Daily Archives: September 15, 2013

Bible Thematic Outline: Atheism



The denial of God’s existence and thus also the denial of his word, truth and authority. It is seen in the worship of created things, in human boasting and in the decision to live a life without God which results in godlessness and brings God’s judgment.

Characteristics of atheism

Denying God’s existence

Ps 14:1

Psalm 14:1 (ESV) — 1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.

Worshipping created things

Ro 1:25

Romans 1:25 (ESV) — 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

See also Da 5:23 ; Re 9:20

Daniel 5:23 (ESV) — 23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

Revelation 9:20 (ESV) — 20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,

Denying God’s truth

Is 32:6; Ro 1:18

Isaiah 32:6 (ESV) — 6 For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink.

Romans 1:18 (ESV) — 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

See also Je 5:12 ; Je 5:31 ; Je 11:21 ; Je 14:14 ; Je 27:15

Jeremiah 5:12 (ESV) — 12 They have spoken falsely of the Lord and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.

Jeremiah 5:31 (ESV) — 31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Jeremiah 11:21 (ESV) — 21 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand”—

Jeremiah 14:14 (ESV) — 14 And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.

Jeremiah 27:15 (ESV) — 15 I have not sent them, declares the Lord, but they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.”

Denying God’s ability to fulfil his word

Je 17:15

Jeremiah 17:15 (ESV) — 15 Behold, they say to me, “Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come!”

See also Is 5:19 ; Ac 17:18 ; 1 Th 4:8 ; 2 Pe 3:3–4 ; Re 11:7–10

Isaiah 5:19 (ESV) — 19 who say: “Let him be quick, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!”

Acts 17:18 (ESV) — 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 (ESV) — 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

2 Peter 3:3–4 (ESV) — 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Revelation 11:7–10 (ESV) — 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.

Showing contempt for God’s name

Le 19:12; Je 5:2; Eze 36:20; Eze 43:8

Leviticus 19:12 (ESV) — 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Jeremiah 5:2 (ESV) — 2 Though they say, “As the Lord lives,” yet they swear falsely.

Ezekiel 36:20 (ESV) — 20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’

Ezekiel 43:8 (ESV) — 8 by setting their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them. They have defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed, so I have consumed them in my anger.

Boasting against God

Ps 10:3–5

Psalm 10:3–5 (ESV) — 3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. 4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” 5 His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them.

See also Job 15:25 ; Ps 12:3–4 ; Ps 36:1–2 ; Ps 73:11 ; Pr 30:9 ; Eze 35:13 ; Re 13:6

Job 15:25 (ESV) — 25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty,

Psalm 12:3–4 (ESV) — 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, 4 those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

Psalm 36:1–2 (ESV) — 1 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

Psalm 73:11 (ESV) — 11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Proverbs 30:9 (ESV) — 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Ezekiel 35:13 (ESV) — 13 And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it.

Revelation 13:6 (ESV) — 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

Not turning to God in trouble

Job 35:10

Job 35:10 (ESV) — 10 But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night,

See also Job 36:13 ; Je 2:8 ; Je 17:5

Job 36:13 (ESV) — 13 “The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them.

Jeremiah 2:8 (ESV) — 8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

Jeremiah 17:5 (ESV) — 5 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.

Living in ignorance of God

Je 5:4

Jeremiah 5:4 (ESV) — 4 Then I said, “These are only the poor; they have no sense; for they do not know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God.

See also Eph 2:12

Ephesians 2:12 (ESV) — 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Denying Jesus Christ

Jud 4

Jude 4 (ESV) — 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

See also 1 Jn 2:22 ; 1 Jn 4:3 ; 2 Jn 7

1 John 2:22 (ESV) — 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3 (ESV) — 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

2 John 7 (ESV) — 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

Atheism results in godless living

Ro 1:28–31

Romans 1:28–31 (ESV) — 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

See also Ge 6:5 ; 1 Sa 2:12 ; Pr 11:9 ; Is 9:17 ; Is 26:10 ; Je 5:5 ; Je 23:11 ; Mal 3:14 ; Mal 3:18 ; 1 Ti 1:9–10 ; Jud 18

Genesis 6:5 (ESV) — 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

1 Samuel 2:12 (ESV) — 12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.

Proverbs 11:9 (ESV) — 9 With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.

Isaiah 9:17 (ESV) — 17 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

Isaiah 26:10 (ESV) — 10 If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the Lord.

Jeremiah 5:5 (ESV) — 5 I will go to the great and will speak to them, for they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God.” But they all alike had broken the yoke; they had burst the bonds.

Jeremiah 23:11 (ESV) — 11 “Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the Lord.

Malachi 3:14 (ESV) — 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts?

Malachi 3:18 (ESV) — 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

1 Timothy 1:9–10 (ESV) — 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

Jude 18 (ESV) — 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”

Atheism brings condemnation

It cannot be excused

Job 12:7–8; Ac 14:17; Ro 1:19–20

Job 12:7–8 (ESV) — 7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; 8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

Acts 14:17 (ESV) — 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

Romans 1:19–20 (ESV) — 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

It results in lack of hope

Job 8:13; Job 15:34; Job 20:5; Job 27:8; Ps 9:17

Job 8:13 (ESV) — 13 Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish.

Job 15:34 (ESV) — 34 For the company of the godless is barren, and fire consumes the tents of bribery.

Job 20:5 (ESV) — 5 that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?

Job 27:8 (ESV) — 8 For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life?

Psalm 9:17 (ESV) — 17 The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

It results in God’s judgment

Is 10:6; Is 33:14; Je 5:5–6; Je 5:9–11; Je 5:29; Ro 1:18; 1 Pe 4:17; 2 Pe 3:7; Jud 14–15

Isaiah 10:6 (ESV) — 6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Isaiah 33:14 (ESV) — 14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”

Jeremiah 5:5–6 (ESV) — 5 I will go to the great and will speak to them, for they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God.” But they all alike had broken the yoke; they had burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down; a wolf from the desert shall devastate them. A leopard is watching their cities; everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are great.

Jeremiah 5:9–11 (ESV) — 9 Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this? 10 “Go up through her vine rows and destroy, but make not a full end; strip away her branches, for they are not the Lord’s. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly treacherous to me, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 5:29 (ESV) — 29 Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”

Romans 1:18 (ESV) — 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

1 Peter 4:17 (ESV) — 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

2 Peter 3:7 (ESV) — 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Jude 14–15 (ESV) — 14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

God desires to save the atheist

Ac 17:27

Acts 17:27 (ESV) — 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

See also Is 55:7 ; Je 3:12 ; Eze 18:23 ; Eze 33:11 ; Ro 5:6–8

Isaiah 55:7 (ESV) — 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Jeremiah 3:12 (ESV) — 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “ ‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever.

Ezekiel 18:23 (ESV) — 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV) — 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Romans 5:6–8 (ESV) — 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Theology: The Preservation of The Scriptures



Most doctrinal statements which speak of inspiration usually mention at the end of their statement that their belief extends to the original manuscripts. This is true, yet there has always been a gap in thinking to me in these statements. If God inspired the Scriptures in the original manuscripts, but did nothing else, how can we know that what we have today is valid, authoritative, or useful? I was always desirous of more than the statement “in the original manuscripts.”


It is this addition that I would like to address in this section. Preservation is often assumed, yet seldom mentioned or examined. Hopefully this section will address this gap in the normal inspiration study.




1. In jam it means to keep the fruit unspoiled, and so it is in the Scriptures. God preserved the Bible in its transmission to our time.


The Word was verbally inspired by God through human authors. That inspired Word was in the transmission of the original manuscripts. Preservation would teach that God preserved the transmission of that information to our time in a most useable and correct work.


2. Pardington, in speaking of all that God has created quotes Strong (Both were speaking of the universe.), “Preservation may be defined as “That continuous agency of God by which He maintains in existence the things He has created together with the properties and powers with which He has endowed them”. (Pardington, Revelation George P. Ph.D.; “Outline Studies In Christian Doctrine”; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1926, p 101)


This is one area of preservation; however we do not wish to speak of this type at this time. There is also the preservation of the soul, all things, and physical body.


Unger mentions the preservation that we are interested in under the topic of inspiration. “The Holy Spirit, it is reasonable to conclude, also had a definite ministry in preserving the inspired Scriptures through millennia of transmission.” (Taken from: “Unger’s Bible Dictionary”; Unger, Merrill F.; Copyright 1957, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 528)


There are three sections to the preservation of the Scripture.


First, that the books of the canon were preserved throughout the time before they were viewed, or held as canonical.


Secondly, that since the books were set down by their authors the books have been preserved not only until the canon was set but even until our day.


Thirdly, I believe we can be assured that the Lord will also preserve His word until eternity future.




1. The Word is declared to be eternal: To be eternal the Word would need to be kept intact from Its inception throughout all time and into eternity. (Psalm 119:152; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23b; Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 119:89)


2. Christ is the Word and Christ is eternal, so how can The Word change, even if there were no doctrine of preservation? The lack of preservation is a foolish thing to contemplate. (John 1:1)


3. The book of Revelation contains a warning to those that would tamper with its contents. By application, at the very least, we may say that God is in the business of watching over His Word and how it is transmitted. (Revelation 22:18, 19) In a similar vein the book of Deuteronomy contains a warning to the Israelites as well. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish anything from it,” (Deut 4:2)


4. One other item that clinches this doctrine of preservation is that Christ and the apostles, when quoting the Old Testament texts were using copies of copies, not the originals. This would show that Christ and the apostles held the copies to be of the same quality and authority as the originals.


5. Matthew 5:18 mentions,



“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”


This promise Demands Preservation.


The Westminster confession indicates that preservation has been believed even though few have written on the topic. Speaking of the Scriptures, “…being immediately inspired by God and by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages….” (Pache, Rene, “The Inspiration And Authority Of Scripture”; p 186)




1. If God went to the trouble to communicate the Word, His revelation of Himself, to man so that man might know Him, it would be sheer foolishness to allow it to become corrupt along the way through the years, so that at some point in history it was not a true view of Him.


2. If God preserves as worthless a lot as man and beasts, I am sure that He would preserve the Word, which is His revelation to His creation. (Psalm 36:6; Psalm 145:20 mentions that he preserves those that love Him)


3. Consider a few texts. Colossians 1:16 mentions, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers — all things were created by him, and for him; And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Hebrews 1:3,


“Who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,”


Nehemiah 9:6 mentions the preservation of the creation.


It only follows that if He protects all things as the above verses tell us — then He must preserve the Word for He preserves all things.


4. There have been those that have tried to destroy and eliminate the Bible, but we can see how much effect they have had. The Bible still is in existence.



“No other book has ever been the object of such antagonism as has the Bible. In both ancient and modern times, kings and priests have tried desperately to destroy it and unbelieving intellectuals to ridicule and refute it. Untold numbers of copies have been burned and mutilated and hosts of its advocates persecuted and killed. But it has only multiplied the more, and today is read and believed by more people in more nations and languages than ever before, continually remaining for centuries the world’s best seller.” (Many Infallible Proofs by Henry M. Morris; p 15.)


In the conclusion of one of their chapters Geisler and Nix have a few comments that relate to the topic at hand.


“The history of the New Testament text may be divided into several basic periods: (1) the period of reduplication (to c. 325), (2) the period of standardization of the text (c. 325-c. 1500), (3) the period of crystallization (c.1500. 1648), and (4) the period of criticism and revision (c. 1648-present). During the period of criticism and revision, the struggle between proponents of the “Received Text” and the “Critical Text” has been waged. In the final analysis, there is no substantial difference between their texts. Their differences are mainly technical and methodological, not doctrinal, for the textual variants are doctrinally inconsequential.” “Thus, for all practical purposes, both texts convey the content of the autographs, even though they are separately garnished with their own minor scribal and technical differences.” (Taken from: “A General Introduction To The Bible”; Geisler, Norman L/Nix, William E; Copyright 1968, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 464)




1. If the Bible was inspired, if it is authoritative, if it is the Word of God, and if He has preserved it, then we may put our entire trust and faith into the Word.


2. When someone becomes worried as to the differences between the texts we can assure them that The Bible That We Have Is The Bible That God Wanted Us To Have. He Has Preserved It Unto Our Time, In The Form Of Many Manuscripts, And Among These Manuscripts There Are No Differences That Change Any Doctrine.


3. The preservation of the Scripture might also be of encouragement to one that is having difficulty believing the preservation of the saint in his salvation.[1]



Questions about Apologetics and Worldview: Why Does God Require Faith? Why doesn’t God “prove” Himself to us so there is no need for faith?

Our relationship with God is similar to our relationship with others in that all relationships require faith. We can never fully know any other person. We cannot experience all they experience nor enter into their minds to know what their thoughts and emotions are. Proverbs 14:10 says, “The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.” We are incapable of even knowing our own hearts fully. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the human heart is wicked and deceptive, “Who can know it?” In other words, the human heart is such that it seeks to hide the depth of its wickedness, deceiving even its owner. We do this through shifting blame, justifying wrong behavior, minimizing our sins, etc.

Because we are incapable of fully knowing other people, to some degree faith (trust) is an integral ingredient in all relationships. For example, a wife gets into a car with her husband driving, trusting him to drive safely, even though he often drives faster than she would on winter roads. She trusts him to act in their best interest at all times. We all share information about ourselves with others, trusting they will not betray us with that knowledge. We drive down the road, trusting those driving around us to follow the rules of the road. So, whether with strangers or with intimate friends and companions, because we cannot fully know others, trust is always a necessary component of our relationships.

If we cannot know our fellow finite human beings fully, how can we expect to fully know an infinite God? Even if He should desire to fully reveal Himself, it is impossible for us to fully know Him. It is like trying to pour the ocean (seemingly infinite in quantity) into a quart-measuring jar (finite) … impossible! Nonetheless, even as we can have meaningful relationships with others that we have grown to trust because of our knowledge of them and of their character, so God has revealed enough about Himself through His creation (Romans 1:18–21), through His written Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:16–21), and through His Son (John 14:9), that we can enter into a meaningful relationship with Him. But this is only possible when the barrier of one’s sin has been removed by trusting in Christ’s person and work on the cross as payment for one’s sin. This is necessary because, as it is impossible for both light and darkness to dwell together, so it is impossible for a holy God to have fellowship with sinful man unless his sin has been paid for and removed. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died on the cross to take our punishment and change us so that the one who believes on Him can become a child of God and live eternally in His presence (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 2 Peter 3:18; Romans 3:10–26).

There have been times in the past that God has revealed Himself more “visibly” to people. One example of this is at the time of the exodus from Egypt, when God revealed His care for the Israelites by sending the miraculous plagues upon the Egyptians until they were willing to release the Israelites from slavery. God then opened the Red Sea, enabling the approximately two million Israelites to cross over on dry ground. Then, as the Egyptian army sought to pursue them through the same opening, He crashed the waters upon them (Exodus 14:22–29). Later, in the wilderness, God fed them miraculously with manna, and He guided them in the day by a pillar of cloud and in the night by a pillar of fire, visible representations of His presence with them (Exodus 15:14–15).

Yet, in spite of these repeated demonstrations of His love, guidance, and power, the Israelites still refused to trust Him when He wanted them to enter into the Promised Land. They chose instead to trust the word of ten men who frightened them with their stories of the walled cities and the giant stature of some of the people of the land (Numbers 13:26–33). These events show that God’s further revelation of Himself to us would have no greater effect on our ability to trust Him. Were God to interact in a similar fashion with people living today, we would respond no differently than the Israelites because our sinful hearts are the same as theirs.

The Bible also speaks of a future time when the glorified Christ will return to rule the earth from Jerusalem for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1–10). More people will be born on the earth during that reign of Christ. He will rule with complete justice and righteousness, yet, in spite of His perfect rule, the Bible states that at the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will have no trouble raising an army to rebel against Christ’s rule. The future event of the millennium and the past event of the exodus reveal that the problem is not with God insufficiently revealing Himself to man; rather, the problem is with man’s sinful heart rebelling against God’s loving reign. We sinfully crave self-rule.

God has revealed enough of His nature for us to be able to trust Him. He has shown through the events of history, in the workings of nature, and through the life of Jesus Christ that He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, all-holy, unchanging, and eternal. And in that revelation, He has shown that He is worthy to be trusted. But, as with the Israelites in the wilderness, the choice is ours whether or not we will trust Him. Often, we are inclined to make this choice based on what we think we know about God rather than what He has revealed about Himself and can be understood about Him through a careful study of His inerrant Word, the Bible. If you have not already done so, begin a careful study of the Bible, that you may come to know God through a reliance upon His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to save us from our sins, so that we might have sweet companionship with God both now and in a fuller way in heaven one day.[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Eternity: What Should Be the Focus of a Christian Funeral?

There should be a vast difference between a Christian funeral and that of a non-believer. It is the difference between light and darkness, joy and sorrow, hope and despair, heaven and hell. A Christian funeral should, first and foremost, reflect the words of the Apostle Paul: “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Paul uses the euphemism “fall asleep” to refer to those who have died in Christ. The grief of the relatives of an unsaved person is not to be compared with that of those whose loved one died knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We grieve in a completely different way because we know we will see them again. The unsaved have no such hope, so their despair is complete and unrelenting.

Perhaps no other event in life brings us as close to the reality of eternity as death. One moment our loved one is here—breathing, communicating, heart beating—and the next moment he is gone. Even though the body remains, anyone who has been present at the moment of death knows that body is empty and the person who once inhabited it has left. If the deceased was a Christian, it is the knowledge of his destination that gives us the hope that unbelievers simply cannot experience. That hope should be the focus of a Christian funeral. The message of that hope should be clearly proclaimed, whether by formal preaching of the gospel of Christ or by memorials by those who knew the deceased and can testify that he/she lived in the light of the hope of eternal life available in Christ. If music is to be part of the funeral, it too should reflect the joy and hope being experienced at that very moment by the departed soul.

Above all, a Christian funeral should provide a glimpse into that brighter world, a world where all Christians will be reunited, where the bonds of love shall be made stronger than they were here, never again to be severed. It is only this hope that can soothe the pains of grief at parting. It is only when we can look forward to a better world, knowing we will see our loved ones again, love them again, and enjoy worshipping God with them forever that our tears are made dry. A Christian funeral should be a celebration of the joy of these glorious truths.[1]

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Christianity: What Is an Evangelical Free Church?

In 1950, the Evangelical Free Church of America (Swedish) and the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Free Church Association combined to form the Evangelical Free Church of America. Churches often shorten their affiliation to “EvFree” or “E-Free.”

The “evangelical” of Evangelical Free reflects the assertions that the scriptures are the inerrant word of God, people are born into a sinful condition, and salvation comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as well as a commitment to spreading these beliefs. They also believe in the premillennial return of Christ, the bodily resurrection of the dead, and the celebration of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The “free” means that EFCA churches are congregational in governance. Each church is governed and financially supported by its own members. This is as opposed to being ruled by a presbyter, or board of elders, or an episcopate, which is a central leader over several churches. Although EFCA churches typically have a senior pastor and a board of elders, the pastors and elders receive their authority by the vote of the congregation.

Local churches may be involved in regional ministries with churches of other denominations. The EFCA also supports the reconciliation program Samaritan Way, and the national and international missions programs ReachNational and ReachGlobal. Chuck Swindoll was ordained as an Evangelical Free pastor, and his ministry Insight for Living began as a radio broadcast of his messages at the First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California.

The EFCA only ordains men to be pastors. Baptism is generally not required for communion or membership into the church. Although the EFCA supports many ministries, they do not emphasize secular political involvement. Personal responsibility and holiness are stressed over adherence to strict behavioral guidelines. The church is inclusive; that is, salvation is through faith in Christ alone, and church membership is not dependent on acceptance of minor issues. The association takes no stance on Calvinism vs. Arminianism, worship style, or spiritual gifts. Music styles vary from full choir and orchestra to guitar-based worship teams. Preaching varies from verse-by-verse exegesis to topical messages with illustrations—sometimes in the same church.

In the face of downward trends in church attendance, the EFCA has held its own. The number of congregations has nearly doubled in the last thirty years (to 1,480), and attendance has more than tripled (to 350,000). In the last decade, both congregation numbers and members have seen modest increases. The headquarters of the EFCA is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The association is divided into eighteen districts. Although most E-Free churches are concentrated in the Midwest, California has the greatest number.[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Putin to visit Iran for first time in six years. Historic trip will raise renewed interest in the “Gog & Magog” prophecies.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(Dallas, Texas) — “Vladimir Putin has accepted an Iranian invitation to visit the country and meet with newly elected President Hasan Rouhani, a spokesman for the Russian president confirmed,” reports the Times of Israel.

“Putin has been invited to Iran, and he will certainly take advantage of this kind invitation,” the Interfax news agency quoted spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Friday. “The dates of the visit will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.”

“The announcement came on the heels of a report that Russia had agreed to sell to Iran the advanced S-300 air defense system and construct a new nuclear reactor at the Bushehr site,” the Times noted. “Putin met with Rouhani on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Friday. During the meeting, Rouhani extended an invitation to Putin, who accepted, the Iranian semi-official Fars news agency reported. In July, there were reports

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A Charismatic Primer Part 6 – The Outreach Top 50 (#21-25)

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

Time for the sixth installment in this series.  So far, we’ve looked at the New Apostolic Reformation, the Outreach Top 50 #1-5, the Outreach Top 50 #6-10, the Outreach Top 50 #11-15, and the Outreach Top 50 #16-20.  We’ll now look at the Outreach Top 50 #21-25, which includes three churches of interest:

21.  The Rock Church and World Outreach Center of San Bernardino, Ca – Pastored by Jim Cobrae.  These guys are also an overtly charismatic church (a signs and wonders church) that is likely a prosperity gospel church.  Their church website doesn’t say a ton, but they have an “in house” bible college that offers some very telling courses.

Once you search through their sermon archives though, the “absolute giveaway” stuff isn’t too hard to find:

21a.  This video tells you where The Rock Church is on the issue of healing…

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