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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Day 75: Programming Life

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 27, 2014


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Two major problems biological evolutionists cannot overcome is “What is Life” and “How is information injected into the evolutionary process”. 

The laws of chaos, a.k.a. entropy (2nd Law of Thermodynamics) indicates that everything is moving from order to disorder or randomness. In order to move through the evolutionary process, which defies the natural order of things, information has to be injected into a degrading system to move billions upon billions of incremental steps from randomness to order in spite of their natural bent. It also has to be done with purpose or a goal in mind. 

Most areas of science accept the law of entropy until it comes to biology and evolution. This is where they must forsake the rules to that violoate a faith that given time, even entropy can be overcome (as ironic as that might sound).  Biological evolution is a belief system that denies entropy.

Somewhere along the way, inanimate objects jumped the line to adopt life. Of course, this was totally accidental and whose odds are statistically impossible.  (As a side note, if this isn’t controversial enough, the same life they are so desparate to prove happened accidentally, they are willing to kill as long as it is still inside the womb. But I digress).

Life is a whole new Level Life has no measurable substance.  A body that dies weighs the same as it did when alive. Life is dimensionally different than matter.

Not only is life different, but information itself follows the same path. If I took a hard drive and weighed it, and then filled it with all the information on the internet, it would weigh the same.  Information has no mass. Information is not ones and zeros, but an intelligently designed system that defines the structure and purpose of the ones and zeros. Also, the information needs to be addressed differently at different levels. For example, a computer has 7 OSI layers. (Physical, Data link, Network, Transport, Session, Presentation and Application) Information at each layer requires different languages, different programming,different framework.  The human life is millions of times more complex than a rather simple computer.

We are a collection of atoms. There is no information intrinsic to the atom to tell it to reproduce. Yet, when properly aligned, a self-correcting code can be placed inside of every cell of the body that contains all the information necessary to replicate without any erros billions of times in your lifetime. It cannot randomly have complexity added to it. Like a computer, a programmer needs to define the DNA layout, the cell structure, and billions of other variables at billions of different levels in millions of different life forms that are independent of one another. The dirty little secret is that when we make an evolutionary change on the micro level such as how we get toy dogs from big dogs, we lose genetic information; we don’t gain it.

So, which requires greater blind faith? Believing that random acts of chance that had to repeat themselves trillions of times to produced everything you see today or that someone outside our dimension of time/space designed it to be this way.

When you really consider the alternatives, it doesn’t take nearly as much faith to believe in a creator God than you might think.

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Day 9: The Power of Confession

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 9, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

 

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:5

King David’s writings pre-date the Apostle John’s by about 1,000 years, yet one could argue that they were contemporaries.

John writes on this same matter:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

The theme of confession runs through the Bible.  It is the foundation of our salvation (Romans 10:9,10) and our forgiveness (1 John 1:9), and even though God required sacrifices, the sacrifice alone did not express a heart of forgiveness. God required the sacrifice to pay the “penalty” of sin, but true forgiveness can only be found when the heart of man goes before the offended God and confesses (acknowledges) the sin.

John the Baptizer’s ministry focused completely on this aspect of confession (Mark 1:5). He didn’t instruct people to offer sacrifices but confess their sin, repent and turn to God.  This set up softened hearts that could receive the Messiah who followed his ministry.

Confession does not stop with our sins and God.  We should…

Confession shows accountability and demonstrates a willingness to accept responsibility.  This first step leads us to a place of humility where God meets the offender and then lifts them up. (Proverbs 28:13, Isaiah 59 (esp. vs 20), James 4:10)

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Worship Quick Thought: Attitude

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 28, 2010


A few weeks ago, I was in the Sunday morning service when the music leader asked everyone to lift their hands. I overheard a person seated near me that said, “I’m not doing that.

Worship starts in the heart, and I am sure that everybody has their own “way” of expressing outwardly the worship taking place in the heart, but the mouth often indicates what is actually going on in the heart.

What is an “attitude of worship”, and how do you know if you are “worshiping” or just going through the motions?

I think there are questions you can ask yourself to evaluate you quality of your attitude in worship.

What are you thinking about?

If you are thinking, “What are people thinking about me,” then you need to change your focus from you to the one you are supposed to be worshiping.

Maybe you’re concerned about how people perceive the quality of you voice, or that they may think you are “weird” if you lift your hands, close your eyes or clap your hands. Maybe you think you are a crooner and want everyone around you to hear it.  Either way you look at it, if you are thinking about yourself or how you may look, then your worship attitude is off target.  I know it’s a struggle, but try only thinking about God.

Am I caught up in the music?

I am a sucker for a good tune, and music can definitely help the mind and heart connect to God, but it can be just as much of a distraction.  Listen to what you’re saying while you are singing.  Do you mean it? Are you doing what the song says you are doing?  Are they just words on a piece of paper or the wall or are they words written on your own heart?  If you are singing a song as an expression of worship, make sure that you are reflecting the words in the song. If not, don’t sing it.

With God, words mean things.  If you are singing it, to God, it is just like you are saying it.  Many times when I sing, I will do one of three things if my heart doesn’t match the song

  1. I will change the words of the song.
  2. I will pray or sing in the my spirit.
  3. I will just listen.

Remember Jesus’ words, “True worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Keep your worship true.

How can I go deeper?

If you are comfortable with where you are in worship, maybe it’s time to take another step deeper.

You will never ever, ever, ever, ever reach a level of worship on this planet that you will see before the throne of God in eternity. Do not be afraid to dig deeper in your heart and express a little more outwardly.

Until you attain the level of a heart of worship that David reached and demonstrated when he was dancing and leaping before God and all Israel in the streets of Jerusalem unashamed in his underwear (2 Samuel 6), you still have room for improvement.

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How Many Points can One Verse Contain?

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 13, 2010


“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.”- 1 Peter 2:15-16

Wow! How many points can you find in one verse?

  1. What is God’s will? To do good
  2. The power of Good over Evil
  3. How to silence critics- do good
  4. Don’t let ignorant talk and foolish people get you down
  5. Live as free people
  6. Don’t let your freedom trump other people’s freedom
  7. Don’t play church (using your freedom as a cover for evil)
  8. Be a slave for God
  9. If you want to be free, be a slave for God
  10. We don’t need to follow the rules of the world’s ways

Do you see anything else?

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Where Faith and the World Collide

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 29, 2010


With all these ridiculous “religious knowledge” surveys going around, I got to thinking about “faith” and just what it is.

I think there are two primary pieces to the “religious” experience with which some just don’t understand– Faith and Hope. I will address faith here.

There are two facts about faith that must be understood:

  1. True faith is not blind
  2. True faith is not void of substance

Those that steer clear of faith in God tend to do so because they see it as a futile, wishful-thinking belief system empty of reason, understanding and wisdom. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Faith is not a childish look into a fantasy world, but a childlike trust in a revealed reality.  The goal in faith is to connect with God through relationship.  The problem is that if you try to prove God to yourself first, you fail to take the path God intended for you to take to produce faith in you.

Faith follows a specific path – Obedience to Jesus first, revelation of Jesus second and finally faith in Jesus is born.  Notice that all three have their source in Jesus.

God calls us to a path that begins with him.  Faith is not based on my understanding but His understanding.  I have to trust Him first, demonstrated through obedience, and then I can receive a faith that comes from God, for He rewards those that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Abraham is a perfect example.  He walked with very little faith for most of His life.  Yes, he followed God’s leading and that was out of obedience, but never really trusted him.  God said, “leave your family”, but Abraham took his father.  God promised him that his children would be plentiful, but he lied about his wife to protect his life.

It wasn’t until Abraham was challenged to give back to God the only son he had been given by God, through a black and white act of obedience, that Abraham achieved the level of obedience to God that God was looking for.  Just as Abraham was about to plunge the knife into his son as a sacrifice to God, and angel stopped him and said these powerful words, “Now I know that you fear me, for you did not withhold your son from me.” (Genesis 22:12). It was during the trek to the altar that Abraham answered his son’s question concerning what they were going to sacrifice with, “God will provide”. (Genesis 22:8)

The scriptures say multiple times that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. Strangely enough, the path to faith comes through a fear in God which produces in us obedience.

Once we obey, God can then respond in building up our faith.

You see, if the faith you have is your own, it is bound to fail.  But if the faith you have comes from God, then the source is solid and produces in you a revelation of God that makes Him real in you.

Nature cries out that there is a God, but it doesn’t tell you how to establish relations with Him.  Only when God reveals himself to you through faith, do you discover that your faith is a sure foundation.

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Wisdom from Mistakes

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 16, 2010


Tests aren’t my strong suit, mainly cause I over think them.  However, one thing is constant with me and tests… I learn more from what I get wrong than what I get right.

Yep… it’s that nagging feeling that comes from the frustration of getting a question wrong that brings out a standard response that goes something like this…

  1. The test must be wrong
  2. I know I studied that
  3. I misread the question
  4. Oh, that’s what they meant
  5. OK… I will concede

Because I put so much effort in fighting the fact that I got it wrong, the right answer has somehow embedded itself in my gray matter, so in the end, I learn more from what I got wrong than the questions I got right.

My life is like that in general…. but that is for another blog… or an autobiography

Biblical Application

When I read Corinthians, I get that same feeling.  Yes, the church at Corinth had problems, but we have what I believe is the most practical letter from Paul about how church should operate because that one church had such problems.

We can learn a plethora of good “church tips” from Paul’s corrective instruction.  

  • All those gifts are given for the church’s benefit
  • The most gifted church is nothing without love
  • Just how do we facilitate a healthy atmosphere for correction in the church
  • What should be done about those living in sin in the church
  • The church is all about unity in Christ
  • Can we be Christians and live like the world
  • How do we deal with freedom
  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the church
  • How can we obtain balance between order and spirit leading
  • What is our ministry
  • What is our treasure
  • And so much more

So much good comes from so many mistakes.  When you make mistakes, you have two choices

  1. Let the mistake lead you into more mistakes and eventually down the road of despair
  2. Learn from the mistake, and use that knowledge to gain wisdom

I choose the latter.

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Newton’s Laws of Motion and Life’s Obstacles – Force

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 9, 2010


Newton’s had three laws of motion that can help us understand some of what happens to us on a daily basis. By tying these three examples to life’s obstacles, hopefully we can gain some understanding on how to deal with our daily circumstances.  Let’s look at the second law of motion. (click HERE for the article on the First Law)

The Second Law of Motion – Force

The second law of motion states in essence, “The more force you apply to an object, the faster it goes and that the same force applied to two objects of different masses will move at different speeds.”  But you knew that already.

In a car, the more gas you give the engine, the more power it produces making the car go faster.  But if you put a car engine in a Semi tractor trailer pulling a 30 ton haul, it may not produce enough force to move that trailer even 20 mph.  A car engine just can’t produce enough force to move a large load like a tractor trailer.

Let’s face it. Many of life’s problems are small enough that you can handle them in your own strength.  But if you throw together enough of those little problems, you can become overwhelmed.  Your engine just isn’t strong enough to pull the larger loads.

We can only exert so much force and then we tap out.  Either one big problem can doom us to despair or a bunch of little problems drown us and we die a death by a thousand paper cuts.  What we need is a bigger force or additional forces applied to the situation.

God provided three methods of walking through situations when your engine just isn’t enough.

  1. Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)
  2. Strengthening one another through love (e.g. Luke 22:32)
  3. Combination of 1 and 2.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (vs. 12)

Contentment is a big part of overcoming, but contentment alone is not enough unless you are content in the right source of force.  Paul goes on to say this about his source of contentment:

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (vs. 13)

And when in doubt, trust in the Lord and don’t lean on your own understanding (force).  In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

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12 Days of Christmas Correction – Getting it Right

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 26, 2009


“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”- Luke 2:28-32

In an old song by that great theologian Bob Dylan, he wrote:

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody. – “Gotta Serve Somebody”

Our life is governed by who we follow.  Each one of us, even our “leader” are led in the end by the Lord or by the devil.  It not only determines our path but our destiny as well.

Simeon was a man led by the Lord, and it was evident in both the journey he took and the destination.

At some point in his life, God had made a promise to him that he would see God’s anointed one (that is Jesus the Messiah) before he died.  Simeon, followed God and to ensure that he would be available for God when that time came, he hung out at the temple.

The temple was the place of worship.  It was the place where the people of God could get as close to God on earth as possible.  Simeon exemplified a servant of God because he wanted to be in constant worship of God.

That path he chose was not just a weekly activity on a Saturday night (or Sunday morning), but it was a daily venture.  He sought God’s throne room every day of his life.  Life is the journey we all take; Simeon chose to chase after God and so was rewarded for his journey.

The passage above shows what happened the day he met the savior.  The years faithfulness were rewarded in this life and the journey reached its intended destination.  He was not ready to move on because God had revealed to him the promised Messiah.

Oh, that we would have  a heart like Simeon.  Oh, that our worship was driven by our destination like Simeon’s worship was.  Oh, that our heart for God was humble like the shepherds that saw him that night when Christ was born. Oh, that we would chose the right path, serve the right God and  journey to the right destination making ourselves available for God on a daily basis.

Jesus came into this world as a child that would grow up with one purpose – to die for the sin of the world.  Too many people missed him even when he was right under their nose.  Too many more miss him today.

We have one journey in this world and then it’s over.  We have one life in which to get it right, to serve the right one.  Chose this day who you will serve, make it the Lord and then never look back.

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Predestination: How it Works

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 16, 2009


Predestination – a fancy word for God deciding things before they happen.

There are some that believe that God has gone so far in predestination to already determine who will be saved and who will not be saved.  I take some issue with this because that defeats the purpose of Love.  (See the first article)

There are only a couple Scriptures (2 Thessalonian 2:13; Romans 8:29) people use to support the teaching that God predetermines who will be saved, but I think they are simply reading too much into it.  The actions of Jesus were enough for all to be saved.  Anyone who wants to receive the gift of salvation can (Revelation 22:17).  According to the 2 Thessalonians passage, we are simply all chosen, the Spirit of God does the work of Christ in us after we accept the offer of being chosen by believing in the Truth.

So the message is that salvation is available to all – period.

Remember the old TV series, Mission Impossible? Ethan Hawk would receive  a tape, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”  Ethan was chosen for the mission, but it was up to Ethan to receive that calling.  In the same way, the message has been left in your hands, God has chosen you for a mission…  should you choose to accept it, your life will never be the same again.

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About Hell: The World of the Dead

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 2, 2009


Hell Defined

The term “hell” evokes images of a burning lake of fire, smoke and eternal torment, and while these are true, the use of the term distorts the complete biblical description of hell.  The term itself comes from Anglo-Saxon and German roots and simply meant “underworld”.  Unfortunately for the English reader, the term often hides the original Greek and Hebrew words used in the Bible, so it becomes easy for the reader to get a distorted understanding.   It is important to look at the Hebrew or Greek word being used and the context in which it is used to get a more clear understanding.

The Introduction of Death

The world of the dead actually changes at least three times in the Bible, and each change comes from a key event that occurs between man and God.

The first change occurs in the garden east in Eden.  God tells Adam that if he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he will die.  Death is first introduced here.

God originally intended that man would never die.  Death was not part of God’s “perfect” original plan.  We introduced it into our own lives through disobedience to God.  But now that man could die, he had to have a destination.  God told Adam that he was created from dust and so dust would be where he would return (Genesis 3:19).

Though the body dies and its molecules are spread throughout the earth, the spirit lives on, and so would need an eternal home.  Heaven was the first thing God created (Genesis 1:1), but was there another place?  Is heaven the only place for the souls of the dead to dwell eternally?

Strangely enough, heaven is not an Old Testament teaching of man’s eternal home.  Only two people were possibly caught up to be with God in heaven, and for the record, neither one of them died – Enoch and Elijah. The rest had a destination, but it isn’t where you might think.

The Land of the Dead: Adam to Jesus

The Old Testament does not really talk about “hell” in the manner most of us understand.  It speaks of a place called Sheol a bi-level subterranean cavity where the dead would go.  Sheol’s unique layout allowed for both the righteous and the wicked a place to go once they died.  Most writers understood that sheol was their resting place after death, and they knew that God would not leave them there (c.f. Psalm 16:10, Psalm 49:15).  A deep portion or “pit” (c.f. Psalm 30:3) existed for the wicked while sheol in general was for the righteous.

God didn’t created sheol or hell after the fall of man; it must have been a part of the original creation and most likely was not intended for man’s eternal abode anymore than heaven was intended for man’s eternal abode since the earth itself was made for him. So, technically speaking, both heaven and hell (as you may understand it) up to the time of Jesus were pretty much void of humans, sheol on the other hand, contained every human that ever died.

However, It was Jesus himself that gave us the best understanding of this place called sheol in the Hebrew and Hades in the Greek.

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ” – Luke 16:19ff

Jesus describes the land of the dead as a place that consists of a peaceful side and a place of fire and torment with a huge chasm that separated them.   They could even see each other and even speak to each other across the chasm.

Sheol or Hades is finally described just before Jesus dies on the Cross.  However, the death of Jesus would bring about a second change in the man’s destination in the afterlife.

Land of the Dead: Jesus to the Second Coming

Up until the death of Jesus, people were saved through the sacrifice of bulls and goats, but this sacrifice was not enough to take care of the original seed of sin within man.  Only through the death of Jesus would the payment be possible for every person to actually live with God.  Hades would not be the same once Jesus died.  Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:8-10 that Jesus went down to the depths of the earth and led captivity out.  He took those that we with Abraham in the “paradise” side of hades to heaven because only through the blood of His death could there be a reconciliation to God.

Those on the torment side of hades remained there and are still there to this day.  When you die now, your temporary destination is either heaven or hades’ bad side and it all hinges on your relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

A final configuration of the world of the dead will take place in the near future and the Bible once again shows how it’s going to unfold.

Land of the Dead: At the End of Time

There are two other terms in the New Testament translated as “hell” besides hades – tartarous and ghenna.

Tartarous is the place where the angels that sinned are kept in chains (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6).  This place only contains the wicked angels that fell with Satan and/or the ones that mated with human women prior to the flood (c.f. Genesis 6:2).  Either way, it is a very deep part of “hell” and only contains angels.

The second word is the one we understand as the true “hell”.  Ghenna, which is defined as the second death (Revelation 20:14)… the lake of fire, where the worm does not die and the torment is eternal.

Nobody occupies ghenna yet.  In fact, the first inhabitants will be the antichrist and the false prophet (Revelation 19:20) After this, Satan is bound and thrown into Tartarous with the rest of the sinning angels.

About a 1000 years after the antichrist and prophet are cast into ghenna, Satan is release from tartarous and tries to battle God where he is quickly caught and thrown into ghenna.  The remaining people are judged and all those in Hades are brought before God. Anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life is thrown into ghenna.  Therefore, Hades is emptied of the remaining people and ghenna is filled. (Revelation 20)

The final phase is for God to destroy heaven and earth and rebuild them both.  He then empties heaven of its human inhabitants, places them in the New Jerusalem, which he prepared for them and places it earth along with the believers where they will live with God for eternity.

So in the end, all is as God originally intended.  God is with man on earth as he was with Adam in the Garden, Satan is defeated and sin is no more.

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