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Genesis

The first page of Genesis

This is the most important book in the Bible, it tells us where we came from, who we are, where we are going, why we need a Savior and who is going to save us. It is the foundation to all the other books of the Bible and the foundation to our faith in Jesus.

This first book of the Bible tells us that we were created in the image of God, we were created and gifted with the ability to choose. We can choose to listen to and follow Him or we can choose to follow our own desires. Adam, the first man, chose to follow his desires and we also continually choose to follow our own desires. We choose things that make us happy and stray from what our Father, our Creator, has for us. Our sin is disobeying Him, the One who gave us life and to be brought back into His family, to be on speaking terms with our Father, we have to repay our debt, the grief and sadness that we have given Him. But that debt, that punishment, is so huge that we would never be able to repay it. God in all His grace and mercy and love, has given us a way to repay it, He has sent His Son to die for us, to wipe clean all of our transgressions. All we have to do is accept this gift, to accept Jesus as our Savior.

Genesis is traditionally thought to be written by Moses during the 40 days he was on Mount Sinai, that God spoke to him and told him the accounts as he wrote. I believe that Moses actually had these accounts already in writing, passed down through the generations and he compiled them into one book. There are nine separators of records found in Genesis and Exodus 1:1, these are marked with the words, “the generations of…” If these are subscripts or signatures of the accounts before it, written by the first hand eyewitness of those events, it gives the historicity of those records more weight. This leads to the conclusion that Genesis 1:1-2:4, ending with “the generations of the heavens and the earth,” is written by God Himself. He wrote it or perhaps spoke it to Adam, who did the actual writing, either way, the creation of time, space, earth, and everything on it was relayed to man by the One who was there, it is and will always be, the most accurate account of the origin of man. Take a look at this excerpt from Henry M. Morris’s the Genesis Record for more in-depth study of this idea.

One of the greatest resource that helped me understand the Bible from a scientific and logical standpoint is Answers in Genesis. It is through scouring their website and reading as much of their articles as I can that I have come to believe the Bible, God’s Word, and how I have come to know Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Beginning

Is Evil From God?

Looking at the world and seeing all this sickness and suffering, one has to question where all this evil comes from.  From a Christian’s point of view, God created the world and everything in it.  So, did God create evil as well?

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:17-19

God cursed the the earth because of Adam’s work…

But God also created a way for us to be saved.  He gave His only Son to redeem us from our sins.

This article from Answers from Genesis explains it well.

God is Merciful

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me

Murderers, adulterers, liars; how do you forgive them or even love them?  But that is exactly what God will do if you believe His Son died for you for those crimes.  Well, you say, “I have never killed anyone.”  Jesus says, “Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”  You say, “I’ve never cheated on my spouse.”  Jesus says, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  I’m not even going to mention lying, if you say you’ve never lied before, than you just lied.

Compared to Jesus, who is perfect, we are all wretches.  And that is why it is so amazing that God forgives us of our sins.

I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see

I was in darkness before, unable to see the truth, believing I was a good enough person and that I would be able to get the Heaven if there was a Heaven.  Well, now I see how wrong I was.  God has opened my eyes and allowed me to see the glorious truth of His grace.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

I can still remember that moment when I understood and believed in His grace, I broke out in tears and thanked Jesus for the suffering He endured for me.  Now, even hearing when others accept Christ, I have an uncontrollable urge to shed tears.  Those moments are just that precious.

Hell – Why is it taught in the Bible?

Hell is not a threat, it really depend on how you look at it.  To me, it’s more of a warning.  He knows what is good for us and what is bad for us, so He is letting us know that the way of man leads to death.  But if we just listen to Him and His warnings, and trust in Him, we can have life.

We are not going to know everything; His knowledge is infinitely larger than ours.  Just like a parent is way more knowledgeable than his 5 year old.

If the 5 year old is playing with matches near some gasoline, the dad is going to tell him, “Don’t play with the matches or you’re going die.”  The kid could take that as a threat, rebel against his dad and keep on doing what he’s doing.  Or he could listen to his dad, heed his warning and not get burned.

So God is warning us, if we keep doing what we’re doing, we will have eternal death.  But if we choose to listen to Him and trust in His knowledge, we could have eternal life.

God is perfect and holy and righteous.  He can’t be righteous and dwell with unrighteousness.  That is why and how hell is created; it is a place where His presence is absent.  Take a guy who murders, rapes, and steals just because he wants to.  We wouldn’t want to live in the same house or even the same town as him, so we send him off to prison where my loved ones and I won’t be.

But hell came into existence for the fallen angels, not for man.  He loves us all immensely and He doesn’t want any of us to perish.  That’s why He has done everything He can, short accepting the sinful and forcing them to be with Him, to save us and to be in communion with us.

Why believe Jesus is God and that He died for us on the cross?  Let say that 5 year old kept playing with the matches and dropped one on a puddle of gasoline.  The dad loves his child and doesn’t want him to be hurt, so he throws himself between his boy and the fire, taking the punishment of the fire.

Here’s the analogy quoted from an issue of Solid Ground that explained it for me and was my turning point from Atheist to Christian.

You see, there are actually three passions in “The Passion of the Christ.” The passionate intensity of God’s anger at us for our sins collides with the passionate intensity of God’s love for us, causing the passionate intensity of the agony of the cross to be shouldered by God Himself in human form.

The story is told of a king who, having discovered a theft in the royal treasury, decrees that the criminal be publicly flogged for this affront to the crown. When soldiers haul the thief before the king as he sits in his judgment seat, there in chains stands the frail form of the king’s own mother.

Without flinching, he orders the old woman to be bound to the whipping post in front of him. When she is secured, he stands up, lays down his imperial scepter, sets aside his jeweled crown, removes his royal robes, and enfolds the tiny old woman with his own body. Baring his back to the whip, he orders that the punishment commence. Every blow meant for the criminal lands with full force upon the bare back of the king until the last lash falls.

Solid Ground, March/April 2004 by Gregory Koukl, Stand to Reason

He has done everything for us so that we can be with Him and He can be with us.  Even in the Tribulation, He will save lots of people who repent and trust in Jesus.  He’s going to send the Two Witnesses, 144,000 Jews, and angels who will proclaim God’s love and Jesus the Savior.  Every opportunity is given, the only people going to hell are the ones who, in the face of all this evidence, choose to rebel against Him and choose to live the life the way they want to, which leads to death.

God is not going to force His Son and His love on us, that would essentially be rape.  Take, for example, the one you love, you want him or her to love you in return.  You are going to try your hardest to convince her of your love so that she will choose to love you back.  If you bound and gagged her and took her to your house then forced her to stay with you and to love you, that would be meaningless, she might as well be a robot.  But if she chose to love you, how wonderful is that feeling!

That’s why God created us, He wants to share His love with us and to have us love Him in return.

God made us in His image, which includes morals, free will, intelligence, faith, and love.  All of these gifts which He has given us are blessings.  We can use our gifts to pick apart His Word or to study it as Truth.  We can believe the lies and almost truths of the devil or we can trust in the Word of God, the Work of Jesus, and the Power of the Holy Spirit.  It’s our choice.

Believing in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for me to wash away my sins and was resurrected to give me eternal life in Him, and allowing Him to come into my heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to come into my life has completely changed the way I look at this life, the world, and His Word.

So, we can rely on ourselves, our intelligence, and our own efforts and reject Him or we can rely on Him to study His Word, to find out more about Him, to get to know Him personally and trust in Him.

Grace be with you.

Born Again

Why do I call myself a born again Christian? Because my new life in Christ is completely different from how I used to live. Before I accepted Jesus in my life, I used to live just for myself and my wants. I drove a red Mustang Cobra convertible as a status symbol, I would go to Las Vegas and spend hundreds on gambling, drinking, and strip clubs. You know, the things that are addictive, sinful, and immoral, the things that satisfy you in the moment but then makes you feel horrible the next days/weeks/months.

One thing I am definitely glad I’m rid of was my road rage. If someone tailgated me, I would slow down, then if they try to pass, I’d speed up, just to mess with them for tailgating. Then if someone didn’t move out of my way, well, I would tailgate them to show them they are going too slow.  Pretty hypocritical. Not to mention all the cursing and raging if the other people on the road were not driving the way I want them to drive.

There are many other things that I would rather forget but they are in my past and fortunately, with the grace that Christ has shown me, I can be confident that I have been forgiven. His death on the cross is the payment He made for my debt of sin to God, and He has paid it in full.

Jesus rose from death and in Him, I have been born again. He has given me a new life, my old self is dead. He has changed me, I don’t even want to do any of the things I used to crave. Now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I live for Christ and showing His love to the people He created.

One event that showed me I have been changed was when I had a large amount of money stolen by two guys through deceptive and fraudulent means. I won’t go into the details, but if something like that happened to my old self, you’d bet I curse them to hell then I’d try to find them so I can beat them to a pulp. Instead, with my new life in Christ, I forgave them in my heart and I prayed for them to know Jesus and to accept Him into their lives.

That is the greatest thing I can do for anyone, to pray for them to know Christ. Then they would know the grace and peace that I have in Him.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 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 23:39-43)

We are all criminals, guilty of sin, of not meeting the standards and the laws of God. I used to be like the first criminal, blaspheming God and doing as I pleased. Now, I understand why Jesus died for me on the cross and just as the second criminal has been forgiven, I have been forgiven and I can be with God forever in Heaven.

On which side of Jesus do you want to be?