The Story of the Flood

Noahs Ark

In light of the upcoming movie “Noah” I felt it would be helpful to write an article concerning different historical and theological aspects of the flood so as to dissipate any confusion that may exist or be caused by Hollywoods attempt. I also want to stimulate your mind concerning this time in history as the Flood carries a lot of scientific questions and statements as well as theological truths that can resonate with today. Along with the direct information that God’s Word gives us, many educated Bible scholars and scientists have proposed different theories. These theories attempt to connect the dots about what we do know and in this blog I will include speculation so please remember that.

Article outline:

  1. What does the Bible tell us?
  2. Common misconceptions
  3. The Flood in other cultures
  4. The times of Noah
  5. Why did God do it?
  6. The Promise

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Proving God

Recently while driving to my hometown (a 6 hour drive), I listened to podcasts of debates between prominent Christian and Atheist authors/speakers and it got my gears turning. I’ve been involved in many debates and the big question “Can you prove God exists” often comes up along the way. Eventually the Christian is stumped and the Atheist thinks they’ve solved one of man kinds most ancient mysteries. But I wonder, is the question correct to begin with? Can the God of the universe be proven like some science experiment of theory?

Is God something to be proven or experienced?

The real proof, if any, of the living God of the Bible resides in the believers life. But can you bring your personal stories, testimonies, and experiences to a debate and argue them with a determined atheist as proof for God? Probably not. Sadly, it’s just not always effective using your experiences to try and convince others when, if they had the same experience, they would not be arguing with you. For the Christian your testimony is the best evidence they have on a personal level towards God. Sharing your testimony and stories of what God has done can change lives but to those who’ve already made up their mind it can be difficult.

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Three “Problems” with Christianity

Shellfish, women’s rights, and slavery. What do these three thing have in common?

Well I recently had a discussion with an old friend from highschool who has gained a sudden interest towards spiritual living and towards “god”. Though not a Christian we had an interesting discussion about which way to approach God (Hinduism, Christianity, none of the above etc.) and he listed quickly 3 big problem he has with Biblical Christianity. They were shellfish (or dietary laws), the value of women, and the acceptance of slavery. I did not want to get in to a huge debate or waste his time if he was busy so I let them slide. But the more I got to thinking about it these three issues often come up with people who do not see Christianity as a wholesome or true way to God. And I wanted to cast some light on these little problems that are blown out of proportion and misunderstood.

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Christianity = No Fun?

Many people see the lifestyle of a good Christian as void of fun, happiness, satisfaction, or excitement. But this is as far from the truth as you can get. A true Christian life is full of adventure, joy, satisfaction, and excitement. Who created these emotions in the first place? God did. So since God designed these emotions don’t you think He mad them with the intention of using them? Here are 3 myths about Christianity being lame.

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The Word for the Homeless

I had an idea a while back to give Bibles out to homeless people that dwell in my area, but not just any Bible – the idea was to highlight certain passages of the Bible that dealt with specific topics in different colors. So far the simplest categories I could come up with were Christian Identity and Instructions, Christ and His Work, and Sin.

My hope is that the recipient would look at the Bible in a new light – as something that has answers instead of an intimidating book I could never read. As they flip through it not sure what to read they may find helpful passages that they would otherwise have skipped over.

I posted this as it may help other believers in their Bible reading and I’d appreciate it if any of you have any scriptures to add to this collection.

 

Jesus and His Work

Isa. 9:6

Mic. 5:2

Mat. 4:23, 8:29

Mar 3:11, 15:2

Luk. 4:43, 5:31-32, 27:70

Jhn. 1:1-14, 29, 8:28, 10:30, 12:50, 14:10, 15:1-2, 20:28

Act. 8:37, 9:20

Rom. 1:4, 3:24, 5:8, 5:8-11, 6:8

Php. 2:6-11

Col. 1:3, 13-22, 2:9-15

1 Tim. 3:16

Tts. 2:11, 13-14

Heb. 1, 2:3, 9-11, 18, 4:14-16, 9:13-15

1Pet. 1:18-21, 3:18, 4:6-10

2Pet. 2:1-2

1Jhn. 2:1-2, 3:1, 4:9-10, 5:5, 20

 

Christian Identity & Instruction

Psa. 1:1-5

Pro. 16:2-3, 6-8, 16, 18, 22, 25, 32

Isa. 1:16-17

Mat. 6:33-34, 7:14, 21-24, 10:39

Mar. 13:35-37

Luk. 11:13, 12:34-36, 14:27, 18:17

Jhn. 14:13-15, 21, 15:7, 12-13

Rom. 6:1-3, 8:1, 6-7, 12:1-2

1Cor. 6:12, 10:13, 13:4-8, 14:1

Gal. 5:22-26

Eph. 4:1-6, 17-19, 21-28, 5:1-5, 8-11, 6:10-18

Php. 2:3-5, 3:8, 18-20

Col. 1:10-12, 2:8

Tts. 2:12

Heb. 11:1, 12:1-8, 13:5

Jam. 1:2-4, 7-10, 12, 2:14-17, 3:3-12, 3:16-18, 4:3-8, 17, 5:7-9

1Pet. 1:13-17, 22-23, 2:1-3, 3:9

1Jhn. 1:6-10,16, 2:3-6, 15-18, 3:1-3, 16-20, 4:1-3, 7-8, 11

 

Sin and the Carnal Nature

Psa. 1:6, 32:5

Pro. 15:29, 26:11, 28:13

Isa. 1:18, 59:2

Mat. 5:28, 12:31

Luk.8:17

Jhn. 3:19-20

Rom 6:1-3, 23,

1Cor 6:9-13

Gal. 5:19-21

Eph. 5:5-6

Col. 3:5-6

Heb. 10:26

Jam. 1:14, 4:4

1Pet. 4:18

1Jhn. 1:8, 10, 2:15-17, 3:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

1st, Fix the question – Most questions that confused or unbelieving people ask about Christianity are full of assumptions and erroneous statements. For example:
“Have you stopped beating your wife?” Whether you say yes or no you are an abusive husband! This question is made on the assumption that you are an abusive husband; if you are not how can you answer the question without first fixing the question?
“Did you like your sandwich?” also presumes that you ate a sandwich, what if you have not? How much more so must we fix a question before we ask it about something so deep and important as God’s character.


Who’s fault?

  • People only go to hell because they do not believe in Christ as Savior (remember belief means more than mental acknowledgment)
    • Jhn 3:36 – “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
    • Jhn 5:24 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
    • Jhn 6:47 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
    • Mat 25:41 – “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
  • By having faith in Christ as your Savior your name is written in the book of life
    • Rev 3:5 – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
    • By not believing in Christ you opt out of having your name in the book of life
  • Not being in covenant with Christ is what sends you to Hell
  • Individuals who purposefully ignore God express their desire to live without God. In hell your wish is perfectly granted.
  • Therefore: God does not send anyone to Hell, they send themselves. God is just obeying the spiritual laws that have existed since before time that darkness cannot dwell in the light, and that sin incurs wrath.
    • Laws like gravity, fire, and water can kill or injure you but when you know of the consequence of jumping off a cliff etc. who’s fault is it when you get hurt or die? Can you blame God for not breaking the laws He set up and holds you accountable by?
  • Sin cannot exist in God’s fullness in Heaven, it must be washed away.
    • Isa 59:2 – Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
    • Rev 21:27 – But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
    • Rev 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
  • “God doesn’t send his children to hell” correct, because His Children believe in and surrender to Christ.
    • You are only a child of God if you are born again by Christ, else you are still subject to sin and God’s wrath aka a child of Satan
    • Jhn 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
    • 1Jo 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
    • 1Jo 5:2 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
    • He gave salvation for free at the cost of His Son
    • He warned and informed us of the consequences of sin & unbelief
    • He convicts us of sin by the Holy Spirit
    • He forgives us of sin and sees us as righteous via Christ’s righteousness

God has actually worked to keep us out of Hell!

  • The one thing God can’t do is control us against our will
    • We are accountable for our own actions and we can’t hold God responsible for them
    • Jam 1:13-14 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
    • 2Pet 3:9 – The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
    • If someone does not want to be with God in this life they will be totally separated from Him in the next.
    • “This life is a dress rehearsal for the next”.


A great resource on sin:
http://www.answering-islam.org/Nehls/Alkitab/alkit7.html

How Do You Know Christianity is Right?

This is part one of my new “Big Questions” series where I am addressing common questions and disagreements with the Christian faith in a simple and dialogue oriented way.

 

“How Do You Know Christianity Is Right?”

 

Uniqueness

  • It deals with the human condition of sin unlike all other religions.
  • World religions don’t acknowledge sin or imperfection.
  • Christianity provides not only an explanation for our problems, for evil, and for imperfection but it provides a solution – Jesus Christ.
  • Because of Jesus we don’t have to work our way to God.

1Jhn 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Rom 3:24 – being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Eph 1:7, Col 1:14, 20

  • God came to us (relationship) not us searching for Him (religion)
  • God came to Earth and was born as a human so that He could come to our level and redeem us from our limitations that held us back from our destiny.

Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jhn 3:17 – For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Rom 5:8

  • Our Savior can relate to our temptations because he was tempted, he can relate to suffering and struggles because he endured them also

Hbr 4:15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

  • God desires a personal relationship with us
  • Yahweh is not distant, impersonal, or absent.
  • He wants an intimate relationship with you similar to marriage.

Jhn 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

1Cr 2:12

 

Effectiveness

  • The God of the Bible works
  • If the God of the Bible were not real- miracles would not happen the way they do. When we say “In Jesus name get up and walk” and they walk it is evidence toward the God of the Bible.
  • When we obey the Word of God miracles happen, it works
    • It answers the questions
    • Purpose
    • Identity
    • Strength
  • It satisfies the soul
  • Christianity meets the psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs of mankind in a way that other lifestyles cannot imitate.
  • People have been set free from decades of drugs, addictions, sickness, and hurt because of Christianity. Other religions imitate this change.
    • It works for the good of mankind
    • Abolition of slavery
    • Equal rights – slavery doesn’t work when we’re all the same
    • Science – flourished under Isaac Newton, Galileo, Robert Boyle, Gregor Mendel, Kelvin, Planck,
    • Universities – Ivey League, Harvard, Oxford,
    • America

 

Exclusivity

  • The Bible does not allow for any other way to God or Heaven

Jhn 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

Jhn 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Act 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

  • Other religions don’t allow for other gods or paths to salvation
  • Hinduism says you must meditate and liberate yourself to Moksha
  • In Buddhism you perfect yourself until you reach Nirvana
  • With Islam you must serve Allah who the Quran says cannot have a son

Jhn 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.