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Is This All Life Is? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Dubois   
Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:44

Is This All Life Is? (written by Eric Dubois)

 Have you ever wondered what life is all about? Have you ever strived for happiness and fulfillment, and found such a state elusive? Have you ever longed for something, and after getting it, found satisfaction and contentment elusive? Have you found that one thing that you desperately wanted to eventually become old and mundane after you had gained it? Have you tried a variety of relationships and found them to empty or painful, failing to fulfill your heart’s desires? Have you tried a variety of activities and found them to be empty? Have you ever despaired because life and all its enticements are just not satisfying? Are you just going through the motions? Are you lacking a purpose to pursue anything?
 Perhaps you have sought an activity or hobby for satisfaction. Perhaps you have sought to acquire a particular skill or ability for satisfaction. Have you found participating in karate, gymnastics, golf, ballet, ballroom dancing, yoga, fishing, or competitive athletics to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found acquiring skills in athletics, music, dancing, or painting to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found acquiring skills in athletics, music, dancing, or painting to give you peace and contentment? Have you found devoting your life to activities or acquiring skills to give your life meaning and purpose?
 Perhaps you have sought after accumulating possessions for satisfaction. Perhaps you have pursued collecting things for satisfaction. Have you found a nice home, a new car, an updated room, or a piece of furniture to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a collection of baseball cards, dolls, candles, pictures, jewelry, toys, stamps, coins, Christmas ornaments, DVD’s, or guns to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found shopping at the mall to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found searching through sales flyers to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found buying something new everytime you got tired of what you already have to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found devoting your life to the accumulation of things to give you peace and contentment? Have you found devoting your life to the accumulation of things to give your life meaning and purpose?
Perhaps you have sought after partying for satisfaction. Have you found getting drunk to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found marijuana to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found going to bars and dance clubs to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found just looking for a good time to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found devoting your time to getting drunk and wasted at parties to give you peace and contentment? Have you found devoting your time to getting drunk and wasted at parties to give your life meaning and purpose?
Perhaps you have sought after entertainment for satisfaction. Perhaps you have sought after fantasy for satisfaction. Have you found a TV show or a movie to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found keeping up with the lives of celebrities to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found watching and following a sports team to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have your found following rock groups and attending rock concerts to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found watching a television screen to give your life meaning and purpose? Have you found attending an event (rock concert, sporting event, broadway production, ballet) to give your life meaning and purpose? Have you found devoting hours of your life to something that is fantasy and not real (TV show or a movie) to give you peace and contentment? Have you found devoting hours of your life to something that is fantasy and not real (TV show or a movie) to give your life meaning and purpose?
Perhaps you have sought after physical fitness or a desirable appearance for satisfaction. Have you found an improved physique to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a beautiful make-over to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a new wardrobe to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found artificial bodily enhancements to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found devoting your life to improved physical appearance and beauty to give you peace and contentment? Have you found devoting your life to improved physical appearance and beauty to give your life meaning and purpose?
Perhaps you have sought after a position of privilege or status for satisfaction. Have you found acquiring an employment position in a particular career to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found being in a position of importance, or prominence, (board of directors, upper-level management, city councilman, state government, class president, valedictorian) to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found being a member of a cool social group (college fraternity, college sorority, high school athlete, high school cheerleader, informal social club) to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found devoting your life to a particular career, a position of prominence, or inclusion in an elite social club to give you peace and contentment? Have you found devoting your life to a particular career, a position of prominence, or inclusion in an elite social club to give your life meaning and purpose?
Perhaps you have sought after a variety of personal relationships for satisfaction. Have you found a friendship to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a particular boyfriend or girlfriend to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a spouse to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a child to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a pet to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found membership in some social club to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found a friendship with someone who was cool, and would make you look good, to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found being a part of the cool crowd to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found having a relationship with someone you worship, like a celebrity or professional athlete, to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found devoting your life to any of these relationships to give your life meaning and purpose? Have you found being in that relationship you longed for and dreamed of to satisfy the longings of your heart? Have you found being in that relationship you longed for and dreamed of to bring you peace and contentment?
We are inherently restless and find satisfaction elusive. Even when we finally get what we longed for, do we really find the longings of our heart satisfied with it? Do we even become tired of that which we longed for, and after having received it, start longing for something else that is new and exciting? Is there something missing for you? Is a state of contentment elusive? Does life, and everything that people strive after in this life, ultimately fail to satisfy? Are you merely going through the motions, living without meaning and purpose? We are inherently unsatisfied because there is more than this.
There is more to human life than all the things brought up here that people long after. We need a joy, peace, contentment, and meaning not found in ourselves, others, things, activities, or positions. We need something outside of us to satisfy us. God has created and ordered our lives (our sex, our location of birth, our time in world history, our parents, our race, our skin color, etc.) for the purpose that we seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:24-28). In doing so God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We inherently long for more than this life has to offer. God has made His reality known to us by displaying the glory of His creation (Romans 1:18-20). Jesus came to give us abundant life, not destructive and unsatisfying life under the influence of Satan (John 10:10, 1 John 5:19). This life that Jesus offers is one where our thirsts will be satisfied (John 7:37-39), not a life filled with unsatisfied longings. Jesus, by the power of His Spirit, can give us peace and joy we cannot muster up or create in ourselves (Galatians 5:22-24). Read What Is A Christian? and Who Is God? and How Can I Be Set Free? for the solution to our plight as unsatisfied creatures.
(Note: The author, having recognized life’s purpose is to seek God and find Him, turned to God for salvation from the power of sin. God has revealed to him many of the ultimately unsatisfying things that humans devote themselves to over the past ten years he has been a Christian. The author will continually be in need of reminder that many things that are truly pleasurable, having been created by God for our enjoyment, do not provide ultimate satisfaction. Some of the things presented here that humans devote themselves to (ie, drunkenness, drug use, pride through prominence, etc.) are clearly opposed to God’s desire for us. Other things presented here such as having children, having friendships, having a spouse, and exercise are legitimate pleasures God has created for us to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).  However, these things cannot replace God or satisfy apart from relationship with God Himself.)

 

 

 
What Is Wrong With Us? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Dubois   
Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:31

What Is Wrong With Us? (written by Eric Dubois)

Have you ever thought about how messed up we humans are? Have you ever wondered why we are so corrupt? Have you ever asked “what is wrong with me?”
Perhaps you have noticed how our corrupt nature manifests itself in hatred towards others. Are there people you truly hate? Are there people you wish harm? Maybe you have noticed a personal inability to forgive others. Why is it so hard for us to forgive? Why are we eaten by bitterness and misery because of what other people have done? Why is it so hard to simply love those people? Why is it so easy to say all sorts of bad things about such people? Why do we desire to speak all sorts of mean things about people?
 Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination to blow up in anger. Why are we so easily able as humans to explode into anger? Is it possible for you to snap? How easily are you able to lose control? How easy is it for us to say hurtful things to other people that painfully complicate our lives?
 Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination within yourself to deceive and not tell the truth. Maybe you make up things about yourself to impress others. Maybe you conceal things about yourself so others will not think badly of you. Why is this? Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination to cheat or steal without getting caught. Why are we so inclined towards deception and fraud?
 Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination to think of yourself as more important and better than other people. Perhaps you look down on others because you think you are so good, so much better than other people. Why are we so concerned about competing and being better than others rather than doing good to others?
 Perhaps, instead of feeling superior to others, you have a personal inclination to be envious and jealous of others. What is it that is so upsetting about others having things we do not have? Why is it that we might wish to be someone else, wish to have something else, or wish to do something else? Why is it that we become so hateful of others because we are jealous of them?
 Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination to be controlled by what other people think of you. Why are we able to live in such fear of what other people think of us? Why are we so desperate to fit in? Why is it that we can strive to maintain a certain social status? Why are we more concerned about other people’s perceptions of us rather than who we really are? Perhaps this fear of what others think manifests itself in being afraid of having certain associations or friendships simply because of what others will think. Why are we so easily controlled by what others think? Why are we so controlled by fitting into the mold of what is cool or proper in our society? Why do we feel so ashamed of ourselves because of what certain or groups, or types, of people might think? Why are we afraid to do what we think is right or make the choices we desire simply because of what others will think of us?
 Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination towards selfishness that results in great difficulty in getting along with other people. Why is it that we are so inclined to think about ourselves? Why is it that we have such a hard time with relationships with others because our selfishness gets in the way? Why is it that we cannot have close relationships with others because our selfishness gets in the way?
 Perhaps you have noticed a personal inclination to  be controlled and mastered by certain activities such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, pornography, eating, or spending. Why is it that we cannot just stop? Why are we so powerless to make a simple choice to stop doing a particular behavior? Why are we unable to rule over destructive behaviors?
 Why are we humans such messed up creatures? Why are we so easily able to be controlled by things and substances? Why are we so easily controlled by what others think of us? Why are we so easily able to lose control in anger? Why are we so easily able to be hateful of others and jealous of others? Why are we so easily able to long for recognition that we are better than others? Have you noticed any of these characteristics to be true of yourself? Have you ever tried to change any of these undesirable characteristics in yourself and found it impossible to eliminate them? Have to seen a need for change within you? Have you seen a need for freedom from such outward behavior and internal longings that you cannot generate yourself?
 We inherently know that there is something wrong within us because of our God-given conscience (Romans 2:14-16). The Bible testifies that every human heart is corrupt (Jeremiah 17:9) and in need of change (John 3:3-8). The Bible testifies that we are a lost people (Luke 19:10). The Bible testifies that we cannot do the right things that we want to do (Romans 7:15-20), demonstrating our need for Jesus to save us from sin’s power in our hearts (Romans 6:5-8, 7:21-25). The Bible testifies that we are corrupt because we are enslaved to sin (Romans 6:5-8). Because we are enslaved, we need to be set free from sin’s power in our hearts (John 8:31-36). Freedom is found in being born again (John 3:3-8), through Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6). In being born again, God makes us new by coming inside of us to change who we are (Galatians 2:20). Read How Can I Be Set Free? to find our how to be born again.  Read What Is A Christian? for further clarification on being made new and being set free by God.
(Note: The author, having been enlightened to his corrupt nature by God, turned to God for salvation from the power of sin. God has supernaturally changed him internally so that he is not what he once was. God will continue to change him and deliver him from the power of sin as long as he lives. The author will continually be in need of God’s transformation power as long as he lives.)
 
 


 

 
Who Is God? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Dubois   
Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:29
Who Is God? (written by Eric Dubois)
 There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) existing eternally (Psalm 90:2; Revelation 1:8) in three persons. These three persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That Jesus is God is seen in John chapter one. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:1-3). The Word was Jesus. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). That the Holy Spirit is God is seen in the fact that lying to the Holy Spirit is equivalent to lying to God. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God (Acts 5:3-4)." This is why Christians, upon conversion, are baptized in the name of all three persons. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20)." God is the Creator and origin of everything that exists (Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:11). God, being the Creator, is not to be questioned and criticized by His creatures (Romans 9:20). Rather, God is to be feared (Proverbs 9:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) and loved (Mark 12:28-30) by His creatures. God is wise with knowledge way beyond that of His creatures, His ways being high above ours (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33-36). God is active in the affairs of His creation. God controls areas such as death (1 Samuel 2:6), wars (For example, in Isaiah 37:33-36 God came to the aid of Israel so that they would not be conquered by Assyria. See aslo Job 12:23; Isaiah 40:15-17, 22-23), weather (Job 9:5-10), and human success (1 Samuel 2:7; Daniel 2:20-21). God has determined the times, boundaries, and dwellings of every single nation and person before they ever came to be, for the purpose of everyone seeking Him (Acts 17:24-27). God desires that every person be saved from the wrath to come (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9), having made this possible by sending the Son, Jesus, to pay the punishment for the sins of the world (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Isaiah 53:3-6. Isaiah 53 is a prophecy of the death and misery of Christ suffered at the cross). This is because God is loving in His very nature (1 John 4:16). God is jealous, desiring that His creatures be faithful to Him (Deuteronomy 6:13-15). God is not jealous in the sense of wishing He had what others have. God is jealous like that of a husband who desires that his wife be faithful to him. God is not constrained by anything outside Himself, having free will to do what He thinks is best (Psalm 115:3). God controls even the most seemingly insignificant of events (Matthew 10:29). God is in absolute control of the world, and His purposes for all things will come to pass (Job 42:1-2; Isaiah 46:9-11; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11). While God’s moral will is habitually violated by His creatures (for example, the Ten Commandments are often broken), God’s ultimate plans and purposes for all creation are certain to take place, and have been taking place throughout all of human history. This does not mean that God is never grieved by human evil (Genesis 6:5-6), nor does it mean that every desire of God’s comes to pass (for example, God desires the salvation of all men; see 1 Timothy 2:3-4). God is good (Psalm 145:8-9) and holy (Deuteronomy 32:4), which means He is opposed to all evil (Psalm 5:4-5; Proverbs 8:13). Because God is good, He must punish evil. That God punishes evil demonstrates that He cares about evil committed against people. God cannot commit acts of evil (Habakkuk 1:13; James 1:13). God is compassionate and merciful, caring for the poor and needy (see Deuteronomy 15:7-11 and 24:14-15 where God’s Law demonstrated His heartfelt concern for the poor).  Because God cares about human suffering, He must punish evil. God is the judge of all humanity (Job 34:10-12; Romans 2:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31). God is both merciful and the punisher of sin, not one or the other (Exodus 34:6-7). Because God is merciful He has provided a way for guilty sinners to be saved from His judgment. God is passionate for justice (see Deuteronomy 16:18-20 where God’s Law gives evidence of His concern for justice). Because God is passionate for justice, He must punish evil. The only way God could be both merciful to sinners and justly punish their sin at the same time was to have Christ suffer as payment for the sins of those who come to God for mercy (Romans 3:23-26). God is the all-powerful and all-loving and all-wise Creator and Judge of all humanity.
 
What Is The Church? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Dubois   
Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:27

What Is The Church? (written by Eric Dubois)
 There are two main uses of the word church in the New Testament: 1) the universal church 2) the local church. The universal church is all Christians throughout the world. The universal church is everyone who has been born again, those who are children of God.  This is the church that Jesus is head of, which He has built and is currently building.  The universal church grows, or is added to, when a person is incorporated into the church through faith.  The universal church, consisting of all its individual members, has been personally purchased by Christ’s death.  The universal church consists of individuals from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.  The universal church transcends nationality, ethnicity, economic status, and region. The local church is a subset of the universal church. For example, the church at Corinth was a local church.  Those in the Corinthian church who were truly born again also were part of the universal church. Note that just because someone was part of the Corinthian church did not guarantee that they were part of the universal church. Because someone could be a part of the Corinthian church and not actually be a Christian, Paul warned the individual members of that local church to test whether or not they were actually saved.  If someone is not born again they are not a part of God’s kingdom,  and are thus not part of the universal church. If someone has not been born again, they have never been incorporated into the body of Christ, the church, because the Holy Spirit has not placed them into the church.  In this sense, someone can attend a local church and not actually be a part of the church that Christ is head of. Meeting regularly on Sundays in a particular building does not make someone a part of the church that Christ is head of. The church that Christ is head of is not a building. The church which Christ is head of is all Christians, or born again believers, throughout the world.

 

 
What Is The Bible? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christopher Dubois   
Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:21

What Is The Bible? (written by Eric Dubois)
 The Bible is the very Word of God communicated to man, His creation. In order for man to make sense of his existence, he was in need of revelation from his Creator. In order for the creature to please the Creator, the creature needs to know what the creator expects of him. The Bible is the revelation from the Creator to His creatures. This is so because the Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16. The word “inspired” can also mean God-breathed). For example, the Holy Spirit moved prophets to speak from God (2 Peter 1:20-21). Over and over again the Bible is called the Word of God. The “Word of God” can be used to refer to specific prophecies (This use of the Word of God is used over and over again in the Old Testament. For example, it is used at the beginning of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:1-5.), the Old Testament as a whole (Romans 9:6. In the Old Testament there were numerous promises to the Israelites, yet the vast majority had rejected the gospel message. Paul was arguing, that despite vast Israelite opposition to the gospel, promises made in the Old Testament had not failed.), the gospel message (Acts 6:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:13), or all writings of the Bible in general (Hebrews 4:12). Because the writings in the Bible came directly from God, through the means of men moved by the Holy Spirit, they could not have any error (This is why Jesus could say that all that was recorded in the Old Testament, that described future events, would take place: "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished [Matthew 5:18])." Here the Law is synonymous with the Old Testament Scriptures. The Law is often used in the New Testament to describe the Old Testament, or parts of the Old Testament. Jesus was certain that the Old Testament was wholly true, thus without error.). The Bible is the means by which lost people are born again, or brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:23-25). Without hearing the Word of God, the gospel message, one has no chance of being saved (Romans 10:14-17). The Bible consists of 66 different books that were composed over a period of about 1,500 years. They are written at different particular times in human history, yet they all describe the one true God and His dealings with man. As time passed new teachings were revealed to man by God. These books include various literary genres such as narratives, letters, songs, wisdom, apocalypse, and law. The Word of God judges men, for men do not judge the Scriptures (Hebrews 4:12; Romans 9:20). The wise man will tremble at the Word of God (Isaiah 66:2). There is disagreement in interpretation of the Bible for two reasons: 1) some things are hard to understand 2) some things are twisted by unstable and untaught people (See 2 Peter 3:14-18. One could also add people disagree because some do not like what the Bible says so they try to twist its meanings.). While some things in the Bible are hard to understand, the central message, teachings, and principles are clear to be understood. That the Bible makes commands upon one’s behavior (Ezekiel 18:30-32), commands people to believe a particular message (Mark 1:14-15), gives promises (Revelation 22:6-7), gives warnings (Mark 8:34-38), and that people grow in the knowledge of the Bible (Colossians 1:9-12), presupposes that the Bible is able to be understood. Even the things hard to understand, are not impossible to be understood. That one has eternal life can certainly be known (1 John 5:13), because the teaching of the Bible on eternal life is clearly able to be understood.


 

 
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