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Understanding World Religions

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The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you become informed about the various religious beliefs that exist in the world today. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Christian and I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. However, I do have two degrees in Religion and with the knowledge of all these religions, I have chosen to be and remain a Christian.

Religion is the driving force behind much of what happens in the world today — particularly when it comes to the “big three” religions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Religious differences have and continue to spark wars, create nations, and spawn ongoing conflict — along with doing much good down through the centuries. No matter what religion you adhere to (or even if you claim that you don’t adhere to any religion at all), you need to have a basic understanding of the world’s religions in order to understand what is happening in the world today so that you can be better informed and a more useful citizen of your nation and of the world. Without some knowledge of religion, you will not understand the underpinnings of what is happening in an increasingly global society.

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The Text That Made Salvation Plain to Spurgeon, Pt 4 (Understanding God’s Great Salvation #73)

Welcome to the Understanding God’s Great Salvation Podcast. This is episode #73.

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. This podcast is designed to explain what it means to be saved from sin and from the punishment of sin through Jesus Christ. This podcast is primarily for non-believers and some new believers and it will help you understand what it means to be saved from hell and have a home in Heaven as well as the blessings of the abundant Christian life.

God made salvation simple. However, down through the years many people, including some preachers and other Christians, have made the matter of salvation complicated and confusing. I know from my own experience that many people would get saved if someone would sit down and share with them straightforwardly from the Bible what it really means to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. That is what I intend to do with this podcast.

Let’s start out with the Word of God. The Bible says in 1 John 5:11-13: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from C.S. Lewis. He said: “I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic– on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg– or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Our topic today is The Text That Made Salvation Plain to Charles Spurgeon (Part 4) from the book, “Salvation Crystal Clear” (Book 1) by Curtis Hutson.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Man who divided history into BC and AD is either the world’s greatest con artist or the Saviour. Jesus Christ is either the most fantastic liar that ever walked on this earth or He is what He claimed to be—the Son of God. And what He said is absolutely true.

Now you must decide that for yourself. I have decided He was not a con artist, that He is the Saviour. I have decided that He wasn’t a liar, that He did tell the truth. But you decide for yourself.

If He did tell the truth, then we must face what He said. And He plainly said in John 14:6, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” That needs no interpretation; it just needs to be read and accepted.

Acts 4:12 declares, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Over and over and over again the Bible makes it plain that Jesus is the Saviour.

John 3:16—the best known verse in the Bible—says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him [the Son] is not condemned [not under sentence]: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Jesus is the Saviour. The Bible says in I John 5:12, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” That is as plain as it can be. It doesn’t say, “He that hath the church hath life.” It doesn’t say, ”He that hath the Baptist label hath life.” It doesn’t say, “He that hath baptism hath life.” It doesn’t say, “He that hath a good moral life hath life.” It doesn’t say, “He that is honest hath life.” It says, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” That word “hath” is an important word. Don’t forget it.

One is a Christian because of what he has, not because of what he does. What must one have in order to be a millionaire? You say money, and you are right. But to be a millionaire, one must have a specific amount of money—a million dollars. Very simple, isn’t it? Everybody understands that. It is not what one does nor how one lives that makes him a millionaire; it is not what one promises to do in the future that makes him a millionaire; it is what one has that makes him a millionaire. The key word, the hinge, is have, have, have; not do.

Now let me ask you a simple question, so simple that many well-meaning people stumble over it. What must one have to be a Christian? Christ. “He that hath the Son hath life.” Jesus Christ is the source of salvation.

On our next broadcast, we will continue this topic, “The Text That Made Salvation Plain to Charles Spurgeon.”

Let’s Pray —

As we close today, let me leave you with these words from Hebrews 2:3: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” I encourage you to not neglect the salvation and grace offered by God. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve upon Himself. Romans 5:8 says that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here is how.

Please believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. It’s just that simple.

Until next time, my friend, thank God for His simple, great salvation. God bless you!

The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions #13

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #13

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is Hebrews 11:6 which reads: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Today’s quote is from Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He said: “Faith is this extraordinary principle which links man to God; faith is this thing that keeps a man from hell and puts him in heaven; it is the connection between this world and the world to come; faith is this mystic astounding thing that can take a man dead in trespasses and sins and make him live as a new being, a new man in Christ Jesus.”

Our topic for today is titled “Biblical Apologetics” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

William Edgar observes:

The theologians of the first generation after the close of the apostolic age are known as the Church Fathers, and they functioned primarily as apologists…Understandably, apologetics in this period aimed to prove the legitimacy of the Christian faith and had to respond to two major threats: persecution and heresy. In addition, the early church had to define itself in relation to Judaism, showing both continuity with the faith of the Old Testament and discontinuity with the hardened Judaism which had rejected Christ as Messiah.

Any legitimate understanding of biblical apologetics must take these matters seriously if we are to understand how the biblical writers used apologetics themselves. In addition to the challenges facing New Testament Christians (persecution and heresy), the Old Testament authors faced their own set of apologetic challenges as they defended their unique view of monotheism against the prevailing polytheism, paganism, and hostility of their neighbors. In a very real sense, both Christians and Jews were involved in more than a theological debate. They often were in a fight for their very lives. Therefore, we would do well to examine how they defended their beliefs within the parameters of the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.

Today, dear friend, we will continue reading “Book 1, Chapter 1” of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

Now this Law or Rule about Right and Wrong used to be called the Law of Nature. Nowadays, when we talk of the “laws of nature” we usually mean things like gravitation, or heredity, or the laws of chemistry. But when the older thinkers called the Law of Right and Wrong “the Law of Nature,” they really meant the Law of Human Nature. The idea was that, just as all bodies are governed by the law of gravitation and organisms by biological laws, so the creature called man also had his law—with this great difference, that a body could not choose whether it obeyed the law of gravitation or not, but a man could choose either to obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it.

We may put this in another way. Each man is at every moment subjected to several different sets of law but there is only one of these which he is free to disobey. As a body, he is subjected to gravitation and cannot disobey it; if you leave him unsupported in mid-air, he has no more choice about falling than a stone has. As an organism, he is subjected to various biological laws which he cannot disobey any more than an animal can. That is, he cannot disobey those laws which he shares with other things; but the law which is peculiar to his human nature, the law he does not share with animals or vegetables or inorganic things, is the one he can disobey if he chooses.

This law was called the Law of Nature because people thought that every one knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it. They did not mean, of course, that you might not find an odd individual here and there who did not know it, just as you find a few people who are colour-blind or have no ear for a tune. But taking the race as a whole, they thought that the human idea of decent behaviour was obvious to every one. And I believe they were right. If they were not, then all the things we said about the war were nonsense. What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practised? If they had had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the colour of their hair.

Lord willing, we will continue reading “Book 1, Chapter 1” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

PODCAST: Biblical Apologetics (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions #12 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #12

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is 1 Peter 3:15 which reads: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Today’s quote is from Michael Faraday. He said: “Yet even in earthly matters I believe that ‘the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead,’ and I have never seen anything incompatible between those things of man which can be known by the spirit of man which is within him, and those higher things concerning his future, which he cannot know by that spirit.”

Our topic for today is titled “Biblical Apologetics” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

Apologetics is the art of persuasion and of biblical apologetics, in particular. It involves the Bible’s own use of apologetic and persuasive arguments to defend the Christian faith. The English term apologetics is derived from the Greek apologia, meaning “to give an answer.” Scripture itself urges us to “make a defense [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give an account (logos) for the hope (elpidos) that is in you”. Therefore, apologetics has its origin in the Bible itself.

While it is necessary for the Holy Spirit Himself to illuminate our minds to God’s truth, it is clear from the biblical writers themselves that this was done both by appeal to the sacred text and to the reasoning of the human mind. As Kreeft and Tacelli observe, this process of reasoning includes apprehension, intellectual intuition, understanding, insight, and contemplation. Thus, faith and reason are allies in the quest for truth.

In classical Christian orthodoxy, theologians have often stated the phrase credo ut intelligam (“I believe that I may understand”). While faith precedes comprehension, it certainly does not eliminate it. Christianity is not a mindless religion of mystical experiences that are devoid of reasonable conclusions. To the contrary, Christianity is the most well-reasoned, factually based religion on the planet.

Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.

Today, dear friend, we will begin reading “Book 1, Chapter 1” of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

Book I – Right And Wrong As A Clue To The Meaning Of The Universe

Chapter 1. The Law Of Human Nature

Every one has heard people quarrelling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant; but however it sounds, I believe we can learn something very important from listening to the kind of things they say. They say things like this: “How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?”—”That’s my seat, I was there first”—”Leave him alone, he isn’t doing you any harm”— “Why should you shove in first?”—”Give me a bit of your orange, I gave you a bit of mine”—”Come on, you promised.” People say things like that every day, educated people as well as uneducated, and children as well as grown-ups.

Now what interests me about all these remarks is that the man who makes diem is not merely saying that the other man’s behaviour does not happen to please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about. And the other man very seldom replies: “To hell with your standard.” Nearly always he tries to make out that what he has been doing does not really go against the standard, or that if it does there is some special excuse. He pretends there is some special reason in this particular case why the person who took the seat first should not keep it, or that things were quite different when he was given the bit of orange, or that something has turned up which lets him off keeping his promise.

It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law or Rule of fair play or decent behaviour or morality or whatever you like to call it, about which they really agreed. And they have. If they had not, they might, of course, fight like animals, but they could not quarrel in the human sense of the word. Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are; just as there would be no sense in saying that a footballer had committed a foul unless there was some agreement about the rules of football.

Lord willing, we will continue reading “Book 1, Chapter 1” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

On Apologetics and Cults (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity #11)

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #11

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is John 1:1-5 which reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Today’s quote is from Fyodor Dostoyevsky (F-yo-dor Dosto-ev-ski). He said: “Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old.”

Our topic for today is titled “On Apologetics and Cults” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

11. Ask strategic questions. You will not be able to force on a cultist your opinion of what a verse means. But if you can help the cultist discover problems in his theology for himself, this will be very effective. One way of doing this is by asking strategic questions based on key verses, all the while remaining tactful and kind. To illustrate, consider a cultist who claims to believe in the Bible but denies the absolute deity of Jesus. You might ask this person to read aloud from Isaiah 44:24, where God says, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth all alone”. Then ask the cultist about his or her interpretation of Colossians 1:16, which speaks of Jesus: “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him”. You might ask the cultist this question: “If God Almighty is the Creator of all things in Isaiah 44:24 and Jesus is the Creator of all things in Colossians 1:16, what does this say about Jesus?” Using questions such as these can help the cultist come to a correct understanding of the Bible.

12. Be aware that many cultists have been trained to answer your objections. For example, if you say to a Jehovah’s Witness, “Oh, you’re that group that denies the Trinity,” he has been specifically trained in how to respond. If you say, “We’re already Christians in this house,” he has been trained what to say in response. If you can keep in mind that the cultist is just feeding you rote responses that he has been trained to say, it will help you to remain patient in dealing with him. No matter what programmed responses a cultist regurgitates to you, it is best to continually bring the discussion back to the Bible.

13. Be ready to answer the cultists’ objections. As you share biblical truth with cultists, they will inevitably raise some contradictory points. They will raise objections that need to be answered. You should make every effort to answer such objections. Christians are instructed in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence”. So, for example, if the cultist to whom you are speaking objects to your claim that the Holy Spirit is a person and not a force, have your Bible handy and be ready to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit has all the attributes of personality—such as mind (Romans 8:27), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), and will (1 Corinthians 12:11).

14. Beware of the cultists’ fear of disfellowshipping and shunning. Cultists are typically instructed that unquestioned obedience to the cult is expected of them. If a cultist questions or rejects a teaching of the cult, he can be disfellowshipped—kicked out of the organization. The reason unquestioned obedience is expected in certain cults is that they are considered God’s prophet and mouthpiece. To question the authority of the cult leader, then, essentially amounts to questioning God’s authority.

15. Share your testimony with the cultist. You may not be an expert in the Bible. You may not be an expert in theology and doctrine. You may not be an expert in what a particular cultic organization believes. But you are an expert in what the Lord has done in your life. So, if you share nothing else with a cultist, do share your personal testimony. Focus especially on the grace of God, and how you know you are completely forgiven of your sins and are going to heaven because of what Jesus did for you at the cross.

Today, dear friend, we will continue reading the Preface of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions—as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable.

It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.

In plain language, the question should never be: “Do I like that kind of service?” but “Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular doorkeeper?”

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those Who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.

Dear friend, we will begin reading “Book 1, Chapter 1” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

On Apologetics and Cults (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions #10)

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #10

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is Revelation 4:11 which reads: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Today’s quote is from Wernher von Braun. He said: “My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”

Our topic for today is titled “On Apologetics and Cults” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

7. Always define your terms. Cult members typically use Christian words—such as God, Jesus, Christ, atonement, and salvation—but they pour their own cultic meanings into those words. Cultic redefinitions should not surprise us, for Scripture itself cautions us in this regard. Second Corinthians 11:4 warns of a different Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel. In view of this, Christians must be careful to define their terms when dialoguing with cultists.

8. Always look up Bible verses cultists cite. Whenever a cultist to whom you are speaking cites a Bible verse in support of a cultic doctrine (often from memory), there is a good chance the cultist has either misquoted the verse or is taking it out of context. To avoid being duped, always have a Bible handy so you can check things out for yourself.

9. Focus the discussion on important matters. Do not waste your time debating such nonessential issues as whether Christmas should be celebrated or whether the flag should be saluted. Sometimes Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cultists ring your doorbell and focus the discussion on such issues. If they do this, move the focus of attention to more important matters, such as the true identity of Jesus (as God), what Christ accomplished at the cross, and the true Gospel that saves. The reason for this is that you do not know if you will ever see these particular cultists again. Hence, it is important to spend the short time you have together focusing on biblical matters that could lead to those cultists’ salvation.

10. Emphasize the good news of the grace of God. Because cults are so works-oriented in their view of salvation, spend a lot of time on the biblical teaching that salvation is based not on works but on the grace of God. As Ephesians 2:8-9 puts it, “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”. This free gift of salvation is received by faith alone, with no works in sight. Cultists desperately need to hear this good news.

In our next podcast we will continue looking at the topic “On Apologetics and Cults”

Today, dear friend, we will continue reading the Preface of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

A gentleman, once it has been spiritualised and refined out of its old coarse, objective sense, means hardly more than a man whom the speaker likes. As a result, gentleman is now a useless word. We had lots of terms of approval already, so it was not needed for that use; on the other hand if anyone (say, in a historical work) wants to use it in its old sense, he cannot do so without explanations. It has been spoiled for that purpose.

Now if once we allow people to start spiritualising and refining, or as they might say “deepening,” the sense of the word Christian, it too will speedily become a useless word. In the first place, Christians themselves will never be able to apply it to anyone. It is not for us to say who, in the deepest sense, is or is not close to the spirit of Christ. We do not see into men’s hearts. We cannot judge, and are indeed forbidden to judge.

It would be wicked arrogance for us to say that any man is, or is not, a Christian in this refined sense. And obviously a word which we can never apply is not going to be a very useful word. As for the unbelievers, they will no doubt cheerfully use the word in the refined sense. It will become in their mouths simply a term of praise. In calling anyone a Christian they will mean that they think him a good man. But that way of using the word will be no enrichment of the language, for we already have the word good. Meanwhile, the word Christian will have been spoiled for any really useful purpose it might have served.

We must therefore stick to the original, obvious meaning. The name Christians was first given at Antioch (Acts xi. 26) to “the disciples,” to those who accepted the teaching of the apostles. There is no question of its being restricted to those who profited by that teaching as much as they should have. There is no question of its being extended to those who in some refined, spiritual, inward fashion were “far closer to the spirit of Christ” than the less satisfactory of the disciples. The point is not a theological, or moral one. It is only a question of using words so that we can all understand what is being said. When a man who accepts the Christian doctrine lives unworthily of it, it is much clearer to say he is a bad Christian than to say he is not a Christian.

Dear friend, we will continue reading the “Preface” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

On Apologetics and Cults (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions #9 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #9

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is Isaiah 46:9-10 which reads: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”

Today’s quote is from Blaise Pascal. He said: “Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ; We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ.”

Our topic for today is titled “On Apologetics and Cults” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

3. Be cognizant of the key doctrinal characteristics of cults. There are a number of key doctrinal characteristics that regularly surface in the kingdom of the cults. While not every cult manifests every characteristic below (nor do those that possess them do so to the same degree), these characteristics are among the more common:

– The claim to receive new revelations.
– The denial of the sole authority of the Bible.
– The espousal of a distorted view of God, such as pantheism (all is God).
– The espousal of a distorted view of Jesus Christ, almost always denying His full deity and His accomplished work of redemption on the cross.
– The espousal of a distorted view of the Holy Spirit.
– The espousal of a distorted view of humankind, such as exalting human beings to the level of godhood.
– The denial of salvation by grace, thus distorting the purity of the gospel by adding works into the picture.

4. Be cognizant of the key sociological characteristics of cults. Key sociological characteristics that might surface in some cults include:

– Authoritarianism, which involves an authority figure–often an alleged “prophet”–whose word is considered ultimate and final.
– Exclusivism in the sense of believing that group alone possesses the truth of God.
– Isolationism, which often requires members to renounce and break off past associations with parents and siblings.

5. Always prepare for witnessing encounters by prayer. Only God, in His mighty power, can lift the veil of cultic blindness from the human heart. It therefore makes sense to pray fervently for the cultists you witness to.

6. Don’t assume every cult member believes the same thing every other member of that cult believes. For this reason, it is best not to tell a cultist what he or she believes. It is better to ask if he or she subscribes to a particular belief. Once you know what the person believes, then you can deal with those beliefs from a biblical perspective.

In our next podcast we will continue looking at the topic “On Apologetics and Cults”

Today, dear friend, we will continue reading the Preface of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

So much for my omissions on doctrine. In Book III, which deals with morals, I have also passed over some things in silence, but for a different reason. Ever since I served as an infantryman in the first World War I have had a great dislike of people who, themselves in ease and safety, issue exhortations to men in the front line. As a result I have a reluctance to say much about temptations to which I myself am not exposed. No man, I suppose, is tempted to every sin. It so happens that the impulse which makes men gamble has been left out of my make-up; and, no doubt, I pay for this by lacking some good impulse of which it is the excess or perversion. I therefore did not feel myself qualified to give advice about permissible and impermissible gambling: if there is any permissible, for I do not claim to know even that. I have also said nothing about birth-control. I am not a woman nor even a married man, nor am I a priest. I did not think it my place to take a firm line about pains, dangers and expenses from which I am protected; having no pastoral office which obliged me to do so.

Far deeper objections may be felt—and have been expressed— against my use of the word Christian to mean one who accepts the common doctrines of Christianity. People ask: “Who are you, to lay down who is, and who is not a Christian?” or “May not many a man who cannot believe these doctrines be far more truly a Christian, far closer to the spirit of Christ, than some who do?” Now this objection is in one sense very right, very charitable, very spiritual, very sensitive. It has every amiable quality except that of being useful. We simply cannot, without disaster, use language as these objectors want us to use it. I will try to make this clear by the history of another, and very much less important, word.

The word gentleman originally meant something recognisable; one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone “a gentleman” you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact. If you said he was not “a gentleman” you were not insulting him, but giving information. There was no contradiction in saying that John was a liar and a gentleman; any more than there now is in saying that James is a fool and an M.A. But then there came people who said—so rightly, charitably, spiritually, sensitively, so anything but usefully—”Ah, but surely the important thing about a gentleman is not the coat of arms and the land, but the behaviour? Surely he is the true gentleman who behaves as a gentleman should? Surely in that sense Edward is far more truly a gentleman than John?”

They meant well. To be honourable and courteous and brave is of course a far better thing than to have a coat of arms. But it is not the same thing. Worse still, it is not a thing everyone will agree about. To call a man “a gentleman” in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is “a gentleman” becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker’s attitude to that object. (A “nice” meal only means a meal the speaker likes.)

Dear friend, we will continue reading the “Preface” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.

On Apologetics and Cults (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions #8)

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #8

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is Job 12:7-10 which reads: “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”

Today’s quote is from Charles Babbage. He said: “In the works of the Creator ever open to our examination, we possess a firm basis on which to raise the superstructure of an enlightened creed. The more man inquires into the laws which regulate the material universe, the more he is convinced that all its varied forms arise from the action of a few simple principles… The works of the Creator, ever present to our senses, give a living and perpetual testimony of his power and goodness far surpassing any evidence transmitted through human testimony. The testimony of man becomes fainter at every stage of transmission, whilst each new inquiry into the works of the Almighty gives to us more exalted views of his wisdom, his goodness, and his power.”

Our topic for today is titled “On Apologetics and Cults” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

Scripture often warns about spiritual deception. With so many warnings, it is obvious God does not want people to be deceived. That is one reason cult apologetics is so critically important. Below are 15 brief but time-tested principles designed to enhance success in dialoguing
with cultists.

1. Foundationally. know your Bible. It is well known that the secret service trains bankers to recognize phony dollar bills by having them first study genuine dollar bills. The more familiar the banker is with genuine bills—the coloring, the texture, how they feel, and so forth—the easier it is to recognize a counterfeit. Likewise, the more Christians learn about genuine Christianity through the Bible, the easier they will know how to recognize spiritual counterfeits.

2. Understand the proper definition of a cult. Theologically speaking, a cult is a religious group that derives from a parent religion (such as Christianity), but in fact departs from that parent religion by denying (explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the essential doctrines of that religion. So, for example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are cults in the sense that they both derive from the parent religion of Christianity, but each of them denies one or more of the essential doctrines of historic Christianity. For example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the doctrine of the Trinity and argue that Jesus is not eternal deity. The Mormons also deny the eternal deity of Jesus and argue that human beings can one day become gods. Obviously
such beliefs separate these groups from mainstream historic Christianity.

Likewise, the Nation of Islam is a cult of Islam (the parent religion) because it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Islam. The Hare Krishna sect is a cult of Hinduism (the parent religion) because it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Hinduism. Such groups, then, are categorized as cults in this narrowly defined, nonpejorative sense.

In our next podcast we will continue the topic “On Apologetics and Cults”

Today, dear friend, we will continue reading the Preface of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

The danger dearly was that I should put forward as common Christianity anything that was peculiar to the Church of England or (worse still) to myself. I tried to guard against this by sending the original script of what is now Book II to four clergymen (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic) and asking for their criticism. The Methodist thought I had not said enough about Faith, and the Roman Catholic thought I had gone rather too far about the comparative unimportance of theories in explanation of the Atonement. Otherwise all five of us were agreed. I did not have the remaining books similarly “vetted” because in them, though differences might arise among Christians, these would be differences between individuals or schools of thought, not between denominations.

So far as I can judge from reviews and from the numerous letters written to me, the book, however faulty in other respects, did at least succeed in presenting an agreed, or common, or central, or “mere” Christianity. In that way it may possibly be of some help in silencing the view that, if we omit the disputed points, we shall have left only a vague and bloodless H.C.F. The H.C.F. turns out to be something not only positive but pungent; divided from all non-Christian beliefs by a chasm to which the worst divisions inside Christendom are not really comparable at all.

If I have not directly helped the cause of reunion, I have perhaps made it clear why we ought to be reunited. Certainly I have met with little of the fabled odium theologicum from convinced members of communions different from my own. Hostility has come more from borderline people whether within the Church of England or without it: men not exactly obedient to any communion. This I find curiously consoling. It is at her centre, where her truest children dwell, that each communion is really closest to every other in spirit, if not in doctrine. And this suggests that at the centre of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice.

Dear friend, we will continue reading the “Preface” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.