All posts by John

Christian saved by grace through faith.

By Faith

Essential to a Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ is Faith. Faith that God created the world for His glory. Isaiah 43:7 Romans 1:20 Faith that God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. John 3:16 Faith that He rose again on the third day. I Corinthians 15:17 Faith that if we repent from our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 Faith that our repentance and belief in the name of the Lord Jesus creates in us a new life. Ephesians 2:8-9 Romans 10:13 And faith that our Savior will return and reunite with His church. John 14:2-4

But what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” KJV That’s a pretty profound verse! “The substance of things hoped for”, what does that mean? Well, we use faith in our every day lives, but probably don’t give it a second thought. When we put the key in the ignition of our car, we have faith it will start. Cross a bridge and have faith that the engineers designed it to not fail. Going to sit in that chair? Better have faith that it will support you. The “substance” of what we hope for in these instances is in their reliability to not fail us, even though we really have no evidence or proof that they won’t. The difference is that these “things” will eventually fail. It is a faith in man, in things of this world.  One day your car won’t start, that bridge won’t last forever, it’ll one day need repairs, and that chair’s likely lifespan is only a few years if you’re lucky.

The only thing worth having faith in, that will not fail, is the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. He is where the substance of our hope should rest. Even though we have not seen Him with our eyes, the evidence is all around us. The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” As Christians, the importance of faith cannot be understated. Proverbs 3:3 tells us, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” The Apostle Paul reminds us to prepare ourselves for spiritual battle with the Armor of God, which includes the Shield of Faith, to extinguish the fiery darts from the evil one. Ephesians 6:16 In military terms, the shield allows for attacks to be deflected and kept away from the body. In fact, the 2nd century Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus states, “To lose one’s shield is the basest of crimes.” What a beautiful analogy to apply to the Shield of Faith. Keep hold of it! Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20 that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain and that with it nothing is impossible. Hebrews 11 is filled with a history of faith that’s exhibited by a who’s who of biblical characters to complete many amazing feats. In fact, the word faith is mentioned 25 times (NIV) in this chapter alone. But for all of their faith, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40 The promise that they did receive because of their faith was eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Not only is it important to realize the power of strong faith, but it is perhaps even more important to realize that our God is faithful. As I alluded to earlier, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive. I John 1:9 The Lord’s faithfulness is magnificent and worthy of praise. The psalmist, King David, sings of God’s faithfulness in Psalm 100:5, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” David praises the Lord’s faithfulness throughout Psalms and does so elegantly in Psalm 57:10, “For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” The Lord wants us to understand that His faithfulness is unconditional, as is His love. He abounds with love and faithfulness and expects us to model our lives in the same manner.

Many times in our lives it’s easy to talk about faith, especially when things are going well. But it’s when we’re in the midst of a storm that faith is most important. It’s at our lowest point when we grab hold of our faith. How then do we achieve it? The Bible tells us, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 Achieving faith goes back to our foundation on the Bible. http://voiceoftruthblog.com/?p=5 Paul’s description of the shield of faith was inclusive of the full Armor of God. Did warriors enter battle with a shield alone? No, it works in tandem with every piece of armor and we therefore are charged to, “…Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:13-18 Faith is so important in our daily lives. For Christians, we need only to open God’s word to increase our Faith. For non-Christians, you need to understand that faith in yourself, other people, and things of this world will inevitably fail you. The only infallible faith is that in Jesus Christ. It is available to you if you just reach out for it. In order to begin your journey into faith, you need only to step out of your worldly comfort zone and receive Christ as your Savior. To do so, simply click here http://voiceoftruthblog.com/?page_id=3 or click on the Knowing the Truth tab above.

Have a blessed day!

You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can’t Make Him Think

I wanted to share an article that appeared on World Net Daily today about a new book coming out that allows Christians to create a dialogue with Atheists. The book’s author is Ray Comfort and he is a ministry partner with “Fireproof’s” Kirk Cameron. Check out the article, in what no doubt will be an interesting evangelical read. Click here http://voiceoftruthblog.com/?p=11 to re-read my blog on the British Atheist bus ads.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=87700
Just as atheists in America begin to develop unprecedented recognition, an evangelist with a long history of engaging skeptics is gearing up to help return them to obscurity.
“There are a lot of people who think atheism and the word intelligent are synonymous, when they’re not,” Ray Comfort, author of “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can’t Make Him Think,” told WND
Comfort – whose book is scheduled for release by WND Books Feb. 12 – is the author of 60 titles and the co-host of “The Way of the Master,” a weekly television show about personal evangelism with actor Kirk Cameron, star of the hit movie “Fireproof.”
Autographed copies of Ray Comfort’s new book, published by WND Books, are available exclusively in WND’s online superstore.
Comfort’s new release takes readers into the heart of his lively and stimulating dialogue with skeptics, with questions and answers from his blog, Atheist Central. He’s also created a website, Pull the Plug on Atheism, where he says readers can find articles that “expose atheism for the foolishness that it is.”
Comfort has debated atheists in public forums and counts many among his friends, including Darrin Rasberry, who challenges readers in the book’s preface to “prove Ray wrong.”
Rasberry writes that with the advent of “New Atheism” – led by figures such as evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and journalist Christopher Hitchens – “hostility and ridicule have all but replaced open, honest discussion.”
“Scholarly and philosophical analysis have taken a back seat to pop polemics, and the biggest names in the movement have subsequently banished the art of philosophical study to make sure their diatribes sell,” Rasberry writes.
Comfort told WND he believes the rise of an aggressive “evangelistic” atheistic movement is a “symptom of moral decline.”
“The darker a nation gets, the more it hates the light,” he said. “The more a nation throws itself into sin, the more it’s going to hate righteousness.”
Comfort says the aim of his book isn’t just to convince hardcore atheists but to reach “people who sit on the fence, people who say, Oh I don’t know if God exists. I’m just not sure.”
“It’s very easy to prove that God exists,” Comfort insists. “You cannot have a creation without a creator. You cannot have things made without a maker. So all it takes is a little bit of common sense on the part of thinking people to realize atheism is a farce. It’s intellectual suicide. It makes no sense whatsoever.”
But Comfort’s book takes on all kinds of questions posed by skeptics, and many aren’t easily answered by the average believer.
Questions he tackles in “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can’t Make Him Think” include:
“How do you know you have the right God?”

“Had any of you been born in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Syria, etc., there is nearly a 100 percent chance that you would be Muslim, and no amount of free will given to you from Jesus would prevent that.”

“So, a talking snake, a man living inside a whale’s stomach for three days, a virgin pregnancy, and a man walking on water don’t contradict logic?”

“You just don’t get it, Ray. Your God is so psychotic that I wouldn’t worship Him even if you could prove He was real, which thank God, you can’t. Your own Holy Book says that your God drowned 99.9999 percent of all air-breathing life on the planet. Kittens, Ray. He drowned jillions of kittens – and you worship Him. Are you crazy or what?”
When his book is released, Comfort plans to debate atheists on national television and radio programs.
He’s had friendly encounters with atheists, including an opportunity to speak from the platform at a conference in Orlando of the group American Atheists, founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and at a dinner with 40 atheists in Orange County, Calif.
But he meets many angry “teeth-gritted” atheists, he said, “whose agenda isn’t to push atheism but to take from you and I the freedom that we have in this country to worship God.”
“They want to get prayer out of the inauguration, they want to get ‘In God we trust’ off our money, they want to stop Gideons from getting Bibles out in schools,” said Comfort.
These “zealots,” he said, “want to stamp God out of schools and out of American society because of the moral accountability that they’re held to”
“And it’s an absolute tragedy,” he said, “because every atheist is going to get the shock of his death. They’ve got everything to lose and nothing to gain. If the atheist is right and there is no God he doesn’t even get the joy of saying to theists, I told you so. But if there is a God, and he’s the God revealed in Holy Scripture, then he’s lost his very life of salvation, because heaven and hell are realities.”
Comfort said he’s seen many atheists come to faith in Jesus Christ, including a good friend.
“He saw no proof of God’s existence whatsoever,” Comfort said of his friend, “but one day he was driving along in his car, he went to a church, because he liked a girl at the church, and he listened to the preacher and got challenged. Stopped his car, and he said, God, I don’t know if you exist, but if you do, please reveal yourself to me. And he said it in earnestness, and God just absolutely transformed his heart, and he went on to become my ministry partner, Kirk Cameron.”

To pre-order this new book, click below.

Trial by Fire

Many times in life (like now for me!) we’re faced with what seems like insurmountable odds. Such obstacles are those that we allow to sap our strength and question our faith. These trials by fire strike at our very core in what often can be described as character defining moments. To help illustrate this point, I want to paint a picture of the power of fire. Its ability to destroy virtually everything in its path, including property, forests, and plains. Fire can quite simply be summed up as devastatingly uncontrollable. But is it always bad? Can we only focus on the negative destructive forces or is there growth that can come from it?

Let’s answer those questions by looking at how nature responds to her trials by fire. No doubt we’ve seen or experienced the devastation of fire and its smoldering charred path. But were you aware that several plant species use fire as an opportunity for growth? For example, some plants shield their vital organs, like the Ponderosa pine, while others are equipped with moist tissues to absorb the heat. Others, like the Australian grass trees see fire as an opportunity to bloom and may in fact only bloom after a fire. Still other plants use fire as a way to promote their own reproduction by replacing those plants that were scorched by the flames. Fire also has the power to sweep through a forest clearing out underbrush and weeds that would eventually choke out other vegetation. So essentially, in nature, fire is capable of bringing growth.

How can we relate this to our lives? Well, perhaps the most inspirational biblical figure for growth via trial by fire is Job. Job was a God fearing, blameless, and upright man. He would be considered wealthy by even today’s standards and had been blessed with 7 sons and 3 daughters. As many of you might already know, God allowed Satan to test Job’s resolve and his faithfulness to the Lord. Satan took all of Job’s wealth, every child of his along with his servants and livestock died, everything was gone. Except for Job’s spirit; that’s the one thing that Satan had no control over. Job’s reply to his losses was, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21 Job was then afflicted physically with painful sores. Despite his wife’s admonition, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job was steadfast in his reply, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job 2:9-10 In all of these trials, Job remained unwavering and did not sin. Though most of Job is actually a poem, it might best be described as a “tragedy”. What follows throughout the rest of the book is a continuation of Job’s trials, all the while being mocked by people for not cursing God. But Job weathered the fiery storm. After his storm, the Lord blessed Job with twice as much wealth than he originally had and blessed the later part of his life more than the first.

The story of Job should serve as inspiration to not only worship God in times of blessings, but also praise Him in our storms. In every trial there is opportunity for growth, but it’s how we respond to it that defines who we are. Our lives should mirror nature’s response to fire by exhibiting growth and Job’s resolve to remain steadfast in the Lord during that process. We likewise should see it as an opportunity to prepare ourselves for trials spiritually through prayer and reading the Word of God. And they will come, Christian or not. We need to view these times as character building moments that allow us to bloom and seize control of areas in our lives that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to grow in.