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Is There a God?
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wayne



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 192



PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Visions and Apparitions

The Old Testament records a number of incidences where God's saints have had encounters with God and the spirit world.  If we read carefully, the Old Testament clearly shows that the preincarnated Christ was active throughout the Old Testament.  However, both the Old and New Testaments clearly warn that man is not to practice sorcery—the initiative of mankind to contact the dead and the spirit world.  However, many times God has taken the initiative.

We also find God has taken the initiative in the New Testament.  We note that the risen Christ appeared to Saul of Taurus.  Angels also released Peter and John from the bonds of prison.  The angels and demons have manifested their presence in visual forms over the last two thousand years.  At least one of my close friends has seen an angel.  Today, their appearances seem to have increased.  

Perhaps, it is because of the increase of Satanic activity and also, perhaps, it is because we are living in the last days of history.

For many years, history has documented deathbed visions where the veil which separates this world form the next disappears. Sometimes, there is a span of time when the dying person seems to be in both worlds.  During this time, they have reported seeing the risen Christ, angels and departed love ones.  Trained nurses have reported this phenomenal frequently among hospice patients.  As D.L Moody was dying, he had visions of both worlds and reported on what he was seeing to those present.  At one time, he said, “No Pain! No valley”  “If this is death, it’s not bad at all!  It’s sweet!”  “This is my coronation day.  It’s glorious!”  Another dying person said, "Oh, they are so beautiful?” “What do you see?”  "Angels—and they are so beautiful”  “They have wings” “They sing the sweetest of anything I have ever heard.”  “I see the holy city.”  “I see Christ and oh, He is so beautiful.”  “A lot of people—Uncle George and a lot more."  Critics have argued that the patients were hallucinating; however, this does not appear to be the case.  

We are living in a time when people are being resuscitated after their heart stops.  As a result, many are have near death experiences or out of body experiences.  During this time both believers and nonbelievers are encountering spiritual beings such as angels, visions of heaven, family members, conversations with Christ and probably demons appearing as angels of light.  We need to be very careful in discerning who these spiritual being are as Satan and his demons do appear as angels of light and deceive us.  However, it does prove that there is a spirit world as well as a physical world.

In 1989, Don Piper, a Baptist pastor, was in an automobile accident and was pronounced dead by the paramedics.  Ninety minutes later he was back in his body and after many months of recovery he went on to tell and write (90 Minutes in Heaven) about his visit to heaven.  There he met many family members and friends.  In 1998, Bill Wiese, a Christian, was taken to the depths of hell to see and experience the reality of hell.  Then he was lifted out and had an encounter with the risen Christ who told him to return to earth and tell all about the reality of hell.  He recorded his experience in his book "23 Minutes in Hell".  There are a number of children who have met Christ in an out of body experience.  Todd Burpo, a Wesleyan church pastor, writes about his son's Colton's experience in his book "Heaven is for Real".  There are unbelievers who have had Out of Body experiences where they have met Christ and have been told to return to earth and witness to the world about the reality of Christ.  Most have become strong believers.

There are many reported cases where Christ has appeared suddenly and has spoken to an individual.  Most have received words of encouragement.  Jesus is appearing to some Muslims who are searching for the truth regarding Christ.  After the encounter, most have converted to Christianity and have become strong witnesses.  

For more on this subject see the "Visions" section of my article:  "Heaven, Hell and the Afterlife" on this web site.  Just click on the title.
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wayne



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 192



PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Evidence and the Verdict

I have tried to answer the question, is there a Sovereign God who created the universe and reigns over His creation.  If this evidence were taken into a fair and unbiased courtroom, I believe that the evidence would prove that macroevolution is not valid and that there is indeed a Creator. In summary, let us consider four factors:

    •  The evolutionist cannot go back in time where there was no physical existence.  They begin with the big bang theory or solid-state theory which supposes that at least some parts of the physical universe has always existed.

    •  Evolution violates the universal law of cause and effect.  For every cause there is an effect and for every effect there is a cause.

    •  Evolution violates the law of probability.  The probability that the entire universe evolved slowly over time by undirected processes is just simply too unrealistic to believe.

    •  Evolution seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics.  The late Dr. Henry Morris, the modern day father of creationism, in his book "The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth" wrote the following statement.  "All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the " Second Law of Thermodynamics". This would be just the opposite of what evolutionists teach.
   
Genesis chapter one begins with these words, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  The New Testament adds additional insight. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-5).  "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they" (Heb. 1:1-4).

When we look at the Scripture, it appears that all three parts of the Godhead, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit took part in the creation.  However, it appears that the Son, Jesus, was the one who did the creating.  He is our Creator, our Savior and our Sustainer.  

There are many who refuse to believe.  Richard Dawkins, a renowned atheist, humanist and evolutionary biologist reflects the views of many when he said: "If you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)".  However, the Bible says: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good" (Ps 14:1).

The time has come for us to make a decision.  Will we accept the claims of Christ or will we deny them.  God has given us this choice.  We have a free will to choose.  The Bible says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6b). "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" Rev. 3:20a). "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).

How do we receive him?  By penitently, confessing and repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  This means turning our lives over to him.  Paul writes these words in the book of Romans.  "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"..." For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Rom. 10:9-10, 13).

To receive God’s salvations we must, through prayer, truly repent of our sins, ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and to come into our heart as Lord and Savior.  We must then believe that God has saved us and to step out on faith and tell others that God has saved us.

The following is a sample prayer. You may pray it wherever you are. If you mean it, then you will be saved. If you do not then you will not be saved.  After God saves you, begin praying, reading your Bible (beginning with the Gospel of John), go to church and fellowship with other believers.  Then ask to be baptized as a testimony of your salvation experience.

Sinners Prayer

Quote:

"Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am sinful and I need Your forgiveness, I believe that You died my sin.  I want to turn from my sin nature and follow You instead.  I invite You to come into my heart and life and be my Lord and Savior.  In Jesus' name. Amen"



Many have made this decision; many have refused to do so.  The Apostle Peter says that it is the Lord's will that all will be saved, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, NIV).  Some have turned to the Lord and will spend eternity in heaven.  Others have chosen to deny God and maintain their independence—they will spend eternity separated from God in a place called hell.
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wayne



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 192



PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

End of Article

All Scripture is from the New King James Bible except as noted below.

NIV - New International Version

NASB - New American Standard Bible Version



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