The Meaning of Life and Answers To Society's Ills
(The Christian Version)
Many of you may already be familiar with my original treatise on this. If not, you can find it here. Some of you even ascertained that I was indeed a Christian, although many of you probably believe a rather bizarre Christian.
However, these are bizarre times that we live in. Family channels are now showing concerts of people that twenty years earlier Christians once called borderline satanic. The movies that often receive the most praise are often the most hideous. The most popular author of this time is a man who dwells on demonic themes. (Sorry, Stephen, I know that you mean well, but people don't often understand that the good guys usually win in your stories.) Gangs are killing people in the name of drugs. Famous actors and actresses parade around in the nude, trying to entice people of the opposite sex with their bodies. Science is trying to replace God with cloning. And worst of all, almost two-thirds of the American public are apathetic about our President flaunting his power to have sex, (not by his definition), with a girl young enough to be his daughter.
So, if you haven't gotten the idea, religion has failed. Where once only the outcasts did not accept the Lord, now the bulk of the public does not follow its Christian convictions.
So, like Paul the apostle, we must become all things to all men. I designed my original treatise, not based on instantly recognizable Christian values, but on common sense. Just like God said, "Come, let us reason together." And that's what this country needs a real healthy dose of right now. REASON. (Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to shout, but I wasn't sure if anybody was listening.
So, without further adieu, let's move on to The Meaning of Life.
The Meaning of Life
Those of you who have read my first treatise should know the answer to this. The answer is to help as many people as we possibly can.
Some of you might disagree with this. You might state that it is to serve the Lord God with all your heart, soul, body and mind. Or you might state that it is to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, which is our reasonable duty. Both of these are also correct.
But, let's take it one step further. Let's follow our true example. Jesus Christ. What did he do while he was on this earth? He fed people. He healed the sick. He taught. (Yes, this too is service.) If you ask yourself this question, "What is true Christianity?" Then James, (who I believe was the flesh and blood brother of Jesus Christ) states it is this: To take care of the widows and orphans.
When the righteous and the ungodly where separated in the book of Matthew, what decided it? This: "When I was hungry, you fed me; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink, when I was sick or in prison, you visited me; when I was naked, you clothed me." Now, those of you who are familiar with this passage understand that what Jesus was talking about was when we did this to the least of ours, we did this to him.
Serving others is the answer. Now, does that mean that you cannot profit from serving others. No. You may. The ox who treads out the grain is entitled to partake. But, your main motivation should not be this. It should, instead, be based on altruism. Deeds done without expectation of reward. In these cases, Jesus shows us that God repays us for that kindness many times over.
Yes, we need to worship God. But, we must also show our faith by our works, not by mere lip service. There is no finer proof of devotion to God.
What to do about those who are in sin
Many of us are attempting to correct the sin, rather than let Jesus do that. If somebody is doing something we consider ungodly, it is not our place to judge them. When you judge somebody, you are opening yourself up to the same treatment by God. Judge not and you shall not be judged. Many of us know that part of the scripture, but forgets that it continues on to say that by the same method of judgement you use, shall also be used against you.
Believe me, I hope that God has forgiven me for the way that I used to judge people, because I certainly don't want him using that kind of attitude against me with his power.
So, if a couple is unmarried and living together, and they are not Christians, what do you do? Tell them the good word of Christ dying on the cross. Once they accept Christ, (I use this term so not to alienate those who believe in Christ. I believe that baptism is necessary for the repentance of sins, but I'm not going to nit-pick.) the couple will figure out they need to get married.
If you see someone committing adultery, you need to tell them about Christ. Let Christ solve their ignorance, not you. If you see someone drunk, but I think you are getting the picture. They have to be in Christ first. If they aren't in Christ, it doesn't matter if they live an model lifestyle, they are still in sin.
You see, too many of us want to be John the Baptist, accusing Herod of his adulterous affair, rather than be like Jesus who first helped someone and then told them, "Go and sin no more." (I'll explain in a later treatise why he didn't say "Accept me" later.)
Now, if you see a brother or sister committing these sins, then you should go to them and talk to them about asking God's forgiveness and stop their sin. They may be sinning by omission or commission, but it doesn't matter. They need to work this problem out with God. Not with you, unless the sin was against you. In which case, you should forgive them.
That's why I get so upset when I see people picketing an abortion clinic. Yes, I agree that the unborn baby is a life. But, instead of screaming at these people, "Don't kill your baby," we ought to be telling them about an innocent man who was killed. We should have been teaching people first about the love of Christ who died on the cross for our sins, while we weren't even yet worthy.
Then, take it one step further. If you really want to help that teenage girl who is already confused, then, if you are a strong Christian, you ought to take her into your house, feed her, help her, and then offer to adopt her baby or help her get on her own and raise that baby. If you can convert the girl, so much the better, because if your assembly is strong enough, you all can help her raise this child while helping her find Jesus.
You see, if we all believed in Jesus, then most of the world's sins would go away. There would be less killing, less evil, less corruption, and we could all live in peace. So, your task should not be to ferret out the ungodly, unless you hope to help them reach salvation. You should concentrate on talking about the Lord at all times.
How to Reconcile Science and The Bible
One of the biggest problems facing Christians is that too many people accept science over the Bible. Indeed, using the Bible as the time standard, we can only prove that Adam would have been created sometime between 6000 and 7000 years ago. And, yet, science is constantly proving that some things on this earth date back millions of years.
The answer is quite simple. We were not the first race of people put on this planet. And, we probably won't be the last.
Oh, by now, I'm sure some of you are screaming at the top of your lungs. "Brother Paul, are you a moron. It says right there in Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
You're right. It does say that. And in Genesis 1:2, it continues and says, "and the earth was void."
But, you see, there are some disputes about that. If you check your NIV Bible, which was put together by multitudinous denominations, in the footnote, it says "or was made void."
Now, it merely follows that if it was made void, then it must have been full before. So, the scientists could be right. But, we don't need to worry about that. What we have to worry about is what happened while this (human) race is in existence.
Now, let's take this one step further. How do we know this might happen again? Simple, let's look at the very statement of Christ. "And if I go, I go to prepare a place for you." If he is going to prepare a place for us, it isn't ready, yet. This is further supported by the idea that John the Apostle tell us in Revelation (not Revelations, like so many people mispronounce), that he saw a new heaven and a new earth come down. So, since God will destroy all "the elements" therein, God is bringing down a new earth to replace this one.
That's why the Jehovah Witness's believe they will live on this earth. (Although I believe they are mistaken, they are still correct on quite a few things. Maybe I'll tell you about them in a later addition to this web-site.) So, the scientists can be partially correct, and the Bible wholly correct if you look at the scriptures in this context.
A little addition here, if I might. By carrying this to its extreme, yes, there could be aliens. My God is not too small to take care of only this planet. However, until and unless we can solve all the problems here, then let's quit worrying about the salvations of aliens.
The Importance of Christ's Death, Burial, and Resurrection
Everything in the Old Testament leads to Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Everything after his resurrection points back to it.
Let me try to help you break this down as to its importance. You see The New Testament doesn't really begin at Matthew. It begins at Christ's crucifixion.
You have to understand the nature of the belief of the people of Christ's time. They were being ruthlessly oppressed by the Romans. What they were looking for was someone to rise up and lead them into battle. They were looking for a mighty warrior to take over as their king.
Instead, they got a carpenter out of a town reviled by all. People did not believe that anything good could come out of Nazareth. But, they were amazed at the powers of this man known as Jesus Christ. He could tell people about their past. He could heal their afflictions. And, yet, when they tried to rush him to the mountaintop to make him king, he refused.
These people were baffled by this man. But, God's ways our not our ways.
You see, sacrifice has always been necessary from the beginning. You gave your best and offered it to the Lord, (which is why we now are living sacrifices.) Now, from Adam until Moses, the people were a law unto themselves. They had no ten commandments nor New Testament to guide them. (That's why Christ went and preached to them while he was in the grave.) The sacrifices, nevertheless, were never perfect. They merely rolled mankind's sin forward until the perfect sacrifice came.
Then Christ, the son of God, (one and the same, but that's a debate for another time), said "Send me."
You see, Christ came down, lived as a man, suffered all temptations and came through unscathed. Now, the council plotted against him, because they were afraid he would overthrow their power. So, they trumped up charges against him, put him through a mock trial and called him guilty. But, you see Christ was never guilty. When they proclaimed him guilty, they proclaimed all of us guilty.
So, he suffered for us. He died on the cross. Then when they buried him, he was brought back after three days (he went in on a Wednesday night, but that again is another debate for another time, however, it is important that he spent three days and three nights in there.), and spent time with his apostles, then ascended to his father.
If he had not done this, then he was not the Messiah. He had to do exactly as had been predicted about him.
So, that's why Paul says he only has one lesson. That is Christ and him crucified. That's the only lesson that needs to be pounded on.
A preacher friend of mine one time told me he only had two lessons: 1) How to become a Christian and 2) How to Stay A Christian.
You see, that's why I believe baptism is necessary. We must be buried with Christ. When Christ died, his blood and his water flowed mingled down. That means that burial in water is burial in Christ's blood. That's how we become washed in the blood of the Lamb. When we come up out of the water, we are becoming resurrected in a new life. A life where Christ is the head.
Just Exactly Who Did Christ Die For
You see, there are some sects out there that still teach that Christ didn't die for the Jews or for the Blacks or some other color.
Well, let's get the facts straight. First of all, Abraham became the first major principle in the Bible. His descendants, through his son, Isaac, were blessed. Now, these were Hebrews, nowadays called Jews. They were, first and foremost, God's children. Those who converted did not receive the full rights of the Hebrews.
But, then Jesus shows compassion to a Gentile woman who begs for the scraps off the master's table, and Jesus grants her request. Then Jesus tells of a parable about a banquet being held for all the honored guests. These honored guests he refers to are the chosen ones, the Hebrews.
But, then when they don't come, the Lord of the banquet tells his servants to go and beat the bushes and bring in anybody. That's the gentiles. Well, a lot of us are those Gentiles.
Now, when he is praying in the garden the night before his crucifixion, he prays not only for his apostles, but all that believe through them. That's you and me.
He tells Peter that he will open the gates to the kingdom of heaven. He is not referring to the pearly gates, as so many jokes would have you believe. The kingdom of heaven is his church. So, Peter, on the day of Pentecost, ten days after he watched the Lord ascend to heaven, Peter is blessed with the Holy Spirit, as are the rest of the apostles. But, Peter is the first to talk to the gathered Jews.
3000 accepted his words and were baptized that day.
Then later on, Cornelius, a Gentile of some power sends for Peter. The night before Peter has a vision where he is told not to call unclean what God has called clean. Peter understands that this means that Gentiles were to be accepted and accorded the same rights as God's "chosen."
So, Peter opened the door for the Gentiles to receive Christ's salvation. True, Paul the apostle, teaches them more on his famous missions. But, now everyone is accepted. No longer is it Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, we are all one under Christ Jesus.
So, the answer, God sent himself in the form of Jesus to die for every one of us.
Are There Any Powers Other Than God?
Yes, there are other powers. Yes, spirits can be called back from the dead. If you don't believe it, check out the Witch at Endor in the second book of Samuel.
Saul asks for the witch at Endor to bring Samuel back from the dead. She does only to have Samuel rebuke him.
The witch gets quite upset with Saul for having him summon Samuel.
Yes, there are other forces at work on Earth. But, here is a better question:
Why should you mess with them? You shouldn't. You do not have to get involved in these Satanistic powers. If something is more powerful than man and less powerful than God, where does it come from? The answer: Satan.
So, when you think about dabbling in the occult, think again.
How Satan Works
Satan is not, as many people believe, causing hideous horror movie-like ills.
Is he capable of this? Yes, I believe he is. I've read some stories that make me believe those who dabble in the occult may very well experience things similar to the Exorcist.
But, see Satan is not limited by just that. Satan can extend his power far deeper. He will attack whatever you believe. If he can cause a doubt, he will do that, because it brings you one step closer to him.
If your weakness is sex, he will send a temptress. If it is drugs, he will send you friends that tell you it is okay to do them. If it is money, he will put you in a position of power to take money. You getting the idea?
That's why the apostle Paul tells everyone to assemble on the first day of the week. There is power in numbers. And you can overcome temptation easier by surrounding yourself with those who love you in Christ.
Sometimes, they're not enough. That's why you have to talk to God and pray to him. God's archangel Michael has defeated Satan on more than one occasion. God can do so much more. He can give you the strength to face any temptation that Satan throws at you.
But, if Satan does win temporarily, God provides you an out. You confess your sin to him and ask forgiveness, and God will remember your sins no more. You get a fresh slate every single time.
You see, in Satanism, they constantly use blood sacrifices to keep up their power. As a matter of fact, every perverse cult out there usually uses twisted variants of Christ's sacrifice. But, our need for blood sacrifices is over, because Christ provided the sacrifice once and for all. The cults still need their sacrifices to continue, because they don't have that perfect sacrifice and never will.
Do I need To Understand Everything Before I Become A Christian?
Nope! You don't. See, too many people are trying to get it right before they become a Christian because they don't think they are worthy of becoming a Christian.
Let me tell you something. You pick the holiest man out there, and he is not worthy of being a Christian.
The closest to God was probably David, and on two separate occasions, he committed envy, lust, intercourse, murder, and pride. Paul the apostle used to kill Christians in the name of God, or so he thought. Later on, he even got in an argument with his good friend Silas. Peter used to sit with the Jews instead of the Gentiles.
There are no perfect Christians out there. Only forgiven ones. And, you can spend your whole life and still not wring out every single ounce of meaning out of the Bible. There are people who have memorized every word of the Bible, and yet still can't comprehend it.
But, there are a few basics you need to understand. 1) We are all sinners not worthy of God's gift of salvation. 2) We need to believe that God has given us a precious gift of salvation. 3) We need to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. 4) We need to repent of all our sins. (This also means a complete turning around from that way of life.) 5) We need to be baptized. (Some of you might think acceptance is enough, but I'm not stopping short) 6) We need to obey his word.
After that, if you want to unravel the mystery of the seven seals, and 666, and any other little thing, then do so. But, first, you have to be in the race to accept the prize.
If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. If you want to get in my chat and discussion rooms, then tell me you want to join, and I'll give you access to all of it.
If you choose to disagree with me, keep it on the discussion level, please.