Recently, I was at Okinawa, Japan to participate at the All Asian Creation Conference 2018. Not only was I given the opportunity to listen to speakers from all over the world, I was also given the privilege to deliver a talk on one of the simultaneous sessions that were held.
My talk was all about how combining the Law with creation science in the goal of delivering the Gospel message would cause a person to reflect more on the Good News. My respondents for the study were Filipinos.
Creation science talk have become essential in the past years as many people have started to question the existence of God due to the proliferation of atheistic science. The big bang and the theory of evolution have become the accepted explanation for origin which gives no need for God as Creator of the universe. By arguing mostly through obvious design in things around us and within us, creation science claims that design is proof of a designer, and that the universe's Designer is God. Countless Christians today have testified that they have come to know the Savior through creation science talks.
We at Living Waters-Asia understand that sin is the reason why man is separated from God and why he faces an eternity of anguish in Hell. Yes, we see the value of what creation science does to a person... proving the existence and power of God, and this is actually a prerequisite to saving faith (Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."). But can we include the Law with creation science towards the delivery of the Gospel?
In this study, we were not creating a "technique" that will bring in "better" results in our Gospel-sharing. Results are in the realm of the Holy Spirit. The Christian's realm is in the obedience to the call of the Great Commission. What our aim was in this study was to see if God will bless the combination of the Law and creation science in the delivery of the Gospel, two elements that we have seen He has been using throughout time to bring people to Himself.
Using the experimental method and quantitative analysis, we found that combining the Law and creation science with the Gospel message made people we shared the Good News to, to think that what was shared to them was worth reflecting on later in the day, compared to when the Law and creation science were separately used in the presentation of the life-saving message of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. As to why this is so, a careful analysis of the Gospel message made us arrive to the following explanations...
For creation science, we realized that although it proves to people that God does exist, there seems to be lacking a strong connection to the message of salvation that the Gospel declares. It's like this... "Okay, you've proven to me that God exists and that He is very powerful through your creation science talk. But why do I need salvation which your talk of the Gospel implies?" We see here that the need for salvation is not fully explained by creation science. In the minds of people where this approach is used, a gap in the message seems to make the Gospel less sensible. No wonder why there are people who claim to be creationists but not Christians. This is probably the reason why groups we had administered this approach showed lesser intentions to reflect on the Gospel message later in the day than the group where both the Law and creation science were used in the Gospel presentation.
With the use of the Law, on the other hand, the reason we see why people would still show a lesser intention to reflect on the Gospel message later in the the day aside from the possibility that their conscience have made them uncomfortable and are now in denial of it, was, also, the absence of an important element. If a person, even if it was proven to him that he had offended a certain moral law, if his belief is that no moral law Giver exists, and therefore, no one to make him accountable for his actions someday, or if he does believe in the existence of God, but he, nonetheless, fails to grasp how powerful that God is, the need for salvation as the Gospel implies will be lesser for him. So what happens here is that a presentation of the Gospel with the Law needs what creation science brings to the table.
When we combined the Law with creation science, what we observed was a statistically significant tendency of people to have the initiative to reflect on the Gospel message later in the day. The reason was obvious... the Gospel message made total sense now. Let me explain that in reverse... "I need the salvation that Christ has made available through His sacrifice at the cross (the Gospel) because of my offense of the Ten Commandments (the Law) which an ever-existing and all-powerful God (creation science) has given for man to obey." The declaration of the Bible that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)" starts to become so real for a person with the combination of the Law and creation science with the Good News.
We saw this applied by the apostle Paul in the message he delivered at Mars Hill (Acts 17). His audience (Greeks) were serving and worshiping an "UNKNOWN GOD". He started his sermon by declaring who God is... the Creator of the universe. You see, the Greeks do not know the God of the Jews, and so, they were introduced first by Paul to the God of the Jews. This is what Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis calls as what creation science does... "making Jews first out of Greeks". Then Paul declared the Law to his audience, specifically, the commandment against idolatry as that was the predominant sin of the people listening to him. Only after that did he deliver the Gospel message for at this point, the Good News really is good news.
Specially when we are trying to share the Gospel to agnostics and atheists, people who have been poisoned by the teachings of secular science, it will be good if we can employ this model. These people have so many arguments against the existence of God, so we must prove that they're wrong using creation science. After that, let's show them how they have offended the Creator with their sins using the Law, so that when we get to the Gospel, things will make sense for them as to why they need to repent of their sins and trust Christ for their salvation. You can watch Ray Comfort using this approach by clicking the links to these two videos: Evolution v.s God and The Atheist Delusion
From there, we let the Holy Spirit do the work that only He can do.
iIn the last five years, more and more governments have allowed same-sex marriage in their countries. The U.S. Supreme Court has given a stamp of approval for it a few years back. European countries have been a haven for people who desire to enter this kind of union. Australians, just a few months back, through a postal vote, have voiced that they're OK with this trend. And in the Philippines, the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced in a gathering attended mostly by homosexuals, his acceptance of the idea despite saying the opposite just a few months back. To make things sadder, even people affiliated with the Christian faith are starting to look at same-sex marriage as something good. A pastor and his wife last November shared to me how they were shocked and left in tears when a pastor-friend of theirs from Australia, after the postal vote on same-sex marriage won in his country, described that day as "a happy and exciting time in Australia".
Why has same-sex marriage gained more acceptance in recent years? It's because same-sex marriage proponents have made it a social issue, a question of rights, from it being a moral issue. By lowering it to the level of a social issue, God, the source of morality, has been successfully eliminated in the conversation. This, the removal of the standards set forth by God in terms of marriage, was a crucial goal for homosexuals to achieve as they understand that as long as God is part of the conversation, they're lifestyle will not be accepted by the public as the Bible is clear that it is wrong to go against God and "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of Him who is living (Hebrews 10:31)". But by making it an issue of rights, then people who will be against that right will be viewed negatively, often branded as "bigots".
So, is same-sex marriage a social or moral issue? The Bible is clear that God only ordained one type of marriage, and it is heterosexual. From the very lips of Jesus we find this... "Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh so they are no longer two, but one flesh. " (Matthew 19:4-6). The One that created obviously has the right to dictate. Anyone can disagree with the Creator and can even raise his fist in fierce defiance of Him. But do we really believe we stand a chance against the all-powerful God? God has been accused of immorality for not granting homosexuals the right "to be happy" which He has granted heterosexuals in terms of marriage. People who have made this accusation failed to recognize that God can't be accused of immorality as morality flowed from Him as He is the One that sets what is right and what is wrong, and unfortunately for proponents of same-sex marriage, He has declared this union as "wrong". So all the talk of "rights" not being given is insignificant here. And if we insists on same-sex marriage as a rights issue, then pedophiles and those who want to practice beastiality (human and animal sex) can also make demands for their "right to happiness".
We cannot eliminate God in the discussion of marriage as He alone has the right as Creator to dictate how marriage is defined. Therefore, same-sex marriage is a moral issue and not a social issue.
So in conversing with a homosexual or anyone who approves of same-sex marriage, do not be caught in the trap of making same-sex marriage a social issue. Always insists that God is man's Creator and the Definer of marriage. Watch the interviews in the movie Audacity and see how Ray Comfort prevents people from shifting the conversation on same-sex marriage to the social realm and staying put on the morality of the issue.
And here's one illustration about why we must let the Creator define marriage...
A young elephant saw birds flying in the air. He realized how happy birds are with the freedom they have gliding in the skies. And so, the elephant said, "I will fly like the birds!" An elephant friend told him, "But you weren't made to fly. Look at how impossible flying will be with the size of our bodies. And although you have big ears, they are still not enough to allow you to fly." "But I want to fly and enjoy as the birds", the young elephant insisted. His elephant friend argued, "But we have other advantages that are enjoyable like we can reach with our noses whatever fruit we want hanging from trees. You can do that all day long and nothing bad will happen to you compared to if you would try flying." But the young elephant had decided that he will try flying. And so, he went to the highest cliff he could find. After taking a deep breath, the young elephant jumped off the cliff, plunging himself to his death.
The same is the case with homosexuals insisting that they be given the right to marry someone from the same sex. Obviously, God had not designed marriage to be that way as procreation, a by-product of marriage, cannot happen. And just like how heterosexual sex outside of marriage can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, sex with the same sex can also have the same result. But sex with a person's marital partner can be indulged in with little to no risks at all of getting STD. But if we insist on allowing homosexuals to have same-sex marriages, the greatest danger they face is how God gets back on them for going against His set standard. In love, I don't want that to happen and so I write this article as a clear warning.
May we be wise enough to go by God's standards in our lives.
The Big Bang theory posits that the formation of the universe started from an explosion from something that until now, scientists are still at lost as to where that singularity that caused the explosion came from. Supposedly, the elements released by that explosion, through sheer luck were able to arrange themselves correctly to produce in slow processes simple to complex features of the universe we have, including life. Later through the process of natural selection, the evolution of things slowly moved from the chaos of the initial explosion to the order and design-laden universe that we have now.
Of course, with careful examination, the processes that supposedly took place in the billions of years that passed from that supposed big bang do not align well with universal scientific laws. The creation of things which the theory of both the Big Bang and evolution imply still continues on is not supported by the First Law of Thermodynamics which declares that no new matter is being created. The chaos to perfection that evolution explains is happening on the other hand, is debunked by the Second Law of Thermodynamics which adamantly proclaims that things are going to a slow state of entropy.
The obvious design seen in the world around us goes against the idea of a world that surrendered its organized formation to chance. Many non-material elements of the universe like logic, morality, laws, music, etc., are beyond explanation of such atheistic theories that claim that everything is material.
Truly, the Big Bang and Evolution theories are incapable of fully explaining the origin of the universe. What we see again and again are new questions arising from every attempt of atheistic scientists to answer questions against these theories. But believers of these theories are still committed to stand by what they preach even if the reality is, every word that comes out of their lips in defense of their belief brings them farther away from the truth from the last declarations they have made.
But for the Christian, it is imperative that the origin of the world did not start from a big bang. The reason to this is because holding on to that theory about origin will make the faith he holds onto unreasonable. Let me explain why.
To believe in the big bang is to believe in the existence of the unknown. Earlier, I mentioned that scientists until now are debating as to where that “singularity” came from. The law of cause and effect demands that something must cause something and that the cause should be “bigger” than the effect. And because the “effect” we are talking about is the vast universe we have, the cause of it must be something very powerful. Now, how can a very powerful thing that could cause the universe we have be unknown? Are we saying that the thing effected is more significant so as to be easily known than what caused it?
But God is so powerful that even the blind can take notice of Him. There are those that, in the goal of making themselves wiser than God, intentionally ignore Him, but the truth is, they know Him (Romans 1:21-22). I’m glad the Big Bang is not true because if it is, then we have an unknowable cause. But the God of the Christian wants to be known. He first made Himself known through His creation (Romans 1:20). Then He came to our world to make Himself more known (John 1:14). Then finally, to give us no room for us not to know Him, He has left us His Word, the Bible, so that through its pages, we get to read everything He had chosen to reveal to us about Himself.
God wants to be known, and as a Christian, I want to know Him.
To believe in these atheistic theories of origin is to believe in a god that leaves things to chance. But the God of the Christian is purposeful and will never leave things to chance. Our God is Someone who has a concrete plan for His creation, and so, He will never leave things to chance because if He did, things may not go as He had planned and when that happens, that diminishes His being God. This is the reason why everything in the universe shows design, and the design in things reflect the purposeful God of the Bible. God wants the fish to be able to swim and live on water that’s why He created them that way. God wants the horse to exude power so that he could be of help to his master that’s why God created the horse that way. God wants the bird to be able to fly in the air, that’s why God designed the bird to do just that from the onset. God wanted man to reflect His image that’s why man has been man from the beginning. And because God has not surrendered His creation to chance, there is an expected end for things that will eventually glorify Him which will in turn, benefit those that have entrusted their lives to Him.
I want a God of purpose because I want to realize the purpose of God’s creation of me. A man that is created for His pleasure. A man that benefits from His glory.
And for the Christian, it is crucial that we have a powerful God that can create with purpose. Scientists have given more power to the big bang than to God even if that explosion had to “create” through billions of years of chance. But the God of the Christian is more powerful. He needed no explosion to create. He just spoke things into existence and He did everything in just six days and needed no billions of years to create. In six days, everything was already in order. He could have done it in just six hours, or six minutes, or even in just six seconds. But again, He is a God of purpose. He did His creation activities in six days to give us an example we should follow in terms of the balance of work and rest (Exodus 20:11). The Christian needs that powerful God and not the lame god of the big bang because that is his assurance that everything that sin had reversed from perfection could be brought back to its original state. The big bang can just wish for things to someday reach a state of perfection. But then again, the Second Law of Thermodynamics goes against that wish. Only the One who had created laws can reverse things to its original state, where even the lion and the lamb can sit together.
I want that powerful God as depicted in the Bible because it is to His will that I want to be subjected to and not to chance. Because He is a loving God, I can be assured that if I surrender to Him, uncertain though my steps in life may look to my eyes and other’s eyes, but the truth is, my steps are more certain in Him than the sun rising on the morrow. His Word is full of assurances of this promise… “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. (Psalm 37:23)”; “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide (Psalm 37:31)”; “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”
I want a God who can guide my steps in life.
And finally, I need the God that has been depicted in the pages of the Bible and not the unknowable cause of the big bang because I need Someone who is merciful and gracious to save me from the consequences of my wickedness. The god of the big bang which has even hydrogen as a possibility, appears to be unconcern about me. I don’t want this god which seems to be singing “Que sera, sera” to me as it has left me to chance (whatever will be, will be). I want the God of the Bible who is the Creator of this universe who declares in His Word that He is “not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). I want the God of the Bible that “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). I want the God of the Bible that is so purposeful in His actions, who came down to earth not to condemn it, “but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). I want the God of the Bible that “commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, He (Christ) died for us” (Romans 5:8).
I want a God that can save me.
The god of the big bang, whoever or whatever that may be, offers me no hope. I’m afraid that if that is the god that truly exist, he or it will just leave my fate to chance. I’m glad that there is undeniable proof that the God of the Bible is the One that truly exists, for in Him, I have true hope. A hope that I can have throughout eternity because He has purposed in His heart way before the foundations of the world that I enjoy Him forever.
Last May 25-29, the second All-Asian Creation Conference took place at Seoul, S. Korea. The Korea Association of Creation Research organized the event. Living Waters Asia Director, Dennis Mark Y. Aglosolos, was one of several who spoke during this conference. Dennis' topic is "Proving God's existence: The modern day challenge to evangelism." Watch the video below:
This week, the social media (at least for Filipinos) were busy giving their comments for and against boxing champ and politician, Manny Pacquaio, in response to his statements against same-sex marriage that he made on an interview by a local news network. Watch the video below:
I posted my comments on one of the Facebook feeds on this with the goal of engaging someone to a conversation that I planned to lead to the presentation of the Gospel. Below was my posted thoughts on the issue:
Understand this... God is the ultimate source of morality. The Bible, which is the inspired Word of God, contains His standards in terms of morality. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are wicked in God's sight. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are therefore not issues of social rights but issues of morality. Now if you don't agree with that then don't get angry with people who just echo what the Bible declares. Send your protest to God because it was Him that declared homosexuality and same-sex marriage as sins. But I hope you'll practice your common sense and realize that you cannot insist what you want to a Sovereign God as He is the Creator and you are only His mere creation. And God is immutable (unchangeable) as He declared in His Word that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What He had declared as "wrong" in the past is still wrong today and tomorrow. The obvious thing to do then is to just acknowledge Him and surrender to His standards.
Then a person replied to my comment and said that men can make their own morality through laws. This was my response:
So anyone can just make their own morality, or you're saying that morality is relative and there's no absolute morality? So a person who believes rape is wrong is correct so as the person that believes that there's nothing wrong with rape?
Then someone asked, "How sure are you that your God is the true God?" I gave this response:
Morals are laws. Laws are a product of an intelligent mind. If that is the case then there must be a lawgiver. And that ultimate Lawgiver is God. The God of the Bible who is the Christians' God is the source of these Laws (morals). Why do I know this? Because what's right and what's wrong is universal. Everyone agrees murder is wrong. Everyone agrees dishonoring of parents is wrong. There are people that claim that there are lies that are "okay". But when they are the ones who were lied to by an "okay" lie, they hate it. Why is there a universality of morality? Because the Bible tells us (in the book of Romans) that God has written His Laws in our hearts. And notice that the morals we hold on are the Ten Commandments that God gave man through Moses. Now this is proof that the God of the Bible who declared that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong is the true God.
Then the discussion turned to proof of God's existence. Below is my reply to this topic:
If you followed correctly the logic I used, laws are proof of the existence of the Lawgiver. It's as simple as this... If there's a building, you know there's a builder. If there's a painting, you know there's a painter. If there is a law, then there is a lawgiver. If there's a creation, then it follows that there's a Creator. And that Creator is God, Himself. Now if you ask. "Who made the Creator?" You must understand that a Creator needs no other creator. For if the Creator of the vast universe needs a Creator, then that creator of the Creator needs to be bigger than the Creator and you'll need an infinite number of bigger creators. And you have to understand that anything that's created is subject to time. God created time and He is outside of time, and so, He is not subject to time. Therefore, He need not have a Creator for Himself.
Then someone who confessed to be gay and complained that being one is very difficult in a society like the Philippines who has not fully embraced this lifestyle, accused me of being judgmental. I then gave this response:
I'm telling you this because I care for you. I apologize if I came across as judgmental. I was also once a wicked rebel against God just like everyone. I may not be gay but I also was deserving of hell just like any other person. But I understood how wretched I was in God's sight then realized that the reason why Jesus came down to earth and died on the cross 2,000 years ago was so that He can make a payment for my sins. I repented of my sins and placed my faith in what He did on the cross for my forgiveness of sin and salvation. God promised in the Bible (John 3:16 / Ephesians 2:8-9) that if I trust Jesus for my salvation and not my religion or any good deed I can do, He'll forgive me of my sins and grant me eternal life in Heaven. I want you to also receive that promise from Him that's why I engaged you in an exchange. If it's okay, can I send you something? Just give me your address and I'll send it to you asap. God bless!
Sad to say, he did not accept my offer and after that hurled other accusations against me. Several times in my posts, I suggested to people to visit needGod.ph, and recently to Audacitymovie.com.
The next day though, I received a private message in my Facebook account. It was from a gay person. He thanked me for my explanation of why homosexuality and same-sex marriage are wrong. He then told me that, yes, he is gay but because he has read in the Bible that God has declared these as sins, he is fighting his flesh for God's glory. I told him that a gay person can be a good Christian. I then explained that being in the flesh, we have tendencies to rebel against God. Even Christians have sinful tendencies because of the flesh that we are in. But a Christian who understands that God had already bought him with a price will fight his sinful tendencies for God's glory. Now if a gay person becomes a Christian and he fights the homosexual tendencies that he has because he wants to give God glory, then he becomes a gay person who refuses to be seen as gay but fights with God's help, to be seen by others more as a child of God.
This guy then voiced his desire to serve God through evangelism. I advised this new found friend to visit our ministry website (www.livingwaters-asia.com) and listen to Hell's Best Kept Secret and True and False Converts so that he can get an idea of the principle we use in sharing the Gospel. Please pray for him.
Recently, a ministry partner and I were sharing the Gospel to a cab driver bringing us from the airport to a bus terminal on our way home from a biblical evangelism seminar we conducted in another province. A statement made by the cab driver paved the way to an interesting exchange. He said that God should look at the sincerity of people with their religious beliefs of how one can get to Heaven even if they do not heed the clear instructions of the Bible about the gift of salvation. He added that God should not waste the chance of having sincere people like them in His kingdom someday as they have a kind of commitment with what they believe that will make them willing to stick with it to death that most Christians do not even have. Did the cab driver make a valid point?
Let me give you a straight answer... That belief has two things going so wrong with it. Let me explain.
First of all, we must understand that sin has tainted our whole being. That means that whatever we have to offer God is already tainted with sin. Actually, not just tainted. They're all yucky in God's sight. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that the best of righteousness we can give God still appears as "filthy rags" in His sight. Imagine how He sees our sins! Why is that so? Because the Bible is clear that God is perfectly holy! With this in mind, we should understand that man's sincerity does not, in any way, impress God. Behind the sincere facade we show God is a wicked heart whose inclination is rebellion against Him, and He sees that so clearly. Our sincerity is like giving God a well-decorated cake outside but inside are dead rats molded together as a cake sponge. Sin, which has so penetrated our being, is very despicable in God's sight.
A second reason why sincerity with religious beliefs won't do the work for our salvation is because the sincere person ignorantly misses the truth that the sincerity of working his way to Heaven is boasting in God's sight. God has made it clear that salvation is His work and not ours. The Bible is very straight in its declaration that we cannot earn salvation for ourselves. Only God can give that to us. Jesus, in John 14:6, said that He is the only way to the Father. Acts 4:12 declares that there is no other name under Heaven that can save but Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that salvation is a gift we receive through faith and not through good works which may lead to boasting. And so, by demanding that God looks at our sincerity as His basis for giving us eternal life, we are actually telling God that it should be our way and not His that should matter, and that is boasting! This is pride and James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud but to the humble He gives grace. If we show God an understanding that there is no way we can save ourselves from the punishment of our sins and that He alone can grant salvation to us, the flood-gates of God's grace is opened to us.
It is out of the graciousness of God that salvation was made available. The divine standards of God makes it impossible for us to earn salvation for ourselves. And so, God, in His love and mercy, sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that the payment for sin, death (Romans 6:23), is made. We only need to come to Him in humble repentance and faith to receive the salvation He offers to every one who has sinned against Him.
This is salvation. This is grace.
Dennis Aglosolos, the Director of Living Waters - Asia, will be answering questions.