Hebrews 9:23-28

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 6, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” -Hebrews 9:23-28

If you’re just jumping into this passage in Hebrews, you may be wondering what on earth the author is talking about! That’s why having the context of a Scripture passage is so important. Last week, I wrote about the handful of verses before this passage. The author’s overall argument in this whole section of Hebrews is comparing the old religious ways of the nation of Israel to Jesus Christ, and that theme continues here. The author had just finished discussing how all of the holy things used to require cleansing, but now Jesus is the one sacrifice that completely and perfectly cleanses all things, once and for all.

In verse 23, the author refers to “copies of the heavenly things.” He is acknowledging that all of the items used in the Jewish religious ceremonies are just copies to be used for external sacrifices here on earth. It is only God in heaven who can purify people internally. Something better is needed than using these copies to atone for the sins of the people.

But as it’s written in verse 24, the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made was no mere copy of anything! He came to earth to die a very real death and then really be raised again. After completing that work, He entered heaven to join God the Father. The Greek word here used for “copy” means “corresponding to the same type” or it can refer to a foreshadowing. The earthly “copy” of things that were made with human hands are the same type but foreshadowing the pure holiness of all that is in heaven, where Jesus now reigns.

We are not fit to stand before God on our own merit, but Jesus is. He lived the perfect life that none of us can live, and because of that, He is the only person worthy of being in God’s great and perfect presence. He appeared there for us; He was the sacrifice that was needed on our behalf to take care of all of our sinfulness so that one day we, too, may appear before God in perfection on behalf of Jesus.

In verses 25-26, the author again points to a difference between the Jewish sacrificial system and the work of Jesus. The earthly high priests had to enter the Most Holy Place every year in order to keep performing sacrifices, but Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient just once. It does not need to be repeated! Jesus Christ did not have to be sacrificed over and over again, but once was enough. He came to earth once in His physical body so that He could live a perfect, sinless life, die a terrible death, and be raised again. Because Jesus is both fully human and fully God, He did not need to be repeatedly sacrificed as was the case for the imperfect animal sacrifices in the old system.

Even though the people’s sins were dealt with each year under the old sacrificial system, they were not truly forgiven and wiped away until Jesus came to earth and accomplished His work. Only the sacrifice of Jesus can truly wipe away sin, whether that sin is past, present, or future. It is also important to note that while the high priest would use “blood that is not his own,” Jesus used His own blood for the one true sacrifice. The earthly priests could only use external means, whereas Jesus used internal means - His own blood for the sacrifice of Himself. This shows the superiority of Christ’s sacrifice and how it could accomplish perfect forgiveness of sins for all people for all time, rather than imperfect and temporary forgiveness.

We see the purpose of Jesus coming to earth very clearly in the last part of verse 26: “But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” His purpose was to do away with sin, and this could only be done by sacrificing Himself. This is the key truth of the entire gospel message – Jesus came to earth to die and be raised again so that all sin might be forgiven. This is the point the author has been making with all of his discussion to compare Jesus to the old covenant and the old sacrificial system.

The author wraps up this point in verses 27-28 by comparing Jesus’ sacrifice to the fact that all people will die an earthly death once and then face judgment. But this death is not the end of the story for us; Jesus will appear a second time, but with a different purpose. The purpose of Jesus coming the first time was to take away the sins of all people. The purpose of Jesus coming again is that He will bring that salvation.

You may be thinking, but hasn’t Jesus already accomplished salvation? Yes, He has! But that salvation has not been totally fulfilled while we’re still living in this sinful world. This is an “already but not yet” situation. We have already been saved by Jesus’ work on the cross, but we are not yet living in that sin-free life of the world yet to come.

While all earthly analogies of heavenly concepts do break down at some point, here’s one idea. When you buy tickets to a concert, you are able to go to that concert and you’re planning on it, but you have not yet gone. You may have an idea of what that show will be like and you’re anticipating it, but you don’t fully know until you experience it. You’re already going to the concert, but you have not gone yet.

That’s where we’re at right now. If we have faith in Jesus Christ as the one true sacrifice for the forgiveness of all our sins, that ticket has been purchased. We are already experiencing Jesus’ salvation, but we are waiting for Him to come back again so we can attend the big event. We may have ideas as to what that “concert” of eternal life will be like, but we don’t know for sure until we experience it. The best part is that Jesus has already made that purchase for us with His sacrifice; we simply have to receive it by grace through faith. We are living in the “already but not yet” stage of the Christian faith.

Have you received that ticket of faith in Jesus Christ so that you may receive forgiveness of your sins and live with Him forever? If not, I would encourage you to do so today; we do not know when He is coming back again, and we need to be ready!

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Apologetics 18: Avoid Foolish Banter

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 3, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

I have spent 12 weeks on just three verses of 2 Timothy 2:24-26, and that has been an incredible study. I have been convicted, and I’ve been putting these concepts into practice – not often successful but practicing. During the summer, as I was getting this series put together, I took a short overnight personal retreat to get away and spend time with the Lord. I preached to myself over this passage, and I began to look at the surrounding context in greater detail. It really opened up even further. I won’t cover that in as great detail as I did these three verses, but there is too much to simply pass on. For today, I’m going to look at the immediately preceding verse:

“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing they produce quarrels.”
~2 Timothy 2:23

Even before this verse, Paul described separation from the world and former passions. He had warned against two false teachers by name who were leading people astray. He prepares Timothy for how a servant of the Lord should be by showing what the servant does not do. The servant of the Lord is not going to tolerate foolish and ignorant speculations. We are to avoid entertaining and engaging foolish banter, and there is a LOT of that going on in our world today.

Before I get into some examples, let me make things clear: this verse is not talking about any so-called “in-house debate.” This verse is not talking about whatever WE would like to make secondary issues. This is talking about things that are pure speculation, cannot be demonstrated nor validated, and, in nearly all cases, come from a position that questions the clarity of Scripture. We are not merely to not give such speculations any hospitality, we are to refuse them. We are to put them down and not give them a voice.

Jesus gives an example of these pointless speculations when He battled with the Sadducees. (John MacArthur pointed out some of these details.) The Sadducees had the political power with Rome in those days, but they were also more theologically liberal than the Pharisees. They only believed in the Torah (the first five books of our Bible) as being Scriptural, and they denied the possibility of bodily resurrection. They gave Jesus a hypothetical situation of a woman who lost seven husbands, never giving any a son, and they asked him whose husband she would have in the resurrection. They rejected the idea of the resurrection, so they were trying to make mockery of it while attempting to make Jesus look foolish. Jesus refused to answer the question because they did not know Scripture, all the while boasting to be the masters of it. Jesus refused such foolish questions by showing the ignorance behind it all. After putting the Sadducees to shame in their own game, no one dared to challenge Jesus any further.

There are several big things to notice in these “questions.” 1) They are out of ignorance, which comes from not knowing nor understanding Scripture. 2) They are foolish. They are not thought through. They are only designed as a trap and to poke holes, but they themselves are not sound. When the objection cannot stand, that which it objects to remains standing. 3) They come from a mindset or worldview that has the intention of questioning or challenging the Biblical position. They nearly always have a “Has God indeed said?” tone, even when they quote or reference Scripture.

One example is when the young earth creation group is asked, “Could there have been animal death before Adam’s sin?” Sometimes they phrase it with “What would happen if Adam stepped on an ant if no animals died?” They usually follow this by suggesting Adam had to have seen animal death in order for God’s warning against eating of the tree to have weight. This is one of those questions. 1) It has a false foundation that that man could not know anything other than through experience. 2) It requires the presupposition of old earth ideas, and thus commits the fallacy of affirming the consequent. 3) There is absolutely nothing in Scripture that indicates this is an option. 4) It denies the spiritual weight of substitutional atonement. Let’s explore these in more detail.

1) The belief system of those who make this claim can be summarized with “Science is king.” Everything is subjective to personal experience. If “science” says it, it must be true. This is a foolish position because every single person saying this does not believe nor practice their own worldview. They believe all sorts of things that they never experienced and that no one else experienced either. Yet here, they have all experienced and seen animal death, therefore everyone else must have experienced animal death. The problem is that before Adam sinned, the world did not operate as it does now. The Creation wasn’t cursed yet.

2) The old earth idea presupposed in this claim is “the present is key to the past.” They not only presume that experience is all Adam would have known, but they also presume that what they experience now is what Adam experienced. This is unfounded as well, as the Bible describes two catastrophic changes to how the world operates with the curse due to sin and then with the destruction of the flood. The present is never the key to the past. Actually, the past is the key to the present.

3) This is an argument from silence. Why would anyone even think of this question unless they were trying to make room for a different model? It is pure speculation, and it has the tone of “Has God indeed said?” There were no predator acts prior to sin and no reason to think animals died according to Scripture. Where is the reason coming from? Deep Time mythology.

4) This is the big one. This question, unwittingly or not, denies the substitutional atonement of Christ. Every old earth model has human death before sin just by looking at their own claims about geology and the fossil records. Death was the penalty for sin. If animal death, and especially human death, preceded sin, then God’s killing of an animal to provide skins for Adam and Eve would have no weight. The old earthers use this to say that God’s warning would have no weight without experience, but that experience takes away the weight of the need for substitutional atonement, not to mention that it denies divine revelation to Adam. If animals died prior to sin, then Adam would have seen the animal death as normal. He never would have taught Cain and Abel what a true sacrifice was (which Abel obeyed, but Cain did not). And then, there would be no accurate snapshot of what Christ would do.

Keep in mind, what God established in the Old Testament are pictures of what Christ would do. You can look at Christ and look back to see what God intended with all these pictures and types. But you cannot get the picture wrong, look forward, and get Christ. Many people unwittingly accept the old earth models while proclaiming the name of Christ, but they fail to see that these very models actually deny Christ and deny the work of the cross. This is why I am so passionate about origins. If we are to preach Christ and Christ crucified, then we better have the correct model of origins – the one God gave us. The wrong creation model showcases the wrong Creator. If you have the wrong creator, you have the wrong savior. You can’t just say the name of Jesus and get a pass. Many false religions use the name of Jesus, and Jesus himself warned against the counterfeits that would show up. Only the Jesus of the Bible saves. Only the Creator who created as He said He did is the one who saves as He said He did. This is not a secondary issue.

We must avoid foolish and ignorant speculations and banter. We must refuse it and not give such ideas a platform. However, even if we do so with the love, gentleness, patience, and humility that Paul calls for, we must be aware that there are many who won’t listen to anything we say no matter how “nice” we are. That’s for next week.

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Hebrews 9:16-22

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 29, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” -Hebrews 9:16-22

Even though I wrote about it last week, it is important to recall the verse before this passage before diving into this one: “And for this reason [Jesus] is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15). Jesus is the one who is in charge of the new covenant that we have because of His death and resurrection, and He is the reason that we have the promise of eternal life.

When looking into this passage, I consulted a commentary (side note: commentaries are a great tool to help with studying the Bible!), and the commentary said that the argument made in this passage is not easy to follow in English because of the Greek words used. We don’t always have great English words to convey the meaning of Greek words, and this is one of those times. The Greek word diatheke used in verse 16 (translated as “the one who made it in the NIV”) means a person related to making a last will and testament, but it also works to describe God being in charge of the covenant with His people. God is the one who sets the terms of this covenant, and we cannot argue with Him, even more so than how a person cannot argue with the law of the land.

The author transitioned from using the word “covenant” previously to using the word “will” in this passage. They are similar, but there are slight differences. God’s covenant was both established and fulfilled by Him; the first covenant was made with Abraham, and then it was fulfilled through Jesus’ death and resurrection so that now we are under the new covenant. A will, however, has the idea of a person’s last will and testament; verse 17 tells us that it only applies after a person dies, and it has no power while the person is alive.

Because of that, we see why Jesus had to die in verse 18. Even the very first covenant that God made with Abraham required blood to be spilled; you can read about it in Genesis 15. In that covenant, God told Abraham that if God broke the promise made, God would pay for it with His death. But if Abraham broke the promise made in it, God would still pay for it with His death. Of course, Abraham (and every human who has ever lived) did break that promise by sinning against God and being disobedient to Him. Therefore, Jesus’ blood needed to be shed in death to fulfill the old covenant. Using the language of a will instead of a covenant, the will would not go into effect until Jesus died. Either way, Jesus had to die in order for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

While God originally made the covenant with Abraham, Moses was the one who received God’s law for the people. As related in verse 19, first Moses proclaimed the law to the people, so they would know what God expected of them and what His rules were for them. Next, Moses performed ritual sacrifices. He used the blood of calves along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop to perform ritual cleansing both of the people and the scroll of the law. Water, scarlet wool, and hyssop were commonly used in cleansing acts, so this would have made perfect sense to the people of that day.

Then Moses proclaimed to the people that God has commanded them to keep this covenant (verse 20). This is not merely a suggestion, but it is a command from God! The people were commanded to keep this law that God had given them through Moses. If they broke this law (which, of course, would happen frequently) then blood would be required to be shed; something or someone would have to die as punishment. Those were the terms of God’s covenant.

Years later after the tabernacle and then the temple was built, they, too, needed to be sprinkled with blood and cleansed (verse 21). Everything that was to be used by God and for His worship under the old covenant must be cleansed, as God cannot tolerate sin in His presence. Verse 22 takes this even further, stating that “nearly everything” must be cleansed with blood. The whole system of worshiping God in the Old Testament was based on the shedding of blood in order to for cleansing and forgiveness to happen.

Aren’t you glad that you don’t need to be sprinkled with blood when you worship God at a church building each week? Jesus has come so that no more blood is required to be spilled in the worship of God – not animal blood or human blood. Jesus’ blood was and still is sufficient to cleanse the entire world and to provide for forgiveness of the sins of all people for all time! This is why Jesus needed to come and die – so that the covenant would be fulfilled.

Because Jesus is the great high priest, we are now under the new covenant that does not need recurring bloodshed as the old covenant did. Jesus’ sacrifice was, is, and always will be sufficient for all people. Put your faith and trust in Him today for your salvation!

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Apologetics 17: Patient and Humble

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 26, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

A servant of the Lord must be patient and humble. If I had a struggle in my debates and my stance for truth, it would be patience with those who believe and teach error. My patience in “tolerating” error is very short, and as a result, my tendency is to get into quarrels and to struggle with being gentle. I frequently have to remind myself of these four traps: they don’t know the truth (or don’t recognize it), they are not thinking straight, they are ensnared by the devil, or they are being puppeteered into doing his bidding. Jesus said of his executioners, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus was the perfect model of patience.

Eric Ludy gave me a very unique approach to looking at patience. It’s not “sit and wait.” It’s actually more “tensile strength combined with resilience.” It’s the ability to be stretched out and revert back to “normal” without getting bent out of shape. In engineering, an object has a limit to how far it can be stretched or compressed before that stress becomes permanent. Press it further and it can shatter. A resilient material is able to revert back to its original shape after a stress load. If there is one thing that “bends me out of shape,” it’s hearing false teachings. I have always been a rule follower, and the breaking of rules offends me. God has taken that gifting and directed it towards His teachings, so I do not tolerate error. I often get accused of being unkind towards those who disagree with me, however it actually has nothing to do with me. I don’t hold a lot of weight on my own opinions. I do have them, but I don’t give them a lot of weight. I give the Word of God the weight. And many times, it tells me I am wrong. Patience is the ability to hear error and revert back to your normal position without losing your cool.

The key to such resilience is humility. A lot of people don’t fully understand humility, and I can’t say I have it mastered. As of writing this, I had recently had my “church membership interview” with one of our elders (I think this is a good idea as we want to make sure those who are officially part of the church congregation be vetted), and he made a comment that when he first met me, he saw a spirit of humility in me. Now some of those who have engaged with me on-line would beg to differ. As I have reflected over my conversations, I can definitely see times where I have been proud and arrogant. I also see times where the accusations of pride and arrogance are ultimately nothing more than, “I know what I am talking about, how dare you question me?”

My pastor is preaching through the book of Exodus, and he’s made a big issue of the need for humble church leaders. Humility is not a lowly “woe is me.” It is most certainly not, “I really don’t know, so I won’t make a formal stand.” Those people are always questioning the clarity and integrity of Scripture, often boasting that no one in 2000+ years has figured out what God actually meant until they did. That is as much arrogance and pride as those who arrogantly boast about their position. My pastor’s description of humility is being beaten, crushed, and broken. It is having YOU driven out of you. It is God grinding you to powder. It is thinking nothing of yourself and relying wholly upon Christ.

Moses could say he was the humblest man, because he was the man most broken and most dependent upon God to get him through. He had no delusions of grandeur from the moment he fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian. He resisted God’s calling, knowing he could not do it in his own strength. As he grew and began leading Israel, the more and more he depended upon God for his strength. As a servant of the Lord, Moses needed to be humbled before he could be used. James warns us that pride goes before a fall, but God lifts up the humble.

Paris Reidhead counseled a pastor who had a good-sized church and a radio/TV program, but he lacked the Holy Spirit’s power. He told the pastor that all he wanted was power for the program he had already established in his own flesh. Reidhead described it as driving up with a new Cadillac and telling the station clerk to fill her up with the highest octane you got. Reidhead told him before God would do anything for him, he would not have to sit in the back seat, letting Jesus drive, but rather he would have to give the keys to Jesus, let him fill up the car with whatever gas he wanted to, climb into the trunk, and slam the lid, telling Jesus to drive. True Christianity is not us doing things for God; it is God working in and through us. We are just in for the ride.

A servant of the Lord must be patient and humble. If we are not patient and if we are not humble, then God will work around us and may pass us by. He won’t let us share His glory. I have four books published now, and I have already had reports that several of them are already changing lives. I now have on record that one of them has even saved a marriage, and I didn’t even write about marriage in it. I am going to say plainly that this was not me. I can take no credit for any of that. Yes, I wrote them; but it was God who directed that, and it was God who spoke to the reader and changed their lives. I was merely a tool in God’s hands. For the longest time, I have never wanted to be broken by the Lord. I have prayed I would rather be moldable for God to form me than for Him to have to break me. I am no longer convinced by the validity of such a prayer. This series by my pastor is teaching me what humble leadership should look like, and it’s having a very good effect on me. God has me at this church for more than this and I’m glad to be here where God has me.

This concludes my study on this passage directly. However, as I studied this passage, the context surrounding it must also be examined. Stay tuned.

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Hebrews 9:11-15

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 22, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance —now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” -Hebrews 9:11-15

For the last few chapters of this letter, the author had discussed Jesus as the great high priest, and then in chapter 8, he discussed how because of that role, we now have a new covenant from God. In the first part of chapter 9, he connected those concepts and began discussing the place of worship. The next step in his discussion is looking at specifically what Jesus Christ has done for us and why that’s important.

In verse 11, we again see mention of Christ as the high priest, but it says that He came as “the high priest of the good things that are now already here.” That phrase is difficult to interpret, as the manuscripts are divided as to whether it should read as we see in this NIV translation or if it should say “the good things that are to come.” We do not get an explanation of what these good things are, but the context indicates that they are the work that Christ has accomplished and all of the blessings that act brings to us - whether they are already here or yet to come.

Next, we see that Jesus did not come to the earthly tabernacle or temple; rather he went through the “greater and more perfect tabernacle.” The author tells us that this one is not made with human hands and is not part of this creation. But what does that phrase represent? Some believe it refers to heaven, though others believe it refers to Christ’s body. While Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, that word for heavens also refers to the skies. Heaven, as in the actual dwelling place of God, would have already existed before the creation because God Himself existed then. Jesus also existed before creation. Neither Jesus nor heaven was man-made, so both are possible interpretations.

Verse 12 begins a discussion on blood for a few verses. Under the Old Testament law and covenant, animals were sacrificed to pay the penalty for human sins. The penalty for sin was death, so something had to die and blood needed to be shed to pay for those sins. Goats and calves were the animals used in the rituals of the annual Day of Atonement, hence why they are mentioned here. But Jesus’ sacrifice completed atonement for all of humanity once and for all! It does not need to be repeated. Through that one sacrifice, we all may obtain eternal redemption from our sins.

The author references specific sacrificial procedures from the Old Testament law in verse 13. These offered external purification – making a person ceremonially and outwardly clean. This was required based on Numbers 19. The original readers of this letter would have been familiar with those ceremonial cleansing laws, so the author does not need to elaborate on them here.

But the author does use those ceremonial laws to show in verse 14 how much more important Jesus Christ is than those laws! The language here is very emphatic, showing that Christ’s once and for all sacrifice was so much greater than anything that the priests could do. Jesus Christ, eternally God, was the completely pure sacrifice that was offered on our behalf. He never sinned; we (all of humanity) are the ones who sin. Though He did not at all deserve the punishment, Jesus offered Himself in our place before God. Because of this, we are forgiven of our sins!

It is important to note that the work of Jesus Christ is on a whole different level than the work of the sacrifices that were performed according to the Old Testament law. Those were external and material, whereas the work of Jesus is internal and cleanses the person’s conscience. The Old Testament sacrifices could never accomplish that.

Verse 15 gives a summary of this section: “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance —now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

Because of all that Jesus Christ has done and how it dwarfs the previous covenant and the sacrifices that it required, He is the mediator of the new covenant. This new covenant brings us the promised eternal inheritance – this is not something temporary, but it will last forever! We know that God’s promises always come true, and this is no exception. Jesus died once and for all, so that all people who believe in Him may be set free from all the sins they have committed.

This is the whole of the gospel message all in one verse. The author has been setting this up for a couple of chapters now, and this is the ultimate point: Jesus Christ has died as payment for all of our sins, so that we may have eternal life.

Many people today do not follow the same rituals that the Jews did back in Biblical times, so to us it may seem like a lot of buildup to get to this point. But for those who had been brought up in the Jewish sacrificial and worship system, they would have needed this detailed background setup to fully understand the significance of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Their system of sacrifices and ritual cleansings was no longer necessary; Jesus had fulfilled it! We are now under a new covenant, where all that is needed is faith in Jesus Christ.

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Apologetics 16: Able to Teach

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 19, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

A servant of the Lord must be able to teach. Voddie Baucham addresses an absurdity in the church today. According to Baucham, in the average American church, any form of teaching or instructing or guiding is relegated to the preacher, not the layman. His examples: when the next generation asks to be discipled and asks those who have been Christians for 20, 30, 40 years, the response tends to be “I’m no preacher.” Then when a young man gets that fire and studies church history, reads his Bible, prays, that church will say “You must be called to preach,” rather than use that as the model for what ANY Christian should be doing. He then compares Christianity to any field or career to showcase how anyone who does a job for 20, 30, 40 years should be able to teach a newbie how to do the job, and yet in Christianity this idea is rejected. It’s ludicrous to allow such mediocrity in the church.

There is too high view of credentials in society today (see this article by Biblical Creationist “Piltdown Superman” about this issue) and not enough training of the congregant on how to train and disciple just their own family. Show me the church that actually teaches their fathers how to train their children in spiritual things. Where is it? The church I attend did it this spring, and it’s the only one I can think of. Most churches instead tell parents, even the staff, that their kids need to be in youth group. I’m not against having ministries towards youth, but I am against having a church “ministry” usurp and steal the duties of parents.

The servant of the Lord has to be able to teach. He has to be able to show others what he believes and why he believes it. This is not a command to pastors and apologists and scientists. This is a command to ALL believers. We must be ready to give an answer for the hope we have. We must also make disciples of all nations. How can we make disciples if we don’t even know our own doctrine? I’m not attacking those with that simple child-like faith but never had the academic drive to study all the theories and such. Some of those are more genuine believers the highly educated ones. There are some laymen in the church who couldn’t spell “aseity” (God’s self-existence) or “omnipotence” (all-powerfulness), let alone teach it, but they have a far more genuine faith in Christ than even I do. But those with that genuine faith believe nothing contradictory to what the proper systematic theologies teach. My dad is an example of that. He is one of the least academically inclined people I know. He is a hands-on guy, but he has a simple trust in God. He knows enough to smell heresy though not enough to refute it, but sometimes that’s all you need. My dad is not an academic, and he has a low view of himself being able to teach, but those around him have all said he is a great teacher.

If we are to be able to correct those in error, we have to know the truth to correct them to that. I tend to point toward a perfect standard. I know far and well that I don’t meet it. But how could I know that I don’t meet it? The answer is simple: I know what perfect is supposed to be like. I am a teacher. How do my students know if they got an exam correct? They compare it to the rubric. I know what the rubric is for life. How? I’ve read the Bible and believe the record. And by believing it, I know I fall short of that standard.

So who am I to teach someone else that which I can’t follow? That’s the joy of Christianity. God chooses the foolish things to shame the wise, the poor to shame the rich. Despite my academic nature, what I believe is outright foolish to the “educated” world. Many of my hecklers can tell very quickly that I am an educated and intelligent man, yet they are baffled that I can believe what I believe. Yet, according to this passage, my job as a servant of the Lord, as an ambassador who represents God, is that I am to correct them, teaching them with gentleness, patience, and humility so that God may grant them repentance. I know I fall short of this all the time, yet God still uses me.

Now a word of warning. There are many who are very gifted teachers but are not submitted to Christ. There is a steep warning for those who seek to be teachers and leaders in the church. Not many should seek that position because they are held to a higher standard. There are many who are charismatic and have an agenda to not only pervert the Gospel but corrupt the church. Second John warns us of these folks because one elect lady seems to have welcomed a false teacher into her home under the expectation of hospitality. We are NOT to welcome false teachers. The only reason I have a collection of bad books around is so I have first hand knowledge on how to refute them. I don’t get those books to “expand my horizons.” I get them to test them to see if the reports about them are valid or not. I’ve had some I thought were good that turned out to be not so good, often because they proclaim Christianity but have no Christ in them. We have to be able to teach Christ and point to the true Christ. There are many false Christs in this world, and we have to know who the true one is. Only the true Christ saves, not any Jesus we make up that suits our preferences.

The servant of the Lord needs to be able to teach. He must know the truth, speak only the truth, never adding nor taking anything away, giving the message as it was given. He must never waiver from the truth, and that frequently requires drawing a hard line. Truth doesn’t give you options for any other interpretation; you take it or leave it. If you take it, your life will be blessed (though not necessarily in terms of physical/temporal things). If you leave it, you will be under a curse. We must know the truth so that we can point people to the truth. I despise the notion of compromises where you temporarily embrace a false worldview, saying you agree with them, all so you can point them to the truth; how is that even sane? The Gospel requires man to completely abandon his previous way of thinking and lifestyle which is rooted in sin and take on the new life which is submission to Christ. We must be able to teach that change, and while we will never be perfect at this, we must be in practice of this in word and in deed. Next week we will look at patience.

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ADHD Christianity, Part 1: What Are the Struggles?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, November 16, 2021 0 comments


by Eric Hansen

Some of the hardest things we can write about are criticisms about us. This is no different, especially since I’m just starting to broach this topic on a personal level. But first I think some clarification on ADHD is necessary. The “H” in it stands for hyperactivity, but that doesn’t mean one has to be constantly moving physically. There are actually 3 types of this: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. The hyperactive-impulsive is what we normally call ADHD, but the combined version is most common. While I don’t agree with some of the wording of symptoms (i.e., “careless mistakes”), if you feel you fall into any of these 3 camps, please see your doctor about it. This post or series isn’t meant to give you a diagnosis; only a proper medical professional can do that.

When we start going to church and exploring our faith, we often hear things such as “have quiet time” or “just read the Bible.” For some this may be super easy to do or build a routine for, but for others like myself, this has been extremely daunting to the point of questioning if I’m saved. Even if I remind myself that as long as I believe Christ is my Lord and Savior and died on the cross for my sins, I can still doubt because I can’t just do it. This is made even worse for me because I am an introvert and I internalize all these emotions.

The fact of it all, though, is that we just need to better understand how we function. It’s very probable you cannot sit in quiet space for more than a minute before your brain vrooms right off the Prayer Interstate. ADHD people are better with stimulation, and intrinsic (or internal) motivation often isn’t enough to make us stick to any sort of prayer routine, let alone exercise. That dopamine hit we get when we start doing it can quickly fade away even as soon as the next day, and we’re left wondering why we don’t feel joy anymore from doing it. This can lead to burnout, depression, or a multitude of other emotions. So what can we do about this? It mostly depends on what problem you’re trying to solve, but let's look at a couple.

Prayer Time

It’s no secret we need quiet prayer time with God if we want to build a real relationship with Him. This doesn’t mean do it at night while going to bed (a bad habit of mine), since our minds can quickly start wandering and we need rest.

If you are someone who loves reading, explore the psalms during your free time (first waking up, lunch, etc.). They are God-fearing and God-honoring prayers on different topics. A good concordance in your Bible can help you with a theme as well. I don’t suggest a digital Bible if you can help it, because the more senses you can utilize the less distracted you will likely become. If you use a phone or tablet, you’ll get notifications, texts, etc. that can deter you. Instead, go somewhere with a physical Bible so your hands and eyes are doing something.

Overdoing Bible Time

While there’s no doubt that reading the Bible as much as we can is a good thing for our soul, God also has given us various responsibilities and commitments that we need to honor. If you are a hyper-focused ADHD who can’t get away from something once they start, set a timer. If you have a smart watch or a health tracker like a Fitbit, set a timer to go off. I’ve started doing this even for non-Christian tasks like lunch because I can often get caught up revisiting my work while waiting and forget all about my food.

Just Doing It

While sometimes it’s good to just make yourself do something, it can also hurt your spiritual growth as well. If you struggle with just sitting down and doing something, consider making it something you do earlier in the day. For lack of a better thought, getting the “worst of it out of the way” so, worst case, your hyperactive mind can reflect on it longer throughout the day.

Committing To It

An extremely common trait of one with ADHD is starting but not finishing something. There are about 10 scripts and 5 outlines of content for my ministry and Worldview Warriors sitting in my “inbox” still.

Being a Christian is a 24x7x365 commitment, and one not even the greatest can achieve. This is where having something like a todo list or journal of some sort (I’ve started going back to bullet journaling) can be great for you. Planning is a great thing for us to do, so we know what we’re committing to and what it will take to accomplish that goal. While this topic as a whole can take an article in itself, I’ll provide a good bullet journaling starter guide at the end of this article.

Comparing Yourself

Comparing ourselves to others is another common trait an ADHD person can have. This correlates more to perfectionism, but there’s a strong bisection between the two.

We can look at our pastor, elders, or others in the congregation and see how they may have the “perfect” Christian life. Even if we get to know them and realize they’re far from perfect and still going through sanctification like us, we can get caught in that comparison loop.

This is a very tough element to resolve. It took me a good few years of just asking myself why when I realized I was comparing myself to my best friend. It got even worse when my salvation started coming into the picture.

What has helped me is reflecting back on Jesus’s words, mostly the Sermon on the Mount (starting in Matthew 5). Jesus outlined there perfectly that sinners have a place in Heaven if they surrender to God, and while we will remain sinners on this planet, it’s by our faith that we will be justified. This made me realize that I didn’t need a fancy house or car, and my health may be bad, but God loves me regardless.

I’m doing this as a series since there’s so much to unload about this. There are some resources about ADHD and Christianity, but nothing (or at least fewer) about being an ADHD Christian. There’s scripture to help us remind our overactive minds to stay focused on God, but I want to explore not just what they are but how it can be practical and applied.

Resources:
How to Create a Bullet Journal Plus My Top 10 Tips
A Bible Study on Staying Focused

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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