An Arbitrary List of Wisdom

Here is a short list of random proverbs and adages that I’ve created and clung to over the course of some time.

Eternity starts tomorrow.

“If we take the Bible literally, our life will change rapidly.”

“There is no instantaneous reward for discipline, only a life well-lived.”

“Mankind’s greatest obstacle: himself.”

“Obedience towards God is really our only mission in life.”

“Any man who fails to heed his own advice is committing himself to be a fool.”

“Vanity is to feed the flesh, for it cannot be satiated.”

“‘Deny himself’ is the key that we use to unlock our true potential.”

“Accountability is the privilege of having a community that will hold you morally responsible for your actions in a loving and caring way, thus motivating you to conquer over yourself and find freedom.”

“This life is but a fragment of eternity.”

“Does Christ really call us to much more than to ‘be responsible’? To be responsible for ourselves and others, according to his standard of justice and love?”

“Allow your flesh to suffer, and to let your soul be glad.”

“Christ did not die so that we could live this life in comfort, he died so that we could spend eternity with him.”

“The miseries that exist in our life are brought to our awareness once they are contrasted to the hope and love of Jesus Christ.”

“Every time we come closer to understanding the magnitude of God’s grace, we can expect our faith to be uplifted.”

“It does not matter what our infant culture has to say. Culture is a creation of man, and man is a fallible creature indeed.”

“Truth can often times be offensive, even divisive. Nevertheless, speak truth. Speak truth in love.”

“What happens to truth when you allow people to speak freely? Nothing. What happens to truth when you restrict the ability to speak freely? It becomes lost.”

“Satan’s favorite Christian is the biblically illiterate Christian.”

Confession keeps us vulnerable.
Confession keeps us walking in the light.
Confession keeps our walk with the Lord genuine.

The inspiration of one man can bring about the imagination of a thousand men to liberation.”

Satisfaction Without Sin

If there is one evident truth about the nature of humanity, it is that we are all in search of something. It is as if the entirety of mankind is in search of something else or something more – something to make us feel like more.

The reality of this observation reveals to us that although we are all individuals, we are not quite independent. We prove to ourselves far too often that we are very much dependent upon something. We’re dependent because the very nature of our essence is incomplete, for there exists an almost insatiable void within every one of us. This truth is displayed in the lives of both skeptics and believers. Skeptics (that is, individuals who are skeptical of Christianity) may seek to find that “something more” in the pleasures of this world, or they may attempt to find it in the metaphysical: in an ideology or philosophy or some type of new age spirituality. Whereas we believers not only seek it, but we find it. We find it in Christ and in Christ alone.

However, it’s not really that simple to describe a Christian in such a way, for we all struggle with where we devote our attention. We Christians are still very much a part of this world, and we often fall short of the standard that God has called us to live by. What can I say? we are sinners! We prove this to ourselves time and time again, and that is why we need Christ. He is the only one who is capable of covering our multitude of sins. But despite us knowing this truth, we Christians are still inclined to sin against God. Why is this so?

We are all in constant need of satisfaction. The problem is that we don’t always go to the right source.

Satisfaction without sin. You might be wondering what I mean by that. What I mean to say is that there exists a life abundantly full of satisfaction and everlasting fulfilment, and it is also void of sin. This is the life that Christ offers us. However, there also exists a life that is full of sin and the pursuit of chasing after worldliness, yet it is also void of genuine satisfaction – it only offers temporary happiness. This kind of life could be referred to as sin without satisfaction. This is the life that we offer ourselves.

As I’ve said, “there exists an almost insatiable void within every one of us.” I say this because well, I think that it is evidently true. We’re not like other animals. We cannot find true fulfillment through gorging our fleshly desires.

We know that we’re uniquely different from any other animal in a thousand different ways. To mention a short list of unique traits that humans have: Intellect and conceptual thought, free will, ethical responsibility, moral accountability, and inalienable rights of personhood (and if one were to attempt to disagree with this standard of humanity’s unique state of being, they would in fact be engaging in “conceptual thought, exercising their free will, believing that there is an ethical responsibility to teach what is right/true, seeking to hold me morally accountable to teach the truth,” and demonstrating that they have the “right to disagree with my position”).[1] Truly, we are not animals with mere instincts. We are unique. Scripture refers to this unique quality as being ‘made in the image of God’ (Gen. 1:26).

So, we cannot simply find lasting fulfillment from quenching our body’s basic needs because there exists a “higher calling” within every one of us. If we know a “higher calling” exists, then why should be ever expect to satisfy that calling/desire with the things of this world? Our desire for satisfaction and fulfilment is not of this world! It is an immaterial and unworldly desire. It is the innate desire to be elevated.

Unfortunately, humanity too often attempts to obtain this elevation through their own authority, as if we’re all attempting to become the saviors of our own life. This is where we miss the mark. This is where we fall into sin (hamartia is the Greek word for sin, meaning ‘to miss the mark’). We fall into sin every time that we seek something other than God to satisfy our unsated state of being. We’re all guilty of this mistake and it’s because “this is simply the nature of being a creature rather than the Creator, who alone is whole and complete and lacking in nothing.” [2] Therefore, we who are incomplete must seek He who is complete.

Do not love the world.

Scripture tells us that we must “not love the world or the things in the world . . . For all that is in the world – the desire of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn. 2:15-17).

Because the world is temporary, all that it can offer is inevitably temporary. We mustn’t put our trust in the things of this world. For all that is of this world must remain with the world. Your house, your car, your job, your bank account, your social media accounts, your sex life – all that you have acquired on earth will abandon you in the end. It will remain on earth to be eaten by rust and rot. Even our body is destined to turn to dust. All that we can take with us when we go is ourselves – our soul.

We are not bodies with a soul, but instead a soul with a body. All that we are worth, all that we truly are is that which distinguishes our soul. And without Christ, our soul is distinguished as sinful and unholy. Our fallen condition has rendered us helpless in reversing this reality by our own work. It is only through the work of Christ that we can hope for our sinful condition to find restoration. It is only by the blood of Christ that our soul can be distinguished as worthy and holy before God.

It is only God the everlasting, the all-loving, the all-knowing, and the all-forgiving who can grant us exactly what it is that we are looking for. He satisfies our every need and He forgives our every sin. He knew us by name before time began, He hand-crafted us in our mother’s womb, He knows our every desire and shortcoming, and it is only by Him and through Him that we will find rest from our long, exhausting quest for meaning and fulfillment.

He loved us long before we knew Him, which is why He has sent His only begotten son into the world to save us from ourselves and to forgive us of our sins. Our only response to this kind of grace and mercy is to trust in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, confess with our mouths that He is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9). We must allow Him to be the King of our lives, and follow Him. For He is the only one who can offer us a life of satisfaction without sin.

[1] Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2004), 131-132.

[2] Barnes, M. Craig. Body & Soul: Reclaiming the Heidelberg Catechism. (Grand Rapids, MI.: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2011), 50.

The Universe: A Cosmic Accident

It would be simple to suggest that the discoveries of modern science have disproven the existence of God. As time progresses, mankind continues to discover more about the universe and where we came from. The discovery of the big bang, the evidence for evolution, and the multitudes of modern findings from fields like archaeology, anthropology, biology, and astronomy have all eliminated the need for the crutch that is religion.

The Age of Enlightenment, coming in the 18th century, was the savior we had really been waiting for. Men like David Hume, Voltaire, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau guided us out of the religious fog and away from our archaic, superstitious beliefs, and led us into a new realm of philosophy, based on reason, evidence, and observation. It just goes to say that you don’t need faith when you can simply have the facts.

What are some of the faith defeating facts?

Well, for one we know that the universe had a definite beginning. It’s logical that the universe had a beginning because if it did not have a beginning, then it would have to be an infinitely existing universe. An infinitely existing universe is illogical because it would mean that we would have never arrived at today. In other words, there would have had to have been an infinite amount of days before today in order to arrive at today.

Even Stephen Hawking has admitted that “Almost everyone now believes that the universe and time itself had a beginning at the big bang.” Alexander Vilenkin, a renowned cosmologist, has also said, “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

The fact that our universe was birthed at the big bang is fundamentally irrefutable. Our universe had a beginning.

Science has also revealed to us that everything that has a beginning has a cause. This is also referred to as the Law of Causality. Since our universe had a beginning, it also had a cause; something caused our universe to have a beginning.

What caused our universe to exist?

Stephen Hawking has proposed that “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”

So, we have gravity to thank for the spontaneous creation of the universe. We have gravity and spontaneity to thank for the infinite expanse of the cosmos and the infinitesimal infinite; atoms, quarks, neutrinos, etc., and all that’s in between: the vast diversity of plant and animal life, mankind, and how it all fits together.

It is because of spontaneity that we now have a universe full of fine-tuning. It is because of chaos that we now have a world full of order; human DNA spelled out in 3.5 billion letters, all in the correct sequential order, the water cycle and the carbon cycle, working together in unison and harmony, the earth’s axial tilt, rotational period, and correct ozone layers. It is because of unconscious minerals that we now have 7.5 billion humans full of consciousness and intellect. It is because of non-life and accidental explosions that we now have the miracle of life.

Gravity, as impersonal and unintelligent as it may seem, has found a way to create a world full of personality, consciousness, order, and intellect.

The only question now is, “Did gravity have a beginning?”

The origin of gravity.

What must be understood about gravity is that it is a law of nature. Gravity, being a law of nature, does not exist without nature. Gravity needs a platform like space and time to operate within before it can have a reason to exist. It would appear Hawking has thrown us into a bit of a pickle.

This is a prime definition of catch-22.

Gravity cannot be the cause of the universe because it is the by-product of the universe.

I’m sorry but Hawking was wrong on this one point. The universe can’t create itself out of nothing, especially when gravity is something. And you can’t have the cause of the universe be something that is caused by the existence of the universe.

Laws of nature do not create anything. Laws of nature exist because nature exists. Therefore, the cause of nature cannot be something found within nature. It must be something outside of nature; it must be supernatural.

What is the supernatural cause of the universe?

Our universe is comprised of space, time, and matter. Therefore, whatever is supernatural would be outside of space, time, and matter.  

Whatever created our universe would have to be space less, timeless, and immaterial.

Our universe is also infinitely expansive, meaning that whatever created it would have had to have been powerful enough to set all the universe’s energy into motion.

Our universe is also the host of a multitude of fine-tuned variables. Oxygen, for example, comprises 21 percent of the earth’s atmosphere. If oxygen were 25 percent, the earth would be too flammable to support life; if it were 15 percent, we would suffocate. Carbon dioxide, another atmospheric variable, is so finely tuned to support life that if it’s too low, no photosynthesis; if it’s too high, we all burn. Gravity, although already mentioned, is so finely tuned to support life that if its force were adjusted by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, we wouldn’t have a sun.

And these are only three of over thirty different physical and cosmological parameters that allow for life. But it just goes to say, whatever created our universe would have had to have been extremely intelligent.

Our universe is also full of personality. The minds that exist within every human are a bit of an anomaly, and an albatross for most scientists. The amalgamation of fizzing chemicals and firing synapses summon the existence of our mind. The mind brings forth our personality, but the mind is also supernatural in and of itself. Consciousness can be neither seen nor touched, in fact, we can’t even prove that it exists. We’re stuck having to simply infer from the evidence.

Whatever created our universe would have had to have been personal enough to create the mind of man.

When you use science. When you use reason, observation, and evidence. You arrive at this conclusion:

Whatever created our universe must have to be space less, timeless, immaterial, powerful, intelligent, and personal.

I can’t help but think that these attributes are beginning to sound like the characteristics of a theistic God. But these are the facts. The facts that extinguish the faith required to believe “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing…”

It’s hard to listen to Hawking when all of creation is shouting the existence of a Creator.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

– Genesis 1:1