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Monday, February 11, 2019

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)



Faster Than Lightenin'

Author and pastor Hal Lindsey, wrote a book called The Rapture. He said learning about it after becoming a believer was the most exciting thing about his new found faith in Christ. The Rapture is the taking of the Bride of Christ, the bodily resurrection of all believers dead and those alive, by Christ to Himself before the beginning of the Great Tribulation spoken of by the Prophet Daniel and the Apostle John. It will happen as quickly as the 'twinkling (Blink) of an eye.' Faster than a flash of lightening.

The word 'rapture' isn't in the Bible. It describes the taking up to Christ in the clouds. The word comes from the Latin Rapturo (caught up) taken from the Greek word Hapazo which means to 'snatch up' or 'seize upon by force.' Christ will bring believers to Himself instantly and with great power. Paul explains the rapture at length in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 and 1st Thessalonians 4:13-17. He did not think these things up alone or receive them from men. He received all he knew of the Christian faith through revelation from Christ Himself (Galatians 1:11-12). You will be excited as you read and contemplate these Scriptures.

The consensus by most theologians is the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture only first appeared between AD 1812-1830.

Didn't the early Church Father's have anything to say about the taking out of the church before the Great Tribulation or has it only been taught since the 19th century? The Christian writer and poet Ephraem the Syrian (AD 306-373) who lived in what is now Turkey, taught of a pre-tribulation Rapture of believers, a Great Tribulation, and the Antichrist as early as the fourth century (AD 373). It is not a 'recent' teaching.

Paul and Peter both wrote of a great falling away in the last days of people's belief in God and the evil it would bring. We are currently seeing many scoffing at belief in God and the promise of the return of Christ. There is great evil in society today (2nd Timothy 3:1-5, 2nd Peter 3:1-7). As bad as it gets we can take heart in the promises of God and His dependability to do them. He is faithful.

The Rapture is a major biblical promise of this hope. Today the world seems to be pushing itself beyond the point of redemption. It is only a matter of time before God's judgment falls upon the wickedness of the world. However the redeemed can live in a climate of hope in Christ. He will keep His promises. Yes, let us be comforted with these words. Christ will return as promised to take us to Himself and make things right to His Glory and Honor. “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

Ken

Monday, February 4, 2019

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1st Peter 5:8

Man-eaters

Are you aware just how savage lions can be? British Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson, DSO, wrote a book of his experiences hunting and killing two man-eating lions at the Tsavo River in 1898. The Britons were building a railroad in British East Africa (now Kenya) and had come to the Tsavo River where crews (mostly Indian nationals) began constructing a bridge.

According to Patterson, for nine months there was a period of terror where the lions systematically killed 135 persons in the area including 28 Indian construction workers. Some of the workmen were stalked and others dragged from their tents at night by the beasts and eaten. The situation became so terrifying that all the workers abandoned the worksite blaming the attacks on Patterson as they had begun shortly after he arrived at the river. Some even threatened to kill him. After the crews deserted the worksite Patterson remained, eventually killing both of the man-eaters at great personal risk. Over the years Hollywood has made three movies based on Patterson's book. The last was the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness. The mounted bodies of the 'Lions of Tsavo' are on display at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History.

Most people in the secular world like to think of Satan as a comical, chummy little guy with horns and a pointy beard that stands on the shoulder, whispering temptations of hidden pleasure. Is that how the devil really is? A funny little man in a red suit? Or is he a savage lion? I believe his brutality and viciousness go far beyond that.

Taken in its overall context the Bible teaches Satan is the latter. He is in rebellion against God, hating Him and the human race. Jesus said Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). His rage and disposition to disruption and destruction is compared to a vicious lion seeking to destroy prey.

Satan isn't funny in spite of how movies and TV commercials like to show him. When it comes to Adam's race he and his fallen angels are cruel and barbaric man-eaters without a shred of mercy.

But were you aware there is another Lion? One that loves Adam's Race? He is the holy Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, who has received from God absolute power, authority, and dominion over all things (Matthew 28:18, Ephesians 1:21-22). He is the head of the church.

Paul said though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. Our war is against spiritual (Satanic) forces. He goes on to say the weapons we fight him with are not fought through fleshly means but are mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds (2nd Corinthians 10:3-4).

The Christian faith must remain militant against spiritual powers in heavenly places that war against us. Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God in our fight, giving us the strategy for the Battle (Ephesians 6:13-18). While Satan can still be a formidable foe, when the Lion of Judah is near his roar is reduced to a mewl. Christ, as the Lion of Judah reigns supreme. His roar is not frightening but a wonderful consolation to believers, leaving the man-eaters trembling in their dins (James 2:19).

Ken

Monday, January 28, 2019

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]. Romans 1:6 ESV


Edith Was Right

Edith Schaeffer, wife of the late Christian philosopher and apologist Francis Schaeffer, published a book many years ago titled Christianity is Jewish. The title and subject of the book sent a sense of surprise, and some shock, through both Christian and Jewish circles. It was something I had never really considered but could not deny historically.

Schaeffer and her husband founded L'abri (shelter), an evangelical Christian organization in Switzerland in 1955. They hosted many Bible studies that were geared to college aged students.

I recall one story she wrote of a group of Jewish students, one of which was particularly openly hostile toward Christianity. He rejected the New Testament gospels being adamant that Jesus was not the Messiah. At one point Edith read to the group from Isaiah Chapter 53 which speaks of an individual who carried our sorrows and was crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by his stripes we are healed. Edith stopped and asked “Who is this speaking of?” The antagonistic Jewish student pretty much snorted and said, “That's easy. It's Jesus Christ.” The room was stunned to silence by the comment as was the student who uttered it.

It may come as a surprise to many but Jesus was not a 'Christian Gentile' as some believe. He was a Jew born and raised in Israel with a Royal lineage back through David to Abraham (Matthew 1:17) and a physical Jewish lineage through the Jewess Mary all the way through David to Adam (Luke 3:23-37). 

The very day of His resurrection Christ met two disciples, one named Cleopas, walking on the road to the town of Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32). Jesus joined them but Luke in his gospel writes their eyes were kept from recognizing Him (verse 16). As they walked Jesus asked them what they were discussing.

They told Him of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet mighty in word and deed before God and all the people. They also spoke of a strange report by two women saying early that morning the tomb where the body of Jesus had lain was empty. Jesus said, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (vs 25-27).

Every time I read this how I wish Cleopas had written that conversation down! How insightful it would have been. Jesus joined them at their house and revealed himself to them as he broke bread with them. At that moment they recognized Him and He vanished from their midst. They said afterward of His words, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He spoke to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”

Jesus did not start a new religion but fulfilled it as completely Jewish. The first believers in Christ were Jews! We Gentiles by God's grace were included later. The Jewish Christians were at first critical that Gentiles, through the Jewish Christian Peter, were receiving inclusion into the faith (Acts 11:2-3). And later the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome that we Gentiles have been grafted into the tree of Judaism as 'wild branches.' But less we become proud and arrogant over it Paul reminds us we must not forget the branches do not nourish the root but the root nourishes the branches (Romans 11:17-18). We gentiles do not practice a new religion but we serve and worship, by God's gracious benefaction, the Jewish Messiah that fulfilled Moses and the Prophets predictions.

As wild branches we give praise, worship, and thanks to the Master Horticulturist for His skill and love in grafting us into the verdant, lithesome, and treasured tree of Judaism. As God twice promised Abraham that through him all the nations of the Earth would be blessed (Genesis 18:18, 22:18) those promises have proved true and include all peoples, races, and languages (Revelation 7:9). Edith was right. Christianity in its being and practice remains to this day completely Jewish, first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. What wondrous news and promises of Grace upon Grace to Israel and every nation of the Earth.

Ken

Monday, January 21, 2019

Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” John 15:20

I Made it to Page 30

There is a saying: 'The Devil doesn't care who does the hating, as long as the hating gets done.' The reality behind the hatred that causes the persecution of our faith is something we would rather not dwell on. For many it's happening somewhere else. Distance becomes an anesthetic. I've noted on social media many Christians pursue what I call 'fluffy religion' that only speaks of feel good Bible verses, flowery sayings, and pretty posts failing to grasp weightier spiritual issues. Persecution of the church is too disconcerting to think about. Yet unfortunately it is happening today worldwide to millions of Christians. But as it did in the 1st century church it has actually strengthened the persecuted church. I recall a conversation I read recently between a Chinese Christian and an American pastor. As the conversation ended the pastor said “I'll be praying the persecution ends for the Christians in China.” The Chinese brother was quick to say, “Oh no, don't pray for that. Pray the Lord gives us courage and strength through it. Persecution keeps the church strong.”

In the 1500s an Englishman named John Foxe wrote a book known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs. It recounts in vivid and chilling detail the histories of Christians who refused to deny their faith in Christ after given the choice to deny and go free or refuse and face torture and death. Many refused to deny Christ and paid a horrific price. The tortures inflicted on them were so barbarous and cruel they could only have been conceived in the mind of Satan. I made it to page 30 and was so distressed at the monstrously evil treatment of these believers that I had to lay the book aside. It shames me to admit I believe it was more due to conviction than horror. Would I be able to choose my faith over denial and face fiendish torture?

There were more Christians martyred in the 20th century than all other centuries combined. The exact number cannot be known but it is in the millions. I read recently that 75% of the world's nations are hostile to religions and especially to Christianity. Right now Christian men, women, and children are the most persecuted group in the world. The Middle East is a particular hotbed of hatred toward believers. 

Many are being slaughtered for their faith. A case in point is the May 26, 2017 article in the Los Angeles Times of the massacre of 28 Coptic Christians by masked Muslim gunmen in Minya province, Egypt. The Christians were taking two buses to a monastery to pray. They were blocked on the road by the gunmen who made them get off the bus. They told the Christians to deny Christ and recite the Shahaba (Testimony of Faith) and become Muslims. They all refused. Some had their throats slit and others were shot in the head. The perpetrators then shot up the buses and sped away. Sadly the persecution and slaughter goes on to this day in many nations around the world, mostly unreported by the press. I can understand why a biased Media barely mentions it but why is the free and autonomous Christian church silent? Why no outcry?

I have been wondering of late if intense persecution of the church might happen here in America? There are already suspicion and hatred of Christians (especially Evangelicals) in this country distorted and aggravated through press, TV news, and Hollywood anti-Christian agendas. Watching the current news and seeing how some local, state, and federal agencies are using the courts in their twisted mandates to block and persecute Christians for refusing to violate Biblical beliefs, seems like the writing on the wall. I can foresee churches being attacked, and then Christians. And with open anti-Semitism on the rise even in our Congress, the Jews? God forbid! The founder of the Proclaiming Justice to the Nations network (PJTN), Laurie Cardoze-Moore, reports that in 2017 anti-Semitism and violence against Jews had risen 45% in college campuses.

You might be thinking there is no way anything like that can happen here in America. Right? The mindset of many today, just not Millennials, reject the existence of the God of the Bible. Therefore why obey Biblical commandments if He does not exist? They won't. As our Lord says “If they [the world] obeyed My teachings they will obey yours.” There are elements today that are working to undermine the values of the Judeo-Christian ethic. This Biblical precept was and is the foundation of our western civilization and our Republic's Constitutional form of government. Our Constitution has remained relevant after 230 years and remains the best constitutional form of government in the history of the world. The power in the Constitution is to protect the American people from government tyranny and the Bill of Rights guarantees our freedom that is derived from God, not the state. Already elected to Congress for the first time in U.S. history are two Muslim women who are openly and vocally anti-Semitic. Both are members of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS). This movement is a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott of our strong and democratic ally Israel. Both women have already condemned Israel for various reasons that deny the facts. On her first day as a Congresswoman one of them referred to the president (and the office) with the most vile epithet and threat. 

Even at this moment Democrats on the far Left in the 86th Texas legislative session have gotten on the offense in the traditional conservative stronghold. They are in the process of introducing  a number of proposed "sexual orientation and gender identity" laws (SOGI) that would attack people of faith. These laws are so anti-God and religion that many outside the Left are tagging them as "Ban the Bible" laws. It doesn't mean confiscating physical Bibles (yet) but it does mean something worse; stripping Texans of their right to practice biblical teachings in their day to day lives. Already the Society For Human Resource Management writes that as early as 2015 22 states had banned sexual orientation and/or gender identity bias. This information ought to galvanize Christians to contact their senators with concerns of being unable to practice their religious liberty without fear of reprisal.  Numerous bills seek to force by law people of faith to conform to far-Left leaning policies that violate their freedom of conscience to practice their faith without fear of retaliation. Those who do not conform could face fines, possible jail time, or other criminal charges (James Wesolek, Federalist.com, 2/1/2019, Society For Human Resource Management, 7/28/2015).

In touching on the rejection of God and His moral values, speaker and author Dennis Prager, a self-professed practicing Jew, speaks often about the devaluing of the Judeo-Christian ethic and how it has affected the moral view of today's generation. In speaking in the past 30 years he has continued to ask high school and college age students the same question, “If you are at the ocean and a stranger and your dog are drowning which one would you save?” He said in all the years he's been asking that question 2/3rds have said they would save the dog over the human being. Why? “Because I love my dog and I don't know what the stranger would do.” Prager also said that he has noted more and more adults choosing to save the dog over the human too. The values and consciences of this current generation are seared against God (1st Timothy 4:2), His attributes, and the God-endowed sanctity of life. Today the value of an animal over a human being is a premium. Because we are made in God's image (Genesis 1:26) the value of human life is far and above superior to the life of animals. That news will make some people furious, some to the point of sending me death threats, and I speak from experience. I've even received death wishes from children! Don't get me wrong. I love animals and always have. But however cute and smart they are I would always choose saving a God-given human life over an animal because according to Judeo-Christian teaching the sanctity of human life is reverent and holy.

And in the same vein if persecution does come to the American church let's pray Christ will give us strength and trust, anchored in an unshakable faith. And let's remember to pray for our brother's and sisters under the boot of tyranny and torture for their faith daily. Pray they receive strength to endure. I read a phrase on growingchristians.org that sums it all up: “I believe the Church persecuted will be the Church glorified when Christ's body on earth is united with her Head in heaven.” Let that be our prayer. It alone is our highest hope.

Ken

Monday, January 14, 2019

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you-you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28)

Worry, Lilies, and Love Poems

We're bombarded by negative and sometimes frightening information everyday by television, print, radio, and internet. Negativity brings anxiety. People's emotions throughout history have remained the same. Two thousand years ago Jesus thought worry and anxiety were important enough to address them.

He asked how can worry add one hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27). He adds in His discourse to His followers (that includes us) not to be afraid for it has pleased the Father to give believers the kingdom (Luke 12:32). What is He talking about? What kingdom and how can that help me in my life and emotions? The kingdom means God is sovereign over all the universe and a spiritual rule over our hearts and minds. We can enter in to His Family completely and with joy. It is righteousness that grows you in Christ making you prosper in the Holy Spirit, producing in you greatness and happiness and security from fear. And if He takes pleasure in doing that for you how much more will He give you the earthly supplies you need?

But you say I have no joy or peace. What can I do to get it? Let me ask you three questions. First, have you believed in Jesus' redemptive work? Do you believe He died to save you from your sins, rose from the tomb, and is returning to the Earth as He promised (John 14:3, 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)? Has He truly forgiven your sins? As the saying goes 'No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.' Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things you need would be added to you. Second, if perhaps you're feeling poorly I would suggest you make an appointment for a Wellness Exam with your physician. He or she will do a complete physical exam on you and determine everything is working as it should and respond accordingly. This could be a great help. Third, are you into the word of God everyday and having a time of prayer and meditation, thinking of all the good He has done for you?  Waking up, being alive, being employed or able to look for employment.  Did you eat today? Even the smallest things count. I read out of my Bible commentary. It explains what I'm reading and increases my knowledge and understanding. My commentary is a two volume by Wolvoord and Zuck. This set has been invaluable in opening the Word of God to me. I'm very thankful for that. You can even search a good commentary online. 

I encourage you to read and meditate on Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-34 and think on the Might, Love, and endless Desire of our Heavenly Father to meet your emotional and physical needs. 

Of course He has His eye on the sparrow and dresses the lilies of the field in the greatest splendor but you are more valuable than these. You are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus. The word 'workmanship' in the Greek can be translated poem. We are His work of art! We were created in Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10, John 14:15). 

God is ruler and King overall. He is working to complete His plan for you or a loved one even today, at this very moment. He is Almighty and no one or no thing can hinder or stop Him. He overcomes all things. When we see the plan for our lives completed we will be astonished that He was indeed working very hard on our behalf when things looked the darkest. You are not only His love poem but His sweetest bouquet, more beautiful than the lilies of the field. May Christ Jesus reveal His compassionate love and holding power to you today. Grace, peace, and mercy to you.

Ken

Monday, January 7, 2019

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1st Peter 3:15 (English Standard Version)



From Burgers to Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

Recently at my local burger joint I happened to hear a rather intense discussion between two gentlemen, one a Christian and the other an antagonistic unbeliever. The unbeliever was hammering the Christian man on the first seven books of Genesis with standard questions of opposition; “If Cain killed Abel, and Cain and Adam and Eve were the only people left alive on Earth, the Bible says Cain went down to the land of Nod and got himself a wife. If there were only three people alive on the Earth, how was he able to get a wife?” “And Noah's ark; he couldn't have gotten all those animals on it!” “And where is the Land of Nod anyway?” It seemed the poor Christian man was apparently only armed with John 3:16. He struggled to answer the man's questions but could not. It was sad to see as the answers to this disbelieving man's questions are available, relevant, and many.

First, the Bible does not say, or even suggest, after Abel's murder Adam, Eve, and Cain were the only people left on earth. Eve had already born children (Cain and Abel) and the likelihood she and Adam had other sons and daughters who were not spoken of here because they were not relevant to the account is very plausible. The Bible does not dispute it. In fact Genesis 5:4 says after Adam's son, Seth, was born Adam lived for 800 more years and had other sons and daughters. Adam died at the age of 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). How and why did he live that long? I'll touch on that shortly. Returning to the account of Cain and Abel: as I said there is no time frame given in their story that states there were only 4 persons living at the time Cain murdered his brother. Cain and Abel are mentioned solely in reference to the first murder in recorded history and how God dealt with it. The content does in no way reject the concept there were other offspring of Adam and Eve alive at this time. So who was the wife Cain found in the land of Nod and where did she come from? There can only be one answer; she was his sister.

OK, now before you blow an incest gasket where else could she have come from except our two original parents? When God created Adam and Eve they had perfect bodies, ageless and eternal and would have lived forever. That ended when they rebelled against God and sinned. Death entered the human experience. They and the entire Earth were put under a curse (Genesis 3:16-19) and became subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics that says things run down and eventually wear out. But because Adam and Eve's bodies had been perfect when they were put out of the Garden of Eden it took many years for them to wear down to the point of death. The strength of the human gene pool at that time was potent and is the reason early people lived to such extensive ages and why God allowed intermarriage in order to populate the Earth. Adam and Eve's gene pool was such that they could have had many children that could have intermarried and issued healthy and strong children. As generations passed the ages of people declined and the human gene pool grew weaker. It had weakened so much by the time of the Hebrew Exodus that God gave Moses the commandments in the Mosaic Law prohibiting the practice of incest. (Leviticus Chapters 18 and 20).

And what about Noah's Ark? Is it only a myth about a funny little man on a small boat with animals on it like in nurseries? If you believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) then yes, the Ark was a historical fact. It was an amazing vessel, built in cubits (ancient lengths). Basing the cubit used on the ark at 18 inches it would have been a massive vessel at 450 feet in length, 50 feet high (nearly five stories) from the ground, and 75 feet wide. It is thought to have been the largest vessel ever built in history up to the 19th century. The internal volume was 1,518,750 cubic feet with a floor space of 101,000 square feet. That's more floor space than 21 standard college basketball courts. It had three decks with the same storage capacity of about 569 modern railroad stock cars. The standard size for a stock car is 44 feet long and a volume of 2670 cubic feet. This would make a train more than 5 ½ miles long! A standard livestock railroad car holds about 240 sheep, so the ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep. Having 40,000 animals on the ark is considered to be a conservative estimate. Given the space of the interior area of the ark 40,000 animals could have only taken up 30% of one of the three decks. And God could have brought smaller juvenile animals to Noah as opposed to fully grown ones for greater space. This would have left 70% of the space in the ark for Noah's family, food, and baggage (search 'arnold c. mendez sr, the size of the ark'). You can also search www.amendez.com, and www.creation.com. On Creation.com click on 'Article' at the top of the page then 'Topics' for many of the answers you'll ever need). A replica ark built to the Genesis specifications used over 1.5 million board feet of lumber. A skeptic might ask how Noah and his three sons were able to complete such a monumental task? The ark was not built in a few months. It probably took over 120 years and there is nothing in the Bible that says Noah did not hire workmen to help! Men need to work to support themselves and their families in every generation and building the ark was a major undertaking. And then there is the questions inevitably asked; “Where did the dinosaurs come from? Were they on the ark?  And where did they go?” Genesis 1:20-25 says God created all animals, those that swarm, live in the sea, and livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth. Dinosaurs were created by God and would have been on the ark. What happened to them? After the Great Flood it is thought the climate of the earth radically shifted from a warm equatorial climate to much colder conditions. It could be dinosaurs died out due to climate extremes. And the last question; “Where was the land of Nod?” The Bible doesn't seem to think it was necessary for us to know and does not say. No one knows but it would have been destroyed in the Great Flood along with everything else on Earth (Genesis 7:18-20).

It would be appropriate here to mention that Jesus believed in the most unbelievable incidents recorded in the Jewish Bible.  And, I might add, the most mocked and ridiculed. It pains me to say that includes many Christians who reject the historical accounts of the Genesis record to assent to the theories of theistic evolution, or the fully undocked theory of Darwinian evolution. As a well taught Jewish boy it is evident Jesus had learned His Torah (Luke 4:16-20) and throughout His ministry spoke with complete authority on every issue, even Noah and the Great Flood (Matthew 24:37, Luke 17:27), Jonah and his three days in the belly of a great fish (Matthew 12:40), it wasn't a whale, the Bible says God prepared a great fish (Jonah 1:17), and Adam and Eve (Mark 10:6, Matthew 19:4-5) explaining that creation was young and God created Adam and Eve from the beginning not billions of years after the earth was created.

In conclusion Paul tells us in 2nd Timothy 2:15 to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” I like the King James version that begins with “Study to show yourself approved unto God...” Learning the words of God and His interaction within His creation does take study giving you answers in defense of your faith. Study to show yourself approved unto God. It can keep you from being armed with only John 3:16, and scratching for answers when an inquiring mind asks you over burgers where Cain got his wife.

Ken

For more information on scientific and other Biblical questions about the Genesis record search www.answersingenesis.org. You can also search 'Ken Ham' for more information on the Genesis Creation. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. Psalm 69:3

Is God Still Good in the Blindside?

I've heard many say “God is so good meeting my need.” There is a lot of truth in that statement but I've not heard many folks say how good God is when they are blindsided and heaven is silent.

In 1992 I stood up after sitting at my word processor. I felt a pain in my back. By 1993 the pain turned to 24/7 agony putting me into bed and in a wheelchair when out. As my pain worsened day by day my family and I knew I was dying. Even with that thought more and more on my mind each day I rested in 2nd Corinthians 5:8, that to be absent from the body would be to be at home with Christ.

I remember being laid up in bed in great agony, often speaking Job 13:15 out loud through clenched teeth to the ceiling; “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him, yet I will argue my ways to His face.” There were no doctors or specialists in my state that could diagnose the reason for my crippling pain. A couple even told me “You'll have to learn to live with it.” This horror went on for a year and a half with many nights of lost sleep for myself and my family due to the agonizing pain. In all that time if anyone had asked me if I thought God was still good my instant reply would have been “Yes.”

In March of 1994 I went to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. They diagnosed me with a huge benign brain tumor called an Acoustic Neuroma that was attached to my brain stem. I had surgery to remove it April 18. I'm told I was in surgery 23 hours. Even at that amount of time because the mass was attached to my brain stem the surgeons couldn't remove it all because it could leave me paralyzed, deaf, blind, or all of them. Before the surgery my surgeons only gave me 30% chance of surviving. After the surgery, due to the tumors location in my head, I lost my motor skills and spent time in a rehabilitation facility learning how to walk, talk, and eat again.

Nine months later, after returning home, the residual tumor had moved away from my brain stem and was able to be safely surgically removed. My pain and suffering ended. I came through it with total deafness in my left ear and the left side of my face and mouth paralyzed. I learned to walk again and was able to regain most of my motor skills but due to losing a lot of my balance due to the tumor's trauma I had to be alert to falling.

One morning in a Sunday school class I was asked why I didn't blame God for my suffering and forsake Him. I referred the class to John 6:67-69 to when many of Jesus' disciples deserted Him. He asked the twelve “You do not want to leave Me, too, do you?” Peter replied for the twelve, “LORD to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know You are the Holy One of God.” I simply believed the LORD was my only possible option.

The tumor has never regrown, but with age I'm facing some very difficult physical challenges. But God is still good. If you are facing dark times, whatever it may be, illness, loss of a loved one, a marriage breakup or however you may be feeling you've been blindsided, you have Someone you can turn to. The Lord is faithful and can turn molten pain into spiritual steel. He has never and will never leave you. Turn to the LORD. He is the only one who has the words of life. He can bring you through with stronger faith and unfaltering trust. His Word is His bond and He always remains good in the blindside.

Ken