Archives for : December2010

Do NOT smile!

“Stop smiling!”  DMV photographers in Virginia are joining Arkansas, Nevada, and Indiana as states requiring grin-free pictures on residents’ drivers licenses.  Apparently, face-recognition software is thrown off by curled up kissers.  The objective is to curtail fraudulent drivers licenses.  So, by rule, there will be no smiling when the photographer says “cheese.”

Like you, I know a great many people who need no such rule–whether at a DMV or any one of a million other locations.  They are perpetually miserable, and their faces show it.  Incredibly, too many of those I know like this claim to be Christians.  They sport their sour dispositions and spread thunder clouds and downpours wherever they go.  To borrow Paul’s words on more than one occasion, “My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

“Happiness” is synonymous with “Christianity.”  The Christian’s life is far from problem-, stress-, or trouble-free, but the greatest problem (sin) is solved, the greatest stress (earthly concerns) is benign, and the greatest trouble (death) is surmountable.  People hurt us, betray us, offend us, and undermine us, but we are heaven bound!    We can be happy because “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).  Isn’t it hard to obey commands like “be thankful” (Col. 3:15), “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4), “rejoice and be exceedingly glad” (Matt. 5:12; Luke’s account says, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy”–6:23), or similar injunctions with a sour face and a permanent frown?  

Matthew Hite was eight years old when he took his first missionary trip to Tanzania.  While there, he made up a little game he called “Sweet And Sour.”  He would smile at all the pedestrians walking down the road.  If they smiled, he counted it as a “sweet.”  If they scowled or simply failed to smile, he counted it as a “sour.”  Almost everyone of the impoverished people of that nation were “sweets.”  Are you a “sweet” or a “sour”?  If you are a Christian, remember that God has not imposed a “no smile rule” on you.  If anything, He’s done the opposite!

–Neal Pollard

How well do you *hear*?

          A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan.  It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people.  Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.  Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”
 
     His friend said, “What?  You must be crazy.  You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!”
 
     “No, I’m sure of it,” the Native American said, “I heard a cricket.”
 
     “That’s crazy,” said the friend.
 
     The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing.  He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket.  His friend was utterly amazed.
 
     “That’s incredible,” said his friend.  “You must have super-human ears!”
 
     “No,” said the Native American.  “My ears are no different from yours.   It all depends on what you’re listening for.”
 
     “But that can’t be!” said the friend.  “I could never hear a cricket in this noise.”
 
     “Yes, it’s true,” came the reply.  “It depends on what is really important to you.  Here, let me show you.”
 
     He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk.  And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.
 
     “See what I mean?” asked the Native American.  “It all depends on what’s important to you.”
 
     What’s important to you?  What do you listen for?  Are there times that you fail to listen to God or see what God is doing in your life because you are focused on other things that are more important to you?
 
     Jesus said, “For the hearts of this people have grown dull.  Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.  But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.” (Matt. 13:15-16)
 
     Father, we pray at the beginning of this new year — amidst all the distractions of the world all around us, may our ears always be open to your voice, and our eyes open to your glory.  In Jesus’ name, amen.
 
Have a great day!

Alan Smith

I will let you choose how you are to die

     The court jester was overcome with grief.  His world was at an end!  For a long time he had served the Caliph at Baghdad and his court, keeping them amused whenever they called upon him.  But in a moment of thoughtlessness he had displeased his ruler who had ordered that he be put to death.

     “However,” said the Caliph, “in consideration of the merry jests you’ve told me all these years, I will let you choose how you are to die.”

     “O most generous Caliph,” replied the jester, “if it’s all the same to you, I choose death by old age!”

     I suppose, if given a choice, that’s the choice all of us would make.  Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), though, that choice is not ours to make.  We know (all too well) the fragile nature of life.  And perhaps it is for the best.  If we were guaranteed 90 years on this earth, we would be mighty tempted to wait until the last year or so to get serious about God (just like putting off those term papers in college!).  With a realization of the uncertainty of life, we recognize the need to be prepared at all times.

     “LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.  Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.” (Psa. 39:4-5).

     May you be prepared for the joys that await when this life is over!

Alan Smith

Giving God less than 100%

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 “HERE IS A great eternal truth…

Life cannot be divided into compartments in some of which God is involved and in others of which He is not involved; there cannot be one kind of language in the church and another kind of language in the shipyard or the factory or the office; there cannot be one kind of conduct in the church and another kind of conduct in the business world. The fact is that God does not need to be invited into certain departments of life, and kept out of others. He is everywhere, all through life and in every activity of life. He hears not only the words which are spoken in His name; He hears all words; and there cannot be any such thing as a form of words which evades bringing God into any transaction. We will regard all promises as sacred if we remember that all promises are made in the presence of God.” (William Barclay)

“That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10).

–Mike Benson

Who was in charge of the plane?

It’s Wednesday, August 10, 1994. You are a passenger aboard flight 2033 from Seoul, South Korea to the resort island of Cheju. You and 151 fellow-vacationers are looking forward to a much- needed rest.

The jetliner is only moments from touchdown. You glance out the thick, two-ply window. The plane is scarcely 30 feet off the ground, but it’s obviously moving far too fast. The runway is soaked from a local tropical storm and wind shear is making the landing all-the-more precarious. When the aircraft does reach the earth, it is more than 1,700 meters beyond the landing threshold. A harrowing, split second later the plane crashes through a guard post and then slams into the airport safety barricade. You are terror-stricken.

The two cockpit occupants escape out the nearest window. With the assistance of the six-member cabin crew, you and your seat-mates escape only moments before the plane is engulfed in flames.

A Transportation Ministry investigation reveals the incredible news. The flight was on final approach when a conflict arose between the Captain and co-pilot. That’s right, a conflict! The real reason for the crash wasn’t because of the inclement weather, but because of a clash of wills.

Co-pilot, Chung Chan-kyu, asked Captain Barry Woods numerous times whether he wanted to “go around.” (Chan-kyu was convinced that there was not sufficient distance for the Airbus to land safely without crossing the end of Runway 6). When Woods said, “No,” Chan-kyu grabbed the throttles to take control. The two argued and scuffled as the plane hurtled toward the ground. Transcripts from the flight report that the Captain shouted, “No!” “No!” and “What are you doing?! Don’t… Wait, man… You’re gonna kill us!”

As I read the story, I found myself wondering aloud, “Who was in charge of the plane…?!” Only one of the pilots had the right to land the craft, but neither would relinquish his power.

“Who’s going to be first?” “Who’s going to land the plane?” That sounds a lot like the apostles to me. They fussed over the same fundamental issue. When Jesus announced that He would “be betrayed into the hands of men” (Luke 9:44), the twelve began a verbal “tussle” over who would take charge when he was gone. The text says, “Then an argument arose among them as to who should be greatest” (Luke 9:46, Phillips). (The King James version translates the word argument as “reasoning;” the term in the Greek is dialogismos and refers to a heated debate). As improbable as it may sound, the very men whom Jesus taught and trained often wrangled (Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 9:34; Luke 22:24) for position and status over what they believed would be (Acts 1:6) the future kingdom.

I’ve come to the conclusion that “Who’s going to be first?” is THE underlying issue; it is THE core problem — in most arguments. Folks want power; they want to be first. In a manner of speaking, they want to “grab the throttles” and control the plane themselves. People are strange, aren’t they? They want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention. Chan-kyu and Woods did. The apostles did. We do. Think about it, and you will probably agree. Nobody wants to be second in command; nobody wants to play second fiddle. And that is why disagreements arise.

When church members have a “falling-out,” it is usually over power issues and who’s going to be in control. When married partners quarrel, it is often over who is going to be in charge of the checkbook and how money is to be spent. When siblings argue, it is typically over who’s going to be first. “Why is his piece of cake bigger than mine?!” “Why does he get to stay out past midnight, but I have to be in before 11:00?” When nations war and fight, it is typically over which country is going to dominate and rule. When presidential candidates vie for political office, it is always over “who’s going to fly the plane.” Both Democrats and Republicans want to “grab the throttles” and take the lead in our country.

When arguments do occur, I find it helpful to take a step backwards and ask, “What’s happening here?” “Why are people fussing?” You see, once we can determine the actual cause (i.e., pride) of the discord, we then can begin to work on a solution, just as Jesus did. He used a little child to illustrate the real way to “first place” and greatness. The Bible says, “Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great'” (Luke 9:46-48 NKJV).

What was Jesus’ point? Simply that if you want to be “high,” you must first — like a child — be “low” (i.e., humble, 1 Peter 5:6). You must manifest a serving nature (John 13:1ff) and lack the personal, selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3,4; Galatians 5:26; Romans 12:10) that is so prevalent among adults. You must imbibe the spirit of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11) and “receive” (i.e., assist) others.

Have you been in argument lately? Are you ready to “grab the throttles?” (Don’t feel too bad, the apostles could relate). Look at a small child…and remember. –Mike Benson

Children and the Lord's Supper

MOST PARENTS HAVE seen this happen…
 
As the communion tray passes by, our little one stretches to see its contents, then in a stage whisper says: “Mom, can I have some juice too?”  Of course, you could say flat out, “No!” but most parents wisely respond, “Not yet.”

“No you can’t,” and “Not yet” are quite different responses, you know. Sometimes it’s important to wait. Delay is not denial. Waiting for the proper time is not idle waiting, nor is it empty.

Anticipation is the best preparation for the moment of fulfillment.

Of course, our kids could take crackers and juice right with all the other participants, but they would not be partaking of the body and blood of the Lord, and the special nature of this ceremony would be lost on them.

Delayed gratification is not popular in our culture, but there are times when it is important. I remember the first time I took communion. I was twelve years old, and it was the week after I was baptized. What a very special moment that was!

Human beings are always in such a hurry. God, I have noticed, allows for nature to take its course. And it doesn’t hurt for our children to observe baptisms, and the Lord’s Supper, and to begin to form the idea that one day, they, too, will grow to participate in and appreciate these grownup mysteries.  (Stan Mitchell)

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).  — Mike Benson

Marriage for *three* instead of *two*

Triad marriages.  If you have not heard of them, you probably will very soon.  This is the idea that a marriage consists of three or more people instead of the traditional two.
 
The arguments that have been used to justify homosexual marriages also justify triad unions.  If homosexuality is justified because “two people have a loving and committed relationship” (and this is a common argument), a triad marriage can be justified if “three people have a loving and committed relationship.”  If marriage is simply a state “for those who love each other” (another argument to justify homosexual unions), then logic and consistency say a marriage can involve 2, 3, 4 or more people who all “love each other.” 
 
Homosexuality has frequently been justified on the basis of discrimination.  If it is wrong to “discriminate” against two homosexual men or two lesbians, why is it right to “discriminate” against three men or three women who want to marry each another?  Why give two homosexual men the right to marry but deny this same right to three men?  If a man can support two wives, or two other men, will the world judge him as a wrongdoer?  If so, what is the basis for the condemnation?
 
Will our society continue to say that we cannot “discriminate” on things such as race and religion, but we can discriminate when it comes to the number of spouses we have?  If our laws do not limit the number of divorces a person may file for, what gives it the right to regulate a person’s number of marriage partners?  If it would be wrong for our government to limit the number of children a family can have, why is it right to limit the number of spouses one can have? 
 
Triad marriages were a predicated consequence a long time ago and they should come as no surprise to us.  Lest we think marriages with multiple partners is an idea “way out in left field,” think about where the United States used to be and where it is now.  The Ward and Jude Cleaver days are long gone.  Readers might be interested in doing a little reading on the world poly amory association — http://www.worldpolyamoryassociation.org/about.html.  This is a group that supports multiple partners and here is a short quote from them:
 
“Polyamory (loving many) is a high art form and a profound spiritual path which encourages honesty, authentic relating, conscious connections, kind communication and unconditional love. Relating polyamorously frees all of us, awakens the world and propels the planet towards peace.”
 
Too many Christians have been too quiet for too long about the distortions to God’s plan for marriage.  Triad marriages can be an effective tool to show people that the rejection of God’s plan for marriage does not result in love, freedom and toleration.  Rejecting what the world labels as “traditional marriage” leads to chaos and moral decay.
 
  Know what God’s plan for marriage is (Mt. 19:5-9) and kindly and lovingly convey that to a very confused world.

A husband who burped

I knew a couple who got an annulment on the grounds that he was rude to his wife. It’s the strangest thing you’ve ever heard. She went to court and claimed that he burped all the time. That’s the truth! I actually knew the people. Well, the judge granted an annulment on the basis that it was apparent the man did not love the woman, or he would have been more considerate of her than to burp all the time. Now that’s an extreme story, but it illustrates the point. Love is not rude.
 
–John MacArthur

This story is a year old, but is anything different?

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KABUL (Reuters) – Bibles in Afghan languages sent to a U.S. soldier at a base in Afghanistan were confiscated and destroyed to ensure that troops did not breach regulations which forbid proselytizing, a military spokeswoman said.

The US military has denied its soldiers tried to convert Afghans to Christianity, after Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed soldiers at a bible class on a base with a stack of bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages.

U.S. Central Command’s General Order Number 1 forbids troops on active duty — including all those based in Iraq and Afghanistan — from trying to convert people to another religion.

“I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera’s clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed,” spokeswoman Major Jennifer Willis said at Bagram air base, north of Kabul.

Military officials have said the bibles were sent through private mail to an evangelical Christian soldier by his church back home. The soldier brought them to the bible study class where they were filmed.

Trying to convert Muslims to another faith is a crime in Afghanistan. An Afghan man who converted to Christianity was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2006 but was allowed to leave the country after an international uproar.

Unsure of your salvation?

When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, he expressed great confidence in his eternal salvation: “I know him whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12).  Again, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day” (2 Tim 4:7). John said, “I have written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).  And yet, in spite of so many passages that speak positively of our “blessed assurance,” there are a great number of our brethren who doubt their salvation!  That doubt is reflected in a gloomy disposition of despair and despondency characteristic of a world in darkness. 

 One sister in Oklahoma used to say, “Too many of my brethren act as if they were baptized in vinegar.” One of the most beautiful passages in all the Bible is 1 John 1:7 – “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  There are two important truths that emerge from this passage.  First, while walking “in the light” we are still going to sin.  All too often we demand of ourselves that which we are not capable of giving, namely sinless perfection.  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1:8).  Second, we have the cleansing blood of our Lord at our constant disposal.  Like an ever flowing fountain, limitless in its resources, and powerful in its efficacy, our Lord’s blood will wash away every single sin and remove the guilt associated with it. No wonder John could, in this same letter, write of our assurance of salvation (5:13).

 It was once said, “A joyless saint will never win a joyful sinner to Christ.”  If your lack of assurance has robbed you of the joy of Christian living, how can you ever expect to convert someone who, though living in error, has greater confidence of his salvation than do you?  No wonder Paul told us to “rejoice in the Lord always.”  And as if to drive the point home, he immediately repeats, “again, I will say, REJOICE!”  Beloved, we CAN know that we are saved, and with that assurance comes the great joy of Christian living! 

— Tom Wacaster

Are you ready to die?

A local barber became a Christian on a certain Sunday morning.  Being excited about his new found faith, this man wanted to share the news about Jesus with all his customers.

The barber opened his shop on the Monday after his conversion and in walked a customer.  The barber situated this man in the chair, put the hair apron on him, and then proceeded to get a pair of scissors from the counter.  With scissors in hand the barber approached the man in the chair and said:  “Are you prepared to die?”

The terrified customer leaped from the chair and escaped through the nearest door.

This story, which is said to be true, contains some interesting lessons.  First, it reminds Christians about the need to be evangelistic (Mk. 16:15-16).  Second, it reminds us to choose our words carefully.  We may know what we mean, but others may not (Col. 4:5-6).  Third, a time will come when either we die (Heb. 9:27) or the Lord will return (2 Thess. 1:7-10).

The question posted by the barber is very important so I am going to put it to you, dear reader.  Are you ready to die?

If you are not sure about your relationship with God, please study the following items.

Without faith we cannot please God (Heb. 11:6).

We cannot be a child of God without repentance (Lk. 13:3).

We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God (1 Tim. 6:12; Acts 8:36-38).

We must also be baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and then “walk in the light” (1 Jn. 1:7).

Brad Price
www.abiblecommentary.com

4,000 sermons, 20,000 songs, 8,000 public prayers

 In his book, Hearts on Fire, Don Humphrey exposes our spiritual passivity. He notes:

“The average member of the church of Christ has heard 4,000 sermons, sung 20,000 songs, participated in 8,000 public prayers … and converted zero sinners” [p. 3]. … God never intended for Christianity to be church-building centered. The message from God in the New Testament is that He intends for us to go to the lost (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 26:16-18; Romans 1:14,15; 2 Timothy 2:2). Instead, our usual evangelistic program involves having a nice building and nice services to which the lost can come. And if they don’t come, they are not reached. If our church-building evangelism method could win America, it would already have done so” [p. 7]. … Our problem is that we have become spiritually lethargic. We are like a car stuck in a snow-drift —- the wheels are spinning and the motor is racing, but there is no forward motion. Congregations have full calendars with lots of programs and activities but no forward direction that will keep the main thing the main thing —- growth. We have become indifferent. It doesn’t really matter to us that we are not growing. People are lost, and we are evangelistically inactive. … Perhaps the Devil learned a lesson [from first-century Christianity] … Today he is not persecuting us; he is lulling us to sleep…” [pp. 12-13.]

20 year search comes to an end

About twenty years ago I began searching for some rare religious books.  A few of these books have been found and purchased over the years, but most are volumes I have never been able to see let alone buy.

About ten years ago someone told me one of the books on my list is worthless—a small paperback that was hardly worth printing.  When I asked this fellow if we were talking about the same book, he assured me we were.

Although I did not think the man was lying, his claim seemed doubtful because another book by this same author is outstanding.  Since it didn’t hurt to keep looking, I have continued to watch for a copy of this “worthless paperback” for the past ten years.

Today some unusual circumstances alerted me to the fact that this book is again being sold via “print on demand” and single copies are available.  Today I was also able to hold and examine a copy of this book at a seminary library.  Rather than be a small paperback, this is a hardbound book of almost 600 pages and the material is truly outstanding.

Many of the great things in life come through searching and this is certainly true in the area of religion.  In Mt. 7:7 Jesus said:  “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”  In Mt. 13:44 Jesus said:  “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field ; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

Some of our searching may seem fruitless and almost endless.  Others may try to discourage us in our search for God, truth, and heaven.  In the end faithful searchers often find they are blessed beyond their wildest dreams.

  Keep searching, especially as it relates to being and staying in a right relationship with God.

*Out of season* preaching

In an instant, Jim Scudder was living a nightmare.

The missionary and his son, John, had traveled from their home in Nyeri, Kenya, to the capital, Nairobi, to obtain a visa for John to attend Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.

As they pulled up to a guesthouse on a recent Wednesday night, five armed men jumped into their car. The hijackers forced the Scudders into the back of the car and started driving.

They threatened the Christians and shoved guns into their chests. They took Jim Scudder’s cash and bank cards and forced him to withdraw money from automated teller machines.

The hijackers also robbed other people, forcing them into the car. All the while, said the missionary’s daughter, Anna Edgeston, “Dad talked of being a Christian and the joy that he and John experienced due to being Christians. His missionary work never stopped, even in the midst of danger.” Jim Scudder has served in Kenya since the 1970s, said Roger Pritchett, missions minister for the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Little Rock, Ark.

The missionary’s first wife died in childbirth, and he remarried Grace, a native Kenyan. The couple and three of their children work among the Kikuyu people. Pleasant Valley has supported their work for 20 years, Pritchett said.

After driving around Nairobi for several hours, the kidnappers ambushed another motorist. They left the Scudders and their car outside an apartment complex.

“One of the kidnappers asked that Dad pray for them due to the work they do,” Edgeston said.

In addition to cash, the kidnappers took Jim Scudder’s wedding ring, which he had worn for more than 32 years, his daughter said.

She asked fellow Christians to pray for her father and brother as they cope with the psychological effects of the ordeal.

 
For original post see http://bit.ly/gvYUcl

Did asteroids kill dinosaurs?

     An article entitled “Maybe an Asteroid Didn’t Kill the Dinosaurs” by Jeffrey Kluger caught my attention the other day:
  
     “When a scientific principle is common knowledge even in grammar school, you know it has long since crossed the line from theory to established fact. That’s the case with dinosaur extinction. Some 65 million years ago – as we’ve all come to know – an asteroid struck the earth, sending up a cloud that blocked the sun and cooled the planet. That, in turn, wiped out the dinosaurs and made way for the rise of mammals…Now, however, a study in the Journal of the Geological Society throws all that into question…The fossil record shows that a riot of species was thriving; above it, 65% of them went suddenly missing… they sampled 30 feet higher – and 300,000 years later – that they saw the die-offs.  ‘The mass extinction level can be seen above this interval,’ Keller says. ‘Not a single species went extinct as a result of the Chicxulub [the name of the meteor] impact.’  Keller’s and Addate’s species samplings are not, of course, conclusive…But since the new digs were so close to ground zero, the immediate species loss ought to be have been – if anything – greater there than anywhere else in the world.  Instead, the animals seemed to escape unharmed.”

 
     As I read this article (and even before I began reading it), I thought to myself, “Well DUH!  Of course an asteroid did not kill the dinosaurs.  Are there any other obvious conclusions you guys would like to finally figure out?”
     However, what I found interesting about this article was they were calling the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs an “established fact.”  Even more so, they claimed any scientific principle taught in grammar school crosses over from theory to “established fact.”  One other so-called “establish fact” taught in schools would be evolution.  But what I found most remarkable was they were actually challenging something most of America teaches and believes in.  Typically this is met with extremely harsh resistance and the burying of the truth (the actual established facts).
     Why is it when other people bring evidence against other so-called “establish facts” the scientific community and our culture cannot have courage to say, “Maybe we didn’t come from the Big Bang;” “Maybe we didn’t evolve from animals;” “Maybe we need to rethink some things here;” “Maybe the Bible is correct”?
     If there is anything to learn from this article it is that just because something is called true in schools and in this culture does not make it an “established fact.”  Here are some topics our culture generally claims as “established facts.”  (1) Evolution.  (2) Abortion is acceptable.  (3) Homosexuality is natural.  (4) Premarital sex is no big deal.  (5) Divorce for any reason is okay.  (6) Getting drunk is just fine and it’s fun.  While most people accept these claims, they are anything but the truth.  The real place to get the answers, the truth, and the “established” facts cannot be from men, but only from God (Proverbs 12:15; 14:12; 19:21; 21:2, 29-31; Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 10:23; etc).  Here is what God says about these:
     (1) Evolution is false: Genesis 1:1, 11, 12; Psalm 148:5; 1 Corinthians 15:38-39; etc.
     (2) Abortion is unacceptable: Same Greek word for child used before birth (Luke 1:41) and after birth (Luke 18:15); Psalm 139:13-15; 22:10-11; Galatians 1:15; etc.
     (3) Homosexuality is wrong and unnatural: Romans 1:18, 24-27; Genesis 19:4-5, 11-13, 24; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Matthew 19:4-5; etc.
     (4) Premarital Sex is not acceptable: 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, 8-9; Hebrews 13:4; etc.
     (5) Divorce: God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).  Divorce only allowed through sexual immorality (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; etc).
     (6) Drunkenness is wrong: Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-35; Galatians 5:16-24; Ephesians 5:15-21; etc.
     We when look at God’s Word, there is truly no better place to turn for answers.  Let’s make sure our “established facts” come from the only One who has established the facts, the Lord. 
Brett Petrillo