Category Archives: Christians sinners saints or both

Are Christians Demigods or ‘little gods’

Are Christians (saints) Demigods or ‘little gods’? Many receive what’s called Daily Bible Verse Email, Encouraging Word, Verse of the Day, Bible Verse of the Day, Encouraging Daily Reading, or Scripture a day in their email and the context of that Scripture is not included, nor is the reference checked for the full meaning.

That can lead to what has been popularly termed the “little god controversy” originated with Word of Faith pastors and teachers. The basic idea behind the controversy is that humans are actually divine, created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) not only in having a soul, having dominion over the earth, or living in relationship with others, but by being of the same “spiritual class” as God Himself. Evangelicals decry this concept as misguided at best, and heretical and cultic at worst.

The main tenet of Word of Faith is that, when we ask something of God in faith, He is compelled to fill the request. As “little gods,” our words have much power. This error is taught by some television evangelists, and its roots in Pentecostalism have made it more common in Charismatic churches. The Word of Faith movement has a number of popular monikers including “name-it-claim-it,” “prosperity theology,” and “health and wealth gospel.”

The basis for the “little gods” claim is found in two Scripture passages. Psalm 82:6 reads, “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.'” Jesus quotes this psalm in John 10:34, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I have said you are gods’?” However, both of these passages include explanations in the immediate context that clearly do not indicate human divinity. Psalm 82:6 is followed by a warning that “you will all die like mere men, you will fall like every other ruler” (verse 7). The reference is to mortal men who represent God’s authority in the world-kings, judges, and magistrates. (Please see our article on Psalm 82:6.)

Psalm 82 is a warning to unjust leaders who consider themselves “gods” (Psalm 82:1) yet who “know nothing,” who “walk about in darkness” (Psalm 82:5). Jesus used this passage in response to those who accused Him of blasphemy. Essentially, Jesus asked why, when human rulers were called gods, “the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world” (John 10:36) was blaspheming by claiming to be God’s Son.

Claiming divinity for Christians is insupportable, especially taking the rest of the Bible into account. God is God alone (Isaiah 37:16). We have never been God, we are not God now, and we never will be God. Jesus was fully God and fully man (a combination called the hypostatic union). If the “little gods” hypothesis is accepted, it imputes to Jesus a lesser divinity of some kind; He became a “little god” like us. John said that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), but this does not indicate “a lesser divinity.” Jesus took on human flesh and blood in order to die for our sins (Hebrews 2:14), yet He retained His full position in the Godhead. God created us with a spirit, but that spirit does not hold divine qualities.

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Christian saints according to the Bible

The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” “…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13). “Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda” (Acts 9:32). “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons …” (Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use, and that is “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).

The idea of the word “saints” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references referring to godly character of saints: “that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints …” (Romans 16:2). “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).

Therefore, scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christian are saints and at the same time are called to be saints. First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints.

How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.

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12 Lies American Evangelicals Believe

Evangelical Christians are supposedly united in their belief that only those who believe the gospel — that Jesus Christ died on the cross for humanity’s sins and rose from the dead three days later — will be saved, or The Salvation Gospel. But not all who identify as evangelicals even believe this.

According to a September study by LifeWay Research, Americans don’t know much about theology. While most Americans identify as Christians, they seem confused about the details of their faith.

“Contradictory and incompatible beliefs are OK for most people,” explained Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. Even those who identify as evangelicals often fell into some of the worst theological errors.

Here are twelve lies about God, morality, and salvation which Christians in the study believed, and why they are wrong.

1. Personal salvation depends on good works.

Three quarters of Americans (77 percent) agreed that people must contribute to their own effort for personal salvation, according to the survey. A full half (52 percent) said good deeds help them earn a spot in heaven.

At the same time, 60 percent said Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of their sin. This is much closer to the biblical position: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not the result of works, so that no one may boast,” St. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9.

While James 2 declares that “faith without deeds is dead,” that does not mean that good deeds are what earns salvation. Romans 10:9 promises “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” It is faith, not works, that earns salvation.

2. Everyone goes to heaven.

The study found that almost two thirds of evangelicals (64 percent), and nearly as many Americans (60 percent) described heaven as a place where “all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones.” Overall, just over half of Americans (54 percent) agreed with the biblical view that only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone receive eternal salvation.

Americans seem unable to grasp the contradiction: either everyone goes to heaven or only those who believe in Jesus Christ will go to heaven.

At least a vast majority of evangelicals (84 percent) held the biblical view that hell is a place of eternal judgment, where God sends all people who do not personally trust in Jesus Christ. Even so, this means that 16 percent of evangelicals either disagreed or were unsure. Only 40 percent of all Americans believed this.

3. Sin isn’t important.

Original sin seems anathema to most Americans. Almost two thirds (65 percent) said that most people are good by nature, even though everyone sins a little. Three quarters (74 percent) of Americans disagreed that the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation — and 62 percent strongly disagreed!

Romans 3:22-23 explicitly declares that “there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Orthodox Christianity holds that only the perfect may enter heaven, and that even the slightest sin separates a person from God. Only the death and resurrection of Jesus can restore the relationship between the believer and God.

Seen as an eternal punishment for temporary sins, hell seems unfair. But orthodox Christianity holds that hell is the state of separation from God. Seen in terms of a relationship with a perfect God, even a little sin prevents the reuniting of man with God that is heaven.

While most Americans said sin does not deserve eternal damnation, more than half (57 percent) agreed it would be fair for God to show His wrath against sin. Perhaps pastors can open their congregation’s eyes by emphasizing the fairness of God’s wrath, rather than the eternal damnation meted out for every sin.

4. God accepts worship of all religions.

64 percent of Americans said God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Indeed, this belief united all kinds of Americans: 62 percent of those 18 to 34 years old believed it, as did 67 percent of those 50 and older. African Americans (69 percent), Hispanics (65 percent), whites (63 percent) and Asian-Americans (57 percent) also agreed that God accepts at least these three types of worship.

Even 48 percent of evangelicals agreed that God accepts all kinds of worship. The difficulty with this view is that these religions disagree on the nature of God. Christianity (and some forms of Judaism) sees God as one being with multiple persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Islam, by contrast, says that Allah is a monad — He is not multiple persons and He does not have a son.

Throughout the Old Testament, God showed Himself as a jealous God — ordering the destruction of idols and praising the kings who defiled pagan temples. While Jesus did liberalize worship to some extent, he also emphasized that worship must be rooted in the reality of God and man: He said it mattered less where people worship than that they worship God “in spirit and in truth.”

5. Jesus was created by God.

While a vast majority of Americans (69 percent) agreed in the idea of the Trinity — that there is one true God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — more than half (52 percent) said that Jesus is the “first and greatest being created by God.”

This is incompatible with the Nicene Creed, which declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, “begotten of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.” Small-o orthodox Christianity insists that Jesus was not made by God, but begotten of Him, being the same nature as God the Father.

A majority of Americans (61 percent) agreed with the orthodox view of the dual nature of Christ: that He is both divine and human. This is an important doctrine, because Jesus is the bridge to reunite God with mankind. If He is not fully human, He could not die for the sins of man. If He is not fully divine, he could not unite them with God Himself.

6. The Holy Spirit is a force.

56 percent of Americans said that the Holy Spirit is not a person but a force. More than a quarter (28 percent) described the Spirit as a divine being but not equal to God the Father and Jesus.

A full half (51 percent) disagreed, standing by the orthodox position that the Holy Spirit is one of the three equal persons of God. He may come from the Father and the Son, but that does not make Him any less God.

7. The Bible was written to be interpreted as each person chooses.

According to the study, 51 percent of Americans said the Bible was written for each person to interpret as he or she chooses. This nonsense does not fit with what the Bible actually says.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” St. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. If the Bible were written to be interpreted as each person wants, it could not teach, rebuke, correct, or train in righteousness.

Interestingly, while many Americans believed the Bible is meant to be interpreted personally, 64 percent said the accounts of Jesus’ bodily resurrection are completely accurate. Only 23 percent disagreed. Not surprisingly, 98 percent of evangelicals agreed in the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection, while even a majority of non-evangelical Americans (56 percent) also did.

Nevertheless, only 47 percent of Americans said the Bible is 100 percent accurate in all it teaches, while 43 percent disagreed. This might be due to the various scientific approaches to Genesis 1. 44 percent said the Bible contains helpful myths but isn’t literally true.

8. Extramarital sex is not a sin.

Only about half of Americans (49 percent) said that sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin, while 44 percent said it isn’t one. Women (53 percent) are more likely than men (45 percent) to call extramarital sex sinful, while people with bachelor’s degrees (44 percent) and graduate degrees (40 percent) were less likely than those with high school diplomas or less (56 percent) to do so.

Jesus Himself explained that sex is reserved for marriage, and He even went so far as to say that lusting after someone is a form of fornication. Perhaps due to these clear doctrines, a full 91 percent of evangelicals agreed that sex outside of marriage is a sin, compared to only 40 percent of non-evangelicals. Still, it might be concerning that 9 percent did not believe so.

9. Abortion is not a sin.

49 percent of Americans in the survey said that abortion is a sin, while 40 percent said it is not. 87 percent of evangelicals agreed that abortion is a sin, while only 41 percent of non-evangelicals said so.

Abortion is less clear directly from the Bible, but the text describes fetuses in the womb as though they were human. Genesis 25:22 describes Jacob and Esau “struggling together” inside Rebekah’s womb. Luke 1:44 describes John the Baptist inside his mother Elizabeth’s womb leaping for joy when Jesus, who was inside Mary’s womb at the time, was near. Exodus 21:22-25 is arguably the world’s first fetal homicide law, and Psalm 139 describes God’s personal knowledge of the author in his mother’s womb.

Early Christians opposed the practice, which was in vogue across the Roman Empire, and most Christians today oppose it. Modern DNA science testifies that at conception, a new being is created with the entire genetic code of a human being.

If a fetus is a human being, then the practice of abortion can be considered homicide, and the Ten Commandments clearly condemn murder.

10. Gender identity is a matter of choice.

38 percent of Americans in the survey said that gender identity is a matter of choice, while 51 percent disagreed. Only 32 percent of evangelicals said gender identity is a choice, while 40 percent of non-evangelicals said so.

Scripture does not speak specifically to the sense that a person was born in the wrong body (gender dysphoria), but it does emphasize two basic ideas on sexuality: humans were made male and female, and sexuality is a good gift of God. While people who struggle with gender dysphoria should be treated with love and respect, Christians cannot believe that their birth sex is a mistake.

The idea of original sin — that people are born into a fallen world with sinful desires, diseases, and other weaknesses — explains where gender dysphoria comes from, and the idea of God’s ultimate redemption of humanity promises an answer that does not require “gender-affirming” surgery. (Indeed, such surgery mutilates the human body as God designed it, and there are real victims of transgenderism.) Christians should sympathize with those struggling with dysphoria, and offer them the ultimate hope in Jesus Christ that motivates our faith.

11. Homosexual behavior is no longer a sin.

42 percent of Americans in the survey said that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior does not apply today, while 44 percent disagreed.

Small-o orthodox Christianity holds that homosexual practice is a sin, because sex is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Romans 1 makes clear that homosexual acts are sinful — a penalty for separation from God and a sin with its own consequences. (An aside, this passage does not call for the execution of homosexuals, as The New York Times ignorantly reported.)

That emphatically does not mean that people with same-sex attraction cannot be saved or are more sinful than others. Christians all acknowledge their sinfulness and accept forgiveness only through the death and resurrection of Jesus. No Christian should pretend to be “holier-than-thou,” but no Christian can support homosexual behavior either. It is a hard thing for Christians with same-sex attraction to be abstinent, but they are held to the same standard as unmarried straight people.

12. The prosperity gospel.

37 percent of American evangelicals agreed that God will always reward true faith with material blessings. 63 percent of Americans in general disagreed with this notion, and only 23 percent of non-evangelicals agreed with this “prosperity gospel.”

Perhaps ironically, poorer Americans, those with incomes under $25,000, were more likely (28 percent) to agree with the prosperity gospel than wealthier Americans. Only 20 percent of those making $100,000 or more bought this notion.

The prosperity gospel flies in the face of orthodox Christianity and the plain text of the Bible. While the New Testament promises heaven for those who believe in Jesus, it does not promise riches in this life. Rather, Saint Paul, the author of most of the letters in the New Testament, himself faced penury, prison, and even death for the gospel he preached. The apostles all faced gruesome deaths, with the one exception of Saint John, and thousands of martyrs laid the foundation for the church.

This does not mean that every believer is called to give his or her life to preach the gospel, but it should emphatically disprove the message of preachers like Joel Osteen, who proclaim that faith can bring riches.

Sayings

Americans with more education are less likely to believe this prosperity gospel (18 percent of those with graduate degrees said they believed it, while 33 percent of those with high school degrees or less did so).

Believe what the Bible says. Not what you want it to say.

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The Most Common Sayings People Think are in the Bible, that are Not Actually in the Bible

In Psalm 119:16, David promises God, “I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.” In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, God exhorts the Israelites, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” As believers, we know we are to study the Bible, memorize it, and obey it. But does the Bible say what we think it says? The truth is, there are several phrases that sound like they come from the Bible, but do not.

God helps those who help themselves.
The earliest recording of this saying is actually from Aesop’s fable “Hercules and the Waggoner.” A man’s wagon got stuck in a muddy road, and he prayed for Hercules to help. Hercules appeared and said, “Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel.” The moral given was “The gods help them that help themselves.” Aesop was a Greek writer who lived from 620 to 564 BC, but obviously did not contribute to the Bible. As a biblical truism, the proverb has mixed results. We can do nothing to help when it comes to salvation; salvation is through Christ alone. In the work of sanctification-becoming more spiritually mature-we are to join in the work. 1 Peter 1:14-15 says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”

Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Despite the strict rules given to the Israelites about uncleanness as a metaphor for sinfulness and ceremonial washing required by the priests (see: Exodus, Leviticus), this phrase is not in the Bible. It originated as an ancient Babylonian and Hebrew proverb, but became very popular during the Victorian era after being revived by Sir Francis Bacon and John Wesley. Is the proverb true beyond the metaphor? A new study shows that people are generally fairer and more generous when in a clean-smelling environment. But Jesus also exhorts us to worry more about the sin in our hearts than the dirt on our hands (Matthew 7:18-23).

In the last days, you will not be able to know the seasons except by the changing of the leaves.
Even a thorough Google search will not reveal the origin of this saying, but it is not found in the Bible. Matthew 24:32-33 uses the budding of leaves heralding the coming of summer as a metaphor for the signs that Christ will return. But nowhere does the Bible mention that seasons will be so altered that only the changing leaves will identify them.

Wisdom of MenIt is better to cast your seed in the belly of a whore than to spill it out on the ground.
This verse is usually used to justify fornication or adultery over masturbation. It is one more misinterpretation of the story of Onan in Genesis 38:6-10. Onan’s brother died, and Onan had the responsibility of marrying his brother’s wife to provide an heir. Instead, Onan “wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.” This passage isn’t even about masturbation; God struck Onan down because he selfishly refused to provide an heir for his brother’s inheritance. In addition, the proverb is inaccurate. In no way would the Bible encourage the use of anyone other than a spouse for sexual gratification. Instead, we are called to not allow physical appetites to control us (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

Hate the sin, love the sinner.
Although this is a biblical-sounding admonition, it is not directly from the Bible. It’s actually a loose quote of something Mahatma Gandhi wrote in 1929, “Hate the sin and not the sinner.” Augustine expressed a similar thought back in AD 424: “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The biblical principle backing this up is found in Jude 1:22-23. We are to hate sin-even our own. And we are to show love to other people. The “hating sin” part is coming under fire today as more and more people define themselves by their sin and resent the guidelines God has given us in His Word.

Money is the root of all evil.
This is a common misconception with an easy fix. 1 Timothy 6:10 actually says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil…” Money is not good or bad, and being wealthy is not a sin; Job was wealthy and described as a man who was “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1). Loving money, which in the Greek is “avarice” and implies an emotional affection, is the root of all sorts of evil as the desire to accumulate wealth is placed above God and others.

This too shall pass.
This is actually a misinterpretation of a line from “The Lament of Doer,” an Old English poem. Doer has been replaced as his lord’s poet, and calls to mind several other Germanic mythological figures who went through troubled times. Each refrain ends with, “that passed away, so may this.” Several verses in the Bible remind us that our lives and, indeed, heaven and earth will pass away (Matthew 24:35). But while we can find comfort knowing that our earthly sorrows are temporary, we’re still called to rejoice in our trials, knowing that they will lead to endurance and sanctification (James 1:2-4).

The lion shall lay down with the lamb.
Although Jesus is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God (Revelation 5), this phrase does not appear in the Bible. Isaiah 11:6 says, “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them.” Similarly, Isaiah 65:25 reads, “The wolf and the lamb will graze together and the lion will eat straw like an ox…” The sentiment reads true, however-hunter and prey will be reconciled and live in peace in the eternal kingdom.

God left us the Bible as a written testimony of His Word. His truth is found in the Bible. Some sayings are simple rewordings of biblical truth, but others are dangerous heresy. Despite how clever or even edifying a quote may be, if it isn’t in the Bible, we have no guarantee that it is the Word of God. And the only way we’ll know is if we read the Bible.

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Do We Know that the Bible is the Word of God

Man has made three basic guidelines to determine which books should belong in the Bible.

Apostolic – Apostolic, that it came from one of the apostles or scribe of an apostle.

Orthodoxy – Orthodoxy, that it is of right doctrine.

Catholicity –  Catholicity, that it is used universally among the Catholic churches.

The question of which (if any) religious text is the true word of God is of utmost importance. To avoid circular reasoning, the first question we must ask is: how would we know if God communicated in the first place? Well, God would have to communicate in a manner that people could understand, but that also means that people could make up their own messages and simply claim that they came from God. So, it seems reasonable to think that if God wanted to authenticate His communication He would have to verify it in a manner that could not be duplicated by mere humans – in other words, by miracles. This narrows the field considerably.

Beyond the evidence for the Bible’s correctness (manuscript evidence) and its historicity (archaeological evidence), the most important evidence is that of its inspiration. The real determination of the Bible’s claim to absolute inspired truth is in its supernatural evidence, including prophecy. God used prophets to speak and write down His Word and God uses miracles like fulfilled prophecy to authenticate His messengers. For example, in Genesis 12:7, God promises that the land of Israel was to be for Abraham and his descendants. In 1948 Israel was returned back to the Jewish people for the second time in history. This may not seem so astonishing until you realize that no nation in the history of the world has been scattered from its homeland and returned! Israel has done it twice. The book of Daniel predicts with accuracy the coming of the four great kingdoms from Babylon, to Medo-Persia, to Greece, to Rome centuries before some of those kingdoms came on the scene (a time span of over 1,000 years!) with details concerning how they would rule and be broken. This includes the reigns of Alexander the Great and Antiochus Epiphanies.

In Ezekiel 26 we can see in astonishing detail how the city of Tyre was to be destroyed, how it would be torn down, and how its debris would be thrown into the sea. When Alexander the Great marched on that area, he encountered a group of people holed up in a tower on an island off the coast near there. He could not cross the sea, so he could not fight those in the tower. Rather than wait them out, the proud conqueror had his army throw stones into the sea to build a land bridge to the tower. It worked. His army crossed the sea and overthrew the occupants of the stronghold. But where did he get so much stone? The rocks that were used for the land bridge were the leftover rubble from the city of Tyre… its stones cast into the sea!

There are so many prophecies concerning Christ (over 270!) that it would take more than a few screens worth of space to list them all. Further, Jesus would have had no control over many of them such as His birthplace or time of birth. Second, the odds of one man accidentally fulfilling even 16 of these are 1 in 10^45. How many is that? For comparison, there are less than 10^82 atoms in the entire universe! And Jesus, who affirmed the Bible as the Word of God, proved His reliability and deity by His resurrection (an historical fact not easily ignored).

Now consider the Quran – its author, Muhammad, performed no miracles to back up his message (even when he was asked to by his followers – Sura 17:91-95; 29:47-51). Only in much later tradition (the Hadith) do any alleged miracles even show up and these are all quite fanciful (like Muhammad cutting the moon in half) and have zero reliable testimony to back them up. Further, the Quran makes clear historical errors. Muslims believe the Bible is inspired but with some errors from editing (Sura 2:136 as well as Suras 13, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 25). The question they cannot adequately answer is: “When was the Bible corrupted?” If they say before 600 A.D. then how can the Quran admonish believers to read it? If they claim it was after 600 A.D., then they have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, for we have absolutely no doubt as to the accuracy of biblical manuscripts from at least the 3rd century forward. Even if Christianity were false, the Quran still has an insurmountable problem because it makes judgments against Christians for believing things that they do not (nor have they ever) believed. For example, the Quran teaches that Christians believe the Trinity is the Father, the Mother (Mary), and the Son (Sura 5:73-75, 116), and the Quran also teaches that Christians believe that God had sex with Mary to have a son (Suras 2:116; 6:100-101; 10:68; 16:57; 19:35; 23:91; 37:149-151; 43:16-19). If the Quran is really from God, then it should at least be able to accurately report what Christians believe.

Joseph Smith, the author of the Book of Mormon, tried to do some miracles such as prophecy (a test for a true prophet in Deuteronomy 18:21-22) but failed several times. He foretold of Christ’s second coming in History of the Church (HC) 2:382. Joseph Smith preached that the coming of the Lord would be in 56 years (about 1891). The second coming did not occur in 1891, and the Mormon Church does not claim that it did. Nor has it occurred since. He also prophesied that several cities would be destroyed in Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 84:114-115. New York, Albany and Boston were to be destroyed if they rejected the gospel according to Smith. Joseph Smith himself went to New York, Albany, and Boston and preached there. These cities did not accept his gospel, yet they have not been destroyed. Another famous false prophecy of Joseph Smith was his “END OF ALL NATIONS” in D&C 87 concerning the rebellion of South Carolina in the war between the states. The South was supposed to call on Great Britain for aid, and as a result war would be poured out upon all nations; slaves would revolt; the inhabitants of the earth would mourn; famine, plague, earthquake, thunder, lightning, and a full end of all nations would result. The South finally did revolt in 1861, but the slaves did not rise up, war was not poured out upon all nations, there was no worldwide famine, plague, earthquake, etc., and there was no resulting “end of all nations.”

We PrayThe collection of writings that Protestants call the Apocrypha (hidden writings), Roman Catholics call the deuterocanonical (later or second canon) books. These books were written between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D., the Intertestamental Period between the inspired writings of God’s Prophets in the Old Testament and those of the Apostles and their contemporaries in the New Testament. These were “infallibly” accepted into the Bible by the Roman Catholic Church in 1546 at the Council of Trent.

The Bible so far outshines every competing source for being God’s revelation that if it is not God’s Word, it would seem impossible to choose among the leftovers. If the Bible is not God’s Word, then we have been left with no clear criteria by which to know what might be.

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There is a Spiritual Battle that is Taking Place Around US!

Some of you will have read Doreen Irvine’s story “From Witchcraft to Christ”. Following her wonderful conversion and mighty deliverance, she was asked to help when others needed deliverance. Her experience was that there were 3 forms of demonic activity to be concerned about:
1. Demon possession – still thankfully uncommon.
2. Demon oppression – where the deception and oppression is brought to bear on many.
3. Demon obsession – This was by far the biggest problem in her experience!

It is crucial that every Christian understands that he/she is in a spiritual battle. There is no way to get out of it. Awareness of the spiritual battle around us is very important. Not only awareness, but vigilance, preparedness, courage, and the right weaponry are crucial elements of engaging in spiritual warfare.

In the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” It is clear that “our warfare” as Christians is spiritual. We are not fighting a physical battle, nor a human battle. It is on a spiritual level, its enemies, its prerogatives, its fortresses, and its weapons are all spiritual. If we attempt to fight the spiritual with human weapons, we will fail and the enemy will be victorious.

It is important to note that Paul is not speaking about physically battling demons here, or chopping their heads off, as in the movies! When Jesus and the apostles cast demons out, it was, along with the other signs and wonders they exhibited, primarily to prove the authority of what they said. It was important at that time for God to give the apostles a powerful “proof” that they were indeed from God and were His spokesmen. The fidelity of Scripture depends on the authority of the apostles, so God gave the apostles His power to authenticate their teachings. The point all along was to show that the ultimate authority, and our ultimate spiritual weapon, is Scripture. So, although there are times when demons possess and attack human beings today, and there are biblical instances of Jesus and the apostles casting demons out, the kind of spiritual battle that every Christian engages in is primarily a battle in the arena of the mind.

There are fortresses all around us in this world, made of the “speculations” and “lofty things” that Paul spoke of in 2 Corinthians. The word speculations is, in the Greek, logismos. It means “ideas, concepts, reasonings, philosophies.” People of the world build up these logismos to protect themselves against the truth of God. Sadly, these fortresses often become prisons and eventually tombs. Our calling as Christians is to break down these fortresses and rescue the inhabitants. It is dangerous and difficult work, but we have a divine arsenal always at our disposal. Unfortunately, one of the enemy’s best tricks is getting us to fight with human weapons rather than divine.

With the Heart We BelieveMarketing techniques, counter-philosophies, persuasive words of human wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:4), rationalism, organization, skill, entertainment, mystique, better lighting, better music, these are all human weapons. None of these things will win the spiritual war. They are ineffective for bringing about true conversion, and they may even produce false conversions. The only thing that is effective, the only offensive weapon we possess, is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). This sword gives us many freedoms as soldiers in this spiritual battle.

We have freedom from fear.

Knowing that God is fighting for us (Joshua 1:7-9) and that He will not forsake us.

We have freedom from guilt.

Knowing that we are not responsible for the souls of those who reject God’s message after we have proclaimed it to them (Mark 6:11).

We have freedom from despair.

Knowing that if we are persecuted and hated, He was persecuted and hated first (John 15:18) and that our battle wounds will be richly and lovingly tended to in heaven (Matthew 5:10).

All of these freedoms come from using the powerful weapon of God, His Word. If we use human weaponry to fight against the enemy’s fortresses, we will sustain failures and disappointment, and even our victories will be unsure. Conversely, the victories of God are full of hope.

“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 6:22-24).

The hearts of those who hear and accept the true, full message of the gospel as given by the apostles are “sprinkled clean” and “washed with pure water.” What is this water? It is the Word of God that strengthens us as we fight (Ephesians 5:26; John 7:38).

Yes every Christian should be aware of the invisible spiritual battle that is taking place even now. It is spiritual warfare that cannot be won by the Christian who is not adorned in the full armor of battle. If you are not suited up that you will be an eminent casualty is certain.

What I know, As a Born from on high Christian, I am free! I am delivered! There is a contact between myself and the living God that is personal and direct. (He lives in me). Now, what can Satan or any of his hordes do? There is only one thing. He can lie! Do not be deceived! Read and follow the Word of God (the truth) and you will find.

satan trembles, when he sees, The weakest Saint upon his knees.

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Faith or Works

Paul had been making the point that, although the requirements of the law that God gave to Israel were good and just, they were ineffective as a means of providing salvation or eternal life, since no one was capable of perfect obedience to the law through their works.

If it had been possible for people to perfectly satisfy God’s requirement for holiness through their own efforts or actions, they would then be entitled to boast of this accomplishment, and consider themselves superior to others because of it.

However, because no one was capable of perfect obedience to the law of works, God in mercy made salvation and eternal life possible through Christ’s incarnation, sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection. The law of works has thus now been replaced by the law of faith, which grants salvation not on the basis of our actions but as a result of faith in Christ’s finished work of redemption to make us acceptable in God’s sight.

As a result (as Paul said), no one now has a right to boast of their own works as the means by which they have been saved, since salvation is gained entirely by faith in God’s actions (not our own), which puts everyone on an equal footing.

The “law of faith” is thus not a written code (as the law of works was), but the means by which God (through Christ) now grants eternal life, which opens the possibility of salvation to all (Gentiles as well as Jews).

Boasting is excluded because of the law that requires faith, not works, because to place our faith in Christ is humbling, whereas to claim any work earning us our Salvation would be boasting.

To say, “I placed my faith in Christ” or “I accepted Christ as my Saviour” isn’t something we can boast in, for by doing so we admit several things that are contrary to the nature of pride:

1) We acknowledge that we are sinners.

“This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” I Tim 1:15-16

By acknowledging our sin, we place the glory on Christ for His mercy in saving those who believe, not in anything we did. The proud will either not admit their sin (I John 1:8) or they will love their sin and hide from anything that might convict them regarding it (Jn 3:19-20)

2) We acknowledge that we are under condemnation for our sin and need rescue.

By placing our faith in Christ, we are humbly admitting that the just penalty of our sin is death (Rom 6:23, Jn 3:18) and hence we need saving. The proud will often deny they need saving at all.

3) We acknowledge that it is Christ alone who can save.

The proud will not admit that Christ is the only one who can save them and deliver them from death to life. If they believe they need saving at all, they look to themselves for saving (karma, good works, enlightenment, etc.)

4) We acknowledge that Christ saves us out of His mercy as a free gift to those who believe.

By acknowledging that salvation is a free gift offered by Christ, we humbly admit that it is not something ‘owed’ to us for our own merit, nor did Christ ‘have’ to die on our behalf to bring salvation. (Rom 6:23, Rom 5:16, Rev 22:17, Tit 3:5)

During Paul’s ministry, the fact the gospel was open and preached to Gentiles as well was a huge stumbling block for the Jews, who thought the Messiah was to come in power to overthrow Rome, not die to let Gentiles be reconciled to God. (I Cor 1:23-24) The fact that salvation was free, to all sinners, was also a stumbling block to the proud pharisees.

As God's Chosen People5) We acknowledge that Christ has all authority and is Shepherd of our lives.

By placing our faith in Christ we submit to Him, dying to sin and self (I Pet 2:24-25, Eph 4:22, Col 3:9). We then, in humility, submit to Christ (Eph 5:24). Our whole lives become humble service to our King (Rom 12:1, Col 3:23-25, Heb 9:14) 6) Faith leads us to continual humility in regards to our fellow man Just as faith leads to a lifelong submission to Christ, so faith also leads us to submit to one another (Eph 5:21) and continually keep a proper perspective in our dealings with others in the church (II Cor 10:7-18, Gal 5:13)

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord. For it is l not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” II Cor 10:17-18

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Rom 12:3

So then, faith is in every way contrasted with boasting, for it is based in humility, in a proper regard for one’s position in regard to Christ. If a man proclaims, “I have placed my faith in Christ!” this is not a boast, but humility, for he is testifying that, “I was a sinner under condemnation for my wicked deeds, one in need of Salvation, a salvation that only Jesus the Messiah could provide. I believe the Messiah is who He claims, with all authority given to Him. I have repented and given my life to Him, have died to myself and risen with him, and God for the sake of Christ’s righteousness and His glory shall grant me eternal life.”

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Get to Know God Better

Everyone knows that God exists. “God has made it plain” that He is real, “for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). Some try to suppress the knowledge of God, most try to add to it. The Christian has a deep desire to know God better (Psalm 25:4).

In John 3 we read about a man who clearly wanted to know God better and who became more studied than most in the things of God. His name was Nicodemus, and he was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. This Nicodemus knew that Jesus had come from God, and he was truly curious to learn more about Jesus. Jesus patiently explained to Nicodemus how he must be born again (verses 3-15). In order to know God better, Nicodemus had come to the right person “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). Jesus is indeed the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus revealed God through His words and works. He even said that no one comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). If you want to know who God is, look at Jesus.

Sons and DaughtersSo, we must start with faith. The first step in knowing God better is to know Jesus Christ, who was sent from God (John 6:38). Once we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can truly begin to learn about God, His character, and His will. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). By contrast, “the person without the Spirit . . . cannot understand [the things of God] because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (verse 14). There is a difference between the “natural” man and the “spiritual” man.

Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” It cannot be emphasized enough how the study of God’s Word, the Bible, is paramount to knowing God better. We must, “like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it [we] may grow up in [our] salvation, now that [we] have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3). God’s Word should be our “delight” (Psalm 119:16, 24).

Those who are learning more about God are also those who obey the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Born-again believers always have the Holy Spirit, but Ephesians 5:15-21 teaches us to walk in the Spirit and surrender to His will.

Prayer is also an important part of knowing God better. As we pray, we praise God for His character and for what He has done. We spend time with Him, relying on His power and allowing the Spirit to intercede for us “through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

Also consider that one can get to know God better by fellowshipping with other believers. The Christian life was not meant to be lived alone. We learn more about God through the preaching of God’s Word and the godly counsel of those who walk with Him. Make the most of your church experience, get involved, do small-group Bible study, go witnessing with fellow believers. Just like a log ablaze on the hearth soon goes out when it is removed and placed aside, so we will lose our fervor for God if we do not fellowship with other believers. But put the log back into the fire with the other logs, and it will burn brightly again.

To summarize how to get to know God better: 1) Accept Christ as your Savior. 2) Read His Word…it is alive (Hebrews 4:12). 3) On an on-going basis, be filled with the Holy Spirit. 4) Seek the Lord through Prayer. 5) Fellowship and live out your life with the saints (Hebrews 10:25).

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Understanding of God

This is a very important question. As should be the case, we should be interested to search and reason on the scriptures to find the right answer. The biblical answer may not be in line with the usual answers circulating in the world.

First of all, we ask: what does the Bible say about the creation of the earth and of mankind? Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15-17; 3:22-24; Psalms 115:16; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 45:18 when reasoned upon, lead us to know that God created the earth as an everlasting home or habitation for mankind.

Adam was created to live for ever but under the guidance of God. Man was not meant to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). As we know, death entered the world through Adam, Romans 5:12.

God, in his love and mercy, did not abandon his purpose to fill the earth with mankind. Right there in Eden, a prophecy regarding this was uttered, in Genesis 3:15. Jesus Christ proved to be the promised seed of the woman that will be the deliverer of obedient mankind from slavery or bondage to sin and death. Also, Jesus is the seed of Abraham through whom God will bless all the earth, I.e, through whom the curse placed upon man in Genesis 3:17-19 will be reversed.

That the Bible still held out the promise of everlasting life for righteous mankind on the earth can be seen from Proverbs 2:21, 22 Psalms 37:9-11, 22, 27, 29, 34 Matthew 5:5 etc.

However, this promise of everlasting life on earth will be brought about through the instrumentality of what the Bible calls God’s Kingdom. A serious study of the Bible reveals that God’s Kingdom is the government that God purposes to set up in heaven, under Jesus as the Head. That Government will crush and put an end to all human kingdoms, and rule the earth for ever. It will be a world government, and the Bible tells us what benefits will accrue to those humans who qualify to live under that ruler ship. Please read Daniel 2:44; 7:13, 14 Isaiah 9:6, 7 psalms 46:8,9; Revelation 21:1-4; John 3:16; 17:3.

But What is the need for this arrangement for the kingdom?

When Adam and Eve chose to obey Satan, rejecting God’s commandment, what they did was akin to rejecting ruler ship by God, and voluntarily putting man under ruler ship by Satan. In other words, humans have been under Satan’s kingdom or government. No wonder the world is so wicked and unfit for healthy living! Surely, rule by man over man, especially under the overall control of Satan, has brought untold hardship to mankind. The good news is that Satan’ world ( note: not the earth, but Satan’s ruler ship) is overdue for destruction and God has promised to put an end to it by means of his own kingdom, which will usher in an era of peace, justice, righteousness, eternal life and happiness . It is by means of the kingdom under Jesus Christ that God’s promise to Abraham will be fulfilled.

Now, this is where the hope of going to heaven comes in. God, in his wisdom and love, has purposed that Jesus Christ will not rule alone as King or ruler of God’s kingdom. Bible understanding under the guidance of holy spirit has revealed that the Seed of the woman as well as seed of Abraham is composite; that is, are made up of principal (primary) and subsidiary (secondary) components. Comparing Genesis 3:15 with Romans 16:20 and Revelation 12:13-17 on the one hand, and Genesis 22:18 with Galatians 3, 16, 26-29 show that Jesus is the Primary seed of the woman as well as the primary seed of Abraham; however, there exists a secondary part of the seed  these are referred to in Galatians chapter 3:26-29 as : SONS OF GOD; THOSE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST; ABRAHAM’ S SEED; HEIRS ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE

“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.”

That Jesus will have corulers with him in the rulership of God’s kingdom is seen from Daniel 7:18, 21, 22 and from Jesus’ words in Luke 12:32. Those that Daniel refer to as “saints of God” are the same people as “the little flock” to whom ” it has pleased (God) to give (them) the kingdom)”. comparison of Luke 12:32 with John 14:1-4 reveal that these are the ones that Jesus was going to prepare a place (in heaven) for, and he will come and take them to be with him.

Apostle Paul was inspired to write as follows regarding these” saints of God” or ” little flock” in 1 Corinthians 6:1-4: “When any of you has a legal dispute with another, does he dare go to court before the unrighteous rather than before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits? Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters! So if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church?

People have different ideas about heaven. Many have no understanding of God at all, but still like to think of heaven as the “better place” where we all go when we die. Ideas about heaven are often no more than vague hopes, on par with “maybe I’ll win the lottery some day.” Most people don’t give heaven much thought until they attend a funeral or a loved one dies. It is popular to refer to heaven as the place where “the good people go.” And of course, everyone they know and love is included in the category of “good people.”

But the Bible has a lot to say about life after death, and it contradicts popular opinion. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Then in verse 36, Jesus goes on to say, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.” According to these verses, everyone dies, but not everyone goes to heaven (Matthew 25:46; Romans 6:23; Luke 12:5; Mark 9:43).

God is holy and perfect. Heaven, His dwelling place, is holy and perfect, too (Psalm 68:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Revelation 11:19). According to Romans 3:10, “there is none righteous, no not one.” No human being is holy and perfect enough for heaven. The people we call “good” are not good at all compared to the sinless perfection of God. If God allowed sinful humans to enter the perfection of heaven, it would no longer be perfect. What standard should be used to determine who is “good enough?” God’s standard is the only one that counts, and He has already ruled. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” And the payment for that sin is eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).

Sin has to be punished, or God is not just (2 Thessalonians 1:6). The judgment we face at death is simply God bringing our accounts up to date and passing sentence on our crimes against Him. We have no way to make our wrongs right. Our good does not outweigh our bad. One sin ruins perfection, just as one drop of arsenic in a glass of water poisons the whole glass.

So God became man and took our punishment upon Himself. Jesus was God in the flesh. He lived a sinless life of obedience to His Father (Hebrews 4:15). He had no sin, yet at the cross He took our sin and made it His own. Once He paid the price for our sin, we could be declared holy and perfect (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we confess our sin to Him and ask His forgiveness, He stamps “Paid in Full” over our life of selfishness, lust, and greed (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 1 Peter 3:18).

When we stand before God one day, we cannot beg entrance to heaven based on our own merit. We have none to offer. Compared to God’s standard of holiness, not one of us is good enough. But Jesus is, and it is by His merit we can enter heaven. First Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The sacrifice of Jesus covers it all.

The people who go to heaven are all alike in one way: they are sinners who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). They have recognized their need for a Savior and humbly accepted God’s offer of forgiveness. They have repented of their old ways of living and set their course to follow Christ (Mark 8:34; John 15:14). They have not attempted to earn God’s forgiveness but have served him gladly from grateful hearts (Psalm 100:2). The kind of faith that saves a soul is one that transforms a life (James 2:26; 1 John 3:9-10) and rests fully on the grace of God.

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

ElohimThen the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

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John 3:16

An understanding of the creation story of Genesis as well as of other parts of the Bible reveal that God created Adam, and therefore mankind, to live for ever here on the earth. (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:17-19, 22-24.) . The Bible explains that the tree of life was meant to impart everlasting life to Adam if he had eaten of it.

Also, the Bible assures that the earth will last forever, from the record in Psalms 104:5; 115:16; Ecclesiastes 1:4, and  Isaiah 45:18

Unfortunately, man was misled to disobey God; he ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and bad, and death entered into the world. Romans 5:12 confirms this. The Bible in many places show that God had not abandoned his purpose that man was to live on earth forever. For example, Psalms 37:9-11, 22, 27, 29, 34 hold out the promise that those who do God’s will be enabled to live for ever on the land, or the earth.

Right from the start, after Adam sinned, God promised that he would raise up a seed, in Genesis 3:15, that would destroy the serpent, who deceived Eve. The seed proved to be Jesus Christ, whom God sent into the world of mankind to perform a deliverance work which will ultimately provide a way of escape , or salvation from death. But those who desire such deliverance must have faith, or obey, or belief in the means of salvation, Jesus Christ.

It was God’s love for mankind that moved him to send his Son for this assignment. Anyone who desires to be saved, i.e to live for ever, must believe , obey, have faith in, Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the wrath of God, which we deserve, will remain on unbelievers. That wrath of God means destruction, or everlasting death (John 3:36). Recall that God sent off Adam from his presence in Genesis 3:23, 24 and sentenced him to a life of misery and eventual death.

The assurance that the adverse judgement will be reversed is given in Revelation 21:3-7, where the promise of a good and everlasting life is recorded. We are assured that there will be no more death and that life will be enjoyable. But those wishing to benefit from this must believe in Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:8 spells out what awaits the unfaithful and unbelievers.

Revelation 21:8 says: ” But as  to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death.”

This will be the fate of all those who refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ.

We often see signs and banners at sporting events that say ‘John 3:16.’ Wrongly so, John 3:16 is often written as graffiti on highway overpasses. Some ‘entertainers’ have thrown in a twist and replaced ‘John’ with ‘something else 3:16.’ So, what is the big deal with John 3:16? Why is this one verse so important?

Only the Love of GodNo other verse in the Bible so succinctly summarizes God’s relationship with humanity and the way of salvation. Some consider John 3:16 as the ‘theme verse’ for the entire Bible. John 3:16 tells us of the love God has for us and the extent of that love-so great that He sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. John 3:16 teaches us that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will be saved. John 3:16 gives us the glorious hope of eternal life in heaven through the love of God and death of Jesus Christ.

There is no more powerful way to deliver this message than to let John 3:16 speak for itself. Here is John 3:16 in 22 different English Bible translations. The words may be slightly different, but the glorious message is the same.

New International Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

King James Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’

New King James Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’

New American Standard Bible
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.’

The Living Bible
John 3:16, ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

New Living Translation
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.’

Holman Christian Standard Bible
John 3:16, ‘For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.’

English Standard Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’

Revised Standard Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’

New Revised Standard Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.’

New International Readers Version
John 3:16, ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son. Anyone who believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.’

The Message
John 3:16, ‘This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.’

New Century Version a.k.a. International Children’s Bible
John 3:16, ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life.’

God’s Word Translation
John 3:16, ‘God loved the world this way: He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not die but will have eternal life.’

Contemporary English Version
John 3:16, ‘God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him will have eternal life and never really die.’

New English Bible and Revised English Bible
John 3:16, ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that everyone who has faith in Him may not die but have eternal life.’

Good News Bible a.k.a. Today’s English Version
John 3:16, ‘For God loved the world so much, that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him, may not die but have eternal life.’

New Jerusalem Bible
John 3:16, ‘Yes, God loved the world so much, that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him, may not die but have eternal life.’

Amplified Bible
John 3:16, ‘For God so greatly loved (dearly prized) the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.’

New American Bible
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.’

New English Translation
John 3:16, ‘For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’

Literal Translation of the Bible
John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’

Modern English Version
John 3:16, ‘For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’

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