Once Saved, Always Saved ~REVISITED

eternman

Some of you are probably wondering, will he ever just move on? What is up with this topic? This, quite honestly, is a hot topic for many, not just myself. And as like so many, I want everyone to have as much knowledge and understanding at their fingertips in order to make a truly wise, understandable, knowledgeable, and prayerful decision as to what they truly believe about the subject matter at hand! In the past (August & September of 2015) I wrote a two part blog posting on this very subject (Once Saved, Always Saved? & Once Saved, Always Saved? ~Part 2). The blog postings were cursory and were unassumingly ambiguous, in that, I still was not certain at that time about the subject. However, I desired to get as much of the information out to you so that you could decide for yourselves, despite the fact that I was not 100% sure in either case. Many have the belief that once saved & always saved is a fallacy and a license to sin, because if one cannot lose their salvation then they can do anything without regard to consequences. Remember Father Zosima’s quote, from Dostoevsky’sBrothers Karamazov“, “If there is no God then all things are permissible.”

This is not what the bible teaches. And if you can lose your salvation then you aren’t truly saved, hmmmmmmm…also, this is not taught within the biblical text. So, this, I hope, is the last of this question and my input on this subject, as I am (as you can see) grasping information from numerous sources. But no promises on this being the last word on this topic of discussion. Also, it is not like I do not have other topics to discuss, as I have in my drafts anywhere up to 40-50+ topics. But as with anything else, your mind is constantly thinking on what NEEDS to be heard and understood by those who follow your blog(s). I hope I keep everyone busy and tantalized by the topics that are posted.

My greatest problem, that which holds me back from this teaching, is the fact that I believe that somehow we (mankind) can subvert our salvation through our God given right to choose (good or bad, right or wrong, righteous or evil, etc.) I understand that the grace of God is how we receive our salvation which is a gift from God. I also understand that many rely on this scripture:

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ~John 6:37-38 NASB

My problem with this is that God, Jesus, says, “…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…” which leads me to believe that though Jesus will not cast a person out, but if he can chose to be saved by calling on God, can he not also choose to walk away from such a glorious gift, as well? Consider the story of George Wilson, the man who refused a presidential pardon. This is my dilemma, which I hope to solve by the end of this particular blog posting. Therefore, my friends, this will probably be my longest post, or several blog posts, only time and research will tell. Sorry!

So, what is the Doctrine of Free Will? According to Matt Slick of CARM.org he has defined as such:

Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion.  There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people.  There are two main views:  compatibilism and libertarianism…The compatibilist view is the position that a person’s freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture and that his free will is consistent with God’s foreordination…Libertarian free will says that the person’s will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely…[see more of this refer to What is free will? ]

Free will and the Christian religion

The problem of free will assumed quite a new character with the advent of the Christian religion. The doctrine that God has created man, has commanded him to obey the moral law, and has promised to reward or punish him for observance or violation of this law, made the reality of moral liberty an issue of transcendent importance. Unless man is really free, he cannot be justly held responsible for his actions, any more than for the date of his birth or the colour of his eyes. All alike are inexorably predetermined for him. Again, the difficulty of the question was augmented still further by the Christian dogma of the fall of man and his redemption by grace. St. Paul, especially in his Epistle to the Romans, is the great source of the Catholic theology of grace. ~Catholic Encyclopedia

This might be a good segue to ask what was the point of the law? What was the purpose of the law? Remember what the Apostle Paul told us, in Romans 7:

…I would not have come to know sin except through the Law… ~Romans 7:7 NASB

So, the law was a means of accomplishing your salvation, that linked with the blood sacrifice of animals could land you into heaven. Of course, you would have to adhere to all of the 613 laws on the books and properly and morally give your blood sacrifices throughout your life. And Jesus taught us that He was “…the way the truth and the light…” by which we could “…come to the Father” and it was only through He that we could do so. Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry He, during the Lord’s supper, stated (according to the Apostle Matthew):

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” ~Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV

We are reminded of the “My blood of the new covenant”, which was a foretelling of His own trial and tribulation that the Christ had to endure in order to become the final sacrifice…for us all…once and for all! Yes…do you you get it now? He died for you and me, for all of us and for all those not yet born. Now, with the “New Covenant” through the blood of Jesus we are no longer held accountable to the law. Now we are to live as Jesus lived; Jesus being our premier example of how to live.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. ~John 19:30 NKJV

When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He meant that His task was completed for all mankind; i.e., He was that final sacrifice. Upon that moment Jesus gave up His Spirit and His blood was spilled on our behalf, as our final sacrifice. We were freed from the law…although, keep in mind the law is what we use to determine if we are sinning in any particular area of our lives. Of course, this is a no braniner since,  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (for better context refer to Romans 3:21-26 NASB.) This is why we are saved by grace through faith [in the blood of Jesus…the lamb which was slaughtered on our behalf.] Further consider what the Apostle Paul had written:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB 

CrucifixionJesus suffered for each and every one of us and He was held accountable for each and every one of our sins. Those nails, the crown of thorns, the cross upon which He bore our sins…it is in our place that he was condemned, it was for our sins He died.This was prophesied by Isaiah, one of the major prophets:

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. ~Isaiah 53:3 NASB

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. ~Isaiah 53:7 NASB

We all think, at some points in time, that we are good people. But what exactly Maniacsdo we use as a basis for our arrogant statement? Why? Because we didn’t kill anyone? Because we aren’t Hitler? Stalin? Mao Tse Tung? Pol Pot? THAT is a bit relativistic, don’t you think? The list could literally go one for quite some time, but for brevity I will leave it there. But, yes, Jesus died for each of them. Yet, they did not accept Jesus…they rejected Him and therefore, Jesus also rejected them. Remember what Jesus taught?

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:32-39 NASB 

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Now, from a moral standpoint we are not given a license to sin. Because as children of God we are to strive to be better than what we once were. Unfortunately, I know people who take this literally as a license to sin. And if they do sin, there is no admission of such a thing, because it wasn’t them but the evil one who sinned within them…hmmmmmmmm.

So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.~Romans 7:17-20 NASB

This is but one, there may be others because the Apostle Paul generally refers to other things he has written about. However, people take this out of context for their benefit in order to sin and continue to keep on sinning. We are meant to understand that we do wrong because of the sinful nature within us. That being said, we are to use Jesus as our Godly example of how we are to live out our lives. But because that is way too hard to do…we should just let our bodies do what they will do, because our souls are saved. That is ungodly thinking and antithetical to the teachings of the bible. Look at the Apostle Paul who killed Christians his brothers & sisters. You can see in his writings that he is tormented due to the memory of what he once was and what he did, but he knew and held on to the hope that Jesus forgave him and he made great strides to do God’s work and fulfill the purpose for which he was created. Let’s look at King David who was a warrior, an adulterer, he lusted, and he killed in order to hide the truth, but God was there and saw it all. Consider, for a moment, that if we were to live as though we have a license to sin then why didn’t the Apostle Paul continue to torment and torture Christians? If what happens while in our flesh truly didn’t matter, then Paul had a license to continue to do what he was doing. And the same could be said of King David. But they each knew they were wrong due to the sin that was within them and they struggled to be better. If God could save David and Saul (Paul), then that gives us great hope…because God wants to save each and every one of us. He desires all of mankind to be saved and to enter into the heavenly realm.

I love the Matt Slick explained his point of view on this, in his article THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

…Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” Usually, the eyes brighten at this point. I then keep going…

Well, I think I truly kept my word, this is the longest post I have written…<<whew!>>

Here after the teaching of the Beatitudes while still speaking to the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised and forewarned us:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 5:17-20 NASB

All in all, I believe the final belief that can be derived from this post is that we are saved eternally from the aspect that Jesus was that final sacrificial lamb to die for all of our sins. Those who have not yet been born and those who have died. We are told that we will answer for our sins, but unless we lived a life antithetical to God’s word without ever seeking God’s forgiveness, we are saved. Though we sin, we will still answer for them but we are heaven-bound.

Do not forget about the thief on the cross…REMEMBER HIM?

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:39-43 NASB

You can be on your deathbed, and if you are truly seeking God’s forgiveness, He will give it. You might consider reading the minor prophet’s Book of Jonah. If God was willing to forgive the Ninevites, how much happier do you think God would be that YOU seek His salvation and forgiveness?

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB

So now is the time for you to seek God out, pray to Jesus. Find a bible believing church in your area and start associating with the like minded. Search out a bible that you can read and that is good for your soul. I read the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and the KJV. Most of my references are NASB & NKJV. To help you look here:

BibleSpectrumChart1

Also, one of my other blogs I posted What is the Best Bible to Read? Which has numerous references and articles for you to glean through in order to make your decision.

May the Love of God Shine upon each and everyone of you in your life’s journey toward salvation! I pray for each and every one of you that you find your way, if lost; those of you who are already saved…I pray for you to see and understand God’s will and purpose for you in your lives.

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

REFERENCES:

The Bible (BibleGateway NKJV & NASB)

The Assurance of Salvation by Matt Slick (CARM.org)

1 John 5:16-17, The sin leading to death

What is once saved always saved? by Matt Slick

What is the Eternal Security of the Believer? by Matt Slick

What is the difference between eternal security, once saved always saved, and perseverance of the saints? by Matt Slick

If eternal security is true, why did the Holy Spirit depart from Saul? by Luke Wayne

Can the Christian believer lose his salvation? by Matt Slick

What is free will? by Matt Slick

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

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Where was God in All this Tragedy?

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When a mad bomber sets off a bomb killing and maiming many, the people blame the mad bomber. When a drunk destroys the lives of family members and takes the life of the other driver, the people blame the drunk driver. When a man goes on a stabbing spree injuring and killing others in a large crowd, the people blame the man wielding the knife. However, in our Politically Correct culture when a man, woman, or child takes a gun into a “Gun Free Zone” and unleashes a whirlwind of bullets killing and injuring the innocence of life at a school, the people blame the gun. Why are people so skewed with respect to the weaponry used?? on February 14th, 2018, there was great travesty in Parkland Florida – a shooting by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Now, I could go on with this topic for several blog posts, just based upon: What happened, what is being revealed, what is not being said, and who is being blamed. But on a far more serious and segue into the more important topic at hand…where was God in all this tragedy? To who should we cast our eyes for protection?

So, let’s address the elephant in the proverbial room…where was God in all this tragedy? God was right there in the thick of it! He was in the heart of every teacher that ran toward the gunfire, with fear but ever so courageously, in order to protect their students. With great adversity and trial God is shown in the courageous actions of Aaron Feis, Chris Hixon, and Scott Beigel. Admittedly, we may never understand the reasons for any, let alone all, of the evil and suffering that occurs throughout our lives, it is that simple. As a man of faith, and sometimes doubt, I believe that God in His infinite wisdom and in His glory has some morally sufficient reason for such things as these.

Could God have created a error free world without hate, without such travesty? Yes, in my opinion He actually did…it was that little known Garden of Eden from which mankind was kicked out for not abiding by the rules of the garden. It was without pain, fear, travesty, and death. And then Adam and Eve broke the golden rule of God:

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”~Genesis 2:16-17 NASB

And according to the prophet Isaiah, who said:

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NASB

This was an affront to God, man violated His law. Seem a bit harsh? Think about it for but a moment…how are you saved? Through the blood, the substitutionary blood of Jesus! By believing and claiming such, through the holy word of God, and faith (as that of Abraham) we are saved. It took the blood of Jesus, who hung on a cross for all of our sins…ALL OF THEM. Every sin which you ever will commit and ever have committed during the course of your life. God saw it all. And Jesus subjected Himself to the torment and torture of the cross out of love for all His creation! So, does getting kicked out of the Garden seem all that harsh in comparison to what Jesus endured for your sins, now???

God is a strict, but loving, God. He provided the sacrifice for our iniquities, suffering the gruesome consequences for not obeying His word. Had He not done so, we would still be sacrificing animals for our sins.

Getting back to it…God created the perfect world and we, mankind or more specifically his ancestry, botched things up. And even now, we as the species of man are not doing such a great job of following God’s commands and word. Even while being saved, we fail Him each and every day, with each and every thought we think and breath we take.

God was also with each and every student, both the survivors and the deceased. You are probably wondering why didn’t God do anything about this? Well, actually He did. The police were called to Nikolas Cruz’s home on 39 separate occasions (23 of which for violence, one of which he aimed one of his guns at the head of a child in the household in which he lived.) This was a police failure on a paramount scale. God gave man free will and regardless of what goes on, man has the ultimate choice. Then there were the FBI hotline tips that were not followed up on. Another Law Enforcement failure. The School Resource Officer failed to act in a timely manner and has since resigned. Then there were the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were hiding behind their vehicles with guns drawn while gunfire was going on inside the school when the local police arrived.

When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school. ~CNN Politics

According to Scott M. Sullivan, Ph.D., who is a Christian Apologist wrote on this subject within his Course on Suffering:

  • Christians must admit both that they think both, that:i. An all-powerful and all-good God existsii. Evil exists (evil is not an illusion)

  • In other words, Christianity holds both of these to be true. But morethan that. Christians also must admit that not only does an all goodand powerful God thinks there should be evil and suffering in theworld, but more particularly that GOD WILLS physical evils to happen(physical evils don’t fall outside of God’s control) and PERMITSmoral evils to happen (God cannot will sin for He is all-good but Hecan and obviously does allow it to happen.)i. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF NATURE THAT CAUSE EARTHQUAKESii. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGYTHAT RESULTS IN DISEASEiii. GOD PERMITS THINGS LIKE MASS KILLINGS, TORTURE,RAPE AND GENOCIDE etc. ~Suffering Course Introductory Courses in Apologetics

 

If all evil were prevented, much good would be absent from the universe. A lion would cease to live, if there were no slaying of animals; and there would be no patience of martyrs if there were no tyrannical persecution.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas, S.T. I.22 ad.2

And furthermore, the observation of St. Thomas Aquinas is such that:

God is so good that never would he allow evil to exist, unless he were so powerful as to be able to draw good from evil. Hence it is due to neither impotence nor ignorance on God’s part that evils occur in the world, but it is owing to the order of his wisdom and to the greatness of his goodness, whence come the many and divers grades of goodness in things, many of which would be lacking were he to allow no evil to exist. Thus there would be no good of patience without the evil of persecution, nor the good of the preservation of its life in a lion, without the evil of the destruction of the animals on which it lives.” – Aquinas De Pot III.6

We must keep in mind that we, mankind, are finite. We can only truly speak on those things we have experiences or knowledge of or about. God, on the other hand, is infinite. Meaning God sees from the beginning to the end as though it were a unimaginably large panoramic picture. We can only see from our beginning of perceiving of a subject. There is a big difference with respect to the perception of these two.

And though we do not like evil, how are we able to determine how much evil should be in the world???

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28 NASB

Because of our limited understanding and perception how can we expect to know the morally sufficient reasons behind that which we deem as evil? And it is quite possible that nothing may not be realized until 10, 20, 30, 50, or even 100 years after the incident. Perhaps there are to be a series of incident that cascade off of one another over the course of decades. There are those who will go to hell and those who go to heaven.

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB

And considering that God desires all men to be saved, why aren’t they? God gave us free will and the gift of choice. That being said, the gift of salvation must be chosen and freely accepted. Consider the man who refused a presidential pardon, George Wilson (1833). This is why “THE ROMAN’S ROAD TO SALVATION” is such a popular and easy method to aid others in their road to salvation…the basis of which is that we must choose life (salvation), unlike George Wilson.

WHY DID GOD CREATE THOSE HE KNEW WOULD GO TO HELL? Here, St. Thomas Aquinas’ will never be popular with respect to his answer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true – ALL PEOPLE WILL GLORIFY GOD – those in Heaven glorify God’s mercy, those in Hell glorify God’s justice. Thus, even those in Hell fulfill the very purpose of creation.

I hope this was helpful and informative.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

A Question On Assumption & Belief

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People tend to question the motives of Christians who assume certain things they believe as factual and true, even though the person who challenges or questions, has no actual basis for an argument as he has done no historical research. On the other hand, Darwinists or Evolutionists argue for the Big Bang theory and stand by scientific findings on the age of this world, which according to scientists is 4.5 Billion years old (approximately.) Of course, this is based upon Carbon-14 dating methods.

While I am no expert on genetics, or any other science for that matter, that is why I (as do others) do our research and rely (have faith in) on and in the work that has been done by those who work in such fields of specialty. Science relies, in certain instances, on assumptions of information they do not have. Carbon dating methods rest on the assumption that carbon deteriorates at the same rate over the course of time, even at the millions of years, or billions of years. My limited understanding of the Carbon Dating method is to compare the two variant Carbon molecules. (C14/C12 notated as a ratio.)

Carbon-14, (14C or C14) or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.

Carbon12, (12C or C12) is of particular importance in its use as the standard from which atomic masses of all nuclides are measured: its mass number is 12 by definition and contains 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons.

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Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30,000 dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years. One of the impressive points Whitewall makes is the conspicuous absence of dates between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago illustrating a great catastrophe killing off plant and animal life world wide (the flood of Noah)!

Anthropologists, archaeologists, among others rely on other information in order to calculate the age of a demised animal, dinosaur, etc. Hence, genetics are used in certain instances. According to Roma Panganiban, The short answer to the question “how long does DNA last?” is complicated, and determined by a number of unpredictable factors such as weather and the organism’s final resting place.

We, as people or as students, are expected to accept (lock, stock, & barrel) the information given us by our superiors (teachers and others in academia) and we are to have blind faith on what is presented to us. And in many instances, if you should raise questions or challenge such things presented to you, or perhaps in research/term papers you take an opposing view, there is the potential for academic suicide (which is an intended future blog post.) If you value your grades you will acquiesce and play the game, but if you value your position (as being a point of principle) you will stand your ground all the while you see your academic career plummet. Or, if you listen to Ben Shapiro, you will not commit academic suicide and you will play the game so that you may survive to fight another day.

Case in point, while attending the university for my second Bachelors degree, I had to take a course (politically based upon history & citizenship), I took a Libertarian/Constitutionalist position within this paper which was, in fact, opinion based. I received a mid-level grade of C (78%). On an opinion based paper…how do you get a C??? How does your “Blue Dog Democrat” Professor give you a 78%??? Coincidence or conspiracy…you decide. But things such as this happen far more often in more liberal parts of this country’s educational buildings than here in the Midwest. That was the only time I had such a thing happen to me.

Can we trust science and scientists? Yes, we can; provided that they let the evidence take them on the journey and lead them to the answers. Not allowing their preconceived notion or agenda take them on the ride of their life and make the details fit the facts.

Darwin’s famous research on evolution was but a theory based upon speculation with the high hopes that future scientists would find the missing evidences. While it is a proven fact that germs, bacterium, and the like can and will mutate. Not one scientist can show an observable instance where the Darwinian Evolutionary process has occurred where something morphed from one kind or species to another. Most of such scientists will refer to the mutations and changes of on bacterium to another, but that is the case isn’t it? Bacterium changing to bacterium is not a change in kind or species…it remains a bacterium.

The Darwinianists cannot find the, so-called, missing link. That jump from one species of humanoid-like to human being. They keep saying it is there…but never quite get to the proof. Almost like the “Global Warming,” or the “Climate Change” believers. Sorry, the science doesn’t bear it out, they’re called seasons of changing weather patterns. The old adage, “Liars can figure, and figures can lie” is quite appropriate. People will use all they have at their fingertips in order to prove what they want you to believe. And even the NAZIs believed that if you tell a lie big enough and long enough that the people will eventually believe it.

The fact remains, if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present – could He make the earth as old or as young as He desires? Could God use different things, such as mans intelligence, strength, etc. to confound his own beliefs?

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise ~1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV

I hope I did not confuse you any more than possible. Do I think it is a big deal to argue over how old the earth is? No, not at all. In fact, we are mandated not to argue in the book of Timothy, “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…” (2 Timothy 2:23 NKJV) Quite honestly, the arguments and disputes that come from such arguments are not helpful to your purpose as a disciple of Jesus. Our job is to present the information and let the Holy Spirit and God and Jesus do their thing! The glory is all His…none falls to me or you. We are just assistants or tools to accomplish certain things in this scenario. Godspeed, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

References:

How does the radiocarbon dating method work?

Is radiocarbon dating based on assumptions?

Is Carbon Dating Reliable? by Helen Fryman

Desperation Leads To Deliverance

Notes Deperation pt4

In Mark 5 we learn of several people: the man from the tombs who is possessed, Jairus and his dying daughter, and the woman with the bleeding disorder. Jesus, throughout His life made a great many “Bold Statements” to the people He taught, instructed, healed, befriended, etc. While the title of this post is not a bold statement which Jesus made…it is, however, a bold statement made due to plain observation of His many encounters with those who were desperate.

Each of these people had desperate problems, desperate needs, and (most had) faith in Jesus to heal.

Everyone had the notion in their heads, at one point in time, who is this Jesus? Who is He that He can heal? Only God can heal, only the healers and men of God can heal…who is this Jesus?

Gods handJesus, the Son of God, who has authority over sicknesses, ailments, death, hunger, the disposition & health of one’s soul, etc. YEAH, that Jesus. It is hard to believe that when one makes their way through the biblical accounts of Jesus, His travels, His trials & turmoil, His teachings & sermons, His healing of the sick and disenfranchised…hard to believe that anyone could ask such a thing. Considering the fact that even after His crucifixion & death, in the area of Jerusalem that His teachings were continued by His Apostles and followers. Jesus1If that which was taught about or by Him was wrong why was there no outcry against it? If He were not crucified to death, buried, and rose again…why then did not those who said, “this did not happen!” Why did they not produce His body? There were many assertions and theories on this, but then they go beyond the scope of this blog post. However, it should be in the back of one’s mind when listening or reading of the great things accomplished by Jesus and His followers.

Getting back on track…

First, we encounter the possessed man from the tombs. He who was possessed by Legion. Jesus commanded Legion, Come out of the man, unclean spirit! (verse 8) And, of course, Legion asked to be cast into the herd of pigs. And Jesus allowed it; then the pigs were sent running off the cliff. Now, you or I…today, would see this as a travesty that so much bacon would be wasted. But, as it was brought to my attention, that this was a great economic problem for the owners of the pigs. Why? You might ask…because the pigs were used in many of the pagan rituals and therefore, Jesus just deprived them of great money making possibilities.

And of course, the man who was possessed desperately desired to go and follow Jesus in verses 18-20. Why? because he had firsthand knowledge and experience of such power and healing that Jesus could perform [my interpretation and understanding]. The gratefulness and the gratitude that he had toward Jesus…could have been second to none! But each of us has a voice to be heard by certain people, apparently the recently healed man of possession needed to have his voice heard by his people…God’s will be done!

Second, we come in contact with one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus whose daughter was dying. Now this is something. a ruler of the synagogue sought out Jesus to heal? But when it comes to one who is near and dear to us, we will not concern ourselves with such a matter, despite what our fellow synagogue leaders think of such a man as Jesus. But family is family…to many, family is everything. Jairus even showed such courage and faith by saying, My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.(verse 23)

While on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter we come in contact with the third person of faith and desperation, the woman with the flow of blood issue.She who used up all her money to be healed. She could neither work nor be around people because she was labeled, “unclean.” So, by the mere touching of the hem of His clothes, she truly had faith that she would be healed…now that is faith, a truly strong faith! But such would not go unnoticed with Jesus.

As with the woman, do we not (in our youth) fail to ask for permission and find it more useful to wait (if caught) to seek forgiveness? But she knew that she was wrong in what she did, as she was “fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” And once again, God was glorified! And Jesus responded, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

So, now back to the second person he ran into…Jairus. His faith was what was to heal his daughter. Those who came from the synagogue ruler’s house said, Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” This raises a question, or two, but those go beyond the scope of this post. One that comes to mind is: If this synagogue ruler was such a man of faith, why didn’t his whole household know of Jesus? Perhaps, I would speculate, that he didn’t want to be unfaithful to his brethren of the synagogue and Jesus was the last person he thought of in this time of trouble. As many of use might do. 

But Jesus in classic form said, Do not be afraid; only believe.” Which was assurance to His caller, the synagogue ruler, and perhaps his entire family. Then Jesus followed on with this, Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping. To which many around just laughed and ridiculed Jesus, considering such a thing just idiocy. After all, this crowd of people, many of which I speculate had seen the body of the girl and suspected or knew the girl to, in fact, be dead. But are we not called to believe despite what we have seen, or believe without seeing?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” ~John 10:37-38 NKJV 

 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29 NKJV

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed… ~Romans 4:16-21 NKJV

Face it, we are all raised to be skeptical of those things we do not see. We are also taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Sadly, we live in a skeptical world and this is one of the things we must overcome as we grow older and seek out God in our own way. There are a great number of things that preclude the possibility of knowing God, as we are taught to believe in the theory of evolution and other very smart and educated people who do not count God as a potential, or possible, First Cause for our existence. While some, and yes even some Christian sects discount the classic First Cause argument. But, let us return to our original posting…

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” This had to be a grand spectacle for all to see! Immediately the girl arose and walked which, of course was not told to us until the writing of this Gospel.

These three instances spoke volumes to us all, that Desperation Leads To Deliverance. While my message is slightly different from the sermon presented by my Pastor (Scott Beckenhauer) the essence of it remains the same. We each follow a path in our lives, good and bad, but eventually we begin to ask the bigger questions which eventually lead us to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

gotGod

Desperation can lead us down a very dark and bleak road in our lives, or we can see a glimmer of light and hope at the end of the tunnel which takes us on the trail that leads to hope, faith, love and charity. God awaits all of us to arrive at the finish line, but not all will get there. We are all invited, but not all will accept His generous offer of Grace.

What about you? What is your heart seeking? Where do you desire to go?

Got God? Got Jesus? Got Holy Spirit?

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Apostasy in America

apostasy [uhpos-tuh-see]  (noun, plural apostasies)

a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
~dictionary.com

UnitedApostates ofAmerica
The Christian basis of America has been eroding in this country for a great many years, whether you’ve noticed it or not. Quite honestly, it probably began as soon as this country was formed upon it’s first actual and true legal act as a nation…the Declaration of Independence.

the first official act of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident***.” While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.– US Supreme Court, majority opinion; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Railroad Co. v Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 159-160 (1897)

With these bold assertions, by Thomas Jefferson, in this one statement alone has created a whirlwind of argument among all within this nations:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Just these six words by themselves as a statement of fact or assertion creates the confusion and debate while coupled with the fact that we acknowledged the use of and the continued belief in slavery. Which was proof enough that not all men were, in fact, created equally. Upon the writing of the Constitution of the United States (Article V), the governing body for expediencies sake kicked the can down the road until 1809 in order to obtain a 100% consensus of the states. And this was just the beginning…

Now, fast forward to the 1950s-1960s and the expansion of hedonism within the confines of America, another breakaway from our Christian roots. Flower Power, Free Love, etc. Move a little forward to the 1970s with the expansion of drugs in America and the expansion and tolerance (of course this will become a 30 or more year battle) of homosexuality. Paralleling years of 1950s-2010 which was the further expanding of governmental powers where the rights and liberties of the people are abrogated. 1970s-1990s where homosexuality is receiving expanded roles in movies and television, thereby making it more acceptable to the American public and due to the parts they played they are funnier than straight people, too! Now to the 1990s-present where LGBT community is forcing itself into our lives, while simultaneously portraying itself (ant their followers) as victims and assaulting and battering those in the church and straight communities who take an opposing view of their lifestyle choice. In essence, agree with us (the LGBT community) or we have the right to assault, accost, and batter you in free form defense for our lives. [hmmmmmm…where have we seen this attitude?]

Now, we have the LGBTQP…M-O-U-S-E community force feeding America, through prime time television shows that gay is good, pedophilia is normal, queer is okay if you are queer (but don’t let any straight person call me queer, or I will be offended all the way to the Supreme Court!)

Also, let us look at all of the women Pastors within the Christian community. Now, I have not really placed much thought toward it, per se, but have held much of the belief of what Pastor J. Vernon McGee held on this subject. He said, during one of his commentaries, “It is a shame that there aren’t men who were willing to do these jobs and perform the preaching mandated by God.” [slightly paraphrased based upon my memory of his comment.] However, Matt Slick of CARM.org brings home the truth of the matter with this: Women pastors and elders…what does the Bible say? This entire segment concerns women in pastoral and elder positions and places them in the proper perspective. Accordingly, they are not to have positions of such power…the bible is quite specific in this, along with so many other concerns. As Pastor Rober Jefress stated in the above debate, “God’s word never evolves. It never changes…” He further went on to quote the KJV of the bible, I will use the NKJV adaptation:

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. ~Psalm 119:89

I am not mitigating nor demeaning the vast numbers of great women throughout our history on this mortal coil called earth, no. There are great women, many of which performed God’s will in a great manner to aid His chosen people. Zipporah, Rahab, Ruth, Ether, Rebecca, Mary, Martha, etc. Many women have powerful teaching, but if they are out of the will of God by violating His word…are they truly in alignment with God’s will?

And let us not forget the infusion of gay aligning and gay & lesbian leaning pastors within the Christian churches of America.  Do they seriously mean to not just reinterpret, but re-write the biblical text by omitting the parts that offend them? Perhaps the women pastors are doing the same? I suppose arguments can be made in all cases in order to argue the point allowing any one of us to change what God truly meant by His word…wouldn’t you think?

Spousal abuse could also present a valid case for permitting divorce. After all, a man is charged that he is to “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself” [ref: Ephesians 5:25-33 NKJV] Abuse, whether it be physical or emotional is not love. Do people make mistakes within their marriage? Yes, they do, so not all abuses are bad enough to call for a divorce, or dissolution, of the marriage vows and bond which God has put in place.

truth-is-the-new-hate-speech-and-you-will-be-18900394

I hope this blog posting does not confuse you or turn you against me. This is what God’s word discusses. This is what we are to be learning. We are to be in alignment of the truth and we are to be the beacon of truth to the lost sheep of God! Pick up a book, change the station that will teach you something, listen to the radio, podcasts, etc. But first start your day with the Bible and the Word of God! There are far more sub-topics concerning the issue of apostasy in America, let alone in the Christian religion, but I believe you get the gist of my intent. Therefore, I will let is go for now, just because it is such a hot potato topic. Read your bible and study it, it will click.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Power of the Church Over Man

The-Power-Of-The-Church

 

History of the Church and it waging war to gain power over it’s members. Taking God out of the equation, either by inference or overtly. Man does not need faith alone but mother church in order to be saved in the eyes of many. There are those who teach the Health and Wealth doctrines, pleading their cause that God wants you and I to be rich and wealthy. And truly the only way once can become so wealthy is by giving your meager amounts to the Church (thereby making it rich and wealthy and all those who work for it as corporate officers.) You on the other hand, will end up giving your money away to the church and her officers and you will still be waiting for God to perform the miracle that was hollowly and blazzonly promised you. Work that you know in your heart should have been done by your.

Anatomy of the StateIn the book ANATOMY OF THE STATE by Murray Rothbard we are slapped in our faces with the essential purpose of a governmental entity, which is (slightly paraphrased) to grow and to survive even at the stripping away of the rights of those who placed her in control over them. Mr. Rothbard reminds us with this tid-bit of information – “How can an organization of this type sustain itself? It must engage in propaganda to induce popular support for its policies.” And why is this? Because the state or government does not produce anything and therefore must steal from the resources of those that created her. While this is but a little off the beaten path the church is, as a matter of fact, a corporation, which by nature is a figment of the imagination and creation of the state.

I have always accepted the statement by Jesus, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20 NKJV) To be much of the basis of the church foundation, ministry, as well as our camaraderie among our fellow Christians. Aligning ourselves together as one with the message of Christ.

The church which is spoken of in the confines of the bible is, are both seen and unseen, as it is referenced by Matt Slick in his article What is the church? He points out,

The members of the invisible church are the actual body of believers. They are the ones who are truly regenerate and have trusted, by faith, in the true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The true Christian is indwelt by the Lord Jesus (John 14:23) through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Christian church is figuratively said to be the body of Christ.

Sadly, though, there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing. Seeking out those who would wolf-sheepeasily be swayed to their way of thinking. In so doing, they lure these easily swayed people to join their ranks and before they know it, they are quickly running down the wide path to hell with all the joy in their hear because God wants them to be this way and follow this path, and fulfill these tasks…because he is glorifying God with these actions and tasks that are being completed! While in reality, God gave us each a brain to think with, a mind to reason with, and instincts to wrench our guts with. This is how we are able to love God ‘…with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV)

While I truly believe there has been a slowing of the “mass exodus” of those leaving the church (as a whole) it is one of those things that comes in goes in waves. It is precisely because of the vast numbers of churches that spew not the word of God from the Bible, but rather they feed their flock precisely what they wish to hear. They show their flock that because they accept homosexuality, transgenderism, pansexualism, beastiality, pedophilia, etc., by assigning a person of such moral standard to a post within the confines of the church.

  • God wants you to be rich, wealthy and healthy
  • God will accept everyone into heaven
  • God does not want you to suffer but rather to proffer
  • God seek for you to be in a castle not a shack
  • and in reality, this list can easily be lengthened by leaps and bounds

The church has been Incorporated to, in theory, separate church from the state. However, if you really look at this it becomes quite the conundrum. Why you ask? Because you are asking the state to create you into a corporation, granting you certain legal protections. And as a church, you are eligible to become a 501(c)3 organization:

A 501(c) organization is a nonprofit organization in the federal law of the United States according to 26 U.S.C. § 501 and is one of 29 types of nonprofit organizations which are exempt from some federal income taxes. Sections 503 through 505 set out the requirements for attaining such exemptions. Many states refer to Section 501(c) for definitions of organizations exempt from state taxation as well. 501(c) organizations can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and unions.

For example, a nonprofit organization may be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) if its primary activities are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering amateur sports competition, preventing cruelty to children, or preventing cruelty to animals.
(ref: 501(c) organization, wikipedia)

Church IncI recall reading a book by Charles Giuliani, CHURCH, INC., which I found very enlightening and aided me in my understanding of the church as a whole. A corporation is neither good nor bad…but it is but an outward appearance of those placed into positions of power in order to run that corporation. It is the people that make it ethical or unethical, good or bad, wise or wicked.

When those who are in authority of government, a corporation, etc., are in power to do good – God can do very powerful work through such an entity. However, when those who are placed into such seats of power in order to serve themselves and enrich themselves, much evil and wickedness can come of such things.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV

We have been reminded to Glorify God with our entire being BECAUSE we were bought at a price! That price was the cost of our very souls which were purchased from our sinfulness, through which we repented because we believed in the word of God, it’s promises and our belief that Jesus died for our sins and was raise to sit on God’s throne.

We were warned that all man potentially would be left to himself and his own hedonistic pleasures because he chose not to believe in God and the salvational gift offered to him through His Son, Jesus. The Apostle Paul reminded us that:

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. ~Romans 1:26 NKJV

It is this type of man who refuses to believe. It is this type of man who see and does not accept. It is this type of man who witnesses miracles and, yet, refuses to believe the miracle that occurred. God will not necessarily override one’s Free Will, but He will give one numerous chances…even up to one’s last breath, in order to change one’s heart. That is because God

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV

The church, overall, has a tremendous power over the lives and souls of men. And more importantly it has a mission in God’s overall plan. But it is up to God’s people to keep the church on the right track! Godly Men! Those seeking God’s will through prayer. It is up to us to test the words spoken to us by our pastors, preachers, reverends, and priests. And if those words do not conform to God’s word, it is up to us to challenge our leadership’s message. In love. In earnest. In God’s Spirit.

Seek His will and His strength and He will use you in a most powerful way!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

An Apparent Contradiction, or So They Say…

contradictions

There are, perceived contradiction within the biblical text. But are they truly contradictions, or are they misunderstood & misinterpreted theological ideologies? Let us look at one such contradiction in a comparative manner.

First, let us see what the Apostle Luke has told us:

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:42-43 NKJV

And let us look at this  scripture by the Apostle Paul:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 4:14 NKJV

Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. ~1 Corinthians 15:18

We recognize and believe that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God and, therefore, He cannot lie. We affirm this through our faith and through the reading and research we do, at least those of us who go beyond the Sunday Church and Bible Study Classes. It is part of the tenets of our faith. That being said, if these are the words of Christ, it is a promise of God’s only Son. And since most of what has been said, biblically, is based upon the oral traditions of the Jewish Nation and the Hebrew People (Israel), it stands to reason that they were held to task by those who were around them within the community. Holding their feet to the fire, so-to-say, by correcting them when they went awry in their retelling of the occurrence.

bible gutWe must also remember that the New Testament was written in Greek. There were no punctuation, excepting for the end of a sentence…a period, as I am aware. The English punctuation did not about until the bible, old and new testament(s) were transcribed into the English language. By the 1400 AD the Bible was translated to the Latin language and it was transcribed into the English language between 1400 – 1800 AD. Which was where much of the punctuation was infused into the bible as we know it, today.

According to Matt Slick’s website, CARM.org,

Paul speaks of a man who was caught up to paradise, parallels this to being caught up to heaven, and is clear that this was not necessarily just a vision by was, perhaps, a bodily experience. Paradise, then, must refer here to a heavenly abode that currently exists. Paul, writing infallibly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defined Paradise as a present, heavenly reality to which a man could ascend either in or out of the body. It is also worth pointing out that early Christians frequently used the word “paradise” to describe the conscious state of believers’ souls between bodily death and future resurrection.
~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

So, who are the “Dead in Christ”? Accordingly, the dead in Christ are those believers who dead in christhave died prior to the second coming of Christ. (Note, whether 1 Thessalonians 4 is referring to the second coming or the rapture is a matter of debate.) Believers, whether dead or alive, belong to Christ. (ref: “Who are the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?”, gotquestions.org)

So, this leads us to further ask the question “Will we fall asleep or die and then go to heaven, or are we to wait until a later time?” It is my belief that unless directly promised by God or His Son (as in the case of the thief on the cross) we shall all fall asleep in Christ until the resurrection. At which time we shall be judged. According to the same article:

At death, the body lies in repose in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the last day, but the soul goes to be at home with the Lord. This is the doctrine of the intermediate state. Believers experience in a provisional sense the rewards that await them in heaven, while unbelievers experience a taste of their eternal torment in hell (Luke 16:19–31). ~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

Another article by Matt Slick is rather telling, as well:

But what does “dead in Christ” mean? It refers to the Christians who have died before the return of Christ. They will rise first and return with Him (2 Cor. 5:8). They are “in Christ,” that is, they are saved. The phrase “in Christ” is a designation of being saved, along with other great things like redemption, eternal life, no condemnation, etc.  Check out “In Christ Grid.”

1 Thessalonians goes on to say . . . “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words,” (1 Thess. 4:17-18).

As you can see, there are two resurrections in this context. Those who “rise first” are resurrected to their glorified bodies before those who are raptured. ~Who are the dead in Christ who rise first at the rapture? by Matt Slick

We can infer from these articles which explain these scriptures to us any number of ways. But it is easiest to follow logic and reason, which are gifts which God gave us in order to love him. Remember the “Great Commandment”?

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Following logic and reason, and my trust in the explanations of these fellow Christians, that we will die and “fall asleep” in Christ until the second coming of Jesus.

I personally would deem the thief on the cross as a special circumstance, in that, he (I would reasonably and logically speculate) was learning from Jesus while in prison. He spoke of and taught about the Kingdom of God to the thief  while in the prison as if he were of the crowds during His sermons. He, unlike his fellow thief, came to repent to our Lord and was saved through Christ, personally.

 

contradictionSo, these apparent contradictions are not contradictions at all. We must simply take these and place them within the proper context. Which is something that we do not seem to want to do in our conversations these days. There was a study done and it was shown, to be true that I may add, that we do not listen carefully enough to understand what others may say…rather, we listen to respond. An I am not casting stones at any of you, because I am very guilty of this…one of the numerous problems of my carnal nature which I need to gain control over! One of the many areas in my life I fail daily.

Most people heard something somewhere that there were, or are, contradictions in the bible. And without any searching themselves, they take what was stated as for truth. This is just one of the many problems within this society of ours. No one wants to look uncool…even for God. They just want to be accepted by those around them and cannot see themselves going against their friends. NEWSFLASH: Not everyone is your friend! God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the best friend you can ever have, all others are optional!

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD