Sunday, October 30, 2005

Is Your "House" Built on The Rock or sand?

Matthew 8:21-27 is where Jesus teaches the parable about those who build houses on rock and sand. It is the wise man who builds his house (which represents your life) on the Rock (being a hearing, responding disciple of Christ). The foolish man who builds his house on sand finds when the rain, streams, and winds come (the storms of life), it falls with a great crash.

Like a house of cards, the fool's life crumbles. Many people are headed for destruction, not always out of stubbornness, but sometimes out of thoughtlessness.

Part of my responsibility as a believer is to help others stop and think about where their lives are headed and to point out the consequences of ignoring Christ's message.

Verse 22 mentions "that day" (the day of judgment when God will settle all accounts, judging sin and rewarding faith) and only our relationship with Christ - our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him; which means recognizing Him as Lord, - will matter.

Notice that I said, "only our RELATIONSHIP with Christ - meaning our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him (as Lord) - will matter" come judgment day. This is written and discussed in detail within the Scriptures.

In John 3:3, Jesus himself stated the importance of being 'born again', "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

In John 3:35,36 He also stated, "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

There is no doubt that God the Father requires repentance of sin, and acceptance of his Son as Lord and Savior in each individual life in order for anyone to see the kingdom of God and live with Him forever in eternity.

This earth will not last forever. Even evolutionary scientists believe that the earth (indeed, the universe) had a beginning (Big Bang), is winding down and the sun will eventually burn out. Without the sun, the earth and it's inhabitants cannot survive. Burned out stars in the universe are seen through telescopes and even the naked eye.

Correction re: (shooting stars). Thomas stated: "meteors, are not actually stars, but rather little bits of space dust (sometimes rocks) that come screaming through our atmosphere at many thousand miles per hour." Thanks Thomas!

Scientifically, this indicates that our sun will one day meet the same fate.

The Bible records for us the beginning of the world and the end of the world. The story of mankind from beginning to end - from the fall into sin to redemption and God's ultimate victory over evil, sin and death - is found in the pages of the Bible.

Genesis: The sun is created.
Revelation: The sun is not needed

Genesis: Satan is victorious
Revelation: Satan is defeated

Genesis: Sin enters the human race
Revelation: Sin is banished

Genesis: People run and hide from God
Revelation: People are invited to live with God forever

Genesis: People are cursed
Revelation: The curse is removed

Genesis: Tears are shed, with sorrow for sin
Revelation: No more sin, no more tears or sorrow

Genesis: The garden and earth are cursed
Revelation: God's city is glorified, the earth is made new

Genesis: The fruit from the tree of life is not to be eaten
Revelation: God's redeemed people may eat freely from the tree of life

Genesis: Paradise is lost
Revelation: Paradise is regained

Genesis: People are doomed to death
Revelation: Death is defeated, believers live forever with God

Jesus said that 'not one jot nor tittle will disappear from the Law until all is fulfilled.' Many of the 300 or more prophecies (that point directly to Jesus as Messiah) predicted in the Bible have already been fulfilled. Believers have the assurance that the rest will also be fulfilled as well.

In John 2:17, Jesus said, "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." Revelation 21:1 says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea."

The earth as we know it will not last forever, but after God's great judgment, he will create a new earth (see Romans 8:18-21; 2 Peter 3:7-13).

An atheist once said these words about me, "Ms. Watson would be rebuked by most of society if she, as she infers, follows all the dictates of her Bible."

It is true that some in our society would attempt to rebuke me (and any other born-again Christian) and Romans 1:18-20 tells us why. Romans 2:5-8 tells us what will happen to those who are unrepentant when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

The following verses describe salvation's freeway:

Romans 3:23 Everyone has sinned.
Romans 6:23 The penalty for our sin is death.
Romans 5:8 Jesus Christ died for sin.
Romans 10:8-10 To be forgiven for our sin, we must confess our sin and repent, and believe that Jesus is Lord. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ.

This atheist went on to accuse me: ""Her selective choice of passages in that book, which she believes bolsters her inane concepts, are seen a perfunctory."

Perhaps the verses that I share appear to be routine or superficial to this man. However, Jesus declared to the Father, "Your Word is truth." What "word" was Jesus referring to? The Bible!

This atheist who took the time to challenge Christian beliefs had been obviously influenced by "politically correct" thinking which has been influenced by a form of relativism called 'epistemological relativism'.

The word epistemology refers to one's view or theory of knowledge - one's explanation of how human beings come to know things. Epistemological relativism sees knowledge as relative, and objective truth as nonexistent. To believe in objective truth, in contrast, is to affirm that some claims about the world are true or false regardless of what others perceive to be true.

Truth is not an attitude. Truth is not how we know, truth is what we know. What 'objective' means in "objective truth" is "independent of the knower and his consciousness."

"I itch" is a subjective truth; "Plato wrote the 'Republic' " is an objective truth. "I don't want to be selfish" is a subjective truth; "I ought to be unselfish whether I want to or not" is an objective truth.

The fact that objective truth exists does not mean that people's subjective perceptions, prejudices, biases, or faulty theories do not get in the way of it. Neither does it mean that anyone who claims to have objective truth really has it. In fact, to affirm that some perceptions and claims are flawed and that we can progress in our knowledge of the world after detecting these flaws assumes the reality of objective truth. We cannot say that someone is wrong unless we have some notion as to what is right - what is objective truth.

The opposite of objective truth is relativism. Relativism has at least seven fatal flaws...what renders it meaningless, self-refuting and false.

1. Relativists can't accuse others of wrongdoing
2. Relativists can't complain about the problem of evil
3. Relativists can't place blame (even though, like my atheists challenger, they try to!) or accept praise (even though they want it!).
4. Relativists can't make charges of unfairness or injustice
5. Relativists can't improve their morality
6. Relativists can't hold meaningful moral discussions
7. Relativists can't promote the obligation of tolerance.

Another common claim of atheists is that Christianity is based on superstition and/or myth; and that it is not necessary to have a "personal relationship with God."

This atheist man's view that my values are "on superstitious ideas" is a judgment made by him without any evidence. We all live our lives relying on the belief that objective truth exists - if only we can find it. Truth is more than spouting subjective views, such as this man's personal views. It has objective existence. It has universal application. Truth is true even if no one knows it; admits it; agrees what it is; follows it; or if no one but God grasps it fully.

Psalm 33:4 - For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.

Look at this warning in Hosea 4:1 - Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

Where is our true hope?

Colossians 1:5 - For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 - For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Colossians 1:9-29:

Preeminence of Christ
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption *through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Reconciled in Christ
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Sacrificial Service for Christ
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: *which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.


Thomas said...

This may be a bit pedantic, but I thought I should let you know that "shooting stars", i.e, meteors, are not actually stars, but rather little bits of space dust (sometimes rocks) that come screeming through our atmosphere at many thousand miles per hour. It is true that you can observe the death of a star with the naked eye -- the most recent example was the supernova 1987A, which was so bright that it was plainly visible even though the explosion took place in a different galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The last time a supernova was visible in our own galaxy was back in the days of Johannes Kepler, before they had even invented telescopes. But it was so bright that people could see it even in the daytime.

Furthermore, the people who tell us that the sun is eventually going to die are not "evolutionary scientists," but rather astrophysicists. The term "evolution" properly applies only to biology, although you occasionally see it used for stars and other long term phenomena. The "evolution" of stars is a completely different thing than the evolution of plants and animals. The sun is already about halfway through its 10 billion year lifespan, and it is expected to get gradually larger and brighter over the couple of billion years. The sun is far too small to end its life in a dramatic supernova, but it will eventually get so large as to boil the earth's oceans, and possibly swallow the planet whole. After it reaches a certain point, it will run out of nuclear fuel, give off a last gasp of enriched elements, and shrink into small, hot, but dim bulb known as a white dwarf. And that will be it for life in our solar system. There's no need to despair, however: it'll all happen long after our lives are over. If humanity doesn't go extinct long before then, we'll probably be able to move to another star system before then sun makes things unbearable here. There's always hope. At least, until the universe becomes so cold and empty, and entropy completely sets in, and all the stars fade one by one like sparks from a dying firecracker. But that won't be for at 100 trillion years or so. There's still time to do the laundry!

By the way -- hold on to your hat! -- I find myself in agreement (!) with your assessment of relativism. It is a very shallow and absurd doctrine. I believe in the "common-sense" notion that there is a real world populated with facts that won't go away even if I wish them too. That is why I am an atheist -- the empirical evidence of the real world and the impersonal lines of logic have thrust that truth upon me. I don't know who this "epistemological relativist" is that you were referring to, but he sounds like a very poor sort of atheist!

Susan Smith said...

This is a thought-provoking post, Christine.

Jesus the Messiah is THE TRUTH... period. Love from East Talpiot. (ss)

Clandestine said...

Whoa. This is all a bit much for me first thing in the morning! But I'm going to comment on the last post, so please go back :)

Christinewjc said...

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the corrections. I'll make the changes this morning.

The reason I mentioned "evolutionary scientists" in that post was because I was attempting to show that even they, believe that the universe had a beginning and will have an end. This might be one of the few things that both Creationists IDeists and Darwinists (initially)agree on. Of course, the assumed method applied towards how life came about(and, the extrapolation of evidence of Darwinism) is very different.

Since I was mentioning Genesis, (where the sun is said to be created), and then sharing a portion of Revelation, (where the sun is not needed), I thought that I would just mention the fact that all theories agree that the universe had a beginning and will have an end, thus, it is not eternal.

This one point of agreement still leads to more questions, of course. Some include the length of time between the Big Bang and when all of human history began.

I am a lay person when it comes to science. I'll admit that. But the more I investigated evolutionary theory, the more I question its validity. I have had many conversations with evolutionists at my message board and have found that they often lead nowhere. I question much of the theory when evidence from micro-evolution is extrapolated towards the non-evidence of macro-evolution.

I'm sure that you have heard of Kent Hovind and his challenging questions for evolutionists. I can post them here if you want to read them.

Those who follow evolution without question are actually following a philosophy rather than being scientists who follow true evidence wherever it may lead. It is almost like a religion in and or itself! I've read several books where the icons of Darwinism have been exposed. I learned that the amount of time given for radiometric dating could be way, WAY off. Many other revelations, too. It was quite eye-opening for me. No longer did I see my belief in Creation as just a "religious" position, I see that it has physical evidence to back it up, too.

The term "epistemological" describes someone who adheres to a "branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge." Relativism (as you know) says that there are no absolutes. Relativists believe that "theory of knowledge, truth, morality etc., holds to that criteria of judgment which may vary with individuals and their environments."

I was glad to read this:

Thomas: "I find myself in agreement (!) with your assessment of relativism. It is a very shallow and absurd doctrine. I believe in the "common-sense" notion that there is a real world populated with facts that won't go away even if I wish them too."

However, we part company when you stated: "That is why I am an atheist -- the empirical evidence of the real world and the impersonal lines of logic have thrust that truth upon me."

You see, I don't see logical reasoning as an absolute law which governs the universe. It has its important uses (as in the sciences), of course, but logic is not a set of rules which govern behavior, for example.

Logic is not "all there is." We must decide whether logic is the right "tool" for the job. There are other ways to communicate, discuss and debate. Wouldn't you agree?