In The Beginning…In The End

In the beginning everything was good (Gen 1:31), everything was as God intended it to be – perfect. So what happened? Why is everything so bad and why do we encounter such difficulty finding God? The perfection that God created only lasted until Satan disrupted the harmony that God had established. Now we find ourselves in the middle of the telling of a cosmic drama where God is working towards the restoration of everything that was lost, eventually God will put things back in order like they use to be (Rev 21:3). However, God is not doing nothing about the problems that currently exists. He is only doing it on His schedule and not our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Currently we await the return of Christ which is yet another step in God’s great plan to restore us to Himself as well as to restore the original glory to all that He created (Act 1:11). To know what it will be like when God restores everything in the end we can look at Genesis and see glimpses of what man enjoyed before sin as well as what we will enjoy after Satan is put away (Rev 20:10).

1. Being completely in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27)

2. Dominion over the Earth (Gen 1:26, 28, 29, 2:19)

3. Peace and freedom (Gen 1:28, 29)

4. Union with each other (Gen 2:21-25)

5. Innocence (Gen 2:25)

6. Relationship with God (Gen 3:8-13)

7. Eternal life (Gen 3:22-24)

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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

Being Eternity Minded

Things Above

Colossians 3:1 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:2 – Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Being “Eternity minded” or “Kingdom minded” has been one of the biggest revelations for my life in Christ. It has helped me be conscious of the bigger picture of God’s plan and activity and because of this my actions have changed too.

It’s so important to take our eyes off of ourself and look around, but more importantly to look up. What is God saying about today? What is He seeing and feeling? What does He want to happen today?
It’s all too easy to get caught up by life and just focus on the temporary things around us, our bank account, our image, our stuff, our job security, or political problems. If we don’t watch it the concern of the world will slowly squeeze us dry and pry us apart from God, but only if we let it.

Mark 4:7 – “And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
Mark 4:14 – “The sower sows the word.
Mark 4:18 – “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
Mark 4:19 – “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

We Died

Colossians 3:3 – For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:5 – Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Think of it this way: we were born in to our physical bodies on this planet, here we are primarily subject to our sinful tenancies. But what happens when someone dies? The body decays and comes to nothing while the spirit ascends to heaven. Similar to this picture we who have accepted Christ have died to our carnal self. So our sinful life died yet our spirit remains and is perfected by God and serves God. If we go back to sin we are bringing back from the grave that part that we left behind when we turned to Christ.

Romans 6:4 – Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Christians are not to live in a way that obeys their natural desires the moment they occur for we died to that part of our self. Now not all desires are bad of course but we need to check our motives before we act, and on the more questionable decisions go to God first instead of acting before thinking.

So when you are tempted to sin, remind yourself that “I have died to this thing, I don’t live for me anymore, I live for God”. That is being Kingdom minded because it puts your will in the backseat and God’s will in the drivers seat.

Phlippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Eternal Reality

Do you ever imagine what the eternal result will be of your decisions? It’s kind of a scary thought, especially if you’ve been making careless decisions without considering the long term effects. So think of your relationships – what effect will you have on their eternity? Will they be able to look back and say “you loved me and helped me get closer to God” or “You were nice but you didn’t really do anything, you never told me about God”?

These are weighty questions but important ones none the less. Thinking this way helps me keep my focus on what really matters – God and His Kingdom coming to Earth (Matthew 6:10). You only have one chance at this Earthly life, don’t waste it like the unfaithful servant did, but invest your time and reap a harvest that will last an eternity.

Blinded by the Dark

Why do people not choose Christ? I ask myself this question often when I meet people who are willfully unbelievers. Is it that they don’t see enough hard evidence? Is it that they have had a bad experience with Christians or church and avoid it altogether? Is it that they find the requirements of Christianity to heavy a burden? It is often a mixture of these, but ultimately the reason for continued unbelief is none other than the Devil. He has blinded those who continue in unbelief from Christ. Now I know that  this sounds quite radical and it also may sound as if I’m giving too much credit to Satan;’s abilities but I believe I am simply acknowledging his tactics. Satan simply does not want people to turn to God through Christ.  And when they are not born again they are more to Satan than to God being enemies of God. Let’s look in to this dynamic of the spiritual world and where it meets the minds of men.

Satan’s Agenda

2Corinthians 4:4 – whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The context of this scripture reveals who Paul is talking about – they are the people who “are perishing”. And who is perishing but those who do not heed to the Gospel and give their lives to Christ (John 3:16). So in verse 4 the unbelieving are identified as being blind to the truth of Christ, who blinded them? The Devil, and he did this so that “the light of the Gospel of Christ (would not) would shine on them”.

2Corinthians 3:14 – But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Ever since Lucifer was defeated in battle and kicked out of Heaven he seems to be on an unstoppable mission to spoil anything and everything he can just to tick God off. And since he realized he could not win in against God and His army what was left? Us! From the very beginning Satan has been steering us away from God. Satan is using everything he has to keep us from realizing the truth which is God’s reality, love, and forgiveness. When a person allows Satan to deceive them (and the individuals free will does play the lead role in their becoming blind) they will not accept Christ for who He really is, they will remain alienated from God and unforgiven of their sin.

1John 2:11 – But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Liar

Other then trying to spoil everything God has made, Satan has also been a liar from the very beginning (John 8:44). Can you think of another story in the Bible that has to do with Satan, sin, and “vision”? The Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:4 – Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Genesis 3:5 – “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

If you take everything Satan has ever said and flip it around to the opposite meaning you will almost always end up with God’s truth. Satan says “Look at you, you’re a terrible sinful person who can’t be used by God”. However, God’s truth is “In my eyes (the only ones that matter) you’re forgiven and perfected by Christ, people like you are exactly who I always use!”.

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The Trouble with Teenager-ism

Did you know there are no teenagers in the Bible? It’s true, read on to see the terrible ramifications of this cultural invention.

Teenager-ism

The “teenager” I am speaking of here is not simply an age range but a mindset our culture has invented, an acceptable standard (or lack thereof) of living. It seems to accommodate the individual who is too irresponsible and destructive for adulthood yet too mature for childhood. But is the cause of many teenagers immaturity due simply to their age or is it a psychological fulfillment due to our cultures endlessly low expectations for our “teens”? Centuries ago we see young people from 13-18 doing big things, taking on jobs, responsibility, success, even families and doing perhaps a much better job at it than our young adults of today.

Much of the media’s industry hinges on this age group and is continually pushing the limits of what it means to be a normal teen. Music, ads, and movies encourage more drinking, further sexual experimentation, risk taking with drugs, and disrespect towards adults. For a first hand description of this lifestyle spoken by the very mouths of those who promote it, just read the lyrics of the stars such as Katy Perry, Brittany Spears, Rihanna and Keisha. What the radio actually plays these days may surprise you.

I don’t want to stereotype the teenagers of America but instead attemept to describe the subculture that has been invented for them. It’s a lifestyle with appeal and excellent marketing. Being an American teenager is about doing whatever you want to and ignoring the long term effects of what you want to do. It’s as if they are expected to fool around with sex, drugs, drama, and other junk and when they get hurt we blow it off and say “oh they’re just teens, it’s a phase”. I think this attitude enables the young people of America to waste their younger years on things that don’t matter and will make their adult lives more difficult.

2Timothy 3:1-4
1 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 – For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 – unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 – traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

This scripture rings true with the todays youth culture of America all to well. In fact to the world if teens aren’t involved in these things people get concerned about them! How backward is that?

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Religious Truth and Jesus

To piggy back on my last post which focuses on the problem of pluralism and the unavoidable contradictions between mainstream religions here I want to focus on identity of Jesus Christ when it comes to the world religions. He is, after all, the stumbling block and the rock of offense!

Departure From Truth

The Bible tells us that there will be an increase of deception and lies as the days draw closer to Christ’s return. This will come through confusion of the truth (Rom 1:25, Gal 3, 1Tim 6:5, 2Tim 4:4, 2Pet 2:1-3) and by false prophets (Mat 24:11, 2Tim3:13, 2Pet 2:1-3). It is crucial that we be able to recognize an untruth when we hear one and separate it from the Truth so that we are not misled as many surely will be (Mat 24:24). When approaching this subject Biblically we must recognize that Satan is ultimately behind this global departure from the Truth and that he will use the intentions of wicked and innocent men alike as long as his goals are accomplished.

2Corinthians 11:4 – For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted–you may well put up with it!

Anti-Christ

The message of Christ is precisely what Satan has labored so intensely to get rid of so that we would not embrace the saving truth of Jesus Christ. The true gospel message of Christ has been pushed aside by entire religious movements claiming new deities and methods of redemption, it has been corrupted by false doctrines from within the church such as Unitarianism and Universalism, and it has been discredited by atheistic theories such as Agnosticism, Buddhism, and Atheism.

Galatians 1:6-8 – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

1John 4:3 – and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Types of Truth

  • Absolute Truth- A truth or set of truths that is believed to remain true despite the circumstance, personal perception or personal opinion. Unalterable facts and inflexible reality.
  • Relative Truth   – What is considered truth is not consistently true but flexible depending on the circumstance or outcome.
  • Existential Truth – Truth is discovered personally and one must choose what is truth, what you choose to be true is true for you.

Types of Religious Truth

  • Pluralism – All major world religions lead to God and salvation. Thus, no one religion is inherently better or superior to any other major world religion. Pluralists acknowledge the differences among major religions but consider them minor and focus more on the “major” similarities such as love for God and love for others.
  • Inclusivism – One religion is best but salvation is possible in others. Inclusivists do not go as far as pluralists in that inclusivists do not claim that all religions are equal. They do believe, though, that truth and salvation can be found in other religions. Some Christian inclusivists claim that the salvation of Jesus is unknowingly applied to adherents of other religions who live good, moral lives.
  • Exclusivism – Salvation is found in only one religion which is uniquely and supremely true and all other religions are false. Christianity is an exclusive religion because of the many of the claims Christ made about Himself such as John 14:6.

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Who is Satan?

Satan is the enemy of God, Christians, and Christianity as a whole yet many Christians do not understand who Satan is, they fear him as the boogie man and feel they cannot escape his hand. Satan has used ignorance to his advantage in this area. I encourage you to read through this list and check the scriptures as you compare it to your current view of Satan, let the Word wash and cleanse you of any misconceptions or religious assumptions.

Origin of

Satan was created by God -Ezekiel 28:13

Satan was perfect before he sinned -Ezekiel 28:15

Many ask in vain why did God create evil, well the answer is that God never made anything evil. God made humans and angels with the free will capacity to choose right or wrong. The evil that exists now was caused by Lucifer choosing against God (and no longer being called by his angelic name) and man’s choice to do evil. Satan was good at first but then became evil on his own doing.
Because Satan was created by God; he is still under the authority and power of God. We have been given spiritual authority over Satan as well but it’s not of our own right, but by the powerful name of Jesus that Satan and his angels must flee. No matter the darkness God is always bigger and if He’s on your side you have nothing to fear.

Fall of

Satan planned to overthrow God -Isaiah 14:13-14,

Satan sinned on his own -Ezekiel 28:15-18, 1John 3:8

Satan was sent out of heaven -Isaiah 14:12, 15, Luke 10:18, Revelation 12:9

Satan engaged in battle in heaven -Revelation 12:7-9

Satan’s sin was pride -1Timothy 3:6

So at first Satan was good, in fact he was the highest ranked angel and because of this powerful position he became prideful. He took for granted his blessings and did not remember his proper position under God. Satan wanted to do his own will instead of God’s and he wanted to be above god. Satanism as well as Atheism follows the same route – you are your own god and sovereign authority.
Because of Lucifers sin there was no place in heaven God created hell for him and his rebellious angels to dwell in. This is similar to how Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden because of their sin. Imperfection cannot dwell with God, this is why we cannot go to heaven on our own account, we must have the righteousness of Christ on us before we enter heaven.

Image of

Satan was covered with beautiful stones -Ezekiel 28:13

Satan had timbrels and pipes made for him -Ezekiel 28:13

Satan fought as a dragon in heaven -Revelation 12:7

Satan can appear as an angel of light -2Corinthians 11:14

Satan used a serpent to deceive Eve -2Corinthians 11:3

When talking about the image of Satan first, remove from your mind any skinny red suited being with a tail and a pitchfork. Second, remember Satan is a spiritual being which are not subject to the same rules as us physical humans. Satan is seen represented or taking different forms throughout the Bible story so it is not too far fetched to believe that rebellious spiritual being have some ability to control or morph their form at will. Angels however, being obedient to God have not changed their form but are able to enter in to the physical world and interact with it tangibly. Many people have claimed divine revelation from angels, or have spoken with Mary/others who appear as beautifully shining beings. This should worry anyone who has studied the Bible because Satan knows how to appeal to our senses and grab our attention.

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