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THE GIFT

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BREAKING DOWN THE VERSE1

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Let us explore the verse Romans 6:23

First let us break down this verse to fully get the gist. For the wages of sin is death what exactly is St. Paul through the Holy Spirit conveying to us.

Wages are what we earn from what we labor or to put it plainly I get what I work for or deserve.

As humans we are fallible, we make mistakes, we do wrong, we sin daily that is our labor and it is daily. We are born into sin we are sin and our wage what we earn for that sin is death.

God measures equates this sin as death, from day one when humanity disobeyed God Adam and Eve earned death and such that labor and wage was passed on to us and we can do nothing to earn more or less to reverse this wage because we fail to obey God daily.

Now that I have depressed everyone let us continue on with the rest of the verse.

But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus or Lord. Here St. Paul points out that eternal life (something we can never qualify or earn) is given to us for free. We cannot afford this gift, we can never work hard enough or do enough to have eternal life because that requires a sinless life.

The gift is free thus the word (Grace) only through Jesus or Lord, nothing else on earth or in us can equal what Jesus has done for us. Romans 3:20-24 ( For by works of the law no human being[a] will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus)

What does this mean for you and me in this day and time especially in a world that wraps itself in relative notions of what only applies to myself.

St. Paul through the inspired word of the Holy Spirit and I say this so you know this is not just opinions written by a mere man but by a man inspired by the words of God. Paul is saying only Jesus can give you eternal life, only Jesus can justify this grace and that is what we can apply to our lives; only through Jesus alone can we can be saved. It is the Holy Spirit that draws us near to Christ (Jesus) and it is only through him alone that we can know and receive this Grace his free gift.

Now a note from our commentary deters us from thinking that a free gift of Grace given to a person who is a sinner that does not deserve salvation is not a free pass to continue to sin.

A truly saved individual loathes sin and desires to obey God and to follow his commandments. By no means is the doctrine of Grace a reason to continue to sin in small ways or big ways 1 John 3:9 (No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.).

Repentance is always needed, we will always sin but that does not give us the justification to sweep sin aside knowing that God will give us a pass Romans 6:12-13 (Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.).

Final thoughts we should never forget who we are (sinners) even though God has saved through his son Jesus we should not forget we did not nothing to earn this salvation, it was a debt paid, it was Jesus taking our place in death so we would not have to. Our bodies will someday end but our soul is forever and forever we will be with our Lord Jesus.

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CONVERSATIONS 1

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Had a conversation with a liberal Christian the other day that started out over global warming. Liberals are convinced humans are the cause of ice melting in the Antarctic.
My goal was to make a point with a Biblical statement by asking “I wonder what God has planned for his creation next?”, noting that I do not believe humans can destroy or alter God’s creation without his guidance.
My reply was questioning my liberal opponent that our free will has caused the ice to melt ( bogus I know considering even science has proven that the ice caps in the north are growing not shrinking.)
My reply back was a question “our total free will or our creature free will”.
Creature free will is our instinctive components that we humans have based on our nature that God gave us. It is the will that allows us to not drive 100 mph during 4 O clock traffic in downtown Los Angeles. It is the will that drives parents to teach their kids about sharing and the consequences of being selfish; creature free will is the everyday will we have getting up in the morning and going to work being a good steward or cutting in line at the checkout in the supermarket.
But God will often restrain and direct our total free will. Much of the time
God has to do this, he has to sometimes direct our path to him because our nature will not allow us to do the right thing much less seek God part of the time. Pslam 32:8
My liberal opponent was slightly correct on the nature of our free will to always put us in error although I’m pretty sure he really does not believe this because after all he’s a liberal but if he did believe this I believe he would have been correct because our freedom to be self reliant will always lead us to error because of our nature. Romans 3:10
I know some people hate to hear this but understanding human nature requires us to admit we are fallen people we are in error in the sight of God Jeremiah 17:9. Without a moral standard there is no way of knowing truth and no way of knowing error without a standard of a moral truth.
Truth and morality was not manmade nor did evolved it required a creator, a God that would create a standard for us to know and follow in the natural, some call the nature law St. Paul reiterates this in Romans 2:14-15 it is written on our hearts.
Yes we humans have a will to do error but we also have a will to repent and ask for forgiveness. To say we don’t know good or to think we are nothing but good is to not know truth nor is it to know our nature. When we are right with and in good standing with God we can trust he will guide us and direct or path.  2 Thessalonians 3:3 

AN EFFECTIVE BELIEF

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Watching RZIM’s The Apologist a few nights ago, where they had two Christians and two atheists debating on why they believed what they believed.

Both of the RZIM apologist where former nonbelievers meaning they did not grow up in a home that taught Christianity and it made me think that former atheist or none believers seem to make really good tactical apologist meaning they defend Christianity sometimes better than Christians that grow up in a Christian home.

I’m a part of this group that grew up Christian and I’ve had to check myself and my belief and understanding of God and the nature of God and I can say growing up I was a miserable failure in defending Christianity and the fact growing up in a small down in Northern California made it that much worse

As I got older I needed to ask myself the hard questions and show evidence of why I believed what I did and this is where people that believe in God but are not grounded or have a good foundation lose the conversation when asked to show the evidence or tell why they believe and then give a coherent answer that can be understood.

Going to the Scriptures we can get a small view of this when reading 1 Peter 3:15: but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. This requires us to do more than just say I believe in God it ask us to have an answer and how we go about answering the question.

Parents that believe in God beyond just believing in a deity need to know the how and why of God because it becomes their responsibility to teach this to their Children.

If you cannot communicate or answer why you believe then how can you yourself understand what you hold to be truth?

If I ask you why are you a Christian can you give me a good answer, if I ask you do you think you are going to heaven can you give me a good answer, if I ask you if I don’t believe in what you believe why is that wrong and will I go to heaven; can you give me a good and true Biblical answer?

These are question that we should be asking ourselves and our children. Don’t think your six year old child cannot give you a good answer if you have taught them well.

To think I’ll just drop them off at Sunday school or youth group and hope for the best is like throwing them in water and hoping they learn to swim, some will some wont maybe if you give them lessons they will learn for sure.

I feel the reason why non believers tend to give better answers is because they are new to the game and if they are serious about their conversion they tend to dive into the word deeper than people that grow up in a Christian home.

I am for one guilty of growing up in a Christian home and taking for granted that God gave me grace, I had the faith but I lacked the understanding of his nature and my nature making me ineffective as a believer to a nonbeliever.

I only bring this up because I hate to see people struggle with understanding the scriptures and being so ineffective in their belief. The most concerning is that these same people now have Children and they too become ineffective witnesses of Jesus and some even get completely lost.

I urge you if you are a believer in God, if you are a believer that Jesus is the son of God that the scriptures are the breathed word of God to then build a knowledge of understanding God. Build a defense of your faith in Jesus for others to know. The cost is time, effort and sometimes friends but the payoff is knowing who God is and how much he really loves you that he would extend his grace to you no matter who you are.

Romans 12:2

COST OF LIVING A STANDARD

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Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One book that is really worth reading is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s the Cost of Discipleship if nothing it will convict you of where your standing with God is.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor whose goal was to change Christian theology and make his view the standard. Bonhoeffer was considered by some as a liberal Christian or at least he started out that way.

Hitler and Germany coming into power changed everything for Bonhoeffer, he saw how the church was not united to stop Hitler and the 3rd Reich, his book the Cost of Discipleship gives us a good look into where ones stands and views their ideas of God compared to where God sees your view of following Jesus.

What I really get out of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the fact he throws this brick at you and myself included that you really are not doing anyone a favor by living a life that is not in step with what God deems to be righteous or the way we follow Jesus.

The idea of unjustly judging a person based on what they do or not do in sin can slow us down Bonhoeffer states it binds us in our own evils or sins so it then justifies others to do the same.

Turning a blind eye to sin and wrong doing  because it is convenient  for our lives is Cheap Grace

Costly Grace is ourselves dropping everything to follow Jesus, it will cost our lives but the price of admission is our everlasting souls with God.

Costly Grace means giving up our wants and desires because our desire is to follow Jesus.

It cost so much because people will look at us in a odd way, as out of touch with today’s reality  as hypocrites, judgy, intolerant and hate filed because societies view of life is nonjudgemental, tolerance, and love that mirrors lust more so than life.

It will cost some more than others, our jobs and what we can do and not do in our little corner of our lives.

Costly Grace means we live by God’s standard not societies standard, we don’t lie because it is God’s standard not to lie. We don’t live our daily life like everyone else because it is not God’s standard to live through the world.

Costly Grace is choosing to obey God and forgetting what everyone else thinks or does because that is God’s standard.

1 Corinthians 11:1

If I don’t exemplify Gods conviction in myself then what good am I and who am I to God

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Yes we are flawed, we are complete sinners, we do bad things but we hold to the standard of Jesus because he gave us real grace.

The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe.– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

FALSE TEACHERISM 3 MORMONS ARE NOT CHRISTIANS

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The above photo statement shows us two things that make Mormonism a false teaching. As we can see Mormons face similar issues that Christians do, they are  misunderstood that they hate people or they shove their religion down people’s throat but make no mistake Mormons do not worship the same God as Christians do.

First, Mormonism and Christianity are not compatible  because they do not worship the same God nor do the view God and Jesus the same as Christianity does. God was never just a man that grew into a God and no they will never become God or like God like Mormonism teaches.

Christianity’s view is that we were not put on this earth so as to earn ourselves to be worthy to return to God in heaven.Christians know we are not and never will be worthy in the site of God on our own merit. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

We are put here on this earth to worship God, God alone, we follow Christ alone and the scriptures in the Holy Bible are the Holy word that is the breathed word of God and is sufficient for us alone.

Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith as this rightly points out but they rely on the Book of Mormons that was deciphered by Smith.

Christians would view the book of Mormons as a adding to the words of God and that is expressly forbidden. Genesis 3:1-3 Satan temps Eve and adds to the words of God thus killing all mankind as Adam sins against God by believing Satan’s words. Deuteronomy 4:2 “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Revelation 22:18-19 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

As Christians we need to pray for our brother and sister that are in the Mormon faith, these are good people that hold true to moral and ethical codes. We cannot agree that we are both Christians because we follow the teachings and understandings of a different God, we can both be wrong but we cannot both be right.

When we see and have conversations with our Mormon friends we need to understand them, know them and pray for them. Show them they do not worship the same God as in the Holy Bible and aid them to understanding why Christianity is different from Mormonism. 1 Peter 3:15

DAILY TWIST 1

Yesterday’s Orlando’s terror attacked as it is being labeled created a world view that might be perplexing if you view things in a leftist way.

We have an attack or should we say a massacre by Islam a much protected religion under liberalism assaulting another well protected and highly prized group of people that practice what Islam considers as a sinful behavior; what are the elite liberals to do.

On one end the Obama administration has overly embraced Islam as peaceful they only site terrorism as its own entity apart of Muslims and core Islam but on the other hand the same administration has flipped over backwards to usher in homosexuality as the norm but they failed to give the memo to Islam do not attack homosexuality.

Do liberals really think a hard core religion like Islam that believes western society is morally reprehensible would embrace homosexuality which has been one of the main causes this administration has invested in.

Liberals have built a cage as you will and put a poisonous spider in the same cage as a group of bees and the spider has just killed 50 of those bees should we expect less.

Two groups who liberals expect everyone to tolerate could not be tolerated the other. Mind you Muslim hate the concept of tolerance to their religion it’s very disrespectful since they view Islam the true religion and Allah the true God and to tolerate send a message that you view them as wrong but you will tolerate the wrongness.

So how are liberals to twist this event well here it is.

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ACLU the champion of liberalism has blamed Christians for this very shooting.

The idea of having thoughts and prayers for the victims and the families is Islamophobic and because Christians view homosexuality as sinful behavior that is the cause for the massacre.

Okay let’s put this in a Christian world view perspective. Praying for people and their families that have fallen victims of this tragedy does not disrespect Muslims; attention liberals, if you are not aware Muslim pray as well have you ever heard of a prayer rug?

Christians have not labeled homosexuality as sin God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all have described the behavior as sinful. Islam does not believe in the triune God that such as Christians do so there is no reason why they would take any influence from a Christian perspective.

Christianity does not condone an anti queer climate that includes murdering people based on the sin they wallow in. Christianity requires repentance of sin it does not attack, kill or injure sinners it would be self defeating since we are in sin.

The sinful nature of liberalism has protected a sin that has killed another sin that is highly prized in their world view and now they must pawn it off on something else that liberals hate, either Christians or guns and preferably both.

Finally super intelligent Seth McFarland has figured out a way to fix this problem and that is ban automatic weapons.

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The problem with this brilliant line of thinking is automatic weapons were already banned from this nightclub and look what happened.

I’m sure McFarland would come back and say ban auto guns then mass shootings can’t happen.

Okay let’s not forget it’s just as easy to set off pipe bombs, explosives, poisoning people, mass killings with automobiles by running down people ect. ect. ect.

The Christian world view doesn’t ban tools but demands the heart and mind follow Jesus.

Biblical principles are of peaceful resolutions to adversities, one does not need to rebuke his neighbor for owning a sword when instead he can show the world that a sword can be used for good not evil.

 

THE MEGAPIXEL GOD

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I very much enjoy Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this quote is one reason why. It is overwhelming the truth in any society here there or in any century.

A few months ago I was trolled on social media into a conversation with a devout atheist/agnostic I only add the agnostic because he would kind of admit that he didn’t know for sure if there was or not intelligent design but he was bent on doing his best to rebel by denying there was no God.

What sparked the conversation was a FB friend had posted a meme that featured a smashed watch that no longer worked that basically said let us see if is broken watch will evolve itself into a working watch. I added a reply and so did our atheist by saying let’s drop some sand on the floor and see if God will create a human, you know how God took Adam from the earth and breathed life into him.

My first thought was “well God has been there and done that, besides he used a bone from Adam to create the second human Eve so why use dirt again”.

The conversation went on and on but believe it or not I finally got our atheist to civilly admit unless he saw proof there was no way he could believe in a God, at least he was honest I can respect that much.

My next thought was even if you saw God, you would not believe. Jesus said in Luke 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Those words still ring true today as God has written on our hearts yet some still rebel and deny. Romans 2:13-15

This takes me to when I was listening to Ravi Zacharias one day and he had made a statement that I believe is very true, Ravi was convinced that Jesus came during the time period he did for good reason.

If God had came in a more modern time where we humans could record Jesus by photograph we would turn that image into an idol, I would add to that if we had visual proof of God most would make that proof into an visual or physical idols and then worship those images instead of worshiping God himself “why” you ask, because that is the way we humans are.

If God came down and visited us nothing new now would happen as it did then when he sent his son Jesus two thousand years ago.

The proof of God would be there as a digital image but still groups would be formed called the atheist magicians and they would try and explain how Jesus fed thousands with a few pita breads and a can of sardines and turned water into White Zinfandel using smoke and mirrors or used the power of suggestion.

Medical experts would try and explain away the physical and mental healing’s and first hand site miracles like the calming of the sea and the mount of transfiguration would be chalked up to cult like followers that would say or do anything to make Jesus or God appear supernatural.

God’s image would be liked and shared otherwise you won’t receive a blessing, pin it on your board and look my image I tweeted is trending well.

People first would give God’s image way freely but eventually the paparazzi would sell behind the scenes images of God doing miracles and the next thing you know we would be worshiping those photos.

You no longer need to have faith that the actual God of the Bible existed just stare at your photo or have a digitally enhanced stone cutter carve out a life size likeness of God.

There would be no mystery in who God was for some because you have his photo on your phone. Just pray to your phone and believe.

New mega churches would pop up everywhere in all denominations with God’s image front in centered, mood lighting, little plastic necklaces to wear and rub in your hands when your not sure or scared.

Why God sent his son Jesus to die and returned to heaven would no longer have meaning because I have his actual photo on my electronic photo frame who needs to study the Bible, Jesus is not in heaven he’s on my tablet my sins are forgiven just looking at my image the resolution is remarkable

My atheist troll would still not believe even if he said he saw some proof because like all people of his mentality there is never enough proof.

On the same notion a new breed of non believers would pop up, oh sure they saw Jesus, they have his image but that is all they want or think they need. No need to follow Jesus I saw God he’s on my computer I’m good to go.

No reason to crack open my Bible and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to me God is on your front porch or on the fireplace mantel and I say a prayer to that image every night before I go to bed so I now have faith.

Bonhoeffer was absolutely right a God that would let us see and examine every megapixels of his existence without first believing in him and acknowledging his existence would just become an idol.

Some people would eventually throw their image into the trash because its everywhere why hold on to it, some would hoard even more images obsessing over them without truly understanding why he made them and what their existence is for.

Finely others will call him great but deny he was God because look I can see him, a true God that can do all things is beyond any humans approach.

 

THE EASY WAY

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Time to go to war with Islam or with those evil sects that Islam breads”, this is the easy way for people, heads of states and leaders of countries to say yet most never attempt.

It’s a complete symptom of when people and  countries that deny God in order to maintain that it is fair and just for everyone all the while allowing sects of religions and beliefs that has no real regard to humanity just its own to grow and live unassimilated and in contempt of lives and countries that all the while have taken them in, fed them and protected them.

The easy way out is “let’s go to war” but how many times has mankind done this. How may people have shed blood over and over to beat back evil but never confront and deal with evil.

Because if they confront one form of evil they will have to eventually confront another from, a form that is much closer to home. A form of evil they themselves have taken in, fed and protected all the while that evil has had no regard for them and their families and is in contempt of their lives, their states and their countries

The hard way that few, if any want to try will requires people to admit secularism, humanism and naturalism and all the idols of their personal lives have failed. The hard way is for people to say “it’s time we repent” and start converting them to follow Jesus.

Romans 14:11 or it is written,“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

RED LETTER HYPOCRISY

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Reading a post from the Red Letter Christians today and you would assume the name Red Letter would mean Jesus’ words alone, but you would be quite wrong if you did.

The article was on a protester that protested the Trump Chicago rally because in their mind Trump is a racist. Why, because Trump in the past has called people names and wants to build a boarder.

Now mind you I’m not a Trump supporter, I have a different candidate that I am supporting but this is not the point.

Tony Campolo and his Red Letters don’t see the hypocrisy in all this as a matter of fact they publish the hypocrisy.

What is the hypocrisy, it is that one can protest a candidate because they don’t like them. Let’s call him a racist because he shoots his mouth off now and again but nothing about why Biblically one needs to disrupt presidential rally.

Never mind the candidate supports abortion, has no clue of what it means to be a true Christian, has no intentions and will not repent of any violations of God moral code even though he believes to be a Christian and this from a group that insist they follow the words of Jesus.

The second hypocrisy is the protester makes it plain that Trump is the target based on he called people names making him a racist. Let’s forget that two candidates Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton have promised abortion on demand be the main stay law of the land if elected. There will be no protection for the unborn with a democratic candidate with both candidates in clear violation of the 6th and 8th commandments but I guess red letters don’t agree those are worth protesting.

Amazing how progressive Christians won’t see truth because it clouds their agenda. True sin in the mind of a liberal Christian is negative emotions; it is symbolism over substance something well defined in the Red Letter Christian.

 

A COMMON SYMPTOM, STATEMENT 2

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A COMMON SYMPTOM (10 statements  unbelievers don’t believe about the Bible)

This in respond to a blog that was posted some time ago on a Christian blog forum by a professing Christian that obviously does not really believe in true Christianity.  The blogger made 10 statements that they did not believe about the Bible and what I found is these are not just statements or beliefs from Christians on the theological fence but these are statements that unbelievers would make as well in fact these statements are nothing new.

Because these statements are common in today’s world view I will take each statement as its own otherwise this can become a long drawn out blog so in order to keep your attention we will focus one statement at a time and this is statement 2, you can check out my first blog on these statements at A COMMON SYMPTOM, STATEMENT 1

I don’t believe the Bible explains the time and manner of earth’s creation and population accurately. The Creation accounts in Genesis are not scientific writings designed to instruct, as much as they are poetry and song meant to inspire. They should not be read as a literal explanation of the fashion or timetable of what Science clearly tells us were the far older and more gradual evolution of life than a literal Biblical translation contends. Genesis 1 and 2 are a who story, not a how story.”:

Understandably one who lacks faith and trust in God will question God’s creation. If we cannot believe the Bible is the real inspired word of God then how can we believe God created all things much less in 6 days.

There is much debate in the creation theater; secular science today has muddied the waters that have divided Christians on how many days to how many billion years old the earth is. One thing is for sure Genesis is not a who story but a real account on God creating the universe, the earth and its inhabitants.  Nehemia 9:6 and Acts 14:15 

There is a debate on how many years the earth is and it falls under good credible conversation. Both Greg Koukle and Ken Ham have a radically different perspective on the earth age yet both will agree Genesis is a story on how and why God created the earth Christians can agree on this.

People that do not believe in the sufficiency of the word of God will of course be incline to believe the account of Genesis is poetry and song and a story of who. The problem with people that do not consider the Bible as the sole word of God is the who is only two people when in fact the who needs to be on more than a man and a woman, there is a creator involved and eventually a redeemer involved.  Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,  who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself”

The complete understanding of God’s time table is not needed fully. Understand even today when secular science throws out time tables it is not concrete but a theory. Science uses dating that can be fallible; there is not exact perfect way to date God’s creation.

Some Christians use God’s word (Bible) along with archaeology, the flood and other scientific anomalies like volcano and earthquakes to help date while other Christians use stars and light years to help their definition of the date of the earth. Either way does not diminish what God has created and how he created and why he created.

To say the Genesis account of the earth population states that writer of Genesis is not in literal is to have no credibility.  When you make a statement like what is made in first statement “I don’t believe the Bible was dictated by God” then we can fully understand why a person cannot believe in the full account of Genesis 1-2 and how man and woman flourished.

If Genesis and the Bible is not a full account of how and why God made everything do we then fall back on the worlds view of evolution and big bang and if so then how did that start and as a Christian would then one begin to compromise the word of God. To not completely understand how society became many is to deny how God made his creation or a coward of the truth.

It was Martin Luther that said “ But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six day then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are” Simply stated we know what we know because God lets us know.