Resurrection is a visually stunning depiction of the death and resurrection of Christ. This video is a wonderful way to open your Easter Service, Sunrise Service, or a sermon about the power and hope found in Jesus resurrection.
We can never fully comprehend Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, but at least we don’t have to misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and man in one Person, coming face to face with sin. We cannot learn about Gethsemane through personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary represent something totally unique— they are the gateway into life for us.
It was not death on the cross that Jesus agonized over in Gethsemane. In fact, He stated very emphatically that He came with the purpose of dying. His concern here was that He might not get through this struggle as the Son of Man. He was confident of getting through it as the Son of God— Satan could not touch Him there. But Satan’s assault was that our Lord would come through for us on His own solely as the Son of Man. If Jesus had done that, He could not have been our Savior (see Hebrews 9:11-15). Read the record of His agony in Gethsemane in light of His earlier wilderness temptation— “…the devil…departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). In Gethsemane, Satan came back and was overthrown again. Satan’s final assault against our Lord as the Son of Man was in Gethsemane.
The agony in Gethsemane was the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Savior of the world. The veil is pulled back here to reveal all that it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony was the basis for the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Because of what the Son of Man went through, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God.
by Oswald Chambers
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
Many of the strong condemnations in the Bible are directed toward professing Christians who dare to distort the words of God. The Lord Jesus gave His harshest criticism to the religious leaders of His day, and multiple passages throughout Scripture speak severe warnings to prophets and professionals alike.
Most of the mainline denominations have long abandoned any pretense of supporting the inerrancy of Scripture, instead substituting dogma, theology, philosophy, science, and the “tradition of men” for the words of God (Colossians 2:8). Academic liberalism and political pragmatism have poured from those pulpits and seminaries for over a century. Perhaps there are a few “even in Sardis” (Revelation 3:4) who remain faithful among them, but for the main part the product of generations of false teaching has grown a “Christianity” that has little semblance to the reverence for biblical holiness that once dominated our country.
It is recently, however, among the evangelicals that I find the tide turning dangerously away from God.
There will always be fringe movements that attempt to set themselves apart from the mainstream with new social attractions that will enhance a popular movement or leader. Recently the news media was agog over a well-known female church leader from a conservative Bible megachurch who has formed “Women, Wine & Jesus,” a new women’s Bible study in wineries where they can have “real dialogue about our struggles with faith, Jesus, and our lives.”1 Interesting, but not much different from the various facets of “making Jesus relevant” to the ungodly that are prevalent in many churches today.
While those efforts (some more successful than others) do not alarm me like the growing boldness of those evangelical voices that are in rebellion toward the opening chapters of Genesis. Here, at the bedrock of God’s revelation of Himself, His work, and His character, well-funded and well-known organizations are openly defying the clear teachings of Scripture, siding with atheistic naturalism and insisting that the words of the text must be interpreted to fit the teachings of men—embracing destructive heresies.
“I am the LORD, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another.” (Isaiah 42:8)
I fear for those who dare to denigrate the character of God—and that is exactly what is being done when scholars insist that creation must be by some form of evolution! No scheme about creation could be more insulting to the thrice-holy omnipotent and omniscient Being revealed in the Bible than the eons-long random interplay and purposeless development by natural forces that make up the foundational platform of evolution.
The blind interplay of natural forces flies against the very idea of the Person of the Holy Spirit “hovering” over the “face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Multiple messages throughout Scripture insist that our Lord Jesus was the Speaker who uttered the first recorded command: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Insisting that billions of unprovable ages were necessary to form stars and galaxies defies the biblical passages that insist these magnificent lights were formed by God’s spoken word.
Unimaginable ages of reasonless, violent death of countless billions of life forms violate the core of God’s character. He who is life insisted that death was a curse on the creation. That death weighs on the “whole creation” (Romans 8:22), which groans under the pains and travail of this “enemy” that will one day be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26).
No—nothing of the evolutionary scheme fits the character of the Creator. It is a destructive heresy. And those who dare to smear the glory of God with the filth and grime of this godless story will one day stand before the One they denigrate. That defiance is so awful that I can only mimic what the archangel Michael said to the devil: “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9).
“I am the LORD, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me….
[T]here is none besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:5-6)
It is noteworthy to me that the phrase “I am the LORD” appears over 180 times in the Old Testament. Each instance insists in some way that it is the heart of foolishness to set oneself against God—either in disobedience to His commands or in defiance of His message. Those who insist on “creation by evolution” do both! On the one hand they twist and distort the revelation that God delivered to us who bear His image, and on the other they strike at the core of the Lord’s command to simply believe Him.
The beautiful gospel of John is built around seven great miracles of creation executed by the Lord Jesus during His public ministry. The first, and perhaps most easily understood, was the creation of the stunningly complex array of chemicals, fibers, and sugars (wine) from the simple H2O poured into water pots by the servants at the Cana wedding feast (John 2:1-11). Later, Jesus pleaded with His hearers: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:11).
Nothing is more basic than this. Salvation comes through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Those who deny and defy the works of God are denying and defying the words of God. They are throwing their disbelief in the teeth of the One who would save them from their disbelief. Further yet, they are undermining the faith of all whom they influence—insisting that God did not tell truth or do what He said He did. They are people
“having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:5)
After listing a litany of the sinful traits that will be prevalent in the “last days,” Paul warns Timothy that those with these traits will look like godly people but deny God’s power. Similarly, the writer to the Hebrews noted that God provided “two immutable things” (both a covenant and an oath) that make it “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Those who deny God’s words call Him a liar!
Please note: we are commanded to “turn away” from such people.
Yes, I know there are some who are led astray by others. And yes, some are either naive or ignorant of the issues—and perhaps many are led into apathy or indifference by the leaders who refuse to take a stand one way or another. And while their error may be correctable and their indifference is understandable, the results are neither neutral nor noble.
Indifference to Genesis sets the stage for selective obedience. Ignorance of the Creator taints the reverence and majesty of the Lord Jesus. Allowing evolutionary philosophy to be the default belief system for creation forces a misplaced confidence in the philosophy of science rather than the “clearly seen” evidence of the “things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20), blinding many to the truth.
But what about those “who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18)? What about those who “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God” (Romans 1:21)? What about those “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25)?
The Lord Jesus told us that “their fruits” would reveal their belief systems (Matthew 7:20) and “those things which proceed out of the mouth” (Matthew 15:18) are straight from the heart of man. Simply put, what is done and what is said give evidence enough—clear enough to conclude that those who give preference to evolutionary “science” over the Word of God love “the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
Although there are those whose naivety, apathy, or ignorance shelters them from the aggressive brashness of the growing anti-creation movement, many more are yielding to the sophisticated presentations and “scholarly” articles of organizations whose sole purpose is to persuade the evangelical church that the Bible is incorrect and that the science of men has proven the evolutionary ages to be fact.
BioLogos is a classic example. Funded by the Templeton Foundation and The Issachar Fund with hundreds of thousands of dollars, BioLogos—a group that essentially believes in creation by evolution—is sending out attractive and articulate spokespersons to churches, colleges, and seminaries around the country with the sole purpose of promoting “creation by evolution” and insisting that groups like ICR are hindering efforts to evangelize by embarrassing the Christian community with a foolish insistence on a recent creation in six literal days.
They, and others of like kind, are making serious headway among evangelicals. The old hybrid theories like the gap theory, the day-age theory, theistic evolution, and progressive creation are tolerated as well-meaning but not satisfactory. No, according to BioLogos, the Bible is just plain wrong. They maintain science has proven that the universe and Earth are billions of years old and evolutionary development by natural forces is fact. According to BioLogos, Genesis, at best, is an allegorical attempt by Moses to give God some kind of meaningful part in creation, but Adam is a myth and Genesis is mythology.
They say, “The real culprit is young-earth creationism!” More and more churches are capitulating to the websites, blogs, articles in scholarly journals, polished seminars, and educational materials designed to disprove the Genesis account and enshrine evolution. Make no mistake. The battle rages and the Enemy is marshalling his minions.
ICR speakers are often asked why we make such a big deal about the literal words of Genesis. It is because Christian colleges and seminaries are drifting away from the creation account—and the movement often begins among the Bible faculty! Academic pressures are enormous, and peer relationships drag toward the majority views. Pastors are badgered to back away from controversy by influential members with either money or intellectual status. Denominational literature and Christian publishers are under economic stress to produce that which “sells.”
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Corinthians 16:9)
ICR is in a wonderful position—perhaps stronger than it has ever been intellectually and operationally. Our science staff is outstanding. The requests for seminars and events continue to pour in. Our websites and social media outlets are growing almost more rapidly than our staff can cope with. God is blessing ICR. Our readers and supporters remain gracious and generous. But more needs to be done. The younger generations require higher-quality media and ever-more-rapid responses. Combating the opposition organizations is more intense and personal. Pray for us.
Become an advocate for these vital issues. Inform your churches about ICR. Much more needs to be done. Much more can be done. God has always chosen to work through His people. Consider investing some of the resources that God has entrusted to you to partner with ICR in this crucial mission.
Roese, J. Women, Wine & Jesus. August 26, 2014, blog posting on jackiealwaysunplugged.com.
by Henry Morris III, D.Min. who is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Henry Morris III, D.Min. 2015. Destructive Heresies. Acts & Facts. 44 (4).
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
The concluding verse of our song, “The Old Rugged Cross,” contains a commitment to follow Christ in this life and looks forward to life with Him in eternity.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
When coupled with the preceding scriptural verse, our text mirrors these thoughts: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (v. 1). In this life, we have both the victorious examples of many that have gone before (Hebrews 11), and Christ Himself. Both He and they have suffered joyfully, and so can we: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, . . . But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye” (1 Peter 4:12-14).
Once Christ fully “endured the cross,” He rose from the dead in victory over death to take His rightful place “at the right hand of the throne of God.” He now calls us to be “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). He’ll call us some day to Himself, where we shall “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross. JDM
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. —Mark 6:31
Every real Christian, however practical, is in some degree a mystic, his mysticism lying on the upper side of his life. He prays, meditates on spiritual things and communes with God and the invisible world. Also, every Christian, however he may be dedicated to the holy art of prayer and worship, must of necessity descend to work and eat and sleep and pay his taxes and get on somehow with the hard world around him. And if he follows on to know the Lord he must serve in every useful way outlined for him in the Scriptures of truth. To be a Christian it is necessary that he serve his generation as well as his God.
The big problem is to keep the two elements of the Christian life in proper balance….
Today the Christian emphasis falls heavily on the “active” life…. The favorite brand of Christianity is that sparked by the man in a hurry, hard hitting, aggressive and ready with the neat quip. We are neglecting the top side of our souls. The light in the tower burns dimly while we hurry about the grounds below, making a great racket and giving the impression of wonderful devotion to our task.
Lord, help me to keep the proper balance. Help me especially to cultivate the top side of my soul. Amen.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. Psalm 73:25
It is the nature of God to share. His mighty acts of creation and redemption were done for His good pleasure, but His pleasure extends to all created things.
One has only to look at a healthy child at play or listen to the song of a bird at sundown and he will know that God meant His universe to be a joyful one.
Those who have been spiritually enabled to love God for Himself will find a thousand fountains springing up from the rainbow-circled throne and bringing countless treasures which are to be received with reverent thanksgiving as being the overflow of God’s love for His children. Each gift is a bonus of grace which because it was not sought for itself may be enjoyed without injury to the soul. These include the simple blessings of life, such as health, a home, a family, congenial friends, food, shelter, the pure joys of nature or the more artificial pleasures of music and art.
The effort to find these treasures by direct search apart from God has been the major activity of mankind throughout the centuries; and this has been man’s burden and man’s woe!
God wills that we should love Him for Himself alone with no hidden reasons, trusting Him to be to us all our natures require. Our Lord said all this much better: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I do not mind telling you that within me I find the Easter message and the reality of the Resurrection more beautiful and glorious than the Christmas scene. Christmas tells us that Jesus was born—that He was born for the humiliation of suffering and death and atonement.
But Easter is the radiant and glory-filled celebration of Christ’s mighty triumph over the grave and death and hell!
When Easter comes, our voices are raised in the triumphant chorus:
The three sad days had quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead!
There is the real beauty! This is more than the beauty of color; more than the beauty of outline or form; more than the beauty of physical proportion.
In the living Christ is the perfection of all beauty; and because He lives, we too shall live in the presence of His beauty and the beauties of heaven forever!
Risen Lord, what a privilege it is to call You my Savior and King! That you triumphed over death is both wonderful and incomprehensible.