I promised last week not to get into value-less debates. Non-productive is a better term. As most debates are valuable and being Americans, we've had freedom to debate without loss of liberty for either side. Sadly, this is quickly disappearing, or has and I can't stomach the courage to admit it.
"Breaking News" reports are making my promise difficult to keep. Telling on myself, I started a different post an hour ago and hundreds of words later, aborted the mission. Too opinionated, too volatile and it's not really the thing.
And if I think I can help someone else, I better be careful, less I get caught up as well. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before utter failure. A person who can hold their tongue is stronger then a bully. The bible says that the power of life and death are in the tongue and those that love to talk will eat its fruit. (fruit = their words, so better be sure their words are yummy)
There is the Spirit of Truth, just like there is the Book of Life. He's real, just invisible, to the naked eye. While the book I wrote about last week is physically located in another realm, this "spirit" is right here, with us.
For a long time now liberal historians have been painting our history the way they want us to see it. Constantly highlighting all the negative while coincidentally leaving out most of the positive. No mention of faith or God, as if either had any influence. Even so, there's a voice speaking the truth. But it's getting harder to hear. God says if a person constantly hardens their heart to the truth, He will give them over to their harden heart. They will have no hope of ever coming out of darkness. Don't be that guy!
Selah. (Pause and calmly think about that)
I actually have a full set of real ink and paper New Standard Encyclopedia's with two dictionary's! I keep thinking that one day these books will be historical artifacts. (maybe worthy of an Indy adventure? lol) They contain a lot more information then you'll find on the Internet or in school books. Back before Christianity was considered offensive to mention in government or public squares, it wasn't censored.
The Bible has been proven to be a reliable and accurate history book. For Christians, it's primarily the inspired word of God, written by people who were under God's influence. Some people who set out to prove it historically unreliable are now some of the Bible's loudest cheerleaders. People like Lee Strobel, former investigative journalist for The Chicago Tribune. You should look up his best selling book, The Case For Christ. It includes incredible investigative work for us to determine if the Bible can be trusted or not.
Speaking of the Bible, I didn't mention or explain last week about the different versions. The King James Version has the thee's and thou's that trip people up. I don't recommend that one. The New King James takes out the older sixteenth century language. The NIV stands for New International Version. All versions are translated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages. The ESV stands for English Standard Version and I like to go between that one and the NIV. The Message is not considered a legitimate translation and shouldn't be held to the same standards as the others but it is really helpful in figuring out what certain stories may have been trying to teach.
The Bible claims that mankind was created by God to manage the earth and all that was in it. God created everything by speaking it all into existence. He did it for Himself, the one true God, Who happens to be three separate entities. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit make up the god-head.
His intention was to create immortal beings, as His family. He already had other esoteric creatures but none created in His image. Until Adam.
God also wanted this creation to have a free will. He didn't want robots who couldn't make their own decisions. "I love you" means nothing if compelled to say it and not really meaning it. However so is the choice to obey... or not. To remain... or not. To believe... or not.
Being that we are creatures bound to time and God is not, we are limited in our understanding of existence. Since He is outside of time, God has the whole picture. And the totally awesomeness of God is that He hasn't kept anything from us! It's all in His book! Past, present and future!
That being the case, means God is already in the future we haven't gotten to yet. Our experiences are of the past and present. The future is yet to be ours. But not God. He's there already. He knows everything. He knows all the good, the bad and the ugly. He knows when this "Age of Grace" is over and who will be on His team and who will perish with the workers of inequity. That's why it's so important to be with the team that wins while there's still time to decide. Yes... decide... it's our choice, our free choice! But how can one choose unless someone tells them?
One part of the triune God is called the Holy Spirit. Well, that's one name of several that He has. He's also referred to as the Spirit of Truth. God is the spirit of truth, whom existed before time began. A creation is not greater then the creator. Regardless how many humans define truth as irrelevant, if God says it's absolute, then God trumps humans and truth is absolute.
Think about it this way. Fish are in a fish tank. The pet store owner feeds them twice a day, weekly cleans the tank, etc... The fish just do what fish do. Eat, swim, poop. They might see signs someone else is out there but don't have the mental capacity to realize someone is taking care of them. Lazily they swim about. Does this mean the fish experience is true? Is there someone helping them or not? Since they can't understand, does that null and void the giving nature of the store owner? This example may not be the best example but I hope it helps a little.
Joyce Meyer is a Bible teacher who I've followed for a long time. She is reading a book, How To Kill 11 Million People, Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think by Andy Andrews. What a title! It talks about WWII. How did Adolph Hitler get away with it? By lying. Hitler lied. People believed the lies and acted out on them. Eleven million people died. We are again positioned to murder countless millions. Keep lying while demonizing whole people groups. Tell lies about them that make hate roar with uncontrollable emotion and then murderers will believe they're doing God a favor by killing these sorry excuses of existence!
Well, let me wrap up this second post, in the series I've committed too, by exposing truth to be absolute.
Is it really true you were created to be an eternal creature, never meant to die? Yes.
Is it true that it is counted on to man to die once and then face the judgement? Yes.
Is it true our soul will continue to live on after our physical body dies? Yes.
Is it true we can choose whether we want to live with God our Creator for all eternity or live apart from His Presence for all eternity? Yes.
Can we choose to simply stop existing and have no realization that we ever existed after we die? No.
Can we be good enough to make it to heaven? No. Never. Stop trying. That's a religious spirit and that will send you straight to hell in a hand basket.
I think time is short, because of all the unrest, but it could still be another twenty to a hundred years before the return of Christ. Just in case it's tomorrow please "trust" me enough to know I'm telling you the truth. And if we should have several weeks after this week to volley about the details, then we will. But for now, trust me please and pray...
God I've made some serious mistakes. I've hurt people I've loved and been more concerned about myself then anyone else. I struggle to do the right things and hide when I should come clean. I'm full of pride at times and think You don't exist. God, I believe, help my unbelief. I believe the Bible when it says in John 3:16 that You so loved the world that You gave Your one and only Son, that if I believe in Him I will not go to hell but rather have eternal life with You. I'm willing to humble myself to admit I don't really understand this "incredible exchange" that Jesus took my punishment for me, but I'm asking Him to anyway.
Please accept my apology. I'm sorry God. I am a sinner in need of a savior. I accept Jesus' death on the cross for my sin. On Him I place my "trust" for all eternity and if You should not come back for awhile yet, I will start to prioritize our relationship. I start now, today, seeking You out, to find You and be in intimate relationship with You. Please save me God, give me a soft heart in place of this hard fickle heart I've been trying to tame. Please show Yourself real in my life. Please put people in my life to help me understand You. Thank You for creating me and calling me back into Your family. Love, your name here
If you prayed that prayer, let me be the first one to say.... WELCOME HOME! Lets Party!! (That's what they're doing in heaven right now!) For real! I can prove it as we study together and get to know more of what's really true, should the Lord tarry. (tarry - take His time coming to get us) lol We'll take some weeks to unpack the mystery of the gospel.
Please reach out and we can talk more personally. You're one of the reasons I am still alive at this point in history and I can't wait to get to know you better! Plus we'll have all eternity to be in the same family, learning, living and moving in God's Kingdom! Woo hoo! (In redeemed beautiful bodies, not given to disease or death. So much better then vampire stories, lol)
**Disclaimer** So you didn't say the prayer, you didn't accept my truth as yours and your actually a bit offended at my presumption you would. Okay, I get that. I've actually had that spit in my face from those I love. It hurt. But hey, I really believe this 'best selling book of all time, some parts known to be as old as 4,000 years' to be true. How bad would I have to hate you not to share it with you?
So let's just "trust" God isn't coming back too soon and we'll have time to do some more "homework" together. Maybe your heartfelt authentic prayer is just around the corner. That's good. From the movie Dumb and Dumber after the beholden beauty states in no way, what's-so-ever, would she ever go out with him, he says, "So you're telling me there's a chance..."
Until next week, be smart, be brave for these days are full of trouble.