Sunday, February 26, 2006
Are you Ready for the Lions? - By Ray Comfort
Come back with me to the year 51AD. Look on, as another Christian is about to be thrown to the lions. This man has one last chance to publicly deny his faith in Jesus Christ, but he doesn't. The awaiting crowd roars with delight. Once again, the grizzly sight of blood and bone will be spread across the blood-soaked soil of the arena.
These Christians rarely disappointed the bloodthirsty mob. There weren't many backsliders. Despite the entertainment, it was a continual mystery to the crowd as to why anyone would willingly allow himself to be torn apart by ferocious lions when a simple nod of the head would free him to go back to his beloved family. So, why is this man ready to be torn limb from limb by ferocious teeth?
A few years earlier, this godless man had been in Athens on a business trip and had heard the gospel from the lips of an apostle preaching on Mars Hill. He heard the apostle say that his hearers had sinned against Heaven, and therefore needed a Savior because God "had appointed a Day in which He would judge the world in righteousness." He listened as this faithful apostle spoke of that "righteousness of God apart from the law," and showed him that he was under God's dreadful wrath.
As he stood among the crowd, he heard that Jesus of Nazareth had said "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery already with her in his heart." He had violated that Commandment many times. He also heard that God would send all thieves and liars to Hell -- "All liars will have their part in the lake of fire," and that He considered hatred to be murder. His conscience began to stir within him and remind him of his guilt. This Judgment Day of which the apostle preached would be a fearful thing. He began to feel a very real dread that he truly was under God's wrath, and would end up in the lake of fire. As he hung his head in a strange mixed sense of sorrow and dread, he heard the preacher explain that this same Jesus of Nazareth--the Lamb of God--had suffered and died on a Roman cross in his place. God Himself had provided a Savior. The Messiah took the sin of the world upon Himself. He paid for our sin in His life's blood by suffering and dying in our place. But death could not hold Him. He burst from the grave; and through faith in His Name eternal salvation was offered to all men.
This sinful man lifted his head in unbelief that God would love him that much. He listened closely to hear what he should then do. He was simply to "repent, and believe in the gospel" and call upon the Name of the Lord. That's what he did. He bowed his head once again and earnestly prayed, "God forgive me for sinning against you. Jesus Christ -- be my Lord and Savior . . ."
It was then that he found that Almighty God was almighty indeed. He made him a new creature. He was born again, with a new heart and new desires. God wrote His Law upon his heart and caused him to walk in His statutes. This man, who once lived for sin and drank it in like water, suddenly found that he thirsted for righteousness, and wanted, above all things, to please the God that gave him life. It was a miracle. One day he had no thoughts of God. Not for a second. The next day the love of God was shed abroad in his heart. The Holy Spirit made His abode in him. This gospel of salvation came to him with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance.
This man, whose only concern had been for himself, suddenly became possessed with an all-consuming passion to share the Gospel of salvation with a dying world. It was as though he was filled with rivers of living water. But there was more. When he prayed, he had an inner conviction that God heard his every whisper. It was as though he had been given the gift of faith. He believed without effort. The Name of Jesus was sweet to his ear, and Jesus Christ became more important to him than his own life. The cross he had been told about shone before him with the intensity of the noonday sun. He gloried in it. He found himself weeping at the thought that God in Christ would suffer in his place. Guilt no longer plagued his sinful heart. It was removed as far as the east is from the West. Secret and sinful passions fell off his flesh like unwanted and rotting clothes. Old things passed away--behold, all things became new. He bubbled with an unspeakable joy and relished a peace that passed all understanding. God had given him the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. His faith was solely in God through Christ, and His sure promise of life.
So, why is this man ready to be torn limb from limb by ferocious teeth? It is because he came to actually know the God that he once only knew about. This is why he, and multitudes more, were "faithful unto death."
One day, you and I will also be thrown to the lions. If God allows us to live to a ripe old age, our bodies will become ravaged with time, and we will face the yawning teeth of death. Not too many of us will have a pleasant demise. Most will be ripped apart by some terrible disease, until the ferocious beast of death devours what's left of our bodies.
Such thoughts are not pleasant, but they are true to life. Are you ready for that brutal attack? How deep is your faith in God? Can you say from your own conviction that the Holy Spirit has regenerated you? Does the evident fruit in your life reveal that you are born of God? Don't give a quick answer. This question is far too important for you to give a thoughtless, "I'm okay. I believe in God," or "I have given my heart to Jesus." The Bible warns in Matthew 7:21-23 that there will be many who, on the Day of Judgment, will cry out to Jesus, "Lord, Lord!" But He will say to them, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity." Can you imagine the horror of that happening to you? On that fearful day there will be a huge category of people who will say that they knew the Lord, but they were in truth "hypocrites." A hypocrite may deceive friends and family, but he can never deceive God. What is really happening, is that he is deceiving himself.
Maybe, like millions of others, you have made a commitment to Christ but you didn't have a Road to Damascus experience. Or perhaps you don't even know the date you decided to follow the Savior. That doesn't matter. What matters is the present. Where are you at this very moment? If your heart gave out right now, how would you respond in those few moments that your life drained from you -- in absolute trust, or total terror? Don't deceive yourself any further by saying, "That would never happen to me." Human nature tends to think that way -- that death is something that happens to other people. But every single day 150,000 people die, and no doubt each of them that are now in eternity, thought just like you -- that death "will never happen to me."
Please, think about the day death comes to you. Let your imagination work for you for a moment. A massive crowd of demons is calling for your blood. You stand helplessly in front of the vicious jaws of death. It opens wide its mouth. Can you face it with courage? Is your conversion experience that real? Are you ready?
Be wise. Examine yourself, and see if you are in the faith. If you are not, then don't be like this godless world and leave yourself vulnerable to the ultimate of life's terrors. Get on your knees today -- right now, and let the Ten Commandments search out your secret sins. Have you put God first? Have you made a god in your own image? Have you ever blasphemed His name? Or looked with unclean sexual desires? Ask God to shine a spotlight on your heart and remind you of those things that you have thought and done that He saw. Nothing is hidden from His eyes. He even sees the darkness as pure light. Realize that if God gave you justice, you would end up in Hell for eternity. We only get one chance in this thing we call "life."
Don't blow it for eternity. Confess your sins to God. Name them. Be sorry for them. Plead with Him to open your understanding to the great truth that God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Make your calling and election sure, until you can say with the apostle Paul, "For me to live is Christ. To die is gain." Then your love for God will become so real, you couldn't deny it even if you wanted to. That was the kind of unwavering faith that gave courage to stand before the lion. You need that same faith today.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
So while it’s impossible to say truthfully that there is no God, is it impossible to know whether there is a God?
What does the Bible have to say on the subject?
Romans 1:20 says, ‘For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:..’ (KJV)
First things first we must ask; What are the things of Him (God)?
Simple – Creation is evidence itself that it was ‘made’.
When you look at a building, how do you know there was a builder? You can’t see the builder, can’t touch, taste, hear or smell him. So how do you know someone built the building? The evidence is in the building itself. The same logic applies to a painting. You couldn’t ask for more evidence that there was a painter than the painting itself. I don’t even need faith that there was a builder or a painter, all I need are eye’s that can see and a brain that works.
The same principle applies with the existence of God. When I look at creation, how can I know there was a Creator? I can’t see Him, touch Him, smell Him or hear Him. How can I know that He exists? Easy, creation itself is all the evidence I need to know that there was a Creator.
And that’s exactly what the verse in Romans is telling us. ‘…For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:..’
The Bible tells us that we are without excuse when it comes to knowing if there is a God or not. Even though one may have limited knowledge of God no one can plead total ignorance of His Being.
Louis Pasteur said, ‘The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.’
Sir Isaac Newton said, ‘This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.’
So what’s the next question after concluding that there must be a God?
Questions to ask yourself might be….
*What does God want from me?
*Why did He create me?
*How does God see me? (From a stand point of good or bad)
*What is sin?
*If God hates sin, how do I reconcile that with God?
*What’s all the fuss over Jesus. Isn’t believing in God good enough?
Saturday, February 11, 2006
How much knowledge does the average adult person have?
Well, that’s hard to say. We have a system to determine intelligence, it’s called an IQ test. So let’s look at that for a moment.
If we were to equate average intelligence to an IQ number then the average adult person has an IQ of about 100-114. Certainly not genius level by any means. IQ’s from 115-129 are considered above average and an IQ score of 144 or more finally gets you to the genius stratum. In 1989 Marilyn vos Savant was featured in the Guinness book of world records with an IQ of 228. But even with an IQ of 228, how much knowledge could she have?
Lets say, for arguments sake, that my atheist friend is as smart as Marilyn. And lets also say that he knows 5% of all the knowledge that could be known (and that’s being very generous too). Think about how much you would have to know to have knowledge of just 5% of all that could be known? Why you would need to know even crazy little things like; how many ants were in my neighbors best friends sisters yard two years ago? And what about; how many camels have more than 250 fleas at any given time? Or know things like the exact count of fibers in my parents shag carpet we had in the 70’s. What about all the grains of sand on all the beaches? What about thoughts from other people?
Now your starting to get the idea that even 5% of all the knowledge that could be known is really too high a percentage. But we will use 5% for our argument.
Would it be safe to assume then, that in the 95% of the knowledge he doesn’t have, that it’s quite possible that he hasn't yet come across ample evidence to prove that God exsists? The rational mind, at this point, would have to concede that yes, in the 95% of knowledge that I don’t have, it’s quite possible that there may be evidence that there is a God.
Simple, rational reasoning would go like this;
By saying that one is an atheist, they are stating that there is no God.
By stating that there is no God, they are making an absolute statement.
In order to make an absolute statement, they must have absolute knowledge.
In order for them to have absolute knowledge, they would have to be God.
And since you know that they’re not God, they can't have absolute knowledge.
And since they don't have absolute knowledge, they can't know that there’s no God.
The Bible says in Psalm 14:1, ‘The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God…..”
So my friend is really an agnostic. An agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
Which leads me to a whole new direction. Is it impossible to know whether there is a God?
Stay tuned for part 2
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The Oil Industry is upset by the proposed 2006 fiscal budget. Why? Well it seems like there's at least one item in the budget that is actually going to get the axe.
What is this line item in the budget that has the Oil Industry upset about? It's a research-and-development program that sets Americans back by $61 million bucks a year. That's right, we the tax payers, give the Oil Industry millions of dollars for research and development.
Let's pick an oil company, say Exxon, and see what just 1% of their profit was for last year;
Exxon reported a profit of $36 billion dollars for 2005. Just a measly 1% of the profit from this one oil company, would be $360 million dollars. That's almost enough money, from this one oil company, for (6) research-and-development programs that we the tax payers are giving the industry now.
But Mike Linn, chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said, "It doesn't make sense to have an Energy Department that doesn't have a portion of its mission directed to America's largest energy resources." Yes, you read that right. According to Mr. Linn, it doesn't make sense not to give the wealthiest companies in the world more money for their programs.
Talk about an entitlement program!
The White House Office of Management and Budget said, "Industry has the incentives and resources to do such R&D on its own."
Yes, yes it does. And so do a lot of other companies, States and localities. We need a real budget that keeps on cutting and gets us back to balanced budget. The liberals and RINO's in Washington do not know how to make a budget that is Constitutional.
A good read this morning on the supposed budget cuts comes from The Bean Patch. On his blog, Badbeans gives us plain straight talk on how a budget should work using a simple household budget as an example.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Happy Birthday to the greatest President of the 20th century. In honor of his birth, I'm posting some of my favorite Reagan quotes.
I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.
Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.
My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.
Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.
The most terrifying words in the English langauge are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.
And one last one for us all.........
Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.