For a day I had an ad program on this page that I had hoped would help me absorb the cost of making this webpage. I logged onto my page today, only to see an ad that has twisted my stomach in knots! I have ended my affiliation with that ad program and will find a less objectionable way to pay for this site. My sincerest apologies to anyone who saw an ad that sickened you as much as this one sickened me! Please be assured, Smart Christian would NEVER approve of abortion!
Our culture is doing everything it can to make the word sin obsolete, and some days it seems like they have succeeded. Even many Christians use Matthew 7:1 as an excuse not to mention sin at all. While they may have made the word obsolete, they can do nothing to the concept.
There are natural consequences for sin, even if they don’t believe in God, we should be willing and able to point out the natural consequences all the sins, sexual sin is the most pervasive and common sins today. A short tryst can ruin lives, in many different ways, including by disease, long before the AIDS crisis, there were Hepatitis B, and C, Syphilis (which can lead to serious damage to the brain and the nervous system; mental deterioration; loss of balance, vision, and sensation; leg pain; and heart disease, and other issues), other side effects of sexual sins are the break down of the family which leads to a host of possible negative effects to the children who lose at least partial contact with a beloved parent, cases where spouses have snapped and murdered both their cheating spouse and the person they cheated with. I could go on and on about the horrors that we bring into this world when we sin against God’s word.
When we choose to ignore sin, or even worse applaud the sins that have trapped people in its clutches, we may save their hurt feelings for a while, but we unleash a multitude of other hurts that are killing society by refusing to call sin what it is! While the word sin may be out of fashion, it’s effects are just as tragic as ever! Keeping our mouths shut about it doesn’t help a bit!
Believers in Jesus Christ “have more evidence than they need” to intellectually defend the claims of Christianity, says noted apologist and Liberty University professor Gary Habermas. Habermas, a New Testament scholar who chairs Liberty’s Department of Philosophy, noted in a recent interview that he believes Christians “often crawl into a cubby hole and are embarrassed of being called out” or told that they “don’t have any evidence.”“But there’s an incredible amount of evidence for Christianity
John 5:39-40 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.
I have read and heard read this verse so many times, I thought that I understood it, but I made a drastic error in my interpretation. You see when I hear the word scriptures, I think of the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, but not what the people who first heard Jesus thought. You see when this verse was first spoken by Jesus, he had not yet been crucified, the New Testament had not yet been written. So the term scriptures could not mean the New Testament, he was only referring to the Old.
Now read my paraphrase of the passage
You pore over the Old Testament because you think you have eternal life in them, yet it testifies of Jesus. And you are not willing to come to Jesus so that you may have life.
He is telling us that we can find Jesus all over the Old Testament if we know to look for him. It isn’t just about judgment and the angry Father like many people think it is. It is also about salvation and Jesus.
I knew that the Old Testament was more than many think that it is, but only in a way that you know a recipe before you have actually made the dessert on the card. I saw the words, could put them together, but I had not yet seen, smelled or tasted the dessert that the card described. Once you have put it in your mouth, and tasted it, you know that you will never look at that recipe card the same way again. Just like my next reading of the Old Testament will be more beautiful, with a newfound understanding and appreciation.
If you want to know more about Jesus in the Old Testament please consider reading
Finding Jesus in the Old Testament by David Limbaugh
If you purchase it via the link above a small percentage will go to help absorb some of the cost of making this page.
Matthew 2:1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Who are these Magi, and where did they come from, and how did they know that the star would lead to? Some have said that they were astrologers, that is possible, but I think that there is a more likely explaination.
The Wise Men that came to worship Jesus, were from the East. The nearest land to the East was the Babylon Empire, which at one point Isreal was part of. When we read about Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego we are reading about events that took place in Babylon.
When Daniel survived in the Lion’s den, King Darius was so grateful that he said
“Daniel 6:26-27 (KJV)
26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in Earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”
So to at least some extent, Babylon knew about Isreal and the Jewish religion and would have access to the history of the Jewish people, not only because they once occupied them, but because they were close enough to have contact with each other. . This would include many of the Prophecies made about the coming Messiah.
One of those prophecies was made by the reluctant prophet Balaam (The guy with the talking Donkey)
In Numbers 24:17 Balaam says “I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel”
A sceptre is a symbol of Kingship, and a star in the land of Jacob is connected with that king.
One of Daniel’s prophecies particularly sticks out as a foretelling of the coming of Christ
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
This was understood to mean in seventy weeks of years (490 years) it would be time to anoint the most Holy. Which gave the Babylonians a time frame for this to happen.
Since the Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego had such a big impact on Babyalon, it would only be natural for them to record those events, and thus the Wise Men would have had access to those records
While Babylon did participate in astrology, it’s study of the stars, also led them to lay the groundwork for modern day astronomy. If they had studied the work of Daniel, and then heard of a strange star in the sky durring the time of the prophecy, I am sure they would want to check it out, and since wise men were typically under the employment of the government, it would have been an obligation of the royal house to give a gift to any new born king to help secure peace, thus explaining how the Wise men had such expensive gifts on hand.
We should also consider the fact that not long after the Wise Men had given their gifts to Jesus, Joseph was told to take his family to Egypt to live. Trips like that cost a lot of money. If those Wise Men had not come, I doubt a carpenter would have been able to afford that kind of trip, so I believe that God sent the Wise Men to give the money to Joseph that he was soon going to need.
If you would like to support Smart Christian, and do more research into this subject. Please consider buying these books from Amazon.com via the links below.
Finding Jesus in the Old Testament , by David Limbaugh
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
The Moody Bible Commentary
And a wikipedia link talking about the origins of Astronomy in Babylon