The following was written by Bart McCurdy.
This is how I use to look at creation.
And this how I see creation, today.
This use to be how I saw the stars.
But this is how I see them, now.
My perspective has changed--not only in how I view the world around me, but also how I view people. You see--this is how I use to see people.
But when I look at the people around me I see many of them this way.
The question I had to ask myself is this. "Why did I use to view all these things so differently? What happened?"
Here's the answer.
Nearly 4 years ago, I heard a message, Hell's Best Kept Secret, by a man named Ray Comfort. Comfort explains how God sees us in light of His standard, The Ten Commandments. Once the Law was held in front of me like a mirror, I finally saw myself as God sees me. I had broken every single one of those commandments in either thought, word, or deed--and many of them thousands of times.
I came to realize, by the grace of God, that I was a dirty, rotten, wretched violator of His law and that He would be justified in sending me to hell for all of eternity. I finally saw that all my “good works” were as filthy rags in His sight, I deserved hell.
The Good News was that 2,000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to come down to this puny earth and take the punishment that I deserved. You see--Jesus Christ never once sinned, He never looked at a girl with lust (which is adultery of the heart) like I did. He never once lied or stole anything, like I did. He never once murdered in his heart by hating anyone, like I did. He never used His Holy name in vain or worshiped another god, like I did. He never once wanted something that belonged to someone else, like I did so many times. It’s absolutely amazing that He died for me, a sinner, I don’t deserve it.
When God opened my eyes with His law, I could do nothing but repent, I told God how sorry I was about sinning against Him, I knew I needed to turn from my sins and put my trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of my sins. I understood that He received the full weight of the wrath of God, that He died, and that He rose again on the third day! He paid the price for my sins in His life’s blood. And now, my sins are forgiven--past, present and future--and when I die, I will spend eternity with the God of the universe. This same God is the One who created everything we see (and the things we cannot see), from the dirt fields, to the stars in the sky--and yes, the people on this planet.
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34-39).
Because of my gratitude to Jesus Christ for what He did for me on the cross, I do my best to obey this command. I cannot live up to God's standard, and doing so doesn't make me right with God. I want to obey Him because I love Him and I am grateful for saving me from the just penalty for my sins against Him.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Now, I look at creation completely different. I see flowers as incredibly beautiful, wonderful plants created by an Amazing God! I see the stars and think, “Wow! God must be incredibly powerful!” And now, I see people as souls--souls that could someday die and spend eternity in hell, apart from the Holy, Infinite, Amazingly Kind, Loving, Merciful God. I couldn’t imagine that--not anymore.
And if I love my neighbor as myself, then I will warn them of the wrath to come and share with them the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Friday, November 7, 2008
The above image is not of a group of distant stars. The heavenly bodies in the picture are Pluto and it's nearest neighbors--Charon, Nix, and Hydra.
Pluto was discovered in 1930. Charon, Pluto's closes neighbor was discovered in 1978. Nix and Hydra, each 5,000 times fainter than Pluto, were discovered more recently.
Up until 2006, Pluto was considered the 9th and most distant planet in our solar system. But on August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially defined the term "planet" for the first time. As a result, Pluto lost its planetary status and was relegated to the status of a "dwarf planet." What was once the smallest planet in our solar system is now the second largest dwarf planet, in an area of the solar system known as the Kuiper Belt.
For 76 years, Pluto was accepted as a planet, by people around the world. For 48 of those 76 years, Pluto was believed to be a moonless planet. And now, as of just two short years ago, not only is Pluto no longer a planet, but the heavenly bodies nearby are no longer moons.
The story of Pluto serves as but one example of the hypocritical pride of man. Here's how.
Let me ask you a question. Why did you believe Pluto was a planet and now you don't? Have you ever been to Pluto? Have you ever examined it for yourself? Have you talked to someone who has been to Pluto? Your answer, if you are honest, must be this. "I believed that Pluto was a planet and now I don't believe Pluto is a planet because that's what I've been told. That's what I've read in the science books, news articles, and astronomy magazines."
The same people who would answer the above questions in this way are the same people who insist that the Bible is unreliable because it was written by men. Their smoking gun argument is that no one is alive today who was present when the Bible was written. Or they may argue that the Bible is unreliable, scientifically.
When scientists insisted that the world was flat, the Bible declared it was round (Isaiah 40:21-22).
When scientists and religious scholars believed that the earth sat atop an animal, the Bible declared it floated suspended in space (Job 26:7).
When scientists believed that the number of stars in the heavens was a relatively small amount, the Bible declared otherwise (Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22).
Long before scientists understood the circulation of earth's atmosphere, the Bible described it well (Ecclesiastes 1:6).
These are but a few examples of the scientific reliability of the Bible.
In the end, if you hold the position that the science books you read or have read in school are reliable--even though scientific points of view change as often as the wind (as with the case of Pluto), but you do not trust the reliability of the Bible; it's not that you can't believe the Bible is true. It's that you won't believe it. Why?
The reason is simple. If you believe the Bible is true then you would be obligated to submit to the authority it contains and the God who created you. If you are an unbeliever, the thought of doing that is repulsive to you because you love your sin. What causes people to believe the fallible texts of science while denying the infallible Word of God is sinful pride. And it is that same pride that causes a person to declare their own goodness.
When you die and stand before God (whether you believe it or not), He will judge you and your perceived goodness against the perfect, holy standard of His Law (the Ten Commandments). How will you do on that day?
Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? Have you ever murdered in your heart by hating another person or by being angry without cause? Then, according to God’s perfect and holy standard, you are a lying, thieving, blasphemous, murderer at heart. You have sinned against Almighty God. The Bible says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31)—the God who spoke the Universe into existence.
If God finds you guilty of breaking His Law, then He must punish you. And the punishment for sinning against God is eternity in hell (Revelation 21:8). But there is good news!God the Father sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ (God in the flesh), to take upon Himself the punishment sinners rightly deserve for their sins against God when He shed His innocent blood and died on the cross. Three days later He forever defeated death when He rose from the grave. To receive the free gift of eternal life, Jesus said that sinners must be born again (John 3:3, 7). If God causes you to be born again, you will recognize that you cannot save yourself. You will repent (turn away from your sins) and put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. You will pass from death into life and receive the free gift of eternal life.
The God who created you; the God who created Pluto is the only One who can save you. Please consider these things carefully. Repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read the Bible every day and obey what it says.