With the news continuously updating the world on the progression of the Coronavirus-19 are you becoming angry at God? Is the reason because the virus exists or that a loved one has contracted the diseases and is suffering right now or has died from its destructive work?
Do you wish God removed suffering from this world and cannot understand why people still suffer? You are in some lofty company if you do as Dr. Bart Ehrman has based a lot of his lack of faith on the suffering of people.
Then there may be those people who claim that the Coronavirus is a judgment of God on a sinful people. There is no evidence to support that type of thinking. Disease and death have been a part of this world since the time humans first sinned against God in the Garden of Eden.
Also, God usually sends a messenger who is known beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a messenger of his to proclaim his upcoming judgment. That message is accompanied by a time limit. The people whom God is going to render judgment have a certain amount of time to repent before the judgment is unleashed.
For Nineveh God had Jonah tell the people of that city that they had 40 days to repent. For the pre-flood world, he gave the people 120 years and had Noah preach repentance for that length of time.
With the Coronavirus neither of these two elements have been present before it hit the world stage. Like other contagious diseases this one has no divine motive behind it and it is like all those previous contagious diseases that have existed on earth.
It came into existence because of the sin committed by Adam in the Garden of Eden. God didn’t create the virus so do not blame him for any suffering you or your loved ones are enduring. Nor can the observers of this tragedy blame God as they watch others suffer while they are lockdown in their homes and unable to work.
Why doesn’t God stop suffering? As Dr. Craig Blomberg so elegantly put it in his book From Pentecost to Patmos, God could end all suffering, even from this virus but he would have to end the world to do it.
Adam’s sin and all human’s sins thereafter have so corrupted this world that God cannot end suffering without destroying the world and everyone in it. If God were to do that it would mean that you would lose your opportunity to repent of your sins and be saved from eternal suffering.
That is something that God does not want to do. He is enduring your suffering because he wants everyone to be saved and delays the end of the world to give everyone the opportunity to receive Christ as their Savior.
Do not get mad at God for what is ultimately your decision to make. You have the power to choose wisely. There is a way to escape eternal suffering and all you have to do is follow the example of Nineveh in the time of Jonah
4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the [b]ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let [c]men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in [d]his hands. 9 Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”
To stop the Cornavirus all you have to do is honestly follow
and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
In my research on the CV-19 virus I have found that even though the infection and death rate of other contagious diseases are higher than this one, the reason for the panic is that this is a new strain of a virus.
Being new, it means that no one has any immunity to the disease and every one is vulnerable. BUT this is not a new situation, the world, especially the new world, has experienced this situation before.
When the Spaniards first arrived on the new shores, the native populations had no immunity to the European diseases the Spanish brought with them. Millions of native western Indians were killed because they were vulnerable.
It took awhile for the native population to become immune to those diseases but only after tragedy struck. We may have to face the same tragedy if the right amount of immunity is going to protect the world from this virus.
People are going to die. We cannot escape that fact and we might as well toughen up to the reality. God made it very clear in the Bible that man is appointed to die once, this is an event that we may not like but for those who believe, death is nothing to be afraid of
In today’s world people are afraid of dying. Many of them do not have that love for God that drives out all fear and their decision making is propelled by fear. It is up to the believer to convey God’s love in the correct way to those who are afraid and in need of hope.
We can do that by bringing wise counsel to the politicians who make these sweeping decisions that affect both the healthy and the infected. We cannot be followers in this issue but be the leaders as we have God helping us see the right path to go
Believers are to stand with God and call to the unbeliever to follow and if they still do not come we do not stop following God. Even in this issue. Noah preached for 120 years and no one answered his call.
Yet Noah did not let that failure to bring more people onto the ark stop him from following God and his instructions. He and his family were saved. This is not to say that the CV-19 is a plague from God.
It is saying that even in this situation, the Christian is to find his or her instructions in God and follow them so that more people can be saved. While we lose a few people in the process as everyone will not be healed, we still stand with God understanding that God’s rules are not suspended just because a loved one of ours falls sick.
We trust God even though many others may pass away because of the virus. Social distance is not going to eradicate the virus although it may slow down its spread. This and other diseases will always be a part of this world as they came with the corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin.
What we need is wise leadership and not the blind leading the blind. We need smart decisions made, not blanket commands that really do little to stop the disease from doing its dirty work and only make healthy people more vulnerable to the infected ones.
Understanding that diseases like CV-19 will never disappear and that we cannot exclude death from this world is one way to calm our minds and listen to God’s voice. We are in this world and the Christian has to show everyone else how to overcome what is in it.
The key is to have faith that God will provide the right answers and that people will honestly listen to them. Those answers will come through true believers not deceived humans whether the latter are a doctor, a politician or some other powerful figure.
keep in mind that God allows suffering to continue because he would have to destroy the whole world to end it. So if you lose a loved one, do not get angry at God. God has placed a time limit on our lives and he rarely changes that restriction.
God did not create the virus but he can use it so that more people will come to a salvation through his son Jesus. if the church handles the crisis correctly
Having done some more reading in Dr. Ehrman’s book that we wrote about several days ago, we came across an argument that should be discussed in some detail.
The argument comes between pages 189 and 193 and we will quote from those pages then respond to Dr. Ehrman’s words. He bases his argument on the work of anthropologist Jan Vansina who studied oral traditions n Rwanda and Burundi during the years 1955 to 1960 (pg.189).
Dr. Ehrman makes his first mistake here as he assumes that what humans do in 20th century Africa is what the Biblical Authors and the people of Israel did in the the 1st century AD. even though the cultures were vastly different and operating under a different set of rules.
A key point for Vansina is that tradition involves a chain of transmission that can be charted as follows:observer – prototestimony – chain of transmission – final informant – recorder – earliest written record (pg 190)
This order of oral to written transmission may work in secular societies when the people involved are not passing on holy information meant for all people to follow. It does not work when passing on scriptures written by God for all people to know the truth.
Dr. Ehrman makes his second mistake here assuming that God works like unbelievers when creating written communication to his creation. The Bible tells us that God works in is own ways and that his words are higher than ours.
So it stands to reason that the formula quoted above may work for certain tribes in Africa who were under no command to preserve the truth of their traditions. It does not work for God’s word.
…this is exactly what happened with the traditions about e as passed down from eyewitness to the authors of our earliest written accounts, either the Gospel writers or the authors of the now lost written reports they utilized (pg. 190)
This is a rather bold statement by Dr. Ehrman and it is his third mistake in presenting this argument. He has no proof that, one, the Jewish believers of the first century operated in this manner especially since the written word had long been practiced by the Jewish people.
There is also no evidence that oral tradition was being used at this time by anyone in the “civilized” world. Two, Dr. Ehrman has absolutely no proof that the Gospels were written in this manner. He says this is exactly how it was done but where is his evidence?
Dr. Ehrman does not produce any in his book nor does he provide any footnotes leading the reader to his evidence. He wants his readers to blindly follow and accept his words even though he offers nothing to validate his point of view.
Vansina argues that when testimonies are recited frequently, because of the vagaries inherent in the oral mode of transmission, they change more often than when recited only on once occasion (pg. 191)
This is a stretch because if the story is told only once and never repeated, then it is not an oral history but maybe just a fairy tale or a campfire story meant to scare people for entertainment.
besides that, and which is Dr. Ehrman’s fourth mistake, is that he assumes that God is incapable of having the same story told over and over without having any of the details change.
Dr. Ehrman excludes God totally from the picture making the Gospels a simple story book tale instead of recognizing it as the word of God. While some of this may be possible for the Pseudepigrapha it is not possible for the word of God.
Also, as a side note, the Pseudepigrapha may be part of what we would call historical fiction or just plain fiction and not fake scriptures at all. Dr. Ehrman and other scholars ignore this possibility for their own reasons.
In any case, Dr. Ehrman is saying that the Bible is written solely by fallible humans who relied on false tales about Jesus then wrote those tales down and made them part of the Christian church.
It is absurd . We also have no known physical evidence leading anyone to that conclusion.
Traditions experience massive changes not simply because people have bad memories…when people pass along testimonies about the past, they are telling the stories for a particular reason to a particular audience…largely depends on the way he tells the story and on the individual twist he gives it (pg. 191)
Again this may work for those sleep over times when teenagers have their friends over and their dad tells a particular story. Or it may work when the youth pastor has a specific message to his young charges but it does not work for God or the biblical authors.
As we know, Luke stated that he researched everything carefully. That means he did not stop at just oral accounts that were altered through many transmissions. He found the truth and recorded it.
This shows Dr. Ehrman’s 5th mistake. He assumes that the biblical authors were not very intelligent and just wrote whatever they felt like writing. His next mistake was forgetting that the bible’s author is God and that God had a particular reason for writing the Gospels the way the were recorded.
He wanted all men to be saved. The audience God was writing to was not limited to the 1st century Jewish people and the Roman world. It was for all people of all times.
It is therefore not surprising to find that very often the original testimony has disappeared altogether. (pg.192)
Dr. Ehrman’s 7th mistake is assuming he is omniscient and that he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current biblical gospels are not the originals. He also forgets that there were enough eyewitnesses left alive, both followers and non followers of Jesus who could correct any mistake recorded in the Gospels.
Then Dr. Ehrman ignores the fact that none of the early Church fathers alluded to or even quoted from any of those supposed original works. In other words, Dr. Ehrman is arguing from silence and without foundation.
It happens that the same [persons with regard to the same series of events will tell two different, even contradictory stories. (pg.192)
In this 8th mistake, Dr. Ehrman ignores the reality and fact that two people can see the same thing yet focus on different details. Their stories are not contradictory, just focusing on other details that were also part of the event.
I think it is fair to say that people in oral cultures do not preserve their traditions intact with verbatim accuracy from one telling to the next. They not only do not do so, they also do not care to do so (pg.192)
Again we see Dr. Ehrman over stating his hand and making his 9th and 10th mistakes in this argument against the biblical record. First, the Jewish people were not living in an oral culture. They had their own language, their own writing, and lived as many modern nations live today in a literate society .
Second, he assumes that those writing the Gospels were not operating under strict divine rules and had complete freedom to record whatever they wished. Then if the apostles did not care to get it right why did they travel so far to reach others with this good news?
Obviously not only did the biblical authors care that they got the writing correct, God cared as well and made a promise to preserve his word. Another fact, Dr. Ehrman ignores in his haste to trash the Bible.
…if these differences create irreconcilable differences, then we know that something has been changed… (pg. 193)
There are no irreconcilable differences in the Gospel accounts except to those who, like Dr. Ehrman, do not believe in Jesus. They never accept the truth and the true explanation. This was his 11th and last mistake i presenting this argument.
Dr. Ehrman cannot prove one word he said and he had to go to the 20th century to get some secular human mode of transmission and teleport it back to the 1st century to try to make his argument work.
It didn’t. In fact, Dr. Ehrman should be embarrassed by his effort as he presents not one shred of 1st century proof to back up his claim. He distorts the actions of the people of Jesus’ time, insults their intelligence, and totally excludes, as well as insult God.
The fact that the Spirit of Truth was sent to Jesus’ followers to lead them to the truth shows that Dr. Ehrman is trying to change the Bible in order to put salve on his hurting soul.
Remembering and honoring those who served, fought and continued to serve and still have something positive to society in general
Watch in order from top to bottom to get the full effect of what he did
What I have observed over the years is that there is a large segment of any society who desire the love, dedication, and commitment that soldier has for his wife. They all want it, yet they are unwilling to do the work needed to receive those positive characteristics. There are a few who do, but many of the few who do attempt doing the work, do so with ulterior motives . They seek some sort of reward for their behavior. These people do not understand that to receive such rewards their behavior must be done out of honesty and love
As I was listening to that soldier and doing a little research on his story, I began to think about how so many of us live in corrupt societies where evil and sin seem so overwhelming. Everywhere we turn we see evidence of corruption, lawbreaking and so on. Then I was reminded of Jesus’ words that doing good overcomes evil. The overwhelming power of sin and evil is no match for the simplicity of doing what is right, as long as those actions are armed with honesty and love, If you are not sure what love is here are links to two articles on the topic
I feel like Kelly Ripa this morning as I do a rare thing- write on the Sabbath. Each morning when I get up I read the different news sources to have an idea of what is happening in the world. What I saw made me as disgusted or more so than Ms. Ripa feels about those terrible shows,The Bachelor and The Bachorlette. The first story I saw is found at the following link
House approves sweeping bill to expand gay rights
While it is basically a meaningless bill, the nature of the content, the attitude of the ‘lawmakers’ and the direction of the bill make me disgusted. It is clear that the Democratic Party has left God and has embraced evil, calling it good. To quote one passage
Democrats in the House approved sweeping anti-discrimination legislation Friday that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.
Called the Equality Act, the bill is a top priority of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said it will bring the nation “closer to equal liberty and justice for all.”
Actually it won’t as this bill stomps on the rights of all people not involved in those groups. But this has been the trend over recent years and LGBTQ activists have been forcing their perverted ways on the western nations and in every aspect of life as they refuse to accept their sinful and evil status. But this is not all I read this morning.
I went to the Christian Post and saw the following article:
Calif. parents take kids out of school, protest controversial ‘gender-inclusive’ sex education
I am not talking about the protest but the California’s liberal government”s decision to re-educate and brainwash vulnerable students on gender issues
Parents across California kept their children out of school on Friday to protest the state’s sex-ed curriculum that supports the belief that some people are born in the wrong body and can change their sex.
Only in the minds of the Democrats and liberals can that take place. They make this stand in spite of what science has said and proven to be true. It is disgusting and as a former teacher I cannot accept what is passing as education today. Not long after I graduated from college I took a job to be a chaplain in a group home in the Dominican Republic.
My training was to be in Indiana and while I was there the founder of the school told me that Christians had to ‘yoke them when they were young’. In other words, he was referring to making people Christians, even if they didn’t want to be when they were still children and teenagers. I didn’t like that attitude then and I still don’t. But we can see that the State of California and other educational officials adopting that mentality and trying to change the country by forcing, brainwashing and manipulating the children and teenagers of the any state.
That is not education but reprogramming and violating the rights of parents, yet as we have seen over the years, the liberal state does not care about parental rights, they only care about special rights for those who violate the law, practice perversions and do evil. They also do not care about right and wrong, good and evil morality and immorality. They prefer to do as they please and attack those who follow God’s rules.
But these aren’t the only stories I read this morning. As I became very disgusted by these actions, I decided to research a story I had many heard about. It is where certain California cities are allowing people to use the public streets as their bathrooms. That story can be found at the following link
(Just add https:// to the link to get to it, there was some formatting issues with it) This story will give you an idea of what is happening in those cities. It seems that the lessons from the Bubonic Plague have been forgotten. It also looks like the Democrats do not care about those citizens who pay their taxes, do not soil the public areas and strive hard to live a good life, raising their children to obey the law
They just jumped on the pile of news stories that recorded the democrats authorizing abortion to the point the child could be born yet still killed and other similar acts
All of these stories combined became the straw that broke the camel’s back. I used to like Democrats because they helped make me think. Sometimes they would challenge me and I would go to God and the Bible to make sure I understood both correctly. I did not side with the Democrats but used their points to make sure I knew the truth and how to correctly apply biblical teaching.
I do not like them anymore and find that their embracing of evil, perversion and lawbreaking undermines their claims to any faith they say they adhere to. Their actions have also demonstrated that they have no idea what true leadership or governing is. They also prove that they do not care about right and wrong as long as they get to hold power over others.
The Democrats, and I should say not all of them, demonstrate that the only thing that matters to them is not the people they want to win a majority in the Senate and House or the presidential office, but power and control. They do not care about anyone as they help non-citizens break the law they have sworn to uphold. The law means nothing to them nor do the general citizens of the nation.
What can be done about this growing problem?
First, we are not to be shocked or traumatized. Paul warned us in 2 Timothy that this would take place. He said
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
But Paul does not say that good people, good Christians cannot do anything to stem the flow of evil that permeates their lands, He does tell them to continue following God, the scriptures
so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Every good work does not mean that we sit by and let evil destroy any nation. Now some believers stop their good work and fail to halt this increase in evil conducted by the government because scriptures tell us to obey the government. BUT scripture does not tell us to obey the government when it is sinning or commands the people to sin against God.
Christians are to be holy and not to participate in sin no matter who does it. They are to be like Peter and the apostles (Acts 5:17ff) and obey God first over man. We do what is right in the eyes of God as God is the one who needs to be pleased not man. God is the judge of man and we must not forget that fact. If we want to be seen as good and faithful servants, then we must do God’s will over man’s.
That means not letting the government continue in its evil ways. One example we have comes from the Old Testament. When David sin, his sins were not covered up but exposed by Nathan the prophet of God. he pointed his finger and said “thou are the man”, then Nathan went on to explain that it was God who allowed David to rise to the throne.
The Democrats need to be reminded that it is God who has allowed them to reach the offices of power and it is God who keeps them there. Then the Democrats need to be reminded of God’s laws and instructions and call them to repentance. The Christian needs to find their righteous anger but in doing so they cannot sin. God tells us that we can be angry but to sin not.
That means when we take on the evil members of government, we do nothing wrong and obey God in all areas including our words and deeds. We cannot overcome sin by using sin. We overcome evil by doing good but doing good is not re-electing evil officials so that they can continue to ruin a country. Doing good doe snot withhold punishment either. David and Bathsheba lost their child. God punished them for their sins.
So must the evil members of government be punished for their sins. But again, the punishment cannot be sin or sourced in sin.
About 40 years ago a family friend told my father that he was praying against the Democrats and he saw the results of his prayer as the Democrats became disorganized and so on. That is the first step we must take. After we become angry at the embracing of evil and calling it good, we go to our prayer closets and begin to pray.
As we pray, we remove the beams from our own eyes. making sure there are no hindrances to our prayers. We forgive those we have something against and forgive the Democrats for their evil ways. Then we put aside our own personal preferences and see what God wants done. If you truly want a government that shuns evil and does what is right in God’s eyes then pray that way.
We also pray that God will bring those Democrats embracing evil to repentance and see the error of their ways making the appropriate changes to their lives and the laws of the land. Evil cannot be rewarded.
Christians with righteous anger can speak out publicly, like Nathan the prophet, and point those fingers at only the guilty. But do it under God’s leading and not on your own strength. Make sure first before speaking that you are actually following God’s lead. Do not let evil get involved or your efforts will be in vain. Another thing that can be done is to get real laws on the ballot. Laws that are fair, just and applies to all.
The unbeliever cannot accuse the believer of forcing their ways on those who reject God because that is exactly what the unbeliever is doing to the believer. The Democrats are forcing their ideology on those who reject it.
At this point I will stop and let you seek God on what you can do to stem this tide of evil that is sweeping all western lands. It is time for the Christian to act. AND that action does not include asking Jesus to return now. God wants all men to be saved and it is time that the Christian stop trying to leave earth and get down to God’s business and help him fulfill his desire.
The evil people, the illegal alien, the drug addicts and the democrats are all God’s creation even though they made the wrong life choices. They need to be redeemed just like you and i were.
We end this year with this Billy Graham sermon