He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: — 2 Kings xviii. 4.
I have frequently, especially in our country churches, met with the most determined protests against the most trivial alteration of the routine of their worship. You must sing at such a time, for they always have sung at such a point in the service; you must pray at such a moment, they always have prayed at that part of the worship; and if you can keep to the same quantity of minutes usually occupied so much the better. The whole service, though not in a book—for our sturdy brethren would revolt against the use of a book—yet is quite as stereotyped as if it were taken from the Common Prayer. Now, I believe that in public worship we should do well to be bound by no human rules, and constrained by no stereotyped order. I like, and we have often done it, to have an interval of silence sometimes. Why not? Why should it be all vocal worship? And why not begin with the sermon occasionally?… And then why should we not sing when we have been accustomed to pray, and pray when we have been accustomed to sing? We are under the dispensation of the Spirit, and so far as I know, the Spirit of God has not inspired these cards which I see sometimes nailed up in the pulpits—”begin with short prayer, sing, read, pray, preach,” and so on. A legality of form is growing up among us, and I enter my heart’s protest against it…. [P]ractices good in themselves are to be protested against if they gender to bondage, for the Spirit of God bloweth where He listeth, and if we worship God according to His guidance, the worship cannot invariably take the same form.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the Bible, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1962), p. 898
Psalm 8:1 “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”
There are phrases which can be used in science articles which will immediately pique interest, or at least convey some information about contemporary scientific viewpoints. An example of this was a recent article from a popular-level science website which referred to planetary ‘missing links’. As earth-style exo-planets have been all the rage lately, one might suppose that the use of the phrase ‘missing link’ might refer to astronomers’ belief in the evolution of life on such worlds. However, the sort of evolution to which the article referred was the supposed evolution of actual planets.
The smallest gas giant planet in our Solar System is Neptune, while the largest rocky planet is our own Earth. A star 73 million light years away, which rejoices in the name TOI-270, seems to have three planets. I say “seems to have” because exo-planets are not seen through telescopes. Their existence is inferred, and their positions and size calculated from perturbations in movement and light intensity of their host stars. Nevertheless, the math is sound and likely to be correct – I just don’t want listeners to think that these planets have been seen. One of the planets would seem to be a rocky planet larger than the Earth, while the other two are gas giants, about half the size of Neptune. So speculation is growing over whether all of these planets could have “evolved” in the same way. As usual, secular scientists do not give God the honor or the glory for His wonderful creation.
Prayer: We are amazed, Lord, at the size and diversity of Your creativity throughout the universe, and it causes us to praise Your Name. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “TESS discovers three new planets nearby, including temperate ‘sub-Neptune’: Planetary system orbiting an unusually quiet star is ideal for future habitability searches.” ScienceDaily, 29 July 2019. < https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190729111328.htm >.
Founded in 1963, Creation Moments remains committed to building up the Church and enlightening the world to the wonder of God’s creation. For nearly three decades, this ministry’s radio broadcast has proclaimed the truth of biblical creation throughout the world and has provided irrefutable evidence that the Bible can be trusted from the very first verse to the last. In addition to its radio outreach, Creation Moments offers hundreds of free resources on the Bible and science at its website: CreationMoments.com.
About Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor, the on-air voice of Creation Moments, was born in Ashton-under-Lyne near Manchester in the North of England. After obtaining a degree in Chemistry and a teaching certificate from the University of Nottingham, he began an 18-year-long career as a high school science teacher. Outside of work, he was involved in his church, preaching, teaching and leading worship, as well as writing worship songs. In 2005, he joined Answers in Genesis and worked in their UK office for six years. He then moved to the United States in 2011 to work for Creation Today, in Pensacola, Florida. Today, he is Director of the Mount St. Helens Creation Center in Silverlake, Washington. From this base, he continues to travel around the United States, speaking on creation, Genesis and apologetics. Paul now writes scripts for the Creation Moments radio program and is host of the broadcast as well. Paul is available to speak at churches, conferences and events. For more information, contact Creation Moments at 1-800-422-4253.
God Knows…When I Wonder About the Future – Part 2 The next time Jesus comes to Earth he will not arrive as a baby, but as a King. Jesus described His second coming, “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31).
Jesus wanted His disciples to remember that He would come again. He also wanted them to remember HOW He would come. When He returned to heaven, angels told his disciples, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Several years later when a follower of Jesus named Paul wrote a letter to some of his friends who lived in the city of Thessalonica, he reminded them of Jesus’ words: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
An Example Jesus helped the disciples see more of the picture by saying, “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
The people before the Flood wanted a good time. They didn’t want anyone to remind them about God. Many people today are looking for what they call a good time. They, too, would rather not be reminded of Jesus. They don’t realize that real, true happiness comes from friendship with Him.
The disciple Peter warned us that in the last days there would be scoffers, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?…All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4). But the good news is that “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise” (2 Peter 3:9). This old world is not going to go on forever down the path it is headed—running out of resources, destroying environment, cowering in fear of war and crime, risking health hazards, quieting conscience. God has a better plan. It will be heavenly!
After successfully sending Jesus to the cross, the members of the Sanhedrin feared that His disciples would sneak in and steal the body. They asked for and received soldiers to guard the tomb. Although they didn’t believe such a thing could happen, they took Jesus’s claim that He would rise again in three days in a literal sense. But His disciples, on the other hand, don’t seem to have shared the same conviction, despite Christ’s promise.
On the day of the resurrection, two of them set off toward the village of Emmaus and away from the tomb (>Luke 24:13). Instead of expressing hope that Jesus had risen or would rise, they showed their disappointment that He had not fulfilled their hopes of a present Messianic kingdom (Luke 24:21). Even news of His missing body simply confused them. Jesus had given them plenty of warning about His impending death and—to a lesser extent—His resurrection. But it wasn’t a bodily resurrection they expected.
Given their background and beliefs, the disciples had no real motive to steal the body. They might have expected a spiritual resurrection—that is, a continuation of His work and ministry or His vindication after death. At most, they might have believed Him to have meant a ghostly appearance, since most Jews believed the soul continued after death. However, they had no real foundation for expecting the body to physically return to life and, thus, no need to do what the leaders in Israel feared.
In fact, the disciples’ radical change concerning their belief about the resurrection—not to mention the transformation from fearful hiding to bold proclamation—proves that, at the least, they themselves became convinced that Jesus rose from the dead. Although faced with scorn from Jews and Greeks alike, they preached not just a continuation of Jesus’s work, but a Savior who lived again.
Adapted from The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (Book V, Chapter XVI).