Thursday, January 26, 2017

Is God Protecting Israel?

            Quite a furor ensued in the social media when a storm cloud descended in the Israel-Syria border on December 1st 2016.1 If this storm cloud weather phenomenon occurred in another country, it may have been interpreted as fascinating or just ignored. Since this weather phenomenon occurred in Israel, it cannot be passed off as strange, because the Jews are God’s chosen people. Therefore, a deeper consideration is mandated to verify if there’s a divine vantage point to this strange storm cloud phenomenon.

            Would God have engineered this storm cloud?

            First and foremost, it is highly plausible to connect this storm cloud to God’s presence, for the Bible narrates instances of God’s presence with the Israelis in the form of a pillar of cloud (Exodus 13: 21, 33:9; Number 12: 5 et al.).

            Second, the storm cloud descended at the same location where the Islamic State militants had attacked the Israeli Defense Forces four days earlier.2 So this could be interpreted as a sign from God that HIS presence remains with HIS chosen people.

            If this storm cloud weather phenomenon was a one-off occurrence, then we could possibly eliminate the perspective of God. But if there were other fascinating weather phenomena or non-weather related occurrences alluding to God’s presence in the lives of the Jews, then God, certainly, should be in the discussion.

            Since weather phenomena could be manmade, we ought to consider non-weather occurrences. In the past, there have been intriguing occurrences in Israel during wars.

            How would we interpret significantly low casualties in, not one, but two wars (2 people killed when 38 Scud missiles were fired & 4 people killed when 3356 rockets were launched at Israel)?

            In the first Iraq war in 1991, 38 Scud missiles landed in the densely populated parts of Israel but the casualties were significantly low! 2 people were killed, 220 suffered light injuries, 10 suffered moderate injuries and one person suffered serious injury.3

            Interestingly, the scientific journal “Nature” concluded that the low casualties were due to luck (!!), “…luck must have played a crucial role in determining the overall casualty rate. Indeed, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that good fortune played an important role in reducing casualties in Israel. Of the warheads that detonated in Israeli cities, one hit the only empty lot in a densely populated neighborhood;23 two others hit a factory and a partially constructed shopping mall during the night. Several other Scuds landed near unoccupied buildings: an underground bomb shelter, a municipal center, and a school. Even when Scuds severely damaged occupied buildings, casualties were remarkably low: a missile that landed in an alleyway between several apartment buildings and caused one building to collapse killed only one person, and an attack that destroyed a two-storey house and severely damaged several others also killed only one person; two people reportedly survived only because they disobeyed government instructions and went to their basement bomb shelter… However, anecdotal also suggests that luck helped to reduce casualties.”4

            Luck? Seriously?

            Of course, it would be politically incorrect for a research, in a secular setting, to attribute low casualties to God. But it is indeed plausible that God protects HIS people. Scientists, like Nuclear physicist Gerald Schroeder, do believe that God protected HIS people.5

            Consider a recent war. In 2014, during the month long Operation Protective Edge conflict between the Hamas terrorists and the Israeli Defense Forces, once again, there were significantly low casualties, “Over 3,356 rockets have been fired at Israel, with that number rising everyday, and only four people have been killed as a result of rocket fire. While Israel’s Iron Dome is a wonder to behold and responsible for maintaining the safety of Israeli civilians from rocket fire, the numbers show that only 578 rockets were destroyed by Iron Dome Interceptions, or roughly 17 percent of all rockets fired at Israel. Simple statistics show that there is something extraordinary occurring here.”6

            It is indeed strange that low casualties should occur in a war especially when the enemy pummels Israel with rockets and missiles. Hence, it is quite plausible to conclude that it was perhaps God’s presence that protected Israel.

            There are many personal testimonies in the public domain that further ascribe God’s hand upon Israel. These could be true, but citing a subjective personal testimony does not lend any more credence to a divine protection upon the nation of Israel.  

            Not just low casualties, but the very fact that Israel stands strong amidst its enemies that have vowed to wipe her off the map of the world could be heralded as a testimony to God’s protecting hand upon Israel.

            Is God’s hand of protection upon Israel of any theological significance to the church? Outside of a discussion regarding the attributes of God (e.g. Sovereignty) and HIS intervention in our day-to-day affairs, a theological discussion on this theme need not unnecessarily engineer a divide within Christendom based on these events.  

            Christians who do not consider the present day Israel as the biblical Israel would be quick to ignore or debunk the notion that God’s protection is upon the Jews and their nation. That’s fine, for we can agree to disagree.

            Those who do not consider the contemporary Israel as the biblical Israel are as much Christians as those who consider the modern nation of Israel as the biblical Israel. Personally, I consider Israel as distinct from the New Testament church. In other words, I would disagree with covenant theologians who believe that the church has replaced the nation of Israel in God’s program.

            So why do we consider this theme? A good reason to diligently consider these events is because it is wise to not discount God.

            If Israel was not a chosen nation of God, then there is no need, whatsoever, to think through these events. Since the Jews are God’s chosen people, we would be better off to diligently think through these extraordinary events, for given the evidences, it would be unwise to categorically determine that God’s protective hand is not upon Israel.








Websites cited were last accessed on 26th January 2017.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why Is Jesus Delaying HIS Second Coming?

            Would you agree with me that mentioning the word “delay” while discussing Christ’s second coming is tricky? “Delay” comes into play only when a particular action has not occurred at the time it was to have occurred. In other words, “Delay” refers to an earlier time at which a particular action was supposed to have taken place.

            So if we use the word “delay” from the human perspective or if we ask, “Why is Jesus’ second coming delayed?” we imply knowledge of the [exact] date and time of the Lord’s second coming (Parousia). But the Bible categorically asserts that no one, not even one, other than God the Father, knows the precise date and time of the Lord’s second coming. Hence, we ask the question from God’s perspective, “Why Is God the Father or Jesus Delaying HIS Second Coming?”

            The delay of Christ’s second coming is a topic of interest to many. Unbelievers, skeptics, and even some honest Christians may use this so-called delay as an opportunity to slander or be skeptical about the Christian faith or the Christian anticipation of the Lord’s second coming.

            Even C.S Lewis was not spared from this malady of skepticism, for he termed Christ’s reference to HIS return as an embarrassing verse in the Bible. With reference to Matthew 24: 34, C.S Lewis said, “Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.” It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.”1

            So how do we understand these passages that seem to suggest that Christ would return within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses?

            Dr. William Lane Craig helps us to understand these passages better, “What about those passages where Jesus seems to speak as though his return might occur within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses? I think that it is probably the case that when you read these sayings in their original settings that they were not intended to indicate that Jesus would return within the lifetime of those who were hearing him. I say that on the basis of a passage in Matthew 10 where Jesus gives the charge to the twelve disciples to go on a mission preaching throughout the towns of Israel. This passage actually sharpens the problem for us. It makes it more acute. And by doing so I think it gives us good grounds for thinking that these sayings in their original context didn’t have the implications that they might appear to in the context in which we find them today. In Matthew 10 it says he sends the disciples out to the cities of Israel, to preach and cast out unclean spirits, and heal people of every disease. And he says, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles. Do not enter a city of the Samaritans. Go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” So this is a tour of preaching that is only going to be through the cities of Israel. He describes what will happen – how the disciples will be persecuted and encounter opposition, and so forth. Then in verse 23, we find this astounding statement, “When they persecute you in this city, flee to another, for assuredly I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”[3] So here it sounds as though the second coming of Christ, the return of the Son of Man, is going to occur before the disciples even complete their preaching tour of the towns of Israel. And yet we know that didn’t happen. Luke goes on to talk about how they returned from this preaching tour and Jesus continues to work with his disciples. What this suggests to me is that in the original context in which these saying were given, they didn’t have the implication that they appear to have to us today who read them in a quite different context. In the original context, these things did not mean that Jesus was going to return during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses anymore than this saying in Matthew 10:23 meant that the parousia was going to occur before the disciples had gone through all of the towns of Israel on their teaching tour.

            So we need to remember what kind of literature the Gospels are. The Gospels are compilations of the sayings of Jesus. Very often, these sayings of Jesus will appear in different literary contexts today than they did in the original contexts in which they were given. I think we have good grounds for thinking – based on his parables about the long delay, based upon his sayings that no one knows the time of his return – that in their original context these sayings were not meant to imply that the parousia would take place within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. It might. But, not necessarily. Every generation needs to be prepared to be the last.”2 (Emphasis Mine).

            Having resolved the skepticism about passages that seem to suggest that Christ should have returned already, let us focus on the mindset of those Christians who may be disgusted and frustrated with the quantum of evil they encounter in this world. They hope that Christ would return soon and save them from pain and suffering.

            As we wait for Christ’s second coming, we wonder whether Christ would return in our lifetime or not. Subsequently we contemplate the quantum of pain our next generation / our children and their children would have to undergo if Christ delays HIS second coming. The more we think of the delay of our Lord’s second coming, we cannot help but feel sad. However, we wait in eager hope that the Lord Jesus would come one day and save us from the misery of a life we are living.

            Does the Bible motivate us to think that Christ’s return is imminent (possibility of happening soon)? It seems that the imminence of the Lord’s second coming is portrayed in the following verses:

            1. Christ urged HIS disciples to be ready for HIS return (Mathew 24-25).

            2. Christ’s second coming is at hand (Romans 8: 19-25; 1 Corinthians 1: 7; Philippians 4: 5).

            3. Paul’s statement that we await our blessed hope (Titus 2: 13) requires that the next event in God’s plan is the coming of the Lord. On the other hand, if Paul had said that the next step is the great tribulation, then we would have been inundated with fear and apprehensiveness.

            But there are certain other biblical passages that compel us to think that the Lord’s second coming need not be imminent. Consider the parables of the nobleman who went to a distant country (Luke 19: 11-27), the wise and the foolish virgins (Matthew 25: 5), the talents (Matthew 25: 19). These parables inform us that there would be a long delay in the return of our Lord.

            Moreover, certain events are to be fulfilled before the Lord returns. The gospel should be preached to all nations (Matthew 24: 14), great tribulation should occur (Mark 13: 7-8), coming of the man of sin and rebellion (2 Thessalonians 2: 1-10), powerful signs in heaven (Matthew 24: 29), salvation of Israel (Romans 9-11) etc. Studying these signs would lead us to think that the second coming of our Lord is not imminent i.e., it would take a very long time until the Lord returns again. 

            So there is no delay in the Lord’s second coming. It’s just that the timing for the Lord’s return is not right as yet.

            The Lord will return when we least expect HIM to (Matthew 24: 44, Acts 1: 7). God’s timeline is radically different from our expectations (Cf. 2 Peter 3:8-10).

            Let us not get too worked up thinking that our generation would be the last generation and that Christ would surely return in our lifetime. But let us continue to be patient and eagerly wait and hope for the Lord’s second coming.


1, accessed on 19th January 2017.

2, accessed on 19th January 2017.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What Happens If Christians Engage In Sex Before Marriage?

            The Bible mandates Christians to not engage in any sexual activity with the person of opposite sex, before marriage. But Christians are as imperfect as anyone, so it is quite possible that someone somewhere would engage in premarital sex. The question then is this, “What are the consequences for Christians if they engage in sex before marriage?”

            This powerful “sticky note” analogy depicts the damage inflicted upon the Christian during his/her casual sex escapades, “Casual sex is rampant in many societies. There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. An analogy is instructive here. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all. The sexual relationship is so strong and so intimate that we cannot enter into it casually, no matter how easy it might seem.” (Emphasis Mine).1

            There are secular studies that speak against premarital sex. They reveal the likelihood of greater divorce rates and adverse health related behaviors for those who engage in premarital sex.

            Recent research reveals that students who had NO sexual contacts are out of harm's way than those who have had sexual contacts, “A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the first ever of its kind, examines a large and diverse array of high school students’ health behaviors according to their self-reported sexual activity…The report’s two major conclusions are quite stark: The virginal students rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually active peers…”2

            Women who had NO sex partners before marriage are highly unlikely to divorce, “That women who married in the 2000s were least likely to divorce if they had no sex partners before marriage, at a rate of approximately 6 percent. That’s almost divorce-proof. Even just one sex partner before marriage moved up a woman’s chances of divorce within five years of marriage to one in five chances, at a 20 percent rate.”3

            Presence of secular studies arguing against sex before marriage is a bonus. But for a Christian, God and HIS Word are of utmost value than any pertinent information presented by secular research (either for or against).

            The Bible mandates Christians to not engage in sex before marriage (Exodus 22:16-17; Deuteronomy 22:28-29; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10: 7; 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4 et al.). So premarital sex is a definite no-no for a Christian.

            In their work, Purity Under Pressure, Neil T. Anderson and Dave Park emphasize the following consequences for premarital sex from the Christian standpoint. Here is an excerpt from their work:4

            Sex before marriage has the potential for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), pregnancy and abortion, which are despicable in God’s sight.   

             Self-destructive behavior - As a Christian, when you engage in premarital sex, you are consciously sinning against God.  This can lead to a perpetual cycle of self-destruction.  You develop low self-esteem, low self-worth, and diminished expectations of yourself.  In many cases, the devastation that comes from giving a holy thing (your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit) to an unholy cause, (physical gratification outside of marriage) will lead to feelings of emptiness, embarrassment, and confusion.  You begin to question everything about yourself and the world, as you know it…Many students’ grades drop and they lose interest in things that they once enjoyed…

            You develop “soul ties” - Your soul joins with the soul or souls of those you have had sex.  We will call these “soul ties,” because your soul is actually being tied or entangled together with the soul of the person you had sex.  Think of it this way, when you get on an airplane you are usually allowed a piece of carry on luggage to keep items you will need during the flight accessible.  Soul ties can be considered carry-on luggage.  It is unwanted, hindering, emotionally draining baggage that attaches itself to your soul everytime you sexually involve yourself with someone outside of marriage…

            You get involved with the wrong crowd- 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “bad company corrupts good morals.” Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can hang around sexually active people who drink and not be influenced by their actions. 

            Bad reputation - The word is out.  You have had sex.  You quickly get labeled “easy,” “loose,” or “a sure bet.”

            Insecurity / Loss of trust - You become jealous and begin comparing your body to other girls’ bodies.  You are always worried some other girl will steal your boyfriend from you.  Life becomes very stressful. You don’t even trust yourself to do right and control your own body, how can you trust someone else?  After having sex I was a wreck.  Whenever I would go out with my boyfriend I would accuse him of starring at other girls.  Though at times he was looking, many times I was just overreacting out of insecurity.

            Object of Rumors/Gossip - Many times pre-marital sex causes you to become the subject of rumors.  “Did you hear about so and so?”  “I heard they did this and that on the corner of here and there.”  Who needs that drama?  You certainly don’t.

            Emotionally Unstable (a.k.a. Fatal Attraction) - You develop irrational responses to ordinary situations.  Crying, fear, stress, depression, apathy, isolation, and hopelessness crowd your mind and cause your emotional growth to be stifled.  You have no clue what you want anymore.  One minute you are in love, the next minute you are disgusted by the very sound of his voice.   

            So to conclude, here’s what Christians ought to do if they have lost their virginity before marriage, “…is there hope? When a Christian engages in premarital sex, or when one who has lost his/her virginity comes to Christ, the Holy Spirit will convict of the sin, and there will be grief over it. However, it’s important—even vital—to remember that there is no sin beyond the reach of the blood of Jesus. If we confess, He will not only forgive, but will cleanse us from “all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Furthermore, in addition to the forgiveness (which is in itself glorious), God restores. Joel 2:25 tells us that God is able to restore the years that the locust has eaten, and that’s what premarital sex is—a locust that consumes our sense of self, our self-esteem, and our perception of forgiveness. Scripture also tells us that, when we come to Christ, we are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), so one who engaged in premarital sex prior to conversion is recreated by God into a new person; the old is gone, the new has come.

            Finally, we know that, as Christians, we’re being renewed by the Holy Spirit each day we walk with Jesus. Colossians 3:10 tells us that our new self is being renewed day by day after the image of its Creator. There is no sin without hope. The power of the gospel is available to all who trust in Jesus for forgiveness.”5







Thursday, January 5, 2017

Has Multiverse Killed God? (A Christian Response To Multiverse)

            Multiverse posits the presence of infinite number of multiple universes with different physical laws from ours. Multiverse may have been a consequence of inflation that operated early in our universe or from quantum mechanical processes. But the undeniable fact remains that our universe is delicately fine-tuned.

Fine Tuning Of Our Universe

            In order to understand multiverse, we should understand the remarkably precise fine-tuning of our universe.

            In his book “The Brief History of Time,” scientist Stephen Hawking alludes to the fine-tuning of our universe, “"The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life ... For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium or else they would not have exploded.”

            Our universe cannot sustain life without the finely tuned laws and constants of physics and chemistry. For instance, the force of gravity is determined by the “Gravitational Constant” (G=6.673 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2). If this constant varied by just one in 1060 parts, life on earth would cease to exist.

            Similar fine-tuned precisions are observed in the fundamental constants and quantities of our universe. Scientists agree that a tiny alteration to any of these numbers would render life, stars, and planets to not exist.

            Christians and other theists believe that God architected the fine-tuning of our universe. This is the Fine-Tuning Argument - a modern variation of the “Teleological Argument.” 

Bring On The Multiverse

            But the naturalist or an atheist, who does not believe in God, counters the fine-tuning argument by arguing, “Our universe is just one of untold trillions of universes. Ours is just one of the lucky ones with the right parameters for life. True, we can't see or otherwise detect these other universes, but they must be out there because that solves the fine-tuning problem.”1

            Does the multiverse render God as non-existent, for if an infinite number of universes came into existence by chance, and if the fine-tuned universe of ours is one such, then God, by all means, is knocked out of the equation, isn’t it?

Digging Not Too Deep Into Multiverse

            Max Erik Tegmark, Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has organized all multiverse models into four different levels. The higher numbered levels are more speculative than the lower numbered levels. The multiple universes, he reckons, “might have different initial conditions (Level I); different physical constants and particles (Level II); or different physical laws (Level IV).”2 (The level III multiverse corresponds to the many-worlds hypothesis formulated by Hugh Everett in 1957.)

            Alexander Vilenkin, the J. Bernstein Professor of Evolutionary Science, is the most active proponent of the level II multiverse. The level II multiverse is invoked by some cosmologists to explain away the fine-tuning of our universe.

Multiverse Does Not Kill God Rather It Demands God

            Multiverse does not exist. Even if it exists, God should be a part of the equation.

            First, many scientists (Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, Alexander Vilenkin, Stephen Weinberg, Martin Rees, Leonard Susskind, Roger Penrose, John Polkinghorne) agree that our universe is remarkably fine-tuned. So it is wise to NOT deny the fact that our universe is fine-tuned.

            Second, multiverse is NOT a proven theory. Many secular scientists doubt and deny the existence of multiverse. Prominent cosmologist George Ellis (who is arguably the cosmologist who knows more about cosmology than any other single living person and who does not subscribe to Intelligent Design) believes that it is impossible for us to observe any regions of universe, especially if level II multiverse does exist. In other words, George Ellis highlights that multiverse is empirically untestable, “The trouble is that no possible astronomical observations can ever see those other universes. The arguments are indirect at best.”3 

            George Ellis also explains that string theory cannot predict the multiverse, “But string theory is not a tried-and-tested theory; it is not even a complete theory. If we had proof that string theory is correct, its theoretical predictions could be a legitimate, experimentally based argument for a multiverse. We do not have such proof.”4

            Third, George Ellis states that multiverse cannot explain the deep issues related to our existence, “Scientists proposed the multiverse as a way of resolving deep issues about the nature of existence, but the proposal leaves the ultimate issues unresolved. All the same issues that arise in relation to the universe arise again in relation to the multiverse. If the multiverse exists, did it come into existence through necessity, chance or purpose? That is a metaphysical question that no physical theory can answer for either the universe or the multiverse.”5

            Fourth, do not believe that multiverse exists. As William Lane Craig explains, our universe, if it were a part of multiverse, should exhibit highly improbable events, “I think that if we were just one random member of a world ensemble of worlds or universes, that we would be observing a very different kind of universe than we in fact do… It should include all sorts of improbable and absurd events that don’t happen, because in an infinite ensemble of worlds, if you can get events so improbable as the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant, the low entropy state, and so forth, then you should also get highly improbable events like a perpetual motion machine and rabbits wearing pink bow ties and so forth, because those are less improbable than the finely tuned constants and quantities…but if we are just a randomly ordered member of this ensemble, such that the probability is that somewhere these constants would be finely tuned, then things that are even less improbable ought also to be appearing conjointly. And yet, we see a rationally ordered universe, and that cries out for some sort of explanation. In addition to that, a much smaller inflationary patch would be sufficient for our existence rather than the large universe we see. And it is overwhelmingly more probable that if we were just a random member of a world ensemble, we should be observing a much smaller inflationary patch than what we do in fact observe. And I think this is really the Achilles’ heel in this multiverse hypothesis—that if we were just a member of a multiverse, randomly ordered, then it is overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly more probable we ought to be seeing a very different kind of universe than the rationally ordered world that we do in fact see.”6

            Finally, even if multiverse does exist, God would have created it, “God would still be the one who established the laws of quantum mechanics, who created the quantum vacuum and the space and time, the arena in which all these reactions take place. So, as I say, once you have a transcendent source of all space and time, matter and energy, then he’s free to create any sort of physical reality he wants.”7

            William Lane Craig argues that the fine-tuning of our universe is neither due to physical necessity nor chance, hence fine-tuning is due to design. Therefore, the belief that God created the multiverse gains credibility, “…the best hope for the multiverse hypothesis is theism: God could have created a World Ensemble brimming with deliberately finely tuned worlds…In conclusion the multiverse hypothesis does nothing to eliminate the need for a creator and designer of the universe. Whether or not a multiverse exists, one needs a transcendent, personal creator and designer of the cosmos.”8

            The multiverse does not exist. But if it exists, then God could have created it. God alone offers a plausible explanation as to how the multiverse came into being. Hence, God is necessary for belief in the multiverse.


            Beware of the comics, TV shows and movies that smuggle devious notions into our minds. Multiverse has been invading and capturing our minds through comics, TV shows and movies. Recently, Dr. Strange, the movie based on Marvel comics, introduces the idea of multiverse into the minds of multitudes of unsuspecting masses.

            Do not believe all that you read in the books and watch on TV or theatre. Literature, dance and drama have a ridiculously high potential to sneakily import deceptive thoughts into our minds, but without adhering to the laws of logic, says Dr. Ravi Zacharias.9 Let us be cognizant of this fact and respond meaningfully.








7 Ibid.