HOW TO HELP CHURCH HOME GROUPS THRIVE

What to look for when evaluating church home groups. Here are six problems that have been observed with suggestions for correction.

1. Unclear purpose. Some groups are designed for outreach, with members inviting others to join. However, others are more closed, with members focused on their own problems with a Bible study tacked on. Many groups, though, do not know their primary purpose. Members struggle, not knowing if they should bare their soul to others, invite the unchurched or both.

Correction: The primary purpose must be about making disciples of Christ that want to share the Gospel with others. All other essential activities should have that primary purpose in mind, whether communion, praise, prayer, Bible study, and testimonies.

2. Bad leading and/or teaching. This is significant problem that must be addressed. I believe each member of the group must have a Biblical World View that they can share.

Correction: Enlist teachers that believe the Bible is inerrant. The following basic knowledge is essential.

Proof the Bible is inerrant are the many fulfilled prophecies. The many unfulfilled prophecies provide a road map for the rest of HIS STORY.

Genesis is a true account of the creation of the Cosmos, The Fall and Noah’s Flood. Understanding Noah’s Worldwide Flood provides an answer for the alleged billions of years of earth’s history is essential. http://www.creation.com

God established the nations at the Tower of Babel.

God established Israel to be His nation as a witness to other nations. Israel’s Messiah, Jesus, came to earth to provide the only way for sinners to come back into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father (“He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinth. 5:21). Israel rejected Him and were scattered for a time.

Jesus established the church as His vehicle for believers to preach the Gospel to all the world. Prior to Jesus return, there will be a tribulation period when Jesus refines His church before taking His saints to heaven (dead in Christ first then those that are alive) in the Rapture and then pouring out His wrath on the earth (on unrepentant sinners).

Jesus returns to this earth with the resurrected saints, saves a regathered Israel and rules and reigns from Jerusalem for 1000 years. (Satan is bound in the abyss during most of this time but is released at the end and sadly is still able to raise an army to come against King Jesus). He is defeated and this earth is destroyed with fire prior to the second resurrection and the White Throne Judgement.

After the White Throne Judgement, sinners are cast into the Lake of Fire where Satan and His Demons are. For humans this is the second death. God creates a new earth and even a new heaven for His saints to live in, where they enjoy eternal life, creatively engaged, in a glorious new body.

3. Little or no Scripture. Too often attended hour-long Bible studies that included no more than 15-20 minutes of actual Bible study.

Correction: Enlist the best teachers, and make sure they know the expectations. They are responsible for making sure the Bible is taught. Leaders who cannot lead a group to maintain this standard should not be leading.

4. Unfriendly members. A lot of groups say they’re friendly, but are not welcoming of new members. Typically, groups that see themselves as friendly are friendly only to people they know.

Correction: Train members to reach out to people they don’t know. You might even enlist one sociable group member who is first responsible for greeting guests.

5. Not expecting guests. The intent of the group must be outwardly focused. Here are some signs this is not the case: No available seats. No extra curriculum materials. No one ready to get contact information. No one providing or wearing name tags. No one helping guests know where to go after the class. Simply put: A guest who feels like an intrusion will not return.

Correction: Make sure the leader is outwardly focused. Remind the group weekly of their responsibility to invite others. Schedule other activities to which the unchurched might come. Get everything ready for guests who might attend the regular small group meeting. Expect God to bless your preparations.

6. Gossip sessions. All members must be encouraged to be actively engaged in each meeting whether conducting communion, praise, worship, prayer or giving a testimony. Avoid this scenario, in the name, of “prayer requests,” somebody shares information that should likely be kept in smaller circles. The request then becomes a launching pad for talking about somebody else’s problems.

Correction: Enlist a group prayer leader who gently controls the prayer request times. Provide other opportunities to share concerns without gossiping about others.

IS THE UNIVERSE AND EARTH BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD?

Secular scientists confidently declare that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and that our earth is 4.6 billion years old. They go on to say that complex organisms showed up in the fossil record at about 540 million years ago and that dinosaurs evolved about 230 million years ago and went extinct 65 million years ago.
Modern man is said to have evolved only 200,000 years ago, and there were supposedly ‘archaic men’ prior to that, ever since we split from an ape-like common ancestor with chimpanzees about 6 million years ago. Millions and billions of years are assumed as fact and hardly anyone challenges them.

Is there room in the Bible for deep time? Where do we get the idea that the universe is billions of years old? Does ‘science’ prove the earth is old? What about radiometric dating? What about fossils?

Deep Time Deception, The

These questions, and many more, are tackled and clearly answered in The Deep Time Deception.

You will learn what the Bible has to say on the matter, how the Apostles and Jesus himself thought about it, and how Christianity has historically dealt with the issue. This book also deals with the history of how the earth went from thousands to billions of years old, at least in the minds of many people, between the Middle Ages and today. There are many different ways Christian scholars have dealt with this, especially since the 19th Century when Charles Darwin popularised the theory of evolution, but how do those ways stack up with a straightforward reading of the Bible? And how do they measure up to recent discoveries of carbon-14 in things supposedly millions of years old, like dinosaur bones, coal, and diamonds?

Christians need to read this book. In the end, The Deep Time Deception will show you that the Bible and science say the same thing: the earth is not billions, not millions, not even hundreds of thousands of years old. The Bible is a book of history, and that history is not contradicted by ‘deep time’, because deep time is a deception. You can purchase it online at http://www.creation.com

FURTHER PROOF FOR CREATION AND BIBLICAL INERRANCY

Want to know why fossils are found where they are in the fossil record and how it fits within the creation paradigm? If you do then watch this short video. Palaeontologist, Dr Marcus Ross does a great job. It is just one of the excellent videos from Genesis is History. Make sure you check out the others. If you have not already watched it take a look at Incredible Design of the Human Genome with Dr Rob Carter, Marine Biologist. I posted it on this website at the end of March 2019.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE PROVES BIBLICAL HISTORY

Archaeologists Dig Up Definitive Proof of Biblical People, Miracles in Ancient City of Shiloh

JERUSALEM, Israel – Driving along the route known as the Way of the Patriarchs in Samaria, the heart of biblical Israel, you’ll come to ancient Shiloh.

The Bible says this is the place where Joshua parcelled out the promised land to the 12 tribes of Israel. It’s also where the tabernacle of the Lord stood for more than 300 years.

Dr. Scott Stripling directs the excavations at Shiloh. Along with dozens of volunteers, he and his crew are digging into history.

“Welcome to ancient Shiloh,” Stripling greeted us. “This is the first capital of ancient Israel, and it’s a sacred spot because the Mishkan was here, the tabernacle, where people came to connect with God.”

“We’re dealing with real people, real places, real events,” he continued. “This is not mythology. The coins that we excavated today—we’re talking about coins of Herod the Great, Pontius Pilate, Thestos, Felix, Agrippa the First, Agrippa the Second. The Bible talks about these people. We’ve got the image right here.”

That “image” includes a fortified wall built by the Canaanites. The team finds a treasure trove of artefacts there, which includes ancient coins and some 2,000 pieces of pottery a day.

Stripling said, “Archaeology doesn’t set out to prove or disprove the Bible. What we want to do is to illuminate the biblical text, the background of the text, so to set it in a real world culture to what we call verisimilitude,” he explained.

“So, we get an ancient literary description. Now, we have a material culture that matches that,” he continued. “Chris, you’re sitting where Samuel and Eli and Hannah and these people that we have read about, they came just like us, needing answers, needing to connect with God, needing forgiveness.”

Stripling says they dig into the past and find lessons for the present.

One of the faith lessons for us is that God is the potter and we are the clay. And even if our lives are broken like these vessels are, God told Jeremiah after He had told him to go to Shiloh and see what He had done, He told him to go to the potter’s house and look at a flawed vessel and see how the potter puts it back on the wheel and works out the imperfections. So my faith lesson is this: Yes we’re imperfect, but if we will allow God, He wants to put us [on] His potter’s wheel and make us a vessel of honour.”

Stripling often cites Psalm 102:14

O Zion, your servants take delight in its stones and favour its dust.”

“For me this is sacred soil. This is where the Mishkan was that answers the most basic of all human questions: ‘How do I connect with God?’ And I think that’s their most basic question,” he said.

“I know I messed up. I know that God is holy. How do I bridge that gap when I sin against other people, when I sin against God. Ultimately, if the Bible is true, then the God of the Bible has a moral claim on our lives. And as we establish the veracity of the biblical text, I hope that everyone watching would just think about that – that God loves us and He has a moral claim on our lives.”

Article by Chris Mitchell CBN News 10/01/2019

DOES GENESIS HAVE GAPS IN THE GENEALOGIES?

OT scholar: Genesis teaches a short timescale

More from Dr Travis Freeman. He serves as Professor of Old Testament at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (B.A.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). He has been a young-earth creationist for over twenty years and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society Creation Fellowship. He chats with Dr Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries. Go to http://www.creation.com for more from Jonathan.

Sadly, many Christian colleges teach that there are gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. Dr Freeman points out that there can be no time gaps, because: The biblical text gives the number of years between the births of the descendants of Adam in the line leading to Noah. By adding these numbers together, we can calculate the number of years from Adam to Noah. These numbers would be superfluous, even misleading, if generations are missing between fathers and sons. In fact, one strains without success to even imagine why the author of Genesis would include these numbers unless he meant to tie the generations together in a continuous sequence without chronological gaps.

“This type of genealogy seems to be designed for chronological purposes and never contains gaps, at least none that anyone has ever demonstrated. In fact, every biblical genealogy of this sort has been shown to be without gaps.Thus we can calculate that Genesis 5 and 11 record that about 2008 years passed between creation and Abraham’s birth around 1996 BC, thus rendering a creation date of about 4004 BC.”

Dr Freeman also pointed out that this understanding is hardly a novelty. Rather, “nearly all Bible scholars, Jewish and Christian, from the first century BC to about AD 1800 understood Genesis 5 and 11 as setting forth a no-gap chronology of ancient history. So, unless we are prepared to show how all of these scholars were wrong, we should reject the idea of gaps.”

Why was this clear understanding doubted from around AD 1800? Dr Freeman reminds us this is when old-earth ideas started to become popular in ‘science’, due to the Flood-rejecting uniformitarian dogma of Hutton and Lyell, explicitly designed to “free the science from Moses.” Long-age beliefs almost invariably come from such outside ideas being imposed upon the text, rather than anything in the text itself.

But don’t other genealogies, such as the Matthew 1 genealogy of Jesus, have gaps? Dr Freeman points out that this is a different genre, and a key difference is that Matthew 1 does not record the number of years between generations. This type of genealogy often contains generational gaps, that is, some names are omitted for the sake of brevity or symmetry.”

The doctrine of creation

One of Dr Freeman’s most popular classes is his ‘The Doctrine of Creation’, which he summarises in three statements:

  1. God created all things in six twenty-four-hour days about 4004 BC in mature form.
  2. God created all living things according to distinct kinds that were programmed to produce only their kinds but able to adapt to their environment within their kinds.
  3. God ravaged the earth with a catastrophic flood which began about 2348 BC, lasted about a year, covered the entire world, destroyed and rebuilt Earth’s crust, left behind millions of fossils, left behind vast coal and oil deposits, and permanently altered Earth’s environment.

Since Dr Freeman teaches at a school that affirms the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, I asked how all that is supported by the Bible. He pointed out that Genesis 1 declares that God created all things in six days. He explained that when modified by a number or by the phrase ‘evening and morning’, the Hebrew word for ‘day’ always means a solar day, not an indefinite period of time, in the Old Testament.

Also, the same chapter describes Adam, Eve, fruit trees, and other living things as mature at the time of their creation, and it says that they would reproduce after their kinds. That is, one created kind did not evolve into another, leading eventually to a group of human-like creatures.

Dr Freeman also stresses that Genesis 7 and 8 describe the Flood of Noah’s day as year-long, worldwide, earth-devastating, and deadly to all land vertebrates but those on the Ark. These things would be responsible for the formation of most of Earth’s sedimentary rock layers and fossils. Moreover, it is encouraging that more geologists now recognise that catastrophism provides a better explanation for the geomorphology we observe today than uniformitarianism.

THE BIG PROBLEM WITH EVOLUTION OVER MILLION OF YEARS

O.T. scholar: Genesis teaches a short timescale

Johnathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries chats with Old Testament professor Dr Travis Richard (‘Rick’) Freeman

Dr Travis Freeman serves as Professor of Old Testament at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (B.A.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). He has been a young-earth creationist for over twenty years and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society Creation Fellowship

Many people in the church think that it’s OK to believe in evolution over millions of years. Dr Freeman points out severe problems. One of the most important for Christians is surely that “Jesus contradicted evolution and millions of years when he said that God created Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation (Mark 10:5–9), not billions of years after a big bang.”

Genesis-is-real-history

He further points out that a straightforward understanding of Genesis indicates that God created humans, animals, trees, and so on in mature form, and only a few thousand years ago.

Dr Freeman explains that real archaeology opposes long-age dogma, revealing no civilisations or historical documents older than a few thousand years. Geology also opposes this dogma, because creatures must have been buried quickly to form fossils, so the layers must have been deposited catastrophically. Also, there must be little time between the layers, because the contact lines are flat and largely erosion-free, and they have other features such as footprints that must have been preserved quickly.

How does creation matter to Christians?

Many in the church think of creation as a side issue. Naturally, Dr Freeman disagrees, and explains why it is actually foundational:

God has placed in every person the desire to know the answer to some basic questions about life, such as who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, where am I going, and how should I then live? The biblical doctrine of creation answers those questions and thus helps us understand the need for obedience to our Creator, including belief in the Gospel. The doctrine of creation also helps us believe in the accuracy of the Bible, because we see that its opening chapters are compatible with history and science.”

Indeed, it was very important to Travis personally. First, as a young man, he was an agnostic: “I did not know the answer to those questions, especially, how I should live. I was confused about the meaning of life, or if there even was a meaning. The confusion showed in my behaviour.”

However, when he was 32, a pastor shared the Gospel with him. Like many people, Travis “objected that the Bible and its Gospel could not be true because we humans came into being through billions of years of blind evolutionary processes.” Many would-be evangelists would try to change the topic. Fortunately, not this pastor, who was well informed:

“In God’s providence, the pastor was also a biology teacher at a nearby university. He informed me that evolution was not even a good theory, and certainly had not been proven. His comments spurred me on a journey to find out the truth for myself. I soon came across several books, including The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, which exposed the flaws in evolution and showed how the Bible and empirical science actually agree. Once I saw the accuracy of the Genesis account of creation, I knew instinctively that the rest of the Bible must be true. So, I repented of my sins and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now my life has meaning and direction—and may I add, great joy!”

We know of literally hundreds of people whose faith was ‘shipwrecked’ on the jagged reef of biblical compromise, but who, like Dr Freeman, were restored thanks to consistent biblical creation teaching. We trust that his encouraging testimony will help many more.

PRESIDENT TRUMP ADDRESSES THE UNITED NATIONS WITH THE TRUTH

If you haven’t watched President Trump’s recent speech in the UN then I would urge you to do so. It is impressive (without notes) and is based on his Republican teams accomplishments over less than two years. I am convinced he is God’s leader for the USA in these “last days” before Jesus return to rule and reign from Jerusalem.

NOTE how he ended his speech acknowledging and thanking GOD and we know it is the God of the Bible.

DESIGN IS ALWAYS TOP DOWN IT DOES NOT EVOLVE

Taken from the new bible study for “Is Genesis History?” The full bible study is available here: http://bit.ly/ighbiblestudy

Dr. Stuart Burgess completed an engineering apprenticeship with Stothert and Pitt Cranes in Bath while completing a degree in mechanical engineering. After completing his PhD in the area of machine design he worked for the European Space Agency for five years mainly working on the ENVISAT earth observation satellite which is the largest earth observation civilian satellite in the world. He designed the solar array deployment mechanism including inventing a new type of gearbox – the double action worm gear set. He spent three years at Cambridge University as an Assistant Director of Research and Bye-Fellow of Selywn College. He led the design of the chain drive on the bicycles used by Team GB in the Rio Olympics where the cycling team won 6 gold medals and broke two world records. He has been at Bristol University since 1997 mainly working in the area of design optimisation of mechanical systems and bio-mechanical systems. I hope this in depth background on Stuart convinces you he has something worthwhile to say on a topic which determines where you will spend eternity.

HISTORY SUPPORTS WORLDWIDE FLOOD AND NOAH’S ARK

Real history

Noah’s Flood was an important historical event, not only for the Jews and Christians who lived in the city, but for the Romans as well, whether they understood this or not. It shows their common heritage and history, for they are all descended from Noah and his family, just as is everyone else today.

The history depicted on the coin speaks of a fallen humanity descended from Adam, God judging the world for its sin by flooding it, and God remembering Noah and keeping him safe throughout the Flood, for which He received His due praise. The New Testament indicates that the Ark is a ‘type’ of Jesus (1 Peter 3:20–21); coming to Him in faith and repentance ensures salvation from God’s judgement on sin. So the story on the coin can be used by Christians to point people to Jesus, the Saviour of the world.

ark

Noahs-Ark-coins

What’s on the coin?

One side of the coin carries the image and name of the Emperor, which obviously changes depending on the time of minting, but the core features remain essentially the same. On the reverse side it depicts Noah and his wife inside the box-shaped Ark with waves lapping at the bottom of it. Noah’s name in Greek, ΝΩΕ (Nōe), can be clearly read in the middle of the Ark. On top of the Ark on the right is the raven, and on the top left is the dove with an olive branch in its mouth. On the left side of the coin Noah and his wife are again shown, standing outside the Ark on solid ground with their hands raised upwards to God in praise. This important feature shows that they recognised that God remembered them (Genesis 8:1), bringing them safely through the global Flood.

The Ark has appeared on many later coins. Here are some examples. Constant reminders of a real event when God judged mankind.

God’s history book, The Bible, gives us an account of a future event when God will pour out His wrath upon the earth and sadly, the majority of people will be unprepared for that event as they were in the days of Noah. 

Noah-coin-1

1649 golden ducat, commemorating the end of the Thirty Years’ War, by the city of Regensburg (Germany)

Noah-coin-2

1742 French Royal Token
Silver bullion 500-dram Armenian coin
Noah-coin-5
1998 Israel commemorative two-shekel coin

information on Noah’s Ark on a Coin taken from article with same name by Phil Robinson http://www.creation.com

ARCHAEOLOGY PROVES EXODUS FROM EGYPYT

Does what we find on the ground support the biblical narrative of the Jewish exodus from Egypt? There were no historians at the time to record the historical events.

“The only thing we can use to basically verify the biblical narrative is the archaeological record.”

Until now, the Number One attack on the bible, based on archaeology, has been lack of evidence, explains Rabbi Ken Spiro, a licensed Israeli tour guide with a Master’s degree in history.

But the more archaeologists dig, the more they seem to find.

It’s right there. It’s always been there. But until recently, no one has ever seen it.

Watch and be encouraged by historian/author Ken Spiro’s short video Archaeology Proves Exodus from Egypt