The Vision of Faith
Sight is the function of the eyes. Vision is the function of the mind. What we don’t see with our eyes is eternal, while what we see with our eyes is temporal. Reality beyond physical sight is often difficult to imagine. Because we live in a ph...
Fri, 24-Nov-2017
Don't Forget To Warm Up!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31

I have heard it said that one of the devil’s most effective tools, is to keep Christians so busy, that they lose focus on what is most important. I wonder how many reading this, are doing so in passing, ra...

09h30 - 19 Nov 2017
The Pre-Incarnate Christ
by Rev. Warren Watermeyer
Part 1
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Vital Questions?

By Dr Bruce Woolard

Please read through the following pages thoroughly and prayerfully and if necessary more than once.

The Bible says we must be prepared to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15) to every sincere question we are asked. (Colossians 4:6) There are vital questions that need answers. Life is full of questions, some are trivial and some tremendously important. The greatest and ultimate questions that need answers are questions about God, and our relationship with Him.

There is no doubt that life can be extremely complex. We have health issues to contend with, financial pressures to cope with, security of employment to take care of and we have to contend for our family and provide for their future. Yet even these issues of life are only temporary and eventually pointless unless we have a living relationship with God. After all our relationship with God is eternal and it will last forever. In the following pages you will discover why it is important to establish a sound relationship with Creator God.


The most fundamental question asked throughout human history relates to other intelligent life in the universe. “Is there a God?” is a question many people ask. Some seek for physical evidence to prove God’s existence and yet there is more evidence to prove God’s existence than to disprove it. Anyone who comes to God must believe that God exists. After all it is pointless to search for God if you do not believe He exists. Anyone who seeks God must first believe that He does exist.
Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God for He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” Our planet is unique and according to the greatest minds in humanity they admit that there is no evidence of existence on any other planet equal to that of earth. How did it all begin? Some people believe that the bio diversity of species on the planet is the result of the “Big Bang”. In other words they believe that the universe is a result of some accident. These conclusions and theories have been embraced by some people who claim to be intelligent. If I told you, “that one day I walked into my office and a brand new computer landed on my desk by accident, it just happened, you would have every right to think that I need to see a “shrink”. But this is the “logic” embraced by some people who wish to exclude God from their lives. Not even the “Big Bang’ can make something from nothing. The belief in evolution, although widespread, is as weak as its missing link. How can nothing evolve into something? Let alone the complex life form on earth.

The only satisfactory explanation in terms of God’s existence is that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. The universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out what was visible. Creation had a beginning and it was God who brought it into existence. Design demands a designer and laws demand a law giver. Without a law giver there could be no laws, without a designer there could be no design. God the Creator, is both the Law giver and the Designer. He is the God who made the world and everything in it. The greatest evidence for this argument is man himself. Unlike any other animal man has the ability to express his personality through intelligent choices. The human mind has a conscience that can distinguish between right and wrong. Humanity has the capacity to worship something or some one. Where did man get these qualities from? Evolution could not produce these distinctive human characteristics. The clearest answer is: “That the Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth.” An analytical chemist had difficulty with the claims of Christianity, he, like many of his associates, doubted the existence of God until he discovered that the same 14 elements that make up the crust or dust of the earth is found in the human body. From dust we have come and to dust we will return. This fact resulted in the chemist kneeling in his dispensary paying homage to the eternal truth that God does exist and that the Bible has answers to questions that plague the human mind.
Evolutionists believe that creation came into existence without a Creator. Honest scientists admit that they do not know how life could have evolved from inanimate matter. Science therefore takes a guess in terms of what could or might have happened. They have no conclusive evidence to support their theories, they only can make assumptions. It is a scientific fact that energy cannot be destroyed but energy may be transferred. Scientists agree that matter has not always existed but that it comes from another force or form of energy. We believe that source of energy was designed by the Creator. God is not an impersonal force. He is personal, intelligent and creative.


The ancients did not know what science reveals today and therefore they concluded that life comes from life (Genesis 1:25). All medical and scientific treatment and prevention of bacteria transmission is based upon this great truth of the law of biogenesis, that life can only come from pre-existing life. Life cannot come from dead matter. There is not a shred of evidence that science can produce a living cell. We believe life began at a source. Like a river has a source, so we believe that God, the Creator, is the source of all living things. He is separate from His creation. God isn’t nature but rather nature is the byproduct of God.


This question is senseless because we assume that God had a beginning. Only things that have a beginning need a Creator. God was not created; therefore He did not need to be created by anyone. God is eternal. “Who made God?” The question wrongly assumes that “everything must have a cause.” When what is claimed is that “everything that had a beginning had a cause.” This is quite a different matter. Everything that had a beginning had a beginner, nothing cannot make something. Because God is eternal He did not need a cause. God is infinite and therefore there is no beginning or ending to Him. Only things that have a beginning have an ending. Because God had no beginning He is eternal and as the Eternal One all energy has its source in Him. The second law of thermodynamics asserts that the universe is running out of usable energy. If the universe is running down it cannot be eternal. While you can never run out of an unlimited amount of energy it does not take forever to run out of a limited amount of energy. Hence the universe must have had a beginning. To illustrate: A motorcar has a limited amount of energy (petrol). That is why we have to refuel the tank from time to time. If we had an unlimited source of energy or a large gas tank, we would never have to stop for petrol again. The fact that we have to refill the tank means that it was filled up to begin with. What ever had a beginning has a beginner. Therefore the universe that is winding down must have had a beginner (God). Science is only in the process of discovering what God has already put into motion ages and ages ago. Mankind can only speculate without any real evidence. The second law of thermodynamics asserts that since the universe is becoming more and more disordered it cannot be eternal; otherwise it would be totally disordered by now. This in itself is evidence that the universe had a beginning. That beginning must have been highly ordered. Indeed we believe God set it in motion and brought it into existence. The difference between God, the Creator, and all things created, is that creation is temporal, God is eternal. An eternal God was always there. Once again I stress you cannot get something from nothing. What exists today came from something. We believe that someone is God.


Augustine, a Christian teacher in the fifth century, gave two answers to this question. One, humorous, and the other more serious. The first answer he gave was that God was spending His time preparing hell for people who would ask this question. The second answer was more serious. God did not have time on His hands, since there was not time before time was created so there was no time for God to have on His hands. You may ask but if there was no time before time began, what was there?

The answer is ETERNITY. God is the Eternal One. 


Left to ourselves we would remain ignorant of God’s plan. Intuitively we know there is a Divine Source. This truth is embedded within all of us. So if we believe there is a personal God, how does He communicate with us? It is acknowledged that if God is intelligent He would want to communicate Himself to mankind who He made in His image and likeness. One of the ways in which He speaks to man is through creation. The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. The size of the universe and its incredible balance, variety and beauty reveal a great deal about the God who made it. In creation God shows His power and awesome intelligence. Since the creation of the world Gods invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
Words are vital to effective communication. God has spoken to mankind through words. Nearly 4000 times in the Old Testament you will find the phrase: “The Lord spoke” or “The Lord said”. This is why we claim that Scripture never had its origin in the words of man but men spoke from God as they were inspired by God’s Spirit.
(2 Tim:3:16) In no other literature known to mankind will you find scores of clear and detailed prophecy made by men claiming to speak from God and later fulfilled to the letter. The odds against this happening by chance are too vast to be taken seriously. The Bible is God’s Word about Himself to mankind. You either believe it or you reject it. God has spoken to mankind through His son Jesus Christ and man rejected Him. The Word of God consisting of the Old Testament and The New Testament reveal the truth about God. God is able to use any means to speak to us. Some people attach great significance to visions or dreams but these are subjective. Indeed God is able to speak to us through dreams but this would be an exception not a norm. God has spoken to mankind through human conscience, creation, circumstances, and Christ Jesus, people, and the Bible. Romans 10:17

The Bible is God’s written Word. 


The Bible gives us many clear and positive answers to this vital question. Here are some:

God is personal.
God is not a thing, power or influence. He is intelligent, personal. He thinks, feels resides, and acts in ways that show Him to be a personal being. We should never refer to God as merely “the man upstairs” or “the boss”. He is the Lord and God of the universe.

God is One.
There is only one true God. He says “I am the first and the last, and apart from me there is no god.” Yet God has revealed Himself as a Trinity of three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

God is Eternal
As previously stated God has no beginning. He remains eternal; He is the Lord who does not change. All that God ever was He still is and will always be.

God is independent:
Every living being is dependent on people or things and ultimately dependable on God. But God is totally independent of His creation. He does not need our solar system to survive. He can survive on His own.

God is pure and holy:
The word holiness means separation. God is separated from all things. Nothing can contaminate God. The Bible says of God “That His eyes are too pure to look on evil. He cannot tolerate sin.”

God is just:
The Bible teaches us that the Lord our God is just. His justice and righteousness are the foundation of His throne. He is not only the Creator but He is the Eternal Judge. He rewards and punishes in time and eternity with a justice that is perfect and beyond dispute.

 God is all powerful, all knowing, and He is all over. 


Who are we? Where do we come from? Why do we exist? Why are we here? Does life have any meaningful purpose? The first thing to establish in our minds is that we are not merely to exist. We are not an accidental accumulation of atoms which all happen to fit together into a convenient package we call a human being. God created man in His own image, He created mankind male and female. Man is more than a developed or refined animal or ape. He is different from all creation. God has given to every human being a unique and honoured place in the universe. When God created Adam and Eve they were appointed to rule over other life forms on the planet. Man was God’s personal representative on earth with amazing authority over all creatures. Man was given the special position of dignity because he was made in God’s image. This image and likeness that we carry in our human make up gives us the capacity to love, to care, to plan to imagine and to serve others. It simply means that we were created as spiritual, rational, moral and immortal beings.

We are designed to reflect God’s character. The Bible teaches us that when sin entered the human race it marred that image. We lost a link with God through sin. Every individual has a physical body to live in a material world. We also have a human spirit placed within us so that we will one day live in a spiritual world. But we are essentially personal. This is what the Bible calls “the soul”. You and I live within our physical body and express ourselves through our bodies in the world in which we live. 


The answer to this question is a straight forward one. Sin has brought chaos and confusion on humanity. It entered the world through one man and death, which is separation from God, was passed on from one generation to the next. Our first parents were given freedom but also a serious warning. They could eat of the tree of life and live forever, or they could choose to eat of the tree of knowledge and die. Mankind chose death instead of life. The word death means separation. Spiritually we are separated from God. Our spirit is dead to the things of God. The problem with mankind is that we are empty. We are searching to find satisfaction and meaning. Stubbornly we continue to do the things we have done before despite the fact that the way we have done things in the past has not helped, we continue repeating the same mistakes. We are driven by a need to find meaning and purpose. The only solution to this inner emptiness is to have the vacuum of our human spirit filled with the Spirit of God. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. As partakers of humanity we are partakers of the sinful nature that has befallen mankind.

This is the basic reason why life is so confusing and meaningless.


When we visit the doctor and he gives a diagnosis, we anxiously ask if it is serious or not. What is more important is that we know God’s diagnosis in terms of our spiritual disease. Sin is a disease of the soul. This simply means that mankind suffers from a poisoned nature. The genetic strain of disease is passed on from one generation to the next. But what is sin? Sin is rebellion. It is rejecting God’s will. Sin is missing the mark. It is disobedience. It manifests itself in our self centered lifestyles and our egos demonstrate the effect of sin. The Bible pulls no punches: For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. Notice that the list includes thoughts, words and actions. This shows that in God’s sight all sin is equally serious. Some people limit their idea of sin to things like murder, adultery, and robbery, but the Bible makes it clear that we have no right to think of sin in this way. Sin is anything that fails to meet God’s perfect standards. Anything we say, think or do that is less than perfect is sin. Now face up to this question: Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’ Can you? If not, you are defiled. Sin is lawlessness, it’s rebellion against God’s authority. Sin is a choice and every choice has a consequence. 


TV Talk Shows have popularised the viewpoint that there is life after death and that everyone will one day go to heaven. Nothing in the Bible supports this idea. While we acknowledge the fact that there is life after death, not everyone will make heaven. Man is destined to die once and after that he will face judgment. Those who have a right relationship with God will be welcomed into heaven and will spend eternity with God. All others will lose eternal life with God and will experience everlasting destruction, cut off from the presence of the Lord. Heaven is a definite place. We may have difficulty in understanding eternity but this does not negate the fact that eternity exists. God has made the provision for eternal life in Christ Jesus. All of those outside of Christ are lost and need to be saved.

2 Corinthians 5:8 says “That to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” To the believer, death is a doorway to life. 


There is no reason to doubt that God has an eternal plan for every individual. The DNA in our body identifies us as individuals. We are unique. There never has been and there never will be another you. On the basis of this fundamental truth it should not surprise us to discover that we will be recognizable in heaven. It will be a lot different to earth, but family and friends will be recognized. This is borne out in the story told by Jesus in Luke 16:20 – 31. Lazarus was a poor man and Dives a rich man. Both of them died. One went to hell and the other to paradise. The rich man in hell recognized Lazarus in heaven (there was a great big gulf that separated hell from paradise before Jesus died for sin and conquered death through His resurrection. Heaven is now in the realms of the heavenlies. Paradise also known as Abraham’s bosom was transported to heaven.). The rich man has all the faculties of the mind, he knows that he has brothers living on the earth, he remembers Lazarus as a beggar who lived in his suburb. He identifies Abraham and requests that someone go back from the dead to warn his relatives of the torment of hell. This dialogue and narrative substantiates the fact that there is life after death and that we will recognize people who we know from our life on earth.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 says that when the Lord returns from heaven that He will bring those who are with Christ back with Him to receive their physical bodies in the resurrection. 


This question assumes that God sends people to hell against their will. But this is not the case. God desires everyone to be saved. (2 Peter 3:9) C.S. Lewis put it this way: “The door of hell is locked on the inside. All who go there choose to do so. There are only two kinds of people in the end. Those who say to God “Thy will be done” and those to whom God says in the end “Thy will be done.” How can a loving God send people to hell? Love cannot work coercively but only persuasively. Forced love is a contradiction in terms. Hence God’s love demands that there be a hell where people who choose and wish not to love him, can experience separation from Him. And God says to them: “Thy will be done. It is your choice.”

Other facts about hell:

It is not something “invented by the church.” The Bible says more about hell than it does about heaven and leaves no doubt about its reality. It speak of people being condemned to hell and thrown into hell. It is described in the Bible as a place of torment, a fiery furnace; a place of everlasting burning and unquenchable fire. It is a place of suffering, with weeping and gnashing of teeth and in which there is no rest day or night. These are terrible words but they are true those in hell are cut of from all good, cursed by God and banished from all help and comfort. Hell is final. All the roads to hell are one way streets. There is no exit. The Bible tells us God will judge the world with justice. After all God will give to sinners what they have chosen. They reject God here on earth, then He will reject them in eternity. Ungodly living is a choice. He confirms their choice for ever. God can hardly be accused of being unfair. In light of these truths we need to think very carefully about the question once put to a group: Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? 


Religion is man’s attempt to make himself right with God but any such attempt is futile because even man’s best efforts are flawed and so they are unacceptable to God. The Bible makes it clear “Our righteousness are like filthy rags in the sight of God. Isa.64:6 The English word Religion simply means man trying to tie himself back to God. Religion manifests itself in rituals and personal sacrifices. Although commendable these practices cannot and will not save anyone from eternal damnation. If religion could save mankind from a lost eternity then God would not have sent His Son Christ Jesus to die for the sins of all. Religion cannot remove our sins. Rituals such as baptisms, confirmation, sacrifice of time, and even church attendance, cannot cancel out a single sin. Religion can never change the sinful nature of man. Behaviour is only the symptom of man’s fallen nature. The heart of man is the problem and by nature our heart is corrupt and depraved. (The heart is the mind of man.) Who can make that which is impure, pure? No one! Religious activity such as prayer, reading the Bible, going to church, are obviously good, but these cannot save us from our sin. Trusting in these activities will add to your sin and to your condemnation. Our trust must be placed in God’s provision for salvation. 


The central message contained in the Bible is summed up in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” While God hates sin, He loves the sinner. But how can a sinner be justly pardoned when God’s laws demand punishment? Only God could solve this problem. He did so when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on Calvary for the sin of all mankind. The Lord Jesus validated His claim to be the Son of God through His miraculous birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. There is only one mediator between mankind and almighty God. 1 Timothy 2:5,6 God the Son became a man by taking upon Himself human flesh. Born of a woman, He understood and fully identified with mankind. He remained completely God and yet He was completely human. Jesus Christ is therefore unique and the Bible confirms this to be true. It is vital that you understand what happened when Jesus died and what His death can mean to you. 


The exceptional life of Jesus on earth, although important, is not the most important reason for His birth. He came into the world to die. He died as a substitute, a sin bearer, a representative on your behalf and my behalf. His death on the cross demonstrates God’s love for us. The penalty for our sins was paid in full by the death of God’s sinless Son. Jesus as representative man, cries out on the cross “My God My God why have You forsaken Me?” At that moment God the Father turned His back on His beloved Son. Jesus endured the penalty of separation from God so that you and I can be united with God. All sin every sin, must be punished and when Jesus took the place of sinners, He became as accountable for our sins as if He had been responsible for them. He, who knew no sin, became sin so that we could be free from the power of sin in our lives. Three days after His death, Jesus conquered death, and was declared by God to be Lord of the living. (Acts 2:36) 


If God has shown you your need and you want to be saved, then you must turn to God in repentance of your life and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To repent means a complete rejection of your past life. You must admit that you are a sinner. You must admit that you have rebelled against a holy and loving God. There must be a genuine change in your heart. God will not forgive any sin you are not willing to forsake. To repent is to go in a new direction. Faith in Christ secures your salvation.

The Bible says that if you will confess with your lips the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) 


The answer to this question is that no one, not a single living soul, can live the Christian life. Christ Jesus, through the person of the Holy Spirit, living within you, enables you to live a new life. In other words, Christ lives His life through you. This is the only way that we can live the Christian life. It simply means handing over the controls or the driving wheel to the Lord and you becoming the passenger. Philippians 1:21 says “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Galatians 2:20 says that we are crucified with Christ. “I live yet not I but Christ Lives in me. The Bible also says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5 It also says, that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.(Philippians 4:13) So you can see from these Biblical references that the Christian life cannot be lived based on your self discipline. It is faith and trust in the power of Christ to change you that change becomes effective. However, the Bible speaks of some Christians being “babes in Christ” and others being “carnal or worldly” in their life styles. (1 Corinthians 3:14) This implies that many believers who have started to live their Christian lives through the power of God’s spirit in their lives have remained babes and have become worldly. The writer to the Galatians rebukes them for not progressing as believers but going backward instead of going forward with Christ. Galatians 3:3 “Have you begun in the Spirit and now try to be made perfect by the flesh?” The following information if put into practice will help you to live the exchanged life. 


Believers should regulate their time and spend special moments with the Lord in Bible reading and prayer. When you read the Bible God speaks to you. When you pray, you speak to God. It is important that you spend quality time reading the Bible every day so that you can find out what pleases the Lord. You need to grow up in your salvation. Fellowship with fellow believers, who share the same faith. Meet regularly. The Bible encourages us to maintain fellowship with fellow Christians. (Hebrews 10:25) This means joining a local church. You need to choose the right church and this is not easy. I want to encourage you to attach yourself to a Christian fellowship t hat teaches Biblical truths. The person who gave you this booklet will be able to advise you.. In your local church you find out more about God and how your experience with Him can grow into something more meaningful. You need the church and the church needs you. Although the church is not your connection with God, the church, like a fire, will help you to keep glowing for the Lord. Be alert to opportunities of telling others how much the Lord has done for you. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God to change the lives of people. (Romans 1:16) 


Found in the Gospel of John


“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9


“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
“I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18


“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
“I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36


“But as many as received him, t them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
“And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28
He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24


“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14
“Thomas answered and said unto him. “My Lord and my God” John 20:28


“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5


“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make your free.” John 8:31,32
“Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” John 20:21 


There are many questions we need to answer to: Who am I? Where am I going? Does life have any greater purpose? This booklet will help you find answers to vital questions you may be asking.

 About the author:
Bruce is an ordained minister with special interest in community life and the Word rightly divided.

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