The Climate / Tax Bill

August 5th, 2022

I love Larry Kudlow, but I have a beef with him.  He has been disparaging about the “Inflation Reduction” bill, and today Kyrsten Sinema even removed what Kudlow called the worst part of the bill –  a provision raising taxes on “carried interest,” or profits that go to executives of private equity firms.

Yet, Kudlow continues to lament the addition of 87,000 IRS agents.  In my view, this is the only part of the bill that could conceivably pay for itself by catching tax cheaters.  Since I report all of my income; take the standard deduction; and, pay all of my taxes, I say, “Let’s go for it.”  The only people who wouldn’t want this are people who cheat on their taxes.

My remaining beef with this bill:  It should be called the “Climate / Tax Bill.”

Risk of Death vs. Sure Death

July 15th, 2022

Since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the pro-death crowd is now complaining about the “risk” of death to mothers who may now have unsafe abortions.  How does that compare to the sure death of their aborted children?

Biden’s Numbers Games

July 13th, 2022

Today, it was announced that inflation is accelerating.  The annual rate of inflation was 8.6% in May, and it was 9.1% in June.

Among many reporters today, President Biden was asked about all of the Democrats recently abandoning him.  His response was that 92% of Democrats say that they would vote for him in 2024.  He didn’t cite the poll, but let’s assume that that’s true.

The latest Gallup poll for 2022 showed that 47% consider themselves (or lean toward) the Republican party, and 42% are Democrats, leaving 11% as Independents.  Well, 92% of the 42% of Democrats amounts to only  38% of the population.  Even if half of the Independents were to vote for Biden (which polls show is not likely), that still shows that Biden would get beat in a landslide: 56% to 44%.

BTW, President Biden blames everybody but himself for the 9.1% inflation rate, calling it “Putin’s Price Hike.”  If inflation were to ever come down, I wonder if he would call it “Putin’s Price Cut.”

Why God Allows Sin (Against the Innocent)

July 10th, 2022

Why does God allow innocent children be sexually abused?

Thank you for your question. This is a difficult subject–why God allows such bad things to happen. I believe that the simplistic answer is because of sin. Adam and Eve chose to sin, and all of the rest of us choose to sin also, by our own freewill. Sin introduces much evil into the world, and God still allows each of us the privilege of exercising our own freewill.

However, I think that it’s helpful to consider that the Bible tells us to be joyful even when bad things happen. James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” In 2 Corinthians 7:4, Paul said, “In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.” The Bible tells us that bad things happen for three specific purposes: in order to accomplish God’s master plan; to give us perseverance; and, to provide us with heavenly rewards.

God’s Master Plan

When Paul was persecuted and imprisoned for the cause of Christ, he wrote the prison epistles. In Philippians 1:12, he said, “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Being so close to the physical circumstances around us prevents us from seeing the big picture. God’s master plan may include some steps where we have to endure some negative circumstances before the next positive step of God’s plan can be accomplished, either for us or for others. Perhaps the reason that we can’t see the forest is simply because we’re not omnipotent like God. We simply have to trust Him, which is indeed the heart of the gospel message (John 3:16).

Perseverance

In James 1:3-4, we are told that, “The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Verse 12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

John 16:20-24 says, “You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So, with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Heavenly Rewards

In Luke 16:19-31, Christ tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus. It’s a disturbing story of the rich man spending eternity in hell while the poor man Lazarus spends eternity in Heaven. In verse 25, Abraham told the rich man, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.”

This is also the message presented to us in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12, culminating in Christ’s summary, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

I hope this help.

Thanks,

Owen

The Temptations of Christ

June 14th, 2022

‘And the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil’ Matthew 4. Owen, this seems a very strange thing to do?

Thank you for your question. Yes, this does seem somewhat strange.

These temptations were a necessary part of Christ’s earthly ministry. They constituted an attack by Satan against Jesus’ human nature–temptations that would have overcome any normal man. However, Jesus was no ordinary man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (1 Samuel 15:29), and this held his human nature in check. This does not mean that the impeccability of Christ denies the reality of Satan’s temptations. Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is still real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true for the temptation of Christ. The temptations were real, although the outcome was certain. In a demonstration of spirit and power, Jesus overcame the tempter, showing that He is the One who enables us to overcome temptation as well.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

The Tabernacle of Moses

May 7th, 2022

How are the articles of the Tabernacle related to God’s plan for man or the lives of believers?  Thank you for your assistance.

Many Bible scholars place a lot of significance upon the symbolism of the tabernacle and the furniture in it. Basically, the tabernacle symbolizes the Messiah, but I think that we have to be careful about how much symbolism we apply to the articles in the temple. This is because the New Testament does not offer a lot of information to confirm some of the symbols that some see. (For example, some have claimed that the four pillars of the tabernacle symbolize the four gospels of the New Testament, but I think this is a stretch.) Hebrews 8:5 tells us that the Tabernacle was modeled on a heavenly pattern (Hebrews 8:5), and he used it to give meaning to the priesthood and the atoning work of Christ (Hebrews 9:9), but without excessive symbolism.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the particular furniture and materials used in construction of the tabernacle may have been chose, at least in part, by culture, necessity, and availability, and they had purpose and significance to the Jewish people even aside from their symbolic meanings. Still, I believe that the following symbolism is quite obvious:

The ark is the throne of God–the visible sign of His presence (1 Samuel 4:7). Jesus Christ, who “tabernacled” (John 1:14) among men to make God present and known.

The table of shewbread (“bread of the face of the Lord”) suggests the constant (fresh) dedication of the 12 tribes to divine service, indicating that they were always before the face of the Lord. I believe that this can also be applied to us as Christian believers today.

The lampstand was the only source of light for the holy place, indicating that God is the ultimate Source of Light. There was no provision in the holy place for natural light, just as there is no need for light in heaven other than the light of God (Revelation 21:23). This gives meaning to the claim of Jesus to be the Light of the World and to His challenge to believers to allow their light to shine (Matthew 5:16). This is further understood Revelation 1:12-20 where the seven churches of Asia are represented by seven lampstands, with Christ standing in their midst.

The altar of incense symbolizes the ascending prayers of men to God.

The bronze altar, with its many sacrifices, symbolizes atonement and reconciliation, and it points to the ultimate, all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The laver, used for washing, signifies the necessity of purity, cleansing, and confession (1 John 1:9) in our approach to God.

The desire of man to draw near to God and God’s willingness to be approached are clearly visible in the furniture of the Tabernacle.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

Losing Salvation; and, the Concentric Circles

April 13th, 2022

Can a born again Christian lose salvation, and can a person always be in the inner circle if always confessing sin and praising the Lord? Explain the circles again in simply terms.

No, a believer cannot lose his salvation. There are many passages on this, such as John 10:27-30 which says, “27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Yes, a believer can essentially always be in the inner circle of fellowship with God if he learns to practice the technique of confessing all known sins.

Re. the concentric circles: This is just an analogy to help us better understand the importance of confession of sin. The inner circle is called temporal fellowship (fellowship in time). This circle is completely contained within a larger circle which is eternal fellowship. When a person is saved, he is instantly moved (from outside both circles) to inside the inner circle, so he is in both temporal and eternal fellowship with God; and, he will never again be moved outside of the outer circle. When he sins, he is moved outside the inner circle of temporal fellowship, but is still inside the outer circle of eternal fellowship. When he confesses all known sins, he is moved back inside the inner circle.

Thanks,

Owen

President Biden is a Racist

March 23rd, 2022

Before President Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, he said that the nominee would be a woman of color. Only 12% of the population of the United States are people of color. Since approximately half of these are women, this means that President Biden picked Ketanji Brown Jackson from a pool of only 6% of the population of the United States. The other 94% were not even considered at all. In technical terms, and in terms of Supreme Court eligibility, he believed that 94% of the population was inferior to the other 6%.

The definition of a racist is: “a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that a particular racial group is inferior to others.” The definition of misogyny is: “ingrained and institutionalized prejudice against women.” This clearly makes President Biden both a racist and a misogynist.

One can take that 6% number even further. A reasonable prerequisite would be that the nominee should be a lawyer, and every single justice on the court, dating back to John Jay, has been a lawyer. As of 2020, Black attorneys make up roughly 14.6% of all lawyers, and women comprise only 36.8% of all lawyers. This means that roughly 5.37% of the 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S. are Black women. So, President Biden picked he nominee from a pool of only 69,830 Black women lawyers, or only 0.02% of the population. He displayed racism, misogyny, and prejudice against the other 99.98% of the population.

What Should a Christian do when he sins?

March 11th, 2022

What must we do as Christians if we still sin from to time to time?

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, Christians do continue to sin after salvation even though we have power over sin. Please see my related article entitled Do Christians Sin? However, God has made provision for this in His plan of salvation.

Just as John 3:16 is the most important verse in the Bible for unbelievers, 1 John 1:9 is the most important verse for believers. 1 John 1:8-10 says, “8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

Although a believer’s eternal fellowship with God is never in question, his temporal fellowship can be quite volatile while still in this fleshly life. We can think of this as two concentric circles where the outer circle is our eternal fellowship, and the inner circle is temporal fellowship. Upon salvation, we’re moved from outside both circles to within the inner circle, where we can bring the ultimate glory to God through our spiritual gifts. At this point, we will never move outside of the outer circle again. However, in our daily walk, we can still sin, and sin can knock us out of the inner circle.

So, if we have eternal salvation, yet sin is keeping us from the ultimate experience of daily fellowship with God, we have a problem. How can we get back inside the inner circle? 1 John 1:9 gives us the answer. We must simply confess those sins which have formed a temporary barrier. We simply admit to our sins by naming them to God. This clears the way, and we’re immediately back in temporal fellowship with Him. In addition, there are further benefits for us:

Regular confession can actually help us to sin less. It’s like weighing every day’–we subconsciously turn down those desserts because we know that we will be weighing again tomorrow (by habit). Confession also helps us to avoid depression, without those lingering unconfessed sins hanging around to cause guilt (another sin). Finally, confession renews our liberty. We restore the freedom of our salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

Salvation for All

February 18th, 2022

What happens to the souls that died before Jesus Christ was born died the redemption of our sins, will they have the opportunity for salvation or have they already received it or will they have a second chance for redemption as implied in Revelations?

While in bible study, this question was asked and there were three possible difference references, one from Romans chapters 1 &2, regarding the conscience. There was the other 2, offering that the opportunity was originally done by Christ himself (during the 3 day period of time when Jesus was in the tomb & traveled to redeem the dead) and finally from Revelations. Can you provide any comments and references? Have a blessed day!

Thank you for your question. It’s a difficult one, and I hope that I have an answer that satisfies you.

All believers are saved by grace through faith, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Old Testament saints were saved by looking forward in time, via prophecy, to the cross. New Testament saints are saved by looking back in time at what has already occurred on the cross.

Apparently, when the Old Testament saints encountered death, their souls were not taken directly to heaven, as is now the case with New Testament believers. Instead, the Old Testament believers were taken to a place called ‘paradise’ (Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:4, Revelation 2:7), or ‘Abraham’s bosom’ (Luke 16:22-23). Then, upon the event of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, these Old Testament saints were
resurrected. Today, now that Christ’s resurrection has already occurred, when Christians die, we are taken directly to heaven.

This also seems to explain the difficult passage in Matthew 27:52 where “the saints rose from their graves and appeared to many…” Apparently they were resurrected from ‘paradise,’ or ‘Abraham’s bosom’ and taken to heaven by the Resurrected Christ (Eph. 4:8-9).

Incidentally, in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke 16:23 refers to a place called “hades,” which is where the rich man was. This seems to be the “opposite” of the place of “paradise” where Lazarus was. This would imply that, in Old Testament times, those who died were taken to one of these temporary chambers, awaiting their transition: either from paradise to heaven; or from hades to hell. This probably also explains the origin of the (somewhat distorted) Catholic doctrine of purgatory, which would equate to Hades in this case.

Thanks,

Owen