Davy Jones Dead at 66, The Monkees My First Band

I had to call my brother and leave the news on his cell phone. Davy Jones, one of the singers for the … band..? the Monkees died today, he was 66.

It is hard to try and describe the Monkees. Most of them had zero talent. I would say that they were one of the very first boy bands, but they were bigger than that. They had their own television show, their own recording contract and an entire host of musicians and song writers to prop them up.

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O Rings Are Bad for the Shuttle Challenger and Mr. Coffee

I guess this could be from the “what-we-learned-over-the-last-week” category. It is one of those lessons I haven’t actually overcome yet, because the battle for a coffee maker is not yet done.

Last Wednesday, I finally realized I had a problem with my Black & Decker coffee maker which I got for my birth day some years ago. The problem: I was only getting half a pot of coffee after preparing a full pot. I know I should have noticed this on Monday when it started, but alas, I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

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Answering an Arminian’s Charges: Part One on Limited Atonement

I had a recent exchange with a former member of the church and his position against Calvinism. Since he was public in his point of view and a former elder, I have no problems answering him publicly and do so for the benefit of the flock entrusted to me. He shall go nameless, and will remain so unless he chooses to respond. I really wanted to leave this be, but given that the effects of those who think and teach this way are so pervasive among the flock entrusted to me and the other elders by Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, I feel compelled to answer.

Allow me to say upfront that when I say the word Calvinist, I do not mean by it that I get up on the morning and read from John Calvin’s work for my quiet time. I do not mean by the term that I follow John Calvin and that he is any way my LORD and Savior. He is not. He is a fallen man that I believed was simply used by God during his time to express clearly what the gospel was and is according to Scripture. This form of theology is only held to where Scripture confirms it, and where Scripture does not confirm it, we distance ourselves from such things. The Bible is our guide and God’s glory is our goal in understanding how we view the world in which we live.

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The Truth of Christ’s Cross

For some Sunday morning meditation, the following is from J.C. Ryle:

Let us set fully before our eyes the doctrine of Christ dying in our place – His substituted death, and rest our souls on it. Let us hold on firmly to the mighty truth, that Christ on the cross:

Christ on the cross: Stood in the place of His people

Christ on the cross: Died for His people

Christ on the cross: Suffered for His people

Christ on the cross: Was counted a curse and sin for His people

Christ on the cross: Paid the debts of His People

Christ on the cross: Made restitution for His people

Christ on the cross: Became the guarantee of His people

Christ on the cross: Became the representative of His people

In this way Christ obtained His people’s freedom. Let us understand this clearly, and then we will see what a mighty privilege it is to be made free by Christ. This is freedom which, above all others is worth having.

~ J.C. Ryle

For more on Ryle, go here.

Drug Wars Driving People to Christ

I love seeing stories like the following because they truly demonstrate Romans 8:28 in a real way. People are coming to know Christ in large numbers because of the violence that stems from the drug wars.

When missionaries and pastors serving in Mexico discuss drug violence, a common theme emerges. People are suffering and dying in terrible ways, they say, but the fear this creates is driving unprecedented numbers of Mexicans – especially teens and twenty-somethings – into the arms of Christ.

“Victory in Jesus, that’s what’s happening in Mexico,” says missionary Mary Stroud. “There has always been violence there, but now what used to be done in darkness is being brought into the light.”

She and her husband, Matthew, served for two years in northern Tamaulipas state – one of the most violent in Mexico, and the stomping grounds of the Zetas, the most brutal and notorious cartel. For security reasons, they asked that their real names not be used, as they are still ministering in Mexico. The Zetas sometimes murder people merely for talking about them.

“The Enemy uses deception through the media to paint a bleak, horrible, hopeless picture of Mexico, which isn’t a true one. There’s a tremendous uprising of youth coming to Jesus. Seeds that were planted year after year are coming to fruition. The time of harvest is now.

“Yes, due to the violence people are losing their lives – that’s real. But God is reigning in Mexico. Victory is here, and it belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ!”

This really does demonstrate Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Satan is busy using the drug violence to try and destroy people’s lives, and God’s goodness and grace is overcoming Satan’s wickedness as people are coming to know Christ and being freed from Satan’s snares. Those who know me know that I always point out that the things God works together for good, are not always good. He is so rich in His mercy that He can take the evil things in our lives and use that to draw us to Himself. This is what is taking place in Mexico.

Those who are coming to know Him in Mexico because of the drug wars are finding true and lasting hope in Christ. That is something that they have never had before knowing Christ. It is sad that often times we must go through terrible storms before we realize there is something missing in our lives. But I imagine the youth who are trusting in Christ are grateful the Lord used all that to bring them to Himself. They see that the things of this world are fleeting and worthless. Let’s hope and pray that the LORD shows His grace and mercy to the youth of the United States as well.

The Arrogance of Modernity in Full View

I’ve been dialoging with Wranger concerning my post on the death of Christopher Hitchens. It’s been a good debate but Wranger keeps coming back to his trump card, which is that we know so much more than those of the First Century. Here are his words:

My point is that any ten year old today, knows infinitely more about the natural order, and the universe, than anybody living in the First Century. If it’s arrogant to think that, then I’m arrogant.

This is one of the comments that seems like it’s a real trump card in the argument, because, we know so much more today than they did in the First Century. But alas, I beg to differ. I would say we know a lot less than they did in the First Century.

Wranger is arguing that the ten year old knows more about the natural order, but I bet most don’t know that Chicken McNuggets actually come from chickens. The 10 year olds  of today know nothing about real life because they have been so sheltered from it. They do not know how to raise chickens, kill chickens, clean chickens or cook them. They knew how to shear sheep, milk cows, make cheese, press grapes for wine, mill the wheat and everything that was involved with eating because they had to actually do it.

Our children today may know how to work a Gameboy or X-box, but when it comes to life and living, our children are helpless (excluding those who are raise on a farm). We think we are so smart because we have billions of facts right at our finger tips. But how much of it do we actually know? How many of us could actually rebuild our transmission if we needed to? How many of us could grow enough wheat in order to survive for the winter? How many of us would know the process and patience of making wine?

The people of the First Century knew what it meant to survive. They knew where food came from, how to grow it, process it, cook it and preserve it. While we may know facts about such things, and know that such things take place, could we actually do it?

They also knew about life as well. They knew where babies came from and the women had to band together in order to help one another deliver their children. There were no doctors to swoop in at the last moment and do all the work. There were no hospitals, so they really had to know what it took to have children.

They understood death as well. No morticians to come along and sanitize the process. They had to bury their own dead and did so quite often. They knew war, they knew real peace. They knew life at is basest form and knew how to survive. I wouldn’t give members of the Occupy Wall Street crowd 10 minutes in that culture. They have been taught “infinitely more about the natural order” and can’t seem to make a go of it in our culture today. The entire argument that we can learn nothing from previous cultures and men is a result of the arrogance of modernity. Those who have fallen for this arrogance look back on previous cultures and deduce they are nothing more than a bunch of backwood idiots because we are so far advance in our technology. I concede, we are much farther advanced technologically. But that doesn’t mean we are smart than the previous generations of men who lived on the earth. After all, the smarter man is not the one that uses fire, but the one who discovers fire.

The sad reality is that this arrogance is taught and cultivated in our schools today. Far too many fall for it. Simply because we have more information today doesn’t mean we know more, it doesn’t mean we are wiser, it doesn’t mean we are better off. If fact, given the number of people who have failed the test of godly wisdom, we are much worse off.

Wranger continued:

You still haven’t explained what it is about them, or what it is that they said, that makes you so eager to believe First Century Jews, rather than our overwhelming empirical scientific evidence.

That is simple to explain. What is it the First Century Jews knew? They may not have had empirical scientific evidence about DNA, but the ones I’m referring to knew something much greater than the mapping of the genome. They knew the One who created the genome. They knew the One who gave us science, and life, and breath, and the world in which we live. The knew the One that created us and put the stars, moon and sun in their place. They knew the One that gave the order we find in creation.

They also knew the Redeemer who came to deal ultimately with our greatest problem: sin and death. While we may be able to identify genes the lead to us sinning, we still cannot solve our sinful nature, our problems with death. We still face that judgment and science can do nothing to alleviate us of the problem. Just ask Christopher Hitchens.

Those men in the First Century who knew the Creator were also wise enough to tell us of the foolishness of mankind. The Apostle Paul wrote and warned us that those who sought knowledge, Greeks in his day, would find the truths of the gospel as complete foolishness. Listen to Paul’s words:

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The scientists and modern thinkers cans sit and ponder what fools we are who follow Christ all they want, but they offer us nothing to give us true and lasting hope. All of them still sin. All of them still die. All of them face judgment, yet, they want us to believe that they have the answers because they have mapped out the human genome? They want us to follow them into their theories of evolution just because they think they have evidence of evolution in genetics?

I tried to point out to Wranger that those who believe in evolution still do not have incontrovertible evidence for evolution. As I have said before, if there was evidence beyond a shadow of doubt, then we would celebrate the scientist who discovered the evidence with yearly parades. But in the end, all scientist can say is, “the evidence leads me to believe that evolution is a fact.” Which… is not science, but faith.

Even Stephen J. Gould, admitted that there was no evidence before he died when he presented his theory on punctuated equilibrium. In the introduction of his book, he stated that there wasn’t a shred of evidence, but that evolution was still a fact. He then went on to say that the missing link happened so quickly that there was no trace of it. In other words, he was coming back to what God has told us, that the created order was put together in six days… so quickly that there are no traces of it.

But alas, even Stephen J. Gould succumbed to death. He is no longer here to defend his punctuated equilibrium and the scientific community has moved on in their quest to rid the world of a Creator.

Wranger continues

And as for choosing science and DNA over the magical claims of First Century Bronze Age desert Jews, I will quote Christopher Hitchens;

“I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet. That I haven’t understood enough, that I can’t know enough, that I’m always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way…take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.”

That was the second time he made sure to mention that the Jews lived in the Bronze Age. That is the arrogance coming through loud and clear. It is as if he is saying, “Christopher Hitchens is by far, superior in intellect, knowledge, etc., than those idiots of the First Century. What could the possibly know?”

He then quotes Hitchens, who is saying he really doesn’t know enough yet… but is placing his faith and trust in the knowledge that will be known someday. In fact, I would have to say that Hitchens was seeking salvation through the form of knowledge, kind of like the Greeks in Paul’s day, who, would meet in the in the Areaopagus in ore to hear some new thing. They really didn’t want anything that was consequential in their lives, just something new to tickle their ears.

Yet, all the knowledge that Hitchens knew and hoped to know did not save him from the worst of fates: death without the hope of salvation. He might have known many philosophies or even some genetics. He might have known multiple theories on evolution. But He lacked knowing the One that created the heavens and the earth. He didn’t know the One who made him. He didn’t know the One that could have redeemed him from sin and death.

While I may not know all the theories of evolution that are currently floating about, I would much rather know Him who saves us from this body of death. I may not know how genetics works, or much about the human genome, but I do know the Savior and, more importantly, He knows me.

Wranger, I cannot answer you on a lot of scientific facts. But you have seen my answer. I would rather be known by and know Christ than be well thought of in the world academia, or science. Those two offer a lot of facts to be known, but nothing that answers the greatest problem we all face: sin, death and judgment. Without being known by Him, in a way that leads to salvation, all the theories, genetic maps, ponderings of how the world work are worthless. In fact, one of those men from the Bronze Age that you so belittle said something along those lines:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

UPDATE: Via Neil’s Eternity Matters, Stand to Reason has an excellent piece on scientist who question evolution. Here is just a snippet:

You have no friends of religion here. These men are inside of the established scientific community, not outside of it. Yet each offers scientifically rigorous and compelling arguments against the idea that known natural processes are adequate to explain the biological complexity of our world.

Michael Behe is a cellular biologist with impeccable credentials. In his book Darwin’s Black Box, he shows that the irreducible complexity of life can’t be explained by Darwinian gradualism.

James Shapiro of the University of Chicago, a molecular biologist and a deeply committed evolutionist, made this candid remark in response to Behe’s work:

There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject–evolution–with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.  James Shapiro, “In the Details…What?,” National Review, September 19, 1996, pp. 62-65.

You can read the rest here. He also bring’s up Stephen J. Gould’s punctuated equilibrium as well, which truly demonstrates the problem that evolutionist are having in supporting their faith system. He summarizes the problem of the two camps by quoting Phillip Johnson:

Phillip Johnson has made a fair observation when he states, “If eminent experts say that evolution according to Gould is too confused to be worth bothering about, and others equally eminent say that evolution according to Dawkins rests on unsubstantiated assertions and counterfactual claims, the public can hardly be blamed for suspecting that grand-scale evolution may rest on something less impressive than rock-solid, unimpeachable fact.”

G.I. Williamson on the Trinity

From my studies last week, I found this wonderful explanation of the Trinity and how we come to find it in Scripture.

“‘Is the doctrine of the Trinity revealed in the Old Testament, or is it merely revealed in the New Testament?’ Strange as it may seem, it is not exactly correct to say that it is revealed in either. As Dr. B.B. Warfield once said, ‘We cannot speak of the doctrine of the Trinity… if we study exactness of speech, as revealed in the New Testament, any more than we can speak of it as revealed in the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written before its revelation; the New Testament after it. The revelation itself was made not in word but in deed. It was made in the incarnation of God the Son, and the outpouring of God the Holy Spirit. The relation of the two Testaments to this revelation is in the one case that of preparation for it, and in the other that of product of it.”’

Williamson continues:

“God revealed himself by supernatural deeds, along with which he gradually gave more and more verbal interpretation. Only as God’s plan of redemption was fully worked out, was God himself fully made known. God could have announced at the very beginning that there was with the unity of his being three distinct Persons. But who could have understood? But when, in the fullness of time, each of the three Persons actually wrought before the eyes of men those mighty deeds of redemption which each Person of the God-head was to do in the plan of salvation, who could not understand? Thus in Scripture we have the record of that which God of the doctrine the Trinity is supplied in the recorded fact that the Father manifestly is God, that Jesus just as clearly is God and so also, the Holy Spirit.”[1]

[1] G.I. Williamson, The Westminster Confession of Faith For Study Classes, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1964, pp. 26-27.

Big Abortion Has Its Way with Susan G. Komen

For those of us who are pro-life, we had a roller coaster ride with Susan G. Komen Foundation last week. We cheered as the Susan G. Komen Foundation pulled funding for Planned Parenthood. This is due to the fact that the Planned Parenthood offers no services such as mammograms to women, pretty much just abortion services. This has been pointed out time and time again by the opponents of PP. They are in the business of killing babies, not helping women.

Because of this truth, those on the right have been after the Komen Foundation to pull funding, since it has been shown that having abortions leads to higher risk for breast cancer. If you are going to say that your organization’s purpose is the health of women, then it seems very contradictory to that purpose to support another organization that causes an increase in the disease you are trying to wipe out. In view of that, the Komen Foundation pulled funding from Planned Parenthood, or so we thought.

But alas, the Komen Foundation couldn’t stand up against Big Abortion. The power’s that be, namely liberal, feminist women, cannot have anyone dissenting and pressured the Komen Foundation into returning its funding. Komen caved.

This should not surprise us. The Susan G. Komen Foundation, while seemingly very noble in it’s pursuit, is only seemingly noble. We tend to forget that these organizations are not born out of that which is moral or biblical, therefore they have no grounding in that which is righteous, namely, God’s word. Therefore when the pressure began to build from every left-wing institution against Komen, there was no foundation of truth to keep them from being swayed. Komen exists and thrives on popular opinion. It has never made strides in its quest based upon doing what was right, but doing what was expedient.

In the first part of the week, they were merely giving in to us on the right in pulling the funding in the first place, it wasn’t a stand in true righteousness. So when the left threw its hissy fit, Komen had to give into the intolerant leftl. In other words, the lack of a moral foundation led them to be blown by every wind of doctrine, even though one breeze that blew them this week was grounded in God’s word.

This is true of every organization that is not grounded in God’s word. Doing what right is not the cause of so many organizations, doing what is expedient is. The organization may begin with altruistic motives, but altruistic motives never last when they are not grounded in truth. To the world that fails to see these contradictions, Komen can continue on seemingly looking out for the best interest of women with their right hand, even though the left hand is killing future women and leading to the defeat of the very cause in which it was started.

I like what Mark Steyn had to say about it as well:

Liberals take the same view as the proprietors of the Dar al-Islam: Once they hold this land, they hold it forever. Notwithstanding that those who give to the Foundation are specifically giving to support breast cancer research, Komen could not be permitted to get away with disrespecting Big Abortion. We don’t want to return to the bad old days of the back alley, when a poor vulnerable person who made the mistake of stepping out of line had to be forced into the shadows and have the realities explained to them with a tire iron. Now Big Liberalism’s enforcers do it on the front pages with the panjandrums of tolerance and diversity cheering them all the way. In the wake of Komen’s decision, the Yale School of Public Health told the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff that its invitation to Nancy Brinker to be its commencement speaker was now “under careful review.” Because God forbid anybody doing a master’s program at an Ivy League institution should be exposed to anyone not in full 100 percent compliance with liberal orthodoxy. The American Association of University Women announced it would no longer sponsor teams for Komen’s “Race for the Cure.” Sure, Komen has raised $2 billion for the cure, but better we never cure breast cancer than let a single errant Injun wander off the abortion reservation. Terry O’Neill of the National Organization for Women said Komen “is no longer an organization whose mission is to advance women’s health.” You preach it, sister. I mean, doesn’t the very idea of an organization obsessively focused on breasts sound suspiciously patriarchal?

As Kate Sheppard, the “reproductive rights” correspondent of Mother Jones, tweeted triumphantly, “Overheard in the office: ‘Come at Cecile Richards, you best not miss.'”

Indeed. If you strike at the King, you must kill him. If you merely announce that, following a review of grant-eligibility procedures you’re no longer in a position to make your small voluntary donation to the King, your head will be on a pikestaff outside the palace gates. By Friday morning lockstep liberalism had done its job. All that was missing was James Carville to declare, “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through an oncology clinic awareness-raising free mammogram session, you never know what you’ll find.” After 72 hours being fitted for the liberals’ cement overcoat and an honored place as the cornerstone of the Planned Parenthood Monument to Women’s Choice, Komen attempted to chisel free and back into the good graces of the tolerant: As Nancy Brinker’s statement groveled, “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.”

Congratulations! Planned Parenthood certainly raised Nancy’s awareness. I wonder what color ribbon that comes with? Black and blue?

In other words, don’t mess with Big Abortion. If you disagree with them, you will pay, especially if you happen to lack any moral standing for righteousness. The Komen Foundation was built with good intentions, but good intentions are not grounded in Scripture. Since they have no moral grounding in Scripture, they are subject to blow with the winds of political correctness as we saw this past week. They will bow at the altar of feminism, holding hands with the left, and sacrifice more children on the altar of sexual freedom, even though doing so leads to defeating them in their overall purpose of providing health care for women.

I’m DONE with John 3:16!

Originally published May 18, 2011. I’m republishing this since the topic came up due to yesterday’s post on the Top 5 Bible Verses of 2011. Please note Stan’s comments at the end of the post.

This is what I told my congregation on Sunday night. Not that I don’t love the verse. What I do not like is the abuse of the verse, as if the verse comes along in a vacuum without the preceding 15 verses or the following 4 verses. So many know this verse without accepting the context of the verse that it is actually abused and twisted to mean whatever we want it to mean.

  • To the liberal, it expresses God’s love, therefore, there is no judgment or consequences to rejecting the Son. Since God so loved the world, He must love everyone equally and without exception. Never mind the fact that 2 verses later, Jesus tells us that to reject Christ stands condemned already.
  • To the Armenian, it expresses their view of free will, and places salvation completely on us. In other words, our salvation is all up to us, our wills are free and all we have to do is exercise our wills in order to force God to save us. Never mind that this verse is in the context of being “born again,” which is something that we cannot bring about or make happen in and of ourselves.
  • To the theologically dim, it’s the answer to every theological problem. Election? God so loved the world… Justification? God so loved the world… etc.

What this verse does cover is the gospel. It is simply a statement that God does indeed love what He created and provided the means for salvation to those whom He has chosen. This does not mean that all those who hear of God’s rich love do not have the responsibility to believe and be saved. They simply lack the ability. All of us lack the ability. This is why Jesus stresses the fact that we must be born again before He bring up the Father’s love. Being born again implies a work of God’s Spirit on and in us. Actually, it is more than implied: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

We do not control the Holy Spirit. He moves when and where and how He pleases and not at the beck and call of man (John 1:12-13). The point is that John 3:16 is not an open statement removing God’s hand in our salvation. It is confirming God’s hand. His Spirit MUST move in us, for us to be born again, so that we do believe and NOT perish.

Do I love John 3:16? Absolutely. It is a statement of God’s love for His people. But is it the end all and be all of our theology? In no way. Jesus gets onto Nicodemus for his limited capacity in understanding these truths, and He will do the same for us. We cannot just rest on John 3:16. We must understand John 1:1 through John 3:15, as well as John 3:17-John 21:25.

The following is the other problem I have with this. As Gunny once pointed out to me, that before he was a believer, he would see the sign of John 3:16 at a football game and thought they were calling a play. As believers, we are to preach the gospel, not sign it! Remember that the Apostle Paul labored to teach and preach the full counsel of God, not just John 3:16.

If you would like to listen to Sunday night’s sermon, go here.

Also, I wanted to pull Stan’s comment from the comments section and add it here:

I’m with you on the abuse of this verse … from Christians. Interestingly, they’re mistaken on the language. The word “so” in that verse is not a “so” of magnitude — “God loved the world so much” — but of type. It is not a quantity, but a quality. We use the word that way when we say, “You have to do this job just so.” Jesus said, “God loved the world in this manner …” In what manner did God love the world? He provided His Son for those who would believe. That falls far short of “God loves everybody so very much!” Indeed, it only says with certainty “God loves those who believe.”

Top 5 Bible Verses of 2011

BibleGateway.com, which has the Bible on line with multiple translations, has compiled a list of the Top 5 Bible verses that were searched on their site for 2011. The list is not that surprising when you look at it. Here it is:

In descending order of popularity, here are the top five Bible passages of 2011:

1. Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

2. 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. (KJV)

3. Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV)

4. Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight. (CEB)

5. Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. (HCSB)

They do have a post from the previous year about what is missing from the list. Collin Hansen wrote that the most popular verse that year was John 3:16 and was probably due to Tim Tebow’s use of the verse under his eyes during football games. But what is missing from the Top 25, or almost completely missing are verses about man’s sin. Hansen writes:

Let me mention an omission. Maybe you caught it, too. Knowing the whole Bible and not just the most-searched passages, you realize that the absence is glaring. You won’t learn from this list why God needs to redeem the world he created. You won’t learn why his love is so significant. You won’t find any warning of what’s to come if you don’t believe. In short, you won’t read about our sin and God’s wrath. Actually, you need to follow the list all the way down to #19 and #20 to find sin. At #19, 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” And #20 reads, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

If we neglect sin and the Lord’s righteous wrath, then we haven’t understood even the basics of Scripture and God’s true character. D. A. Carson writes in The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism:

The point that cannot be escaped is that God’s wrath is not some minor and easily dismissed peripheral element to the Bible’s plot-line. Theologically, God’s wrath is not inseparable from what it means to be God. Rather, his wrath is a function of his holiness as he confronts sin. But insofar as holiness is an attribute of God, and sin is the endemic condition of this world, this side of the Fall divine wrath cannot be ignored or evaded. It is not going too far to say that the Bible would not have a plot-line at all if there were no wrath.

The danger of popping into Scripture from Google is that we miss the story for the verses. Each one of these top 10 most-searched Bible verses is a beautiful, moving testament to God’s loving faithfulness. We should memorize them, sing them, copy them, and remind one another of them. But without knowing the whole story, we don’t know why we should care that God loved the world enough to give his one and only Son. Unless we know about our sin, we will surely perish in it.

It seems that people are looking for the comfort found in Scripture, without looking for the cause of the discomfort that is in their lives. We will only know true comfort when we face our sin and repent.