Posts Tagged ‘ Great Commission ’

VerseD: Matthew 28:19

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

Matthew 28:19, ESV

We have been commissioned by our Savior to share God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of our Father in heaven.

Does God Exist? (Presentation at Truth Quest Youth Apologetics Conference Prescott 2023)

The second weekend of April, 2022, many of the youth pastors and leaders of the Prescott, AZ area came together to hold a youth apologetics conference. It was a lot of fun, and very impactful for everyone there. I spoke on the existence of God, but I did not have a good recording and felt it could have been better.

For 2023, Truth Quest took place on the evening of Friday, March 24 and all day Saturday, March 25, and the theme this year was “Truth & Unity”.

I was one of the workshop speakers. Here is my presentation, both video of my presentation and my less-than-rough notes (though I still went off script a few times. I borrowed quite a bit from the original presentation Ryan Lynn made, but I made my own adaptations and additions, especially to include the unity we are called to in Christ because of the unity found in the Trinity.

Presentation slideshow to follow along and see totally excellent graphics and videos:

Notes to follow along with the words:

Truth & Unity: Does God Exist?

“God does not exist.”

  • From from Latin – existere/exsistere = “to step out, stand forth, emerge appear”
    • Therefore, God does not exist
  • Just Kidding! It also means “to be”, and as we know God simply is.
    • Exodus 3:14: “I AM WHO I AM” or simply “I Am”
      • Not “I was” or “I will be” or “I can be” – God eternally is.

Proving God – Approaching Evidence

  • “You can’t prove God exists!”
    • “Your own God said He hides Himself, that He wants you to have blind faith!”
      • Yes, God hides Himself from sin and disobedience (Isaiah 45:15, 59:2; Deuteronomy 31-32; many others).
      • He never calls us to blind faith (Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:4-6; 1 Corinthians 15:1-10; Hebrews 11:1; 2 Peter 1:16-18)
  • We should only believe the evidence, right? Is it:
    • Reliable?
      • Can we trust the evidence?
    • Consistent?
      • Does it line up with reality and other evidences?
    • Unbiased?
      • What presuppositions are attached?
      • All worldviews, including atheistic naturalism, use both faith and reason.
  • For example:
    How does gravity work? No one really knows, but it is a Law of Nature
    “However, if we are to be honest, we do not know what gravity “is” in any fundamental way – we only know how it behaves. Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between any two masses, any two bodies, any two particles. Gravity is not just the attraction between objects and the Earth” ( – Retrieved February 28, 2023 from,only%20know%20how%20it%20behaves.&text=Gravity%20is%20a%20force%20of,between%20objects%20and%20the%20Earth.)
    No one really understands how a bicycle stays upright even without a rider [minutephysics video –
    • Can we scientifically measure … science?
      • Science is a method used to study the physical realm, yet it is trusted by most people to find answers.
      • Many have come to say that we can only know things by science, a tool we can’t physically verify.
      • Thus, logic itself is unscientific while being used in science, but that is not a proof we are looking at today.
  • We must remember that no amount of evidence or argumentation can convert people:
    • “Christianity does not profess to convince the perverse and headstrong, to bring irresistible evidence to the daring and profane, to vanquish the proud scorner, and afford evidences from which the careless and perverse cannot possibly escape. This might go to destroy man’s responsibility. All that Christianity professes, is to propose such evidences as may satisfy the meek, the tractable, the candid, the serious inquirer.”  (Bishop Wilson, Evidences of Christianity, 1.38.)
    • “Christians do not claim that their faith gives them omniscience or absolute knowledge of reality. Only God has that. But they believe that the Christian account of things – creation, fall, redemption, and restoration – makes the most sense in the world.”           (Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, p. 127)

What Evidence?

  • The Box
    • Naturalism
      • Naturalism believes that nature is the only thing that has creative properties so
        they reject any creative force outside the box (the universe).
    • Theism
      • “That is, science is assumed to be, not only rational and causal and unified, but also naturalistic, banning by definition even the possibility of a supernatural First Cause of the rationality, causality, and unity of the universe with which science deals. But such an assumption is purely arbitrary (even emotional, as Isaac Asimov had admitted) and was certainly not held by the great scientists of the past, nor is it indicated by any actual scientific data.” Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, p.23
  • Consider that virtually all of the first scientists were Christians wanting to know more about God and His Creation.
  • Bias: It is closed minded and unscientific to only believe in the material. We all have bias in our approach of discovery but which is the greater bias, naturalism or theism?
    • “The current bias of science arbitrarily eliminates certain answers before the game gets started. Many scientists and historians must come up with conclusions that leave the supernatural out of the picture because their philosophy demands it. A theist is not so encumbered. She believes in the laws of nature, but is also open to the possibility of supernatural intervention. Both are consistent with her worldview. She can judge the evidence on its own merits, unhindered by a philosophy that automatically eliminates supernatural options before the evidence receives a hearing. Ironically, Christians bias broadens her categories making her more open-minded, not less. She has a greater chance of discovering truth because she can follow the evidence wherever it leads.” Greg Koukl, Tactics, p.174-175
    • “For me it is more reasonable to believe, based on the laws of logic as well as the observable scientific evidence that God exists, rather than to believe what the atheist believes that nothing, times nobody, equals everything we see in the universe.” -Charlie Campbell,
    • Romans 1:20
      • This is called General Revelation
      • We see the beauty of built things:
        • “Did a tornado blow through a junkyard and manage to build the Eiffel Tower? A thunderstorm shaped a mountain to have faces? That’s absurd.”
        • “But we believe a beautiful sunset, a spinning galaxy, or strands of DNA ‘just happened’?”
        • What is the evidence of a God?
      • We will look at three clues:
        • Cosmogony/Cosmology with …
        • Physics – Fine-tuning
        • Biology – Biological information
      • [“No Evidence for God” Debunked video]

“Fine Bodies Show God”

Fine – A finite, finely-tuned universe

  • Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • 1. Everything that exists has a cause2. The universe began to exist3. Therefore, the universe has a cause
      • The Universe Is Evidence That God Exists
        • 1. Something exists.2. Nothing does not produce something.3. Something must have always existed.
          • Now, there are only two options as to what that “something (No.3) [that] always existed” might be:
            • A. The universe, or B. Something outside the universe
          4. The universe has not always existed.
          • The Motion of the Galaxies and The Second Law of Thermodynamics
          5. There must be an eternal power beyond the universe that caused the universe to come into existence.
      We all know that nothing happens in isolation. When we try to trace an event to its cause, or causes, we find that we never seem to reach a stopping point. The cause of an event itself is caused by a prior cause, and so on back. Eventually we must face the question of a possible uncaused First Cause.
    • Why? As Dr. Henry Morris explained in The Biblical Basis for Modern Science:
      • An effect cannot be greater than it’s cause.
      • What does a First uncaused cause have to look like?
        • The first cause of limitless space must be infinite.
        • The first cause of endless time must be eternal.
        • The first cause of boundless energy must be eternal.
        • The first cause of infinite complexity must be omniscient.
        • The first cause of love must be all loving.
        • The first cause of life must be living.
  • Fine-Tuning of the Universe
    • [Fine-Tuning of the Universe video by Reasonable Faith]
      • Some even suggest we may live in a simulation … which means … created …
        • So, we have a universe that has a definitive beginning. (Even if arguments are being made saying otherwise.)
          • It is so finely tuned that a severely minor change would mean at best no life and at worst no universe.
          • And Christians get made fun of for discussing “elephants all the way down” (which is what a multiverse is) or something outside of the physical universe (showing they have faith in Science and human potential.)

Bodies – Biology is an expression of information, i.e. DNA, and information only comes from a mind.

  • Creation is getting so loud that we have to cover our ears and close our eyes to not see what is plain before us.
    • “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” -Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker
    • “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” -Francis Crick, cited in William Dembski, Science and Design
    • Could you imagine if the CSI came on the scene and said “It looks like arson but we cannot accept that.”
  • The eye is a ball with [Adapted from Hank Hanegraaff, Fatal Flaws, 2003, p. 43 and Geoffrey Simmons, What Darwin Didn’t Know, p. 283]:
    • a lens on one side
    • a light sensitive retina made up of rods and cones inside the other
    • The lens itself has a sturdy protective covering called a cornea
    • and sits over an iris designed to protect the eye from excessive light
    • The eye contains an amazing watery substance that is replaced every four hours
    • Tear glands continuously flush the outside clean
    • Tears bring oxygen to the cornea, carry chemicals that kill bacteria and proteins to coat the eyes, wash the eyes, and move debris toward a lower drain, or lacrimal duct 7
    • An eyelid sweeps secretions over the cornea to keep it moist
    • Eyelashes protect it from dust
    • And extraordinarily fine tuned muscles are attached to the eye that move the eye and shape the lens for the function of focus.
      • It’s all about perspective. The evolutionist has to assume that it is not designed because their bias does not allow for a designer
      • In his famous book, On The Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin said, “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable [matchless] contrivances [plans] for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.” [p. 217]
      • “Now I will just run through some points in your letter. What you say about my book gratifies me most deeply, and I wish I could feel all was deserved by me. I quite think a review from a man, who is not an entire convert, if fair and moderately favourable, is in all respects the best kind of review. About the weak points I agree. The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder.” -Francis Darwin, ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. II (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1899), p. 67.
  • DNA – The code of life – Is it all a happy accident?
    • Francis Crick, one of the two scientists who discovered DNA, having observed the complexity of DNA, estimated that the odds that intelligent life exists on the Earth as the result of non-directed processes to be around … 1:102,000,000,000 (That’s one with ten to the two billionth power.) – [Cited in Gary Habermas and Mike Licona, The Case for the Resurrection, 2004, p. 179]
      • 01000111 01001111 01000100 00100000 01100101 01111000 01101001 01110011 01110100 01110011   è “GOD exists”

Show – The ultimate proof of God is the death and resurrection of Jesus: He presented His physical body to His disciples.

  • Naturalism or Intelligent Design: both require faith because both cannot observe the past, but what is more probable? What is the most likely, reasonable reality?
  • Think 4th Dimensionally:
    • Hearing from an atheist …
      • What is the supernatural?
        • “But we need more than naturalistic sciences. We cannot derive meaning, human value, and equality from a laboratory.” -Abdu Murray, Saving Truth, p. 173D
      • Is there something outside of space and time?
        • The more we understand the cosmos the bigger and the more intricate the design is observed. We have to conclude that there is a God that is incredibly detailed, unfathomably large, and surpassing beautiful.
      • What would a higher being be like?
        • [Flatlanders video by Carl Sagan from Cosmos]
        • It is perfectly reasonable to believe in a more than probable God.
  • “For me it is more reasonable to believe, based on the laws of logic as well as the observable scientific evidence that God exists, rather than to believe what the atheist believes that nothing, times nobody, equals everything we see in the universe.” -Charlie Campbell,
  • The Ultimate Proof: Jesus presented Himself as God and proved it!
    • The Hebrew Bible (what we call the Old Testament) made over 100 distinct prophecies about One who would come to save all people from sin.
    • Jesus of Nazareth was born the way prophesied, lived a life performing miracles and pointing people to God, and then He said He would be killed and raised to life again.
    • And Jesus did that. Evidence? John 20:19-20, 24-29
    • 1 Corinthians 15:17-19

God – God not only is, but He has been in community and unity for eternity.

  • There is enough evidence that God exists that is reliable and consistent, if we are willing to question our biases.
  • And this God has shown He has eternally been in community: unity with others, even though there is only one God:
    • Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1 (God is talking here)
    • Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:21-22
    • Matthew 28:19
    • 2 Corinthians 13:14
  • Community in Unity: The Trinity
    • Father
      • John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2
    • Son
      • John 1:1,14; Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20
    • Holy Spirit
      • Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:4-6
  • God exists. God is love (1 John 4:7-16) and invites us into His eternal unity through Jesus Christ.
  • John 17:20-21

Video sources:

VerseD: Luke 16:10

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

Luke 16:10, ESV

We have been called to share the gospel and hold each other accountable in Christ, and He also helps us to be faithful when we rely on Him and each other.

VerseD: Habakkuk 2:14

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14, ESV

We know God’s love for us, for He has promised to redeem all of Creation. Let us join in His redemptive work and carry the knowledge of Christ to all people.

VerseD: Daniel 12:3

And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Daniel 12:3, ESV

Our God has saved us, and He sends us to show others salvation in Christ. With every new believer we rejoice and worship our Savior.

VerseD: Mark 16:15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Mark 16:15, ESV

Let us be thankful, not only for our salvation, but that our Lord has given us a purpose: to lead others in our world to salvation in Christ.

Sermon: The Story of a Girl – Ruth 3

I preached again!

Thr little book of Ruth always gets me emotional, and I did struggle through this message.

Below are my notes, and remember that they are just notes. I add stuff as I preach!

The Story of a Girl – Ruth 3

Romance Stories

Hollywood and book publishers love telling us about love.
We get stories about how boy and girl find each other, they fall in love, often they sleep together, then they decide they want to be together forever.

In other words, “Yeah, relationships are great, but let us tell you how it’s done, even if it gets a little spicy, and especially if it helps you get over your old-fashioned, out-dated morals.”

The majority of TV shows and movies not only suggest but even promote “test driving” before marrying – if marriage is even necessary.

[Personal story]

But what of a truly good romance?

The story of a girl

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”

Ruth 3:1-5, ESV

The relationship these two women have is wonderful.

[Personal story]

Would Naomi have truly slipped into full bitterness without her daughter-in-law? “What else do I have to live for? I am too old to have more children. God has forsaken me. I have nothing.

Maybe you have felt this way, like nothing right happens in your life, whether for a season or your whole life. Maybe you get stuck seeing the bad more than you see the good, like when the president you didn’t vote for is elected or it looks like World War III could happen. Is there any good left in the world? Does anything good ever happen?

You need a faithful friend, one who can remind you of the good and help you find your way back home.

After all, Ruth means “compassionate friend.”

For now, Naomi has a focus: find a way to continue her husband’s lineage, help Ruth find a husband.

And it sounds like the advice she gives is scandalous: privately go to him and lay down near him at night. But we know we are dealing with honorable people.

A girl before a boy … er … man

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”

Ruth 3:6-13, ESV

It is likely the end of the barley harvest, so the men are celebrating. It might even be close to Passover – this is the time of the barley harvest, after all. The women who have gleaned may have been invited, as well, not making it strange for a woman to be present.

Regardless, after a festive evening, Boaz lays down near a pile of barley. The farmer protects his investment, sleeping at the harvest field until the goods are stored.
Ruth does as she was told and finds him, uncovers his feet, an lays down. Many times in the Bible “feet” are an allusion to … the reproductive organs. But, like said, these are honorable, God-fearing people. It just means feet! She folds back the hem of his robe that he is using as a blanket.

This is not a modern romance story.

Maybe it was uncovering his feet, or laying down a little too noisily, or maybe one of his workers suddenly snored a little too loudly, but Boaz awakes at midnight to find Ruth laying at his feet.

She takes the posture of a servant – property, someone not worthy of his attention. Humble. Contrite.

Yet, she is bold. She asks for his protection. Not just a safe place to glean some food, but “cover me with your own clothes, feed me with your own plate. Only you can elevate me from nothing to something.”

I think of a woman over 1200 years later. A woman who does not try to cover herself with the hem of a robe, but she merely tries to touch the hem of a robe. A different Redeemer. One whose hem not only protects, but heals. (Luke 8:43-48)

I think of a story that Redeemer shares, of two men: one a Pharisee who brags to God about how righteous he is, and a tax collector who humbly laments his sin and knows of only One who can elevate him from despair to salvation. (Luke 18:9-14)

Just like these two with Jesus, Boaz shows grace and kindness, calling her daughter and blessing her.

We see here he admits to being older. As a redeemer, he would have to be a brother to the deceased (which obviously, he is not Ruth’s brother-in-law), a cousin, or even an uncle. It is likely that he is either an uncle or older cousin, and the other redeemer is a closer cousin. Perhaps he was Elimilech’s cousin, and this other man is Elimilech’s nephew or even brother. Regardless, Boaz is not that young, at least as old as Naomi. Ruth is probably 16-25 (remember that Naomi and her sons lived in Moab for 10 years!) Boaz could be as old as 80 (tradition holds that died soon after Obed was born.)

It reminds me of a Redeemer who is called our Everlasting Father.

We also see that this kindness is greater than the first. Which first kindness?

Probably that a young woman forsake her home for her mother-in-law. A young woman who worked hard to take care of someone she was barely related to. A young woman who could have looked for a “young stud” who could take care of all of her needs.

But she’s still thinking of her mother-in-law as well as her own needs.
But he promises to make sure she is taken care of, even if it could potentially look like some impropriety may have happened (but tries to minimize that appearance.)

Which reminds me of a man who tried to look out for a girl who claimed God gave her a child.

Which reminds me of a Man who made sure His mother was cared for, even as He died on a cross for crimes He did not commit.

But Boaz is not done yet.

A story of hope for a girl

So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city. And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’ ” She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”

Ruth 3:14-18, ESV

Boaz means “swiftness”.

He makes sure they are awake before dawn. He provides food for her to take home. This is both a sign to Naomi that he will handle this situation – “Don’t worry, Naomi” – while also ensuring both women are cared for.

Then, as we see in the next chapter, he goes straight out, finds ten men to witness, and finds the other redeemer to get it settled … swiftly.

The Story. Of a Girl.

In the beginning, was a girl. She was tempted with evil, and her husband did not protect her as he should.

There was a girl, whose husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law all died, but she found a man who would protect and care for her.

There was a girl, who found a man, and gave birth to the Son of Man.

There is a girl. She felt abandoned. She also abandoned. But her Redeemer came for her. Provided for her. Saved her.

This girl is the Church. She is all the redeemed. She is all of the saints of God who humbly … boldly approach the Redeemer, knowing they are unworthy of attention, not even worthy to be a slave, but seek His mercy, His grace.

As we approach this Passover, this Resurrection Sunday, may we faithfully glean from the sown Word of God – sown by the faithful writers and fellow servants, sown by the our very Redeemer. May we seek the favor of our Redeemer, knowing He has been faithful and has redeemed us.

All we need do is ask.

This life may be hard. We may face our struggles, our hurts, our disappointments. We may fail, feel abandoned or lost.

But we have a Redeemer. One who provides for us and protects us.

We, the Church, are His Bride. He longs to be with us.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Revelation 19:6-8, ESV

He has given us work to do. We glean from His Word and carry it home, and to our neighbors, sharing His bounty with those around us.

How do we say it around here? What is the vision, the mission statement of The Church Next Door?

Live a full life in Jesus and bring others along for the ride.

As the Bible puts it in Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV):

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””

This is the greatest love story.

Ruth and Boaz were just a picture of it, a vision of a simple story of a girl.

We are a part of the Greatest Story: The Story of the Redeemed in Christ.

VerseD: John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 14:26, ESV

The Holy Spirit empowers us to do God’s work and share His words:

In Christ’s authority we make disciples by teaching them to obey the commandments found in Scripture and the warning and hope of Christ’s return. (Matthew 28:18-20)

VerseD: Matthew 28:19

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

Matthew 28:19, ESV

With the Authority of Christ with us, we have no reason to fear others, rather we should boldly proclaim the gospel to all.

VerseD: Isaiah 43:18-19

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:18‭-‬19, ESV

Our world is a spiritually dry wasteland, and we often long for what people in the past seemed to have. Yet, God the Holy Spirit flows through each believer in Jesus Christ to bring our Lord’s grace and love to this dry and weary world to the glory of the Father.