February 26, 2012

He Who Made The Stars – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“seek him that maketh the Pleiades and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night; that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth. Jehovah is his name;” Amos 5:8 ASV

This powerful exhortation is inserted in the middle of a prophetic rebuke by God of His continually, unfaithful children. They seemed determined to follow the popular tide of idolatry that everybody who was anybody, “knew” was true. The prophet Amos was plaintively pleading, futilely, to call them back.

Almost 3,800 years ago the compelling argument of Amos fell on stubbornly stopped up, deaf ears. Nevertheless, his appeal is as appropriate today as it ever was.

Modern, pagan scientists have developed elaborate but absurdly impossible theories about the chance origin of the universe from nothing. Of course, they are above believing in the obvious necessity of a first cause, an eternal creator. The “intellectually elite” today, proudly proclaim that nothing created everything (with a straight face). Once they hurdle the impossible obstacle of believing that all the matter, energy and order in the universe was created by nothing from nothing, the evolution of stars and people from all that impossible stuff, is painlessly accomplished before breakfast.

You can witness an actual, real live example of this latest and greatest “insight” in the January issue of Nature, the world’s most respected science journal.1 Nature chose Caleb Scharf, an astrobiologist at Columbia University, to write in glowing terms about Lawrence Krauss’s new book, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (Free Press, 2012). Don’t tell him there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Having already been worshiping at the Shrine of Nobody for years, they just realized that Nobody is necessarily wedded to Nothing. “Fantastic!” they think. “Even better.” Nobody and Nothing have already produced their first child: Nonsense. Nothin’ says bluffin’ like somethin’ out of Nothin,’ and Nobody says it best. (Our apologies to the Pillsbury Doughboy.)

Maria von Trap, of Sound of Music fame, had no doubt that “Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.” Likewise, Amos knew, and knew that Israel should have known, as should we, that the mighty cosmos and its galaxies of stars –the constellations such as Orion and Pleiades, – were made. All of these had to be made by an omniscient, omnipotent Creator, who certainly had a glorious purpose for it all.

In similar fashion, Amos points Israel to God’s power seen when He “calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth…” When we see billions of dead things (fossils) in rocks laid down by water all over the world, we see global evidence that waters once covered all the earth’s mountains, (i.e., marine fossils and water-laid sediments at their summits). These stubborn facts cannot possibly be explained (as evolutionary geologists try to do) by slow processes acting over eons of time. God, the Creator, had to call massive volumes of water from their original reservoirs (now residing in much deeper oceans) and pour them out on the earth in a catastrophic judgment on a proud, rebellious, willfully blind world.

Amos knew that these evidences shout their witness to the fact of a Creator who will judge, not to impotent “gods” personifying natural forces which nobody created from nothing. Men today, urgently need to see the true God of creation and salvation before  judgment falls again, for “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” Hebrews 10:31.

The proud elite are lost and groping in darkness. They need the infinite power of the Creator to whom Amos pointed lost Israel, who alone can turn “the shadow of death into the morning…”

1. Caleb Scharf, Cosmology: Plucked from the vacuum. Nature 481 (26 January 2012), p. 440. doi:10.1038/481440a.

Liberally adapted from a number of authors, including the late Henry Morris.

 

 

 

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February 19, 2012

Jesus and the Flood – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:04 am by sranderson0103

Yesterday I got a call from a brother in California, who heard me speak on the subject of Noah and the Ark about a year ago. Among other things, he called to tell me the results of a survey he had made of preachers for the church of Christ in California regarding their convictions about the flood. He asked if they really believed in a world destroying flood. His survey included many of our brethren who have liberal attitudes toward authority and institutionalism. Amazingly, about 50% said they believed in such a flood.

They preach for Christ’s church but they don’t believe what He believed. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:38-39).

Neither was it a “tranquil flood,” nor a “selective flood,” for Jesus said, “the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27). It is clear that He was referring to–and that He believed–the Genesis record of the great Flood! There it says that the whole earth was “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:13), having first been filled with people, and that the resulting world-cleansing deluge was so cataclysmic that “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth” (Genesis 7:23). Indeed, “the flood came, and took (literally ‘lifted’) them all away.”

This is what Jesus said, and what He believed, and therefore, those who are truly His disciples must also believe this. The destructive effects of the Flood can still be seen today, not only in the Biblical record, but also in the abundant evidences of cataclysmic destruction in the rocks and fossil graveyards all over the world. To refuse this evidence, as do many modern intellectuals, can only be because they “willfully forget,” as Peter said in referring to this testimony (II Peter 3:5).

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Obviously, in many cases among those who profess to believe, the answer to Christ’s question is, “No!”

(Portions adapted from comments by Henry Morris)

 

 

February 12, 2012

A Thief In The Night – Ron Boatwright

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). A thief does not call you on the phone and tell you that he is going to rob you tonight. When he robs you, you wake up in the night and he is there. The same will be with the appearance of the Lord at His second coming. No one knows when our Lord will come again. It will be a total surprise. Jesus says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).

When our Lord comes, it will happen in a split second. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). We must constantly be prepared for the Lord’s coming again. We will not have any time to get ready or change after He does come.

“Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3). We must be ready now. “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame (Revelation 16:15).”Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).

Our Lord’s coming will be a great and wonderful day for those who are prepared, but for those who are not prepared it will be horrible and beyond description, since it will be the beginning of their eternal punishment. “The Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Everyone will know when our Lord does come the second time, because “every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7).

There will be those members of the Lord’s church who will then discover they are lost because of their unfaithfulness and other sins of which they have not repented. But it will be too late then to get one’s life right. “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:41-43). Notice there will be those who will be gathered out of His kingdom, the church, and be cast into the eternal fires of Hell. These are members of the Lord’s church who are going to be lost in Hell. They are servants of the Lord. Jesus is telling us that we had better listen up.

But why are some members of the Lord’s church going to be lost? “But his lord answered and said to him, you wicked and lazy servant. And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:26, 30). These are members of the Lord’s church who are going to be lost because they are unprofitable and lazy or they have wickedness in their lives of which they have not repented. We must repent of any sin in our lives and get busy now in working for our Lord.

When our Lord does come, this earth and everything in it is going to be completely destroyed. This world will no longer have a use in God’s plan. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:10-11). Let’s get ready now and stay ready. Are you ready?

 

February 5, 2012

According to the Scriptures – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

The conclusions of the Apostle Paul were, “according to the Scriptures.”

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Cor.15:3).

When conclusions are “according to the scriptures” they will be different from those of the world. People who base their thinking on the scriptures understand that these different conclusions are right and that contrary opinions, no matter how appealing, are wrong. This boldness grates on the majority, determined to serve their own self-interests. The result is understandable; degrading, derogatory slander… “Narrow-minded Bible thumpers.”

Is it appropriate to insist that we scrupulously follow the scriptures? Inspired writers certainly thought so. When the Old Law was first given, Moses required…

“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deut.4:2).

In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible we read…

“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book” (Rev.22:18).

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees saying…

“But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”…But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.” (Matt.15:9,13).

The apostle Paul warned Timothy…

“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (II Tim 3:14).

The apostle John warned…

“Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” (II Jn.9).

Consistently we see the inspired writers were “Bible- thumpers!”

The oft repeated rebukes and warning indicate the Holy Spirit knew there was a continual danger of substituting what we think for what God thinks. This is illustrated in the apostasy foreseen by Paul (I Tim. 4:1), nevertheless it is interesting and encouraging to observe that early church leaders continued to teach and warn in a similar manner.

Irenaeus (180 AD)

“There will be no light punishment upon him who either adds or subtracts anything from the Scripture.”

 Tertullian (200 AD)

“If it is nowhere written, then let him fear the woe that comes on all who add to or take away anything [from the written Word].”

Origen (225 AD)

 “I do not want to appear to build my assertions on the basis of inference alone, particularly concerning subjects of such importance and difficulty. Nor do I wish for my listeners to agree to what is only conjectural. So let us see if we can obtain any declarations from the Holy Scripture…”

Dionysis of Alexandria (262 AD)

“In all sincerity and with open hearts before God, we accepted all that could be established by the demonstrations and teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”

The demand that we worship “according to the scriptures” is not novel or new. In spite of the ridicule from those whose practices are condemned by this principle, we must stand firm, determined to “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent” because that is what God demands.