3 Challenges That Confront Science

Commercialisation

The biggest challenge science faces is found in money. The old mantra that science follows the evidence is not necessarily correct. A distinction needs to be made between the scientific method and scientific research (where the method is used). Science tends to follow the money. If you can’t get a grant, you can’t do science. To pay for the costly lab you must beg benefactors for funding.

This is problematic because financially powerful interest groups gain control of what research gets funded. If your proposed work supports their purposes, they will fund you, but if not you wont find funding. Some areas of science languish in the disinterest of the money givers. Others are like a feeding frenzy.

The outcome is that certain areas only get explored if funding bodies are interested and that scientists will find themselves biased towards the political ends of their patrons.

Fraud

Like anything where there is money on offer, science research is prone to fraud. Not only is it prone to fraud, but alarms are beginning to sound about an epidemic of fraud. Many commentators are aware of this fraud, but doing something about human greed meeting money is fairly challenging.

While fraud can be motivated by greed for money, it can also be motivated by commitment to a dogma. Numerous fraud. have been used to support a single dogma, for example –

  • Piltdown man hoax
  • Archaeoraptor
  • the peppered moth
  • the Midwife Toad
  • Haeckel’s embryos
  • Ancon sheep
  • the Tasaday Indians
  • Bathybius haeckelii
  • Hesperopithecus (Nebraska Man)—the missing link that turned out to be a pig

Unscientific reasoning

Philosophy has invaded science. Speculation has replaced scientific method. Science uses inductive reasoning. Inductive reason is a structure of reasoning that draws an inference from a range of data based on probability. This is how science works. However, outside of science, there is a speculative type of reasoning called inference to the best explanation. It is un-inductive and therefore unscientific. This reasoning does not follow probability and data to draw inferences but rather speculatively invents plausible explanations and selects the “best explanation” based on its “explanatory power” – however it gets defined. Dogmatic atheists love this reasoning, but it’s not science. They also hold a considerable number of funding bodies hostage to their philosophy. Too bad many “scientific” claims that cause contention are based on this unscientific reasoning.

Conclusion

Science and it’s future a shaped by monetary interests. This motivates fraud and encourages bias towards the dogma of the institutions that give grants. To support various dogma speculation has been used in the name of science. In conclusion we can agree with the scripture which says –

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”
Jeremiah 17:5

Don’t let science be an idol in your heart. Instead trust the truth of God’s word.

The New Religion [Part two]: Persecution

 

The New Religion

As I said in my previous post, there is a New Religion offending the separation of church and state. It has the four essential elements of a religion, which are answers to the following four questions every religion seeks to answer:

  1. who are we?
  2. how did we get here?
  3. what ought we to do while we are here?
  4. who is God?

As it turns out, “Secular” humanism meets all the essential qualifications. It turns out that “secular humanism” is “secular” in name only. Its essential doctrines answer those questions. Secular humanism teaches that (1) & (2) we are “highly” evolved apes [Darwinism, Humanism], which explains who we are and where we came from. It also teaches (3) what we ought to while we are here, which is seek happiness and human advancement [Darwinism, Humanism, Environmentalism, Socialism and Capitalism]. Finally, it answers the question “Who is God?” in some rather lame kinds of ways.  It teaches that since there is no supernatural [atheism], therefore either the most evolved must be God, or the universe [mother nature] or aliens who must have seeded life on earth. Note that the definition of “religion” does not need to include a supernatural “god”, or that would exclude pantheism and animism. These explanations are really just pathetic attempts at reviving logically absurd pantheism, which claims the universe is a “god”. This is logically absurd because it postulates a self caused entity.

Separation of Church and State

The Separation of Church and State, was originally proposed by Christians, who wanted the state to stay out of Church affairs. Throughout history, “secular” authorities imposed religion on Christians as a test of loyalty, or tried to control Christian worship and define Christian faith. The Roman Emperors who burned Christians on stakes, fed them to lions, ants and a multitude of wild beasts for mob entertainment. When Christianity spread so fast that the Roman authorities couldn’t kill them fast enough, one Emperor tried to hijack the church through his “conversion” into and then control of the Church. So began the Church State religion that continued to burn Biblical Christians at the stake during the Reformation. Tired of persecution, some Biblical Christians decided a Separation between Church and State was needed to allow for the free exercise of religion. It seemed to work for a time.

Then came along “secular”(in name only) Humanism. This new state sponsored, media hyped, intellectually elite, politically correct religion answers all four of those questions with its basic doctrines. No longer does the state wish to have an official church, but rather an ideology which replaces church with a new ‘secular’ religion. The institutions of society are now hijacked as places for religious education. In the school classrooms, mainstream media, and university lecture theatres, these doctrines are disseminated for the “non-experts” (laypeople). The Clergy of Academics are kept “pure” of nonconformists, since grant applications by scientists for funding are given special attention if they somehow promote socialism, darwinism or some other humanist rhetorical enterprise. In some cases, outright fraud are used to ensure the lapping up of doctrine by the non-elite devotees.

Not only has it hijacked the state, but it also seeks to attack nonconformists. Think wedding cakes and bakers, gender identification and toilets, evangelism and so on. If you don’t want to participate in gay weddings or gender neutral toilets, you will be fined. If you don’t affirm a doctor’s right to kill unborn babies, you will be marginalised and called a bigoted misogynist. If you don’t believe the doctrine of Darwinism, they’ll call you an idiot and laugh you out of scientific grants till you career grinds to a sudden halt because science is funded by grants. If, however, you dare to think you’re persecuted, you must have the “Evangelical Persecution Complex”. They’ll laugh at you for thinking its wrong to be fined for being faithful to your conscience towards God. The New Religion sponsors attacks of Biblical Christianity and laughs at those who call them out.

A History Lesson

The Roman Problem

If we look back into the last multicultural empire that sought to keep order, we find the Roman Empire. The Roman imperial rulers had territory covering all of the Mediterranean, most of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With this huge territorial expansion, came a complex problem of maintaining unity among the various peoples, languages, religions and cultures as diverse as the Celts of Britain and Gaul, Berber of Africa and the Jews in the Middle East. The Romans were usually “tolerant” of other religions, but desperately needed a way of uniting the Empire behind a common religion. Their solution was the strange practice of Emperor worship. Every person in the empire could worship their own “gods” provided they sprinkled a pinch of incense to an image of Caesar (their emperor) and hailed him and the “gods” of Rome.

The Jews  were exempt, providing they sacrificed daily for the Emperor in their Temple. Rome didn’t need an armed confrontation with the Jews. Also the Jews did not try to spread their religion and therefore weren’t likely to inspire other peoples refuse the worship of the Emperor.

The Christians

There was just one problem. A growing faith, called by their enemies “Christians”, would not sprinkle incense to Caesar. Not only were they unwilling to do this, but they also advocated their message and sought for others to join them in their pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven. Their evangelism was spreading like a wildfire through the Roman Empire.

One letter written by a governor of the region in what is now known as Turkey to the Emperor Trajan, explains the effect Christianity had on pagan worship. According to the Roman Governor of Asia Minor, the temples were nearly empty and the markets that once bustled around the temples, were now neglected.Christianity had almost wiped out Roman and Greek religion in what is now known as Turkey. Writing about 96-87AD, this Governor noted his confusion.

I am very unsure… whether the name [of being a Christian] as such should be punished even if there is no crime, or whether only the crimes attributed [atheism etc] to this name should be punished. Meanwhile I have followed this procedure with those who are denounced to me as Christians. If they confessed I repeated the question a second  and third time and, moreover, under threat of the death penalty. If they persisted I had them led away to their death, for I had no doubt that, whatever it is was they confessed, their stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy certainly deserved to be punished.

After describing his torture of two girls, the Governor then described the impact of Christianity on pagan worship in the province:

For many of all ages, of every rank, and of both sexes are already in danger [of becoming Christian], and many more will come into danger. The contagion of this superstition has spread not only in the cities but even to the villages and to the country districts. Yet I still feel it is possible to check it and set it right. Of this I am sure, that people  are beginning once more to frequent the beautiful temples which have been also deserted, …so that fodder for the animals to be sacrificed, for which until now there was scarcly any demand, is being bought and sold again.

Persecution

Clearly, not only was Christianity seen as a threat to the unity and religion of the empire, but also the economy suffered when the religious sector was hit. Christianity swept through the Roman empire like a broom through a dirty room cleaning out the pagan filth in its wake and the Romans were not happy! Religion has always hated pure faith, and the old religion of Roman paganism was as state building oriented as the New Religion of Secular Humanism has become.

Persecution ensued. Christians were beheaded, burned, fed to wild animals in public places for the amusement of mobs. One essential characteristic of the Roman persecution of Christians involved false accusations of infanticide, orgies and other sins (ironically things openly practised by Romans) yet as the Governor above acknowledged were really known for their love and purity.  The Romans were bent to ensure they kept their imperial authority and unity no matter what evil they had to do.

All this was suffered because the early Christians understood that they could not betray Jesus by giving their loyalty to another. They certainly respected the emperor (Romans 16) but would not worship him (Exodus 20).

Today, we live in a multicultural society, again. As in Rome, society is looking for unity in an increasingly fragile and divided world. Once again, the world is looking for a caesar to worship, something for unity. With the external threat of extremist religion and internal disunity, the world looks like the Roman empire as it sought to throw off the Gothic hoards without and remain united within. The solution to the modern unity problem is the New Religion, forced Secular Humanism. It boldly declares “you can believe what you like, but you can’t talk about it and live it out.” We are in the perfect melting pot for persecution.

There is a way to respond to the New Religion. It is the same response that the early church used, which eventually brought down paganism in the Roman Empire without lifting a sword or shedding the blood of others. The Bible speaks of the “accuser” which means the one who accuses us of wrongdoing simply because of our faith. It tells us how to deal with him.

How do we respond?

We respond in the way the Bible declares:

“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
(Revelation 12:10-11)

 

 

Bibliography and Further Reading

English Standard Version

Eberhard Arnold “The Early Christians in Their Own Words” (1997) (Plough Publishing House)

Bruce Shelley “Church History in Plain English” (1982) (Word Inc)

Why did a loving God create people knowing they would go to hell?

This question seems to really be encompassing two things. First, why a loving God would send people to hell. Second, why God created people he knew would go to hell.

This raises another question, why did our loving God create man, knowing that his own son would have to come to earth and die for them? Why do we think we are owed an answer?

Sadly this question often gets asked by parents, who look at their children and struggle with the idea that God would let their children exist knowing they could go to hell. This is ironic though. Think about it, parents love their children, don’t they! If their child was planned, they chose to have their child out of love. Yet they knew their child would die one day, because everyone will. Did they question their own motives just because they knew their child would one day die and yet chose to have them anyway?

Despite this irony, the question warrants an answer. There are many reasons to give.

We might respond to the question by attacking it’s premise. God is good and love and can send people to hell. We can’t change that. Okay, now repent so you don’t end up there. But there are many good reasons to be given addressing the three issues:
(1) we misunderstand what love is;
(2) we misunderstand God’s character; and
(3) we misunderstand the purpose of hell and the choice of man.

Let’s start by better understanding the “love” that God is.

Love believes all things

When you ask how a “loving God” would do something, you must first ask what is “love”.

The Bible explains what love is very comprehensively and one explanation of love is that “love believes all things”. Love has a certain entrusting nature to it. That is not to say God had a false belief about where we would end up, but it does mean God rightly expected we would be loyal to him because of His love.

God loves people not robots

God knew every outcome possible but God clearly wanted children who would choose to love him. Love is a choice. If we were made without the choice of betraying him or being faithful to him, our love is without choice. Robots don’t love. They just do what they’re programmed to do. People have a choice. Robots don’t. God made people to love because robots can’t choose to love.

He knew everyone would betray him, but he had a plan to save and reconciled them to himself. This way they could love him all the more because “the one who is forgiven much will love much.”

God loves His Glory

We’re not the only ones God loves. He loves us people for sure, but he also loves his glory. In Romans 9:22-24, we learn that God is entitled to make vessels for destruction if it glorifies him. Thankfully, God has offered Heaven to all (Romans 10:13). God loves his glory, as well as people.

God’s character

Fundamental to this question is a misunderstanding of God. God is not only motivated by love, but also a God of perfect justice and perfect mercy. Justice means that God punishes the guilty and expects payment of debts. Mercy means he forgives the guilty and justifies the wrongdoer. God reconciles his justice and mercy through the payment of life made by Jesus on the cross.

When we think of why God created us, much more is going on than only love. God’s glory, justice, truth, mercy, supremacy and so on are all relevant to His creating us.

The Eternal Dignity of God

The gravity of the insult rises with the dignity of the one insulted. If I slapped my brother, I might get one back. If I slapped a policeman, I might end up in jail. If I slapped the prime minister I can expect a longer sentence. However, if I slapped the Queen, I might not be seen for a long time. The Queen’s dignity made my insult more grave. God is of eternal dignity. Our insult is eternally grave.

When we ask why God made people knowing they would go to hell, we are ignoring the plain fact that we deserve hell. In making man, God didn’t make man go to hell. We earned it by choice. God is glorified because in spite of our deserving hell, he has offered us heaven.

Hell was made for the Devil

Hell was made for the devil and his angels. When man joins the devil’s rebellion, he joins the devil’s destiny.

God offers life to everyone

God has offered life to everyone, even that tribe that has never heard the Gospel. In the middle of Africa, a traditional medicine man was seeking the one true God. This man had never seen a white man or heard about Jesus. Isolated in Africa, all he knew was pagan religion. One evening, he fell asleep and God revealed to him in a dream that he was sending him missionaries in a car. He didn’t even know what a car was. Years of faithful waiting later, God fulfilled his promise and the whole village received the Gospel. There are many stories like this. “God …commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

People choose not to be saved

At the end of the day people refuse heaven because they “do not love the truth” and instead “suppress the truth in unrighteousness”. God created man entrusting him with a relationship, but he chose to betray God.

Humans Choose Hell

In choosing to betray God, man has chosen hell.

We shouldn’t question God

Finally, we have good reason to thank God for making us. Why do we question God? He owes us no explanation or account. Yet he lovingly explains so much in the scriptures.

God loves me just the way I am?

God loves sinners so much he gave his only son to die for them to reconcile them to Him (Romans 5:8; John 3:16). This is an undeniable truth.

Someone might ask, “So does this mean that God loves me just the way I am?” In response, let us make three points.

(1) While God loves you “the way you are”, or rather in spite of the way you are, you cannot love him the way you are, because your sin interferes with your relationship. You need to be born again.

(2) God’s love for you caused Jesus to come and die for you to change you. God doesn’t love “the way you are”, He loves you and wants to change the way you are so you can love Him. What we mean is that, God loves sinners and wants to remove their sinfulness to restore their relationship with Him.

(3) God’s love for us is because God is love, not because we deserve love. We humans tend to think worthiness = love.This is human thinking.  God’s love is perfect and stems from his own nature not our deserving of it. He calls us to love the undeserving by loving your enemies, because He loves His enemies.

Living our faith and sharing the Gospel

Many love to quip “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”

Now let me make two crucial points. (1) There is no evidence Saint Francis of Assisi said this (even if he did, it’s not scripture).

(2) “Living out” the gospel is like eating a delicious meal (ie bread of life). Now, eating our delicious meal in front of others is not helpful to the hungry. It makes them want it, sure, but it is also heartless.

At some point we must share our meal with the hungry. And the Bible makes it clear that the meal is shared through words because it is received by “hearing the word” (Romans 10). Jesus clarifies in John 6:63 that “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Another scripture says “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” We know that news is shared by words , whether audible or written. Preaching is the public proclamation of a message.

What role does actions or “living out” the Gospel have then? It is to prove our words. When we share the gospel with words, we need to live it with actions, we demonstrate our truthfulness. If we eat from the same meal as them, they can trust us.

Romans 10:13-17 “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Want to know how to share your faith? try learning the Romans Road.

Miracles

Peter and John were walking past a beggar and when he asked for alms Peter said “I have no silver and gold, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Then Acts 3:11-12 records, “While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?”

Some important points can be made from this response.

“why do you wonder at this,” we shouldn’t think God’s miraculous works unusual, since God is able to do anything we need. The same Jesus who raise the dead, healed the sick and made lame people leap for joy is still at work today.

“why do you stare at us” this is not a spectacle but an opportunity for the Gospel. No need for cameras covering every angle. It’s not about the miracle itself. Instead it’s time to preach the Gospel.

“as though by our own power” the gift of healing is not our own power but God’s. We must acknowledge it’s not us – it’s Him. It’s easy to think Peter declared this miracle by saying “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”, but he denies being the source. It was God working through Peter. The credit doesn’t go to the person used for the miracle but the one God who used that person.

“as though by our own… or piety” it not by piety that this lame beggar was made to walk. Peter doesn’t go showing off his piety saying ‘if you were as pious as me, then you could do such things.’ Remember there are many who come to Jesus saying “Lord, Lord” listing the miracles they did in Jesus name, but Jesus will say “I never knew you”. Miracles do not equal piety in the person used. Rather Peter gives glory to God by preaching Christ crucified, risen, mediating and returning – the gospel of the kingdom. Later he says that God sent Jesus “to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.” Miracles are not about people’s piety or power, but God’s gospel that Jesus came to “bless” us through”turning every one” of us from our wickedness.

If someone gets healed, set free or delivered, it isn’t about the person who prayed or laid their hands on the sick. It is an opportunity to preach the Gospel in the power of God.

Should I repent?

The first message recorded of Jesus in the New Testament is “Repent” (Matthew 4:17). If Jesus said “Repent” at the beginning of his ministry, why would many today cast aside the concept of repentance?

Jesus goes further. In Matthew 11:20, He makes it clear that his mighty works of healing, deliverance and miraculous interventions were for the purpose of challenging people to repent. He admonished those who witnessed his mighty miracles because they did not repent – something that even Sodom would have done had they witnessed the same (Matthew 11:21).

Throughout the gospel of Mark, “repent” is also recorded as Jesus’ first message.

But, you may ask, if justification is by faith alone, wouldn’t repentance be adding works to salvation?

Justification is by faith alone. Let’s not get confused though, justification is the first step of salvation before sanctification. Scripture has the answers.

When the apostles were confronted at Pentecost by earnest souls seeking salvation who implored, “Brothers, what shall we do?”, Peter stepped forward – with fresh empowerment from above – and begins his reply with the word “Repent…” and follows up with “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Now before anyone accuses Peter of legalism, let’s remember this was after Pentecost and he was declaring the Gospel of Grace. Paul too repeats this word before the wise men of Athens, saying that God “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

SINFUL DESIRE

If we must repent of our sins, what is repentance? To answer this question, let us consider the starting point of sin.

Sin begins when desire for it materialises. It is written, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

The first stage of sinful desire is temptation. The second stage of sinful desire is sin, which occurs when sinful desire has produced sin. The third stage is death. But notice how it begins with “desire”.

And 1 John 2:15 describes these further desires as “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life”. These desires deceive us, as we look to them to satisfy our empty hearts. Hebrews 3:13 makes this clear:

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Sin’s deceitfulness is that it might fulfil us, but this is misplaced trust. If believed, it will harden our hearts to faith.

FLEETING PLEASURES

Consider in the great “Faith Chapter” of Hebrews, how it says “By faith Moses… choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)

The two opposite choices Moses was faced with, we are faced with today. We can choose between the “fleeting pleasures of sin” or the “reproach of Christ” that leads to a “reward”.

The “fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25) and the “deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13) is perfectly illustrated in the book of Proverbs, “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.” (Proverbs 20:17) The misplace trust in sin to satisfy will lead us to “fleeting pleasures” but “afterwards… [a] mouth full of gravel.” We need to abandon any hope in sin to satisfy.

Since we are saved by faith alone yet commanded to repent, repentance must have something to do with faith. We can look deeper at its meaning.

WHAT ARE YOU TRUSTING IN?

In Jeremiah, God declares, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5) We shouldn’t trust in our own flesh because “The heart is deceitful above all things…”(Jeremiah 17:9). This is why “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin”(Romans 14:23). If repentance is turning from sin and sin is what does not proceed from faith, then turning to faith is repentance.

Rather we are instructed (with a blessing), “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.” This is why “without faith it is impossible to please him”(Hebrews 11:6). When we turn from unbelief to trust God, we turn from sin to faith.

Two key points arise in Hebrews 6:1, where “the elementary doctrine of Christ” is listed and begins with “repentance from dead works and of faith toward God”. If repentance is a work, how can we repent from “dead works”? Obviously, repentance, cannot be such a work. The second point is that Hebrews lists “repentance” together with “faith toward God”. To me it seems that when we repent of dead works (ie sin, which is failure to obey the law), we turn with “faith towards God”. It’s almost as if our departure from sin is closely related to, even a part of, “faith toward God”.

I think we repent when we lose trust in the deceitfulness of sin, and instead put our trust in the faithfulness of God. That is essential to faith.

The question is simple: Will you trust that lead weight of sin you’ve been clinging to or will you trust the life rope of Salvation to save you from drowning?

JOY

Those who trust in Jesus are blessed with the joy of knowing God. This joy transcends our situation. As the Psalmist says, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” (Psalm 4:7) The joy of God is something that does not depend on our circumstances. This joy comes from the presence of God and has “pleasures forevermore”.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

But again the question remains will you choose those fleeting pleasures of sin or the eternal reward?

Will your repentance be perfect immediately?

Exhausted

When you spend something, you exhaust that thing. Say you have lots of energy, and you go for a run. That run would spend or exhaust your energy. Another example is a battery that still has charge, but if you spend its power, you will no longer have it. In both cases the energy or power has been exhausted on something. It doesn’t simply vanish!

This is immediately relevant to us. We are building up something that is for us fearful, each day. When we sin, we store up wrath for ourselves. Wrath in this case means righteous anger that will be frightening on judgement day. The longer we go on, the more wrath is stored up that one day must be spent! and since it must be spent on us, we’re in trouble. Because God is just, he will expend that wrath. But there’s good news!

The wrath of God against sin, which all mankind had earned, was utterly depleted, spent and exhausted on almighty Jesus! Someone strong enough to enter human flesh and receive the complete wrath of God, was found in Jesus! He did just that. If we trust in Jesus’ finished work, then we can receive this forgiveness. At the cross the wrath of God was spent or exhausted on Jesus, “for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2) Spent means both fulfilled and completed. That it is completed means that God’s just wrath does not need to be against you, and fulfilled means that it was without any miscarriage of justice. Exhausted means used up, depleted, no more wrath against those who trust in Jesus.

More fully, not only did God spend and exhaust the payment due to us (of wrath), Jesus gave to God, the Father, the obedience due from us, and the life we owed for using our God supplied lives for selfish pursuits.

Therefore, whoever repents and believes in Jesus “will have eternal life.” Let go of the sins that sink you down into the dark place of death. Cling to Jesus, whose loving arms can draw you out of the darkness and into the light of life.

But there is a warning:

“how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?…”
(Hebrews 2:3)

“Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
(Heb 10:28-39)

Yet there is a promise:

“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
(Rom 10:8-13)

The Lord Jesus Christ has brought us salvation by absorbing the righteous and just wrath of God to give us forgiveness. What a wonderful promise!

Dear Donald – Christians are forgiven people

Dear Donald Trump,

Yesterday, you made the mistake of putting money in the communion plate. While you pointed out you had mistakingly thought it was the offering bowl – this speaks hugely about your attitude towards God.

Do you realise that riches do not make you worthy of the cup and the bread of the Lord’s table? Only the blood and body of Jesus can make anyone worthy.

Confused? Let me elaborate.

Basic Christian Belief

The body and blood of Jesus were the sacrifice for our sins – paying our debt because we could not pay it ourselves. This is basic Christian teaching. Many people think they can get right with God by doing good works but the Bible teaches us that we must be justified before God by grace alone (unmerited favor) which is received through faith.

Jesus began his earthly ministry in Matthew’s Gospel with the word “Repent”, so it’s pretty important. Yet you said in an interview last year that you saw no need to repent and had not asked God for forgiveness. The Bible, which is God’s own Word, says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), meaning “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). So you have sinned and disobeyed God and so have the same need of repentance as the rest of us.

To be a Christian is to be forgiven

In the Gospel of Luke 5:31-32 it is recorded: “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus very clearly stated that he came to “call… sinners to repentance.” If someone were not a sinner and didn’t need forgiving, then Jesus didn’t come for them. But he did come for you, because you are a sinner.

Weight of Debt

The debt your sins have earned for you is so extreme you will pay with your life because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and this is why we all die. Death entered the world because our forefather sinned against God, and death has remained because of our ongoing rebellion.

How great is that debt? Well it’s so great it took Jesus to pay for it. If you could pay your way out of the debt with cattle, God would have sent us cattle to die for us. If all he required was cash, then he could have settled it like that, but he didn’t. He sent his Son. His Son, who is eternally righteous came and died for you, so that your debt could be paid for.

No money, cars, houses or “good deeds” could have ever paid our debt to reconcile us to God – only Jesus His own Son could pay that debt.

Why Jesus? Because he was the only One who was of infinite worth, who could enter human flesh to pay the debt. Only he was worthy. Not you. Every created thing didn’t have the value to pay the debt – only Jesus was sufficiently worthy.

Implications for you (and everyone else)

Imagine you try to purchase a new jet with five cents. You’d be turned away in an instant. Your offer would be an insult to those who made the jet. It’d be an embarrassment for you, too. To offer God money, “good works” or anything else you have for eternal life is a disgusting insult to the eternal value of eternal life. If only the eternal life of God’s Son could pay your debt and allow you eternal life as a free gift, then don’t think being a “good guy” will cut it. Your “good” works are an embarrassment. They aren’t valuable enough to ransom your soul.

Your riches and gold are of no value in heaven where they cannot go. There is no exchange rate to convert it over either. Only the eternally worthy blood of Jesus can pay for your (and our) hideous sins. Your gold will corrupt and your riches will rot.

The Good News is that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins – and if you trust in His finished work on the cross, you can be redeemed.

Abandon your wealth. You cannot trust it to save you. Cling only to Jesus – He can save you.

“All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13)

Yours Faithfully,

Romans Road

1 February 2016