Tag Archives: Scriptures

Can I be a Christian if I don’t believe in the Resurrection?

Short answer: No.

This is not one of those beliefs that we can agree to disagree about. We can disagree about whether to use real wine or grape juice for communion, since communion is symbolic of the shed blood of Christ, but the literal death and resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of Christianity.

This can be a difficult doctrine for our North American minds to comprehend. Our Christian churches almost all make a much bigger deal of Christmas than Easter. The idea of a baby in a manger is a foreign concept to us as well, but the image of being washed in the blood of the lamb is, well – bloody.

But both the Old and the New Testaments teach that “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) The Old Testament shows our need for a savior, the New Testament shows God’s provision of a savior.

In the OT, priests were intercessors between the people and God, and the high priest made intercession  between the priests and God. The high priest offered sacrifices for himself once a year when he entered the inner room – the Most Holy Place – where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.

Hebrews 9:7-8 says: “But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.”
The inner room of the the tabernacle in the desert and the temple in Jerusalem was set apart by a curtain, or veil, that was sixty feet high and four inches thick. It is significant to note that at the moment of death of Christ, the veil was torn from the top to the bottom, obviously not by human hands. The torn veil, and then the destruction of the temple in AD 70 are symbolic of the end of the old covenant, where priests sacrificed animal blood for temporary payment for sin, and the beginning of the new covenant.

“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.” Hebrews 9:11-12

And the Apostle Paul wrote:

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  1 Corinthians 15:17-20

How can we know if Christ has indeed been resurrected from the dead? I will attempt to answer that question in my next post.

 

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How did the Biblical Patriarchs Live so Long?

 

According to the Bible, Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. How did the Biblical patriarchs live such long lives?

 

Have you ever wondered why the first people in the Bible lived so much longer than we do? Genesis chapter 5 contains a genealogical record from Adam to Noah, and tells us how long each man lived:

          Adam lived 940 years;
          His son Seth lived 912 years;
          Seth’s son Enosh, 905;
          His son Kenan, 920;
          His son Mahalale, 830;
          His son Jared, 800.
          Jared’s son Enoch did not die. The Biblical record says that Enoch walked with God. He lived for 365 years and then he was no more, because God took him away. Enoch’s son Methuselah lived for 969 years, making him the oldest person in recorded history. Methuselah’s son Lamech lived to 777, and Lamech was the father of Noah, who lived for 950 years.

An interesting change in the genealogical record took place after the flood which destroyed in world in the time of Noah. Of the ten patriarchs listed above, the average lifespan was 837 years. Genesis 11 continues the genealogy from Noah to Abram, again noting how long each man lived. Of the fourteen names in this list, the average lifespan was only 242 years.

So what happened to the planet during or after the flood that reduced the human lifespan by almost 600 years? Was there a change in diet, or harsher living conditions after the flood?

Ken Ham, president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, has a theory that I think makes a lot of sense.

On the second day of creation, Genesis 1:6-10 says:

 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.  God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.”

These verses are a bit confusing. What does the text mean by “the water under the sky and the water above the sky?”

Ken Ham’s theory is that the waters above the sky actually refer to a canopy of water vapour above the earth’s atmosphere; and the waters below the sky were underground geysers and springs.

If this canopy existed as an evenly spread layer of water above the Earth’s atmosphere, it would have had a greenhouse effect. The whole planet probably shared a pleasant tropical climate. This would explain the mystery of fossilized tropical plants and animals discovered in Polar Regions. There is also evidence in air bubbles found in fossilized amber that the oxygen levels were 50% higher than today. The upper canopy of water vapour between the earth and the sun’s harmful rays, along with the higher oxygen level could account for the incredibly long life spans of the humans who lived before the flood.     

Before the flood, there had been no rain. According to Genesis 2:6, “streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.”

After God shut the door of the Ark to seal it, He released the water from the canopy above the sky and the fountains of the deep (the underground geysers and springs. This torrential onslaught of water from above and below could account for the amount of water needed to flood the entire planet in forty days.

A literal interpretation of the Bible, including Creation and Noah’s flood is not at odds with the geological evidence. Christianity does not require its adherents to ignore science. It is my contention that eventually scientists will catch up with creationists and will have to concede that the Biblical account of the history of the world and humanity is the accurate version.

 

 

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The Answers Are All in the Book

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a book with answers to all of the questions in the universe – even the big questions, like, “Why am I here?” and “Isn’t there more to life than this?” Wouldn’t everyone want a copy?

Fortunately there does exist such a book. It was inspired by the Creator of the Universe, who is also your Creator, and mine as well. He gave us a planet full of everything we would ever need. He made plants and creatures that would be self-replicating. He filled it with renewable resources, and then he made two humans to take care of the place and start the ‘being fruitful and multiplying’ process.

Our Creator spoke face to face with the first humans, and then down through the centuries He spoke to the people through prophets. Starting with Moses, He breathed His spoken word to be written down and carefully preserved so that all humans could have access to His words.

Of course, I am referring to the Bible. It is our owner’s manual, straight from our manufacturer. It is still the most widely published book ever, topping all of the best sellers lists every year. It is an ancient text, but far from outdated.

Here is an excerpt from the author about why He wrote this book:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

I love to study the history of the Bible – how it was written, copied, translated, and preserved. It is a fascinating story, full of surprising “Divine Coincidences” or, as Christians usually call them: “miracles”. Stay tuned.

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