AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish

May 28, 2013

The Most Illogical Conclusion to the Question: Who is Jesus?


By Tony V. Hammack
 
As far as I can understand, the majority of non Christian world religions and some cults, conclude that Jesus Christ was a historic figure at least but some elevate Jesus to the status of "Good Person" or "Accurate Prophet" or "Good Teacher" or "Healer" or some other title you'd place upon a very gifted or kind hearted human being.

As I was reading my Bible today I came across a passage in John 10:33 where Jesus, was about to be stoned for blasphemy.   John 10:33 says, "We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

My Bible tells me that the contemporary listeners of Jesus understood him to be making distinct claims to DEITY.  If Jesus wanted to refute the accusation he easily could've said, "Hey wait a minute guys, I'm a man just like you, I never said or tried to imply I'm divine."  However these words are not found in scripture.  Amazingly enough Jesus is also worshiped by people who are on the receiving end of miracles but it's never recorded in scripture that he told the people to stop, like the apostles do and angels do in other places in scripture.    Now this is critically important because Jesus makes claims to deity it dispels the idea that Jesus was just a good person or just a prophet or just a nice teacher or whatever other illogical conclusion a person would want to draw concerning his identity.

Let's explore the idea of someone making distinctive claims to deity in modern times.  Suppose your neighbor walks over to you and says, "Hey come over here, I've got something to tell you."  You walk over and he whispers in your ear, "God and I are one!",  "When you've seen me you've seen the father".  Now, you have a choice to make.  Is your neighbor telling you the truth or is he not?  If he is you should stop what you are doing and worship him on the spot but if he isn't you could not conclude any longer that your neighbor is a "good person".  Let's explore what you must conclude if he's not telling the truth.

#1 He's a liar!  So if your neighbor tells you he's equal with God and he knows in his own mind he's not, that makes him a liar.  Now on the scale of lies this is one of the worst kind of lies a person could tell.  So he knows he's not the way to salvation but knowingly leads others astray from the truth.  This is the worst kind of lie because it's devilish in nature.  Your neighbor could lead thousands or perhaps millions away from the truth by concocting this hoax on humanity.  So your neighbor can't be considered a good person if he makes distinct claims to deity knowing he's not.

#2 He's a lunatic!  So if you travel down to your local mental institution you may find people who are mentally ill who claim to be God.  Now in their defense they are convinced in their own minds that they really are.  Unfortunately one wouldn't consider a person with this level of mental illness a "good person".  Perhaps they were a victim of some horrific crime that damaged their mental capacities to perceive reality or maybe they have a genetic predisposition for this kind of thinking.  Perhaps they are suffering from a demonic presence.  We don't really know but we know one thing.  This person is not capable of leading in a good way nor is this person someone most of us would "follow", because there will be other components to their mental illness that make them hard to coexist with let alone die for. 

So let's review our two choices for the person who decides to make claims to deity but isn't.  #1 Liar: Not just a little white lie kind of liar but a hoax on humanity kind of liar, someone who should be put into the worst kind of liar category.  #2 Lunatic: A person who really believes they are God (and isn't) is crazy.  And not just a little crazy, very crazy.

#3 He's Lord and God! So looking at the manuscript authority of the New Testament, and the teaching, life, miracles, resurrection and ascension of Jesus; one, who's logical, must conclude that Jesus claims to deity are substantiated by his words, attitude and actions.  The only logical conclusion for who Jesus is, is who he said he was.  Jesus is who the Pharisees understood him to be claiming to be.  If you can't draw this conclusion for yourself, for whatever reason (your eyes are closed or blinded by some other ideology) then please don't make the idiotic statement that "Jesus was JUST a good person".  "Jesus was JUST a prophet". or "Jesus was JUST a good teacher".


 
Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124

View Larger Map

May 20, 2013

Peace on Earth - One Pastor's Response to the Sandy Hook Shooting


By Tony V. Hammack

Abundant Life Today Media
Abundant Life Today Podcast

Podcast: Play in New Window | Download
To watch the video, click here.
Abundant Life Today Video
 These notes are best when used in conjunction with the audio or video. 
 
Scriptural Basis:
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Genesis 6:13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
Matthew 24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  
Mark 13:7 Says When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Introduction:  We know we live in a volatile environment where wars can start in various places in the world. These things can be alarming especially if you are serving or have loved ones serving in our military. Today however I want to speak on the shooting in Connecticut and what I believe will happen and how we as God's people should respond. Our First response should be found in Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. As painful as it can be I believe the Lord has called us to be empathetic to other people's loss and suffering.

Empathy - the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.

Once we move through this phase of understanding I believe the next logical step is to start to think, “How can we prevent something like this from happening again?” There are two basic ways to control someone's behavior.

Creating External Controls & Fostering Internal Controls

External Controls are modifying the environment of an individual or society limiting their choices by external restrictions. Putting someone in prison would be an example of applying an external control to a person who has trouble meeting societal standards for co-existing.

Internal Controls are modifying the environment of an individual or society giving them freedom but instilling in the individuals in that society an internal code of conduct that prevents them from engaging in anti-social behavior.

Let's explore the success or failure of external controls related to the shooting in Connecticut. The first thing folks seem to think about is gun control.

The Second Amendment:  I want to touch briefly on the 2nd amendment and then we'll move right along. I would define gun control under the category of external controls. The Constitution of the United States of America is the highest legal document and has the highest authority in our country. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. A Militia is a body of citizens organized for military service From the checks and balances in our government and the founders leaving the tyranny of a monarchy it's clearly understood that they knew what Jeremiah knew (Jer. 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? William Pitt said, "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" (Speech to the UK house of Lords 1770) A more familiar quote that sums up what I believe our founders felt is dated from 1887 and is from Lord Acton. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." So when talking about the 2nd amendment we're not just talking about the right to hunt or defend our homes against burglars or our country against an invasion. The spirit of the 2nd amendment was to equip the citizenry with enough military might to fight against the governments military should that government turn tyrannical. So if we want to get real, right now in our country it would be next to impossible for our citizenry to stand a chance against our military in open combat because military weaponry and technology has developed to very effective levels. In 1791 a 1,000 man army with muskets vs. 1,000 guys with muskets was a relatively even fight. Today A guy out in the woods with a 30-06 against an AC-130 specter gunship wouldn't stand much of a chance. So when gun control folks start talking about restricting the size of the clips and the type of rifles we're allowed to own it's really an infringement on our 2nd amendment rights. To me a better approach in the gun control realm would be better training for people who buy guns and certain safety requirements for gun owners. It should be difficult for someone to steal your guns and people should have to exhibit a certain level of competency before being allowed to purchase a gun. We could take some time to compare the gun laws and rules as well as the gun related deaths in various countries like Japan as well as Switzerland but that would go beyond the scope of what I feel is appropriate for a Sunday morning.

Let's focus in on the internal controls. I believe when a person has a relationship with Christ the Holy Spirit begins to convict that person of their sin. This sin can be challenged by the Holy Spirit at the thought level. If you have your thought life in check, you will never have to commit an act of sin ever again. John 16:8 The Holy Spirit can prevent crime when a person has a relationship with Him. The Spirit of the Lord will speak to a person clarifying what's right and wrong coupled with the Word.

Human behavior is not a simple subject and there are obviously many factors that go into driving our decisions but one thing we can all do is introduce someone to Christ and open the door for the Holy Spirit to begin his work of revealing God's ways to a person.

One other thing we can do is sign a petition I've written. Unfortunately this petition did not reach the threshold requirements the Obama administration required to release a statement about it. This petition would've let our lawmakers know that we, as American citizens, as Christians, believe prayer is important and faculty initiated voluntary student prayer (like what we had before 1963) is a move in the right direction to begin to rebuild the damaged moral fabric of our country.

Let's continue to pray for national revival.


Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.

Jubilee Family Church
45 Thunderbird Dr.
Batesville, AR 72501

(870) 793-9124

View Larger Map

The Christmas Story

By Tony V. Hammack

Abundant Life Today Media
Abundant Life Today Podcast

Podcast: Play in New Window | Download
To watch the video, click here.
Abundant Life Today Video

Visit with us at Jubilee Family Church this Sunday at 10:15 AM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) and Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Standard Time U.S.A.) If you can't be with us in person please visit via internet video on Jubilee T.V. If you live in Batesville please tune into KBAP 88.1 FM to listen to contemporary worship music.
Jubilee Family Church45 Thunderbird Dr. Batesville, AR 72501
(870) 793-9124
View Larger Map