Thursday, December 29, 2016

How Can We Be Good Christians This New Year? Who Is A Good Christian?

            It is almost traditional that we resolve to be better every New Year. But unless we understand what it means to be a good Christian, how could we be better Christians this New Year?

The Heart Of Good Christians: God Hates The Wicked Heart

            We could take resolutions to intensify our relationship with God. So we could resolve to pray more or fast more or increase our giving. But before we undertake such seemingly spiritual resolutions, let us examine whether our heart is in the right place or not. 

            God abhors the dishonest motive of a Christian heart.

            God hates Christians who are spiritually proud. God hates those who strive to gain popularity before men for their religious deeds. So God hates those who perform the following religious rituals for all the wrong reasons:

            1. Give much to their church or to the needy (cf. Matthew 6: 1-4).

            2. Pray wonderfully well (cf. Matthew 6: 5).

            3. Fast (cf. Matthew 6: 16-18).

            4. [Unjustly] judge others (cf. Matthew 7: 1-5).     

            5. Prophesy, drive out demons, perform signs and wonders (cf. Matthew 7: 21-23).

            While we should rightfully strive to give more, pray more, fast more often, and eagerly desire the spiritual gifts, we should ensure that we do not perform these spiritual deeds with dishonest motives e.g. to make more money or to be recognized / praised by men. 

The Heart Of Good Christians: God Loves The Humble Heart

            A cursory reading of the Sermon on the Mount would reveal that God loves those who are humble about their spirituality i.e. those who are not proud and feel sufficient of their spirituality. God loves those who mourn for their lack of spirituality, their sins and the sins of others.

            God loves the meek. In the words of John Wesley the meek are those who, “…hold all their passions and affections evenly balanced…They shall have all things really necessary for life and godliness. They shall enjoy whatever portion God hath given them.”1

            God loves those whose hearts are pure (those who love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength) and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. God loves the merciful; we are not to think more highly of ourselves, but to think of ourselves with sober discernment (cf. Romans 12: 3).

            This is who we should desire to be.  But it’s not easy!

Good Christians Overcome Satan

            The enemy of our souls, the devil, is actively striving to destroy the Christian, “Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5: 8b, NET).

            The greatest need for any Christian, who desires to love the Lord more and to grow stronger in HIM, is to defeat the devil every hour. If we are strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power (Ephesians 6: 10), we would grow spiritually – in our relationship with God.

            In Ephesians 6, the Bible reveals a strategy to overcome the devil. In order to defeat the devil, we should integrate the following:

            A. Truth of God’s Word: to understand Christ, who is the epitome of truth, and defend the truth of God’s Word.

            B. Righteousness of God imputed upon us: to grow in holiness.

            C. Peace that transcends all understanding: to be at peace at all times and in all circumstances however difficult it may be.

            D. To live by faith in Christ: to remove all material aspects out of our realm and to focus only upon God always.

            E. Salvation so graciously offered to us: to share Christ and constantly work out our salvation.

            F. Pray: to pray for ourselves and the needs of people around us.

Good Christians Understand Their Specific Calling

            Christians are called to different spiritual vocations. Some Christians are called to be prophets, some called to be evangelists, some to be pastors, and others to be teachers (cf. Ephesians 4: 11). Similarly the Bible teaches, “For one person is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10, NET, Emphasis Mine).

            Good Christians, by spending time with God to understand HIS mind, would understand HIS specific calling for their lives.     


            In essence, a good Christian constantly desires to grow more in the Lord – to love HIM more and to allow HIM to transform his life so that he lives according to HIS will and pleasure. A good Christian is humble about his spirituality and constantly desires to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Furthermore, he strives to understand and fulfill the specific purpose for which he was created.

            In a general sense, these should be on our bucket list for this New Year and always: to be poor in spirit, meek, pure, merciful, and to hunger and thirst for righteousness, so to grow in our love for our dear Lord and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Let us desire to be strengthened in the Lord and in HIS mighty power, so that we can defeat the devil at all times. Moreover, when we read the Bible and pray, the precious Holy Spirit would impress upon us the need to grow in specific spiritual fields.

            One year or one life time is not sufficient to grow in our spirituality or to be better Christians. Hence, we should pray that this desire constantly remains in us and burns as wildfire in us, so that the mighty anointing of our Lord would be upon us always.

            Every New Year is a reminder for us to grow more and more in the Lord. May we treat this New Year as an occasion for us to be better Christians and may our lives glorify our dear Lord always.

            May the good Lord bless and keep you in HIS presence this New Year and always.


1 (last accessed on 29th December 2016.)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Celebrating Christmas The Biblical Way

            Decorating homes, distributing goodies, get-together with friends and family, and getting drunk are some of our favorite means to celebrate Christmas. Over the years we have been habituated to practice these celebration routines. But are we celebrating Christmas the right way – the Biblical way? Is there a biblical way to celebrate Christmas?

            The Bible reveals the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So it is plausible that the Bible also reveals the manner in which we should celebrate the birth of our Lord.

Unbelief to Belief

            The gospel of Matthew reveals Joseph’s transformation from unbelief to belief. Prior to the revelation of Christ’s birth, Joseph planned to divorce Mary. But after Christ’s birth was revealed to him, he believed the message of Christ’s birth and took Mary as his wife, “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”…When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (Matthew 1: 18 - 24, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as your God and Savior is the most appropriate way to celebrate Christmas.

Bless God: Praise & Glorify HIM

            The sight of the child Jesus in the temple invoked Simeon to bless God, but what does it mean to bless God? Pastor John Piper expounds the meaning of blessing God, “My thesis is that in the Scripture when God "blesses" men they are thereby helped and strengthened and made better off than they were before, but when men "bless" God he is not helped or strengthened or made better off. Rather (with C. A. Keller in THAT, I, 361) man's blessing God is an "expression of praising Thankfulness" (ein lobendes Danksagen), when the OT speaks of blessing God it does not "designate a pro­cess that aims at the increase of God's strength" (THAT, I, 361). It is an "exclamation of gratitude and admiration" (THAT, I, 357)…They do not mean that we make God larger or higher. So to bless God means to recognize his great richness, strength, and gracious bounty and to express our gratitude and delight in seeing and experiencing it.”1

            J.I Packer in his most famous work, “Knowing God,” explains that to bless God is to praise, exalt and worship HIM. When we praise, adore, thank and love God, we are in fact blessing God.

            The shepherds, after having seen the birth of the Lord, praised and glorified God, for what they saw was what was told to them, “The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” (Luke 2: 20, NASB).

            Similarly, every aspect of our Christmas celebration ought to praise and glorify God. In other words, drunkenness as a means of celebrating Christmas is not an option for Christians.

            Significantly, we cannot bless God if we do not know HIM. Simeon knew God well; HE was able to recognize the precious Holy Spirit’s voice in HIM that directed him to the child Jesus. Likewise, this Christmas, let us desire to grow in our knowledge of God. One lifetime is not enough to know God. So let us make the best use of our life by knowing God.

Go Tell It

            The gospel of Luke includes the narrative of the angels revealing the birth of our Lord to the shepherds. The shepherds responded to the birth of our Lord Jesus by spreading the news of Christ’s birth, “When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.” (Luke 2: 17, NASB).

            Similarly, we are to spread the word of Christ’s birth to all in our domain. Caroling is a wonderful means to spread the news of Christ’s birth to unbelievers. Moreover, the Christmas season offers us a grand opportunity to invite our non-Christian friends into our homes to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Fulfillment of Hope

            The narrative of Simeon’s encounter with child Jesus emphasizes another interesting phenomenon. For Simeon, the sight of child Jesus was the fulfillment of his hope in God, “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32, NET).

            Hope is the only lifeline for many around us. They hope for a better life – spiritually and materially. This Christmas, may we be the channels of blessing for them to realize their hope.

            God will certainly fulfill our hope in HIM. The greatest hope we have in God is for us to spend our life with HIM unto all eternity. God will most certainly fulfill this hope when we believe and remain in Christ always. May our celebrations reflect our hope in God.


            If our Christmas is all about decorating our homes, distributing goodies and meeting family and friends without blessing God, sharing HIM with others, praising and glorifying HIM, and being a channel of blessing those who are deprived, then our Christmas celebrations cannot be biblically appropriate.

            This Christmas
            Believe in Christ
            Bless HIM
            Share HIM
            Grow in HIM
            Fulfill the hope of the deprived
            And know that HE will fulfill our hope in HIM.

            I pray that you and your family enjoy a blessed Christmas.


1 (last accessed on 22nd December 2016.)  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Child Pornography: When Will This Horrendous Evil End?

          It is no longer wise to blindly trust our children with their school teachers, doctors and nurses, law enforcement personnel, pastors and priests, for our children may not be safe with them. Consider the capture of these very people when a huge international child porn ring was busted in Canada, “What was most alarming was that many of the arrests were of people who worked with or closely interacted with children. Among those arrested were 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors and priests and three foster parents.

            In one particularly horrific example of those arrested, police found over 350,000 images and over 9,000 videos of child sexual abuse in the home of a retired Canadian school teacher. Some of the images were of children known to the man and he was also charged with sexually abusing a child relative.”1

            Child pornography is growing at an alarming rate, “Child pornography has become more prevalent and larger than we would ever like to imagine. It is said to be a $3 billion dollar industry globally, generating massive amounts of money for people willing to exploit young children…Child pornography has been expanding virally on the web for years and the material is only getting worse. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains. Every week there are over 20,000 images of child pornography posted on the web (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 2003). Furthermore, U.S Customs Services estimates that illegal child pornography is offered by approximately 100,000 websites.”2

            Child sex trafficking is an allied industry to child pornography and prostitution, “63% of underage sex trafficking victims said they had been advertised or sold online.”3 Intriguingly, childhood traumas such as sexual abuse, substance abuse, and domestic violence force children into prostitution. 

            What motivates man towards this evil?

            Money is a huge motivating factor. It is said that “a pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and exploits an average of 4-6 girls.” This is a huge amount of money for a vulnerable man to resist.4

            The world we live in today encourages “free thinking.” (Free thinkers are those who form their own opinions instead of accepting the conventional norms.) A consequence of free thinking within this context is to recognize porn as a legitimate profession or as a means to satiate one’s carnal desires. Once the freethinker endorses porn, there is very little that separates him / her from entering into the horrendous evil world of child porn.   

            How do we Christians respond to child porn?

            First, prayer is our first natural response. We pray that…

            (1) Criminals would recognize this horrendous evil and repent of their sins.

            (2) Parents would have a strong relationship with their children. In many instances, the adverse relationship between parents and their children forces children to take rash decisions that are detrimental to their own mental and physical health.

            (3) Our children should be protected against all harms and dangers. If the father and the mother are employed, then it is quite possible for the child to spend long hours in solitude. This is a sure opportunity for the child to voluntarily and innocently dabble into dangerous domains.

            (4) Our homes should provide stability and security for our children and we should pray against every form of child abuse in homes.

            Second, as much as we pray, we should also act proactively. Our children should be informed of the potential dangers. For instance, our children cannot meet anyone alone unless approved by the parents. They should be informed of the prowling presence of sex predators who may lure them into meeting them alone.

            Finally, we should believe our children if they object to being in the company of people whom we trust. There are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Hence, if our child is uncomfortable with the behavior of certain people, then we ought to respect our child’s wishes.  

            Will this horrendous evil end?

            The prognosis for any evil is grim. If we consider this from a theological perspective, man will continue to sin as long as he has the freedom to reject God. As per God’s creational intent, man will always have the freedom to reject God. Hence, sin and evil will continue to exist.

            Therefore, as much as this is a bitter pill to swallow, we need to come to terms that child porn will continue exist. (The authorities will crack down on child porn, and they may succeed in busting the various child porn mafias, but as long as man possesses the innate potential to be depraved, child porn and other evils will, very minimally, continue to exist.)

            This is not to assume a defeatist position. But this is rather a pragmatic position to adopt. This evil could only be minimized if the authorities relentlessly crack down the evil of child porn, child sex trafficking and child prostitution. However, we cannot think that the sole responsibility of cracking down on this horrendous evil lies only with the governing authorities. Every family ought to be the precinct of utmost stability and security for the children.






Thursday, December 8, 2016

What Happens To Superstitious Christians?

            Wikipedia defines superstition as a belief in supernatural causality. Merrriam-Webster defines superstition as a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.

            Some people are scared or superstitious of certain numbers. There are buildings in the USA that do not have the 13th floor because of the superstition associated with number 13. Many buildings in China skip the 4th floor. Japanese fear the number 9. Italians are superstitious about Friday the 17th. Some fear the number 666.1

            Then there are those who knock on wood or think that it’s bad omen if a black cat crosses their path or if they walk under a ladder. Brazilians consider a wallet or purse dropping to the floor as bad luck.2 Egyptians consider owl as an unlucky bird, for sighting or hearing an owl apparently brings bad luck.3 Astrology, black magic, divination, voodoo and sorcery are also categorized under superstitions.

            Christians are not immune to superstitions, for some Christians practice superstitions. For instance, some Christians consult astrology (horoscopes / star signs, numerology, tarot) or knock on wood or avoid the number 666.

            So what are the consequences for a Christian if he/she practices superstitions?

            For the sake of this discussion, let us categorize superstitions into “lesser superstitions” and “greater superstitions.” The lesser superstitions could be the rather harmless beliefs of walking under a ladder or fear of numbers or the fear of a black cat. The greater superstitions could be the potentially harmful practices of astrology, black magic, voodoo and the likes.

            Without an iota of doubt, the greater superstitions would destroy the Christian since it leads him away from Christ. The Bible condemns the practice of [greater] superstitions because their practice would certainly usher the devil’s rule into our lives. “Scripture condemns those who practice astrology (Deuteronomy 4:19), magic, divination and sorcery (2 Kings 21:6, Isaiah 2:6). Idolatry is also forbidden, and no one who practices it will enter the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:27). These types of practices are extremely dangerous because they open the minds of the practitioners to the influence of the devil. First Peter 5:8 warns us to “be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,”” says  

            The lesser superstitions are seemingly harmless. Some wonder, “How would it hurt us if we knock on wood or ignore a certain number or avoid a black cat or avoid walking under a ladder?”

            Christians who practice the lesser superstitions reveal two potentially dangerous attributes. First, they reveal a detrimental form of naivety predicted on a bankruptcy of deep thought about their supposedly harmless practices. They do not think through their practices. Second, they reveal their intrinsic spiritual immaturity - a byproduct of ignoring God - whom they profess to believe and love.

            Consider the apparently harmless superstition of knocking on wood. Christians either say ‘knock on wood’ or ‘touch wood’ or they would literally knock on wood when speaking of a prospective good happening to them or their relatives or friends.

            Apparently, the superstitious practice of “knock on wood” has a questionable origin, “…many pagan groups and other cultures—from Ireland to India to elsewhere in the world—worshipped or mythologized trees. Some peoples used trees as oracles, some incorporated them into worship rituals and some, like the ancient Celts, regarded them as the homes of certain spirits and gods.

            Authors Stefan Bechtel and Deborah Aaronson both suggest two connections between knocking on wood and these spirits in their respective books, The Good Luck Book and Luck: The Essential Guide.

            The first possible origin of knocking on wood is that it's a much more laid-back version of the ruckus that pagan Europeans raised to chase away evil spirits from their homes and trees or to prevent them from hearing about, and ruining, a person’s good luck.

            The other origin they suggest is that some of these tree worshippers laid their hands on a tree when asking for favor from the spirits/gods that lived inside it, or did it after a run of good luck as a show of gratitude to the supernatural powers. Over the centuries, the religious rite may have morphed into the superstitious knock that acknowledges luck and keeps it going.

            “In either case, you are seeking protection against envy and anger,” Bechtel and co-author Laurence R. Stains* write. “The envy of evil spirits and the anger of the gods, who take a dim view on mortals bearing too much pride and who get especially annoyed when they're responsible for your run of good luck and you're not grateful.””5

            Whatever the case may be, Christians are to trust, ask and hope in God to bless them. Knocking on wood offers zero returns.

            Blessings are from God and God alone. If God blesses us, then no force on this universe can prevent or repeal that blessing away from a Christian’s life.

            When Christians knock on wood, they imply a disbelief in God. This disbelief in God could grow gradually, for the devil needs only an infinitesimal space in a Christian life to destroy him.

            Significantly, Christians who knock on wood reveal a deep ignorance of God. If they had only known that God blesses those who love HIM [and even those who do not love HIM], they would realize that there is absolutely no meaning in knocking on wood. Ignorance of God is a potential danger, for ignorance of God is predicated on an impoverished understanding of the Bible – a lack of Bible knowledge. When God is ignored in a Christian life, he could practically jeopardize himself while facing problems in life.

            Superstitions, in any form, would harm the Christian spiritually. So why practice superstitions when we can trust in God to bless us?  







Thursday, December 1, 2016

Jesus’ Tomb Opened! New Revelations & Significance

            Yes! In a historical occasion, the [empty] tomb of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was opened for a 60-hour period (October 26th to 28th, 2016). The protective marble slab placed over the limestone rock on which the actual body of Christ was laid by Joseph of Arimethea (before HIS resurrection) in the year 1555 AD was temporarily removed for restoration and cleaning. This tomb is in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.


            This is a once-in-a-lifetime-event! This tomb may never be re-opened until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            The tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most revered site in the Christian world. The limestone rock that was revealed (when the marble slab was temporarily removed) was the very place where Christ’s body was laid.

            Those who were in the tomb were enthralled, “"I'm absolutely amazed. My knees are shaking a little bit because I wasn't expecting this,” said Fredrik Hiebert, National Geographic's archaeologist-in-residence. "We can't say 100 percent, but it appears to be visible proof that the location of the tomb has not shifted through time, something that scientists and historians have wondered for decades."”1

            It seems to be an archaeological marvel that the location of this tomb has not shifted over time.  Notwithstanding that, viewing the Holy Rock upon which the Lord was laid would indeed be a glorious moment for every Christian who loves the Lord.  


            Considered a brilliant and a morally serious public intellectual, Eric Metaxas, who is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Large for the King’s College in New York City, offers a glimpse of the history surrounding this tomb, “According to the historian Eusebius of Caesarea, the Roman emperor Hadrian, about 100 years after Jesus' death and resurrection, had a temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite built over the site of Jesus' tomb. This was not by accident.

            Two centuries later, the emperor Constantine had the pagan temple demolished and in the process, discovered what was believed to be the tomb of Jesus. Constantine ordered a church to be built around the tomb.

            The church we see at the site today is not the original. That one was damaged by earthquakes and fires. It was repaired but later demolished by a Fatimid caliph in the early eleventh century and then rebuilt again and damaged again, so forth and so on.

            Yet the pilgrims kept coming, so much so that in the 16th century the burial bed in the tomb was covered in marble to keep people from taking home souvenirs.”2


            How sure are we that this is the [empty] tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ?

            Dr. William Lane Craig presents a compelling defense blended with history to demonstrate the credibility of this tomb, “…how credible is the claim that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre does contain the very tomb in which Jesus was laid? The site was identified in the year 326, when the Emperor Constantine’s mother Helena went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in search of relics from the time of Christ. She asked the residents of Jerusalem where the site of Jesus’ tomb was, and they directed her to a spot where a pagan temple now stood. We might be justifiably sceptical that the people in Jerusalem at that time would have known where Jesus’ tomb once was and suspect that out of deference to the Emperor’s mother they pointed to some site. But, in fact, there are pretty good reasons to think that the historical memory of where Jesus’ tomb had stood still persisted in Jerusalem.

            In the first place, the site they identified stood within the city walls of Jerusalem, whereas the Gospels state that Jesus was crucified and buried outside the city walls. In contradiction to the Gospels, the residents in Jerusalem pointed to a site within the walls. It was later discovered that the walls of Jerusalem had been expanded a couple hundred years earlier, and when the original walls were excavated, it was found that the identified site did, in fact, lie outside the original walls of Jerusalem!

            Second, the pagan temple that stood on the site had been there since 110, when it was built by the Emperor Hadrian. So the memory that this was the site of Jesus’ tomb appears to go back to within 80 years after Jesus’ crucifixion in the year 30. Helena commanded the temple to be razed and the ground to be excavated. And digging down, lo and behold, what did they uncover but a tomb! The memory that the temple had been built on the site of Jesus’ tomb seemed to be historical.

            Coincidence? Maybe; but a good number of scholars think that the tomb which lies enshrined within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is, indeed, the tomb of Jesus.”3


            The very fact of the tomb’s survival of the 1927 earthquake is a great revelation. The tomb “survived centuries of damage, destruction, and reconstruction of the surrounding Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City,” says Nat Geo.4

            The original limestone bed was found intact, “When the marble cladding was first removed on the night of October 26, an initial inspection by the conservation team from the National Technical University of Athens showed only a layer of fill material underneath. However, as researchers continued their nonstop work over the course of 60 hours, another marble slab with a cross carved into its surface was exposed. By the night of October 28, just hours before the tomb was to be resealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact.”5

            Even the original limestone cave walls were intact, “In addition, researchers confirmed the existence of the original limestone cave walls within the 18th-century Edicule, or shrine, which encloses the tomb. A window has been cut into the southern interior wall of the shrine to expose one of the cave walls.”6

            The opening of Christ’s tomb revealed an aspect of peace - although we hold to different religious worldviews - we could still live in peace and respect those outside our religious worldview, “Outside the Edicule, Thephilos III, the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, stood watching the events with a serene smile. "I'm glad that the atmosphere is special, there is a hidden joy," said the patriarch. "Here we have Franciscans, Armenians, Greeks, Muslim guards, and Jewish police officers. We hope and we pray that this will be a real message that the impossible can become the possible. We all need peace and mutual respect."”7


            So what if Christ’s tomb was opened? How does it matter to us now?

            The greatest significance is that the opening of the tomb is a reminder to every Christian that Christianity is a faith rooted in human history, “It is just one more manifestation of the fact that when it comes to the life of Jesus we are dealing not with fairy tales or legends but with history,” said Dr. William Lane Craig.8

            The tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ was empty!  The empty tomb represents salvation of those who believe in the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus lived among us, died a gory death on the cross, and was raised again to save those who believe in HIM, “The events that began on Good Friday and culminated on Easter Sunday took place, not in some mythological time, but in human history.

            Think of Luke's gospel and its companion volume, the Book of Acts. Luke names specific Roman emperors and governors, not Zeus and Hermes…his description of the riot at Ephesus in Acts 19 included details that only someone intimately acquainted with the city could have known.

            It could hardly be otherwise. We are saved by a historical act: the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

            And one day, that history will culminate in his return in glory. We know this because the tomb that was opened last month was empty.”9







6 Ibid.




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why Should We Trust The Old Testament? The Old Testament Is Not A Myth

            The Old Testament is rejected by a few for various reasons. Some reject it because they cannot comprehend an angry God - a God of wrath (e.g. Canaanite massacre, Levitical punishments etc.).  Others reject it because of the miraculous narratives such as the Red Sea parting, Jonah living in the whale, talking snake etc.

            However, scores of Christians believe in the Old Testament. How do we defend the reliability of the Old Testament?


            First things first; those who reject Christianity (because they reject the Old Testament) should understand that their skepticism of the Old Testament offers no valid reason to reject Christianity.

            Christianity cannot go bust even if the Old Testament is a myth. This is not to concede that the Old Testament is a myth. But this is an assertion that there are no valid reasons to reject Christianity under the pretext that the Old Testament is hocus-pocus.

            Dr. William Lane Craig, in response to a question disputing the credibility of the Old Testament, asserts that the core of Christianity is predicated on the facts of God’s existence and Christ’s resurrection; hence questions about Old Testament’s credibility should not impact the integrity of Christianity, “The unreliability of certain Old Testament narratives would have no impact upon the truth of theism or the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The questions you ask are thus “in-house” concerns to be debated among Christians. Should we accept the Old Testament as inspired throughout by God? To what extent does inspiration imply scientific or historical reliability? These are, I think, open questions to be discussed. But they should not be obstacles to belief in mere Christianity and, hence, faith in Christ.

            So I would encourage you, Jason, simply to bracket these questions until you have made up your mind about (1) whether or not God exists and (2) whether or not He raised Jesus from the dead in vindication of his radical personal claims. If you answer either of these questions in the negative, there’s no reason to be concerned about your questions. On the other hand, if you do answer these questions in the affirmative and become a Christian, then you can proceed to explore your questions further. Don’t get hung up on them now. They’re not deal-breakers.”1

            There are reasonable evidences corroborating God’s existence and Christ’s resurrection. Hence, Christianity is secure.


            Do not fail to comprehend the other significant assertion made by Dr. Craig. He asserts that the topic of Old Testament’s reliability concerns the Christians and should be discussed “in-house.”2 The unbeliever need not be concerned about the reliability of Old Testament.

            The unbeliever should, in principle, be concerned with the facts pertaining to God’s existence and Christ’s resurrection. The unbeliever should believe in Christ because God exists and that God raised Christ from the dead. Hence the onus is on the unbeliever to sincerely study these evidences with a humble and a seeking heart. 


            It is imperative that the New Testament (authored after the Old Testament) affirmed the reliability of the Old Testament. The reliability of the Old Testament would have been greatly undermined if the New Testament had not affirmed the Old Testament or if it had not quoted the Old Testament.

            “Answers in Genesis,” a Christian apologetics ministry, highlights the New Testament’s affirmation of the Old Testament, “The New Testament writers did not doubt that the Old Testament prophets spoke for God. Peter and John saw the words of David in Psalm 2, not as the opinion of a king in Israel, but as the Word of God: “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David” (Acts 4:25, NIV). Similarly, Paul accepted Isaiah’s words as God speaking to men: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers” (Acts 28:25).

            The New Testament writers were so convinced all the words of the Old Testament Scripture were inspired by God that they even claimed, “Scripture says,” when the words quoted came directly from God. For example, “The Scripture says to the Pharaoh” (Romans 9:17).

            Clearly, the Lord Jesus Himself believed the words of the Old Testament were God-breathed. In John 10:34 (quoting from Psalm 82:6), He based His teaching upon a single phrase: “I said, ‘You are gods.’” In Matthew 22:43–44 He quoted from Psalm 110:1 and emphasized a single word, “Lord,” to reveal Himself as the Son of God.”3


            Christian apologist J. Warner Wallace, who was once an atheist and a cold case detective, has adeptly summarized the case for the reliability of the Old Testament by considering the accurate transmission of the Old Testament text, the availability of archeological discoveries, and the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies:4

            “(1) The Old Testament Has Been Faithfully Transmitted

                        (a) Careful Masoretes Subscribed to an Incredibly High Standard

                        (b) The Dead Sea Scrolls Confirm the Transmission Process

                        (c) Ancient Sources Confirm the Early Canon of the Old Testament

                                    i. Prologue to Ecclesiasticus

                                    ii. Philo

                                    iii. Jamnia…

            (2) The Old Testament Has Been Verified with Archeology

                        (a) Findings from Neighboring Cultures

                                    i. The Ebla Tablet

                                    ii. Archaeological digs in the city of Bogazkoy, Turkey

                                    iii. Archeological Digs in Sargon’s Palace in Khorsabad…

                        (b) Extra-Biblical confirmation of Biblical events

                                    i. The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak

                                    ii. The revolt of Moab against Israel
                                    iii. The fall of Samaria…

            (3) The Old Testament Has Been Confirmed by Prophecy

                        (a) Accurate Predictions of Ancient Historical Events

                                    i. Babylon Will Rule Over Judah for 70 Years

                                    ii. Babylon’s Gates Will Open for Cyrus

                                    iii. Babylon’s Kingdom Will Be Permanently Overthrown…

                        (b) The Old Testament Accurately Predicts The Coming Messiah…”


            While studying the reliability of the Old Testament, the work of Dr. Kenneth A. Kitchen, a preeminent scholar in defending the historicity and the reliability of the Old Testament, cannot be ignored. Dr. Kitchen is also an Egyptologist (the study of the archaeology and language of ancient Egypt).

            History affirms the credibility of the Old Testament. Dr. Kitchen highlights the following historical aspects to defend the reliability of the Old Testament:

            “Primeval History: Shared memories represent one proof of the reliability of the OT. Far antiquity saw the passing of countless human generations, but they kept a living memory of momentous events. For instance, other cultures told stories that are strikingly similar to Noah's Flood. This is indirect proof for the reliability of the OT…

            Patriarchal History: With Abraham we enter the era of the patriarchs (ca 2000-1600 b.c.). Historical records are more plentiful from this point on in history. The patriarchs herded sheep and cattle, ranging from Ur (modern Iraq) down to Egypt. Data from Ur during this era record large flocks of sheep, which fits with OT depictions. Archives from Mari mention Haran, where Abraham once lived. From the time of Abraham down to Jacob, Canaan was a land of independent "city-states" like Shechem, (Jeru)salem, and Gerar. These population centers were sustained by pastures, frequented by local herdsmen and visitors like Abraham and his descendants (Gn 37:12-13). Egyptian "execration-texts" provide extrabiblical evidence of this practice…

            Historical Israel: … We have discovered ration-tablets from Babylon for the banished Judean king Jehoiachin and his family for 594-570 b.c. The well-documented Persian triumph in 539 b.c. enabled many exiles to return to Judah and rebuild Jerusalem and its temple, just as the OT says…”5


            Christians need not fear or suspect the reliability of the Old Testament.

            For instance, the detractors of Christianity claimed, for many years, that the Old Testament is mythological. Their claim was predicated on their belief that writing was not existent in the time of Moses (cf. Julius Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis). However, R. K. Harrison’s work “Introduction to the Old Testament” and discoveries in archeology proved that writing existed even before the time of Moses.6 So it was not the Old Testament that was proved to be a myth, rather the belief that there was no writing in the time of Moses was proved to be a myth.

            Therefore, considering all the evidences that are in the public domain establishing the reliability of the Old Testament, Christians can confidently trust the Old Testament.  


Websites cited were last accessed on 24th November 2016.







Thursday, November 17, 2016

War & Christians: How Should Christians Wage War?

            This is a turbulent period for Christians. The enemy is active and prowling to destroy us. The enemy is exceptionally powerful than the individual Christian or the Christian community. This enemy has destroyed innumerable Christians; he cannot be ignored or discounted. A vulnerable church or a vulnerable Christian will be totally destroyed by this enemy. 

            We cannot remain passive; we should actively fight this enemy. Unless we remain vigilant, we could be destroyed. The threat is real.

            There is no middle ground in this war; we cannot escape the clutches of this enemy. We either win or lose this war.

Deadly Deception

            This enemy is incredibly powerful and extremely deceptive. His power and deceptions are beyond compare.

            He owns remarkable intelligence about us. He knows our vulnerabilities to precision. He has his eyes all over us.

            Deception is the most effective weapon in his arsenal. His deception is significantly dangerous since it could be very subtle. His deception is highly effective since it is employed during our weakest moment.

Prime Target: Christianity

            The enemy targets Christians primarily. This is not to say that he would not harm the non-Christians. If non-Christians could be used to destroy Christians, this enemy would gladly use them in any manner whatsoever.

            This enemy targets the strong and the weak Christians. The more mature and strong Christians could be complacent about their maturity and strength. Hence they may ignore the enemy and even think that this enemy cannot defeat them at any cost. Their complacency could be their downfall.

            The weak Christians would not be aware of the enemy’s deadly potential. They will always be an easy prey to this enemy. They will be seduced to fall into his deadly embrace. Unknowingly, the weak Christians would offer themselves as a means to destroy their stronger counterparts. (My reference to the weak Christians is not a pejorative remark. It is germane to this theme. I sincerely hope and pray that every weak Christian would become stronger and mature in the Lord.)      


            He will attack us when we least expect him to. The attack is most deadly when it catches us by surprise. He will hurl his best weapons against us; even through our near and dear whom we trust the most.1 We cannot be smug and complacent about this enemy or those around us.

            I am not sorry to say this, but if our relative or friend is not a strong Christian then he/she is a potential tool in the hands of the enemy. Beware of such a person. I am not saying that we should passionately suspect all those around us, who are not too keen on growing in the Lord. But we should be diligently vigilant. 

Embrace Hate; Abandon Love, Meekness & Humility

            This war, for a Christian, is a reality. We cannot think that we cannot wage this war. The Bible mandates this war at all costs.2

            We cannot be meek while contending with this enemy, for if we are meek, we will be destroyed. Abandon humility. If we are humble with this enemy, he will not only destroy us, but he will destroy our family and everything that we have.

            When this enemy hurts us, we cannot show our other cheek. In fact, we should not allow our enemy to reside in our vicinity or to lay his little finger upon us.

            We are to sincerely and passionately hate this enemy. Hate him with all our might, hate him with all our power, and hate him with all that we have.3

            We need to be on fire to burn this enemy. We should strive to eliminate this enemy. We need our weapons and all the protective gear that we can marshal to fight this enemy.4

Can This Enemy Be Defeated?

            Christianity is not a powerless or a vain faith in the triune God. God who created this world is more powerful than anything and everything. So this enemy can be absolutely defeated.

            Christians should follow a certain protocol while fighting this enemy. First, we should identify the enemy and understand his potential. Second, we should know how to fight this enemy and fight him. Finally, we should persevere in the battle to defeat this enemy.

Enemy’s Identity

            The enemy is the enemy of our souls. He is the one who can separate us from the Lord, if we are weak and lukewarm towards God. Satan is this enemy.

             The Bible reveals the true character of Satan. Please read your Bible diligently to understand Satan. Many essays and books have been authored about Satan. Please read them. I have authored a few essays about Satan as well.5

How To Fight The Satan?

            Fight him with truth.6 We need to live in the truth if we are to fight the evil one.

            Fight him passionately. In order to fight Satan with passion, we should love and obey the Lord our God with a greater passion. The Lord should be real in our lives. Our relationship with the Lord should be the most significant aspect of our life.

            Fight him with prayer and fasting. God’s incomparable power will be ours only if we fast and pray.

            Outside of Christ, there is no victory over Satan. Unless we remain in the Lord, we cannot overpower Satan.

            Persevering in this battle is not child’s play. It is very difficult to fight Satan. We may have to face failures during our warfare with Satan. These failures cannot deter our warfare with Satan. We need to face and accept these failures if we are to win the battle.

            Worldly desires cannot impede our fight with Satan. We may lose our health, our families, our jobs, our savings, our comforts, even our reputation, all for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ, ““I have come to bring fire on the earth—and how I wish it were already kindled!...Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! For from now on there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”” (Luke 12: 49-53, NET). 

            Why, we may even lose our lives in the process. We cannot worry about our lives while we battle Satan. Losing our lives during this battle does not imply a loss, for all the lives that were lost in this battle glorified God.

            Do not believe those who say that there is no Satan. They are liars. They are the sons and daughters of Satan; they are Satan’s stooges.

            Know this; Satan is able to inflict damage upon our lives because God has allowed him to do so. In other words, God is in control. Because God is in control, HE can and will deliver us, if not in this world but in the world to come.

            In God alone we trust. But trusting in God comes at a price – the price of our time and effort. May we dedicate our time and effort into knowing God, loving HIM more, and living a glorious life for HIS sake.


            C.S. Lewis, in his work “The Screwtape Letter,” wrote “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them…” I am not advocating an unhealthy interest in Satan but my sole intent is to remind us of our attitude and response to the enemy of our souls. 

            God, who was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the blazing furnace, is with us. HE will guide, guard and lead us to a victory over the evil one.


1cf. Job 6: 9

2Ephesians 6: 10-18

3Proverbs 8:13; Psalm 97:10; Romans 12:9

4Ephesians 6: 10-18

5These are the essays authored by me:

4. Could Genuine Born Again Christian be Demon Possessed:

6cf. Ephesians 6: 14