…the way, the truth, and the life…

There is but one way to enter in to heaven, and that is through Jesus the Christ!

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV

In the words of Dr. Michael Licona, or some variation as I recall, “If there is a true religion, then I owe it my allegiance. If there is the one true God, then I owe Him my true allegiance.”

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Now, there are great reasons to believe that Jesus is the true Son of the Living God. The historical aspect, archaeological aspect, textual reliance and other witness accounts, perhaps the witness accounts of those who are extra-biblical and non-Christians. Perhaps, in comparing the numerous different religions is enough for you and the claims. What of the numerous documentaries comparing Christ to those perceived and asserted other gods, which were supposedly risen from the dead in the same exact way and so on. Unfortunately, if you do the homework and make the comparisons yourself you will find that those assertions are false.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did not the Sanhedrin show His dead and mutilated body to the people?
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles preach the resurrection message to the people in Jerusalem? (Where the punishment was certain death by stoning.)
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles die cruel and inhumane deaths without denying their Lord and Savior?
  • There are those who believe in the “Swoon Theory,” but there is too much to discredit such a belief.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.~Romans 1:16 NKJV

So, what is salvation? According to Matt Slick, CARM.org, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner…All who have sinned against God are under the judgment of God.  This judgment is known as damnation where God condemns to eternal hell all those who have offended Him by breaking His Law.” One allegorical representation of the weight of sin upon our soul is:

A Chinese evangelist was once preaching on salvation and the weight of sin. A heckler did what hecklers do best, attempt to shame or embarrass  the evangelist. The response was epic: “If you have a corpse lying in his coffin, will he feel a hundred pound weight on his chest any more than a fifty pound weight?” ~ROMANS, vol. 1, pg. 170, David Grey Barnhouse, (1989)

We are warned by the Apostle Paul for the benefit of our souls that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) And at the same time we are promised eternal life being the gift of God, His gift of Salvation through His grace! All we have to do is ask for it and freely receive it. It is that simple, but people do not trust free or simple things. By considering the previously mentioned allegorical representation of sin upon our souls, this statement by the Apostle Paul should help solidify the matter. Our hearts should be weighted down AND we should be looking for the EXIT sign to get out of the cage/prison which we have cornered ourselves into, through every means of deceit, trickery, lying, deciding, etc. YES, we decided our way into a corner and must decide our way out of that very same corner. The decision should be easy and the solution is even easier! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of the Living God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.

It is easy to accept, but rather hard to believe, isn’t it? That is why we must seek for ourselves…researching and studying the word of God. Because we were mandated to:

‘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

Which means we are to love God all our essence and being and by loving Him with all our mind, we are to love Him NOT with blind faith but rather with well informed, studied and researched faith. Loving Him with all our logic and reason! Many people, not just Atheists, believe that to believe in God we give up our reason and logic for blind faith upon the word of the bible alone. That is just not true at all!

God destined us to determine for ourselves through free will to guide our own paths. That includes turning off the primrose path by making mistakes and sinning, because God desired us all to love and honor Him with all of our heart by our free will choice. We will never be perfect, until God makes us so. But we must keep living the life as though we can be perfect by modeling the life of Jesus the Christ. By ascribing ourselves to the word of God and by living our lives accordingly. Not by the law, as presented in the Old Testament, but according to the simple teachings of Christ as presented by His Apostles & Disciples. Those words in the New Testament give a great representation of who Christ was and how He lived. If we use Jesus as the model, how could we go wrong?

Two final caveats:

  1. If the Apostle Paul was changed so dramatically on the road to Damascus from a Christian hating and torturing Jew to become one of Jesus’ greatest Evangelists and Apologists…how can we doubt such a change? How can we doubt such a drastic and dramatic change?
  2. The deaths of the Apostles were gruesome and heinous, to say the least. But no one recanted their faith or belief that Jesus was, in fact, the One True Son of the Living God, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been awaiting. That is another factoid which we must keep in mind. (Consider when the Watergate Scandal was plaguing the Nixon Administration each each of the major players involved made a plea deal and received felony indictments. Each turned on their master.) It defies logic and reason to discount their sincerity!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Some other things you may enjoy from great teachers:

Is Jesus the Only Way? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Is Jesus the only way to be saved? (CARM)

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

I came across this site and article, which has changed my perspective on my belief in salvation. I had posted some time ago (Once Saved, Always Saved? Part 1 & Part 2; Aug-Sept, 2015) where I had a problem with the essential belief in “once saved always saved.” This article, along with others by Matt Slick, have through well thought out arguments have changed my mind (for the most part.) I still have certain concerns, however these are personal issues; perhaps, I am trying to hang on to the old in fear of the new, I do not know. Please enjoy…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ORIGINAL ARTICLE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Assurance of Salvation

by Matt Slick

One of the more annoying problems in Christians’ lives is the issue of assurance of salvation. We’ve all been there.  We’ve all wondered if we are really saved or not.  We’ve looked at our lives and actions and thoughts and sometimes just said, “How can I be saved if I am like this?”  I’ve counseled many Christians who have doubted their salvation and who have worked themselves into a worry and sometimes even depression over the issue.  I’ve always thought that the solution was pretty basic.  I ask the person, “Why do you think you might not be saved?”  Almost always the reason is, “Because I have a sin in my life.  Because I can’t beat this one sin.  Because of my thoughts.   Because I keep failing.”  “Okay,” I say.  “So you know you’re supposed to be doing better than you are, right?”  “Yes,” they say.  “I am supposed to be doing better and I’m not.  This is why I doubt that I am saved.”  So, I give them this illustration.

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.

“Do you believe there is only one God in all existence, all places, and all times?”  “Yes,” they answer. “Do you believe in the Trinity, that God is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?”  Again, “Yes.”  I continue.  “Do you believe Jesus is God in flesh?”  “Yes.”  “Do you believe Jesus is the only way to salvation?”  Again, “Yes.”  “Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead three days later?”  Another, “Yes.”  “Good,” I say.

1 Cor. 2:14 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”  I continue by telling them that a natural man is someone who is not saved.  Now, these are absolutely, definitely spiritually discerned truths that they answered yes to above.  They are that there is only one God and that God is a Trinity, that Jesus is God in flesh, that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead three days later.  In other words, the fact that the person confesses these things and believes them is further, very strong evidence, that he is spiritually alive.  Usually, the person is encouraged even more.

And finally, I tell them that Jesus gives us eternal life (John 10:27-28) and He does not fake us out when we ask to be forgiven and for Him to be Lord of our lives.  He said in Luke 11:10-13, “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. 11Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  12“Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  13“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” In other words, you get what you ask for from the Lord (except for sinful and selfish things, of course); He does not bait-and-switch.  If you ask for eternal life from Jesus, that is what you get–no matter how you feel, no matter how your emotions may mislead you.  The truth is that God’s Word tells us that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to us if we ask.  The Holy Spirit only indwells believers.

We all have our struggles and we all need to take into account the fact that we are still sinful and we are going to struggle with our sin.  But, if you begin to doubt your salvation because you don’t “feel” saved, then stop trusting your feelings and start trusting God at His Word.  Ask yourself if you are struggling against your sin.  If you aren’t, maybe you aren’t saved.  But, if you are, then that is a sign of life.  Ask yourself if you believe in the Trinity, that Jesus is God in flesh, and that He died and rose from the dead.  If you do, that is a sign of spiritual renewal.  Ask yourself if you believe what Jesus said about Him not faking you out, about Him giving to you the Spirit if you ask. If you do, then that means you are believing Him at His Word.  Take your eyes off your feelings and failures and put them on Christ, His Word, and His sacrifice.  Trust in Him and Him alone…. not what you feel, not at what you fail.  He didn’t save you because of your works or your “goodness.”  He did not save you because of what is or is not in you. He saved you because of what is in Him: love and truth.

Matt Slick

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

…what I hate, THAT I do

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV 

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Talk about a recipe for disaster, eh? The Apostle Paul describes here to us that even he has problems staying on the straight and narrow road to God’s righteousness. And he was an Apostle, though some may differ in their opinion on that. This just goes to show us, layman or common men of God, that we are susceptible  to sinfulness and sinful thoughts. We are men, we exist, therefore we think. There was sometime ago I posted that the average man thinks approximately 70,000 thoughts per day; however, based upon further searching that is a bit high…it is more like 20,000 thoughts. In either case, we are constant thinking creatures, as well as deletion creatures. We delete many of these thoughts because of what we tend to focus on at any given time.

Since this topic is the sinful nature of man:

the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV

When we sin, many, not all men, will tend to dwell upon what they have done. The old adage that we are our own worst critic, is quite true in this respect. We will, those of us that think on our actions and sin, will dwell upon them and mull over them for what seems to be an eternity. So much so that we will whip ourselves into a frenzy of despair or even depression. We all have those moments of disdain toward ourselves. The circular questions which lead us nowhere but to an blocked road without an exit.

  1. Why do I keep doing this?
  2. Why can’t I get past that?
  3. What the hell is wrong with me?
  4. When will this madness stop?
  5. Why do I keep failing God?
  6. Why do I keep failing myself?
  7. Why do I keep failing my wife?
  8. Why do I keep failing my family?
  9. Why do I keep failing my kids?

And the list if never ending dismay can continue until the end of eternity. So of ten we are so focused on the problem that we fail to look toward any solutions. Start asking different questions. More empowering questions. Such as:

  • What can I do to make better use of my time?
  • How can I avert further problems with THIS particular sin?
  • What can I do to glorify God?

The list of how to stop sinning list and the circular questioning list each can go on and on. The fact is that we sin, our imaginations are evil in nature (this we were told in Genesis 8:21 NKJV), but Jesus gave us an out from this problem. Yes, He did touch on the subject with His own  followers (i.e., the Apostles) where He said, in Luke 22:46 NKJV, “Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”” We can follow Jesus’ lead and suggestion to steer away from sin through prayer!

However, many of us do this wrongly. What I mean is that when we pray, we need to pray to God for the Spirit of understanding, wisdom, knowledge and workmanship in order to do something that will essentially glorify God in the long run. Unfortunately, many of us tend to pray not to do something (i.e., to not sin in this or that way again and again.) What we need to do is to pray to glorify God by doing His will, through knowing and understanding His word and gaining the necessary wisdom. Face it, we have all done it as some point in time. BUT now is the time to stop doing things the wrong way. When we gain the wisdom, the knowledge, the understanding, and the Spirit of workmanship to do so, we need to pass that on to those around us. Those who also are potentially having the same problem of what I call a “prayerful rut.” A “prayerful rut” Is much like mis-attributed quote to Einstein’s definition of insanity:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Well most of us tend to pray to God in Jesus name to not do “x” or not do “y”. YOU-ARE-WHAT-YOU-THINKWell, guess what? When you do so you first place what you do not want to at the forefront of your mind and, thereby, keep it close in your thoughts.

Like Dr. Robert Schuller spoke, you are what you think about all day long. If that is so, why not think about what you want to, or choose to, do? Eh, what a concept! We need to look at what we desire to become along with praying about becoming such a person, and we need to envision ourselves becoming such a person at all times throughout our day. In so doing, you place those thoughts, as well as, those pictures at the forefront of our minds. By doing this you have a much better chance of becoming what you seek to become than by focusing on what you desire not to do. Also, since our minds work with pictures far more efficiently that with words, prayers, and inanimate thoughts, our minds focus on the pictures and images.

We all have that tendency to do what we desire not to do and not do what we ought to do. But we can change that by focusing on how to better handle and control our sinful natures. I hope this post was helpful to you all! All my prayers to you and the for the betterment of this country, as a whole!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Stereotyping Others

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“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. ~Mark 9:38-41 NIV

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” ~Luke 9:49-50 NIV

This should tell us that we are not to stereotype our brothers and sisters in Christ. We each separately have a gift to share or aid in the glorifying of Jesus and fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives. Though Mark and Luke were not direct Apostles and followers of Jesus, they had access to Apostles that were directly following Christ. Mark was mentored by the Apostle Peter and Luke was mentored by the Apostle Paul; and if that is not good enough for you, Luke was with the Apostle Paul when he met with the Apostles. We should feel quite comfortable learning from each Apostle and accepting of the historicity of the words presented by each forefather of the Christian faith. So, both of these accounts have the authority of research and knowledge of those who witnessed and followed Jesus.

While we disagree with those who profess another faith, yet they follow Christ…who are we to stereotype or compare them to others who may be preaching heretical teachings or pushing  heretical doctrines which are not promoted in the biblical text? Should we not leave certain matters to God’s judgement and follow the path in which we teach God’s mighty and glorious word? Is that not our primary purpose?

Do not misunderstand me, there are times that we must, absolutely must, stop heretical teachings in their tracks and stand up against the perpetrators of such nonsense and false teachings! We are all called into the priesthood, so-to-say:

…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ~1 Peter 2:5 NIV

“…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” ~Revelation 5:9-10 NIV

Our purpose is to glorify God and be priests of the One True and Living God! And how is it that we accomplish such a thing?? Study of the word. Study of theology. Study and memorization of scriptures. Study on subjects of evangelizing and apologetics, as well as logic. Study on the subject concerning the proofs of God’s existence and those subjects related to the life of Jesus, reading as much as we can by our forefathers within the Christian community. For example, I may not agree with the doctrines of any particular church, or faith, but their forefathers within the church may have written a treasure trove of information on the understanding of any particular subject which we are studying at that moment. Do not cast aside something written by a man of our past just because he was a member of, part of the history of, a particular church or theology. It is up to us to read and learn as much as possible, and by God’s understanding and discerning Spirit we must decide for ourselves if the information is worthy to be used and remembered.

Use it or Lose It ImageWe are called to serve God! I imagine there is no simpler way to put it. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are our Master. Notice I did not say Masters, because we are speaking of the Trinity…but that is for another blog posting! And we are called to serve with our gift(s) that God has provided us. Some of us have but one gift and there are others who have been blessed with more than one gift to use. Some are blessed with a gift and another is given to replace that gift to further serve to His Glory! Our problem is that many of us do not pay attention to what our gift(s) is/are and if not used to glorify Him, they subside and wane away.

I would like to think that my Gift is writing, but sometimes I wonder. But I believe I am fulfilling my purpose as a person called to the royal priesthood. There are times you just aren’t certain that you have what it takes to fulfill God’s purpose in your life until you start doing that thing which is tugging at your heart’s strings. There may be something else that I will be lead to do another time down the road, who is to say? Until then, I will continue to accomplish my writing, blogging, and posting and pray I am accomplishing God’s will and that I glorify Him in all that I do…despite all of my failures in His eyes.

Instead of stereotyping people, we should take this to heart where Jesus said:

Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? ~ Luke 12:57 NIV

The only person we should comparing to anyone or to anything is ourselves! We should compare ourselves to the words of God and the actions Jesus had taken. As Jesus had been our Godly example of how to act.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. ~John 13:15 NIV

If we compare ourselves to another, what makes us think that he or she is doing what is right in God’s sight? Of course, we can compare ourselves to Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc. we have the possibility that we are fairing better than they, in God’s sight. But where in the bible does it say that only these people do not go to heaven? And in one theological frame of reference, noting the book of James, sins being equal before God (being repulsive and abhorrent) we are separated from God when we sin; regardless of how we sin!

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May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Watching Others Evangelize at times, is quite comical

I often feel some who evangelize are in it for the argumentation! Others are in it for the comical value for others to smile. And others are in it to bring souls to God’s kingdom. As we start out we are often ill prepared and poorly understand the concept of touching the lives of others. I know I have been in these shoes…and sadly, I fall back on bad habits. If some of these occurrences weren’t so hilarious, we would probably cry. Most people are just like the Monty Python skit…”I would like to have an argument, please!”

This is but one reason I blog, in order to inform and hopefully educate and aid others in the apologetic field. In order for each of us to evangelize, properly, we need to have a good foundation in the knowledge of the bible and the apologetic forum. We must be able to critically think and to be able to think on our feet. And how do we do this? Through study and education. You must (not just must but you need to want to do so, with such a passion!) study the bible, commentaries, have a voracious desire to read, capture the knowledge and access the information. That being said you also need other traits, such as: study habits, memorization, speed reading, note taking, among other things.

While I was thinking of some other things recently, something to do with evangelizing – the above clip came to mind of the old Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It brought home a point, that many agree on…people are ill prepared from church and Sunday School to evangelize the Word of God to others. What we learn in Church and in Sunday School is cursory at best and piecemeal. However, what many fail to realize is the fact that apologetics and evangelizating are specialized fields within the Church itself. Each and every Church should have a specific course on each and the person who takes such a course needs to desire to take it with such a passion in order to promote and expand the word of God beyond his own boarders of his/her own little world!

Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) converted from Islam to Christianity because of his friend who was a Christian who witnessed to him over the course of years, as they were making their way through medical school. The argumentation started with the Christian belief and made it’s way to the Islamic faith. Islamic believers are given much the same faith as we as Christians…meaning that we are given a cursory understanding and we each believe we are ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, we find ourselves sorely under prepared and almost stripped of all armor and defenses. Because we did not follow on with more of our own self guided studies.

There are a great many people who are misguided out there, including some of us, but we can change that by studying and searching and researching the truth. A truth which is knowable and understandable. And we each have a responsibility and an obligation to pass on our knowledge to our families, our children, our friends and our brothers and sisters in Christ. You can study on your own, with your family, or have a group meeting with others from your church or community. There are numerous ways we can go about it…BUT we need to follow through with the idea of doing so. We have been mandated to love God, love our neighbors and to spread His Word!

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

We, as Christians, need to take the word of God and it’s mandates more seriously finger-pointingthan we do! We allow ourselves to become so wrapped up in our lives, earning a living, increasing our income, paying our taxes, and paying our bills. Yes, we do go to church on Sunday and perhaps even to Sunday School and talk ourselves into believing it will all be good. But, guess what? You have to do things, you know! We are obligated to God for our life, for the breath of life in our very being, for our very souls and spirits that reside within each of us. Don’t you think that we should do something, like maybe…what we were told to do?

IMG_3148We are all destined to do great things, if only we would place God at the head of our lives as we are at the precipice of our own destruction due to our flippant and arrogant treatment of God within our own lives! We are making God’s decision for our judgement at the end of our lives, because we tend to send ourselves to Hell – God is just following the desires of our hearts through the decisions throughout our lives. But we are meant for something greater and much better than such things. But God MUST come first in our lives! We are blessed with just so much time on earth. In the words of one of the old Church Father’s, St. Cyprian, “We were born with a noose around our necks.” Thus, we have one human lifetime to accomplish what God desires of us. Some of us have longer than others and waste our time when we could be doing something much more constructive for God!

circle-dotWithin the Islamic faith their faith is represented by the circle and their lives (individually) are represented by the dot. Within the Christian faith, we are just the opposite. Our lives are represented by the circle and our faith/God is represented by the dot. God is, and has been, minimized within the context of our lives. It has been educated out of us, we have forgotten the prominence of God in our lives, and we all wonder why things have gotten so bad in this country. WOW! Think about that for a little bit!

Stop sitting on the couch, stop watching all those re-runs of days long gone by! I am not saying you have to give all things fun, but this country and this world is going to Hell in a hand basket and we are just watching it happen. And the only thing we are doing is to bitch and complain at our neighbors, they in-turn bitch and complain to us. That gets nothing accomplished! You have to get up and DO SOMETHING!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Conceptual Possibility of the Trinity

Like the blog writer, I too am reading the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi…fascinating at the very least. But I had to steal this blog writer’s concept of what was written in the book concerning the Trinity which he grasped the perfect concept in nature of the Trinity from his Organic Chemistry class…here it is:

 

*****************ORIGINAL BLOG POST************************

Monday, January 5, 2015

Is the Trinity conceptually possible?

The Trinity is one of the most confusing concepts in Christian theology.
How can God be three persons [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] yet one?
Non-Christians sometimes say it is illogical and nonsense.
This is particularly true of Muslims who consider it offends the unity of Allah.
[Aside: It also seems that most Muslims think Christians believe the Trinity is God, Mary, and Jesus.]I am currently reading the fascinating book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi.
I will write more about it later. Here I just want to highlight one small part of the story I found fascinating because of my interest in the relationship between science and theology.

Like most Muslims, Qureshi thought the Trinity made no sense.
But he became open to it in a completely unexpected circumstance. In an organic chemistry class (!) he learnt about the resonance structures of the nitrate ion [shown above]. This molecule does not have a single structure. Rather, it simultaneously has the three structures above. It is not one or the other, but all three of them. This is a result of [the bizarre properties of] quantum physics, it is the same as Schrodingers cat, being both dead and alive at the same time.

Learning about resonance structures did not lead Qureshi to believe the Trinity was true. It just made him open to the idea that it was conceptually possible that it could be true. He could no longer dismiss it out of hand.

Also consider reading this document: The Trinity

While everything here cannot possibly explain for each and every person, these are simple beginnings for research on the subject of the Trinity and it’s understanding. But know this: God leaves us bread crumbs in order to explain all things spiritual within the natural world He has given us!

This was a short one tonight, but a ton to ponder on…so, just think on this for a little while!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

‘Tis the Season

tis-the-season

Once Thanksgiving dinner is over with, the cleaning up is complete, perhaps a little resting, the Black Friday abuse is over with and recovered from…it truly is a feeling of “’tis the season” moment! As believers in the Most High God, His loving Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit we should always be “in” that mood of “’tis the season” mindset. We are to be in the ever forgiving mood of our enemies, the ever loving of our neighbors, the always willing to give the shirt off our backs for those in need, etc. Jesus taught these things to all mankind…every person he came in contact with; whether high or low position in their lives. I, myself, have not been shopping on a Black Friday in many years, because it is like suicide by customer shopping. It is truly not the Christmas seasons and shopping experiences that I had when I was a kid; though I am certain that it was a little more festive shopping 40 years ago. People have lost the true Spirit of Christmas over the years. It is truly sad!

On a more positive note, we can each make that little bit of difference in the lives of everyone else simply by carrying on that little bit of Spirit in your lives while out shopping. Say “Merry Christmas” with a bit of a warm smile. Kindness truly can be spread easily and without personal pain. Just in that simple little act. Put the needs of another ahead of yourself; your wife, your husband, your son, your daughter, or a complete stranger. Just help them in some small way. Maybe they are having a meltdown and need a break; perhaps having a tough time and need to get something off their chest; the list can truly be endless. And I will not even get into the corporatizing of the Christmas holiday, THAT would be a completely different blog posting!

You may ask why would that be during the holiday season? The holiday season it the greatest time of pressure; whether it be personally imposed, work imposed, relative imposed, etc. The Christmas season is the highest known time where people think about, contemplate, and commit suicide.

Here are some numbers on Suicide, in general:
  • Suicide is the 10 th leading cause of death in the US
  • Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide
  • For every suicide 25 attempt, and
  • Suicide costs the US $ 44  Billion annually. (AFFSP, 2016)
Some Additional Facts About Suicide in the US:

  • The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 12.93 per 100,000 individuals.
  • Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women.
  • On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
  • White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2014.
  • Firearms account for almost 50% of all suicides.
  • The rate of suicide is highest in middle age — white men in particular. (AFFSP, 2016)

Overall, the statistics show that between the years 1999-2014 that suicide has risen 24%. Which is both a travesty on a human level, but also understandable as the population has grown so do the potentiality of such travesties increase. While I cannot understand the reasoning to take one’s own life, it must be understood that the person thinking that to take their life is the best possible solution is very real to them at that time…if not for a period of time! It is truly sad and very devastating to the surviving family members. There are those in your daily walk where you have the potential of crossing the path of someone who has chosen or is planning to choose to take their life. You may even be the catalyst of their decision (without meaning to be so).

There are six reasons that people decide to commit suicide:

  1. They’re depressed
  2. They’re psychotic
  3. They’re impulsive
  4. They’re crying out for help
  5. They have a philosophical desire to die
  6. They’ve made a mistake

God’s word can guide each of us to help those in need, this season, by remembering the reason for the season! Many teens struggle with such thoughts. A multitude of veterans returning from hot zones & those undiagnosed from Vietnam and other conflicts still struggle. Be aware of those who are out there that seek their own demise as an answer.

For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,  in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.  But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,  I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” ~Deuteronomy 30:11-20 NKJV

We know the reason for the season is Jesus, because we celebrate His birth. We also remember His death on the cross where He suffered for our sins…the sins of the world! (John 1:29) Here are some other verses that indicate the wrongfulness of suicide in the Bible: 70 Bible Verses on Suicide.

While there is no proof that being kind to, or even loving our neighbor, or putting them first in your life will prevent even a single potential suicide; isn’t it worth a try? After all, as one person you can do so very little to effect change in the world…but you are ONE person and you can do SOMETHING! Even if that something is just being nice to those you come in contact with.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD