Praying What You Believe.

For Memorial Day, I remember Jesus. I think of Him who is the image of the Invisible God, through Whom all things were made and brought into existence. He who created the worlds also became the Savior of our lost estate by coming to this earth and dying for our sins…

I have been away from the Thomaston Church for the past three Sabbaths, as I was preaching a 6-part series called “ORIGINS” at my other church in Griffin. I am a Seventh-day Adventist pastor of a two church district, and this ORIGINS series required my presence at Griffin for three consecutive Sabbaths. We had an excellent series of meetings there with several young people who came to all six presentations because they were invited by their friends. And they were interested in the topic. ORIGINS!

Did God really create the heavens and the earth like the book of Genesis portrays? Or, was life on earth, and all inanimate matter for that matter, the product of a random accident of chance known as the Big Bang, which over eons of time, then gave place to a primordial soup at some point on a prehistoric earth, which then somehow got energized enough to somehow spark the first form of life, a virus?, a complete cell?, or??, which then took off into an evolution of life, until… over 4.5 billion years or so we arrived at today?

Are we the product of genetic mutations that began in a primordial soup? Are the great apes and chimps our close cousins? Or, did God actually create human beings in His own image? What do you believe?

During the ORIGINS series which was written by Dr.Stan Hudson, I had the privilege of exploring the debate. It was Evolution vs. Creation. We explored the fossil evidence for the origin of mankind. We investigated the evidence for the origin of the oceans, and what the fossils and the geologic column have to say about that. We examined the opposing views on the age of the earth and the age of the Universe. Yes, we learned some strengths and weaknesses of radioactive dating and also of unconformities in the geologic column.

And we learned about the dinosaurs. Did Noah take some of them on the Ark? Were they wiped out by meteors? Could meteors have been involved in the great Flood? or its aftermath? For definitely, the great Flood of Genesis chapters 6-9 was a world wide catastrophe, that most likely involved rapid changes in the earth in a short period of time, as opposed to evolutionary science’s view of slow, gradual changes over millions and even billions of years.

We investigated both sides of the debate. And, we showed that the different interpretations of the evidence depend on and arise from the model that one uses to base his or her interpretation. Your model is your worldview. What is clear to me is that these two worldviews are not compatible. For if evolution is true, then the Bible is not. And if the Bible is true, then evolution is not. Even the basic atheist understands that point.

Why then do some, perhaps even many Christians amalgamate their belief about a Creator God with a belief about evolution? If evolution is true, then sin cannot exist, or at the very least it’s not our fault (not human fault). If evolution is true, then God did not create Adam from the dust of the ground, nor did He create Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. And, that would mean that the Biblical story about sin is nothing except a fabrication, and in fact the worst kind of deception. And, what’s more, if evolution is true, there is no God!

But… I believe in God the Father and in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Son of Man. I believe that Jesus is One with the Father, as the Bible teaches. You see, I do not morph my Biblical worldview to accommodate the evolutionary worldview. And what’s more, I believe Jesus and the Father made this world perfect. No sin. No death. No sickness. Nothing bad existed in God’s original creation of this earth, which the Bible emphatically states was accomplished in six, count them, six literal days. And on the seventh day, God ended His work and rested and was refreshed. And He gave Adam and Eve, and their posterity, the Sabbath Day as a memorial of creation. Thus Jesus affirmed that, “The Sabbath was made for man!” And, for that reason, He emphatically stated that He was “the Lord of the Sabbath!” (See Mark 2:2-28).

I recorded my presentations on ORIGINS; however, I cannot post them here, for, the material is copyrighted. The purpose of ORIGINS is to conduct the meetings in live venues around the world. Here is the link to my presentations so you can read what they are about: https://originsseminar.org/griffin. You can find out if there is a live presentation being held near where you live, by entering your city’s name.

However, the meaning of my blog post today is to grab your attention about what you believe. I have given this post the title, “Praying What You Believe.” Why? Because I believe that God originally created human beings in His image. And that sin has messed up that image. And I am praying that what I believe may be attractive to some of you, yes, even most of you, so that you might seek the Lord, and find Jesus and be saved. Most people don’t realize that Jesus came to be the Savior of the world so that He might restore us from our lost estate. And most people do not know that… God Is Love!

When Jesus comes again, He will come in the glory of His Father, with all the holy angels (Matthew 16:27), and the reward that the saved human saints will receive at that time is to be called forth from their graves if they have died, or, for those saints who are still living when He appears in the sky, to “be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…” (see 1 Corinthians 15:50-55). Together, they will be caught up in the clouds of heaven with Jesus and His angels. The reward that Jesus will give to them is eternal life. They will receive new immortal bodies, and thus the image of God will be fully restored in those humans who are saved. Jesus also calls this resurrection “the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14). Revelation calls it the first resurrection, and states that these resurrected saints are “blessed and holy,” because “the second death has no power” over them (see Revelation 20:6). The second death is permanent death. The second death has power only over those who refused to accept Jesus’ saving grace when they lived on earth. The second death is the final reward of the wicked.

So, for Memorial Day, I am sharing the YouTube link to my sermon, “Praying What You Believe”, and I am remembering Jesus, the One who does not want anyone to perish. He came to earth so that we might know the truth, and be made free from the bondage of sin, because “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). He who died for my sins, is the same One who created this earth. For it is written:

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

Colossians 1:15-18

Published by Dean C. Read

I am a follower of Jesus Christ who seeks to make Him known to those who do not yet know Him, and to make Him better known to those who do. Thus, God has led me throughout my life of now over 6 decades. I have been married to and in love with the same woman for over 38 years and we have children and grandchildren whom I also love. That does not mean my family has not been through trials. We human beings certainly know how to test and even hurt those we love. But, God Himself also knows the challenges, the trials and even the fickleness of human love. Yet, Jesus has demonstrated that God's love is sure and secure, faithful to the very end. So, yes, I love because God is love. And, I seek to make the love of God known as it should be. I am a pastor, a preacher and a teacher of God's word, the Bible. Before I became a preacher, I was a public school teacher, and before that I worked at various jobs including, painting, construction, ambulance EMT, parts assembler, and even a paperboy back in the day. In school I played trumpet in the band, was a track and cross country runner, enjoyed most subjects including History, English and Science, and yet, after graduating from high school, I struggled to find my path. Perhaps you can identify? I did not graduate with my Bachelor's degree until I was 26 years old. And yet, from an early age I knew that God was a God of love, and that He had a plan for me, if I would just be open to His leading. God has brought me through many trials, and has always been there to pick me up when I had fallen or been discouraged. And now, I hope to write in such a way to attract others to this God of love. By the way, I also enjoy camping, reading and outdoor activities, especially strolls on the beach, or hiking a mountain trail. My favorite places on earth are Sequoia National Park because of the Giant Sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park, and the jewel of Georgia known as Jekyll Island. I could tell you more; but hopefully, as you read my posts you will learn more about the God whom I love.

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