Thursday, August 31, 2017

Theology of Community

God is the reason we have community in the first place because God Himself demonstrates the perfect community. This is seen not only in God’s triune nature of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but also in His visible image in this world. God said that mankind, apart from everything else in all creation, is made in the very image of God. Yet being made in the image of God is not something to gloss over as it has everything to do with community.  Biblically speaking, there are three specific ways in which man has been set apart: we were given the authority to rule (Gen. 1:26), exist in great numbers (Gen. 1:27), and have the ability to bring forth life (Gen. 1:28).[1]

In rulership, God, under His Ultimate Sovereignty, established and ordained man with authority to rule over all the earth.  Everything, from fish to birds and livestock to bugs, was placed under the dominion of man.  The Sovereign God decreed a level of sovereign rule to be given to humans. Not just one man, but all of us together are to rule over God’s creation. This is living community working together.

In plurality, God created mankind.  He did not just make a singular man.  On the contrary, He designed both male and female.  Adam by himself was not made in the image of God.  This image, as seen in the Genesis passage, is a collective reflection — a corporate identity.  All of us together make up the image of God.  When God looked over all of creation and saw that everything He had made was very good, He was not saying that everything was just okay until woman was made.  What He saw when He looked over creation was His image (male and female) manifested. His communal image was finally being displayed in the created world. Thus, man and woman are a picture of community glorifying God together.

In our ability to give life, God hand-crafted two vessels which fired up a chain reaction of multiplying, by the billions, into the human community we see today. When God acted, life began and, through our actions, we bring forth life creating a larger community. What we often miss, however, as we read through the Genesis account is that God’s command for us to populate the world is two-sided (i.e. fruitful and multiply). It is easy to multiply. Hundreds of thousands of people are born every day. The challenge is in obeying God’s command to be fruitful which implies instruction. This command to be fruitful and instruct the next generation does not only apply to the physical family but to the spiritual family as whole.

In view of the spiritual community in which we are a part, our personal lives and ministries, we will be interacting with people on a regular basis. Men and women who have had different experiences, various backgrounds and possess unique viewpoints. We must remember as we seek to grow in our community and in leadership that we are to view our brothers and sisters as part of this global image of God. As we reflect on their role as image-bearers of God then we will also be reminded of the perfect relationship of community demonstrated by the Trinity as we seek to serve one another. We can do this by honoring others, sacrificing our conveniences to build others up and by investing our time into fellow man. If we are intentional in perceiving needs then we will help foster a healthy Christian community.

[1] ESV Bible, ESV Text Edition: 2011. (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2001).

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is Personal Holiness Important to You?

Caitlin and I went to a friend’s house to hang out and while we were there, a TV show was playing that displayed more than a few inappropriate scenes in the form of sexual promiscuity. We just averted our eyes but, if we are honest, that does not solve the problem or even protect us as much as we would like. Even in the act of turning your eyes from sin, you are inevitably turning your ears toward danger.

This is the reason why the apostle Paul did not urge Timothy to turn his eyes from youthful lusts, but rather to run away as fast as he could (1 Tim. 6:11).

As I look back, I recognize my lack of leadership in that situation and my passivity towards the potential conflict which had presented itself before me. However, I refuse to sit quietly by next time, as I had previously done, trying to drown out the noise while not making a scene. The reason I failed to fight for both my wife and my life was because, all too often, I do not view sin as a war. As a result, the people around me are being dealt severe injuries and even suffering death because I have refused to fight back in a war that, by my actions, I do not really believe exists.

By my refusal to stand up for the truth at that moment, I saw that I struggle with the fear of man. I acknowledge that I often spend more time wondering what others will think of me than what God would say of me. However, from this time forward, I resolve to fear God and to spend my life standing for truth and holiness. Pray for me as I take this next step to be courageous as the Lord has commanded me to be.

Will you take this step with me? Will you choose to stand for what is right and will you fight the good fight of the faith (1 Tim. 6:12)? Our personal holiness and the spiritual well-being of others should motivate us to endure those awkward conversations with our friends. We are in a war. Do you believe that?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Isaac: The World's First Child Sacrifice

The Devil is often found in Scripture attempting to imitate God. However, the imitation game he plays is to distort and twist the truth and character of God into some profane form of idolatry among men. In fact, even in his five famous “I will” statements, he proclaims to make himself “…like the Most High.[1] This is because he has no other reference point. What he himself attributes to Deity is only what has been revealed to him. There is no knowledge Satan possesses which did not first originate in the Godhead.

As we read through the book of Genesis, it is easy to miss some of the "firsts" in human history. For example, when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son, the promised son, up until that point there had never been a human offering. There was no such thing as child sacrifice. It did not exist. The sacrificing of human lives did not come into the mind and heart of man for another few hundred years. (This is according academic sites.)

The promised son Isaac was born in 1851 B.C. God more than likely commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son at age twelve which would bring us to 1839 B.C. By looking through both Biblical and archaeological records, you will find no evidence of child sacrifices anywhere in the world until after this event on Mount Moriah. Certain civilizations and tribal groups which flourished in the Americas such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs, Toltecs and Incas did not come into these practices of human sacrifices until sometime after 1500 B.C.

There is also no record of child sacrifices in the Bible until the time Moses records the Law on Mount Sinai in 1445 B.C. The command is found in Leviticus 20:1-5 which begins by saying,

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones…
The reason you do not find child sacrifice in Genesis is because it did not exist. The reason God was not giving Abraham the land of the Canaanites at that moment in Genesis 15:13-16 is because one of the sins God would later judge them for (i.e. child sacrificing) was not a practice. The Canaanites had not yet fallen into this depraved form of idolatry.

This then gave Satan well over three hundred years to begin deceiving mankind into thinking that they could appease their gods by slaughtering their children. Although we know that Isaac was not physically sacrificed on that altar, the Devil took that godly test of obedience and turned it into a vicious and evil attack on mankind which eventually ran rampant through civilizations all across the world.

[1] ESV; Isa. 14:14, p. 578

Phenomenological Phrasing of Genesis 1:1

Everything we know of, even that which we know nothing about, is summed up within God’s creation of the heavens and the earth. Nothing in the universe exists outside of these two realms. The following is a phrasing of the verse to better illustrate the two domains in which God made:

In the beginning, God created the heavens

                                          and the earth.

Herbert Spencer, a non-Christian scientist in the late 1800’s, determined that all of natural science is manifested and can be categorized into the following five phenomena’s:

1. Time           2. Force          3. Energy       4. Space          5. Matter

Now read Genesis 1:1 again and notice the scientific similarities:
Even evolutionary scientists cannot escape the reality that everything in existence is contained in the very first verse of the Bible. Imagine where we would be and what scientific knowledge we would possess if the scientists of our day would simply submit to the authority of God’s Word and choose to view their findings through the eyes of their Maker rather than attempting to force the evidence into their worldview. Robert Jastrow, an American astronomer, wrote:

"At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."[1]

[1] Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 1992)., p. 107.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

And I Replied, "It's No Big Deal."

How do you respond to someone who has wronged you and comes seeking forgiveness? What do you say when they speak to you with a genuine heartfelt apology? When you forgive, what words do you use?

We have all been on the receiving end of an apology and I have found that I often struggle with how I should respond. Upon reflection, I fear that my natural tendency is to dismiss it as no big deal and I say things like “that’s okay” or “it’s fine.” But, to be honest, it was not okay and it was not fine. What they did was sin and me brushing it off as “no big deal” is not benefiting them.

I am learning that God does not command us to dismiss evil. The proof is in the fact that He Himself is not dismissing their actions but is convicting and leading them to come and make peace with the one they have sinned against. God does not dismiss sin. He confronts it with mercy and grace because He knows that confronting sin is the most loving thing you can do for someone.

God did not find Adam and Eve in the garden and say, “that’s okay” or “it’s no big deal.” He confronted them because gracious confrontation has the potential to save another’s life. James 5:19-20 states:

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
It is not helpful to dismiss another’s wrongdoings. Treating it as if it’s not a big deal can indirectly encourage irresponsibility toward the offender because others may also be saying that it’s not a big deal. This can become a serious problem as we are unintentionally lowering the standard of godliness in each other’s life.

Our response must be that of forgiveness and should be stated, “I forgive you.” This acknowledges the wrong they have done, but it also assures them that the broken fellowship has been restored. It is an appropriate way to acknowledge the sin and will help to remind us that sin is a big deal and should not be minimized.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Next Target: The Week

We live in a society that is on an aggressive rampage to remove God and His Word from every area of our culture. So far, these groups have sought to remove the Ten Commandments from government buildings, alter definitions such as marriage and gender, as well as file lawsuits against educational institutions that teach the possibility of an Intelligent Designer.

However, if these groups are to be consistent in their crusade to remove all Biblical influence, then our very calendar must be next to be overturned. I am not referring to the fact that our calendar is built upon the birth of Christ (B.C.). These groups are already succeeding in changing those initials to B.C.E. (Before Common Era). What I am speaking of is something that impacts our lives on a much grander scale because it has control over everything we do and every plan we make. You see, many have never considered the fact that the length of our seven-day week is defined in the first chapter of Genesis.

We base our months off the Lunar cycle (moon) and our years from the solar cycle (sun) but, the origin of a seven-day week has its foundation in the Biblical record. As with everything else, God has defined the length of the week. He set the pattern by working six days and resting on the seventh during creation. Whether we believe the Bible or not, all of us live by its calendar. We work, are paid, and govern our lives based upon Sunday through Saturday – seven days as laid out by God Himself. We are all under the authority of Scripture even those seeking to expunge it from our culture.

If this rebellious culture truly wishes to secede from having any Biblical influence then they must scrap the entire calendar and redefine the seven-day work week. That being said, if they decide to come up with a three-day work week, I’ll consider their side. (Just kidding.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

America in an Apocalyptic World

How often have we heard that America will not exist during the End Times? There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to how America fits in and this statement has the potential to place fear into our hearts and minds. If left unchecked, we can begin forcing our assumptions into the Biblical texts because we allow fear to guide us. We must trust in God’s sovereignty over our lives and nation and allow the text to speak for itself. With that said, I think it is wise that we ask the following questions:

Is America mentioned in end times prophecy?

The answer, whether we like it or not, is no. The United States was not a nation of any sort when John recorded the book of Revelation. Furthermore, North America was not even discovered for another fourteen centuries. Sure, God knew, but it doesn't matter because it did not affect those living at that time. However, this does not mean that our nation will have no place or influence in the events of Revelation.

Some have suggested that because America is not mentioned in the book of Revelation then that means we have been destroyed in a nuclear war or suffered continental collapse. However, the reason John did not mention the United States in the last book of the Bible is two-fold:

1.   The United States was not a nation two thousand years ago and thus did not apply to the audience for over fourteen centuries after writing.

2.  It simply means that we are not the people in focus. The book of Revelation is focusing on God's dealing specifically with the nation of Israel. We must remember that the United States of America is not God’s covenant people.

The absence of America from the text simply shows that God was not going to get bogged down in all the details with us. There are many things about the future that we don't need to know and, at the time of writing Revelation, John the apostle was unaware that the continent of North America even existed.

The United States may exist as a nation when these events unfold or it may not. This is because Christ could delay His return for another forty-five thousand years if He chooses. I do not believe He will, but ultimately the decision is His and no one knows the exact day or hour.

Will America be destroyed before Revelation's prophetic fulfillment?

There are four continents, as well as plenty of nations, in the world which are not at all mentioned in the whole of Scripture: North and South America, Australia, and Antarctica. It would be absurd to conclude then that each one of them has been completely obliterated by the time of Christ's return. 

Does America play a role in Biblical eschatology?

We have played a huge role in Biblical eschatology up to the present day! On May 14, 1948 the leaders of the world, including our own Harry S. Truman, recognized Israel as a Jewish State whereby they became a nation again. The technological advancement achieved through the free enterprise of the West has served both to advance the Gospel and prepare the way for the end to come.  

No matter what happens to us, the people of this land will continue to have an impact on what transpires in the end times. However, we must realize that we are not the people God is focusing the world's attention on - Israel is.


Christ told us that no one knows the exact day or the hour when He, the Son of Man, will return. However, He did say we would know when the time is getting close. With the amount of prophetic fulfillment happening in our day it would seem to indicate that His return is very near, but it is just as likely for Him to wait another hundred years or so. Remember, God is patient and longsuffering. He could in fact be raising up vessels of destruction to prepare the way for His glorious return, but it is hard to say. All we know for sure is that He is faithful and He is coming back at some point in the future.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Genesis 1:1, 2, 3... Summarize!

Summary of the First Three Verses of Genesis 
(As you can tell, I love the book of Genesis!)

Genesis 1:1

This first verse of Scripture is an overall summary of the entire creation account. It is here that we are given the very first glimpse of our God in action expressing His creativity. Everything in existence is summed up in God’s creation of the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:2

The second verse helps us to know the condition of things. We are made aware of a lack and deficiency in creation because there are no occupants to make this world their home. Ultimately speaking, the greatest deprivation is seen in the absence of God. However, it is here in the latter half of the verse that God moves into His creation.

Genesis 1:3

This third verse is where the account begins. God has made, moved in and is now manifesting Himself to the creation by demonstrating His power in bringing forth light by the word of His mouth. Here in verse three we are told of the remarkable first words of God to His creation.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

God's Unlimited Patience Upon Limited Man

If you only read one thing, read this: For all of eternity God’s patience will NEVER run out because it has NO limits!

Now, please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I promise I am not going Rob Bell on you by forsaking truth. However, throughout the generations of Church history, many faithful Bible-believing men and women have viewed God’s patience from an incorrect perspective. By simply typing “Does God’s patience have a limit?” into Google, you will find countless pages containing various articles written expounding on this incorrect perspective.

What do you think regarding God’s patience?

I was taught to believe that God is infinitely patient in character yet, practically speaking, there will come a time when His patience will run out for mankind. This terminology has been used in the field of evangelism for years. The word “infinite” is defined as limitless. How can we as the Church honestly claim that God is infinite while, at the same time, attributing limitations upon Him? If God is infinitely patient, then how is it possible for His patience to reach a limit? This seems contradictory.

The key truth to remember is that God’s patience never runs out. It is an eternal spring as He is the River of Life. It is not that God’s patience runs out on the sinner. The problem is not with God, but with us. (As is everything else – see my blogs for details.)

God built into each one of us a timer. Whether you are baking cookies or heating something up in the microwave, a timer’s purpose is to run out so that you will know not how to act, but when. There is coming a day when you will find yourself at death’s door. Whether immediate or slow, your life will come to an end. It is an absolute.

God is infinitely patient because He does not have a built-in timer as we do. No attribute of His will ever lessen or come to a close. We, on the other hand, are but a vapor in the wind. We are here one day and gone the next. We have a start and we have a finish (physically speaking).

I sat in a drive-thru at Steak ‘n Shake one time and waited fourteen minutes and there were still three cars ahead of me. I was fine waiting, but I had a commitment I needed to keep and ended up driving off before I received my order. Not because I was impatient, but there came a point when I needed to get moving so that I could meet the deadline. This is not impatience on my part. It is simply having an objective. The impatience comes when I lose track of my attitude and allow my sin nature to take control.

God works this way with man. He is involved in all human affairs and He has foreordained specific times and events to come about. The people of Noah’s day lived almost ten times as long as we do in today’s organically-grown, medically-achieved nutritiously-protein-packed era. Does that mean He was more patient with Noah’s people than us today? Not at all!

God gave the people of Noah’s day 120 years to repent yet they did not. God’s patience was not what ran out; the clock ran out. The people did not meet their deadline. No pun intended.

Final Statement: God’s patience NEVER runs out. We run out.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Proverbs 31 For Men

Several months ago, Caitlin and I were in a small group Bible study reading through the well-known Proverbs 31 chapter. The normal reading of this text is to see the characteristics of a godly woman but, as the lesson was unfolding, I was wondering how I, a Christian man and godly husband, fit into this passage. As you are aware, there is no Proverbs 32 written about the godly man so my curiosity pushed me to search this passage to see what the application was for men like me.

My quest began in the latter half of the chapter and mainly concerned three verses.

1.      Verse 23 states,

Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.
In Old Testament times, having a seat at the gates of a city meant that you were in a leadership role. It was a sign of status, prominence, respect and revealed a certain level of governing authority. Notice where and with whom her husband is sitting. He has a high position of influence among the inhabitants of this city and it is from this location that we are better able to understand the following verses.

2.      Verse 28 reads,

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her;
Notice again what the godly woman’s husband is doing. His actions play a huge role into where he is sitting. What we see in this passage is that her husband is publicly praising her. However, one must wonder how exactly this praising is carried out and that is revealed in verse 31, the very last verse of the chapter.

3.      Verse 31 says,

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
The participants have changed, but the actions and overall results have remained the same. In the verses prior, her husband is seen sitting in the gates and is praising her, but this last verse says that her works praise her in the gates. Well, which is it: her husband or her works?

Her works are pictured praising her in the most prominent place of the public sector, but she herself is not present at those gates. So do not misunderstand, this is not conceited praise from the lips of an arrogant woman making sure everyone in town knows about her. On the contrary, she is nowhere near the public eye at this time, yet the leadership and the entire city are all benefiting from her works. How can this be?

A Personal Application

In many of the blogs I write it has been natural for me to have a more aggressive tendency. I fear that I have even turned people away at times because of my harsh tone in the past. However, I have been deeply impacted by the ministry of my wife to me. Proverbs 31:26 says, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” I have found this to be an accurate description of the way my wife has influenced me, which is why she oversees the editing of these blogs.

As I am currently in Seminary, I expect to someday sit in a prominent place of leadership and influence over other people and have come to recognize that God has used my godly wife to teach me to exercise wisdom and kindness in my interactions with others.


In Proverbs 31 we see a husband who has benefited so much from his wife that his ministry and role of leadership has been greatly impacted by her ministry to him. It is her ministry in his life which has resulted in much fruit. Her works of kindness, grace and generosity are shown in the personality of her husband who is an authority in the city. He has learned much wisdom from her and his manner indirectly praises her works.

This truth reveals her humility in the fact that she does not seek to be seen. She is not concerned with having the spotlight on her because the godly woman recognizes that the spotlight is to always remain on Christ. As I listen to godly men such as John Piper, David Platt, Francis Chan and others, I am curious as to how much of their wives’ influence on their own lives I am hearing.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Why Does God Hate Sin So Much?

I want to begin by directing that question to you. Why do, or at least should, you hate sin so much? Some of us tend to look at certain sins like child pornography, bestiality, homosexuality, murder, and rape with disgust. While I agree that we should find these sins revolting, we must never lose sight of the fact that all sin is disgusting, especially our own.

Often, I find that the sins we view as repulsive are the very ones we do not struggle with personally. At the same time, we tend to soften our own sins and make them more excusable to others and ourselves. We may view ours as wrong and unholy but not really that big of a deal. However, deep down we deceive ourselves into thinking we are not as bad as what other people are doing. The evidence for this comes while we are watching the news and hear about a man who murdered his family. Our immediate thought is, “How could he do something that evil?!” What they are really doing is comparing their own sin with the crimes of the man on the news and allowing culture to dictate what is and is not a pardonable sin.

In my own experience, in talking with others, I have noticed that this feeling of repulsion towards other forms of outward sin, specifically those that result in jail time, generally results in a lack of love and compassion shown to those who commit such sins. While there are certainly consequences for sins and you should seek to protect the welfare of others, that does not mean we should not strive to share the healing Gospel with criminals. Because, while our hidden sins may not result in jail time, we need to stop downplaying our “lesser” sins and recognize them for what they really are—unspeakably shameful and absolutely appalling! Whether you murder your neighbor or lose your temper, both are sins against the Lord.

Thank God that He does not see us the way we often view others. I believe the biggest reason God hates sin is because, not only does it destroy us, but it separates us from Himself. Sin brings death, not only to us but, to other people as well. This is the way we need to see sin. Death is the separation from others and ultimately God and thus should be taken seriously.

Friday, August 4, 2017

When We Laugh at Sin

In the latter half of Disney’s new movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” there is a scene in which the townspeople storm the castle. During their raid, three men run up the stairs with swords drawn and are met by the Wardrobe who then combats the men by dressing them as women in dresses, wigs, jewelry, and so on. Two of the men run off screaming but the third smiles broadly and skips joyfully away to the encouragement of the Wardrobe to be free. In other words, be who you want to be. Dress how you want to dress. Live how you want to live. I am sure you are familiar with this scene as it was a source of much debate in the church earlier this spring.

When Caitlin and I saw this movie in the theater the whole room burst out in laughter during this scene. It is not necessarily sin for someone to watch a movie tainted with perversion, but it is a sin to laugh at sin and especially when those around you may be struggling with that very thing. One of the main problems with finding obscenity humorous is that it reveals an approval and it is approval of sin that is sin. The things a person laughs at reveals what is in their heart (Matt. 15:18).

Many Christians are very vocal regarding their distaste in the transgender movement. I’m sure my Facebook newsfeed is not the only one that is daily filled with the transgender debate and labeling it sin, unhealthy and illogical. However, a few months ago I saw another side of Christianity. One that is being defined and driven by our culture.

With the lack of Biblical literacy and the rise of immoral behavior, Christians today are being pressed more than ever to conform into the image of the world rather than that of Christ. Their method? Compartmentalize and fragment the Christian life so that God only impacts some of the believer’s life and not the whole. Social media is a perfect demonstration of this with Christians condemning specific sins of others while, at the same time, laughing about them on the big screen.

Maybe a contributing factor to the reason why the world doesn’t take Christianity seriously is because we don’t take our own faith seriously. We have changed the fear of God into merely the respect of Him. We have taken His Word and cut from it the passages that cause discomfort or that we disagree with entirely. Rather than functioning as the locker room to regroup, encourage, strengthen, and prepare believers for another week in the world, churches today are often no more than a social gathering where crowds gather to hear a motivational speech teaching them how to feel better about themselves.

Paul writes in Romans 2:24 that the world blasphemes God because we blaspheme God. That is a heavy statement but a sobering one that should cause us to pause and evaluate our own lives. The Mosaic Law calls transgenderism an abomination to the Lord (Deut. 22:5). As Christians, we must strive to be consistent in our beliefs regarding sin and holiness. Do you believe transgenderism is sin or do you find it humorous to watch men and women destroying themselves and defacing the glory of God?

As we watch movies such as “Beauty and the Beast” we should pay attention to what we and even kids think is funny. We all experience at times moments when we laugh at things that insults the Lord – that’s called being human with an old sin nature. But our aim should be holiness. As stated earlier, Caitlin and I did see this movie in theaters and now even own the DVD so I’m not saying that you should never go to the theater or watch anything other than black and white movies. I just wish to encourage my fellow believers in Christ to watch movies with an awareness of how our culture works to undermine the Lord and our own reactions to their advances.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A People-Pleasing Moment

Do you ever wonder why you do the things you do? Why is it that you look at Facebook more than twice a day? What is it that causes you to pick up the phone, tablet, or click on the power button of your computer?

For some of us it is business. Others find it to be a place to connect with the people we love. Some of us, like my wife and I, enjoy scrolling down the newsfeed to see if there is anything worth commenting on to stir up trouble. (Only sort of kidding.)

It is not always an easy task to discern our reasons and motives for doing certain things, but it is a skill we must develop in our own lives so that we may become clearer presenters of the Gospel of Christ. As many of you probably noticed, over the past two weeks I have been posting a new blog every day. While it is certainly a good thing, especially in my own life to spend this time articulating various truths the Spirit has been teaching me, I also realize how things that can be good can so very easily become our master. What I mean is that I caught myself looking multiple times to see if anyone had “liked” some of my recent posts. While there is no sin in checking Facebook, there is sin in the addiction of man’s praise.

Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets” have been scientifically proven to produce a surge of dopamine which bring about a two second sense of self-gratification and has addictive qualities. You know you are craving more and more dopamine when you find yourself checking your Facebook account quite regularly to see if your number of “likes” has increased. Then, when you see no likes or comments, you begin to wonder if people do not like what you are saying or if you offended somebody.

I realized at that moment that a part of me was seeking the approval of man above the approval of God. I am an example of how easy it is to long for temporary pleasure more than the eternal satisfaction of Christ. I must continually remind myself that:

Success is not determined by how many followers you have, how many of your posts are shared (although it is encouraging when it happens!), or how many “likes” you receive. These blogs will all burn up when God remakes the creation anyway. The only Word that will remain forever is God’s Word and from His vantage point, faithful dependence upon Him is the key to true success.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Origin of the Universe in Chiastic Form

Day 1 (1:2 – 5)

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.[1]

Day 1 of the creation week is the very beginning of all things. It is where God determined to express His creativity in a physical universe. It is interesting to note that the term universe is comprised of two root words: uni (one) and verse (spoken sentence). When working together the term universe means “single spoken sentence” which is exactly how Genesis 1 unfolds. God’s architectural blueprint for Day 1 reveals a chiastic parallelism:

                        A. Space and time.

                                    B. Heaven (God’s throne).

                                                C. The angelic beings (the hosts of Heaven).

                                    B. Earth (God’s footstool).

                        A. Light and motion.

At the very beginning of creation we see that God has set up and established His throne forever. Everything begins and remains with God on the throne. This gives us great security and freedom because we know that God is in control and orchestrating the events of each day in the Genesis account. This first week represents every week of our lives and gives us reason to trust in the sovereign hand of God in every circumstance that comes our way.

[1] Gen. 1:2-5; ESV, 1

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

You Must Believe Christ Will Return in Your Life

Have you ever thought,

“It’s been two thousand years and He still hasn’t come. The saints of every generation have expected His return and life has moved on as it always has. There is nothing necessarily special with our generation so why should I focus my attention on His future coming when it most likely won’t take place for a long time.”
You may have never spoken these words audibly to anyone, but I think, if most of us were honest with ourselves, we would admit having felt this way at some time or another. It is my desire to demonstrate Biblically why you must believe that the Lord Jesus is coming back during your life on this earth. Let your confidence in the glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior overwhelm you as you live the remainder of your days.

While I do not have an exact date in mind, if you do not believe that Jesus will return in your lifetime then you are wrong. Not intellectually, but practically. What I mean is that if you do not believe with full conviction that your Lord is returning at any moment then you will not live out your God-given potential in this life. Your lackadaisical attitude towards His Revelation will negatively affect the way you function in your daily routine.

How you spend your time will be influenced by when you believe the Master is coming. What do you prioritize in life? What kinds of movies do you watch? What songs do you listen to? Whose bed are you sleeping in? Where do you go at night when nobody is watching? How much time do you spend playing mind-numbing games and sit like a vegetable in front of the computer screen? When was the last time you prayed, ingested Scripture and shared the Gospel with someone else?

2 Peter 3:3-4 says,

“…scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’”

We often emphasize in evangelism the longing of spending eternity in Heaven. Yet what consumed the apostles in their teaching was the fact that the Lord is coming back and their challenge to us is to be faithful when He returns. Do not find yourself to be a scoffer of the Lord’s coming as others may be prone. It is no man’s desire to be found on the last day as the unfaithful or wicked servant Christ spoke of in Matthew 25:14-30. If Christ came back tomorrow, what would He say of you?