More Than Wet (Baptism)

Baptism

The Gathering Church/ Baptism Sunday: Pastor Barry Bruce

“Wet Behind The Ears” Matthew 18:2-3, John 3:1-7

You have no doubt heard the expression “Wet Behind The Ears”. The meaning of the phrase refers to someone who is very young, naive and inexperienced. Example of use: “I can’t believe they decided to promote Kelly. If you ask me, I think she’s still wet behind the ears”. The idiom came from the drying of amniotic fluid on a baby after birth, specifically a new-born farm animal, which last dries behind the ears.

 How many of you understand what I’m getting at when I say “you need to be ‘wet behind the ears’ before you can walk in the Spirit of truth and wisdom”?  Let me explain:  Jesus’      disciples were arguing one day over who would be the greatest in God’s kingdom and Jesus essentially said “the one wettest behind the ears”.  We must receive the kingdom of God humble, like a child.  No matter what our life experience is, we must come to Christ like an inexperienced child.  In fact when Nicodemus, a religious teacher, came to Jesus in the night wondering how he could gain eternal life, Jesus said “you must be born again”.  Jesus was essentially telling Nicodemus to forget all of his learning and “get wet behind the ears”.  Be reborn Nicodemus! He was confused because he could not understand how one could enter his mothers womb and be “born again” but Jesus explained:  To go to heaven one must be born first of water (from his mother’s amniotic fluid) and then again by the Holy Spirit. As the promise says in John 1:1:12-13, when anyone receives Christ, and believes in his name, he gives them the right to become “children of God”. One becomes “born again”, not of natural descent, nor of a human decision or of a husbands will, but born of God. “Wet    behind the ears” again like a little child.  Ready to learn from the Holy Spirit of God.

More than Wet Acts 2:38-39, Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17

The act of baptism is more than getting wet. It is a symbol of being “born again”.  First, it is the act of willingly repenting (turning away from sin) and following Jesus example and    command as a child would obey his father.  Secondly, it is a symbolic act of dying to self (going under the water) and being washed clean. Thirdly, it is a symbol of raising up with new life in Christ.  “Born again” through water, but this time not breathing in air, but the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  After baptism one is more than wet with water, they are filled with the promised power of the Holy Spirit and will now walk in the newness of life.  That is God’s direction, promise, truth and wisdom.  “The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!”

Public Praise Romans 6:23, John 3:16, Matthew 10:32-33

In our world,  being very young, naïve and inexperienced is considered foolish or even shameful.  But Jesus wants us “wet behind the ears” when it comes to sin and the wages of that sin which is death. The gift of God is eternal-life in Christ Jesus our Lord, and it is offered freely because of his love for us demonstrated by his death on a cross ( to pay for our sin)  to anyone who would come to him like a child.

Like a child who is proud of his loving father we are to publicly announce our son-ship to   everyone we meet.  That is why publicly display the act of baptism, and our love and service in Jesus name.  As he instructed us, we confess him before men both today and always:

 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven”. Matthew 10:32-33

 We who are the “born again” “Children of God” also come out of the water today to fulfill the great commission of Jesus.  That is why we baptize and the church rejoices!

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Come to the Waters Isaiah 55:1a,2a,6

Are you thirsty?  Come to the water who is Jesus.  “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Yes, we all must be ‘wet behind the ears’ before we can walk in the Spirit of truth and wisdom.  If you are not “born again” then come like Nicodemus did and let me introduce you to Jesus after the service.  Better yet, ask one today who is wet behind the ears after their baptism. They know the way!

 

Disciples (naked runner/ lesson 12)

JesusFollow

The Gathering Church/ Pastor Barry  Gospel of Mark (naked runner series) Lesson 12

Blind in Bethsaida Mark 8:22-26, Luke 10:8-16, Hebrews 10:26 –27

Jesus and his disciples were passing through Bethsaida on their way to the villages around Caesarea Philippi.  This was a Jewish city where Jesus’ ministry was not appreciated.  It was in close proximity to the Jewish cities of Chorazin and Capernaum (His “hometown” Mark 6:1-6). These cities were also closed to his ministry even though he had performed miracles there. Nonetheless, “some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him”. It is interesting to note that Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside of the village before healing him. Does Jesus get fed up with those who continue to disbelieve after he reveals himself?  Apparently the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Before this event, when Jesus sent out the seventy two (Luke 10) to go ahead of him into every town and place where he was to go, he spoke to the future judgment of these places and others like them.  The principals he laid out for those disciples are for our learning and practice as well (Luke 10:8-6).  When we share Christ in deed and truth and are rejected we are to move on to another person or another place.  Whoever listens to you listens to Christ, whoever rejects you rejects Christ.  Whoever rejects Christ rejects God.  We can apply this to an individual, a family, a group, a town, a city, a state or a country.  Ultimately this judgment will be applied to the entire earth (Acts 17:31, Revelation 19:11).

Jesus referred to the ancient  judgment of Sodom (Genesis 19:23-28), and Tyre and Sidon (Isaiah 23; Jeremiah 25; 27; 47; Ezekiel 26–28; Joel 3; Amos 1:9–10; Zechariah 9:1–4) as future indictments for those three cities for not believing. History and Archeology prove his words:

Biblical archaeologist, Ron Wyatt discovered the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah southeast of the Dead Sea in 1989.  These cities were covered with millions of partially incinerated sulfur balls and tons of ash.  History reveals that Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre from 585–572 BC. Alexander the Great conquered Tyre in 322 BC, completely destroying the city. The Persian king Artaxerxes conquered Sidon.  Later, both cities became prosperous provinces of Rome in Jesus time.  Chorazin, Capernaum and Bethsaida were all destroyed by an earthquake in the 4th century and never successfully rebuilt.  Their ruins remain today.

The Blind man in Bethsaida examples the spiritual blindness of that city. Jesus instructed the man (after healing him) “Don’t even go back into the village”. We cannot ever go back to unbelief after receiving the knowledge of the truth or nothing but judgment awaits us.

 Kingdom Keys Mark 8:27-30, Romans 8:31-39, Matthew 16:17-20

Jesus often questioned his disciples to see where their faith was at.  He also regularly rebuked them for their lack of faith and encouraged them for moving in faith.  He did this because all men are basically weak in faith, but it is only by faith that we can come to Christ and be saved (Acts 16:31). With the Apostles therefore we must always seek to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). The Apostle Paul said, 1.) “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).  The Apostle James said, 2.) “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22-25). Being a disciple of Christ is willfully seeking the discipline of Christ to do both. This is the only way to build and exercise your faith.

Jesus asked his disciples “who do people say I am”.  He expected various responses from the world but from those who had heard him and followed his instruction he expected faith!  When he asked the question “Who do you say that I am?” the question was not just for Peter. It was for everyone present…it is also for you and I!  The question was to ascertain who they had faith in.  Peter answered correctly “You are the Messiah (Christ: anointed one, promised one of God)”.  If this is our answer to the question then what can stand against us? Not even the gates of hell!  Nothing can separate us from Christ! (Romans 8:31-39)

 Matthew gives us Jesus’ response to Peter. He was not making Peter the first pope in a long line of religious alpha males.  The church was never meant to be an institution of hierarchy. The “church” is all people who put their faith and trust on the “rock” who is Christ!  Peter’s declaration of faith is what the church is built on and the “keys of the kingdom” (unlocking the mysteries of faith) are possessed by all of heaven’s “children” who believe in Christ (John 1:12, John 14:15-21). The “keys to the kingdom” is real faith that demonstrates itself in action that literally brings heaven down to earth in deed and truth! It is his kingdom coming to earth through his children (Matthew 6:9-10).

Jesus finishes this discourse by ordering his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the   Messiah. Why, might one ask?  Because Jesus never came to tell people he was the Messiah. Jesus came to show us.  Jesus has made it perfectly clear through his actions. His life fulfilled the prophesies,  his living demonstrated truth, love and righteousness, his miracles expressed his deity. No one else in all of history holds a candle to the light of Jesus.  If one truly seeks to know God he will find Jesus.  If a Jew really wants to find his Messiah he will find only Jesus. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  Are we listening?

The Cross Mark 8:31-38, Matthew 6:9-10, Philippians 3:10-14

We know that Peter, nor any man born after him, is the chosen authority (Pope) of the church because in his very next breath he tries to dissuade Jesus from carrying out his mission to go to the cross.  Jesus says “get behind me, Satan!”  That is how quickly Peter (and any of us) goes from class scholar to dunce by putting earthly concerns before “the mission” to save souls!  Jesus is clear, “whoever wants to be his disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him.”  If following Christ has never cost you anything, you’re not following him.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you are “gaining” in this world then you are putting your concerns before “the mission”(your kingdom before his: Matthew 6:9-10).

 We live in an adulterous (unfaithful, disloyal, untrue, inconstant, false, deceiving, deceitful, treacherous) and sinful generation, but we are called to live by faith.  To know Christ is to gain the dynamic power of real active faith that presses onward in “the mission” to save souls.  Are you moving forward as a disciple with Him or do you need to “get behind him?”

Understanding (naked runner/11)

Syrophenicean2

The Gathering Church/ Pastor Barry Bruce  Gospel of Mark/ naked runner series #11

Understanding God Isaiah 55:8-9, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Many people are quick to discredit something because they don’t understand it, but that is ignorance. I may not fully understand the scientific reasoning behind a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake or an atom bomb but I certainly believe in them and their destructive power. “You don’t have to understand everything to believe in something.”  So how foolish it is to say “I don’t believe in God” because I don’t understand him and his ways.  God tells us in his word that his thoughts are far beyond ours (even if you are a scientist).  

As human beings, we are created – we don’t have our origins within ourselves. We are finite, whereas he is infinite. We are in time; he exists outside of it. In contrast, I can’t even prevent myself from doing the very things I know in my heart I don’t want to do (Romans 7:15). To say that humans and God are different is the ultimate understatement. No wonder we have a hard time understanding Him. Thankfully, he has overcome our limitations by revealing himself to us in his word and in the person of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14); nonetheless, sometimes even Jesus can be hard to understand without an explanation.  In today’s study we will look at a several stories where Jesus made comments that were difficult to understand both then and now.  

“Dogs” and “Sheep” Mark 7:24-30, Matthew 15:21-28

At this point in his ministry Jesus was being sought after by crowds constantly.  The more he healed the more people flocked to him.  It is important to note here that Jesus’ primary purpose for coming to earth was not to feed the hungry, heal the infirmed or cast out demons.  We know that Jesus didn’t feed and heal everybody. In his own home town “he did no mighty work there” (Mark 6:5-6).  He also told those he healed not to tell anyone, and he looked to get away from the crowds and their endless requests often.  We must remember, the main reason Jesus came (in his own words) was to “preach” (Mark 1:37-38) “for that is why he came out”. Jesus’ miracles illustrated the spiritual healing he truly came to give.  This is also the main thing that Jesus commands Christians to do today (Matthew 28:19-20).  Without the gospel people will die in their sins rather healed, delivered and fed or not!   With this thought in mind let us consider Jesus’ rough response to the Syro-phoenician woman (Canaanite women), who begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter.  Reading Matthew’s gospel adds to the drama.  The woman was actually following after Jesus all day and repeating her request while Jesus said nothing! To make matters worse, Jesus’ disciples urged Him to ‘send her away, for she cries after us” (Matthew 15:23).

The disciples, acted prejudicially towards the Canaanite/ Gentile woman.  She was an unbeliever and worshiped false gods.  Likely the demon her daughter was possessed with came into her as a result of her families spiritual practices.  Furthermore, Jesus was the   Jewish Messiah who came for the “lost sheep of Israel”.  He was Israel’s promised “Bread of life” (John 6:32-33).  A promise the Gentiles mocked!  When Jesus referred to her as a “dog”(unholy) it was not his title for the woman but the title the Jews used in reference to her people and their practices. In one phrase Jesus laid out the irony of the woman’s request.  It was as if he said: “are you really coming to the table of the Jews for help?” Jesus was trying her faith and the “genuineness of [her] faith, being much more precious than gold that   perishes, though it is tested by fire, [was] found to [give] praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7)  She humbly accepted the harsh truth of the implications of the word and begged for mercy.  In her response Jesus saw her faith in him and healed her daughter.  In the same way, we must accept the harsh truth and judgment of our sin and plead to God for mercy.  We Gentiles are “dirty dogs” without the Christ just as the Jews are stupid “lost sheep” without him.  The bottom line is that we are all a bunch of animals without the Shepherd of our souls.  Stop being offended and repent and be saved!

 “Signs!” Mark 7:31-8:21, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25

Jesus had been traveling from town to town doing many miracles.  In these passages he heals a deaf-mute man and later feeds 4,000(men) in the same way he fed the 5,000 (men)    earlier (Mark 6:30-44). Word about him had spread everywhere and the testimonials abounded, yet still the hard-hearted Pharisees asked Jesus for yet another “sign from heaven.” Jesus refused them and did no miracles! He got into the boat and went to the other side! On the way to the other side, Jesus reflected on the sin of the Pharisees and Herod (willful unbelief). The disciples on the other hand were concerned with the fact that they forgot to bring enough bread to eat…again. The disciples were so caught up in their superficial dilemma that they failed to see the spiritual lesson that Jesus tried to teach them: “Watch out for the yeast (sin) of the Pharisees and Herod”.  How often do we fail to see what Jesus wants to teach us because we are busy majoring on the minors?

The disciples were concerned about food which Jesus had clearly shown that he could amply supply and thereby clearly demonstrated that they were also caught up in willful disbelief. The Jews demanded signs and Greeks looked for wisdom but Jesus was the power and wisdom of God provided for those who would believe.  We too must believe to be saved.  Asking for  continual signs or always looking for reasonable explanations will keep one from saving faith. We must also “beware”.

Understand and Believe! Romans 1: 16-22, 10:8-13

Do we still not understand and believe?  We have no excuse before God. He has made himself clear.  We must get over ourselves, admit we are animals without the Savior, beg for mercy and repent!  We must also stop asking God for more signs.  The gospel road has been well marked and documented by the word and testimony of believers. “The word is near you.”  Beware of the expanding sin (Yeast) of disbelief. Jesus is Lord.  Declare it and be saved!

HYPOCRISY (naked runner/ lesson10)

PharaseesThe Gathering Church/ Pastor Barry Bruce  Gospel of Mark/ naked runner series #10

Sadducees & Pharisees

The Gospels refer often to the Sadducees and Pharisees, because Jesus was in constant conflict with them. The Sadducees and Pharisees comprised the ruling class of Israel. Here is a brief overview of them:

Sadducees: Sadducees tended to be wealthy and held powerful positions, including that of chief priests and high priest, they also held the majority of the 70 seats of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin. They worked hard to keep peace with Rome (Israel was under Roman control), and were more concerned with politics than religion; therefore, they did not relate well to the common people. History indicates that the Sadducees had to go along with the ideas of the Pharisaic minority often because the Pharisees were held in higher esteem.

Religiously, the Sadducees were more conservative in at least one main area of doctrine. They preserved, passed down and taught that God’s word (Books of Moses: Genesis through Deuteronomy) alone had authority. The Pharisees gave their oral tradition equal authority to the written Word of God.  (The Roman Catholic Church also functions in this way.  Oral tradition and the authority of the Pope are on equal footing with the written word.)  The Sadducees, however, were not perfect in their doctrinal views. The following is a brief list of beliefs they held that contradict Scripture:  1. They denied God’s involvement in everyday life. 2. They denied any resurrection of the dead. 3. They denied any afterlife, holding that the soul perished at death. 4. They denied the existence of a spiritual world, i.e., angels and demons.  The Sadducees were therefore “Sad you see”.

The Sadducees were unconcerned with Jesus until he received negative Roman attention. It was at this point that the Sadducees and Pharisees united and conspired to put Christ to death (John 11:48-50; Mark 14:53; 15:1). The Sadducees ceased to exist in A.D. 70 when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.

The Pharisees: The Pharisees were mostly middle-class businessmen, and therefore were in contact with the common man and seemed to control the decision making of the Sanhedrin far more than the Sadducees did.

Religiously, Pharisees accepted the written Word as inspired by God, but gave equal authority to oral tradition. They defended this position by saying these traditions went all the way back to Moses evolving over the centuries. Ironically this practice is forbidden in the very word they swore to believe (Deuteronomy 4:2). The Pharisees did believe correctly in some areas. They believed: 1. God controlled all things, yet allowed individuals to also affect life’s course. 2. They believed in the resurrection of the dead. 3. They believed in an afterlife, with reward and punishment. 4. They believed in the existence of angels and demons.

 The Pharisees continued to exist after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, in fact they were first to make peace with them. The Pharisees were also responsible for the compilation of the Mishnah, an important Jewish document with reference to the continuation of Judaism beyond the destruction of the temple.

Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees earned numerous rebukes from Jesus. Perhaps the best lesson we can learn from the Pharisees and Sadducees is to not be like them. Unlike the Sadducees, we are to believe everything the Bible says, including the miraculous and the afterlife. Unlike the Pharisees, we are not to treat traditions as having equal authority as Scripture, and we are not to allow our relationship with God to be reduced to a legalistic list of rules and rituals.

 Wash Your Hands! Mark 7:1-1-8, Isaiah 29:13-16, Proverbs 3:5-6

The Pharisees were aghast that Jesus and his disciples did not follow their oral traditions of washing. They implied that they therefore could not be of God.  Jesus blasted them with words from Isaiah the prophet.  Reading further in Isaiah’s passage gives us even more   insight into what Jesus was thinking. Those Pharisees (the clay) were telling Jesus (the    Potter) that he was at fault.  Have we ever been so stupid?  Of course we have.  We turn things “upside down” when we question God’s word based on our own understanding.  Wisdom is to lean not on our own understanding but to acknowledge Him in all our ways as he directs our paths.  The Pharisees were upset by a lack of hand washing and yet failed to see how dirty their thinking was.  How “upside down” are we?

Hypocrisy Mark 7:9-16, Matthew 7:1-5, 1 Peter 4:7-8, James 2:12-13

hy·poc·ri·sy the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense

Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy in the Pharisees tradition of “Corban” which made money for the temple while violating God’s commandment to honor ones father and mother (Exodus 20:12). They were pointing a finger at Jesus and yet failed to see three other fingers pointing at them. We must remember that we will be judged by the same measure we judge others by (Matthew 7:1-5). This sobering fact should make love and mercy most sought after by the believer (1 Peter 4:7-8, James 2:12-13).

Wash Your Heart! Mark 7:17-23, Jeremiah 17:5-10

Tradition, especially religious tradition and hypocrisy is difficult to let go of.  This is why the disciples were so “dull” (ignorant).  Let’s not be so dim.  Jesus made it clear— what enters us from the outside may be eliminated by the body but what we store up in our hearts will defile (pollute) us. While the Pharisees (clay) were telling Jesus to wash his hands, the Potter was telling his creation to wash their hearts.  We must not trust in man or think for a moment that self (flesh) can stand in judgment of another.  Our hearts are full of deceit and hypocrisy…we must trust in the Lord and stay in communion with him. We must never think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3).  Sober judgment is only found in Christ.

Easter Sunday (He’s Alive: No Fooling!)

TombFlower

The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem.  Discovered in 1867. Hebrews 13:12 states that “Jesus suffered outside the city gate”, which the Garden Tomb is. unlike the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is within them.

The Gathering, April 1, 2018     Pastor Barry, Easter Sunday

“April Fools!” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of All Fools’ Day, which has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures; its exact origins remain a mystery. April Fools’ Day is all about playing practical jokes on each other. There is no doubt that many of you today have been pranked already.  Has anyone been tricked into going to church this morning?  

 How ironic that Resurrection Sunday falls on this day and not since1956.  It won’t happen again until 2029. I think that would be a great day for Jesus Christ to return for his church!  I’ll be 67 years old then… Actually, he may still come today!  I think today would be even a better day for Jesus to come for his church. How about you?  Just imagine all of those    foolish unbelievers looking up after all of us believers have been taken up into his everlasting arms. “April fools!” We could all shout, but it wouldn’t be very funny for those left behind. For the day of the believer’s rapture is the beginning of God’s wrath on unbelievers( Revelation 6:15-17).  

 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.… 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

“Changed!” Just as Jesus Christ was changed at his resurrection!  This is the glorious   promise that we believers celebrate on Easter Sunday and throughout the year! God is alive forever and we who believe will also be with him.  Do you believe?

“God is dead!”

Friedrich Nietzsche (FREED-rik NEE-Chuh) didn’t believe. He was an Influential German      philosopher (1844-1900) and celebrated for his writings on the end of religion in modern society and the concept of a “super-man.”  He is famous for saying “God is dead. God remains dead and we have killed him.”  Friedrich believed that men of science and philosophy like himself had proved that there was no God and therefore he was dead. His writings have influenced many major thinkers and writers of the 20th century and continue to do so today.

Charles Darwin (1809 –1882) didn’t believe.  He is often cited as the greatest biologist in history. His most famous work, on the Origin of Species, explains the theory of evolution by natural selection, providing numerous supporting examples, but let us not forget the many missing links as well.  His thinking and writing on the subject of evolution and natural selection caused him to reject the evidence for God in nature and ultimately to renounce the Bible, God, and the Christian faith. Young Charles was brought up to pray, and as a young man he studied three years in theological studies at Christ’s College, Cambridge with the  intention of going into the ministry. Inevitably, the more Darwin studied the works of unbelievers and ultimately convinced himself of his own theories, the less he accepted the Bible as the divinely inspired Word of God. According to Darwin he renounced the Christian faith at age 40. Forty years later he wrote:

“I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, and therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.”

Charles Darwin died two years later on April 19, 1882, at the age of 73

Steven Hawking (1942-2018) didn’t believe. The world famous physicist died this month. He became world renown when he published A Brief History of Time (1988) which sold 10 million copies and was written in 40 languages. The avowed atheist said:

 “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”

 Stephen Hawking had lots of company among his peers with respect to atheism. According to surveys, as many as 93% of top-tier scientists do not believe in God. In comparison, about 83% of Americans believe in God.

The Fool… Psalms 14:1b-4, 5, 1 Corinthians 1:18-21, Romans 1:20

The psalmist, David, (who defeated the godless giant Goliath with faith in God: 1 Samuel 17:1-52) wrote that the fool says in his heart “there is no God.” Regardless of one’s learning, fame, accomplishments or prestige, “the Lord looks down from heaven” and says I Am (Exodus 3:14, John 8:24) and the unbeliever is a fool, but God is present in the company of the righteous. (What company are you keeping?)

The Apostle Paul (the learned Pharisee who once persecuted Christians and later testified that Jesus sent him to proclaim the gospel to the gentiles: Acts 22:1-21) said: “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18). To those in Corinth he said: That through the preaching of the cross “God has made foolish the wisdom of the world” ( 1 Corinthians 1:20).

How is it that the more educated one becomes the less likely he or she is to believe in God? Perhaps the more “advanced you become in thinking or acting like you are a monkey on a minor planet of a very average star”— instead of believing that you are a child made in the image of God on a uniquely created planet—you become an absolute idiot surrounding yourself with other self important absolute idiots.  Has our learning taken us so far into black holes that we fail to see the God revealed before our very eyes? (Romans 1:20)

Witnesses Luke 24:1-12, 36-39, 45, 48-53, Matthew 28:16-20

Why look for the living among the dead? Nietzsche, Darwin and Hawking are all dead and so also is an endless list of the damned throughout the history of man.  Why be among them?

I look to those disciples who also once thought the resurrection to be nonsense until they saw Jesus resurrected.  It was then Jesus who opened their minds to understand. It was Jesus who made them witnesses to later proclaim the gospel with his power from on high!  It was Jesus who inspired those men and women to die as martyrs for the truth they told and it was Jesus who took them home!  I am now a witness of his work in my own life. How about you?

As Jesus even ascended before their eyes some worshipped and others doubted.  To believe will always be a choice and the only choice rewarded. He’s Alive…No Fooling!  BELIEVE!