The Honor of Kings

The Honor of Kings
Vol: 19 Issue: 29 Monday, February 29, 2016

According to the Bible, in the last days, the whole world will come together under a single, global government. Or at least, that is the way many Christians understand it, although that is not strictly accurate.

The mental picture most of us have of the antichrist is something along the lines of a super-Hitler, wielding absolute global authority and enforcing his edicts and dictates through regularly scheduled public executions.

The Apostle John says of his religious counterpart, the False Prophet, that:

“he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

Further, John tells us that;

“he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

The Prophet Daniel tells us that the antichrist will be a ‘prince’ of the Roman Empire, and the consensus understanding of Daniel 9:26 is that it means the antichrist will be a European.

Further, he is most probably from Rome, and his partner, the False Prophet, is a global religious leader also headquartered in Rome.

I often warn of the dangers of interpreting Bible prophecy according to current events, but that doesn’t preclude questioning traditional interpretations as God reveals more information.

The Proverbs tell us that,

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs 25:2)

The Bible is a Living Book. It is also a book of progressive revelation, and while it has been sealed as complete for two thousand years, that progressive revelation has continued through the generations since.

Jesus summarized the concept of ‘progressive revelation’ as it applies to prophecy to His disciples, saying,

“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” (John 14:29)

The Apostles didn’t know what He was talking about much of the time. They were blinded by the traditional interpretation that when the Messiah came, He would destroy Israel’s enemies and set up an earthly kingdom.

Despite His presence among them for three years, it wasn’t until after they were indwelt by His Holy Spirit at Pentecost that they began to understand all that had been revealed to them.

The Bible also tells us that as believers, we are kings and princes through Him and are honored with the authority to search out matters heretofore previously concealed.

So, with that in mind, let’s challenge the conventional wisdom that the antichrist is a European and the false prophet’s headquarters is the Vatican.

Assessment:

First, the antichrist’s government is indivisible from its religion. It isn’t the antichrist that issues the order to receive the Mark of the Beast.

Look at Revelation 13:15-17 again.

The False Prophet gives life to the beast, demands he be worshipped, and decrees anyone that refuses should be killed.

Then, to ENFORCE that edict, the False Prophet orders everyone “marked” to show loyalty, linking it to the ability to engage in normal buying and selling.

Hmmm. A religion that is also an economic and political system.

John tells us that the religion of the False Prophet will have two horns like a Lamb, but that it will speak like a dragon.

Hmmm. A religion that claims to be ‘peaceful as a lamb’, but one that preaches war and destruction?

The Bible never directly uses the word “antichrist” to describe the political Beast. 1st John says of the antichrist;

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son?” (1st John 2:22)

Hmmm. A religion of global power, that claims to be one of peace and love, that preaches war and death, and denies that God has a Son?

“Anti-Christ” – the simple understanding of the phrase is, ‘against-Christ’ the way anti-abortion means ‘against abortion’ or anti-American means ‘against America’.

Hmmm again. A religion dedicated to making war with Christ.

The Prophet Daniel reveals of the antichrist, “by peace he shall destroy many.” The Apostle John pictures him in Revelation 6:2 as a rider on a white horse, armed with a bow, but with no arrows.

Four fourteen hundred years, Christians interpreted this religion as being ruled from the Vatican. Why?

Because for fourteen hundred years, the Vatican had that kind of power. That was THEIR interpretation based on their understanding of what were-then current events.

But in this generation, when one ‘searches out the matter’ and overlays a religion most of us knew nothing about a decade ago, one gets an entirely different Big Picture.

One of the conveyers of Hadith, Ka’b al Ahbar is quoted as saying:

“I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets… For instance, the Book of Revelation says: “And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him…went forth conquering and to conquer.”

The Bible tells us that it is the political Beast, or antichrist, that confirms a seven year covenant with Israel. Daniel says the agreement is abrogated halfway through.

The Islamic Hadith says that the Mahdi will mediate a seven-year peace hudna through a Jewish Priest from the lineage of Aaron.

According to Muhammad Ali ibn Zubair, while speaking of the time that the Mahdi’s will come to reign and rule, Mohammed the ‘prophet’ said this:

“There will be four peace agreements between you and ‘the Romans’ [or “the Western powers” -ed].

The fourth and last treaty will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Aaron [Honorable Aaron, the brother of Moses] – ed and will be upheld for seven years.

The people asked, “O Prophet Muhammad, who will be the imam (leader or Mahdi) of the people at that time?” The Prophet said: He will be from my progeny and will be exactly forty years of age. His face will shine like a star.”

According to the Apostle John, there are two distinct penalties for refusing to accept the Mark of the Beast.

The first penalty mentioned is death (Revelation 13:15) — by decapitation! (Revelation 20:4)

The second penalty is social:

“that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:17)

Islam proscribes two penalties for unbelievers. Those who refuse to submit are to be decapitated, and those who agree to submit are marked as dhimmis – social outcasts with no legal standing, no rights of ownership, and no rights of citizenship.

Finally, the over-arching theme of the Book of the Revelation is the persecution of Israel, the destruction of the Jews, and the eradication of Christianity.

The religious duty of the Muslim ‘umma’ (worldwide Muslim community) is the elimination of Israel, the destruction of the Jews and the overspreading of Islam, by force, if necessary, to the Christian world.

Islam divides the world into two zones, the Zone of Islam (dar al Islam) and the Zone of War (dar al harb). If you aren’t in one, you’re in the other.

As to Daniel’s identification of the antichrist as a prince of the Roman Empire, continental Europe, already nicknamed ‘Eurasia,’ continues to reel under the weight of Muslim immigration.

It is estimated that, at current rates, Europe will become majority Muslim within a generation.

All this challenges conventional wisdom, and I am therefore not prepared to be dogmatic about any of it.

I am mindful of the danger of dogmatically interpreting prophecy in light of current events.

But I am also mindful that the conventional interpretation of Europe and the Vatican is ALSO the product of fourteen hundred years of interpretation based on what were-then current events.

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up andsealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; butthe wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:8-10)

“For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2)

I’ve just scratched the surface insofar as the similarities between Islam and the predictions concerning the A/C’s government, but they are intriguing enough to be worth further exploration.

We’ll keep searching out the matter together and see where it leads us.

Marantha!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on December 14, 2007.

Featured Commentary: Why True Christianity is Dispensational ~ Pete Garcia

Always Remember You’re Unique — Just Like Everyone Else

Always Remember You’re Unique — Just Like Everyone Else
Vol: 19 Issue: 27 Saturday, February 27, 2016

Depending on the circumstances and whom you ask, either men and women are ‘equal’ (meaning the same) or they are as different as if one was from Mars and the other from Venus, so to speak.

I can’t speak with authority, (since I don’t know every man and woman on the planet), but I am inclined to believe, based on my admittedly limited experience, that men and women are part of the same species, but that is where the similarities end. 

It is in this crazy belief that we’re all just alike that the trouble starts. It is much more realistic to keep in mind that you are unique, and so is everybody else is. 

Last week, my wife instructed me to clean out the shed in our backyard. It was half-full of junk when we rented the place last August, and over the winter, we filled it the rest of the way with our own junk. 

So by the time Gayle’s spring cleaning fit had led her out to the back yard, I had a pretty good idea of what was coming. 

I wish I had snapped a picture – but even a picture couldn’t have done justice to what it looked like when I started. 

It is a nice shed — evidently the previous tenant had abandoned finishing the inside, but it is a good, sturdy wood-frame building perhaps 16 by 12 feet in size with a good, high ten footceiling. 

It needed a high ceiling for all the junk piled in there. There was a path about a foot wide that led from the front door to a bench along one wall, but standing in that aisle, you couldn’t see any of the other walls. 

I tried to explain to Gayle that we didn’t need the shed cleaned out, since we didn’t have any more junk to store, but I’m a man and she isn’t, so my plea to her allegedly ‘logical’ side fell on deaf ears. 

It took me the better part of the day to haul all that junk out of the shed and into the back yard. As I dug through it, I found some really, really good junk. 

I found a bunch of old extension cords that had their plugs cut off; a sledgehammer with half a handle, a broken stereo that probably still had good speakers, and even a battery operated drill — if I could only find the charger. 

And there were a bunch of old tarps, some big plastic drop cloths, a can of used paint rollers, a box of old shoes — “Hey! Some of this stuff is still good!” I told Gayle. “One of these shoes fits me!” 

Gayle was unmoved by my discoveries. “What a slave driver,” I thought. 

But as I worked, I began to notice something emerging from the chaos — inside the shed, under all that junk, I discovered a man-fort. 

As the walls emerged, I found all kinds of handy hooks for my tools. That’s the thing about tools. If you can’t find a tool you need, you end up buying one to finish the job. 

As we were cleaning out the RV, I discovered, for example, that I had six hammers. I had three drills. I had a couple of partial tool kits, each missing the same 1/2″ and 9/16″ sockets and wrenches. 

There were assorted plastic toolboxes filled with tools I thought I had lost, bought new, and then found the old ones. 

So, as I yanked old junk out, I started putting new junk in. 

Assessment:

I started the project on Monday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, I had gotten in deep enough to discover four bags of unopened insulation in one corner. 

The shed isn’t all that big and the insulation took up a lot of floor space and, hey — I think this was supposed to go in the shed. 

So, I spent Tuesday and Wednesday insulating the shed. The insulation was lots easier to store stuffed between the joists of the wall than in big bags on the floor anyway. 

Once I got the shed insulated, I realized there was a lot of empty wall space. And I’d carried out several piles of scrap wood that would work great for shelves. . . .

By Wednesday night, I had a workbench in the corner, shelves up along two walls, hammers hanging on the wall, screwdrivers lined up just so . . .but the shed needed power. 

So I ran a couple of extension cords from an outside plug on the house in through the shed window, plugged in a trouble light, and my shed was electrified. 

It was nice there in my shed, but it was kind of quiet. I had an old, broken-down Dell laptop that is too ancient to do any work on that had already made it to one of those shelves. 

I kept looking at it, and then, hit by a flash of inspiration, I added those old speakers and turned it into a pretty whiz-bang mp3 player. 

Now I had a workbench, some tools hanging on the walls, and something to play tunes on while I worked. 

While we were on the road, I bought a little bar fridge to augment the too-small built-in refrigerator in our RV. It was just sitting there — so I hauled it into my shed. 

On Thursday morning, I made myself a cup of coffee, went out to the shed to admire my handiwork, and despite the fact it was 50 degrees out and the shed was unheated, I thought I’d pull out that old laptop and jot down some ideas for the OL. 

Next thing I knew, I’d been in there most of the morning, finished the OL, had moved out my coffeepot and a wireless telephone, and caught myself sitting out there, shivering in the cold, admiring my tools. 

All the junk that had been inside the shed was piled up all around the outside of it, like a defensive perimeter wall around my fort. (I left a path to the door) 

Inside, I was sitting with my feet propped up on the little fridge, listening to tunes, a fresh pot of coffee on the bench, wearing two sweaters and a wool hat, as happy as a clam. 

Then Gayle came out. “What about the junk in the backyard?” 

“What junk?” I asked. 

“I think your gene pool needs more chlorine,” Gayle said. 

I bet there’s room for a bunk over in the corner underneath my hammers.

Written by Jack Kinsella on May 9, 2008.

Devout Faithlessness

Devout Faithlessness
Vol: 19 Issue: 26 Friday, February 26, 2016

The new Billy Graham of unbelief is Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and author of the number one best-selling book on religion called ”The God Delusion.”

That isn’t a typo. Dawkins is the author of Publisher’s Weekly’s best-seller in the RELIGION category for his book arguing that belief in God is delusionary.

Dawkins, a professor at Oxford University, whose first literary success was a book called “The Selfish Gene”, wrote in “The God Delusion”:

“I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented. . .”

Given that statement, it is amusing that Dawkins’ number one indictment against believers is ‘religious intolerance.’

Another prominent atheist, Sam Harris, is the author of a new book entitled “Letter to a Christian Nation” in which Harris equates Christianity with slavery, which he says was once acceptable, but is now looked upon with horror.

Thus, he argues, shall it be when the world awakens from its religious delusion to discover that there is no God. According to Harris’ previous book, “The End of Faith” belief in God is responsible for many of life’s tragedies.

Thanks to books like these and the formation of groups like the “Rational Reaction Squad” and “The Secular Coalition for America”, atheism is becoming the hottest new religion on the world scene.

Why do I call atheism a religion? Well, it meets all the tests for religion. It worships a supreme being [man]. It is faith-based. An atheist is one who has complete faith in the absence of a Creator God.

It is incumbent upon the tenets of his religious faith that he spread his gospel of unbelief with the same fervor as any old-time fundamentalist preacher.

The Rational Response Squad, for example, has issued a ‘blasphemy challenge’ via the video website, “YouTube”. Their “blasphemy challenge” calls on young nonbelievers to create videos in which they renounce belief in the “sky God of Christianity” and upload it on the site.

In return they’ll receive a free documentary DVD, “The God Who Wasn’t There,” which includes interviews with Dawkins, Harris, and others. RRS is also publicizing its campaign on 25 popular teen websites.

And it consigns those who adhere to a different religion than secular humanism or atheism to a kind of secular ‘hell’ reserved for the superstitious where they are ostracized and belittled for their beliefs.

RSS co-founder Brian Sapient told the Christian Science Monitor that the purpose of the ‘blasphemy challenge’ was to “strike up more of a conversation about religion, and this was a way for people to show their nonbelief and encourage others to come out.”

The ‘blasphemy challenge’, according to Sapient, has garnered some 490 entries so far, while the trailer for their DVD, “The God Who Wasn’t There” has been previewed some 85,000 times.

Sapient insists that “you don’t really respect people unless you speak up when you think their beliefs are wrong.”

It’s OK with him, he adds, if religious people try to convince him they are right. He enjoys the debate.

Assessment:

At this point, I have to ask the obvious question — why? What difference can it make to an atheist that somebody else believes in a ‘mythical’ God? If there is no heaven, why would an atheist care if he isn’t going?

If there is no hell and no soul, why would an atheist find eternal damnation in a mythical place for a part of them they do not believe exists ‘intolerant’?

If there is no reward beyond the trials and tribulations of this life, then why bother trying to spread their doctrine of devout faithlessness to young people?

And, finally, if there is no hope of eternity, no certainty of accountability, and no moral absolutes regarding right and wrong, why such devotion to spreading the Gospel of Bad News?

The answer, according to the website, “About Atheism”, is because atheists had “bad religious experiences when growing up, bad religious experiences currently, and a sense of unease over the involvement of religion in problems going on today.”

Of course, that isn’t an answer. Christians have had bad experiences growing up, bad religious experiences today, and share a sense of unease over the involvement of religion in problems today.

But that isn’t why Christians share the Gospel. They share the Gospel for the same reason they would awaken a homeowner in the middle of the night to tell him his house is on fire. So that he can take action to save himself from the flames.

Why do atheists spread their gospel? I’ve yet to find an answer to that question that doesn’t scream intolerance. Which would be ok with me, if they didn’t pretend that their intolerance was born out of MY intolerance.

I don’t care if atheists don’t agree with me. I cheerfully admit I don’t agree with them. But I wouldn’t debate an atheist for the mere sake of debate. I will be happy to discuss my beliefs with them, should they want to know, but I’ve long since abandoned any interest in ‘convincing’ an unbeliever that I am ‘right’ and they are ‘wrong’.

The Bible lays out the formula for salvation. One is called by the Father to the Son, and is convicted by the Holy Spirit. The formula for faith is expressed thusly:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

As Christians, our job is to;

“Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1st Peter 3:15)

It is NOT my job to force-feed that reason to those who don’t want to hear it. If they don’t want to hear the Gospel, Jesus gives us a formula for THAT, too.

“And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:5)

Jesus says that salvation is a holy thing that He likened to a fine pearl. If you were to offer someone, say, a brand-new car, no strings attached, and they refused the offer, would you continue to pressure them to take it? Or would you offer it to someone who wanted or needed it?

Jesus cautioned the Church,

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

It would be fair to say that most atheists have been offered the pearl of salvation. If one reads their literature, they almost always claim to have once been a Christian until they discovered they had ‘been lied’ to by religious leaders.

Some time back, I was baited by an atheist into an email debate on atheism vs. Christianity. Being somewhat naive, I responded to a few of his questions, hoping that maybe I was the one God would use to lead this person to Christ.

His responses were insulting, demeaning, condescending, arrogant and nasty. When I informed him that I no longer wished to continue the debate, he ran an all-out campaign on his website in which he claimed he had vanquished me in the debate.

He published my responses out of context and used them to build his own reputation as a ‘debater’ on my unwillingness to join him in the gutter.

I offered him the pearl of great price, and, as the Lord predicted, he trampled it underfoot before turning on me to ‘rend’ me. In the end, it wasn’t about the Gospel, but about who ‘won’ the debate.

Nobody won. I looked like an idiot, and he not only went away content in his unbelief, but used my good intentions to discredit the message I was trying to convey. It was an ugly exchange that taught me a valuable lesson.

Debating is a contest of skill in which the presentation of ideas is more important than the ideas themselves. It edifies the debaters, not the message they are debating. The winner gets ‘bragging rights’ whether he sways his opponent or not. It’s about pride. Not about truth.

The same can be said for the endless debates within the Church over minor points of doctrine, like the timing of the Rapture. I believe the Bible clearly indicates a pre-trib Rapture. I also believe a pre-trib Rapture is a key to understanding the outline of Bible prophecy.

John writes to the Church;

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1st John 4:4)

“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1st John 5:5)

But during the Tribulation, John says of the beast,

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Revelation 11:7)

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

Without a pre-trib Rapture, this would present a clear contradiction. I cannot be ‘overcome’, says the Scriptures, because He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.

But if I am here during the Tribulation, then I can be overcome by the beast. Where did ‘He that was in me’ go?

Still, the timing of the Rapture is a minor point of doctrine because it plays no bearing on whether or not someone is truly saved. It merely aids in understanding the difference between the Church Age and the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” and answers the charge that the Bible contradicts itself.

So I don’t engage in hostile debate on that subject anymore than I would engage in a hostile debate an atheist. If I win the argument with another believer, that believer is just as saved as if I had lost. Again, since nobody wins anything of any eternal importance, it is an exercise in pride.

The Scriptures say,

“. . . Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)

The Scripture warns of the last days,

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)

Debating the existence of God with an atheist is like debating the circumference of the earth with a member of the Flat Earth Society. Before you can discuss the circumference, one must first establish the earth is round.

Proving the earth is round destroys the other’s argument and no debate is necessary. But without first agreeing that the earth is round, no further debate is possible.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But SHUN PROFANE AND VAIN BABBLINGS : for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker. . .” (2nd Timothy 2:15-17a)

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” (2nd Timothy 2:23)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 4, 2007.

Featured Commentary: The Church’s One State Solution ~ Alf Cengia

The Least In the Kingdom Is Still IN the Kingdom

The Least In the Kingdom Is Still IN the Kingdom
Vol: 19 Issue: 25 Thursday, February 25, 2016

One of the objections offered in response to the position that God’s grace is greater than all our sin refers to the passages in Scripture that enumerate specific sins together with the warning that those that commit these specific sins “shall not inherit the Kingdom.”

The objection in part, reads this way:

“Paul says in several verses in Corinthians, and Galatians that some behaviors will keep us from inheriting the Kingdom. 

First, I assume he means the Kingdom of Heaven. Second, I assume he means if we are doing those things and don’t stop, we cannot inherit the Kingdom.

These are very difficult verses for me. He is clear and specific. If doing these things will keep one from inheriting the kingdom, and a person is claiming to be saved, but continues to do them anyway, is Paul a liar if he says you can’t go to Heaven if you do these things?”

In the end, the questioner asks, “Wouldn’t it be better to choose not to sin?”  These are fair questions — especially that last one, so I will start with it.  

Q. “Wouldn’t it be better to choose not to sin?”  A. “Yes.”   Gee, that sounds easy. Doesn’t it? 

But Adam and Eve found it a bit more difficult than that. They were created perfect, without an ingrained sin nature, and they only had one commandment to obey.    

Their commandment was clear and specific:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)

They didn’t have to worry about graven images, or keeping the Sabbath or not stealing or bearing false witness . . . they only had one commandment and it was a singular negative.

“You can do anything. Nothing is forbidden, except for this one, little, insignificant command NOT to eat from this one little tree.”  

That was it.  One little commandment.  Not ten.  Just one.

Adam and Eve did NOT live in a sin-sick, demon-infested, fallen world filled with temptations specifically designed to trigger an in-bred, universal sin nature.  They lived in perfect fellowship with God, with Whom they walked in the Garden in the cool of the evening.

Wouldn’t it have been better if they had chosen not to sin? 

What if God gave them a second chance?  Suppose God said, “Ok, you guys are new here. I didn’t tell you about the serpent.  You aren’t very sophisticated — of course you were blindsided.  Now you know the difference between good and evil. So what? Let’s just forget about this time and move on. Go, and sin no more.”

Clearly, the option not to sin is always there.  But man’s nature is what it is.   We are sinners by nature. It is what we do. It defines us. We are the only natural, created beings that are capable of sin.  It is what defines us — it is what separates us from the lower order of mammals.

My dog cannot sin. She can do things that are against the rules, and she can do them wilfully, but she cannot sin.  She knows only what is forbidden, not why.  She feels no guilt when she disobeys.  She has no individual self-awareness.

Sinning is what we do. NOT sinning is unnatural, which is why the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

However, when we become saved, we receive an additional component — a “quickened” spirit, at which time we become a NEW creature, (2 Corinthians 5:17Galatians 6:15). The new creature is capable of receiving the things of God, but the new creature continues to reside inside the old one.

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

This is the dual nature of the Christian — a supernaturally quickened new creature temporarily trapped inside the old one.   Literally, it is the spirit of life trapped inside a body of death.

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:21-25)

Wouldn’t it be easier just to choose not to sin?  One would think so.  But no human being in the history of man, from Adam until now, (excepting the man, Jesus Christ) ever managed to pull it off. 

Including the Apostle Paul . . . which brings us to the second objection, to wit: “Is Paul a liar if he says you can’t go to Heaven if you do these things?”

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:10-11)

Let’s begin with the most obvious issue.  Who are the unrighteous?  Are they those that do the things enumerated on that list?  Does that mean a fifteen year old girl that never did any of these things is righteous? 

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)

So even if one never committed fornication, idolatry, adultery, self abuse, theft, was never covetous, never took a drink, never said anything evil of someone else or ever committed extortion, such a one was already unrighteous, according to Romans 3:10.

How does one become righteous?

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works . . .”  (Romans 4:6)

“And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:22)

So, the unrighteous that do all these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But unto the unrighteous that believe, God imputes righteousness.

“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:23:25)

So, righteousness is imputed unto the unrighteous, by believing in Him that was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification.”  Works — bad OR good,  cannot be relevant if salvation comes by faith alone.

Now, what about Galatians 5:19-21? Paul here is addressing the works of the flesh. Saved people are still ‘in the flesh’ until they take their last breath. (Romans 7:25)

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Go back to the top of the passage.

“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”  (Galatians 5:4)

Does this mean that somebody who is justified by the law and “fallen from grace” has lost their salvation?  No. It says that if you seek to be justified by the law, then you haven’t sought justification by grace. 

The odd thing about teaching eternal security is that it almost sounds like one is defending a RIGHT to sin, rather than acknowledging the reality that sin is part of being in the flesh, and that in the flesh “dwelleth no good thing, for to will is present with me.” (Romans 7:18)

Because it sounds like a defense of sin, it is easy to argue against it. That’s what makes the simplicity of Christ so complicated.

Sin is not all right. Sin is not good. Sin is not ok with God.  Sin has no defense. Neither does a sinner.  That’s why we need a Savior.

Sin has consequences, here on earth, at the Bema Seat before Christ, and subsequently into eternity in heaven. Not everybody will be made a ruler over ten kingdoms, or ten cities. 

But everybody who stands before the Bema Seat is saved. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus pronounced blessings, or beatitudes, for certain groups of individuals.

Note with me that all of them are future tense — “they SHALL be” comforted, they SHALL inherit the earth, be filled, obtain mercy, see God, be called the children of God, etc. 

ALL of them, that is, except two.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs IS the kingdom of heaven.”

Notice that the rest will inherit the Kingdom, but that the poor in spirit ALREADY have.  The Expositor’s Bible Commentary defines the “poor in spirit” this way: 

“To be poor in spirit is not to lack courage but to acknowledge spiritual bankruptcy. It confesses one’s unworthiness before God and utter dependence on Him.”

That does not sound like the kind of person that believes his eternity is settled according to his ability to choose not to sin.

The second group that have ALREADY inherited the Kingdom of Heaven are “those who arepersecuted because of righteousness, for theirs IS the kingdom of heaven.

Is the Lord talking about personal righteousness?  Well, let’s put it another way.  Is there such a thing as personal righteousness?   I believe that is an issue asked and answered already.  

Either there is NONE righteous — or there is.  Which is it?  BOTH cannot be true.

“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11)

So he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is already greater than was John the Baptist.  So it would appear that being the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, one is still IN Heaven. How doesone become called “the least” in the Kingdom?

“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19-20)

Those that are saved, but that break the commandments and teach others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but they will still BE in Heaven.

Again, explaining the doctrine of eternal security is not an ENDORSEMENT of sin, but a recognition of reality.  All men sin, including saved Christians. So if the standard for salvation is to trust Jesus AND sin no more, heaven will be empty.

And if sin is on a sliding scale, that is to say, some saved sinners will go to heaven but other saved sinners will not, based on HOW sinful they are, then the standard for righteousness is not by faith alone, but by faith plus UNDEFINED works.

Sin is a “work” — it is something you have done — nobody else can sin for you.  Sin is your work and yours alone.  God doesn’t make you sin.  Neither does Satan.  Only you.  Sin is the most intimate and private of all human endeavors.

If your salvation is dependent on your works, then so is your righteousness.  If your works can make you unrighteous, then you are NOT clothed in the righteousness of Christ, you are clothed in your own.

Any other understanding makes both you AND Satan more powerful than Jesus, since Satan can trick you into sinning, whereas the Bible says that having paid the penalty for all sin once and for all,  Jesus sat down at the right Hand of the Father. (Hebrews 10:12)

In the final analysis, salvation is so simple that it is too complicated for us to grasp intellectually.  That is why the Lord says we must have the faith of a child. A child doesn’t wonder if he deserves what his father provides for him. 

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

It would be better to simply choose not to sin. Indeed, Christians make that choice every day.  Except for the times that we don’t.  And that is why we need a Savior.  Not just at the point of salvation, but for every single step that we take in our walk with Him.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Salvation cannot work any other way.

Written by Jack Kinsella on February 4, 2012.

Featured Commentary: Why I Write For God ~ J.L. Robb

The Multiverse Theory

The Multiverse Theory
Vol: 19 Issue: 24 Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which unbelievers will go to ‘prove’ there is no God. First, because it is impossible to ‘prove’ a negative — that is, to ‘prove’ something does not exist.

As Donald Rumsfeld famously pointed out in 2008, ‘absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence’. Because I cannot demonstrate God is sitting in this same room with me does not prove He is not there.

I cannot demonstrate that my desk is made up of atoms, either. But because I cannot see something at the molecular structure doesn’t mean it isn’t.

And that is the first thing a scientist would tell you. About practically anything — except God. Some of the most famous scientists in our world, Richard Dawkins, Stephen F Hawking, etc., are atheists — a belief structure built entirely on the absence of evidence.

But whether one believes in God or not is irrelevant to His existence. When confronted with scientific evidence that points to God they either become decidedly unscientific about it and reject it out-of-hand or they built elaborate counter explanations like the Mult-verse Theory.

Scientific evidence? What scientific evidence? Noted Tim Folger in Discover Magazine;

“Atoms consist of protons, neutrons, and electrons. If those protons were just 0.2 percent more massive than they actually are, they would be unstable and would decay into simpler particles.”

Atoms wouldn’t exist; neither would we. If gravity were slightly more powerful, the consequences would be nearly as grave. A beefed-up gravitational force would compress stars more tightly, making them smaller, hotter, and denser. Rather than surviving for billions of years, stars would burn through their fuel in a few million years, sputtering out long before life had a chance to evolve. There are many such examples of the universe’s life-friendly properties—so many, in fact, that physicists can’t dismiss them all as mere accidents. Science is supposed to be skeptical of accidents.

In explaining why the multiverse theory is attractive to scientists who reject the concept of a Creator God, Folger writes:

“Life, it seems, is not an incidental component of the universe, burped up out of a random chemical brew on a lonely planet to endure for a few fleeting ticks of the cosmic clock. In some strange sense, it appears that we are not adapted to the universe; the universe is adapted to us.”

Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation:

“Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multi verse. Most of those universes are barren, but some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life.”

You see, that’s the problem science is currently wrestling with. The danger that they may be forced to “invoke a benevolent Creator” as the only logical and scientifically plausible explanation for what we’re learning about our universe.

“Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable non religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.”

See? It’s either the ‘multiverse theory’ — or we’re stuck with God.

Assessment:

Five hundred years ago, the Polish astronomer Copernicus put forth a theory that is regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy. Prior to Copernicus, it was an accepted scientific fact that the earth was the center of the universe.

The more we learn about our universe, the more obvious it is that the universe was created as a life support system for the earth. To quote Freeman Dyson, a renowned physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the strong anthropic principle implies that “the universe knew we were coming.”

A Russian scientist at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow was researching the Big Bang theory in the late 1970’s. Professor Andrei Linde was thunderstruck the uniformity of the universe. For example, he discovered that the temperature of outer space is exactly the same everywhere, at 2.7 degrees C above absolute zero.

The Big Bang Theory says that is impossible. The universe as a whole has been cooling ever since it emerged from the fireball of the Big Bang. But there’s a problem: For all of it to reach the same temperature, different regions of the universe would have to exchange heat, just as ice cubes and hot tea have to meet to reach the uniform temperature of iced tea.

But as Einstein proved, nothing—including heat—can travel faster than the speed of light. In the conventional theory of the Big Bang, there simply hasn’t been enough time since the universe was born for every part of the cosmos to have connected with every other part and cooled to the same temperature.

So a new theory had to be invented — a phenomenon called ‘inflation.’ Inflation holds that regions of the universe that are currently separated by many billions of light-years were once close enough to each other that they could exchange heat and reach the same temperature before they were wildly super-sized. Aha!

The multiverse theory is born out of the ‘string theory’ which is so complex most mathematicians shake their heads. Discover Magazine quoted Bernard Carr, a cosmologist at Queen Mary University of London.

“If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

The Apostle Paul addressed this exact dilemma:

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”

The sun produces energy by fusing two hydrogen atoms into a single helium atom. During that reaction, 0.007 percent of the mass of the hydrogen atoms is converted into energy. If that percentage were lower, there could only hydrogen, if it were higher, there could be no hydrogen. In either case, water could not exist — and neither could we.

The early universe was delicately poised between runaway expansion and terminal collapse. Had the universe contained much more matter, additional gravity would have made it implode. If it contained less, the universe would have expanded too quickly for galaxies to form.

Had matter in the universe been more evenly distributed, it would not have clumped together to form galaxies. Had matter been clumpier, it would have condensed into black holes.

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)

So, here we have modern science learning that, “if you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.” Why? Paul answers THAT, too.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

That’s precisely how it played out, too. “Omigosh! There is only one explanation! There MUST be a God! . . . No, wait! There’s got to be a better explanation! I know! The mulitverse theory.”

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . .” (Romans 1:21-22)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 25, 2008.

When There Is No Law

When There Is No Law
Vol: 19 Issue: 23 Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Death was not part of God’s original creation.  The introduction of death was made necessary by the fall of man; sin is the ultimate affront to God and death is therefore the ultimate penalty for sin.

Since it is a penalty, such portions of it will be removed and dismissed forever; the eternal part of death, however, is, well, eternal.

There are three aspects to death; the physical, the spiritual, and what the Bible calls “the second”.  There is the death we know; the separation of soul and spirit from the flesh.

There is the spiritual death; the separation of the soul and spirit from God.  That is the condition of each of us through Adam — the ‘original sin’ which results in spiritual still-birth.  If one rejects fellowship with God in the physical life, one therefore remains separated from God in hell after physical death.

And finally, there is the ‘second death’ — the final and permanent form of spiritual death following sentencing at the Great White Throne.

The death we all know — physical death — is described in respect to its cause by the Apostle Paul:

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.” (Romans 5:12-14)

In this passage we learn several things concerning death.  First, that death is the result of Adam’s sin.  Sin, like death, is passed on to all men from Adam in that we all sin, and we all die.

Note also that “sin is not imputed when there is no law.”  The point Paul is making relates to Adam’s sin being sufficient cause for invoking the death penalty on all men.

Genesis 2:17 reads:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

In the Hebrew, it says, “dying, thou shalt surely die.”

In the day Adam sinned, he began to die physically.  This judgment includes all forms of death, including the second death, which Paul says “reigned from Adam to Moses.”

We also learn that “sin is not imputed when there is no law.”  What does Paul mean here?

Suppose you owned a large piece of property on which there was a stretch of paved road.  How fast can you drive on that road before you break the law?  70mph?  80?  120mph?

Since it is private property, there is no applicable law here.  You can go as fast as you want without breaking any law or incurring any legal penalty.

Sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Assessment:

One of the biggest doctrinal controversies within the modern Church concerns the doctrine of eternal security, or, as its critics term it, “once saved, always saved.” (OSAS)

But the Apostle Paul writes;

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Roman 6:14)

If a saved Christian is not under the law, and sin is not imputed where there is no law, the search for a proof text to the contrary requires way more gymnastics than I am comfortable with.

If God’s intention in inspiring Scripture was to make plain to the simple the plan of salvation, well, it doesn’t get much simpler than this.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. . . . For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9,13)

I’m an heir to Adam’s sin and an heir to his sin nature.  Sin, like death, was passed on to me and there is nothing I can do that will eliminate either.  But as one washed in the Blood, I am saved by the grace of God from the eternal penalty of my own sin.

I am still under the curse of Adam.  I will still sin.  And will surely die physically.  But the second death has no power over me.  There is no law under which I can be convicted because there is no law to which I am made subject.

I am not under the law, but under grace.  And where there is no law, no sin is imputed.  I cannot sin my way out of Jesus’ Hand because there is no applicable law I can break.

At the Bema Seat where the saved are judged for their crowns, every detail of one’s life will be examined.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:13)

It is at the Bema Seat that we Christians will give an account of every word spoken, every work committed or omitted, whether bad OR good:

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthian 3:15)

We will be judged according to our works, but we will be sentenced according to the finished Work at the Cross.  At the Bema Seat, we will acknowledge our guilt, will suffer loss for our sins, but will still gain entrance into eternal life.

Revelation 17:8 says;

“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Those whose names were “not written into the Book of Life from the foundation of the world”will stand before the Great White Throne.  Those whose names were already there before the world began are those of whom Paul was speaking when he wrote:

“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)

From what I can find in Scripture, there is but one charge for which those who stand before the Great White Throne will be sentenced.  The Scriptures say that at the Great White Throne, the Lord will open the “books” and the Book of Life.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:12)

The ‘books’ are the record of one’s life, just as at the Bema Seat.  Just as at the Bema Seat, one will give an accounting of every thought, word and deed.  At the Great White Throne, all those who rejected Christ will bow their knee and confess Jesus is Lord.

They will be judged, as were Christians at the Bema Seat, according to their works.  But they will not be sentenced according to their works.

Christians are saved at the Bema Seat because of who they are in Christ, not according to what they did in the body.

At the Great White Throne, the lost will be sentenced, not according to their works, but according to who they are in Christ:

“And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on December 2, 2008.

Featured Commentary: The Gospel According to Charles ~ Wendy Wippel

If The World Hates You . . .

If The World Hates You . . .
Vol: 19 Issue: 22 Monday, February 22, 2016

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)

The persecution of Christians is hardly a twenty-first century phenomenon.  The persecution of Christians is as old as Christianity itself.

In today’s opening verse, Jesus lays out the reason for the persecution of both Christians and Jews.  The Jews are ‘God’s Chosen People’ — a title that even offends many Christians, despite the fact Scriptures say that God Himself bestowed that title on them.

But Christians make the exact same claim, since, as Jesus said, we were chosen by Him out of this world, and THEREFORE the world hates us.

Still, until this generation, America has always been a safe haven for both Christians and Jews.  America was the first country in history to extend the sovereign franchise (the right to vote) to the Jew.  In early America, one could not run for public office unless one were a Christian.

America was founded by the Pilgrims who were seeking religious freedom.  But Bible prophecy says that during the Tribulation Period, there will be NO safe haven for either the Jews or the Tribulation saints.

“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:” (Matthew 24:20)

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22)

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. . . Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. . . .Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:1,5,12-13)

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, declares:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

But that guarantee doesn’t extend to Israel, which was founded exclusively as a Jewish state.  The UN calls that exclusionary and racist, at the same time fully supporting the Palestinian efforts at ethnic cleansing of all Jews from its territory.

That guarantee is invalid in many Islamist countries, where a Muslim who converts to Christianity can be summarily killed with virtually no outcry from anyone at the UN.

Christian persecution gets virtually no attention from the United Nations.  Other religions, including Islam, are afforded a special status by the General Assembly.  But Jewish and Christian religious leaders have no similar status.

Article 14 allegedly “guarantees”:  “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” but then specifically excludes religious persecution in the next breath, thanks to Subsection (b) which says,

“This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

By a literal reading the 1948 Genocide Treaty, Christianity meets the definition set forth for ‘genocide’.  The genocide concept was defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime.

According to the article 2 of this Convention, ‘genocide’ includes “inflicting serious physical or mental integrity” on the group members.  Christians believe that the only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ.

That specifically excludes all other religions, which has already been successfully argued as the ‘infliction of serious mental harm’ to members of other identifiable religious groups.

This is the same concept under which the Romans persecuted Christians.  The Romans didn’t object to Christians having one more god.  The Romans had lots of gods — there was always room for one more.

Their objection was the Christian claim that Jesus is the ONLY way  to salvation– they took offense to that as a “hate” crime.   

Assessment:

The concept of Christianity as a ‘hate crime’ seems so foreign to believers that they can’t really believe that anybody really believes that.  Christianity’s Golden Rule dictates that Christians love God with all their heart, soul and mind, and we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Jesus also said that, on those two commandments, “hangs all the law and all the prophets.”  In other words, love is the distilled essence of what it means to be a Christian.  This is where the world gets hung up.  “If Christians are so loving, why can’t they leave the rest of us alone?”

Christianity is, of course, a religious worldview singularly devoted to the causes of peace and love.  A loving God, they argue, would not exclude good people just because of a religious tag.

We’ve noted in the past that where the spiritual dimension makes contact with this dimension, it creates a paradox.

For example, the Temple Mount is claimed by all three world religions, but the weakest claim is, paradoxically enough, Israel’s!  This, despite the fact Israel’s claim is both the oldest and the best attested to.  Israel’s title deed comes directly from God, and is recorded in the Old Testament.

Both Christians and Muslims claim the Old Testament as one of their Holy Books and Abraham as their spiritual kin.  And majorities from both religions, together with those of no religion, view Israel’s claim is the weakest.

When the spiritual dimension meets this physical dimension, things get topsy turvy.  Christians obtain victory by surrender, for example.  Islam can claim a reputation of peace and love based on its history of violence and repression, and nobody blinks.

The Koran is viewed as so sacred that our military forces take sensitivity training on how to handle it without desecrating it, but the Bible is forbidden in America’s public square.  No American politician or mainstream media outlet would dare refer to “Jesus the Savior”. 

But they show absolutely no hesitation at using the designation, the “Prophet Mohammed.”

America is a culturally-Christian secular republic populated almost entirely by Christians, either the cultural variety or born again believers.  And Islam is a theocratic religion with almost no presence in either American society or American history.

According to the CIA World Factbook, eight in ten Americans self-identify as “Christian.”  The Islamic population of America, according to the same source, is roughly 0.7%.   For comparison purposes, according to Wikipedia, about 5% of Americans claim to have been abducted by aliens.

But officially in America, the Bible is “hate” literature.  The Koran is sacred.

We know Christianity to be rooted in the greatest of love. Christianity defines love itself as being God Himself. “Love is of God, for God is love” (1st John 4:7-8)

But at the same time, Christianity IS intolerant of other religions. It IS exclusive: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me,” (John 14:6) is both intolerant and exclusive.

Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven, so by definition, all other faiths are condemned, along with their adherents.  That is why Jesus said of Himself,

 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)

Christians know their faith to be rooted in peace and love.  But the Founder of Christianity says He is come to ‘bring a sword’ rather than peace, and to bring ‘variance’ instead of love.

The Bible explains this paradox in a manner that makes perfect sense to indwelt believers to whom it was given to understand it. And that explanation infuriates the world even more.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)

To the natural man, Christianity is a hateful, exclusive and intolerant faith.  To the Christian, it is the exact opposite.  Christians know, in their living spirit, a definition of love that escapes the natural man.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

The most loving thing a Christian can do is lead someone to Christ and eternal salvation. The most hateful thing a Christian can do is stand idly by and let someone die in their sins.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1st Corinthians 1:18)

To the world, the Bible is hate literature and Christianity is a hateful religion.  We know it to be the exact opposite.  That is by itself, clear evidence of the power of God — but discernible only to we who are saved.

Don’t let the enemy steal away your confidence.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 28, 2012.

Featured Commentary: Debunking False Eschatologies: Part 1 ~ Pete Garcia