Category Archives: Apologetics

second coming and solar eclipse

The Second Coming and the Solar Eclipse

The Second Coming

The Second Coming of Jesus is real. It stands today as certain Bible prophecy. Jesus Himself said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3). No Christian denies a return of Jesus at some point. But, and this is important, Scripture never specifies when Jesus will return. Instead, He tells his disciples to watch and be ready for His return (Matthew 25:13, Luke 21:34).

The certainty of Jesus’ return and the uncertainty of the date give rise to a roiling ocean of foolishness and false teaching. It hurts and disappoints those who trust in it, but it is also fodder for news reports that poke fun at all Christians.

The solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, is the latest “sign” that Jesus is about to return. Eric Vanden Eykel of Ferrum College writes about the constant predicting of Christ’s return through atmospheric and celestial signs. He writes, “Religious theories surrounding this eclipse are part of a larger pattern of attempts to find meaning in astronomical events that goes back thousands of years.” In other words, people were erroneously predicting the Second Coming long before our modern-day charlatans.  

But Jesus said, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36, c.f. verse 50). Clearly, these preachers must think Jesus was mistaken!

Book authors and televangelists like Hal Lindsey and John Hagee frequently promote random events as signs of Jesus’ near return. The passage of time debunked Lindsey’s claim that Armageddon would come in the 1980’s. Eykel writes, “Lindsey was wrong, of course; the 1980s did not bring about the apocalypse. But this way of thinking – of seeking to find significance in various random events like eclipses – persists among some Christians.” Hagee is just as wrong.

Christians should vigorously oppose nonsensical end-time teaching. First, because it’s wrong, and second because it harms the faith in the eyes of the lost.

However, stunning phenomena like a total eclipse, a meteor, or a hurricane, bear witness to the power of the Creator. The perfectly tuned Universe which allows for precise predictions of the eclipse’s path and timing, speaks to the demand for a designer. God’s glory is on full display. Why would anyone want to add such silliness to what will be evident in the heavens?

The Bible says Jesus is coming again. The Bible does not say when. Be satisfied in Christ now and live watchfully and expectantly. It’s time for the speculation to pass.

Are You Dumb?

My Friend Allen Webster has a great article in a recent edition of House to House Heart to Heart. Entitled, “You Gotta Be Dumb to Believe the Bible. Right?” it’s an answer to the people who make fun of our faith. As a new school year begins, many young Christians will face an all-out assault by militant atheists, agnostics, and skeptics. This article, including quotes from Shakespeare to President Washington and General MacArthur, will demonstrate that the greatest minds of modern history believed in God and in his word.

Some doubt God’s existence since He is not perceptible to our sensory system. According to this reasoning, we would also have to repudiate the human conscience, as well as molecular adhesion and gravity. Just because I have never seen Katmandu doesn’t mean it’s not at the base of Everest.

Allen Webster, House to House Heart to Heart,Vol. 28, Number 8

Are you dumb? No! A criminalist who refuses to collect evidence outside the yellow crime scene tape is foolish. Likewise, the scientist who refuses to consider evidence outside the scope of science is foolish. Does science know everything? It does not and never will. An entire sphere of reality exists beyond the natural world, but then, that’s another article.

Make sure you share this with your college student after you’ve read it for yourself.

Origin of Satan: From Where Did Satan Come?

skoczekKnown by many names, Satan is a central player in the Bible. He stands at a pivotal spot in salvation history. It is a truism that if there were no Satan, there would be no cross. There would be no need for Jesus to give his precious blood. All of God’s creation would be beautifully pristine. Sadly; Satan is real. We may try to push him from our minds and deny his existence, but he is as real as Jesus.

Since Satan is our enemy or adversary (1 Peter 5:8), we must learn as much about him and his ways as we can. As Sun Tzu, the famed Chinese general once said: “know thy enemy.” By knowing our enemy, we are better prepared to meet his attacks. Paul reminded the brothers in Corinth that “we are not ignorant of his designs.” Understanding the origin of Satan will help us to glorify God and will prevent us from making serious biblical errors.

The first we ever hear of Satan is in Genesis 3:1. Here, he has entered the Garden of Eden and is trying to spoil God’s new creation. It is a serpent that speaks to her, but that serpent is animated by Satan. However, Satan existed long before Genesis 3.

Satan Before Creation

There is little question that Satan existed before the creation of the earth. The real question is whether or not God created Satan; if he did, did God create him as an evil being. Let us begin by observing some important attributes of God.

God is love (Psalm 86:5, 15; 1 John 4:8, 16). His love is a sacrificial love that cost him dearly. Because of sin, the Father gave “his only begotten son” (John 3:16) for our sins. This gift is the evidence of His love (Romans 5:8).

God is true and only speaks the truth (2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 12:6; 119:160; John 17:17; Ephesians 4:21). God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2). His words are always true and never shaded with deceit

God is always faithful to his promises and covenants (Deuteronomy 7:9; 2 Chronicles 6:14; Nehemiah 1:5). God has never made a promise that he did not honor. There are no promises upon which he will renege.

If God is love, and if God is true, and if God is faithful, then how is it is that a loving, true, and faithful God could create an evil Satan? This is a bit of a conundrum unless we understand that Satan was not created as evil but as good. Clearly, there was a time when Satan inhabited heaven. Jesus declares, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Some connect this passage with a similarly sounding passage from Isaiah 14:12. However, the Isaiah passage seems to refer to the King of Babylon. Nevertheless, Revelation 12:9, suggests that Satan was in heaven, became rebellious, and waged war against God’s fateful Angels. Not surprisingly, God won, and cast Satan out of heaven.

Our conclusion then is that a good and loving God created Satan as a good Angel. But, Satan was unsatisfied with his position in heaven and sought to supplant God as the ruler of heaven and earth. Having rebelled against God, there was no place for the evil Satan in heaven. Satan, along with his angels, was cast out of heaven. Therefore, God did not create an evil Satan. Just as God did not create an evil Adam and Eve, he did not create an evil Satan. But when each sinned, he was cast out of his original abode.

So with this simple, biblical, explanation, we have defended God against the charge that he created evil. Satan and his angels, like men today, must accept the consequences of their choices,

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.


Truth Series

We posted a few articles on truth recently. Truth always battles to be heard. Often we stifle truth by denying it exists, or allowing its existence but denying that we can know it. Such agnosticism is the result of the multiculturalism that swept our culture. Suddenly, everybody is right and no one is wrong. While  there are always gray areas, truth is knowable and can, even must, be applied. Hopefully these articles will help.

  • Truth – This is an introduction and asserts that truth does exist as an objective item.
  • Truth – This article, from 2012, is another introduction and summation of our thoughts on truth.
  • Truth is Known – It is not enough that truth exists, it can and must be knowable. Otherwise any objective truth is useless. This article argues that truth can be known.
  • Consequences of Truth – If truth exists, and it does, and if truth can be known, and it can, certain consequences are revealed. This is where truth and reality merge.
  • Truth Haters – It seem odd, but there are people who hate the truth and try to supress it. Consider these thoughts from the Bible.

In the words of a famous television show, the truth is out there.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.


The Basis of Morality, Part 2

Last week, we discussed two possible sources for the existence of morality: law and society. In either case the resulting moral code is subject to change and to the vagaries of society. That which is wrong today is right tomorrow. All it takes to shift the moral code is a change of opinion on the part of culture. We now look at the third possible source of morality. We will see that the God of the Bible is the only satisfactory explanation for the existence of a global moral code.

The Christian argues that there is a firm basis for morality which is the God of the Bible. We accept that the atheist denies the existence of any supernatural being which would include Jehovah. But the Biblical portrait of God does offer a reasonable, rational explanation for morality.

The Basis of Morality is External to Humanity

The weakness of the atheistic position is that morality is established by culture. As one skeptic opined on Twitter: “There is no right or wrong. There are socially acceptable behaviors and socially unacceptable behaviors.” We would argue that there is a deep divide between “socially acceptable” and “moral.”

Any lawgiver must be separate or apart from that which he governs. Otherwise, he is subject to the same criticisms as the societal model of morality. The God of the Bible is separate from His creation. Remember, we only seek to show, at this point, that the Biblical model is consistent.

The Bible open with the familiar “In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1). At the very beginning the Bible declares that God already existed. Genesis 1:2 declares the presence of the “Spirit of God” at creation and John 1:2, 3 says the Son of God, Jesus, was likewise present at creation. Thus, the entire Godhead is present before creation and is the Creator. The God of the Bible must be separate from that which it created.

The difference between the creation and the Creator is maintained in the prophets. Isaiah wrote: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

The final 4 chapters of Job highlight the superiority of the God of the Bible over his Creation. The consistent Biblical picture of God is of one external to his creation. Therefore, he is not subject to the same criticism as leveled against internal participants. We have established that the God of the Bible may consistently be viewed as the creator.

If Jehovah is the Creator, and He is, then we would expect to be submissive to his will and way. He has the power to tell us what to do. We are thankful, however, that the God of the Bible is a God of love, mercy and justice. He is benevolent and loves his creation. Therefore we have two reasons to serve our God. The first is obvious. We love him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). But it is also true that we respect or fear the God of the Bible. His power is great and his might is beyond words. He has the power to compel our good conduct. Yet, he has chosen not to. Instead, he has given us a choice to obey or disobey. But, he has reserved unto Himself, the power to punish as a consequence for disobedience. Let us choose now to serve him gladly for his love and grace toward us.

The Basis of Morality

Khalid_Shaikh_MohammedTerrible. Awful. Horrible. Confusing. Evil. Five words heard all week describing the events in France. It is hard to find words that adequately describe the carnage and brutality produced by Islamic terrorists. In my circle of associates, I know no one who would support these murderous activities.

Elsewhere in the news we hear of other barbaric events. A 10 year old girl was strapped with explosives and sent into a crowded market. The bomb was detonated killing her and at least 20 others.  In my area a man was sentenced to death this week for murdering his 3 and 4 year old children by choking them to death. His wife goes on trial next.

There is plenty of death and destruction to talk about.

But consider that every description declares or implies these events to be bad or evil. They are correct. They are evil. But what is the basis for that declaration? How can I say anything is morally repugnant or wrong? Is it simply a matter of law?

No. By declaring a thing to be wrong, we necessarily imply the existence of a lawgiver that is beyond our world. We cannot declare a thing to be absolutely wrong without God.

Indeed, morality without God is only an opinion.

Morality has only two possible sources apart from God.

Morality Comes From Law

We quickly see the emptiness of equating law with morality. Our national history is speckled with clearly immoral laws. Slavery was legal in this country until the mid-19th century. While some states did not allow slavery within their borders, the federal government did permit and condone its practice. I know of no one who would argue that slavery is moral.

Many of the actions of 1930’s and 1940’s Germany were legal within that country. Yet, when the war was over, Germans were adjudicated guilty. They were judged against the lofty standards of the victors yet we must agree that their evil conduct was legal within their country.

Oddly enough, El Salvador is being targeted by one human rights organization because abortion is banned in that country. It is illegal. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, note that law is not an acceptable substitute or foundation for morality. Even pro-abortion voices, who believe the pro-abortion stance is moral, will conclude the same.

Morality based on law is changed when opinions change. Slavery ended. Germany was defeated. If we argue that morality is based on law then we must accept that morality is easily changed and shifted. There is no objective standard. That’s not stable. It’s not moral.

Morality without God is only an opinion.

Morality Comes from Society

An advertising executive once said, “Truth is what the people believe.” I don’t agree and you probably do not either. We like to think of truth as being objective. Like 2 + 2 = 4. It doesn’t change. Truth and morality are inextricably linked. If truth remains firm and unchanging so does the behavior it reflects.

But if morality and truth are subject to societal shifts, we are again left with little more than an opinion. Until the 1970’s, homosexuality was considered wrong, even sinful. But today, society has largely changed its mind. Even some religious denominations now openly accept the practice of homosexuality. So what changed? Did morality change that quickly? If society and culture determine morality we must ask where we will be in another 50 years. Will society soften its view of pedophilia? In Utah the age of consent is 18 but a 23 year old may engage in sex with a 16 year old. In Mexico, the age of consent is 12 although there are some constraints until the child is older. Already, some communities view sex with children as acceptable in some circumstances. In this country, a small subset of the population argues for legalization of pedophilia.

What society once viewed as immoral is fast gaining acceptance. Ideas and opinions are changing.

Morality without God is only an opinion.

Our point is simply this: God, that is, a lawgiver apart from our own existence, is the only reasonable foundation for any moral proclamation. Otherwise, what is evil today is heroic tomorrow.



God is alive and active in the world today. He reaches into the natural world from his supernatural throne and affects the lives of men and the course of history. Prayer is the means by which men ask God to intervene in their lives. While we do not believe in the existence of true biblical miracles today, we do believe that God acts providentially on behalf of his children. This so-called providence is the subject of this article.

For this article we define providence as God working through natural laws. Providence may be contrasted with Biblical miracles, in which God sets aside natural laws to affect some change.

God is active in our world today through providence. He hears the prayers of the faithful and responds to them through his providence. When Christians pray for healing, God heals. When Christians pray for deliverance, God delivers. When Christians need strength, God gives. Of course, God grants our prayers based upon his will and his discretion, but when our prayer is proper and coincides with his will, it is granted by God through his providence and not miracles.

Providence in the Old Testament

While there are many, stunning miracles in the Old Testament, God also works through his natural laws. For example, many women in the Old Testament were barren until God opened their womb. Examples would include Sarah (Genesis 21:1), Rebekah (Genesis 25:21), Rachel (Genesis 30:22), and Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5, 20). In each of these cases God directly intervened to allow these women to give birth. Nevertheless, God worked through his natural laws to bring about the birth of their children. In each case, the children were conceived in the usual manner, the children were carried to term in the usual manner, and the birth occurred in the usual way.

King Hezekiah of Judah offers another example of providence. In 1 Kings 20:1-7, 18 he is told that he will die from his illness. He prays to God for healing. Hezekiah is granted another 15 years of life Believers have no doubt that God intervened on Hezekiah’s behalf but Hezekiah received, medical treatment for his condition. Certainly God could have miraculously healed him on the spot, but he did not. God worked through the laws of nature to bring about his healing.

Providence in the New Testament

The Gospels, record many miracles performed by Jesus. These events are exactly what they appear to be, they are true biblical miracles. Such events as feeding 5000 people from the little boy’s lunch or raising a man from the dead can hardly be considered anything other than a miracle. Those events cannot be explained away in any rational way. However acts of providence are seen scattered throughout the New Testament.

In Acts 12:20-23, we read of the death of King Herod. Herod was immediately struck down by an angel of the Lord when he failed to give God glory. From our perspective we hold this to be the intervention of God. However a nonbeliever might argue that Herod died of some pre-existing illness. In other words, someone could explain away the death of Herod with a rational scientific explanation.

In Acts 27, the ship on which Paul is sailing is shipwrecked. The chapter reports a terrible storm, the fear of his shipmates and the ultimate wreckage of the ship. But no one died as result of the shipwreck. Their survival is at the hand of God. The skeptic might offer some rational explanation as to why this happened. It does not change the fact that God intervened. Paul had absolute confidence that because of God’s power the crew of the ship would be saved.

These distinctions from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, although they are fine and miniscule, are important when studying modern miracles. Today, many people use the word “miracle” loosely. Some examples will help make our point.

Providence in the Present Time

Sometimes people speak of childbirth as a miracle. While childbirth is an amazing and glorious moment for any parent, it is not proper to call it a miracle. Thousands of children are born every day and in some cases do not even require the assistance of a physician. The laws of nature have been created as such to allow childbirth to occur almost routinely.

Occasionally someone will be involved in a horrific automobile accident and will, amazingly, walk away from the accident with barely a scratch. While the Christian will give glory to God, a scientist will probably find a way to explain the occupant’s safety through physical science. As such, this is best described as providence. It strengthens the faith of the Christian who believes fervently that God protected them. But it does not rise to the level of a biblical miracle.

Christians are instructed to pray for the sick. In our day there is hardly a congregation of Christians not touched by cancer. Oftentimes our prayers are heard by God and answered affirmatively. The patient responds well to treatment, soon improves, and is able to resume their normal lives. As before, the Christian believes that the hand of God was involved in their healing. Skeptics will simply say that they responded to established medical treatment just like other people respond to treatment every day. In other words, this is providence.

Please understand, this is not simply an article on terminology. Words have meanings. Those meanings convey ideas. Sometimes the misuse of words, meanings, and ideas promote false teachings.

It is not uncommon today to see some preachers claim miracles where none exists. Such false claims rob God of his glory. These alleged miracle working charlatans not only assault the most vulnerable among us, they bring disrepute and create a lack of credibility among true gospel preachers.

Brethren, let us use caution and carefully distinguish between true biblical miracles and the marvelous providence of God today. Appreciating the providence of God is an inherent factor in walking by faith and not by sight. We know God is active and intervenes even when the world does not or will not agree. Let us be people of faith and always give God the glory for every good thing he does.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

The Real Problem

Challenges abound and problems are everywhere. But what is the root of our problems? What can we do to to address that problem? I sure don’t have all the answers but I think I have a place to start the discussion.

It seems to me that our culture has no standard of what is good or evil. We have taken the approach that “I’m OK, You’re OK” and that I must not make any judgement of your actions. We have corrupted the meaning of Matthew 7:1-5 into a prohibition against all judging. Christians, many ignorant of the actual teaching of the verse, have hung their head in shame at their assumed guilt. We have allowed every shifting human dogma to attain an equivalency with inspired teaching. Whether we intend to our not, we have allowed such systems as Islam, Humanism and even Atheism to rise to an equal level with Christianity. Such a weakness has allowed competing standards to flood the world. The result? A plethora of standards results in no standard at all.

Within the heart of every person, there are certain standards that seem to be born into each. A love for children and a need to protect them from harm, a yearning for freedom and a respect, at some level, for others, all seem to be innate. Prohibitions against murder are found across all society’s and cultures. Why? Because there is a moral standard given from an unchanging lawgiver. No Congress or Parliament is adequate to back such global laws. No King, President or Prime Minister has the power to enact unchanging worldwide foundations. Only God has such power and authority. Yet our world is fast approaching a total vacuum of  morality.

Solomon wrote that “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). This country has lost any semblance of righteousness. The very concept of right or wrong actions is anathema to most.

But we cannot have righteousness apart from a righteous standard. The only standard confirmed by astounding miracles is the Bible. Only Jesus has the words of life (John 6:68) and only Jesus can save men from a wicked world (John 14:6). There are two important implications:

  1. All other so-called holy books are mere pretenders.
  2. A personal knowledge of the Bible is critical.

I know some will argue with these and some may find additional implications but the point is that we need the Bible as our standard in society and culture.

To me, there is nothing more peaceful than an early morning walk along the beach. The salty breeze, the distant cry of a gull and the crashing of the waves settle me. But if I stand in the edge of the water and allow the tide to swirl around my feet I will soon fall. The sand is no foundation. It washes away and soon I become so unstable that I fall. Our nation is is just this sort of condition. We’ve become hypnotized by the allure of sin in our world while, unnoticed, our foundations have eroded. Collapse is certain.

Can we pull our society back from the brink? Are we to far gone? Will we soon become a distant memory? I pray for revival. Will you?


 Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

Bad things happen to good people. The faithful suffer illness and death. The righteous are persecuted by the unrighteous. The devout face ruin and destruction. Such trials have happened since the days of the first couple and they continue even now. People much wiser than I have tried to explain this phenomenon in volumes of writings. How can it be that the God of the Bible can allow such suffering? We cannot argue that suffering is not real or that it is some imagination of an active mind. Good people really do suffer.

But it may help to examine one righteous struggler and see what lessons we can learn. Joseph, son of Jacob is a perfect example.

Joseph’s story is found in Genesis chapters 37 through 50. He was born into a family of 12 boys and one girl. Only one brother was younger. Joseph is born to Rachel, the favored wife of Jacob. He the favored child (Genesis 37:3) and serves his father well although even his mother and father become troubled because of dreams that Joseph has which cast them as subservient to him (Genesis 37:9-11).

The resulting jealousy of his brothers causes Joseph to be kidnapped and sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 37:12 ff). He rises to prominence and responsibility in the house of Potiphar, a military commander of Egyptian King Pharaoh (Genesis 39:2-6). An encounter with Potiphar’s wife forces Joseph to choose between good and evil. He chooses good and is falsely accused of attempted rape. He is cast into an Egyptian prison. But even in prison God brings him success and causes him to find favor in the jailer’s eyes (Genesis 39:21-23). Joseph precisely interprets dreams of two fellow inmates but even when one returns to his position of honor at the Pharaoh’s side, Joseph is forgotten and languishes for two years in the prison (Genesis 40:1).

Finally, a troubling dream causes Joseph to be brought before Pharaoh himself. The king is so impressed with Joseph that he not only takes him from prison but elevates him to a position second only to the Pharaoh himself (Genesis 41:40-45). For 13 years (c.f. Genesis 37:2; Genesis 41:46) Joseph had ridden roller coaster. At just the moment life began to look better, everything crashed. But through it all Joseph was faithful. Not one word is written that even hints at Joseph losing faith in Jehovah.

It is true that bad things really do happen to good people. But it is also true that even in the darkest hour, God stays with the faithful and brings them through to better days.

It is also true that God’s will is always done even when we suffer.  Although Joseph is not a direct ancestor of Jesus, his life and struggles were required for the coming of our Lord. Pharaoh’s dreams were a divine warning of a coming famine. Joseph, having interpreted the dream, was put in charge of preparations. Joseph was so successful that his estranged family, living in another country, came to Egypt to buy food so that they could survive the foot shortages. Without Joseph’s work, they likely would have succumbed to hunger and disease thus eliminating the line of Jesus.

Because Joseph was so beloved by Pharaoh and the people, an invitation was extended to his family to come and live in Goshen, a province of Egypt. It was there they grew into a mighty people.

Our lives seem to mirror Joseph’s sometimes. One day things are great and the next we can barely hold our heads up. The lesson from Joseph is one of endurance and faithfulness. God can and will do great things with us when we place all of our faith and trust in him. We see the result of Joseph’s life but he could not. Like us, he could only see the walls of a pit and the walls of a prison. But he trusted that God would bring him to a better place, and he did. Does this encourage you? It should. Trust God!