Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Professor John Lennox, Oxford mathematician, bioethicist, and Christian apologist says that we have lost our sense of real meaning and our moral compass. He also says the media is totally committed to secularism, materialism, and relativism. God is no longer relevant. He is no longer permitted at the table in discussions of how this world will be managed and controlled.
How foolish the world has become. Has this taken God by surprise? Of course not, His Word, the Bible tells us that the world will be like it was in the days of Noah (godless and lawless just as we see unfolding today) just before Jesus returns first to take His Saints to heaven to protect them from the wrath of God that is poured out on this earth. After which, Jesus returns with the Saints to rescue Israel and destroy the Antichrist’s army at the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus then begins His Millennial reign on this earth with the judgment of nations.
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:37-39
Evidence-based faith is essential says John Lennox. The universe is rationally intelligent. Just look at DNA, it is complex intelligent information that controls the machines in every cell so that we can function as intelligent beings. Creation by an omniscient Creator is the only option. Evolution by random chance is nonsense.
John Anderson (former MP Australia and deputy leader of the Liberal Party) is joined by Professor John Lennox for a profound conversation centered on the current and future impacts of artificial intelligence technology. They discuss the shortcomings of science in the search for universal truth, the factors behind rising secularism in the West, China’s rapid AI implementation, our growing desire for immortality through biomedicine, and the true meaning of ‘faith’.
In 2020, Lennox published 2084 – Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, which covers key developments in technological enhancement, bioengineering, and AI. In the book, he discusses the current state of AI – its benefits, dangers, and future implications. Over the past 15 years, Lennox has been part of numerous public debates defending the Christian faith, including debates with Christopher Hitchens, Michael Shermer, and Richard Dawkins.
You will love this video for what you will learn and hear from such a gentle, humble but eminently wise man. You will come to love John Lennox.
Randy Alcorn lost his wife Nanci recently due to cancer. Obviously Nanci and Randy prayed for healing when they first learned the bad news. Fortunately, both learned a great deal about God through the experience and as a result, their trust and faith in God increased. Moreover, we are benefiting now from Randy sharing their story with us
On November 14, 2019, Nanci wrote the following in her journal:
Today I am thinking about “faith.” I have learned so much about faith.
What faith is not:
Trying to gather as much hope and “possibilities” in my own mind to reach a certain level.
Believing in that level of possibilities as hard as I can.
Presenting that package of my own hopes and dreams to God as my personal qualification to receive my hopes and dreams
God weighing the level of that package in order to determine the level of His answer to my prayers If I work up enough hope on my own, God will answer my prayers according to my wishes
What faith is:
A deep and continued study of the character and work of God Almighty
A deep and continued discipline of prayer—listening to the Holy Spirit—praying Scripture—seeking forgiveness—asking for enlightenment—praising Him for His character and works
Then, based upon the above, submit your requests to God Almighty—placing your well-grounded knowledge of His character and works into each request, always asking His will be done
Faith is being assured that God Almighty always acts according to His character and works. He never waivers. You can trust in God Almighty to always do the right thing. Nothing slips through His grid. God has everything planned, and all His plans will succeed.
The more I understand God’s character and works, the stronger my faith will be, and the more I want His will to be done knowing God does all things well.
The more I understand God’s: – Omniscience, Omnipotence, Grace, Mercy, Justice/Worth, Immanence, Immutability, Faithfulness, Love, Unity, Trinity, Holiness. The more my faith in Him will calm my soul.
Randy adds the following:
Some people hold tenaciously to a faith that their child will not die, that their cancer will disappear, and that their spouse will recover from a stroke. Do they have faith in God or is their faith in what they desperately want God to do?
If we base our faith on lack of affliction, our faith lives on the brink of extinction and will fall apart at any moment because of a frightening diagnosis or a shattering phone call. Token faith will not survive suffering, nor should it. Only when we jettison ungrounded and untrue faith can we replace it with valid faith in the true God—faith that can pass, and even find strength in, the most formidable of life’s tests.
God tells us that trials in which evil and suffering come upon us “have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7). Paul Tournier wrote, “If healing through faith is striking, how much more so are spiritual victories without healing.”
Several years ago, before Nanci was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote this in a blog titled “If I Have Enough Faith, Will God Heal Me?”:
We should pray for ourselves and our suffering loved ones, not simply try to pray away suffering. ‘God, please heal this cancer‘ is appropriate. ‘God, please use for your glory this cancer, so long as I have it’ is equally appropriate.
Let me be clear: God can and sometimes does heal presently, and whenever He does we should celebrate His mercy! I have often prayed for healing and sometimes I have witnessed it, and it’s a wonderful thing to behold and celebrate. But ultimately, all healing in this world is temporary, since people’s bodies inevitably deteriorate and die (after Lazarus died and was risen in his mortal body, eventually he had to die again) Resurrection healing will be permanent. For that our hearts should overflow with praise to our gracious God.
Nanci and I have long known that prosperity theology, or the health and wealth gospel, is a deception, not the true gospel. So we did not even once cling to the “certainty” that God would heal her in this world under the Curse.
Nanci’s journals overflow with the promises of God, and many quotes from Spurgeon and the Puritans, people who died long ago (some of whom she probably already met—if there is a line for those waiting to meet Spurgeon, she’s probably in it having delightful conversations). Nanci never quoted from aging and dying prosperity preachers, who will all die of something and daily get closer to death even as they promise “It’s always God’s will to heal you,” typically adding “send us your prayer requests for healing, along with a love offering [money].”
Though we prayed for it every night for four years, we understood that healing was never a certainty, and also knowing full well that sometimes He chooses to heal and sometimes He doesn’t, and even when He does the healing is temporary, and death always comes. “For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). When doctors told us Nanci was going to die, she told me, “We always knew that, we just didn’t know when, and we still don’t.”
But of course, God promises the death of death. He will not let it die a natural death, He will decisively “swallow up death forever” (Isaiah 25:8). Death will not have the last word. God will.
Jesus said to Martha, mourning the death of her brother Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
Answering the question Jesus asked Martha, Nanci and I both said yes—we DO believe you, Jesus. We believe that even when we die, we will live, and in the sense of final death, we will never die at all. We will depart a cursed earth to live with Him in the present Heaven, from which He will one day bring our spirits down to join our bodies in resurrection, and we will then live forever on God’s New Earth.
Randy, God does not bring our spirits down to join our bodies in the resurrection. God raises the dead first and then raptures the living Saints and they meet Jesus in the air in their new bodies (changed in an instant). Later, they come down from heaven in their resurrected bodies to rule and reign with Jesus during His Millennial reign on this earth.
“For the Lord, himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
“For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:52-53
It’s not about faith to get out of the situation, it’s about having faith to see God in and through the situation! In this video, Ps Shane Willard encourages us with Paul’s story of deliverance. Let’s declare over our situations; that this will turn out for my deliverance — no matter how this turns out I will keep my heart pure, hands clean, and taste sweet.
We are to defend and protect our belief in the name of God’s Son Jesus Christ and do it in a way that defends and protects our love for one another.We can do this because Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit.
“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:23-24
Thank goodness we have the Psalms: how helpful they are in our Christian walk, they explore the full range of human experience in a very personal and practical way. However, one psalm, Psalm 22 stands out because Jesus quotes verse 1 as His last words from the Cross. Why did Jesus take us to this psalm? It is obvious when we read the rest of the psalm, the psalm is a prophecy of what Jesus was experiencing on The Cross at the time He spoke it.
David had no understanding God was using Him to deliver a prophecy that provides incredible detail about what Jesus would experience on The Cross one thousand years later. David was obviously going through a terrible time in his life to have expressed the words he did in this prayer but consider that God gave David the words to pray so that His prayer could be used by Jesus to prove He is who He said He was, the promised Redeemer of not only Israel but the World.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you, they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!… I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots... ” Psalms 22:1-8
Note how Psalm 22 ends, David understood that regardless of whether God answered his prayer, God is still in control of His universe and this scripture will come to pass:
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” Romans 14:11
Moreover, it reveals that King Jesus will rule over the nations from Jerusalem in His soon coming Millennial Kingdom.
“I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation,I will praise you: You who fear theLORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him but has heard when he cried to him. From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.“Psalms 22:22-28
A lot of bad theology inevitably surfaces when we face suffering. When people lose their faith because of suffering, it suggests a weak or nominal faith that didn’t account for or prepare them for evil and suffering. Any faith not based on the truth needs to be lost—the sooner, the better.
Suffering and evil exert a force that either pushes us away from God or pulls us toward Him. But if personal suffering gives sufficient evidence that God doesn’t exist, then surely I shouldn’t wait until I suffer to conclude He’s a myth. If my suffering would one day justify denying God, then I should deny Him now in light of other people’s suffering.
Believing that God exists is not the same as trusting the God who exists. A nominal Christian often discovers in suffering that his faith has been in his church, family, career, or social network, but not Christ. As he faces evil and suffering, he may find his beliefs shaken or even destroyed. But genuine faith—trusting God even when we don’t understand—will be made stronger and purer.
The last three paras have been excerpted from Randy Alcorn’s book “90 Days of God’s Goodness”.
Think about how Joshua felt when God told him to lead the Israelites into Canaan, drive out the pagan inhabitants, and secure the land as a homeland for His people.
In the natural, this would seem to be an impossible task but the key of course is revealed in the following Scripture:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.Joshua 1:9
God does not commission us without the promise of His presence and provision. We only have to be “strong and of good courage.”
How would you like to be Noah, being told to build an enormous boat as God was going to destroy every living creature on the earth save those on this boat Noah was to build. We are simply told that “Noah did this; he did all that God had commanded him”Genesis 6:22
How Long Was the Ark?
At approximately 510 feet long, it would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length. That’s big enough that NASA could lay three space shuttles—nose to tail—on the Ark’s roof!
How Tall Was the Ark?
The roof of Noah’s Ark was more than 50 feet from the ground—higher than a modern four-story house. That’s plenty of space for three extra-tall inner decks as the Bible describes.
The Ark had the same storage capacity as about 450 standard semi-trailers. A standard livestock trailer holds about 250 sheep, so the Ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep.
“And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:13-22
Are you confident that God is with you wherever you go? He will be if you are obedient to His commands. Moreover, you will know if you are not being obedient because you will experince His discipline. What form that takes varies widely but repentance is required to get you back on track. This is a word usually not spoken of in apostate churches.
Do you want times of refreshing from the Lord? If you do then repent.
When you do, you can live life to the full and be joyful. In this wide-ranging video, the 51-year-old “Growing Pains” star, Kirk Cameron explains how.
Kirk Cameron, who began acting at just 14 years old — referenced a quote he learned from one of his now-grown daughters. Scrawled on a piece of paper, she wrote: “It’s the same boiling water that softens potatoes that hardens eggs. It just depends on what you’re made of.”
“So the same difficult challenges and influences of Hollywood that turns some people sour and makes them narcissistic and bitter and joyless and afraid to not fit in,” Cameron said, “is the same pressure that actually softened my heart and caused me to embrace gratitude and be thankful for the life that I have and want to use a platform and this Hollywood industry to advance the good.”
“I really think it’s what you’re made of,” he continued. “And if you don’t know what you’re made of, don’t look to your environment or your industry or other people to give you an identity.
There is somebody who made you — ask Him. And you can be sure that the ending of the story is gonna be fantastic.”
For Cameron, it wasn’t until he was in the entertainment business that he became a Christian, revealing he actually defined himself as an atheist until he was around 17 years old.
Sitting in his sports car after dropping a girl off at an acting class, Cameron recalled pondering the afterlife, wondering if there really was a heaven and a hell and a creator and a plan for eternity.
“I knew that if there was a heaven, I wouldn’t be going there,” he said, noting he had lived life with a “self-centered, conceited, ‘I’m all that,’ ‘I’m the G.O.A.T.,’(Greatest of All Time) celebrity Mike Seaver guy” mentality, never pausing to consider something outside himself.
It was at that point he decided to pray for the first time, asking God: “If you’re there, would you please show me. … Would you forgive me for all the wrong things I’ve done and make me the person that You want me to be.”
While certainly the most important, coming to Christ wasn’t the only way Cameron changed thanks, at least in part, to Hollywood. He was also introduced to his now-wife on the set of “Growing Pains.”
Cameron said one of his nephews frequently asks him if he “took advantage” and “didn’t waste” the opportunities he had to go out with so many different girls at the height of his sitcom fame.
The actor said he has reminded his nephew he “found something so much better” instead.
“I found a girl,” Cameron said. “She’s beautiful on the inside; she’s beautiful on the outside. I married her and we’ve been married for 30 years. You have no idea how much more valuable that is. I’ve got six grown children who love God and still ask me my opinions about things, who still love to come home and be with me and my wife, and I’m on PragerU’s ‘Stories of Us.’ I mean, the story doesn’t really end much better than this.”
Where are you getting your wisdom from? This verse from James says it all. There is only one place to get wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial, sincere, and will bear good fruit.
If it does not come down from above, note what James says, it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Wisdom from Above
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.“James 3:13-18
Words make an impact for good or bad. One kind word can change someone’s entire day.
One sentence can change your life forever. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin and you repent of those sins and earnestly desire to get right with God and accept what Jesus has accomplished for you by dying in your place then this one sentence will change your life forever.
“My Heavenly Father, please wash me clean in the blood of your Son, Jesus, truly the lamb of God spoken of by John the Baptist.”
You do need to be baptised and you will want to be, so you are obedient to God’s commands. Note also the signs that should accompany you receiving the Holy Spirit.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name, they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”Mark 16:16-18
Also, if you are saved you will want to get on with doing the works that God has prepared for you to do.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesian 2:8-10
In his Dialogue with Trypho, the 2nd-century Christian apologist, Justin Martyr, summarizes the Christian life in those days:
And we who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons, our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, hope, which we have from the Father Himself through Him who was crucified… Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshipers of God through the name of Jesus.
Virtue does not emerge from some inherent goodness or nobility in man. Virtue is God’s grace manifested in men. Left to their own devices, men, and even women, are anything but virtuous.
Dialogue with Trypho, CX
For Justin and the earliest Christians, many things about their newfound faith were probably still unclear. However, what was crystal clear, they knew that Jesus rose from the dead and His claim to be the Son of God was true. They knew that only by repenting of their past life and accepting Jesus as their Saviour and Lord could they receive the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and have the power to live the Christian life. Godly virtues, faith, hope, piety, righteousness, philanthropy were attainable only by the grace of God. These things were obvious to early believers in Christ.
Further, because of God’s grace, it was possible not only for men to become moral creatures, but it was by His grace that men could live freely. By His mercy, man could be liberated from the powers of supernatural oppression and the oppressive weight of their sins. In this freedom, the Christian had no fear of losing his head (literally), being thrown to wild beasts, put in chains, crucified, burned alive, or otherwise tortured. God’s grace provided the path to both virtues in life and victory over death.
As prophesied, men and women who reject any need for divine aid or help and who really believe a new revolution can solve the problem, are taking control of our institutions. Trade-offs are unacceptable for the advocates of the unconstrained view. Only total solutions are acceptable. Perfection is within society’s grasp, any identifiable flaw in the fabric of society must inevitably spur on the next revolution.The problem, of course, with this view, one Justin and the early church Fathers would have roundly decried as heretical, is thatit consciously rejects what it regards as the most detestable doctrines of the Christian faith: original sin and the desperate need for God’s grace.
‘What kind of Christianity have you bought into? Who told you that following Jesus would lead to greater comfort and ease in this world?’ Because that didn’t come from this Book,” said Platt while holding up his Bible. “That came from a very skewed version of this Book that’s being sold all across our culture.”
Platt said that many Christians need God to point them to the reality that “the ultimate need of every single person in the world is to be forgiven for their sins.” However, he said, in order to be reconciled to God, a person needs to first hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Platt emphasized the importance of Christians not being afraid of difficulties that they might face while spreading the Gospel to remote places because, he said, “there are 3 billion people in the world who have never heard the Word of God, and they won’t have their sins forgiven if they never hear the Gospel.” (My add) Moreover, if God has called you to go, He will guide and protect you.
“God made a way for humans to be forgiven for all their sin, to be reconciled to Him, to eternal life, through faith in Jesus, by what He did on the cross, His resurrection from the grave,” he maintained. “We have been commanded to show God’s love in a world of earthly suffering, and ultimately, we have been commanded to proclaim the Gospel to keep people from a second death (David said eternal suffering). “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.“
“Somebody has to go and tell them. If no one goes and tells them, they will spend eternity separated from Him. Do you see what’s at stake here? Do we see the need?” Platt asked rhetorically.
There is no doubt Jesus accomplished all we need to be righteous before God our Father. Salvation is available for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as both our Saviour and Lord.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyonewho believes,” Romans 1:16
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” Romans 3:21-22
“We are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24
“And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50
It is a done deal, however the following verses also indicate that Jesus calls us to action.
“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:19-20
“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.“
“To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his crossandfollow me.” Matthew 16:24
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Jesus has put us in right standing with our Heavenly Father and made it possible for our Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life, to be our Counsellor, our Comforter and Teacher so the question now is are we truly obeying His call to follow Him and to do the good works He has prepared for us?