Is Jesus Dead?

By this time I am sure that most of you have heard about the latest new “archaeological finding” about Jesus. This time it is as far-fetched as ever; a documentary (to accompany a book) will be coming out revealing that Jesus’ body has been found in a tomb in Jerusalem. It seems like every year just before easter something like this comes up (just like around Christmas someone always shows up to disprove the virgin birth). The bottom line is that this is completely media driven. There is not a single reputable scholar who would back any of the evidence that the makers of the documentary are pointing to. It is ridiculous! I have heard several debates on this topic on the radio, and inevitably those who support this finding will accuse dissenting Christians of not wanting to deal with the evidence. Well let me just scratch the surface of the evidence and show just how ridiculous this claim is. First, the type of family tomb that these people claim to have found would have been accessible only to the wealthy. Jesus’ family, with Joseph being a carpenter, was not wealthy enough to afford such a tomb. Additionally, if Jesus’ family had owned such a tomb then why did Joseph of Arimathea have to lend his tomb for Jesus’ burial?

John 19:13

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body.

Second, why would a family from Nazareth have a family tomb in Jerusalem?

Luke 4:16

And He (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

Third, how could Jesus’ body (They claim to have DNA to prove it is Jesus, but since we have no samples of Jesus’ DNA this could not be possible.) be in this tomb when he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven?

1 Corinthians 15:3-6

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;

Luke 24:50-53

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.

Don’t let someone tell you that you just don’t want to deal with the facts because you don’t want to loose your faith. The fact is that those who have come out with this (and those who support this) do so because they would rather suppress the truth about Jesus than obey Him. The men behind this have made the claim that you can believe their findings and still remain faithful to the Christian faith, but this proves that they have no idea what the Christian faith is. The Christian faith is all about belief and submission to a RISEN LORD:

Romans 10:9-10

…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

To read more about this story go here.

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Saturday Night Special

This past Saturday, around 11:30 a.m., I got the call that no one wants to get. When I answered the phone I could barely make out the raspy voice of our Pastor of Preacher here at GBCB and I knew what that meant. I had about 23 hrs to prepare to preach the next morning. Now for some that might not be a big deal, but I had only preached on Sunday morning one other time before. I quickly packed up my gear and went into the office, and spent the rest of Saturday trying to be ready “in season, and out of season.” All went as well as can be expected, and I did not commit heresy (this is always a plus). You can hear the audio from last Sunday here. I would love to get your input (and if it is really bad send me an e-mail instead of leving a comment).

Logos Bible Software

Over the last year and a half I have been using the Logos Boble software for my personal Bible study, sermon prep., and digital library. I have been almost %100 satisfied with the prodcut that they put out, and I am constantly amazed at the upgrades and downloads that they make available to their customers for free. They are constantly working to improve their product and move it forward. Here is a cool e-mail that I received from Logos on that subject:

Isaiah 40:8 speaks volumes. It conveys more depth and richness of content in fifteen short words than some authors get across in their entire collected life’s works.This powerful declaration reminds us why we are here at Logos. We believe in this verse with all our hearts, and want to do everything in our power to make sure that during our brief time on this earth, we do as much as we are able to advance the study of God’s Word.

You have probably heard the story behind the founding of Logos Bible Software before: A couple of young Microsoft programmers with their entire careers of high-pay and lucrative Microsoft stock options ahead of them, dropped everything to join a partner and risk it all on pursuing their dream.

They weren’t satisfied with using their skills to help businessmen have access to the latest and greatest in technology just so they could be more productive or do better in business…

They wanted more.

They wanted to use those same skills to help God’s people in every walk of life have better access to the treasures of God’s Word.

They wanted to use the latest and greatest in technology to create tools for taking people deeper into Bible study than they ever thought possible.

“Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth”

Before anything else, we have a passion for God’s Word. In order to help you get the most from God’s Word, we relentlessly push technology to the limits, and make sure we are always up on the latest and greatest. 

It is that passion that keeps everyone at Logos pushing technology forward. It is that passion that keeps us experimenting with the latest software and tools out there wherever they come from. It is that passion that ensures that your Logos Bible Software will continue to get better and better.

We promise that we will continue to push technology to the limits to make studying the Bible deeper, easier and better in every way possible.

Really, we are serious about this!

The most obvious benefit of our passion to help you get the most out of your Bible study is the ever-improving Logos Bible Software engine (the Libronix Digital Library System).Our passion for making sure we are up on the latest and greatest technology ensures that you have uninterrupted access to the best Bible study software in the world even when Microsoft releases new operating systems like Windows Vista, and new browsers like Internet Explorer 7. The latest version of Logos Bible Software is ready for both: Get it now.

Honestly, there is no catch!

Keeping up to date with the core engine in Logos Bible Software doesn’t cost a thing. There is no reason not to download the latest version and stay current. Take a moment and make sure you are using the latest and greatest in technology by updating your engine for free: http://www.logos.com/support/download/30update 

Experience just how far our passion has taken us…

There is no catch to the download. You can make sure you have the latest core engine at no cost just like we mentioned above…

…but if you are looking to do more than just keep your software current with the latest operating systems, or you want to see just how far our passion has taken us to create extra tools and add-ins to bring you new ways to dig deeper, read on.

After you update your core engine you should check out the individually customized upgrade sale that is about to expire on collection upgrades. Download the update first, then if you want to jump light years ahead in your Bible study and add more great tools, add-ins and resources for pennies on the dollar, you should really check out our custom collection upgrades that are still on sale for just a month or so more at: http://www.logos.com/upgrade

Want a really cool story to tell your friends? 

You probably realize by now that we are passionate about making sure we stay on top of the latest and greatest technology so you will always have the best tools for Bible study right? Well, here’s a cool story you can tell your friends…

When we heard that Microsoft was going to start using a new technology called WPF for Windows Vista we just had to check it out. We wanted experience with this cool new technology to see if it could be used to make Bible study better. Our president had a great idea. He always wanted to have a really simple note-taking program to use at his desk and he also wanted the developers to have experience creating a real WPF application, so he told them to learn all they could about WPF and create an entire application from the ground up with the latest technology.

A little while later they completed one of the first applications ever for Microsoft Windows Vista that utilized the new WPF technology. The app. is called NoteScraps and it is really cool. If you use Vista or XP with .NET 3 you should really check it out: http://www.NoteScraps.com

The best part of this story is that our tiny little application is getting rave reviews all over the world from hard-core programmers who have no idea it was made by a Bible Software company! (several are actually high-level Microsoft employees.) Just do a search for “NoteScraps” and you will see that in just a few days word has spread like wildfire.

Ok, did we say that last paragraph was the best part? We were wrong…

The “best” part of our new secular mass-market technology release is not just the fun of secretly knowing that our Bible Software programmers made something that is being respected and enjoyed by people who would never have anything to do with us otherwise…

The “best” part is knowing that all the money we make selling copies to those same people, who would never in their wildest dreams support a Bible Software company, will go back into making the best Bible Software in the world for you, so someday you can share the treasures of God’s Word with them! 🙂

If you want to share in our little secret and have your own fun, go ahead and “spread the word” about NoteScraps to your local paper or favorite technology blogger/reviewer. Who knows, maybe the money generated from your spreading of the word will be used to “spread the WORD” somewhere else.

We aren’t asking you to buy one thing, and we know this may not be businesslike to say, but why not share our excitement and dream for just one minute with us! Wouldn’t it be so great… if the money spent to buy NoteScraps by Joe, an unsaved soul… went back into making better Bible Software that was used by Larry… to study God’s plan of salvation and witness to his unsaved friend Joe (who happened to have purchased NoteScraps ten years ago)… and God used that to save Joe. –How cool would that be?

Spread the word: http://www.NoteScraps.com

Want to let the world know that God’s Word pushes technology to new heights?

Right now we have a rare opportunity to show the secular world in a very public way that we take the Bible seriously and that just because we are Bible Software developers, it doesn’t mean that people who care about the Bible can’t be the best at what they do in any field.

Logos has been selected as a finalist in the WSA (formerly the Washington Software Alliance) “Heroes of Industry” awards for “Consumer Product of the Year” out of more than 1,000 software companies representing a total of more than 50,000 employees.

In case you didn’t know, Washington has a lot of very prestigious software companies. Just take a look at some of the companies that are members of WSA: Microsoft, Nintendo America, RealNetworks, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Accenture, Adobe, ADP, Ernst & Young, Onyx Software Corporation, and Sun Microsystems just to name a few. 

Whether we win for “Consumer Product of the Year” or not is up to the official judges, but right now you can let your voice be heard by voting for Logos Bible Software as the “Community Choice” winner.

If you would like to show your support, simply create an account and vote for us.

You will have to create an account here: http://tinyurl.com/2xwosz

Next, vote for Logos Bible Software here: http://tinyurl.com/27vhhu

Thank you for being a part of our family!

We are so glad you are a part of the Logos family and we hope you can deeply feel and share our passion for God’s Word and relentlessly pursuing “Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth”.

Luke 24:25-17

And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.cocreadinglist.JPG

This passage has intrigued theologians for ages. One cannot help but wonder what exactly Jesus said. Oh for the day when we will see what is unseen, and know in full what has been revealed in part. But until that day we are left to wonder what Jesus said. From this text alone we can gather several pieces of information. Look at the circumstances. The two disciples were foolish because they did not understand that Jesus had “to suffer these things and to enter into His glory…” It was after this statement that Christ explained what the OT from Moses to the Prohpets said about himself. So then, there is little doubt that Jesus was trying to resolve their foolishness. Thus he must have explained, in some way, from the OT why and how he had to suffer, and why and how he ascended to glory.I know that his is rather straight forward, and I did not really break any new ground. However, I hope that I did spur you on to further thought in this matter. That was, in fact, my goal.

Look for more posts like this one in the future here at COCT. It is my aim to help my readers understand God’s word. I want to do that by giving you just enough of a taste of the difficult passages so that you will be hungry to dig deeper.

The American Church

There is absolutely nothing that I could care less about seeing on the news than the Anna Nicole Smith saga- wait, actually that is second only to Spears new bald haircut. I get so tired of seeing items such as these on the news. However, Rick at Judah’s Lion has made a pretty interesting connection between the state of the American church and Anna Nicole Smith. Here is a quote:

But do you know who I saw in Ms. Smith? I saw the American church. The embodiment of entertainment, all dressed up and living as if always on a stage, but lean and without substance in reality. Always posing and primping for the cameras and willing to be a constant source of entertainment for the world without having anything to offer but the caricature that everyone got to know. Like a living piece of cotton candy that was bright to the eyes but carried no nutrition with it, the church is willing to play the entertaining marionette forever dancing but without any eternal value. Extravagant in every way, buildings, theatre, cruises, shows, music, activities, but with precious little extravagance in sacrifice, holiness, and prayer.

To read the rest of this post use the provided link above.

James 5:1-6: The Fading and Fatal Pleasures of this World (Introduction)

The Fading and Fatal Pleasures of this World

James 5:1-6

Introduction:

            At times it can be difficult to see beyond this present world.  It is easy to loose a proper perspective and fall into our culture’s preoccupation with play and entertainment.  When we watch TV we see ads for the latest new gizmo.  At the mall we see that latest new fads.  Around our friends we notice all the cool things that they have.  It can be very easy to become preoccupied with the things that we see around us.  However, as Christians, we must fight this urge.  In James 4:4 we are reminded that these urges for worldly pleasure constitute friendship with the world; and if we are the friends of the world then we are God’s enemies.  Yet still we struggle with this desire for worldly pleasure.  For some reason we think that we are missing out on some fun by not pursing the pleasures of this world. It is in those moments of struggle that we must look to Scripture and remind ourselves that the pleasures of this world are fading and fatal.  In James 5:1-6 we see this truth very clearly.   

            As we look at James 5:1-6 we must remember the situation of James’ audience.  James wrote this letter to the poor and persecuted Jewish Christians that were dispersed throughout the region.  Because these people were in such a difficult situation it would have been easy for them to look at the wealth of the rich with envy.  With this in mind James wrote these verses so that these people, hearing of the outcome of the rich and God’s ultimate punishment of them, would be content in their situation rather than envious of earthly pleasure.

            It is pivotal that we remember that the pleasures of this world are fading and fatal.  They pale in comparison to the pleasure that results from following God.  Unfortunately the evil rich people that James wrote about in this passage did not live their lives this way (It is important to remember that James is not condemning riches, but rich people who are consumed with riches rather than following God.  In fact as
Kent has aptly observed, “Many wealthy persons are clearly described in the Bible with divine approval, and in some cases it is stated that their wealth was a blessing God had given them [Gen. 12:2; 13:2; 24:35; Job 1:1-3, 10; 42:10-13].”
[1]). In all likelihood these rich people lived with the motto “eat, drink, and be merry.” James commanded them to do the exact opposite of “eat, drink, and be merry.”  They were to weep and howl because of the certain condemnation that they faced. 

Thesis: You rich weep and howl over your certain condemnation. (v. 1)

              Notice how James’ command to weep is not followed by the command to humble yourself as it was in chapter 4 (vv. 8-10), but rather to howl.  In chapter 4 the command to weep was a part of repentance, but here it is weeping over the misery they will suffer as a punishment for being the friends of the world (and the enemies of God).  James, in the same way that the OT prophets condemned the pagan nations, is condemning these people to judgment.  He does not call for repentance or change, but simply recognizes that these people are consumed with the pleasures of this world and will be judged for it.  This is why they were to weep and howl. 

The Greek word here for howl is an onomatopoeia, which means that the word sounds like the noise it is describing (i.e. bang, pop, moo).  The Greek word is pronounced ὀλολύζω, so you can hear that James is referring to hollering, or screaming.  This was the reaction that these people were to have over the misery they would face.    This is how bad the result of being consumed with the things of this world is.  It is so bad that these evil rich people were to despair with a loud outburst because they faced certain condemnation.  The very thought of the miseries that were coming upon these people should have caused them to weep and howl.  In verses 2-6 there are four ways in which the rich people have brought this condemnation upon themselves; and thus there are four different reasons that these people needed to weep and howl.  We we look at those one at a time over the next few days.   


[1]
Kent, Homer A., Faith that Works: Studies in the Epistle of James, pg. 167.