Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Immanuel: God With Us

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translates, “GOD WITH US.” Matthew 1:18-23

Miracle of miracles … how can we even comprehend this story to be true? I really can understand how some of my more skeptical friends say … no way. The Bible is just fairy tale, they say ... another spiritualized version of the Santa Claus story; or as one of my best friends for life recently replied to me; “when I die, all that’s left is dirt.” The great thing about Christianity and living in America is that we can strongly disagree and still love and respect each other. Respect and love for the other person has nothing to do with political correctness or pretending that we respect or consider the other person's beliefs as true or of value. We tolerate each other, but on this subject, each of us believes the other to have believed a foolish teaching. I really can understand why we have irreconcilable differences. Our beliefs and loyalties are committed to rulers of opposing views. One true, one a lie. Good versus evil. Both can never be true.

Think about it. Meditate on it. A recently engaged virgin woman; from a very religious family; impregnated by the Holy Spirit; the child in her womb is God, the Creator of the universe coming to earth in the form of a man; for what purpose … to die on the cross for the sins of mankind; the prospective husband who had not touched his future bride gets a visit from an angel that tells him, “don’t worry about the fact that your fiancĂ© is pregnant … God is inside of her.” Jesus is born and lives a perfect sinless life, performs many miracles, walks on water, raises the dead, and teaches a gospel of peace, love, forgiveness, and repentance; the Messiah will be killed by His own people, whose prophets clearly foretold His coming, but they did not recognize Him; He freely delivers Himself up to suffer the worst of deaths imaginable; buried under guard for three days only to be resurrected from the dead; victoriously ascends into the clouds; and this Savior now waits at the right hand of the Father interceding for His followers who do not deserve forgiveness … but are forgiven, justified, and redeemed and receive eternal life in heaven because He … Jesus Christ , Immanuel, the Messiah, God with us, the Savior of the world paid the penalty for all of the sins of man … once for all.

Are we all part of God’s plan created before time began? Did this all knowing, all powerful, ever present, Creator God, consider my innermost parts before the beginning of time? Am I important to God? ---------------------- Or am I just an accident … dirt, as my friend from childhood believes and contends?
And are we actually no more important than the bait we would put on a fishing hook, or a leaf blowing in the wind?

Can you see how those unbelievers see all of this as fiction? The source of the problem is clear to me: "Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4

A few days ago, I was in a discussion with a “Christian” friend online who tries to reconclie these opposing beliefs. This is clearly impossible. I asked him the following question: “Hundreds of millions of fossils have been discovered ... but none of them are transitional organism fossils. Fish are fish, birds are birds, cattle are cattle, and T-Rexes are T-Rexes ... in the fossil record. There are no fossils that reflect the gradual change from one animal kind into another." Darwinian evolution is a big lie being taught to our children and grandchildren; and any scientists who question this forced system are singled out, and their career is destroyed. Doesn't this injustice bother you? I asked. He responded with drawings of supposed transitional animals. When I rejected this fantasy as obvious drawings of science fiction … he sent me a series of pictures of human skulls. Obviously they were clearly not transitional fossils and there was no evidence of any linkage other than that they all appeared to be human. I responded with the following: “This shows me nothing --- slug to man is a fantasy. For you to contend otherwise is heretical. Birds are not men ... there is no connection ... period.” He responded; “So you believe all of the fossil remains of early man are fake? “I replied: “nope ... I just don't believe that what they have tried to do with them ... to make them fit into their false theory; but in any event they do not and cannot take you or me; or any other animate thing, for that matter ... from a slug to anything else. I'm surprised you would ask me such a silly question. Creating a hypothesis and then arranging things to try to fit these preconceived notions is not science. It is atheistic wishful thinking.” It is also a violation of true science, and legitimate scientists call this unscientific practice: "circular reasoning." He ended with; “Okie, Dokie” … in other words: “you are foolish, Bob.”

Of course my position is that I have accepted Jesus Christ and all of the other Truths of the Bible by faith ... it is not necessary for me to be able to explain all of that which is beyond anyone's human comprehension ... I am not God.

My final questions to him which he did not answer were: “who do you say Jesus Is? Are Jesus and the Creator one and the same? Or do you think there was no creator? Apparently his answer would be: No Creator ... but I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Do you see the disconnect and contradiction? The next question for him would be: how then can you (a Christian) accept these false teachings of men that are contrary to the Truth of God which is your basis for salvation?

“So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.”

Jesus said; “truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” … and the Jewish leaders tried to stone Him and plotted his death from that point on. Why was what Jesus said so inflammatory to the Jews? Because, in their culture, this was the same as saying; “I am God.” Actually, God called himself “I Am” when He said to Moses; “tell Pharaoh … "I Am" sent you.”

I doubt this Christian will even bother to answer my questions. Similar to the scientists who are rejected because they question Darwinism; he has disregarded me. It is so much easier for unbelievers to write people like me off as foolish. Isn't that also what they did to Noah when he began building the ark? The obvious problem is that if someone does not believe in a creator, then the entire Bible is nothing more than just another fairy tale. Think about it … is it harder to believe God created the universe, the world, and man, and everything in it, as well as the story of Jesus Christ outlined above; or is it harder to believe that man evolved from a mistake in the mud and then trillions of more mistakes happened with the end result: being a slug, and that after a trillion more mistakes it became a crawling or flying creature, and that after a trillion more mistakes it became an ape, and that after a trillion more transitions it became a man?

In a recent post, I mentioned where Bill Maher called Christians ignorant and hypocritical while using the story of Noah and the Ark as evidence. Maher’s logic was that people who believed the Noah story are either ignorant; or that those who say that they are Christians, and that God’s Word is truth, and then disregard the hard to believe Biblical stories ... such as Noah and creation are hypocritical. Maher, an atheist is clearly right. If we say that we do not believe in creation or the story of Noah … then how can we say we believe the (equally hard to believe)story of the virgin birth above, or more specifically … the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ?

Immanuel means: “God with us” … Jesus is not just another Jewish prophet or good teacher here. It is hypocritical to say we trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but at the same time accept only those parts of His Truth that make sense from a human perspective. Either God the Creator is Jesus Christ, and either this verse is true, or it is a lie: “and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. We cannot have it both ways. Either the Savior is the Creator of the universe, or He is not. Either His Truth is absolute Truth, or it is not. Either His Word became flesh and dwelt among us, or it did not.

I am a Biblical fundamentalist in the original sense, and I am proud of it. I believe in the fundamental Truths of the Bible. All of God’s Word is Truth. Everything else is false when it conflicts with this Truth. It doesn't matter what the universities or the scientists say ... when they are contrary to God's truth, it is just so much more babble. To believe in God's Truth is to believe in Jesus Christ … To not believe in this Truth is to not believe in Jesus Christ.

If you are a Christian and you have chosen to believe otherwise ... to follow the teachings of men rather than God the Creator, I challenge you this Christmas to reconsider. Jesus has much more for you to learn but you cannot humble the Creator and Savior of the world to the teachings of men.
He is your God ... it cannot be the other way around.

To my atheist friend from childhood, as well as my online Christian friends with conflicted beliefs, my prayer for you is that God the Creator, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will make the Truth clear to each of you. Whether it is the teachings of men or the teachings of God, the belief you receive is always, in the end, accepted by faith. It is not about evidence. This is a faith decision. Place your faith in Jesus Christ totally and completely, this Christmas and always ... and then peace, joy, and blessings beyond comprehension will be yours always throughout eternity.


God Bless you my friends, Bob

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