And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 15, Number
In this issue:
Thomas would not believe Jesus was alive from the dead even though his fellow apostles had seen Him. Demanding the sensory evidence of touch before he would believe, Jesus provided Thomas that opportunity eight days later (Jno. 20:24-27). After Thomas proclaimed his faith (having never actually touched the body of Jesus), the Lord said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jno. 20:29). John then offers us his eyewitness testimony and that of his fellow apostles as evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Jno. 20:30-31). The evidence upon which our faith is built is credible. Though it is unseen, it is believed (1 Pet. 1:8).
This week physicists around the world celebrated the announced discovery of a “Higgs boson-like” particle, said to be “the missing cornerstone of physics" (“Eureka! Physicists celebrate evidence of particle”, FoxNews, July 4, 2012). Its discovery, they say, will provide an explanation of how all the particles of this physical world fit together and interact. That sounds much like the “missing link” that keeps eluding paleontologists. Denise Chow observed that finding the Higgs boson-like particle is “the missing link in the reigning theory of particle physics, known as the Standard Model” (“Higgs Boson Particle Discovery May Help Reveal Dark Matter Secrets”, space.com).
Physicist Michio Kaku notes that “in their press release, the scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, were careful to say they’ve only found evidence of a ‘Higgs-like’ particle.” Kaku says they are being “too modest”, and boldly proclaims the event as “one of the great moments in scientific history: the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson” (“The Spark That Caused the Big Bang” (The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2012).
We should remember that science tests, quantifies and analyzes what is observable in the physical world. The particle collider in Europe (Hadron Collider) was built and operated by men to test the scientific theories of men concerning how and why the physical world operates the way it does. Scientists are observing what already exists in an attempt to draw conclusions about things, forces and events they (we) cannot see.
First, it is notable that nobody has actually seen the Higgs boson particle. It cannot be put under a microscope. Its discovery has been deduced by interpreting streams of data mined through complex scientific tests using supercomputers and a particle collider 27 miles in circumference.
Isn’t that fascinating? These scientists believe in something they haven’t actually seen. They have concluded it exists from the available evidence they have gathered and studied.
Yet, many of these same people scoff at the existence of God. Having never seen God with their massive telescopes or their powerful microscopes, some foolishly say He does not exist. They refuse to retain God in their knowledge in spite of the need for a First Cause and the evidence that He is that First Cause who created everything that exists – including the Higgs boson particle (Heb. 3:4; Rom. 1:20, 28).
It took massive amounts of intellect, power and money to build the Haldron Collider as well as to run the experiments that produced the evidence that was analyzed and interpreted as a “discovery” of the Higgs boson-like particle. Yet, we are to conclude that the intricacies of this planet (not to mention the universe) just accidentally came into existence, and they just as coincidentally continue to function!
No, the evidence leads us to conclude God is the Creator: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).
Physicist Michio Kaku contrasts the interpretation of the evidence:
Science says the universe started with a “big bang” and not the word of God (Gen. 1:3; Psa. 33:6). These scientists, giddy with their latest discovery, still leave a fundamental question unanswered: To what do all the particles of the universe (including Higgs boson) owe their existence? Matter is not eternal. Matter does not spontaneously generate. So, from where (or whom) did it all come?
The existence of Higgs boson does not deny the existence of God or His creation of the universe. Instead, it confirms the complexity and brilliance of the power that conceived and executed the creation of all things. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Jesus was right: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Evidence abounds!
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:76-80
1. Few were
prophesied of more than John.
I. THE CALL OF FAITH TURNS HEARTS BACK TO GOD'S WORD AND WAYS, Lk. 1:16-17.
A. John Used
God's Word to Call People to Repentance and Faith, Lk. 3:2.
II. THE CALL OF FAITH DEMANDS FULL REPENTANCE OF SINS, Lk. 3:8-14.
Persuasion to Repent, Matt. 3:2-12; Acts 17:29-31.
III. THE CALL OF FAITH DEMANDS SUBMISSION TO CHRIST.
Message Continually Pointed to the Christ and Honored Him, Jno. 1:29-34; 1
Cor. 2:2; Rom. 1:14; 1 Cor. 9:16.
1. John is
highly honored by Jesus as the forerunner of Christ, Matt. 11:7-11a.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading:Galatians 1:6-10
1. God has
revealed authority in Scriptures generically and specifically:
I. THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF AIDS.
“lit., to bring together…to be an advantage, profitable, expedient…” (Vine,
218). John 16:7
II. THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF ADDITIONS?
“to put to, to add, join to, gather with any company” (Thayer, 549).
Death in a Cemetery
There was a tragic accident and death Thursday at the Glenwood Cemetery in Park City, Utah, when a 6-foot-tall headstone fell on a four-year old boy. Family members freed him from under the large stone before paramedics arrived, but he later died at a local hospital from his injuries (“Utah boy dies after being hit by falling tombstone”, FoxNews.com We respectfully convey our sympathy to the family over the loss of their little loved one.
Death often comes when we least expect it. We anticipate many years ahead of us, but life is so fragile and uncertain. Let us be thankful for the life we have today; it is a gift from God and He deserves our gratitude.
Death will come to all of us. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Save for the Lord’s return, we will all die. Better to acknowledge this truth now and live accordingly, than to ignore its reality and be unprepared when it calls (Lk. 12:19-21). Knowing we will die urges us to be “rich” toward God and lay up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-21).
Death is a passage. The cemetery is not the end of the road, but a temporary parking spot until the Lord raises our bodies to immortality (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 50-53). You will survive death (Lk. 16:22-23). Your body will be raised in the last day (Jno. 5:28-29). Will you be raised to eternal life or eternal condemnation? That choice is yours. Will you will believe and obey Jesus or not (Rom. 2:6-11; 1 Ths. 4:13-18; Heb. 5:8-9)?
Prepare for your death. We are all a vapor, soon vanishing from the scene (Jas. 4:14). So, we must respect and do the Lord’s will each day, knowing that today may be the very day death visits us (Jas. 4:15).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 07/10/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA