Is the Earth Old or Young?

I said in yesterday’s post that evolutionism contradicts the Bible at multiple points.  There is, however, a simpler way to demonstrate the incompatibility of evolutionism with the Bible.  It is to show that the Bible does not allow for the universe to be millions, much less billions, of years old.   That is, evolutionism requires a universe much, much older than the Bible will support.  Here’s what I mean:

We are told in 2 Corinthians 13:1 and elsewhere that a fact is to be confirmed by two or three witnesses. There are three places in Scripture clearly declaring that God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh: Genesis 1:1-2:3, Exodus 20:8-11, and Exodus 31:12-17. Therefore, we can accept this statement as true and have no reason to doubt it. Though its meaning seems clear, someone may want to suggest that “six days” could refer to long periods of time. However, whenever a reference to “six days” is made elsewhere in Scripture, and there are 21 such occasions, it always refers to six days as we know them. Neither is there a contextual reason in any of our three proof texts, or in any of the 21 other occurrences of the phrase, to regard “six days” in any sense other than its plain one. Therefore, we conclude that creation took a week. And since there are also three places in Scripture that genealogies trace all the way back to Adam (Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Luke), we conclude that the earth is young relative to the claims of secular science.

Furthermore, it is impossible for any old-earth chronology to be reconciled with the Bible anyway. This is because even if one were to accept as true the false premise that “six days” refers to long periods of time, there is no old-earth chronology that allows for the seventh day of rest required by the biblical texts. That is, old-earth chronologies consider all processes forming the creation to be ongoing – never ceasing. Therefore, no old-earth interpretation can fit with the cessation of labor described by the Bible as taking place at the seventh, as it were, period of time. Since no old-earth interpretation can be consistent with the Bible and a young-earth interpretation is, the issue is doubly settled.

The Foolishness of Evolutionism

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
–  1 Corinthians 1:20

Indeed, God has made foolish the wisdom of the world, for how else can you describe it when highly educated people claim that evolution can explain the universe we inhabit?

They say that all living things originated from a common ancestor.  Yet the Bible says that God made living things in discrete stages – and in discrete kinds that each reproduces after itself.

As Jesus Himself said:

… Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
–  Matthew 7:16

Even the least educated country boy knows that “If a frog had wings…” is a way of saying that something is not going to happen, but some of the most celebrated PhD’s in the world think that random mutation and natural selection make flocks of bullfrogs flying alongside flocks of geese a distinct possibility.

What is God up to here?  He is showing us that human pride leads us to embarrass ourselves.  He is also showing us that when we claim absurd things – like everything we see slowly evolved without oversight or direction from primordial soup – that we try to sustain the foolish claim by silencing all opposition.  The emperor’s new “clothes” would still be worn with pride if some courageous and honest person with common sense had not spoken up.

We know that evolution cannot explain the origin of the universe because the concept of evolution contradicts the Bible at many important points.  The Bible carries more weight than any mere human pronouncement – no matter how learned those doing the pronouncing, and no matter how many “pronouncers” are in agreement.  The word of God is true – no word of men is going to prove it wrong.

I don’t say that you should get into arguments with people about this subject.  What I do say is don’t get caught up in their view of wisdom.  For as the prophet Jeremiah said on behalf of the Lord:

The wise men are put to shame,
They are dismayed and caught;
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,
And what kind of wisdom do they have?
–  Jeremiah 8:9

Christianity Is Rooted in the Heart

Christianity is a heart religion – not a ritualistic one.  Nevertheless, some churches and denominations have tried to make Christianity a ritualistic religion.  They do this with sacraments, traditions, and additions to the word of God.

Don’t be caught up in these things.  Throw off every device of man and cling to the words of the prophets and apostles who gave us the Scriptures.  They have made clear that our service to God works from the heart outward – not from rituals inward.

Here’s a sampling of how the apostles Paul and Peter direct us in this matter [emphasis added]:

…you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed…
–  Romans 6:17-18

…doing the will of God from the heart.
–  Ephesians 6:5-6

…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts
–  1 Peter 3:14-16

These apostles are building on what the prophet Isaiah had said centuries before:

Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”
–  Isaiah 29:13-14

The words of Isaiah were fulfilled in the days of Jesus and His apostles.  We can see the same principle at work in our day.

Love God with all your thoughts, and let that love work its way into your behavior.  Do not think that religious rituals impress God.  He wants righteousness!

Let Marriage Be Undefiled

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
–  Hebrews 13:4

The Sexual Revolution is a revolt against the kingdom of God.  And it is therefore a revolt that will ultimately fail.  The only question is, as it is with any revolt that is destined to fail, how much death and destruction will occur before the revolutionaries finally accept defeat?

Sex is the gift of God, and it is for marriage and marriage alone.  And marriage is for a man and a woman alone.  It doesn’t matter whether you like or approve of this arrangement; it only matters that it is the Creator’s design, and rejection of His design invites judgment (“fornicators and adulterers God will judge”).

It is depressingly remarkable how widely and deeply held are the tenets of the Sexual Revolution in current American culture.  Among them are the beliefs that any sex mutually agreeable to two or more adults is okay, that a woman has the right to kill any offspring currently dwelling in her womb, that a man is not responsible for his seed.  Do not let your thinking be determined by these beliefs.  Instead, keep your thoughts pure; walk in the spirit (for only if you recognize that all your thoughts are an open book to God can you keep your thoughts pure).

Enjoy and honor sex in marriage; abhor it anywhere else.

…do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil…
–  Romans 14:16-17

Sex in marriage is clean and holy; everywhere else it’s defiled and perverted.  Alas, it appears that the current generation of Americans is determined to learn this lesson the hard way.  Still, a word to the wise should be sufficient.

The Value of Endurance

I’ve selected these verses and made bold their references to the concept of endurance in order to draw attention to its importance and value in our lives.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
–  James 1:2-4

We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
–  James 5:11

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
–  Hebrews 10:36

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
–  Hebrews 12:1-3

Satan’s purpose in putting you through a trial is to make you give up hope in righteous living, to think that doing what is right really doesn’t matter all that much, that God won’t or can’t reward our faithfulness in doing good in the face of ongoing opposition.  Once you know this, it’s easier to see the point in enduring trials.

Stop looking for approval in all the wrong places

Your desire for the approval of people is killing your faith.  Or, to state it a little differently, your fear of people’s disapproval is killing your faith.

Listen to what Jesus said about the place we should look for approval:

“I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.  I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”
–  John 5:41-44

If Jesus neither sought human approval nor feared human disapproval, should we not live with that same attitude?  And if we do not live with that attitude, isn’t it obvious why our faith keeps getting snuffed out in the daily grind of life?

Your faith can grow by reading this blog and the books which I have written precisely because I cannot see you.  This means that you can respond to Jesus in complete privacy.  I hope that’s what you’re doing – responding to Him.  I am writing not in my own name, but in His.  Therefore, it’s only right that you should respond to Him instead of me.  If you want clarification of something I’ve written, or you want to question or even challenge something I’ve written, these are valid reasons to respond to me.  To the degree that you understand what I’m saying on His behalf, however, all that matters is your response to Him.  He will see you; He will take note of your response.  And He will approve.

It’s suicidal for your faith to fear man more than God.  It’s like a farmer who plants a seed in the morning and digs it up before lunchtime.  Futility.

Your faith will grow to the extent that you keep it a matter of intimacy between you and your Creator-Redeemer.  No human being is qualified or entitled to share in that intimacy.

The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God…
–  Romans 14:22

Others will eventually notice your faith – some reacting positively and some reacting negatively.  Just be sure that you are indifferent to whatever human approval or disapproval your faith in Christ may bring you.

Just as a husband and wife share an intimacy that is no one else’s business, so you should cultivate an intimacy with God that is no one else’s business.  To the degree that you do, your faith will live and grow.

God Wants Children, Not Robots

God wants children He can raise, not robots He can program.

…God deals with you as with sons…
–  Hebrews 12:7

This is why Jesus described Himself not just as a lord but also as a teacher.

“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.”
–  John 13:13

That is, Jesus doesn’t merely tell us what to do, He teaches us what to do.  This is because He wants us to understand His commands, to understand the life He is leading us to live.

For this reason, Jesus explains His ways to us.  He wants us to think as He thought.  In fact, in order to behave as He behaved, we must first think as He thought.  That’s why we go to the Scriptures: to find His thoughts and make them our own.  When we do, we can say along with the apostle Paul:

…we have the mind of Christ.
–  1 Corinthians 2:16

Armed with the mind of Christ, we can gradually learn to speak and act as Christ spoke and acted.  We renew our minds every day with His thoughts that we find in the Bible.

The Lord Jesus wants us to be principled people.  Therefore, He teaches us principles so that we might meditate upon them, and daily – more and more with each new day – come to understand how those principles can be applied in our lives.

Therefore, when you look to the Lord for guidance, don’t expect a step-by-step plan which you can mindlessly execute.  Rather, expect Him to guide you as a loving father would his children.  That is, expect Him to remind you of principles He has taught you, and how those principles apply to the issues of the day you are facing.

This is why effective prayer cannot be a quick and perfunctory matter.  You need some quietness and time to meditate and reflect on what God has said…in the light of the day before you. And it’s why effective prayer is more a matter of listening than of speaking.

From the Old Testament:

Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.
–  Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

Having learned this lesson from Ecclesiastes as a boy, Jesus could explain it this way to His disciples (in the New Testament):

And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.  Pray, then, in this way:  “Our Father who is in heaven…”
–  Matthew 6:7-9

Note that effectiveness of the Lord’s Prayer is not in your saying of the words, it’s in what you notice happening in your heart after you say the words.  It’s the principles of Jesus taking root in your heart and bearing fruit in your thinking about the day you are about to live in His sight.

Jesus and the Bible Are Not for Christians Only

We should not think that the Bible is merely a manual for Christians, to be restricted to Christian meetings and Christian purposes.  On the contrary, the Bible is a record of truth that explains the world, how it works, and why it works as it does.  Every human being will benefit from this sort of knowledge.

Neither is Jesus the Savior of Christians only.  He is the Savior of all men and the Lord of all men.  No human being should be kept ignorant of His ways as they are described in the Bible.

Therefore, we should not hide the light.  As Jesus Himself said:

“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”
–  Luke 11:33

It is possible that another religion or even a secular ideology may have a component of truth, but that religion or secular ideology is false at any and every point that it contradicts the Bible.  This is why all people need the Bible – they need truth!

Our world is starved for truth.  God forbid that true bread should be kept from any of its inhabitants.

Blessed Are You Who Hunger To Do Right

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
–  Matthew 5:6

I have good news for those of you who want more than anything else in life to do what is right – what is right in the eyes of your Creator.  That good news is that Jesus of Nazareth has left you an inheritance of immeasurable riches.

You may not consider yourself blessed, but you blessed indeed!

Keep your hunger for righteousness stirred up.  Seek to fulfill it daily.  This is a legitimate hunger, one that God desires to fulfill every day of your life.

Consider the sum of these two verses:

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
–  Isaiah 55:6

…the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
–  Romans 10:12

And consider that these riches are riches of grace:

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
–  Ephesians 1:7 [emphasis added]

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
–  Ephesians 2:7 [emphasis added]

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
–  Ephesians 3:8 [emphasis added]

You can and should draw on this inheritance of wealth every day.  He will supply all your needs for righteousness.  And to the degree that you accept your daily portion of righteousness, He will supply all your physical needs as a bonus.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
–  Matthew 6:33

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
– 3 John 1:2

Feed your soul daily on righteousness, and every other need you have will provided in due course.

How fortunate you are to be hungry for the righteousness of God!  Alas, some folks have no appetite at all for this sort of thing.  In fact, you’ll have to learn how to maintain this hunger in a world full of people hungry for many other things.  Jesus learned how to do that; He will teach what He learned to you.

…He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
–  Hebrews 5:8

You Are a Child of God

You are a child of God.  I do not have to know you personally in order to know this about you.  I know it because God has declared it to be so in the Bible.  How did this state of things come to be true?  God created all of us, and, when the devil kidnapped us through our sins, God became Jesus of Nazareth in order to ransom and adopt us to be His own once again…and forever.

Jesus’ mission was not to divide the human race.  It was already divided.  He came to bring it together.

Therefore, stop dividing the human race in your mind.  Instead, see every person as a fellow traveler with whom you will spend eternity.  Human thinking divides people into tribes; divine thinking sees every human being as made in the image of God.  Sin may mar that image, but sin is temporary.  Its affects will not last forever.  The effects of God’s mercies, however, do last forever.  “His mercy endureth forever,” as the King James Version of the Bible says.

Therefore, your goal is not to become a Christian, it is to become more like Christ – that is, more like your Father in heaven, the one who created you and adopted you.  It will be easier to see yourself as a child of God if you recognize that every human being is a child of God.  Then you can get on with the task of imitating your heavenly Dad…and, as you have opportunity, helping your brothers and sisters along the way who don’t see the truth as clearly as you do.