Will the Sun Explode?


My 5-year-old girl came to me crying today. She had watched YouTube videos with her 8-year-old brother (who is considering becoming an astrophysicist) and became very upset.

She wanted to know what will happen if the Sun and the Earth will collide.  Furthermore, what will happen if and when the Sun turns into a supernova star and explodes. Tears in her eyes, quivering chin, half-spoken words and all… Meantime, the 8-year-old was sitting on the sofa giggling…

Now, what is a daddy supposed to do to fix this problem? Sounds like a theological discussion is in order (as opposed to a scientific one).

I asked her if she believes what the bible says. Big nod as in yes… I asked her if she believes the bible is the word of God.  Again, nodded yes. Right there, half the battle was won.

My super smart girl can read, so I asked her to read two verses from the Scripture.

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

The bible says that all things are held and governed by God, and no catastrophy of such proportions will happen as long as this world stands.  Not only that, but ruling the universe is easy for God to accomplish. He merely has to “speak” it. He upholds the universe together, the galaxies, the solar systems, the massive black holes at the center of our galaxies, and none of them go astray. They follow their orbits and carefully crafted paths as God planned them through Christ.

She was happy with the answer and the big hug from daddy.

But there is a lesson here for adults as well. If we believe in an omnipotent Creator who governs billions of stars, then surely he can take care of his children.  Maybe you are not worried that the sun will explode, but maybe you are worried that your relationship with your spouse or children will explode. Or maybe your financial situation will collapse.

Remember that God is big enough to hold together the biggest black hole which contains the mass of many billion suns.

Trust that your sun will not explode.

image credit: NASA

The Vase

Reblogged from Rock of My Refuge by Paul Tanca

Most recently, it has begun to feel as though peace has been dissipating from my heart regarding certain issues. What is more disturbing is the fact that doubt has tried to occupy the freshly vacated seat of peace. Ironically, the more personal effort I invest into trying to strong-arm control of my circumstances, the more I seem to fail.

I am reminded of the story of a young boy who caught his hand inside of a very expensive vase. His parents, concerned primarily for the safety of the boy, tried everything to free his hand. They rubbed his wrist with oil, butter, and Vaseline. All to no avail. They carefully twisted his wrist to the right, then to the left without success. They tried positioning the vase in the most peculiar of ways hoping to find an angle that would yield success. Finally, when all else failed, the parents resolved to breaking the vase. As the mother held the boy close, shielding his eyes from the impending shower of flying pottery shards, the father lifted the hammer… continue reading at Rock of My Refuge

Final Desperation

Have you ever experienced desperation in the true sense of the word?

Most people despair when their well-being or the well-being of their loved ones is compromised. I had the privilege to help someone in despair recently. It was woman with history of chronic pain who just woke up from surgery and who was in severe pain.

Patients who become tolerant to narcotics can be very challenging to manage in the peri-operative setting because pain medications do not work on them like they do in a narcotic-naive person.

Despite large amount of medications already administered during the surgery and immediately afterwards, she was in tremendous pain. I looked in her eyes and I saw desperation. She told me something no patient ever told me:

“I will pay whatever it takes, just take this pain away”

Since large doses of intra-venous narcotics were not helping, I resorted to an old, rarely used drug that is classified as a muscle relaxant.  The result was that it relieved the muscle spasm around the surgical site and the patient felt much better.

It was a striking experience because we rarely observe sheer desperation in everyday life.  When was the last time you someone utterly desperate? The thing that comes to mind is a parent whose child has been hurt or someone whose life is in imminent danger.

As powerful and scary as desperation can be, it cannot be compared to the feeling that many people will have one day when they realize they will spend eternity apart from God in the place called hell. In the parable of the ten virgins, the five unwise ones desperately went out to buy oil for their lamps, only to return too late. The bridegroom had returned and the wedding feast had begun. Jesus had returned and taken his Church, and the unwise virgins (the compromised “Christians”) received the shock of their life:

‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Matt 25:11

Imagine the despair. The regret. The anger. To be enlightened, to know the truth, to share to some extent in the experience of the wise virgins, but ultimately to be left outside…

There can be no greater failure.

The honest desperation I saw on my patient’s face will be nothing compared to what the fallen Christian will experience when he will be left behind.

I would like to use this example in order to exhort Delight in Truth followers to a life of holiness worthy of our salvation. We must raise our awareness for this spiritual truth, that salvation belongs to the Lord but we are active participants in the process!

Avoid regret and desperation on that final day and instead be ready for your glorification!

image source

What Makes Porn and Sexual Sin Different?

Man looking closely into computer screen, profile

I have seen statements to the effect that all sins have the same consequence. Some say that sexual sins (flirting, porn, pre and extra-marital sexual relations. etc…) have the same consequences as gluttony and addiction to hobbies.

The problem is that these statements are only partially correct.

Theologically speaking, ANY sin that is not brought to the cross and atoned via the blood of Christ leads to death.  However, the Bible teaches that not all sins are the same in how they affect unbelievers, and for that matter, believers.

Take sexual sin for instance. What is it that makes pornography or adultery different from other sins like anger, or theft?

The Bible goes as far as classifying sexual immorality in a camp of its own. The reason for this is because sexual sin and all its cousins destroy every aspect of human life: PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, FAMILIAL, and SOCIAL.

The consequences of said sin ruin every aspect of one’s life. That’s why it is different. Here are some (very brief) examples:

  • psychological: porn addicts have altered brain chemistry and are unable to have healthy marriages because their brain is wired for a perverted understanding of sex, one that is based on lust, violence, and lack of responsibility; loneliness and depression are frequently associated with this sin
  • social: pre-marital sex ruins lives by ruining reputations, leading to abortions and children out of wed-lock, community stigma and broken hearts
  • physical: multiple partners leads to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), infertility, cancer, and death from cancer and infection
  • familial/relational: not only the stuff listed above, but breaking-up of families and breaking of vows taken before God
  • spiritual: just like any unrepented sin, sexual sin leads to spiritual death

This is why porn addiction is different from the sin of coffee addiction.  This is why indulging in sexual sin will ruin your life in every aspect.  All sin leads to spiritual death, but sexual sin brings much more suffering in this life in addition to spiritual death.

Scripture will back up the above claims:

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” 1 Cor 6:18

“He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.” Prov 6:32-33

So yes, porn addiction and other sexual sins are more damaging to the person committing them than other sins.

People who preach the half-gospel of love, and go around saying that homosexuality and pornography should not be treated differently than any other sin do not have a grasp on the differentiation the Bible makes between sexual immorality and other sins.

So young readers, maintain your sexual purity because you will have much reward in this life and the next.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Ps 119:9

Not of This World


What is the meaning of this phrase?  It is even the logo of a popular “christian” clothing line.

In the hours leading up to his arrest and murder, Jesus prayed His amazing high priestly prayer and uttered the following words:

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17:14 ESV

Jesus is praying for His disciples and the those who will believe in Him in the future.  He is praying for the body of believers who will make up His pure, undefiled church.

The things he says here are more than just a prediction, and they are not just a mere prophecy.  They are more than a guide, more than a teaching.

This is fundamental truth spoken by Jesus.

It was true 2000 years ago and it is true today. In fact, it is truer today more than ever. The two major pillars of the world system, government and mainstream media, both hate God and his principles.  This has been documented in multiple modern societies from those subscribing to Communism to free democracy. I have personally seen it in totalitarian communist Romania and freely democratic USA.

The world hates Christians because of Jesus. It is the message of exclusive salvation that is so repugnant to those who do not believe it. Jesus gave us His word, and as a result, the world hates us.

However, there are many tolerant folks who claim to be Christian who present a watered-down version of the Word of God.  The world loves them because they do not present a salvation message that is exclusively through Jesus. This acceptance by the world is in stark contrast with Jesus’s claim that the world hates us because of his word.

Be suspicious of any preacher of the gospel who is loved by the media, Oprah, etc and the rest of the secular world.

We are in the world, but not of this world.

Focus on the Big Picture

I still remember my first patient in medical school as if it was yesterday.

It was the summer of 2000 when I started my surgical clerkship in a large county hospital.  That place had anything and everything one could possible imagine with respect to the spectrum of disease and humanity.  Young, old, a ton of homeless patients, drug and alcohol addicts, psychiatric illness galore…  The Emergency Room was more like a zoo when one considers the noises and the smells there…

So with this context in mind, imagine my first week on the surgical rotation.  My first patient was a homeless 60-year-old man who smoked 1-2 packs per day for about 45 years.  As a result he had severe vascular disease and was in the process of losing his leg to dry gangrene due to lack of circulation.  To make the problem worse, he became addicted to narcotic pain medicine while in the hospital.

I walked into his room one day on rounds to examine him, and irritated he said to leave him alone because he needs to focus.  Focus on what?

Then I noticed he was holding his Morphine PCA (patient controlled analgesia) button in his hand and looking at the medication pump screen intensely.  He figured out the PCA formula down to the last detail, and was trying to maximize the amount of narcotic he would receive from the machine.

He figured out that the machine would dispense a morphine bolus only after a 10 minute lock out.  Furthermore, as a safety check, the machine was programmed to dispense a certain maximum amount each hour regardless of the lockout intervals and the number of times the patient pushes the button.  He learned the way the machine worked, and when I walked in he knew he had about 5 minutes before it would respond to another push.

He was so focused on counting down the minutes and seconds to the expiration of the lockout interval that he would not even talk to me about the grand picture, which was the upcoming surgery to fix the problem in his leg.

This world and the sin around us work in a similar way.

Those who have not found God are so entrenched into the world and into sin that they cannot grasp the big picture.  They would rather focus on the next vain pleasure than step back and realize that they are on the road to perdition.

Consider what Paul writes in Romans 6:23 about the outcome of being a slave to sin:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Focus on sin leads to death.

Salvation by the free gift of God leads to eternal life in Jesus.

Avoid False Teachers and Prophets


This is an amazing image, one which we will try to spiritualize in this post.

This shoal of fish acts as one unit.  They are highly sensitive to each other’s movements and this capability allows them to move in the same direction at the same time.  When a predator attacks, they sense the intruder, and their tactile sensors allows the shoal to avoid immediate contact with it.

The body of Christ should act in a similar way.  We need to be highly in tune with each other and with sound doctrine in order to sense false teachers and prophets who bring in heretical teaching or sin.

We need to identify and isolate such intruders and avoid mingling in their teachings in the same way the shoal attempts to avoid the sharks.

Essentially every New Testament writer gives us warnings with respect to this issue.

2 Peter 2:1-2 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

Romans 16:17-18 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Any teaching or prophecy that is against Scripture must be rejected, and the false teacher or prophet must be avoided.

image credit - Marine Life Center (FB)

Treading on the Spiritual Edge

Moher Cliffs, Ireland

The Moher cliffs in Western Ireland (pictures here) are a stunning natural monument which attracts scores of daredevils every year.  Some of these adrenaline junkies walk or bike a tight path, sometimes less than a foot wide in order to satisfy the need for excitement knowing that they are inches away from death.

While only a few brave people will do in real life what the bikers in the photo are doing, there are many Christians who walk on the spiritual Moher Cliffs.   Spiritual disaster may be small step in the wrong direction because they are at the very edge of the cliff.

As Christians, we live in the world but we are not of the world.

When a Christian indulges in the things of the world, its philosophies, its entertainment, its pleasures, he is walking dangerously close to the cliff.  We are not called to see how close we can get to the edge without falling, but we are called to be hidden in Christ, far from the dangers of falling.  Hiding ourselves in Christ is the opposite of experimenting in the world.

Apostle John gives us a clear warning against flirting with sin and the things in the world in 1 John 2:

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The spiritual Moher Cliffs are the association with the world and its elements.   By walking these cliffs, the Christian comes dangerously close to falling in love with the world.

The only reliable solution is to flee sin and hide ourselves in Christ.

60 Pounds of Burden


This is Shrek the sheep.

He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shorn (shave) it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception usually reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his fleece. Simply because he was away from his shepherd.

This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His followers are His sheep. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ but has wandered. If we avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world—a weight we don’t have to bear.

When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty pound fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to his shepherd.

I believe Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece’—that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

This is perfect.

by The Family - A Proclamation to the World (Facebook)

The Wrath of God Was Satisfied

One of the most important doctrines of Christendom is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement or penal substitution.

It basically states that Christ took upon Himself the griefs, sorrows, transgressions, iniquity and sins of believers while dying of the cross,  thereby satisfying the wrath of the Father.   This teaching is beautifully states in Isaiah 53 where the prophet tells us that “it was the will of the LORD to crush Him.” Isaiah 53:10a ESV

It is highly disappointing that churches today reject part of this doctrine.

Today, my friend Romeo Fulga pointed out that the Presbyterian Church USA has publicly rejected one of the most popular hymns sang in our churches today, “In Christ Alone.”  To get an idea of how popular this song is, I typed “in ch” in my google search bar and the first item that popped up was “in Christ alone lyrics.”  This liberal denomination who also happens to ordain gay ministers is rejecting the song because of the following stanza which references the wrath of God in the context of substitutionary atonement:

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

Other Christian artists also have a problem with this line.  Some have recorded the song, but either left out the “wrath of God” stanza or changed it to “the love of God was magnified.”

Christianity today in some circles has become a lukewarm, love-only type of Christianity which avoids preaching such concepts as the wrath of God, the existence of hell, death as the penalty against sin, and many other unpalatable to the flesh doctrines found on the pages of the Bible.

It is time for the church to wake up and realize that an incomplete Gospel is a false Gospel.  We cannot have the love of God without the wrath of God.  We cannot have God’s love and mercy without His justice.  We cannot separate His attributes, nor pick and choose which ones we want to accept or reject.

It is time to accept the Bible as inerrant, and accept the teachings found there in their entirety.