6/1/19

"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Our Duties As Wives And Husbands (3:1-7) by Mark Copeland


"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

Our Duties As Wives And Husbands (3:1-7)

INTRODUCTION

1. In this study of 1st Peter, we are seeing that God teaches the
   Christian how to conduct himself in all relations of life
   a. BEFORE GOD, he is to be holy, even as God is holy - 1Pe 1:14-16
   b. BEFORE THE WORLD, he is to live an honorable life, one filled
      with good works - 1Pe 2:11-12
   c. AS A CITIZEN, he is to submit to civil authorities - 1Pe 2:13-17
   d. AS A SERVANT, he is to do good, even it means to suffer patiently
      the mistreatment of others - 1Pe 2:18-25

2. As we come to chapter three, we find there are also certain
   responsibilities in our relations as husbands and wives - 1Pe 3:1-7

3. In a society where "dysfunctional families" seem to be the norm, it
   is even more imperative that the people of God demonstrate through
   their families that which is the will of God, and is "honorable"
   (good, beautiful to behold) conduct

[Our text goes a long way in describing the sort of conduct that is
"honorable" for wives and husbands, beginning with...]

I. INSTRUCTIONS TO THE WIVES

   A. BE SUBMISSIVE TO YOUR HUSBANDS (1-2)
      1. The word "likewise" refers back to the discussion in the
         previous chapter
         a. In which the principle of submission has already been
            applied to:
            1) Our responsibility to governmental authorities
            2) The servant's relationship to his master
         b. This would suggest that the same principles discussed
            earlier hold true to wives in their relationship with husbands
            1) I.e., to submit not only to the good, but also to the
               harsh - cf. 1Pe 2:18
            2) That if a wife suffers wrong from her husband when she
               was doing good, it is commendable before God if she bear
               that mistreatment patiently - cf. 1Pe 2:19
      2. The value of submission is best illustrated in the case where
         a Christian wife is married to an unbeliever
         a. He might be converted by her "conduct"
            1) Even though he might not have previously obeyed "the"
               word (the gospel)...
            2) Without "a" word (persistent nagging), he may be reached
               by her conduct!
         b. The type of "conduct" likely to have that effect is
            described as:
            1) "chaste" - that is, purity in all manner of life
            2) "accompanied by fear" -  that is, reverence; which in
               this case...
               a) Is manifested toward the husband
               b) And is an attitude consistent with the principle of
                  "submission"
      3. So the first duty of wives as outlined by Peter is that of
         "submission", especially if the husband is an unbeliever

   B. ADORN YOURSELVES PROPERLY (3-4)
      1. It is likely that Peter's comments are in the form of a "Hebraism"
         a. I.e., a Hebrew idiom (form of speech) commonly found in the
            Scriptures
         b. In this case, there is a contrast ("not this...but this")
            for the sake of emphasis
         c. A good example of this is found in Jn 6:27
            1) Jesus is not saying that it is wrong to work so we can eat
            2) But that our priority in life should be to have
               everlasting life
      2. A similar emphasis by way of contrast is being made by Peter
         a. I.e., don't let your emphasis on "beauty" pertain to
            outward adornment
         b. Not that is always wrong to arrange the hair, wear gold, or
            put on apparel
         c. But place your emphasis elsewhere!
      3. Let your beauty be "the hidden person of the heart"
         a. Conduct yourself so that beauty of the "inner person"
            shines forth
         b. Where people notice more "who" you are rather than "what"
            you wear!
      4. It is a "gentle and quiet spirit" that constitutes true inner beauty
         a. Unlike hair, gold, and apparel, it is incorruptible! 
            - cf. 2Co 4:16
         b. It is also very precious in the sight of God 
            - cf. Isa 66:1-2
      5. So Christian women, let your inner beauty be your most
         noticeable feature!
         a. Without inner beauty, any outward beauty is like a ring of
            gold in the nose of a pig! - Pr 11:22
         b. Parents, are we teaching this truth (by word and example)
            to our daughters?

   C. BE "DAUGHTERS OF SARAH" (5-6)
      1. Remember, the holy women in the Old Testament who trusted in God...
         a. Adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit
         b. Were submissive to their husbands
      2. A case in point is that of Sarah:
         a. Who was so beautiful outwardly...
            1) That Pharaoh wanted her when she was over 65 years old
            2) That the king of the Philistines wanted her when she was
               over 90 years old, and long past the age of childbearing
         b. Yet her true beauty was demonstrated by her submissive
            spirit (calling her husband "lord")
      3. Christian women can become the "daughters of Sarah," provided they...
         a. "do good" (be submissive to their husbands)
         b. "are not afraid of any terror" (composed with a gentle and
            quiet spirit)

[To be considered a "daughter of Sarah" by God would be a very special
honor!  It can be had by any woman who heeds the words of the apostle
Peter.

But a failure to heed these words will result in being more like a
"daughter of Jezebel."  Remember, she delighted in her physical beauty
and in manipulating her husband.  May such never be true of women
professing godliness and wearing the name of Christ!

Peter's instructions to husbands are brief, but nonetheless 
extremely important...]

II. INSTRUCTIONS TO THE HUSBANDS

   A. DWELL WITH YOUR WIVES "WITH UNDERSTANDING"...
      1. The KJV says "with knowledge"
      2. Husbands are expected to know, and understand...
         a. Their responsibilities in marriage - e.g., Ep 5:25
         b. The nature of women, as "weaker vessels"
            1) Refers to physical strength
            2) Not to intellectual abilities, moral courage, or
               spiritual strength
      3. Such understanding is to govern how the husband lives with his
         wife -- with love and thoughtfulness

   B. "GIVE HONOR" TO THE WIFE...
      1. The word "give" means "to assign"
      2. "honor" involves the idea of that which is "precious, of 
         high value"
      3. So the husband is to assign to his wife the honor of being
         precious and of high value in his sight
      4. A good reason to consider our wives in such light:  they are
         truly "heirs together of the grace of life"
      5. I.e., sisters in Christ, and therefore worthy of the respect
         we give any other child of God!

   C. "THAT YOUR PRAYERS MAY NOT BE HINDERED"...
      1. Here is good reason to heed Peter's instruction!
      2. The word "hindered" literally means "cut off"
      3. Thus the way we treat our wives may result in our access to
         God being cut off!
      4. This is what happened to the O.T. priests who divorced their
         wives - cf. Mal 2:13-14

CONCLUSION

1. We learn from Peter, then, that how we conduct ourselves as husbands
   and wives can have a bearing on our personal relationship with God
   a. If wives are to be considered "very precious in the sight of God..."
   b. If husbands are to keep open the avenue of their prayers to God...
   -- Then we must apply the principles in this passage (1Pe 3:1-7)
      to our lives!

2. If we do, then we all can be "heirs together of the grace of life!"

Speaking of being heirs of the grace of life, do you know one can
become such an heir? - cf. Tit 3:3-7


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Science as a Tool of Evangelism by Michael G. Houts, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5478

Science as a Tool of Evangelism

by Michael G. Houts, Ph.D.

Romans 1:20 states: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Acts 17:16-34 gives the account of Paul speaking to the men of Athens about “God, who made the world and everything in it.” The fact is, mankind’s general understanding of Creation can be used as a very effective tool for evangelism. Advances in science continue to confirm the Bible and refute philosophies that are opposed to the Bible.
Regardless of the specific approach, evangelistic efforts must focus on encouraging people to study the Bible, obey the Gospel, and remain faithful.  Colossians 3:2 tells us: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Mark 8:36 states: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Acts 2:38 reads: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Topics that are easy to understand can often be effective in encouraging people to consider the Bible with an open mind. For example, most individuals will agree that they can make choices. The most important choice we will ever make is discussed in Joshua 24:15, which states:
[C]hoose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
But how could we make even the simplest of choices if God had not given us a spirit? The answer is, we could not.  From science we know that chemical and physical reactions follow the natural laws that God established. If humans were nothing more than a collection of several thousand trillion trillion (octillion) atoms undergoing a sophisticated chemical reaction (as atheists allege), then we could have no free will whatsoever. Acknowledgment that we can make choices is an acknowledgement of God, which can be an excellent first step in our efforts to evangelize. Once a person acknowledges God, we can then focus on helping them realize that the Bible is God’s inerrant Word, and that we need to live our lives accordingly.1
From science we know that life cannot make itself from non-living material.2 The fallacy of “spontaneous generation” can be discussed at any technical level desired. Perhaps the simplest way to initiate a conversation would be to point out that hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent in the field of biotechnology, with extremely sophisticated laboratories, and highly intelligent researchers. Yet, no one has ever come close to making life from non-living material.  Even attempts to make simple, self-replicating molecules in highly contrived environments continue to fail. Given a few billion dollars, mankind was able to create the space shuttle. Does that somehow add credence to the idea that space shuttles can create themselves? Obviously not. Claiming life (which humans cannot make) could somehow create itself is vastly less scientific than claiming cell phones, cars, airplanes, or rockets (all of which humans can make) could make themselves.
Science has also shown us that information is being lost from the genome—not gained3—further refuting religions based on Darwin’s theory of evolution. Organs and structures once thought to be “vestigial” have been shown to have useful functions,4 and the whole concept of vestigial organs and structures is now viewed as nothing more than an example of scientific ignorance that was overcome by advances in real science. Homologous and analogous physical structures are exactly what Christians would expect given that God created all life.  As the Bible states, it is the spiritual difference between humans and animals that make humans completely unique (Genesis 1:26-27). Ideas that contradict the Bible in areas related to the age of the Earth or the origin of the Universe have also been shown to be seriously flawed and based on arbitrary assumptions.5 In short, there are numerous areas of science that Christians can simply and effectively use in evangelism.
But what about topics that are difficult to discuss with individuals who are skeptical about everything? Many agnostics are committed to the idea that nothing can be known for certain. While our primary concern should be the effect that idea has on the agnostic’s willingness to study the Bible and obey the Gospel, the idea that “nothing can be known” can also affect secular conversations that we may have. Those conversations can, in turn, affect our ability to establish the trust necessary for effective evangelism.
Two contemporary examples include the idea of a “flat Earth” and the idea that the U.S. never landed astronauts on the Moon. While a person’s views on those subjects are unimportant compared to their view of Christ, useful conversations can still be had. Calm, logical discussions on secular topics can often lead to calm, logical discussions on spiritual topics.

MOON LANDING

Interesting parallels can be drawn between the methods that are used in attempts to convince people that the U.S. did not land on the Moon and the methods that are used in attempts to convince people that the Bible is not God’s inerrant Word. For example, one argument used against the Moon landing is that there is a “geographical dependence” on whether or not a person believes we landed on the Moon. A Gallup Poll taken in 2001 showed that 5% of Americans believed the Moon landing was faked, and 6% did not know. At the same time 28% of Russians believed the landings were faked, and up to 75% of people in Cuba and in countries that were heavily influenced by Cuban teachers believed the landings were faked. If a person grew up near Cape Canaveral, knew people who worked on the Apollo program, witnessed Saturn V launches firsthand, and believed the U.S. landed on the Moon, his belief could be dismissed as a “geographical dependence.” The observation is made that if that same person had grown up in Cuba, he likely would not have believed in the Moon landing.  But even if that suggestion were true, does it have any bearing at all on whether or not the U.S. actually landed on the Moon? Obviously not. Likewise, atheists will often observe that if a person grows up in an area where knowledge of the Bible is strong they are much more likely to become a Christian than a person who grows up in an area where there is no knowledge of the Bible, and where becoming a Christian is punishable by death. But does that “geographical dependence” have any bearing at all on whether or not the Bible is true? Again, obviously not.
Moon-landing skeptics and agnostics often ask that if we were able to land on the Moon, why have we not returned to the Moon? One answer could be that the initial goal was achieved (land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth) and that additional goals (such as establishing a lunar outpost) will be achieved in the future. In the same vein, people often ask, “If Christ came to Earth once, why has He not returned?” The Bible gives very clear answers, such as 2 Peter 3:9 which states: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Skeptics and agnostics also point out that the Moon landings seemed too perfect. The U.S. first landed on the Moon with only six months to spare (to meet the stated objective), and the final Moon landing occurred just before the Soviet Union allegedly deployed technology that could prove the landings were fake. (The Soviet Union actually had adequate technology throughout the program.) All of the landings also occurred under the Nixon administration. 
Similar accusations are also made against the Bible. Christ perfectly fulfilled all Old Testament prophecies, and the Bible (written by 40 different authors over a period of 1,600 years) is perfectly consistent. The obvious answer for this perfection is given in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Numerous other methods are used to instill doubt concerning the U.S. Moon landing, but perhaps the most popular is “with all of the inconsistencies with the Moon landing claim, how can anyone still believe we landed on the Moon?”  Numerous examples are then typically presented, including cross hatches in front of photographed objects, odd looking (non-parallel) shadows, a flag that appears to be “waving,” no blast craters from landers, no visible flame from ascent stages, high radiation levels in the Van Allen belts (how could the astronauts survive?), no stars visible in photographs, footprints in Moon dust are too well preserved, etc.6 Direct evidence of fraud is also mentioned.  For example, in 2009 the Moon rock at the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam was examined and found to be petrified wood. There is missing data (Apollo 11 telemetry), and a woman in Perth, Australia even claims to have seen a soft drink bottle in the frame while watching the Moon landing.
In an analogous fashion, the “numerous inconsistencies” approach is often used against the Bible.7Questions include: “How could a loving God allow pain and suffering?” “How can God simultaneously be omniscient and give us free will?” “How can the Earth be less than 10,000 years old and the Universe appear the way it does?” “How could a virgin give birth?” “How could Jesus be resurrected from the dead?” In both cases, a good approach is to ask the skeptic which alleged inconsistency troubles him the most, and then spend whatever time is necessary fully addressing his concern. Logically sound explanations exist for all alleged contradictions with the Moon landing, just as logically sound explanations exist for all alleged contradictions within the Bible. In two extensive volumes, Eric Lyons examines and refutes many of the most popular allegations against the Bible.8
From the standpoint of positive evidence, there are also many analogies between belief in the Moon landing and belief in the Bible. Developing and launching a 7.8-million-pound thrust, 363-foot-tall rocket (the Saturn V) was a key aspect of the Moon landing, and millions of people saw the Saturn V launch with their own eyes. Likewise, Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are a key aspect of Christianity, and hundreds of people saw the risen Christ with their own eyes (1 Corinthians 15:6). Hundreds (likely thousands) of people both inside and outside of the U.S. were involved in the preparations where they could have easily shown the Moon landing to be a hoax (if the landings had been), but no one did. Likewise hundreds (if not thousands) of people were in a position where they could have refuted Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection had it not occurred, but they did not. In fact, those closest to Jesus (and those who would have needed to be involved in any type of fraud) were willing to die for their knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.
One final analogy can be made relative to discussions about Moon landings. Just as the Moon landings will be reconfirmed when mankind returns to the Moon, the Bible will be reconfirmed when Christ returns to the Earth (Philippians 2:9-11).

FLAT EARTH

A similar subject of interest is the recent surge in belief in a flat Earth, seemingly led by a handful of professional athletes and others. As with discussions related to the Moon landing, it is important to keep our minds set on things above. While Romans 14:15 speaks specifically about food, the same sentiment applies to other subjects as well. We should not risk destroying “one for whom Christ died” over a disagreement related to a secular idea.
Two recent articles provide numerous facts and observations related to refuting the idea of a flat Earth—biblically and scientifically.9 If an agnostic or skeptic is committed to a belief, though, a “rescue mechanism” can almost always be devised to claim that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, their belief is true. Ironically, the same techniques used to garner support for a flat Earth have been used to gain acceptance for the Big Bang, an equally false but more widely accepted cosmology. Observations that contradict either the flat Earth or the Big Bang theory are typically explained away through the use of sophisticated fudge factors, or by framing the theories in a way that any observation or piece of experimental evidence can be accommodated.10
First Corinthians 9:22 states “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Along those lines, it is important that we be able to discuss virtually any subject in a non-confrontational manner. Three ideas related to flat Earth discussions can involve contacting a friend, purchasing (or borrowing) a telescope, and working with a local university.
For instance, the mobility of 21st-century society and the ability to affordably travel and communicate over long distances have allowed many people to develop friendships around the world.  If a person has a friend living a few time zones away (i.e., a few thousand miles east or west of him) and at roughly the same latitude, then a simple text or phone call can provide good evidence for a spherical Earth. For example, a call could be made near sunset, and the friend could be asked about the Sun’s position in the sky at his location. The spherical Earth model would exactly predict the response, which would be either “the Sun set a few hours ago” (if the friend lived to the east) or “the Sun won’t be setting for a few hours” (if the friend lived to the west). While there might be a set of “fudge factors” that could be applied to certain flat Earth models to allow for the same response, the use of those factors would show the models to be highly contrived at the very least. A friend living at very high latitudes (e.g., Fairbanks, Alaska; Iceland; Greenland; etc.) could also add to the discussion based on the extreme differences in solar position between winter and summer. A friend living in the opposite hemisphere (e.g. New Zealand, Tasmania, etc. for people living in the U.S.) could be used to obtain other useful data. All of the observations and discussions would show the consistency of a spherical Earth model, and present extreme difficulties for a flat Earth model.
Buying or borrowing a telescope can also be useful in many ways.  Not only do telescopes allow detailed observation of God’s creation from Earth, but they also allow us more fully to appreciate Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” 
From the standpoint of a flat Earth discussion, a telescope can (given clear skies) allow us to view objects on the horizon where the lower portion of the object is blocked because of the curvature of the Earth. A classic example is a ship traveling out to sea. As the ship gets further away, a greater portion of the ship “disappears” below the horizon. This effect is again exactly what is expected on a spherical Earth, and very difficult to explain in a flat Earth model.
Universities are often involved with the launch of high altitude balloons. While the curvature of the Earth is much more obvious from orbit, it can still be discerned from altitudes that can be attained by balloons. If a skeptic or agnostic feels that all international space programs are somehow “covering up” evidence for a flat Earth, perhaps more personal involvement with a local university would encourage them to think otherwise. Some universities have also begun launching experiments on sub-orbital and even orbital flights, which could provide even more opportunity for first-hand observations that the Earth is spherical.
Although beliefs—such as the U.S. never having landed on the Moon or the Earth being flat—are typically attributed to agnostics and skeptics, it is important to remember that both non-Christians and Christians alike can have inaccurate beliefs on secular topics. When discussing any secular topic, we need to remember to keep our mind set on things above. We should focus on spiritual issues and not worry too much about correcting false secular beliefs that have little bearing on eternity. However, it is also important to note that vigorously promoting a false secular belief can have a negative influence on our ability to evangelize. Christians should be very careful about accidentally losing influence by endorsing a secular fad that, while popular in certain circles, is ultimately incorrect.
Another observation concerning both belief in a faked Moon landing and belief in a flat Earth—no matter what the evidence—people can still choose to believe what they want to believe. Likewise, regardless of the evidence, an atheist or agnostic can, ironically, still choose to believe they have no free will, choose to believe that life somehow made itself, choose to believe that all of the information in the genome somehow created itself, and choose to believe the many other falsehoods required to deny God. 
While science is an excellent tool for evangelism, we also know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). We need to stay focused on encouraging people to read God’s Word, obey the Gospel, and remain faithful. Our ultimate commission is summarized in Matthew 28:19-20—
Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

ENDNOTES

1 Additional discussion concerning “free will” is given in Kyle Butt (2016), “Atheism and Free Will,” Reason and Revelation, 36[10]:110-118, October, http://apologeticspress.org.
2 Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition.
3 J.C. Sanford (2014), Genetic Entropy (FMS Publications).
4 Jerry Bergman and George Howe (1990), “Vestigial Organs” are Fully Functional (Creation Research Society).
5 Alex Williams and John Hartnett (2006), Dismantling the Big Bang (Master Books); Don DeYoung (2005), Thousands… Not Billions (Master Books).
6 “Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories” (2017), Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing_conspiracy_theories.
7 Kyle Butt (2013), A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
8 Eric Lyons (2003/2005), The Anvil Rings: Volumes 1 & 2 (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
9 Branyon May and Alana May (2017), “Flat or Spherical Earth?  Evaluating Astronomical Observations,” Reason and Revelation, 37[8]:86-95, August, http://apologeticspress.org; Justin Rogers (2017), “Does the Bible Teach a Flat Earth,” Reason and Revelation, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5428&topic=24#.
10 Additional discussion in Mike Houts (2015), “Assumptions and the Age of the Earth,” Reason and Revelation, 35[3]:26-34, March, http://apologeticspress.org.

Saturn: A Ringed World by Alana May, M.S.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5474

Saturn: A Ringed World

by Alana May, M.S.


[Editor’s Note: Alana holds a Master’s degree in Astrophysics from the University of Alabama.]

SATURN

Saturn is probably the most recognizable planet in our Solar System with large, bright rings encircling it. It is the sixth planet from the Sun, the second largest Gas Giant planet, and about twice as far from the Sun as Jupiter. Saturn is an intriguing planet—from its size, to its wide rings, to its diverse moons.
The Creation account in Genesis tells us that all heavenly bodies were created on the fourth day of Creation (Genesis 1:14-19). When the Bible says that God created the stars on the fourth day, this description includes all the other objects in space that we can observe, including the planets. The term “light” (vs. 14) simply means “luminous body or luminary.” To the ancient astronomers, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were known as “wandering stars.” Since they appeared as lights in the sky, they were called stars, and since their relative motions differed from the majority of other objects, they were described as wandering. Actually, the Greek term translated “wandering” is where we get our English word “planet.”

THE MIGRATION PROBLEM

Saturn, the ringed beauty, attests to God’s greatness and splendor, but it also speaks loudly against evolution. In studying distant objects, astronomers often create computer simulations to test their theories. They must take into account the physical properties of the system in question and apply the physical laws of the Universe to predict how the objects might behave.
One of these models that astronomers use is how a solar system might form. A simplified view of the evolutionary planetary theory goes something like this: Gas and dust particles surrounding a star are gravitationally bound in a protoplanetary disk. Over millions of years, these particles coalesce into planetesimals, which continue to acquire more particles over millions of years, and eventually form into full planets.1
However, when trying to explain the formation of the solar system from an evolutionary standpoint, the models fail to explain why a gas giant like Saturn has not merged or migrated into its host star before the planet had time to form. Evolutionary astronomers call this the “migration problem,” which basically states that the gravitational interaction between the protoplanetary disk and the massive gas giant cores would cause them to move rapidly toward and merge into the central star.2

THE RINGS OF SATURN

In October of 1997, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched on its mission to Saturn. It was loaded with a multitude of equipment, cameras, and other scientific instruments that astronomers hoped would help us learn more about Saturn and its moons. By July of 2004, Cassini-Huygens had made the 890 million-mile journey to Saturn. The Cassini mission allowed astronomers to get an amazing, up close look at Saturn, its rings, and moons. In April of 2017, Cassini started its “Grand Finale” mission, making weekly passes of Saturn’s rings, and diving through a 1,200 mile space between the planet and rings, until it made its final descent into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017.3
While all of the Gas Giants have a ring system, Saturn’s is by far the most prominent. Saturn’s rings are not solid, uniform structures, but are made of billions of particles. Looking at Saturn’s rings face-on reveals gaps within the rings. These divisions have been classified among the ring groups and labeled alphabetically in the order they were discovered. Each ring grouping orbits Saturn at a different speed.
The width of Saturn’s rings varies. At the thickest point, the main rings are just over a half mile thick, where the thinnest point can be just 30 feet. Saturn’s rings extend outward away from the planet a distance of approximately 175,000 miles, which is equal to three-fourths of the distance between Earth and the Moon.4
The ring material also varies greatly in size. The smallest particles can be tiny clumps of ice, while the largest can be bigger than an automobile. While the ring structure of Saturn is amazing to behold, the origins of the structure have continually stumped the modern scientific community. Based on their evolutionary timetables and long periods of time, evolutionary astronomers have not been able to satisfactorily answer the question of where the rings came from and cannot reconcile the rings’ “youthful” appearance and reflectivity.5 Based on their evolutionary models and constraints, the ring structure should have dissipated long ago, and the rings should be much darker than they are due to dust and particles settling on the icy chunks that make up the rings.

GOD’S DESIGN

Everything God created is meant to reflect His glory. Saturn is an excellent example, as we see magnificent beauty in this Gas Giant planet and order in the structure of its rings. Evolution cannot explain the origin of the majestic planet. The only reasonable answer is that God, the Grand Designer, created this stunning planet. “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men” (Psalm 66:5).

ENDNOTES

“Discovering Planets Beyond” (no date), Hubblesite (Baltimore, MD: Space Telescope Science Institute), http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/discovering_planets_beyond/how-do-planets-form.
2 "The Locked Migration of Giant Protoplanets" (2006), Journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, March 21, https://phys.org/news/2006-03-migration-giant-protoplanets.html.
3 “The Grand Finale Toolkit” (no date), Cassini Science Communications Team,
NASA's Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of Technologyhttps://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/grand-finale/overview/.
4 Bill Dunford (no date), “Saturn: Rings,” NASA, http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Saturn&Display=Rings.
5 S├ębastien Charnoz, et al. (2009), The Origin and Evolution of Saturn’s Rings,” in Saturn After Cassini-Huygens, ed. M.K. Dougherty, L.W. Esposito, S.M. Krimigis, pp. 537-535, https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0912/0912.3017.pdfhttps://www.universetoday.com/107353/where-did-saturns-rings-come-from/.

Right, Wrong, and God's Existence by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=878

Right, Wrong, and God's Existence

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Everyone in the world believes that some things are right and other things are wrong. At times, people do not agree on the exact way to decide whether something is right or wrong. But it is undeniable that the concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, do exist.
The person who does not believe that God exists has only one choice when it comes to explaining morality—man must have thought it up by himself. However, since man is seen as little more than the last animal to be produced by evolution, this becomes problematic. A lion does not feel guilty after killing a gazelle for its lunch. A dog does not feel remorse after stealing a bone from another dog. And a female pig feels no guilt after eating her newborn piglets. Yet man, who is supposed to have evolved, feels both guilt and remorse when he commits certain acts that violate his “moral code.” The simple fact that we are discussing morals establishes that morality—which is found only in humans—had to have a cause other than evolution. After all, one ape never sat around and said to another, “Today, I think we should talk about right and wrong.” Even the famous atheist George Gaylord Simpson of Harvard admitted that “morals arise only in man.” What, or should we say, Who, instilled a conscience in humans? The apostle Peter provided the only legitimate answer. In 1 Peter 1:16, he wrote that we should be holy because God is holy. The only possible source of knowledge regarding right and wrong is the almighty God who embodies all that is good. In Ecclesiastes 7:29, wise King Solomon wrote: “Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
To suggest that the morality inherent in all mankind evolved from a warm pool of inorganic slime in the great long ago is an inadequate explanation. Morals could only have been placed in mankind by a Being who understood, even to a greater degree than men, the difference between right and wrong. This knowledge should lead us to follow the directive Jesus gave in Matthew 5:48: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

God’s Attributes (Part 9) He is an Emotional God by Ben Fronczek

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=1733


God’s Attributes (Part 9) He is an Emotional God

A story is told about the little Scottish boy who refuses to eat two nasty, shriveled prunes on his plate? His mother entices and pleads with him to eat them. Finally she tells him, as she has many times before, that if he doesn’t obey her, God will be angry. Usually it works, but this time the stubborn child holds out, and the mother, herself angry, sends him straight to bed. No sooner does he get there than a storm sets in, with lightning and thunder crashing around them. Feeling contrite and thinking that her child must be terrified, the mother sneaks to her son’s room to reassure him. She opens the door quietly, expecting to find him burrowed under the covers. But no, he is at the window, peering out into the night. As she watches, he shakes his head and says in an incredulous, reproving voice, “Such a fuss to make over two prunes!”
“Does God have emotions?” Of Course!
Over the past 2 months I’ve talked about some of the amazing attributes of God, from being all powerful, and eternal beyond the limits of time, to His perfect holiness and merciful nature. Today I would briefly like to touch on the fact that our God is an emotional being.
We can cite numerous passages of Scripture that speak to God’s emotions. Since God made us in His image, we should assume our emotions are a reflection of His.
Based on Scripture we know that God experiences: Joy, even laughter, also Anger, mercy, compassion, grief, hate, sorrow, love and jealously.
But since our God is holy and righteous, His emotions are not clouded or tainted by sin like ours. If anything, His anger, jealousy, sorrow, grief, and hate,     are because of others who sin, yet He remains holy.
For Example in Genesis 6 it says this, Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
If you get anything out of this lesson today, I want you to see this one thing; Our God, God the creator and sustainer of this universe, the almighty, all powerful, eternal One is emotionally effected by what we say and do.
Like a loving parent who moved by what’s going on in their children’s life, God is just as linked to us. When our children do something bad it disappoints us. Likewise, when we sin, we grieve His Spirit.
When we feel bad about a sin and repent, God shows mercy and forgives us just like when a child goes to their mom in tears and says, “Mommy, I sorry.”.
God feels our pain when we share it with Him. Do you remember the shortest verse in the Bible? Two words; “Jesus wept.” Why because those who were around Him were crying. He actually felt their pain and cried with them. Remember, Jesus was God incarnate, or God in the flesh.
God celebrates our joys when we share them with Him; He glories in our prayers of praise and thanksgiving. He understands and feels with us….
But also I believe He wants us to learn how to handle our feelings and emotions properly because sometime they can get out of hand and lead to more sin.
And this is where we differ from our Heavenly Father. Even though we are created in His image and likeness and may experience some of the same emotions He does, because He is always Holy, He never sins, no matter what he is feeling. Unlike us who get carried away by our emotions sometimes. Consider Adam and Eves son. Genesis 4:2-8 “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.”
This what can happen when we let our emotions get out of control. And so throughout scripture He does His best to teach us how to handle properly those emotions we have.
It’s ok to have emotions and feel things but we need to be careful. For example I like what the Spirit of God moves Paul to write in Romans 12:9ff. He says, “.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;  I will pay them back,”  says the Lord.
20 Instead,  “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
We have to be careful not to let our emotions get out of control. At times it’s reasonable to get angry, and upset, and even hate certain things that are totally disgusting and ungodly. God did, Jesus did, but what we do with those emotions is what get us into trouble. We can either act in a holy righteous manner like our Father in heaven or as Jesus did, or we can lose control and do or say something bad and end up in sin. – Like Cain!
“Peter writes in his first epistle, prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1:13-16)
So on our part, it’s all about self control.
Isn’t amazing how much God cares for us, so much so that He even feels for us! How blessed we are to have a God and a Savior who loves us that much!
The Hebrew writer encourages us by stating14 Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (4:14-16)
Brethren, our God is an awesome God. He is all Powerful, Beyond the limits of time and space, All know, Ever present, Holy, Righteous and Just, Patient and Merciful, Caring and nurturing, and yes, He is an emotional being.
So I say, do your best not to grieve or disappoint Him. Make Him proud of who you are and what you have become. I say let us do our best to make Him proud and put a smile on His face!
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

How can they hear without a preacher? by Roy Davison

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/preachersneeded.html

How can they hear without a preacher?

Everyone needs to hear the gospel!
After Jesus rose from the dead, He told His followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15, 16).
Joel prophesied that after God poured out His Spirit, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Joel 2:32). On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out (Acts 2:1-4) and Peter preached the good news: “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
How were his hearers to call on the name of the Lord? Peter told them: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Their sins would be forgiven when they called on the name of the Lord by being baptized in the name of Jesus.
About four years later, after Saul of Tarsus believed and had fasted for three days, Ananias told him: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Saul’s sins were washed away when he was baptized in the name of Jesus. 
Thus, one “calls on the name of the Lord” for salvation by being baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). But first the gospel must be preached.

Preachers are needed to take the gospel to everyone in the world.
The missionary assignment of Jesus calls for dedicated evangelists, who know God’s word well, to fan out into the whole world with the gospel.
Paul was so thankful for God’s grace that he preached the gospel the rest of his life. We need grateful men today who will dedicate their lives to preaching the gospel.
As Paul explains: “‘Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:13, 14).

Does God want you to preach?
All tasks in the church are important (Romans 12:4-6). Each Christian dedicates his whole life to God and uses his abilities to serve God.
You no doubt are serving well now, but more preachers are urgently needed, men who are willing to dedicate their lives to proclaiming the gospel.
We can all pray that such men will arise. Jesus said: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2). And we all can help to send.

What characteristics are needed to preach the gospel?
Not everyone who wants to preach, ought to preach. Paul left Timothy at Ephesus to “charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3). Some had turned aside to idle talk, “desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” (1 Timothy 1:7).
To be a faithful preacher, you must know the truth. Paul was “a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Timothy 2:7). When Paul preached, he spoke the truth.
The world already has too many men who preach lies. So please do not preach unless you preach the truth. “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). “He who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully” (Jeremiah 23:28).
To know the truth you must know the Scriptures. Strive to be “mighty in the Scriptures” like Apollos (Acts 18:24). Follow the example of Ezra: “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). First, he prepared his heart. To do what? (1) To seek the law of the Lord (2) and to do it (3) and teach it. Before you can proclaim the truth, you must know the truth and apply it to your own life.
Preaching requires faith. You must depend on God, not man. Men will betray you. Your brethren will disappoint you. Many will oppose you. But you can always depend on God and you must look to Him for support.
One must be humble to preach. This has to do with faith. Humble men trust, not in themselves but in God. Arrogant men trust in themselves. A preacher’s goal must be to glorify God, not to glorify himself.
If you think you lack the ability to preach, you are right! Paul asked, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16). Yet, God may want you to preach anyway, because then you will trust in Him and the power of His word, and not in your own ability. 
When God called Moses, he objected: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). Because Moses was humble, God could do great and powerful things through him. What was God’s reply? “I will certainly be with you” (Exodus 3:12). What did Jesus say after He gave the great commission? “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
When God called Jeremiah, he objected: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1:6). What did God reply? “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:7, 8). Jeremiah explains further: “Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth’” (Jeremiah 1:9).
Jeremiah was to place his confidence in God’s word, not in his own ability to speak. Jeremiah was an inspired prophet. God revealed to him directly what he was to say.
Preachers today are not inspired. They must study the Scriptures to know what to preach. But when, on the basis of that study, they preach the word, God’s word is in their mouth, and they can preach forcefully and with confidence. As Paul says: “‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)” (Romans 10:8).
You do not have to be an orator to preach the gospel. God’s word is powerful enough to accomplish God’s purposes.1
Paul was not an impressive speaker. Faultfinders said of him: “For his letters ... are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (2 Corinthians 10:10).
Paul placed his confidence, not in his own ability, but in the power of the gospel. He wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is God’s power unto salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16 RD).

Someone who preaches, deserves support.
“The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Timothy 5:18). “And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:15).
But a real preacher will preach whether he is supported or not. What preacher could be more dedicated and capable than Paul? Yet often he lacked support (1 Corinthians 4:11; Philippians 4:11-15). Paul worked with his hands as a tentmaker to supplement his support (Acts 18:3; 1 Corinthians 4:12). Lack of support is no excuse for not preaching.
If you preach, you are a preacher, whether you are supported or not. Many preachers through the centuries have supported themselves. Rita’s father and my father were both self-supporting preachers. Someone who is supported has more time for study and can more easily go to distant places.
To preach, you must be willing to sacrifice. Most gospel preachers could earn more money doing something else.
You must be willing to suffer. Paul wrote: “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12). To Timothy Paul wrote: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).
The world is lost in sin. The gospel is God’s power to save. But first, people must hear the gospel. And how shall they hear without a preacher? Preachers are needed. Who will dedicate the rest of his life to preaching the gospel? Let us all pray that God will send workers into His vineyard. And let us support those who are preaching the gospel throughout the world. Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.
Footnotes:

1 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10, 11).


Published in The Old Paths Archive
http://www.oldpaths.com