Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sinners In the Hands of An Angry God

My Father (the earthly one) once told me that he appreciated a good fire-and-brimstone sermon, as compared to a watered-down appeal to "be good." Well, in my near 4 years of being saved, I've not heard a more frightening wake up call than Jonathan Edwards' classic: "Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God." Here it is, with updated language (the original was first preached in 1741).
This sermon helps remind me why Hell MUST be eternal. The answer is also why hell must exist at all, and be so horrible. God will be glorified in one of two ways: A) By showing His unfathomable love, or B) By showing His equally devastating, powerful wrath. Would you respect a so-called righteous judge who let known criminals free? Some have wondered why the punishment must be so harsh. My response would be: "Do you believe punishments should fit the crime?" If so, how should one be punished for a lifetime of offending the explicit laws of one's creator? Should that punishment be made more severe if the judge Himself took the offender's punishment, but the offender said "forget you - I'll take the punishment myself?" Should the judge go light on the offender when His offer to transfer the punishment involved brutally killing his Son?
The Bible says that no eye has seen, nor can any man even imagine the wonders God has in store for those who love Him. I recently heard a preacher suggest that God must give us a new body - including better senses - to be able to handle the pleasures of heaven. Without such upgraded pleasure sensors, we would simple explode (or something similar) at God's glory. Conversely, hell will involve the flip side of that - unimaginable horrors. God will make our bodies eternal one way or the other after death. Those in hell will have a body where "the worm dieth not." Thus, those in hell will also have an "upgraded body." That body will be one that has all the capacity for feeling an eternity of excruciating pain, with none of the hope of a moment's reprieve. Either way, we are all destined for an eternity of understanding (in a highly personal way) God's power. The only question is, do you want to understand that power as it manifests in love, or punishment. God's word tells us that he desires that none should suffer His wrath, but He gives us the choice. Have you made your decision yet?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Tisket a Tasket, an Unimportant Casket

From Way of the Master Radio comes this list:

“They found the casket of Jesus”

45 Pithy Comebacks

1. Explain to me why a poor family from Bethlehem would be buried in a middle class grave in Jerusalem.

2. Mary, Jesus and Joseph were the most popular names in Israel at this time. That is why the Jewish archaeologists who first discovered these caskets in 1980 NEVER claimed these belonged to the family of Jesus. The odds are too preposterous.

3. Israeli archaeologist Joel Rosenberg believes this new film is nonsense.

4. So does Jewish archaeologist Amos Kloner.

5. There is no credible evidence that Jesus was ever married. The only possible reference to Jesus being married is in a 14th century manuscript (Acts of Phillip) that nobody deems credible.

6. There is no evidence that Jesus had children.

7. They claim they have proof that Jesus had a baby. We can’t even determine the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby. (Jay Leno)

8. As there is no credible evidence that Jesus was married with children, this discovery does not prove that Jesus was married; it proves that these caskets don’t belong to Jesus. If Jesus was not married to Mary, this whole theory collapses.

9. If Jesus had a wife and children, wouldn’t Jesus have told John to only take care of His mother when He was on the cross?

10. Jesus son of Joseph is hardly legible.

11. Professor Stephen Pfann in Jerusalem believes the name “Jesus” should actually be interpreted “Hanun.”

12. For such an esteemed Rabbi, the family sure did a sloppy job of inscribing His name on the casket.

13. Jesus is never referred to as “The son of Joseph” in early Christian witness. That is the inscription on the casket.

14. If you were going to hide a casket, would you put it in Jerusalem and label it “Jesus”?

15. Why did they only test the DNA of the Jesus and Miriamne casket and not the caskets of the others? Because if they discovered that the DNA didn’t match, their story would crumble.

16. The scientist who did the limited DNA testing said, “Don’t be deceived by the media. This type of DNA testing cannot test every relationship.”

17. There is no DNA baseline available to prove this was the burial box of Jesus.

18. Miriamne e Mara is not legible, they are speculating.

19. Miriamne e Mara is almost certainly interpreted wrong. “Mara” is probably a contraction of Martha and is probably a second name.

20. Miriamne is NOT Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene is not written on the casket.

21. Is the Yose (Joseph) married to Maria? Who knows?

22. Is Jesus married to Miriamne? Who knows?

23. The name Miriamne is not found in any credible text. Not one. The only time that we can find the name Miriamne is in reference to Herod’s wife, Miriamne.

24. Matya (they claim that is Matthew) is found on one of the caskets. If this is Matthew, why would Jesus’ disciple be buried with him?

25. There is no evidence that Jesus had a brother named Matthew.

26. Defenders claim that if Joseph and Mary had more children than what the Bible lists, “The name Matthew is consistent with the type of name that Mary and Joseph might have named one of their children.” That is not a credible argument.

27. They simply left Matthew out of the picture to make the statistical analysis look better.

28. They are doing their statistics backwards. They start with the presupposition that this is Jesus tomb and then try to determine the odds. You can’t do that.

29. If we found a gravesite today with the names John and David, John’s son (the equivalent to Jesus and Joseph) could we conclude which John this was? How many John’s have had a wife named Mary and a child name David in the last two centuries? Then if you knew that David was unmarried and from Los Angeles, but the tomb was found in New York, would you feel confident you had identified the right David?

30. Joseph’s tomb is missing. Why?

31. Jesus’ half-brother Jude is missing. Why?

32. Jesus’ half brother Simon is missing. Why?

33. Jesus sisters may be missing. Why?

34. If Jesus was buried and didn’t rise from the dead, why did Jesus’ half brother, James, die preaching that Jesus rose from the dead?

35. Ditto for Jude.

36. How could the family have kept this a secret from the early church?

37. Wouldn’t the Romans been able to find this casket and end the dispute?

38. Wouldn’t the Jews happily dug up this casket to put an end to this new Jewish cult named Christianity?

39. Trying to resolve whose caskets these are is like trying to figure who put the first dagger in Julius Caesar.

40. While science and CSI techniques can be helpful, we don’t have a time machine to take us back to the first century.

41. Eisegesis is when you form a conclusion and then go find the evidence for your theory. That is what they have done here.

42. There are a thousand scenarios to explain this. To assign ownership to Jesus is simply not reasonable.

43. We have films and eyewitnesses of the JFK assassination and we still can’t figure out who killed him.

44. If this were a civil case, it would be laughed out of court.

45. Wow! You trust this film more than the Bible? Now that’s faith. The Bible is a more reliable source of information than this circus of evidence.

Sources: Dr. Albert Mohler ( Dr. James White ( ), Dennis Ingolfsland (

Nathan Busenitz (