PRAY, PRAY, PRAY

These were actress Candace Cameron Bure’s powerful words for fellow parents after her daughter’s baptism.

She said her heart was “overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace” last Sunday after watching her daughter, Natasha Bure, publicly profess her faith through baptism.

Bure thanked Pastor Dudley Rutherford of Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch, California, for baptizing her daughter

“As a mama, there’s nothing that tops this day. Nothing!” the “Fuller House” star wrote on Instagram:

“My three adult children have now all professed their faith, love, service, and devotion to Jesus Christ; Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior of the world.”

She also said “walking the talk” is essential for parents’ own Christian journeys, especially as their kids observe. “How you handle the hardships in attitude and character by praying, submitting to God, and honoring the Lord in your decisions speaks volumes to your kids, even if you don’t think they see it at the time,” she said. “Be the example you wanted to have growing up. God is faithful, even when you aren’t.”

The actress added another essential reminder: “Read the Bible. And read the Bible to your children.”

Research has found Bible engagement is an essential indicator for children maintaining faith in adulthood.

And considering the mandate we see in Proverbs 22:6 — “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” Bure’s Scripture-based advice is essential for all parents.

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD

We are told that the new James Webb Space Telescope’s revolutionary technology will study every phase of cosmic history—from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. Webb’s infrared telescope will explore a wide range of scientific questions to help us understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

If only they knew “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalms 19:1 Then they would also know the origin of the universe.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness.Genesis 1:14-18

Seeking Light from the First Galaxies in the Universe

Orbit
Location of the Webb telescope from Earth compared with Hubble and the moon.

Webb will directly observe a part of space and time never seen before. Webb will gaze into the epoch when the very first stars and galaxies formed, over 13.5 billion years ago. Ultraviolet and visible light emitted by the very first luminous objects has been stretched or “redshifted” by the universe’s continual expansion and arrives today as infrared light. Webb is designed to “see” this infrared light with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity.

If they knew their Creator, they would know who stretched out the heavens: the Lord, your maker.

and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earthIsaiah 51:13

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:Isaiah 42:5

While the vastness of the cosmos requires a time scale of billions of years, relativity theory shows that time is not a constant, and during creation week it is possible that only one day had passed on earth whilst billions of years passed in the cosmos. Supernatural causes should not be excluded from science as they now are.

Exploring Distant Worlds and the Solar System

Webb will also be a powerful tool for studying the nearby universe. Scientists will use Webb to study planets and other bodies in our solar system to determine their origin and evolution and compare
them with exoplanets, planets that orbit other stars. Webb will also observe exoplanets located in their stars’ habitable zones, the regions where a planet could harbor liquid water on its surface and can determine if and where signatures of habitability may be present. Using a technique called transmission spectroscopy, the observatory will examine starlight filtered through planetary atmospheres to learn about their chemical compositions.

Understanding the big picture of the Bible/Gospel Message allows us to conclude clearly that the reason the Bible doesn’t mention extraterrestrials (ETs) is that there aren’t any. We are told there are angels and demons (fallen angels) but these are supernatural beings. Surely, if the earth were to be favoured with a visitation by real extraterrestrials from a galaxy far, far away, then one would reasonably expect that the Bible, and God in His sovereignty and foreknowledge, to mention such a momentous occasion because it would clearly redefine man’s place in the universe.

  1. The Bible indicates that the whole creation groans and travails under the weight of sin (Romans 8:18–22). The effect of the Curse following Adam’s Fall was universal. Otherwise what would be the point of God destroying this whole creation to make way for a new heavens and Earth: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.2 Peter 3:11-13 Therefore, any ETs living elsewhere would have been (unjustly) affected by the Adamic Curse through no fault of their own—they would not have inherited Adam’s sin nature.
  2. When Christ (God) appeared in the flesh, He came to Earth not only to redeem mankind but eventually the whole creation back to Himself (Romans 8:21Colossians 1:20). However, Christ’s atoning death at Calvary cannot save these hypothetical ETs, because one needs to be a physical descendant of Adam for Christ to be our ‘kinsman-redeemer’ (Isaiah 59:20). Jesus was called ‘the last Adam’ because there was a real first man, Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22,45)—not a first Vulcan, Klingon etc. This is so a sinless human Substitute takes on the punishment all humans deserve for sin (Isaiah 53:6,10Matthew 20:281 John 2:24:10), with no need to atone for any (non-existent) sin of his own (Hebrews 7:27).
  3. Since this would mean that any ETs would be lost for eternity when this present creation is destroyed in a fervent heat (2 Peter 3:1012), some have wondered whether Christ’s sacrifice might be repeated elsewhere for other beings. However, Christ died once for all (Romans 6:101 Peter 3:18) on the earth. He is not going to be crucified and resurrected again on other planets (Hebrews 9:26). This is confirmed by the fact that the redeemed (earthly) church is known as Christ’s bride (Ephesians 5:22–33Revelation 19:7–9) in a marriage that will last for eternity.3 Christ is not going to be a polygamist with many other brides from other planets.
  4. The Bible makes no provision for God to redeem any other species, any more than to redeem fallen angels (Hebrews 2:16).

Can I suggest you go to http://www.creation.com to read the full article by Dr. Gary Bates, “Did God create life on other planets?” Otherwise, why is the universe so big?

FOCUS ON THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Three hours of beautiful instrumental music based on Christmas Carols. As you listen, the words of the carols come to mind, and you are reminded of what Jesus accomplished by entering our world as a human some two thousand years ago. What an amazing story, and what an amazing God, who loves us to this extent. May you enter into worship (words of the carols are shown) as you contemplate His goodness and love.

Sadly, the world empowered by Satan is doing its best to take Jesus Christ out of Christmas. The lastest in Australia is Lego sponsoring a Christmas program but what do they call it “Bricksmas”

Increasingly, Merry Christmas is replaced with Happy Holidays and in many Christmas cards, they replace Christmas with Xmas.

Santa (anagram of Satan) is the focus of Christmas instead of Jesus

THE MAJORITY OF CATHOLICS AND MAINLINE PROTESTANTS WILL ENDURE GOD’S WRATH

More than three years after Pope Francis sparked a firestorm of religious debate by telling a young boy that his deceased atheist father might still end up in Heaven, a new study from the Pew Research Center shows a majority of Catholic and mainline Christians also believe people who don’t believe in God will go to Heaven.

Did not Jesus say, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.John 3:36

Catholic Church
Religious rituals versus relationship with the living God

What are the Christian leaders in these denominations teaching their congregations? What did Jesus accomplish on The Cross on our behalf? Does it account for nothing? And yet we know that without Jesus’ sacrifice our Heavenly Father could not have sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers to sanctify us and enable us to live the Christian life.

Data for the Pew Research Centre study, conducted Sept. 20-26, was collected from a nationally representative sample of 6,485 U.S. adults.

Pew researchers decided for the first time to tackle deep philosophical questions like the meaning of life, the purpose of suffering, and why bad things happen to people. The national study was released amid a backdrop of major life-changing events for many, most notably the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed millions of lives globally.

In discussing American views on the afterlife, the study showed that majorities of U.S. adults believe in both Heaven and Hell, but significantly more believe in Heaven. Some 73% of respondents reported belief in Heaven, while 62% of respondents reported belief in Hell.

When it comes to Christians as a group, the study showed that the overwhelming majority of all Christian groups supported belief in Heaven. Protestants from historically black and evangelical churches were more likely than mainline Protestant Christians or Catholics to express belief in Hell.

And while 39% of all American adults, in general, believe people who don’t believe in God can still go to Heaven, 68% of Catholics and 56% of mainline Protestant Christians were found to hold this belief compared to 21% of evangelicals and 31% of Christians from historically black churches.

More on CHRISTIANS: The Urgent Case for Jesus in our World

In this Direct interview, John Anderson (former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia) is joined by Greg Sheridan, widely-respected foreign editor for The Australian. . They discuss the Christian foundations of Western civilisation and the profound importance of religion at a societal, cultural and individual level. They delve into the deep rationality that often undergirds Christian faith, and question the capacity of atheistic philosophies to truly nourish the human soul. Greg Sheridan is one of Australia’s most influential national security commentators, who is active across print media, television and radio and also writes extensively on culture. He has written eight books. His latest, Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World is a compelling argument for the modern relevance and importance of the New Testament. As foreign editor of The Australian, he specialises in Asia. He has interviewed Presidents and Prime Ministers across the world.

THE GREATEST CURE OF ALL

God has used Nick Vujicic to bring the Gospel message to millions. Listen to this powerful message from Nick, you will be inspired and encouraged. Share this video with others, it will probably be the most important thing you can do today.

Nick is right, the greatest cure of all is Jesus Christ. Connect with Nick Vujicic. He wants to help you with your next steps in your journey with Jesus! He shares here, a message of encouragement especially to those who are still asking the biggest spiritual questions and wondering, “Who are we? Why are we here?” Being born without arms and legs has definitely forced Nick to consider the bigger questions of life. And maybe you’ve seen him on YouTube. Nick just wants the world to know that God is real and hope is real.

In this video Nick poses important questions: ” Maybe right now your crisis has to do with your family, relationships, maybe your job. And as a society facing uncertain times, we kind of get stopped in our tracks. We put our confidence in what we normally accept as normal–that we have a job, that we go to school, that we have people in our life. What happens when we put confidence in things or people and they’re taken away? Where do we get our strength from, and where do we find our hope? Jesus is the greatest cure of all.

MOST SIGNIFICANT PERSON IN HISTORY

In 2013 Time Magazine did a story about the ‘Most Significant Person in History’ and concluded after a very comprehensive and detailed research program that Jesus was that person. If one googles ‘the most significant person in History’ and searches through the numerous websites claiming this title you will find that Jesus appears more than any other claimant. His life story on film has had more than eight billion views and counting.  The Jesus film has been translated into 1,800 languages. His life story is written in the most read and most published book in history. There have been some five plus billion copies of the Bible distributed in over 340 languages.  And at least one book of the Bible is available in over 2,000 languages. His life story has been translated and recorded and can be heard in some six thousand, five hundred different languages on the 5 fish app.

TIME Magazine Cover: The Jesus Revolution -- June 21, 1971
The Jesus Revolution | June 21, 1971

What do we know about Jesus from texts apart from the Bible? Jesus is mentioned in the writings of both the Jewish historian Josephus “Antiquities of the Jews” (Bk.XVIII.III.3 written about 93 AD) and the theologian Origen, in his book “Contra Celsum” written about 248 AD. 

More recently J. Warner Wallace, Author of Cold Case Christianity was a former homicide detective and former atheist.  He used his ‘cold case’ skills to verify the reality of the existence of Jesus.

Sir Lionel Luckhoo (1914-1997) is considered one of the greatest lawyers in British history. He’s recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Successful Advocate,” with 245 consecutive murder acquittals. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II — twice.

Luckhoo declared: “I humbly add I have spent more than 42 years as a defence trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt. It is recorded in the Bible that at least 513 people saw Jesus after his resurrection. These recorded eye-witness accounts happened on at least 8 separate occasions.”

Two computer scientists, Professor Steven Skiena of Stony Brook University in New York and Charles Ward used quantitative analysis to decide who the most significant people were in world history. They studied thousands of historical figures to determine which person’s opinions had the most impact on world affairs. Using an algorithm similar to Google’s ranking system and “other data sources,” they ranked the various historical figures by importance as referenced in the English version of Wikipedia — an online encyclopedia. Their analysis concluded conclusively that Jesus Christ was the world’s most influential person. 

The largest volume and most authenticated writings about the teachings of Jesus were recorded by those ‘eyewitnesses’ who actually lived with and were taught by Jesus himself.  The accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as recorded in the Bible have stood the test of time and the sceptics. Millions of followers of Jesus around the world can attest to the value and transformational nature of his teachings. Consider some other celebrations and events that would demonstrate the impact and the significance of this person Jesus.

  1. Throughout most of the world the usual way to refer to the calendar year was by using the abbreviations BC and AD. BC was shorthand for ‘before Christ’ and AD was shorthand for ‘anno domini – in the year of our Lord (Latin). Despite being unable to establish the exact date of Jesus’ birth, it was and is still used as the fulcrum for the Western way of marking time.
  2. In many countries around the world, the events of Christmas and Easter are celebrated. They came to be celebrated because of the significance of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.
  3. There are many phrases attributable to him, however the best known is the famous ‘Golden Rule’ sometimes articulated as ‘Treat others as you want them to treat you.’ Jesus said it like this ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
  4. In a time and culture that was almost exclusively patriarchal, Jesus did not shy away from expounding the value of the women and children. Would he be the most potent advocate for women and children in history?

Is it any wonder, then, that Christians are the largest religious group in the world?

Jesus is the only hope for this lost world. He is the way the truth and the life. No one comes to our Heavenly Father and inherits eternal life except through Him. Why would you not want to come to Him? He is the only way you will discover true meaning and purpose to your life.

Most of this Information was provided by my long time friend : Graham McDonald Email : graham@diduno.info

JESUS IS LORD

While elections and leaders come and go, what matters most in America and other Western nations is that we repent for turning away from God and rededicate our lives to the way of Jesus, to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims to America and the signing of the Mayflower Compact. Fleeing religious persecution in Europe, this group of Puritans was in search of a new world where they could practice their faith without fear or opposition. Prayer Networks in Australia are encouraging Christians to set aside Wednesday to pray and fast for America—that the nation would return to God, and that God would direct the outcome of the election towards justice.

God is doing a “new” work in the USA and Terry and Barbi Franklin are privileged to be involved. In my next post, I will upload their video where they explain how God through repentance is bringing Christians to prayer and fasting as never before and of course, the results are amazing.

Hope you enjoy Terry and Barbi’s rendition of As One We Stand as much as I did.

Watch this beautiful overview of D.C. as you listen to the beautiful words sung by Barbi and Terry Franklin.

UNDERSTANDING GOD

The Openness of God by Clark Pinnock, Richard Rice, John Sanders, William Hasker, and David Basinger (1994). The Openness of God presents a careful and full-orbed argument that God known through Christ desires a “responsive relationship” with his creatures. While it rejects process theology, the book asserts that such classical doctrines as God’s immutability, impassibility, and foreknowledge demand reconsideration. The authors insist that our understanding of God will be more consistently biblical and more true to the actual devotional lives of Christians if we profess that “God, in grace, grants humans significant freedom” and enters into a relationship with a genuine “give-and-take dynamic.” The Openness of God is remarkable in its comprehensiveness, drawing from the disciplines of biblical, historical, systematic, and philosophical theology. Evangelical and other orthodox Christian philosophers have promoted the “relational” or “personalist” perspective on God in recent decades. It was probably the first major attempt to bring the discussion into the evangelical theological arena.

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Christianity Today’s 1995 Book of the Year

God is everlasting, without beginning and without end i.e. God is eternal. God is not limited by anything outside of himself. However, Scripture reveals that God although omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, is not the “All” or the “Everything,” but He is a being rather than Being itself.

What do we read about God in God’s own revelation, the Bible? And what do we “see” in God-in-person Jesus Christ? We see a self-limiting God who grants His creation a degree of autonomy, freedom to go against and resist His will. We see a self-limiting God who enters into time and history and goes on a “journey” with His creation and especially with his covenant people. We see a God who can be deeply affected, grieved, made angry or blessed, by what his creatures do.

It seems that before there was a creation, God was not limited, but self-limitation out of love was potential within God.

Sure, philosophy can sometimes help fill in some gaps left open by the Bible, but we must be careful not to allow philosophy to overtake our thinking about God such that the God of the Bible is a mere symbol for something “more real” who is not really like the passionate, personal, historical, suffering, intervening, resistible God of the Bible. We Christians must begin our thinking about God with Jesus Christ and work our way out from there.

ARE YOU A TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST?

“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:16-17

These verses confirm that it is only those who repent, believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on The Cross, they receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever1 John 2:17

“If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.1 John 2:29

He will render (repay) to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:6-8

These three verses truly verify that it is only those that do the will of God and practise righteousness are granted eternal life.

“But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind,…” Jeremiah 11:20 (ESV)

“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” Psalm 66:10 (ESV)

“the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Note: the above four verses makes it clear that God tests the hearts and minds of true believers.

Faith is what is so very precious to God. And that is why God has to test people to find out if they have genuine faith. That is the biblical truth of the matter.