• ~IMPORTANT~

    Our New Year's Eve Eve Party is 12/30 from 1-4! Come our and invite a friend!

What Will You Defend? Part 3— Defending Marriage and Life (4/23/17)

We wrapped up our “What Will You Defend?” Series this past Sunday Night with the message, “Defending Marriage and Life?” We started off the night with a crazy game where teams had to spell a word that was called out using the letters that were on their feet. You can check out some of the pictures below.

After worship, we moved into the message that New Life Church’s Senior Pastor (Pastor John) tag teamed with our Youth Pastor (Pastor Dustin).

Our core verse for this three part series has been: 1 Peter 3:15NIV says, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

This verse tells us that we are to put God above all as the Lord of our lives, always be ready to give an answer for (defend) the hope we have, and to do so in gentleness and respect so others may see the hope and love of Christ in you.

We looked at questions from two different topics. Some of the questions were:

1. MARRIAGE
1. What does the Bible actually say about marriage and homosexuality?
Genesis 1:27NIV— So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 2:4— That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Romans 1:24-27—Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their
hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and
served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

We see examples from the Old AND New Testament about God’s design for marriage. The Old Testament shows us two types of laws: the ceremonial
law and the moral law. The ceremonial law was only for the Jews as God’s chosen people to set them apart, but the moral law was meant for all people
and still applies to us today. God’s design for marriage and sins associated with sexual immorality falls under the moral law that God designed for us.

2.  Is living together before marriage a sin if nothing sexual happens?
A. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22NKJV— Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. (stay away from the very appearance of evil.)
B. Living above reproach (before God and others)— Philippians 2:15; Titus; Colossians 3
-It’s not about seeing how close to sinning you can get without actually sinning.
-Ephesians 4:27— Not giving Satan a foothold. (Giving Satan even the smallest hold on an area of your life can lead to big problems and mistakes)

3.   Is divorce a sin?
A. Depends on the reason.  (Matthew 19:9NIV— I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”)
B.  Malachi 2:17— God hates divorce.

The bottom line that the students were given was: God does permit divorce in certain circumstances, but it doesn’t mean that it was his original plan. God hates divorce because it breaks the oneness and covenant of love that he created the man and wife to experience in and through him. We should fight for and do all we can to save and protect God’s definition and desire for marriage. For those who have divorced for convenience or reasons not permitted in the Bible, God certainly forgives and restores when we turn to and surrender to him.

2.     ABORTION

1. What Scripture does the church use to defend its pro-life stance?
A. Exodus 20:13— “You shall not murder…”
B. Psalm 139:14— For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
C. Jeremiah 1:5— Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…
– God’s love and plan for us begins in the womb. We are precious and loved by God even before the moment of conception.

2. Is abortion a crime?
-According to the Word of God, yes it is.

3. Is abortion allowed in the case of rape if the woman wants to have an abortion because the baby would be a constant reminder of the traumatic event?               – We personally feel that aborting (taking another life) because of someone else’s actions is wrong and should not be done. God is able to heal all wounds and    trauma when we trust in him.

4. Is abortion allowed if the mother’s or baby’s life is at risk?

-While we can certainly understand why someone would choose abortion in this case, we reminded the youth of Jesus coming to the Earth to give us life even though he knew the pain and suffering it would cause him. He did this out of his deep and endless love for us. Also, in today’s advanced culture of medicine and technology, it would be extremely rare for the mother to be in a situation that would cost her her life.

Why do we defend the biblical definition of marriage and life? The same reason we said we defend Creation and Our Faith— So others can come to know the love and freedom found only in a relationship with Christ, and the unique purpose that God has for their lives. Regardless of how strongly we may disagree with those we are talking with, we are to do so in a way that shows them that we value them, and points them towards Christ and not away from him!

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

 

 

Easter 2017

There was no youth this week due to Easter, but we did want to post the Human Video from yesterday morning. All acting, lighting, and videoing was done by students from Awakening Youth Ministries!

 

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Will You Defend? Part 2— Defending Our Faith— 4/9/17

Happy Monday Before Easter!

Last night was Week 2 of our “What Will You Defend?” Series, and the message was, “Defending Our Faith”. We looked at three main questions during the message:

1. Is the Bible really accurate?
2. What makes the Christian faith the one true faith?
3. How do we prove that Jesus actually rose from the dead?

1.     Is the Bible Really Accurate?

2 Timothy 3:16NIV says— All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

While this is true, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t believe that the Bible sets the standard for how everything else is viewed. We took a few minutes to revisit the Creation account listed in Genesis to help prove the accuracy of the Bible.

Moses wrote the book of Genesis and listed 13 steps of Creation that have been widely debated:

1. The physical universe— originally argued that matter was eternal; not able to be created or destroyed. Einstein’s formula helped disprove this view.
2. The early earth (without form)— mathematical physicist showed the earth/planets could not have been formed by a body of gas because the masses that would have been left behind when the body of gas shrank would not have been large enough to make a planet. Scientists discovered something called dark nebulas that are dark and without form.
3. Earliest life in the sea— science also claims that the earliest life appeared in the sea.
4. Let there be light— the Stellar Sequence proves this and science is in complete agreement with Genesis 1:3-5.
5. The earth cools off (God made the firmament and divided waters). This is a process that a planet must go through as it cools off allowing the largest portion of water to be gathered on the surface of the earth and the smaller amount would be in the clouds.
6. The earth was covered with water— The theories of geology strongly support the earth being in this early condition.
7. The continents were formed (Let dry land appear)— While there are many arguments on the “why” of the rise and fall of the continents, they agree that the earth was at one point smooth and mostly the same height before the continents were raised up above water from
shrinkage, etc.
8. Vegetation (grass, etc.)— Chemistry has established the fact that it is impossible for any planet to have sustainable amount of oxygen in its atmosphere without having large amounts of plants to continuously replenish the supply to keep the oxygen from rapidly combining with the rocks and metals of the surface and deplete the oxygen supply. (The earth’s atmosphere would have needed the plants to help sustain the proper supply of oxygen to sustain life on earth.)
9. Breaks appeared in the sky (lights to separate day and night)— This has been attacked by critics of the Bible who say that this says the sun was created after the vegetation. However, this part of the creation account is referring to God making the sun to shine on the earth by putting a break in the clouds and letting the sunlight break through. The sun was created before the plants.
10. Fish were created— Geology supports this.
11. Birds were created— Geology again supports this.
12. Mammals were created— Science again supports this step.
13. Man was created— Geology supports man as the last step of Creation.

The odds of Moses getting listing these thirteen steps in the correct or are “1 in 311,351,040”. While those are impressive odds, it doesn’t tell the whole story!
How would Moses even have known the what the thirteen steps of Creation were? The probability of Moses getting all 13 steps correct and in the correct
order is 1 in 31,135,104,000,000,000,000,000! That is 1 in 31 x 10*21(10 to the 21st power).

To put this in perspective, check this scenario out: There are 8 million presses printing 2,000 tickets/minute, 24/7 for 5 million years. Mark one ticket, mix it in with the rest, blindfold yourself, and try to pick the marked ticket on the first try. You have a better chance of finding the ticket than Moses did of getting the
Creation account correct. It’s safe to say that the Bible is accurate!

2.      Is Our Faith the ONE True Faith?

John 14:6NIV says,  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Other faith books have had mistakes and contradictions found, and these contradiction were “corrected”. The Bible is the only faith book that continues to be proven over and over again.  The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by a number of authors (~40). There are more copies of the Bible than any other book in history, and the copies show incredible accuracy. There has also been physical evidence from copies that have been discovered. While there are MINOR differences in some manuscripts called variants, none impact or change the key beliefs and components. Archaeological finds have helped prove the accuracy of the Bible. (Dead Sea Scrolls)

3.      Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

1. Some people say, “What If Jesus really didn’t die?
A. The Romans were experts in crucifying people. They wouldn’t have taken Jesus down from the Cross until he was dead.
B. Luke— the writer of the Gospel of Luke was a medical doctor, and would have picked up on inconsistencies in the facts he was given.

The 3 Top Arguments against Jesus raising from the dead are as well as why these arguments aren’t valid arguments are listed below:

1. The sightings are just legends (made up stories)
 1. A Legend developed and grew over time. 1 Corinthians 15 account of 500 eye witnesses that Jesus appeared to after rising from the dead came so   soon after the resurrection happened that a Legend wouldn’t have had time to develop.
2. Women arrived at the tomb first. A legend made up at that point in history would not have credited women with finding the tomb first since women were   not held in high esteem in that culture.

2. The sightings were hallucinations
1.  500 people seeing the same hallucination at the same time??? 500 people seeing the same hallucination is virtually impossible as well as the odds of Paul seeing the exact same hallucination 3 years later!
2.  If people only thought they saw Jesus, his body would still be in grave.

3. Wishful thinking/disciples were lying.
– The disciples had too much at stake to lie about this and make it the foundation of their belief.  Ten of the eleven original disciples who remained were killed for their faith. Would they really die for something they knew was a lie?

There are also any secular writings that talk about the crucifixion of Jesus—Phlegon (80-140AD), Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD), Tacitus (56-120AD), and more are just a few of these writings.

To wrap things up for this post:

1. The Bible is accurate. While Christianity and the Bible continue to be attacked, they are proven to be true time and time again.

2. Why do we defend our faith?
A. Romans 1:16NIV says— For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the
Jew, then to the Gentile.
B. Our faith, the Gospel, is power of salvation to EVERYONE who believes.
2. By defending our faith, you are defending your peers against the lies and attacks of Satan.

 Be someone’s hero and stand strong in your faith in Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

Sources outside of the Bible used in this post are:

Historical Evidence for the for the Resurrection by Matt Perman from desiringgod.com.

The Case for Christ— Student Edition by Lee Strobel with Jane Vogel

Science Speaks by Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman

What Will You Defend? Part 1— Defending Creation— 4/2/17

This past Sunday kicked off our April Series, “What Will You Defend?”. This week we talked about “Defending Creation”. This message was more of a “lecture style”. While we rarely do messages in that format, this topic called for more of that type of set up. The students gave great feedback and had great questions in our Tribe Huddles after the message!

Why did we decide to begin the series with Defending Creation? It all started with Creation. Creation is our foundation. Genesis 1:1NIVIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If the Creation account is false, what else is false? Wouldn’t we be wasting our time worshiping God and coming to church to sit through messages?

1 Peter 3:15, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. We should know what we believe, why we believe it, and how to defend what we believe.

We went over three main topics within this topic with the students last night:

1.     Is Bible History Real or Fiction?

Genealogies in the 1st 11 chapters in Genesis point to Adam as the first man. Adam was created at the end of a six-day creation week about 6,000 years ago.
Many claim that dating methods show that the earth is billions of years old. However, evidence continues to be uncovered that proves that radiometric dating does not actually work.

Uniformitarianism thinking says that the way things are in the present tells us how things were in the past. The speed at which a river is cutting through a canyon supposedly tells us how old the canyon is. The problem— this way of thinking doesn’t account for catastrophic events that caused things to happen MUCH faster the they are currently happening!

2 Peter 3:3-6NKJV
…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

This Scripture passage from Peter points to the flood as an event that changed creation. The flood of Noah’s day radically, and almost instantaneously, changed the Earth. While those that say that the speed that water flows through places like the Grand Canyon show that it would take billions of years to form the canyon are correct, BUT we have to remember that catastrophic events like the global flood caused places like the Grand Canyon to be formed in days, hours, and even minutes.

Yes, Bible History is real and factual.

2.      Did Humans Evolve From Ape-Like Creatures

One argument that evolutionists have used is the existence of vestigial structures. Vestigial structures are defined as Structures that have no apparent function and appear to be residual parts from a past ancestor. (Source: Boundless. “Vestigial Structures.” Boundless Biology Boundless). At one point, there was a list of 180 supposed vestigial structures. Today, the total is zero. Just a few examples are listed below:

1. Hip-bones in dolphins— It was said that this was a “leftover” because dolphins don’t have hip bones. The truth is that they weren’t actually hip bones, but   claspers used in mating season.
2. Coccyx— Claims said it was a leftover tail. It is actually the anchor point for many muscles, tendons, and  ligaments as well as support for the pelvic diaphragm.
3. Tonsils— Found it wasn’t actually useless, but that antibodies produced by immune cells kill germs that help prevent throat and lung infections. They are actually the first line of defense against inhaled or ingested viruses.
4. Appendix— Found that it wasn’t useless, but that it stores good bacteria to help fight against bad bacteria in our intestines.

3.     Adaptation and Evolution

Many who believe in evolution say things like: finches with different beaks and tortoises with different types of shells point to evolution. What it really points to is that God created us, and animals, with the ability to adapt to our surroundings. Think about men who grow beards in the winter time, and animals who grow more fur in the winter and shed it in the summer.  This doesn’t mean that they have evolved into a new creature, but it does show that God, in his infinite wisdom, created us with the ability to adapt to our surroundings and environments.

Think about a paleontologist from the future digging up a Bulldog, a Chihuahua, and a Great Dane. They would almost certainly be classified as different species, but in reality, they are all different types of the same created specie. The truth is— this all shows the same Creator used similar features (legs, feet, etc.) for similar purposes like mobility.

Wrapping Everything Up:

Genesis 1:25, 31 says, God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

God said that ALL he had created was VERY GOOD. If everything that God had created was VERY GOOD, there was no need to for different species to die out so that the strongest could survive. God created everything he did, the way he did, for a reason.

***Evolution points to a massive amount of death in order for the strongest to survive. Creation points to a Creator, the death of One Savior, so that many could live forever!***

***Why do we defend Creation? Because in doing so we are actually defending those that are deceived by Satan and living without a relationship with him. If there is no Creator, then there is no purpose. If there is no purpose, there is no sense of belonging. If there is no sense of belonging, there is no reason to do right.If there is no reason to do right, people live as they choose which leads to death. By defending Creation/Creator, we are ultimately defending those around us!***

Don’t miss “Defending Faith” this Sunday, 4/9/17!

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin