Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jesus truly died

I Corinthians 15 "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."

How do we now that Jesus truly died and rose from the dead?
I have often used Hank Hanegraaff's acronym F.E.A.T. from his excellent book "Resurrection"


F    Fatal Torment: Jesus truly died on the cross (no swoon theory), the Romans knew what they were doing, all ancient sources confirm this (Josephus & Tactis), the vast majority to modern scholars (even liberal) don't deny Jesus died


E    Empty Tomb: If Jesus did not raise from the dead where is His body? Who rolled the stone away? Who drove off the Roman soldiers? (offense punishable by death) Why would the disciples take His body? What did they have to gain to claim He rose? (horrible deaths & universal hatred?). Amazing how the Jewish leaders made up story of the disciples stealing the body is still the most prevalent explanation of those who do not believe.


A    Appearances: I Corinthians passage above was written by 50 AD, at the most 20 years after the death of Jesus - most of the eyewitnesses were still alive! Paul says just go and ask them - even 500 at one time! Even Jesus greatest enemy Saul saw the risen Lord. Mass hallucinations? Hypnosis? A Twin? Are all utterly ridiculous hypothesis that have been put forward to explain the appearances.


T    Transformation: I always think this is the clincher. The absolute and undeniable transformation of the disciples from scared, hopeless, totally defeated followers of a dead man to bold witnesses that all gave their lives for Jesus. Why? Only one reasonable explanation: They saw Jesus die and they saw Him come back! No one has ever explained this away. Deniers of the resurrection must account for this and the rapid worldwide rise of Christianity.


So next time this Easter season when someone asks you about the resurrection remember FEAT!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thats My King!!

I know many of you have seen this
I know I have shown it many times
But it is so good
(this is a new version i came across on Youtube)

Hero

Friday, March 26, 2010

How does God speak to us?

This is a very good & thought provoking short message from James MacDonald on how God speaks to us
Check it out: http://blog.harvestbiblefellowship.org/
Below is the chart he teaches through:


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Uzzah and the Ark (2 Samuel 6)

This morning in our men's study we looked at 2 Samuel chapter 6 where Uzzah was struck dead by the LORD for touching the ark.




2 Samuel 6:6-7
When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.

I came across this passage from RC Sproul's book "The Holiness of God"
(HT: http://www.thirstytheologian.com/2010/03/23/dirty_hands.php)


"Uzzah was a Kohathite. He knew exactly what his duties were. He had been trained thoroughly in the discipline of his calling. He understood that God had declared that the touching of the ark of the covenant was a capital offence. No Kohathite, under any circumstances, was ever permitted to touch the ark. No emergency was grounds for breaking that inviolate command. The elaborate construction of the ark, complete with golden rings through which long poles were inserted, was so fashioned as to make it clear that the ark itself was not to be touched. Only the poles could be touched by man and inserted into the rings for purposes of transport. Then it was the task of the Kohathites to carry the ark by these long poles. No provision was made for hurrying the procedure by transporting the ark via an oxcart.


We must ask the question, what was the ark doing on an oxcart in the first place? God was so strict about the holy things of the temple that the Kohathites were not even allowed to gaze upon the ark. This, too, was a capital crime. God had decreed that if a Kohathite merely glanced at the ark in the Holy of Holies for an instant that he would die. Not only was Uzzah forbidden to touch the ark, he was forbidden even to look at it.


He touched it anyway. He stretched out his hand and put it squarely on the ark, steadying it in place lest it fall to the ground. An act of holy heroism? No! It was an act of arrogance, a sin of presumption. Uzzah assumed that his hand was less polluted than the earth. But it wasn’t the ground or the mud that would desecrate the ark; it was the touch of man. The earth is an obedient creature. It does what God tells it to do. It brings forth its yield in its season. It obeys the laws of nature which God has established. When the temperature falls to a certain point, the ground freezes. When water is added to dust, it becomes mud, just as God decided. The ground doesn’t commit cosmic treason. There is nothing polluted about the ground.


God did not want his holy throne to be touched by that which was contaminated by evil, that which was in rebellion to him, that which by its ungodly revolt had brought the whole of creation to ruin and caused the ground and the sky and the waters of the sea to groan together in travail waiting for the day of redemption. Man. It was man’s touch that was forbidden."

—R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Tyndale, 1985), 140–141.

Cancer at 32

The amazing testimony of Zach Smith who was diagnosed with cancer at 32
(HT: http://www.stevekmccoy.com/)


The Story of Zac Smith from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Can More Government lead to less God?

In light of the current debate going on in the House & Senate over the dramatically increased role of government in our health care system I thought this article was very important.

http://faculty.washington.edu/tgill/Gill%20Lundsgaarde%20Welfare%20Religion.pdf

This study shows that when countries increase government control and involvement in society it directly affects religion. More Government leads to Less God!

See Quote below from From http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2009/03/82
(Check out the web site to read the whole thing)

"To fund his bold efforts to revive the American economy and expand the welfare state, Obama is proposing to spend a staggering $3.6 trillion in the 2010 fiscal year. Obama’s revolutionary agenda would push federal, state, and local spending to approximately 40 percent of Gross Domestic Product, up from about 33 percent in 2000. It would also put the size of government in the United States within reach of Europe, where government spending currently makes up 46 percent of GDP.

Why is this significant for the vitality of religion in America? A recent study of 33 countries around the world by Anthony Gill and Erik Lundsgaarde, political scientists at the University of Washington, indicates that there is an inverse relationship between state welfare spending and religiosity. Specifically, they found that countries with larger welfare states had markedly lower levels of religious attendance, had higher rates of citizens indicating no religious affiliation whatsoever, and their people took less comfort in religion in general. In their words, “Countries with higher levels of per capita welfare have a proclivity for less religious participation and tend to have higher percentages of non-religious individuals.”
Gill and Lundsgaarde show, for instance, that Scandinavian societies such as Sweden and Denmark have some of the largest welfare states in the world as well as some of the lowest levels of religious attendance in the world. By contrast, countries with a history of limited government—from the United States to the Philippines—have markedly higher levels of religiosity. The link between religion and the welfare state remains robust even after Gill and Lundsgaarde control for socioeconomic factors such as urbanization, region, and literacy. The bottom line: as government grows, people’s reliance on God seems to diminish."



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Atheism leads to faith!

Recently we have see "Collision" the documentary of the debates between Christopher Hitchens and Doug Wilson. I thought it was interesting that Christopher's brother Peter is writing a book due to be released May 1 titled "The Rage against God: How atheism lead me to faith." Looks good - here is a preview