Divided by Truth

I AM THE WAY & THE TRUTH & THE LIVE“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:15, KJV

I am concerned about the lack of attention that is being paid to the essentials of the historic Christian faith. I am not talking about the debatable subjects that are often the cause of controversy, but I am talking about the ESSENTIALS of Christianity. Faith is about believing the truth about Jesus and the plan of salvation. There is NO salvation outside of Jesus Christ. This is a fact! This is non-negotiable!

I am well aware of the push for unity within the Christian churches, but I would rather be divided by the truth than united in error when it comes to the basic teachings of the Bible. Truth matters!

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16, NIV

~Stephen Beagles

Freedom of Religion vs. Zombie Apocalypse

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One of the characteristics of an educated mind is that it welcomes competing ideas as a way to force an examination of the basic assumptions about what makes something true or false. There is nothing wrong with a healthy debate! I am concerned about people who want to shut down the free flow of ideas and refuse to allow others to question their intellectual authority.

Maybe we are living in a world full of actual zombies with the rational centers of the brain being shut down and where the infected begin feeding on the flesh of those who are still rational.

Recently, I have come across statements like “Religion is harmful” and “Christians are hateful” from people who would like to limit our religious freedoms in favor of a secular worldview. But do they realize that they are the ones perpetuating hate against religion? Is it fair to stereotype all Christians as hatemongers who worship a hateful God?

I am tired of the hypocrisy. Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are what have made the United States the envy of the world. However, these concepts are being worn thin by those who believe that everyone has a responsibility to preach their party line.

No, not all beliefs are created equal. Yes, some beliefs are downright harmful. But I still respect the right of a human being to believe what they want to believe regardless of if their views are popular. By ensuring their freedom to voice their beliefs, then I protect my own rights to counter-argue their beliefs in a public forum.

Not all disagreement is hateful and not all dissent is suppressive. We used to be a country that welcomed the free flow of ideas. What happened?

~Stephen Beagles

What Difference Does God Make?

Question markRecently, I came across the question that some find hard to answer: What difference does God make?

Ultimately, this question is not hard to answer. Those who have had a genuine experience with the Creator of the Universe will tell you that God has made the biggest difference in their lives. But then some might question if those experiences were the result of God’s direct intervention or if those same experiences can be had by those who do not believe in God. But those questions lead back to how we know that God exists and that He is not simply a product of wishful thinking or a figment of our collective imagination.

If God exists then He makes all of the difference, because He is the source of all life. Furthermore, our beliefs determine our actions. By believing in God, my perception of reality is changed and I begin to relate to the world in a way that is completely different than if I believed there were no God to hold me accountable. My attitude towards life is changed and therefore my actions are different.

This might seem like a simple response, but it answers the question that is posed: What difference does believing in God make in our lives? God changes our perception of reality, He changes our attitude towards life, and He changes how we live our lives.

But in order for this change to be real, then God would have to exist on some level of reality. This means that the following question needs a sufficient answer: How do we know that God exists?

Let me tell you why I believe that God exists:

1. Philosophy–where there is a design there is a designer. If there is a design to the universe then it automatically suggests the existence of an intelligent designer.

2. History–I am one of those people who believe that the Bible is a historical document. In fact, all of Christianity depends on the integrity of the manuscripts that have been preserved for thousands of years. Moses was a real person, the Hebrews were a real people, Israel is a real place, David was a real King, Jesus really died and resurrected from the dead.

3. Prophecy–This is one of the keys to believing in the authority of scriptures. There are actual prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled. I am not an expert on prophecy, but Jesus fulfilled all of the predictions concerning the Jewish messiah. This is an interesting study.

4.Experience–God not only existed during the days of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Moses, but God exists today. We can learn from other people who have witnessed miracles, seen angels, had prophetic dreams, and have been the recipients of dramatic answers to prayer. Many of us have had encounters with evil spirits who were driven away by calling on the name of Jesus. Most Christians have a laundry list of experiences where they have witnessed the power of God in their life.

Now, anyone of these reasons on their own might not prove the existence of God. However, if you add them all together then it puts belief in God as not only possible or plausible, but probable beyond a reasonable doubt.

For me, there is no other explanation that fits everything that I know about reality. The facts most certainly make faith in God the most rational approach to life.

~Stephen Beagles

The Better Deal

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33, KJV

Do we think that God is not aware of our needs? If we trust Him, He WILL provide. This does not mean that we will not have hardships. In fact, there WILL be days when we will have to go without many of this life’s pleasures. To be certain, there WILL be days when we are called to suffer through pain and adversity. We may even be called to die for the truth about Christ. However, remember that God will give us the strength and the peace to endure EVERYTHING. He will give us 100 times more than we will ever have to sacrifice for His Eternal Kingdom.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29, NIV

Now, what is the better deal? Temporary suffering with a loving God who will comfort us in our afflictions, or a life of pleasure without any hope for eternity? The pleasures of this world are overrated compared to the eternal bliss that awaits those who love Jesus. The temporary pleasures of this world lead to violence, addiction, and death; the temporary sacrifices we make for the Kingdom of God lead to rewards that we will enjoy forever and for eternity, AMEN!

~Stephen Beagles

The Choice

God created a perfect world. But because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, each of us has inherited a sinful nature. The bad news is that without Christ we are completely lost and not even God can save us. The good news is that because of Christ we now have a choice. We can choose eternal life in a heavenly paradise or we can choose to be non-existent. This offer will not last forever and time is running out. Which will you choose?

~Stephen Beagles