Shocked But Not Surprised

Indians Game

Greeting In The Name Of The Lord:

 

Jeremiah 17:9

New Living Translation (NLT)

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is?

 From a mere human standpoint the events in Boston, with the bombs exploding at the finish of the Boston Marathon, leave us shocked and bewildered.  How could anyone set a bomb to explode and kill innocent people?  Why would anyone deliberately set explosives that could injury unsuspecting people at a sporting event?  These and many other questions go unanswered.  However, even though we are shocked, we really shouldn’t be surprised.  As Jeremiah so clearly states, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how had it is?”  Scripture bluntly tells us that without Jesus we are all lost.  Another one of the Major Prophets, Isaiah, tells us, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own…” (Is. 53:6, NLT).  Events like what happened at the Boston Marathon should leave us stunned and saddened, but we really shouldn’t be all that surprised.  Things like this have always happened from ancient time to our modern day.  People look at situations like this and ask, “Where was God?”  My response to that question was that He was right there.  They want to ask why God didn’t stop this from happening.  Yet they never consider that maybe God was there keeping even more people from being injured or killed.  Furthermore, they don’t consider that maybe God allows things like this to bring out the best in us.  Tragedy tends to bring out the Good Samaritan in all of us.  Yet, and more importantly, they forget that we bring this upon ourselves by rejecting the love and grace that God offers us in Jesus.  Should we be shocked?  Of course we should be, but we really shouldn’t be disappointed.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark 

Evidence Part 3

resurrection

Greetings In The Name of The Lord:

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NLT)
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

Here is part 3 of “Evidence For The Resurrection” by Josh McDowell.  BACKGROUND 
The New Testament witnesses were fully aware of the background against which the resurrection took place. The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body. After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons were normally rolled (by means of levers) against a tomb entrance.  A Roman guard of strictly disciplined fighting men was stationed to guard the tomb. This guard affixed on the tomb the Roman seal, which was meant to “prevent any attempt at vandalizing the sepulcher. Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb’s entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law.  But three days later the tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus said He had risen from the dead. They reported that He appeared to them during a period of 40 days, showing Himself to them by many “infallible proofs.” Paul the apostle recounted that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers at one time, the majority of whom were still alive and who could confirm what Paul wrote. So many security precautions were taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing, and guarding of Christ’s tomb that it becomes very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Evidence Of The Resurrection Part 2

resurrection

Greetings In The Name of the Lord:

Acts 2:32 (NLT)
32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.

Hope you all had a very blessed Easter, because we sure did at New Life.  Here is part 2 of Josh McDowell’s “Evidence of the Resurrection.”

LIVING WITNESSES 
The New Testament accounts of the resurrection were being circulated within the lifetimes of men and women alive at the time of the resurrection. Those people could certainly have confirmed or denied the accuracy of such accounts  The writers of the four Gospels either had themselves been witnesses or else were relating the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events. In advocating their case for the gospel, a word that means “good news,” the apostles appealed (even when confronting their most severe opponents) to common knowledge concerning the facts of the resurrection.  F. F. Bruce, Rylands professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, says concerning the value of the New Testament records as primary sources: “Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.”  IS THE NEW TESTAMENT RELIABLE? 
Because the New Testament provides the primary historical source for information on the resurrection, many critics during the 19th century attacked the reliability of these biblical documents.  By the end of the 1 9th century, however, archaeological discoveries had confirmed the accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts. Discoveries of early papyri bridged the gap between the time of Christ and existing manuscripts from a later date.  Those findings increased scholarly confidence in the reliability of the Bible. William F. Albright, who in his day was the world’s foremost biblical archaeologist, said: “We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.  “Coinciding with the papyri discoveries, an abundance of other manuscripts came to light (over 24,000 copies of early New Testament manuscripts are known to be in existence today). The historian Luke wrote of “authentic evidence” concerning the resurrection. Sir William Ramsay, who spent 15 years attempting to undermine Luke credentials as a historian, and to refute the reliability of the New Testament, finally concluded: “Luke is a historian of the first rank . . . This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians. ” (http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html)

Stay tuned for part 3 next week.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark