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Does Any of This Make Any Sense? June 18, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Looking at the world around us it’s easy to find ourselves asking this question.  When we see the suffering, the depression, the poverty, and the horror of everyday life for so many it’s hard not to see the nightmare reality of this world as a curse.

That’s a good place to start searching for the meaning in it all because it is a curse.

You see when God created the world He created it as a good thing, a wondrous, and beautiful thing.  Here’s the rub; actions have consequences.

I’ve always thought if I ever found a perfect church I’d spoil it by joining because I’m not perfect.  Most of us mature enough in life to realize we aren’t quite what we could or should be.  Some people never attain this level of self-awareness and we judge them to suffer from a type of psychological problem known as narcissism.  A central aspect of narcissism is grandiosity. That is, narcissists tend to think highly of themselves. In particular, they tend to have a positive view of themselves compared to other people.

Most of us don’t suffer from this malady.  It is more often some form of feeling we aren’t good enough that plagues us.  Those who stumble out of a dysfunctional family are all too often familiar with this one.

Whatever brand of psychobabble seeps through our lives working itself out in hubris and braggadocio or anxiety and self-doubt it doesn’t take a genius to figure out this world is messed up.  Neither is it too complicated for the least perceptive among us to discern.  All too often what the world calls good is bad and what the world calls bad is good.  This alone is enough to make us see the fractured carnival mirror reflection of justice that permeates our reality.  Add to this our personal experiences and anyone who thinks we’ve found ourselves in a bed of roses may be fooling themselves but they aren’t fooling anyone else.

Anyone who can walk through this vale of tears with no faith is a better man then I Gunga Din.

I wasn’t able to do it.  I made it till I was thirty years old and the meaninglessness of it all was on the verge of driving me to suicide.  I kept coming back to if that’s all there is, my friends then let’s keep dancing let’s break out the booze and have a ball if that’s all there is.  However, I found living at the perpetual party at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe was not very uplifting and after a while I couldn’t even pretend it was fun.  How anyone can stagger through all this with no hope of anything beyond this is beyond me.

I can only pray that if they ever come to the end of themselves they will look to God.  That’s what I did and I was surprised to find that God was looking at me.

‘Why is the world so messed up?  Because God made man His viceroy in this creation and instead of listening to God and doing things His way we listened to Satan and gave the whole shooting match away. The story is there for us in Genesis and because of that decision God laid a curse on the whole deal.

But He also gave us a promise at the same time that He would send a Savior.  Jesus is that Savior.  The penalty for disobeying God is eternal separation from God.  The only way back is to live a perfect life which no one can do.  So God became a human, lived a perfect life, and then died for the sins He never committed as a substitute for us.

In doing this He defeated sin, death, and the Devil.  He also opened the way for all of us to get in on the action.  All we have to do is accept Jesus as our leader in life and believe that God raised Him from the dead and that’s it.  The whole deal is reversed and we are once welcomed home.  So let’s run like the prodigal to greet the Father who has waited for us, who greets us like the like lost child we are.

So does any of this make any sense?  It does.  As a matter of fact it makes perfect sense.

You see no matter how messed up it is if we will accept God’s offer, if we will step past the end of ourselves and into His waiting arms the veil will fall from our eyes and we will see this world for what it is: an incubator for the children of God.

It’s not a matter of seeing and then believing instead it’s a case of believing so you can see.

The Bible lays all this out in great detail.  Anyone who’s interested can contact me for a guided tour.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Show Me Then I’ll Believe May 21, 2019

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I’m in the process of re-writing my autobiography.  I initially wrote it back in the early nineties.  Until now it never seemed like the right time to publish it, but now I believe the time has arrived.

As I re-read the chapters which chronicle the adventures of a lost young man throwing away everything nature and nurture gave him and self-medicating his way to total despair I can’t help but think of all the missed opportunities and self-inflicted pain.  Anything that should’ve meant something was discarded in a blind attempt to escape the pain of not understanding the world around me.

However, time and maturity have finally taught me that if I hadn’t taken every step I’ve taken to be here I wouldn’t be here.  Instead I’d be somewhere else.  And I know without a shadow of doubt that I’m standing exactly where God wants me, which is the only place I ever want to be.

At an early age I discovered History and my immature mind told me, “If you understand how we got here maybe you could understand here?”  So I started reading History on a daily basis, a habit I’ve never lost.  However as I gained a vast knowledge base I didn’t seem to gain any wisdom.

I knew what happened but the why always seemed to escape me.  I just couldn’t figure out why bad things happened to good people and good things happened to bad people.  A fact the study of History proves over and over.  The drugs and alcohol I used to ease the pain of confusion didn’t help.  I ended up thinking I should do bad things if I wanted good things to happen.

As a child I’d given up on Christianity the first time I heard about turning the other cheek.  My young but already street smart mind told me, “If you do that the world is going to slap the taste out of your mouth.”

I thought ideas such as loving those who hate you, returning good for evil, and sacrificing yourself for the good of others was foolishness.  Living like this seemed like walking backwards through a burning building.  I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

At least not until I’d lived my life into a corner and came to the end of my rope believing there was no afterlife and nothing except what I could touch, see, or feel.  I figured if this is all there is why go on, why continue living only to die.  My life became a parody of the chorus from the song, Is That All There Is; “Is that all there is, is that all there is, if that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing let’s break out the booze and have a ball if that’s all there is.”

Luckily for me that isn’t all there is.

That’s when I ran into Jesus.  I gave my burned-out useless life to Him and He gave it back to me all shiny and new.  He gave me purpose.  He gave me hope.  He gave me a loving wife, the love of my life, who’s my other half in a one flesh marriage.  He gave me the opportunity to know the joys of being a second-chance father and a stand-in grandfather after having all my own children aborted.

In my former life I did my best to destroy and throw away everything given to me.  But, God works with what’s left.  He takes the cinders and the ashes and makes them into something beautiful.  Tears may come at night but joy comes in the morning.

Has everything been as smooth as silk and twice as nice since I’ve become a new creation?  Not by a long shot.  There’ve been trials and tribulations beyond counting and they aren’t over yet.  At first I would pray for God to take this cup from me forgetting the second half of the prayer, “but not my will but yours be done.”  Then I’d wonder, “Why do I keep going through the same things over and over?”

Somehow in my continuous reading of God’s Word I’d missed this part:

Even when we’re surrounded by troubles we keep right on shouting praises, because we know if we walk through these troubles hand-in-hand with the man who stilled the sea they’ll develop perfect patience in us.  And if we learn to practice perfect patience this forges the polished steel of virtue.  This virtue keeps living in expectancy ever on the lookout for what God will do next.  Living in this kind of breathless expectancy, we’re never left feeling ripped-off or overwhelmed by circumstances.  No, it’s just the opposite.  If we’ll walk through our problems like this we can’t find enough treasure chests to contain all the blessings God in His mind-blowing generosity pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Still seeking after wisdom I spend every day pursuing the One who is wisdom, the One who is light and life, the One who is the Savior of my soul, the King of Glory who died and rose again.  The ever living Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father, the One who sent the Holy Spirit to live in me.

If life doesn’t seem to make any sense, if we find ourselves going through the same things over and over let’s step out of the meaningless maze of carnival mirrors and find peace in union with God.  Give it all up to get it all back.  If we lay down our lives Jesus will show us how to live.  Let’s stop fighting a war that’s already been won.  Victory is found in surrender.  It isn’t a matter of “Show me then I’ll believe,” instead it’s a matter of “Believe and it will be revealed.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

All We Need To Know May 14, 2019

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The Bible tells us Adam sold us down the river of sin.  His first sin, disobedience was followed by death; spiritual death or separation from God and then physical death.  The Bible also tells us no one gets a free pass.  Every one of us descended from Adam is born in sin and subject to death.  Because that first sin of Adam’s broke humanity’s relationship with God in every way.   

However, the far reaching extent of this wasn’t apparent till God made it crystal clear to Moses.  Here’s what we learned from God’s detailed and explicit law: Sin is a yawning chasm separating us from God that leads to death.  We also learned that even those who don’t sin in the same way Adam did, by disobeying a specific command of God, sin in one way or another.  Consequently we all experience both the spiritual and the physical end of life which is separation from God not just as an inheritance but as something each of us earns on our own.  

But God didn’t leave us hopeless.  When God cursed the serpent for tempting Eve to sin which is what dragged Adam into choosing fellowship with his wife over fellowship with his Creator He also made a promise that from woman would come a Savior.  From the moment of the fall comes the hope of resurrection pointing ahead to the One chosen before the foundation of the world to get us off this one way conveyor belt to hell. 

To maintain God’s absolute justice sin had to be paid for.  The penalty of separation and death had to be fulfilled.  All humanity could ever do was continue the cycle over and over since everyone sinned and added to the burden of the verdict.  Then Jesus Christ, God Himself, came to bear the burden and pay the price becoming a sinless sacrifice, the just for the unjust.  His death foreshadowed by every sacrifice ever offered up under the Law.   

However, the blood of goats, bulls, sheep, and other animals could never cleanse from sin.  The best they could do was cover symptoms of sin through obedience to the commands of God.  They couldn’t deal with the root cause, separation from God because no human ever lived a sinless life after offering one sacrifice so another was always needed and death flowed like a river of sewage through the lives of all.  

Just as Adam’s sin brought death into the world one person condemning many the sacrifice of Jesus brings life into the world One person making the way open for many.  Though one foreshadowed the other and one fulfilled the other the gift of Jesus is not perfectly parallel to the death-dealing sin of Adam.  You see if Adam’s sin put all of humanity in the well-deserved black hole of separation from God, imagine what God’s undeserved gift poured out through Jesus Christ’s sinless sacrifice can do.  How can we possibly compare Adam’s death-dealing sin and Jesus’ life-giving gift?  The righteous verdict on Adam’s sin was the death sentence on everyone born of Adam.  The gracious verdict on the sacrifice of Jesus is this life restoring sentence on everyone born of Jesus, the second Adam 

Here it is in a nutshell: Death which is separation from God gained the upper hand through Adam’s sin.  Now the astounding recovery of life, real life, life in union with God explodes in our spirit as soon as we’re born-again out of the descending line of Adam and into the ascending line of Jesus.  Since the price has been paid and an acceptable sacrifice made the just for the unjust everyone who accepts this absolutely undeserved and free life-gift sees reality flow back into the mold God initially wanted for humanity: Living, loving, and praising in union with Him.   

That’s the back story now for all you need to know: 

If we confess Jesus as the head of our life and if we believe in our hearts God raised Him from the dead we will be saved.   

It just that easy and it’s yours if you want it. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 
 

 

Who Are We? April 4, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Who can ever know us better than we know ourselves?  Obviously the answer is no one.  Yet most people spend much of their life in frustrating attempts to figure it out.  We’re like a man who looks into a mirror and as soon as he walks away forgets what he looks like.

I have that experience in an outward way daily as my inner man who feels like he’s in his mid-thirties remembers that outwardly I appear for some reason to be in my late sixties.

I’ve heard people say that life can be confusing because it doesn’t come with an instruction manual.  I always feel bad for these people because they haven’t discovered there is a set of instructions for being a human being on the planet Earth.  It’s called the Bible and it’s a really good book.

If we ever come to the conclusion that this one book was in fact inspired by God in a literal sense, that its words are a God breathed revelation written and preserved through thousands of years just so that we can learn the meaning of life, the universe, and everything and no, it isn’t 42.  It can change our life.  At least I know it did for me.

You see, I’m one of those radicals who believe to the deepest depths of my soul the Bible is God’s Word for humanity.  I have a simple belief … God said it … I believe it … that’s it.

This life changing revelation teaches us God created a perfect world.  Man was given the keys to the kingdom and made God’s overseer.  We turned away from God and gave the keys to the Devil.  God is a just God.  He wanted us to have dominion over his creation but we gave it away so He couldn’t just take it from the one we’d given it to and give it back to us.

Imagine our Daddy bought us a brand new car.  He wanted us to have the car.  He wanted us to enjoy the car.  He gave us the keys and the title.  It’s our car.  Than we give the car to someone else.  That isn’t who Daddy wanted to have the car but we gave it this other person.  We gave them the keys and signed the title over to them.  Now it’s their car.  It was legal transaction so it wouldn’t be fair or just if Daddy just took the car from that other person and gave it back to us.

It’s the same way with God’s creation.  By turning our backs on God and following the devil we turned the whole thing over to our enemy and we became his slaves.  That’s what original sin is all about.  We inherit the sin nature from our father Adam then each of us adds to the burden of sin on our own.  The sin from the first to the last has to be paid for if God is to return the title deed to creation back to humanity.  And the only way for that to happen was for someone to carry all that sin through a perfect life, pay the penalty for sin; which is physical and spiritual death, descend into hell, and take the keys back from the devil.  No human could ever do it because none of us has ever or could ever live a sinless life.

So God had to do it himself.  He became flesh.  He lived a sinless life.  His death on the cross was a physical and spiritual sacrificial substitution for all of us.  He went down into hell.  He took the keys away from the devil.  He rose from the dead.  He ascended into heaven.  And now as the new Adam of a new human race He declares any who believe in Him to be His children which means we can stand in the presence of God without any feelings of guilt or shame.  We are completely forgiven and made sinless because we are united with Jesus through faith.  When God looks at us He sees Jesus.  He gives us back the keys.

That’s it in a nut shell.

So who are we?  We are who He says we are.  We’re His children.  We’re living stones built up into a spiritual temple where He himself dwells.  He says if we confess Jesus as Lord, acknowledge Him as the boss of our life and believe God raised Him from the dead we will be saved.  He doesn’t say we might be saved.  He doesn’t say we could be saved.  He says we WILL be saved.  Believe it.  Receive it.  Live it.  Walk out of this vale of tears and into the light of the Son of His love.

So who are we?  You can be anyone you want to be.  As for me and my house we will follow the Lord … we will be who He says we are … His children.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

What is the State of Our Union? February 8, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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America is slipping over a cliff.

And there’s one man locked in mortal battle with the political, judicial, military, and media establishment trying to stop it.

Ever since the election of 2016 the entire establishment has been trying to reverse the vote of those who put President Trump in office.  They’ve investigated and smeared.  They’ve put up road block after road block.

And half the country backs them in their effort.  We’re divided.  One side wants America to be America.  The other side wants a globalist vision of we are the world.  One thing that illustrates the effectiveness of generations of dumbing down perpetuated by government-run public education and the power of a wall-to-wall propaganda megaphone is that so many of the self-anointed hip, the liberal, and the idealistic young are lined up with the establishment to bring down the first leader since 1980 who is actually trying to reverse America’s slide into the dustbin of history.

Their outrage is real.  How dare Trump try to make America great again!  How dare he try to stop the endless importation of low information voters!  America doesn’t belong to its citizens.  They didn’t build that.  Walls don’t work.  Just listen to all the capitalist hating socialists who’ve made millions and billions in our free economy living behind walls telling us this is so.  It’s like Louis XVI leading the mob and trying to send Thomas Paine and Lafayette to the guillotine.  If it wasn’t so serious it’d be funny.  At least maybe we’ll laugh through our tears as the lights go out in the last best hope of mankind.

Watching the votes and the choices of those who want the Trump agenda enacted being disregarded daily by the governing elite and the howling mob of their fellow-travelers is a right now smack-you-in-the-face illustration of the futility of life without God.  If people try on their own to change the world the god of this age fights back.  And in the worldly realm without God this little god, the prince of the power of the air ,wins a lot of battles.

No surprise there, for the sons of this world are wiser than the sons of light.  In other words, “Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits.”  And that’s why Democrats always appear smarter than Republicans.  They’re more disciplined and more focused on their goal of transforming America into a Venezuelan style worker’s paradise, and they never take a step back.  Combined with the fact that at least half of the elected Republicans are RINOs these advantages add up to even when the Republicans win they lose.

But that’s in the world. We who trust in Christ as our Savior, who’ve confessed that Jesus is the Lord and Leader of our life, and believe that God raised Him from the dead may be in the world but we’re not of the world, and we shouldn’t be conformed to its image.

So what is the State of our union with Christ?

Billy Graham taught us years ago that: “The Bible teaches that worldliness is a force, a spirit, an atmosphere of the cosmos that is in opposition to all that is godly and Christian. Its goal is selfish pleasure, material success and the pride of life. It is ambitious, self-centered. God is not necessarily denied; He is just ignored and forgotten.” And that, “The Bible is clear that the world’s inhabitants are either under the influence of this cosmos with its cunning, deception and spell; or they are in Christ and under the direction of the Spirit of God. There is no neutral ground. The lines are drawn by the Bible.”

This hasn’t changed.  And it’s easy to check where we stand in relation to this reality.  In the still of the night as you drift off to sleep what’re you thinking of?   In the middle of the night if you wake up what’re you thinking of?  In the morning when you wake up what’re you thinking of?  These are the times when we’re as removed from our life-swallowing mind-numbing work-a-day-world life as possible.  This is a perfect time to determine whether our mind is focused on Jesus or is it consumed by the things of this world?

If you have a hard time keeping your focus on God in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this vale of tears let me make a suggestion.

Christian radio is something that helps me.  Maybe it would help you?  There are local stations all over the dial, streaming to every devise imaginable.  There’s every type of music from Gospel, to country, from rock to rap.  I can suggest two that work for me.  K-Love which is a national station found on dials from coast to coast and Life 107.1 which is a station heard around the Midwest.  As I said there’re local channels all over and you can easily find one that meets your particular taste.

Pumping that positive faith message into my brain as much as possible helps me stay closer to Christ.  Give it a try.  What’ve you got to lose?  If nothing else you’ll find uplifting music performed by some of the best musicians in the world.

So what’s the state of our union?  Are we moving toward God or away from Him?  That’s the only thing that ultimately matters in this life.  Let’s leave the carnival mirror reflections that make up the worldly life around us and exercise our rights as citizens of Heaven and as the words of an old song tell us:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

 

A New You for a New Year January 2, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Have you reached the end of your rope only to find out that it’s much shorter than you imagined?  Was last year as good as you hoped it would be?  Was it as bad as you feared it would be?  Does the uncertainty of the future leave you anxious?  Has your own mortality entered like a crack in the ice in your youthful belief in personal indestructibility?

But wait there’s more…

Does the randomness of good happening to bad people and bad happening to good people leave you wondering if there’s any rhyme or reason to reality?  Is looking for answers to these and many other questions like looking for needles in haystacks?  Is the quest to find meaning in life like trying to nail fog to the wall?

If you’ve rejected Christ because of Christians don’t mistake the messengers for the message.  Christ told his followers to lake His light to the world and most have spent the last 2018 years trying to build a lamp and pretending it was the light.

The message is as simple as receiving it: Confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved.

That’s it.

It’s not about joining the right club or following the right rules.  We don’t need a seminary degree or someone with one to walk us through learning the secret handshake or the Abra Kadabra password.  And there is no magic decoder ring.  We don’t have to read the Bible from cover to cover.  We don’t have to wear the right clothes, beard, or haircut.  We don’t have to vote for the right candidates.  We don’t have to take an oath to believe the same things that everyone else who confesses Christ as Lord does.

It isn’t about being good enough.  That’s one of the great miracles of God’s economy.  While we were yet sinners Jesus came and died so that we could live.

It isn’t about becoming a religious robot who says the right things at the right time to the right people in the right place.  God is the One who created us with free choice, so we’re free to choose.  It isn’t about conformity.  God is the One who created us to be an individual and He doesn’t make junk.  We are who He created us to be.  He has placed us in a certain time and place so that we can become all He designed us to be and do all that He has called us to do.  And that means what He created, placed, and called you to be will be different than what He created, placed, and called me to be.  You see it isn’t about cookie-cutter, repeat a formula, and follow the rule book club membership.

It’s about each of us individually confessing Jesus as Lord and each of us individually believing God raised Jesus from the dead and then learning to commune with God, to hear Him speak to us as individuals and then doing what He tells us to do.

If the questions at the beginning of this article float through our minds like storm clouds in a cloudless sky obscuring what should be clear.  Let’s give up the battle to do it on our own.  Let’s surrender and find victory in allowing God to count the victory of Jesus over sin and death to our account.

It’s so easy we can do it right here right now.  We don’t need to be in a meeting, at an altar, or in a special building.  We don’t need anyone to hold our hand or even know what we’ve done.  We will know.  God will know.  And once we’re in his hand no one can snatch us out.

I confess Jesus as Lord and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the Dead.  That’s it.  All done.  The battle is over.  The war between us and God is over and we are one with Him.  Welcome to a new you for a new year.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Faith is the Answer and Prayer is the Key November 13, 2018

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It’s time for us to grow up, to put away childish things and delve into the deep things of God. 

Some may ask, “How do I do that?” 

We need to study to show ourselves approved rightly dividing the word of God for it’s sharper than a two edged sword or a surgeon’s scalpel.  It divides soul and spirit and it reveals all things.  We need to speak to God and listen to God.  We need to learn to hear His voice and recognize it.  In other words we need to be in a constant conversation with God so that we can be about His business in this world.   

Often we pray for God to guide our steps and then do nothing as we wait.  God cannot guide our steps if we aren’t stepping.  Step out in faith and He’ll sustain us as we work for Him. That’s right.  It may have been free admission but it isn’t a free ride.  God has called us to work.  And He has given us the tool to do the work: faith. 

Don’t believe me believe Him. 

It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.  And part of that faith is knowing that He didn’t send us out to work for Him without equipping us with what we need to accomplish that work.

Jesus said, “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” 

And He didn’t just say it once or twice.  He said it over and over, “This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you.” 

Jesus wasn’t keeping this ability to accomplish the work He’s called us to do miraculously through the power of His Name a secret.  He told us numerous times that praying in His Name, in line with His purposes was more than just effective it’s powerful. 

He also told us that we’ve been chosen to do His work in the world in His Name, “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.” 

The time for hesitation is through.  Once we confess Him as Lord and believe that God has raised Him from the dead we are born again.  There’s no time to linger at the edge of the pool waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting.  Dive head first into the deep end.  Turn away from the weak and beggarly elements of this world and embrace life in His eternal presence which begins the moment we’re born again and translated from the kingdom of darkness in this world into the kingdom of light in His presence. 

We all have questions for God.  I know my first was “Why me.”  Then once we’ve taken up residence in His city on a hill we move on to, “What do You want me to do?” quickly followed by “How am I supposed to do that?” He isn’t looking so much for ability as He is for availability.  And remember: where God guides God provides.  If He’s called you to it you can do it.  Just have faith, talk to Him, listen to Him, and watch as He turns your life into Acts Chapter twenty-nine.

Whatever questions, whatever problems, whatever opportunities we face in this life prayer is the answer and faith is the key. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 

 

Vote For God’s Candidate November 6, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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Election Day 2018 and everything is on the line.  At least as far as the direction this country is going to take America First or Globalism, capitalism or socialism.  Tune in to any one of the talking heads that litter the airwaves and this is it.  This is the BIG one.

As a political science teacher I always tell my students don’t let anyone indoctrinate you.  Don’t let anyone blindly lead you into supporting something you may really disagree with if you knew more.  Study the candidates.  Study the issues.  And then make an informed decision.  I also add one more step.  Ask God who you should vote for.

One side says if the other side wins they’ll make America miserable again.  They’ll put the brakes on an economy ready to go in orbit, erase the border, and unleash the mob.

The other side says if their opponents win they’ll gut social security, close the hospitals, keep illegal children in cages, and continue to confirm judges who will stop common sense gun control and generally bring back slavery.

It’s all a soap opera.  Yes, it makes sense here in a world ruled by sense knowledge.  Yes, it’s important who wins here and now but what about in eternity?  Ten billion years from now will it make much difference if you were a diehard red or a fanatic blue?

I’m not trying to discourage any one from voting.  We should all do our civic duty.  We should all study the issues and then vote our conscious.  As a pastor I’ve always counselled vote for God’s candidate.  Vote for the one who stands up for the things of God.  And remember a vote for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.

These things intrude upon us from a world that doesn’t want to take no.  It bombards us 24/7 from TV, radio, and even our phones.  The voices and the images fill social media, the wall-to-wall news spigots, and anywhere else anyone might care to look.

Being a history junky and a politicalholic I have battled my entire life to get my mind right.  I can easily become obsessed with the History of the Future or current events as some people call it.  Until I was thirty years old that was all I had.  I only believed in what I could see, touch, and feel.  I was ruled by sense knowledge.

But then praise God I met Jesus.  He’d been there all along just waiting for me to notice Him.  Once I did I realized there was no one else I needed to know.  It’s like the Bible.  Once I realized it is God’s Word, His revelation to humanity, the operator’s manual for the planet earth I realized that it was the most important book in the world.  And as a readaholic that’s saying something.

So this morning I wake up on what might be the most important election day of my life and what do I find?

Well, woke up this morning with my mind, my mind stayin’ on Jesus.

Casting Crowns describes and defines our situation well in their hit song Jesus Friend of Sinners:

First they aptly describe our current situation:

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided.

Then after more insightful verses that expose who we are and what we’re doing they define what we should do with a question:

Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded what if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did?

Then they offer a prayer:

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.

The inspiration, knowledge, and hope I always gain from Casting Crowns’ songs always leads me back to the place they got it all: the Bible.

We find a story in the Word of God:

The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”

 “No one, Master.”

“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”

We’ll never know until we can ask Him in heaven what Jesus wrote that day in the sand.  But the Pharisees and scholars were attempting to trap Him by using the commandments He came to fulfill.  And he not only fulfilled the old He also gave us a new commandment when He said, “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

As we enter the voting booth today remember as important as this is there is something much more important, something of eternal significance.

Another prayer from Casting Crowns might help us focus:

Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees.

Pray before you vote and listen to God.  If you are His; His voice is ever there guiding and leading you into the paths of righteousness.  If we do what He tells us to do we’ll always make the right choice and remember His guiding will never conflicts with His Word.

May God bless us one and all as we strive to follow Him and may God bless the United States of America.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

What is Righteousness and How Do I Get It? September 14, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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The first part is easy.  Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of God as if we had never sinned.  When we stand in righteousness before God the Father it is without any sense of fear, condemnation, or inferiority.  We have this righteousness because we are now children of God through Christ and as children we are members of the family and have a rightful place.

Just think of Buckingham Palace as heaven.  If you walked up to the gate and said, “Let me in” the guards would turn you away.  If Prince Charles walked up and said let me in the guards would open the door and bow as he walked past.  It’s the same way with heaven.  If we show up covered in our sin we will get turned away.  If we show up in Christ, as a member of His body the gates will swing open and glory to God we will at last be home.

This was promised to us through the prophet Isaiah long ago, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.”

As natural men we have a sin consciousness.  We inherently know that we are not worthy to stand in the presence of God.  We have knowledge of our own weakness to the sins which so easily overtake us.  This has kept us slaves to sin.  This consciousness of our own sin and weakness destroys our abilities and short-circuits our ability to live as God intends.

That is why we must be born again.  For in our re-birth, our re-creation in Christ we acquire righteousness.  Without it we could no more be children of God than an ant could be a man.  For without righteousness the Father could take no pleasure in us as His children since we would shrink away from the fire of His love since it would then be the fire of His judgement, for it is the same fire.

This righteousness is the gift of God.  It is not something we could have ever earned for ourselves.   Before we’re born again we were without Christ. We were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  We were bankrupt, sold out to sin, and without the ability to help ourselves.

This is why God laid our sins upon Christ.  This is why Christ died upon the cross.  He paid the penalty demanded by justice.  Sin had to be paid for before a fallen mankind could be re-created and in His death, the substitutionary death of the sinless for the sinful the penalty was paid in full.  And not only did Christ pay our penalty He descended into Hell, defeated our advisory stripping of his authority over humanity.  Then He rose again to give us the promise of eternal life recreated in union with Him through faith.

In the Old Testament Israel had righteousness reckoned to them but in the new creation it actually becomes our very nature because Christ Himself is our Righteousness.

He is the vine and we are the branches.  And since the vine is righteous so are the branches.  And so should the fruit of the branches be.  So we should produce the fruit of righteousness in this world and be a blessing as we are blessed.  And we are able to bear a type of fruit that Christ could not when He walked this earth.  He could heal the sick, raise the dead, and calm the storm.  But He could not lead people to salvation for He had not yet paid the price.  He had not yet opened the way for us to be re-united with God erasing the sin debt of Adam’s fall.

So that is righteousness, right standing with God, the ability to stand in God’s presence as if we had never sinned.  We get it through confessing with our lips that Jesus is Lord and by believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead.

And once we have it we are tasked by Christ to share our witness so that all mankind has the opportunity to have it too.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Here’s a Free Gift July 25, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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As a retired pastor I am still amazed at the number of people who came forward week after week repenting of sins and seeking salvation.  It was often the same people week after week.  No matter how much I preached it, no matter how much I taught it, so many never seemed grasp the idea that the cleansing of sins, salvation, and righteousness are free gifts given to us by our Father. 

People would cry, “I’ve been seeking after God for years.  I’ve laid at the altar and pleaded over and over for God to guide me, to save me, to help me, and nothing happened.  I leave the altar the same poor sinner as when I went up there.”  

My heart breaks for any and all who labor under such beggarly results. 

My mind would scream as my voice would say, “Salvation is a gift.  It isn’t necessary for you to go anywhere to get it.  You can find it anywhere.  It isn’t what you do, it’s what Jesus has done.  All there is to getting saved and to becoming a child of God is to receive something for free.  You can’t earn it by doing anything.” 

Most of us have been taught and have accepted that it was all about giving up, surrendering, and confessing sins.  It isn’t.  It is receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior and confessing Him as our Lord.  

I have had people say, “It can’t be that simple.” 

It is that simple.  It’s free and it’s available to everyone, everywhere, at all times. 

Some have asked, “But don’t we have to do something about our sins?” 

No, He has done everything that ever could be done.  And this isn’t some new teaching or revelation.  Our Father God told us about it through His prophet Isaiah long ago, “We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.  And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him.” 

This is speaking about all of us.  We have all gone our own way, done what we wanted without any reference to what God wanted us to do.  We were stubborn and willful yet the Father laid the penalty for all that on Jesus.  Notice there was nothing we had to do to save or help ourselves. 

So how do we get from knowing this in our heads to having this become life in our hearts?  John tells us, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” 

Once again we do nothing except receive a free gift. 

John also tells us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  This is the Father giving His Son Jesus as our substitute, as our Savior and all He asks is that we accept Him for what He said He is.  There is nothing for us to do except believe that He paid the debt owed for our sin and that He rose from the Dead to bring us life.  Or as Paul put it, “who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” 

God delivered Jesus to pay the punishment for our sins and He was raised from the dead when He had paid the full measure, and all we have to do is accept that.  We don’t have to do anything to earn what He has already paid for. 

Paul sums it all up well in the next verse when he says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Now besides salvation we have peace.  There is nothing standing between us and God we are at peace and still there is nothing for us to do is there? 

Paul tells us as clearly as can be how this all comes about and what the result is when he says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 

Look at that a little closer: when we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord that should be the end of us going our own way and doing our own thing.  If you’re anything like I was before I did this that shouldn’t be too hard considering where our own choices and our own things have brought us.  In other words if I relinquish being the Lord of my life and give that place to Jesus I will no longer be separated from God and I will become His child, a member of His family with all the rights and responsibilities that means. 

If we do this what does the Word say?  It says that we will be saved.  When does it say we will be saved?  It happens as soon as we believe.  This isn’t pie-in-the-sky.  This is here and now reality.  What does the Word say we are when we believe?  It says we are now children of God.  Does that mean now or someday way over there in the future when we get to heaven?  No it says we have it now even if we don’t know fully what that means.  Or, as John put it, “now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 

How do we know all this is true?  How do we know that as soon as we confess and believe we are born again into a new life right here right now?  John tells us, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”  

Having learned this do you believe in the Name of Jesus? 

If you do then you have eternal life.  Eternal life is the nature of God.  That means you now have the nature of God.  You are no longer a fallen sinner who needs to beg forgiveness you are filled with the very nature of God.  Peter put it very clearly when he said, “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  That corruption is spiritual death and we have escaped it by receiving the divine nature: eternal life. 

So don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to get good enough to get saved, or to see your life change. None of us could ever be that good.  It isn’t about what we do.  It’s about what He has done.  It isn’t about who we are. It’s all about who He is.  He paid the price.  He purchased the freedom of all humans from the grip of Satan, and he extends that freely to all who believe He is who He said He is, that He rose from the dead and that He is the Savior of all who believe in Him. 

Come on.  It’s free and it’s yours for the taking.  Why wait another moment.   You can have it right here right now.  Confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and it’s yours. 

Got it?  Done it? Now tell someone.  Shout it from the rooftops you are a child of God living an eternal life in fellowship with our Father.  Welcome to the family. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

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