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Think On These Things, Issue #002
May 15, 2014
Think On These Things
Table of Contents
What's NewSince the last mailing, these articles have been added to appliedchristianstudies.com
In The Beginning
The advocates of evolution propose eons of time from the formation of the universe with its planets and stars to the beginning of man. The Biblical account reveals a different conclusion. According to the creation account of Genesis one, the formation of the universe and the appearance of man only span a period of six days (Gen. 1.1-26). In an attempt to reconcile the theories of man and the biblical account, many Christians have reinterpreted the Genesis account taking it as figurative rather than literal. Can we know if Genesis is literal or figurative? Indeed we can. The Israelites understood this to be a literal six days, for the Sabbath law was patterned after the creation account. According to the Mosaic Law delivered by God, the children of Israel were not to work on the seventh day. The reason? “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Ex. 20.11). Furthermore, when Jesus was asked about marriage, Jesus referred them to the very beginning. There He said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female'” (Matt. 19.4). Jesus indicates that man did not evolve over the course of millions of years, but was “at the beginning.” The inspired biblical writers understood the creation account to be a literal six days, and we would do well to follow their word rather than the ever changing theories of man.
We Are All ReligiousThose who believe in spiritual things and live their lives accordingly are called religious -- a term not unheard of in the Bible. Not all religion is pleasing and acceptable to God, for some in their worship of idols (Acts 17.22), or “self-imposed religion” (Col. 2.23), may feel spiritual, but their beliefs have no basis in truth. However, James teaches that there is “true and undefiled religion” (James 1.26,27). Some may not show any interest in spiritual things saying, “I’m not really a religious person.” Is it ever proper and right to impose one’s religious beliefs on those who are non-religious? The problem with this kind of question is that it assumes that religion is a matter of opinion and personal preference rather than a design. It is suggested that a person may choose to be religious or choose not to be, but either way it is a lifestyle choice rather than an issue of right and wrong. Therefore the morals and practices one chooses for themselves are personal and ought not to be imposed on another. The fact is that everyone is religious whether they like it or not. Everyone is created in the image of God with an eternal soul that will face eternal consequences in the last day. The fact that one may not be religious does not change this. He is still bound by the expectations of God. Religion is not a matter of personal preference but an acknowledgement of the fact that we are spiritual beings that are created to serve God and keep His commandments. Indeed, at the end of time, everyone will be religious.
The Book of Life
The awesome scene of judgment vividly portrayed at the end of Revelations describes those who stood before God awaiting judgment. There were none exempt; but everyone “small and great” stood before the throne of God (Rev. 20.11-15). As they entered into judgment, two books were opened. Only one of those books were identified by name. REVELATION 20.12: “And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.” The Book of Life is a book which contains all the names of those who are saved. For in the judgment scene those who were in the Book of Life stood before God and were judged as their life was compared to another set of books (Rev. 20.12), which was the Law of Christ (John 12.48). And only those who are faithful, whose names are found in the Book of Life shall enter into Heaven (Rev. 21.27). However, “anyone found not written in the Book of Life was cast in the lake of fire” (Rev. 20.15). If the Book of Life contains all the names of those who are saved, then all would desire to have their name entered. It is only by entering into a relationship with God through obedience to the gospel of Christ that one’s name is recorded in this book. Paul praised the faithfulness of those in Philippi, “…whose names are in the Book of Life” (Phil. 4.3). To the unfaithful church in Sardis, Christ acknowledged that even among them there were some who remained faithful. These, Jesus writes, “I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life” (Rev. 3.5). This brings up another critical point. One can initially have his name written in the Book of Life, but because of unfaithfulness have his name later removed (Ex. 32.33). This defeats the doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” One cannot become a Christian, then after baptism fade away and not fulfill their responsibilities and commitments as a servant of God. For in doing so, his name, once written in the Book of Life, will no longer appear in the day of judgment. The Book of Life is not a book that can be found and read on earth. But we can be assured of our name’s appearance by the book that does reside with us – the Bible. For by this word we can know the certainty of our salvation as those who abide in it are recipients of His approval. So the question we ask is this: When the roll is called up yonder, will your name be there?
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