Some Inspiring Photos of God’s Creation

Here are some incredible images from God’s creation, captured by NASA’s best technology of the Universe around us. Just wanted to share God’s Glory this Sunday evening… What an AMAZING GOD! Amen ~

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“Hand of God” X-Ray Nebula PSR B1509-58 – by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observator

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

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“Eye of God” NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula 

Romans 1:20
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

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Milky Way over the Pinnacles in Australia 
Image Credit: Michael Goh

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

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Messier 43 
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Obs.), Igor Chilingarian (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

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“Pillars of Creation” – Eagle Nebula

Psalm 8:3-4
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

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Q&A: How Do We Know God Created Anything?

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In a recent post a visitor in the comment section posed a question, and it was a great question that I think a lot of people have asked. Now this person has never received an adequate answer from previous Pastors or Apologists and spent 25 years in ministry so I have my work cut out for me, but I love a good challenge!

Here was their question:

Where did the God of the bible begin and how do we know that He created without the ability to verify it was Him specifically or that He was there to ‘Begin’ it?”

This question goes right to the foundation of the Christian faith, and points to the bedrock that we have to build our faith upon, Holy Scripture. You see, IF Holy Scripture IS a revelation from the God that created the universe to mankind then the answer to all of the above questions lie within its pages…

Where did the God of the Bible begin…?” He didn’t begin, He always existed: Isaiah 40:28, Habakkuk 1:12, Revelation 1:8, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 22:13, Proverbs 8:23, 1 Peter 1:20, Psalm 102:26-27, Psalm 146:6, 1 Peter 5:11… and on and on and on we can go. In an article I wrote while back, I explore this topic.

How do we know that he created it without the ability to verify it?” and “How do we know he was there to begin it?” There is no scientific experiment that can be undertaken that would verify God created the universe, as this would by definition be a supernatural event. Science only deals with the natural world. To verify then, the only path is to examine the Holy Scripture that claims to be given under inspiration from God Himself.

Science however has helped support our beliefs in this area, as the Big Bang theory pretty well lines up with the record in Genesis 1:1. Now we know the secular world will never admit to a God and that’s OK, but the physical evidence that God created everything from nothing is there to be found. Science cannot rationalize a universe created from nothing. So men will speculate and put forth all sorts of theories such as the multi-verse, or the universe that created itself from nothing… huh?

Scientists often catch up long after Scripture has already revealed a truth, for example: Dark Matter/Dark Energy… is the Scientific label for what the Bible teaches in Colossians 1:17 & Hebrews 1:3. (https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy)

Then there’s the flat Earth, it wasn’t until Aristotle in 330 B.C. that the prevalent opinion shifted to a spherical Earth. Of course the prophet Isaiah wrote about this long before that…Isaiah 40:22 (written around 700-800 years Before Christ)

You also may have heard of the Adam and Eve Genes, what science has now uncovered is all men are direct descendants of ONE man and all women from ONE woman. And of course we learn that they both come from Africa (right where the Bible says)…What a shocker?! The more we learn, the more the Bible is revealed to be true. (http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/genetic-adam-and-eve-all-humans-are-descendants-one-man-and-woman-who-021536)

If we exist within a universe created by God, who created all of the matter, time, and space, then it would be beyond us to imagine what lies outside of that creation. Is that eternity? Why call it eternity or infinity when those are measures of time as we know it? We have no idea if time exists outside of our known universe or not. As humans we strive to learn and understand and a big way we do this, is to create labels for things. This makes it easier to pass on to the next humans. But at some point, perhaps a bit of humility is in order? When a scientist says the Earth is 4.54 Billion years old and the universe 14 billion, I like to ask… how do you know the Earth isn’t 8 Billion years old? How about a Trillion? How can we guess the age of a universe that we cannot even see the ends of? The more powerful our telescopes become the further and further we see… with no end in sight. (https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/5-8/features/F_How_Big_is_Our_Universe.html)

If the basis of the scientific method is to observe and repeat then how can numbers like 4 Billion and 14 Billion be tossed around as scientific fact? They are certainly taught as such in classrooms and colleges across America. We cannot observe anything from 10,000 years ago, let alone 1 Billion. We cannot repeat anything that far in the past because we can never be absolutely sure of the starting conditions.

By dating the rocks in the ever-changing crust, as well as neighbors such as the moon and visiting meteorites, scientists have calculated that Earth is 4.54 billion years old, with an error range of 50 million years.” – https://www.space.com/24854-how-old-is-earth.html

For the longest time it was believed that the speed of light was a constant unchanging measurement (186,000 miles per second according to Einstein) but recent research is challenging that belief. (https://www.livescience.com/29111-speed-of-light-not-constant.html)

This of course makes sense from a Biblical perspective. In the book of Genesis God creates a fully grown or mature universe, followed by a fully grown man in the Garden of Eden. Adam was able to see stars in the sky (Genesis 1:14-15), and use them for their intended purposes. This of course means that the speed of light was absolutely NOT the same as we measure it today.

So what about the Bible makes you believe it is a revelation from God?

Up until this point I have spent some time showing how science is not an enemy of the Bible, but on the contrary scientific evidence helps support what the Bible has been telling us for thousands of years.

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” 
― Robert JastrowGod and the Astronomers

Now I want to take some time to show strong reasons to believe the Bible is exactly what it claims to be, the inspired Word of God. The Bible is a collection of 66 Books (not one book) written by over 40 authors on 3 continents over the span of 1,500 YEARS. It is unlike any other literary creation in history and stands far above and beyond all others in number of copies discovered, number of languages translated into, number of copies distributed and sold and try as they might… skeptics have been trying to debunk and destroy the Bible for thousands of years…and have failed time and time again. In this article written a couple of weeks ago I list some amazing statistics concerning the Bible. Additionally here are three other big reasons to believe the Bible has divine origins…

1) Bible prophecy. If there was just ONE prophecy predicted in the Old Testament, fulfilled hundreds of years later, that should be enough to raise an eyebrow… but what if that number is dozens or hundreds? People who ignore Bible Prophecy are either unfamiliar or so blinded by skepticism no amount of evidence will convince them otherwise. Here are just a handful of Bible Prophecies fulfilled…

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressionshe was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 7:14 “All right then, the Lord Himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel – ‘God is with us.’”

Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!”

Isaiah 53:1,3 “Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal His saving power? He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we did not care.”

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

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Photo Credit: http://www.umcom.org/learn/5-incredible-illustrations-from-biblical-archaeology

2) Archaeology. There are literally thousands of artifacts and countless dig sites that have collaborated the historical accuracy of the Bible. This is an area of study that has widely been ignored by skeptics, and yet is one of the most compelling reasons to believe what the Bible has to say. Here are a few links on the subject matter:

Here is a compilation of other great Christian Resources from my friend Bruce at Reasoned Cases for Christ.

You might hear skeptics claim that there have been many Biblical Archaeological finds debunked, like Noah’s Ark. That is correct. All fields of science have this same built in function of self-correction. Similarly there are a ton of evolutionary findings debunked. Disproving some claims in a field of scientific study does not diminish the field, it strengthens it.

3) Jesus Christ. Many atheists will be quick to call out “circular logic” when I make the claim that the recorded life of Jesus Christ in the Bible is a testament to the reliability and divine nature of Holy Scripture. First let me start with a fact some skeptics try very hard to ignore… nearly ALL scholars in the field of historical study agree that Jesus Christ was a real historical man that lived very much as the Bible describes his life, and died as described in the Gospel accounts. They obviously will not confirm any of the miracles Jesus performed, but that is an unreasonable request of a historian to begin with.

What we do know unequivocally is that Jesus was a poor carpenter who grew up in a very small corner of the world at a time when most of the population was illiterate. In his late twenties, early thirties he set out in ministry, proclaiming to be the Son of God. He was put to death because of his claim to be equal with God and has since become the single most influential person in all of human history. So much so, that the world today marks time itself with his birth.

We also know that many of his followers feared for their own death when Jesus was arrested and hid from authorities. They even denied Jesus. But after his resurrection and appearance from the tomb, those same followers became so vigilant in their beliefs that they died very painful deaths and never denied him again.

So what do you think? Did I provide enough evidence to show that the Bible is much more than the work of man? If not, how do you explain how 66 books written by over 40 people spanning 1,500 years is so beautifully interwoven and crafted with precision? If the Holy Scriptures are a conspiracy or a fake conjured to control the masses, imagine all of the people it would take pull that off, working in tandem over countless centuries.

Now that is true faith.

 

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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Filling That Void

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Many times in life we find ourselves searching for something. This search can take many forms and take us many places. Maybe we seek enlightenment or a simple adrenaline rush. Perhaps we feel a need or thirst that we just cannot quench.

What is the cause or source of this void in our life? From a Biblical perspective and more specifically Christianity the answer is Jesus Christ. This void is what God instilled within all of us that would cause us to seek Him out. Sadly what most people do is try to fill this void with something, ANYTHING except God… from possessions, drugs and sex to false idols and other worldly desires.

If you cheat on your spouse for a few moments of pleasure, how does that really fulfill you in life? If you shoot drugs into your veins for that momentary high, how does that really fulfill you? Certainly you will feel that pleasure or that high and it will feel good, but those feelings are fleeting and what are you left with? Guilt, shame, emptiness, broken marriages, shattered lives?

More importantly, if you can rationally understand the consequences of your actions before you take them, and predict how much destruction will be brought to your life… why would you still take those actions? Back to the example of the cheating spouse, you know that cheating could have very severe consequences… a broken marriage, lost trust, possible divorce… not to mention all the people this affair could affect in very negative way. So what could possibly motivate you to move forward with it? Why do you get lost in that brief moment of pleasure?

So far I have asked a lot of questions, now let me attempt to provide some answers. As I already stated we have a built-in desire to seek God, this has been in us since the dawn of man. Long before the Bible or Jesus Christ walked the earth people yearned for God and would seek something to fill that void in their life. The ONLY way you will find true fulfillment and fill that void is to develop a relationship with the one who put it there. Every day you have to strive for righteousness and live according the example Jesus Christ provided us.

In simpler terms, live a Godly life and always do what is right. This sounds SO easy, but actually is incredibly difficult for most people… but why? For me, and I do talk from experience, it boils down to your closeness with God. If you are having daily conversations with God (in prayer and scripture) and with every breath and action drawing closer to Him… you will find it much easier to avoid the temptations of a fallen world. If you step away from God and walk with the world, those same temptations will take hold and you will find yourself on the edge of making a huge mistake that could be very costly.

There is another very important aspect to Godliness, and that is discernment through the Holy Spirit. Imagine for a moment you are a Super Hero, and actually you don’t have to imagine it… for if you have the Holy Spirit, you have God within you and what could be more “Super” than that! But I digress, you are a super hero and one of your powers is a “Danger Sense”. Just like Spider-Man you are able to avoid dangers by noticing them BEFORE they can affect you in a negative way. This would be a pretty cool super power right? Well I think so, and guess what? That is exactly what the Holy Spirit gives you… the ability to discern SIN. As a non-believer most people don’t even accept that Sin is real, let alone that they partake in it. But as a follower of Jesus Christ you gain an incredible sense of what Sin IS, how dangerous it can be in your life and as you grow stronger in Christ how to avoid it all together.

But here is the reality, if you want to have access to this great power of the Holy Spirit you HAVE to STRIVE for that relationship with Jesus Christ. Just like you can walk away from God, you can also diminish the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life.

This will NOT be an easy road to travel, especially if you are a new believer in Christ. Living a life of righteousness can be the most challenging task you have ever attempted, but the rewards are like no other. Imagine being blameless in all things, imagine living every day knowing you have done no wrong, imagine how those in your life would be affected by this new life you live.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not claiming you can lead a SIN-FREE life, as that is only possible by one man in Jesus Christ. What I am claiming is that you can lead a blameless and righteous life, and when you do it will be the greatest life you could ever imagine.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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Is Hell Fair?

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The Hell doctrine is one of the most important and less taught pillars of the Gospels. Most preachers avoid teaching it, because on the surface it looks completely “unfair”. But let’s examine it for a moment. We know from scripture that our BEST deeds are like filthy rags in the eyes of God (Isaiah 64:6). Meaning we think we are doing good and treating people well, but to a pure and Holy God we are not.

The next thing we need to understand, is that GOD is not only a loving God but a JUST God as well. Which is why a sacrifice had to be made in the old days, to remind men that there was a price to be paid for SIN.

Now let’s compare GODs justice to our own justice here on earth. Here are just SOME of the things God considers a SIN: lying, cheating, stealing, murder, anger, dishonoring your parents, praying to false idols and gods, calling the Lord’s name in vain, lusting after another woman or man even in thought, envy and pride. Now this is a SMALL list of sins, when you look that over and be HONEST with yourself, how many times have you sinned in your life? For me, the answer would probably be MILLIONS.

If we look at our laws, and particularly crimes that would be punishable by time in prison… how many years would you get sentenced to prison for committing a crime MILLIONS of times? You can cheat on your taxes ONE time and get 10 years in prison. You can murder 3 times and get LIFE in prison. You can even get sentenced to 800 years in prison!

You might say, YES but lying is not MURDER!!! That is unfair to punish me for lying… but isn’t that what a tax cheat is… a liar? So here we have a GOD who is Holy, Loving and Just. He has plainly told us his laws and what he considers to be a CRIME punishable by eternal separation from Him (Sin). He also KNOWS we will NOT be able to live a sin-free life and make it to heaven on our own power. This is why he sent Jesus to the cross. Once Jesus (GOD) came to earth to be crucified he became the FINAL sacrifice and paid the price for ALL the worlds sins past, present and future.

The ONLY Stipulation to accept his gift of grace, is that you believe in him with all your heart (in other words have a personal relationship with him) and REPENT or turn-away from your sins.

Sadly most people will not find their way to heaven (Matthew 7:13), because they have the problem of SIN. AS GOOD as they might be they are still SINFUL… and SIN Cannot enter the presence of a Holy God. Heaven is the ABODE of GOD, therefore to gain entrance you need to be cleansed of all SIN. There is no place on earth you can go to be cleansed of sin, there is only ONE way and that is through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

BUT HERE is the great news, ONCE you enter into that relationship with Jesus he gives you the GIFT of EVERLASTING life, and your eternity is sealed in his Grace. ON the PLUS side, entering that relationship will CHANGE your life forever in GREAT ways. You will live better, love better, see things in life that are truly important and experience everything in a different way.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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