Posts Tagged ‘sin’

Remaining In The Light As We Walk Through The Darkness Of The World

September 22, 2014

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” — The words of Jesus in John 3:19-21

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. — 1 John 5:19

There is simply no question to any biblically literate Christian believer that we are living in spiritually dark times that are getting darker and darker with each passing day.  In St. Pauls’ final epistle before his martyrdom which he knew was coming, he writes in 2 Timothy chapter 3 that terrible, difficult times would be coming in the last days.

I know of a beautiful, talented young woman who wants to be a singer or an actress.  In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?  We should want Christians in the field of entertainment, which holds so much sway over our increasingly toxic culture and over the increasingly degenerating morality of our youth.  And yet the field of entertainment is so filled with horrible predators who would promise a young woman the world in order to use her and ultimately throw her away that the entertainment industry is truly a dangerous field to enter.

But what to do?  You literally cannot walk outside your house without entering the darkness of this world.  And even if you remain in your home, lock your doors and shutter your windows against the spiritual darkness, you literally cannot turn on your television or turn on your computer – and nowadays even turn on your phone – without being exposed to profound spiritual darkness.

Should this beautiful young woman live the life of a monk in some distant, secluded monastery?

No.  Because Jesus didn’t want us to hide our lights, but to let our light shine.  And line shines brightest when it shines in darkness.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” — Matthew 5:14-16

For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  — 2 Corinthians 4:6

God sent us as lights shining in the darkness.

But when we walk through the darkness, it is sadly more the tendency of fallen, sinful, flawed people to be affected by the darkness we walk through than that we triumphantly shine as lights and as examples of Christ.

Ultimately, Scripture tells us, the human race will fail.  Even God’s people will fail.  And it will be Jesus Christ in His return as King of kings and as Lord of lords who will triumph over evil and usher in His Kingdom on earth according to Revelation 17:14 and 19:11-16.

How should we live as Christians who must walk through the darkness of this world until that glorious day when Jesus Christ returns to make ultimately right the world He created according to the Father’s plan?

I have an analogy from my own experience that I hope some of you will find helpful.

I live in the Coachella Valley, which is located in the Colorado Desert section (the northwesterly part) of the Sonoran Desert.

One of my favorite activities is hiking.  Three days a week, I go for a 10 mile hike through the desert.  But due to my schedule and due to the heat, I can’t leave until late afternoon or early evening.  It’s just too hot for my favorite hiking companion – my dog – to go any earlier.

And given the fact that – since the equinox marking the first day of summer on June 21 – it has been getting darker  earlier and earlier, I find myself walking through the desert in the darkness for a good share of my hike.

In my neck of the woods, that means I’m exposing myself to a great host of nocturnal predators.  There are coyotes that would be thrilled with the prospect of eating my dog; we’ve had sightings of mountain lions in my area; and rattlesnakes are all around.  We’ve got Sidewinders; we’ve got Western Diamondbacks; we’ve got Red Diamonds.  And they all bite.

I’ve seen giant tarantulas, I’ve seen scorpions.  You name it, it’s walking or crawling around out there, hoping something it can kill and eat will stumble into its path.

As I walk through the darkness, several awful things can happen to me:

1) I can stumble and fall.  It is extremely easy in the darkness to get tripped by one of the trillion rocks jutting up; it is easy to stumble over one of the equally numerous elevation changes as your feet suddenly encounter a sink or rise in the sand.  You can easily inadvertently angle off the trail and find yourself caught in the nasty thorns of one of several varieties of shrub and cactus that abound.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tripped up and lost my footing in the darkness.

2) I can get turned around and literally become deceived into thinking I’m heading in one direction when I’m actually heading in the very opposite direction further and further into darkness.  It gets so dark – especially during new moons and especially in the canyons – when I literally cannot see my own hand in front of my face.  In that kind of darkness, there are no frames of reference and no way to collect your bearings if you let yourself get distracted and turned around and confused.  People regularly get lost in the desert and their bodies are found days, weeks or even months later.

3) You can get bitten by a poisonous serpent.  And literally die.  If you’re bitten by a rattlesnake, the poison travels through your body faster if you move.  But where I’m going I would HAVE to move to get within ambulance range because there aren’t even very many four-wheel-drive vehicles that are capable of getting to me.

The only protection against these dangers is my flashlight.  With it, I can walk through the darkness shielded, covered and protected by a cocoon of light.

There’s nothing wrong with my desire to hike.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with my hiking at night.  But I am a fool if I don’t take all the proper precautions, aren’t I?  So I’ve got my cell phone with me and I know where I’m out of range and where I need to be to get back into range; I’ve got my snake bite kit.  And I not only have a flashlight, I have a spare battery and a spare flashlight to go with it just in case I drop one.

I stay on the paths and I keep my light on.

In the light, I can see the pitfalls; I can see all the rocks that would trip me up and all the rises and sinks that I would otherwise stumble over.  I can shine the beam and see the landmarks that serve as my foundations for my sense of direction so I will not get lost.  I can see the poisonous serpents in my path and I can detect the glowing green eyes of the hungry predators who might be stalking nearby.

In my analogy, I am comparing physical darkness to spiritual darkness.  And I am comparing the consequences of foolishly walking in physical darkness to the consequences of walking in spiritual darkness.  And what is the light in the latter case that keeps me safe as I walk through the spiritual darkness that is all around me?  It is the wisdom and truth found in the Word of God.

In the desert at night, I can get distracted.  There’s always the temptation to put that light down – just for a few moments – to have a drink of water, or play with my phone, or take a pill or something.  But even those things that seem harmless or even good are dangerous and even deadly if they distract me and keep me from paying attention to the illumination of my light.

There are a lot of situations in this dark world where the light of the Word of God gets put down by people who ought to know better.  And sometimes it only takes a moment for disaster to strike and even destroy us.

Hey, I’ll just put my light down and look at this internet site for a little while; we don’t want to shine God’s light on that content, after all.  Because if we were shining God’s light on that site, we would see the danger and we would never wander over there in the first place.  And that’s when your wife or your kid walks in.

We get in heated situations with people and we’re putting God’s light down when we need to hold it up the very most.  And look at me stumbling around just like a fool in the dark instead of representing Christ with my light.

In just one bad moment, you can destroy your witness and even destroy your own life with one utterance or act.

And man, if I just had one nickel for every “Christian” who is flagrantly abandoning God’s light as they have become so deceived and so perverted by the darkness all around them that they celebrate the murder of sixty million innocent human beings and as they celebrate the perversion of homosexuality and even the perversion of the marriages that God ordained.

In the light of God’s Word, these things are detestable.  But in the darkness, in the absence of God’s illuminating light, they seem right.

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. — Proverbs 16:25

There are so many ways in which sinful, fallen man has been deceived into literally believing that good is evil and evil is good:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20

Just imagine how different your life would be if you held up the Word of God and directed it’s light at every situation and every circumstance you encountered.

The Bible gives us our moral foundations; it sets our landmarks and our boundaries, teaching us where we can safely go and where we dare not tread.  When left to ourselves, we WILL choose wrongly and go the wrong way and stumble and fall and ultimately be bitten by the serpent – satan – and destroyed.  The Bible doesn’t tell us that temptation will never come upon us, but instead teaches us how to view temptation and how to overcome it by focusing on our Lord rather than our destructive desires.

God’s Word is our “flashlight” as we walk through the spiritual darkness of this world:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. — Psalm 119:105

The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. — Psalm 119:130

God never wanted us to hoard our light, to hide ourselves away in some distant monastery.  He wants us to engage culture and confront its evil with the reality of God and encounter its sin with the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whatever field of life we choose, whether it be in entertainment, or law enforcement, or banking, or whatever, we will face dangers.  We will be tempted to do things the ways “that seems right to a man,” we will be tempted to cut corners, to give in to peers or superiors and do things we know are wrong, to put down our light just for a moment.  And destruction can overtake us.

Whatever your path, whatever your career path, God wants you to walk His way in His light.  And when you do that, when you stay in His light and see in His light your landmarks that serve as your foundation for what is right and what is wrong and what is good and what is evil, you will remain safely headed in the right direction.

The alternative is a life of stumbling, injury, deception and death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God (Part 1): The Fool Says In His Heart There Is No God

November 4, 2013

What is this class going to be about?  It’s going to be about Jesus according to His words in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  This class is going to be about Jesus as the only possible fulfillment of desperate human need.

I titled this, “Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God.”  Let me try to explain why.  The Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus was fully human in every way, human in every way that it is essential to be human, and fully God.  Passages such as Philippians 2:6-8 teach “the kenosis,” the emptying of Jesus as He laid aside aspects of His deity – WHILE REMAINING IN HIS NATURE GOD – in order to become fully human and experience the essence and the angst of human limitation.  How was He able to do this?  The short and simple answer is the Virgin Birth in fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6.  Jesus, according to John 1:1-3, was the Word who was with God and was God.  We’re taught that ALL THINGS CAME INTO BEING BY CHRIST.  And so when we read Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” we now know that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”  And so when we read Genesis 1:27 which says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

God created man.  But we can be even MORE specific: The Son of God created man.  Christ created man.  Christ, who would assume human image, created that very human image that He knew He would one day assume.  How could Christ assume human image?  Because Christ created man in His image, and more precisely because Christ created man in an image that He could one day assume Himself.

There’s a beautiful, simple poem: He came to die on a cross of wood, but made the hill on which it stood.”

Consider again John 14:6.  No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.  Jesus is the unique answer to the human condition, the only antidote to the fatal disease of sin.  He is THE way, THE truth and THE life.

So the title: Jesus as the Son of Man, in His humanity, shows you what is necessary to live a life that is pleasing to God.  Jesus as a human being showed us what kind of life – THE ONLY LIFE EVER LIVED – can earn/merit/deserve the reward of heaven rather than the judgment of hell.  If anyone thinks he or she is good enough to deserve to go to heaven on their own merit, all he or she has to do is live as perfect a human life as Jesus did.  What we find in studying Jesus’ life is that if you ever had so much as a single sinful THOUGHT, let alone act, you don’t measure up to God’s standard of a righteous life.  Everything Jesus thought and said and did were in perfect alignment with the will of the Father.  YOU try living up to that.  But Jesus in His humanity, in coming to seek and to save us, lived a perfect human life on earth because He knew we could not in our fallen state live the sinless lives a perfect holy God demanded.  As the Son of Man, Jesus lived a perfect human life in our place – the same way that Adam as the first man stood in our place and represented us (but led mankind into sin).  And Jesus in His deity, Jesus as Son of God, showed us what kind of life – AGAIN THE ONLY LIFE EVER LIVED – can gain heaven for any other human being.  In His deity as the Son of God, Jesus was able as GOD ALONE IS ABLE to save the entire human race by uniting in Himself as the Son of Man and the Son of God.

But having said that by way of introduction, let’s step back and consider the alternative to Jesus as “Son of Man, Son of God.”  Let’s suppose that the human race were left to its own devices, and that we were the answer to our own salvation, as secular humanists and atheists claim.  Let’s present the alternative scenario that the human race is the byproduct of meaningless, purposeless, random evolution and take some time to see where this scenario leads mankind in the question, “Where does morality come from?”  I want to argue for God on the basis of the simple fact of moral laws and our resulting moral intuitions .

When I got out of the army my knee was ruined and I was broken more than merely physically.  I was like many who couldn’t understand why God would have allowed me to go through such an ordeal or why He hadn’t healed me.  Frankly, had I had a better grounding in the Scripture, I would have known that God never said that bad things would never happen to His people.  I would have known that God has a plan that weaves things that we consider bad at the time to create an ultimately much greater good for us.  But I was young in years and young in my faith.  And I became bitter.  I went from wondering where God was, to wondering if He cared, to wondering if He was even there at all.

It’s interesting that the Bible never really seriously addresses the objections raised by atheists, other than to say it is fools who say that there is no God.

Here’s a great quote about “intellectuals” and “fools” from George Orwell: “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”  It is amazing to contemplate how utterly divorced from reality many – if not most – intellectuals are.

Basically, God is simply presented as a fact of reality in the Bible.  And if you want to know why you should believe in God, all you have to do is look around you and see the purpose and beauty and design of creation (e.g. Romans chapter one).  God is an obvious brute fact, and it is fools who entertain foolish speculations to suppress the truth in their wickedness.  They can’t believe because they won’t believe.  All the evidence in the world won’t change what amounts to a bitter, cynical, poisonous attitude.  I think this is true, and as an example I think that the field of psychology backs it up: you can’t change a heart or mind that doesn’t want to be changed. Until someone is ready to change, all the logic, all the reason, all the facts in the world simply won’t matter.  And I present myself and my weight as an example.  Until I was ready to do what I had to do, NOBODY was going to be able to argue me into doing what I had to do to lose weight and get healthy.

There’s an appropriate line of dialogue that was said many times in Three Stooges episodes: “I can’t see, I can’t see!”  “You’ve got your eyes closed.”  “oh.”  When you are finally ready to open your eyes, you can see all the light you want to.  I was NEVER an atheist, but I had been spiritually traumatized into closing my eyes to God.  And I simply couldn’t see all the reasons I had to believe because I wasn’t looking.  Now I can see so many; but atheists won’t look at all those reasons.  Their eyes are closed.  2 Cor 4:4 takes it even further, pointing out that Satan as “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel.”  Open your eyes.

Last night on my walk, it occurred to me at a certain point as I walked in the dark that I’d better check for coyotes.  Once a coyote had tried to come up from behind and ambush my dog at this point.  So I turned on my flashlight and my blood pressure shot up as I saw a coyote moving toward us.  Only it wasn’t a coyote; it was a plastic bag caught in a shrub at just the right height to fool me.  We tend to see what we expect to see, don’t we?

But let me take you to a realization that I had during my quest for light (while like a “stooge” I was wandering around with my eyes shut).  I realized something important: it occurred to me that if in fact there were no God, and if evolution were true, that there was no real, objective morality – and that I could literally do whatever I wanted no matter how “evil” society claimed it was.  Murder, rape, you name it: there is no ultimate penalty for these things if there is no God who rewards or punishes.

I knew enough about the natural world at that point to understand that it is impossible to look at nature and find any grounds apart from God or religion for morality.  As an example, many matings in the insect and even mammalian world would for us constitute acts of rape.  And in the case of praying mantises or black widows, the females often get even by killing and eating the father of their children as soon as the mating is completed.  I watched a documentary about higher primates that showed a dominant female chimpanzee’s baby dying because she couldn’t produce milk.  As dominant female, what did she do?  She seized the baby of a less-dominant female.  And what happened?  That baby died because the dominant female couldn’t produce milk.  Is that wrong?  That’s NATURE, baby.  In the world of nature, do we arrest lions for crimes: “You murdered that zebra.  We’re going to have to put you in prison for your crime.”  It would be idiotic.  Anyone who understands the nature that humans ostensibly come from according to evolution understands that nature is utterly cold, utterly cruel and utterly amoral.

You can’t give what you don’t got.  Nature can’t “evolve” morality in humans because it never had it to give to begin with.  And the entire history of the natural world screams that cold hard brutal fact.

Does morality come from nature?  Not.  Would you like to depend on the amorality of nature to save you from anything?  I sure wouldn’t.  What about “herd morality”???  Does morality depend on what society says?  When we stand before God, will he turn to an opinion poll to judge us for our sins???

Where does morality come from, then?  Does it come from human government?  We can look at THE two most totalitarian forms of human government in history – communism and fascism – and see that theory get blown apart.  Surely if morality comes from government, then the more control exercised by government the better, right?  It turns out that the more government the WORSE.  Communism is identical with “state atheism”; every officially state atheist government with the exception of the French Revolution has been communist, and every single communist regime has been officially state atheist.  And no form of government has crushed the human spirit with more brutality than communism – which is responsible for the murder of more than 100 million of its own citizens just during peacetime alone.  Communism is the closest thing humans can come to “a boot stomping on a human face – forever.”  We can also consider the Darwinian and atheist project of Nazi fascism.  One of the greatest scholars of fascism, Ernst Nolte, defined fascism as “the practical and violent resistance to transcendence.”  I.e. a transcendent God and an objective, transcendent moral law.  The great French thinker George Steiner noted that “By killing the Jews, Western culture could eradicate those who had ‘invented’ God.

Proto-Nazi 19th century German scholars such as Julian Wellhausen and Friedrich Delitzsch began in the 19th century with the theological project to undermine God, undermine the Bible and undermine the Jews who wrote the Bible.  Proto-Nazi 19th century German philosophers, such as Friedrich Nietzsche and then Martin Heidegger, savagely undermined any grounds for God, for Christianity, or for any kind of objective moral values.

Nazism was inseparable with the “Gottglaubiger,” the Nazi Party member who declared that he had officially rejected Christianity.  The men closest to Adolf Hitler noted in their personal journals that Hitler was an atheist.  Consider Joseph Goebbels, who in a 1939 diary entry noted a conversation in which Hitler had “expressed his revulsion against Christianity. He wished that the time were ripe for him to be able to openly express that. Christianity had corrupted and infected the entire world of antiquity.”  Hitler said, “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.”  And just as Hitler wanted to solve “the Jewish problem,” we find that he also intended to solve “the Christian problem.”  In 1941 Hitler declared: “The war is going to be over. The last great task of our age will be to solve the church problem. It is only then that the nation will be wholly secure.”

Adolf Hitler summed up the ultimate Darwinian philosophy, saying, “If the German Volk is not strong enough and is not sufficiently prepared to offer its own blood for its existence, it should cease to exist and be destroyed by a stronger power.”

What else is Darwinism if not the struggle for survival in which the stronger kill or replace the weaker???

Does morality flow from the power of human government?  Adolf Hitler certainly believed it did.  He said, “We do not want any other god than Germany itself. It is essential to have fanatical faith and hope and love in and for Germany.”  Chairman Mao certainly believed that it did.  He said, “Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people. If they stand up and dig together with us, why can’t these two mountains be cleared away?” God is the State.  The State is God.  And whatever the State decides is moral is moral and whatever the State decides is immoral is immoral.  Does that work for you???

The Bible reveals a big problem with “human morality” from the LAST TIME God judged man’s sins: “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Gen 6:5).  I see this as something that neither nature nor governance can solve.

One of my problems with morality coming from government or human culture is the way morality “evolves.”  I think of the United States and homosexuality.  On April 17, 2008, as epitomized in Barack Obama, morality was the view that: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”  But that view is no longer “moral”: now a person holding to that view is intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded and cruel.  Now the moral thing to believe according to our culture and recognize that homosexuals’ relationships are every bit as valid as those relationships between a man and a woman and that the moral person must respect the full and equal rights of gay citizens.

I mentioned Nazism’s project to destroy objective, transcendent morality: such morality holds that objective moral laws apply to all times, to all cultures, period.  It is wrong to torture a baby for fun.  It has always been wrong.  It has always been wrong no matter what any culture or any group of people thought about it.  And it will always be wrong even if the whole world says otherwise.  That view of morality has largely been destroyed as much in our world as it was in the world of Nazi Germany.  And it has been replaced with the secular humanist/atheist concept that morality (like everything else) “evolves.”

What makes something “right” or “wrong”?  What makes something “moral” or “immoral”???  If something isn’t moral just because Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin said so, why would it be different if Barack Obama – or ANY leader ANYWHERE – said so???  Who makes human rules for humanity?  If it’s some group of humans, just what is it that makes them so superior to the rest of us that they get to make the rules for the rest of us?  And if there is no group of humans that gets to make the rules, then where else would any true moral laws come from???

Is it human nature to merely be a herd animal, which chews its cud and does what the rest of the herd does?  That doesn’t seem to be the way we are, given all the arguing and discussion rather than all the cud-chewing and mindlessly following.

In my own case, to return to my realization as an adrift young man, if there is no God, there ARE no moral rules.  I could do anything I wanted.  No one had the right to tell me that something was right or that something was wrong.  They were merely imposing their own values on me and they didn’t have any more right to make the rules than anybody else.  The Bible described such thinking: “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

What kind of world do we invariably end up with when it is up to human minds to decide what is right and what is wrong???  I think history has already declared that it is a very ugly world.

Is mass human death a tragedy?  Not according to the leaders of big government, who don’t care how many of their own people die as long as they have enough others to continue to do their bidding:

Chairman Mao:

“The atom bomb is nothing to be afraid of,” Mao told Nehru, “China has many people. . . . The deaths of ten or twenty million people is nothing to be afraid of.” A witness said Nehru showed shock. Later, speaking in Moscow, Mao displayed yet more generosity: he boasted that he was willing to lose 300 million people, half of China’s population.”

Chairman Mao:

LEE EDWARDS, CHAIRMAN, VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: In 1959 to 1961 was the so-called “great leap forward” which was actually a gigantic leap backwards in which he tried to collectivize and communize agriculture.

And they came to him after the first year and they said, “Chairman, five million people have died of famine.” He said, “No matter, keep going.” In the second year, they came back and they said, “Ten million Chinese have died.” He said, “No matter, continue.” The third year, 20 million Chinese have died. And he said finally, “Well, perhaps this is not the best idea that I’ve ever had.”

CHANG: When he was told that, you know, his people were dying of starvation, Mao said, “Educate the peasants to eat less. Thus they can benefit – they can fertilize the land.”

I submit to you that we’re seeing the exact same demonically ideological disregard for the lives of one’s own people in Barack Obama with his ObamaCare rollout.  There was no question that the website was not ready, that it would crash, that it was unsafe and that people who trusted its use would be subject to widespread identity theft and hacking.  Obama didn’t care; he cared only about getting the turkey to fly whether it was ready to fly or not out of pure political considerations rather than any concern for the American people.

We’re seeing pure lies pumping out of the Obama White House to justify the fact that the president of the United States lied to the American people and became, in effect due to all his exposure, the most documented liar in the history of the entire human race.  White House officials and their spinners are claiming that there’s nothing about the Affordable Care Act that is causing millions of people to lose their insurance, and they demonize the greedy insurance companies and say that Obama can’t do anything about what the insurance companies do.  That is – just like Obama’s promise ,”If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” – a complete lie.  Not only are 15 million Americans finding that out right now, but 93 million more Americans are set to learn it the hard way in January 2014.  The insurance companies are cancelling millions of Americans’ insurance policies because ObamaCare loaded up policies with required regulations that none of these plans can meet.  Again, the White House knew in 2010 that ObamaCare would FORCE insurance companies to cancel over 70% of individual insurance plans within three years of ObamaCare’s implementation.  And so we are now seeing horror stories such as a woman with severe cancer who had not “substandard insurance” but “WORLD CLASS INSURANCE” in mortal danger of losing her insurance and therefore her LIFE because of ObamaCare.

Obama: “No matter, keep going.”  And none of the catastrophe he’s created matters because like Mao Obama is a rabid ideologue who demands his “signature legislation” be implemented now matter how awful it is or how terrible its consequences will be on America and its people.

What I’m trying to tell you is that when it comes to looking to your government for morality, you can’t look at the communists and the fascists – who ought to have THE most moral governments if morality in any way, shape or form comes from government – and say, “that’s just them.”  No government is moral, and morality comes from no government.  Least of all our own as we have now nearly completely abandoned the Judeo-Christian worldview that gave the United States a chance at becoming a moral city on a hill.  No nation that has mindlessly spent itself into well over $200 trillion in unsustainable and unpayable debt has any right to call itself “moral.”

I previously told you how bloody and dark and amoral and indifferent “the world of nature” apart from God was.  Does the morality of human government seem any better?  It has been frequently pointed out that any government that can give rights can just as easily take them away.  Now we are living in a time when what was right has become wrong and what was wrong has become right.

I think of some of Jesus’ most powerful words: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).  What did He mean?  Is He referring to people that nature lost?  Is He referring to people who aren’t yet eligible for some government program to help them?  Or is He referring to a far deeper and more fundamental problem with human nature that can’t be transformed by Nature and can’t be transformed by Nurture (i.e. a government nanny state)???

The Bible reveals something that we should all know from our self-introspection:  “ He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecc 3:11).  That is that we have eternal souls.  No temporary fix will work for beings that live on forever long after our bodies are dust.  The only solution is an eternal solution; and therefore the only one who can save us is an eternal God.

Nature cannot save us because amoral nature cannot give us what it never had to begin with.  Herd morality, society says morality, or government morality can’t save us because human beings are individuals and not herd animals and because governments are THE most immoral entities on earth rather than the most moral.  And human beings cannot save us because no matter how they present themselves as messiahs, the fact of the matter is that they are fallen human beings tainted by sin and they are merely liars and charlatans and demagogues.

We are a world in desperate need of salvation.  My generation was literally born into a world that had become capable of utterly destroying itself within a matter of minutes with nuclear annihilation.  And that threat continues to hang over this world that common sense assures will one day erupt into WW3.  We need a Savior.  We need a Messiah.  And no human government and no human leader can take the place of the true Savior of the world that the world needs – Jesus of Nazareth.

Click here to see Jesus, Son Of Man, Son of God (Part 2)

Click here to see Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God (Part 3)

‘We’re Living In The Very Last Days Of The Church Age… This Is The Time For Every Christian To Learn How To Live By Faith’

January 7, 2013

“I’m not going to ask you if you’re a Christian or if you’re saved.  I just want to know one thing: can you explain to me how the Bible says that someone can go to heaven?  What does somebody need to do to go to heaven?  Can you explain that to me?”

If you can’t answer that question, if you can’t answer the question that Jesus asked His disciples in Mark 8:29, “But who do YOU say that I am?”  You need to drop everything you’re worrying about and learn the answers to those two questions.  Because your life depends on it.

This is an excellent presentation by Hal Lindsey of what it means to live by faith.  Please watch:

Here’s Hal Lindsey’s website. I try to watch his program as it appears on TBN every Friday at 5 pm PST.

Here’s the sad reality: a lot of people think they’re “Christians” because they believe garbage that has absolutely nothing to do with what the Bible teaches.  St. Paul wrote:

“But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.  You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” — 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, NLT

There is a “different Jesus”; many different Jesuses, in fact.

Jesus stands completely unique in all of human history.  Because of the profound influence of Western Civilization upon the world, and because our very calender system revolves around the birth of the greatest and most influential person who ever lived, our very history literally revolves around Jesus.  The greatest problem true Christianity faces is not that no one has heard of Jesus; rather, the crisis is that every single religion has tried to hijack Jesus to their religion or worldview.  The Muslims have turned Jesus into a prophet of Islam; Buddhism has turned Jesus into an enlightened one like the Buddha who found true enlightenment but remained in our reality to help others.  Hindus have turned Jesus into an incarnation or avatar of Vishnu.  Secular humanists and liberals have amazingly turned Jesus into a modern-day Marxist who somehow wanted to give Caesar complete totalitarian power over the people via the vehicle of government economic redistributionism.

They’re all wrong.  Jesus said about Himself:

I  am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” — John 14:6

It is critical that we come to salvation by our personal decision to trust in Jesus to deliver us from our sins and from the hell we deserve if we are judged according to our own merit.  And that is because Jesus said:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45

Give His life?.

And:

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” — John 15:13

But why does Jesus talk about giving up His life as a ransom for many?  Why does He talk about laying down His life for His friends?

Just before Jesus cited what is now the most famous Bible verse in the world, Jesus said:

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” — John 3:14-16

Jesus was teaching what true salvation was.  He compared Himself to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness and taught that He also had to be lifted up in order for humanity to be saved.  According to the Bible, the Jews during the Exodus turned against God, and God judged them with a plague of deadly serpents.  But God also gave the people the opportunity to be saved:

And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.” — Numbers 21:9

Just as the bronze serpent hung on a pole, so Jesus would hang on the cross.  And just as anyone who looked at the bronze serpent would live, so also anyone who looked at Jesus dying on the cross would live.  Jesus taught that when He would be lifted up on the cross, anybody who looked upon Him and trusted that Jesus had sacrificed His life for theirs would be saved from the eternal death of hell.  God is holy.  There is no sin in Him at all.  And all who come to Him must be morally perfect without having ever committed one sin throughout their entire life.  And God gives us the opportunity to either trust in ourselves and our own righteousness for this coming judgment, or to trust in the righteousness of Jesus of Nazareth.  Because Jesus died in our place.  He took the blame for what we did.  And all He requires is for us to make that personal decision to trust in His death in our place and believe that when He rose bodily from the dead, He demonstrated His resurrection power to transform us both now and at the resurrection.  As Christ’s death in our place is activated by faith, God regards us with the righteousness of Jesus.  If we were to stand at the pearly gates, Jesus would appear and say, “This one’s with Me.”  And the gates would open.

That choice and the faith that makes that choice come to life in our hearts is such a simple way.  But there are many who pervert that message for their own agendas.

Now consider the words of John 1:1-3, 14, speaking about Christ:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being…  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1-3 makes it abundantantly clear that when Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), He meant that they are one in deity, in sharing the divine nature.  There is a simple poem that goes:

He came to die on a cross of wood, yet made the hill on which it stood.

Jesus Christ, the Word become flesh, was the Creator of the world as described by Genesis 1:1.  All things were created through HIM.  And apart from Him NOTHING was created that has ever come into being.  The Creator of man, who created man in His own image, did so knowing that He would one day assume that image of man so that He could show mankind what the Father was like and redeem humanity through His work as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  And that work was completed on the cross, such that everyone who looks at Him through faith could be saved.  Because, as Jesus said, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Paul writes in Romans 5:12 that just as sin came into the world by one man (Adam), so also was the free gift of God offered by one Man, the Man Jesus Christ (Romans 5:15).

In that act on the cross, God died for us.  God took on a human nature so He could experience the full life of a man and die the full death of a man, to atone for the sin that every single member of the human race had committed.  He took the blame for us; He died in our place when it should have been we who died for our sins.  The Bible is abundantly clear: we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and not even ONE of us isn’t guilty (Romans 3:10); we have all fallen far short of the glory that God created us for as His image bearers; and we are therefore all guilty of death (Romans 6:23).  How many of you can even say you’ve never violated your own conscience, let alone God’s perfect holiness?  But God gave man an opportunity to live and not die (Romans 5:8) by providing His Son for us to stand in our place if we would let Him.  Just as God gave the Jews in the Exodus a chance to live by providing them with the bronze serpent on the pole for Moses to lift up in the wilderness.  And all you have to do is look upon Jesus, upon the Son of God, and believe that He did that for you.  All you need to do is recognize that you are a sinner, deserving of death, but that God wants you to LIVE by putting your faith not in yourself, but in His beloved Son.  And you will be saved.

You need to meet the Jesus of the Gospels and then meet the apostles He entrusted to carry that Gospel message to the rest of the world.

Salvation through Jesus is so simple that small children can give their little hearts to Jesus; it is so amazingly deep that the most brilliant minds in history – earth-transforming minds such as Sir Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal – have marvelled at the unfathomable mysteries of the Cross of Christ.

But what happens after we’re saved?  How should we live?  How should we act?

J. Vernon McGee said, “Now, you might have a better plan than God, but what you don’t have is your own universe.”  The Cross is God’s way of addressing man in his most dire need in His state of bondage to sin and the spiritual and ultimately physical death that resulted from that sin.  You may not like it; but it IS God’s way and God offers only ONE way to be saved.

Let me ask you a question: if you were God, is this how you would have dealt with a wicked human race that was capable of uniting only to shake its fist at you?  It sure isn’t how I would have come if I were God.  Rather than taking on a lowly human nature and being born as a helpless baby in a stable lying in a food trough for animals, I would have appeared as a giant ready to stomp on all who defied me.  That’s man’s way.  It isn’t God’s.  Which is why I actually thank God I’m NOT God, because I myself need God’s love and mercy far more than I need His power and His wrath.

God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).  You need to get that reality through your head every single day if you want to live a Christian life.  You will find that God has a radically different way of dealing with the world than human beings have devised.  Jesus described God’s ways to His disciples:

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.  It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” — Matthew 20:25-28

Jesus told us to love our enemies.  He told us to bless those who curse us.  He told us to do good to those who hate us.  He told us to pray for those who spitefully use us (Matthew 5:43-48).  How can you possibly live like that?  How could anybody?  By one thing and ONLY by one thing: by faith in Jesus Christ, who provided in His life and atoning death the ultimate example of what it means to live by faith.

This episode of Hal Lindsey is a great attempt to explain what living by true biblical Christian faith looks like.  I pray that you will watch it.  And then watch it again.

I also agree with Hal Lindsey that we are truly in the very last days before the Rapture of the Church and the coming Tribulation.  In my own experience, we have reached that point as a toxic culture such that America has crossed its moral Rubicon.  What I saw demonstrated in November, 2012 was that by the time America wakes up, it will be too late.  We are already over $225 trillion in debt as of now and we just decided in our vote for Obama and Democrats that we are determined to do absolutely nothing but recklessly increase that spending (our debt is increasing at nearly $1 trillion every single MONTH now) until we implode in the mother of all great depressions.  A complete global collapse is coming soon – and it will be out of this coming collapse that the Antichrist emerges.

The Bible tells us that greed and sexual immorality and self-gratification and every other sin that the world offers is an illusion.  It will never permanently satisfy – and we are just left wanting more and more until that addiction destroys us.  And given the fact that all of this is going to be taken away – first by economic collapse and later by death and judgment – we should live as if faith and only faith is real.  Christians need to be seeking that faith right now because it is the only thing that is ultimately truly valuable.

Laying To Rest The Myth That AIDS Is Not A Gay Disease

July 24, 2009

There’s an advertising campaign that goes by the mantra, “There’s no LOL in HIV.” The ads are your typical “public service announcement” caliber: you watch them, and figure a pack of hyperactive ring-tailed monkeys with a video camera could have pulled something off that was at least as good.

But the ad perpetuates the constant liberal stereotype that AIDS is not a gay disease.  Sorry, but the facts speak otherwise.

I normally don’t read my paper so thoroughly that I cover the obituary section, but I saw a headline that made me stop and read this one from the Los Angeles Times.  What I would like you to do is see firsthand the chronology of the very first AIDS cases:

Dr. Joel D. Weisman dies at 66; among the first doctors to detect AIDS

Dr. Joel D. Weisman was a general practitioner in Sherman Oaks in 1980 when he noticed that three gay male patients had the same constellation of symptoms. He wound up referring two of them to UCLA immunologist Michael S. Gottlieb, who had a gay male patient with a similarly strange array of afflictions. The two doctors then wrote a seminal report that signaled the official start of the AIDS epidemic.

The Los Angeles physician went on to became a national advocate for AIDS research, treatment and prevention.
By Elaine Woo
July 23, 2009

Dr. Joel D. Weisman, who was one of the first physicians to detect the AIDS epidemic and who became a national advocate for AIDS research, treatment and prevention, died Saturday at his Westwood home. He was 66.

FOR THE RECORD: An obituary about Dr. Joel Weisman that ran in Thursday’s Section A had the first name of AIDS-research pioneer Dr. Michael S. Gottlieb incorrect as Martin. An earlier version of the online caption also contained that error.
He had heart disease and had been ill for several months, said Bill Hutton, his domestic partner of 17 years.

Weisman was a general practitioner in Sherman Oaks in 1980 when he noticed a troubling pattern: He had three seriously ill patients with the same constellation of symptoms, including mysterious fevers, rashes, drastic weight loss and swollen lymph nodes. All were gay men whose problems seemed to stem from defects in their immune systems.

The physician wound up referring two of the patients to UCLA immunologist Martin S. Gottlieb, who had a gay male patient with a similarly strange array of afflictions. Recognizing that these were not isolated cases, Weisman and Gottlieb wrote a report that appeared in the June 5, 1981, issue of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That report signaled the official start of the epidemic that the federal agency later named acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

“Joel was a very astute physician,” Gottlieb said in an interview Wednesday. “In his practice he was alert to unusual symptoms in his patients. He had a sense that something out of the ordinary was happening.”

Gottlieb, who later treated perhaps the world’s most famous AIDS patient, Rock Hudson, received most of the credit for identifying the disease.

But Weisman “contributed his open eyes. He felt right away he was observing something that was never seen before,” said Mathilde Krim, a research scientist who, with Gottlieb, founded the New York-based nonprofit amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Born on Feb. 20, 1943, in Newark, N.J., Weisman graduated in 1970 from the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and practiced in New Jersey for a few years.

In 1975, he acknowledged his homosexuality and ended a three-year marriage to start a new life in Los Angeles.

He joined a medical group in North Hollywood, where in 1978 he was presented with some puzzling cases: a gay Anglo man in his 30s who had Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer usually seen in old Mediterranean men, and several men with shingles, another affliction normally seen in much older patients. Weisman also had a number of patients with swollen lymph glands, often an indication of lymphoma, a type of cancer that originates in the immune system. But in these cases, no lymphoma was detected.

In 1980, he opened his own practice in Sherman Oaks with Dr. Eugene Rogolsky. Weisman’s sense of foreboding deepened with the arrival of two patients who had a panoply of confounding problems: persistent diarrhea, eczema, fungal infections, low white blood cell counts.

“On top of these two cases,” Randy Shilts wrote in his definitive AIDS chronicle, “And the Band Played On” (1987), “another 20 men had appeared at Weisman’s office that year with strange abnormalities of their lymph nodes,” the very condition that had triggered the spiral of ailments besetting Weisman and Rogolsky’s other two, very sick patients.

“It was dreadful. We didn’t know what we were dealing with,” Rogolsky recalled Wednesday.

In early 1981, a colleague put Weisman in touch with Gottlieb. Two decades later, Weisman recalled that he “had a feeling going into the meeting that what this represented was the tip of the iceberg. My sense was that these people were sick,” he told the Washington Post in 2001, “and we had a lot of people that were potentially right behind them.”

He sent his patients to UCLA Medical Center, where Gottlieb found they had pneumocystis pneumonia. Gottlieb had earlier found the same pneumonia in his own patient. He later diagnosed it in two gay men referred by other doctors.

A few months after their initial meeting, Weisman and Gottlieb wrote in the CDC bulletin that “5 young men, all active homosexuals, were treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. Two of the patients died.” Eventually, the other three patients died too.

The report sounded an alarm heard around the world. AIDS deaths in the U.S. rose exponentially, from 618 in 1982 to almost 90,000 by the end of the decade. By 2002 the death toll surpassed 500,000 and was still climbing.

Weisman began to press for services for people with HIV and AIDS as founding chairman of AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1983. He also helped organize the first dedicated AIDS unit in Southern California at what is now Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center. He advocated for research dollars as an original board member of amfAR, which was formed in 1985, and served as chairman from 1988 to 1992.

Described by Shilts as “the dean of Southern California gay doctors,” Weisman continued to see patients, building his partnership with Rogolsky into the Pacific Oaks Medical Group, which became one of the largest private practices focused on the treatment of AIDS and HIV.

As soon as he became convinced that AIDS was sexually transmitted, Weisman began to warn patients that they needed to change their sexual behavior. But during the early years of the crisis, his warnings too often were ignored. “I couldn’t even make some of my friends listen, and they’re dead now and that’s disconcerting,” he told The Times in 1988.

Among the casualties was his partner of 10 years, Timothy Bogue, who died of AIDS in 1991.

Battling the epidemic on the front lines “made me look at issues of death and dying in a very different way,” Weisman said in 1988. “What makes somebody a good physician in this situation? Is it just winning? Keeping people alive? If I looked at every death as a defeat, I would not be able to continue.”

In 1997, he stepped away from the battle, ironically just as new drug cocktails were extending the lives of AIDS patients. In 2000, he moved to New York, where he ran a bed-and-breakfast with Hutton, but he returned to Southern California about five years ago. He was an active ambassador for AIDS Project Los Angeles until illness overtook him this year.

In addition to Hutton, Weisman is survived by a brother, Mark; a daughter, Stacey Weisman-Bogue Foster; a granddaughter; and two nieces. Memorial donations may be sent to amfAR, AIDS Project Los Angeles or the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.

Now, before I say anything else, I would like to say that Dr. Joel D. Weisman was a truly decent and compassionate man who heroically tried to make a positive difference with his life.  And I am sorry that such a great man has passed, and extend my sympathies to his family and friends.

This article does not attack Dr. Weisman or his work in any way.  Nor does it even attack homosexuals or homosexuality, per se.

It only tries to point out an important truth: AIDS is a gay disease.  It started out ENTIRELY as a gay disease – as the obituary article clearly testifies –  and it still IS a gay disease.

It is a documented fact that the liberal mainstream media falsified a myth that AIDS was a heterosexual boogeymanMichael Fumento is merely one among many who have documented the fact that there was a clearly deliberate effort to frighten the national population to fund AIDS research and further legitimize the homosexual lifestyle.  I read Bernard Goldberg’s book BIAS: A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort The News, which goes into detail to describe both the fraud of heterosexual AIDS and the media disinformation to market the fraud as fact.  And the sheer number of previous efforts to document what were clearly homosexual men as heterosexuals makes any present claims of “heterosexual AIDS” dubious at best.  It’s like the boy who cried wolf.

To the extent that heterosexuals do get AIDS, there are at least two clear primary culprits: 1) bi-sexuality, and the spread of AIDS from men who have sex with men and then have sex with women; and 2) Drug use, particularly involving the sharing of hyperdermic needles.  A 3rd culprit would be the “down low” phenomenon in which men have sex with other men and yet do not regard themselves as homosexual.  Good luck getting them to tell you about their little secret lives.

It’s interesting.  In years past, I have heard homosexuals describe the terrifying devastation of AIDS in the gay community.  I have heard homosexuals describe the fact that literally dozens of their friends had become infected with HIV or died of AIDS.  And yet I have never known a single friend or family member who has ever had AIDS in my entire life.  And some time back, when I found the question interesting due to some propaganda media report, I proceeded to ask virtually every friend and acquaintance I had if THEY had ever personally known anyone who had ever had AIDS or HIV.  And there were only two friends/acquaintances who had EVER known such people – and it turned out that both of the friends knew that the men who had contracted HIV/AIDS were homosexuals.

I would not wish AIDS on anyone, except perhaps truly evil monsters such as Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.  I would most certainly not wish it on a gay man merely for being a gay man.  There are simply too many homosexuals who are decent and kind people – like Joel C. Weisman – for me to ever wish such a terrible thing.  And while I believe that homosexuality is a sin – as God’s Word teaches – I also realize that I, too, am a sinner.  And I confess that sin has bested me very nearly as often as I have bested sin.

God Himself will one day judge every sin and every sinner; He did not commission me to do this work for Him.

But it’s one thing to sympathize with people bearing the result of a terrible, disfiguring, life threatening disease, and quite another to participate in propaganda for the sake of advancing the gay lifestyle.  I want to do the first; I most certainly have no intention of doing the second.