What'd You Say 'Bout My Mama

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 31, 2016 2 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

After concluding an exciting series on the Resurrection last week (well, I thought it was exciting), I’m a little struck by the lack of depth in this week’s question that godofevolution.com author Tyler Francke believes is unanswerable if we hold a Biblical position. In fact, his question is nothing more than, “Man, that seems strange” sort of thing rather than a theological consideration. This week’s question that we will be answering (although the claim is “no young-earth creationist can”) is this: Why was Eve named the “mother of all life”? Now, to be honest, I think it’s a good question but, again, since I know the motive behind it, it kinda has a wet blanket thrown on it.

So Tyler seems to think it’s very strange that “immediately” after the Fall, Eve’s husband, Adam, gives her the name “Eve.” This is some sort of problem for him because the verse in question, Genesis 3:20, follows God’s declaration of the curse on mankind after the Fall. Let’s just be clear here: Tyler does not believe there was a Fall or a curse. He denies fundamental Christian theology because if he accepts it, he cannot hang on to his humanist philosophy as well. He does not believe death is the result of sin and claims the Bible does not indicate that death is a penalty for sin. He fails to understand a great deal of Scripture that indicates otherwise. He also just doesn’t seem to understand things like the sacrificial system or Christ’s death on the cross. But his problem here is more of a childish attack on Scripture than anything else. He goes so far as to say that Adam was being insensitive when he named Eve because he apparently believes the words of the curse had just fallen on their ears when he decided to name her. If she is the cause of sin and therefore death, then calling her the “mother of all living” is just mean.

Actually, I don’t think this verse necessitates that it happened the very second God pronounced the curse on mankind. However, as a side note, within that curse we find that God pronounces death on man for his sin. “…From dust you are and to dust you will return” was mentioned as a part of the consequence of sin. But keep in mind, also, that God held Adam responsible for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. God questioned Adam first because he was the spiritual head of the family. After Adam passed the blame on to Eve, God addressed her. If you look at the curse, the primary recipient of the consequence, by volume of explanation anyway, is Adam. The serpent is second while the woman’s share of the pronouncement was fairly short. However, I’m fairly certain that all of mankind—men, women and children—have suffered the consequences of sin. But man was held responsible.

But Tyler’s entire argument here is the verse in question that describes Eve’s name is too close to the Fall to be appropriate. In other words, he’s unhappy with it so it must be a theological problem for the Bible believer (which Tyler most clearly is not). He claims this is significant because “…young-earth creationism proponents cite [the Fall] as the genesis for all death and illness and disorder and pretty much any bad thing that’s ever happened.” Since the Bible indicates this is the case, I’ll take God’s Word over the opinion of someone who has been proven Biblically illiterate every time. God’s Word tells us that death is an enemy and it will be destroyed. This seems like it wasn’t part of the original creation, then. It also says that God will wipe aware our tears, ending sorrow and mourning.

In an amusing turn of events, Tyler cites Wikipedia for the meaning of Eve’s name. This is fine, but the same reference answers the question he claims can’t be answered according to a Biblical position. He must not have read the whole thing. Why is Eve called the mother of all living? Because she’s the mother of all humans who ever lived from that point on. The only person she was not responsible for was Adam—because he was alive before her. His Wikipedia reference tells us this. “While believers accept that all subsequent humans have Eve as an ancestor, she is believed to be unique in that although all people after her were physically created from women, Eve herself was created from a man.” Had he just read a little, maybe we could have avoided this odd question to begin with. But since we’re talking about the Wikipedia reference, I’d like to point out that he’s using a source that has no interest in the truthfulness of the Bible. In fact, it tries to explain away the meaning and origin of Eve’s name by saying it was taken from pagan religions or languages. Not really the sort of source I’d like to push if I believed the Bible was God’s Word. But if I think the Bible is a bunch of stories and information collected by ignorant sheep herders in the Ancient Near East that has no divine inspiration, I may be inclined to use them.

So, in short, why is Eve named the “mother of all living”? Because she’s the mother of all humanity. Just because this fact is brought out shortly after the Fall has no bearing on its truthfulness or validity. What a strange question indeed when we consider the motive behind it. Next week we’ll address a common question skeptics (generally atheists) ask—how did Adam and Eve know what death was?

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What Happened?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

"The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots." ~Judges 1:19

Let's be honest, this is a difficult Scripture to deal with. God was with Judah, but they could not take all of the land because the people of the plains had iron chariots? Since when did the weapons used by men hinder the Lord Most High? Very bizarre and troublesome. How is it that the Lord can be with us and yet we fail to accomplish our goal?

Let's first rule out that some sort of sin prevented them from taking the plain. No sin is mentioned up to this point. In fact, it is possible that their faith may have began to waver after this failure. It is seen that the Israelites started enslaving some of the land's inhabitants instead of driving them out. Could it be that the Israelites started to question the power of their God? Was God not powerful enough to overcome a vehicle as basic as a chariot?

Something had changed. What changed? I honestly haven't a clue. I'm sure there are plenty of theories, but I can't recall any text that tells us why the assault on the plains failed. Without spoiling too much, I believe it could have been a lack of effort or fear that prevented Judah from taking the plain. Chariots, in those days, were formidable. An iron chariot would have been almost the equivalent of a tank. It would be very difficult to challenge a chariot on level ground. But God would later use this failure for his glory.

Notice that Judah is not even rebuked for falling short in this endeavor. The story continues by detailing what land the other tribes of Israel were conquering. Judah fell short, but it appears that God's grace was enough to sustain them in their weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Even if we don't want to admit it, we frequently fall short of God's perfect standard. Years back, I went on a retreat with a Bible fellowship in Cleveland.  It was the first one that I had been on, and students were given the opportunity to present a devotion one time in the course of the weekend retreat. I volunteered to do so. I was excited, I had a lot to say, and I had the presence of God with me. IT WAS A DISASTER! The message was unorganized, poorly planned, and lacked any sort of connection to the weekend's theme. I had zeal and God was with me, but He had other purposes for that mess.

When things don't go our way, we need to:
1) Learn from our failure. If Judah’s fear hindered their success, they had to learn that their fear was without merit. (Proverbs 15:22)
2) Humble ourselves. When we experience success, as Israel had done all the way up to that point, it is easy to become puffed up with pride. (Matthew 23:12)
3) Trust in God's promises. God told the Israelites what he would do for them and apparently it was not the right time. God answers every prayer, but not always with a “yes.” In relation to his promises, God will not say “no” to those who are faithful, but he might say “wait longer.” As you will later see in Judges, that is precisely God's answer in this instance. Cling to God's promises and remain faithful. (Hebrews 10:36)

Whoever said that the way God does things needs to make sense to us? His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Our failure is never his failure. We need to always keep in mind that what may appear as a disaster to us could be part of the masterpiece of God's plan.

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Judges 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 28, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

After writing on the book of Habakkuk for the last few months and seeing how it applies to life in our culture today, Worldview Warriors is now digging into the book of Judges. But why should we study this big old Testament book?

First off, it’s important to define what a judge is in the context of this book. We think of a judge today as that person presiding over a courtroom, who listens to all the arguments and hands down a sentence on the accused. That is not what a judge is in the Biblical book of Judges. In this context, a judge is a military leader. A judge was to lead the people of Israel as they followed God’s will for them and conquered the land promised to them. A judge of that day was more like a combination of president and military commander today than a courtroom-style judge.

A judge can also be seen as a type or model of Christ. Jesus Christ is our ultimate deliverer, rescuing us from death as the penalty we deserve for our sin. A judge was a temporary deliverer, sent to save the people from whatever enemy was before them. We can look at the judges and see Jesus Christ in their stories.

So what’s the deal with the book of Judges? It’s the history of God’s people, the people of Israel. I was never a big fan of history class in school, but I recognize that history is important to study. We can celebrate the victories that we have had as a people, but also if we don’t know the mistakes that we have committed then we’re doomed to repeat them again. The book of judges tells many stories of times that God’s people were obedient to Him and were blessed for it, as well as many times when God’s people were disobedient to Him and were curse for it. These same principles still apply today, and we would be wise to take them to heart.

As I’ve said many times before, context is extremely important when studying any Biblical book. Judges is a historical book that links the books of Joshua and 1 Samuel. It covers the time period from Joshua’s day until the monarchy of Israel, when they first had a king. Judges also sets up the context for the book of Ruth.

Under the rule of Joshua (who led the people after Moses), Israel had conquered and divided up the promised land. However, occupying the land wasn’t so easy. In Judges, we see many battles that Israel engaged in, to take over the land that God had given them. In Israel’s case, the spiritual condition of the people (whether they were obeying or disobeying God) determined their political situation. When they followed God, he allowed them to conquer the other nations in their land and be delivered from oppression. When they turned against God and away from following Him, God would allow them to be oppressed by other nations.

So with all that context understood now, what happens in the first chapter of this book? The first thing they do in Judges 1:1-2 is to ask God to show them who should be in charge: “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, ‘Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?’ The Lord answered, ‘Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.’” Their leader Joshua had died, so they needed a new leader. The people of Judah being in charge was the first step in this process. The people of Israel here are those who had obeyed God and conquered the Promised Land.

I encourage you to go read the whole chapter of Judges 1, as it tells of a variety of successes and failures of the Israelite tribes in battles. In this section, we see the tribes addressed individually rather than the nation as a whole. There are many details given in this chapter - too many to discuss in just a short blog post - but they are all important in showing how Israel succeeded at times and failed at other times.

Just because Israel was God’s chosen people didn’t mean that they always had happy times. Similarly, being a follower of Jesus Christ today doesn’t mean that your life will always be great and happy. Just as the people of Israel did, we all go through times where we do better or worse at following God’s commands in our lives.

Join with us in this journey through the book of Judges, and find yourself in these stories.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Love: Do We Really Understand It?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, March 27, 2016 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

Quick note from Jason:
What an amazing ride this Worldview Warriors journey has been for those of us involved with the ministry. I’d like to say thanks to everyone involved with this ministry on a daily and weekly basis over the years. I’d also like to say thank you to those of you involved through reading and using our resources, attending an event, and even contacting us directly. I also thank you to those of us who pray and financially support this ministry. You see, today is our 1,000th blog post for Worldview Warriors. Personally, I am just shocked. When we started this back in 2006 we didn’t know if we’d still be around, so thank you for your support and encouragement. You are greatly appreciated.

We serve an amazing God. What a gracious, loving, and powerful God we serve. He truly is almighty! On this Resurrection Sunday, I’d like to remind us that our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, defeated physical, mental, and spiritual death. He not only loves us so much to give us this amazing gift but He also is the only able to do this. Think about that for a moment. This Being is not only the Creator of all the living, but is also the Creator of things unseen. He’s the Creator of rocks, dirt, and dust. He’s the Creator of all of the “systems” we see in nature:

• Photosynthesis. Almighty God created this system.
• Cells that replicate. Almighty God created this to happen.
• Oil, coal, and even Precious Gems form. Almighty God Created that to happen.
• Babies are formed in their momma’s womb. Almighty God is the one who designed a woman’s body to do this.
• We humans want to have relationships and desire to be with others. Almighty God created this.

Friends, without this Almighty God, you and I wouldn’t even exist, let alone be able to have the opportunity to have a relationship with Him. You see, Resurrection Sunday exists because, in the incredible wisdom of this amazing God of the Universe, He knew we would desire to go our own way and not want to follow His incredible wisdom and knowledge. He knew that we as a human race would turn our backs against Him. The thing is though, He loved us. Before you and I were even born, He already loved us.

Since He knew this, he knew He needed to have a plan in order to bring us back into a right relationship with Himself. That’s how much He loves the human race, each one of us. So, He had a plan set into place. That plan? Natural law that He put into place. Bear with me for a moment and just think about this. By making a creation that was stable and steady and predictable, He was able to give we humans an amazing gift. That gift is the negative consequences to bad decisions and sinful actions, and benefits to good decisions and righteous actions. You see, too many of us seem to have forgotten this gift and too many times pray for God to take away these natural consequences that He’s put into place, even though He’s put them into place for our own good and education. Here are a couple examples to ponder:

• Drinking too much alcohol and praying for God to take away a hangover that you deserve.
• Having sex outside of the bonds of marriage and praying for a pregnancy not to happen, even though that is the natural law of the act.
• Asking God to supply one’s financial needs even when a person has gone into massive debt or has not worked for it. The natural law of this is if you do not work, you shall not eat. Also let us not forget, the borrower is slave to the lender.
• If a parent chooses not to discipline their child when they are young in order to teach good and right ways, do not be shocked when the natural law kicks in of rebellion in the teenage years.

Living out the Kingdom of God in this world really is a process. In my humble opinion, it is a bunch of if/then statements. For example:

• If someone chooses not to work in this world, then they will not eat or have shelter.
• If someone has sex outside of the bonds of marriage, then they will be bringing on the possibility of undue hardship onto their life and family.
• If a child chooses not to honor and obey his/her parents, then they will eventually bring dishonor onto themselves.
• If a husband and wife choose not to honor one another, then don’t be shocked when your children do not honor you.
• If you choose to start using powerful addicting drugs, then don’t complain when you start losing everything you know in your life.
• If you go into debt, then be prepared for worry and anxiety to take over your mind.
• If you choose to spend only what you make, then be prepared to not have now, but more than likely to have more later.
• If you give to others without expecting things in return, then people will know you as a giver and a loving person and will be apt to help you more later.
• If you live out being a person of good godly character and integrity, then you will not worry about what people say or think about you because your actions will eventually be known to everyone.
• If you and your spouse are faithful to one another, then you will save yourselves a ton of heartache and be an amazing witness and encouragement to others.

I could go on and on, but this is only the “tip of the iceberg” if you will. You see, ultimately this is all about Jesus Christ. You remember? The Creator of the Universe; the Savior of the world who wants and desires to be the Lord of your life. This day is so important because Almighty God is completely consistent! He needed to defeat death because we chose to go against Him. This is ultimate love. God lovingly made the way back into a right relationship with Him. That way? The only way?

Well, it’s Jesus Christ. The good news is that Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, came to earth in the form of a human baby. He lived His life here on earth without ever sinning against the Father. He went to the cross for you and for me and then died. Three days later, he defeated death and rose from the dead! He was here physically, mentally, and spiritually and defeated death! Think about that. Because of the one, the only, Almighty God, you and I can now choose to accept this free gift of eternal life and live on this planet, living for God and living out His ways. What incredible love!!!

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Why is it Important to Wait for Marriage to Have Sex?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 26, 2016 2 comments

by Nathan Buck

Let me first say that there are plenty of people who will tell you why you should ‘play the field’ and experiment with sex. There are also plenty of people who will tell their story of waiting, having a bad sexual experience or a broken marriage, and then saying you shouldn't wait because they wished they hadn't. So, if opinion and other people's experiences are the only criteria you are going to use, then anything I say here won't matter. Anyone can justify why they decided to give up the gift of their virginity, and of course it makes them feel better if you join the crowd and do the same. 

But if you are serious about this question, I want to encourage you to read all the blog posts this week on this question. And in this post, I want to deal with one important aspect of this question - giving into your desires/flesh. 

Read the book of Galatians - especially look into 5:17-19 and 6:8 (and the context). There is a simple concept being expressed here. The flesh takes the path of least resistance. Once our flesh learns it can act a particular way, it continues to crave that activity. And if it has learned to ignore any boundaries with that activity, then our flesh will desire that activity anywhere and with anyone it can experience it with. That is why Paul - the writer of Galatians - says that sowing into (following the path of) the flesh leads to destruction. 

Romans 8:8 says that it if we live according to the flesh, we cannot praise God. We cannot remember, celebrate, and trust Him.

I waited until I was married to have intercourse. So did my wife. Our relationship and intimacy are awesome! This is mainly because we have trained our bodies to find the satisfaction for our flesh through the Spirit of God first, which means we trained our flesh to understand that there is only one relationship, one commitment, and one unique place where this level of intimacy happens. Because we did that, we are able to set aside thoughts and lust and distractions that we may have in regard to other people who may be attractive to us. The flesh doesn't care about moral boundaries, but because we trained it properly to understand the purpose of sex is to consummate a marriage, we are able to more easily honor God and each other with our sexuality.

The opposite is true for those who have sex outside of marriage. Even if you try to create a moral boundary other than marriage (‘we're exclusive,’ ‘gonna get married someday,’ ‘really love them,’ etc.), they cannot stand up to the temptation. Removing sex from its intended context and placing in a false boundary is useless - our mind and spirit know it, and so does our flesh. There is no staying power and no faithfulness in false boundaries for sex. 

As I shared, this is only one piece of the answer to this question. So, read the other blog posts. In the mean time, consider whether you want a healthy sex life and a faithful partnership with your spouse. And most of all, do you want to be blessed in that relationship and the depth of that intimacy? Then honor God with your body, train it toward His purposes, and you will experience the favor and goodness of that tremendous gift called sex. 

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Gift of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 25, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Last week I talked about penalty, the wages of sin. It seems like a hopeless situation because every person is guilty of breaking God’s Laws. Every person has rebelled against God, wanting to do their own thing, their own way. It’s treachery. We executed Benedict Arnold for much less, yet we try to excuse ourselves when it comes to God’s standards. Why? Because we do not take sin seriously. We don’t see it as a big deal, yet the Judge does. We have no regard to the criminal in our justice system that seems to not care about our laws. We usually want them to get the max penalty when they show absolutely no remorse for what they did and just want to get off the hook. Yet how often do we do the exact same thing when we are the ones facing God?

The Judge of all things is going to bring what is due, but he loves us so much that he does not want us to endure that. Bill Seng recently wrote about God’s love, how he will go and fight for us. We have to remember we have an accuser who acts as a district attorney. Remember that Satan was cast out of heaven for his rebellion and is doomed to hell with no chance for redemption. So he accuses us when we sin because if God is holy, pure, and just, he MUST punish sin.

But if for no other reason other than to smack the devil upside the head (there are more), God said, “Watch what I’m about to do.” He sent Jesus to this earth to live as one of us and to take the penalty we are due. God’s justice was satisfied and man had an escape route. But too many people stop with the good news right there. Take the time to watch this Gospel presentation by Eric Ludy.

Too often people settle for just “get out of hell.” After all, nothing else matters, right? Get to heaven for eternal life and anything else is extra details, right? If that is the mentality, I do believe we have missed the point of Christianity. It is so much more. This mentality is just a “get out of hell free” card and that is not what Jesus died for. It is part of the picture, but not the whole picture.

Jesus died to deal with the problem of sin. For the very reason he had to come to begin with: the separation between us and God. He died so we no longer have to deal with our sin. If we have the picture of salvation being just getting out of hell, what separates that from selfishly getting whatever you want for free? That mentality is humanism dressed in religious terminology. Salvation is not about what we can get out of it. It is about what God did for us. It is about God, not about us. We are the reward the Lamb slain deserves.

If we are saved, that means we are born again. We have a new nature, new desires, new goals. What we enjoyed in our sin no longer should be enjoyable. If it is, we should examine ourselves and find out if our claimed salvation is legit. I am not saying we won’t sin. We still will sin. We may still struggle in sin. But we shouldn’t. I have things I struggle with and have for decades and I hate it. I hate that I am, but that sinful old-self keeps lingering trying to get more and more of it. Am I saved? This I know. My salvation has nothing to do with a confession of faith I made. It has nothing to do with the sincerity of a prayer I said. It has everything to do with what Jesus did and I depend on him every day for what I do. And when I don’t, that is when sin gets the open door.

Is salvation real? Or is it just a religious claim we make? Do we just believe it? Or are we living it? This is a free gift to us in the sense that we can do nothing to earn it. But it is not without a cost. Our salvation cost the Son of God his life. And if we are to participate in this free gift, we need to lay down our life as well. This does not earn it like a job earns wages, like our sin earns us death.

This gift must be received. It is a New Covenant. But in order for the New Covenant to be activated, we must die to the Old Covenant: the law of sin and death. We must put sin to death, nail it on the cross. Again it is not something we do to earn salvation, which means it is not works-based. Laying your sins down at the cross never does the work of salvation; it is Christ who did that. Read 1 Corinthians 15. If we, by faith, die in Christ as he died, then as he rose from the dead, so shall we. Jesus had to die physically and spiritually. Likewise, we need to die physically and spiritually. But like Christ, if we have our complete trust in him, as he rose physically and spiritually, so shall we rise. Our spirit was raised the moment of salvation, the moment we were born again as Jesus laid out in John 3. We still will die physically, however because of our faith in Christ, we will raise again, with incorruptible bodies that await the New Earth.

However, if we do not accept the gift, if we do reject God’s offer and still insist on living our own ways, then this gift will not apply to us. We will still be under the law of sin and death and we will face the judgment under that law instead of the law of grace, with a defense attorney in Christ. Jesus bought us with a price beyond what any of us can imagine. If we snuff our noses at him, and give him the finger, should we expect mercy when it comes to Judgment Day?

I opened last week’s post with Genesis. Adam and Eve had two choices: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. One tree led to life; the other tree led to death. Adam and Eve chose death. But now the choice has been offered again. Life or death? Death to the lifestyle leading to death and entrance to eternity in intimate relationship with Christ? Or continual living our own way, doing our own thing, and being responsible for our choices alone? The choice is yours. I have chosen life. It’s not easy, it’s not always fun, but it is worth it, because I know where this path leads, and I know where the alternatives lead as well. Which path are you on? Choose life.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


In Adam All Die, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 24, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

This will conclude our series on death and the resurrection. This is part three in a short series written to answer a theistic evolutionist’s question: If death is a consequence of sin, why do Christians still die? If you’ve not read the other two parts to this series here and here, please do so. I feel this is one of the most important topics for a Christian as it is what our entire faith is built on—the resurrection after the death of Christ.

In theistic evolutionism (and probably some forms of old earth creationism), death cannot be accepted as a penalty for sin. It would upset their entire story line. In fact, creationists focus on life and love while evolutionists focus on death and struggle. They could not be more opposed. But Paul tells us that death is the last enemy to be destroyed by Christ in 1 Corinthians 15. To suggest death is an enemy that needs to be destroyed makes me feel like it’s not part of the natural, original order God created. I wonder if the theistic evolutionist feels sin is part of the created order—that God made us to sin and that’s why we do it. It would follow based on their line of reasoning.

Getting back to Paul, he tells us that our corruptible bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom. We must put on the incorruptible, i.e. our resurrection bodies. At the time of the Paul’s writings, it’s likely most of the pagan societies (and maybe the Jews as well) were repulsed by the thought of a resurrection. They most likely believed, like the picture that theistic evolutionist Tyler has included for us in asking this question (here), that a resurrected body was a reanimated corpse—a zombie. There were several resuscitations in Scripture that were simply putting the soul back into the body. These people all still died again. But Christ’s resurrected body was very different—it underwent a transformation and He cannot ever die again. This transformation separates His resurrection from all others before Him and marks the beginning of the time when God starts the renewal of all things.

In this chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is constantly using the first 3 chapters of Genesis as the foundation for his argument for the resurrection. In light of this, the resurrection only makes sense if we read Genesis 1-3 as an historical account. Otherwise, Christ died for an idea rather than to pay the price for an act that actually occurred. Paul talks of Adam and the Last Adam—Christ—and relates each as a head of humanity. One is the head that brought sin and death to us all, while the other brings eternal life to all who are under Him. Notice that nowhere here does Paul indicate that non-believers will receive this resurrected body. Only believers will acquire this because only believers will live in paradise forever with our Lord. In other words, death will signal eternal destruction for the unbeliever and eternal life for the believer. So Paul uses this entire chapter as a way to describe creation, the Fall and Adam’s role in it, and how Christ is the starting point for a renewal of creation with humanity as its focus. We see the awesome contrast in that Adam brought sin and death, and Christ brings resurrection! Praise Jesus Christ for that! But if Adam was a mythical person that never existed, how could Christ be any different? The entire case rests on an historical Adam that brought death and sin to us all and that Christ, the Last Adam, made a way out for us—we can live eternally with Him. It all rests on the fact that Adam was real and did something real, and Christ is real and did something real.

So why do Christians still die? “By separating it [death] and drawing special attention to it, emphasis is placed on the fact that the reign of Christ is not complete until death is conquered.” –Scott Lewis. Paul’s argument is that the resurrection of Christ and eventually of believers is what constitutes the defeat of death. So the resurrection of believers will serve to complete Christ’s defeat of death; the logical result of which is “the end will come” with Christ’s complete victory over every enemy of God’s rule, and that Christ will transfer dominion to God the Father.

So death will be defeated as the Word clearly tells us. This truth is wrapped up in the fact that Christ died for our sin and rose again—defeating death and initiating resurrected life. Death reigns in this fallen world. We know this to be true because the Bible says it’s the case. Tyler says we can’t die, if death is the result of sin, if we never sin. But, again, a study of the Scriptures tells us something else. In Romans 5:14 we read: “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.” Death reigns because sin entered the world through Adam. And just a few verses later in Romans 5:19 we read, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” And in 1 Corinthians 15:21 we read, “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.” How many times must Paul say this for it to be true? Tyler has stated he feels it’s unfair for God to bring judgment on all mankind simply because Adam ate an apple (or something like this). But it’s pretty clear right here this is exactly what has happened. If what Tyler suggests is true (that one act wouldn’t bring judgment on us all), then doesn’t it also mean one act of righteousness (Jesus dying on the cross and rising again 3 days later) would not lead to salvation for all who would receive it? He wants it both ways.

Tyler uses Romans 7:9-10 to demonstrate his point. It's never good when he uses Scripture to defend his position because he really doesn't seem clear on what the Word of God tells us. It reads, “Before I knew about the Law, I was alive. But as soon as I heard that command, sin came to life, and I died.” He focuses on the “…and I died” portion of this to show us that Paul couldn't have meant he died physically right then. He fails to connect this, however, to the beginning of verse 9: “Before I knew about the Law, I was alive.” Does this mean Paul had no sin and therefore would inherit eternal life if he'd died prior to his knowledge of sin? Of course not. A couple of commentary references here and we'll move on. The Benson Commentary explains that Paul's virtue and strength died away—former persuasions vanished. Basically, he saw myself to be dead in sin, in a state of condemnation, and liable to death eternal. The Barnes' Notes on the Bible says, “Perhaps no words would better express the humble, subdued, melancholy, and helpless state of a converted sinner than the expressive phrase ‘I died.’” Paul was destroyed emotionally because he was made all too aware that the Law and his keeping of it (or failure to do so) was not a means to life but only highlighted his sinful state and the end result—death both physical and eternal.

Another interesting point to mention before we close this thing out is that not all Christians will die! 1 Corinthians 15:51 says, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…” This isn’t just some cute saying to put on your nursery wall at church; it’s a reference to the second coming. And just a bit later it tells us, “…the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This theistic evolutionist needs to read the Bible a little bit more. How does he make sense of any of this with his stated theology? This is the most amazing piece to the Christian faith and he’s missed it completely.

We leave Christianity half taught quite frequently these days. We see huge churches with celebrity status pastors who preach about getting out of hell. They teach us that Jesus accepts us the way we are and He loves us in spite of our sin. They teach that if we accept Him, all is forgiven. This stuff is essentially all true, but this is the end of the sermon. This is the depth of their message. This results in apathy towards seeking holiness. It leaves out the part about living today in victory and in the power and Spirit of the living God. This creates a wishy-washy Christian that doesn’t look any different than the world, i.e. a Christian that isn’t Christ like at all. Praise God we can live today—Christ in us! That’s the power of the Resurrection and why death is and will be destroyed. Celebrate Easter this year by taking some time to muse over what the Resurrection really means to believers... and then praise Him!

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Knowing God's Purpose for Sex

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” ~Genesis 4:1

Fornication is any sort of sexual intercourse that takes place outside of marriage. This includes premarital sex. Fornication is mentioned over 30 times in the Bible (though it’s a word mostly used in older versions like the King James Version) and is never mentioned in either a casual or positive manner. The reason for this is simple: it devalues the sacred bond of sex.

Genesis 4:1 is the first time that it is mentioned that Adam and Eve shared in any sort of intercourse.  Although it is immediately following the Fall, we must assume the way that it is described sets the standard for what sex is all about. Take note that Eve was already given to Adam by God himself (Genesis 2:22) and they were commanded to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). The word that indicates that Adam and Eve had sex is a Hebrew word which means “to know.” It is commonly used throughout the Old Testament to indicate that intercourse took place. This should already hint to the reader that sex is not to be a casual or noncommittal bond.

One might argue that the spiritual bond is what unites a man and a woman, thus sex is acceptable so long as that exists. I argue that the spiritual bond cannot exist in purity unless it is acknowledged by a community, as a communal recognition of marriage was required in the Old Testament. This acknowledgment was so revered that the king of Egypt trembled in fear after being informed that he had unwittingly taken another man's wife to be his own (Genesis 12:18). Perhaps the reason for this communal acknowledgment is for the sake of accountability and to help encourage the couple to fulfill their marital vows. Nonetheless, it must be acknowledged and honored by others or it is not a pure relationship that honors God.

Sex is to be first and foremost honoring to God. How does this relate to premarital sex? According to God's plan, all things have an appropriate time. It is written that when Jesus returns he will take away the church as his bride (Matthew 25:10). Following Christ's “marriage” to the church, believers will experience all of the joys that come with being in God's presence. Sex, in an earthly sense, is supposed to be representative of that joy. To squander it before its time is right is like trying to tell God that your plan is better than his. Also, the Old Testament likens the worship of false gods to fornication (Ezekiel 16). All around, premarital sex dishonors God.

In a secular sense, then, there should be no problem or reason to prohibit premarital sex. The reasons I outlined are purely religious, and rightly so. There are scientific reasons for why sex should be saved for marriage, but the scientific repercussions of breaking this order are merely symptomatic of a larger problem, namely that of sin. In fact, most people who are truly rooted in secular ideology embrace the fact that they can sleep with whoever they want, whenever they want, and get away with pretending that they feel no guilt, and that they are somehow better than you for doing so. God’s plan is the most satisfying. He will reward those who honor his plan for sex and marriage.

Like the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God is not prohibiting anyone from experiencing a wonderful joy by prohibiting premarital sex. He is instead trying to prevent us from opening a Pandora’s box of shame and sin, and repeat it. His plan for sex is what’s best and is both statistically and scientifically proven to be what works best for the human race. He designed us, he knows how we operate, and he knows how to ensure the maximum level of pleasure. Furthermore, when sex is practiced in the context of marriage, it honors God and serves as a reminder that the greatest joys of eternity are yet to come.


What is the Importance of Abstaining from Sex until I’m Married?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 21, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

One of the questions that we at Worldview Warriors are often asked is, “What is the importance of abstaining from sex until I’m married?” Last week we finished up our writings on the book of Habakkuk, so before we start writing on Judges next week we’ll answer this question.

I can give a variety of simple answers to this question, such as that abstinence prevents pregnancy that you may not be ready for, and that it prevents sexually transmitted diseases. There are also Biblical answers, some of which I covered in a blog post a few years ago titled What is Fornication? I encourage you to read that post for more on this.

But the real root of this question is who or what you have as the authority in your life. If you are following the world’s ways, then it’s likely the fear of negative consequences (unexpected pregnancy or STDs) that will guide this decision in your life. But if you are trying to follow God’s ways in your life, the answer is to honor God.

As we wrote about a few weeks ago when we looked at how far is too far to go sexually with your boyfriend or girlfriend, if you’re even asking the question then you’ve likely already gone too far. If you’ve even thought about going farther in a desiring way, you have already sinned.

God created and defined marriage in Genesis 2:20-24. For more on what marriage is, check out “What Is Marriage? God and the Church” and “What is Marriage? One Man and One Woman.” The most important thing to note is that God specifically designed sexual intercourse for the marriage relationship, where two people become one flesh. If you have sex before you’re married (whether just once or multiple times), then you have sex with your spouse, how many fleshes have just joined together? Definitely more than two have become one, because of the way that God has created sex to work.

We honor God with our lives when we follow the guidelines that He has established, which really are based in our well being. We honor God with our body by not sinning sexually. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:13b, “The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Are you seeking to follow the world’s ways? if so, you can do whatever you want, but you should expect that there will be negative consequences when you go against God’s natural law. If you are seeking to honor God and follow His ways, one way you can show that with your actions is to honor your body and not sin sexually. God created sex to be a wonderful thing, when it stays within His guideline of a marriage relationship. It is important to abstain from sex until marriage, because by doing so you are honoring the God who created you.

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Where Does My Help Come From?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, March 20, 2016 0 comments

by Ami Samuels

My family and I moved from my hometown 14 years ago. There I had had my mom and dad, my sister and her family, aunts, uncles, and friends. I also had a wonderful church family that was supportive. Since moving away I have had this nagging thought in the back of my mind: “But I don’t have anyone to help me.”

Many times I had no one to turn to or ask for help. I had two young children and my husband worked long hours. I became a person who wasn’t moving forward in life or ministry. I was in survival mode. I did what I had to do to survive the day. I had ideas but I didn’t move forward because the thought, “I have no one to help me” paralyzed me from moving forward.

In John 5:3-9 it says:

“Jesus comes upon a great number of disabled people who want to be healed–the blind, the lame and the paralyzed.
One who was there had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?
‘Sir, the invalid replied, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’
Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”

I heard a teaching on this were the speaker said that in 38 years she could have wiggled and scooted her way into that pool. Then she said, “How badly do you want to get well?”

How many times had I stifled an idea because I had no one to help me? That day I realized that I have Jesus! I don’t always need people’s help if I step out in faith and follow Jesus.

If Jesus is all you have, you have all you need!

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And Justice For All (Part 6)

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 19, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Last week I asked if you were willing to go where God needs to take you in order to let Him heal or restore you. The question stands for us as a nation and as the human race. Will we let God dig as deep as He needs to, no matter how difficult? What should be our attitude as we experience the process that MUST happen to get where we've asked God to take us?

Read Habakkuk 3:11-19. Habakkuk begged God for justice, and God showed him what it would take to get there. After wrestling with God, and getting over the shock of what is about to happen, Habakkuk has remembered how God has been faithful before and chooses to trust Him now. He is terrified by the power of God and the thought that the entire economy could be destroyed, and yet he chooses to trust.

Habakkuk shows his trust, by praising God - celebrating when God has been faithful before, when He has rescued before. It is this attitude of praise that demonstrates the difference between those who believe God, and those who just want a god who makes things go their way.

What Habakkuk wants costs way more than he anticipated. He learns that God cannot bring accountability for justice in one aspect and ignore injustice in other areas. Habakkuk is confronted with the choice to trust God for justice - whatever the cost - or to 'cancel' his request because it will interfere with his expectations and comfort. It is how we respond to this choice in our own lives that demonstrates whether we are truly a follower of God. This is when we decide if God is more than a vending machine for our wants. This is where the rubber meets the road in our faith.

So what about you? Have you considered the cost of what you are asking God for? Will you trust God for His best in your life, even in the challenging times, or when it's not what you expect? More importantly, will you intentionally praise God - intentionally remember and speak about His goodness - even when the path he has you on is unraveling your carefully guarded lifestyle?

Our nation is seeing an economy that is struggling, terrorism on the rise, and political corruption at all time high levels. Since this is an election year, I need to ask: Will your choice to trust God be reflected even in your vote for president? If you truly believe the answer to that is "yes," then you will not allow your vote to simply be for the lesser of two evils.

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The Wages of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 18, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Easter is right upon us so this week and next week I want to emphasize this verse. Today, I will address the first half of this verse: the wages of sin is death. Then next week, on Good Friday, I will have a post on the free gift of eternal life.

Today’s post is not a pleasant one, nor it is a politically correct one. As we are preparing to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we need to understand why he came to begin with. If you have followed my posts for Worldview Warriors for a while, you have heard me reference the origins debate between Biblical Creation and Evolution a fair amount. I do that for a reason. If Genesis is not historical truth as written, then the entire Gospel is built upon a myth and cannot actually be lived. Can one believe an Old Earth and live a true Christianity? Sure, but their belief in an Old Earth is irrelevant to the fact that Genesis records the actual history of the origins of universe and mankind.

In Genesis 3, we have the first mention of death. God had previously warned Adam and Eve that if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would die. They did eat of the tree. For Eve, she was tricked. For Adam, however, it was outright rebellion against God’s commands. We need to understand what sin really is. Sin is not a mistake. It is not a boo-boo. It is not a ‘misjudgment’. It is not an error. Sin is disobedience. It is rebellion. As C.S. Lewis more accurately put it in Narnia, it is treachery. And God made very clear that the due payment for such deeds is death.

But Adam and Eve did not die that day. Did God lie or fail to carry through on his promise? This is a major charge against God himself as this violates his character. There is a part of Genesis 3 often missed. Someone DID die that day - it was an animal. God killed the animal to provide clothing for Adam and Eve. This is the very first picture of the Gospel in the Bible. In order for man to survive the just penalty for sin, someone had to die in their place. Now animals cannot complete the picture, because man is not an animal. It took a man to fulfill this picture: Jesus Christ.

Adam and Eve’s sin brought death into the world. Both were evicted from the Garden of Eden, particularly access to the Tree of Life lest they eat of it and live forever. That is actually a blessing, a mercy by God. Because if they had eaten of the Tree of Life in their sinful state, they would live forever in that sinful state: eternally separated from God and eternally cursed. The only way to escape that curse is through death.

Why can’t there be any other way? Jesus himself asked if there be any other way when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Eastern cultures think of bonding agreements in terms of covenants. It’s different than our Western thinking of contracts. Because God is eternal, he makes everlasting covenants that last from generation to generation. We can boil down the covenants to two simple statements: Obedience leads to life, disobedience leads to death. God is not a brutal dictator, but he is a pure, holy, and just God.

Our problem is that we flat out do not take sin seriously. I know I don’t, or certainly not as serious as I should. God is loving and merciful. Do not get me wrong. But how often do we go do what we want to do and think, “God will forgive me anyway because his love and grace is greater than my sin.” It is true that God’s grace exceeds our sin, but that does not give us a right to continue in it.

Sin is rebellion against God. Many of us think of the Big 10, also known as the 10 Commandments. Yes breaking those are sins. Those are a big summary of the whole Law, enough that God had Moses place them in the Ark of the Covenant. But sin can be simplified even more than just breaking one of these Ten. What I have learned in my studying of the Bible, sin in a very simple, one-statement nutshell is this: “I want to do things my way.” Twice Proverbs says “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” The main theme of the book of Judges is, “Each man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Every time man has tried to do his own thing, it never ends well in the long run. It may seem just fine for a time, but going against God’s ways will eat away at you. We look for our fixes to our problems and while they can mask them, it never makes them go away. And that fix becomes less and less effective so we try to find something stronger. It is a continual spiral towards death and destruction.

It is not just that. Romans 1 makes clear that there are often times that sinful lifestyles are not merely a direct choice but a judgment from earlier choices. If we reject God’s ways long enough, he will give us the desires of our heart: to live without his guidance. If we refuse to listen to God’s guidance, he has no obligation to protect us. He will hand us over to the way we want to live. The culture we have today is a result of the sins of the generation before us, however the generation we have today is doing even worse sins than the generation before us. We are living in judgment and in reality it is only a matter of time before God’s cup of wrath for America is filled.

Are we taking sin seriously enough? It is obvious our nation is not. We flaunt our sin, boast about our immorality, and are shaking our fists at God, daring him to bring the final judgment. How foolish to dare God to bring his judgment? The same people that whine and complain about how God wiped out civilizations with a Flood, with the conquest of Canaan, and killed people on the spot for their sin are daring God to do the same to them. It will not be pretty when that day comes… and it will come.

But hope is not lost. While the wages of sin is death, God holds his wrath back as long as he can because he does not want to see us perish. He offered us a way to escape the ultimate judgment. I will write about that next week.

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In Adam All Die, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 17, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here and the next one is here.]

We started to look at death vs resurrection life last week as we began to answer for theistic evolutionist Tyler Francke’s question: If physical death is part of the consequences of sin, why do Christians still die? This is Tyler’s third question that he claims is unanswerable if you hold to a Biblical worldview/Biblical creation philosophy. Last week we just started touching on this most important issue for the Christian—the issue of salvation and what it actually means for us.

God pronounced death upon mankind as a result of his sin in the Garden of Eden. We know this meant immediate separation from God—a broken relationship. But we also know, because God said so, that this meant our bodies would age and physically die. God said, after man had rebelled against God, “…By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:17-19). If physical death was not the result of sin, why would God proclaim it as a result of sin? I think we’ve made it fairly clear that man died in Adam because in Adam all sinned. 1 Corinthians 15:20,26 tells us, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive… For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

One point of interest here: death here is mentioned as an enemy. Death is an enemy that Jesus will destroy. Let's consider for a moment that for the theistic evolutionist (and perhaps for some old earth creationists), death is part of God's design. In fact, we know this is what the theistic evolutionist believes because Tyler is one and he says that “...death isn't one of those consequences” of sin. He says, “I believe God appointed that man should die once, not as a punishment, but as an inherent part of the current created order.” So the “current created order” includes death. But we know that the Garden of Eden was perfect and we know that God tells us He will restore us to that perfect place once again where… wait, death reigns? No—but the theistic evolutionist's position is that all these things (i.e., creation and death) are “very good” according to God Himself. Why would He want us to live in paradise with Him and leave out all these wonderful things that He designed for us to enjoy here on earth? That sounds absolutely crazy, doesn't it? To think that God, who is love and light, would design a world of death and sorrow and pain, call it “very good,” and then later put us in a place that He actually does think is very good—heaven—just makes my head spin. This is the theology of humanism as it intertwines with Christianity. That’s so absurd that I wonder who on earth can hold such a position.

So if Jesus did die for our sins, why did He need to do that? Why was death the penalty that God would accept, and why Jesus? Because the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. And because Jesus was without sin—truly a spotless offering, and He was one of us. Animal sacrifice under the Old Testament covenant could not atone for sin forever. Christ, the lamb of God, was perfect and human and died in our place. However, there's so much more! He rose again so that we might have life eternally! How awesome is that! Had Christ not been raised from the dead, our faith would be useless and we would be a pitiful group of people who are still lost in their sins. This is why the Christian does not need to fear death—the enemy and the last one to be destroyed. Our death is the beginning of eternal life found only in Christ Jesus.

I feel like I could just post a great deal of Scripture and be done with it, but then you may think I'm just lazy. But, in all honesty, Romans 8 tells us so much on this topic. Let's take a look:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.... For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

That is mind blowing! We are alive in Christ. Gives you goose bumps, doesn't it? That's the resurrection life! That's why death, for the believer, has been defeated. Oh, how sad it is that Tyler walks through life much like the zombie he has pictured in the blog post we're discussing. Romans 10:9-10 tells us if you confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you’ll be saved. Notice the two parts there—the resurrection is critical to being a follower of Christ!

I'm just afraid theistic evolutionists are missing the entire point. Being saved from hell, which really seems like is all Tyler is interested in, is such a small part of the Christian life. What we don't get is not what I like to focus so much on—although it is very humbling to consider what we deserve and how the Lord Jesus has spared us from this and the life that is not set apart for Him. These things are detestable and horrifying. I hate to think what sort of person I would be if Christ had not filled my heart and changed me. Praise God! He saved me from that! But He also opened up to me a life worth living—a life set apart for Him—a new life of joy and peace, love and light, and service to the Almighty God! Not only do I not get what I deserve, but I get awesome things I never could have imagined and certainly do not deserve. This is the Christian life—service to the King and we can do that because He has defeated death.

Now I'm not sure if Tyler is denying the bodily resurrection of believers. But we can be sure from Scripture, especially 1 Corinthians 15, that there will be a bodily (physical) resurrection of believers. We will not live as spirit beings in the presence of the Lord. We will be given new bodies like the one described in the Gospels that Jesus took on after His resurrection. This is part of the defeat of death—one of the penalties for sin. 1 Corinthians 15:13 tells us if there is no resurrection from the dead, if there is no resurrection of corpses (literally “dead bodies” in the Greek) not even Christ has been raised. That's heavy. If our physical bodies are not resurrected, Christ wasn't either and we have a worthless faith. So this is why Christians don't die! We are raised to life in Christ.

Ugh. There's so much more to say on this and I've just got started and I'm out of space. Next week I plan to conclude this mini series on death and the resurrection—the Thursday before Easter Sunday! Thanks for reading and, remember, pray for the theistic evolutionists you know. This is really important stuff and they need to get it. Be blessed.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Something To Look Forward To

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, March 15, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” ~Habakkuk 3:17-18

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world today. Although many people have turned to the Lord, many people are also rejecting the Gospel and marching us toward a bleak future. As it currently stands, people are struggling enough to find something to bring joy, with the threat of terror, crushing debt, and a government that seems out of control. Is there anything left for which we can praise God in our current situation?

I caught wind of the current #1 song in the nation, "Stressed Out" by 21 Pilots. I was expecting it to be something fun with a good message, but it turned out to be weird and depressing.  It was all about how things were simple and good when we were young, but now everything revolves around making money. This song clearly represents the majority attitude in the United States. Most young people are convinced that this country’s best days are behind it and that we must get used to the normal that is our disparity. The past was wonderful, the present stinks, and the future will be worse. We need not feel so discouraged.

In his despair, Habakkuk realized what truly matters: God is on his throne. I may not get what I want, but God remains worthy of praise.

I just finished speaking with a friend about many of my frustrations, but like a true saint he encouraged me to take heart. Everything that we as believers go through is meant to strengthen our testimony for God's purposes. We can rest assured that God has not forgotten or forsaken his plans. He is working everything out for those who love him. He intends good and not evil for the elect. Even in our sufferings, we can rejoice in knowing that we are instrumental components in God's masterpiece.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Let us not curse God in our times of uncertainty. We can trust him in all of his ways.

Are you facing adversity? Made some mistakes? Crushed by debt, fearful of the future? Fear not and take heart. God is good, all of the time!  He can deliver you from your circumstances in an instant. Sometimes, though, he chooses to let us struggle.

Through our struggles we become stronger in faith. If we were always dealt easy problems to solve we would never come to realize the truth of our frailty. God is the source of our strength. We are nothing.

If you place your trust in material things, I can understand how these would be depressing times. But remember, God is on his throne even now. Our best days are ahead of us. Even if the future holds poverty, persecution, and other hardships, God is still worthy of praise and is still our great reward.

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Habakkuk 3:11-19

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 14, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations. You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding. You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:11-19)

For the past two weeks (here and here), we’ve been looking at Habakkuk’s prayer to God. Today’s passage is the conclusion both of his prayer and of this short book that we’ve been studying. What better way to end it than on the theme of rejoicing in the Lord, even when circumstances appear difficult.

This section of Habakkuk’s prayer starts with God’s created order. The sun and the moon represent that order, and the image of them standing still means that order is disrupted. Arrows and lighting refer to a storm, which is further disruption. Habakkuk uses these images to show how he feels that the world is no longer working right when the people are not following God’s law; it’s as if the sun and the moon no longer appear as moving in the sky as they are supposed to.

Habakkuk brings up God’s prior deliverance of Israel, and he is confident that God will deliver them again and that Israel will once again become powerful. Remember back in Habakkuk 1:2-4 how Habakkuk was pleading with God for deliverance? As the course of this prophetic book goes on, Habakkuk hears God’s responses and remembers God’s power, and he is now confident that God will deliver them. However, he doesn’t express confidence that it will be smooth sailing; Habakkuk knows that the people need to pay for their sins. But deliverance can come in all sorts of forms.

There is a lot of military language in this passage, which shows how God had destroyed and will destroy Israel’s enemies. God had shown His power in delivering the people from Egypt many years before, and God will show His power again by delivering them from the Babylonians. There will be judgment on Israel by the Babylonians, but then God will judge the Babylonians as well.

We see specifically that Habakkuk himself does not expect to be exempt from the effects of God’s judgment. He says in verse 16, “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.” Even if Habakkuk was more righteous than most in Israel, he is still part of the nation and will still suffer the consequences of God’s judgment.

We could pity Habakkuk for this, or make him a victim. But what is Habakkuk’s response? Rejoicing! In verses 18-19 he says, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”

If I had to choose a theme for my current season of life, it would be similar to Habakkuk’s refrain: The joy of the Lord is my strength. Even when life is terrible, I still have the joy of the Lord and nothing can take that away from me. I may forget it at times and need to be reminded, but even in difficult circumstances that may or may not be consequences from my bad choices, I can have joy. The song Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective has recently become my theme song to help remind me of this.

What do you do in your life when your circumstances are difficult? Do you become miserable and consider yourself a victim, or do you rejoice in the Lord? The choice is yours.

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And Justice For All (Part 5)

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 12, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

I remember a few years ago counseling a married couple who had started attending where we pastored. Their marriage was unraveling because of hurts, fears, and unresolved anger that had piled up from long before they were married. We knew they had been seeing a professional counselor, so in an effort to see what we could do, we asked how that went.

The wife looked at me and my wife and said, "Well, it was good at first; we felt like the counselor really cared about us and was willing to help us. But then he kept wanting us to talk about the past. That stuff is painful, and makes it hard for us to be with each other. We wanted him to help us now and fix our marriage, not dredge up the past."

Our hearts sank as we realized the barriers they had built against their own health. By refusing to deal with the past, they were refusing to change their present, and ensuring their pain and baggage would rip their future apart. Not surprisingly, they disengaged from counseling with us too.

In order for any good to come out of a desperate situation, there is often a painful process of purging. Like our bodies fighting against disease, the wound or infection must be dealt with first before healing and health can resume.

Read Habakkuk 3:3-10. For context, be sure to read the previous weeks' blog posts. In this section Habakkuk continues to recount the events of the past when God rescued His people and dealt with their rebellion. It's interesting to me that Habakkuk asks if God was angry with the rivers and the sea as he poetically recounts how God chastised Egypt and even His own people. Maybe this is just a poetic device or artistic portrayal, but it seems as if Habakkuk is asking about the collateral damage in the midst of God's work. While this is not the full focus of the passage, it's worth considering for a moment.

Where is God purging infection, rebellion, selfishness, etc. from you? Are you willing to let God do whatever is necessary to bring you to health? Will you trust that what you may consider collateral damage may be part of the process God uses to heal you and others?

I encourage you, don't do what that married couple did and avoid the healing process. Dig in and let God have total access.

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Proof of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 11, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“Show me proof that God exists.”

This is a very common statement I hear from atheists. They will often also say, “I’d believe in a God if there was any evidence for him.” Many Christians trying to defend their claim actually get stuck on this one more than we’d like to admit. What is really going on with this claim, and can we provide a solid answer for it?

First, we need to understand the motive for such a statement. Rarely, and I mean VERY rarely, is a person saying this actually wanting to know if God actually does exist or not. This is a dare, very similar to how Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Satan told Jesus twice to “prove he was the Son of God” by getting him to make bread out of stones and by showing his glory in front of a massive crowd by throwing himself off the temple mount. How did Jesus respond? With Scripture: “It is written.”

What about us? How should we respond to these claims? First, we need to get down to the heart of the matter. The atheist wants a full out intellectual sparing, but with absolutely no intention of changing his mind. This actually traces back to Greece and Mars Hill where the philosophers would have their debates but it was never about finding truth, but just about having the discussion. Our job as Christians is not to have such discussions but to dig, discern, and reveal the truth. We also need to keep in mind the moral issue. If God exists, then God’s moral standards and his judgment for breaking them also exists. Atheists, like everyone else, want to rule their own lives. That’s the real issue about the sinful nature. It’s “I don’t want to do it God’s way. I want to do it my way.” So even if you did try to prove God exists, there is that moral barrier that needs to be addressed. That is why Ray Comfort, in particular, will make the apologetics very quick and to the point so he can get straight to addressing the moral need for a Savior.

Another issue to deal with is what the atheist will consider as evidence. I can safely say that 999 out of 1000 times, the atheist will be referring to physical, scientific, ‘peer-reviewed’ evidence for God’s existence, as though God would allow himself to be put under the microscope as a lab specimen. That’s really what they want and I believe they know that any “God” that could be put in that scenario is not a True God. They know that a True God is supernatural and is not contained in a physical entity that can be analyzed by science, so they hold science to be their standard so they can rule God out from being a possible answer for their questions.

Why doesn’t God reveal himself physically? I have two answers to this. One: He did, but not in his full glory. He revealed himself in his Son, Jesus Christ. The other reason is he purposes not to merely reveal himself in a physical appearance because people would take that image and make an idol of it. I had always known this but when reading Deuteronomy 4:15-18 it just leapt out to me as plain as day. Idolatry, particularly, the worship of physical idols, has not gone away. The Roman Catholic Church still practices idolatry, though they would never call it that. But it does not take very much to observe them bowing before statues of Mary, Jesus, and other saints. But even then, again, if God physically manifested himself, would it change the atheists’ claims? I would say it would not.

But can we demonstrate that God exists? Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “I’m not even going to try to answer the question.” While the atheist will not be convinced by evidence (I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “Just one piece of evidence would change my mind,” only for it to be a complete lie), our faith is not blind and it can be logically and reasonably defended.

First, we have to understand that there are two types of knowledge: empirical and revelation. Empirical knowledge is what we can find out ourselves, via our experience, science, etc. Revelation knowledge is different, however. Revelation is something that we CANNOT know on our own. Someone has to tell us and we have a choice to believe it or not. Our own life stories are revelation knowledge unless you were there to witness the events, because you cannot test those things very easily. People who just met me would have no idea about my past unless I reveal to them what I was like. The same is true about God. For us to know about God, he would have to reveal himself to us. And he did, in many ways: through Scripture, through Jesus, through his miracles, through his creation, and through us. In fact, Romans 1 makes it clear enough that those who deny God’s existence are without excuse.

But there are still other ways that God has shown himself. Logically, if God truly were to exist, he would have to have certain characteristics in order to be a True God. He’s have to be all-knowing, all-powerful, and be 100% truthful among other things… precisely what the Bible describes him to be.

An easy “test” is this: Does he fulfill what he says? The Bible has over 2500 prophecies, each with specific details. These aren’t generic prophecies that could mean anything. These are specific so when you saw it, you would know it. The Bible has fulfilled over 2000 of them with perfection and the remaining 500 are looking strangely like today’s headlines. This is just one of the reasons many people know the Bible to be true and the God who wrote it is real.

So does God exist? I have to believe he does if for no other reason than he has shown himself to me. But do not fall for the trap that God must prove himself as though we are the judge of him or not. God exists or he doesn’t, and our opinions on the matter do not matter. The truth is God has revealed himself to us, and without him absolutely NOTHING makes any sense. No atheist has been able to provide a better explanation for everything and no other religion can either. God is the truth and as he promised, one day in the not so far future, he will reveal himself physically when Jesus returns and sets his foot on the Mount of Olives. We will acknowledge him and bend our knee to him. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. And if you wait until Judgment Day, it will be too late.

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In Adam All Die

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 10, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next one is here.]

I really enjoyed the study for this week’s blog post. It gives me a chance to further solidify sound doctrine in my own mind and be reminded of things that are essential to Christian doctrine. This week I am hoping to clearly answer a question that Tyler Francke poses in his blog post called “10 Theological Questions no Young-earth Creationist Can Answer.” This is question 3. What I’ve found so far is that the questions are not only not unanswerable, but they’ve been answered by many people for hundreds of years or longer. But it is fun to study up and learn a bit. This week’s question is actually a good one and I’ll give Tyler credit for asking a great question, although we find in the body of his reasoning as to why it’s an unanswerable question that he really is Biblically illiterate and doesn’t want the question answered. Let’s take a look at this question and see what the Word has to say.

“If physical death is part of the punishment for sin, why do Christians still die?” This seems like a legitimate question from our theistic evolutionist today. However, since I know he’s not asking because he’s curious but because he doesn’t understand Scripture and he thinks he’s got the Biblical creationist in some sort of “gotcha” moment, I’m a little too eager, perhaps, to get into it. I don’t think he wants an answer, but I’m happy to give one since he asked. Perhaps you’ve wondered the same thing—honestly and inquisitively rather than with your arms folded and your hips cocked.

In regards to Romans 5:12, Tyler thinks the whole thing is a misunderstanding. He believes “that this passage is talking about something different entirely: spiritual death — which is a pretty common theme in scripture as well.” Well, let’s start by saying that the Bible does talk about “spiritual death” on occasion, but the overwhelming majority of the time death is mentioned, it’s talking about the soul leaving the body, aka physical death. You generally know the meaning by the context. I think the only reason he would suggest spiritual death is the only punishment for sin is that he needs it to be the only punishment for sin. He has accepted humanism and its origins story but wants to be a Christian too. There’s really no other reason I can find anywhere for this. The striking thing here is that Tyler has inadvertently shown us all his lack of understanding of Christianity. He thinks this is simply some young-earth creationist issue. But in asking this question, he’s essentially wiped away 2000 years of apostolic teaching as recorded in the Bible—and that doesn’t have to have anything to do with origins. Christ came to defeat sin and its consequences—separation from God, yes, but also slavery to sin and freedom to live and the defeat of death. This is so intimately connected to the resurrection it’s astounding he doesn’t see this.

So he quotes Romans 5:12 as saying, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” He then goes on to tell us what that means (incorrectly): “It clearly implies that we don’t become capable of physical death until after we sin, which makes absolutely no sense.” He’s partially correct—this makes no sense. The Apostle Paul is pretty thorough in explaining that we all—every last one of us—is born with a sin nature because we all sinned in Adam. It doesn’t say we sin because Adam made it possible.

Adam and Christ are similar (and are compared to each other by Paul) in that they pass on something to all of those that are under them. Adam passed on sin to all mankind. Jesus passes resurrection life on to all those who follow Him. They are two opposing heads of humanity. Adam brought condemnation upon us all—every last one of us. But Christ brings salvation, redemption, and sanctification through His resurrection. It’s not Christ’s death that is so excitedly celebrated on Resurrection Sunday. It’s obviously His resurrection! His death is clearly of importance as it pays the penalty for our sin. But the life that is possible because of His resurrection is of unspeakable importance to humanity. We are dead to sin but we are alive to our heavenly Father! This is important for a couple reasons: 1) we need to understand the hope we have in Christ Jesus in eternal life once we pass on into the next life, but 2) right here and now we need to understand that because of the newness of life through the resurrection, we are free to seek growth and a rich relationship with our Maker. We focus on the forgiveness of sins, which is bought by the blood of Christ, and this is very important. But we’re not dead anymore! We are alive in Christ through the power of His resurrection! I don’t think Tyler gets this, but I hope I’m wrong. The trouble here, then, is this half message results in a shallow, superficial sort of Christian who fails to look different from the world. This is a sickness we see in the Church all over America. Or, we find Christians who actually want to look like the world and makes friends with the world. This is not good. All mankind is, from the mother’s womb, created with a sin nature. We are, therefore, incapable of pleasing Christ or even obeying Him. It’s only by the saving grace of Christ as a result of the call of the Holy Spirit that we can avoid the 3 natured offense we carry from conception—we are born sinners, we live our days filled with acts of sin, and we live an unholy and unproductive life without Christ in us.

This is all part of the result or consequence of sin being heaped on all people through Adam’s rebellion. But praise Jesus Christ we are freed from that HERE AND NOW and not just freed from the second death. Many atheists or skeptics of whatever variety claim Christians are just Christ-followers because they want to avoid hell. Sure, that’s a great thing for my future plans—not going to hell. But the deal is I can experience true life in Christ Jesus right now as I allow Him to work in my life and become more like Him every day. From his writings, perhaps Tyler only feels that getting a ticket to heaven is the only benefit for the Christian. But we know that’s only a piece of the prize!

Tyler explains, “Either Christ’s sacrifice was not sufficient to cover all the consequences of our transgressions… or death just isn’t one of those consequences.” Or death is a consequence of our sin and, as 1 Corinthians 15:26 says, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” This defeat of death is through the resurrection and then death is thrown into the Lake of Fire, according to Revelation 20:14. But, again, he implies that the penalty is for our acts of sin that we commit daily. That’s not really the whole truth. We are born in sin. We live in sin and commit sins. We die in sin if we never find Jesus Christ. This is because in Adam we all sinned. In his statement that says we can’t die until after we sin, that sort of tells me he’s getting at infants and children can’t die. They’ve not sinned—especially a child in the womb. But they do die—millions have died at the hands of abortion clinics around the country. My wife and I had two miscarriages—one before and one after our son Judah was born. It was difficult. We look forward to seeing these children in heaven since, as we are discussing here, death has been defeated. This sort of thing was talked about by Matthew Henry quite some time ago: “In proof of our union with Adam, and our part in his first transgression, observe that sin prevailed in the world for many ages before the giving of the law by Moses. And death reigned in that long time, not only over adults who willfully sinned, but also over multitudes of infants, which shows that they had fallen in Adam under condemnation, and that the sin of Adam extended to all his posterity.” Everyone! That’s the point. It’s pretty straight forward, isn’t it? I’ve run out of space and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of this wonderful thing in Christianity we call the resurrection. As a result, next week we’ll go into some of the implications of the resurrection and how it impacts us as believers and how it truly means death has been defeated. Exciting since we are approaching Resurrection Sunday!

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