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EVIDENCE FOR CHRISTIANITY


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STATEMENT OF FAITH

Here is my systematic view of theology. I just want you to know where I stand theologically on the Christian faith. These are the topics that I chose. These topics below I value the most.

—Lonnie Paulson

STATEMENT OF FAITH

GOD

I believe the final ontological and cosmological argument is GOD. The cause of the universe is GOD. GOD was from everlasting to everlasting. He is not a created being. (Psalms 90:2; 106: 48) GOD is supernatural and Spirit. (John 4:24) GOD created everything in the universe that exists out of nothing. (Ex Nihilo {Latin}) (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1:1; John 1:1) GOD is known by name as the great I AM. (Exodus 3:14) In the Bible GOD is addressed in the male gender.

There is only one God. (Isaiah 46:9) He is known as the Father and first person of the trinity God-head. The word trinity comes from combining tri and unity. So the three persons are in unity as one. The God-head consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that is God in three persons. (Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:21-22) Major characteristics of GOD: GOD is omnipotent (all-powerful {Revelation 19:6}) GOD is omnipresent (present everywhere and sees all {1 Kings 8:27}) GOD is omniscient (all-knowing {Job 21:22})

JESUS CHRIST

I believe that Jesus Christ is GOD in the flesh. (John 1:14) GOD condescended to human form. (Incarnation) Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30) “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Jesus is the firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15-17) Jesus was from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. (Revelation 1:11) He is known as the Son of GOD and the second person of the trinity God-head. (Colossians 2:9) Only GOD could forgive sins, and Jesus the Christ forgave sins. (Mark 2:7) Jesus was the only sinless man. He knew no sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus was born from a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) Jesus is a Jew (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; John 4:9) Jesus’ title is the ANOINTED ONE or the MESSIAH in Hebrew or the CHRIST in Greek. Jesus is head of the church. (Matthew 16:18, Colossians 1:18)

Jesus accomplished many miracles and healings. (Matthew 11:4-5) There is only one mediator between GOD and man, and that mediator is Jesus. (1Timothy 2:5) Jesus came to earth to save us from GOD’s wrath. For all of us are sinners and disserve GOD’s wrath. (Romans 3:23) Jesus being sinless voluntarily took our punishment for our sins by being crucified on a Roman cross till death. (Luke 23:33)

The Good News is that Jesus rose bodily from the dead and is alive. (Luke 24:6-7; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Jesus made a promise to all who believe in His name and would become born-again. When we physically die, we will live again. (John 11:25-26; 1 John 5:11-13) Jesus is the only One who can bring us to heaven (Acts 4:12)

Many prophets prophesied that Jesus would come to Earth not only to live and die and be resurrected, but these prophets also prophesied that Jesus would one day come back to judge unrepentant sinners. Jesus also told us in His own words about the coming judgement. (Matthew 24) I believe one day that Jesus will call His church back and we the true church will be caught up with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. (1Thessalonians 4:15-18) Next I believe there will be a great judgement on the Earth like never before as Jesus talks about in Matthew 24 to judge the unrepentant sinner. (John 3:36; Revelation 6:17; 20:14-15) I believe even at this time Jesus shows His mercy and some sinners will repent and follow Christ. For the true Church Heaven will be our reward for eternity. (Revelation 21:1-4)

THE HOLY SPIRIT

I believe the Holy Spirit is the supernatural Agent whom Jesus the Christ sent as a Helper from GOD. The Holy Spirit testifies of the Christ who is GOD in the flesh. (John 14:16-17; 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:3) The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity and shares of the deity and personality of the God head. He is a consubstantial being coequal with the Father and the Son. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4) In the Bible the Holy Spirit is expressed as the male gender.

Besides glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ one of the main missions of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of its sin, righteousness, and, judgement. (John 16:8-11) This conviction aids in regenerating the elect of GOD. The Holy Spirit spiritually baptizes all true believers who are saved and have experienced the new birth being born-again. (John 3:3-6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Titus 3:5-6) The Holy Spirit works on the true believer as the fruit of the spirit continually sanctifies that person till they are called home. (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13)

The Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets to write the word of God — the Bible. (2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 1:1-2) The Holy Spirit gives to the church ministering gifts to guide and serve other believers in many ways including discipleship and evangelism so we can fulfill the great commission. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)

I personally do not believe that the miraculous gifts which were used by the Holy Spirit in the early days of the apostles are for us today in the same capacity. (1 Corinthians 13:8) By that I mean the Holy Spirit always has the option to bring back these gifts in rare or unique ways to bring about salvation. I have heard of Muslims receiving dreams from the Holy Spirit, this is I believe quite unique.

Back in the early days of the Church these miraculous gifts were effective for bringing people to Christ. We now have the Bible; that is all we need. (Hebrews 1:1-2) There is no need to add to scripture, we have full revelation, because we have the Savior and the Holy Spirit. God does heal, but not on our demands. We cannot manipulate the Holy Spirit like a puppet.

The gift of tongues was to witness Christ to the unbeliever. In Acts 2 during the day of Pentecost many people were saved thanks to the gift of tongues. People from other countries and regions heard the gospel in their own native tongue. The history of the gift of tongues is documented in the book of Acts, but the Apostle Paul only speaks about tongues in 1 Corinthians and he wrote at least 12 epistles. The Apostles Peter, James, John, and Jude never mention the gift of tongues. The gift of tongues is the easiest gift to counterfeit. If you have ever heard anyone trying this, you can tell they are not speaking a language, it is just baby talk. In the book of Acts tongues was an actual language that could be interpreted. Many religious cults practice speaking in tongues.

The prophets of old have spoken to us and still speak to us through the word of God. (Hebrews 1:1-2) Trying to fleshly stir up these spiritual gifts that are no longer in use by the Holy Spirit ushers in another spirit of the occult. (1 John 4:1) A test for a true prophet can be found in Deuteronomy 18:20-22. If one is claiming to be a modern day prophet and cannot fulfill the true test of a prophet, they are a lying spirit and are of the devil.

Many occult practices have been stirred up recently claiming to be of the Holy Spirit such as “Slaying in the Spirit,” Holy Laughter,” and just plain crazy things like rolling on the floor and barking like a dog. Yes, that’s right, I have heard of these things being done claiming they were of the Holy Spirit. This nonsense is obviously of another spirit — the spirit of the Antichrist. (1 John 4:1-3)

SALVATION

Salvation is the deliverance from the wrath of GOD. I believe this deliverance of wrath is a free gift from God through faith without any human effort on our part. (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19) God allowed His Son an incarnation of God to condescend to human form being without sin to pay the death penalty for our sin. (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8)

If the Holy Spirit has elected our dead old sinful nature which was enmity against God we now are a changed person. We have an opposite nature. We now love God and want to repent of our sins and join the kingdom of God. We are born-again. (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20) As a born-again Christian God has totally justified us before Him. (Colossians 1:21-22)

This is the evidence that you have salvation in Christ. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, [Heaven] and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 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, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:11-13 NKJV®) Read also John 5:24. Martin Luther’s five solas have a direct relationship on our salvation. They are 1) Faith Alone; 2) Scripture Alone; 3) Christ Alone; 4) Grace Alone; and 5) Glory to God Alone.

THE GREAT COMMISSION

I believe every born-again Christian has a mission. When we were saved God could have taken us home, but the reason we are still living here on earth is that God commands us to make disciples. This is not a work unto salvation. You will discover that if you really are a Christian it is automatically what you do. Many people start Bible studies in their home, share their faith with friends and relatives, or you may pray for others. If you are a true born-again Christian you are interested in these activities. Have fun with it. It is the joy of our salvation. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ’All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV®)

CHRIST’S RESURRECTION

I believe in a physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important fact of Christianity. The main reason I set up this website was to show any skeptics evidence of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ prophesied of His own death and resurrection to His disciples and pulled it off. (Matthew 20:18-19) The apostle Paul points out to the Corinthians Christ’s resurrection was witnessed by over 500 people. (1 Corinthians 15:6) The tomb is empty. This is one of the greatest events in history.

SIN

Sin is any failure to obey God’s law fully. An example to follow would be the Ten Commandments. We can be guilty of sins of commission and sins of omission. (James 4:17) Even our evil thoughts are acts of sin and under God’s wrath, which Jesus points out on the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5:28) I believe all have sinned and fallen short of God’s laws. (Romans 3:23) Because the first man Adam sinned all have sinned and are under God’s wrath. (Romans 5:12) We are dead in sin. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Sin must be punished. (Revelation 20:13-15) The Good News is God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ to take our punishment appeasing and vindicating all His elect Born-Again Christians who are true followers of Christ. (Romans 5:8; 6:23; 1 Peter 3:18)

SATAN

Yes, unfortunately there is an evil that is completely opposite of the holiness of GOD. His name is Satan or Lucifer and often referred to as the devil. Satan was a created angelic being. The angel Lucifer fell from grace because of his pride. (Isaiah 14:12-17) From the very beginning of human-kind Satan works to take as many members of the human race by using temptation and lies to cause men and women to sin before GOD. It all started with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as we read in Genesis 3. Satan who transforms himself as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) demonically possessed a snake in the Garden of Eden and first deceived Eve and she tempted her husband Adam to sin. This was the first sin. We read in Matthew 4 where Satan tried to tempt Christ, but failed. Christ came to destroy the work of the devil. (1 John 3:8) As Christians we can resist the devil and he will flee. (James 4:7) We Christians win in the end, because the devil will be cast into the lake of fire with burning sulfur for eternity. (Revelation 20:10)

BAPTISM

I believe we are baptized at the moment of salvation. (Mark 1:8; Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:5) The word baptism means to wash. When we are baptized our sins are washed away by the Holy Spirit. So baptism is an act of grace through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The ordinance of baptism practiced in the church is an outward sign to believers and non-believers who we are in Christ. I believe the ordinance of baptism should be practiced by only new believers in Christ as a visual sign to the Church and non-believers. I believe the only way you can truly visualize the born again experience in Christ is through total immersion of the head and body in water. The immersion in the water symbolizes the dying to your old self and when you come out of the water you are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This old sinful nature was crucified with Christ and was buried and through the baptism by the Holy Spirit became a new nature in Christ. (Galatians 2:20)

I cannot say it any better than the apostle Paul: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4 NKJV®)

The only person who should be baptized is a believer in Christ who has experienced the new birth. (John 3:3) The church ordinance of baptism should not be shared with infants or children unless that child experiences the new birth in Christ. This ordinance is only a sign and a witness to others of ones faith in Christ.

There is a belief by some Christian cults through their tradition that baptism saves a person from sin. Some of these religious cults will refer to the ordinance of baptism as a sacrament and that it saves a sinner. A human physical act cannot save anyone. All your good works are like filthy rags the prophet Isaiah once said. (Isaiah 64:6) We cannot be saved through good works, only through the grace of Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9) You can boast about your infant baptism, but it will not save you.

CHURCH

I believe the Church is a community of believers in Christ. The Church is not just a building. You can meet outdoors and as long as you are a group of believers in Christ worshiping God you are a true church. Don’t forsake assembling with other believers. (Hebrews 10:24-25) The Church needs everyone to contribute in worship. (1 Corinthians 12)

The Church was formed at a Pentecost gathering which was a Jewish harvest festival where the Jewish people expressed thanksgiving to God for the harvest. At this particular time in history as expressed by the prophet Joel there was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. During the first church sermon delivered by the apostle Peter thousands of Jews became born again Christians.

Christ is head of the Church. (Ephesians 1:23; 5:23; Colossians 1:18) The purpose of the Church is to glorify God. The Church is also to minister to the believing saints in ways of guidance, care, and discipleship. The Church is to prepare its saints for evangelism. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper should be practiced in the church often.

The Church should look to the Bible for guidance of church government and leadership. (1Timothy 3) Church discipline should be part of that leadership. I believe the main purpose of church discipline is to protect the purity of the Church and the honor of Christ. (Romans 2:23-24) Church discipline should be administered to correct and restore a true believer in Christ. “[L]et him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5: 20 NKJV®) Church discipline will also serve to separate a false convert from the Church, but through prayer and evangelism hopefully bring that person to a true faith in Jesus Christ.

The procedure for church discipline should be followed from Matthew 18:15-17. Knowledge of sin in the church should be kept to the smallest group possible. If an individual in the church spots a person in sin, he should confront that person to encourage him or her to repent. If the sinner still will not listen bring two or more witnesses with you and confront him again, if he still will not repent bring it to the church leadership. If he will not listen to the church and repent then the church should remove him as a member and treat him as a nonbeliever. The purity of the Church must be protected and Christ is Holy who is the head of the Church. This person who has been removed from the church may repent and can be welcomed back or maybe this person was not a true believer. You can always share the gospel to that person who has been removed from the Church; he may see the error of his sin and repent or become saved.

I also believe the best day to worship Christ is on Sunday, because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday morning. We are showing honor and reverence by celebrating that particular day for Christ. Even though it is not mandatory to have church on Sunday and we are not bound to it. Sunday is Resurrection Day.

In the past many theologians would place Sunday as the Christian Sabbath. There is only one Sabbath and it is for the Jews and it is on Saturday. A Christian Sunday does not replace the Jewish Sabbath any more than the Church has replaced Israel. As Christians we are of the New Covenant and have our Sabbath rest in Christ. (Hebrews 4:1-11; 8:13)

The Church Age began at the first Pentecost celebration when the Holy Spirit was poured out on all the Christian believing saints. This Church Age will end at the historical period of the rapture of the Church. The Church will be caught up together with Christ to meet Him in the air. The Church will then always be with the Lord. (1Thessalonians 4:15-18)

ISRAEL

I am a Zionist. On May 14, 1948 Israel became a nation again and re-established their native language of Hebrew. Israel is the most important land for both Jews and Christians. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was crucified just outside of Jerusalem. Jesus is coming back to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:4) Many Jews are now coming to Christ. They are finding Him as their Messiah. The apostle Paul writes that the nation of Israel who rejected their Messiah (Christ) will be saved. (Romans 11:26-32) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16 NKJV®)

Some religious cults believe that God has rejected the Jews. If that were true God could also decide to reject Gentile Christians someday. God gave this covenant promise to Abraham and it still stands today, because Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) God’s great promise to the Jewish nation is this: “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3 NKJV®) The Jews will remain in Israel and will not be removed from their land. “I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them, Says the LORD your God.” (Amos 9:15 NKJV®)

BIBLE

I believe the Bible is the written revelation to all human-kind. A follower of Christ reads the Bible daily for a successful Christian life and to keep from sin. (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:11) The Bible is the objective word of God and is not open to subjective interpretation. (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20-21) “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV®)

The main author of the Bible is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit used human authors with their own personality and style of writing to write the word of God. (2 Peter 1:20-21) These writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit. (2 Timothy 3:16) The Holy Spirit gives a Christian believer understanding of the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14; Acts 17:11) The word of God will never cease. (Matthew 5:18) The Bible is very Holy and not to be tampered with. (Revelation 22:18-19)

HEAVEN

Yes, I believe there is a heaven. (John 14:1-4) When Christians reach physical death here on earth or are raptured in the last days with the Church they will immediately go to heaven. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV®) Heaven is only for true Christian believers. (Revelation 21:27; John 3:36) Heaven will be for eternity. (John 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13)

HELL

Hell is the place where all sinful humans and sinful angels or demons will go. In Hell there is a second death that is never quenched. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NKJV®) Jesus mentions in the gospel of Mark, hell is “where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:44 NKJV®)

The apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV®)

In the book of Revelation we read about the final judgment of sinners which will happen. “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life, was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:13-15 NKJV®) So Hell is a physical place. When you die you will either go to heaven or to hell. There is no other choice.

CREATION

I do not believe in evolution. I believe in a six day creation. The Bible narrative states six literal days. (Genesis 1:31-2:1-2) The book of Genesis is not to be read as allegory or poetry it is supposed to be taken as narrative. Adam and Eve existed from the very beginning; they did not evolve from an animal.

Jesus mentions about creation in Mark. (Mark 10:6) Jesus further makes a statement about Moses. Although Moses wrote Genesis many people do not believe in the writings of Moses. “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47 NKJV®)

NOAH’S FLOOD

I believe in Noah’s flood. Our Earth even shows evidence through sedimentary rock deposits that there was a major catastrophe all over the world. You see many fossils buried all over the world indicating rapid burial. You even see skeletons of fish eating other fish.

Jesus also mentions about the flood. (Matthew 24:38-39) (Luke 17:27) The author of Hebrews mentions Noah as a hero how he saved his family by building an ark. The apostle Peter wrote about the entire world being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:5-6)

LAST DAYS

Although this website does not cover eschatology I do have an opinion on it. I believe in a pre-millennial – pre-tribulation rapture. (1Thessalonians 4:13-18) Chronologically this rapture happens at the beginning of Revelation chapter four after the message of the seven churches.

So after the church is caught up to heaven to meet the Lord the seven years of tribulation will begin after a seven year peace treaty is signed concerning Israel orchestrated by the antichrist. (Daniel 9:27) During the tribulation the wrath of God is poured out on all the people left behind. You can read about this terrible tribulation in Revelation starting at Chapter six which starts with the seal judgements from a scroll an angel shows the apostle John. In Revelation eight we have the trumpet judgements. Starting in chapter 16 we have the terrible bowl judgements.

Even during this terrible period some people will be saved, I believe most of these new Christians but not all will be Jews. At this special time in history God will open the hearts of the Jews and they will finally know their Messiah, Jesus Christ. All believers during the tribulation period are known as the tribulation saints.

Finally we read in chapter 20 of Revelation about the 1,000 year millennium when the Lord comes back to Earth with the church to rule for 1,000 years. Satan will be locked up for 1,000 years, but even at this time some will rebel. Then after this millennial period all that will not follow Christ including the dead are judged along with Satan and cast into the lake of fire which burns with sulfur eternally.

CALVINISM VS ARMINIANISM

I have read John Calvin’s Institutes of Christian Religion and it has good sound Christian doctrine in it. At this moment in my life I am not sold on any one view, however I don’t know if I would completely abandon the teachings of John Calvin, James Arminius or John Wesley.

Total depravity: Calvin says we cannot respond personally to God’s free offer of salvation. When I first heard this it bothered me, because when I was saved I made a decision for Christ in September 1982 and I am still saved. However, God possibly looked in the future and knew that I would accept Him. A Calvinist would say that I did not accept Christ He accepted me. I guess I could probably go along with that. (Ephesians 1:4-5)

Unconditional Election: I believe we are elected by God, (Romans 8:29-30) However what bothers me is some Calvinists teach that God has created certain people He wants to see suffer damnation and be cursed for eternity in the Lake of Fire burning with sulfur. I believe this goes against scripture. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV®) So through scripture we can see that God would not create someone just to see him in a lake of burning sulfur for His glory. God does not want any to perish.

Limited Atonement: Calvin states that Christ died specifically for the sins of the Church and not those outside of the true Church. I agree with that one hundred percent. The only alternative would be universalism. If universalism were true there would be no God of wrath and no need for a Savior, because sin would be completely tolerated.

Irresistible Grace: Arminians would say that we can reject God’s saving grace. If you can you probably were not saved. Calvinists say this saving grace that the Holy Spirit offers cannot be refused. Amen.

Perseverance of the Saints: (John 10:28) Believers are eternally secure in their faith through God’s election. Arminians do not have the assurance of their election even though the Bible teaches it. Arminians believe that you can lose your salvation. Arminians are wrong.