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Posts Tagged ‘theology’

A Light Theory

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 12, 2010


Is it a coincidence that God creates light first in the new environment He set up Genesis 1:1-3.

In short, light is not just “visible” light, but it includes the entire electromagnetic spectrum from huge radio waves to tee-tiny gamma rays.

Chuck Missler has a very good study called “Beyond Time and Space“. In it he was talking about the velocity of light and the actual space matter takes up, etc., but what intrigued me most was an article I read in Popular Science (I know it’s not the definitive commentary on the Bible) where scientists are building the most powerful laser “that can be built“.

Here’s where it get’s interesting.  Theoretically speaking, there is only so much energy you can put into light before it begins to actually create matter.

Construction Worker in Laser Target Chamber at National Ignition FacilitySeems those nice little photons can move and impact electrons at such speeds and intensity that they can actually create matter, but making the laser less of a light, and more of a solid.  Essentially, you create new solid atoms out of pieces of atoms, or seemingly out of nothing.

The start of creation as recorded started with light.  The sun, moon and stars weren’t created for a couple more days.  So why start with light?  Maybe it’s cause it was the tool used to create things in our universe.

Hey, if scientists can start with theories based on mathematical calculations and hypothetical guesses, can’t I work on theories based on conversations from the actual creator.

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12 Days of Christmas Correction – Why a Virgin

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 20, 2009


The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – Matthew 1:23

Why a virgin?  Why did God choose this method to bring Christ into the world.  After all, He is God.  He could chose to just make Jesus appear on earth without any mother or father.  Why did God choose this particular approach.

The virgin birth is a core element to Jesus birth for many reasons, and I’d like to show you some reasons you may know and others you may not have thought about.

It is Miraculous

OK, this is a cop out, but yes, being born of a virgin is quite a miracle in and of itself.  It takes two (male and female) to make one person, so by only having a human female bear a child without the human male interaction would be quite the testimony.

It was Prophecied

The verse quoted above in Matthew 1 came from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14).  By some accounts there are over 300 prophecies in Scripture about Jesus.  Everything from his birth, to his ministry, to his preaching style to his death and victory over sin is prophecied about.  Many of these prophecies are what I call “passive” prophecies, which means that you couldn’t make them come true if you tried because it takes outside forces to cause you to fulfill them.

For example, Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem.  Jesus could only fulfill this prophecy on purpose if he were God before he was born.  He couldn’t just tell his mom and dad from the womb, “Hey, I need to be born in Bethlehem so that I can fulfill a prophecy.” They had to make the decision that affected Jesus – a passive prophecy would be fulfilled.

One odds maker took 8 prophecies about Jesus birth and ran the numbers on these passive prophecies.  To have just 8 fulfilled by one person would be one in 1 x 10 to the 17th power.  or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.  You have better odds winning the lottery one million times in your lifetime than Jesus fulfilling 8 prophecies. That’s not only an amazing example of the power of prophecy, but quite miraculous too.

It Made God Human

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1).  He is God and yet he would have to become man to dwell among us (this the Imannuel effect – Click here to read my book on this subject). To become human, God had to be born of woman, and since men can’t give birth, this was the obvious method of introducing Jesus to humanity. The Holy Spirit became the Father of the Son of God the Father (I know, it’s confusing). And in so doing, Jesus became fully man and yet was fully God.

In Order to be Born Sinless

This is probably the biggest reason of all. Any person born of a man and woman are born into sin, and could never be the sacrificial lamb of God needed to cover the sin of all mankind.  There is a reason for this, and it goes back to the Garden of Eden.

When Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6,7) her eyes were not opened to the sin she had committed.  It was only when Adam ate the fruit that their eyes were opened.  This is because God told Adam before Eve was created not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It was Adams responsibility to tell his wife, Eve.  He was the only one accountable to God for the rule.

He stood there next to his wife as she ate the fruit.  He then followed her lead.  This is backwards from God’s plan of accountability, and sin entered the world when he failed in his responsibility.

Had Eve eaten the fruit, and Adam not eaten, there would be no sin in the world because the sin seed does not pass through the woman… it passes through man because he is the one responsible to God (this is a huge subject in the discussion of marriage responsibilities).

Notice the promise given to Eve through the curse pronounced on Satan,

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

The redeemer would be in the offspring (literally, “seed”) of the woman.  This is the only mention of a “seed of a woman” anywhere in the ancient world.  Men were the seed spreaders.  It almost didn’t make sense, but the women understood one thing.  One day, a redeemer would be born of a woman that would crush the head of the serpent.

Every woman in the ancient world strove to have children partly because of this promise.  It was a curse not to have children.  They all hoped to be the mother, grandmother, great-grandmother of the redeemer, and man was to be left out of the loop.

Was Mary sinless?

The Catholic Church has tried to cover the loophole of God being born of a sinful woman by saying the Mary was ‘immaculately conceived”.  In other words, she was without original sin. This was put forth in 1854 by Pius IX and based on other Catholic traditions.  There is no Scriptural basis for this unless you first draw the conclusion that Mary was sinless and then read the passage in Luke 1:28, “Hail, Mary, full of grace”, which has become a core prayer of the Catholic Church.

Mary was favored, yes, but the favor was to be hers because she would bear the Son of God. God didn’t need her sinless first, because the sin seed, though present in her, was not passed by her if the human seed was not present. She even calls Jesus her “savior” in the prayer she prays. (Luke 1:47)

All of this was part of the plan God laid out before the foundations of the world.  God was not caught off guard, but knew what needed to be done, built the framework to make it happen and then when the time was right, entered this world fully God and fully man to crush the head of the serpent, Satan, and set up his kingdom forever and ever.

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12 Days of Christmas Correction – The Real Story

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 7, 2009


Many of the traditions and teachings about Christmas are not so much Biblically based as traditionally driven.  Over the past few posts, we have looked at a few:

  • The wise men weren’t even there
  • The wise men weren’t kings
  • There weren’t just three wise men
  • They brought more than little trinkets of gold and spices
  • They wise men visited Jesus in a house up to two years after the birth
  • The angels didn’t sing – they spoke
  • Jesus probably wasn’t silent – he was a baby after all
  • Jesus was probably not in a manger, but more likely in the hay next to his mother in the stall
  • The stable was a cave

And to be honest, I could look at many others…

  • The Inn was probably a house, not a hotel
  • The manger was probably not wooden but stone
  • Jesus wasn’t born on his birthday – December 25th
  • Mary didn’t ride a donkey, but was probably pulled in a cart… after all, she was 9 months pregnant
  • And even the star brings up an interesting debate… (there was a star, we know that, but what exactly was it?)

But the fact remains that when all the fluff is pulled away, there are some very potent truths to Christmas that make it a very powerful day.

First, Jesus birth announcement was given to men who watched sheep at night… They probably weren’t even the main shepherds, because it was the third shift (you know, union rules).  Of all the people in the world, why shepherds?

Jesus would become the good shepherd… and the Good Shepherd would lay his life down for his sheep.  This symbolism runs very strong throughout Jesus life and ministry.

Second, Jesus is born in a stable.  Of all the places for the King of kings to be born, why a stable?  Where were the palace servants?  Where were the nurses and doctors?

He does not receive what he deserves because he is humbly coming as a servant that will eventually die a criminal’s death through false accusations. His humble beginnings and undignified death bracket a mere 3 years of ministry and changed the world.

He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).

Third, even his conception was scandalous.  Mary became pregnant out of wedlock. Joseph took her to be his wife, but anybody around Jesus could see because of the timing of the birth and the wedding date that Jesus was a bastard child and because of the culture, lived as a social outcast.

He was despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3).

Finally, through his lowly beginnings, it would be 30 years before God would bring Him through the wilderness to begin the final stage of his journey which would be marred by  rejection, pain, suffering and finally death.

Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

His birth gave God a new label – Suffering servant. That humble birth brought upon our savior 33 years of undeserved rejection only so that we might be received by God.  What an awesome savior!

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Predestination: How God Sees Time

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 17, 2009


We are temporal beings.  We see things in terms of chronology.  So when it comes to eternity, we have a psychological problem.  It’s a hard thing to grasp.

Consider this… Eternal life means you will never cease to exist.  EVER!!! Take a few moments and try to think a million, billion, trillion years down the road.  Well, you have just looked at the first seconds of eternity.  As difficult as that is, try this on for size.  God never had a beginning.

I can sorta imagine never ceasing.  I can’t, for all my attempts,  put my mind around never having a beginning.  My problem is that “time” is a factor that I just can’t let go of.

Scientifically speaking, time is a property of matter.  This was part of Einstein’s postulations, but God is spiritual, so how would time affect Him?  Actually, it doesn’t because He invented it.

Let me help you realize the difficulty you have by looking at the three dimensions we live in.

The First Dimension

1D

1D

Imagine for a moment, you saw a one dimensional world.  That one dimension would be a line like the one to the left.  Now look at the dots (1,2 and 3); they represent people in that world.  When person one looks at person two, what do they see?  A Dot.

Do they see the line?  No.  They have no depth perception in that universe, they can only see the dot.

Now what is dot two tells dot one that dot three exists.  Dot one would have to take dot two’s word for it because dot one and three can’t see each other because dot two is in the way.

Confusing?  Try being the dots.  But you have an advantage… you can see the linear component to their world.  They are a line of dots, but they don’t know that and have to take it by faith if I told them.

Now, try to describe to the one dimensional person a two dimensional world like the one to the left.  The one dimensional person can’t even fully understand their world, how can they even conceptualize a two dimensional world?

Looking at the two dimensional world we see two people (illustrated by the stick figures).  When the stick figure people look at each other, what do they see?  A line.

The limitations of their world present challenges similar to the one dimensional world.  But like the one dimensional world, they too cannot fully grasp their own world.

2D

2D

 

Lets add a third dimension to the equation.  With the third dimension, many new things come into play.  I can see all around an object and get a pretty good idea about what it happening, but even here, I am limited.  I can only see one side of an object at a time, so I have to walk around it to get a better understanding of exactly what I’m seeing.

With each dimension, we gain a little more understanding, but we still have struggles understanding.

When a three dimension being intercects the world of a two dimensional being, how does the two dimensional being interpret it?  As a line.

If I took a piece of paper and put my finger through it, only the part inside the paper would be visible to their world, the rest of me is invisible because it is outside their world.

I, in my three dimensional world, have a much better handle on their world and can give them greater insight than they can even dream.  What they think is reality, really isn’t.  But with my insight, they can grow in understanding beyond their limitations.

That’s what God did with us through Jesus.  God intersected our world through the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ.  God is always here, but we don’t see him because we only see in three dimensions.  However, the reality is that He operates outside our sphere and understands how it works far better.

3D

3D

He can see the end from the beginning because he is beyond time.  He can see things in our world like we can see in that two dimensional world.

So how does God see time?  He sees it as an obstacle for us to overcome.  He isn’t concerned with it.  We are the ones that struggle day in and day out with hurrying up, waiting in lines and rush hour traffic.  We are the ones that think God isn’t working fast enough.  We just don’t get that time doesn’t affect Him or His plans.

God’s sacrifice of Christ took place before time began (run that through your cranium). And yet he died in our world too.  He preknew who would be saved, yet He fights for every one of us.

He knew Judas would betray him, yet he gave him every opportunity to stop… He made Judas the treasurer; he told him he would betray him to his face; and he sat him right next to him at the last supper.  That’s the kind of God we serve.  One who knew all about you, yet died for you anyway.

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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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100 Biblical Commands from the Mouth of Jesus

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 11, 2009


I quickly went through the New Testament and wrote out the 100 commands given by Jesus himself.    I define a command as a sentence that begins with an action word (e.g. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”).   I try not to repeat commands or list commands given for a specific reason to an individual that doesn’t generally apply to us today (e.g. “Go!”, said to the demons in the possessed man of Matthew 8). Enjoy and feel free to comment on any left out.

By the way, as you read it, imagine that He is saying these things directly to you… kinda humbling.aslan

  1. Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. – Matthew 4:10
  2. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. – Matthew 4:17
  3. Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men – Matthew 4:19
  4. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven (when people persecute you for Jesus sake) – Matthew 5:12
  5. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
  6. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (in regard to worshiping God) – Matthew 5:23
  7. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. – Matthew 5:25
  8. Gouge it out and throw it away (if your eye causes you to sin) – Matthew 5:29
  9. Cut it off and throw it away (if you hand causes you to sin) – Matthew 5:30
  10. Do not swear at all (in making oaths) – Matthew 5:34
  11. Do not resist an evil person. – Matthew 5:39
  12. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. – Matthew 5:42
  13. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – Matthew 5:44
  14. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:48
  15. Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them – Matthew 6:1
  16. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (when giving) – Matthew 6:3
  17. Go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen (when you pray, not being like the hypocrites that make a big deal out of praying) – Matthew 6:6
  18. Do not look somber as the hypocrites do… put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting –  Matthew 6:17,18
  19. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth – Matthew 6:19
  20. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven – Matthew 6:20
  21. Do not worry about your life – Matthew 6:25
  22. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33
  23. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. – Matthew 6:34
  24. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. – Matthew 7:1
  25. First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  – Matthew 7:4
  26. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. – Matthew 7:6
  27. Ask and it will be given to you; – Matthew 7:7
  28. seek and you will find; – Matthew 7:7
  29. knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7
  30. Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets – Matthew 7:12
  31. Enter through the narrow gate. – Matthew 7:13
  32. Watch out for false prophets. –  Matthew 7:15
  33. Go! It will be done just as you believed it would. (To the centurion because of his faith)- Matthew 8:13
  34. Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead. – Matthew 8:22
  35. Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. – Matthew 9:2
  36. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. – Matthew 9:38
  37. Be on your guard against men – Matthew 10:17
  38. Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. (when you are arrested) – Matthew 10:19
  39. Do not be afraid of them (those that persecute you) – Matthew 10:26
  40. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28
  41. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.- Matthew 11:28,29
  42. Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. (to the disciples in the boat)- Matthew 14:27
  43. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. – Matthew 16:5
  44. Get behind me, Satan! –  Matthew 16:23
  45. Go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you (if your brother sins against you) – Matthew 18:15
  46. Take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (If your brother that sins against you does not repent) – Matthew 18:16
  47. Tell it to the church – (If your brother that sins against you still doesn’t repent) – Matthew 18:17
  48. Treat him as a pagan – (If your brother still refuses to repent) – Matthew 18:17
  49. Seventy-seven times (number of times in a day you should forgive someone) –  Matthew 18:22
  50. Let man not separate. (What God has brought together in marriage) – Matthew 19:6
  51. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. – Matthew 19:14
  52. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. (on giving) – Matthew 22:21
  53. You are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. – Matthew 23:8
  54. Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. – Matthew 24:4,5
  55. learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. (being aware of the end times) – Matthew 24:32,33
  56. Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. – Matthew 24:42
  57. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. – Matthew 26:40
  58. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. – Matthew 28:19
  59. Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. – Mark 6:31
  60. Listen to him! (God speaking to the disciples about Jesus) – Mark 9:7
  61. Have faith in God – Mark 11:22
  62. Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:15
  63. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you – Luke 6:28
  64. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful – Luke 6:36
  65. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned – Luke 6:37
  66. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37
  67. Give, and it will be given to you. – Luke 6:38
  68. Peace be with you. – Luke 24:36
  69. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. – John 5:14
  70. Stop grumbling among yourselves – John 6:43
  71. Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. – John 7:24
  72. Go now and leave your life of sin. – John 8:11
  73. Take away the stone. – John 11:38
  74. Leave her alone – John 12:7
  75. Father, glorify your name! – John 12:28
  76. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light. – John 12:36
  77. What you are about to do, do quickly – John 13:27
  78. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34
  79. Do not let your hearts be troubled. – John 14:1
  80. Trust in God; – John 14:1
  81. trust also in me. – John 14:1
  82. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me – John 14:11
  83. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. – John 15:4
  84. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. – John 16:24
  85. Receive the Holy Spirit. – John 20:22
  86. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. – John 21:6
  87. Feed my lambs – John 21:15
  88. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. – Acts 1:4
  89. Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. – Revelation 1:11
  90. Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. – Revelation 1:17
  91. Remember the height from which you have fallen! –  Revelation 2:5
  92. Repent and do the things you did at first. – Revelation 2:5
  93. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. – Revelation 2:10
  94. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. – Revelation 2:10
  95. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. – Revelation 2:16
  96. Wake up! – Revelation 3:2
  97. Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. – Revelation 3:2
  98. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. – Revelation 3:18
  99. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:22
  100. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. – Revelation 22:20

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Love is Tough!

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 25, 2009


In our Sunday school class today, the teacher, asked a question with no answer given – “Why is it so hard to do right and so easy to sin?”

Paul asked the same question (Romans 7:7-25) and posed this thought:

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

First thing to understand… sin is fun!

If it weren’t appealing, nobody would sin.  Try tempting me with brussel sprouts.  Now try tempting me with a chocolate chip cookie.  Your success in tempting me lies in direct proportion to the pleasure I get from said temptation.

Second thing to understand… sin is natural.

You do not need to teach children how to do bad things.

If you say, “stop!”

They go.

If you tell them, “Don’t touch!”

They touch.  You get the point.

You need to teach them how to do good, and they learn very slowly usually complaining all along the way.  Our selfish nature drives our sin nature and causes us to constantly desire to do what we should not do.

Third thing to understand… obeying God costs you everything.

I know that you don’t want to hear that.  But I can’t take credit for it.  Jesus said,

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)

Doing the right thing means that you probably won’t be “pleasing yourself”, at least, you won’t be gratifying your “sinful nature”

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. – Ephesians 2:1-3

God told Adam, “Don’t eat from that tree.”  The devil told him, “God doesn’t love you, he is holding back the truth.”  Adam made a choice to satisfy his flesh.  Doing right would have meant that he would have had to trust that God knew what was best and that he, Adam, didn’t need to know everything.

All of this is both the blessing and curse of Love.  You must be given a choice not to love in order to show love.  And we show God love by obeying Him. Even the angels had this opportunity.

When Lucifer tried to take over heaven, he took 1/3 of the angels with him in his deception.  Two-thirds chose to trust God, the rest thought he was holding out on them.

Final thing you need to understand… You can trust God!

Yes, at times it seems that he is holding out on you, and to be honest, He might be.  But I can guarantee one thing,  if He is holding out, it is for your good, not your harm.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 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 29:11-14a)

The key to it all is to…

“Trust the Lord with all your heart and not to lean on your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path!” (Proverbs 3:5,6)

It’s a battle to do right, but it is definitely worth it in the end.

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Hope vs. Hope

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 11, 2009


People that buy a lottery ticket hope they win.  I hope to spend eternity with God.  There is a difference between those two hopes.

Romans 5:4-5

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Hope, with the possibility of failure

This is the type of hope that we usually think of when someone uses the term “hope”.

  • Boy I really hope we win this game.
  • I hope I get a raise.
  • I hope I win the lottery.

This type of hope has varying levels of confidence in failure.  In other words, the desire is to have the dream come true, but in the back of your mind, you have a serious doubt issue going on.  This is a shaky hope in biblical terms because usually, the assurance is weak at best.

Hope with assurance of a positive outcome

This is the hope that is understood by the first century church.  This is the hope that comes as a result of understanding that God loves you.  It is a hope that kept the early church going even when being thrown to lions, burned at the stake and stoned.  It is the hope that say, “I KNOW in whom I have believed and that when my breathing ceases in this life, my next breath will be in the presence of God!”  Doubt is banished, fear – erased.  The hope of salvation is a guarantee.

What is your hope like?  Do you hope you’ll make it to God when you die, but you aren’t really sure?  Maybe you think you have to do something, to earn a chance to be with God.  Maybe you think you are good, but you are really gambling with your eternity.

The only path to assurance is accepting what God already did for you.  You don’t have what it takes to earn back his good graces.  Only God has that power, and he already did all the work.  Have you received it?  Do you believe it?  Is your hope found solely in Jesus Christ?

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The Power of a Geneology

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 9, 2009


This is the most amazing Bible study of which I ever had the privilege to be part.  I can’t take credit for its discovery, (That would be Chuck Misler), but I love to use this to open people’s eyes to the true power of the Word of God.

The genealogy we are going to look at is found in Genesis 5.  It takes up the whole chapter – so I will abbreviate it here. The list of names and their meaning are below:

  • Adam – “man”
  • Seth – “appointed”
  • Enosh – “mortal”
  • Kenan -“having”
  • Mahalalel – “sorrow” “God”
  • Jared – “shall descend”
  • Enoch – “dedicated” “anointed”
  • Methuselah – “his death shall bring”
  • Lamech – “the lowly”
  • Noah – “Comfort”

If you take these names and read them out in order as a sentence in English, here’s what you get…

“Man appointed mortal and having sorrow but God shall descend anointed; his death shall bring the lowly comfort.”

Read that again….

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is embedded in the very genealogy of Scripture.  God breathed every word in this book.  There is a reason for every letter and word used.  The power of the word of God oozes with the good news of our savior no matter how deep you look and no matter where you look – even in a genealogy!

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Some Thoughts on the End Times – Part 2

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 3, 2009


Prophecy is a finicky thing.  On the one hand, God uses it to reveal his plan, however cloaked it may appear.  On the other hand, when it comes to pass, you find out that the most sincere people got it wrong, and the people that shouldn’t have figured it out – did.

Take Jesus’ birth for example.  From Daniel’s prophecies and many others, the Jews knew the time period Jesus would be born, yet the only ones who actually figured it out were the people that didn’t even have the scriptures to go by. They were men from the East.  Those who were waiting, were looking for a king to be born in a castle, but those that weren’t supposed to know God very well, didn’t care where he was born, only that he was born.

This is a recurring theme in prophecy throughout the Bible.  The Jewish leaders were looking for a conquering king, but it was the fishermen in Galilee that found him because he came the first time as a suffering servant.

The interesting thing about God’s prophecies is that no matter the speculation before hand, when they do come to pass, little doubt is left.  This will be the case in the end times too.

I am always asking the question… “Why?”  I start with, “Why do I believe what I believe?” and end up with “Why does the Scripture say it this way or that?”  The Scriptures have shaken a lot of the beliefs I held to because when taken at face value, they tend to challenge my preconceived notions.

For example, when people interpret a scripture, they tend to drive it one way or another and usually build their interpretation on what they have heard others say.  This practice tends to breed a sense of dogma that can’t be broken, no matter how much scriptural proof is shown. The byproduct of having an exclusionary or extreme interpretation is that it alienates those that don’t believe as you do.

Basically, what I am saying here is that when it comes to end time prophecy, avoid the temptation to be dogmatic.  That’s what the first century Jews did and they ended up killing their own Messiah because he didn’t fit that preconceived mold.  They simple wouldn’t believe any other way.

When it comes to prophecy, expect the unexpected.

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