Posts Tagged ‘Bible study’

Chi Alpha @ CCC

August 26, 2010

I have been pastoring the same church since 1991.  I have been teaching at CCC since 1998.  This fall there is something new.  In a way, it is a combining of the two jobs that I have been doing for so many years.  This year we are hoping to start a Chi Alpha group at CCC.

Chi Alpha is a student ministry organization affiliated with the Assemblies of God.   Frequently Chi Alpha groups are led by individuals who act as campus missionaries, or pastors, on a full-time basis.  They raise their support from churches that support their vision of reaching out to the college students.

I am not becoming a full-time Chi Alpha worker, but none-the-less, will be working in campus ministries on a volunteer basis.

We are starting with a light schedule.  We will have bi-weekly meetings consisting of a time of sharing, a time of prayer and a time for Bible study and discussion.  We may have occasional outreach or fellowship activities as time and interest dictate.

At this time I have fulfilled the school requirements for a student group, except that I need a sufficient number of students indicating interest.  I have sign up sheets around the college and hope to have enough names shortly after classes begin in the fall.

I would appreciate your prayers as I begin this new endeavor.

Men, Angels, & Aliens

May 27, 2010

Our Wednesday night Bible study can be an interesting time of discussion.  Last night we were going over Genesis 6:1-4 which reads:

“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful: and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.  And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh: yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”  There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.  Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” (NKJ) 

I presented that there were two basic theories over the identity of  the “sons of God” and the “mighty men”.

One theory is that they are simply humans.  After all, Adam is called the “son of God”, so why shouldn’t his descendants be called the “sons of God”?  In this case the “mighty men” are  simply the race of men before the flood.  They had long life spans and so could rightly be called “mighty men”.

A second option is that “sons of God” refers to angels.  If this were the case, any children born would be half angel, half human.  This could result in humans with extraordinary powers; truly “mighty men”  It could even provide a historical basis for the existence of Greek mythology.  It was further pointed out that since these sexual unions were not condoned by God, that the angels were fallen angels, or demons.  That would explain the rampant evil of the time.

It was then suggested that perhaps the “sons of God” were aliens.  Since the Bible never says that there isn’t life anywhere else, it is not unbiblical to suggest the possibility of life on other planets. This too, would result in “mighty men”. 

It’s good to keep an open mind.

The point, of course, is that evil was rampant, and the judgement of God came upon the earth.  What is the correct interpretation of these verses?  I do not claim to know; but the reality of a worldwide judgement against evil is the final end.

Beyond Words

September 3, 2009

“The spirit may grasp truth that breaks beyond the barriers of human language.”

Last night in Bible study, one of the older members of our congregation, (She is 97!) commented that the topic was so deep that she was having trouble expressing what God was saying to her.  After the study was officially concluded, we were still sitting around talking and the line that I wrote above, came to me and I quickly got up wrote it down on the board so that I wouldn’t forget it. 

I believe that God communicates to us in a variety of ways.  God will utilize the natural means of verbal communication, such as reading, dialogue, and rational thought; but additional truths are grasped by an internal comprehension,  a revelation on a spiritual level, which allows us to understand, but that may be difficult to express.  These truths have a profound impact on how we comprehend the things of God, and of the world, and even though our attempts to put them into words are only partially successful; they enrich our lives, and our cognition of metaphysical reality.

Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven

January 12, 2009

I have occasionally had people ask me if there is a difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.  We had a big discussion a time or two in our Wednesday night Bible study and I wanted to share some information with the readers of this blog.

There are a number of parallel verses in the gospels.  In the following list, the verses are basically identical except that Mathew uses Kingdom of Heaven, while Luke and Mark use Kingdom of God.  Although Mathew will occasionally use the term Kingdom of God, the term Kingdom of Heaven is only used in Mathew.

Math 5:3                             Luke 6:20

Math 8:11-13                    Luke  13:28-29

Math 10:7                          Luke 9:2

Math 11:11                          Luke 7:28

Math  13:11                        Luke 8:10                  Mark 4:11

Math 13:31                         Luke 13:18&19        Mark 4:30-31

Math 19:23                        Luke 18:24                 Mark 10:23

Math 22:2                           Luke 14:15

I believe that in reading these verses in comparison with each other it will become obvious that Mathew has substituted the term “Kingdom of Heaven” for “Kingdom of God”.  Is there a reasonable explanation?

Mathew was written primarily to the Jewish people.  They had a historical belief in the Kingdom of God as expressed in the theocracy of the nation of Israel.  I believe that Mathew substituted “Heaven” so that his readers would understand that he was talking about something that was not of this world, something other than a reestablishment of the sovereignty of Israel under God’s rule.

With all due respect to the various televangelists and others who might disagree, there is no difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven as expressed in the gospels.  The terms are synonymous.