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What About Abortion?
1. God views the unborn child as a real person (Psalm 139:13-16; Exodus 21:22-23)
2. The unborn child is called a "babe" just like the child already born (Luke 1:41,44; 2:12,16).
3. All admit that abortion kills something (if not, it would be unnecessary). But human life only exists when the soul is united with the body (James 2:26). The Bible doesn't endorse the unscientific view that human life only begins when one fully exits the birth canal.
4. The Bible mentions a sin called 'without natural affection' or 'unloving' (Romans 1:31). This is the condition of lacking the natural love that should exist between children and parents and a mother or father and their child.
1. It is always soundly condemned (Deut. 4:19). In fact it is just another form of idolatry. To worship a wooden statue or rock carving is just as foolish as in fearing the movements of the planets (2 Kings 17:16).
2. Astrology is powerless to predict anything. God even challenges the astrologers to deliver on their predictions or promises (Isaiah 47:13).
3. In the Bible, they are depicted as being absolutely powerless to penetrate the future or to even read the mind of another individual (Daniel 2:27; 5:5-16). Like every other form of idolatry, astrology is condemned because it is just another human attempt to circumvent dependence upon and trust in God as the guide for your life (Matthew 4:4; 22:37; Galatians 2:20). To fear or guide your life by the movements in the heavens is to worship the creation instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25).
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1. Jesus placed baptism before salvation, not after it (Mark 16:16).
2. So did Peter (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). And Paul (Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12-13; Acts 22:16).
3. Jesus and the apostles inherently linked baptism with faith (Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:12). Thus being baptized is simply trusting in God's way of saving you.
1. The thief was forgiven under a covenant that ceased at the death of Jesus. Upon His death the First Covenant ended (the Law of Moses) and the Second Covenant was instituted (Hebrews 9:15-17; 10:9-10).
2. The command to be baptized in water to obtain the forgiveness of sins is found following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16).
3. Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, all who live, are accountable to the instructions found in the New Covenant. This is a universal covenant for all mankind (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19).
4. Included in this covenant is the command to be immersed in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 10:47-48; 18:8; 22:16; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12-13; 1 Peter 3:21).
5. In addition, it is purely assumed that he wasn't baptized. He may have been baptized under John's baptism, for he knew about the Kingdom of God (Luke 23:42).
1. The Greek word rendered 'baptize' or 'baptism' means immerision (see any Greek lexicon).
2. The Biblical examples of individuals being baptized support immersion: (a) Much water was necessary (John 3:23). (b) The need to 'arise' to be baptized (one doesn't have to move for sprinkling or pouring to take place) (Acts 22:16). (c) Both baptizer and the person being baptized went down into the water together (Acts 8:36-38). (d) Baptism is described as a burial (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12-13). (e) The word "baptized" is used in connection with being completely enveloped (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). (f) From the standpoint of history, sprinkling and pouring originated long after the days of the apostles and the completion of the New Testament.
1. The baptism commanded is water baptism (Acts 10:47-48). Baptism in water is inherently linked with preaching Jesus (Acts 8:35-38).
2. Holy baptism was a promise to a selected group of individuals (John 14:26; Acts 1:4-5), and is recorded as only happening twice (Acts 2:1-4; 11:15-17).
3. The baptism linked with salvation is water baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21). It is a baptism that requires the individual to arise (Acts 22:16).
4. Therefore, the one essential baptism of Ephesians 4:5, the baptism commanded of every person, is water baptism, for it is the salvation associated with salvation. Telling people they are saved prior to being baptized in water is failing to tell them the truth (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).
1. Why would God speak, if not to be understood? If God created us (James 3:9), then He knows the range of our mental capacities.
2. Salvation is inherently tied to understanding the gospel message (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 1:16; 10:17; Matthew 13:19,23). If one can't understand, then they can't believe and be saved.
3. We are commanded to acquire the correct understanding (Eph. 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:15).
4. Paul said that when we read we could understand it just like he understood it (Ephesians 3:3-5).
5. Jesus rebuked people for not understanding God's will (Matthew 22:29).
6. God can create the world out of nothing (Psalm 33:6), but He can't author a book that all can understand?
7. God commands us to be united, but then gave us a revelation which is impossible to reach agreement upon? (John 17:20-21)
1. Jesus never accused anyone, nor did He ever predict that the Bible would be corrupted. In fact, He promised just the opposite (Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23-25).
2. If books had been removed from the Old Testament, why didn't Jesus correct the translation He used when upon the face of the earth? Rather, He viewed the translation then in existence as the inspired word of God (Matthew 5:17-18).
3. The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the text of the Old Testament hasn't been corrupted.
4. The New Testament is backed up by more manuscript evidence than any other book of antiquity. If we can't trust the textual accuracy of the New Testament, then we can trust the text of any ancient document, including the writings of Shakespeare or the Declaration of Independence.
5. Since man cannot know spiritual truth by intuition (Isaiah 55:8-9; Proverbs 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13). All would stand helpless before a corrupted Bible, being unable to distinguish between what part had been corrupted and what hadn't. If our only link with God has been hopelessly tainted, then we are all doomed to fail.
1. Jesus based an argument upon the tense of a word found in the text of the Old Testament (Matthew 22:32). Paul based on argument upon whether a word in the Bible was found in the singular or the plural (Galatians 3:16).
2. The prophets wanted to know more about what was being revealed through them (1 Peter 1:10-12).
3. Paul plainly described the inspiration process as God giving them spiritual thoughts with spiritual words (1 Corinthians 2:13). The concept and the exact words to use in expressing that concept.
4. Apart from God's revelation, every biblical writer was just as ignorant about spiritual truth, as any other man or woman (Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 10:23).
1. The same God who created the universe (Genesis 1:1), is the same God who claims to have authored the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, true science and true religion will always be in agreement.
2. Long before man discovered the following scientific truths or laws, the Bible had mentioned them as fact: (a) The earth is round (Isaiah 40:22). (b) The water-vapor cycle (Ecc. 1:7). (c) The law of biogenesis, life comes from life (Genesis 1:11). (d) The first law of thermodynamics (Genesis 2:1). (e) The second law of thermodynamics (Hebrews 1:10-12). (f) Woman has a seed of procreation (Genesis 3:15). (g) Understanding infectious diseases (Leviticus chapters 13-15). (h) Ocean currents (Psalm 8:8). (i) Ocean trenches (Job 40:16).
3. Lest we might be tempted to say, 'What does Jesus know about origins, science or creation?' Have we forgotten that Jesus is the Creator? (John 1:1-3) And that He created the entire universe, including all the laws which govern it? (Colossians 1:17)
1. Jesus specifically promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles into all truth (John 16:13; 15:26-27; 14:26). If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then you must believe that He kept that promise, and that the New Testament contains all truth (2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3).
2. The New Testament contains God's revelation for the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:86ff), but nowhere is there a promise of another covenant to come.
3. In the Bible the priesthood of a covenant and the law of that covenant either stand or fall together (Hebrews 7:12). Seeing that Jesus holds His priesthood forever (Hebrews 7:24), that in turn means that the New Testament is the final revelation from God to mankind.
In other words, can we do something in the name of God,
just as long as God hasn't specifically condemned it?
1. The clear Biblical answer is "no". See the following examples (Leviticus 10:1-3; 1 Samuel 15:1-23).
2. Specific instruction in the Bible about a teaching or practice automatically excludes all other options in the category under consideration. Some applications: (a) The element to be baptized in is specific (water) (Acts 8:36; 10:47). (b) The mode of baptism is specific (immersion) (Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:12-13). (c) The purpose of baptism is specific (for salvation) (Mark 16:16). (d) The subjects of baptism are specific (people who have sinned and who are old enough to understand and believe for themselves) (Acts 8:36-37; 2:38).
1. The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and this claim applies to every Scripture.
2. It is silly to argue that while God could create the entire universe and all the laws which govern its present operation (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16)---this same God made some historical blunders in His revelation. Did God get an "A" in physics, but a "D" in history??? Which is easier, to create the entire universe out of nothing (Psalm 33:6-8), or to inspire and miraculously guide various men to reveal all truth? (2 Peter 1:20-21; John 16:13).
3. Some contend that while the Bible contains the Word of God (in some places) is also contains many errors. In contrast, "the sum of Thy Word is truth" (Psalm 119:160); and "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). Again, if one really believes in God, then which is easier, create the entire universe and keep it functioning or keep the Bible from being corrupted? Many today need to heed the words which Jesus addressed to Thomas, "be not unbelieving, but believing" (John 20:27).
4. It has become increasing popular in various religious circles to view the Bible and especially the events in the Old Testament as fictional or mythical. But Jesus won't allow us to profess belief in Him while at the same time criticizing His Father's Word. Especially, during this time of year when so many are thinking about Jesus, we need to decide whether we really believe in Him or not. Jesus and His apostles repeatedly endorsed and viewed as actual fact the events in the Old Testament, including: Creation (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Tim. 2:13-14), the events in Eden (Romans 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22), Cain and Abel (Heb. 11:4; 1 John 3:12), Seth (Luke 3:38), Enoch (Heb. 11:5), The Flood (Matt. 24:39), Noah and his family (2 Peter 2:5), Shem and his descendants (Luke 3:35-36), Abraham (Heb. 11:8), Melchizedek (Heb. 7:1-3), Lot, his wife and the destruction of Sodom (Luke 17:29), the burning bush (Luke 20:32) and so on. Are you merely giving lip service to Jesus or are you a believer? (Luke 6:46).
1. The new birth involves water and the Spirit (John3:3,5). One is born of the Spirit when they are convicted by the Spirit's message (Word of God), and faith is produced in their heart (James 1:18; Ephesians 6:17; Acts 2:37; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23).
2. The water aspect of the new birth is baptism. For baptism stands between a person and entering the kingdom of God (Acts 2:38; Colossians 1:12-14). Thus the new birth happens when an honest heart hears the Word of God, accept is, and obeys God's conditions for salvation, including water baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16).
3. The phrase 'born again Christian' is redundant. One is not a Christian prior to the new birth. You are either born again and a Christian or not born again and not a Christian.
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1. Yes! God commands all men and women to repent (Acts 17:30). Repentance is a very positive word. It means: (a) Sin isn't genetic or inherent in our nature (1 Cor. 14:20). (b) I don't have to be enslaved to my own selfishness or some addictive or compulsive behavior (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). (c) Neither do I have to live a life in bondage to all sorts of fears, phobias or superstitions (John 8:32,36; Hebrews 2:15). (d) It also means that real, true and lasting change is within the reach of everyone, which means that change isn't dependent upon one's financial resources. All you need to do is place your confidence in the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply what He taught (John 8:31-32). Are you tired of spending alot of money on human methods that don't work? Come to Jesus (Matthew 11:28-29).
1. The first question that must be answered is, "does man need help?" Merely reading the newspaper will answer that question in the affirmative.
2. Both the Scriptures and human experience prove that man is incapable of morally and spiritually guiding himself (Proverbs 16:25; Jeremiah 10:23; 1 Corinthians 1:26; Romans 1:18-32).
3. If we are tempted to think that our own time is more enlightened than others, or that our technology will provide the answer to all our problems, please answer the following question: 'What sin mentioned in the Bible no longer plagues the human race?' (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:29-31).
4. The truth is that everyone presently alive uses some sort of crutch as they attempt to cope with life.
1. The answer is "no". In the book of Revelation, Jesus addressed seven congregations and said repent or else to five of them (2:5,16,20; 3:3,16).
2. Condemnation fell upon congregations which lacked zeal (2:4; 3:15); tolerated false doctrine and false teachers (2:14); where compromising God's standards (2:20).
3. Jesus praised congregations for doctrinal soundness (2:2; 3:10); exposing false teachers (2:2); remaining morally pure (3:4).
4. Congregations which refuse to submit to His will are no longer recognized by Jesus as belonging to Him (2:5)
1. The Church is the body of the saved (Ephesians 1:21-23; 5:23). The Church is that body of people who have been purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18).
2. Upon baptism, the last step prior to salvation, the Lord immediately adds you to the Church (Acts 2:38,41,47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 1:12-14).
3. The Church is also called the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15); bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:24); Temple of God (Ephesians 2:19-22).
4. Therefore, those who claim that one can be a Christian without being a member of the Church are guilty of teaching false doctrine.
1. Jesus is the sole head of the Church (Ephesians 1:21-23). Which leaves no room for a human head or headquarters.
2. Each local congregation was governed by elders, who are also referred to as bishops, overseers or pastors (Acts 20:17,28; 1 Peter 5:1-3). We always find a plurality of elders in each congregation (Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1); and we never find a congregation governed by one elder/pastor or bishop.
3. Neither do we find bishops overseeing congregations beyond the congregation which they attend. The oversight is limited to the congregation of which they were members (1 Peter 5:2).
4. Specific qualifications exist, including, they must be married men which children who are Christians (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
5. This biblical system contradicts any earthly religious organizational structure which is beyond the local congregation.
1. We should first of all recognize that attendance isn't an optional matter (Hebrews 10:24-25). You should avoid congregations that don't take attending seriously.
2. Make sure that the foundation is correct, that is, a congregation that teaches that the Bible is the final authority in faith and practice. That the Bible is the inspired, infallible and complete Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19).
3. Make sure that the plan of salvation is correct. Obviously, it would be a fruitless endeavor to attend where the right answers concerning what one must do to be saved are not given. One must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24); repent of their sins (Acts 2:38); confess their faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10); and be baptized, immersed in water for the remission of their sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:35-38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21).
1. Christians were commanded to partake of both the bread and the fruit of the vine (1 Corinthians 11:26).
2. Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin, once time for all time (Hebrews 9:24-29). Therefore, communion is not a re-sacrifice of Jesus. Hence the elements do not turn into the literal body and blood of Christ.
3. Communion was only served on Sunday (Acts 20:7). Those who argue that serving it less often would make it more meaningful, never make the same argument concerning passing the collection plate. And yet, a weekly observance of the Lord's Supper has as much Scripture behind it as a weekly offering (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:18-34; 16:1-2; Hebrews 10:25).
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1. Jesus made it clear that after one dies their eternal spiritual condition is fixed. And that such a fate is determined by
whether you obeyed God or not in this life (Luke 16:19-31). 2. Jesus only mentioned two eternal possibilities which await
mankind, eternal destruction or eternal life (Matthew 25:46). There is never a third option that is suggested. 3. Paul spoke of
dead non-Christians as having no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). 4. In view of the sacrifice of Jesus (John 3:16), the universal nature
of the gospel message (Mark 16:15-16), the proliferation of the Bible and it's plain and clear message (Ephesians 3:3-5);
dying outside of Jesus Christ is inexcusable (2 Thess. 1:8).
1. It violates Jesus' prayer for unity, which unity was to be based on believing the word (message/doctrine) revealed through the apostles, and recorded in the New Testament (John 17:20-23; see also 1 Corinthians 1:10; 14:37; 2 Thess. 3:14; 2 John 9).
2. It violates the "oneness" commanded in Ephesians 4:4-6, which mentions "one faith" and "one body".
3. The one body isn't composed of differing denominations, but rather is composed of individual Christians (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:27).
4. In reading the New Testament, we only read about one Church, the one that Jesus established (Matthew 16:18).
5. Our plea for professing believers in Jesus, is to come back to the Bible, abandoning every belief and practice which lacks book, chapter and verse (1 Peter 4:11; Matthew 15:9); and be content to be a member of the church which fully submits to Jesus (Ephesians 5:23-24).
1. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
2. To have the right to remarry following a divorce, the cause for the divorce must have been the sexual unfaithfulness of your mate (Matthew 19:9; 5:32).
3. In the absence of sexual unfaithfulness both divorced parties must remain single or reconcile (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).
4. Marrying a divorced person, who didn't have a Scriptural right to put away their former spouse or spouses, will involve you in an adulterous relationship (Matthew 5:32).
5. Concerning the mate who commits adultery, that person in Scripture is never given the right to remarry.
1. "Doctrine" is simply a word that means "teaching". To say that doctrine isn't important is the same thing as saying that what Jesus taught is irrelevant.
2. Jesus cannot be separated from what He taught (John 12:48).
3. The teachings/doctrines found in the Bible are God's thoughts, His views (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13).
4. Doctrinal deviation is condemned (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 John 9-11; Revelation 22:18-19).
5. If doctrine doesn't matter, then why all the warnings about false teachers? (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 1 John 4:1). Are these warnings meaningless?
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Creation claims that an all-powerful, all-wise and eternal God created everything out of nothing (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 33:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Evolution ultimately rests upon the belief that spontaneous generation occurred (life came from non-life) and this happened only once and by sheer chance. Spontaneous generation is something that would contradict all the known laws of science. Therefore, which miracle, which supernatural event are you willing to believe? Divine Creation or Spontaneous Generation? Which event are you willing to stake your eternity destiny upon?
Evolution denies: (a) Life was created (Genesis 1:1). (b) Creation has ceased (2:2). (c) God created men and women in His image (Genesis 1:26), and that God created the two genders (Matthew 19:1-4). (d) The statement made by Jesus, that men and women were created from the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6). (e) Man was originally in a garden (an orderly--not a chaotic place, Genesis 2:8). (f) All living things produce after their kind (Genesis 1:11). (g) Man fell from a state of innocence (Genesis 3:1ff). (h) Mankind needs a Savior (John 3:16).
1. Each day in this chapter had an evening and a morning (1:5).
2. The word 'day' in this context is used of a literal day, as opposed longer periods of time such as seasons and years (1:14).
3. God had Moses parallel the week of Creation with a literal work week (Exodus 20:9-11), making it clear that the week of Genesis 1 is identical with what we understand to be a week.
4. Jesus placed Adam and Eve at the beginning of Creation and not millions or billions of ye
ars from the beginning (Mark 10:6 "from the beginning of Creation, God made them male and female"). 5. Through Paul, God made it clear that from the beginning of Creation, the human race has existed to perceive that the physical Creation reveals the power of its Creator (Romans 1:20).
6. Finally, any honest expert in scientific dating methods will tell you that there is no reliable long-term dating method for fixing the age of the universe or the age of the earth.
1. Jesus didn't see such a gap (and He is the Creator, John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). He placed Adam and Eve from the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6).
2. The Bible doesn't present a race of people prior to Adam, which were then destroyed in some major catastrophe. Rather, Adam is viewed as the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45).
3. In addition, the Bible also makes it clear that sin and death resulted from the events in Genesis chapter 3, see 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5:12. The gap theory requires millions and billions of years of struggle, death and sin prior to Adam. Other passages make it clear that Genesis 1 is one compact unit all happening within one week (Exodus 20:8-11), and that man has been present from the beginning of creation (Romans 1:20). If this isn't enough time in some people's minds for God to create the universe, then just remember that God is going to bring it all to an end in a much shorter period of time (2 Peter 3:10; 1 Corinthians 15:52).
Evolution contradicts at least three scientific laws which are mentioned in the Bible: (a) The First Law Of Thermodynamics (no energy is presently being created or destroyed) (Genesis 2:2). (b) The Second Law Of Thermodynamics (everything tends to run down, decay, grow old--the complete opposite direction of Evolutionary Theory). The Second Law states that matter is not eternal and that the universe did have a beginning (Hebrews 1:10-12). (c) The Law of Biogenesis (life comes from existing life) (Genesis 1:11). Evolution contends that at some point something came from nothing that that life came from non-life. Both assertions contradict the Bible and Scientific Fact.
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1. Obviously just one thing doesn't save us, for a true "faith-only" position would rule out the need for the blood of Christ and the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8).
2. The following people were not saved at the point of faith, or by faith-alone (Matthew 7:21-23; John 12:42-43; James 2:19-26).
3. People who believed were then told to repent (Acts 2:38); confess Christ (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9-10); and submit to baptism (Acts 2:38) prior to salvation.
4. True faith is obedient to whatever God requires, and true faith will rest content with God's conditions for salvation (Colossians 2:12). Are you willing to trust God enough, to allow Him to tell you what to do to be saved? (Acts 2:37)
1. Obviously, not a faith that refuses to confess Christ (John 12:42-43). The idea that a person is justified or saved at the moment they believe in God or accept that Jesus is the Son of God in their heart, runs counter to the above verse.
2. God inherently links justification by faith with the point at which a person is forgiven of their sins (Romans 4:1-8).
3. Prior to being forgiven, God makes it clear that a person, besides mentally accepting that Jesus is the Son of God, must also repent of their sins (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus (Romans 10:9-10) and be immersed in water or baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16).
4. Repentance, confession and baptism are not contrary to or in addition to faith, rather they are simply a part of a faith that saves. You see, real faith will trust God's way of saving us, faith that results in salvation is a faith that takes God at His word, and whatever condition or conditions which God places prior to salvation, this type of faith will obey (Colossians 2:12-13).
1. When a Christian in the New Testament had the gift of healing: (a) People were healed immediately (Acts 3:2-8). The miracle didn't take an extended period of time to begin working--no rehabilitation or therapy was needed. (b) Hard cases were not weeded out (Luke 7:2; 8:42). (c) Every disease and sickness was cured (Matthew 4:23). How can anyone conscientiously call an event a "healing explosion", when people come out still blind, deaf and bound to wheelchairs? (d) Faith wasn't needed on the part of the person who was being healed (Acts 3:5-6). (e) The presence of unbelievers didn't stop the healing (Mark 2:1-12). (f) Classes were not taught on "How To Heal". And a special collection wasn't taken when people were healed, and neither was there a need for a special atmosphere.
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1. Since Jesus died for all men and yet all aren't saved, the answer to the above question must be "no" (Titus 2:11; Matthew 7:13-14).
2. First Century false teachers tried to turn the grace of God into an excuse for sin (Romans 6:1; Jude 4).
3. What grace does mean is that: (a) You never have the right to give up. (b) Christianity is designed for imperfect people--people who are honest enough to admit their sins and repent (Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:8-10). (c) All long as their is life, forgiveness is always a real possibility. But forgiveness is never automatic or unconditional (Mark 16:16).
Some have argued that ancient man felt himself so alone and vulnerable that he invented God to be his protector.
1. But how is it that man invented a God that man himself can't completely comprehend (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33)?
2. How is it that modern man finds himself completely unable to improve upon this God that ancient man supposely invented? What quality or character trait is lacking or missing in the God that the Bible reveals?
3. How is it that man invented a God who doesn't let man off the hook? The God revealed in the Scriptures is holy, righteous, unbending in His moral standards, and offering salvation on HIs terms and His alone (Exodus 20:5-6; Acts 4:12). How is it that man invented a God who accepts none of our excuses, justifications or human rationalizations (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8)?
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1. In reality, everyone is yearning and striving for what exists in heaven. A place of absolute fulfillment, happiness, satisfaction, meaning and purpose (Revelation 21:4).
2. Unfortunately, Satan has convinced many of us that we can have complete happiness in this life, and it can be ours right now! That the path to personal fulfillment and purpose is found in sinful activities (fornication, adultery, drunkenness, drugs, etc..) or in striving after earthly things (fame, wealth, physical comfort), instead of serving God (Matthew 6:24-34).
3. If we are honest, then we will realize that utopia won't be found here (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11). For no earthly pleasure or pursuit can fill up and completely satisfy the soul of man. Everything in this life has a downside, a let-down. But such isn't true of heaven (1 Peter 1:4). If you miss heaven, then you will miss out on what you have spent your whole life yearing for.
1. Heaven isn't mere external existence, for even the lost will exist forever (Matthew 25:46).
2. Neither is heaven sitting on a cloud strumming a harp or one long Church service.
3. Heaven is a place of absolute fulfillment, satisfaction, meaning, purpose and true joy (Revelation 21:4).
4. The newness and wonder of heaven will never wear off (1 Peter 1:4). Heaven will never become usual or boring.
5. Heaven is experiencing the quality of life that God experiences (Matthew 25:21).
6. Heaven is always having someone to love and someone who greatly loves you (Revelation 21:7). It is the ideal relationship--for eternity.
1. Hell does exist, and Jesus used the Greek word for 'Hell' (Gehenna) more often than all other New Testament writers combined! (Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5). To deny the existence of hell is then to deny the truthfulness of Jesus Christ. Must we call Him a liar, to make ourselves feel good?
2. Hell is just as long as heaven (Matthew 25:46).
3. It is a place of conscious suffering (Matthew 8:11-12; Revelation 20:10).
4. The eternal abode for those who ignore or reject God (Matthew 7:21-23).
5. A place to be avoided at all cost! (Mark 9:43-47).
6. A place devoid of God's blessings. Which means that in hell, you will never be loved and never have anyone to love.
7. The good news is that it can be avoided through Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Mark 16:16; 2 Tim. 2:11-12).
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1. It means that every human being has the raw potential to serve God.
2. Even after Adam and Eve sinned, they and their posterity still remain created in the image of God (James 3:9). Obviously, no one is born depraved and no one is born with less potential for goodness and morality than anyone else. No one is born with an inherent predisposition for a certain sinful practice. Hence, there isn't a sin which is genetic or inborn.
3. Thus we must conclude that all sinful practices, including such things as drunkenness, drug addiction, child abuse and homosexuality are practices which are chosen by the individual. And can also be ceased by the individual (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
4. To be created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) means that all of us have a spiritual side that can't be satisfied with material possessions or earthly achievements. That we will never truly find ourselves, until we find God. The good news is that you can live an unselfish and godly life!
1. The peace that Jesus brought was for those who would obey Him (Luke 2:14 'Peace on earth among men with whom He is pleased.')
2. This peace is found among those who become members of the household of God, the Church of the living God (Isaiah 2:2-4; Ephesians 2:13-22; 1 Timothy 3:15).
3. There can be no peace for an individual with God, others, or themselves, until they turn from their sins (Psalm 32:1-5; Isaiah 59:1-2; Titus 3:3).
4. But all will not humble themselves before God, and thus Jesus knew that His entrance into this world would also bring a division between the obedient and the rebellious (Matthew 10:34-39). On which side of that line do you presently stand?
1. The Bible doesn't say on what day or during what month His birth took place. We are commanded to celebrate not His birth, but His death, burial and resurrection on every first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
2. Becoming spiritual during a season of the year, or going to services one day a year doesn't make one a Christian. God is offended when we come to worship Him, but at the same time have no plans to change our ways (Proverbs 15:8; Ecclesiastes 5:1-4; Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Corinthians 13:1-4).
3. If one is to serve and worship Jesus, then Jesus must be the center of our lives on a daily basis (Matthew 6:33; 10:37; Luke 14:26ff).
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1. The Old Testament attaches the titles of Deity to the Messiah (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2).
2. The New Testament clearly states that Jesus is as much God as the Father or the Holy Spirit (John 1:1; Philippians 2:6; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8).
3. The Jewish rulers were seeking to kill Him because they were convinced that He was indeed claiming to be equal with the Father (John 5:18; 10:33). Jesus never corrected their impressions on this point, but only reinforced His claim (5:23).
4. If Jesus is a created being, then worshipping Him would be idolatry (Romans 1:25; Matthew 4:10). Yet, He not only accepted worship (Matthew 8:2-3), but Christians are commanded to worship Him (Phil. 2:10-11).
5. Unless one believes that Jesus is Who He claimed to be, one cannot be saved (John 8:24; Romans 10:9).
Just examine the evidence. He died upon the cross (Mark 15:43-45), and the tomb was guarded (Matthew 27:62-66). Therefore: (a) The body wasn't misplaced, lost or eaten by wild animals. (b) We know that the Jewish and Roman authorities didn't take the body, for they stood helpless as Christianity spread. If they had the body they would have stopped Christianity dead in its tracks. (b) The disciples didn't remove the body, for the tomb was guarded. (c) Everyone when to the right tomb (Matthew 27:59-61; John 20:1-10). (d) The disciples didn't merely imagine that Jesus had been raised, for hallucinations don't remove bodies (Luke 24:37-43). (e) The only logical alternative left, is that Jesus was raised from the dead, and He is the Son of God, the only way to the Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
What alternatives do we have? Jesus was either:
1. A liar and a deceiver. But did a liar give us the highest moral standard known to man? (Matthew chapters 5-7; 22:37-40)
2. He was a lunatic, a crazy or insane man. But His recorded teachings prove that His intellect surpassed the intellect of the greatest religious teachers of the time (Matthew chapter 22). Did a lunatic sum up our entire meaning and purpose into a short statement? (Matthew 7:12; 22:37-40).
3. He was a good man, but not God. But He didn't merely claim to be a good man, or a mere religious teacher. Good men don't claim to be God, when they are not. He claimed to be God! (John 5:17-23; 8:24; 10:33).
4. What option is left?
1. Some people think that it is very harsh to believe as the Bible teaches, that Jesus is the only way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16). But how can a way to salvation be harsh? Be thankful that God provided a way! And what right do sinners have in complaining about how God saves them!
2. Others say that it is arrogant to claim as the Bible does that only way path leads to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14). But rather, it is very arrogant to claim that one's own sincerity, morality and good works have in themselves the same moral and eternal weight as the blood of the Son of God. And this is exactly what people are saying when they insist that God will save the "good moral person" who doesn't become a Christian. They are indeed teaching a salvation based on works of human merit, that man can in fact save himself (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:4-9).
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Love: Does It Cancel Out The Need For Obedience?
1. Jesus saw both qualities working in complete agreement. True love will always listen to and obey the teachings of Scripture (John 14:15). Love never resents 'doctrine'.
2. Obedience to the commands of God, is simply a demonstrate of our love for God (Matthew 22:37-40).
3. The loving thing to do towards another is always to treat them according to the instructions given us in the Bible (Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8-10).
4. Love doesn't remove or supercede God's law, rather it will always fulfill it's obligations to His law. 4. Love will always side with the Truth (1 Corinthians 13:6; John 17:17).
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1. Cornelius was not only a good moral person (Acts 10:22), he was even a very religious person (10:2). And yet, apart from becoming a Christian, he was lost (Acts 11:13-14). The same was true for the zealous and conscientious Saul and Tarsus (Acts 23:1; Galatians 1:14). And same can be said for the Ethopian Eunuch (Acts 8:27-28); and the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-23).
2. The issue isn't how much or little you have sinned, but that you have sinned (Romans 3:23). Even one sin constitutes a debt that no man can remove or atone for though his own efforts (Luke 7:36-50).
3. It is a very arrogant claim to suggest that one's own personal goodness has the same ethical merit as the shed blood of God's own Son.
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Even some denominations have attempted to argue that the New Testament does not contain a standard for faith and practice to which Christians in all succeeding generations must adhere. But the Bible says otherwise:
1. The words of Jesus, which includes those words revealed through the Apostles (the New Tesament), will judge all of us at the last day (John 12:48; Matthew 24:35; 1 Cor. 14:37; Heb. 1:1-2).
2. The moral standard revealed in the New Testament is binding upon all generations right up tot he Second Coming of Christ (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8). Yes, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality will always be wrong.
3. The New Testament is inherently connected with Jesus' High Priesthood, and seeing that Jesus is a Priest forever (Hebrews 7:24), this means that the Law connected with His Priesthood also abides forever (Hebrews 7:12). Those who disagree must tell us which laws in the New Testament are no longer binding and how do you tell the difference between binding and non-binding laws?
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1. The the doctrine of once-saved-always-saved is based on the false assumption that God has predestined every individual for salvation or condemnation, regardless of our own personal choices.
2. In contrast: (a) The Bible asserts the freewill of mankind (Genesis 4:7; Ezekiel 18:20; Acts 17:30). (b) None have been locked into either salvation or condemnation (Ezekiel 18:21-32; Acts 10:34-35). (c) Salvation is always presented as available to all--if they want it (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4-6). (d) Christians are repeatedly warned about the possibility of forfeiting their salvation (Matthew 18:15-17; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 2 Timothy 2:11-13).
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1. The title 'Pastor' applies to the same group of men referred to as elders or bishops (Acts 20:17,28; 1 Peter 5:1-3).
2. There was always a plurality of "pastors" in every congregation (Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1).
3. We never find a congregation which is be shepherded by just one pastor. We never find pastors overseeing more than one congregation (1 Peter 5:2). The qualifications are specific and include the qualification of being a man, who is the husband of one wife, having children who are believers (1 Timothy 3:1-4; Titus 1:5-9).
1. Far from taking a superficial and naïve view of reality, Jesus pointed out that the man who lusts after a woman is his heart, is engaged in doing something that is very evil (Matthew 5:28).
2. The Bible enlightens us and makes us realize that what we allow into our minds has a tremendous amount of influence upon our lives. What is harbored in the heart determines what and who we become (Matthew 15:18-19; Mark 7:20-23).
3. Instead of freeing or liberating an individual, pornography actually enslaves a person to their own selfishness. Those who have given free rein to their lusts, know the misery, frustration, disappointment, and bondage which pornography breeds (Titus 3:3; Ephesians 2:1-3). There is hope for the person who is addicted! And remember, the judgment of God also falls upon those who give their consent, encouragement and support to those who engage in things which are sinful (Romans 1:32).
1. As with all biblical questions, the Scriptures must take precedence over feelings, emotions or personal loyalties (1 Peter 4:11).
2. The truth of the matter is that when the New Testament was completed, the gift of prophecy ceased, for God had said all that needed to be said (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). Jesus promised that the apostles, by the Holy Spirit would be guided into ALL the truth (John 16:13). And He kept that promise (1 Cor. 2:9-13; Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Peter 1:3).
3. Jude claims that the 'faith', the sum total of Christian teaching had been revealed once for all unto the saints (Jude 3).
4. Severe condemnations exist for anyone who attempts to add to or edit the revelation delivered through the apostles (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19; 2 John 9).
5. Now, do you believe the writings of the God-endorsed inspired men (Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12) or do you believe the words of the person who claims that God is speaking through them today?
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The Bible contradicts the theory of Reincarnation: (a) Man has only one earthly lifetime (2 Samuel 12:23; Ecc. 12:7; Luke 16:25; Hebrews 9:27-28). (b) According to Reincarnation, man eventually saves himself, something the Bible clearly denies (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Jeremiah 10:23). (c) There is no room for a Savior in Reincarnation, which makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ meaningless and unnecessary (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). (d) Reincarnation also denies the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:12ff); the existence of hell (Matthew 25:46); and the final judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10).
1. The terms 'elder', 'overseer' and 'pastor' all refer to the same office (Acts 20:17,28; Titus 1:5-8; 1 Peter 5:1-3).
2. 'Evangelist' and 'preacher' applies to men who preach the gospel message (2 Tim. 4:5).
3. Never is the word 'reverend' used in reference to a human being. In fact, it is only applied to God (Psalm 111:9 KJV).
4. Jesus condemned the use of religious titles which elevated Christians over other Christians (Matthew 23:8-10). To give a man or group of men the type of reverence that is due God, is an act of idolatry (Acts 10:25-35; Revelation 22:8-9).
1. Repentance is turning away from evil, which is sparked by a genuine sorrow for one's own sin (2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
2. The truly repentance person doesn't offer excuses for what they have done, they place the blame solely upon themselves (7:11).
3. You can tell when someone really repents. Their life now manifests changed attitudes and behavior (Matthew 3:8;Acts 26:20). You are not left wondering whether they are truly sorry for the past.
4. Repentance means that the habitual practice of sin is ceased (1 John 3:6).
5. Since God commands all to repent (Acts 17:30), all men and women can change, all can live the Christian life. If the Bible labels an activity as sinful, then we automatically know that it is something learned and chosen. Rather than a behavior which is genetic or inborn (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
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1. The Sabbath Day was part of the covenant God made with Israel at Sinai (Exodus 31:13-18). The seventh day had not been a day or worship previous to this covenant (Deut. 5:1-3; Nehemiah 9:13-14).
2. This covenant ended when Jesus died on the cross (Colossians 2:14-17). It is part of a covenant that is now obsolete and has been removed by God (Hebrews 8:13-9:4).
3. To ignore these facts and insist on religiously observing this day, is to cut oneself off the grace of God (Galatians 5:1-4).
4. In contrast, the day of worship (not a mandatory day of rest), under the New Covenant is the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1).
1. The term "saint" applies to any Christian and never used to refer to an elite class of deceased Christians (1 Corinthians 1:2).
2. According to Jesus: (a) Every faithful Christian is equal in the sight of God, with every other faithful Christian (Matthew 23:8-11). (b) No mere human being has ever lived who departed from this life with an excess of good works or spiritual riches of which are available to others (Matthew 25:8-9; Luke 17:10). (c) There is only one mediator between God and men--Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). This leaves no room for any other mediators.
3. To deify a mere human being is to be guilty of committing the sin of idolatry (Romans 1:25).
1. Actually sin in the Bible is defined as a transgression of God's law (1 John 3:5).
2. We are doing a great disservice to people if we claim that various sinful addictions are merely diseases, for we are giving people the impression they are helpless against such temptations. The good news is that the cycle of any habitual sinful addiction can be broken (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
3. Jesus and other biblical writers noted that the true source of any sin isn't a genetic or physical malfunction but a selfish choice which we have made in our hearts (Mark 7:20-23; James 1:13; 4:1). Sin is always a moral problem and not a mere physical problem. The fact that Jesus had a human body (John 1:14) and yet never sinned (1 Peter 2:22) should prove to us that our body isn't the real reason why we sin.
1. Situation ethics failed to excuse the following individuals (Genesis 4:1-7; Leviticus 10:1-3; 2 Samuel 6:1-7; Acts 5:1-10; Galatians 2:11-13).
2. God never has put anyone in a no-win situation in which we must choose between a supposed greater sin and lesser sin. Or, a situation in which we must choose between the loving-thing to do or the obedient thing to do (1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:13).
3. The sins mentioned in the New Testament, will still be wrong at the end of time (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:21; Revelation 21:8).
4. The gospel message is for all cultures (Matthew 28:19).
5. The exact same plan of salvation was preached to people from various backgrounds, races, cultures and social classes (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 35-38; 18:8).
1. Speaking in tongues was the miraculous ability to speak in a foreign language or dialect, without any previous study or experience (Acts 2:1-11).
2. Thus, it is incorrect to claim that this was the ability to speak in an angelic or heavenly language. And neither was this gift used exclusively or even primarily for private prayers (1 Corinthians 14:14-16).
3. Non-Christians could perfectly understand the tongue-speaker (Acts 2:11).
4. This gift was not the proof that one was a genuine Christian. For all Christians didn't possess this gift (1 Corinthians 12:30) and some very unspiritual individuals did (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
5. This gift ceased, as did all the miraculous gifts when God's revelation (the New Testament) was complete (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).
1. Majority rule and the popular views of society (Matthew 7:13-14).
2. Gut feelings, intuition, or human emotions (Proverbs 16:25; Jeremiah 10:23).
3. The feelings of one's conscience (Acts 26:9).
4. The view of highly educated religious leaders (Matthew 22:29; Chapter 23).
5. The views of the cultural and intellectual elite, including the secular academic community (1 Corinthians 1:26).
6. The views of parents or good friends (Matthew 10:37).
7. Tradition (Matthew 15:1-9). The only thing that establishes the truth is what God has said (John 17:17).
1. God allowed His Own Son to suffer (John 3:16). Obviously, suffering of innocent individuals is not inconsistent with the fact that God exists and that He is good.
2. Being created with a free will, means that some people might make the wrong choices, and we might suffer as a consequence of their selfishness (Genesis 4:7ff).
3. Eliminating God doesn't solve the problem, for innocent people still suffer, even in the world which the atheist lives or wants. In fact, without God, you have another problem. In a no-God universe innocent people still suffer, but this time, they suffer in vain! Does that make you feel better?
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1. No. Christianity doesn't obilterate our obligation to whatever civil government we might find ourselves under (Romans 13:1-8; 1 Peter 2:13); the responsibility to treat our employers with respect (1 Peter 2:18); or honor our parents (Ephesians 6:1).
2. A 'Christianity' that encourages Christians not to pay their taxes, show disrespect for government officials or parents, and which also contends that wives no longer need to be in submission to their husbands (1 Peter 3:1-7), is not the relationship with God revealed by Jesus Christ.
3. Rather, when one becomes a Christian, they are to become the best husband, wife, child, parent, citizen, employee or employer which any society could hope to have (Ephesians 5:22-6:9; Titus 2:1-10; 1 Peter 2:11-3:7).
1. The word tradition simply means that which has been handed down. The traditions approved of in the Bible are those teachings which were handled down to Christians by the Apostles (2 Thessalonians 2:15), and all such teachings are found in the New Testament (Jude 3; 2 Peter 1:3; John 16:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). 2. But we run into a problem when purely human traditions are added to Christianity. The Bible contains many warnings about adding to the revelation which God has given man (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 John 9; Revelation 22:18-19). 3. Neither are we left wondering how God feels when human traditions are placed alongside of His commandments. When the Son of God came to this earth He specifically rebuked people who had added human traditions to the Divinely approved religion (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13). He said that such a combination makes our worship worthless. Let us make sure that what we are doing and saying in the name of God is supported by book, chapter and verse---before we practice it.
1. He created you in the first place (Genesis 1:26), which means He know your true needs.
2. He allowed His only Son to die for your sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8; 8:32).
3. He allows His physical blessings to come upon evil and ungrateful people (Luke 6:35).
4. He already has proven that He loves you.
5. In view of your own sins and the foolish choices you have made, the real question is, 'Can you trust yourself with your own life?' (Romans 6:21)
If we are under the assumption that each new generation will be wiser and more enlightened then previous generations, we are in for a shock when we read the Scriptures.
1. Jesus promised that all truth would be revealed through His Apostles (John 16:13), and it was (2 Peter 1:3l Jude 3).
2. In the Biblical record we often find that instead of gaining greater insight into spiritual realities, future generations can often lose sight of the truth or completely ignore it (Romans 1:18-32; Judges 2:10).
3. Through His Apostles, Jesus plainly revealed that following their generation a great doctrinal apostasy would hit the church (Acts 20:29; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:2-4). Even while they were alive a good number of professed Christians were going after various false doctrines (Galatians 4:11-16; 2 Thess. 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:16-18; 1 John 4:1-3; 3 John 9). For those who are tempted to ridicule basic Bible teaching as outdated or antiquated, carefully consider the following, "Thus says the Lord, stand by the ways and seek and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls" (Jeremiah 6:16).
A popular idea in our society today is that each one of us is so influenced by our upbringing, gender, race and culture that we can only see our version of the truth. All of us are hopelessly prejudiced by our own preconceived ideas and hence what istruth for me may not be truth for you.
1. But Jesus doesn't agree, rather salvation is inherently linked with knowing the truth (John 8:31-32), and not just some truth or part of the truth, but a correct, full and precise knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). In both passages the Greek words translated 'knowledge' mean a full and exact knowledge.
2. God also specifically commands us to make a clear distinction between our prejudices, opinions, preconceived ideas and His truth (Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord will all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding"; Ephesians 5:17).
3. God not only believes, but commands all of us to put aside our opinions and honestly, objectively and courageously study His revelation (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15). You are prepared to believe the truth, even though it may prove you wrong? (Romans 3:4)
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1. It would be the final blow to the theory of Evolution. The mathematical chances of life spontaneously arising from non-life just once are equivalent to zero. But if life or the former existence of life is found outside of this earth--then what are the mathematical chances of life arising from nothing (by chance), not once, but more than once?
2. If life is one day discovered to exist beyond this earth it will present no problem for the Christian, for God is the Creator of all life, both physical and spiritual (Colossians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:38-41).
3. The Christian already believes in life-forms from another world, i.e. God (2 Corinthians 13:14); angels (Hebrews 1:14), etc...
3. Extra-terrestrial life has already visited this planet, the Creator Himself came and died for our sins (John 1:1-14; 3:16).
1. It's not because some people are predisposed to reject the idea of God, for all men and women are created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), which means that all have the same ability to accept and obey Him.
2. Neither is it due to a lack of evidence concerning God's existence (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Acts 14:15-17).
3. Rather, unbelief is often rooted in a moral problem rather than an intellectual problem. A synonym for the word unbelief in the Bible is the term disobedience (Heb. 3:18-19). Often, people reject the existence of God because there is some self-serving reason that they don't want to obey Him. Admitting that God is, also means admitting that absolute truth exists, the Bible is His revelation to mankind, which means we aren't given the right to ignore or bend moral truths for our convenience. And a final judgment awaits all of us, at which we will give an account (2 Corinthians 5:10), and spent eternity in heaven or hell (Matthew 25:46). So unbelief is very convenient for the person who wants to be free or moral responsibility (Psalm 14:1).
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