Thursday, January 26, 2012

"What If It's True?"

To be, or not to be. According to William Shakespeare, that is the question.

Oh, really?

Some of us have more important things on our minds. Like:
  • Is God real?
  • Why are we here?
  • Do our lives have a purpose?
  • What happens when we die?
  • Is the Bible really what it claims to be--absolute truth and the word of God?
These questions are so vital; the answers will determine how we live our lives--not to mention our eternal destiny.

So where do we start? Let's go straight to the horse's mouth--the Bible. It claims to have all the answers. If the Bible is proven false, then we've got nothing to worry about. Let's eat, drink and be merry, because our lives are pointless and then we die. On the other hand...what if it's true? What if the Bible is exactly what it claims to be:
  • The infallible Word of God from Genesis to Revelation
  • explaining God's plan for us and for all of mankind
  • laying out God's expectations for us
  • revealing His plan of salvation and exactly what we need to obtain everlasting life.
  • The ultimate "How-to" book on family, marriage, finances and living worthwhile lives.
  • A book of prophecy "declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done" (Isaiah 46:10). Which means telling us the future, not just to satisfy our curiosity, but to authenticate that the Bible is indeed a supernatural book. Why would anyone not want to read a book like this?
Let's think this through. If the Bible is false, then no-harm, no-foul. But if the Bible is true (and the greatest minds in history believe that it is), and we refuse (or don't bother) to live our lives according to its dictates, there are the gravest possible consequences!

The Bible says that everyone of us will someday stand before God and give an account of our lives. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:12-13). No wonder Hebrews 10:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

"Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). Revelation 20:11-15 describes what happens to people who don't have faith at the judgment. It uses words like "second death" and "lake of fire"--stuff we don't ever want to experience.

What does that mean? Faith in what? The gospel of God's grace, the Good News that God Himself came to pay for our sins. All we need to do is:
  • believe
  • repent (the crucial step of turning away from our sin and living God's way)
  • and repeat as necessary
Maybe you've seen the bumper sticker that says: "JESUS: Don't leave earth without Him". Good advice, because once we are dead, it's too late. The choice must be made now. In a nutshell, this is what the Bible says.

Therefore, to believe or not to believe--that, dear reader, is the question.

Words to the wise: "He who provides for this life but takes no care for eternity is wise for a moment but a fool forever." -- John Tillotson

  • Iran renews threat to close critical oil waterway, Strait of Hormuz
  • Massive solar flares disrupt aviation communications and cell phones
  • IMF expects Eurozone to slip into "mild recession"
  • Study reveals 90% of young Germans do not know Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp
  • "Wide is the Gate" Conference--Feb. 3& 4th in San Bernardino, CA. See link at the top of page

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Does God Leave Fingerprints?

Have you ever heard someone say that belief in Christ requires a blind leap of faith? Well, if you have, grab that person and offer them a million bucks if they can complete this assignment: Design a genealogy using the following criteria:
  • the number of words in it must be divisible by 7 with no remainder
  • the number of letters must also be divisible by 7
  • the number of vowels must be divisible by 7
  • the number of consonants must be divisible by 7
  • the number of words that begin with a vowel must be divisible by 7, as well as the number of words that begin with a consonant
  • the number of words that occur in more than one form must be divisible by 7
  • the number of words that occur in only one form must be divisible by 7
  • the number of nouns must be divisible by 7
  • only 7 words cannot be nouns
  • the number of names in the genealogy must be divisible by 7
  • only 7 other kinds of nouns can be used
  • the number of male names must be divisible by 7
  • the number of generations must be divisible by 7
The genealogy of Jesus Christ, found at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, meets all fourteen criteria in the Greek language. Even with the use of computers, Harvard mathematicians were unable to duplicate this incredible phenomenon, so the odds of you having to pay out that million is pretty much nil.

This strange design feature is not limited to the genealogy in Matthew. The number seven permeates the entire scripture from Genesis to Revelation and is widely believed to be a symbol of divine perfection. But that ain't all folks.

There are numerous other patterns as well. Dr. Ivan Panin (1855-1942) discovered thousands of mathematical patterns throughout the scriptures that scientifically demonstrate their divine origins. And though Dr. Panin (and many others) have examined other Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, these mathematical patterns are found no where else!

The important thing to realize is this: If even one single letter is changed (in the original languages of Hebrew or Greek), the mathmatical pattern is destroyed. No wonder Jesus said that the smallest letter and grammatical mark of the Scriptures was persevered by God's Hand. "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). A tittle in Hebrew is the smallest stroke or mark distinguishing one letter from a similar one.

Why would God bother to go to all this trouble?

Because He's a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). The evidence of God's existense is there for anyone willing to look. Deut. 4:29 promises that "...if you search for Him with all your heart and soul, you will find Him." After all, His Fingerprints are smeared all over the place, especially His Word.

Our Daily Bread:  Because God is great, He will be sought; because God is good, He will be found.

  • Palestinian Authority religious leader says that genocide of Jews must be the "goal of all Muslims"
  • European Union envoy call for dividing Jerusalem
  • China strikes oil deal with United Arab Emirates, will trade without using U.S. dollars
  • U.S. cancels military exercises with Israel
  • Obama rejects Keystone pipeline; cites not enough time to evaluate the project
  • U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman in Israel amid rising fears of a nuclear Iran
  • "Wide is the Gate--The Mystery of Iniquity" conference coming to Southern California. Click on link at the top of the page for more info

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012: A Time to Panic?

Nope. But it is time to plan. No one knows what the future holds (except God, of course) and 2012 is no exception.

Wake-up calls in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis and weather events have sounded around the globe. Sabre-rattling in the Middle East, economic woes throughout Europe and the debt crisis in the U.S. are becoming deafening.

But are we heeding the alarm, or hitting the snooze button? Unfortunately, the majority of us choose to snooze. Why? It's human nature.

Most of us are victims of something called the normalcy bias, a tendency to believe tomorrow will be like today, and next year will be similar to last year. Clearly, that isn't always the case. And as we close in on that time the Bible refers to as the "beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:8), the importance of preparation will become increasingly obvious.

So what do we do?


"What profit is there if you gain the world but lose your soul in the process (Matthew 16:26)?

The first step is to take our spiritual temperature. Are we hot, cold or lukewarm? Jesus said in Revelation 3:15, "I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will vomit you out of my mouth."

Uh oh.

How would you characterize your spiritual walk? Hot, eager for the things of God? Do you study the Word daily, spend time in prayer, actively serve God? Or are you a stone-cold unbeliever, an atheist, with no desire for a relationship with Jesus?

In between the hot believer and the cold atheist is the worst of the worst: the person who is neither hot nor cold, but a tepid lukewarm. God finds a lukewarm "Christian" sickening. In very vivid language, Jesus rejects the halfhearted, self-serving, ungrateful "Christian", willing to squeak into heaven as if through fire (1Corinthians 3:12-15). The Bible instructs us to examine ourselves (2Corinthians 13:5) to be sure we are really in the faith.

The time to settle these issues is now. Don't wait for the alarm to sound again. By then it could be too late.

Words to the Wise: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin

  • Former IAEA inspector: Iran "one year from" bomb material
  • Senior government source says Israeli Mossad carried out "hit" on Iranian nuclear scientist
  • Doomsday clock moves one minute closer to midnight--"inadequate progress" on nuclear and climate issues
  • Microsoft workers in China threaten mass suicides over pay dispute

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 and The Mayan Prophecy

Well, it's that time of year again, when prognosticators of every stripe seem to crawl out of the woodwork. Yep, happens every year. Like clockwork, you can count on it. Except this year is different...

Something wicked this way comes, if one is to believe the Mayans, that is. And with the number of catastrophic events piling up around the globe, one might be tempted to believe all the hype. Here's a brief overview for the uninitiated:

According to certain prognosticators, the ancient Mayan people predicted the end of the world would occur on December 21, 2012. Why? Because their calendar happens to end on that date. Oh, and the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History claim they've found a carved fragment at an archaeological site that confirms the prediction. Other 2012 doomsday scenarios include:
  • an alignment of the Earth, Sun, and Milky Way, causing a catastrophic gravitational pull
  • super-volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire (Pacific Rim)
  • rogue planet collisions (Planet X?)
  • devastating solar flares
  • a magnetic polar shift (yikes!)
Although these shocking prophecies have fueled much speculation about The End, we can absolutely guarantee 2012 will not be it. How? The Bible, with its proven track record, assures us the world will be around for at least another one thousand and seven years. And even then it won't really end--it'll be re-created and restored.

Myths and legends may make interesting reading or movie story lines, but nothing compares to what God has in store for His people. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."

Words to the Wise: "Don't be afraid to take big steps. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." - David Lloyd George

  • U.S. sends aircraft carrier into Strait of Hormuz and into Iranian naval war games
  • U. S. & Israel to hold major missile defense exercise
  • Turkey vows, "We won't allow Iran strike."
  • Floating debris field the size of California from Japanese tsunami begins washing up on west coast of Canada