of the GOOD NEWS for mankind is seen played out through what happened. In the middle was Jesus, having been charged as a criminal along with the other two criminals. Yet, we know that Jesus hadn’t ever sinned. One of the criminals scoffed at Jesus, not realizing who He was. The other one, realizing who Jesus was, turned to Him and said, “Remember me when YOU come into your kingdom.” We agreed that he had been a bad man, a SINNER, as he even said of himself. And yet, despite this, Jesus said to him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Identity Changed

What happened at the cross then was that three died. One, a criminal, a SINNER, and he died a SINNER. In the middle was Jesus who was RIGHTEOUS, but who was made to be SIN and He died as a SINNER. Then on Jesus’ other side was another criminal, also a SINNER, who recognized that through Jesus, God was offering pardon for sin and a new life. Through faith in Jesus he was made RIGHTEOUS.

Will Good People Go To Heaven

The general idea that most of the 11-12 year olds seem to have had is that although we all do wrong, “good people” will go to heaven. This is typical of how many people think. Yet, “good people” are also SINNERS and as such don’t qualify. What everyone does qualify for is God’s wrath. Not wanting to pour this out on us, God instead poured it out on Jesus, so that we could be freed. The response of these two criminals (with Jesus in the middle), in a way, represent everyone.

It seems that entrenched into many church members is the idea that as Christians we are SINNERS, but the message of Christianity is that through believing (realizing and receiving) who Jesus is, and what He did for us, we are made RIGHTEOUS.

Rob Morley

Creation vs. Evolution

The Fact of Adam vs. the Fancy of Evolution – Part 2

Flirting with Evolution – The Christian Alternative Considered

In order to try and satisfy the “science” of evolution and hold onto the Bible at the same time, some people attempt to fit in multiple generations to the Adam that is spoken about in the very beginning of Genesis. They do this, despite the fact that the book does not suggest it. However, suppose it was possible to do so, let’s consider this idea from a logical perspective.

It has been purported that the process to humanity over millions of years was so gradual that the first humans may not have even observed their differences to the previous generations. Now, if you will, indulge me with your imagination. During the proposed transition in evolution, the first men and women must have had their pre-human predecessors, presumably multiple in numbers, living around them. If the person, whom the Bible called Adam, and who it states singularly brought sin into the world, was in such a scenario, then he was either among many that became human, or he and Eve were the only two who evolved into humanity.

In the case that there were other humans around, when Adam existed, then he would have had to have influenced them all to sin too, because the Bible says that “all have sinned.” However, this would leave us with another problem. None of them would be included in salvation, because they are not direct descendants of Adam’s family tree. The virgin birth and the genealogy of Jesus show the necessity for the Savior to be both sinless and a blood descendant of Adam.

Now, in the scenario where Adam and Eve were the only two who evolved into humanity, we still have incompatibility with Scripture. The Bible allows us only approximately 6000 years of human history and gives no evidence of any pre-humans existing prior to or simultaneously with the first of mankind. Also, congruent with the stories in Genesis, the Bible shows that humanity had an immediate singular beginning. Jesus’ genealogy reads, “Jesus…the son of Joseph…who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God” (Luke 3:38). The Bible also says, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:13). And also, “The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

The logic of Scripture leaves us no other reasonable option but for a literal view of a singular first person called Adam, from whom all of humanity descends. Also, we have no historical literary evidence of mankind’s beginning that is as historically corroborative as that of the Bible. It has proved itself to be God’s word in countless ways. Why would it not be accurate in this too?

Flirting with a scientific theory that not only is clearly in argument against all of Scripture, but also has no proof, is absurd! Scientifically, macro-evolution, the changing from one species to another, will remain a theory and will ultimately dissipate as the broad opinion of science and culture. Not only is there no proof for this idea, it is also being shown more and more to be a scientific impossibility.

Go here for The Fact of Adam vs. the Fancy of Evolution – Part 1

Rob Morley