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1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

“Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:

“Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”

“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

                                                                                       ~ Psalm 2

Food for Thought

The above passage is from the Tanach – the Holy Scriptures of the Jewish Bible.  It speaks of God’s “begotten Son.”  Compare this with the following…

     

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

(John 3:16-18 – New Covenant)

And that name is Yeshua ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah).  May these words bless you and encourage you.  Amen.

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People have many different ways in which they view the world.  There’s a wide diversity of thoughts on this matter ranging from the extremely liberal to the ultra-conservative.  Have you ever sat down and actually mapped out where you fit on this vast worldview spectrum?  Have you ever wondered, “Does it really matter?”

In this article, we’ll examine what exactly constitutes a worldview, some of the contrasting points of view regarding this, and what that means to us personally in the grand scheme of things.  This should help us to pinpoint where we stand in our individual worldview beliefs.

Let’s start by defining worldview.  Simply put, it is how we see the world.  However, a deeper explanation would be “the core beliefs in every individual that steer their thoughts and responses about any given matter.”  For instance, why do some people believe that abortion is okay when other people believe that it’s not?  It’s because of their deeply ingrained beliefs about human life, what it really is, when it begins, and a whole myriad of other variables thrown in that make up the sum total of their beliefs on this matter.

Another good example would be why some people believe that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality while others believe it’s a sin.  Once again, this is because each side has a different core belief about human life, its origins, its purpose, and a great deal of other reasons behind their final conclusion into this matter.

Even people who have similar religious beliefs can have diverse points of view on the worldview spectrum.  These diversities all boil down to how they interpret their particular religious writings.  This is where the different denominations and sects originate within the various religions.

So with all the differing cultural, religious, and ethical backgrounds that form the various worldviews that exist today, who’s to say which is right or wrong?  What standard should be used to measure this?

It is this writer’s belief that the only standard that should be used is that of the One who created the world and everything in it – and that One is none other than God.  It only makes sense that if someone makes something, then they would be the best authority on its care.  For example, if you make an article of clothing, then you are the person to ask about how to best care for that clothing.   It would be ridiculous to ask the clothing for instructions on caring for itself.

Likewise, God knows what’s best for us and everything else He created.  And He also knows how He intended things to be in the beginning before everything got corrupted by a cunning and crafty being known as Satan, the devil.  The Bible says that he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)  And he devours people mainly by the lies that he sets up in their minds; lies such as, there is no God… there is no Heaven or Hell… there’s no such thing as a devil… and many other false beliefs that he’s succeeded in perpetuating throughout society.  (Read more about this master deceiver here.)

So does it really matter what our worldview is?  If there truly is a God who created the world and everything in it – and there is – then it most definitely matters that our worldview lines up with His.  Otherwise, we have an adversarial worldview which is in line with the lies that the devil has perpetuated.  And this has grave consequences.  (Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. ~ Matthew 25:41)

Of course, there are some reading this who don’t believe in God and would beg to differ that our individual view of the world matters.  If this describes you, then once again, you may want to check out the link above to see if there’s even the slightest possibility that you are being deceived into thinking the way that you do.  Wouldn’t you want to know if you are?

Ultimately, we are all responsible for making up our own minds.  And some of us are responsible for influencing impressionable little minds who trust us to tell them the truth.  We should make sure we’re believing the right things; not only for ourselves, but also for them.  (Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6)

So what is your worldview?

Below is a flowchart from Feva Ministries that will give you a general idea of the fundamental beliefs on which your view of the world is based.  Hopefully, this will inspire you to delve into why you believe the things you do.  Did you learn your beliefs from others – or did you come up with them yourself?  If from others, are you absolutely sure they’re right?  If they’re wrong, what’s the worst thing that could happen to you?

Anyway, have fun with the flowchart, and be very blessed!

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(Click image to enlarge.)

 For an explanation of your basic worldview according to the chart above, please refer to the following:  http://www.feva.org/pdf/wv_sum.pdf.

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Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; ~ Psalm 33:18

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What a comforting thought!  God’s watchful eye sees everything that goes on in our lives.  There’s nothing that happens to us that escapes His notice.  He sees our successes and our failures.  He sees our joys and our pains.  He sees the times when we are sad, fearful, lonely, or discouraged. And He sees when others seek to do us harm.

This is a hard concept for some people to grasp, though.  For example, atheists believe, among other things, that there could not possibly be a God because if there was, He would stop all the horrible evils that occur in the world.  If there was a God, there would be no sickness and disease.  If there was a God, there would be peace on earth.

Then there are deists who believe that there is a God who created everything on earth but after He finished, He just left us here and went to another part of the universe, never to intercede in the affairs of humans again.  This belief is also based on a similar premise as the one above in that God can’t possibly be around to see what’s going on down here because if He was, He would not allow all the evils there are in the world.

God Himself addresses this in Jeremiah 23:23-24 by asking, Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?  Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.”

These are rhetorical questions, of course.  God is very much “at hand” and not far off.  (Acts 17:27)  No matter where we go on the earth, under the earth, or anywhere in the universe, God sees us.  (Psalm 139:8)  He fills all heaven and earth with His glory.  (Isaiah 6:3)  And Hebrews 4:13 tells us, “There there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

However, just because He sees what’s going on down here doesn’t mean He chooses to arrest every single horrible act that occurs on earth.  For whatever reason, He delays deliverance and judgment until He sees fit to move.  We don’t understand this because we’re mere humans and He’s an omnipotent God.  He says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'”  So we can only surmise the reasons behind Him not intervening in every horrible act that occurs.

One reason could be that God is not a tyrant.  He doesn’t force people to follow Him, or even believe in Him.  He could’ve stopped Adam and Eve from eating of the “forbidden fruit,” but He gave them the freedom to choose to do right.  They chose otherwise.  He could’ve stopped all the evils that happened in the days before Noah’s flood, but He gave them the freedom to choose to do right.  They chose otherwise.  And He could stop all the evils that are going on in our world today, but once again, He gives us the freedom to choose to do right.  Most people today are choosing to do otherwise.

God desires for all His creation to do what’s right, but He doesn’t force us to do anything.  Some religions force people to follow their “god” – even to the point of threatening death.  However, the one true God does not require His followers to force others to follow Him.  He wants people’s genuine loyalty to Him by making up their own minds to worship and submit to Him.  He knows what’s best for us and how we should live.  And when we choose to follow His mandates as listed in His word, the Bible, we will reap the benefits for all eternity.

God does, however, intervene miraculously at times, and there can be no denying that it was Him who did it.  He sometimes bends the laws of physics to do so.  The following is my personal testimony of where the life of one of my sons was spared, and there is no plausible explanation other than it was by divine intervention.  My story:

When my youngest son was a baby, about a year and a half old, he had wandered into the path of a girl who was on a swing.  She was swinging very high and with great momentum.  My son “toddled” directly behind her swing and just stood there.  I was horrified because I knew the swing was going to hit him and neither my husband nor I would’ve been able to get there in time to rescue him.  Just as he was about to get knocked to “kingdom come,” the swing veered to the left of him.  It’s like the swing’s trajectory shifted at the last second.  Then as the girl swung forward and upward again, the trajectory shifted back to pointing straight ahead (as opposed to diagonally) after it passed him.  This happened twice before my husband was able to reach our son and swoop him up to safety.  It was like an invisible force field was around him that kept him from being hit.  I shudder to think what could’ve been if God – or one of His holy angels – had not protected him that day!

There are numerous examples of God choosing to step in and rescue people at the last minute – not only in the Bible but in today’s news, as well.  But there are probably many more where, even though He sees what’s going on, He chooses not to act.  We’ll probably never know why on this side of eternity.

And just as He saw when Adam and Eve were about to eat of the forbidden fruit, He sees when evil people are about to do atrocious acts.  He also sees when we decide to go our own way apart from His biblical mandates.  He gave us guidelines to live by that He knows are in our best interest.  Whether we choose to follow them or not is entirely up to us and if we don’t, we will suffer the consequences.

I’ll end with a word of encouragement coupled with a somber warning from 1.Peter 3:15, which says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 

May we all find favor in the eyes of the Lord.  Amen.

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* If any reading this have personal examples of where God miraculously stepped in and intervened in a situation, I’d love to hear about it.  I’m sure others would, too.  Feel free to comment below.

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I posted a link to this video in a reply I wrote to an atheist’s comment on my latest “Something to Think About” article.  It’s such a cool video that I wanted to share it with everyone who may not have read the comment.  I really don’t know how anyone could not at least question their belief in evolution after watching this? 

Comments are welcome!  Enjoy!

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A single moment of understanding can flood a whole life with meaning.

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Have you ever heard the story of The Ugly Duckling?  It’s about a little “duckling” who was hatched in a farmyard along with other ducklings.  However, he was quite different than the rest and was horribly picked on and ostracized.  He eventually ran away and suffered months and months of very heartbreaking rejection everywhere he went.  He finally came across a flock of swans and much to his amazement – they accepted him!  While swimming with these lovely birds, he looked at this own reflection in the water and discovered that he looked just like them!  He had grown into a beautiful swan!  He was NEVER a duck, as he had believed for so long!

Some people believe that they, as humans, are nothing more than the result of a cosmic accident that happened billions of years ago; that our origins began in some primordial “soup” in which our distant ancestors just happened to sprout legs and crawl out of; and that there is absolutely no reason for our existence.  This belief is called “evolution” and it has caused a lot of confusion throughout the years.  It also makes our lives totally devoid of purpose.

How many of us have let this belief supersede our innate understanding that life could not possibly have come about by accident?  The complexity of every system in our bodies gives credence to this truth – especially since we now have the technology to peer into the very essence of a simple cell… which we now know is not simple at all. This technology was not available when these crude evolutionary theories came about.

It’s interesting that Charles Darwin, who is known as the father of evolution, always referred to evolution as a “theory.”  He never claimed it as fact, as some are doing today.  He even laid down a criterion for testing it in which he stated:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.” (The Origin of Species)

Darwin wrote this in 1859 – over 150 years before the scientific advancements of today.  Hence, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to continue believing this way today.  We know better.  Even many scientists have denounced this theory.  But some choose to stubbornly ignore the facts. (Romans 1:19-22)

Just as the ugly duckling realized that he was not a duck at all but a beautiful swan, we need to realize that we are not just an accidental “thing” that crawled out of the slime billions of years ago.  We are human beings made in Gods image, whom He created for a purpose.  We just have to find out what that purpose is.  And God is the only one who can reveal it to us.  All we need to do is ask.  (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Just something to think about…

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What would be a good way to describe the relationship between Christians and atheists?  Well, right away the words “contrary” and “awkward” come to mind.   But an even better description would conjure up the image of two animals – let’s say a sheep and a goat – butting heads with each other.  The views of Christians and atheists are so diametrically opposed that they inevitably produce conflict between the two.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a person who claimed to be an atheist and he actually ended our conversation with the words, “I’m a devout atheist and I’m very happy.”  Admittedly, I was a little taken aback (I’d never heard that one before) and simply replied, “Really?  Okaaay.”  So, I went about my business.  Of course, I prayed for him afterwards.  (That’s what Christians do.)

From my experiences with atheists, and from what I’ve seen in the media, it seems that most have a strong aversion to Christians – more so than to other religious groups.  Why is that?

Most atheists will probably tell you that it’s because Christians are very pushy and they make people feel bad by telling them that they’re going to hell if they don’t believe like them.  Well, I believe this is a misconception about Christians – or at least the great majority of them.  Most people who call themselves Christians do not ever tell others about their faith.  They are perfectly happy with keeping their beliefs to themselves.  It makes you wonder, “If they really believe what Christianity teaches, wouldn’t they want to share it with others?”

Famed magician and atheist, Penn Jillette, actually approves of Christians sharing their faith and summed it up perfectly by saying, “If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and you believe that people could be going to hell – or not getting eternal life – or whatever…  How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize?  How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?  I mean, if I believed without a shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming to hit you, and you didn’t believe it – and that truck was bearing down on you – there’s a certain point where I tackle you.  And this is more important than that.”  This says a lot coming from an atheist!

But I submit that the main reason why atheists don’t like dealing with Christians is because deep down inside they know there is a God.  And Christians remind them of this truth which is imbedded into their very being – a truth which they are trying to run away from for one reason or another.

Perhaps they feel disappointed by God because of something that happened in their past and they are lashing out at Him by trying to claim His non-existence, because if He really existed (they reason), He would never have let “this” or “that” happen.  Or perhaps they feel that a belief in God would mean they would no longer be able to continue in the “no holds barred” lifestyle they’re accustomed to.  They know that if there’s a God, then they would be accountable to Him and would have feelings of guilt whenever they committed what the Bible calls sin – and they don’t want to have to deal with that.  Another reason could be that some atheists have a huge problem with authority and don’t want anyone, not even God, telling them what to do.

The Bible says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” (Psalm 53:1)  The word “fool” is defined in the dictionary as “a person lacking in judgment or prudence.”  To judge something is “to form an opinion about it through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.”  And prudence means “to discipline oneself by the use of reason.”  If these attributes were strong in the minds of atheists, then they would know that it’s neither logical nor reasonable for them to believe the way they do.  They have not formed an opinion about what they believe through the careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.  There is no evidence that can be weighed that proves “everything came from nothing.”  And if you test the premise of that statement, it can be proven to be false.  If one ignores these facts, that’s bad judgment – and very bad science.   So, the laws of science support the fact that everything in the universe had to have originated from something else – or rather Someone else.  And that Someone is God.

God is the Creator of everything we see around us.  (Genesis 1:1)  And He didn’t just create us and go away, leaving us to fend for ourselves, as deists believe.  He is very active in the lives of all His creation – especially His human creation.  He’s a very hands-on God who deals with us individually and collectively.  And He’s also given us a very special book called the Bible.  It’s an instruction manual, if you will, that tells us all about Him, the people He’s interacted with in the past, and how to get through this life He gave us.  In this book, God tells us how to live – and how to die.  He even tells us what happens when we die.

Atheists believe that when they die, they cease to exist and just go into a state of “nothingness” with no cognitive awareness of anything.   But the Bible states otherwise.  It tells us that when we die, we either go to heaven to be with the God who created us (2 Corinthians 5:8) or down to hell to eventually be thrown into the lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:11-15And we will be cognitively aware of everything that’s happening to us. (Revelation 6:9-11Luke 16:22-24)

I guess you could call me one of those proselytizing Christians that Penn Jillette spoke about.  Another name for this would be “evangelical” and I’m not ashamed of that.  I am more gentle than some, though.  We all have different ways of going about telling others about the good news (gospel) of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.  But we all have one thing in common.  We don’t want to see anyone die and enter eternity without Christ having covered their sins by the blood He shed on the cross.  (See “What is the meaning of the blood of Christ?”)

My intention is not to offend atheists – or anyone else for that matter –  but to share this message that I believe with all my heart.  And I want to share the peace and security I have in knowing that when I die, I will be with God forever.   I will not go into a state of nothingness and cease to exist – which would make this life totally meaningless.  And I will not have to face eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

May the Lord bless and give peace to anyone who is not sure of where they will end up after they die.  May He reveal Himself to them in a big way.  That is my prayer.  In Christ’s Name, Amen.

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