Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mortality

As I begin my seventh decade on planet Earth, I am increasingly reminded of my own mortality. Every day, I watch the news and scan the Internet only to discover that another famous person has been translated from time to eternity. Even more surprisingly I often find that a friend, relative or acquaintance is no longer with us.

Of course, this gives me ample reason to pause, reflect and assess my own life. What have I done? What am I doing? Where am I going? 

All very important--even vital--questions. 

Several years ago, I found myself in the hospital with a severe and life-threatening leg infection. Harmful bacteria and invaded my bloodstream. That required the use of some industrial-strength antibiotics and a 10 day stay at the hospital. Ten days alone --flat on your back and looking up--gives you a lot of time to think and reflect.

Back to the questions. Allow me to answer them.

What have I done?: Not enough I'm afraid. As I look back, I see many wasted years in the rearview mirror. Thankfully, it is not what I have done that matters. It is what has been done for me. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and imparted his righteousness to me. He died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead for my justification. He has given me eternal life because I placed my trust in Him.

Next question: What am I doing?: I'm spending as much time as I can telling others about the grace of God and the love of Christ.

Last question: Where am I going?: My next stop will be heaven. Not because I deserve it. I don't. Quite the contrary. Only God's limitless grace has made this possible. Only the blood of Jesus could cleanse my sins.

Now, Some questions for you: What have you done? What are you doing? Where are you going? 

"What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." (James 4:14b ESV)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Diversions

There are many things that take our eyes off of Jesus. Money.  Politics. Sports. Music. Media. Technology. Or so many other things. Instead of thinking about the eternal, we focus on the temporal. Instead of looking all around us and seeing people who will spend eternity in either heaven or hell, we look inwardly and are consumed with ourselves.  What pleases us.  The next thing we can buy.  What we think will make us happy.  It is ample evidence of being driven by the flesh.  Our fallen nature.  What is the solution?:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Remember Jesus



by Tony Thomas

The Christmas holiday is well known as a time for both crass commercialism and unbridled materialism, especially in prosperous countries like the USA. I cringe when I see reports of "Black Friday" brawls in stores and malls over big screen TVs and other material objects that are only temporal and quickly become obsolete.

At the same time, so many are quick to forget the real meaning of the season -- the reason why we are celebrating and exchanging gifts:

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." (Luke 2:8-20 ESV)

God, in the form of a man, came to earth to live a righteous life and bear all of our sins on the Roman cross so that we may have eternal life if we trust in Him. So, let us forget about all of the excesses of what traditional Christmas has become and remember the true meaning of what we celebrate every December 25th -- the gift that God have us: Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21 ESV)


Photo by Mioni - Creative Commons License

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why I Wrote "Real Christianity"
























by Tony Thomas

My new book, “Real Christianity: Keeping the Faith in a Post-Christian World” was released yesterday on Amazon and Smashwords.

I wrote it in response to the hyper-skepticism and new atheism movements that have attempted to undermine belief the Holy Bible and faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian worldview is being actively and aggressively challenged by men like Bart Ehrman, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others.

The Bible instructs us to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). My goal in writing this book is to provide valuable information and Scriptures that will help every Christian defend their faith.

" Real Christianity" covers these topics: The Real Bible, The Real God, The Real Jesus, The Real Holy Spirit, The Real Resurrection and The Real Gospel.

I pray that you will buy it, read it and share it with your friends and family.

Soli Deo Gloria and Shalom!

Tony


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Here is an excerpt from the book:

"A movement called 'new atheism' sprang up after the 9/11 attacks on America as a knee-jerk reaction against all forms of religious fundamentalism. In its cross-hairs are the three monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Its message is nothing new. It is just a stale stew of Darwinism, intellectualism, secular humanism and scientism served up to appeal to post-modern minds. The so called 'four horsemen of the new atheism', Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Dennis Dennet, and the late Christopher Hitchens, have set out to destroy belief in God by waging an attack on scientific and moral grounds. 


"Richard Dawkins, the author of 'The God Delusion', said in his TED Talk: 'In my view, not only is science corrosive to religion, religion is corrosive to science. It teaches people to be satisfied with trivial, supernatural non-explanations and blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we 22 blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we have within our grasp. It teaches them to accept authority, revelation and faith instead of always insisting on evidence.'

"Real Christianity does not depend on blind faith. Christians should examine all of the evidence available to support their faith. And while the new atheists are quick to critique the Christian worldview, they offer nothing to replace it with other than an arrogant and elitist intellectualism. Christopher Hitchens was infamous for railing against the violence in the Bible, the wars fought in the name of religion and other perceived moral injustices. The question is: How could Hitchens make assertions of impropriety and immorality without being made in the image of a moral Creator? Where did his morality come from? 

"All of new atheists support the theory of macro-evolution and dismiss the possibility that the universe could have a Creator. As they cannot go back in time and see the actual formation of universe and its galaxies, stars, planets and life forms on this planet, they are merely trading a belief in theistic creation for the religion of Godless evolution which has a deficient cosmology."

From "Real Christianity: Keeping the Faith in a Post-Christian World" by Tony Thomas.  A Zoeproject Book.  Copyright 2015 - Tony Thomas - All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

Review of "Counter Culture" by David Platt


by Tony Thomas

In his new book, "Counter Culture", author David Platt deals with many controversial issues including poverty, same-sex marriage, racism, sex slavery, immigration, abortion, persecution, orphans and pornography. The publisher was kind enough to provide me with a review copy.

His assessments of these issues are both powerful and Biblical. He brings scripture to bear on these difficult issues and his solutions are often convicting. He effectively demonstrates how the church has abdicated its role as salt and light in a fallen world.

Platt presents many examples from his travels around the world and this helps to reinforce his positions. The accompanying website, www.counterculturebook.com encourages believers to take action by supporting groups that are helping to address these issues.

I would urge all Christians to purchase “Counter Culture”. It is an important book. We all need to listen to David Platt’s prophetic call to confront our culture and to spread the message of deliverance that is inherent in the Gospel.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two Roads - Which One Are You On?

Picture courtesy FreeFoto.com
by Tony Thomas

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."  Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

Two roads.  Only one leads to life.

Many are on the broad road.  It is easy.  It is the road of compromise, accommodation and popular opinion.  It is politically correct.  Socially acceptable.  No persecution.  Everybody likes you.  That road has a big welcome sign.  It says enter here.  All paths lead to God.  Eternal life is available to all.  It doesn't matter what you believe.  Or you don't have to believe anything at all.

The other road is narrow.  It is the road of faith in Jesus Christ.  It is a hard road.  It is narrow.  There is no welcome sign.  It requires you to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him.  It is a road full of suffering and persecution.  You will be hated and reviled while on that road.  Yet, it is the only road that leads to eternal life.  Heavenly bliss.  Streets of gold.  Walls of jewels.  The tree of life.  The throne of God.  Joy unspeakable and full of glory.  Never ending fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Which road are you on?


"The invitation is freely given, the proclamation is openly made. My God is not a God of hatred and of anger; he is a God of love. He bids you who are thirsty, who are longing to see his face, he bids you now come; and he tells you, and he confirms the same with an oath - "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Come now! "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." O Spirit of God! draw sinners to Christ! O glorious One! do thou be pleased now to draw them to the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son of God."  - C. H. Spurgeon  "The Way to God"

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Empty Tomb

by Tony Thomas

But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him."  Matthew 28:5-7 ESV

Jesus rose from the dead.  He defeated death and the grave.  He is alive forevermore and is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

These realities are central to the Gospel.  

What is the Gospel?  The Gospel is the "good news" that Jesus Christ, the God-man, came to this earth in human form, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins as a substitute and rose again for our justification.

The empty tomb is proof.  Jesus' body has never been found.  Why is this important?

Paul wrote:

"And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied."  I Cor 15:14-19 ESV

It is my prayer that you will trust Jesus Christ and receive the free gift of eternal life that He purchased with His own blood for your sins.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."  John 3:16-17 ESV