Welcome to tomthinking.com Saturday, June 23 2018 @ 05:55 AM UTC

Five Levels of Intimacy with God

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Throughout the Bible there are many stories of people who were gifted by God with special authority, power, or responsibilities. Those who were truly close to God were given the greatest responsibility. Look at a few of these examples:

 

  • Abraham was taken in his old age and given a family, and land, and promises that would lead to a nation and the Savior of the world. The Bible refers to Abraham as “the friend of God.”
  • Moses freed his people. The Bible says God spoke with Him “face-to-face” as a man does his friend.
  • David was chosen to lead his nation, and God promised his family the throne of Israel forever. The Bible says David was a “man after God’s own heart.”

 

Regrettably, only a precious few people in the Bible are spoken of as having such an intimate, personal closeness with God. However, God makes it clear that He has called many to such closeness. He even told King Saul, whom He later rejected, that He would have given him a Kingdom forever if he had only obeyed Him with his whole heart. Alas, Saul rejected God, and thus God rejected Saul in favor of David.

 

How close is your relationship to the One Living God? Did you know that it is possible to draw as close to Jesus as any of His closest disciples? They only thing stopping us is, us.

 

The Historical Reliability of the Bible

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As a collection of religious texts the Bible speaks to many issues of philosophy and morality. Like many religious texts, its claims may be compared to any other religion or teaching and be dismissed or embraced. However, there are two things unique about the Bible and its claims that other religions and philosophies do not possess. 

  1. The Bible is a book of verifiable history, claiming to outline, in real history, in real time, God’s interaction with man.
  2. The Bible presents future historythat can be verified upholding the reliability of its claims.

Unlike many other religious texts, which only claim to present the philosophy of a respected teacher, the Bible claims absolute authority as the inspired Word of the One and Only Living God. Such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it. While this short study will not present all of the evidences, it will provide you with a guide for examining the internal claims and evidences of the Bible, to help you understand the reliability of its text. This guide will also help you examine your own faith and knowledge of God’s Word.

 

Is the Bible historically reliable? Does the Bible provide any internal evidence for its extraordinary claims? Is there a way to provide a test of biblical text to discover its accuracy and reliability?

 

Let us ask these questions in a more personal way.

 

Is your faith reliable? Can your life provide evidences for the extraordinary claims of Christianity? Can you test the application of God’s Word in your own life to discover its reliability—and your own?

 

How To Study The Bible

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Studying the Bible provides the best way for a Christian to understand and apply God’s principles in life. There are many people who believe that God speaks to them, or leads them. There are many people whom, out of a desire to do the right thing and honor God, try to apply certain passages in the Bible to their lives—only to discover later that the passage in question had no relevance to them.

 

How do you know what parts of the Bible are applicable to your life today—and how to apply them?

 

This study will provide a short guideline to reading, studying, and applying the Bible to your life. It is not a comprehensive study examining all parts of the Bible and its divisions, but it will give you a starting point on your journey of exploration with God’s Word.

 

The most important part of any study of the Bible is the application of the truth learned. The Apostle Paul said, “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies” (I Corinthians 8:1). Learning for the sake of gaining knowledge is good, but applying what we learn to transform our lives for Jesus Christ is even better.

 

As you begin this study, make the commitment to apply what you learn from God’s word so that it will transform your life, helping you to grow to become more like Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).

Suicide: The Choice Between Life & Death

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From time to time there are people who become so frustrated by the difficulties of life that they surrender themselves to hopelessness, believing there is nothing good for them in the future. Some who have given up the precious gift of life have reasoned that since God has already forgiven them of their sins and provided them with eternal life, and since Heaven is a better place than Earth—suicide is the alternative they want to choose.

 

What does God think about the idea of choosing death over life? What does such a choice say about our faith, and God’s plan for us individually? Is there ever a good reason to choose suicide?

 

At all times, under all conditions, no matter how life might seem to be, God always provides us a chance to embrace life, and have a hope for the future. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own hopes and dreams, or so focused on our difficulties, that we lose sight of what God has already done for us, and what He will do for us in the future.

 

God has provided that there is always a reason to hope. He also provided an example of someone who faced the greatest difficulties of life, and faced them with hope for the future: Jesus Christ.

 

IKEA Prayers

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Have you ever heard someone, or yourself, pray in a way where the person praying not only tells God WHAT he wants, but actually tells God HOW he wants his prayer answered? It’s as if he is giving God a set of step by step IKEA instructions for assembly of the as of yet unanswered prayer.

 

For instance, during a prayer for surgery the person praying says, “Now God, guide the surgeon’s hands and help him to cut that tumor away. But Lord, don’t let him cut out anything he needs.” Wait…did God already not know this? Or perhaps he says, “Reach out with your mighty right arm and wipe away that tumor like an eraser.” This is like telling God how to do miracles. How about, "Oh God, protect my house while I'm on my trip. Let not the door be broken into or my windows smashed. But if someone does break in, don't let them have this, this, or this…"

Why The Rapture Won't Happen Today, And Why It Won't Happen Anytime Soon

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Perhaps you've seen the social media posts and blogs recently that claimed or came near to claiming that the rapture of the church was going to happen on April 23, 2018. If you're like me, you've seen this before and like today, every time, the prognosticators of earthly doom always get it wrong.

Rapture predictors always use "creative" interpretation and complicated math to make the case why the rapture will happen on their chosen day. But they always fail for a simple reason.

The scripture never supports their predictions.

Allow me to give you one simple reason why, from the scripture, rapture predictions are always off the mark, and why, from current events, the rapture is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Jesus & The Kingdom of Heaven

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The term Kingdom of Heaven is only used 31 times and only in one book in the entire Bible: Matthew.

Why does Matthew use this phrase when no other writer does?

Matthew focused his Gospel on the kingship of Jesus. From his opening genealogy, Matthew attempts to show that Jesus is the legitimate heir to the throne of David (1:1-17). The temptation of Jesus by Satan was an attack on his lordship (4:1-11). The visit of the Magi is a visitation of foreign kings to worship the new king (2:1-12). The beatitudes open and close with the Kingdom of Heaven. 5:17-20 show Jesus fulfilling the law. Only the lawgiver could do that. Then he proceeds to expand on the law in 5:21-48. Only a king could do that.

It logically proceeds that if Jesus is king, then he must be king of something.

Can America Be Good Again?

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Can America be great again? Yes. America can be great again. If we steel our determination and apply the right principles we can fix our economy and be economically great again.

If we take a sobering look at the evils in the world and be resolute about defeating our enemies then we can be militarily great again.

If we will take a common sense look at what we are teaching our children and be determined to fix our failing education system, we can be educationally great again.

Yes, America can be great again. But that's not really the issue, is it? Any country can be great. Greatness is not hard to achieve if we are committed to it. So greatness is not the issue. The issue before us as a nation is more fundamental than that.

Can America be good again?

Judgment Comes Before Mercy. Here's Why

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One of the most popular charges leveled against the elect is that of judgmentalism. Because Christianity teaches from the Bible about the nature of sin, and declares that sin requires repentance, some people, both unbelievers and even fellow Christians charge many Christians with being judgmental or condemning instead of loving as Christ did. Yet as we shall see from this study, there are times when obedience to Christ, and adherence to God’s word requires that a Christian exercise judgment for the purpose of condemnation in turn leading to the hope of repentance.
We shall see from this study that Jesus condemned sin and certain people; that the Apostles condemned sin and certain people, and that we are enjoined to condemn sin and certain people.

The Shroud Of Turin Is Not The Burial Cloth Of Jesus, Here's Why

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I had a recent conversation with someone on Facebook advocating that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus and that the image on the shroud is a miraculous image of the real Lord Jesus. The exchange has driven me back to scripture to one again ensure that my position on the Shroud is not a mistaken one. I do not believe that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus. I think a careful study of scripture reveals that the Shroud is not authentic. I’ve written previously about this, however, today I’d like to make a much more thorough case comparing the Shroud to the scriptures about Jesus’ burial to demonstrate why my conclusion is valid.

To keep the length of this article manageable, I will not be providing background information about the Shroud of Turin and its history. If you are interested in more details about the Shroud then you can find that information here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin) and here (https://www.shroud.com). My concern is with what the scripture reveals about Jesus’ burial and whether or not the physical evidences of the Shroud comport with the biblical evidences. What are those physical evidences?