Saturday, January 7, 2012

Miracles

Miracles - - Why some people have a difficult time accepting their reality

I don’t think there are many people who haven’t heard of a particular miracle. These “miracles,” are happenings that are amazing and without rational explanation. In fact, that is the definition of a “miracle,” – some particular incident which has happened, that should not have happened, - (at least) according to the laws of nature and unadulterated science. Theopedia.com gives an excellent definition:

"A miracle, broadly defined, is any action in time where the normal operation of nature is suspended by the agency of a supernatural action." -- theopedia.com

Miracles can range from a failing parachute landing survivor, to someone coming back from the dead. Recently it was widely reported in the news, about a mother and her newborn baby, dying, – only after long moments (afterwards) of coming back to life. Miracles can take the form of very unusual happenings which take place among almost impossible odds. The continued existence of the modern state of Israel is one of them. After being outnumbered by her enemies in the 1967 Six Day's War, there is no rational explanation why her multi nation (numbered) attackers did not prevail.

This past week the Associated Press had a story of a Japanese Atom bomb survivor:

“Double Atomic bomb survivor dies in Japan: -- TOKYO – Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognized as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings at the end of World War II, has died at age 93. Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city...." - abcnews.go.com

Often, when people think about Miracles, they think of the miracles recorded in the Bible

The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are full of history’s recorded (documented) miracles – those ranging from miracles of nature, to miracles of healing. Often one of the miracles which comes to mind and was depicted in a 1950’s movie, was the parting of the Red Sea and the crossover on dry land by the people of Israel. [Exodus 14-15 ; Hebrews 11:29]. The global flood and Noah’s Ark, comes to mind, [Genesis 6-8] along with the Lord's destruction of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorah. [Genesis 10:1f] Often we can think of all the miracles performed by the historic Christ of the Christian New Testament Scriptures, – not only miracles of healing, but miracles such as feeding 5,000 plus people with a couple of handfuls of food. [John 6:1f] Greater miracles than healings can be called to mind -- miracles of people being raised from the dead, – not after a couple minutes, but after hours. Luke 7:1f ; John 11:1f ; Matthew 27-28:1f

The major reason why some people have a difficult time accepting the reality of miracles

One of the greatest of all miracles is Creation. [Genesis 1:1f-2] If a person cannot believe the first verse of Holy Scripture, he or she will always have problems believing in miracles and accepting their reality. If a person cannot believe in a one supreme eternal, all knowing and all powerful God, he or she will always be plagued with doubt about their existence and future. People often neglect to realize that Creator God is not confined by the natural laws that He, Himself, put in place. For instance, God not only created the law of gravity, but, He, Himself is not confined by it. He has often, (as recorded in Scripture) worked His specific miracles outside the laws of nature -- being (of course) above nature.

However, there are a fair amount of people who will accept the religious values of evolutionists who teach that humans exist because of random chance, and that we are somehow, products of the primeval slime. In spite of having no scientific basis for their theory, these evolutionists, (and those who follow them) dismiss the Triune God of the historical Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. These type of people firmly deny the Lord's creation, in their limited knowledge of "rational" human perception. They will dismiss and deny human life (personhood) in the womb -- yet they will go berserk to find the discovery of one single molecule on the planet, Mars.

So much for the ability of humans to deny and dismiss their Maker. Essentially, a soul in its unregenerate state, does not have the ability to believe, understand and appreciate and practice the Christian Faith, or give homage to the One Triune God, who dispenses faith, to whom He may.

Why the Miracle of the Virgin Birth [Luke 1:26-38] could be considered the greatest of all miracles

If you were all powerful; all knowing and all holy – why would you desire to give up your place in (perfect / sinless) heaven and become born as a human baby, - and, then, in addition to that, – after birth, spend the next 33 human years on sinful earth, before you would die, one of the most humiliating and excruciating deaths? Yet, that is what God, who created you and me, did. As the song lyric describes, "He left the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny…."), - so that He could render Himself the perfect sacrifice to satisfy an angry and judgmental God, because of all of our sins against Him and our fellow human beings.

You might be wondering why the “Christian” God is supposed to be far better than anyone else’s’ particular god?

Continually, I run into people who are unwilling to part with their politically correct, multi-cultural (secular) mindset. To them all religions have some redeeming (equal) value. And, in their minds, it doesn’t matter what religion one believes or practices – just so long as the believer and practitioner are sincere.

Recently, a well know media anchor man was hauled out on the (politically correct) carpet because he said that the world renowned golfer, Tiger Woods, would be able to salvage and survive his double life marital adulteries and find some peace and forgiveness, if he would, but, embrace the Christian Faith:

"Journalist: Jesus Christ - 'two most explosive words in English language'" -- WASHINGTON - Fox News analyst Brit Hume says he doesn't regret urging Tiger Woods to become a Christian so the golfer can find forgiveness for marital infidelity. Hume told CBN News that "Christianity is a religion for sinners -- and I think that Tiger Woods has an opportunity here, and my prayer would be that he would take it." Hume has been denounced for saying that he doesn't think the famous golfer's belief in Buddhism "offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith." -- onenewsnow.com

The Miracle of God being born into human flesh – makes the true [Triune] God, obviously authentic and unadulterated:

It’s the “forgiveness” aspect, that makes the Christian Faith so genuine and effective. It is the “forgiveness” thing, that makes God being born into human flesh, the most astounding miracle. Why? Because the whole purpose of God dethroning and debasing Himself upon our world, was because of His eternal love for sinners, such as you and I. And because of that eternal love of Christ, being made Man; living a holy life; suffering and being sacrificed for all of humanity’s sins – because of that divine love, there is the divine rescue from sin and all its eternal devastating and damning consequences.

God knew and knows the eternal consequences of human sin for His creation. [Luke 16:19-31 ; Matthew 25:31-46] Ever since the first humans sinned [Genesis 3] the Triune God has made provision for the sin problem. In fact the whole thrust of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures is testimony to the reality of God providing an eternal escape from human sin and its damning eternal consequences. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ; John 3: 14-21

Friend – if you have a difficult time accepting the miracles recorded in the historical pages of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, I can do nothing to convince you of its divine origin and truthfulness. Only by God’s grace can you come to accept His overwhelming loving presence for your needy sinful soul and His divine revelation in the Scriptures. May you hear, read and study those Scriptures – because in those sacred pages are its prime miracle Focus and prime miracle Author. John 5:39 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Amen.

Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simpleworship format:

Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:


The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins

Related Scriptures To the Above Message


Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures:

Genesis 1:1f -- The miracle of Creation

New Testament Christian Scriptures:

Luke 2:1-20 -- The miracle of the birth Christ -- Note the preceeding Scripture: Luke 1:26-48

Colossians 1:26-27 -- The miracle of Christ formed in the Christian believer

1 Corinthians 15:1f -- The miracle of the resurrection

1 Timothy 3:16 -- "Great is the mystery of godliness...."


Oh the height of Jesus’ love higher than the heavens above
deeper than the depths of sea, lasting as eternity.
Love that found me – wondrous thought – found me when I sought Him not.
______________________

All that I was, my sin, my guilt, my death, was all mine own;
All that I am I owe to Thee, my gracious God, alone.

The evil of my former state was mine, and only mine;
The good in which I now rejoice is Thine, and only Thine.

The darkness of my former state, the bondage, all was mine;
The light of life in which I walk, the liberty, is Thine.

Thy Word first made me feel my sins, it taught me to believe;
Then, in believing, peace I found, and now I live, I live!

All that I am, even here on earth, all that I hope to be,
When Jesus comes and glory dawns, I owe it, Lord, to Thee.

Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.


Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.

The Christian Faith: Parts 1-3

1 -- What is meant by “Believing” and / or, being, “Saved?”
2 -- How the saving (believing) process of the Christian Faith takes place
3 -- What are the tell-tale signs that a person has been “Saved” [is a Christian]

Note: This edited message was previously posted online by Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel


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