Thursday, September 24, 2009

Noah and the Ark: Inspiration of the Bible II

See the video of this post in the right hand column.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Rich, Young...and Lost...Ruler

Watch the video in the right hand column.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Inspiration of the Bible-I

(Watch the video of this post in the right hand column. There is a slight error on the video. I say that Micah wrote 500 years before Christ; he actually wrote approximately 700 B.C. That error is corrected in the written version below.)

The attacks on the Bible and Christianity continue unabated from the secular left and those who do not wish to submit themselves to the will and dictates of the Christian God. These so-called “intellectuals” think that, in their cleverness, they have disproven the divine inspiration of the Bible. In fact, it is no longer even an issue among them. Just like Al Gore has said that the debate on man-caused global warming is over, even so the debate on the Bible’s inspiration is over.

I beg to differ.

The Bible gives many evidences that it could not have been written by man. Indeed, the Bible is not the kind of book man would have written if he could have or could have written if he would have. But, in this video, let me just give one line of reasoning which powerfully proves the divine authorship of the sacred volume. I speak hear of predictive prophecy.

Men do not, and cannot, know the future. Oh, we can make some good guesses about what might happen in the near future, but we certainly have no knowledge of what will happen, say 500 years from now. God, who can see the future, does have that knowledge. And in the Old Testament, He demonstrates it.

That the Old Testament predicts the coming of some great personage is not a subject for debate, and I’ll only mention it in passing. Deut. 18:18-19, Ezek. 36:23-24, Is. 40:3, 42:1, Zech. 5:9 and many other passages speak of the coming of the Messiah; the Jews understood this, and some, to this day, still await his coming. But He’s already come—Jesus of Nazareth. And the Old Testaments tells us of that coming is ways that humans could not possibly have known.

For example, in Micah 5:2, that prophet tells us that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. How did Micah, writing some 700 years before the event, know that? Zechariah 9:9 speaks of his riding into Jerusalem on a donkey—something that Jesus did some 500 years later; Zechariah also said he would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (11:9). How was it possible for the prophet to know what would happen 500 years afterwards? Isaiah chapter 53 perfectly describes Christ’s work, including his trial, death, and burial. Isaiah lived well over 700 years before this event. That would be like someone today telling us, accurately, what was going to come to pass in the 2700s of our era. There is no way we humans have that kind of ability. How did Isaiah do it? The prophet Daniel, in chapter 2 of his book, tells us when God’s kingdom, the church, would be established—in the days of the Roman empire, three great empires beyond the Babylonian in which he lived. There is no way Daniel could have known of these empires or when God would set up His kingdom on earth. Indeed, in Dan. 9:24-27, the prophet predicts the exact year the Messiah would be crucified. Folks, if you want to read about the life of Christ, you can read the New Testament. Or you can read it beforehand in the Old Testament. Only God could have this kind of knowledge. Thus, only God could have written these books.

There is one more passage I want to study with you quickly. In Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1, we read this language: “Who says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, you shall be built, and to the temple, your foundation shall be laid. Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings; to open before him the double doors. So that the gates will not be shut.” Folks, Cyrus, king of Persia, allowed the Jewish people to return to their homeland, in 536 BC, and rebuild their sacred city and temple. You can read this even in the Bible—Ezra writes about it. Cyrus was born over 100 years after Isaiah died, and yet the prophet names him by name, as the one who would restore Jerusalem. How did Isaiah know that? There’s only one way. God told him. And if someone wants to shout, “But that’s just an interpolation in Isaiah. Somebody wrote that after Cyrus lived,” my only response is “Prove it.” Every single manuscript we have of Isaiah, going back even before the time of Christ, has these two passages in it. There is no physical evidence of interpolation. If you want to stick with evidence, Isaiah ben Amoz wrote this—by the inspiration of God—over 150 years before it happened. There is no other explanation.

I can, and will soon on this blog, take the story of Noah and the ark and prove that the Bible is inspired of God. But what I’ve done here is sufficient for the moment. The Old Testament predicts, hundreds of years in advance, with minute accuracy, of the coming of Jesus. Men could not have done that without the aid of an all-seeing, all-knowing God.

Monday, September 14, 2009

“Is It Nothing to You, All Ye That Pass By?”

(See a video of this post in the right column.)

He sat and viewed the ruins, the destruction of a once great city, the City of David, the earthly home of the God of heaven and earth. He had given everything he had to avert this catastrophe; but people never listen. And the despondency overwhelmed him: “My eyes fail with tears, my heart is troubled; my bile is poured on the ground…” And why? “…because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the children and the infants faint in the streets of the city” (Lamentations 2:11). And the people seemingly didn’t care. “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” (Lam. 1:12) Had the people of Judah become so calloused, so apathetic to their religion, that the destruction of their temple, the mocking of their God by their enemies was a trivial thing to them? Apparently they didn’t care, and as a result, “Judah has gone into captivity,” (Lamentations 1:3).

Jeremiah had done all he could. Now he mourned while the uncaring inhabitants of the “princess among the provinces” (Lam. 1:1) trailed meekly into a humiliating slavery. It didn’t have to be. But it was.

Why? Why did it happen? Jeremiah tells us and we will briefly relate the sad tale.

1. “The Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions” (Lam. 1:5). It took a “multitude” of those sins before Jehovah was finally fed up. He has mercies that are boundless; even this sad book tells us so: “The Lord is good to unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord” (3:25). But, “Jerusalem has sinned gravely, therefore she has become vile” (1:8). The Lord’s patience will run out. "They that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills" (4:5).

2. Judah listened to the wrong people. “Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back the captives, but have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions” (Lam. 1:14). As mentioned before on this blog, living a righteous life is difficult; it’s sin that’s easy. And there is always a market for false prophets. “If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink, he shall even be the prophet of this people” (Micah 2:11). Those who tell people what they want to hear will always have a larger audience than those who will speak the truth. It was in Micah and Jeremiah’s days, and it is so now. God's word cannot be gainsayed: "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?" (Lam. 3:37).

3. Judah failed to consider the consequences of their foolish actions. “She did not consider her destiny; therefore her collapse was awesome” (Lam. 1:9). Moses had warned them nearly 900 years before: “Oh, that they were wise, that they would understand this, that they would consider their latter end!” (Deuteronomy 32:29). God warned the people repeatedly in the Law of Moses that disobedience would bring destruction (e.g., Deut. 8:19; Lev. 26:14ff). But men do not heed the words of the wise and prudent; they prefer the flattery of fools. The Lord, however, meant what He had said: “The Lord has done what He purposed; He has fulfilled His word” (Lam. 2:17). Actions have consequences and if we fail to consider them—especially when explicitly warmed by the Lord and His servants—we have no one to blame but ourselves when destruction comes.

“How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!” (Lamentations 1:1). It can happen again. But there is an answer: "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again the the Lord" (Lam. 3:40

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More on the Wonders of Evolution

See the video in the right hand column.

Friday, September 4, 2009

When God Laughs

Laughter is a good thing. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Proverbs 17:22), and God gave us this ability to help us enjoy our earthly existence. But it's interesting that the Bible never records Jesus laughing. And when we read of God laughing, it is not because someone told a good joke. Indeed, the joke, sadly, will be upon man.

"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" David asks in Psalm 2:1. "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (verses 2-3). This is a pretty fair commentary on the world today, including, tragically, the "rulers" of our own country. They do not want to obey God, they will not submit to His counsel, they rebel against the true ruler of heaven and earth. And tragically, too often the people follow. "O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err" (Isaiah 3:12).

God's response? "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision" (Psalm 2:4). It is, as the verse notes, a derisive, scornful laugh, not a laugh of merriment. We think we can get away with sin. We try every excuse. God doesn't exist (Psalm 14:1). God doesn't see or forgets what we do (Psalm 10:11). Punishment is delayed so it will never come (Ecclesiastes 8:11).

And all the while, God sits in the heavens and laughs at us. For some day, our soul will be required of us (Luke 12:20)--and it will be no laughing matter if have broken asunder the bands of God's word.

Is God laughing at you?