BIBLICAL VIEW OF THE ROCKS

THE GEOLOGY TRANSFORMATION TOOL – A new way of looking at your world by Tas Walker

Like the recent article Compelling Evidence for a Young Earth this article by Tas Walker is taken from the latest Creation Magazine http://www.creation.com.

Perhaps you have seen a report in the media about a rock outcrop ‘800 million years old’ and wondered how that fits with the history of the Bible. One confronts the same puzzle when reading about a fossil dinosaur that lived in ‘Jurassic’ times. Or we may visit a tourist site with a sign that speaks about a volcano forming ‘25 million years ago’.

If you would like to see your world from a biblical perspective, the simple diagram in figure 1 is what you are looking for. It allows you to work out a first, ballpark understanding of how each situation you encounter relates to the true history of the universe, that is, to the history presented in the Bible.

A Chart of Geological transformation tool
Diagram 1: Geologic Column adapted to show Noah’s Flood sequence

The right side of the diagram has three vertical arrows, which show how these rocks relate to biblical history. The first arrow (green) indicates which rocks formed in the first 150 days of Noah’s Flood as the floodwaters were rising. The second arrow (blue) indicates which rocks formed in the last 220 days of Noah’s Flood as the waters were falling and the continents were rising. The third arrow (yellow) indicates which rocks have formed in the 4,500 years since the Flood ended.

You will notice at the top of the diagram that the biblical arrows overlap, and that at the bottom the green arrow is shown dotted. This is to indicate that there is uncertainty in these areas. The main reason for the uncertainty is that there is not a one-to-one relationship between the rocks on the geological column and biblical history. That is because uniformitarian geologists place the rocks into the geological column using criteria that assume Noah’s Flood never happened. However, the rocks must be understood using criteria based on biblical history, which includes the Creation and Flood events.

When we do examine the geology using biblical criteria, we discover that the geological column provides a general Flood order. However, there are many exceptions and the relationship is highly non-linear. As illustrated in figure 1, most rocks (the Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic) formed as the floodwaters were rising on the earth. These are generally of very large scale, both in thickness and geographical extent. The second part of the Flood, when the waters were receding as the continents uplifted, mainly involved huge erosion on the continents. The receding floodwaters deposited the eroded material at the continental margins. Local deposits did occur on the continents but very late in that period, after most of the water had gone.

Easy to use

The figure is easy to use. All that is required is to locate on figure 1 the ‘date’ in millions of years for your example. Then you simply check where it sits on the arrows of biblical history. Let’s look at the examples mentioned above.

For the rock outcrop 800 million years old we see on figure 1 that it fits between the numbers 541 and 2500. To the left, on the column this corresponds to the ‘Proterozoic’ as well as the ‘Precambrian’. To the right, on the biblical interpretation, this corresponds to the period when the waters of Noah’s Flood were rising, and quite early in this period. Given that the waters of Noah’s Flood were rising for 150 days, 800 million years would correspond to the first month or two of the Flood, which occurred some 4,500 years ago.

For the fossil dinosaur that lived in the ‘Jurassic’, we see that this fits between 145 and 201 million years ago. It is part of the groupings called the ‘Mesozoic’ and the ‘Phanerozoic’. On the biblical interpretation to the right we can see that this also corresponds to the time when the waters of Noah’s Flood were rising, but later than the rock described in the previous example. Its position on the arrow indicates that this would have been as the waters were approaching their peak, perhaps a month before that, which would be about four months after the Flood began, 4,500 years ago.

For the volcano ‘25 million years’ ago, we see that it corresponds to the ‘Oligocene’, which is part of the ‘Paleogene’, the ‘Tertiary’, the ‘Cenozoic’, and the ‘Phanerozoic’. On the biblical interpretation to the right we can see that this corresponds to the 220-day (approx. 7-month) period when the waters of Noah’s Flood were falling. This was as the continents were being uplifted, causing the floodwaters to flow off the land into the expanding oceans. This would have been a few months into that period after the waters peaked, which would put this some 8 months or more after Noah’s Flood began, 4,500 years ago.

TRANSGENDER PEOPLE AND THE CHURCH

Rev Christina Beardsley is a transgender priest in the Church of England and author of numerous resources on trans experience in the church. She engages with Preston Sprinkle, author of ‘Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say’ who takes a grace-filled but traditional Christian approach to sexuality. They discuss how churches should engage with trans people, theological questions of ‘bodily’ and ‘gender’ identity, and the issue of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.

Contrary to what Beardsley stated, we don’t have enough data to recommend puberty blockers, hormone therapy or the surgical removal of normal body parts. Physicians are not engineers, they are repair men and women. Medicine needs to be very careful when it gets into the business of treating desires and not diseases. When humans try to create better living through chemicals they all too often fail to read the warning label.

Beardsley tried to make the case that there was a medical consensus concerning the role of transitioning in the treatment of gender dysphoria and pointed to several multidisciplinary transgender medical societies. The problem with these organizations is that dissenting voices are not allowed to be part of the discussion. Multidisciplinary should mean different perspectives on a problem and not the same perspective expressed in academically different languages. 

Sex-reassignment surgery and hormone therapy are experimental medical measures that potentially cross a therapeutic line and need to be rigorously studied before they are embraced as the “treatment of choice” for gender dysphoria. I fear that entering into such a grand social experiment will leave behind many medical casualties.

It was unsettling for me to watch this video but it was valuable to do so to learn of Beardsley’s journey and the decisions he made along the way to now present as a woman. I concluded that Preston Sprinkle had done a credible job of presenting the Biblical viewpoint.

NOAH’S FLOOD EXPLAINS ICE AGE

Just because uniformitarian scientists accept there was an Ice Age, or many ice ages, does not mean they can explain its origin. They realize that an ice age requires much cooler summers, much more snow, and a climate change that persists for hundreds of years.

heat-trapped
 Heat trapped in the oceans after the Flood promoted high evaporation, which precipitated as snow and sleet on the continents. Ice continued to build up on the land for hundreds of years until the oceans cooled. This lessened the evaporation and so the ice sheets on the land melted back.

What would cause these factors to come together? It has been repeatedly shown that the disruption caused by the global Flood would lead naturally to this confluence.4 However, those who reject the Flood continue to extrapolate present processes millions of years into the past, processes such as climate change and variations in Earth’s orbital geometry. Over the years more than 60 theories have been proposed. Secular Ice Age expert J.K. Charlesworth said about Ice Age theories: “Pleistocene [Ice Age] phenomena have produced an absolute riot of theories ranging ‘from the remotely possible to the mutually contradictory and the palpably inadequate.”5

That was back in 1957, however, and many people believe we have made great progress since then. However, the cause of the Ice Age still is unknown, as ice age expert David Alt stated: “Although theories abound, no one really knows what causes ice ages.”6

One of the main challenges for the secular model is that colder air is also drier air. Even if they discover a cooling mechanism, the air would be too dry for enough snow to fall for an ice age. As an example, if the average summer temperature of Canada were to fall 120C (220F), the air would become 60% drier.7 But this is not a problem for the biblical model because the warm waters just after the Flood would lead to large amounts of evaporation and precipitation.

When secular scientists run their computer models to explore the Ice Age, they find it difficult for any of their models to develop an ice age. But when they force their models to decrease the amount of sunshine by 6%, snow and ice begins to build up. However, the snow and ice sometimes grows over areas that have never been glaciated, such as Tibet and the lowlands of the far north: “We now have glaciation [in their climate model], but mainly outside the area where it existed during the last ice age.”13 In stark contrast, the biblical model easily explains the lack of glaciation in these lowlands. The oceans were warm at the beginning of the Ice Age, so the land near them was too warm for glaciation, except in the high mountains.

Because secular Ice Age models ignore the effects of Noah’s Flood, they have numerous difficulties, only some of which are mentioned here. These models are unable to explain either the distribution of large ice sheets or how they developed, demonstrating that their foundational assumptions—uniformitarianism and millions of years—are flawed. However, the biblical post-Flood model provides very plausible explanations and mechanisms for the various Ice Age phenomena.

Noah’s worldwide flood also provides the explanation for dead things buried all over the world ie. the fossils, fossil fuels – oil and coal. As a result, it provides the right answer to the age of the earth. It is thousands not billions of years old. It also demonstrates God does control events on His planet and that He judged and destroyed a lawless humanity just 4000 years ago (all but eight people).

God’s word reveals that in the “last days” before Jesus returns the world will ridicule those that believe Noah’s Flood was a real event when God judged the world. Scripture reveals Jesus will return to judge the nations and He will rule and reign with the resurrected saints on this earth for 1000 years. At the end of His Millennial reign this fallen earth will be destroyed by fire. This immediately precedes the White Throne judgement of the ungodly. God then creates a new heaven and a new earth where the saints will live on for eternity. The ungodly end up in the Lake of Fire which is the second death.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3:3-7.

4. Oard, M.J., What caused the Ice Age? Creation 36(3):52–55, 2014; creation.com/ice-age-cause.  5. Charlesworth, J.K., The Quaternary Era, Edward Arnold, London, UK, p. 1,532, 1957.  6. Alt, D., Glacial Lake Missoula and Its Humongous Floods, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, MT, p. 180, 2001. 

PERSECUTION COMES WITH THE TERRITORY

What an entire generation of Christians do not understand is that refusing to align your language, choices, and actions with scripture is a blatant denial of Christ Jesus. Attacks on the doctrine of scripture are attacks on the Kingdom of God. Likewise, if we deny His word, we also deny Him. We cannot claim Jesus as our own and also continue to endorse the world’s philosophies. As the years continue to pile up in our postmodern society, so do the excuses Christians make about why they are willing to deny Jesus and His doctrine.

We would all do well to meditate on Jesus’ warning in Luke 9:62. He says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Here, Jesus is reminding us all not to “look back” at the worldly life we left behind. In doing so, we err like Lot’s wife did in Sodom – not trusting God’s provision. When we take our eyes off the prize and look back at the world we left behind, we declare ourselves unfit for the kingdom of God.

Christians, a day is coming when you will be forced to make this very decision: plow forward or look back.

But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:9-13

God’s word warns us of many last days false prophets and teachers and apostasy in the church, all evident now and proof we are living in the last days. Prepare your heart now, you will be tempted to deny your Lord and Saviour. You need to consider the cost of following Christ but also the cost if you turn your back on Him. Your eternal destiny is at stake. We need to be prepared to lay down our lives for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Remember, that it is “He who endures to the end that shall be saved” Matthew 24:13

Let us meditate on the apostle’s words. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.Philippians 3:8-10

While our current persecution might be light, in comparison to what other brothers and sisters are experiencing in the world, it is still persecution. The doctrine and truth of God’s Word is being put to shame in our culture. It is time for you to decide if you will heed the call. Will you follow Christ or is the cost too much for you to bear? Far too long has the church been idle, ignoring this question. Will you take the yoke and plow the field for the Kingdom of God? Yes, there will be a cost for following Christ. But in such work, you will find joys and wonders of which you never dreamed. Pray that when you are forced to decide between plowing forward or looking back, you will choose the yoke of Christ. Pray that you will be a faithful slave of Christ. It is time for Christians to start owning that title.

Much of this post is taken from the article entitled Doubling-Down on Christian Persecution: The Cost of Following Jesus  JANUARY 19, 2021 by Jack Lee http://www.patheos .com

EVIDENCE FOR A YOUNG WORLD

As I mentioned in my post, “Age of the World is a Critical Issue for Understanding the Bible”, Dr. Humphreys reveals in his book Evidence for a Young World that there is a great deal of evidence for the short timescale given in the Bible: galaxies wind themselves up too fast, comets disintegrate too quickly, not enough mud on the seafloor, not enough sodium in the sea, the earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast, biological materials (found in dinosaur bones) decay too fast, too much helium in minerals, and too much carbon -14 in deep geologic strata.

Last post we looked at the earths magnetic field and the fact it is decaying too fast for the world’s history to be more than thousands of years, certainly not billions.

Dr. Humphreys was part of a very important RATE project (Radioisotopes and the age of the Earth). It involved eleven Ph.D. scientists pictured below. This helped answer a major old-earth argument about radiometric-dating.

image of people
Front row: John Bamgardner, Larry Vardiman, Russell Humphreys, Gene Chaffin, Middle row: Andrew Snelling, Steve Austin, Don DeYoung, Back row: John Morris, Ken Cumming, Bill Hoesch, Steven Boyd.

Dr Humphreys work concerned small, hard mineral crystals called zircons, which often contain radioactive elements. As these decay, they produce helium. Helium leaks out quickly due to its very small hard atoms. The hotter the material the faster it leaks out. Dr Humphreys measured amounts of helium in zircons, and compared it to the amount expected from the decay and helium leakage measured in the laboratory.

Zircon crystals from a borehole in New Mexico have a helium leakage of about 6000 years. In contrast the uranium-lead age of the crystals is about 1.5 billion years. The uranium-lead age of course assumes that the decay rate is the same slow rate we measure today.

The Bible reveals that God created a mature world. Hence the Rate Team believes the decay rate initially was speeded up, also the catastrophic plate tectonic upheaval at Noah’s Flood would have had an effect on the decay rate. It cannot be assumed that no daughter elements existed at the beginning and the decay rate was uniform.

There is a great deal of evidence for a young world that supports the Bible’s history of around 6000 years, certainly not billions of years.

The book and video, Evidence for a Young World are available from http://www.creation.com.

BIBLICAL ILLITERACY ‘UTMOST PROBLEM’ FACING GLOBAL EVANGELISM

The biggest crisis facing the evangelical, global church today is the growing lack of biblical literacy worldwide, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, the newly elected secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance. I agree with him.

“Our biggest problem is that Bible knowledge is fading away,” Schirrmacher told The Christian Post. “This is the utmost problem we have beyond all theological differences, financial problems, and political questions.”

According to the State of the Bible 2020 report released by the Barna Group and the American Bible Society, U.S. adults who say they read the Bible daily dropped from 14% to 9% between early 2019 and 2020.

The study found that the proportion of Americans who read the Bible daily also fell to fewer than one in 10 (9%), the lowest number on record during the 10 years of the State of the Bible research study.

We are talking about God’s Word, our Creator’s Word, that He wants to convey to His creation. To those, He made in His image. What could be more important? It contains the message of who we are, why we are separated from our Creator, why the world is like it is, and more importantly what God has done and is doing to put it right. The Bible gives us an accurate history of this world so different from the godless evolutionary view inspired by the god of this world, Satan.

I use NKJ, ESV and New Living translations and can recommend Logos Software

Schirrmacher, who studied theology in Switzerland and the United States, and serves as the WEA’s Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns, said that in the Western world “more and more kids that come from evangelical families are not really rooted in the Bible,” and many of them leave the faith.

In an increasingly polarized society, Schirrmacher also emphasized the importance of unity, stressing that the “biggest obstacle” to the spread of the Gospel are divisions within Christianity.

“We need to discuss much more and long for what is the DNA, I would say not only of evangelicalism but of Christianity,” he said. “What we have together is the Bible, Jesus, and the Gospel.” We cannot allow these central teachings of Christianity to fade away together with minor topics. Then, there will be nothing left.”

Fortunately, the good news is, God is active in His world. He will accomplish His purposes and it will unfold exactly as He tells us in His Word. As I have mentioned countless times before on this website, there are more prophecies about Jesus soon coming return then there were about His first coming to earth and there were more than 300 of those. It should be reason enough for everybody on this planet to want to spend time in His Word and for those who know Him to want to share the good news with others.

CHURCH IN THE END TIMES

The following article by Roger E Olson October 10, 2020 “What Should “Church” Be Like? Answering the Question” is excellent, it is reproduced here in its entirety.

Jesus builds His church

I believe a true Christian church should be one where God is very busy changing lives and influencing its social environment with compassionate actions.

I believe a true Christian church should be countercultural in the sense of resisting accommodation to secular and pagan culture while communicating the gospel in ways people of the culture can at least understand (but without letting go of anything essential to the gospel).

I believe a true Christian church should be an extended family where at least members and regular attenders know each other, share their lives with one another, share their property with each other (not as a common purse necessarily but with genuine generosity), and love one another in spite of differences of race, gender, ethnicity, economic and social status, educational level, etc.

I believe a true Christian church should be one where the preaching and teaching covers the whole of God’s revelation including judgment, conviction, repentance, and conversion—including the call to take great risks for God’s kingdom.

I believe a true Christian Church should be one where the people know the Bible well and are led by the teaching leaders into deeper understanding of its implications for being in the world but not of it.

I believe a true Christian church should select as leaders and teachers only persons deeply committed to Jesus Christ as God, Lord, Savior, and Coming King. The leaders should be broadly and generously orthodox in terms of belief in the Trinity, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, salvation through Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone without neglecting works of love.

I believe a true Christian church should practice loving discipline of members and regular attenders who fall into sin and who do not repent and seek to change.

I believe a true Christian church should require members (including leaders) to avoid worldliness in the sense of ungodly entertainment, conspicuous consumption, immodest dress, membership in organizations that require beliefs and/or ceremonies contrary to the sole Lordship of Jesus Christ (idolatry), sexual immorality, divorce (except in cases of abandonment, abuse, or adultery), identification with hate groups and ideologies, violence (except for self-defense or defense of vulnerable people under attack), gluttony, and extreme individualism manifested in lack of faithful participation in God’s people and their mission.

I believe a true Christian church should never hide its Christian identity.

I believe a true Christian church should preach and teach the Word of God, the gospel, faithfully and in all its dimensions and aspects, live life together in love, worship God enthusiastically, train members and attenders in Christian discipleship for everyday life, reach out to help hurting and vulnerable people live human lives, care for the environment, expect miracles to happen especially in response to fervent prayer, pray for the sick and the hurting, hold members and leaders accountable to their Christian callings, speak truth to power prophetically, encourage members to seek and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and never be ashamed of Jesus Christ even for the sake of attracting visitors and others to fill empty pews or seats.

Finally, I believe a true Christian church should celebrate the sacraments of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper regularly.

GREAT COMMISSION UNDER THREAT

In 2015, Michelle Higgins, a Black pastor and organizer, stood up before tens of thousands of people at a popular evangelical conference in St Louis, Missouri, and told them that, as she put it, “mission work was really an exercise in exporting racism, and that evangelicalism was a moral protection for white supremacy.”

Higgins criticized the pro-life movement as “a big spectacle” on Monday in St. Louis where 16,000 evangelical Christian students gathered together.

Today, her criticisms are gaining ground. “For the last five hundred years, Christianity has been influenced by Martin Luther’s effort to decentralize the church,” Lisa Sharon Harper, the founder of a progressive evangelical religious group freedomroad.us, told me. “For the next five hundred years, the principle effort will be decolonization.”

More important than how Harper and others conceive of the last 500 years is what they predict for the ensuing 500: decolonization. And this is necessitated because of what has happened over the past half-millennia (or, at least, since 1619), the global project of white supremacy: “mission work was really an exercise in exporting racism, and that evangelicalism was a moral protection for white supremacy.” There you have it.

These are arid and divisive ideas, ones that are infecting certain quadrants of American Christianity. Left unchecked, they will cause problems for Christian fulfillment of the Great Commission.

END TIMES APOSTASY UNDENIABLE

Only 6% of Americans possess a biblical worldview, according to a new survey.  The study, which was released out of the recently launched Cultural Research Centre (CRC) based at Arizona Christian University, is called the American Worldview Inventory and is the first of what will be an annual report from veteran researcher George Barna, who is the CRC research director.  The survey asked 51 worldview questions that examined both what people believe and how they conduct their lives.  Approximately 20% of those who attend evangelical Protestant churches espouse a biblical worldview, as do 17% of those who attend charismatic or Pentecostal churches, the survey found.  The numbers were much lower for those among mainline Protestant churches, 8%, and Catholics, 1%.

“Born again Christians, a segment defined in part by their acceptance of scriptural exhortations regarding sin, grace, and salvation, were three times more likely than average to have a biblical worldview (19%).  However, the fact that not quite one out of five born again adults holds a biblical worldview highlights the extensive decline of core Christian principles in America over the last several decades,” the report said. 

What are known as “notional” Christians, Americans who identify as Christian but do not profess to know Christ personally as Saviour, comprise 54 percent of the U.S. population.  Very few of them, just one-tenth of 1 percent, hold a biblical worldview.

“A quarter-century ago we had as much as 12% of the adult population holding a biblical worldview,” Barna notes in the report.  “Since that time, we have seen a steady reduction in the incidence.  The current level, just 6%, which is literally half of the level when we started measuring this, is the lowest yet.”  He added: “If you truly believe something, you integrate it into how you live, and your lifestyle reflects those beliefs.  As a result, our worldview research always balances examining both what we believe to be true with how we translate such beliefs into action.”  The societal shift toward non-Christian worldviews like postmodernism, Marxism, secular humanism, and modern mysticism is most clearly reflected in values, the report continues.

Citing previous research, Barna went on to explain that the dominant values in the United States today are acceptance, comfort, control, entertainment, entitlement, experiences, expression, freedom, and happiness.  Those contemporary values highlight the profound contrast from previous eras in which a more widely accepted biblical worldview yielded civic duty, hard work, humility, faith, family, moderation and the rule of law. 

“Unless America experiences a steady increase in people reflecting a biblical worldview in their lives, America’s future is more likely to resemble that of nations characterised by moral and behavioural chaos,” commented Tracy Munsil, executive director and an associate professor of political science at Arizona Christian University.

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.