Follow Up: Hello, My Name is Judas

So a friend of mine read one of our blogs: Hello! My name is Judas.

He responded with the following question and this was my resonse.

Friend Question: Read your writing on Judas and I have one question. What is your belief on Judas’ eternity?

My Answer: Well to answer that question, I must explain the evidences first. Jesus called Judas a friend but also called him the one he lost so it’s an interesting question. Sometimes we like to think of Judas as someone who was kind of an outcast from the rest of the group an maybe from Jesus but that wasn’t the case. You could say well Judas never really bought into the whole Jesus concept, but in reality, none of them did until Jesus resurrection. Matter of fact, the only ones that were there when he got crucified was Peter. Doesn’t sound like the rest of them really got it either. Judas’ betrayal alone can’t be the determining factor in his eternity because the only sin you can’t get forgiveness for is the dying having rejected the gospel of Jesus. On that same token, suicide can’t be a determining factor for it either. There is nothing in scripture that says suicide is the nail in the coffin for your eternity, it is however, the gateway to an early eternity. Was Judas repentant? I could easily say yes and no. He DID try to give the money back. He DID try to reverse what he had done. There was some sort of remorse for what he had done, but did he ask the Lord for forgiveness in prayer? Don’t know. But in reality, would that make a difference? Here is my opinion about Judas:

Judas forsook all that he had and followed Jesus which is more than can be said for most of us. He left family, friends, job and a future to sit at the master’s feet. He didn’t understand or agree with all that was said but neither did the rest of them. My bible says that if he believed in Jesus then he was saved. One could say “but he betrayed”. If betrayal was the what made him fall from grace then haven’t we all fallen from grace, for we all have surely betrayed him.

To answer your question: What is my belief on Judas’ eternity?

…I Don’t Know

It’s what believe and it’s what I preach. I have no idea where he is. I can make a VERY compelling argument either way. I simply don’t have enough facts to make a decision. If I place him in Heaven then I am being very presumptuous. Same thing if I put him in Hell. So I leave it up to the person, because there is NO way of knowing. Although I will give you this last little tid-bit. Would Peter have went to Hell if he had died before Jesus had rose from the dead and restored him?

 

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Observations Always Involves Theory Part 1: Gap Theory

The definition of a theory is the following: a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

There are many theories people come up with to try and explain things we have no clue about. This blog post is all about exploring different theories and how they interact with Scripture. Obviously we can’t cover ALL the different theories out there but we are going to cover some of interest to the Christian.

The difference between a theory and a law.

A theory is a proposed suggestion or explanation of how something works.

A law is a theory proven true. There is a theory of relativity. There is a law of gravity.

First I need to throw out a disclaimer and a warning:

So this post is supposed to be a fun post about difficult subjects within scripture. IT DOES NOT reflect any personal beliefs of mine unless stated. IT IS NOT intended to sway any opinions toward the topic nor confuse the reader about their faith. This post is not intended to be a stumbling block for you. I realize in the grand scheme of things that discussing such theories has NO weight on a persons eternal salvation. Please understand, this is STRICKLY for fun.

AT ANY POINT IF YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE OR FEEL CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT YOU BELIEVE PLEASE STOP READING AND RE-EMBRACE SCRIPTURE. THESE TOPICS COULD DIRECTLY CHALLENGE WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TAUGHT AND WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS. AGAIN IT’S JUST FOR FUN.

Let’s get started.

Theory 1: The Gap Theory

The gap theory suggests that there was section of time in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

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

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void, darkness was upon the face of the deep and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The gap theory brings into question whether or not God would have created something that was without form and void from the very beginning. IF that was the only leg this theory had to stand on then it would be easy…EASY to debug this idea. If God wanted to create a primordial earth that was without form and void then guess what…WHO ARE WE TO TELL HIM HE CAN’T?

Thankfully there is just a little more to this theory that makes it a little more sturdy. There is no doubt science is a part of our everyday lives. And certain fields of science make claims that the earth is billions of years old if not more. If we are honest with ourselves then we would EASILY say that we aren’t smart enough to say whether they are right or wrong. I am not qualified enough to look at a discolored rock and say, “Hey this rock line looks like its from the aoieawow period which makes it 4.56999 million years old.” I just ain’t that smart…hehe. But I can say there is a POSSIBLE explanation for this interesting science.

Question: If there is a gap theory, what in the world happened in it?

OK I need to be completely honest. I have been working on this blog for two days and at every corner I find more puzzles without answers…SO I am going to leave what I have wrote here below and then I am going to write a section at the end challenging pretty much everything here…so again this is about having fun and this is about asking questions, challenging your thoughts.

THIS IS ALL….ALL….ALL….ALL Speculation. That’s what makes it fun.

Luke 10:18 “…I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening!”

Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shinning star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.”

I know what most people will say when confronted with the text in Isaiah. The context would suggest Isaiah was talking about a pagan king of Babylon instead of Satan. But what we must remember is that SOMETIMES God uses scriptures to not only talk about something on THIS existence but also on another one as well. So while this WAS a message for a wicked earthly ruler, this was ALSO a message about the “son of the morning”.

Anyways the point of using these two scriptures was to ask the question. We all know scripturally that Satan rebelled against heaven and was cast out. The only time he can now return to his former home is when he is summoned by God. See Job Chapter 1 and 2.

But WHEN in the narrative of creation did Satan get cast down to earth? When did Jesus behold Satan fall from heaven like lightening? When did this take place. Obviously chronologically we don’t start Genesis out with the rebellion of Satan, thus the first time we see him is in the form of a serpent. So we have an interesting question to explore. WHEN DID SATAN FALL TO EARTH?? Gap theory provides an opportunity to explain this. It would make since that it happened in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. It would certainly fit there. It could possibly explain how the earth went from creation to nothingness. It would also provide some clear explanation behind Dinosaurs and Evolution.

So in the case of Dinosaurs we need to answer a few basic questions.

  1. What does the Bible say about dinosaurs?

    There are many running theories about whether dinosaurs are in the Bible. A general understanding of the most popular range from:

    1. Dinosaurs are merely made up to support the theory of evolution.
    2. Dinosaurs were animals that had become corrupted, weren’t taken into the ark, and died in the flood.
    3. Dinosaurs were created by God, possibly even taken onto the ark, but died thereafter.

     

    Those who have collected dinosaur remains in the Midwest plains of Canada and the United States or in the Colorado Plateau region have no lingering doubt concerning their reality. Thousands of specimens have been found and excavated, thereby debunking the first theory mentioned. However, simply because we acknowledge the existence of dinosaurs does not mean we must accept that it took millions of years for their appearance/disappearance. The second theory comes from those who see the dinosaur bones, but feel there is no direct Biblical supporting evidence for their creation. Theory number three, is one that is rather plausible and even supported in the Bible.

    Did God create dinosaurs?

    Would God have created dinosaurs? Why is there no mention of dinosaurs in the Bible, especially the creation account? In Creation, there are many creatures that were not mentioned by name that do exist. When thinking of dinosaurs, most first thoughts are of gargantuan, ferocious lizards. It makes it hard to believe that God would create something so monstrous for the Garden of Eden.

    Actually, the fossil remains indicate that they were indeed a highly diversified group, ranging in size from that of a rabbit to tremendous beasts 20 feet high, 85 feet long, and weighing up to 50 tons. It appears that some were relatively light-footed and had bipedal locomotion, while others were quadrupedal and moved about in a slow and cumbersome manner. Some were carnivores and others herbivores. Certain types were well suited for aquatic habitat while others remained on land. However, most dinosaurs were relatively the size of humans.

    Not only that, something to be considered is that humans at the time of Adam up until Noah lived hundreds of years. Adam died at 930 years, Methuselah died at 969, Noah lived 950 years. With such longevity, isn’t it only logical to believe that mankind grew larger and taller? True, it might not be the size of a 20-foot dinosaur, but perhaps proportional to how one experiences the grandiose size of a blue whale compared to the modern average human.

    What about the large ferocious teeth? How would a “T-Rex” fit into the picture of paradise? If one can imagine a lion in heaven eating grass like a cow, perhaps a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Garden of Eden is no longer a stretch of the imagination.

    Isaiah 11:6-7 shares this picture of heaven:

    “ The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,       The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,       The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;       And a little child shall lead them.       The cow and the bear shall graze;       Their young ones shall lie down together;       And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. ”       Predators of our world today were not predators at the start of Creation. Lions used to eat straw and wolves didn’t eat lambs. It was not until sin came in and corrupted animals, bringing in death, predation, and “survival of the fittest.” Is it also possible that dinosaurs once were peaceful creatures?

    Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?

    There has been much discussion on the topic specifically involving verses in Job 40-41. Job is considered to be the oldest book of the Bible. Scholars, in studying Job’s longevity (he lived up to 140 years), descriptions of his wealth and household, believe he was most likely alive after the time of Noah, but before the time of Abraham.

    Behemoth: Job 40

    Job 40:15-24 speaks of a “behemoth.” No one is really sure what it is, but read its description.

    15 “Look now at the behemoth,which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. 16 See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. 17 He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. 18 His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. 19 He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword. 20 Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there.  21 He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. 22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. 23 Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, 24 Though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare.”

    The way the “behemoth” is described, doesn’t it almost sound like a dinosaur? Perhaps one of the sauropods? Some will argue these verses are referring to the hippopotamus or elephant. However, they run into the problem of explaining verse 17, since the tails of both animals are…well, far from looking like a cedar tree (let alone moving like one). Their tails more resemble switches.

    Leviathan: Job 41

    In Job 41:1-2,7,12-32, the “Leviathan” is another creature described that has been hard to find a modern equivalent.

    1“Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?   2 Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?…   7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?…  12 “I will not conceal his limbs, his mighty power, or his graceful proportions.  13 Who can remove his outer coat? Who can approach him with a double bridle?  14 Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around?  15 His rows of scales are his pride, shut up tightly as with a seal;  16 One is so near another that no air can come between them;  17 They are joined one to another, they stick together and cannot be parted.  18 His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.  19 Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out.  20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.  21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.  22 Strength dwells in his neck, and sorrow dances before him.  23 The folds of his flesh are joined together; they are firm on him and cannot be moved.  24 His heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone.  25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid; because of his crashings they are beside themselves.  26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; nor does spear, dart, or javelin.  27 He regards iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood.  28 The arrow cannot make him flee; slingstones become like stubble to him.  29 Darts are regarded as straw; he laughs at the threat of javelins.  30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds; he spreads pointed marks in the mire.  31 He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.  32 He leaves a shining wake behind him; one would think the deep had white hair.

    Some have translated the Leviathan to be a “crocodile,” because of the large number currently present in the region. However, the crocodile pales in comparison to the description given to the Leviathan. Do crocodiles really raise themselves? Aren’t the underbellies of crocodiles smooth rather than “sharp potsherds?” Does the crocodile really move fast enough and graceful enough to leave a “shining wake”? The Leviathan is also mentioned in the following verses: Psalms 74:14, 104:25-26, Isaiah 27:1.

    Why are dinosaurs not alive today?

    The sudden extinction of the dinosaurs, as shown by the geological record, is a mystery that evolutionary paleontologists have considerable difficulty explaining. What happened to wipe out the dinosaurs so quickly? A change of temperature? A change in the plants? Blasts of heat from a meteor? Mammals eating dinosaur eggs? A change in oxygen concentration? Overspecialization? Senility? All these have been offered as explanations by evolutionary scientists. The dominant theory at present is that a large object from space hit Earth and blasted up so much dust that the sun was obscured for months. Plants and animals died. However there are problems with this theory. If this happened, why was the extinction selective? Why did some plants and animals, including some more fragile than dinosaurs, not become extinct?

    Were dinosaurs on the ark?

    From a biblical perspective, the most likely explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs is the worldwide Flood described in Genesis 6 and 7. Soon after the flood mankind began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years. There was a class of very large animals which perished at the flood. God knew that the strength of man would decrease, and these mammoth animals could not be controlled by feeble man.

    Dinosaurs and the Bible

    Ironically enough, by trusting the Bible, Christians have no need to “explain away” dinosaurs and do mental gymnastics to try and disprove their existence. The Bible even leaves the door open for Christians to discover dinosaurs alive today. Should a dinosaur exist today and ever be discovered roaming around deep in some jungle, it would not really affect our understanding of the Bible or our faith. On the other hand, evolutionists would have to restructure their entire system of thought if a dinosaur appeared alive on today’s scene.

    read more at http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/are-dinosaurs-mentioned-bible

  2. How do we know whether or not dinosaurs are as old as paleontologist claim? 

    How do paleontologists figure out a fossil’s age?

    It can be difficult to determine the age of fossils (date the fossils). Because fossil bones aren’t made from the right kind of rocks, you can’t really run scientific tests on fossils to determine their age. Scientists can use scientific tests to determine the age of rocks near the fossils. The types of tests are called radiometric dating. There are certain types of elements that are radioactive. Radioactive elements fall apart overtime and slowly change into another element that is not radioactive. We know how fast radioactive elements fall apart. We know what radioactive elements turn into after they have fallen apart. We can compare the amount of radioactive elements in a rock to the amount of specific non-radioactive elements in a rock, do some math and determine how old the rock is. For example, uranium falls apart into lead. So, if we find a rock that has uranium in it, we can compare it to the amount of lead in the rock to find out how old the rock is. If you have the right kind of rocks, this method is very accurate. The trouble with using this method to date fossils is: Radioactive elements are only found in ingenious rocks, and you can’t find fossils in igneous rocks.

     

     

     

     

    fossil-layers
    So, if you can’t date the fossil directly with scientific tests, how do you date the fossil? You have to use what scientists call relative dating. The relative dating method most commonly used by paleontologists and geologists is called stratigraphy. Stratigraphic dating works like this. Rocks are formed in horizontal (flat, not up and down) beds or layers. These layers are called strata. The oldest layers are on the bottom and the youngest layers are on the top. So, the oldest fossils are on the bottom layer and the newest fossils are on the top layers. If you find a layer of the right kind of igneous rocks you can use the exact dating method to determine and exact date of that layer.

     

     

    Geo_time 

    Paleontologists have found certain fossils that are different from all other fossils. These organisms lived for a relatively short amount of time, and they know when these animals lived. Paleontologists call these fossils index fossils. Index fossils can be used to determine approximately how old an unknown fossil is. For example, if you find an unknown fossil in the same layer of rock as one of the index fossils, you know your fossil is the same age as the index fossil.

    Geologists and paleontologists have used a combination of dating techniques, which are radiometric dating, stratigraphic dating, and index fossils, to determine the approximate age of rocks all over the world. Once you know the approximate age of rocks, you can determine the approximate age of the fossil.

Read more at http://www.kidsdinos.com/how-old-are-fossils/

So in light of the above information, I must admit that I am in NO way smart enough to say one way or the other whether or not they are correct in assuming the earth is so many millions of years old. Honestly if God wanted me to know for a fact he would have spoken the facts in his word…HOWEVER, this is not the case.

BUT, IF the earth IS “millions” of years old and IF the dinosaurs lived in a pre-man time, then the Gap Theory gives us plenty of room for incorporation. Let’s think about this logically.

Let’s deal with the age of the earth now.

Hubble Telescope has been extremely beneficial in helping us understand more about the universe. If we are going to claim that the earth is “millions” of years old we need to figure out how the earth was created. Unfortunately, in our solar system we are looking at planets that have ALREADY formed. But within the universe, there are plenty of planets being form as we speak. Here is some information on how planets and solar systems are formed.

How Do Planets Form?

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For centuries, astronomers and philosophers wondered how our solar system and its planets came to be. As telescopes advanced and space probes were sent out to explore, we learned more and more about our solar system, which gave us clues to how it might have taken shape.

But were our ideas right?

We could only see the end result of planet formation, not the process itself. And we had no other examples to study. Even with the knowledge gained about our solar system, we were left to wonder, are there other planetary systems out there, and did they form like ours? Discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope are helping us fill in key pieces to the puzzle of how planets form.

Current Understanding

Cloud Collapse

A cloud collapses to form a star and disk. Planets form from this disk.

According to our current understanding, a star and its planets form out of a collapsing cloud of dust and gas within a larger cloud called a nebula. As gravity pulls material in the collapsing cloud closer together, the center of the cloud gets more and more compressed and, in turn, gets hotter. This dense, hot core becomes the kernel of a new star.

Meanwhile, inherent motions within the collapsing cloud cause it to churn. As the cloud gets exceedingly compressed, much of the cloud begins rotating in the same direction. The rotating cloud eventually flattens into a disk that gets thinner as it spins, kind of like a spinning clump of dough flattening into the shape of a pizza. These “circumstellar” or “protoplanetary” disks, as astronomers call them, are the birthplaces of planets.

Particles MergingSmall clumps of material within a disk stick together to form larger clumps. Eventually these clumps grow to become planets.

As a disk spins, the material within it travels around the star in the same direction. Eventually, the material in the disk will begin to stick together, somewhat like household dust sticking together to form dust bunnies. As these small clumps orbit within the disk, they sweep up surrounding material, growing bigger and bigger. The modest gravity of boulder-sized and larger chunks starts to pull in dust and other clumps. The bigger these conglomerates become, the more material they attract, and the bigger they get. Soon, the beginnings of planets — “planetesimals,” as they are called — are taking shape.

Why do the planets in our solar system circle the Sun?

When the Sun was young, it was encircled by a rotating disk of gas and dust. From this disk formed the planets.

The planets inherited their motion from the disk and today act like cars on a racetrack, all orbiting the Sun in the same direction and in roughly the same flat plane.

In the inner part of the disk, most of the material at this point is rocky, as much of the original gas has likely been gobbled up and cleared out by the developing star. This leads to the formation of smaller, rocky planetesimals close to the star. In the outer part of the disk, though, more gas remains, as well as ices that haven’t yet been vaporized by the growing star. This additional material allows planetesimals farther from the star to gather more material and evolve into giants of ice and gas.

As each planetesimal grows bigger, it starts clearing out the material in its path, snatching up nearby, slow-moving rubble and gas while gravitationally tossing other material out of its way. Eventually, the debris in its path thins out and the planetesimal has a relatively clear lane of traffic around its star.

Protoplanetary Origins

Hundreds of these planetesimals are forming at the same time, and inevitably they meet up. If their paths cross at just the right time and they’re moving fast enough relative to each other, SMASH! — they collide, sending debris everywhere. But if they slowly meander toward one other, gravity can gently draw them together. They form a union, merging into a larger object. If the participants are farther apart, they might not physically interact but their gravitational encounter can pull each body off course. These wayward objects start to cross other lanes of traffic, setting the stage for additional collisions and other meetings of the rocky kind.

After millions of years, countless encounters between these planetesimals have cleared out much of the disk’s debris and have built up much larger — and many fewer — objects that now dominate their regions. A planetary system is reaching maturity.

Read more at: http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/discovering_planets_beyond/how-do-planets-form

The issue with all this planetary formation stuff is that it clearly contradicts scripture. But it is necessary if we are to assume the planet could be billions of years old. So I guess now it’s time to evaluate the gap theory in light of science and scripture.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.

Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

Genesis 1:1-5,13-19

So science says that a star must form BEFORE the planets. But scripture says God created the EARTH first BEFORE he created the SUN. This presents a GREAT challenge, for neither science nor scripture will easily budge on this topic. So is there a way to reconcile this void? Can Gap Theory account for this contradiction.

The answer is: I have no idea…

My suggestion would be that scientific methods are scientific methods; God’s methods are God’s. I have no trouble believing that planets form in the universe in this way. I have no trouble believing stars form first. I also have NO trouble believing that God CREATED the Earth on day one and the sun, moon and stars on day 4. It is how those two facts coexist that I am not certain. There is just not enough evidence to suggest something definitive either way. All I can say is God said it happened…so it happened.

A little disclaimer here: God has the ability, without any effort, to create the earth first and then the sun later. I mean we ARE talking about the God of this entire universe. We are talking about the God that would have CREATED the scientific method.

The creation suggests that God went in his own order in creating the universe. Do I understand what the “Light” of verse 3 is? NOPE!! I struggle understanding and explaining how God created a light that wasn’t the sun, wasn’t the Son and wasn’t electricity. But the beautiful thing is I don’t HAVE to explain it, I just have to believe in the one who says he did it. I can’t argue with astronomers cause I don’t, in any way, have an astronomy degree. But what I do have is a working salvation and a faith that needs no explanation.

So here is my conclusion on the gap theory:

IF Dinosaurs existed “millions” of years ago, it was in the gap theory. The meteor that supposedly wiped the dinosaurs out COULD have been what took the earth from Genesis 1:1 creation to Genesis 1:2 void and dark.

IF Satan fell to the earth before man was created, it was in the gap theory. [Some even suggest that Satan was the one who attempted creation himself and created the dinosaurs and maybe even the Neanderthals.]

Make up your own mind when it comes to Gap theory, but remember, it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you can back it up with Scripture.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND…the more you dig in this stuff, the more questions you have.  The more information I find one way or the other, the more questions I have. SO PLEASE TAKE THIS AS SPECULATION. I AM PROBABLY GOING TO CONTRADICT MYSELF!! I MAKE NO FINAL CONCLUSIONS EXCEPT THIS: GOD KNOWS WHAT HE DID AND WHY HE DID IT AND ALL I AM REQUIRED TO DO IS TAKE HIM AT HIS WORK AND TRUST HIM.

OK so we have reached the portion of our show where I pretty much destroy everything I have written in a section called:

Unsolved Mysteries: Gap Theory

Ok so problem number 1. According to the creation account, the Sun wasn’t created until day 4. How was it that the Dinosaurs could have survived WITHOUT the sun. Were they 100% nocturnal? Did they not need heat? What about the herbivores? They eat plants. Plants need the Sun for photosynthesis. THERE WAS NO SUN TILL DAY 4!! Even further, there was no LIGHT until AFTER the theorized GAP THEORY. Well you could say that the Lord fed them, but the problem is to what end? What would be his purpose in feeding the dinosaurs who have NO soul only to destroy them with a meteor?

Problem number 2. In the book of Job, mentioned earlier, God describes the behemoth as having a tail that swings like the cedar. No animal today can boast of that. I believe God was being 100% honest with him about the behemoth and the leviathan just like he was about the ocean and the rain. So it’s interesting to note that the Lord talked about these massive creatures as if they were still around. He certainly didn’t talk about them in past tense. So that would suggest that there were dinosaurs after the flood. Most scholars say there is enough evidence to date the book of Job around the same time as Abraham.

Problem number 3. As much as there are tons of opportunity for Science and Creation to meet, there are also tons of problems. If the earlier suggestion of how planets are formed is the true method, then how is it that the earth was formed BEFORE the star which is the center of our solar system? How is it that there were plants and vegetation BEFORE there was a sun for Photosynthesis. Science would probably say this would be impossible. Thankfully I serve a God who makes all things possible.

So to recap all this, its all about theories…these theories haven’t been made a law because they have yet to be proven true. God’s Word however needs no man’s validation. Heaven and Earth will pass away before one jot or tittle will fade.

As for me, the more I think about Scripture and Science the more I find too many gaps in the gap theory. So IN MY OPINION, I call the gap theory BUSTED!!

P.S. This is a freebee. Don’t cost you nothing.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

What if we have been looking at verses 1 and 2 all wrong. What if verse 1 isn’t the start of the actual creation, but really just an introduction. What if the creation account actually starts in verse 2. The prepositional phrase, “in the beginning”, COULD be Moses’ way of introducing the narrative account by summing it up into one sentence.

If this is true, then verse two would lend itself almost seamlessly to science’s planetary formation theory. If the earth was formed by the smashing together of rocks dust and gas from the birth of the sun, it would explain how it was “formless”, it would also explain how it was dark because the sun had yet to finish it’s formation. We know there is a growth process for a star:

stellarevolution

So what if our sun was in a “protostar” phase until we reached day 4. Then all of a sudden with the word of the Lord, our sun was born. Still wouldn’t explain the light in verse three but it would make science and the bible come closer together AND it also doesn’t make verse one any less true. Considering in the beginning the Lord DID make the Heavens and the Earth.

Tell me what you think…it’s been fun writing this!!

Remember its just a theory. What the bible says trumps all and as long as you remember this, it doesn’t hurt to speculate and discuss.

Next time on Observation Always Involves Theory Part 2: The Multiverse

To be PREDESTINED or not to be PREDESTINED…is that the question?

Have you ever heard the phrase, you need to “know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know”? Ok I’m getting dizzy. I’m sorry but I don’t find a bible verse anywhere that says I need to know that I know. Have you ever wondered why?

Isn’t it funny that we base so much of our “eternal security” on things that aren’t found in scripture anywhere?

Here are a few words you might recognize that aren’t in scripture:

Rapture, Trinity, Mission and more…

Now we aren’t saying the teaching isn’t there, we are just saying word or phrase isn’t. I find it so weird that we make such a big deal about words that AREN’T in scripture but OVERLOOK words that ARE. We seem to be so SCARED of things that are so vital to our faith and our understanding of God and his provision for us. Today I would like to talk about the word/doctrine of predestination.

Immediately I know there are some people who are going to push back. But I implore you to hear me out. First let’s look at the verse:

Romans 8:29 (NLT) For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:29 (NKJV) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 8:29 (AMP) For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.

For a deeper explanation about God knowing things beforehand, check out my other blog post entitled: “Hello! My name is Judas.“. So as we jump into this can of worms let’s start out with the obvious question.

Are you saying that God picked and chose who He would save and who He would not?

My Answer: NO!!!

If we believe that God chose WHO He wanted to offer salvation too then we are calling SEVERAL Bible verses LIES! Matter of fact we are suggesting that Paul, who wrote this verse about Predestination, was contradicting himself when he said “For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13 (NLT)

If Salvation is predetermined then this promise can’t be for everyone and therefore renders John 3:16 useless. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (KJV)

Some might say that these verses were intended as a promise for ONLY those whom God has chosen. Well the problem is, EVEN IF God, for whatever reason, hand picked who would get to go to heaven, He certainly didn’t divulge any of that information to us. What I mean by this is, if the doctrine of predestination means that I was randomly selected, at what point do I find this out and how will I know how to lead someone to Christ without the this knowledge? Now let me throw a little disclaimer here: IF, and I mean IF, God WANTED to make it where HE picked and chose who went to Heaven or Hell based solely on some unknown criteria, THERE’S NOTHING ME AND YOU COULD DO ABOUT IT!! You might say, well if that’s the case then I am just not gonna worship him. Problem is, there is only ONE sin you can’t get forgiveness for and that’s dying having not accepted the Lord Jesus as personal savior. In reality you don’t have much of a choice. Call on his name and be saved or don’t and be damned. Is that harsh? Yup. Is that how it works? Yup!!

In my opinion, predestination doesn’t really mean God picked and chose who goes to heaven based on some unknown criteria or at random. The key to the doctrine of predestination is the word foreknowledge.

So let’s dig a little deeper here. I believe the Bible gives us ADEQUATE evidence that God has the ability to not only know every detail of the future, but to prophecy every detail. So let’s say that at some point in what i’ll call eternity past (that is to say, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have no beginning) it became time for the Jesus initiative to begin (enter Genesis 1) and in that moment, before God had created the very first thing, he knew exactly what he was going to do. He knew then that his creation, man, would fall and that they would need a savior. He knew even before he created the first thing, that Jesus, his son, would be the ONLY thing that could help us in our desperate situation. He knew that in order for Jesus to help us that would mean he would have to die on a cross and be buried in a tomb to rise 3 days later. I believe God knew this before he formed the heavens and the earth. But if I am true to form then I am convinced there has never been a time when God didn’t know what must be done. There was never a time when the Father, Son and Holy Spirit played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who would be the one on the cross. It was ALWAYS Jesus. ALWAYS.

That being said I believe scripture teaches that God also knew EXACTLY when a person would be presented with a choice: Accept the forgiveness by faith through grace, or reject it. And surely if God knew EXACTLY when conviction would come, then he MUST ALSO know EXACTLY who would accept and who would reject.

Now I feel you push back just a little so let me back my point up in scripture. Just pick a prophecy within the bible. Take Jesus and Peter for example. We all know Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times before the rooster crowed. We also know that Peter was like, “Naw, J, not in my house”. Ok well maybe he didn’t say it QUITE like that but he did say he would never deny him. I am not sure if Peter gave it much thought but I am here to tell you this: Nothing Peter could have done would stop Jesus’ prophecy about his life from coming true. NOTHING would stop it. So how is it that Jesus was able to prophecy to Peter about something that was going to happen, and even if Peter had sequestered himself within the confines of his own room, Jesus’ prophecy would come true. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous but TRUST me when God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit makes a prophecy, no matter the circumstances, 100% of the time it comes true. Now in reality, Jesus was able to make such a bold claim about Peter because, not only did he know the future, but he also knew Peter wasn’t going to be one of the ones who cowered in their home and didn’t come out. He may have followed Jesus from a far off, but Jesus knew he would be there. There was a foreknowledge there that was able to make Jesus so confident in what Peter was going to do.

So how is it that it’s hard to believe God the Father KNOWS exactly whether or not you will accept Jesus? How is it that it’s easier to think God knows how to predict what I am fixing to do but he doesn’t know whether or not I believe in him? Romans 9:21-24 (NLT) says it like this: “When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.” What qualifications are there for being “destined for destruction” or “prepared in advance for glory”? JESUS!! It’s all about JESUS. So let’s recap where we are so far.

God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need Jesus.

God’s plan for sin, from the foundation of the world, was always going to be Jesus.

God knew every decision we were ever going to make before he created the first thing.

God knew whether or not we would accept his FREE salvation from the foundation of the world.

If you don’t agree, that’s COMPLETELY FINE, but you need to be able to handle these scriptures and make them make since in light of your beliefs because, in my opinion,  you can’t FULLY TRUST JESUS outside of foreknowledge and predestination.

This is a good time to note that God ALWAYS provides a person with at least 1 opportunity to accept Jesus. The bible says that even the very CREATION, that is to say the world around us, declares the glory of God. Everything around us speaks of God and speaks of his glory. There WILL NOT be ONE single person who will be able to say they didn’t have at least ONE opportunity to accept the Lord Jesus. Otherwise the judgment and justice of the Lord wouldn’t be fair.

So what Paul is saying in the earlier verse is this: God, under the influence of his foreknowledge, created some people to be vessels of honor and some to be vessels of dishonor. Please understand, God NEVER makes the choice for us. He COULD, mind you. But it is OUR CHOICE to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior over our lives or not. God looks at that lump of clay (i.e. you and me) and he laid out his plan for that clay, whether we would be made for decoration of made for garbage, BASED on his foreknowledge of whether or not we would accept Jesus. If he looked and saw that we WOULD accept him, then he fashioned our lives to be a vessel of honor. If he looked and saw that we would REJECT him, then he fashioned our lives to be a vessel of dishonor.

Let’s take a look at a passage to help us understand the difference between vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor.

Exodus 7:1-12:30

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn, and he still refuses to let the people go. So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the bank of the Nile and meet him there. Be sure to take along the staff that turned into a snake. Then announce to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” Until now, you have refused to listen to him. So this is what the Lord says: “I will show you that I am the Lord.” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood. The fish in it will die, and the river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink any water from the Nile.’” Then the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and raise your hand over the waters of Egypt—all its rivers, canals, ponds, and all the reservoirs. Turn all the water to blood. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn to blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots.’” So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt. But again the magicians of Egypt used their magic, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted. Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind. Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water from the Nile. Seven days passed from the time the Lord struck the Nile. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’” So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.” “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. “All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the Lord our God. The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.” So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s palace, and Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had inflicted on Pharaoh. The Egyptians piled them into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land. But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted. So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’” So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his staff, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats. Pharaoh’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike. “This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted. Then the Lord told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them. But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am present even in the heart of your land. I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’” Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.” But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the Lord our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, just as he has commanded us.” “All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.” Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord .” So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the Lord to remove all the flies. And the Lord did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained. But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go. “Go back to Pharaoh,” the Lord commanded Moses. “Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you continue to hold them and refuse to let them go, But the Lord will again make a distinction between the livestock of the Israelites and that of the Egyptians. Not a single one of Israel’s animals will die! The Lord has already set the time for the plague to begin. He has declared that he will strike the land tomorrow.’” And the Lord did just as he had said. The next morning all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but the Israelites didn’t lose a single animal. Pharaoh sent his officials to investigate, and they discovered that the Israelites had not lost a single animal! But even so, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn, and he still refused to let the people go. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a brick kiln, and have Moses toss it into the air while Pharaoh watches. The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on people and animals throughout the land.” So they took soot from a brick kiln and went and stood before Pharaoh. As Pharaoh watched, Moses threw the soot into the air, and boils broke out on people and animals alike. Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and all the Egyptians. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and just as the Lord had predicted to Moses, Pharaoh refused to listen.

Did you catch that? For the first time in this narrative it is the LORD who hardened Pharaoh’s heart…interesting…

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go. So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’” Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid because of what the Lord had said. They quickly brought their servants and livestock in from the fields. But those who paid no attention to the word of the Lord left theirs out in the open. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so hail may fall on the people, the livestock, and all the plants throughout the land of Egypt.” So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed toward the earth.

Job 38: “…Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.) Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind? “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning?…”

The Lord sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such devastating hail and continuous lightning. It left all of Egypt in ruins. The hail struck down everything in the open field—people, animals, and plants alike. Even the trees were destroyed. The only place without hail was the region of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived. Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he confessed. “The Lord is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.” “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord . But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.” (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.) So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to the Lord, the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased. But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn. Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the Lord had predicted through Moses. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country. They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh. So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “All right,” he told them, “go and worship the Lord your God. But who exactly will be going with you?” Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the Lord.” Pharaoh retorted, “The Lord will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan. Never! Only the men may go and worship the Lord, since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.” So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the Lord caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts. And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it. For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt. Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you,” he confessed. “Forgive my sin, just this once, and plead with the Lord your God to take away this death from me.” So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the Lord. The Lord responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go. So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived. Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the Lord,” he said. “But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.” “No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord our God. All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the Lord our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the Lord until we get there.” But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go. “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!” “Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.) Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country. While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: “From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning. “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover. On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.” Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down. “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. When you enter the land the Lord has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped. So the people of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded through Moses and Aaron. And that night at midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.

I know that was a lot of reading but I needed you to see the whole context for our discussion. I know there are many questions and topics we could chase but what I want to bring to your attention is the fact that about halfway through the plagues God started to harden Pharaoh’s heart. Why? Why would he do that? Pharaoh didn’t need any encouragement to not let the people go before, so why now? Is it possible that MAYBE Pharaoh was considering letting them go before the Lord hardened his heart? Well believe it or not, God was try to accomplish something. The other plagues were to prove some points to Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron, Egypt and the Hebrew people. So what was God getting at? You guessed it! JESUS!! The very first Passover was a foreshadowing of the cross. “When I see the blood I will pass, I will pass over you!!” So God hardened Pharaoh’s heart KNOWING he would never fully accept the God of Abraham over the gods of Egypt. He USED Moses as a vessel of honor KNOWING he would believe. God USED Pharaoh because he KNEW he wouldn’t believe. One a vessel of honor, the other a vessel of dishonor ALL to show a foreshadowing picture of Jesus in the Passover event. And because of this event, Israel was DELIVERED out of Egypt. Because of Jesus we are DELIVERED out of the bondage of the eternal penalty of sin.

God has an objective. In the Old Testament it was all about Jesus’ first advent. In our day it’s all about Jesus’ second advent. God knows who will trust him and he has predestined them to either be a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor based solely on their choice.

So let me ask you: which are you?

I heard one guy say that if we aren’t careful then we will make people think that they don’t have a choice and that their life doesn’t matter cause it’s all predetermined. To some extent this is true. God is moving ALL of us…ALL OF US…toward one conclusion, the day Jesus breaks through the clouds and every knee bows and every tongue confesses. This is where we are heading. Question is are you a vessel used for honor, based on whether or not you will except the Lord Jesus, or are you a vessel of dishonor? You have that choice. You do. Right now!! Just simply answer this question:

Do you believe that God sacrificed Jesus on the cross for YOUR sins and do you believe he has raised Jesus from the dead as a living sacrifice for YOUR redemption according to the scriptures?

If Jesus is your Lord and savior then you have been prepared as a vessel of honor from the foundation of the world.

If you haven’t accepted him as Lord and Savior then let me give you a warning. God knows whether or not you will accept him in your life. He ISN’T going to make that choice for you but he will give you PLENTY of opportunities to make up your mind. I cannot say whether or not you are going to be used as a vessel of honor or dishonor because I do not know if you will ever accept Jesus but what I CAN tell you is this: you will be used by the Lord to bring about his purposes ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. Of that you have NO choice. The final question is:

Do you want to be used as a Moses or as a Pharaoh? The choice is yours.

 

Hello! My name is Judas.

Judas gets a bad rap. I know what you’re thinking. HE BETRAYED JESUS. He was the reason Jesus died!! Well theologically, WE are the reason he died, but I get you’re point. But if you want to open a can of worms and REALLY get a hot discussion going, just ask whether or not Judas went to heaven. Oh man, the sermons behind the pulpit on ole Isacarot. But are we better than Judas? Were the disciples in any better shape than ole Judy? Are we redirecting SO much blame and guilt because we can’t handle the truth of the situation? I know Judas made a choice, a terrible choice, but in the grand scheme of things, did he REALLY HAVE a choice?

Let’s start with the last question I asked: Did Judy really have a choice? I mean on the surface, sure, we all have choices to make and we all have the opportunity to go whatever route we want. But in a heavenly…theological…philosophical type thinking, could he have made a different choice?

The Old Testament laid much of the foundation for what would happen to Jesus, and in some cases, what would happen to those around Jesus. Judas was no exception. In the book of Psalms David declares that someone at the table, a friend who shared Jesus’ food, would betray him. Notice this passage from Zechariah 11:12-13

And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter ”—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord. (Emphasis mine)

Furthermore, Jesus even prophesied what was going to happen mere moments before it would.

John 13:18-30

“I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I am the Messiah. I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.” Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night. (Emphasis mine)

WHAT IF Judas didn’t have a choice?

Bare with me for just a few moments and I’ll try to illustrate what I mean, let’s consider time for just a second. Have you ever thought about just how much of our lives are dictated by time? When we wake up; when we are supposed to clock in; when we get to eat lunch; when we get to go home; when we want to eat supper; when its time for bed. The day we are born; the day we have our birthday; the day we turned 16; the day we graduate; the day we turn 21; the day we get married; the day we have kids; the day we get AARP; the day we retire; the day we die. ALL OF IT IS GOVERNED BY TIME. We have seconds; minutes; hours; days; weeks; months; years; decades; centuries; milleniums. ITS ALL MEASURED BY TIME. But when we cross the threshold into eternity something astounding happens. THERE. IS. NO. MORE. TIME. There is an earth and a sky, but no time. There are people and animals, but no time. There is a government and a king, but no time. There are rivers and trees,  but no time. So what does this tell us about time? Well i believe it means time is a man-made entity. We as humans NEED to be able to measure out lives. We need some system of order to help us navgiate this universe. But mind you, time, at least as we understand it, is not only a man-made concept but also an EARTHLY ENTITY.

I have done some research recently into how time affects the earth and how it affects other planets in our solar system. Our time is measured in the rotation of the earth (24 hours in a day). We also measure our years by the revolution of the earth around the sun (365 days in a year). So what would our day look like on another planet.

First let’s look at the ROTATION:

One day on Mercury lasts 59 days on earth….that’s INSANE

One day on Venus lasts 225 days on earth…THAT’S ONE LONG WORK DAY

One day on Earth lasts 24 hours

One day on Mars lasts 24 hours and 39 earth minutes…COPY CAT

One day on Jupiter lasts 10 earth hours…WOAH DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING

One day on Saturn lasts 10 earth hours and 39 minutes….SOUNDS AWFULLY FAMILIAR

One day on Uranus lasts 16.11 hours

One day on Neptune lasts 17 hours and 14 minutes

Now let’s look at the REVOLUTION:

One year on Mercury lasts 88 earth days…CHRISTMAS 4 TIMES A YEAR!!!

One year on Venus lasts 117 earth days…YOU’D AGE 3 TIMES FASTER

One year on Earth lasts 365 earth days

One year on Mars lasts 687 earth days…SUMMER BREAK FOREVER

One year on Jupiter lasts (are you ready?) 11.86 earth…YEARS!!!!!

One year on Saturn lasts 29.5 earth years

One year on Uranus lasts 84.06 Earth years…WE’D ALL STILL BE BABIES!!!

One year on Neptune lasts 164.79 earth years…I’M NEVER GONNA BE A YEAR OLD!!!!!

So what’s the whole point of all this. Well if our lives are governed by hours and days, which by the way dictates all of our daily routines: waking, work, lunch, dinner, bedtime…etc, then should we find ourselves on any other planet other than earth, our lives would look DRASTICALLY different. I mean can you imagine working a full time job on a planet where one day lasts 225 earth days? Can you imagine what a bitter winter would look like if the earth had 10,767.5 days to revolve around the sun. Can you imagine winter lasting 2,596 days? That’s over 7 earth years!!! But thankfully we don’t live on Neptune. We live on earth. But what i am showing you is that time isn’t universal. Time, as we know it and as far as it affects us, is relegated to Earth. Time is man made. Once you get past the atmosphere and you visit other places, it is either TOTALLY different or DOESN’T EXIST.

So what does this have to do with Judas the betrayer?

If TIME can be explained as a man-made, earth bound ideal; what if CHOICE could be considered the same? Now we are getting somewhere.

Let me ask you a couple of interesting YES or NO questions.

Do you believe that Jesus and God are OMNISCIENT? (OMNISCIENT means they know ALL things which includes past, present and future)

My answer: YES!!

Do you believe that Jesus and God are OMNIPRESENT? (OMNIPRESENT means they are everywhere all at the same time)

My answer: YES!!!

Do you beleive that when Jesus predicted the future in scripture that he predicted a possible future? (meaning there was a possibility events within the prediction COULD change?)

My answer: NOOOO!!!!!

Just use the google to search prophecies about Christ from the old testament that came true. There are enough of them there to convince a jury of God’s future casting ability. And what’s more amazing is the fact that not only did the prophecies come true, but every detail became true.

Image result for Old Testament Prophecies that came true

I just typed in Old Testament Prophecies that came true in the google and looked at the images to find this picture.

There is NO way to explain this other than the OMNISCIENCE of God. So with that being settled let me ask you a couple more important questions:

Was it planned from the foundation of the world that Jesus would be betrayed, suffer and die on a cross?

My answer: YES!!

Was it planned from before Judas was born that HE would be the one who would betray Jesus?

My Answer: YES!!!

IF you KNEW that Judas was going to betray you and ultimately lead you to your death, would you have asked him to be your disciple to begin with? Luke 6:12-16

One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names: Simon (whom he named Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the zealot), Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).

Would you have even visited the town where he lived? Would you, through your power, protect him from harm or an early death as he was growing up? Would you have still nutured him and befriended him knowing what he would do?

Our answer to these questions would most definetely be a NEGATIVE. But Jesus didn’t operate like that. I believe Judas wasn’t chosen for this task after he became a disciple, or even after he was born. I believe from the foundation of the world that it had ALWAYS been Judas and it was ALWAYS GOING TO BE JUDAS. Let me explain.

Why are you here on this earth? Why do you live where you live? Why are your parents the ones blessed to raise you?

I am currently 30 years old. The past decisions i have made from the time i was born up until now are irreversable. They were made. They are history. Cannot be changed. The fact that my parents procreated and it took them some time to get pregnant is also a fact i cannot change. Should it have worked the way they wanted i would currently be 38 instead of 30. But again it happened, therefore it cannot be changed.But there must have been a reason for why God chose to hold off on blessing them. There must have been a reason for their only child to be born in 1987. There must have been some purpose.

Our past can ONLY be understood as God’s past. Our present can only be appreciated as God’s past. Our future is laid our SIMPLY as God’s past. God has the power to be past, present and future at ANY point he chooses. Think about the Revelation. John saw a vision, not of a possible future, but an inevitable future. John may have been seeing WAY into the future of earth and man, but God was essentially looking into the past. How can you know exactly what is going to happen down to the very detail, insomuch that the details CANNOT be altered and it NOT sound like history rather than prophecy.

Consider for a second Jesus and Peter. Jesus tells Peter before the rooster crows you will deny me 3 times. Peter was shocked. He basically responded with, I’m sorry but that’s not gonna happen. So then later that night Judas betrays Jesus and Jesus is taken into custody. Things turn bad pretty quickly and before you know it Peter has denied Jesus. So how is it that Peter STILL denies Jesus AFTER KNOWING, KNOWING, Jesus said he was going too. Why didn’t he stay with the rest of the disciples. Why didn’t he run and hide. Why didn’t he do anything and everything he could to prevent this from happening??? Because what Jesus was predicting wasn’t, in some terms, the future but a form of the past. I guess what I am trying to say is, you can’t actually predict EVERY detail that is going to happen in the future unless you ALREADY KNOW EVERY DETAIL THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. That’s more like recalling the past than predicting the future.

Let’s approach it from a different standpoint.

Have you ever given much thought to a geneology? Most of the time we ignore them because they seem kinda pointless. But are they? I am going to list one that is rather famous.

“This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amon. Amon was the father of Josiah. Josiah was the father of Jehoiachin and his brothers (born at the time of the exile to Babylon). After the Babylonian exile: Jehoiachin was the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud. Abiud was the father of Eliakim. Eliakim was the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Akim. Akim was the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the father of Matthan. Matthan was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.” Matthew 1:1-16

So let me make this a little easier to grasp:

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezzron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoiachim, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Akim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph who married Mary, who was the mother of Jesus.

So this list is fathers and then Sons. All leading to the birth of Christ. You could have asked any of these men if their Son was going to be in the lineage of the Messiah and they would have said with sarcasm, “Have you met my boy?” And truthfully some of them…excuse me…MOST of them didn’t deserve to be in that lineage based on their wickedness within scripture. But regardless, ASSUMING ALL of scripture has been leading to the birth of Christ, up until the Gospels, then it would be fair to say that these men were playing a vital role in bringing God to earth WITHOUT them even knowing it. Ahaz which is right along the middle of that list was especially wicked and NOTHING like his father Abraham but it was, in my opinion, determined and settled long ago that he would have a son named Hezekiah and that Ahaz would be the Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather of Jesus. Here is my point. HISTORY attests that Ahaz along with the others had no clue that they were direct ancestors of the Savior. The lineage of Jesus tells us that they had NO SAY SO IN THE MATTER. Ahaz most likely wouldn’t have wanted ANYTHING to do with Jesus considering he didn’t want ANYTHING to do with God in his day. But he is listed in this chapter in the new testament, like it or not. So if men and women from the Old Testament could be directly linked with something GENERATIONS into the future, how is it that the same can’t be true with Judas. If men like Ahaz and Manasseh and even no names like Azor or Nahshon can lead to the greatest man to EVER walk the earth, why can’t the GREAT x 16 Grandfather of Judas work the same. I am sure that there were plenty of options for betrayer of Jesus, just like there were plenty of options for ancester for Jesus but it is what it is and they were who they were meant to be. THIS IS MY POINT: Judas was ALWAYS meant to betray Jesus because it was prophecied (or written, if your theology will allow you to admit it) that way from the foundation of the world.

Which leads me even further down the rabit hole.

COULD Judas, knowing all the above, have made a DIFFERENT choice?

Now i understand free will in the moment. I chose to buy some fries and bread with my frozen lunch, but i could have just had frozen lunch. I made that choice. I get that. But when it comes to Judas, who was prophecied to be the betrayer, was there any other choice. LISTEN I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT JUDAS’S MOTIVES OR HIS MINDSET. I understand that there were some issues between him and Jesus. I understand he betrayed Jesus based upon his perceptions of how things were and how they needed to be. I GET THAT. But we aren’t talking about free will in the moment, we are talking about whether or not God’s design for the life of Judas could have been altered or avoided. If Judas was prophecied to betray Jesus and lead him to his death, WAS THERE ANYTHING  UNDER HEAVEN OR EARTH THAT COULD HAVE DERAILED THAT OUTCOME?

It’s interesting is it not?

Again, i am in NO way making Judas out to be a victim because Judas was a grown man who made choices on his own. What i am trying to do is get you to open up your mind to a new perspective about Judas so i can show you something about ourselves.

There’s something else we need to talk about in this idea of whether or not Judas had a choice or not.

When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.”

Ok so this is very interesting to me. Let me ask you some very difficult questions.

How many people that have been “entered” or “possessed” by a demon or Satan and actually had some control over what they were doing?

Jesus healed a man who was possessed by legion and this man was CLEARLY not in his right mind. When Jesus spoke to the man, it wasn’t the man that responded but the Legion that was inside of him.

IF Judas was in COMPLETE control of his actions, WHY would Satan need to enter him?

COULD IT BE POSSIBLE that Judas wasn’t in COMPLETE control of his actions?

COULD IT BE POSSIBLE that Judas, once he realized what was going to happen to Jesus, because of his actions, actions he may or may not have had complete control over, that he changed his mind?

Matthew 27:1-10

Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself. The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, “They took the thirty pieces of silver— the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel, and purchased the potter’s field, as the Lord directed. ” (emphasis mine)

So let me ask you one more question before we move on: How much CHOICE did Judas really have?

Here is the next chapter of our discussion:

Was Judas’ betrayal worse than Peters?

Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV) Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Let’s evaluate just what kind of betrayal Judas made and then compare it to the betrayal of Peter.

I don’t believe Judas was born a betrayer. I don’t believe he had the intention of betraying Jesus when he joined the disciples. I don’t believe the thought ever crossed his mind UNTIL the latter part of Jesus ministry. But what MOTIVES could he have had for doing what he did.

The trouble with prophecy.

The trouble with prophecy is there are too many interpretations of said prophecy. I believe the expression went something like this: Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Many people believed that Jesus first advent was supposed to be like his second advent. They believed that the Messiah was going to come and set them free of Roman rule and set up his kingdom during his first advent, when really it was his second. Scripture tells us that Judas was over the money that the disciples collected on their travels. Jesus was quoted many times saying “sell all you have”, “give to the poor”. So many wars get started when two friends have two very different visions.

Judas probably had a different outlook on HOW to help people in need. He was the church pastor who was more interested in SERVICE rather than the SAVIOR. Judas wanted to open up his home to Jesus, but was probably not ready to open up his heart. Judas just didn’t agree with Jesus’ way of ministry.

John 12:4-8

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Clearly there were some differing opinions within the camp. Now before we get to wild and crazy about the embezzlement Judas was doing, HOW MANY TIMES DO WE STEAL FROM JESUS? Just gonna leave that right there.

I also believe Judas was a very passive guy. I don’t imagine he was much of a fighter. He probably didn’t enjoy conflict and Jesus along with all the disciples ALWAYS faced some sort of opposition and conflict. This whole experience just wasn’t what Judas signed up for.

Now again, Jesus knew this.  Jesus knew that the thinking of Judas was in a lot of ways different than his own thinking. But Jesus welcomed, befriended and loved Judas anyways. I don’t believe that Jesus was EVER harsh with Judas. I figure he was always patient and kind with him. I am sure they were able to spend a lot of time together talking over different things. Judas wasn’t an outcast…not yet.

Could you love your betrayer? Could you know something about them they don’t even know themselves and still love them? Jesus did.

So in reality what was the difference between what Peter did and what Judas had done?

Truthfully?

NOTHING

The only difference between the two stories is the fact that Peter was around for the resurrection of Jesus. Peter was there for his redemption.

Knowing that Judas was always supposed to be the one who betrayed Jesus, WOULD Judas have been brought to restoration again AFTER Jesus rose from the dead?

So here is the point of this whole mess. Here is my goal in all of this. How can we be SO HARSH toward Judas when in REALITY we pledge our allegiance to Jesus while looking at pornography. We swear our love for Jesus but allow football or basketball to be more exciting to us than salvation. We declare undying devotion to him yet wonder whether or not we are gonna like heaven cause sometimes we really don’t like church. We are just as ruthless, just as petty, just as selfish, just as self-centered, just as rebellious and stubborn and backstabbing as any disciple, Pharisee or religious leader. We claim to be righteous but CLEARLY break the heart of God each and every day. When we put down Peter and Judas, it’s only in an effort to make ourselves look better. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, 9 times out of 10, had we been in the same shoes of Judas, we would have done the same thing. Judas didn’t know what would happen to Jesus. Judas didn’t know what his actions would cause. Neither do we. WE put Jesus on that cross. WE put those nails in his hand. WE put Jesus in that tomb. And if we could, we’d do it again and again and again. That’s the kind of person we are.

Now let me tell you the kind of person HE is.

In spite of our rebellion, He loved us first. In spite of our betrayal, He loved us first. In spite of all the accusations against us, He loved us first. In spite of our name being written on the hammer and the nails, He loved us first. In spite of us being the one who denies him before men, He loved us first. In spite of his foreknowledge of our drug abuse, He loved us first. In spite of his understanding of our alcoholism, He loved us first. In spite of all the times we look at pornography after swearing it off, He loved us first.

And you know the most amazing thing about Jesus. Even though Judas betrayed him, even though Peter denied him, even though the rest of the disciples deserted him; He isn’t in that tomb anymore. And get this: even though we are the worst of the worst, HE LOVES US STILL!!!

We are no better than Judas and no better than Peter and yet Jesus loves us so passionately and thoroughly. He knows all our weaknesses and He knows all our failures. PAST. PRESENT. FUTURE. And He LOVES US STILL!!

Oh what a Savior!!!

So I’m glad we had this chat. I’m glad I got this off my chest.

Hello, My name is Judas.

 

 

Ten Commandments of Biblical Parenting 1: Make the Lord Top Priority

Biblical Parenting 1: Make the Lord top Priority

Within this 10 week series we will evaluate the 10 commandments and see how they apply to not only our own lives but our lives as parents. Each week we will discuss a “Parental Advisory” and then explore one of the ten commandments, slowly building a pyramid that is designed to help us become more Godly parents. Each week you will also get a sheet preparing you for the next session. And finally I have created some ideas to help engage and encourage your children to get involved in God’s word.

Introduction: Good of Godly?

In your own opinion, what makes a good parent?

Notice how each of you have come up with a different answer. And although we might be thinking all of these answers qualify as a good parent, the first thing that came to each of our minds when asked “what makes a good parent” was something different. What does this prove? We all have our own opinion about what makes a parent GOOD.

Ok, well let me pose the question a little differently.

What makes YOU a good dad?

What makes YOU a good mom?

Each one of our answers will most likely be different and when it comes to good parenting. THAT IS A PROBLEM. Being a good parent is based upon ones opinion of what is GOOD. Because of that, one persons “good” can look COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from another person’s “good”.

One parent may put their child first in every single way and feel they are “good”.

Another parent may put providing for their family ahead of all else and consider themselves “good”.

Then again there may be a parent that tries to live their life vicariously through their child and they may think they are “good”.

The parent who is super strict and hardcore disciplinary may think He is good.

The parent who tries to reinforce good behavior and offers the rod more sparingly, may also feel they are good.

Can all these parents be “good” parents? YES, because everyone has their OWN OPINION ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD. Now you’re catching on.

So my point is this, we all have a desire to be “good” parents, but the bible says, “…there is none good, no not one…”

There are no good Christians.

There are no good people.

There are no good parents.

There are no good kids.

There is none good. Not one. Why? Because we are a part of a fallen decaying world. Therefore we need a change of direction.

We need to learn how to STOP TRYING TO BE GOOD and START TRYING TO BE GODLY.

What’s the difference? While everyone may have their own opinion about what it means to be a good parent, there is only ONE opinion about what it takes to be a Godly parent. And heaven and earth will pass away before this opinion fades even an inch. And if we want to succeed in protecting our children and leading our children, we are going to have to lay down the mantle of good and pick up the mantle of Godly.

Practice what you preach.

Ever heard this? It is one the greatest downfalls of EVERY Christian on this planet. It is basically where the term hypocrite comes from. Too often we are caught doing the very things we tell others not to do, and if there is anyone more susceptible to this it is our CHILDREN.

What are some goals you want for your children and their relationship with the Lord?

-read their bible

-pray

-love church

-love the Lord

-serve the Lord

How can we teach our children the importance of reading their bible every day when they NEVER see us read ours?

How can we teach our children to pray to God every day when they never hear us pray?

How can we teach our children to love church if we show them that ball games, hunting, fishing, camping, school, boyfriends, girlfriends, friend friends or “family time” are more important?

Catch where I’m going. “Practice what you preach.” is a strong motivator to give up trying to be Godly parents because it’s difficult not to live by the “do as I say not as I do” philosophy. But there is a solution!

Parental Advisory:Preach only what you practice.

From now on, instead of thinking “Practice what you preach.” we are going to think “PREACH ONLY WHAT WE PRACTICE.”

For the next 10 weeks we are going to go through this series Reisa and I have called: “The Ten Commandments of Biblical Parenting”.

The Ten Commandments of Biblical Parentin

The first commandment in this series is a very important one. Matter of fact, we will call this commandment the very foundation for this series. Get it wrong and the whole house crumbles. Get it wrong and you have failed. Get this one wrong and well…it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  • Make the Lord top priority.

 

The bible says it this way in Exodus 20:3 “You must not have ANY OTHER GOD BUT ME!!” In the 21st century I know this sounds silly to say that we have “gods” but this principle has been so twisted in our society today. We are all here today to learn from scripture how to be biblical parents and yet the God of the bible isn’t top priority in our lives? Again let me stress, fail at this, fail the test. You CANNOT complete any of the other principles in this series if you skip over number one. So with that being established, let’s dig deep.

God, in verse 2, has just told Moses to inform the children of Israel that HE was the one who delivered them out of the land of Egypt. So for our purposes let’s start calling the land of Egypt, sin. So it is God who has delivered us from the bondage of sin. And then God says, because of this, no one else takes priority over me.

Why do you think God gets to call the number one spot?

God calls the number one spot because it is ONLY GOD that can deliver us from SIN, SELF, and SUFFERING. Without Him we would certainly be Hell bound. But it’s more than just his deliverance that gives Him the right to call dibs.

Matthew 6:8 (NLT)

Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

2 Peter 1:3 (NLV)

He gives us everything we need for life and for holy living. He gives it through His great power. As we come to know Him better, we learn that He called us to share His own shining-greatness and perfect life.

There is no one that can do for us what God can do. He already knows what we need before we even ASK FOR IT. AND…AND He has EVERYTHING we need for life. Nothing we can ever acquire can measure up to that. EVER. This is why God deserves to be top priority. This is why successful biblical parenting STARTS with laying down the right foundation.

Is it difficult to make God the most important thing? Why?

What is it in our lives that so easily takes God’s place?

Have you ever experienced what happens when something else takes God’s place?

Let’s take a step back and apply our principle to live by for the week: “Preach only what we practice.”

Our children live by our EXAMPLE not our TESTIMONY.

One of the greatest disappointments to our family can be a false testimony. I remember when I was younger and our little country church would have a testimony service. It was a service where the Pastor gave anyone present a chance to tell all that the Lord had done in their lives. Of course there were always more women than men participating. My mom was always one of those women. I can remember how each testimony would start of, including my mom’s: “I just want to stand and say that I love the Lord.” This is not a bash against my mom or testimony service, but it’s an example of a false testimony. I can remember how the same place my parents put their bible after every Sunday service would be the same place they picked it up the following week. In other words, their bibles only got opened on Sunday. How can God be top priority in your life ONLY on church days? How can he be top priority if you never commune with him? How can he be top priority when other things become more important?

The point is this: Her testimony said that she loved the Lord. Her example showed just how much.

If we want the Lord to be top priority in our children, he has to first be top priority in us!!

What you do on a daily basis will speak louder than ANY words you could ever speak.

So let’s evaluate what’s going on in your home. I am going to ask you some tough questions. Please note, NONE of us in here are PERFECT parents. Nor are we good parents. None of us have it all together and none of us have it all figured out.

How many times does your spouse/children see you reading your bible?

How many times does your spouse/children see or hear you praying?

How important would your spouse/children say worshiping at church on Sunday is to you?

Would your spouse/children be able to say with certainty that you love the Lord?

You have the answers in your head, which means, if you’re like me, we have some work to do.

Maybe you are trying to resist a little. Maybe you are wondering why this is really important. Extend a little bit of grace and I’ll try to explain.

When we establish in our household a love for the Lord, we are paving a way for God to open doors of grace in the future. For example, say your spouse isn’t as fully committed to the Lord as you are. Sure they will say they “love” the Lord but they have a hard time making Him first and foremost in their life. Say somewhere down the road, tragedy strikes. Sudden. Without warning. Without explanation. This can be so traumatic and damaging to a person’s life. All of a sudden your spouse is in need of something. Something that can help them make sense of what is going on. You have lived a life where God is top priority and God is the most important, most influential person you know. When the strain finally drives them to your shoulder, you’ll be ready. You may not have all the answers and that’s ok. What matters is you have a connection to the one that does.

Let’s apply the same thought to our children. Let’s say that the teenage years are hard on your child. Let’s say that the meanness of other kids really begins to take a toll one their mental state. When they fall into depression and nothing seems to be able to pick them up. Your life example of putting the Lord first and loving Him with everything you have COULD just be the answer they need. Remember they live by our EXAMPLE first, not our TESTIMONY.

Have you ever noticed a child try to imitate their parents?

Have you ever been accused of acting just like your parents now that you are older? Where do you think that comes from?

We are shaped by the example that our parents set. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t change and be different, but our very viewpoint on the world and life is touched by how we were raised.

So I guess the question is: How are we raising our children?

The best biblical benefit we can give to our children is showing them constantly, consistently how much we love the Lord. Not just in our words but in our actions. Not just when we know they’re watching, but when no one is.

“Preach ONLY what we PRACTICE”

Ok so I know what you’re thinking. “I come over here to this bible study to be encouraged, and then I get here and now I feel like a complete failure.” This series will have its moments where it calls each and every one of us a failure. But listen very closely to me. The most important thing for you to remember is that TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY. Our failures today are erased tomorrow. We have a new opportunity to love. A new opportunity to trust. A new opportunity to PUT. HIM. FIRST. He has already told us in 2 Peter 3 that He has given us EVERYTHING we need to live this life. It’s really all about TAPPING into that reservoir of grace and trying again. God is not standing in Heaven and pointing his finger at you with a scowl on his face. God is rooting for you!! He is cheering you on!! If he didn’t think you could become a Godly parent He wouldn’t have blessed you with children. Remember it’s not a race, it’s a marathon. Take it one step at a time. One change at a time. One day at a time. We’re all going to fail. Again and again and again. But it’s about learning through the struggle. Everyday I’m going to get up and declare that today I am going to put God as top priority. Today I am going to preach only what I practice. Today I am going to love the Lord first and I’m going to love my spouse and children with everything else I have. You can do this. Just start with the foundation. Make the Lord top Priority.