Over a century ago, Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species after visiting the Galapagos Islands in the South Pacific. His theory of evolution said all living things traced from a common ancestor and gave men their basis for all natural origin without God. In his time, Darwin saw the cell in the detail of a microscopic blob. The thought of evolution took its derivation from common features of different species of animals. It did not take into consideration the complexity of an individual cell or the information or language or code of DNA. Men walking after their own desires wanted no ultimate authority. They embraced a theory that backed that philosophical presupposition. There was enough mystery in the concept of a common origin, that is, that idea lacked detail so that convenient extrapolation and speculation could be done in order to dismiss God. However, the evidence, the truth as seen in microbiology, physics, and DNA, doesn’t back up the claims of natural selection over billions of years. It defies incremental transitional development of living things. The only explanation is design. This is on the level of words written in the sand on the seashore. We know these were designed by intelligence as much as the Rosetta Stone wasn’t formed by chance. God’s design has an irreducible complexity that can be explained only by God. They’re His fingerprints.
Bethel Baptist Church ~ El Sobrante, CA
When you get to the end of your life and there was little value to your life, what kind of education will that seem that you received? You knew math, could really talk about plants and animals, had computer skills big-time, and wrote flawless English, but skipped doing faithfully what God said. Did you get a good education? Some could tell you all about varied and multiple historical events, listing the names, place, dates, but then leave out what God told them to do. What kind of education is that? There is one God and one world. It is His world. He created it for His purposes. If you miss that, isn’t that missing a pretty important aspect of an education? Don’t get me wrong though. I think someone should have grammar and it would be good for him to be able to write. It would be better, far better, to know math, and it would be helpful to do as well as possible at math. We have a school. We believe in that. But if you don’t believe what God says to believe and then do what He says to do, you can have the highest SAT scores and you’ve totally missed an education. We want our young men to get a good enough education that they can support their family. We do. But support them in the work of the Lord and faithfulness to God, no less than that. If so, then we’ve got an education to talk about, to elevate, to be happy about.
I was considering Luke 18:8 this week, and the second half of that verse: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” And especially the last part, “Shall he find faith on the earth?” If He came back today, would He find it in you? If He didn’t, you would be lost. But would He? You can say whatever it is that you think it is that makes it difficult for you to believe, but Jesus is the truth. It is His story. If you are saved, you made up your mind about that. Didn’t you? Or are you hedging? When I say that, I mean, are you straddling between faith and doubt to the degree that you think you are in the sweet spot between, ‘yes, you’re saved’ and ‘you’re going to do little to nothing to serve Him’? It is not the faithful person, not the saved person, who waivers like the wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:6). You have to make up your mind, and that isn’t making up your mind. If it is evidence, then pay attention to the evidence and notice that the evidence isn’t on the other side. If it is other professing Christians, that’s a lame excuse. That doesn’t change the fact that Christianity, the Bible, is the truth. If it is your love for the world, well, that’s sounds about right, but if you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. Think about it. Let’s be a church. A church is a congregation under Jesus as Head.
How does family fit into the scheme of God’s kingdom? God created male and female to glorify God in the context of a one flesh or marriage. The marriage procreates children, and sanctifying, God-glorifying, saving truth is passed down from one generation to the next. This populates, builds up, the future kingdom of God. Family is not more important than the kingdom, but is for the kingdom. We see this in the life of Jesus. In the temple as a child, he said to his parents, he was here to do the Father’s business, and same at the miracle at Cana in John 2. He twice calls her “woman,” that signifies the lesser relationship that is physical family and lineage next to spiritual family and kingdom of God. Matthew 12 is certainly a clincher here in v. 50, Jesus saying, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” The Apostle Paul displays this knowledge in 1 Corinthians 7, when he emphasizes that Christianity has no goal of changing existing social relationships. 1 Peter is the same. The purpose again is evangelism and multiplication of kingdom citizens. As the Father sent Jesus, His son, to do this, so sent He us. I write this in part because of Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
For over two centuries Americans included the Bible in their education. It was only in the early 1960s that the Supreme Court ruled that using or even having the Bible in public schools was a violation of the first amendment, the so-called separation of church and state. As a result, many Americans, especially in our own area, do not know basic ideas about the Bible. What they do think is mainly wrong. In addition to that bad consequence, people now very often separate the Bible from truth or fact or evidence. They think that faith is separate from those. You’ve got fact and then you’ve got faith to them, and the Bible is the latter, not connected to or in the category of fact. Because of these sad circumstances, we have to attempt to get what are now Bible deniers up to speed. You’ve got the groups out there that people call birthers and deniers, which relate to conspiracies. A bigger one that gets almost no attention is the complete ignorance and disregard for the Bible. People don’t have a basic understanding, for instance, that the Bible is historical, that it is scientific, that it has archaeological evidence behind it, and that thirty percent of it is prophecy, setting it apart as a supernatural book. This country, founded very much with the Bible in view, often sees Bible believers as kooks, because they have a misconception about the Bible itself.
From 400 B.C. to around year 0, God did not speak to man — He went silent. Those are even called the four hundred silent years. People seem to expect God to provide spoken Word, which is another case of the clay expecting something from the Potter. God gave us a Book, the Bible, and this is the prime and enduring method for God to communicate. We’ve got to depend on scripture. That is not good enough for many. A man wants direct revelation to himself. He’s going to need to get over that. It’s not happening. God gives grace to the humble, and the humble will receive the grace of God’s special revelation through scripture. It is enough. Look at it this way. We’ve got a book to sort through, exegete, pore over, and live. If we can’t start there and enjoy that, thoroughly understand that, then why would we deserve something more than that? Scripture itself says that this written form is complete and sufficient and superior. God says it is the best form of communication to men. Scripture not being good enough arises from human pride. It is good enough. However, even among professing believers, it isn’t. They don’t know the Bible, they ignore it, and disobey it. Some claim to still get Word from God, God giving them special revelation, another indication of the rejection of what God wants men to receive. Let us receive the Word of God.
Should patriotism be involved in the sacred worship of a church? I’ve read in several instances recently, “No.” What I read said that it violates the regulative principle of worship. We don’t read patriotism in New Testament worship. Let me push back on that idea. When we are patriotic in a service here, which is rare, and usually at this time of the year, patriotism is not an element of worship, but a circumstance. We might sing what some might consider a patriotic song, essentially a song that tells God something such as “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” That line is from a song, Psalm 33:12. Would America be blessed if America’s God was Lord? Yes. Is natural law biblical? Yes. Is America founded on natural law? Yes. Our God has given us certain inalienable rights. The elements of our worship are regulated by scripture. If we pray a patriotic prayer, an element of worship, prayer, we could pray for kings and all who are in authority, and that would be a prayer regulated by the New Testament. If men submit to the powers ordained by God and at the same time obey God rather than men, why should we not point out the way that aligns itself with the Bible? That would be a proclamation of biblical truth. Patriotism that is just patriotism is not fitting of what stands for God’s kingdom in this age, His church, but regulated by scripture, it is.
If you study the cumulative words of the godly people of the Bible, the communication they initiate, their answers, and their arguments—all of those words—you find a wide variety of talk. James declares the ease of sinning with the tongue. You can count on someone pointing out where you went wrong with what you said. You may not have said anything sinful. You may have operated in a good and righteous way with your speech and someone accuses you of bad and sinful. What I’m describing occurs more today than ever. If you call a sin what it is, a sin. If you condemn it. Others will say you lacked the compassion of Jesus, that you behave in a selfish way. In general, people today will like it if you allow sin to go or even reward it with kind words. If someone comes at what you believe and in a very harsh way, personal attack and more, and you match that rhetoric, you will be accused of pugilism or unkindness, some lack of Christianity in your speech. You may think that you are merely answering a fool according to his folly. You may suspect that you are following the example of Jesus or Paul in their speech with opponents of the truth, but to no avail. Your conscience comes into these situations. In the battle, you know you stand for the truth. The truth rises far above you. You defend it, sometimes with combative speech. Rest in God.
If you want to write or show a popular and successful story in today’s culture, indicate how up to date you are by attacking the dad, the father, the patriarch in the story. Make him look stupid. Have him make bad decision after bad decision for selfish reasons. Show that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about or that he knows what he is doing. Even better, make a joke out of him, a bumbling idiot. By doing so, those who are supposed to trust that role, or the person filling that role, won’t be able to do so. He will feel justified in not listening to this man and going his own way. She won’t need to submit and really shouldn’t if she knows what’s good for her. The man fights. He loses. He loses confidence. And boys don’t know what to do, how to live. They can’t have a role model, because they don’t have a role. They do have a lot of pent up energy, what was intended to fulfill the role, but nothing to use it for. A gang will work. Or be the woman. Or just close yourself off from society, too afraid, not confident, but frustrated. The frustration builds and you could blow that off by taking out on others around you, that is, if the psychiatrists don’t get to you first. And even if they do, that might be worse, as most of us know. Does this sound familiar? The world can’t admit its wrong, because it would have to admit there is a Designer, Who is masculine.
Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, WV. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the US began in 1905, the year her mom, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mission was to honor her own mother by setting aside a day to honor mothers, “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Anna’s mother had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to address public health issues. She succeeded when several states officially recognized Mother’s Day, first in 1910 in West Virginia. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the 2nd Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. Jarvis soon became resentful of the commercialization, angry that companies would profit from the holiday. By the early 1920′s, Hallmark and other companies had started selling Mother’s Day cards. She saw this as misinterpretation and exploitation, so she protested and even tried to rescind Mother’s Day. No verse commands a Mother’s Day, but it can and should be a reminder of the importance of biblical motherhood and opportunity to say thanks for our own mothers and their contributions to our lives. Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!