The Preciousness of Life

Dearest hijas and hijo,

My prayer this morning, mis ninos, is that you understand just how precious life is. That in a whisper, in an instant, it can be gone. That it is God who has numbered and determined our days (Job 14:1-5), and it is His Will whether we see the sunrise tomorrow or not.

I pray, mis hijas and hijo, that you fully grasp the magnitude and immensity of that; just how oh so precious our lives and the lives of the ones we love are. I hope and pray that you see just how close we all missed tragedy yesterday. That it could have been very different. That it was God who allowed, and God who protected. I pray that you take a moment to reflect on that; to reprioritize, to reassess, to rethink life in terms of its preciousness and fleetingness and temporality. Don’t miss the magnitude of what just happened yesterday. In an instant it can be gone.

Like Moses, who in Psalm 90 and verse 12, speaking to God, says:

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.

I am weak, my knees tremble, my heart is faint, I cry at the thought, mis ninos, at what could have been. Please, please, do everything you can to treasure God’s gift of life to you and to the ones you love. I will do likewise. May God grant us the power to change what needs to be changed, to remain in His Word daily, to number our days and continually excise sin, to use our days wisely in praise and honor and thankfulness to Him, and to present to Him a heart of wisdom.

I Love you all dearly,
Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis ninos.

The Cows Are Being Confiscated

Dearest hijas and hijo,

If you have difficulty explaining socialism, communism, fascism, anarchism, nazism, and all the other failed economic systems against capitalism, remember the cows:

Socialism:
You have two cows. The government takes one cow and gives it free to your neighbor.

Communism:
You have two cows. Give both cows to the government, and they might give you the milk.

Fascism:
You have two cows. You give all the milk to the government, and the government sells it.

Nazism:
You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes both cows.

Anarchism:
You have two cows. Keep both cows, shoot the government agent, and steal another cow.

Capitalism:
You have two cows. Sell one cow, and buy a bull. Mate the bull to the cow and produce more cows and bulls.

HT: My patriotic Uncle TD and WWII veteran, who posted this oldie, but goodie from an Ann Landers article way back when.

Love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios mis ninos!

Immortality and the Intermediate State of the Believer

Dearest hijas and hijo,

Continuing where I left off in my last post, we are discussing what happens after physical life ends; what happens when we keep our appointment with death. You remember we are concerned with the continuous consciousness of the soul-spirit or the immaterial part of man after physical death for both believer and unbeliever. Scripture is very clear on these issues.

So what is meant by the intermediate state? Its basic meaning is the state of existence between death and resurrection. Yes, Scripture says that everyone’s physical body will be resurrected, both believer and unbeliever. Think of these states of man in three ways: 1) birth to physical death, 2) physical death to resurrection (of the body in the grave), 3) resurrection to eternity. The intermediate state is concerned with that second state of man: from death to resurrection.

As believers, our souls at the death of the body are made perfect in holiness and immediately pass into glory with God. Our physical bodies, still united to Christ, rest in the grave until the return of Christ and resurrection of that body per 1 Thess. 4: 13-18. Paul says we are to comfort one another with these words. He uses the phrase when speaking of death with ‘those who have fallen asleep’. And that’s what it is: we are ‘sleeping’, ‘resting’, awaiting the physical resurrection of that body which will be made incorruptible at Christ’s return.

At death, our immaterial soul passes immediately into God’s presence in Heaven. Our soul-spirit thus has perfect freedom from sin and suffering, and being in the presence of God has great exultation and blessedness. That soul-spirt still has consciousness. Our consciousness is not extinguished when the physical body dies. Revelation 7:16-17 points this out:

“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.”

While death seems tragic, sad, and a life too short, the believer at this time is in a state of complete rest. She has no wants; no physical infirmities; no hunger or thirst; no sin and corruption, present with the LORD and exalted in holiness. Take joy in this, mis ninos, for thus God has willed it to those whom He loves.

With love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios mis ninos!

On Death and the Intermediate State

Dearest hijas and hijo,

Sadly, death was in the forefront of our thoughts this past week, and while we mourn, I thought it important to take a moment to remind you about life and death, and the Christian position on what happens after life ends. You remember that as human beings created in the image of God, we have both a material part and an immaterial part. Our material part is our body; flesh and bones, heart, kidneys, lungs, brain, muscles and skin. The immaterial part is our soul-spirit; the essence of you, your thoughts, wishes, goals and ambitions, that part of you that communicates with God, your consciousness. Jesus rightly reminds us of this fact, and of which part is more important when He says:

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels”(Mark 8:36-38).

It’s pretty important to get that right, don’t you think? The body passes away, the soul lives on. Jesus ties being ashamed of Him and His words while alive in this body, during this life, and pursuing life’s goals and pleasures at the expense of neglecting the soul, with forfeiting that soul when He comes in glory with His holy angels. And what is neglect of the soul? Jesus commands everyone, everywhere, to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”(Matt. 4:17).

So what happens when we die? It’s an appointment that everyone will keep, is it not? Hebrews 9:27 states that “…it is appointed unto men once to die, then comes judgment.” The Scriptures tell us however that there is a distinction between what happens to a believer and what happens to an unbeliever at death and their respective destinies. Physical death of the body is not the end for either one.

So, what is the intermediate state of the believer, and why do we call it “intermediate”? Stay tuned…

With love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis ninos!

Is God at Fault for Animal Death?

Dearest hijas and hijo,

Astronomer Dr. Jason Lisle has an excellent article on animal death in Scripture at his website “Biblical Science Institute“. I commend it to you for your edification. It’s a long article, but bear with it, because the Scriptural principles he uses to derive his conclusions are sound. You remember some of my previous blog posts on the same topic.

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Pay special attention to what was the first animal deaths, and to why God allowed it to happen. Also, what is the contrast between animal death and plant death – Biblically?

You can read it here:

Animal Death – God’s Fault or Man’s Fault?

With all my love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios mis ninos!

Woe To Those Who Call Evil Good, and Good Evil

My dearest ninos,

The refrain from Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil”… is perhaps common to your Christian understanding. But how does it play out in real life today, and how do we know? What is the standard by which God, the almighty, sovereign Creator and Lord of this universe judges good and evil? How do those of us living in the 21st century mimic and promote these good standards of God and denounce anything contrary to those good standards, or if you will, how do we and should we denounce evil?

In simple, God’s Word. His revelation. The God who is there and is not silent, has spoken, and what He has spoken is written down for us. We can read it. We can study it. We can know the mind of God because He has revealed with clarity His mind in written words for us to read and understand.

These words of God, His revelation to us, written down for us in Scripture, are not merely the words of men. They are not man’s opinions; man’s ideas, man’s aspirations. Christianity claims that the Old and New Testaments of our Bibles are not ‘merely’ the words of men, but men moved by the Holy Spirit who spoke from God (2 Pet. 1:21). Christianity has always claimed this. The Old Testament Hebrews claimed this and the Jewish tradition today still claims this. This is important to realize, as it gives our Scriptures authority. God speaking through the pens of those He used to convey His thoughts, His standards, His character. They come from God, from His mind, from His intent. They are directed at those He has created: us. He has not left us in a void to know what He desires, what His character is, what His standards are. They are the very words of God Himself.

Can God lie? Can He deceive? Can He be ambiguous about something? Can He convey inaccurately His thoughts, His standards, His character? If yes, then He is not God.

Can men and women self-deceive? Can they believe something false? Can they believe that something is so right and so good, that they call anyone who believes contrariwise ‘evil’? Can they deceive themselves about God’s commands, His intent for human relationships, for life, for what He calls right living and right behavior? Can they believe that something God calls evil, is so good and so right? Tragically, you know they can. And so once, were we. The world today and the world of the past has always been full of self-deceivers. It’s so easy to fool the self, is it not?

Mis ninos, my heart cries out to God on your behalf; as should a father who mourns over his own sin (Matt. 5:4) and for his children in whom he dearly loves. My tears and anguish in prayer are that you not be self-deceivers. That you not be undiscerning of the age in which we live. That you know the mind of God through His spoken Word; the Holy Scriptures. In it you will find everything for Godly living; for right living, for pleasing living before the God who sees and knows, and judges all.

With all my love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis hijos!

Vaccines, Abortion and Fetal Tissue

Dearest hijas and hijo,

In light of the current measles outbreak in this country, a morally distressing note I just came across concerning the use of aborted fetal tissue in the manufacture of many common vaccines. Follow the link below.

Perhaps you’ve known about this. I regret to say that I didn’t. As pro-life, this is something we all need to be aware of and pricked in our individual consciences to think deeply about. What does God think about this? How would God expect us to act and respond?

Aborted Babies Used to Create Vaccines: Are They Immoral?

With love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios mis ninos!

ET Phone Home and Why No One Answered

Dearest hijas and hijo,

In the 1982 American science fiction film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, ET receives help from the boy Elliott in building a device from a Speak and Spell toy to “phone home”. Elliott had befriended ET who was stranded on earth, and he and his siblings were trying to hide him from the government while attempting to help him get back to his “home” planet. It became an instant classic, the highest grossing film of all time until 1993 when Jurassic Park surpassed it. Perhaps you’ve seen it.

People today are still searching for E.T. Why do you think that is? Could it be related to world-view; your philosophy of life and its origins and purpose? Is it possible that most people today have been sold a bill of goods about the past and how it all got started? Why do your friends think there may be life on other planets, and why are your Christian friends believing in the same thing? These are critical questions to think about.

How would you go about answering these questions? Would you start from Scripture or would you start from the philosophy of naturalistic evolution? Your starting point makes a difference with the answers to these questions. Most people starting naturalistically find it hard not to believe there must be life on other planets because it somehow started here and the universe is so vast it must have also started somewhere else.

Or would you start with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”? Would you explain earth’s special purpose, created not to be void but to be inhabited, and mankind the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in God’s very image in fact, on day 6? Would you be able to explain the stars, created on day 4, almost as an afterthougt compared to God’s creation of man and the earth, and intended to draw man’s attention to the vastness of God’s glory?

Would you explain the Fall of mankind in Genesis 3, and the subsequent Curse not only upon mankind, but upon the entirety of God’s created order, His whole universe? Would you explain that since that initial act of disobedience, all mankind is now in rebellion to God, no one who seeks for Him, all have gone astray, no one who does good; and in need of reconciliation somehow back to God?

Would you be able to explain how we can get back to God? God exists, He’s there, He’s not silent, so how and why do I need to be in relationship with Him and how do I become reconciled back to Him?

Would you be able to point to Jesus as the only way back to God? Would you be able to describe why the Cross was necessary?

Would you then be able to tie all that in to E.T. and life on other planets?

Starting biblically, we understand God’s purpose for creating life on this earth, specifically men and women to be in relationship to Him. We understand His purpose in creating a vast universe for us to look up and glory in His majesty. (…For I am God, and there is no other, Isaiah 46:9). We understand His purpose in sending His Son because we messed up but He still loved us (Rom 5:8). What joy that is!

As we approach the most holiest day in the Christian calendar on Sunday (Easter), may you rejoice that the God-man Jesus Christ was sent to this planet, the only planet designed for life by God, died and was resurrected for us on this planet, none other; and that we are His special creation and people, chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. May that encourage you to love and worship Him with all your mind, with all your strength, with all your heart, and with all your soul.

Happy Easter my beloved ninos!
He is Risen!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Love always,
Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijos!

47% Of Millennials Believe Wrong to Share Their Faith

Dearest hijas and hijo,

A recent report by George Barna of ‘The Barna Group’, a market research firm specializing in studying the religious beliefs and behaviors of Americans, and the intersection of faith and culture, has found that nearly half of Millennials (47%) believe it’s wrong to share their personal beliefs with someone of a different faith for the purpose of converting them.

Nearly half of Millennials, who identify as evangelicals, believe it’s wrong to share the Gospel.

How did we get to this point, mis hijos? Is it the fault of parents who did not instill in you a love of the Truth; a love of Jesus Christ as the only mediator between God and man, in which there is salvation in no one else by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)?

Was it our lack of explaining to you from Scripture the horrifying consequences of hell, where Jesus Himself said there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt.13:41-42); that physical death in this life is not the end, and that for the lost there is a terrifying eternal death sentence awaiting them when they die?

Was it our failure to explain that it is a Christian’s duty to evangelize, yes, a command from Christ Himself to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…(Matt. 28:19-20)?

Were we remiss in showing you, from our own actions, the love for the lost that Christ Himself had; a love that does not fear in speaking boldly to anyone and everyone about spiritual and eternal things; a love that is willing to face rejection and hurt, and yes, even death, for speaking the only thing that has eternal consequences?

Oh, mis hijos, forgive me. I take the blame. My culpability in this is ever present before me.

My only consolation is that now, in the waning years of my life, you will listen to your father’s words, and in the words of the fifth commandment (Ex. 20:12), you honor me by being students of the Word; that you eat God’s Word like a honey-dipped scroll in your mouth, daily seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, having a love for Jesus that overcomes any fears in speaking about His free offer of eternal life to others, knowing that we are not citizens of this world, but citizens of a far better world to come.

With unfailing love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis hijos

Noah’s Flood was Global and Universal (Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise)

Dearest hijas and hijo,

It is common to hear in Christian circles, among those who even talk about it; from the pulpit by preachers and in Bible Study classes from elders, that the Flood of Noah described in Genesis 6-9 was a local flood event perhaps contained to the Mesopotamian Valley. This Flood wasn’t global and universal at all, they will say, but only local over the whole of mankind alive in the time of Noah, and specific to that region of Noah’s habitation (the Mesopotamian valley).

This raises a series of questions, however, when one studies the actual account given in Genesis 6-9:

Why did God command Noah to take two of every kind of living thing of all flesh aboard the ark (Gen. 6:19)? Couldn’t God have sent some of these animals out of the local area? Chased them away perhaps on mass migrations?

Why did God command Noah to especially take two of every bird kind (Gen. 6:20)? Couldn’t the birds have flown away, out of the local area and to new areas a local flood event wouldn’t affect?

How was it that a local flood event lasted for more than a year (Gen. 7:11, 7:12, 7:24, 8:4, 8:8, 8:10, 8:12, 8:13-16); Noah’s 600th year, 2nd month, 17th day (7:11), to Noah’s 601st year, 2nd month, 27th day (8:13-14)?. We have local flood events in different parts of the globe all the time, but none that last more than a few days, or weeks perhaps.

Why does the account say that the waters prevailed more and more upon the earth so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered to a depth of fifteen cubits (Gen. 7:19-20)? ‘All’, ‘High’, ‘Everywhere’, ‘Under the Heavens’, doesn’t sound local to me, but more universal, wouldn’t you agree? The Hebrew is pretty strong here with a double use of the Hebrew word kol (all), indicating universality.

Why did the Church believe this Flood was global and universal for 1800 years since its inception in the First Century A.D.? Why did the Jews in their ancient writings believe the same before the Advent of Christ? What changed and when did it change?

There are other questions as well:

Why does Christ compare His Second Coming in Matthew 24: 37-39 with the Flood in the days of Noah? Will Christ’s Second Coming be only a local event and not universal? He’s only coming to judge a local people and a local area and not the entire Earth?

Why does Peter make two references to Noah’s Flood (1 Peter 3:20 & 2 Peter 3: 3-7)? He seems to link the judgment of water in the time of Noah with the judgment of fire at Christ’s Second Coming. How do these parallels make sense if the Flood was only a local event?

Could it be then, that our Christian friends, preachers, elders, co-attendees at church, are buying into the uniformitarian thinking of current scientific consensus; taking man’s word for God’s word?

As you know from my other posts, it was a denial of the worldwide Flood of Noah in the 17th and 18th centuries at the beginning of modern secular geology, that led to the millions and billions of years of secular geohistory (the geologic column), and evolution as its biological counterpart.

So don’t take your pastor’s word that it was a local event, challenge it, do the study. Do the hard work to find out for yourself. There are plenty of scientific evidences in the rocks and in the earth’s geomorphology to disprove a local event. The fossils in the rocks themselves speak to a worldwide event as well. Read and understand the full account in Genesis 6-9, check the math, delve into the words used to describe it. Make yourself a student of God’s Word here, and you’ll be able to challenge others who tell you otherwise.

With love,
Dad
Vaya con Dios mis ninos!

Answers Research Journal

Thoughts from Dear ol' Dad on Fighting the Good fight of Faith (1 Tim. 6:12)

Biblical Science Institute

Thoughts from Dear ol' Dad on Fighting the Good fight of Faith (1 Tim. 6:12)

CEH

Thoughts from Dear ol' Dad on Fighting the Good fight of Faith (1 Tim. 6:12)

bylogos

Thoughts from Dear ol' Dad on Fighting the Good fight of Faith (1 Tim. 6:12)

Biblical Geology

Thoughts from Dear ol' Dad on Fighting the Good fight of Faith (1 Tim. 6:12)