Posted

When did God create the heavens and the earth? Again, the Bible answers that question for us when it says: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” (Gen. 1:1).

Though some would attempt to extend the six days of creation into long periods of time and others would introduce a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 with the claim that the angels were a part of an earlier failed creation, the Bible is quite clear that the six days are, literally, six days.

In Genesis 1, we read: “So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5), with the same parameters mentioned of each day; and, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Gen. 1:31).

The Bible also makes clear that all things were created within the six days when it says: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Ex. 20:11); and, “You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You” (Neh. 9:6).

When did the six days of creation occur? While it would be a mistake to make a doctrinal issue out of a specific date or year, the Bible’s genealogical records indicate that creation occurred approximately 4,000 years before Christ, or approximately 6,000 years ago — numbers which can be calculated based on the ages of the patriarchs when sons were born to them, the lengths of kings’ reigns and other dates or events in the Bible, such as the exile and destruction of the temple (e.g., Gen. 5 and 11; 1 and 2 Kings; 1 and 2 Chron.).

Though the Bible contradicts modern “scientific” theory regarding the age of the earth, there is no contradiction with the true evidence, which suggests a young earth and a catastrophic and universal flood (Genesis 6-8). Believers accept the accuracy of God’s account of creation which is recorded for them in the pages of the Bible.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

“There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom….” Luke 16:19-23 KJ21; Read Luke 16:19-31

We should note first of all that Jesus’ illustration of the rich man and Lazarus may be much more than a parable, for it is told by Jesus as if it is a true and factual account. Whether an actual historical event or a parable, we can still learn much from Jesus’ telling of it.

The rich man is not identified by name; but the poor beggar’s name was Lazarus, which means “God is help.” Even though Lazarus was poor and full of sores, we know that he was a true believer in God, as his name indicates, because he was taken to heaven when he died.

Even though the rich man was greatly blessed by God in material things, he did not believe or listen to the Word of God (Moses and the Prophets). This can be seen by the fact that there were no fruits of faith in his life in regard to poor Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, and by the fact that his soul went to hell when he died.

In addition to teaching that one’s soul goes either to heaven or to hell when he dies, Jesus warns against living life solely for the enjoyment of the good things of this world. One’s first concern should be to heed the Word of God and repent, turning away from sin and the selfish use of this world’s goods to faith in Christ, who died to redeem us from sin and death.

As a fruit of true repentance, we will then put to death our selfish and sinful desires and use the goods of this world to help those in need. We will not close our hearts to the poor and needy but will do all we can to help them.

One more important truth should also be learned. If one does not heed the Word of God during his lifetime, there is no other hope for repentance; for the Holy Ghost works through the Law to convince us of our sin and the punishment we deserve and through the Gospel to reveal our Savior and to assure us of eternal salvation through faith in Him.

If one, during his lifetime, refuses to turn from his sins to Christ Jesus, his Savior, there will be no more opportunity for repentance. His torment in hell will be forever!

But when one, by the grace of God, heeds the Word and repents, trusting in Christ for forgiveness and life, he is forgiven by God and his soul, at the time of death, will be transported by angels to the bosom of Abraham.

O Jesus, who my debt didst pay and for my sin wast smitten, within the Book of Life, oh, may my name be also written! I will not doubt; I trust in Thee, from Satan Thou hast made me free and from all condemnation. Amen. (The Lutheran Hymnal, Hymn 611, Verse 5)

[21st Century King James Version (KJ21) Copyright © 1994 by Deuel Enterprises, Inc.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13a

The Bible clearly tells us: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:13-14). Therefore, we are not, in this petition of the prayer which the Lord Jesus has taught us, asking God not to tempt us; for He “cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.”

Rather, since we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own sinful longings and desires, we ask our Father in heaven to lead us in such a way through our daily lives that we are not tempted — to be led on such a path where we are kept safe and protected from our own sinful longings as well as from the enticements which the devil and the world put before us.

The Bible also assures us: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Though God does not send temptation to evil, He does permit temptations to come. Yet, He limits the temptations and provides us a way out so that we may be able to endure and overcome them. Thus, we ask our heavenly Father to lead us in such a way that, when temptation does come, He would lead us safely through it and give us the victory.

Connected with this petition to our heavenly Father is the prayer that He would also deliver us from the evil one.

Again, the Bible tells us that we are to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9).

The devil — or Satan — is the father of lies and the deceiver. He seeks to keep us from God and His truth (cf. John 8:44). Like the roaring lion who stalks his prey and seeks out one that is weak or straying, so the devil watches for our weaknesses and attacks us when and where we are most vulnerable to his ploys. He seeks to keep us from God our Father and life everlasting through faith in Christ Jesus by causing us to doubt God’s Word and by leading us into a life of disobedience and sin.

Therefore, we are in constant need for the protection and deliverance of our Father in heaven; and we humbly pray: “deliver us from the evil one.”

And included in this petition, we pray that, when we do fall into sin and disobedience, God would graciously, for Christ’s sake, deliver us from the grasp of the devil and bring us to repentance. We pray that we would acknowledge our sin and disobedience and turn to the LORD God for His mercy and forgiveness for the sake of Christ Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death in our stead.

The Bible says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).

When we repent of our sin and turn to the LORD for His mercy and forgiveness in Messiah Jesus, He delivers us from the grip of the evil one and brings us back into His eternal kingdom for Jesus’ sake.

As believers, we take heart in the words of St. Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:18): “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

Dear Father in heaven, lead me through life in such a way that I do not fall into temptation and sin; and deliver me from the attacks of the evil one upon my soul and upon my salvation in Your Son, Jesus Christ. And, Father, when I do fall, mercifully bring me to sincere repentance and faith, and preserve me for Your eternal kingdom. I ask this for the sake of Jesus’ blood shed for me. Amen.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories

Posted

Who is the Creator? The Bible, which is God’s inspired account, tells us that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

And, who is this God? The Hebrew word Elohim, which is the plural form of God, is the name used to describe the Creator (cf. Gen. 1:26-27). He is also called by the name Jehovah (some pronounce it Yahweh or Yehuvah), often translated LORD. “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4).

The Bible further defines God, when it says: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Cor. 8:6). Thus, we see that all things were created by God the Father through Jesus Christ.

God’s creation account also tells us that, in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). And so we see that the Holy Spirit, too, was active in the creation of all things.

The opening verses of John’s Gospel tell us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). And so, we learn that the Word, Jesus Christ, identified in verse 14 as God Himself in the flesh and the only-begotten Son of the Father, created all things and is the giver of life, both physical and spiritual.

In St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the inspired Scriptures say of Christ Jesus, that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:15-17).

So, who is the Creator? It is God, the God the Scriptures identify for us as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Though God is one – “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deut. 6:4) – God is also three – thus, the command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

This is why the God of the Bible is often called the Triune (three/one) God, because He is one God and yet three distinct Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet, there are not three Gods, but one God.

The Bible also tells us “there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).

Though beyond our ability to comprehend, this is how God has revealed Himself to us – it is His account and His word. And it is this God who has created all things and given us life.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,

Posted

How is it that this world and the universe came to be? How did life begin and why does it go on? Is it all the result of chance over extreme lengths of time? Or is it the result of an intelligent creator who wisely designed and created all things?

While many have speculated and theorized, there is one eye-witness account of how all came to be and who is behind it. Many scoff and criticize this account and offer alternative theories with no foundation in truth in an attempt to escape the accountability which goes along with the creation account, but wisdom calls upon us to seek the truth and accept it, along with any accountability which accompanies that truth.

That one eye-witness account is recorded for all to know in the first two chapters of Genesis. It is the account of the Creator Himself, recorded by Moses for all to read and know the truth.

That account begins: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen. 1:1-3).

Please read the full creation account in the first two chapters of Genesis.

[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Author
Categories ,