Are You Tied Up in NOTs?

Tied Up in NOTsWe are all burdened with thousands of rules, laws, and commands NOT to do things.  “Do NOT Touch;” “Do NOT Enter;” “Do NOT Pass;” the list seems endless.  Even 8 of the 10-Commandments are “Thou shalt NOT . . .” commands.

From the time we were born, our parents, teachers, friends, religion, government, and culture have been telling us what NOT to do.  And as if that were not enough, we often impose many additional rules upon ourselves.  Our lives have been filled with prohibitions.  We are tied up in NOTs.

Psychologists have discovered that the human brain has difficulty processing negatives.  As a result, negative commands are often processed by your brain without the NOT.  For example, shouting, “Don’t Look!” is the surest way to get someone to look at something.

We live in a negative world, tied up in NOTs

Perhaps it’s just our sinful, rebellious nature, but being told, “Do NOT touch,” makes us want to touch.  “Do NOT walk on the grass” signs make us want to walk on the grass.  Being told NOT to talk, makes us want to talk back.

In the beginning, God gave Adam one simple command.  God told Adam NOT to eat the fruit from one specific tree.  Instead of obeying, Adam ate the forbidden fruit.  That one act of disobedience opened the floodgates of sin.

We are now deluged with demands to restrain our sinful impulses.  We live in a negative world, tied up in NOTs.  We are heavily loaded with NOT’y rules.

Unraveling the NOTs

There is a more positive way to live, though.  Jesus said,

Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30)

When Jesus was asked “which is the great commandment in the law?” He replied with two positive commands:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  (Matthew 22:37-39)

All of God’s negative commands (e.g.: Thou shalt NOT have any god before Me, do NOT steal, do NOT lie, etc.) are summed up in two positive commands: Love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul; and Love your neighbor as yourself.

In Luke 6:31, Jesus summed up the 2nd great commandment with “the Golden Rule.”  He said, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”  So the way to love others as yourself is to treat them the way you would want to be treated.

The apostle Paul echoed this in Romans 13:8-10:

Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

To be set free from NOTs, you simply need to obey the two great commands:

  • Love God by keeping Him first in your life

  • Love your neighbor as yourself by treating them the way you would want to be treated

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If you liked this post, you may also enjoy: The Platinum Corollary

The Ark Has Landed in Williamstown, KY

AIG ArK Encounter ImageAnswers in Genesis has launched their Ark Encounter ministry!

On Tuesday, July 5th, I had the privilege to attend the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Answers-In-Genesis Ark Encounter along with my oldest son, my sister, and 8,300 other people.  On Wednesday I went back with my wife, my son, and his wife (and about 7,000 people).  We were all amazed by how big, impressive, and Biblical it is.  We praise God for raising up this God honoring, evangelistic Christian ministry!

Fun Facts:

  • The Ark itself is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high
  • The Ark has 3.1 million board feet of timber
  • The Ark is the biggest timber frame structure in the world
  • The volume of the Ark could hold 569 railroad stock cars

The Ark Encounter SiteArk Encounter Activities

The Ark Encounter site provides other activities in addition to touring the many exhibits in the 3-floors of the massive ark.  Other amenities currently available include:

  • The Ararat Ridge Zoo – The zoo includes many “kinds” of animals from around the world, a petting zoo, and camel and donkey rides.
  • Screaming Eagle Zip Lines – The adventurous may enjoy zipping down 17 stories over thousands of feet at 50 mph.
  • Emzara’s Kitchen – The Bible does not tell us the name of Noah’s wife, but extra-biblical sources indicate that it may have been “Emzara.”  The Ark Encounter park includes a themed restaurant in front of the Ark’s bow.

A Satanic Warning MessageWhy Build an Ark?

This plaque located by the entrance to the Fairy Tale Ark room sums it up pretty well.  Satan doesn’t want people to believe the Bible.  Our enemy wants people to believe that life and the universe came about by chance, and that all things have continued as they are since the beginning.

In 2 Peter 3:3-6, the apostle Peter predicted:

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, . . . saying, . . . all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”

We are in a spiritual battle.  The devil doesn’t want people to believe in a global flood that destroyed the earth in the days of Noah.

Answers-in-Genesis has taken up the fight for Biblical truth by building the Ark Encounter.  The purpose of this Ark is to demonstrate that Noah could build a sea-worthy ship that could have preserved two of each “kind” of air breathing land animal during a global flood.  The Ark Encounter is a marvelous testimony to this Biblical truth!

The Truth About Ark Construction Money

There has been a flood of controversy regarding the Ark Encounter being included in a Kentucky tax rebate program.  It has been reported that tax money was used in the construction of the Ark.  But that is completely false.

The truth is that the construction of the Ark Encounter was 100% paid for by believers who actively support this ministry and voluntarily gave their money to it.  Over $33,000,000 came from donations.  The rest was collected through a bond offering.  Zero came from tax money.

The Kentucky tax rebate program applies to qualifying entities that can attract large numbers of tourists into the state.  To receive any rebate money, the Ark Encounter will have to succeed well enough to meet certain minimum revenue targets.  If (and only if) they meet these financial requirements, they will receive a percentage of the sales taxes that were collected at the Ark Encounter as a rebate.

It should go without saying that no sales tax money would have been collected at the Ark Encounter had it not been built.  And in addition to the tax revenue the state will receive through sales at the Ark Encounter, there will be an increase in tax revenue from surrounding businesses such as restaurants, hotels, gas stations, etc.

In addition to increasing the amount of tax revenue to the state through these sales, extra jobs will be created both at the Ark Encounter and at surrounding businesses.  These benefits to the people of Kentucky are the reason for the existence of this program.

To allow this rebate for casinos, race tracks, and other secular for-profit businesses while denying participation to the Ark Encounter on the basis of its being a Christian ministry would be religious discrimination.  And discrimination on the basis of religion is, of course, a violation of the Constitution and Federal law.

For More Information:

About Noah’s Ark

About the Ark Encounter

Ark Encounter Facebook Page

 

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1 Peter 3:15 – Are You Ready to Answer Evolutionists?

1 Peter 3:15 Always Be Ready to AnswerThe apostle Peter told us to always be ready to answer anyone who asks us the reason for our Christian hope (1 Pet 3:15).

These days, that often means being ready to answer Evolutionists as to the reason for our belief in Biblical Creation.

Today, I saw a snarky meme by Chuck Easttom that Wilbert Lek posted on the “”Quotes” Against Evolution” Facebook group page:

Atheistic Rant Against Young Earth Creationism

This got me wondering how many Bible believing Christians would be ready to answer this criticism.  Far too often it seems that Christians are willing to compromise their Biblical beliefs rather than trust God’s Word and answer their critics.

So in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15, here is my answer to these critics of young earth creationism, Wilbert and Chuck:

1. Just because a majority of people believe something, does not make it true.  When most people thought the world was flat, the prophet Isaiah described the earth as being circular (Isa 40:22) and Job said God “hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7).  Aristotle taught that the rate at which objects fell was related to their mass, and most people agreed with him, until Isaac Newton published his laws of motion and universal gravitation.  Most people used to believe in spontaneous generation until Louis Pasteur proved otherwise with his famous experiments in 1862.

2. The source of the statistics is not given, so there is no way to verify their reliability or accuracy.  None of these statements is backed up by proof.

3. Scientists who admit to believing in creation are often subject to ridicule, public censor, discrimination, and even job loss.  There may be many scientists  who believe in creation, but are unwilling to admit it out of fear.  This would render the statistics inaccurate.

4. The teaching of creation or intelligent design as an alternative explanation for the origin of the universe and life has been banned from public education classrooms for decades.  Evolution has been presented as a proven fact.  Students are not given both theories and the evidence, and taught to discriminate.  As a result, several generations have been brainwashed from childhood to believe in evolution.  This one sided indoctrination into evolution could explain why most scientists believe it.  That does not make it true.

5. Evolution is not science.  Genuine science involves observing things in the present, making theories of how things work, testing those theories, and having other people repeat those tests to verify the results.  The origin of the universe and life happened in the past.  It cannot be observed today; nor can it be tested or repeated.

6. “Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed,” there is therefore no natural explanation for how the matter and energy of the universe could come into being that obeys the physical laws of the universe that can be observed in the present.  Even if a “Big Bang” happened, it still would have been a miracle that violated the laws of nature as we know them today.

7. Evolutionists have no credible theory of how life could could form from inanimate matter.  Even the “simplest” cell is extraordinarily complex.  Multiple working proteins performing cellular work (including making proteins and copying DNA), an energy source, a way to reproduce, and DNA to code for it all would all have to be present and working at the same time.  This irreducible complexity could not happen by chance.  And nothing has ever been observed that indicates that it could happen.  Belief that this could happen is not science; it is a religious faith.

8. Evolutionists have no credible theory for how stars could form following observable natural processes.  They claim that gas clouds collapse into stars through gravitational force, but gases naturally expand.  The repulsive force of gas molecules would prevent enough mass from getting close enough together for the force of gravity to exceed the gas expansion force by natural means.

9. Evolutionists believe that all life evolved upward from a common ancestor through mutations and natural selection despite the fact that the vast majority of mutations are harmful and no transitional forms have been found in the fossil record to corroborate their belief.  This is not science; it is a religious faith.

10. Israel had its share of shepherds, but most of the authors of the Bible were not uneducated.  Moses, the human author of Genesis and the other 4 books of the Pentateuch was raised as the son of an Egyptian Pharoah’s daughter for 40-years.  He would have received the best education available at that time.  But people did not write the Bible on their own.  The God who created the universe and all life wrote the Bible using Godly men.  “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).  So no, uneducated goat herders did not get it exactly right.  The God who created everything got it exactly right and recorded it in His Word, the Bible.

11. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom 3:3-4a).

12. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Cor. 1:24).

It is my hope and prayer that this will help Christians prepare to answer Evolutionists who ask the reason for the hope within them.  How about you?

Are you ready to give an answer for the reason of the hope within you?

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