You Don’t Know What Will Happen When You Die

“You are going to die…  And though you may believe you know what will happen after you die, I don’t believe you do.  I believe we all tell ourselves things to mediate what otherwise might be a constant whir of pain and doubt”.  

Response: I appreciate your openness, honesty, and courage.  Most people are not willing to take their beliefs to their logical conclusions and to share this with the whole world.  So my hat is off to you.

I think it is fair to say that the logical end of evolution is nihilism – the notion that no one knows what happens when we die, that nothing matters beyond what we identify as our own self-interest, and that any means are justified by this end (self-interest, or in evolutionary terminology, self-preservation).

If evolutionary theory is true, then we are just animals, albeit smart animals, tender feelings are in fact phantom pains, and life has no higher purpose other than self-interest and survival.  By the way, I think it takes much greater faith to believe in evolution than creation by an intelligent being.

I would agree that from the evolutionary / nihilist perspective, any means are justified.  So because there are no rules, anything goes, including infanticide, abortion, polygamy, bestiality, murder, etc.  Life would be a jungle, with self-preservation the one and only life goal.

In your column, you stated: “You are going to die…  And though you may believe you know what will happen after you die, I don’t believe you do”. 

If someone is lost in the jungle, on what basis might they assume that everyone else is also lost in the jungle.  But is it a valid assumption?  The most brilliant person in the world may know 5 percent of all knowledge that exists.  Is it not possible that knowledge of the sovereign, living God could be in the other 95%? 

In his book “The Math of Christ”, retired Army Colonel Stephen Bauer calculated the odds of just 40 of the fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament to have happened by chance to be one in 1×10 to the 136th power.  If you covered the earth with silver dollars, including a red one, and asked a blind man to find the red one, his chances of success are one chance in 3.5 x 10 to the 17th power.  Dr. Emile Borel, who created the basic law of probability, stated: “The basic law of probability states that the occurrence of any event in which the chances are beyond 10 to the 50th power is an event that we can state with certainty will never happen.” 

There is someone who knows the way out of the jungle – a life of purposelessness and despair, and His name is Jesus.  In contrast to the evolutionary / nihilist perspective, Biblical Christianity is based on the notion that we were created in the image of the sovereign, living God, that we have meaning and purpose in our lives, and that we were created with the capacity to have a RELATIONSHIP with God (not just a BELIEF) that continues beyond the grave.  That invitation is open to each of us.

Sophia, God of Wisdom

“I am at point in time where I question belief systems (be they spiritual or otherwise) to see how they fit into my experience…  I remain open to receiving “answers” that are always true no matter time/space/circumstance.  I must say though when I have received such information it has come from within….”

[Paraphrase]  I am drawn to Sophia, personified wisdom (and Goddess of Wisdom); here is a link to an article about Sophia’ Exile and Return” written by Kathleen Granville Damiani. She articulates here (much better than I can) a significant part of my questioning/thinking.

“Who is Sophia? Literally she is Wisdom, because the Greek word Sophia means “wisdom” in English. More than that, Sophia is the Wisdom of Deity. She has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks, and as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christians… Sophia personifies wisdom, an ancient tradition concerned with integrity in the marketplace, politics, and royal court. Because the teachings were rooted in life instead of doctrine, Sophia became problematical and excluded from the religious formulations of monotheism.”


Great to hear from you.  Thanks for your thoughts, and sharing “Sophia: Exile and Return” with me.  I found it very interesting and revealing about Ms. Damiani’s personal journey.  I appreciate her openness and your sharing her story with me.  Each of us is on a personal journey, and although our journeys may intersect or be along the same path for a time, it is still personal and one that each of us must live out in our lives.

I also question belief systems to see how they fit into my experience.  And as I meet people, read books, and have other encounters, they inevitably become part of my experience.  Although I used to see religion as a matter of belief, a “blind leap of faith”, I now see a profound opportunity – that of a relationship with the sovereign, living God, the creator of the universe.  Furthermore, I see many manifestations of God’s supernatural intervention into the natural world and our lives.  A few examples:

  • A colleague of mine who is on the faculty at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences campus told me about an experience that transformed her life.  In the 1970s, she said it was the worst time of her life.  She was going through a divorce, and she had a 2 year old girl.  She felt strongly that she should stay home and take care of her daughter, but didn’t have enough money.  So she wrote down how much money she would need, and then said: “Lord, you know I want to stay home with my daughter and take care of her, but you know I don’t have the money.  So let me know what I should do.”  The total amount of the money she needed was $10,750.56 (this was back in the 70s).

The next day she received a letter from her mother, telling her that she knows she is going through a tough time in her life, and perhaps this will help.  Enclosed was a check for the exact amount of $10,750.56!  The letter from her mother was sent a day before she wrote down the amount.  I think this is how the Lord works – something happens in our life and we know it could not have happened by chance.

  • Three weeks ago, I heard a large man, whose name is Ed, tell his story – an incredible story, in some ways similar to the story of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.  Ed was drafted into the army and went to Vietnam, where he witnessed great brutality and became heavily involved in drugs.  When he returned, he became an enforcer with the mob in New Orleans.  He was arrested for a murder he did not commit, and was sentenced to die.  While on death row, he heard an audible voice tell him “I know who you are and what you have done”.  At first he thought it was a guard, but finally realized it was the Lord, and became a Christian.  He was still destined to be executed, when another person confessed to the murder.  As soon as he was free from prison, he was arrested for a murder he did commit.  He was let out on bail after several years, and now goes to visit prisoners to tell them how they can become spiritually free.
  • The New Testament is full of stories of the Holy Spirit guiding, nurturing, convicting, and supporting the apostles and early believers.

As I mentioned before, I find it helpful to make clear distinctions whenever possible, which gives us choices and perhaps provokes us to deeper thought.  Here are some distinctions (please forgive me if I don’t do justice to Sophia):

  • Where Sophia, personified wisdom, looks to personal experience, illuminated by myths, stories, and legends, Biblical Christianity looks to the sovereign, living God of the universe as the ultimate source of wisdom.
  • Sophia, personal wisdom, encourages us to listen to ourselves, and seek wisdom from our experience that emerges from our unconscious.  For a Christian, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord: a profound respect that God for who He is and recognizes our inadequacies and sin in the presence of the Holy God.

Ms. Damiani stated in her dissertation: “Wisdom used to be the highest virtue, but with the coming of Christianity, wisdom left the Western world.”  An astute observation, and I agree with her. 

The two realms – human wisdom and wisdom from God are distinct and ultimately compete for the attention of people.  It is interesting that the Bible addresses this very issue: 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’

Where is the wise?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the disputer of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  …For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”                                                                     I Corinthians 1:18-25

Perhaps the ultimate question is this:  how can human wisdom guide us in eternal, supernatural, spiritual matters – an arena in which our human senses and reason fail us, but can only be understood as revealed by the sovereign, living God of the universe?

By the way, I just read a book entitled: “The Math of Christ”, by retired Army Colonel Steve Bauer.  Bauer calculates the odds that 40 of the Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled happened purely by chance.  He found the odds to be one chance in 10 to the 136th power.  To gain some perspective on this number, let’s say that the United States was covered by silver dollars, one of which is red.  If we asked a blind man to go out and pick up the red one, his chances of success are one chance in 6.8 chances x 10 to the 13th power.  Fulfilled prophecies are another indication of God’s intervention into our natural world.

I hope this note finds all is well with you.  On with the journey…

Best regards,

Only Love, Caring, Justice, Joy, and Truth Will Endure

“Those aspects of life actually are all that endure in the largest perspective when they are made with eternity in mind…. Those acts include love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth.  That’s why every religion values those qualities.”

Response:   I am a fan of yours, and always enjoy reading your column.  But I did want to respond to your recent column entitled:  “Leaving a Mark”.

You mentioned that “those aspects of life actually are all that endure in the largest perspective when they are made with eternity in mind…. Those acts include love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth.”

I am in full agreement that having eternity in mind enriches our lives and those around us as we carry out our lives.  However from a Christian perspective, the largest perspective would really be eternity – heaven and hell, and how we have assisted people move toward the former (or not).  So we could treat people very well, but if we don’t help them see Jesus and learn about eternal life, we will not have helped them in the long run.  And eternity is a very long time.  As they burn in hell, they may remember how kindly we have treated them, but wonder why we did not introduce them to the sovereign, living God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ, who alone saves men and women unto eternity.

By the way, Maurice Rawlings is a cardiologist who discovered that about half of his patients that he revived from death came back screaming for him to save them, as they were in hell.  Very interesting, as it directly contradicts liberal seminaries, which often teach that hell does not exist.

“Those acts include love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth.  That’s why every religion values those qualities.”

Response: Is this really true?  The Bible is clear that there were other religions in place at the time of the Old and New Testaments, and they were condemned by prophets in the Old Testament and Christ and His apostles in the New Testament: 

  • Moses directly confronted the spiritual leaders of Egypt, who espoused another religion.  He could have said: “I know we have the same values, so I wish you well.”  No, he rejected their religion and their gods, and each of the plagues brought upon the Egyptians demonstrated that their gods were impotent against the God of the children of Israel. 
  • There are many other examples of the prophets of the sovereign, living God of the universe rejecting pagan gods in the Old Testament and their practices such as sacrificing their children by passing them through the fire.  (Similar to abortion today – over 50 million unborn babies to the gods of convenience, lifestyle, and reputation.)  The Judeo-Christian respect for human life as created in the image of God and of a higher order than animals is unique.
  • The New Testament is also full of examples of Christ and His disciples rejecting other religions.  Christ clearly taught that the (Talmudic) Judaism taught be the Pharisees and Sadducees was insufficient to go to heaven.  He told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, that he must be born again to go to heaven. 
  • When Paul spoke to the Greek philosophers in Athens, he noted that they had statues to many gods, then expounded on their “unknown god”, making the case that their unknown god was really the God of the Bible.  These were professional, hardened, skeptical philosophers, and yet he found a way to reach them.  But he did not reach them on the basis of shared values.
  • Finally, Jesus stated:  “I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one goes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6  This claim to exclusivity is either true or false; there is no middle ground.  He was either who he said he was – the Son of the sovereign, living God, or a false teacher and charlatan. 

“Each of us finds ways to weave and wind through the time we spend here.  Many turn to religion in an effort to connect with the signal.  I’ve chosen Christianity.  I’ve also had friends of the Jewish faith.  Others over the years have become followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, all seeking the higher frequency.”

Response: You imply that different religions are merely different ways to reach the same goal (“the higher frequency”), sort of like a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or truck are all equally valid ways to travel to Memphis.

As the Bible describes multiple gods in both the Old Testament and New Testament, it follows that everyone who worshipped a “god” back then was not necessarily worshipping the God of the Bible.  A closer look at religions today reveals that not only is the nature of their gods quite different from the God of the Bible, but their eternal destinations are  also quite different.  They don’t all go to heaven, but to other places.  Here are just three examples:

  • Mormons believe that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, and Jesus was more successful at persuading the council of gods that he should go to earth and represent them than Lucifer.  So god the father came to earth, had physical sex with Mary, and Jesus was born.  Furthermore, if you are good Mormon, you and your wife(s) get your own planet when you die, where you procreate new spirit babies that are then born on earth, just one aspect of reaching godhood.
  • Hinduism is also polytheistic, and if you are a good Hindu, after some reincarnations, you escape the wheel of samsara (reincarnation), and become one with the Atman – the All.  Similar to a drop of water falling into the ocean, the person then loses all personal identity. 

Furthermore, the positive traits that you mentioned: “love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth” are either absent or reinterpreted within the framework of Hinduism.  For example, Hindus are known for not helping the poor in India because that would interfere with their karma.  And their “truth” would include the perspective that Jesus was just one of many gods, and not even the main one.

  • Allah, the moon god, was one of the pagan deities worshipped by the people of Arabia prior to Mohammad arriving on the scene.  When he promoted his monotheism to the polytheistic inhabitants of Mecca, they chased him out of town.  He traveled to Medina, where he gathered his forces, came back and took over by deception and bloodshed.  He was a pedophile, a murderer, and a marauder who institutionalized deception (called taqiyya) within Islam, a practice embraced by Muslim leaders today.  Allah is not known for his love, and the only way you can be assured of going to paradise is if you die in jihad – religious war.  If you are a good Moslem man, you go to Paradise, where you have your own harem of 72 beautiful virgins.  (I don’t believe Muslim women end up with 72 handsome men).  The hyper-sexed Islamic culture is evident in Saudi Arabia, home of Islam’s most holy sites, where women dare not venture out of their homes without male escorts, and then covered up with a burka, lest they tempt a man to take advantage of them.  If a daughter or wife were to be raped, the father of the family would be duty-bound by Islam to kill her, thus restoring honor to the family. 

These elements are fundamental to Islam, and not merely some radical sect of Islam.  The “love, caring, justice, giving, forgiving, fairness, kindness, selflessness, joy, and truth” is largely absent within orthodox Islam. (I used to live with Moslems while in grad school in Missouri).

NOTE:  Just one of the ways that Islam is profoundly different from Christianity is how it treats women as second class citizens, even as property.  Ann Barnhardt is a brilliant, totally outspoken, former financial broker and devout Catholic who provides key insights into Islamic sexuality.  You can see her analysis here (part 1 of 4 parts)  Her videos provide great insight into the works of satan to destroy and pervert God’s ultimate creation – men and women, created in the image of God.

“Others over the years have become followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, all seeking the higher frequency.”

Response: You mentioned “the higher frequency”.  By this do you mean there is some all-pervasive power that believers in religion can tap into?  Sooner or later most believers in power religion (tapping a higher power) discover that the source of their power is ultimately Satan, who comes as an angel of light, and employs his minions and multiple religions to move us toward the creation of a one world religion, one world economy, one world currency, and one world government.  By the way, we can see the foundation for this system now being established – economically, politically, socially, and religiously.

This is in direct contrast to Christians who live a life in the (Holy) Spirit, who worship and serve the sovereign, living God of the universe and His Son Jesus Christ, Who has sacrificed His life that we may be truly free.  Furthermore, in contrast to religion, which are largely man-made belief systems, Christianity offers a personal relationship with the Lord.  Jesus said:  “I am the good shepherd and My sheep hear My voice.”

Further evidence of the uniqueness of Christianity:

  • The Bible is not a single book, but a collection of 63 books written by 40 different authors with widely differing occupations from 3 different continents over 1,500 years.  And yet it portrays a common theme and a common message, indicating that it was inspired by a common source – the Holy Spirit.  The common theme is that of a sovereign, living God who is holy, just, and merciful – a God who created a universe of beauty and design, who created man in his own image with the capacity for choice, and a plan for salvation that satisfies His nature and requirements for holiness, justice, and mercy. 
  • Simon Greenleaf was the nation’s most eminent legal scholar on the rules of evidence, and the U.S. Supreme Court often referred to his books on tough cases.  A Jew, Greenleaf occasionally would speak disparagingly about Christianity.  When his students challenged him by asking if he had ever examined the evidence for Christianity, he replied that he had not, but agreed to do so.  After several months of examining the evidence for Christianity, Greenleaf converted to Christianity, convinced that the evidence was so compelling, he had no other choice.  A legal scholar, he rejected the religion of his upbringing for the truth and freedom of Christianity.
  • In the book “The Math of Christ”, retired U.S. Army Colonel Stephen M. Bauer identifies 40 prophecies from the Old Testament that have been fulfilled, and the odds that they have happened by chance.  He discovered that the chances that these happened by chance is one chance in 1×10 to the 136th power.  Some scientists believe that the earth is 10 billion years old.  Translating this into seconds, this would amount to a mere 4.8 x 10 to the 17th power seconds.  Among all religious, only Christianity has such a record of fulfilled prophecies.
  • An intelligent design movement has emerged from within the evolutionist

community (including some prominent evolutionary scientists).  These scientists have come to the conclusion that the complexity of the universe cannot be explained by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, but reveals evidence of intelligence – of design by a conscious being.  All of which is totally consistent with the Biblical account of creation. 

Stepping back and looking at these issues from an overall perspective, what difference does it make?  The Bible not only articulates a world view and theology that is exclusive, it provides a strong admonition against those who teach other views: 

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”                         Galatians 1:6-9 

We cannot serve both God and mammon.  We will either love one and hate the other, or hate one and love the other.

I apologize for the length of this note to you.  I would welcome the opportunity to continue this conversation – by e-mail or in person.

Best regards,

Nine Clues to Christianity

Great to see you again.  I now recall the point I was going to make in discussing airline pilots and Secret Service personnel.  They are the two professions that are experts at anticipating the future (because the stakes are so high for them).  And they do it by looking for clues that tell them about the future that is emerging before their very eyes. 

With a multitude of world views, philosophies, and religions competing for our attention, looking for clues can be very helpful in discerning the truth about life here on earth and whatever happens to us after we die.  The multitude of religions make competing claims, so they cannot all be true.  I have found the following clues to be most helpful in my spiritual journey.   .

Clue #1:  There are over 150 flood stories in different cultures, most of them describing a family that survived the flood in a boat. 

Clue #2:  The Chinese language is made of pictographs, and the Chinese word for boat is a ship with 8 people in it (Noah and his family were 8 people).

Clue #3:  The Chinese word for flood is a picture of water covering the entire earth.

Clue #4:  The Chinese word for forbidden shows two trees, and “God commands” underneath the tree (similar to the two trees in the Garden of Eden).

Clue #5:  A cardiologist named Dr. Maurice Rawlings received a lot of patients who were in really bad shape.  It was not uncommon that patients would die in his presence.  Because of new medical treatments, he was able to bring many of them back to life.  He was astonished to discover that about half of them didn’t want to come back because they were having some great experience, and the other half came back to life screaming that they didn’t want to die again because they were in hell.

Clue #6:  Within evolutionary science circles, a new movement is emerging – the Intelligent Design Movement.  It is a group of evolutionary scientists, some prominent, who have concluded that their scientific research reveals evidence of intelligence, that that we could not have evolved as described by Darwin.  So they reject the evolutionist perspective that we are merely animals who evolved from non-life, and have no purpose in life.

Clue #7:  In the book “The Math of Christ”, Stephen Bauer describes 40 different Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled, and then calculates that the chances that these happened by chance to be one chance in 10 to the 137th power.  To get some sense of the magnitude of these odds, if you covered the earth with silver dollars, one of which is painted red, and told your friend George, who is blind, to pick up the red one, the chances of George picking up the red one would be one chance in 10 to the 17th power.

Clue #8:  The Bible, written by 40 authors with widely differing occupations from 3 continents over 1,500 years, tells an integrated story that is woven together in a progressive story of human life, with God’s involvement over the centuries, including dozens of prophecies that are fulfilled.  This unity is evidence of a common author (the Holy Spirit), who inspired and guided the writing of the books of the Bible, in contrast to other religions.

Clue #9:  Christ’s apostles, largely uneducated men, were fearful cowards as they watched Christ’s arrest, torture, and crucifixion.  And yet after they met the victorious Christ who had risen from the grave and overcame death itself, they became bold, powerful preachers of the Gospel that took on the Jewish establishment and the Roman Empire, spreading the good news of Christianity to the far reaches of the world, in spite of the suffering and death facing them on a regular basis.

When we follow the clues, they lead to the Lord.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”                                                          Matthew 7:7-8

Best regards,

Islam, Judaism, and Christianity


Great to hear from both of you.  I apologize for the delay in responding; too many irons in the fire or not enough fire (probably the latter).  Very interesting article and video clip about Ms. Gabriel and ACT! for America.  I hadn’t heard of her or ACT! for America before.  I lived with Muslims (and Jews and Christians) in Missouri for several years, an experience I greatly enjoyed.  My Muslim roommates were wonderful guys, and one of them married a young Catholic woman in a joint Catholic – Muslim wedding. 

But my reading of the Koran is that they were liberal Muslims, while the radical Islamists are more in keeping with both the Koran and Muhammad, the latter of whom led multiple raids against (mostly Jewish) caravans for women, children, and booty.  Because the fundamentalist Muslims are in ascendancy across the Middle East and are beginning to control the political, military, and foreign policy apparatus of these nations (Egypt, Libya, etc.), the liberal Muslims are largely on the sidelines in this conflict in the Middle East (and perhaps here in the U.S.). 

I suspect that the moderate/liberal Muslims are either intimidated, or as some suggest, secretly believe that Islam will eventually take over the world, albeit through peaceful means. In many respects, they are also victims of the fundamentalist Muslims – those who seek to follow in Muhammad’s footsteps.

The book “Infidel”, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a (formerly Muslim) woman born in Somalia, but raised in Kenya and Saudi Arabia confirms this perspective.  The harassment and murder threats against her for speaking out against Muslim violence against women in the Netherlands were very real.  They murdered a Dutch movie maker with whom she was co-producing a documentary film.  Events seem to prove this perspective.  The violent riots protesting a sorry little film that portrays Islam as a religion of violence just confirms that reality.  This is in direct contrast to Jesus, who instructed His followers to love their enemies, a commandment disobeyed in the Catholic crusades. 

While the Muslim dictators were not nice guys (Mubarak, Kaddafi, Saddam Hussein,, they did allow relative freedom of religion and even some women’s rights.  It is strange that our current administration would support the Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood, which is at its core fundamentalist and therefore opposed to the West, to freedom of religion, and to women’s rights.  However, it is not as strange if one considers the possibility that our president is a Sunni Muslim (see “Saudi Plant” and “Is Obama a Muslim?” on YouTube). 

That may also help to explain the animosity between our current administration and Israel, President Obama promising to never invade a Muslim country, his bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia, his instructing NASA to publicize the scientific achievements of Islamic scientists, his describing Islamic contributions to the founding of our nation (really), and his recent U.N. speech in which he stated that the future belongs to those nations that honor the prophet Muhammad.

By the way, I would encourage you to question everything (including what I say) and follow the evidence with an open mind.  I have learned that there is merit in stepping back and trying to look at the big picture, seeking clues that show patterns and ultimately to conclusions. 

Watching the video clip of Ms. Gabriel, I found her most convincing.  What and how Islam is being taught in our schools is in direct contrast to how Christianity is being treated in our schools.  The “nice” version of Islam and jihad that is being taught in public schools contrasts with the reality of Islam and jihad experienced in much of the rest of the world.  A film called “Jihad in America” was made several years ago that documented that radical Islam is being fostered throughout mosques in America.

If we include the reality that there are hundreds of terrorist sleeper cells in America (, the statement of Islamic terrorists to go after Saturday (the Jews) first, then Sunday (the Christians), several nuclear suitcase bombs in the U.S., Ahmadinejad’s belief that it is his job to create the global chaos necessary for the Mahdi to return (and recent statements that the Mahdi is about to return), Iran’s development of EMP capability, and his statement about nuclear explosions going off in America if Iran is attacked, there is ample reason to be concerned. 

I am not that familiar with the Tri-Faith campus you mentioned.  My sense is that while on the surface, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share a lot in common because they are monotheistic; underneath that exterior is the reality that all three serve different God/gods.  Perhaps there are really four competing religions, each of which claim to be true – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and monotheistic universalism.  But only Christianity passes the test of fulfilled prophecy.

In his recently released book “The Math of Christ”, Army retired Colonel Stephen M. Bauer calculated the odds that 40 Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled could have happened by chance to be one chance in 10 to the 136th power.  To gain some insight into this staggering number, if the earth was covered with silver dollars, one of which was red, then asked a blind guy named Fred to go pick out the red one, Fred’s chance of success would be one chance in 10 to the 17th power, a small number compared to one chance in 10 to the 136th power.

This is consistent with Jesus’ claim: Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one goes to the Father but through Me.”  I would add that only Christianity invites us to move from religion to relationship – a relationship with the sovereign, living God of the universe.  Our nation is facing dire times – an impending WWIII that will land on our soil, and an economic crash as the petrodollar fades away to name just two.  The Lord invites us to walk with Him through the coming fires, just as He walked with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego through the fire in Daniel 1.

More Evidence for Christianity

  • So Christianity reveals that the God of the Bible is personal – He is a spiritual being with a personality, and created us in His image.  He is not merely energy, or a force like gravity.
  • Because He is personal, and because He created us with the capacity for relationships, we can have a relationship with Him, which is amazing.
  • We could define “religion” as our searching for god, a set of beliefs about eternal matters, or even us creating god in our own image.  But Christianity is unique in that we can have a relationship with the sovereign, living God of the universe.
  • Jesus claimed to be God, as evidenced by the chief priest tearing his clothes after speaking with Jesus.  Tearing one’s clothes was the sign of the ultimate sin in Jewish law at that time – the sin of blasphemy, or claiming to be God.
  • Furthermore, Jesus stated: “I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one goes to the Father but through Me.”  He could have said that He was one of the ways, some of the truth, and part of the light, but He didn’t.
  • So His claim to exclusivity –  to be God – was either really true, or He was one of the greatest liars and frauds in history.
  • Although the Bible refers to God as “He”, this does not do justice to God and His nature.  In Genesis, God said: “Let us create man in Our image… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him: male and female He created them.”  So both men and women were created in the image of God, and each is incomplete without the other.  Although the term “He” is used for God, this portrayal of God as masculine (alone) does not do justice to the wholeness of God.

I hope this note finds all is well with you and your families.

Love from Arkansas,

Does God Reveal Himself Through All Religions

“God reveals Himself through all religions.”


* If God reveals Himself through all religions:

  • He would not have condemned the pagan religions in the Old Testament.
  • He would not have condemned the religion of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Talmudic Judaism) in the New Testament.
  • He would not have claimed exclusivity:  “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”  John 14:6

The sovereign, living God of the universe reveals Himself through nature, the created world, through His Word, and through His Holy Spirit today as it works in the hearts of Christians.  He reveals that He is a God of love, of holiness, of justice, and of mercy.  He invites us to a close walk with Him on earth and for eternity, but we must accept His invitation, and not be drawn away to other pursuits and other gods.

* Christ distinguished between believers and non-believers:

  • Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’  Matthew 13:30
  • “He who is not with Me is against Me…” Matthew 12:30a
  • “Only those who enter the narrow gate shall be saved: And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”  And He said to them, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’” Luke 13:22-28

* All religions have different requirements, and their adherents do not end up in the same place:

  • Christians believe we must accept Christ as Lord and Savior, then we go to heaven.
  • Muslims believe they go to Paradise, with each man having 73 virgins; the only guaranteed way to reach heaven is by dying in Jihad.
  • Mormon men believe if they are good Mormons (good works), they get their own planet, where they and their wife/wives procreate endlessly, creating spirit-babies that are then born on earth.
  • Buddhists believe they enter Nirvana, or nothingness, by becoming empty of self.
  • Hindus believe that if they are good, after a few reincarnations, they will escape reincarnation and become one with the Atman (the all), like a drop of water that falls in to the ocean.
  • Secular humanists (declared to be a religion by the U.S. Supreme Court) believe when you die, it is all over – you cease to exist, like a bug that gets squashed (no requirements, but no hope).
  • Because several of these directly contradict each other, these do not appear to be different manifestations of the same God, but descriptions of different gods.

* What is the evidence for Christianity above other religions?

In the book “The Math of Christ”, author Stephen M. Bauer calculates the likelihood that 40 Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Christ would have happened by chance.  The odds that they happened by chance were one chance in 1 x 10 to the 136th power.  To gain some perspective on that number, if you covered the whole earth – land and sea, with silver dollars, one of which was red, and asked a blind guy name George to go out and pick out the red one, the chances of George being successful are one chance in 1 x 10 to the 17th power.

* What difference does it make?

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”          Galatians 1:6-9

One Tamale Away From Eternity

Several years ago, when I was an irrigation engineer with the University of Missouri, I was invited to come and speak at a company meeting of the Gorman – Rupp Company in El Paso TX.  I had developed a tool to determine what kind of pump would be most suited to pump different kinds of liquids, and they wanted me to share it with them.  As I had never been there before, it was an adventure and I was looking forward to it.  It was a two day event, and for dinner in the evening, they took us to see the dog races in Mexico.  They served us wonderful food, including tamales and other Mexican dishes. 

Part way through dinner, we heard a great commotion a couple of tables away.  A fellow was choking on his food, perhaps a tamale, and he was not able to disengorge the food.  He was coughing violently, and his face became deep red as his movements became more desperate.

Fortunately for him, someone came up from behind him and performed the Heimlich maneuver, disengorging the food from his windpipe.  He gasped for air, and everyone in the area breathed a sigh of relief as the man sat back down.

In all likelihood, this man did not wake up in the morning with the realization that he was going to have a brush with death before the day is over.  He was close to meeting the Lord; he was one tamale away from eternity.  Unlike many people, he was given a second chance at life.

Each of us will have a last day on this earth.  Our time here will be complete, and it will be our turn to depart.  While our family and friends begin to mourn and make arrangements for our burial, I believe we will stand before the Lord – the sovereign, living God of the universe – to give an account of ourselves and our lives.

He won’t ask about our accomplishments (with which He will already be familiar).  He will ask on what basis should we be admitted into heaven.  Only if we know Jesus Christ, and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior will we be admitted into heaven.  We are all going to meet the Lord; the only question is how soon and on what terms.  We can meet Him now by repenting of our sins, and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, or we can meet the Lord when we have died, and face eternity in hades.  The Lord invites us to join Him, but He will not drag anyone into heaven who really doesn’t want to be there, who does not want to be with the Lord now and in eternity.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Finally, given the great challenges and profound changes our nation faces, spiritual preparation – getting right with God and seeking His guidance, His will, and His protection is imperative.  If we place our faith and hope in our finances and physical preparation, we will be disappointed, for we do not control what is happening to our nation and the world.  If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, now is the time to do so.  Colonel Stephen M. Bauer calculated that the chance that 40 fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament were fulfilled by chance to be one chance in 1×10 to the 136th power.  (See his book “The Math of Christ”.)

Now is the time to draw close to the Lord, our refuge and strength.

Life is short.  God is great.  Walk with the Lord.

Mark Peterson