Category Archives: Bible

The ending of the book of Job is in the Bible for a reason

And the rest of the Bible is also there for a reason.

People often have legitimate questions about suffering or all sorts of big picture questions about God, such as why He did or didn’t do this or that.  Sometimes the questions are natural and from reasonable motives, but they are often smokescreens.  Never forget Romans 1.  People know there is a God but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.  I know, I used to be one of them!

Romans 1:18–21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 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. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

In talking to a few skeptical Kairos prison ministry participants once they had lots of questions like that.  They were looking for reasons not to believe.  My strategy in situations like that is to give a quick answer then point to greater truths.

Example: One asked, “What if Adam hadn’t sinned?”  I could tell from the conversation to that point that it wasn’t coming from faith or genuine concern, but from skepticism. You could waste a lot of time on that sort of hypothetical, so I just smiled and said, “If Adam hadn’t sinned and ruined everything, then I would have.”  They got the joke and it gave me a chance to segue to the gospel.

Back to Job: As you probably know, Job had lots of things he wanted to know from God, but when God showed up and asked questions then Job got quiet very quickly.  He didn’t get the answers he wanted, just like we often don’t get answers we want.  It is important to acknowledge that to people without apology.

Job 38:1–7 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

And it goes on from there.

But as I like to say, the end of the book of Job is in the Bible for a reason: We don’t get to know everything.  Job was more devout than any of us but he didn’t get answers (at least at that time).

But the rest of the Bible is there for a reason as well: God reveals countless profound things about himself to us that we do need to know, including his remarkably gracious terms for saving our wretched souls.  Of course we can’t know everything about God, but we can know a lot.  So point people to what we do know and don’t get caught up in what we may never know (at least not in this life).

I also like this passage.  It reminds me that when there are things I don’t or can’t know I should just follow Jesus:

John 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

And this is a classic.  People forget that our default destination is Hell.   They think the default is Heaven and that you only go to Hell if you are “really” bad.

Romans 9:18–20 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

We just can’t fully comprehend his greatness!

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Instead of apologizing for God when bad things happen, as some “Christian” Leftists do when pretending that God isn’t completely sovereign, we should switch the narrative.  When people ask where is God, include something like this: “God is where He has always been: Ready and willing to forgive repentant sinners.  He is also still withholding his wrath from those who completely deserve it right now: People who have killed their own children, who have sex out of wedlock with impunity, who mock his created order with every sort of perversion – including pretending they are a different gender, who are greedy, who are unkind, who are liars, and on and on.  Namely, everyone, including me!  So repent now and accept his gracious forgiveness.”

God is not soft on evil.  The cross was simultaneously the great act of evil ever (fallen man killing God in the flesh) and the greatest act of good (saving those who couldn’t save themselves).

More about knowing God:

1 Corinthians 2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Isaiah 55:8–11 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

P.S. I liked this comment from the Bible Knowledge Commentary:

Like a deaf critic of Bach or a blind critic of Raphael is the unregenerate critic of God’s Word.

The absurdity of the “Christian” Left

By pretending that we don’t know what parts of the Bible God “really” inspired, they imply the additional portions in italics:

Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ But we don’t know which words came from the mouth of God, so what I just said was pointless.  Never mind.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.  But we don’t know what “all scripture” really is, so we don’t know what is profitable for teaching, etc., and the man of God can’t be complete and equipped.  Oh, and that just triggered me by not mentioning women, and triggered me even more by pretending there are two genders!

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Except that we don’t know what the word of God really is, so never mind. 

You could literally do this for many hundreds of passages.  These people only thrive because of biblical illiteracy, a severe lack of common sense and a insatiable love of the world.  While they are busy abusing the scriptures, may God open their eyes to truth that it all turned out just as He wanted it to!


Also see Leopard Theology: Not as fun as it sounds, where I analyze how the “Christian” Left believes that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.

John 10:25-30 – so many eternal truths in one short passage

I’ve been focusing on this passage a lot as I added it to my Bible Memory list.  It has one fascinating and important truth after another.  The context is the “Good Shepherd” narrative where Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees.  He was asked if He was really the Christ, but they didn’t want the answer.

John 10:25–30 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

It is crucial to note that these people have seen Jesus face-to-face many times and even seen his miracles firsthand, yet they still don’t believe.

John 10:25 I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe . . .

Keep that in mind when skeptics say they’d believe if only they got a sign from God.  The Bible says they have already been given plenty of signs to know about God:

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 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.

And Jesus warned against asking for signs:

Matthew 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

And just ask atheists if they’d worship God even if they were provided evidence that met their standards.  Many will admit that they still wouldn’t follow him.

Why didn’t the listeners believe even when they talked to the incarnate Christ in person and saw his miracles?  Because they weren’t his.  The Father hadn’t given them to Jesus.  And as Stan noted in the comments section, they believed because they were his sheep.  They didn’t believe and then become his sheep.

but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep . . . My Father, who has given them to me . . .

How are his sheep identified?  They believe Jesus, they follow Jesus and they persevere over time.

but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

So when “Christian” Leftists and other false teachers deny the Bible – which Jesus affirmed (the Old Testament) and authorized (the New Testament), then you can know they are wolves.  They don’t believe Jesus.   They don’t follow him, they follow the world.

One of the hidden blessings of the LGBTQX movement is that it makes a clear distinction between sheep and goats.  No one will have an excuse as to why they followed a false teacher.

This is an important truth for evangelism.  We should scatter the seed of the Gospel broadly and not try to guess who is and isn’t in Jesus’ flock.  We’ve all seen people who seemed highly unlikely to believe (I witness that monthly doing prison ministry) as well as those who you’d think would believe but don’t.  It glorifies God to proclaim the truth about Jesus regardless of whether people accept him.  But if people are hostile to the Gospel, then they either aren’t his sheep or it isn’t their time to believe.

And note the double assurance of perseverance: No one will snatch you out of Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand.  You didn’t save yourself, you won’t un-save yourself, and no one else will un-save you.  That isn’t to say that you should never test yourself, just that if you have repented, believed and trust his Word then your default setting should be set on assurance.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

If you work really hard you can ignore the concept of predestination and salvation by grace and not works in this and other passages :-).  There is no hint that Jesus thinks that if He just badgers them some more that they will become his sheep.  Also this:

My Father, who has given them to me . . .

And note Jesus’ divinity here.  His hand = the Father’s hands. And this:

I and the Father are one.

The whole passage is so clear about sheep, goats, evidence, evangelism, predestination, perseverance of the saints and salvation by grace.  It is no accident that the “Christian” Left works overtime to dismiss the authority of the Gospel of John (and more).  Every time they do so they prove Jesus’ points.

Meditate on this passage today and enjoy the beautiful truths!

About those open and closed doors . . .

Many Christians get borderline  – or over the line – superstitious* when it comes to “open” and “closed” doors and making important decisions.  They should be using the wisdom model of decision making, as the Bible teaches it, because there are zero Bible verses even hinting that God drops us little clues that have to decipher less we mess up his plans.  Not only does the wisdom model result in better decisions, but you get to enjoy your freedom in Christ and stop second-guessing everything.

If something looks easy, people sometimes think of that as an open door that they should go through, or if it looks hard it means that God has closed the door.  Maybe, but maybe not.  Consider these two passages.

1 Corinthians 16:8–9 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

One might think that if there are “many adversaries” that it would be a closed door.  Yet Paul explicitly calls the door wide, so he plans to persevere through the opportunity.  But sometimes God does close doors – at least temporarily — such as when Jesus commands us not to throw pearls before pigs.  The key is discernment and knowing when to start and when to stop.

I realize the books were written at different times, but note how just two chapters later in the Bible later we get this:

2 Corinthians 2:12–13 When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

So you’re the Apostle Paul and you know that the real Lord Jesus has opened a door for you in Troas — but you go on to Macedonia because you miss your friend Titus!  Could it be that the Lord opened multiple doors for Paul and he used his freedom in Christ to choose a different one?  Note that there is no hint that Paul was being disobedient here.

Remember that while we don’t have access to God’s sovereign will for individual decisions, He has clearly revealed his moral will to us and has promised to give us wisdom if we ask.  So as long as you aren’t violating his moral will, then ask for wisdom, read the Bible, talk to wise people, consider your personal preferences (i.e., don’t be a martyr) and then choose with freedom. 

 

 

 

 

 

If God has a sovereign plan to do something in your life then you can trust that will happen.  In the mean time, don’t be paralyzed or make bad decisions because you reverse-engineered some decision based on what you thought God was saying when it was really just you rationalizing what you wanted.


*The word superstitious reminds me of this (I’m not even a little stitious).

The Office Michael Scott GIF - TheOffice MichaelScott NotSuperstitious GIFs

What would the Apostle Paul say about the Social Gospel?

This:

Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Any gospel with an adjective in front of it would merit that response.

Why do people claiming the name of Christ preach other gospels?  Paul answers it in the next verse.

Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Just stick to the real Gospel.  If that isn’t enough for someone, he doesn’t understand it.

1 Corinthians 15:3–5 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

 

Don’t be like King Hezekiah

Our society is decaying at an increasingly rapid rate.  The concept of “same-sex marriage” is younger than the cell phone, yet look how quickly and firmly it has taken hold in the Leftist culture.  And “transanity” has moved even more quickly, as even middle ground people are too fearful and/or indoctrinated to push back on things as evil and sickening as telling young children they may not really be their genetic gender.

But we Christians shouldn’t fall prey to that level of cowardice.  Sure, if we are older, then these things may not impact us directly.  But if we love our neighbors – which includes our descendants – we need to speak the truth even if it costs us and we need to fight for what is right.

King Hezekiah did a lot of good things, but at the end of his reign in Judah he foolishly showed off the country’s treasures to visitors from Babylon.  Isaiah the prophet chastised Hezekiah and said that eventually it would all be taken away by the Babylonians.  Hezekiah responded in a most selfish manner:

Isaiah 39:8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”

May God keep us from being selfish and complacent.

The “Christian” Left can’t make it past the first chapter of the New Testament without rejecting essential doctrines

I say that without exaggeration.  If you were reading a book that claimed to be the word of God and the explanation for this life and for eternity and for how to be on right terms with God, yet you completely rejected two of the religion’s foundational premises in the very first chapter, wouldn’t you just give it up and find another religion?  Not the “Christian” Left.  Consider these simple passages, clearly not written as illustrations but as specific truth claims (they immediately follow the genealogy of Jesus so it would be a non sequitur to shift genres).

Matthew 1 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

So we have two claims that the father is not human but that the conception was from the Holy Spirit.  The Left’s opposition to the virgin birth isn’t some side issue, because it goes to Jesus’ claims of deity that they typically deny.  Wolves like Mark Sandlin explicitly deny his divinity.

Then there is Jesus’ purpose for entering his creation.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23  “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

So Jesus’ purpose was explicitly stated: To save his people from their sins.  Yes, He came for other reasons, but the opening of this Gospel focused on the main reason.  Also note the additional claim to the virgin birth.

Of course, the more you read the Bible, the worse it gets.  The “Christian” Left thinks they like the Sermon on the Mount, but they’d hate it if they understood it.  They only agree with a few parts of it because they get them wrong.

Run, don’t walk, from the “Christian” Left.  Their beliefs are indistinguishable from the world’s.