About daniel

Follower of Christ, Author, Musician Though I have been a "Christian" for so many years, in many ways I feel life with Christ is a quest in with many troubles and dangers. It is frightfully more dangerous than anyone ever told me at the outset. Any "true" adventure would be, wouldn't it? This blog is about the adventure of discovery in this quest to follow the one who forged the path to life and true love so many years ago. I have found that the epic rescuing story of Jesus is far more relevant to you and I than we give it credit.

Noah, starring Russell Crowe!


Noah-Movie-Russell-CroweRussell Crowe as Noah? I have to admit, I was pretty excited to hear that Hollywood has produced a Biblical Blockbuster film about Noah. I had an experience while watching the preview for the first time. I was overcome with emotion.  I sobbed. I really do believe I was tapping into God’s heart for all those who were lost in the flood. He cared desperately for them. It “broke his heart” the Scriptures tell us. Reminds me of when God weeps in Jeremiah for those who brought judgement upon themselves.

I went to see Noah in the theatre and while they “got a lot o things wrong” I thought it was a compelling and creative story. I am not one to tar and feather people for taking artistic license. Noah’s identity crisis was an interesting point of discussion as well as how the two other sons ended up with wives in the end and the family in fighting that happens in every family. Very creative!

I am also aware that the writers and producers were pulling largely from the book of Enoch (which interestingly at least part if not the whole is validated by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ever read the book of Jude?) and other extra biblical writings and “histories”. I have read portions of these extra books and find them interesting.

As I read through Genesis (reading thru the Bible in 90 days) I was struck by how much history is covered in such a short time. Two thousand years in first twelve chapters! That’s one-third of earths entire history and not many details are given until Abram is mentioned. Then we become involved in this one mans story and the subsequent story of his descendants. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This blog is about Noah.

“Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.” (Genesis 6:9 NLT)

Does this shock anyone else? Noah was the only one walking in close fellowship with God? Out of an estimated billion people, Noah was the only one?

At first I got all bent out of shape about the odds involved here. I mean if only one out of a billion love God, then what chance do you think you have? What chance do I think I have? But then I realized this was man centered thinking (as most of our thinking is), instead of realizing that God is on the job and “he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it”.

God had this to say about society at that time of Noah:

“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart… Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence.  God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt.” (Genesis 6:5-6, 11-12 NLT)

When you ponder the account of the flood do you think about the heartbreak God endured? Or do we pity the wicked fools who died and blame God for condemning fellow human beings like that? How would we be today if God judged the world again (as he indeed will)?

I am reminded of something I posted right after Osama Bin Ladins death on facebook: “Regarding Osama Bin Laden, I liked that someone posted a verse from Ezekiel 18:23: “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.””

There was a prophecy surrounding Methuselahs death. His name means “his death shall bring”. He died the year the flood came, I believe this wasn’t in the flood but just before it. His life was a sign. He was the oldest recorded human ever to have lived. 969 years old. This is a picture of the mercy of the Lord. God is long-suffering. He waits as long as possible before bringing the judgement he never even wanted to bring in the first place. He extended Methuselahs life on and on and on to give people more time to repent and find salvation.

Another Scripture that points to the mercy of Jesus:

“So he (Jesus) went and preached to the spirits in prison – those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.” 1 Peter 3:19-20 NLT

I believe this speaks to Jesus extending redemption and the message of salvation to all those who perished in the flood. God gives us all way more chances than we deserve.

A while ago I remember sobbing at one of the closing scenes of “What Dreams May Come”. Robbin Williams character goes to hell in search of his wife who had committed suicide. He was determined to stay with her and to try to instill faith and hope in her that could set her free. At the time I watched that movie I was in a personal hell of my own and to think that Jesus was right there wooing me back to redemption was an absolutely beautiful thought.

Why was Noah the only one left? After giving this some thought, I suspect that this violent society had likely hunted down and killed everyone else who walked with God. Why didn’t they kill Noah? I mean he was a huge target, never far from his giant ark.

They were probably having way too much fun mocking him day after day. I bet there was a fresh audience every day to come see the madman who was building his ark far from any body of water.

Noah had a firm grasp of reality (aka faith) that caused him to build a ship far from any body of water because God told him to!

Would you do that? Would you be Noah or among the masses who mocked him?

There are plenty of mockers today aren’t there? There are those who mock Christians for believing that God created the world and only in six days. They ridicule people for insisting that the Bible teaches us that Homosexual behavior is a sin like all the rest and must be repented of. They roll their eyes at people who say that we are living in the last days and that God’s judgement is coming again as it did in Noah’s day.

SO, WHAT IS YOUR ARK?

What would God have you do in these last days before Jesus returns? What is your “ark”? Are you experiencing a close fellowship with God that you are able to hear from him, and what he would have you do?

I am praying for a close fellowship with God. I hope you are seeking this as well. May we all escape the matrix of this corrupt society and its worldview and read the Bible and gain a firm grasp of reality (faith) to follow Jesus and obey him in all he would have us to do.

So again I ask, what is your ark?

Should We Take the Bible Literally?

I just finished watching a video by Daniel Akin about what Jesus believed about the Bible (below) and thought it was about time I shared on this issue. I am aware that many people don’t share Jesus high view of Scripture and don’t take the Bible literally, and if we are Christ followers we should!

I believe that many Christians are embarrassed about some of the parts in Scripture (creation, worldwide flood, literal Adam and Eve). They don’t believe because they have been intellectually bullied and intimidated by people that they think are smarter than them. Some have been professors or scientists and sadly some have even been pastors.

Why should we take the Bible literally?

Because Jesus did!

Yes, the world (and all those scientists and professors who hate God) will mock you for taking seriously and literally the things in Scripture. Skeptics find it difficult to swallow things like a literal six days of creation (hasn’t science proven that wrong?), Adam and Eve, a worldwide flood, Jonah in the whale. BUT, these are the very things that Jesus referenced as historical and trustworthy fact. Are you prepared to call Jesus a liar? Because I am not. In fact, I am glad he validated Scripture so thoroughly so that  I can know my faith is in the right place in his word.

Why would anyone think that to beleive Jesus is not smart. Think about it. If Jesus rose from the dead, it proves that he is in fact God and by extension proves absolutely reliable everything that he said and affirmed – i.e.  the whole of Scripture.

I found it helpful (and a very useful tool) to have the notes on this teaching open as I followed along. (I copied and pasted it below as well).

Daniel Akin – 20/20 Collegiate Conference 2012 – Session 1 from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

The following is from www.danielakin.com:

“What Did Jesus Believe About the Bible”
(Matthew 5:17-18)

“The question of biblical authority is ultimately a question of Christology. What you believe about Jesus will ultimately determine what you believe about the Bible.” (Russ Bush, Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics)

―The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God‘s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

I want to try and answer the question, “What did Jesus believe about the Bible? What was the Savior‘s view of Scripture?” After all, as Clark Pinnock put it so well early in his academic career, ―Unreserved commitment to Jesus requires us to look at the Bible through his eyes. (God’s Inerrant Word, 202). We shall call to the stand several statements made by our Lord. The key texts where Jesus speaks to the issue of biblical authority are: Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 24:25-27, 44-49; John 10:35; 17:17. In particular I want to give attention to Matthew 5:17-18. A careful examination of this text reveals 2 basic truths concerning Jesus‘ view of the Bible.

I. Jesus believed all the Scriptures point to Him. 5:17

In the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus returns to the theme of the kingdom (3 times in 5:19-20) These verses serve as the introduction to the ―6 great antitheses of 5:21-48. They also explain how it is that we can live out the beatitudes of 5:3-12 and be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (5:13-16).

1) 5:17 introduces us to the high view of Scripture held by Jesus. Though there is no questions He has the Old Testament Scriptures in view, what He
affirmed about the Old Testament He also promised concerning the New Testament as well. In John 16:12-15 He said,

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When
the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

2) Jesus introduced teachings that were new and striking. Indeed, as John 7:46
states, “No man ever spoke like this man.” Some may have concluded that His
teaching constituted a decisive break with the Old Testament Scriptures. That is certainly the judgment of some Baptists today. Not so says Jesus. Do not think (or consider) that I came to destroy (annual abrogate, disintegrate, demolish.) J.A. Alexander notes the idea is that of ―the destruction of a whole by the complete separation of its parts, as when a house is taken down by being taken to pieces. Jesus says I did not come to tear apart or dismantle the law and prophets (a reference to the whole of Scriptures of His day). I did not come to destroy (repeated for emphasis) but to fulfill. Note that the antithesis is not between “abolish” and “keep” but between “abolish” and “fulfill.”

3) Jesus provides not only an emphatic denial but also a positive declaration for his coming – he came to fulfill, complete the Scriptures. To set them aside was never His agenda. To bring them to fulfillment and fruition was why He came.

Don Carson has it right when he says, “Jesus fulfills the entire Old
Testament in many ways. Because they point toward him, he has certainly not
come to abolish them. Rather, he has come to fulfill them in a rich diversity of ways … Jesus does not conceive of his life and ministry in terms of opposition to the Old Testament, but in terms of bringing to fruition that toward which it points. Thus the law and the prophets, far from being abolished, find their valid continuity in terms of their outworking in Jesus. The detailed prescriptions of the Old Testament may well be superceded, because whatever is prophetic must be in some sense provisional. But whatever is prophetic likewise discovers its legitimate continuity in the happy arrival of that toward which it has pointed.”
(Carson, Sermon on the Mount, 37).

John 5:39 – “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal
life; and these are they which testify of me.”

Luke 24:25-27 – “Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to
believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have
suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and
all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”

Luke 24:44-45 – “Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to
you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.”

It’s All About Jesus!

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the wilderness and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the better Ark of Noah who carries us safely through the wrath of God revealed from heaven and delivers us to a new earth.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the world not knowing where he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God‘s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Joshua, who leads us into a land of eternal rest and heavenly blessing.

Jesus is the better Ark of the Covenant, who topples and disarms the idols of this world, going Himself into enemy territory and making an open spectacle of them all.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people‘s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn‘t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn‘t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Daniel, having been lowered into a lion‘s den of death, emerges early the next morning alive and vindicated by His God.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He‘s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible‘s really not about you — it‘s about Him. Adapted from Tim Keller, ―It‘s All About Jesus‖ (Theology and Quotations, Dec. 4, 2006)

Jesus believed all the Scriptures point to Him.

II. Jesus believed all the Scriptures were perfect in detail. 5:18

Verse 17 affirms a promise – fulfillment understanding of Jesus‘ view of
Scripture, not a promise – abolish paradigm. Verse 18 provides the Christological and theological rationale.

1) Jesus introduces verse 18 with a note of personal authority that transcended all other rabbi‘s. “For truly” or “I tell you the truth” is the word Amen. It alerts us that the words that will follow are of paramount importance and authority.
2) Until heaven and earth pass away means until the end of the age, as long as
the present world order persists.
3) Not an Iota, a reference to the yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, similar to our comma.
4) Not a Dot, the smallest projection or part of a Hebrew letter,
5) Will by no means (ou me) a double negative used for force. “No not.”
6) Shall pass away from the law till all is fulfilled

In the Lukan parallel we read, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass
away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17)

Jesus in the strongest possible language affirms the reliability and truthfulness of the Scriptures. He is not saying the Old Testament contains some truth or that it becomes truth when men and women have a significant encounter with it. As he affirms in John 10:35,”the Scripture cannot be broken.” As it proclaims in prayer to the Father in John 17:17, “Your word is
truth.” The outstanding scholar H.C.G. Moule says it well, “[Jesus] absolutely trusted the Bible; and though there are in it things inexplicable and intricate that have puzzled me so much, I am going, not in a blind sense, but reverently, to trust the Book because of Him.” (Pache, 223).

―However difficult the interpretation of Matthew 5:17-20 may be, or how disputed the exact nature of the ―fulfillment,‖ surely it is clear that when Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matt 5:18), he assumes the truthfulness and reliability of the “the Law” (which in the context refers to all of Scriptures: cf. “the Law” and “the Prophets” in 5:17; 7:12) as it is enshrined in Scripture. (Don Carson, ―Approaching the Bible,‖ in New Bible Commentary, 1-19)

When we survey our Lord‘s teaching in the Gospels we discover that the judgments of these scholars is confirmed.

1. Jesus consistently treated the historical narratives of the Old Testament as straightforward records of fact. He referred to Abel (Luke 11:51), Noah
(Matt. 24:37-39), Abraham (Jn 8:56), Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:15, 11:23-24), Lot (Luke 17:28-32), Isaac and Jacob (Matt. 8:11), the manna (Jn 6:31), the wilderness serpent (Jn 3:14), David (Matt. 22:43), Solomon (Matt. 6:29, 12:42), Elijah (Luke 4:25-26), Elisha (Luke 4:27), Jonah (Matt. 12:39-41) and Moses (Matt. 8:4), among others. No where is there the slightest hint that he questioned their historicity or the accuracy of the account.

2. It is interesting to note that Jesus often chose as the basis of his teaching those very stories that many modern skeptics find unacceptable (e.g.,
Adam and Eve, Noah‘s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jonah).

3. For Jesus, Scripture was the final court of appeal in his disputes with the
Pharisees and Sadducees. In their battle in the wilderness both Jesus and
Satan accepted scriptural statements as arguments against which no further argument was possible (Matt. 4:1-11). Jesus might set aside or reject the Rabbinic or Pharisaical interpretation of the Old Testament, which He does in Matthew 5:21-48, but He never questioned its authority or truthfulness.

Conclusion

1) I had much of my initial theology formed and influenced by Clark
Pinnock. Few lament his theological disintegration more than I. Earlier
in his life as he reflected, in my judgment, more clearly on this matter of
Jesus and the Bible, I believe he saw the issue with crystal clarity.

―Shall we follow Jesus in his view of Scripture? In the light of this
evidence the question calls for another. How can a Christian even consider not doing so? Our Lord‘s view of inspiration was not an incidental tenet on the border of his theology. His belief in the truthfulness of the Old Testament was the rock on which he based his own sense of vocation and the validity of much of his teachings. The question about the inspiration of Scripture really boils down to the issue of Christology. It is impossible to affirm his authority while at the same time seeking to evade his teachings regarding the divine authority of the Bible. If Christ‘s claim to be the Son of God is true, his person guarantees the truth of all the rest of his teachings as well.

So long as Jesus Christ is confessed, honored, and adored, we may confidently expect a high view of Scripture to persist in the church. And in the light of a considerable defection from that view amongst professed Christians today we boldly appeal for a return to a proper view of the Bible on the basis of the massive fact of our Lord‘s doctrine of inspiration. (Clark Pinnock, “The Inspiration of Scripture and the Authority of Jesus Christ,” in God’s Inerrant Word, 215)

I was going to research this topic and present it myself… and probably still will, but thought this was so well done it deserved a reblog!

Wbmoore's Weblog

Messianic Christian Rabbi made the statements, “eating pork is sin,” “”All foods are clean, BUT pork is NOT food – food is only what is described as food in Leviticus 11”; and  “Mark 7 has not a thing to do with the dietary commandments. Plainly, if you read the passage IN ITS ENTIRETY, it says it is about RITUALISTIC HAND-WASHING, not the dietary commandments.”

First let me say that mankind has found at least some benefit for following at least some of the dietary laws. However, this brings up the question of whether Christian should keep Torah (observe the laws given in the Mosaic Law), and if so, what parts and why. I believe the Torah tells us what God considers sin, but I do not think we are required to follow all the law. I will expound on why in a future article. In this article, we…

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Islam & Mormonism, an answer in the Word of God

I was watching the following video and it reminded me of a story in the Bible which gives us a clear answer in regard to two world religions: Islam and Mormonism

Here is the video:

So, a guy in a cave comes along and claims, “an angel told me so” who then says that Jesus didn’t die on a cross, there was no resurrection, and God doesn’t have a Son… and we’re just supposed to believe him at the risk of our everlasting soul?

The Bible warns us about listening to anyone who ever comes along telling us, “an angel told me so” and illustrates this with a story in 1 Kings 13 (Click on link to read it)

Done reading it yet?

ok… sorry to interrupt. I’ll wait till you’re finished.

So… as you can see from this text, God is warning us here to disregard anything from Mohammed and Joseph Smith or anyone else who comes along telling them an angel told me so.

But didn’t Moses have an encounter with an angel that led him to go on a rescue mission for the captive nation of Israel? This story has one striking difference however, this angel (“messenger”) was in fact God himself who reveals his name as “I AM”.  He supported Moses and his message with signs and wonders that only the all powerful Creator God could perform. (See Exodus 3)

What proof or signs did Mohammed or Joseph Smith bring? None that I know of. But even they had many awe inspiring signs, this wouldn’t make it true. Even the antiChrist will have a “resurrection” though he blasphemes the only true God.

Did Mohammed or Joseph Smith prophecy a future event and then have any of their prophecies come true? Look it up.

But again, if we were only looking for signs without considering the truth and purity of the message we are also in danger of being deceived by the coming Antichrist who will perform many signs and wonders:

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24: 24 NIV

God allows false prophets to test us. To see if our faith is genuine.

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Top 7 Reasons Why I Hate My Blog!

Ok, so I thought it would be fun to take a moment and diss my blog! Sounds fun right?

Top 7 Reasons Why I Hate My Blog:

I preach too much! “Amen brother!” Personally, I don’t particularly like getting preached at – especially in a blog. I much prefer the “lead the horse to water” approach.

Not Post-modern enough! I make way too many “truth claims”. As if to say there is only one “right” way! But, isn’t this what Scripture teaches? (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) One of the things about postmodernism that I read on Wikepedia says:

” It (postmodernism) upholds the belief that there is no absolute truth and the way in which different people perceive the world is subjective.” (Wikipedia)

If this is necessarily true about postmodernism (& who gets to decide the tenants of this ambiguous movement of postmodernism anyway?), then this is where postmodernism and I part ways. I like to think of myself as a postmodern in some other ways, simply because I see so many flaws with a “modern” worldview, but I cannot and will not yeild to this. Jesus is Absolute Truth.

Way too long! As the Bible says, “in the abundance of words, sin is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19). I must admit that often my lengthy posts are attempts to justify all the ways that I am not loving, and to cover up my sin.

Way too honest! In my attempt to be real about my experience of the text of Scripture, and about myself, I reveal more than is comfortable. As one very famous Christian author once confessed, “most of the time, I feel like a con-man.” But I don’t want to con you! If at all possible, I will be real and authentic with you the reader and provide a rich, meaningful experience of God and his word in an inspiring way.

Too “right” and “thorough”. I have this tendency to try to fill in all the gaps, like I am trying to put the whole puzzle together for you in one sitting (as if I could). In reality I have only been given my one piece of the puzzle, and most of the time it’s covered in mud anyway. In and of myself I have no ability to be either “right” or “thorough”. This is actually one of the main problems I see with modernism and why reading books by “modern” writers is so annoying. Again, this brings us back to truth claims – something that only Jesus can really do. This is a case where this quote applies:

“Perfectionism is the enemy of the good.”

Not a feel good blog! The Bible has a tendency to crush all self-esteem. It reveals the fact that we are sinners and rebels against God. This is a sobering and humbling thing to realize. But once we do, we are ready for grace. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble… and grace, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

Rewriting and editing my blog after publishing it! Can he do that? This is the beauty of the internet. I wonder how an author can stand having thousands of books in print that contain either errors or thoughts that the authors themselves no longer agree with.

I am obviously not quite ready for that. Hence I blog, change my mind, edit, change my mind again, edit some more. Unfortunately the ones who read the first edition still think that I think things that I no longer think which i think is way too many times to say think in the same thinking sentence… think about it. Which could get annoying. I’m hard to pin down because I’m always changing and hopefully growing. Looking for someone who doesn’t change? Look no further than Jesus.

No One is Beyond God’s Grace

“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? …For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!” Ezekiel 18:23, 32 NIV

 

“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die?'” Ezekiel 33:11 NIV

The Bible and Homosexuality

Is it clear from Scripture that those who practice homosexuality are “missing the mark” (def. of sin) of what God intended for human beings? Let’s talk about that.

Here are a quick list of some Scriptures on the subject of homosexuality:

Genesis 1:27 & Genesis 2:18-25 (God creates man and woman. His world, his humans, his design. Who are we to argue?)

“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” Leviticus 18:22

Leviticus 20:13 (& a capital offense among those who are called to be holy and in God’s family. When people make war on love, they do so at the risk of, not only their lives, but  their everlasting soul.)

Genesis 19 (Homosexual Sodomites want to rape some angels and Lot)

“And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.” Jude 1:7 (Commentary on Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed as a warning to all who would give themselves to sexual immorality)

“So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.” Romans 1:24-28 (This sin is part of the final stages of God having to hand people over to sin and Satan because of persistent rebellion)

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.” I Timothy 1:8-11 (The laws purpose is to expose and confront sins such as these)

These are the main passages of what the Bible has to say on the subject.

The good news is that we get to repent! Yes!

You have the wonderful amazing privilege of repenting (having a change of heart and mind and turning away) from your sin! In Jesus, you can walk away and never look back from this sin or any other sin you may be involved in. YEA!!!!

Have you ever considered what a gift it is to part ways with sin? Jesus already has paid the death penalty for your sin. As I read through the Bible I was confronted with things I had done that deserved the death penalty. How amazing that there no longer remains any punishment, for Christ has taken it all and he commands, and allows us in his grace, to repent. Take advantage of his offer today. It really is a gift! (More on the gift of Repentance)

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t in any way hate or even dislike people who commit this particular sin. I have sinned myself, and I wish to extend the same grace that God has extended to me when I get entangled in sin to anyone who is caught in the snare of this or any other sin. Sin is the enemy. It’s pretty obvious that sin hurts the one who sins and not only them but also everyone around them as well. We are all in this together. We have all sinned and every one of us needs grace and forgiveness to be set free and stop hurting ourselves and each other. May we have the humility to receive the salvation and freedom that Jesus freely gives to any willing to receive it.

It’s obvious that God doesn’t want us to sin. He wants us to live as he created us to live. In his image. To live loved, and in turn, to live lives marked by His love. Sin is incongruous with God’s loving intentions. Sin is anti-love. Sin wars against love. God created us not harm ourselves with sin, but for love. It pains God to watch us hurt ourselves by choosing sin over love.

God, because of Jesus and all he accomplished on the cross, has nothing but mercy, forgiveness and cleansing – yes, even complete redemption – for all sinners who want his grace and are simply willing to receive it. Do you want to be free? I know I do.

Honestly I would rather not write a blog post on this topic of homosexuality, but after having a few dreams I thought I must at least voice my concern. My dreams were about how the enemy (yes, I’m talking about the devil that most people don’t really even believe exists) was planning (and is well into implementing his plan) to desensitize and thoroughly corrupt people by putting homosexuality on display, especially in front of impressionable kids. And I see it happening. Don’t you? So this blog is for my nieces and nephews who are being lied to every day by a media that homosexuality is just an acceptable lifestyle.

I get it. People need love. People need intimacy. But we need to realize that the intimacy we were made for is actually meant to be fulfilled in relationship first and foremost with God and, in lesser ways, our mates or our “mates” (of course with the Aussie understanding of the word). God wants to be intimate with you and indeed with everyone he has made. Of course this is not in a sexual sense but in a far more satisfying way then mere sex could ever do for you.

We get a few pictures of this kind of intimacy between friends in Scripture, which I believe model for us the kind of satisfying relationship/friendship that we can have with God himself. Take for instance the relationship between David and Jonathan:

“Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 18:1 NIV)

David’s tribute to Jonathan at the news of his death:

“I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26 NIV)

or Jesus and the apostle John (who referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved):

“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” (John 13:23-25 NKJV)

Neither of these close friendships were in any way sexual, and to even imply so would taint this beautiful picture of friendship. We too can be, and are meant to be, one in spirit with Jesus and have a level of intimacy with him that will meet every need of our hearts so we can stop looking for fulfillment elsewhere in what God forbids us to do. He knows best and he wants the absolute best for us. This intimate relationship with Jesus is what’s best for us and is what we were created for and will satisfy our intimacy needs. Unfortunately, more often than not, this relationship with Jesus is either neglected or even rejected. And so we are left with unsatisfied hearts searching for love and intimacy elsewhere… in sin.

So many people are confused about this issue of homosexuality, saying people were born this way, etc… and I suppose when I was in the most deceived time in my life, I too believed the same. I once had thought that God had just put a spirit of a woman in a man, or vice versa, but this is complete nonsense when you hold it up the truth of Scripture.

You must read this very thoughtful and, I believe, anointed article on this topic by Ron B. entitled Love that does not Count the Cost.  It was amazing and shed so much light on the subject. Way more than I could or would ever intend to do.

If we say we believe in Jesus, we have to agree with him about what he says is sin and what isn’t. Right? It has been said that Jesus never condemned homosexuality as a sin, that he never spoke about it in his earthly ministry, therefore… what exactly are we supposed to derive from this line of reasoning? Paul was just a homophobic hateful person? Moses got it wrong and had cotton in his ears when God was giving the law? Jesus brother Jude was a heretic?

Anyone familiar with the Gospels will quickly realize that Jesus never came to overthrow the law. The law stands. In fact he upped the ante. I mean why would he need to say having a perverse form of lust is wrong when he says that to lust is to commit adultery in your heart.

Here is a video from a woman who has a really close walk with God who has visited heaven. I saw this on the Youtube sidebar and was curious if she was going to stay in line with the Word of God. Her talk and many others I’ve since heard are in line with the truth of Scripture and worth considering.

FURTHER THOUGHTS

I have been disturbed that many professing Christians don’t know homosexuality is a sin or worse, are even defending it as an acceptable lifestyle. I even talked about this with a pastor who, when asked, told me that he didn’t know if it was a sin. Really?

I think the reason we compromise with the clear teaching of Scripture is that either we don’t want to give up our sin or, there are loved ones or people in our lives with this sin and we have to reconcile with that. I can see how difficult it is. But the answer is not to capitulate the truth, for the truth is what sets us free. (John 8:32)

As I see it, this, and every other issue, boils down these questions: What is the truth? Is God the creator? Does he love us and intend the best for us? Do we trust him? Is he pure and absolute perfect love itself as his word says? And as the loving Creator he is, does he have the authority and right to dictate to us what is love and what isn’t love (what is sin)?

Besides, even if we all agreed that homosexuality wasn’t a sin, would that change the truth? Can we shout loud enough to drown out the voice of God? Can we change his mind about how he intended his creation to be if we all agree to protest? There is an account in Scripture of a time to come in the last great rebellion when the masses will unite to overthrow God’s rule. Do you think they succeed?

The worldly media has been saturated with the homosexual agenda. You know it and I know it. There is hardly a show out there that doesn’t have the token gay character or at least have guest appearances of gay characters. It’s an agenda to desensitize us and make this sin commonplace and an accepted part of society.

But, it is all a deception. We live in enemy occupied territory you know. The devil exists and rules this sin saturated world. (And only rules because of our sin.) He seeks to turn us all away from our loving heavenly Father. He seeks to twist and corrupt what God intended for good – our sexuality – and pervert it.

Based on what I have read in Scripture, I don’t believe anyone is born homosexual. I do, however, believe the enemy may come in at an early age and deceive and distort and bring confusion to someone’s sexual identity. This is what the enemy does. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus has come that we might have life abundant and free… free from sin.

If you are caught in this or any other sin, God can and will lovingly restore your innocence if you let him. He loves you and created you just the way you are for his glory.

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Answers to the Sin Problem

In my quest through the Bible I have been searching for a faith that really works. As a recovering sinner (much like an alcoholic) I used to believe it was just a matter of time before I sinned again (had another drink) and so I never was free.

How could I pretend to love God if I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) obey him? It felt like I was Judas, constantly stabbing Jesus in the back. This haunted me. I was never free to simply just love Jesus and be me. The looming threat of sin weighed me down.

How would any of us like to be married to a spouse who said, “I love you and all but it’s really only a matter of time before I cheat on you again.”

I think we can all agree, that relationship is doomed. Yet this is the attitude many Christians have toward God. I have heard many Christians say, “but we’re only human” to explain away our sinfulness. Apparently being “human” means being prone to and destined to betrayal and backstabbing, selfishness and strife, adultery and idolatry, drunkenness and failure.

Is this really what it is to be human? Is this what God had in mind when he started this whole thing and made humans and said, “It is good”? Wouldn’t he know more about what it means to be human since he authored us all? And wouldn’t he, through his marvelous plan of redemption, also make provision for us to be restored completely to our intended state as “good” humans?

I know that he has.

I don’t know about you but I want to obey God and be faithful in my heart to him and be good. My infidelity to God has plagued me over the years and I thought, “There must be a cure!”

Indeed there is.

Jesus didn’t leave Paul forever stuck in Romans 7. Romans 7 describes the universal plight of every fallen human that even though we agree with the truth and want to do good we inevitably do the wrong that we hate instead. This is slavery to sin. Paul grew in faith into the salvation described in Romans 8 – life by the Spirit of God. The Spirit’s activity in our lives is paramount and absolutely vital to the salvation experience.

I have come to see through my reading of the Bible that the Holy Spirit essentially is the Christian life. His presence in our lives is our eternal life. All Holy Spirit-less forms of Christianity are counterfeits. Thankfully the Spirit of God is freely given to everyone who believes in Jesus, to all who look to him for salvation.

Snakebit!

Numbers chapter 21 describes a time when the Israelites grumble against God and against Moses and even despise the manna God had been providing for them. So God sends poisonous snakes into the camp. Many were bitten by these snakes and some died. The Israelites came to Moses and confessed their sin and pleaded for releif from the snakes. God then instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent and attach it to a pole. All those who had been bitten then need only to look at the bronze serpent and be healed.

Jesus references this very story as an illustration of the cross. Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” John 3:14-15 NIV

Every last one of us has been bitten by the deadly snake of sin. We could decide then, and many do, to sit around and moan and complain of our snakebites. We can choose to fixate on our snakebite and watch it fester and ooze puss.

We can look on as it discolors our lives an ugly shade of black and blue and feel within ourselves the absolute bitterness and misery that sin inflicts upon us. We could then look for help in therapy and counseling or in self help books. We could seek the answer at the bottom of a bottle of alcohol, and then, in turn, seek the answer by getting sober. We could search for our healing by eating healthy or by working out in the gym.

OR, we can get on with the business of salvation and find real healing in Jesus. The only answer, the only healing that can be found for all of sin’s poisonous effects – both for those sins that you have done and including all the sins done against you – is to look to Jesus. Look no further. The search is over. If you have found Christ, you have found everything you need.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NIV

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I am tired of showing off my ugly snakebite. Instead, I will choose to look to Christ and find my healing and salvation and I encourage you to do the same.

Getting Practical:

How do we look to Christ or fix our eyes on him?

Faith: First things first. We need to put our faith in Jesus. If you don’t have faith in Christ, you don’t have the Holy Spirit which is the only cure for the sin that ails you and who is the only power over sin. Sincerely ask Jesus to save you! The Bible tells us that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). It is truly amazing how he responds to and rescues those who will humble themselves enough to simply ask for help.

Word of God: Are you reading the Bible? God’s word does a work in our lives, exposing the pride and sin which is our greatest enemy.  We can be set free as we confess and repent of our pride and sin.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV

Talk with God: Don’t talk to God, talk with him! Do you talk with him everyday? How is your conversation with God coming along? Paul tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so keep the conversation going!

Obey: Once you have the Holy Spirit, you now have the power to say no to ungodliness and worldly lusts.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14 NIV

Do you obey him and by the Holy Spirit put to death the misdeeds of the body? God promises to never give us more than we can handle, you have his word on that:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

Start seeking the Lord earnestly. He will be found by all who seek him with all their heart.

“…You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD…” Jeremiah 29:13-14 NIV