Music for our Time

What the World Needs Now

Can you imagine a world with a perfect economy; one without theft or deceptive practices? Can you imagine a world without a single war? What if people cared for each other instead of fighting and stealing from each other? What would it be like if everyone was given respect? What would it be like if slavery was completely gone? What would the world be like if everyone simply told the truth?

If these things sound good to you, I want to tell you that this new world is coming, but first I want to warn you about something. You need to know that there are very popular movements that attempt to answer these questions, but that will actually lead to even more pain, suffering and hatred. The answer is not “The Great Reset”. It’s not “The Green New Deal”. It’s not socialism or communism. These are deceptions and many things like these have been tried before and have produced even greater evils than they claim to end.

This world is at war. I’m talking about an epic spiritual war that’s invisible to the human eye. Evil powers are fighting with good powers and evil is being challenged and as a result, it has become more open and vicious in its attempts to subvert you.

The evil powers are trying to tell you that man can solve man’s problems by man’s efforts, but this doesn’t make sense. If man caused the problems, how can man solve them? If man is the source of hatred, how can man become the source of love? If a few men couldn’t solve the problems of a few, how can all men solve the problems of all? What sense does it make to increase man’s well-being by the elimination of man? How can the same man who harms people with technology be trusted to control people with it? How is it that being intolerant of intolerance is more tolerant? These things don’t make any sense. These are lies and this is how the evil powers operate. They get you to self-destruct. They confuse you and cause you to fear so that you will seek them and become enslaved to them. They are attempting to control you and I don’t want you to become another one of their victims.

The solution to our problems is found in one place. It’s God’s Law.

If everyone would simply follow God’s law, peace would immediately begin! King David’s excitement over this amazing proposition is obvious in Psalm 119. Listen to a little bit of what he said:

“Your testimonies are wonderful,
    therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The entrance of your words gives light.
    It gives understanding to the simple.
131 I opened my mouth wide and panted,
    for I longed for your commandments.
132 Turn to me, and have mercy on me,
    as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Establish my footsteps in your word.
    Don’t let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
    so I will observe your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant.
    Teach me your statutes.
136 Streams of tears run down my eyes,
    because they don’t observe your law.”

– Psalm 119:129-136

Jesus summed up the law in a beautiful way. Here’s what He said:

He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind;Deuteronomy 6:5 and your neighbor as yourself.”Leviticus 19:18

28 He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

Luke 10:26-28

God’s law is the answer to all of our human problems. If you and I would only follow these laws we wouldn’t even need a government at all! The ultimate form of liberty is for each man to follow God without the need for human government. It is a lie that we need to have a powerful government that directs everything we do. Our problem is much worse than simply turning everything over to a centralized human government. Our problem is that we can’t control ourselves! We are completely out of control and one out-of-control human can’t possibly save another one. All we know how to do is to enslave each other.

If the only way to solve the world’s problems is to follow God’s law, then there is a very serious issue keeping us from happiness. Perhaps you know what it is. If you don’t, then I suggest that you attempt to obey God’s Ten Commandments today and come back and read the rest of what I have to say later. Try to follow just the last one of the Ten Commandments which is the one to not covet what someone else has. That’s a serious command. Coveting is what causes war.

What we all learn as we attempt to follow God’s Law, is that we can’t actually do it. It looks easy, it sounds easy and it isn’t hard to understand, but for some reason, we can’t even get through a day without failing! This proves what the problem really is: man can’t do good! If you still don’t think this is true, keep trying… you’ll be back. You are the problem.

If we want to live in a good world, we must find a way to live according to the perfect ideal that God has shown us in His Law. Thankfully, there is a way.

God not only gave us His Law, He also gave us His Son and then He gave us His Power! Allow me to explain.

It’s impossible for you an I to follow God’s law because we are evil. God’s Law tells us that we got this way because our first parents decided to disobey God’s law. Ever since then, we’ve all been doing it. Now we have another problem. God’s law says that those who break it are to be separated from all that is good forever. That makes sense doesn’t it? Those who do good shouldn’t have to put up with those of us who don’t should they? That’s why God had to give us His Son.

Jesus is God’s Son. This is a hard thing for us to understand, but the Bible says that Jesus is God just as His Father is God too. This means that He is perfect and not confined to our sin. When He was here, He followed God’s law and proved that it could be done by a man. That did two things. It demonstrated how beautiful human life could be, and it condemned us all to hell because we don’t do it! But Jesus, instead of just condemning us, died in our place taking the punishment for our failure to follow God’s law. This was an acceptable spiritual exchange and it clears those of us who accept it from the law’s punishment.

Being forgiven of our wrongs, takes our punishment away, but it doesn’t really change the fact that we can’t do what is right. That’s where the resurrection comes in. Jesus also came back to life from the dead. This is a fact that “fake news” has been trying to subvert ever since it happened. When Jesus came back to life after dying for our sin, it demonstrated that we have a living hope. By doing this, God can pass the life of Jesus to each person who trusts in Jesus’ death for them. Jesus’ death was a substitute for ours. If we accept that, His life can now be a substitute for our life! Jesus’ life in us produces the desire to follow God’s Law!

There’s still one problem. Even though Christians have the genuine desire to follow God’s Law, they still can’t do it! Listen to what Paul described in the Bible:

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 

Romans 7:14-15

Just having the deep desire to follow God’s law is awesome, but it’s obviously not enough. What Paul calls: “fleshly” here is the root of our problems as Christians. We have a deep desire to do what is right but this body of ours is giving us different directions. It’s still trying to operate by the old program. The Bible says that this is going to keep happening until we die or our bodies are changed into our new ones.

This is where God’s Power comes in. In the very next chapter of Paul’s book of Romans it says this:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:2-4

The way to succeed at following God’s Law today, is to first become a Christian by believing in God’s Son’s death for sin, and then to trust in the Power of the Holy Spirit that is living inside of every Christian. This produces a new world order in us! This new world order has been advancing ever since Jesus resurrected and I’m inviting you to join.

It really is possible to live the life of love and hope that you’ve dreamed about, but this is only the beginning. Our world is still at war and it will continue. Even as more and more of us start living by God’s Law, there will be those who refuse and this calls for true tolerance.

Now is the time for Christians to be patient as we tolerate those who don’t believe yet. Part of our goodness, is for us to suffer quietly while we try to convince others to come to life in Jesus. The Bible says that Jesus is coming back, and when He does, it will all be over for those who don’t believe. Those who don’t believe will be removed so that His Kingdom can be set up according to His perfect law. In the mean time, we get to have each other! We get a taste of what it will be like when everyone lives together in perfect harmony.

Further Study

183 Days in John
If you are a member to this website, you have access to my devotional books. In this one, I take you through the whole book of John. This book records the life of Jesus, showing you the way to believe in Him. I’ve divided this book in to short daily readings from the book of John and then I give you my thoughts.

72 Days in Galatians
Members also have access to my devotional through the book of Galatians. This book is good for Christians who struggle with sin in their lives. This book is all about accessing God’s Power to do good. Join me as we go through Galatians together.

Daily Bible Radio Podcast
I have a daily podcast. I’ve been going through the Bible for about 10 years now. God’s law is big and full of amazing detail. Join me on my daily journey through it.

The Government and the Gospel
If you want to learn more about the effect that God’s Law has on government, read this article. Not only do we have a duty to obey God’s Law, the government does too and that is a big part of making this world a better place.

The Government and the Gospel

The Bible shows us that Christians do have a responsibility to be involved in government. In my article: Exploring the Limits of Civil Government, I explain that Jesus’ commands apply to governments, not just to individuals and because they do, we have an obvious responsibility to inform our governments about God’s law. There’s another important reason for us to be involved, though, and that’s because the government plays a role in our ability to spread the Gospel.

The Separation of Church and State

Here in the United States, a Christian’s involvement in political matters may bring up concerns about “the separation of church and state,” but God calls us to make sure that everything we do and think is based on His word. The separation of church and state is not be taken to mean that the government is supposed to be neutral to all religions. Not only is this not a rational way of thinking, it is an immoral one too. I discuss that in my article: Christianity and the Separation of Church and State.

Both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself came announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God. These things were very political in that day. It’s true that His kingdom wasn’t going to be coming to earth right away, but there definitely wasn’t a separation between the disciple of Jesus and politics.

Jesus’ clear command to us as His followers, is to spread the Gospel. Some have attempted to use this as an excuse to not be involved in politics, but the truth is that the Gospel is the very reason we should be involved in government.

God’s Moral Law

When I think of the Gospel, I usually think of God’s grace. I think of the fact that Jesus died for our sins and came back to life again so that we could live forever in Him. These are the facts of the Gospel, but these facts depend on whether or not we understand what is meant by “our sins.” Jesus had to die because of these sins. If a person doesn’t understand what his sins are, he could miss out on what Jesus is actually dying for. It is possible that if a person doesn’t understand sin properly, he may not even believe that he has sinned and if he hasn’t really sinned, he doesn’t really need Jesus to die for anything. A wrong view of sin leads to a wrong view of the Gospel and that leads people away from God and closer to hell.

Somehow, those we wish to bring the Gospel to, must learn about their sins and the only way for them to learn about them, is to have a proper understanding of God’s laws. A good summary of God’s laws are found in The Ten Commandments, and these laws are clarified even more by the rest of the Bible.

Cultural Immortality

When you consider the need for our culture to understand what sin means, it exposes a pretty wide gap in knowledge, depending on what culture you find yourself in. In some cultures, The Ten Commandments are pretty obvious because those cultures are already well aware of them. In other cultures, these commandments may not only be unknown, they may actually assume the opposite to be true.

In the United States, it used to be quite common for people to know about the actual Ten Commandments. I hope that when you read this it is becoming more and more popular to know them again, but if not, it still exposes a major reason for us to be involved in our governments.

When Government Ignores God’s Laws

There are many reasons why a culture drifts away from God, but a big one is that governments have chosen to ignore God’s laws in the Bible. Some of them purposefully oppose God, the Bible and The Ten Commandments. When this happens, it distorts the people’s understanding of right and wrong. Good things are considered to be bad, while bad things are considered to be good.

I have recently heard famous politicians boast about their efforts to make abortion easier for people to get. Not too long ago, politicians used to say that they were personally pro-life, but that they believed that everyone should have a choice. Things have changed quickly. Abortion went from something somewhat bad, to something you can choose, to something you have a right or even a responsibility to do! This all started about 50 years before this writing when the United States government decided to declare to the people that abortion was good. The Bible clearly says that abortion is murder. It is also a violation of God’s first command to mankind which was to fill the earth. These government actions not only destroy lives on earth, they are leading people to hell by harming the Gospel message.

As I explain in Christianity and the Separation of Church and State, God actually holds governments responsible to enforce certain parts of God’s law, such as the law to not commit murder. It’s true that we have blood on their hands if they don’t, but because they have corrupted the culture’s understanding of what is right and what is wrong, they have also made it difficult for Christians to spread the Gospel.

When a government says something is good and a Christian says that it is bad, the people have a conflict to overcome before they can even say that Jesus died for sin. In the most difficult cases, the Christian finds himself opposing the government just to speak out about the Gospel. The minds of the people are also being perverted as to what is right and wrong causing damage to the Gospel message. Because of the government’s stance on moral issues, people are more inclined to ignore the Gospel and continue in their sinful lifestyles.

When Government Upholds God’s Laws

When a government is acting properly, it punishes people for violating the civil laws found in the Bible. This makes it clear to people that the sin described in the Bible and reflected in their conscience is inexcusable. A person doesn’t have to be arrested for a sin to sense their own tendency to lean that way either. That’s where Jesus’ words have a greater effect for the Gospel. He told us that even if we hate our neighbor, we commit murder inside. The government can’t and shouldn’t be involved in punishing hate crime, but God does use our conscience to let us know when we are doing it. If the government says that abortion isn’t murder, for instance, it creates a conflict with our conscience. A person can still hate their own unborn child with little cultural accountability. They may even harbor a rebellious desire to stop filling the earth as God commanded, and pervert their conscience to the point at which they think it’s a virtuous thing.

Keeping Our Eyes on the Goal

When we do get into government issues, it is important for us to stay focused on our goal. Our focus isn’t on who wins elections. Our focus is on our Great Commission. That being said, we should also not assume that we have no responsibility to the governments of the world. The Bible tells us that we are the salt and light of the earth. Salt and light won’t do much good inside of our church walls. If we don’t participate in teaching our government their responsibility to obey God and promote His civil laws, this will also harm our efforts to obey the Great Commission as well.

Further Study

J.C. Ryle on the Government’s Role
This respected English pastor wrote about the separation of church and state over 100 years ago. Here’s some of what he had to say as it relates to Jesus’ comment to Pilate in John 18:36, when He tells him that His kingdom is not of this world.

Exploring the Limits of Civil Government
When is the government taking on too much? When isn’t it doing enough? In this article, I focus on the what government’s biblical responsibilities are and are not.

Christianity and the Separation of Church and State
What does the separation of church and state really mean? In this article, I explain that the separation of church and state does not mean that a government is supposed to be neutral when it comes to governing according to religious principles.

A “Neutral” Government?

If philosophical neutrality is a fallacy, as I previously asserted, then building a government on this philosophy is a critically serious problem.  It appears to be a trend in governments across the world and it looks like a plan forged by the powers of darkness to me.

Peace does not come by the careful application of a fallacy.  It only comes through love and proper reasoning and that will mean that those who are thinking irrationally will have to be exposed.  That exposure doesn’t feel very good and some will fight to death over it, but I know from experience that true humility brings peace when we are finally willing to admit that we are wrong.

I was reading a report from a few years ago, about a Canadian ruling that was addressing the contents of prayers before meetings.  I am told that they were warning that there are prayers that may not be legal.  This appears to be a clear case of philosophical absolutism to me.  The United States has it share of the same kind of thing, as do other countries.

We may be tempted to assert that a government should stay out of speech related issues, but in reality, how can they?  A government must assert a philosophy of some kind or else it cannot function.  It has no choice.  The problem with what governments are doing is that the philosophy they are asserting is often irrational.  You can’t rationally assert a philosophy that assumes that no philosophy should be asserted. A government built on a foundation of irrationality is in no position to bring about peace or anything else.

With great sorrow, I see the problem again in the recent speeches of both President Trump and Vice-President Pence.  Their words sound like an attempt to respect all religions and creeds, even though it is obvious that they can’t.  In many of the same speeches, they rightly express that that there are certain creeds and religions that they do not respect, such as those that kill people or promote the destruction of the United States or disrespect its constitution.  Are these not creeds and religions?  This is confusing to say the least.  That’s not what made America great.

If they intend to go back to America’s foundation, they must return to the doctrine of Christian tolerance which asserts that although Christians don’t respect other creeds and religions, they do tolerate them to a degree in civil life, because that’s what Jesus expects us to do until He chooses to deal with them Himself.  Christian tolerance is built on the concepts of free will, grace (meaning favoring others when they don’t really deserve it), and the fact that Jesus is still alive and able to take care of the wicked without our help.  Christians desire that all men will come to know Jesus by willingly accepting His offer.  This means that, according to Christian tolerance, there can be no force when it comes to individual choice either.  This is the basis for American liberty and it also happens to be non-neutral.

So why is this a big deal?  It’s because it’s this issue that leads a people toward either liberty or tyranny.  If a government doesn’t have the authority over life, liberty and personal property, it definitely doesn’t have authority over the Creator that endowed those rights.  Any government that thinks it does that is indicating that it believes it is the supreme authority in certain matters.  Even if taking God’s place isn’t intentional, that’s what is being communicated and it leaves the door open to serious future problems.  Even now we are seeing the desire for philosophical respect drive the followers of various ideas to converge against Christianity, asking that it either comply or be silenced by “civil” government.  Since Christian tolerance is the basis for our liberty,  freedom as we know it is in serious danger.  What governments must do is to acknowledge that their right to rule comes from the God of the Bible, the true One that the Christians have acknowledged.

Other brands of neutral thinking have already been used in the west and have failed quite miserably at critical times.  Recall that Neville Chamberlain attempted to bring peace in his time using a method that would allow the UK to respect Hitler’s choices.  President FDR signed a peace agreement with Japan in a similar gesture right before we entered the war.  It’s important for us to remember how well those things worked out.  How about those Israeli peace agreements?

It’s important to ask ourselves: What good is peace if freedom is taken away?    There is a way for peace and freedom to coexist, but it depends on Christian philosophy, because that’s the only way they fit together without the government becoming an irrational tyrant.


 

Wisdom and the West

The word “Philosophy” when literally translated means “lover of wisdom.”  Being a philosopher is a good thing in that sense, according to the Bible.  Here’s what the Bible says in Proverbs:

Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father;

Proverbs 29:3a

The western world has a big problem, though.  What they call “philosophy” isn’t what the Bible says is philosophy.  The problem has to do with the word “Wisdom” that the philosopher is supposed to be loving.

According to the Bible, “Wisdom” means something very specific.  Wisdom starts with believing in God.  That’s what the Bible says.

The fear of Yahweh. is the beginning of knowledge;
but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

Obviously, you must start at the beginning, and to begin you must fear God.  It’s difficult to fear God when you don’t even believe in Him.  So, what does “Wisdom” call a person or a nation that doesn’t believe in God?  Well that’s here too.

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Psalm 14:1a

Now, that’s pretty strait-forward, don’t you think?  But that’s not all, it also says this:

There is no wisdom nor understanding
nor counsel against Yahweh.

Proverbs 21:30

Remember, Yahweh, is a representation of the biblical name of God.  “Yahweh” is the God of the Bible not the God of any other religion.  What the Bible is saying is that anyone who doesn’t start out believing in the God of the Bible, can’t be wise.  There is nothing “progressive” about throwing the Bible away.  If the western world doesn’t go back to the God of the Bible, foolishness is all that is left.