The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why ALL Christians Should Love THEOLOGY As Much As JESUS!

People say they love Jesus, but they don't really care much for theology. That's a lie. You CANNOT love Jesus if you don't love theology. Jesus Christ said to do EVERYTHING that He has instructed us to do, and to reflect the image of God the Father. How do you do that except by studying theology?

First, because many of you have no clue what theology even is (yet you claim to love Christ), let me give you a very simple definition. Theology is THE STUDY OF GOD. That's it. Theology is the study of God, what He is like, what He commands, what Jesus is like, what our sinfulness is like, etc. Studying theology, learning doctrine (doctrine by the way simply means teaching), is how you grow in your knowledge of God and what He is like.

Why do so many people want to be allowed to impose THEIR interpretation on Scripture? The Bible is absolute truth, it reveals what God is like to us. It is one of the worst sins to try and make the Bible and what it says fit how YOU think Jesus and God should be. That is creating a God in YOUR own image, rather than fashioning your life into GOD'S IMAGE. Therefore, it is pure sin, pure evil.

So why should ALL Christians love THEOLOGY as much as JESUS? Firstly, because the only way you CAN love Jesus is by learning about Him more and more. A man loves his wife, THEREFORE HE GETS TO KNOW HER! If you truly love Jesus, YOU WILL WANT TO GET TO KNOW HIM! Theology is simply getting to know Jesus. If you don't have a desire to get to know Jesus, you don't love Him.

But, Jesus also commands this, in the GREAT COMMISSION nonetheless! Jesus puts THEOLOGY and studying doctrine ON PAR with PREACHING THE GOSPEL. Notice what Jesus says in Matthew 28:19-20

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU."

Teaching IS doctrine, that is right there in the verse, you cannot argue that. TO OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED, that implies that you KNOW what Jesus commanded. In order to OBEY what has been commanded, you must LEARN what is commanded, and why it is commanded. That is theology. And Jesus says that we must observe what He has commanded. Therefore, we must study theology and doctrine.

So I am just going to keep it short for today. I am frustrated. So many people claim to love Jesus, claim to love God, yet they have know enthusiasm to know Him. Quit lying to others, and quit lying to yourself. If your husband or wife said that they loved you, but had no desire to get to know you and spend time with you, do they truly love you? Of course not. So to say you love God but have no desire to learn doctrine and theology is a damned lie. Wake up. Repent.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Youth Message That Ultimately Converted Me To Calvinism

This is the message that changed my life, that brought me into Calvinism, and that showed me my sinfulness as it really is and God's goodness and holiness as it is for the first time. In other words, the cross of Christ started making a lot more sense and had so much more meaning than it ever did before after  I saw this video, and my understanding of God began to completely change, ultimately for the better.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sanford Tornado, and God

Any time a disaster like a hurricane or earthquake or tsunami strikes, people begin either thanking, or cursing God. Obviously, I would be one of the former, but I want to challenge those who trust in God to think critically and biblically to understand why we should thank God when disaster "strikes."

First, let me get rid of that unbiblical language. Disaster does not "strike" as if disaster was some kind of being that controlled itself, or as if the tornado had power of its own to do what it did and to choose to destroy the houses, stores, and lives, that it did. No, someone has to create, to cause, tornadoes, and direct its paths. And what Christians, and everyone, need to realize is that God caused this tornado not only to form, but to hit the houses and people it did. I probably won't get an amen for that, not just yet at least.

First, just a few verses to show that it is true that God controls the weather, including hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes:

Isaiah 45:7 - I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Deuteronomy 32:39 - "'See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. "

Revelation 16:7 And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!" 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

Psalm 77:18 "The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook."

As you can see, this tornado was an act of God. The question remains: Why do we thank God and pray to God during a tornado, and thank Him when we survive, if it is God who caused the tornado to begin with?

The reason we should thank God is that we know that He is the one who has the right to take life, just as He gives it, as the verse from Deuteronomy above says. Secondly, if we understand anything about ourselves, we should know, and this is very important, that we are exceedingly sinful and deserve to suffer the wrath of God. And this is true of all of us, for we are all sinners.

Jesus said in Luke 13: 4 "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

In context, what Jesus is saying here is that those 18 people who were killed by a tower falling on them did not do anything to deserve such a tragic death that we do not likewise deserve. In other words, to say that the reason the tornado hit and killed those who it did and not others, and not YOU, is not because those people were worse sinners than anyone else. However, it is not right to say that those people who were taken in the tornado were innocent either. They were guilty sinners, and we too, are guilty sinners.

To die in a tornado isn't wrong, God caused it after all. The reason it isn't wrong is because we all deserve it, and I believe God uses these disasters to do several things:

First, God uses tornadoes, and I think God is using this tornado that just ravaged Sanford and other parts of North Carolina, to get our attention. To get the attention of true Christians to PREACH THE GOSPEL so that others can be saved by the power of God. To get the attention of those who are not Christians to see their sinfulness and how fleeting and uncertain life is, and that tomorrow is no guarantee, so that they will repent and be saved from the wrath of God and their sin.

Second, God uses tornadoes and other natural disasters to show His power. He indeed does control all things, and is far more powerful than any of us. He could wipe us out in an instant. We should stand in awe of the fierceness of God.

Third, God uses tornadoes and other natural disasters to show His grace and mercy. Even though we deserve the wrath of God, both in this life and the next, the damage that occurs to homes and families gives other believers the chance to show the grace and mercy of God. In other words, we Christians should not merely be addressing physical needs of others in this crisis (that is definitely important), but first and foremost their spiritual needs (which is always, ALWAYS, most important). And we meet spiritual needs by preaching the gospel of course, and that is really what I am trying to do right now.

The gospel can be illustrated through the tornado in Sanford like this: We deserve the wrath of God because of our sinfulness. If we got what we deserved, we would all be killed in a tornado or some other like disaster, and then we would suffer for our sins in hell forever. However, God has offered us grace and mercy, which we do not deserve. What we do not deserve is salvation from our sins, yet incredibly God has offered it through Jesus Christ, His Son, who is God, and who died on a cross, enduring the very wrath of God for man's sins, and all who repent and trust in this sacrifice and payment for their sins by Christ on the cross will be saved both from hell and the enslaving power of sin.

And to be saved from sin is the most wonderful thing in the world. We were created to honor and glorify God, but we want to honor and glorify self instead. Salvation through Christ saves us from our desire to live for self and gives us the desire to live for God, which again is what we were created to do and what we were created to love and enjoy. Not only that, but because our sins have been paid for by Christ on the cross when He endured God's wrath for our sins, and because Christ was perfectly obedient to God's law and glorified Him, we can be saved through faith in Him. He got the wrath of God we deserved for our sins on the cross, and we, through faith in Christ and His work for us, receive His righteousness (His obedience to God's law), so that we can be viewed by God as innocent of sin and obedient to God through what Christ did for us.

And that is the good news of the gospel, that Jesus Christ has lived the life we could not live, and paid the debt for our sins which we owed. Through faith in this, and this alone, we can be completely forgiven and saved from our sins so that we can live as we were meant to live- for God's glory and in obedience to Him.

So the Sanford Tornado, like all Tornadoes, is a work of God, which shows His righteous anger and wrath against men and their wickedness, as well as our need for a Savior, to meet both our physical needs as well as our spiritual needs. Then, if the gospel is presented, we see that God is not only righteous and just, but also gracious and merciful and indeed has provided a Savior to meet our physical and spiritual needs- none other than His Son Jesus Christ, who died for all who will repent and believe the gospel.

So my goal in this post is to ultimately point out God's righteous wrath against us, so that you can see your genuine need to be saved from your sin, so that you can live for God as you were made to do, and that Jesus Christ has already provided our needed salvation, and faith in Christ and what He did for you will save you from God's wrath and put you back in the right relationship with God, where you are no longer enemies but friends, and He is your gracious Lord, Savior, and Provider.