Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Did God Create Everything?

The university professor challenged his students with this question: Did God create everything that exists?" A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!" "God created everything?" the professor asked. "Yes, Sir," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil; since evil exists and, according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil." The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?" "Of course," replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?" "What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question. The young man replied, "In fact, Sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is, in reality, the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460° F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?" The professor responded, "Of course it does." The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?" Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, Sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exists just as result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

(This was sent to Bible Door by someone who could not verify it as a historically accurate statement. We reprinted it because the principal is true that it represents. I am often asked to provide a logical tract that promotes my beliefs without hiding behind quoting the Bible. This is an example of such a tract. You will find its a rare exception that I will produce such a tract that has no scripture in it. Please read the other tracts as well for a fuller picture of who God is. The orginal message sent to me claimed credit to Albert Eienstein. I agree with all who see that as a hoax. Please do not attribute this tract as having any historical accuracy regarding Eiensten.)

You may contact the person who handed you this tract or its author

Bible Door Tracts
273 Manchester Drive, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 6J4 ,Canada, and
Copyright 2005 © Bible Door Tracts.

This tracts author is Ray Luff of Bible Door Tracts. The opinions contained in this tract do not necessarily represent the opinions of Riverdrive Park Bible Chapel where Ray is in fellowship. All Bible references are from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson unless otherwise noted.

Monday, June 20, 2005

What Did Jesus Do? (WDJD)

W - Would you consider yourself to be a good person? (Yes, No)
Most people don’t mind being asked this question as you are asking them about their favourite subject - themselves. This question is also normally taken well as most people believe that they are good persons. This however reveals something about most people. They are self-righteous. The Bible says: Prov. 16 - 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes. it also says, Prov. 16 - 25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

D - Do you think you keep the Ten Commandments? (Yes, No)
Some say yes, others say they haven’t. Let’s take a look at them. (from Exod 20)

9th commandment - You shall not bear false witness against a neighbour. Have you ever told a lie? (Yes, No, White Lie only)

8th commandment - You shall not steal. Have you ever stolen? Be honest before God. (Yes, No)

7th Commandment - You shall not commit adultery. Bear in mind that Jesus said, Matt 5 - 28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Have you ever committed adultery? (Yes, No)

3rd commandment - You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? (Yes, No)

6th commandment - You shall not murder. Bear in mind also that the Bible says, if you have ever hated anyone you are guilty of murder. Have you ever murdered anyone? (Yes, No)

1st commandment - You shall have no other God’s before me. Have you always put God first in your life? (Yes, No)

2nd commandment - You shall not make for yourself an idol. Have you always worshipped God above all other things that you possess? (Yes, No)

4th commandment - Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. God requires that we keep one day out of seven to rest and acknowledge Him. How many times have you broken the Sabbath? (None, Several, Seldom)

5th commandment - Honor your father and mother. Have you always treated your parents in a way that is pleasing to God? (Yes, No)

10th commandment - You shall not covet.. anything that belongs to your neighbour. Have you ever been jealous or desired something that your neighbour has? If you have you reveal your lack of gratitude for what God has given you. (Yes, No)

J - On the day of Judgement, if God judges you by the Ten Commandments, will you be innocent or guilty? (Innocent, Guilty)
The bible says, Rom 3 - 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And it says, 1 John 1 - 10 If we say we have not sinned we call God a liar. The bible tells us, Matt. 12 - 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

D - Destiny - Will you go to Heaven or to Hell? (Heaven, Hell)
Some people feel that Heaven’s door will be open to everybody, but that is not what the Bible teaches. Dan 12 - 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

The Bible warns of what it will be like for those that fail to enter into heaven. Jude - 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire…13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

The Lord Jesus told us to take steps now to ensure our eternal destination is heaven, Mark 9 - 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched- 44 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’

The Lord Jesus also told us to find the narrow gate. Luke 13 - 24 Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you,  ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,

The Lord Jesus gave this warning, Matt 7 - 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Do you know what Jesus did for you?
God knows that many consider their own goodness enough to gain them entrance into His heaven. In His fairness he will give you a hearing based on your goodness. And all of the books about your life will be opened and examined. Rev 20 - 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.  And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [Hell] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades [Hell] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. The outcome of this trial however, will be that unless the Lord Jesus Christ has recorded your name in His book of life, you will suffer the second death which is the lake of fire.

God has provided a way for you to escape from the Lake of Fire. God loves you so much that He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer and die in your place, taking your punishment for you so that you could live. The Bible says, John 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. and again, Rom 5 - 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Then Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. 1 Cor 15 - 4 … He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, … 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once

The fact that God was willing for His own Son to pay for your sins should leave no question of His love for you, and for righteousness. He will not let sin go unpunished, even if that punishment meant the cross for the Lord Jesus Christ. This enormous sacrifice for your sin ought to make you tremble. The Apostle Paul approached God with fear and trembling. Acts 9 - 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

If God has made you aware of your sins and you too have come to realize that God’s love for you caused the shedding of the Innocent blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on your behalf; Then repent (agree to turn away) from your sins which caused Him to be nailed to a cross on your behalf. Submit yourself to God the father that He might be the Boss of your life from now on. Rom 12 - 1 I Beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Because Christ died for you he expects you to die to your selfish ambition, pursuits of pleasure and sinful rebellion and to follow Him from now on. He tells you to take your cross and to follow Him. (Matt 10:38) Are you willing? Tell God in prayer. The Bible tells us, 2 Peter 3 - 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Until you breath your last breath, God is patiently waiting for you to commit yourself in prayer to Him. Confess your sins. Agree to allow Him to be the boss of your life. Agree to give up what ever sins that hold you. Do it now, before it’s too late. (2 Cor 6:2) Answer the door and let Him into your life. Jesus said, Rev 3 - 20 Behold I stand at the Door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and sup with Him and He with me.

You may contact the person who handed you this tract or its author

Bible Door Tracts
273 Manchester Drive, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 6J4 ,Canada, and
Copyright 2005 © Bible Door Tracts.

This tracts author is Ray Luff of Bible Door Tracts. The opinions contained in this tract do not necessarily represent the opinions of Riverdrive Park Bible Chapel where Ray is in fellowship. All Bible references are from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Man has Successfully Mapped the Human Genome. Who Needs God?

The recent advances in genetic engineering has resulted in the Americans and the British calling their accomplishments "being able to decode the language of God." Experts believe that much of the research in this area is, since it is almost totally funded by private money, tied to the patenting of various sequences of the human genome (that's all the DNA contained in a human cell) believing they are likely to code for proteins which can be manufactured and sold at great profit.

Simply put scientists look for "defective or mutated genes" in an isolated community, override the mutation and produce block-buster drugs to fight it. Drug companies say the patenting of human or animal genes is necessary to do work on research leading to genetic therapies for disease. The philosophical question among the experts is whether life is seen as human invention or as God's creation.
Arguing for the latter position, some indicate the recent decoding as simply drawing back another part of the curtain of God's creation, or simply realizing that genes are not the bottom line explanation of human life -- that life really requires a 'spirit' spark to come together with genetic material, and only God can provide that spark. They say spirit interacts with matter just as matter interacts with energy.

Canon Eric Beresford, an Anglican geneticist and priest wants us all to know that "what has not been uncovered is some sort of genetic code that will allow science to predict and alter a human being's characteristics." The reason being that carrying a certain gene doesn't guarantee the presence of that trait. Each gene requires to be turned on or off, and that's done by 'switching genes' that control the trait genes. So inheritance itself becomes dependent on both the right gene and the right switching gene, and thus very complex. So regardless of what Bill Clinton said, the language of God is still out of his reach.

However, the plot thickens even more as we learn that there are actually theologians that argue that the Creator wants man to join Him in His role as Creator. We're told this stems from the notion that we are born in the image of God and therefore are like God. When you couple that with "theodicy", or the idea of justifying belief in the goodness of God in the face of evil and suffering (why does God allow it all?), you get a philosophy which gives man the go ahead to explore genetic manipulation and enhancement. In fact, there are three major philosophies in this regard:
1. The Augustinian one which says Adam and Eve falling from complete goodness and perfect images of God's Creation has impacted all their offspring. So, we are born in His image, but the image is impaired or defective, unlike how God intends it to be. So God isn't responsible for the evil and suffering, that's due to the fall. From this position, comes the notion that we can use technology to fix nature. [ The notion of this position denies that God allows evil and suffering and the curse of death as punishment for evil. - Ray Luff ]
2. The Iranean one that says Creation is incomplete because Adam and Eve fell and were tossed out of Eden while they were still developing and that development was stopped at that time. To find the true human identity you don't go backwards looking at what Adam and Eve were like, or could have been like, but rather you look ahead to Christ, the full image of God. This position then supports technological gene enhancement to improve on what Nature has given us. [ This view denies that God created man in His own image just as he created Christ in His own image. It relies on evolutionary steps to improve man. To hold this view you must also subscribe to the Gap Theory and Day Age Theories, which are theories which are compromised theories that seek to harmonize Gods word with mans theories of evolution. All these theories deny that God created the earth in 7 literal days, with the sun being created on the 4th day as stated in Genesis chapter one. - Ray Luff ]
3. Finally, the third (and unlabeled) [but most accurate and Biblically defensible] position says that God also suffers along with man, His own Creation. Thus you have Christ on the cross symbolizing God's efforts in restoring us. This is used as a basis, then, for an ethical, theological foundation for genetic engineering. Theologians that adhere to it are basically saying suffering can be addressed technologically but never removed finally, and that it would be a dangerous illusion to try. [ The danger of this illusion is the denial of God’s authority over man. Who are we to seek to correct something which God has purposed to be broken, for a purpose. God offers the only solution to man’s broken condition. He allows man’s physical broken condition to alert him to his broken spiritual condition, which God offers to solve. Ultimately God also offers to solve man’s broken physical condition, but only for those who are able to put their faith in God’s promise to resurrect of our bodies after death through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is referred to in the Bible as the first born from the dead. - Ray Luff ]

So, what's left for you and me. First you need to decide whether you're for it or against it. If you're for it, then you need to decide, on what basis. To help you, here are some questions you may ask yourself:
1. Is this all about justifying what's going on in Biomedical Science and Technology today?
2. Or is it simply a way of theologians who are also medical scientists to integrate their beliefs with their work?
3. Finally, could it be that while God allows us to surge ahead in this area, He will never let us get to the point where we've solved every problem ourselves and Eden is restored, maybe this time somewhere in North America? After all, if we can solve the human genome language, should we not have been able to solve world hunger, wars, hatred, natural disasters, airplane crashes, etc.? Aren't they a lot more simpler, scientific-ally speaking? I guess not. Then again, maybe that's it -- this is not about science, it's about the human heart, mind, and soul!
Thank God He's not finished with us. Pray God that we don't ever think we're finished with Him.

Ken B. Godevenos, MBA, CCP, CHRP Accord Resolution Services Inc.

So why does God allow suffering? God allows suffering as a symptom of a larger problem the Bible calls sin. Even if we could solve all problems of suffering, no scientist expects that they will solve the ultimate problem which is death. God has solved that ultimate problem and could solve the problems leading up to it if He wanted to. In fact He says He will solve our physical problems after we have passed through physical death and have been resurrected to new life after death. But not all will be resurrected to new life. Daniel 12 - 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Our suffering during this life is a friendly message from God warning us of worse to come if we don’t do something about it. 2 Cor 7 - 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance, leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. Repentance means, committing to allow God to change your life so that you will sin no more.
God offers us reconciliation to Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 5 - 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteous-ness of God in Him. 2 Cor 6 - 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Rom 6 - 23 For the wages of Sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Make it a matter of urgent prayer to appropriate this promise God has given. You won’t regret it.

You may contact the person who handed you this tract or its author

Bible Door Tracts
273 Manchester Drive, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 6J4,Canada, and
Copyright 2005 © Bible Door Tracts.

The author of his tract were added Ray Luff of Bible Door Tracts. The opinions contained in this tract do not necessarily represent the opinions of Riverdrive Park Bible Chapel where Ray is in fellowship. All Bible references are from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson unless otherwise noted.