Monthly Archives: December 2014

If Evil Were Eternal God Would Be An Inexcusable Monster

I have been reading a series by Martin Zender on Romans 5 that I have found very interesting.  In this series, I have picked up little nuggets of truth that I have not heard before and they blow my mind (I know, small explosion, but still!).  I read the most recent article and wanted to comment on something he said that struck me hard.

“If evil were eternal, then its entry into the universe via God’s hand – Isaiah 45:7 – would be inexcusable.”

[My insert for the benefit of the reader] (Isa 45:7) Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I am Jehovah, doing all these things.’ YLT – Young’s Literal Translation

“But evil is not eternal, it’s temporary.  The eternality of evil is the worst teaching imaginable…Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:26 that, “the last enemy is being abolished, death.”…If death is the last enemy abolished, then every other enemy – every other evil – will have gone before.  This is pure logic.  God created evil to do its nasty but necessary work of revealing all things good.  When all things goodare finally and fully bloomed, God dismantles forever the scaffolding – evil – used to produce them. 1 Corinthians 15:26 proves it.  Christianity knows nothing of this joy. They love evil too much.  The prospect of evil being forever abolished makes them sad.  They want their enemies to be eternally tormented.  They want to watch.”

Zender goes on and gives an example saying, “God’s use of evil can be likened to a human using fire to purify gold.  When the gold is purified, the fire is abolished.”  In other words, the fire (hell, evil) has a purpose.  If it had no purpose other than for retribution, it would deny its being formed and the form-er, God, the creator of all things, would be nothing more than a monster, a maniac, a murderer, a being worse than any terrorist walking the earth today.

Thankfully, the Bible denies that God is anything but a loving Creator with a purpose that defies our own logic and reason.  Paul explains that we see through a dim glass, an opaque glass, that only yields, at best, shadows of great things to come.  What greater thing than the salvation of all people could there be that is yet to come?  Friend, do you still want to cling to your traditional, anemic view of God that has Him saving less people than Satan brings destruction upon?  Is Satan greater than Jesus?  Did Jesus ‘ coming into this world truly lead to the destruction of death through His own death on the cross?  Was this good news of great joy for all people really so-so news for some people?

No, and thankfully no my friend.  Jesus defeated death and now we have nothing left to fear.  All people are in Christ, or will be in Christ, and because of Jesus’ own words, about saving all mankind in John’s writings especially, we can truly celebrate His birth as GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY WHICH WILL BE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE!  Blessings to you all on the Christmas eve.  Let me know what you think about Zender’s comments.  I agree with him, maybe you don’t  If not let us dialog lovingly about it.  Until then, be at peace in the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Craig

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Watch “That You Might Have Life 253 Air Date 12 12 14” on YouTube

That You Might Have Life 253 Air Date 12 12 14: http://youtu.be/87U7ag92LjU

This is the last video in the series on Unraveling the End, by Dr. John Noe.  I hope you have been enlightened as to  a plausible explanation of biblical teaching and an understanding of the end times as the original hearers would have believed. To me, it makes a lot of sense.   It answers a lot of questions in a way that does not seem to have to contort Scripture to fit a theology and seems to also fit and conform to other Scripture on the same subject.  Thanks for tuning in here and as always, your comments are always appreciated. Again, blessings to you!

Craig

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Did You Choose To Be In Adam?

One question I remember being asked many years ago when I was a pastor was this:  If I didn’t choose to be in Adam, why am I guilty of his sin?  Well, most of that question is valid.  Let me dispel the false part of that question.  I know this goes against everything I was taught in seminary and the local church business I was brought up in, but here goes.  No one but Adam is guilty of his sin!  Now, I know that makes perfect sense to the majority of people because it is only reasonable.  We don’t punish one of our children for the sins of the other, do we?  No, we don’t!  Most Christians would agree that throughout the Old Testament (most all of it, especially from Moses forward) the Law spelled out an eye for an eye, justice and restitution.  No more, no less.  You steal a lamb, you give up a lamb and possibly some interest, money lost because they couldn’t use that lamb that was stolen.  But, it wasn’t, “You stole my lamb, now you die.”  Certainly, though I am not spelling out every law here, but the law would never indict an innocent for the sins of another.  That would not be fair.

So, what about the rest of the question?Am I indeed in Adam?  Or, if I am not guilty of Adam’s sin, what am I guilty of?  What is it I inherit from Adam?  Well, first off, the first and last question just posed are answered the same way.  Yes we are “in Adam,” meaning we inherit something from him because we are human like him.  What we did inherit is death.  If you are born into this life you will surely, one day, die.  Adam’s sin was Adam’s sin and he was expelled from the Garden, promised he would work the ground with his hands until he died, and lost immortality after his sin.  We believe that if Adam hadn’t sinned he would still be alive today, in the physical sense. Though we are not told specifically that people would have immortality if there was no original sin, we do know that death was specifically given because of that first sin.  It is possible that God never planned or made people immortal from the beginning, at least as we are told from the record of the beginning, Genesis.

So why is this a deep and important subject?  For this reason, among others; if we never chose to be in Adam, then we also never choose to be in Christ!  WHA-A-A-T?!  Human free will has nothing to do with either situation, meaning we have no choice whether to be born and die, nor do we have any choice whether we will have immortality (typically assumed to be from belief in Christ, a free choice or a choice of God for only an elect few).  To keep this short and on point, without straying any further than I should, Adam sinned and everyone after him inherited death.  Likewise, Christ died and paid sin’s penalty and everyone will inherit immortality (life with God).  1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”  You have to twist the clear meaning of the Greek text to get anything but this!  The parallelism in this verse is exactly the same as that we find in Romans 5, my new favorite passages in the New Testament (Bible).  Why else would Paul compare Adam and Jesus?  One brought death to humanity, ALL HUMANITY, and the other brought life to humanity, ALL HUMANITY!  Period, exclamation point.

Dwell richly in these thoughts my friends and see if the joy of Jesus’ birth isn’t magnified in your mind and life!  God bless you!

Craig

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Watch “That You Might Have Life 252 Air Date 12 05 14” on YouTube

S That You Might Have Life 252 Air Date 12 05 14: http://youtu.be/y5IX_boi618

I believe this is the 8th video in this 9 video series.  They should be wrapping things up.  I will be viewing this today.  Let me know how God is or is not using this in your understanding of the Bible.  Blessings to you!

Craig

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My new most favorite Bible passage – Rom 5:15-19

Here is the way it is, and I can unequivocally state it cannot be any other.  Either ALL inherit death and sin through Adam, or MANY don’t.  There is no other way it can be.  And if you come to me and say it can be some third way you are a liar and the truth is not in you!  How can I be SO dogmatic (and offensive to some people by this statement) about this topic?  I can because Paul makes some extremely clear statements in my new favorite Bible passages, Romans 5:15-19.  Here are those verses for you in several different translations:

 

“much rather the grace of God and the gratuity in grace, which is of the One Man, Jesus Christ, to the many superabounds.”

(Rom 5:16) And not as through one act of sinning is the gratuity. For, indeed, the judgment is out of one into condemnation, yet the grace is out of many offenses into a just award.”

(Rom 5:17) For if, by the offense of the one, death reigns through the one, much rather, those obtaining the superabundance of grace and the gratuity of righteousness shall be reigning in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”

(Rom 5:18) Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying.”

(Rom 5:19) For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just.”   (THE Concordant Literal Version, CLV)”

 

“(Rom 5:15) [But the gift is not like the trespass], for if by the trespass of the one, the many died, by much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, multiply to the many.

(Rom 5:16) And the gift is not as through the one who sinned, for on the one hand, judgment from the one sin led to condemnation, but the gift, from many trespasses, led to justification.

(Rom 5:17) For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through the one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) Consequently therefore, as through one trespass came condemnation to all people, so also through one righteous deed came justification of life to all people.

(Rom 5:19) For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.”   The Lexham English Bible, LEB

 

 

“(Rom 5:15) But, not as the offence so also is the free gift; for if by the offence of the one the many did die, much more did the grace of God, and the free gift in grace of the one man Jesus Christ, abound to the many;

(Rom 5:16) and not as through one who did sin is the free gift, for the judgment indeed is of one to condemnation, but the gift is of many offences to a declaration of `Righteous,’

(Rom 5:17) for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one–Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) So, then, as through one offence to all men it is to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous’ it is to all men to justification of life;

(Rom 5:19) for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.”  Young’s Literal Translation, YLT

AND LASTLY,

 

(Rom 5:15) But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

(Rom 5:16) And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

(Rom 5:17) For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

(Rom 5:19) For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.  English Standard Version, ESV

 

Here then is my dogmatism, just as Paul writes, substantiated.  In verse 18 we read that because of the one man Adam, condemnation came to ALL men.  So, either Paul is speaking the truth or Paul is a liar and worthy of an awful death for deceiving so many for thousands of years!  But, going even further with the strength of Paul’s beliefs about sin and death versus salvation (reconciliation, restoration, etc. ), Paul adds the statement in verse 19 that through the one man Adam many were made sinners, yet through the one man, Jesus, many will be made righteous.

Now, immediately most average church-going, bible-believing Christians will point out that in verse 19 Paul states”many” and “many.” They will say that “all” cannot mean “many!” Well, evidently it can  because Paul states it to be so and I stand dogmatically firm with him in what he says.  But, I am curious.  Why does that same average Christian ignore verse 18?  Paul there says the exact same thing as he does in verse 19, does he not?  Absolutely he does!  And, this is why I am so fascinated with this portion of Scripture.  When you read the words Paul writes here and really let them sink in, they are truly joyous words!  You cannot believe what Paul says in all of his writings unless you also believe that Paul was a universalist, meaning, he believed in the salvation of all mankind!  Hint for you skeptics:  you either honestly believe what Paul writes (and therefore must become a believer in the salvation of all mankind, Christian universalism, if you will, willing to give up your currently held beliefs) or you believe he is a liar and you yourself are at best a hypocrite (believing one thing but advocating something opposite) and at worst a liar of the worst kind (saying you believe in Christ but willingly lying about what He taught and the Spirit led Paul to write).

My exhortation to you, dear reader, is this:  Toss off the restraint of what really boils down to being a belief in legalism and embrace the Good News that was of great joy to all the people.  Believe today that God’s grace and mercy super abounds over any sin and error we could commit.  Isn’t it a true blessing to know that God truly is victorious over sin and death by covering our frailties and sins with His abundant grace?  To me it surely is and I hope one day it will be for you too!  Do your long held beliefs restrain you from this grace of God or will you change your understanding of God and believe He cannot be the loser over His creation?  I love you, dear reader, with the love that comes from knowing my Sovereign and Loving God will redeem ALL of His creatures and creation will be restored to what He originally created it to be!  Will you rejoice with me and praise our God or will you try to keep God small and boxed in by your thoughts of who He is?  Join me in praising the Almighty by letting your mind be blown away by His vast love for everything He created, especially YOU, the express image-bearer of God!

 

Love in Christ to you!

Craig

 

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