Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top Ten Confusing Contradictions

Contradictions, confusion, confusion in society, moral contradictions, post modern confusion, post modern contradictions. The Modern Age has come to an end and men are no longer convinced that rationalism will bring them all the answers to life’s unanswered questions.

The post-modern age is a rebellion against rationalism and it is characterized by the idea that some things cannot be known because of the absence of absolutes. So, truth becomes shady, what’s right for one may not be right for another. There are no truths, there is no source for truth and the guy who said “I am the truth, the way and the life…”, well, he was likely just another man, another prophet. Some believe in him, others don’t. Whatever.

Because our society has turned its back on the Source of Truth and because we are no longer firmly convinced of right and wrong, it has caused many to worship at the feet of political correctness. Faith and confidence in God and truth are replaced by doubt and ambiguity.

1. Why does our society tolerate the foul language used by our entertainers, athletes, coaches and just about any other public figure but fires a reporter because he called the president a d___?

2. Why are there signs in the many restaurants all over the country that read, “No shoes, no shirt, no service” but a man wearing a bra and panties can board an airplane and ride from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix without any repercussions?

3. Why are beautiful women desired as sports casters, news anchors and weather reporters but beautiful women are rejected if they are conservative Republican presidential candidates?

4. Why is Casey Anthony on trial for murdering her two year old daughter, Caylee, but had she murdered her 2 ½ years earlier while she was still in the womb it would have been done legally?

5. Why does legal protection exist for homosexual behavior but there is no legal protections for behaviors such as thievery, assault, rape or molestation?

6. Why is the ‘N’ word taboo for everyone, but those who are most offended by it can use it freely.

7. Why is Islam, the religion of our enemies, tolerated and even encouraged in our public schools while Christianity, the faith of our fathers, is not tolerated?

8. Why do civil rights warriors like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton run about to defend even questionable hate crimes in the U.S. but they have no sympathy at all for hundreds of thousands who are victims of genocide on the African continent?

9. Why does little Johnny have his plastic squirt gun taken away from him at school but the teacher hands him a pair of six inch scissors to cut his paper with?

10. Why would we do in Los Angeles, (conduct post soccer game ceremony in Spanish) what they wouldn’t do in Mexico City (conduct post soccer game ceremony in English)?

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reasons why we have so many false converts

Jeff Noblit - Grace Life Church of Shoals, Alabama

Can altar calls produce false converts?

"We've got ten million southern Baptists who walked somebody's aisle, and prayed somebody's prayer and checked somebody's card and raised their hand....we've got ten million of them that do not come to church. And when they face Jesus one day, at the Judgement bar, they're going to quote some preacher.....'Well, Pastor said if I'd come to the front...I did that. Pastor said if I prayed that prayer....I did that.' Do you not realize that if you give the flesh a hoop to jump, the flesh will do it every time? But one thing the flesh cannot do is cause your spirit to be born again." - Jeff Noblit, The Spirit of God at Work in God's Church." 6/5/11

(He begins preaching at the 31:00 mark of the video.

Watch live streaming video from gracelife at

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Martyrdom in the US: Not Enough Evidence to Execute

God revealed his nature in his creation. (Romans 1:19-20) A more complete revelation of God was realized in the coming of his Son, Jesus Christ. This revelation was preserved for the ages by though the written word. When Jesus stood before Pilate he was asked this question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) Had Pilate known Jesus and had he been familiar with his words he would not have had to ask that question. Jesus had already defined truth, he said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6) and God’s “ “word is truth.” (John 17:17) God is the source of all truth, Jesus is the human revelation of truth and the Bible is the written preservation of truth.

The truth in God’s word is perfect and complete. Because we are fallen creatures and our minds are limited we are unable to interpret this truth perfectly. But God assures us that when it comes to the essential truths regarding the salvation of our souls he will simplify those truths in a way that even a child can understand.

This truth has endured throughout the ages. It has survived the inquisitions and the persecutions of wicked men who would suppress truth and destroy it. God is storing up wrath in heaven to release on evil men who would suppress truth with their wickedness. (Romans 1:18) This truth has survived the philosophies of Lenin, Marx and Russell. This truth has weathered the assault of numberless evil rulers through the ages. Truth is eternal and indestructible. God is truth.

All of the early apostles, with the exception of John, were martyred for this truth. A martyr is someone who willingly suffers death rather than to renounce his faith. This word is being redefined in our modern age. We bounce that word about so carelessly. We identify certain terrorists as martyrs but they are actually suicidal assassins whose purpose is the murder those who might believe differently than they do.

Those who were martyred for the preservation of truth are of a different ilk. Polycarp was a contemporary of John the Apostle and a Christian from his youth. Because he was a leader of the hated Christians, Roman authorities called for his execution. Polycarp did not flee. Instead, he turned himself over to them. They dragged him before a crowd driven by their bloodlust. He was asked to recant. The old man defied the crowd and said, “Eighty-six years have I served him, and he never once wronged me. How then shall I blaspheme my King who has saved me?”

When the soldiers came to secure Polycarp he said, "Leave me as I am. For he who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails." His words have inspired Christians for nearly two thousand years.

In the mid sixteenth century William Tyndale committed his life to the translation of the scriptures into common English. “It is impossible to establish the people in any truth unless the scriptures were plainly laid before their eyes,” he said. (1) Tyndale was betrayed by a friend. He was captured and imprisoned for 500 days enduring a torture that was unimaginable yet he would not recant. A ridiculous trial was conducted in which he was found guilty of heresy. On October 6 of 1536 at the age of 44 Tyndale was strangled and burnt at the stake. He was willing to die rather than compromise his love for the truth of God’s word. While the flesh dripped from his bones Tyndale said, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”

That great American hymn popularized during the Civil War and written by Julia Ward Howe, declares “His truth is marching on.” Its march is relentless. It marches through enemy lines. It marches into the face of evil. It is assaulted, it is ridiculed, it is mocked and yet it marches eternally on. “As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free…” What motivated these men to die for the freedom of others? Did these men not find something bigger than themselves, something more important than their own lives, a truth worth dying for?

Now let me ask a sobering question? Imagine you country has been overrun by an enemy determined to eradicate Christianity. Image our Christian leaders were rounded up and taken to the stadium for torture and execution. Would there be enough evidence of their love and commitment to the truth of God to convict them in an atheist’s court?

Let’s watch as some of these leaders are dragged into court:

Joel Olsteen, the pastor of the largest church in America is first to be tried. “Mr. Olsteen, if a person doesn’t believe in Jesus will he go to hell?” Joel stumbles and stammers as he tries to answer the question. The court senses theological ignorance and feels much pleased as he waters down the word of God. Joel finally answers by saying, “I don’t know.” Joel is quickly released as they consider him more an ally than an enemy. The jurors compare Joel’s words “God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us” with those of Charles Spurgeon, “There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness. He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians, but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still to roll in the mire of sin.” A gospel that tolerates sin is devoid of truth. Real truth offends.

Next, we see Rob Bell being dragged before the court. Rob Bell is a very prominent leader among young American Christians and the court anticipates his martyrdom:

“Mr. Bell, what does it mean when you Christians call yourselves believers?”

“Everybody is following somebody. Everybody has faith in something and somebody. We are all believers." The court is dumbfounded as they expected to hear the name of Jesus in his answer.

“Mr. Bell, what is your stand regarding the Holy Scriptures?”

Bell declared that he views the Bible as a “human product” rather than a truth originating in the heart and mind of God.

Bell’s wife, Kristen, pipes up at this point by saying, “The Bible is still the center for us but…I have no idea what most of it means. And yet, I feel like life is big again – like life used to be black and white but now it’s in color.”

The members of the court look with confusion at each other. This was certainly not the Christianity they had expected to confront.

The judge of the court drops his gavel and dismisses the couple. No evidence for martyrdom here. The next name called was that of Brian McLaren, the emergent leader who had authored many books and influenced countless numbers who were searching for truth.

“Mr. McLaren, do you declare the Bible to be truth, eternal and unchangeable. Would you insist that the God you worship is truth?”

McLaren scratches his chin and then submits to the judge that many would like to “have the truth captured, stuffed and mounted on the wall” but truth is something that is pliable and certainty is never something that can be applied to truth.

The judge shatters his gavel as he slams it down in frustration. “We have come to torture and destroy those who call themselves Christians and boldly stand behind their sacred book. We have found no one who meets the criteria for execution. Court dismissed!”

It’s a sad fact that were our country were ever occupied by those with a goal to destroy Christianity they may find there are very, very few who qualify for martyrdom because we have forsaken truth.

1. Martyrs for the English Bible, Dr. Clyde Votaw
2. The Truth War, John MacArthur
3. Joel Olsteen Interview on CNN
4. Joel Olsteen interview on Fox News
5. Rob Bell on MSNBC

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

No Light: No Life

I have recently thought much of the influence and importance of light to sustain life. This year I did something I’ve never done before; I planted a garden in my backyard. The greater part of my two acre lot is covered with trees, mostly pine trees. But, I found a small open patch that is exposed to the sun for about six hours. We are now harvesting the fruit of our labor. We have squash, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, beans, etc. But some of the vegetables close to the ground are covered by a canopy of leaves. With little sunlight they are rotting on the vine. They are starving for light and without light there is no life in the garden.

Light is crucial to life. John wrote about Jesus when he said, “In him is life and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) Light chases confusion away. The previous verse says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (v.3) Jesus Christ is the creator. The book of Genesis teaches us that the world was without form and void and a deep darkness covered the earth. God chased away the darkness when he said, “Let there be light.” The light brought order and beauty out of confusion and chaos. When Jesus declares that he is the “light of the world” he is presenting himself as the source of order and beauty in a world floundering about in dark confusion.

Light brings security. My five year old son sleeps in his own bedroom. He has a night light beside his bed but he is not satisfied with that small amount of light. He wants the hall light on. He wants lots of light to chase away the darkness in his room. He is troubled without the light and refuses to sleep if it isn’t on. Christ, as light of the world, provides us with the security we long for. The light gives us confidence, it dispels fear. It illuminates so that we can see what is and is not there.

We were having a plumbing problem some months ago in one of our bathrooms. I reached behind the toilet to shut off the water valve and the valve came off in my hand. Water was spewing everywhere and I had no way to turn in off. I ran out into the dark night to find the main that provides water to my home. I lifted the lid and started to put my hand down into the dark hole but had second thoughts. I dashed for a flash light and returned to the valve. When I flooded the valve with the light of the flashlight I saw a huge spider web supporting a fat black widow. The light revealed a danger I couldn’t see without it. Jesus Christ is the light that exposes those things that can endanger our spiritual lives. Jesus is the light that “shines in darkness.” (John 1:5)

Many evenings I look westward and watch the sun set beyond the Chattahoochee River over the plains of central Alabama. The darkness slowly overtakes my wooded neighborhood as night settles in. Unlike the physical light of the world, spiritual light cannot be overcome by spiritual darkness. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” It would be like organizing the world’s population to shoot squirt guns at the sun. The attempts of simple-minded men to extinguish the truth of Christ are just as absurd. Many are frustrated in their efforts and as a last resort simply declare that God no longer exists. Their chest-pounding declaration does nothing to change the fact that the Light shines eternally.

This Light was sent into the world to reveal Truth. We know God by knowing Jesus Christ. Our great separation from God makes his glorious beauty and power incomprehensible. To see his glory would bring instant death to vile creatures such as us. So, God sent his Son to reveal himself to us. “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:7)

Christ taught his disciples that he was the light of the world as long as he was with them in the world. "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.” (John 12:35) So how is the darkness dispelled after the Light is no longer with us? Christ taught his disciple that they “were the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14) When physical darkness envelops the earth God provides the moon which reflects the light of the sun. We are to be spiritual bodies which reflect the light of His Son.

The world offers only darkness in the culture it provides. Men’s hearts seek satisfaction through entertainments provided by new technology and old pastimes. But satisfaction cannot be found outside of the true light of Jesus Christ. Many in our lives will never see the light if they do not see it reflected in our lives. Is the light of Christ being reflected through you to your friends and family? Many live in a dungeon of darkness where one single ray of light will make all the difference. When the source of that reflected ray of light is Jesus Christ wonderful things can happen, chains can fall off, light can flood the darkest parts of the heart and souls can be set free!
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homosexuality: Editing the APA Manual, the Bible and the Book of Life

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declared that homosexuality was not a disease simply by altering its own 81-word definition of sexual deviance. Presto, just like that, a new declaration made in a moment of time redefined sexual behavior. The APA still considers Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism to be mental disorders. If this seems inconsistent it shouldn’t be a problem for the APA to pick up the black marker and strike a couple more disorders from its manual.

I’m not a Psychiatrist and I confess that I have very little interest in the field. I wouldn’t know a mental disorder if it were staring me in the face which is probably evidence that I have a few. But, I’m taken back by what seemed to be a lack of debate on the issue. If this was a mental disorder on Monday how could it have simply ceased being a disorder on Tuesday because it was blotted from the book? If a group of oncologists gather and declare cancer to no longer be a disease does it make it so?

I’m not in total disagreement with the APA regarding their assessment. I don’t think homosexuality is a disease. I think it is but one sinful behavior in a long list of sexual sins condemned by the Word of God. Also on that list is adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex, etc. Sexual sin is a sub-category of a larger list of sinful behaviors including theft, lying, idolatry, e.g. the Ten Commandments. It is true that one of these sins is no more or less offensive to God than another. Sin is basically choosing to have it our own way rather than submit to the authority of God. It boils down to pride, or as Old Blue Eyes used to sing, “I did it my way.”

So, why address the sin of homosexuality? Why not address adultery, or theft or deception? Christians often feel the need to isolate homosexuality because it is being redefined by the culture. The success of having homosexuality stricken from the APA’s list of mental diseases was intoxicating to homosexual activists. Naturally, the next step would be to erase homosexuality from the Bible. It’s referral to homosexuality as a deviant, sinful behavior is very detrimental to the goal of societal acceptance. It should be easy, just declare it to no longer be a sin and presto, it shall be so.

Society has caught the fever as evidenced by the recent and historical decision of the U.N. Human Rights Council to declare its ‘grave concern’ regarding the violation of human rights of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people throughout the world. The attempt to match the violation of the rights of homosexuals with that of former American slaves seems absurd. It is a reasonable thing to restore rights to people who were assigned to a certain race or a certain gender by birth. It was never the intention of the authors of our constitution to grant rights to minorities who participate in a common behavior. Race indicates a birth identity. Gay indicates a behavior. Will this set a precedent for a fight for pedophile rights or incestuous rights or polygamous rights?

Christian church denominations are jumping on the band wagon. More recently, the Presbyterian Church (USA) ceased opposing ordination of gay ministers. They join the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Episcopal Church. The divisive wedge driven into the heart of our traditional Christian denominations will be pounded deeper and deeper causing many schisms among evangelical Christians. Why do certain denominations make exceptions for one particular sin? Would they ordain a habitual theft? Would they ordain a compulsive liar? If honesty is a requirement for ordination, why would sexual purity not also be a requirement?

The answer to the previous question is that lying and stealing are still considered sins but homosexual behavior is not longer considered a sin. It has been stricken from the book. Homosexual activists, Hollywood, public schools and famous athletes, actors and musicians have successfully redefined sin in our culture. To successfully do this there must be a widespread denial of the truth in God’s word. Hitler’s Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels promoted the idea that if a lie is repeated continuously echoing in the ears of the common people they will eventually believe the lie. The mantra in Christian churches coming from the homosexual movement is, “Homosexuality is not a sin. Homosexuality is not a sin. How many times do we have to tell you?”

The lie is not new. It is as old as mankind. Satan told the same lie to Adam and Eve. “It is not sin, you will not surely die.” Those who declare that “homosexuality is not sin, you shall not surely die,” are propagating a horrendous lie that will cause untold destruction to countless individuals and to our society as a whole. Paul’s warning to the Romans is very relevant for our modern day, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and they worshipped created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25)

The Word of God is as everlasting as God himself. You can’t add words to it nor can you strike words from it. This is what God’s word says regarding the sin of homosexuality:

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” – Lev. 18:22

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” (Lev. 20:13)

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:26-27)

To clarify, homosexuality is a sin. Not because a preacher says it, not because a church denomination teaches it but because the word of God declares it unequivocally. Homosexuality is just like any other sin. It is a choice. There is absolutely no evidence that it is inherited. There is no gene identified that causes homosexuality. It is simply unbounded lust for sexual pleasure in violation of God’s desire for men to be pure.
Paul writes to the Corinthians: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10) Any who participate in these sinful behaviors and fail to confess, in broken repentance, these sins before Almighty God will be excluded from heaven. These names will be deleted from the Book of Life.

The great hope is found in Paul’s next statement to the Corinthians: “And that is what some of you were.” Some of them were prostitutes, some were thieves, some were drunkards, and slanderers. And some were homosexuals who were converted to Christ and delivered from their sin. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)

Homosexuality is a sin just like any other sin and just like any sin, there is a remedy. The blood of Jesus Christ delivers people who are in bondage to homosexuality. It’s not complicated, it’s very simple: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God Revealed: Seeing Is Believing

I took a shot in the dark this year by doing something I’ve never done before; I planted a garden. I tried to recall all the things I had learned in my childhood from my father who was a master gardener. In the early Spring I plugged seeds into the without a lot of faith that much would come of them. Now, two months later, I have more beans, radishes, cucumbers and tomatoes than I know what to do with. I am astonished at the miracle I see. A tiny, miniature seed germinates and produces dozens of succotash and pumpkins. Every evening I admire my little lush, green garden and I can only think: There must be a God.

I enjoy walking early in the morning before the sun rises. I don’t know if the old axiom is true or not but it certainly does seem to be “darkest before the dawn.” In every cloudless morning I admire the diamond studs scattered across a black velvet sky. I have seen the meteorite leave its blazing scar on the night sky. I stopped in my tracks to admire the reflective beauty of the harvest moon and I can only think: There must be a God.

Every Spring I watch as a green blanket is stretched out over the naked forest. I love to sit on my front porch and watch the arrival of an angry summer storm. I can sometimes hear the snapping of branches in the pine forest as they finally succumb to the strength of the tossing winds. As the storm lashes through the valleys that lie beyond, dark clouds are lined with silver as the sun tries to smile again on the earth. Occasionally I’ll see the wonderful array of colors as a rainbow will arch across the sky and I’m still titillated by the prospects of a pot of gold that lie at its end. The earth is showered clean, the birds return with their music and the flowers drink deeply once again and I am reminded that there must surely be a God.

C.S. Lewis, who was a master of literature, once said that the 19th Psalm was the greatest piece of poetry ever written. It is certainly one of my favorites: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (v. 1-4)

What is it about the night sky that causes my soul to dance? Why do I feel excitement every time I look upward into that darkness? David says the skies “are the work of God’s hands.” I see so much more than stars and planets. I see an infinite God who is vastly immense. I see design and order and I ponder with wonder the absurdity that this could be a freak accident of nature. I see a vast display of God’s creation through which he has intended to reveal his glory. God is shouting to his creatures, “I am perfect in holiness, perfect in love, perfect in wisdom and in power.” God’s creation is the canvas upon which he has revealed his gloriousness to mankind.

This revelation is universal and refuses to discharge man of the knowledge of the Almighty. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) This observation is universal. Not everyone has heard of the Christ who demonstrates the person of God. Not everyone has in his possession a Bible which reveals the promise of God. But every creature who has ever lived upon earth has lifted his eyes toward the skies. Men who have belonged to all ages have seen the same glory in the sun, stars and moon. The heavenly bodies shout out the existence of God in a way that leaves no man with an excuse for unbelief.

The skies are a perpetual revelation of God’s handiwork. Stars never cease shining. Meteorites are occasionally shooting. Moons are reflecting and comets are constantly coming. There are continuous rotations and revolutions and enough unsolved mysteries in the eternal blackness to keep scientists busy for a million years.

Albert Einstein refuted atheism when he likened man’s struggle to understand reality to a child entering a vast library full of books written in many different languages. The child does not know what knowledge lies within the books but he knows they were all written by someone. The language, the order and arrangement are a great mystery to the child. Einstein compared this scenario with intelligent men who observe the vastness of material existence. He doesn’t understand how it got there nor does he understand the natural laws that govern it. “Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” Removing God from the formula doesn’t just bring confusion, it brings insanity.

Nature is a revelation of God’s glory but it makes no provision for a personal relationship with God. It would be like marrying a woman on video. You can see her beauty and admire her loveliness but you can’t really know her, you can only see her. God can be seen through nature but he can only be known through his Son. Christ alone makes a personal relationship with God possible. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

Be cautious, many modern environmentalists and naturalists have confused the video with the real deal. They have chosen to worship the creation rather than the Creator. The creation simply points us in the direction of the Creator. Real admiration should be given to the Artist, not the canvas.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Children, Turn Your Hearts Toward Your Fathers

“…he will turn the hearts of the children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:6b)

We have all had fathers. We have all had imperfect fathers. The whole gospel in a nutshell is the story of how we might have our hearts reconciled to our Heavenly Father. Our eternal destiny is wrapped up in this turning of our hearts toward God. We will never have peace nor will we ever experience real victory in our lives until we are one with the heart of our Father.

God desires this union so much he sacrificed his Son Jesus to make it possible. He also wants very much that we be reconciled with our earthly fathers. Many live their whole lives looking over a chasm of separation to distant fathers who don’t seem to know how to connect with their children or they are so self-consumed they don’t care to make the sacrifices necessary to build strong relationships with their own sons and daughters. Sometimes family members search for a crutch by saying, “Oh, but I came from a dysfunctional family.” Over the years I have become more and more convinced that we all came from dysfunctional families. That’s what sin does to the family, it makes it dysfunctional.

We have to make peace with our fathers, even if they were cruel and abusive, even if they were never there, even if they have already died. The hearts of the children are not turned to the fathers until they have made peace with them.

My own father came up short in a lot of ways but he demonstrated a loyal love for God and always directed my heart toward Christ.

I sat with my father at his bedside during his last 12 days in Meadville City Hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania. At the age of 65 Dad had had a massive stoke and he lie in a coma. My mother and I sat hour after hour with him. I sat many hours alone with him before he died. I talked to him. I told him things I never told him before. I confessed some things I felt he needed to know. I prayed and prayed he would come out of his coma. In the first few days he squeezed my hand a couple times in response to things I’d said. I told him I loved him. He never emerged from the coma. He died in that hospital bed and we buried him in a small cemetery behind a small Methodist church in a little village not far from Meadville.

The things I told my dad while he was lying in a coma were things I wish I had told him before he was stricken down. I’ll never know if he heard me or understood me. Don’t put off talking to your fathers while you still have them. If there is a need for reconciliation, if there is a need to clear the air, if there is a need for forgiveness or confession, don’t hesitate. Find the courage to do that because your father will one day be gone. There can be no healing without communication.

Children and fathers must meet each other half-way on the bridge to reconciliation. The children must often confess rebellion and disobedience and the fathers must confess the many failures and weaknesses. We have all had imperfect fathers. We are all imperfect fathers. Let’s look at a few ways fathers sometimes fail:

1. Work-a-holic father. My father was a work-a-holic and his father was an alcoholic. My father and his brothers were abused horribly by a father whose idol was a whiskey bottle. My father's mother died when he was 17. He never received words of affirmation from his father so he spent his whole life literally working himself to death trying to prove his worth. I know near the end of his life he regretted not spending more time with his family.

2. Passive father. Perhaps the most dangerous father of all is the passive father. He is emotionless. He will not throw a block for his children. He says he loves them but his actions indicate he loves himself more than his children. He refuses to get involved in the lives of his children. He often comes home and sits on his throne waiting for others to serve him.

3. Tyrannical father. Maybe some of you have had a father who provoked you to anger because he set a standard so high you could never achieve it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen these kind of fathers “provoking their children” to anger and frustration on a little league field or a soccer field demanding a performance from them they are incapable of giving.

4. Absent father. The son who grows up with gender confusion often doesn't know who he is because his father never affirmed his identity. The daughter of an absent father often follows after deceptive and undesirable males in her life because she is trying to fill the empty void in her life.

God wants reconciliation between fathers and their children. What is not forgiven is passed on to the next generation. If we want to break the cycle we have to forgive our fathers whether they be dead or alive. If we didn't have a good father we must break the cycle and become good fathers by patterning ourselves after the one Father who is perfect, our father in heaven.

David Mease wrote a song entitled My Father’s Chair:
“Sometimes at night I’d lie awake
Longing inside for my father’s embrace.
Sometimes at night I’d wander downstairs
And pray he’d return but no one was there.
Oh, how I’d cry, a child all alone
Waiting for him to come home.”
“My father’s chair sat in an empty room,
My father’s chair covered with sheets of gloom.
My father’s chair through all the years
And all the tear I cried in vain
No one was there in my father’s chair.”

"Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne” – (Rev. 7:10)

If your father’s chair is empty please rest in the assurance that your heavenly Father’s chair is occupied and will never be vacated. All earthly fathers struggle with their own imperfections but our Father in heaven loves us with a perfect love.
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fathers, Turn Your Hearts Toward Your Children

“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children…” – Malachi 4:6
Let me share four ways a father’s heart is turned to his children. How does a father reach a child whose heart is turned from the father? How does a father reconcile with his children and teach his children to reconcile with God? The child learns how to have a relationship with God by learning how to have a relationship with the father. We who are fathers are the windows through which a child sees God. God’s primary purpose for a father is that He would pattern godliness and holy living before his children so they might know who the Heavenly Father is.

1. Fathers, know when to lay down the law and know when to give grace to your children. Why is it we are so often convinced that more is better. We are admonished to do everything in moderation. We should apply the same laws of moderation when disciplining our children. Too much or too little can be most destructive. Laying parameters gives security to the child. Trust me, he/she doesn’t want total freedom. Drawing a line in the sand gives your child a sense of security they desperately need. But know this; your children will learn the grace of God when grace is demonstrated by their fathers. Ask God for wisdom to know when to show grace.

Fathers, your children were born in sin. Your mission in life should be to teach your children how they might be freed from the bondage of sin. A strict set of rules and regulations in your home will not deliver your children from sin. Rules never transform the heart, relationship transforms the heart. The relationship you have with you children is far more important than a set of ‘do’s and don’ts’.

2. Fathers, learn to talk with your children. Step out of your world and into theirs. You may hate their music and their tattoos and you may be confused by their desire for body piercings. Ask them what they like about the music. Ask them why they want a tattoo. You can refuse them permission to participate in certain things as long as they live under your roof but let them know you are interested in them. The worst thing you can do to a child is ignore them. Moms are much better with communication skills than dads are but it is crucial for us to talk to our children.

Josh McDowell asked this question to a large number of youths: “Who can you go to when you are experiencing difficulty in your life?” Dad was number 48 on the list. A child who doesn’t feel comfortable talking to his father is a child whose heart is turned away from his father.

3. Fathers teach your children. "For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children." (Psa. 78:5)

Most fathers never seem to grasp the scriptural concept that it is the father’s responsibility to teach his children. We are so trusting when we hand the souls of our children off to others. Fathers, you send your kids off to school for 1,260 hours every year. A teacher you probably don’t even know has seven hours daily with your child. How many hours a day does your child get you? It’s our God-given responsibility to know what others are teaching our children. If you take the time to find out you may not be pleased.

A child's character and set of values has already been formed by age seven or eight. It’s a father's responsibility to teach his children and he must do it while they are young.

4. Fathers must protect their children. Jesus said, “A certain man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it…” A father must set a hedge about his family. He must build a wall to protect his family from drugs, immorality, sexual predators and pornography. Talk to your children about the dangers of these sins.

Fathers, it’s your job to filter the internet in your own home so your children are not accessing filth that may corrupt their minds and destroy their souls.

Fathers, it’s your job to know what kind of music is saturating the grey matter between their ears. Music is extremely powerful and it will mold their minds and pattern their souls.

Some fathers are weak. Some fathers can’t act as spiritual guardians of their home because they lack spiritual power. They have unconfessed sin in their lives. The first step to becoming a good father is becoming a good son. The key to having a good relationship with your children is to have a good relationship with your Heavenly Father.

One day we will stand accountable for our children before a just God. It is a fearful considering how imperfect we all are. I want to rear my children in the fear of the Lord and hear “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Father's Children: More Precious Than Gold

Psalm 127:3-5 "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."

Maybe you've heard this story before, if so, it is worth repeating. A man worked very hard throughout his entire life. He finally made it to heaven and an angel met him at the gate. The angel welcomed him and saw that the man was dragging a huge container. The angel said, "You won't be needing that, sir." "Oh, but I must have this. I've worked and labored by the sweat of my brow my entire life for this. I've invested everything in it. Please." The angel was very curious what a man might work so hard for so the angel asked, "Okay. But, sir, might I see what it is that is so valuable to you?" The man opened the container to reveal it was full of gold. The angel looked perplexed and astonished, "Why have you worked so hard for that, sir? We pave our streets with that stuff." He had spent his days for nothing more than asphalt in heaven.

If a man were to gain the whole world and lose his son, what does it profit him? My five year old son, Kameron, has arrived at the ‘mimic daddy’ stage. His godmother bought him a watch the other day and he was so proud of it. He wanted to wear it to bed. “Daddy, why don’t you wear your watch to bed?” I replied, “I don’t need to know what time it is and it's a bit uncomfortable.” So, he took off his watch, walked out to the living room and laid it on the coffee table beside my watch. I am on constant alert because he patterns himself after everything I do and say.

If a man were to gain the whole world and lose his daughter, what does it profit him? A bitter-sweet day for fathers is the day you give your daughter away to another man in marriage. The standard by which your daughter measures a man who is a candidate to be her husband will be based upon the character of her father. She will probably not aim any higher than her father. Fathers must hold the standard high.

There are days when I’ve come home literally exhausted. Times when I’ve longed for some time of solitude, a time of quietness and rest. I’ve dragged myself in the door some evenings and all I want to do is collapse but I am met at the door by an energetic five year old boy who has been waiting all day for his daddy to come home. He wants to chase, he wants to tickle and he wants to wrestle and he wants more than anything the attention of his daddy. What is a weary father to do? He sucks it up and wrestles because the time spent with his precious son is more important than even rest to his weary body.

Dr. Erwin Lutzer teaches that a father is a mirror, a thermostat and a compass in the home.

1. The Father is a mirror to his children. Your son learns to like what you like. Your daughters especially will look in the mirror that is their father to see if it reflects any beauty or value in her. A father who belittles and degrades his children does irreparable harm to their self-esteem.

A father must realize that he is like a god to his children. His ultimate purpose is to portray the image of God to his family. He introduces God through his own character. His children worship the ground he walks on. I remember being a young child in grade school bragging to my friends how strong and smart my dad was. I had the best Dad in the world and I wanted everyone to know it. That’s why, when a father uses words that bring shame to a child, the child believes every word as the gospel truth. If you tell him he is worthless he won’t question you. In education we call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tell a child he can’t succeed and he won’t. Tell a child he is a failure and he’ll likely become a failure.

Lutzer tells of a father who told his adoptive son in a moment of anger, “You are nothing. You are what just the result of a one-night-stand.” That father didn’t murder his child but he may have done something worse. He destroyed his inner soul. He stomped on and crushed the boy’s sense of self worth and that son may never recover from those words.

2. A Father is a thermostat in his home. He sets the tone for the atmosphere within the home. His anger or moodiness is contagious. His joy and humor is like a healing salve during difficult times. He sets the parameters for how family members speak to and treat each other.

3. A Father is the compass of the home. If church isn’t important to dad it won’t be important to the children. If the children never see dad reading his Bible it’s not likely they will read their Bible. If dad treats mom with disrespect then the children will treat her in like manner. Young ladies dating and hoping to marry, do you want to know how he will treat you after you are married? A strong indicator is to check out how he treats his mother or how his father treats his mother.

A father who comes home every weekend and lay on the sofa watching television and eating chips and drinking beer often wonders why his children are not industrious. “Why are my kids so lazy?” It's because he sets the tone. When he runs with his buddies he cusses like a sailor and then smacks his nine year old son when he says a cuss word. The boy is only trying to be like his dad, his dad is like a god to him. Why is he being punished for wanting to be like his daddy?

Fathers are often deceived into thinking the most important thing in life is earning another dollar, reaching for a bigger home or a nicer car. It's wonderful if a father can provide the very best for his family but he nor his family will take any of that into the next life. As fathers, we need to learn and emphasize the three R's: earn respect from your children and wife, develop relationship with family and God and demonstrate a religion that proves itself when times get difficult because nothing is more important than the souls of our children.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fathers: Relevant or Irrelevant?

Jennifer Anniston, the 42 year old actress from the popular sitcom, Friends, made a controversial statement when she insinuated that fathers are often inconvenient and when it comes to child rearing they can be quite optional. She seems dedicated to promoting the non-traditional family.

The traditional family: father, mother, children and a dog name Spot has worked quite well now for over 6,000 years. The traditional family is biblical, it was the original plan of God. God determined from the beginning that a man needs a woman, a woman needs a man and he put within them a natural yearning for children and a child needs a mother…and a child needs a father.

Memo to Jennifer Anniston; as a Hollywood elite, you are extremely wealthy and disconnected from reality. Out here in the real world children who grow up in single parent homes are poverty stricken. Divorce may be cool in Hollywood. It may be cool to be a single mother and turn your children over to the nanny for nurturing but out here 75% of children growing up in single parent homes are suffering from poverty.

America is being judged by a just God because we’ve turned our back on the traditional values taught in scripture regarding the traditional family. If Jennifer Anniston’s model is so much better than God’s model, consider the following:

1. Poverty. Young children living with unmarried mothers are five times as likely to be poor and ten times as likely to be extremely poor. (National Center for Children in Poverty)

2. Substance Abuse. "Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse." (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

3. Physical and Emotional Health. “Children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

4. Education. “Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

5. Crime. “10 times more likely to become a chronic juvenile offender if male and born to an unmarried teen mother.” ("Maternal and Perinatal Risk Factors for Later Delinquency." Pediatrics 99, 1997)

Here is the challenge: go to your local jail or to the nearest prison and try to find one young man there who had a wonderful, godly father and who enjoyed a deep and meaningful relationship with such a father.
6. Sexual Activity. “Adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19 years reared in homes without fathers are significantly more likely to engage in premarital sex” (Contextual Effects on the Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Women." Journal of Marriage and Family 56, 1994)

There was a bumper sticker years ago that said, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” There may be some truth in that. It depends on what kind of man he is. If he is a thirty year old couch potato addicted to video games still living with his parents or depending on his wife to bring home a pay check…well, he is pretty useless.

Women need men of integrity, godly men dedicated to honesty and purity and committed to the task of caring for his wife and nurturing his children in the fear of the Lord. Every woman needs a man like this. Every child needs a father who will demonstrate to them the traits of a heavenly Father. Every son needs a father to pattern for him what it means to be a masculine, godly man. Every daughter needs a father to provide for her the assurance that she has worth, that she is beautiful and has great value.

Boys who grow up without fathers will seek to fill the empty security void in their lives. They often find role models that are unkind and even cruel to them. Almost all members in the street gangs are fatherless boys looking for some sort of protection and security that absent fathers fail to provide.

Daughters who grow up without fathers will seek to fill the empty hole in their hearts that should be filled with man-love. If there is no father to fill that void they often turn to other males who often say words they want to hear in order to encourage her to give them what they want and then they dump her like a piece of trash and the wound he put in her heart follows her forever.

Our culture is full of men and women who are emotionally wounded and crippled because dad was absent or because dad didn’t do his job.

Some of our children are fatherless because of unfortunate circumstances. A sickness or premature death may have taken the father away. These children need desperately to know the love of a heavenly Father. When an earthly father’s loving voice is silent, when his loving arms are still, great comfort can be found by a Father who is perfect and faithful, a rock and fortress for every difficulty in life.

When I die, I don’t want my children to remember me as just a teacher, or a preacher. I don’t want them to remember me for the house I lived in or the car I drove or the clothes I wore. I want my children to say, “My dad loved God. My dad’s life reflected the life of Christ. I learned the love of Christ because I saw it in the heart of my dad.”

Fathers, when you come to the end of the road and you look back and reflect won’t you say:

“I wish I’d told my wife ‘I love you’ more than I did. I wish I’d spend more time just listening to her share her heart with me.”

“I wish I’d been more honest with my family and my children about my own weaknesses. I wish I hadn’t put up pretenses. I wish I would have made ‘being like dad’ more achievable.”

“I wish I had prayed more with my family. I wish I would have spent more time pointing to Christ rather than drawing attention to myself.”

“I wish I’d made more memories with my family. I wish I would have wrapped my arms around them and said, ‘I love you’ more often.”

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Foolish Man is in a Hurry

There was a man named Ignaz Semmelweis who lived in the mid 1800’s. He was a young doctor who worked the maternity ward at the Vienna General Hospital in Hungary. He was distressed that so many young mothers died of an infection they labeled “childbed fever”. The young doctor had made a vital discovery. He observed a correlation between the occurrence of the infection and the frequency of hand-washing among the doctors and nurses. The older doctors ridiculed him and ignored his suggestions that hands should be washed after treating each patient. My mother was a surgical scrub nurse. She would often come home with stories of things that happened in surgery. Most of her job was making sure that all the instruments were sterilized. It is amazing to think of the ignorance that prevailed 160 years ago. Many young women lost their lives as a result of the blindness of their physicians regarding the dangers of bacteria. (1)

There is a blindness that prevails in America today in regard to sin and death. If we believe the lie and refuse the truth it will not lead only to death but to eternal death.

A man who hears the truth of Christ and puts that truth into practice is like a “man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:48-49

A wise man builds his life on the rock of truth. A foolish man builds his life on the sands of pleasure and leisure and deception.

What is it about this man that makes him a fool?

He is hasty, always in a hurry. The father gave advice to his son in Proverbs 1 when he said a fool’s feet “rush into sin.” The fool is in a hurry. The fool always looks for the shortcut.

My father always told me, “A job done right is a job well done.” He used to say, “If you do it right the first time you don’t have to do it again.” And then he would send me back to the same row of strawberries to pull all the weeds I’d missed.

False and foolish Christians don’t want to take time to dig a foundation for their spiritual lives. They want a quick-fix relationship with Christ. A shallow relationship with Jesus Christ is no relationship with Jesus Christ. He despises such half-heartedness and he used strong words to express it in Revelation 3:16 “So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

We have become accustomed to having everything quick: instant breakfast, fast food, lighting speed internet. Cell phones companies compete by claiming they can provide a faster download service.

We want to evangelize the same way. It requires too much effort to build on the rock. We want to employ shortcuts and cut corners and build a quick house on the sands of modern methods of commercialism and recent strategies of pleasing the consumer. In our efforts to evangelize we pander to the wants of the sinner rather than to his needs. What kind of music does he want? What kind of counseling? What kind of entertainment will lure the sinner to our church? Meanwhile, the sheep are starving.

Jesus didn’t try to lure the sheep into the fold. He left the fold and went out looking for the lost sheep. The apostolic church model was not created for sinners, it was created for believers. It’s strange how we pander to sinners instead of disciple Christians in the modern church.

We have no time for careful sermon preparation so we borrow from someone more industrious. We are too impatient to allow the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to lost souls. We want quick and instant conversions. We certainly have no time to meet together to pray for the lost. We are in too much of a hurry to build a deep sense of the holiness of God for our congregations and our families. We would rather entertain and tickle the ears of the masses with entertaining stories and shallow truths that do not offend rather than teach and preach the deep, meaningful doctrines of God’s word.

I grew up in a household of all brothers. We detested the Saturday morning assignment to do housework. We were typical young boys who hated sweeping and mopping floors, doing dishes and dusting furniture. The yard and garden work were far more appealing. In our haste to finish a hated job we often would sweep up a pile of dust and instead of grabbing the dust pan one would lift the corner of the rug while another would sweep the dust under it.

Some seek a quick conversion by sweeping their sins under the rug. They try to do Christianity in a half-hearted way. Don’t come to Christ if you are not going to come all the way. No man builds a tower until he counts the cost. If you are going to become a follower of Christ count the cost. What will it cost? It will cost you everything. Building the house on the rock, digging the foundation, carefully laying out plans and protecting your structure from the deception of the enemy will require not only a great amount of faith but also a great amount of effort. It’s not something that can be done halfway.

Accepting Christ should not be a hasty thing. Artificial Christians are the result of artificial conversions. A quick prayer and a quick baptism and you’re on your way. It seems some people are converted before they even realize they are lost. What is very rare today but what Christ wants most is broken-heartedness for sin. He wants a true, deep, and heartfelt repentance. A man may not fully realize the depth of his own depravity in an instant. We often don’t know how deeply rotted the meat is until we cut deeply into it. A man must have his heart cut deeply by the Holy Spirit of God before he realizes how putrid with sin his soul really is.

1. Centers for Disease Control (

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pulling The “Don’t Judge Me” Card.

Love Not The World

A recent poll indicated that 80% of Americans claimed to be Christians. Can you possibly imagine the impact on our culture of 80% if us were true, genuine followers of Jesus Christ. There must certainly be a lot of people deceived into believing that they are truly Christian. It would seem it is the proper or cool thing to claim a type of nominal Christianity but in fact, genuine Christianity is not cool in our culture. What is cool is to muddy the name of Christ and people do that in two ways:

1.) Many out and out deny that Christ exists. They claim to be atheist. They feel a certain sense of relief if God doesn’t exist. If there is no God they can be their own gods.

The humanist hates the Christian who claims that Jesus is God because if Jesus is God, he isn’t. He doesn’t want to answer to a more powerful and moral being. And besides, he will get a lot of attention by stirring up his religious friends and relatives if he claims atheism.

The atheist reminds me of the athlete who hits a homerun or scores a touchdown and then stands in the end-zone beating his chest and pumping his fist and pointing his finger at himself desiring the admiration and worship of millions because of his athletic feat. In reality he is a little parasite who does not seem to realize that he could not even walk or breath accept for the grace of a God that does exist.

2.) They claim Christianity but they live in sin. Many have a crazy idea that they can be Christians and still have a strong love for sin and the world. A true Christian is sensitive to sin. A true Christian keeps the commandments of God and he is grieved in his heart if he fails. He repents with great sorrow when he hurts the heart of God.

There is one, I’ll refrain from naming her, who has become a cultural icon in America and she makes a claim to be a Christian. I’ve seen her recent video. I’ve seen the way she dresses. I’ve always been told “If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck.” I will say with full assurance and on the authority of God’s word that a woman who spouts those words and promotes a sinful, sex-saturated lifestyle has a master and he is not the holy God of scripture. I see a woman who loves the pleasures the world can offer her and she wants others to share in her lust for depravity.

By now you may be asking, “How can you be so judgmental?” If God chooses you to point out the sins of the artificial Christian or of the blatant sinner you will feel their seething hatred. You may be surprised how many people can’t quote John 3:16 but they can quote Matthew 7:1. It’s the flagship verse used to checkmate and handcuff the Christian who would dare challenge the politically correct thought of the present age.

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not…that you be not judged.”

This verse is often taken out of context. Satan uses this verse just as he did the verses he shared while tempting Jesus in the wilderness. You can separate a verse in the Bible and make it say anything you like. But read all of Chapter 7. Verses 15 and 16 say “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

There is a final judgment that is holy and untouchable and belongs to God alone and we are not to interfere or meddle with that judgment.

Divine judgment is not our realm. But we all make judgments here on earth and God expects us to. The policeman who sees a man enter a bank carrying a gun is going to make a judgment. If I tell my son to stay out of the cookie jar yet I see cookie crumbs on his mouth I’m going to make a judgment. We can and must make biblically-based judgments regarding the cultural icons of our day. We will fail our children and the next generation if we refuse to judge the music they listen to, the videos they watch and the cultural heroes they idolize. What we must not do is make a judgment without love. Many who say “Don’t judge me” are actually pleading, “Still love me.”

Genuine Christians have no love for the sinful things of the world. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) Why not love the world? Because God’s word says that “the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” – (1 John 2:17)
The great deception of Satan is that those things in the world will bring you satisfaction. We binge on food and we only want more. We binge on drugs and alcohol and them we want more. We binge on sex and we binge on materialism and possessions and wealth and we only want more. Jesus counteracts this ‘great deception’ by telling us “there is an everlasting stream of living water that flows from Calvary.” It is never ending. You may drink from this fountain and you will be entirely satisfied. This precious flow will take away your lust for sin and for the world and once you taste its sweetness you will want only to share in the holiness of God and experience the joy and fullness of his salvation forever and ever.

During WWII, Adolph Hitler had a plan for the destruction of England’s economy. It was a great deception. He never did employ it so we will never know if it would have been successful. He wanted to make millions of dollars (pounds) in counterfeit money and drop them from the air all over London and other British cities. The Brits would run out into the streets and hoard the money. The infiltration of these counterfeit monies would destroy the British economy.

Satan’s plan is to infiltrate the church with so much false doctrine so as to destroy the church. He wants to dress it up so it appears to be genuine. He wants to fill our pulpits with false prophets who will declare these lies to be truths and who will bring great confusion to the church.
There is a great lie that has invaded the church today. The lie is that God no longer has a standard for righteousness. He no longer has any requirement for entering into the kingdom. You can have your cake and eat it too. You get to choose your own standard of morality. You can do what you want to and still claim Christianity as long as you said that little prayer of repentance somewhere along the way you’re in.

Genuine Christianity demands a genuine repentance accompanied by genuine faith which qualifies us for a genuine salvation bought by the precious blood of a genuine Savior. Believing and doing are twin sisters. When we strive to live up to God’s standard (doing) of holiness we demonstrate to the world what we believe and whom we love.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

50,000 Names - George Jones

50,000 Names

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Satan: Master Deceiver and Father of Lies

Many years ago the Coca-Cola Company devised a marketing scheme that they thought would bring in millions of dollars. They thought their customers wanted something new. So, they marketed New Coke. Bill Cosby was the celebrity spokesman pushing the new product. But the company discovered their customers didn’t want New Coke. They liked Coke just the way it was. There was something too artificial about the new product. So, Coca-Cola discarded the new product and returned to the “Original Formula.”
Do you ever feel like you live in an artificial world? I find myself squeezing the leaves of plants to see if they are real or artificial. Athletes play on artificial grass. Some trees are artificial. They have formulated artificial pine straw. Scientists seem well on their way to developing artificial intelligence. Many argue over the morality of cloning or making artificial human beings.
Can Satan clone a Christian? Our culture is full of artificial, synthetic Christians. The world is confused by bogus Christianity. True Christians are burdened and disgusted by the fabricated sham. The voices of millions of genuine Christians are added to the voices of a million angels and they cry out for the original formula, they want the real deal because it is the only Christianity that can bring honor and glory to God.
Rev. 12:9 refers to Satan as the great “deceiver of the whole world.”
Jesus said of Satan, “He is a liar and the father of lies.” He has been a liar from the beginning.
Adam and Eve were pure. They had not been corrupted by sin. They weren’t born with a sinful nature like you and I. Yet they fell from grace. Satan, the master deceiver slipped up on Eve in the garden and said to her, “It’s OK to eat from the tree of knowledge. If you eat your eyes will be opened, you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So she ate and she shared the deception with her husband Adam.
(Gen. 3:13) “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
But God held Adam and Eve responsible for believing the lie. They couldn’t shuck it off on Satan. They failed to cling to the truth and they gave themselves to a lie.
Over the millenniums, Satan has employed two methods in his attempt to destroy man.
1.) He persecuted the church. This method backfired on him. It was Tertullian who observed that “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” It was like cutting a star fish in half. The star fish has an amazing ability to regenerate. It doesn’t die, it becomes two star fish. Killing a Christian didn’t mean you have one less Christian. A Christian’s death only served as a testimony that influenced ten more to give their hearts to Christ. The church grew exponentially.
Distressed by his failure to destroy the church through persecution, Satan devised a more effective method.
2.) He infiltrated the church. This method seems to be working quite well for him. Just sow weeds among the wheat. Throw in a few hypocrites and counterfeit the real thing. Post an artificial Christian here and one there. Infiltrate the ranks with a lot of shallow, weak, empty hearted nominal Christians. Christians who think they can live like the world lives. When they share their testimony the non-Christian will look at them and say, “There is no difference between you and I. You do the same things I do. You use the same language I use. You go to the same places I go. Why would I want your Christianity? It obviously has done nothing to change you!”
Satan is the master deceiver. He is an expert at persuading people to believe in something that is not true
Think of the devil as a good fisherman. You can’t just put a hook on a line and throw it in the water. No fish is going to swallow an empty hook. You have to deceive the fish. There are many different fish so you have to consider what the fish wants. Some fish are attracted to bright colors so you put on a flashy lure. Some fish want the real thing so you put on a thick, juicy worm. Some fish are not as smart as others and they will fall for a plastic worm. Satan isn’t doing this because he wants to feed the fish. He is doing it because he wants to eat the fish.
Beware of counterfeit Christians, beware of false prophets and false doctrines that Satan has weaseled into the true church of God. Be a Berean Christian and test the words and doctrines that are being taught from the pulpit and in small groups. “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
"Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 4:8)
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

G.I. Joe and Lillie - Oak Ridge Boys

This song brought back memories of my own mother and father's war love story. Dad fought in the European sector during WWII and my mother waited patiently and fearfully for him to return from war while living with his aunt on a farm in western Pennsylvania. He returned, they married, had three sons of which I am the youngest.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gallup Poll - American's Belief in God

Gallup Poll - American's Belief in God
By Kevin Probst

Americans have a stronger belief in God than Europeans and those on other continents but the numbers of people who believe in God are decreasing and those who don't believe in God are increasing.
-- 9 in 10 Americans still say they believe in God.
-- 96% of Americans claimed to believe in God in 1944 while 92% claim a belief in God in 2010.
-- Those least likely to believe in God are those who are between the ages of 18 and 29, from the East, have post graduate level education and fit the political classification of liberal.
The recent Gallup Poll also ranked what American's believe to be their most immoral sins:
1) extramarital affairs
2) polygamy
3) cloning
4) suicide
5) pornography
In view of the recent death of Dr. Kevorkian (Dr. Death), he was certainly instrumental in convincing many of the 45% of Americans who believe that assisted suicide is morally acceptable.
The poll seems to reveal that Americans are plagued with narcissism. Do they believe being loved is in the Bill of Rights?
-- 69% value divorce
-- 56% value homosexual relations
-- 60% value sex outside of marriage
-- 54% value having children outside of marriage.
Are Americans not choosing their own values (humanism) rather than accepting the values revealed in scripture.
22% of Americans embrace the deception that moral values in America are mostly good to excellent.
The God in heaven who destroyed the earth in the days of Noah because of the lack of belief and the decline in morals is certainly revealing his patience and longsuffering by withholding judgment from a society that seems to be much that the one he destroyed thousands of years ago.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jesus Is Human And Divine

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and the Word was God.” (Jesus is God)
John 1:14 “The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jesus is Human)
The common mistake is to believe that Jesus was half man and half God. Jesus was as fully God as he was fully man. He was not one who simply had the presence of God living within him, he was the second person of the trinity joined to humanity. When Jesus became man he did not become any less God. When he died on the cross and resurrected from the dead he was no less human. Jesus didn’t benefit from his divine nature when he suffered as a man. He chose to experience the intense suffering that a man can feel and a sinless God cannot. He even refused to drink the wine laced with myrrh while he hung upon the cross. He would not allow it to be said that he did not suffer fully and entirely for the redemption of the human race.
Jesus as the second person of the trinity always knew that he would one day become a man. This truth was revealed to men in Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.” He had always been God’s son for all of eternity but there would come a point in time when God’s son would take on humanity and enter the human world through birth to a virgin.
He was just like any other human in every way except one, he never sinned. He was pure and pristine in his holiness. He was tempted as we are, he suffered as we suffered and he felt and saw the effects of sin in the world in which he lived but he never succumbed to the vile yearnings of Satan to pull him into sinful corruption which would have disqualified him as Savior of the world.
Jesus revealed his humanity over and over during his 33 years on earth. He was human when weariness overtook him and he fell asleep in the boat as the disciples feared the coming storm. He was human when he attended a wedding and shared in the joy of the happy couple. He was very human when Roman soldiers captured him and dragged him to the cross and hung him there.
But Jesus demonstrated his full divinity when he was awakened in the boat by faithless comrades and he simply spoke a word to calm the wind and the waves. He proved his divine nature when he turned common water into special wine at the wedding and he proved irrefutably that he was God when he refused to call 10,000 angels to his assistance as he gave himself to die on the cross. His followers knew they were looking at more than a man when they looked upon the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, those who have no understanding of the true purpose and nature of Christ wallow in a mucky swamp of confusion regarding the reason a God would become a human. Could not his willingness to become human be likened to one of us choosing to become a slug or a roach? The descent from God to man was deep and steep but Christ was motivated by a depth of love that only God can experience. The fact that we will never in all of eternity understand it only widens the gulf between our own humanity and his divinity.
He became human so that he could die. His death was desired by the Father and Christ’s purpose was to please the Father. “I have come to do your will, O God.” (Heb. 10:7) The Father requested the death of the son so that any man willing to submit to him might be saved. The angel told the virgin to name her child Jesus because he would “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Jesus clarified his mission when he told his followers, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto myself.” (John 12:32)
Jesus became human so that he could empathize with us in our suffering. Jesus knew and experienced what it meant to be a man. He was tempted in every way just as we are yet without sin “for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.” (Hebrews 4:15-16) Jesus was intensely human when he hung on the cross and he sought no divine advantage. It all culminated in his words, “It is finished”. He was saying, “It is completed. My mission is done. I have completed the task assigned by my Father.”
God became human to demonstrate how men are to live holy lives. Again, Christ did not take advantage of his divine nature to live holy. He lived holy through his humanity. He showed us a level of holiness that is humanly possible if only we will submit fully to him and allow him to live through us.
I often look at the younger generation of Christians who graduate from our Christian high schools, colleges and seminaries. I know that all younger Christians lack the maturity that only age and experience can bring. But I worry that they lack an advantage that I had when I was young. I had examples, phenomenal men and women who patterned holiness for me. Mr. Higgins, Mr. Davis and Ms. Myers mean nothing to those reading these words. But to me they were wonderfully, almost impossibly godly and holy. I was inspired and educated as to how a person can live holy before God by those who were genuinely sanctified. Holy people are a rarity in modern culture. Jesus became human to demonstrate holiness to us.
Jesus became a human to teach us the value of human life. We live in a world that cheapens life. We abort the unborn, we live in perpetual warfare, we hide the aged away in cold facilities instead of care for them in warm homes. The fact that God became human gives life great value and meaning.
Martin Luther once told a story of a man who was participating in a worship service and as the congregation sung the words of Christ’s divinity and humanity he refused to cross himself or remove his hat as was the custom in that day. “Then the devil stepped up to him and hit him so hard it made his head spin. The devil cursed him gruesomely and said, ‘If God had become an angel like me and the congregation sang: “God was made an angel” I would bend not only my knees but my whole body to the ground...and you vile human creature, you stand there like a stick or a stone. You hear that god did not become an angel but a man like you, and you just stand there like a stick of wood.”(1)
Jesus became human because he loved us, because he wanted to save us for all eternity and because he wanted to please the heart of a loving Father.

1. The Gospel of John by James Montgomery Boice, p.31

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.