WINGS OF CHANGE
In Matthew Kelly book The Rhythm of Life, he lists 5 reasons as to why today's
civilization is in decay...
1. Dramatic increase in sexual promiscuity
2. Political underminding and denigrating of family values
3. The family unit has been destroyed
4. The killing of the innocent
5. Radical increase in non-warfare violence, such as gangs against gangs He then
asks the question, "Where is the world headed?"
This from God... (Isaiah 45:5-12)
(5) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though you have not known me: (6) That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the West, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (8) Drop down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. (9) Woe unto him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, What makes you? or thy work, He has no hands? (10) Woe unto him that says unto his father, What begets you? or to the woman, What has you brought forth? (11) Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command you me. (12) I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
The Pharoah of Egypt once asked, "Who is this God that I should obey Him"... (Exodus 5:2)
Have you ever wondered whether God actually exists? Can you know for sure? Can you prove it? While millions profess to believe in God, God is just not REAL to most people. How REAL is God to you? Today, many people have real difficulties when it comes to finding definite answers about God. The truth about God has been perverted and suppressed--not just by atheists and secular scientists, but by THEOLOGIANS! Recent surveys indicate that approximately 95% of Americans believe in God--yet, many Americans live their lives as if God does not exist. More than 80% seldom or never attend church or read the Bible. Only 30% or less believe or view the Bible as the ultimate authority in their lives. King David wrote in the book of Psalms more than 3,000 years ago: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1).
Seven things we must know and understand about the existance and relevance of God in our lives.
1. Creation demands a Creator (God)
2. Life demands a Life-Giver (God)
3. Laws demand a Law-Giver (God)
4. Design demands a Designer (God)
5. Prophetic promises being fulfilled (God)
6. Answered Prayers (God)
7. A coming judgment (God)
Who is this God?
While the Bible states that the physical creation manifests the wisdom and power of God (Psalm 19:1) and Romans 1:20 says that the heavens are telling of the glory of God, there is still a great deal of misinformation about God circulating in our society. Some of these misconceptions and untruths prevent some people from reading the Bible or making an effort to get to know the God who made the world and all things in it. Until we get to know God and study the scriptures, we will not be able to understand or recognize the higher purpose to our existence as Christians. It is imperative that we learn the breadth, length, height, and depth of our God! Worldwide there are many gods worshipped. In the Shinto, Buddhist, Hindu, and tribal religions there are millions of gods. The Bible confirms that there are many gods, but only one God, the Father out of whom all things are. (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
Buddha is dead. Mohammed is dead. Zoraster is dead. Hitler and others who considered themselves gods are dead. Confucius is dead. Baal, Zeus, Hermes, and Isis, etc. were the figments of the imagination of men. Jesus Christ alone arose from the dead and was seen by more than 500 people on earth after His resurrection.
Who is this God?
If you were asked who is this God? What would you say? Some say LORD. Some say a Spirit in heaven. Webster’s Dictionary defines God as the Supreme Being. Others do not think of God as a person, but as a powerful force that is present everywhere. Yet, others doubt the existence of God. Psalms 19:1-2 tells us that an intelligent creator with great power was needed to build this highly organized universe in which we live.
Where did God come from?
God is eternal and self-existent (Acts 17:25; Psalm 90:2; Romans 16:26). Any limitations on His existence would also limit Him as an all-powerful and all-knowing God. God isn't subject to time or space (2 Peter 3:8). When you accept that God exists outside of time and space as we know it, then where He comes from becomes a bit meaningless to us. A bit too much for us to comprehend. No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12 The scripture also goes on to say that GOD IS LOVE). Know this, God is a real person. While most people who believe in God do not think of Him as a real person--yet, He is. He does not have a material body, but a spiritual one. Yes, a spiritual body. If He has a body, then He must have a place to dwell. Where does God dwell? 1 Kings 8:43 tells us that the heavens are God’s established place of dwelling in the THIRD Heaven (the Scriptures distinguish three heavens: first, the lower heavens or the region of the clouds; secondly, the second or planetary heavens; and thirdly, the heaven of heavens, the abode of GOD; the first and second being the sky and space). If God dwells, then how can He be everywhere in the universe---the Holy Spirit is His active energy, and the Angels do His bidding. Jeremiah 10:12 says, "He has made the earth by his power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion."
What is God's name?
God is a title such as King. (LORD, GOD all caps). We learn God’s name from the Bible. (Exodus 6:3) God says…And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. Psalm 83:18 calls Him Jehovah, Most High. In Revelation 19:1-6 His name is part of the expression of Alleluia or Hallelujah which means “praise Jah”---jah being a shortened form of Jehovah. (God’s name in Hebrew YHWH --some think pronounced “Yahweh”.) Exodus 3:14, and God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Sometimes we refer to God as the Great I AM.
What is God's Purpose for us?
God has a purpose for mankind and the earth that is yet to be fulfilled. To be a part of God’s purpose, you cannot simply do what you want to do when you want to do it. The message that permeates our modern society is that whatever works is right for you--right and wrong are subjective. You must consider the will of GOD. As free moral agents, we have the freedom to choose to obey God and receive blessing and not curses, or go our own way and reap the consequences. Adam and Eve knew God’s will but allowed Satan to convince them otherwise, and they were held accountable. We too are accountable to GOD. We are accountable because God is the source of our life.
Our life is dependent upon HIM. And we will live and be rewarded according to our choices. Our lives, our worship, our praise should be in the way that HE says. That is why denominations are inconsequential. Do not get hung up on denominations. God is only interested in those who love Him, accept His Son Jesus, and strive to do HIS Will.
How does one get to know God?
Look at the things He created. Look to the starry heavens and see His greatness and power. Then consider the earth; gravitational forces holds the earth just the right distance in the heavens to get the right amount of heat and light from the sun for life to exist. Consider the water cycle; the rain falls to water the earth, the water runs into the rivers, which flow into the seas, the sun lifts the water from the seas as vapor which falls as rain to water the earth again. Consider the other various cycles that God put into operation. Consider your own body; existing because chemicals combine in only certain ways, designed to enjoy life, having taste buds, eyes that see in color, sexual enjoyment in the confines of marriage---things not essential for life but gifts from God to Man. Consider God’s patience, His love, His mercy and His justice to mankind. When the Israelites left Egypt, He traveled with them by day and by night Consider HIS greatest gift, His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, specifically sent to be our Redeemer;---consider that the very things that the earth provides which sustains our lives are not controlled by us. We cannot make or stop the sun from shining, the rain from falling, the grass from growing, the raging winds, or calm the turbulent seas.
The character King David said I had no one to teach me about God; so I taught myself. I saw Him in the hills, the trees, and the miracle of the birth of lambs. I felt His mercy when wolves had fled and my flock was safe; when Spring broke the gripe of snow and ice; when the cool wind blew after the heat of the day. I saw His splendor in the flowers blazing on the hillside; and the stars burning in the sky. I knew His Hand in everything!
Can God be trusted with my life?
God does not have an evil or dark side (1 John 1:6). According to Titus 1:2, God cannot tell a lie, and neither has He ever set someone else up to sin (James 1:13). God does not have favorites (Romans 2:11), and is pulling for everyone. God wants the best for all of us. In Romans 10:21, it reads that all the day long God has stretched out His hands to a disobedient and obstinate people. God has been patient and longsuffering; and He has allowed His own Son to die for the sins of unrepentant, disobedient people. The questions is not whether God can be trusted, but whether you can be trusted!
Can God be pleased?
God is never unreasonable. He isn't overbearing or tyrannical. He does not DEMAND perfection from us, (although Christ on earth was the example that it is possible), but repentance when we sin, honesty, sincerity, integrity, obedience, and that we give all of these things our very best effort.
God is He who did the creating...matter, force, energy. He is God and God alone. There is none like Him.
Christians believe that God is omnipresent, meaning that He is literally everywhere and in everything. This belief is basically true, except that King Solomon points out to us in 1 Kings 8:30-39 that God has an established place of dwelling. God exists in a realm that is not bound by material things--a spirit realm. For a vivid, symbolic vision of Jehovah's dwelling place go the book of Revelation 4:1.
If Jehovah has a place of dwelling, this indicates that He is not physically in all places at all times. He uses His Holy Spirit or active force and His hundreds of millions of angels as His eyes and ears. He can use His Holy Spirit to perceive what is happening anywhere and at any time. Thus, 2 Chronicles 16:9 states: "As regards Jehovah, His eyes are roving about through all the earth to show His strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward Him."
Therefore, Jehovah God does not literally have to be present everywhere--through the operation of his Holy Spirit and through His angelic foces, He is able to be fully aware of what is happening with regard to His creation. (2 Chronicles 6:39, Psalm 139:7-10, Revelation 4:1-6)
The Only Logical First Cause...
Where did everything come from?
It has been determined that the universe is not eternal and something cannot come from nothing. Some people ask what caused God? But people should remember that only "created things" need a cause; and God does not fit into that category. The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
Causes of Unbelief...
Religious division--Christianity can appear to be divided and contradictory.
Faith in people shattered--Having been hurt or let down by someone who professed to be a Christian.
Wanting it both ways--Wanting to sin; but not wanting to be held accountable for sinning.
Belief that life is unfair--Questioning why innocent people suffer or bad things happening to "good people".
To have freedom from moral responsibility--Wanting sexual freedom and being wrapped up in one's own desires. Human pride--Believing that you are in control--you yourself are god.
False views of God...
Atheism (unbelief in the existence of God or His ability to save us)
Deism (belief in the creations and not much else concerning God)
Pantheism (belief that God is not a person, but an it an "abstract")
Panentheism (belief that God is always changing, like the world is changing; in the process of becoming all that He can be)
Finite Godism (belief that God must be imperfect (finite) because they view the universe as having imperfections)
Polytheism (finite gods reign over separate realms of the universe and worship is based on their dominion)
Finally, these are the seven major world views...
1. Atheism – There is no God
2. Deism – God exists but is detached from the Universe.
3. Pantheism – All is God
4. Panetheism – God is developing along with the Universe.
5. Finite Godism – God exists but is limited and finite
6. Polytheism – There are many finite gods.
7. Theism – Classical Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (monotheism--ONE GOD)
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