Monthly Archives: July 2017

Prank Caller, Prank Caller…Hang Up!

If you lived in the 90’s, you may remember the “Jerky Boys.” They became famous by prank calling people while using voices and characters they had invented. They recorded the calls, got them played on the Howard Stern show, and eventually sold over 8 million copies of their albums.

Recently, pranksters known as “The Russian Jerky Boys,” have taken it to a whole new level – prank-calling heads of state! They successfully prank called Senator John McCain and Elton John. Their latest victim is Energy Secretary, Rick Perry.

In a 22-minute call, Rick Perry thought he was discussing cyber hacking and biofuel with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. They discussed deals on coal exports, fuel innovation, and the Paris accord. But it was all a lie – jokesters masquerading as Ukrainian officials.

No one likes to be fooled. It is embarrassing. And sometimes it can be more than just a joke – it can be downright disastrous.

The Bible tells us to watch out for those pretending to be something they aren’t. Specifically, the Apostle Paul warns:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Did you catch that? Satan masquerades as an angel of light. And so do false teachers!

So what’s a person to do? How can we know what is true? How do we avoid being duped by a “prank caller” with eternal consequences?

John gives a simple solution: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And how do we do that? By comparing God’s Word against the things we are told by all teachers and preachers (Acts 17:11).

Want to avoid prank calls? Check the number. Want to avoid false teachers? Check the Word.

There’s No Body, But He Isn’t A Missing Person

Swiss police identified two bodies on an Alpine glacier recently. Marcelin Dumoulin and his wife, Francine, were 40 & 37 respectively, when they went missing. But this was no simple missing persons case – they had disappeared on Aug. 15, 1942, nearly 75 years ago!

Amazingly, the bodies were perfectly preserved, lying next to each other in the ice. Police believe they likely fell into a crevasse. The family reported that rescue teams had searched for 2 months back in 1942, but with no success.

Due to warming, the Swiss regional police say that, as glaciers retreat, several missing person cases are being resolved. The ice has preserved, stuck in time, those who have died. The Dumoulin family is relieved to finally have closure.

When people go missing, it is traumatic for the family. There are many questions that are left unanswered. That is why funerals are so special – a moment of closure for the family.

But there is one famous person whose body went missing and His family took great comfort from the lack of a body! His name was Jesus, and His empty tomb makes all the difference. It makes Christianity unique. There is no body!

In fact, it isn’t the followers of Christ who look for His body today; rather, it is His detractors. Non-believers hold a belief that His body will be found. But the body isn’t there, it never will be, and that’s good for Christianity.

The lack of a body causes consternation for critics, but the facts are irrefutable. The Roman soldiers knew it; the Jewish authorities knew it; and the disciples and eyewitnesses knew it. Jesus rose from the grave, showed Himself to many eyewitnesses, and went to heaven.

Jesus’ family, the church, takes great joy and comfort knowing that there was no body. It is the foundation of the faith. He overcame death, and those who are in Him will too. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Though funerals are good for earthly closure, I look forward to a better day…and I hope you do too.

Having A Faith Like Roman Concrete

Ancient Romans built impressive structures. Among the most impressive are sea walls and harbor piers that still stand after two thousand years. A study published Monday in, American Mineralogist, reveals the secret behind the concrete…and it also happens to be a great lesson for Christian living.

What is so impressive about Roman concrete? As written in the Washington Post, July 4 article, by Ben Guarino: “harbor concrete, a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime, has withstood the sea for two millennia and counting.” One research engineer at DuPont recently called Roman concrete, “the most durable building material in human history.” Modern concrete, on the other hand, when exposed to seawater, corrodes within decades.

What’s the difference? Marie Jackson, ancient Roman concrete expert at the University of Utah, found the difference in “microscopic structures of concrete samples.” Roman concrete’s ingredients cause a chemical reaction, resulting in aluminous tobermorite crystals to grow out of a mineral called phillipsite.

The problem is that modern concrete is designed to ignore the environment while Roman concrete is designed to grow stronger from it. The crystals that grow in the Roman concrete act like armor, protecting it from cracks. Modern concrete fractures in seawater.

True faith is also designed to grow stronger by living in the world, not ignoring it.

In John 17:15, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” In Matthew 13, Jesus reminds His disciples that we cannot remove adversity from the world. Rather, He says (v30) to “allow both” (the wheat and tares) to grow together until the harvest.

In evangelism, we cannot ignore the environment we enter. Rather, we should learn from Roman concrete. We are designed to become strong, immovable, and faithful by entering a harsh environment.

Our true composition will be revealed and rewarded if we are in Christ and Christ is in us. He is the armor that strengthens our weakness. And if we build on the foundation of Christ, our work will remain eternally (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).