God and the Gospel

What would evidence of God do to change your life?

What would change if your eternal destiny depended on what you do with this information?

 

For centuries intelligent men believed the universe was eternal.  Now we know an eternal universe is impossible and unscientific. An eternal universe means everything that could have happened would already have been done before the present moment since the past is infinite (confusing, right?). So, we are either living in the past, or time is infinitely cyclical and everything we’re doing has already happened. Recent discoveries in science declare that the universe had an absolute beginning. What could have caused the beginning and existence of our universe?

The cause was likely volitional (willed/logical) because the foundations of mathematics and morality are definite/absolute; It is always wrong to torture children; Two plus two always equals four. Mathematics seems to be implanted on nature and morality in our minds. The only thing that can comprehend mathematics and philosophy is a conscious entity, a mind. Therefore, it would seem that only a conscious entity could have created math and morality.

The cause must have been incredibly powerful. For example, “If all the sunlight energy striking the Earth’s surface in Texas alone could be converted to electricity, it would be up to 300 times the total power output of all the power plants in the world!” There are billions of trillions of stars in the universe! The sun isn’t even the biggest star! That is an unfathomable amount of energy to exist spontaneously and then organize into planets, stars, and galaxies.

The cause of the universe must be outside of time and space. “Nothing” cannot bring something into existence, because “nothing” is, well, nothing! The progenitor of creation must exist outside of the creation itself. Logically, the universe was caused by a creative free will who is powerful,  supernatural, outside of time, and infinite.

If you’re thinking that this cause sounds a lot like God, you are thinking like millions of other people on the earth. Ancient philosophers (Aristotle), without the use of sacred texts, have come to the conclusion that God exists necessarily. The apostle Paul wrote, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…” (Romans 1:20).  The Wall Street Journal shared an article that Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.

It is not just under-educated men and women who believe in God. Doctors, physicists, cosmologists, rocket scientists, and people of any other respectable position believe in a Creator. Even atheists must remind themselves that “Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”

In order to deny the existence of God, one must have all knowledge in the universe. Men must suppress what seems to be an obvious and inherited belief, that God created the world, in order to be dogmatic about atheism. So, what does this have to do with you?

The moral compass we are born with and which governs most societies ties us directly back to God. Each society has a list of things which are “wrong” and punishments for the crimes. We do not trust or respect those who lie, cheat, steal and abuse their power. These wrong doings are called sins. Although all sin, we tend to be harder on others than ourselves.

The greatest cause of suffering on earth is the pain we cause each other through selfishness and hate. Galatians 5:14-15 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. Every selfish deed is a breaking of God’s law of love.

Similar to man’s judicial system, every selfish action, thought, or word caught by God will be punished. Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. This a fearful thought. God, who created mankind, will also judge those who inflict pain on His creation. When you wrong another person, you are wronging God.

He is angered by how we treat each other with such disregard and impatience and hate. Psalm 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. A God who is not angry at evil would not be loving on the victim. When we die, we will give account to God.

Yet, God is merciful. He came to earth robed with the flesh of man to teach us how to live and love. He came to save us from hell. Jesus, God in the flesh, said,

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)

This is an impossible standard to live up to. We are all guilty before God, but He made a way for us to be forgiven. In His love, God delivered Jesus as the scapegoat for our sins.

Here is a prophecy about Jesus written years before His birth:

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity (sin) of us all.

God placed all of your sins on Jesus as He was being crucified. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24) Jesus wants to take your sin, and make you a new person.

He died on the cross, but rose three days later to prove He was God and to show that He had the power to forgive our sin and give us the gift of heaven. Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after His resurrection and they preached this gospel truth to the rest of the world: Romans 3:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus offers you a gift of forgiveness, and life after death with God who loves you.

This gift must be received. Like all gifts, it is not earned or deserved. It is given freely out of love. No one will be in heaven because of their own goodness. We are all selfish, but we can all be saved through Jesus. He has done everything necessary through His sinless life to satisfy God’s righteousness, and by taking your sins in His body on the cross He has paid for your badness. If you are willing to admit you are a sinner, simply believe that Jesus has saved you by dying with your sins in Himself and rose from the dead to prove His deity, then He promises you can be forgiven.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.fullsizeoutput_1c

Believe on Jesus. Just trust that He has saved you and rely on His promise of everlasting life. He is the only one who can save you. He will not lie. When you believe on Him you are given the gift of spiritual life. Once you have trusted in your heart that Jesus has saved you, God sends the Holy Spirit to empower you to do what is righteous.

Pray and ask God to help you live a good life which is pleasing to the One who died to set you free from your selfishness. Welcome to the family of God!

God uses weird ingredients too!

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I usually look at every ingredient of each item I eat or drink. It bothers some people because they assume I am overly health-conscious or believe I am trying to make them look bad. I just really want to know what I’m putting In my body!

I’ve found it’s impossible to pronounce half of the ingredients in our food! And when I can, I still have no idea what it is! I found this information online for example:

1. Carmine, or cochineal (as it is perhaps more commonly known), consists of a mixture of … crushed beetles. More specifically, these dried insects are boiled in water to extract the carminic acid they contain (or did contain). Typically, due to the fantastic red hue the resulting potion gives off, this ingredient is used to artificially dye foods red, purple and pink; however, you can taste these little buggers in some fruit juices, berry punches, ice cream, yogurt and candy (so ya know, all the good stuff).

2. Xanthan gum, which gets its name from Xanthomonas campestris (a strain of bacteria present during the fermentation process), contains bacteria similar to rotting veggies. We wish that was a joke and/or exaggeration, but it’s totally not. In fact, when you think of molding veggies, it’s fairly easy to imagine the film of slime forming. Yep. Like that layer of decay, xanthan gum acts as a thickening agent or a gel. Yum!

You can see xanthan gum in dairy products, sauces and salad dressings. As if the previous paragraph wasn’t enough to put you off of salad forever, now you have the perfect excuse to order that burger instead.

3. Jell-O’s main ingredient, as I’m sure it’s easy to imagine given the name, is gelatin. But gelatin, for those who don’t know, consists of the collagen extracted from an animal’s skin and (mostly) bones. So if you’ve ever been told Jell-O is made of “horse hooves,” you’re partially correct (though actual hooves are not used in the production process). And also probably partially nauseous.

But if you think it’s just Jell-O shots you should be avoiding, you’re sadly mistaken … you can find gelatin in everything from Gummy Bears to those marshmallow Peeps you get on Easter Sunday. Now perhaps it seems a wee bit less ridiculous when your vegetarian friends turn down the pastel-colored cuties, because (to your thinking) they’re “animals.” Uh, well. Yeah, they are actually.”

These are just a few of the odd and weird ingredients in our food! (I will post the link to “Top 10 Common Ingredients That Are Just Plain Weird” at the bottom of this post.)

Why do we eat this stuff? How does it make food so delicious even though its origins are so disgusting? I don’t know the answer. But if it doesn’t kill you it makes makes you stronger, right… Right?

The Bible explains that God uses weird ingredients to bring His plan of Salvation to the world. Most Baptists don’t believe this, sadly. I’ve often heard pastors say, “That young man has a great personality! God could really use him!” Or, “She is a lovely young lady, and so talented, if she would surrender to The Lord He would do amazing things with her life!” These statements are common. But they are flawed.

When God was looking for a king he rejected the “best of the best.” Samuel looked at Eliab and saw strength, good looks, and potential. But God was not interested. Then came Abinidab, the genius, and Shammah, the athletic, but God rejected them too. Seven more healthy, hard working, musical young men impressed Samuel, but were rejected by God. Why?

1 Samuel 16:7 …the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him:for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

God is not looking for external flare, but rather internal faithfulness. God can still use good looking or talented people, but only if their heart is surrendered to Him. Pride pushes the hand of God off of a life. A tender heart, though, can be molded into exactly what God needs to bring about His glory and the furtherance of the gospel.

This is good news for me.
I sing, but not above average.
I preach, but it’s inexperienced at best.
I witness, but I don’t have all the answers.
I teach, but I’m not the most talented or dramatic.

Yet, the Bible promises:
1 Corinthians 1:26-30 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

I’m so glad God uses weird ingredients. He can take sinful, messed up, selfish people and turn them into amazing heralds of the gospel. He can change anyone into a new creature. It’s all because of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross makes this transformation possible! How? By recreating us into the image of Jesus when we place our faith and trust in His death, burial, and miraculous resurrection that paid for our sins.

I want to be used to share the love of God with thousands, and there’s hope for me because God can use anyone! Yes, even you!

Link: science.discovery.com/life-earth-science/10-common-weird-ingredients.htm