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Monday, April 17, 2017
Happy late Easter!
Good Friday probably should be called Worst Friday, right? Jesus the sinless righteous Man was crucified for all human sins on the cross. He was wrongly accused as " the King of Jews", guilty of sedition in a Roman court, Was He a king without even one single soldier?( Indeed He is our King, our Lord but not in the political and secular sense.) Jesus was accused as blasphemous against God in a Jewish court before the high priest because He claims that He is the Son of God. According to Jewish laws, if that claim is not true, then He deserves to be stoned to death. But the Jewish leaders were not allowed to put someone to death, only the Romans had the right. So they brought Jesus to Roman court. The Roman governor Pilate couldn't find Him guilty at all, yet he yielded to the Jewish mob's request to crucify Jesus at the end. All these schemes and other twisted accusations are the culminations of all kind of evils. How then could it be called " Good" Friday? Well, although Jesus' crucifixion is the worst injustice case in human history, yet it has accomplished God's salvation for mankind. Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus has changed the perspectives of this worst injustice case. Jesus has risen from the death and lives forever!
In a word, Jesus drank the cup of God's wrath for us, so if we accept Jesus' offer of Salvation then we don't need to drink the cup of God's wrath ourselves, thus it is called Good Friday.
( i.e. the day itself and its crime is horrible, yet we are talking about the accomplished salvation for mankind it brought about; that is surely good.)
However, have you ever wondered what kind of "cup" Jesus had prayed earnestly for God the Father to remove from Him in His last prayers at Gethsemane just before He was arrested illegally ? Jesus knew He would rise from death after 3 days in tomb, so it was not the death and physical pains He feared the most to face. Then what is He really struggled to face? He is totally holy yet was going to be contaminated by human sins, to really be under God's wrath for all human sins and to suffer the unprecedented separation from God the Father which is unbearable no matter how temporary that separation was.
...Key passages in the Bible connect God’s wrath with the imagery of a cup. Jeremiah 25:15 tells us, “Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: ‘Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.’” Then Isaiah 51:17 says, “O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.” In Revelation 14, an angel speaks, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger” (verses 9–10).
Jesus confirms this connection in Gethsemane when he prayed, the cross looming just ahead, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).
The disciples will drink a cup, too — a cup of suffering (Matthew 20:23). But Jesus’s cup of suffering is different from theirs because Jesus’s suffering is under God’s anger. Jesus drinks the cup of God’s wrath, a cup that has accumulated the fury of God against sins of all types. Heinous crimes, adultery, careless words, dishonoring thoughts, lies — all of it will be punished by God. (None of us is sinless according to God's absolutely holy standard: the cardinal sin could be "Denying our Creator God to be our Father in Heaven", don't you realize that?)
This is the cup Jesus drinks willingly on the cross for us. That shows us how deep His love for us.
Come and Drink This Cup
There, at Golgotha, our Savior drained God’s cup of burning anger down to the dregs. God poured out his wrath, full strength, undiluted, onto His Son. Paul summarizes the meaning of this great event, “For our sake He ( God the Father) made Him( Jesus, God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”
(2 Corinthians 5:21).
(2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us so that he could extend the cup of God’s fellowship to us, that is a cup of Salvation offered in Jesus. It might include suffering, but not wrath. We don’t get wrath anymore — now we get God. We get the sweet, satisfying reality of his eternal fellowship in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
This is the cup we drink now and forever. This is the cup that we offer to those who don’t know Him yet, imploring them in God’s mercy, Come, drink this cup with us because Jesus drank that cup for us.
( click the link below to read more)
The Cup Consumed for Us | Desiring God
( click the link below to read more)
The Cup Consumed for Us | Desiring God
...God's wrath is not anger out of control. An angry God bothers some so much that they take ever tack possible to remove the obvious meaning of the text. One scholar argued that Paul did not mean to indicate a personal reaction on God's part but the reaction of a "moral universe." All such attempts seem grounded in the idea that anger is inherently wrong and sinful, and so a lot of anger (a fairly common definition of wrath) would really be wrong and sinful. The Bible teaches otherwise. "Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). Anger is not always irrational. Jesus was angered at hard hearts (Mk. 3:5; Jn. 2:15-16). What feeling should such callousness as the Pharisees exhibited evoked in our Lord? To see sin ruining lives, both now and in eternity, and not be angry at the devil and foolish people who allow themselves to be taken by him is unthinkable. Righteousness loves light, and hates darkness (John 3:20). Thus, every expression of darkness must be met with righteous indignation or anger.
However, there is an enormous amount of difference in human anger and divine wrath. In a time when child abuse is widely reported it is important that our Heavenly Father not be portrayed as some sort of raging tyrant, mindlessly and wildly hurting His children. This portrait of God is painted when people decide God's wrath is like man's wrath. "God gets angry like we get angry," our humans mind can think, "only His anger is bigger and more powerful." In reality, most human anger is not righteous anger, and so James affirm: "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20). We get angry because our egos have been slighted, and because we did not get our way. Further, human anger usually expresses itself in ways that are hurtful to others around us. God's anger in no way resembles our (sinful) anger. God is not angry because He has some gigantic ego that we have failed to gratify. His righteous anger is directed at evil people who refuse to be what He made them to be and thus hurt themselves. He is angry at the senselessness of men and women who send themselves to hell because they will not heed His word. Additionally, as we shall see, Paul develops the critical point that even the expression of God's wrath is not designed to hurt sinful man but bring him to his senses that he will return to his maker and be saved.
( click the link below for the whole article)
Posted by BH at 9:36 PM
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Friedrich Nietzsche declared "God is Dead!" long long time ago, guess who is long dead now?
Amazingly, God is not dead even after centuries of stone throwing by many atheists, philosophers, theologians...etc.
Here below is an article worth thinking deeply.
TIME magazine is running out of things to declare dead. But their latest obituary is a worldview lesson on a silver platter.
You may have seen the bumper sticker that says "Know God, know peace," (both with a "K") and then, "No God, no peace," (with just an "N"). This kind of pun usually draws a groan from the kids these days, but it really is accurate. And it remains accurate if we replace "peace" with "truth."
In 2017, our world is a living demonstration of the fact that no accurate understanding of reality can prevail when God is thought of as irrelevant.
In 1966, the cover of TIME magazine asked in giant red letters: "Is God Dead?" Evoking the famous quote by German atheist Friedrich Nietzsche, the accompanying article discussed the way science, technology, modern philosophy, and even some theologians had rendered God more or less obsolete.
Well, fifty-one years later to the week, TIME mirrored that cover except for one word, and many Christians are struggling to not say, "We told you so."
The latest issue, using the same bold, red letters, asks, "Is Truth Dead?". The article, written by Michael Scherer, is far more narrow, aimed specifically at President Trump and what one of his GOP primary opponents called his "tenuous relationship with reality."
Scherer hits the president for his "alternative facts" about the inauguration crowd size, his accusation that President Obama wiretapped him during the campaign, and his claim that three million illegal immigrants voted."Trump," he writes, "has discovered something about epistemology in the 21st century. The truth may be real, but falsehood often works better."
Now of course, there is a direct connection between God's existence and truth. And perhaps I should be grateful that TIME is seeing the connection between God and truth at all. But the irony of reading an elegy for truth in a Magazine that last month featured a second transgender individual on its cover is almost too much.
"Beyond he or she," read the teaser, "How a new generation is redefining the meaning of gender."
It should be blindingly obvious to anyone with two eyes that TIME, itself, has a tenuous relationship with reality. The idea that a man can dye his hair, put on lipstick, and somehow become a woman by sheer will is a much more obvious falsehood than anything the president has claimed thus far. Of course, no falsehood is okay. But for TIME to bemoan the demise of truth mere days after claiming male and female are concepts up for redefinition is unbelievable.
But they're not alone. As I explained recently on my other daily commentary, The Point, National Geographic has launched a social media campaign calling potential subscribers to — and I quote — "Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet." Once again, the irony was somehow lost on this magazine, which just a few weeks prior ran a cover story featuring a nine-year-old boy with dyed pink hair and leopard print tights declaring, "The best thing about being a girl is that I don't have to pretend to be a boy."
Look, we often say it here on BreakPoint that ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have victims. Without God, we have no grounding for truth. And without God, we lose sight of what it really means to be human. For more details, see Psalm 135: 15-18.
But let's be clear about this: When TIME asked half a century ago whether God was dead, the answer then was a resounding "no." And the answer to the question they asked last week about the truth is the same. Though decades ago certain quarters of our culture gave up on God and then truth and then a coherent sense of the human person, the attempt to replace reality with sheer will and feelings is futile.
Like God's existence, the truth about the world and humanity is not subject to our feelings or our opinions; nor is it changed by academic or political fashions. God is. Reality is. Truth is. Amen.
Originally posted at breakpoint.org.
Posted by BH at 9:51 AM
Saturday, March 18, 2017
...After his wife's conversion to Christianity, Strobel, a journalist with the Chicago Tribune at the time, sets out to disprove Christianity, which strains his marriage and causes great internal struggle. But after an intense investigation lasting nearly two years, the evidence points to "the truth of Jesus Christ" and he accepts Christ as his savior.
Lee Strobel admitted in the interview with Laurie that one of the main reasons he initially was resistant to his wife's new-found faith was jealousy.
"I got jealous of Jesus, I felt like there was another man in our marriage," he admitted.
"I felt like she was cheating on me; she's got this emotional support she's getting from this Jesus guy."
Leslie Strobel shared part of her own struggle, revealing that she felt she could share anything with her husband, other than her faith in Christ.
"What I did find out over time is that the best way to reach him was to continue to let God grow me," she said.
She told Laurie that she began praying a specific verse for her husband, namely Ezekiel 36:26, which reads:
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit within you, and I will take your heart of stone, and turn it into a heart of flesh."
"Once I heard that verse, I prayed it daily and daily, and that's when I started seeing his willingness to at least crack the door open a little bit and look," she said.
Laurie showed clips from the movie to the audience, and when talking about the moment Strobel turned to faith in Jesus Christ, he called it "one of the most powerful moments, it brought me to tears."
Leslie Strobel said of her husband's conversion: "There was no indication that he was close to making a decision, but when he came out and just said 'I believe,' I cried. I simply just lost it."
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/greg-laurie-brought-to-tears-by-lee-strobels-the-case-for-christ-urges-atheists-to-see-it-177891/#riGWyIGOtr1f34Qc.99
...Lee Strobel tells CP that, during that time in his life, he felt that God was an invention of people's own fears.
"I thought that the mere concept of an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe was absurd. I thought that God didn't create people, but people created God because they were aftraid of death — so they invented this idea of Heaven. Those were the kind of thoughts that I had," he says. "I was hostile toward Christianity. I used to mock and make fun of people who believed in Jesus being Divine."
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/
news/ex-atheist-lee-strobel- my-wifes-conversion-to- christianity-nearly-led-to- divorce-interview-170581/# eCM9FtcqJc7ek6Xt.99
Monday, March 6, 2017
The evidence for Jesus' existence
From CNN "Finding Jesus" (3/5/2017)
Some scholars who argue for the existence of Jesus says the New Testament mentions actual people and events that are substantiated by historical documents and archaeological discoveries.
Ehrman, author of "Did Jesus Exist?" scoffed at the notion that the ancient world was full of pagan stories about dying deities that rose again. Where's the proof? he asks. Ehrman devoted an entire section of his book to critiquing Freke, the mythicist and author of "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'Original Jesus' a Pagan God?" who says there was an ancient Osiris-Dionysus figure who shares uncanny parallels to Jesus.
He says Freke can't offer any proof that an ancient Osiris figure was born on December 25, was crucified and rose again. He says Freke is citing 20th- and 19th-century writers who tossed out the same theories. Ehrman says that when you read ancient stories about mythological figures like Hercules and Osiris, "there's nothing about them dying and rising again."
"He doesn't know much about ancient history," Ehrman says of Freke. "He's not a scholar. All he knows is what he's read in other conspiracy books."
Craig A. Evans, the author of "Jesus and His World: The Archaeological Evidence," says the notion that Paul gave his life for a mythical Jesus is absurd. He says the New Testament clearly shows that Paul was an early enemy of the Christian church who sought to stamp out the burgeoning Jesus movement.
"Don't you think if you were in Paul's shoes, you would have quickly discovered that there was no Jesus?" Evans asks. "If there was no Jesus, then how did the movement start?"
Evans also dismissed the notion that early Christians blended or adopted pagan myths to create their own mythical Jesus. He says the first Christians were Jews who despised everything about pagan culture.
"For a lot of Jewish people, the pagan world was disgusting," Evans says. "I can't imagine [the Gospel writer] Matthew making up a story where he is drawing parallels between Jesus' birth and pagan stories about Zeus having sex with some fair maiden."
The words of Jesus also offer proof that he actually existed, Evans says. A vivid personality practically bursts from the pages of the New Testament: He speaks in riddles, talks about camels squeezing through the eye of a needle, weeps openly and even loses his temper. Evans says he is a man who is undeniably Jewish, a genius who understands his culture but also transcends his tradition with gem-like parables.
"Who but Jesus could tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan?" Evans says. "Where does this bolt of lightning come from? You don't get this out of an Egyptian myth."
(Those who argue against the existence of Jesus say they aren't trying to destroy people's faith.
"I don't have any desire to upset people," says Freke. "I do have a passion for the truth. ... I don't think rational people in the 20th century can go down a road just on blind faith.".)..
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/n
ews/pastor-ar-bernard-cnn-find ing-jesus-share-faith-intervie w-176449/#hPzkWz7KR0X3sPbZ.99
..."Finding Jesus" premieres March 5 at 9 p.m. EST and a companion resource site has been created for those interested in learning more. The site will provide clips and sermon outlines for pastors and group discussions.
The CNN series was inspired by Finding Jesus the book by award-winning journalist and filmmaker David Gibson, co-authored with Michael Mckinley. To find out more information about the season, visit the website.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/n
Posted by BH at 1:09 PM
Sunday, March 5, 2017
ISIS' Destruction of Tomb of Jonah Uncovers Ancient Palace of Biblical King Sennacherib
..."Jonah's descent into the depths in the belly of the great fish and subsequent triumphant prophetic mission to Nineveh is seen as a reference to and prototype of the death and resurrection of Jesus."
The team of researchers believe that IS has been tunneling to access ancient artifacts, such as statues, coins, jewelry and mosaics, looking to sell them on the black market to fuel its ongoing war in the region.
One of the tunnels reportedly led archaeologists to the remarkable marble cuneiform inscription of King Esarhaddon of the Assyrian empire, who ruled from 681 to 669 B.C., and renovated the palace built for King Sennacherib.
The Bible describes part of Sennacherib's military rule in II Chronicles 32:1, where it says: "After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself."
Breaking Israel News reports that the 2,300-year-old palace was partially destroyed during the Sack of Nineveh in 612 B.C.
The archaeologists also discovered in another part of the tunnel stone sculptures of an Assyrian demi-goddess believed to sprinkle "water of life" to protect humans in her care.
"There's a huge amount of history down there, not just ornamental stones," Salih added. "It is an opportunity to finally map the treasure-house of the world's first great empire, from the period of its greatest success."
Officials reported back in July 2014 that IS, which was just beginning its conquests in Iraq, had destroyed the tomb of Jonah, the biblical prophet said to have been swallowed by a whale.
"In Christian tradition, the story of Jonah is an important one," scholars Joel S. Baden and Candida Moss told CNN back then. "Jonah's descent into the depths in the belly of the great fish and subsequent triumphant prophetic mission to Nineveh is seen as a reference to and prototype of the death and resurrection of Jesus."
The researchers have been able to expand their efforts since the Iraqi government's reclamation of the western half of Mosul back in February, though the campaign to liberate the entire city and push IS out of Iraq continues.
It has not been made clear why IS radicals destroyed the tomb of Jonah back in 2014, given that a Muslim mosque had also been build there for a prophet venerated by Islam.
"It is believed that ISIS, as part of the Salafi movement, rejects the concept of worshiping at shrines and therefore destroyed it to prevent Muslims from worshiping there," BIN offered.
"Some have speculated that the destruction of the site was intended to wipe o
(Click the link below to read more about Sennacherib king of Assyria )
You may also click the link below for many archaelogical discoveries in Old Testament
Posted by BH at 7:19 AM