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ANTONY FLEW: A Leading Atheist Who Came to Believe in God

Antony Flew (1923-2010) was an atheist of atheists. He was a British scholar and college professor who wrote dozens of books arguing for atheism or on other philosophical subjects, writing from a perspective of atheism. Some considered him to be the world’s leading atheist. He made headlines around the world in 2004 when he publicly declared that he changed his mind and believed that there is a God after all.

The atheist community was stunned into silence but quickly found its voice and questioned Flew’s conversion. Flew gave a number of interviews in 2004 in which he affirmed his new found belief in God but then backtracked a bit and made some ambivalent and even contradictory remarks. Over the next few years, however, he hardened his stance against atheism and went so far as to co-author a book declaring his belief in God.

His book is boldly titled: There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (Harper Collins, New York, 2007). In it, Flew describes his journey from belief in atheism to belief in Deism or more precisely “Aristotelian Deism.” Flew denied having converted to Christianity or any other religion. Flew embraced Aristotle’s concept of “the unmoved mover” similar to the French Enlightenment’s god that doesn’t directly intervene in human history.

The atheist community was not bashful or tardy in attacking professor Flew’s new book. They claimed that Flew was demented or senile and that his co-author, Roy Varghese, did most of the actual writing and inserted his own opinions and claimed them to be Flew’s. Flew shot back with a penetrating public statement making it abundantly clear that the book “one hundred percent” represented his own opinions. Flew’s rejection of atheism and embrace of Deism was unequivocal. He repeatedly affirmed that there had to be an Intelligent Designer to bring life into being.

It’s interesting that for all the attacks on Flew’s book, I don’t recall one challenging a statement in the subtitle. The subtitle claimed Flew was “the world’s most notorious atheist.” That’s a bold claim among scholarly atheists. It shows the high status of Flew among intellectual atheists. His academic career at Oxford and other universities and his paper trail of writings gave Flew high standing in the church of Darwin. Flew was an elder statesman among atheists and his public defection must have been hideously embarrassing for the God deniers. Flew even did the audaciously bold act of joining with eleven other academics in requesting the British government to teach Intelligent Design in the state schools!

Flew wrote that what convinced him of God’s existence was the DNA evidence. DNA evidence has revolutionized biology, medicine and even law enforcement. DNA evidence solves crimes and provides irrefutable evidence that sends rapists and murderers behind bars. It’s also used to revisit cases and set innocent convicts free. As biology progresses it shows more of the mind boggling complexity of DNA. Biologists recently discovered yet another level of cellular complexity called the epigenome which surrounds and transmits messages to and from the DNA. Even the DNA of a “simple” life form such as an E. Coli bacteria is hundreds of thousands of nucleotide base pairs long. The base pairs in the DNA must be precisely sequenced for the bacteria to live.

Atheists believe DNA and all other biochemicals were formed by random collisions of atoms in the early earth. How could unguided processes in nature randomly solve a million Rubik’s Cubes? It takes great faith to believe that millions of extremely low probability chemical coincidences could have occurred and blindly formed every living thing. Atheism is a secular faith to which some adherents cling with religious zeal.

Antony Flew studied the myriad complexity of the DNA molecule and the utter lack of a reasonable naturalistic hypothesis for the formation of the first DNA or of the progression from the first DNA to a reproducing organism. Like so many scientists, philosophers and other academics, Flew came to believe in the necessity of an Intelligent Designer of life.

The DNA evidence alone should make every evolutionist simply capitulate and admit that evolution did not happen and could not happen even in a trillion years of random collisions of atoms. The Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture is an Intelligent Design think tank based in Seattle, Washington. It’s members, which include scientists in all fields, openly dissent from evolution.

I’ve written about the “New Atheists” including Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Many of their writings attack Christianity with boldness and fury. Flew was a generation older than the new atheists. The new atheists no doubt looked up to him. It’s sad that many atheists still cling to their unbelief and still hold on to the secular origins myth called neo-darwinian evolution. Darwinists are clever story tellers but they don’t get to write their own endings. The stiff winds of reality are blowing. I hope they will see and understand the scientific evidence that shouts for the necessity of the Creator. I hope that Flew himself came to a saving relationship with God through Christ at the end of his days.

God beckons the atheist to turn from unbelief. “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways” (Ezekiel 33:11).

Many in the academic community are taking a fresh look at Christianity. Antony Flew wrote positive things about the Christian faith near the end of his life. The ancient Hebrew prophets wrote predictive prophecies of the coming Messiah. These prophecies were written in the pages of the Old Testament. A major prophecy in the book of Isaiah, the 53rd chapter, predicted that the coming Messiah would suffer and die, bearing the penalty of the sins of the people. Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled this and many other prophecies. Forgiveness of sins is obtained through faith in Christ because Christ died for our sins. Turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!

Steps to salvation:

Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
2) Believe that Jesus Christ came to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).
3) Repent of your sins and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).
4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).
5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:15).

Prayer to receive salvation:

To receive the salvation which Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask you to forgive me on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart, then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

Bill Nugent, Overcomer Ministries of Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA ,
Christian book, Lawful or Legalistic by Bill Nugent available in paperback!
Info and ordering link available at his website: http://www.bnugent.org

Back issues of Defending the Faith archived on the website. {
(C) 2018 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

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Biochemistry Professor Refutes Evolution With Irreducible Complexity

by Bill Nugent

 

Michael Behe, Ph. D., professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University and author of Darwin’s Black Box has lectured on the fact that single celled organisms such as bacteria are not only complex but their complexity is irreducible. Irreducible complexity means that if just one component of a complex system is missing then that system is nonfunctional.

    

Dr. Behe claims that the first living cell had to form all at once or not at all. He maintains that it is impossible for a cell to form piece by piece because none of the cell’s parts can function without the others. If a cell bio-chemical, such as DNA, somehow formed by random collisions of atoms it would not last long. The DNA would immediately dissolve because it had no other cell structures to protect it. The fruit of all the amazing (and statistically impossible) chemical coincidences that randomly formed a long chain DNA molecule would be instantly lost.

   

Dr. Behe used the illustration of a mousetrap. A mousetrap consists of a small board, a spring, a bar, a lever, a bait holder and bait. If any part is missing, it won’t function. It won’t perform the simple function of catching a mouse. Now try to imagine a mousetrap forming randomly in nature. By a bizarre coincidence erosion from an iron deposit yields a steel spring attached to a curved steel bar. this naturally formed mechanism somehow, by blind chance becomes attached to a piece of wood. Another piece of metal washes up and gets attached to it and acts like a lever to hold the spring open but since there’s no bait holder or bait the system cannot catch any mice and the whole thing simply rusts away into oblivion.

   

A cell nucleus, mitochondria, protoplasm and other organelles are far more complex than any mousetrap. Each of these cellular organelles, along with their unfathomable complexity of proteins, RNA, DNA and other biochemicals must form simultaneously and then be assembled immediately. For any person to teach that this happened by random, unguided processes enters into the realm of unscientific speculation and storytelling.

   

The concept of irreducible complexity is not limited to the analysis of single celled organisms. Every organ system in every living thing is seen to be irreducibly complex. For instance, the wings of an insect, so exquisitely formed as a miniature flying machine with perfect size, surface area and musculature are useless unless all parts are present and fully formed.

 

The principle of irreducible complexity applies to the retractable fangs, venom bladder, venom ducts and mouth musculature of a rattlesnake.  Partial formation of the fang and poison system of the snake would be disadvantageous and such a freakish, partially formed poisonous snake would be eliminated by natural selection. Therefore a very large number of favorable genetic mutations must occur simultaneously to form a complete fang and bladder system. This is a statistical impossibility.

   

Early in the 20th century researchers irradiated fruit flies in order to cause genetic mutations and bring evolutionary change. Fruit flies have short life spans and many generations can be observed in a short period. The radiation only produced deformed fruit flies and the experiment was abandoned. Famous evolutionist, Richard Goldschmidt, irradiated generations of Gypsy moths and only got dead or deformed moths.

   

I chuckle when I read of the excitement at NASA over the recent discovery of the evidence that water once existed on Mars. Some secularists even express faith that life could have formed on Mars because water was there. Knowing what scientists have discovered about the complexity of “simple” microorganisms, any speculation that life could have formed randomly in water on Mars is just wishful thinking on the part of those who reject God as creator.

   

Dr. Behe has shown through his elucidation of irreducible complexity that life could not have formed randomly. The foundation of Darwinian evolution is therefore totally destroyed. This is just one more proof that there is an intelligent designer of life. The intelligent designer is God.

   

God has spoken to humanity. His revelatory words are recorded in the Bible. The Bible has the ring of truth because it is confirmed by archeology, history, science and manuscript evidence. It is also confirmed by the many predictive prophecies contained in its pages that are authentically and verifiably fulfilled. The natural and supernatural backing of the Bible’s claim to be inspired by God is convincing. The Bible is in a class by itself and no other alleged holy book has anything like the mountain of evidence that confirms that the Bible is inspired by God.

 

The Problem of Evil: Why Does a Good God Allow Evil?

One of the most basic and fundamental questions that any religion or philosophical system must answer is “What is your response to the problem of evil?” Thought systems rise or fall depending on how they deal with the problem of evil.
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Hinduism deals with evil by claiming that the world is “maya” which means “illusion.” Hindu author Jayaram V put it this way: “Our scriptures declare that creation is the play of consciousness.” Yoga Vashista said “The world is nothing but a mere vibration of consciousness in space . . . It is like the marvelous dream of a person who is awake.” (Hinduwebsite.com) If planet earth is a mere illusion then good and evil don’t exist in any real sense.
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The ancient Greek philosophers: the Stoics, the Epicureans and others all wrestled with the contradiction between good and evil. The rationalist philosophers of the early modern era, including Descartes, offered answers to the dilemma. The Empiricist philosophers, the utilitarians and the pragmatists all touched on the problem of evil or wrestled with it down into the mud as they tried to unriddle the universe. In short, humankind has been perplexed by the existence of evil since the dawn of time. However, I will show you that evil is not only not a problem but is actually necessary. I will explain the necessity of evil.
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Who am I to offer my two cents regarding this issue of towering importance? Frankly, it’s not me who loftily opines but rather I will simply and humbly transmit what God has to say through the Bible. The Bible describes and deals with evil on almost every page. The Bible doesn’t whitewash or sugarcoat the problem of evil. The Bible describes evil so plainly that there are some Bible passages we prefer young children not read.
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One thing is clear: the Bible teaches that God created the world good. “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NASB). Evil entered in as an intruder. God allowed evil to enter in. This is important to understand. God did not do moral evil but merely allowed evil; otherwise God would be morally evil. It is also clear that God created human beings as sentient beings with free moral agency. God didn’t create robots who constantly do good with industrial efficiency without any real choice.
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You can reveal virtue only in the presence of its opposite. Love is ultimately revealed as it is contrasted with hate. Courage is developed and revealed only in the presence of danger, which is evil. Joy is revealed in contrast to depression; compassion is revealed as a loving response to poverty. This brings us not to the problem of evil but the necessity of evil. The presence of evil is necessary to develop character and reveal character in people. Evil is necessary to reveal God’s goodness.
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All of us have gone into a jewelry store and seen a beautiful diamond displayed on a dark velvet panel. A diamond wouldn’t show very well on a white panel. The moral evil in our world is like the dark velvet on which the diamond of God’s holy and loving character is revealed. God would not allow evil to enter into His world for one second unless it was necessary to reveal and develop character in human beings who are free moral agents. God permits us to choose to be good and do good. God also permits us to be evil and do evil. God permits Mother Theresa and Adolf Hitler.
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Imagine if we were to live for all eternity and never know what courage is. Imagine if we never saw love challenged by hate. Would we really know anything about joy and pleasure if we never felt any pain? God created a world in which evil is possible. He allowed evil to flourish for a time in order to reveal good and develop goodness in people who choose goodness. Those who choose evil and refuse to repent and accept the offer of forgiveness of sins through Christ will have their fill of evil in the afterlife in a place of separation from God’s love and mercy. Everyone gets what they choose.
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God will ultimately abolish evil. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). “And there shall be no more curse” (Revelation 22:3).
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The secular world has abolished the future. You might ask: “How can anyone abolish the future?  Isn’t that a bit absurd?” What I mean is that the atheist existentialist philosophers and Darwinists deny that a human being has any conscious existence after death. Hence, there is no future for any human being. All of the love, joy, courage, generosity, kindness and compassion that is developed and experienced in a lifetime is lost at the moment of death. In this secular thought system, evil makes no sense. In fact good makes no ultimate sense either because all things end when the lights go out at death. This secular futility leads to nihilism and hopelessness. It causes many to become unmoored and turn to drugs and other vices.
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Life does make sense and it endures forever. A human lifetime is merely time spent in a womb preparing to be birthed into eternity. God has provided the way to be freed from all evil. God sent His Son Jesus, the Messiah of Israel who came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament prophecies. The prophets foretold that Christ would come and live a sinless life, teach us God’s wisdom and then suffer and die for us, taking upon Himself the penalty we deserved for our sins. The prophets foretold that Christ would rise from the dead and offer forgiveness of sins to all who turn to Him in repentance. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again”
 (John 3:7).

1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
2) Believe that Jesus Christ came to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).
3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).
4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).
5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:15).

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer: 

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask you to forgive me on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.” 

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart, then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

Bill Nugent, Overcomer Ministries of Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
Christian book, Lawful or Legalistic by Bill Nugent available in paperback!
Info and ordering link available at his website:
 www.bnugent.org

Back issues of Defending the Faith archived on website. <>{
(C) 2017 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

The 1967 Summer of Love and Its Message for Today

This year is fifty years since the 1967 Summer of Love. It was a watershed. It was a pivotal time in our history. It was so much more than just flower children singing peace songs. It was the culmination of decades of philosophical and political turmoil.

 

The leaders of the new hippy movement put out a call to all the hippies across America to come to San Francisco in the summer of 1967. The Summer of Love unfolded in a chaotic way and brought in about 100,000 people by most estimates. There were speeches, rallies, music, free food, sexual promiscuity, drugs and boatloads of emotional idealism.

 

It opened with the Monterey Pop Festival, June 16-18, 1967, just south of San Francisco. Acts included Eric Burden and the Animals, Simon and Garfunkel, Canned Heat, Jimi Hendrix and The Mamas and the Papas. There were gatherings and festivals throughout the summer in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

 

It’s impossible to really understand the meaning of the summer of love and the hippy movement that promoted it without looking at the deeper philosophical backdrop. The hippy movement wasn’t a flash in the pan. There’s an important message for us all in understanding the idealism, narcissism, pessimism, apathy, activism and optimism of the young people who transformed western civilization beginning in the 1960s. If we understand the lesson of the hippies it will shed valuable light on the human condition as a whole.

 

The hippies had youthful idealism and zealously sought to change the world and make it a place of utopian peace. On the other hand, many of them had stifling pessimism that sought to, as Timothy Leary put it, “Tune in, turn on, drop out.” These are polar opposites. What could possibly cause these cross currents of hippy attitude? Dropping out and getting high on the one hand and zealous political activism on the other! I think the answer to this conundrum is postmodernism. Postmodernism is the philosophical backdrop that explains the ironic twists and turns of the whole confused era of the 1960s.

 

Postmodern philosophy really came of age and went mainstream in the 1960s yet fewer than one in a hundred people can succinctly explain what postmodernism actually is.  Postmodernism, as its name suggests, is that which comes after modernism. Modernism came out of the Enlightenment “age of reason” of the 18th century. Postmodernism is an emotional rebellion against modern reason, rationality and order. Postmodernism, when you boil it all down, is moral relativism. Moral relativism is the idea that each person makes up his or her own morals and no moral code is better than any other moral code.

 

The sixties slogan “Do your own thing” really captures the essence of postmodernism. The 1980s slogan “Perform random acts of kindness” is another postmodernist morsel.

 

The parents of the sixties hippies were modernist in their philosophical outlook. Modernism says there is absolute truth; there is a superior moral code and that moral code is traditional, educated, sophisticated western values. The parents of the hippies said “America is morally good and we must stamp out fascism, communism and whatever other ism gets in our way.” The parents resisted the postmodernist rejection of modernism. This was the “generation gap.”

 

To get perspective, let me give you a brief history of how the hippy movement got started.

There arose a new movement in the late 1940s called the “beats” or “beatniks.” They were a generation older than the 1967 summer of love hippies. The beat generation came out of the alienation and anonymity of 20th century urban life. The term “beat” means down and out. They rejected the material success of the 40s and 50s. A beat hero was Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) who wrote the seminal book On the Road and the play The Beat Generation. An inspiring quote from Jack is “I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.” William Burroughs and Allen Ginsburg were Jack’s associates.

 

Beatniks were also called “Bohemians” and “hipsters.” The men wore goatees, sunglasses and berets; the women wore black leotards and let their hair grow long and flowing. They used the 1930s Jazz term “cool”  and phrases like “cool, man, cool!” and “groovy.” Their politics was liberal but their political involvement negligible.

 

There was a generational shift when the crowds of young hipsters started hanging out with the old beats. The younger people wore bright clothes and believed in political activism to change the world. The beats called them “hippies.” The beats hung out in the North Beach section of San Francisco. The hippies preferred a neighborhood around the intersection of two streets called Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco near Golden Gate Park

 

The beats had often dabbled in eastern religion and the hippies who followed them often did too. But there arose among the hippies many who turned to the love of God through Christ. The year 1967 also saw the rise of The Jesus Movement. It was an ironic sight to see young people who overtly rejected their parents conservative ways suddenly embrace Bible based Christianity. Many were baptized in the Pacific ocean. They called themselves “Jesus People. The nonchristian hippies called them “Jesus Freaks.” Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel churches were influential in the early years. The Jesus movement spread across the nation and lasted many years as young people by the thousands, dare I say millions, turned to Christ to receive forgiveness of sins.

 

Postmodernism essentially springs out of Darwinism. Darwinian evolution is the claim that human beings are descendants of apes and therefore, people are mere products of nature. Implicit in this is the claim that humans have no souls, no life after death and no future. Conscious thoughts cease at death. This is why postmodernism leads to nihilism. Nihilism means nothingness; no purpose for existence and no real reason to try to improve society. No wonder so many hippies tuned in, turned on and dropped out!

 

Postmodernism also leads some people to reject the pessimism of nihilism and embrace narcissism. Narcissism is radical self love. It is self preservation and self indulgence. Narcissism is also – and this is crucial – the impetus to form a new moral code based on one’s own moral preferences. Each person makes up their own moral code. People who make up similar moral codes then join up and try to force their moral code on the rest of society. They agree on a new politically correct moral absolute. Francis Schaeffer called such absolutes “arbitrary absolutes.” This accounts for the radical social activism of the postmodern leftist hippies of the 1960s. They wished to impose a socialist utopia on American society. It sprang out of their narcissism.

 

The hippies had a wide variety of viewpoints. Some wondered “why try to improve a society of evolved apes that have no souls and no future?” Just get high. Others joined together to form communes and separate themselves from society. Others wanted to make America and the world into one giant commune. Some of the hippies turned to Christ and said “We’re not evolved apes, we are children of God and we have souls that will live forever. We must turn from our sins and ask for forgiveness through Christ who died for our sins. We must win others to Christ because human life is sacred and people will live forever either in a place with God or in a place without Him.”

 

The majority of the Summer of Love hippies didn’t turn to Christ but rather returned to their homes with new narcissistic zeal. Their culture of sexual promiscuity, drugs and alienation soon filtered through American society so that today many hippie values are mainstream. The idealism that led them to believe that they could unite the world in love has long ago subsided. The 1980s saw the rise of the “Me Generation.” The “free love” sexual promiscuity caused family breakdown and spread venereal diseases. Broken families produce broken people and they’re everywhere.

 

There is ultimate truth and absolute moral values. These moral absolutes are not discovered by modern man’s reason or conjured up from the emotions of the postmodern narcissistic self. The moral absolutes were revealed by God in the Bible. They include the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus. The Bible is a book vindicated by hundreds of predictive prophecies and their fulfillments. No other writing of any kind throughout all of human history has anything to compare with that. Most sacred writings of other faiths have few, if any, prophecies. The predictive prophecies contained in the Bible are like God’s signature on His holy book. His holy book says “God is love” (I John 4:8). Emotions do matter after all.

 

Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).


1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
2) Believe that Jesus Christ came to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).
3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).
4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).
5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:15).

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer: 

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask you to forgive me on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.” 

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

Bill Nugent, Overcomer Ministries of Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
Christian book, Lawful or Legalistic by Bill Nugent available in paperback!
Info and ordering link available at his website: 
www.bnugent.org

Back issues of Defending the Faith archived on website. <>{
(C) 2017 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

My Personal Journey Through Darwinian Evolution

Sitting in public school science class in the fifth grade, I saw a classmate flip through an evolution picture book. The boy excitedly exclaimed that apes could turn into people over time.  I got a dramatic lesson in evolution in that teachable moment. I was converted to the religion of blind chance plus apes equals human beings. It was the year 1966 and I had recently made the transition from Catholic parochial school to public school. I went from being a devout Catholic to budding atheist within a few months.

 

Darwinism is the taproot of secularism. Darwinian evolution is the origins myth of atheism. Darwinism is taught in public schools at taxpayer expense and it destroys the faith of many. I was one of millions of young people who cast aside Christian faith and morals.

 

I was a very serious little boy. Before my embrace of atheism I was very religious and conscientious. I was the teacher’s pet. I observed things. I analyzed and pondered. For years I paid close attention in religion class in Saint Mary’s Elementary School in Katonah, New York. I remember a nun teaching me that Christ was raised from the dead. My parents took me to Saint Mary’s church every Sunday. I went to confession every few months and did acts of contrition as commanded to me by the priests.

 

Paradoxically, I also had a great interest in nature. I loved the outdoor world. I spent countless hours at nearby Todd’s Pond, catching turtles and frogs. I also had an interest in dinosaurs and fossils. My parents took me to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The full scale skeletons of dinosaurs were fascinating for adults, much more so to an impressionable child.

 

I learned about fossils and paleontology at an earlier age than most kids in the New York City suburbs. My inordinate interest in fossils set me up for the public school lessons on atheistic, blind chance, goo to you by way of the zoo, Darwinian evolution. I swallowed it hook line and sinker. The public school teachers seldom mentioned the gaps in the fossil record or the lack of transitional forms.

 

My devout Catholicism fell by the wayside. Atheism seemed so liberating. I didn’t have to obey religious laws, rules, precepts and commands. I could make my own rules and break any rules anytime. I could live for myself and live for pleasure. I began to live recklessly and got into trouble.

 

As a ten year old kid I didn’t do much in the way of grievous sin or varsity venality. As I got older, though, my troubles increased. As I got bigger, my sins got bigger. Foul language and schoolboy pranks grew into drugs, drunkenness and larceny. I was headed downhill fast by the time I arrived on college campus in the fall of ’74.

 

Getting back to my public school lessons on evolution, I found it easy to believe that the accumulation of beneficial mutations in DNA could change one animal into another. We studied genetics in biology class in the ninth grade. It all seemed so simple and so reasonable. Reasonable, that is, until you looked at it a little more closely. In my extensive studies in genetics since those early boyhood years, I’ve come to find out that beneficial genetic mutations are an extremely tiny percentage of the overall number of mutations. Mutations are overwhelmingly destructive to the DNA.

 

Any internet search of genetic diseases will show thousands of diseases and conditions caused by bad mutations. Thousands of diseases caused by genetic mutations are listed on websites all over the internet. There are only a few, perhaps a dozen, beneficial genetic mutations in the human genome being studied. Any geneticist will freely admit that beneficial mutations are extremely rare. Creationists and even many nonreligious scientists see this as a major flaw in the evolution hypothesis. I wish I knew that when I was ten or fifteen or eighteen years old!

 

Also consider that mutations don’t add new information to the DNA that would cause the addition of new biological structures. The mutagenic chemicals and radiation that causes mutations don’t bring new, additional nucleotide base pairs to the DNA. Nucleotide base pairs are like letters of words giving information in DNA. It would take thousands, if not millions of new base pairs added to the DNA to put wings on a lizard to make a bird or add a smart brain to an ape to make a human. Radiation does not add base pairs to DNA.

 

Now, many years after my primary school indoctrination into the church of Darwin, I look at nature in a different way. I see superbly engineered, fine tuned biological structures. I see the retractable poisonous fangs of a snake with its poison bladders and ducts. How could that gradually form, step by step, by accident? I read that it takes 30 muscles to flap the wings of an insect. The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is an amazingly complex and inscrutable process in a “simple” lower form of life. These structures are irreducibly complex, meaning that a partially formed organ system such as the fangs of a snake would be very disadvantageous. The fang and poison bladder system of a snake would have to be formed all at once or not at all.

 

Mutations simply shuffle pre-existing base pairs in DNA, usually causing a loss of information. There is virtually never a net gain of any useful information in DNA caused by mutations. Even genetic duplication is just an extra copy of pre-existing base pairs in the DNA.

 

In public school I was not informed of the glaring flaws in the theory of evolution. The genetic evidence and even the fossil evidence that undermined Darwinism was seldom, if ever discussed. There are many skunks in the woodpile of Darwinism. I was not allowed to see them or smell them. Darwinism was taught in a biased way as the dogma of a new secular faith. It would be many years later that I would read scientific literature that exposed the major shortcomings of Darwinism.

 

However, as a young teenager, I began to hear of reports of Christian miracles. There were reliable reports of extraordinary miraculous healings that occurred in answer to prayer. My own father, Paul C. Nugent, told me of some accounts of miracles.

 

The nuns in Catholic school had taught me, back when I was in parochial school, that the prophets foretold the coming of Christ. Fulfillment of prophecy is also a type of miracle. I pondered these things. As a young atheist, hearing about miracles and reflecting on my boyhood Christian training, I began to doubt atheism.

 

I also came to find out that Christ died for our sins. Christ died in our place. The prophets foretold in Isaiah 53 and other Old Testament passages that Christ, in His suffering and death, would bear the penalty of our sins. I never understood that or had it clearly explained to me in my parochial school training in Catholicism. The nuns taught many things from the Bible and from the Catholic catechism but I don’t remember anything on substitutionary atonement.

 

I eventually learned that the Bible teaches that our good works can’t earn salvation. Good works are important but only the atoning death of Christ could pay the penalty of our sins and give us forgiveness of sins and right standing with God.

 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (First Peter 3:18).

 

I turned away from my sins as a young man in college and made a commitment to Christ. I received Christ as Savior and I follow Him as Lord. I left evolution behind. I regard Darwinism as a flawed hypothesis. I continue to enjoy nature and I realize that even nature itself, by its very complexity, reveals the work of the Creator. I invite you to turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins.

 

Steps to salvation: Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).

1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.

2) Believe that Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of over 300 Bible prophecies to die for you, to take upon Himself the penalty of your sins (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18).

3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness of sins (Romans 10:13).

4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth (John 1:12, Acts 2:38).

5) Follow Jesus Christ as Lord (John 14:15).

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer: 

“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask you to forgive me on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.” 

If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

Bill Nugent, Overcomer Ministries of Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA

Christian book, Lawful or Legalistic by Bill Nugent available in paperback!  Info and ordering link available at his website: www.bnugent.org

(C) 2017 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

Exposing Great Pyramid Ancient Aliens Myths

The History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” series promotes the bizarre and absurd notion that space travelers from other planets helped build the pyramids of Egypt and other ancient wonders. I would not be inclined to spend time to discuss this if it weren’t for the fact that some speakers on the Ancient Aliens series stray into blasphemy against God.

 

Some people on the shows claim that the ancient Hebrews, including Moses, were really worshipping ancient astronauts rather than God. They also make the absurd claim that the aliens used technology to do miracles recorded in the Bible. There is, as you know, a huge cult following of alien claims and phenomena. This has to be addressed.

 

To be fair, I will point out that the Ancient Aliens series does occasionally include presenters who reject the claim that space travelers helped build ancient temple complexes. One scholar on Ancient Aliens rejected the whole notion of space travelers as builders. He said that stone cutting techniques have been discovered by many ancient civilizations and used to build fabulous structures. He also said that none of his colleagues agreed with the ancient astronaut theory.

 

Consider the great pyramid at Giza. It is by no means the oldest pyramid in Egypt. There are earlier pyramids such as the step pyramids that are smaller and less elaborate. Archaeologists clearly see the progression of the increase in skill and sophistication of architecture and stone cutting techniques. All of the pyramids, large and small, have a very human explanation. No astronauts needed to be involved.

 

The Egyptian pyramids are essentially rock piles on top of tombs. It was an ancient custom among many societies to pile rocks on the tombs of great men. There is an old American Indian burial site near where I formerly lived in New York consisting of a huge pile of rocks on a grave. There are 97 pyramids in Egypt and a much larger number of pyramids in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The largest pyramid in the world is in Cholula Mexico.

 

The “Great” pyramid of Giza is called a “wonder” but it perhaps should be called an immense waste. Modern engineers have estimated that 40,000 workers could have built the great pyramid in as few as ten years. Consider that these slaves worked on it for years under harsh working conditions building a monument to one man whom they worshiped as a god.

 

They were not building an aqueduct to bring water to the thirsty or building an irrigation system or building hospitals or schools or housing for the poor. It was a giant idol that had no practical value for the living. They also built a mortuary temple alongside the pyramid in which priests would officiate at worship services for the dead Pharaoh who was claimed to be a god.

 

One Ancient Aliens show examined a granite drill bit that was found in Egypt by famous archaeologist Flinders Petrie (1853-1942). Many similar drill bits have been found in Egypt over the years. The show suggested that the Egyptians must have had diamond cutting tools to produce the drill bit. Petrie theorized that the Egyptians used diamonds but diamond cutting tools haven’t been found in Egypt. It’s really no mystery that the ancients of many cultures used abrasives to shape stone. The ancient Greeks cleverly used carborundum (silicon carbide) which they embedded in bronze tools.

 

I would exhort them to go to Scotland where you’ll see an abundance of stone work in granite that was done centuries ago without diamond cutting tools. Scotland is a rocky land with few trees. The Scots perfected stone cutting techniques early in their history and worked wonders in stone with their hand tools. The medieval Scots apparently cut granite without diamond tipped tools. Why doesn’t the history channel send a camera crew to Scotland to make the claim that aliens helped them? The obvious answer is that the fabulous churches and other structures in Scotland were built in medieval times which is during fairly recent recorded history. Historical records don’t mention space aliens from UFOs helping the Scottish stone cutters. It’s easier to make the ancient astronaut claim for Egypt which is older by millennia and shrouded in mystery.

 

Can you imagine that if there were such a thing as a civilization of aliens on a planet in a star system far away, that they would say among themselves: “Let’s fly ten light years over to planet earth to help the people build temples and tombs.” Why would space travelers help people cut stone and move huge blocks of stone?

 

All down through history and even to the present day, man has taken pride in massive architectural accomplishments. Ancient and medieval kings and emperors commissioned great projects and committed exorbitant amounts of wealth to build temples, palaces and tombs. The builders prided themselves  in building structures incorporating huge blocks of stone weighing hundreds of tons and statues and chambers cut to precise measurements and angularity so as to draw awe and wonder. We see this not only in ancient Egypt but in Latin America, Southeast Asia, ancient Rome, Greece and even in our own day as the race for the tallest skyscraper proceeds with boyish one upmanship. The tower of Trajan in Rome and the Parthenon in Greece certainly rival the stone cutting of Egypt yet no one claims aliens helped the Romans or Greeks.

 

The great cathedrals of medieval Europe were built during the Gospel’s ebb. When the plain Gospel message of receiving salvation by faith was restored during the Protestant Reformation, church construction became more modest. The pulpit was placed at center to emphasize the importance of preaching the Gospel message of forgiveness of sins for all who call on the name of Jesus.

 

Let me briefly explain where UFOs come from. UFO researchers are divided into two different viewpoints in explaining UFOs. These viewpoints are the extraterrestrial hypothesis and the interdimensional hypothesis. The extraterrestrial hypothesis is the claim that UFOs are metal spaceships with astronauts from planets in star systems within our own physical universe. The interdimensional view is that UFOs are nonphysical entities or spirits that travel from different dimensions and enter our universe from a parallel universe.

 

The interdimensional hypothesis is more consistent  with the Bible and the Christian worldview because it can be inferred that the other dimensions from which UFOs travel are the same as the realm of spirit. The Bible certainly teaches about the spirit world.

 

Christian researchers and some secular researchers reject the extraterrestrial hypothesis and maintain the interdimensional view. Famous UFO researcher, Jacques Vallee, holds the interdimensional view. In studying UFOs, I’ve come to believe that we’re dealing with intelligent life not from another planet but from another dimension. It’s not astronauts from outer space but spirit beings from the realm of spirit. Malevolent UFO aliens are demons and they can disguise themselves as astronauts.

 

I regard demonic UFOs as generally of the same category as poltergeists, hauntings, occultism and other manifestations of the demonic realm. I hold this view because the teachings that are transmitted from aliens to leaders of UFO cults are antibiblical and often lead to bizarre behavior such as the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide. Also, the horrific animal mutilations attributed to UFOs in which animals have their blood drained and have organs removed with surgical precision is further evidence of the demonic origin of UFOs.

 

Have no fear of demons appearing as flying saucers or disguised as extraterrestrial humanoid beings. Don’t be deceived by cult groups claiming New Age, extraterrestrial connections and phenomena. The Bible teaches that Christ is above all and every knee must bow before Christ who conquered sin through His death and resurrection.

 

The ancient astronaut theory offers great appeal to young people in our present age of rocketry and space exploration. This ancient astronaut theory is just one more thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It must be exposed and vigorously refuted.

 

We must point people to Jesus who came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament Bible prophecies written hundreds of years before His birth. No other person in all of history can match this claim! Jesus worked miracles in front of eyewitnesses and this is recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament. Miracles continue to be worked today by Christians who rely on the power of Christ.

 

Jesus suffered and died to take upon Himself the penalty of our sins, thus making atonement. He rose from the dead in victory and appeared to eyewitnesses. Call upon Jesus Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!

 

Steps to salvation: Jesus said “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7) 1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you. 2) Believe that Jesus the Messiah came in fulfillment of over 300 Bible prophecies to die for you and take upon Himself the penalty of your sins. (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18) 3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness. (Romans 10:13) 4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth. (John 1:12, Acts 2:38) 5) Follow Him as Lord. (John 14:21)

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13) To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for you at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on your behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer: “Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.” If you prayed that prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!

Bill Nugent, Overcomer Ministries of Fort Mill, South Carolina  USA

(C)2016 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish for Christian outreach.

Ghosts, Demons and the Paranormal

The very fact that there are haunted houses, poltergeist activity and other paranormal phenomena is proof that there is a spirit world. The abundance of evidence proving the existence of the spirit world undermines the official US public school teaching that human beings evolved from animals and the material world is all that exists.
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In the opening lines of the popular “Cosmos” television series, Carl Sagan said “The cosmos [material universe] is all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be.” The paranormal proves him wrong!
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Of course, I don’t think that the activity of ghosts and demons is a good thing in itself. Nevertheless, I think it is extremely significant that the paranormal activity of ghosts so dramatically contradicts the “this world is all there is” dogma.
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Atheistic materialism has become the meta-narrative of postmodern America. Atheism is supported by tax dollars because tax funded schools teach children that their ancestry is from apes and their destiny is permanent loss of consciousness at death. Now people are faced with evidence of the existence of the spirit world and the realization that perhaps consciousness does continue after death and perhaps we enter the spirit world after death. People are taking a fresh look at religion. The religion with the best miracles and the most fulfilled prophecies is Christianity.
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There have been many investigations into haunted houses and even pictures taken of ghost phenomena. The term “ghost” is a general term synonymous with “spirit” but in today’s usage, ghost usually refers to a familiar spirit who inhabits a haunted house. Ghosts that inhabit haunted houses are really familiar spirits. Familiar spirits are demons who know or become familiar with a person. After the person’s death, the familiar spirit will sometimes inhabit the house in which the person lived, often posing as the deceased person. Demons are evil spirits according to the Bible.
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The evidence that proves the existence of evil spirits can be considered to be a kind of “witness of the opposition.” Let me explain. Imagine a court case in which a man is accused of murder. The prosecution calls up its star witness who testifies against the man and tells about all kinds of circumstantial evidence that serves to prove that the man is guilty of murder.
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But then the star witness makes a startling statement in which he reluctantly admits that he actually saw the defendant a mile away from the murder scene at the time that the murder took place. The fact that an accusing witness would make such a statement has a lot more force that if a witness for the defense made such a statement. This is what’s called “witness of the opposition” and it carries enormous weight in any trial. The man on trial for murder would likely be acquitted.
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The fact that demons reveal their activity  in our own day is how demons unintentionally confirm the Bible’s teaching about the spirit world. The Bible contains many passages about the spirit world and there are many Bible passages that discuss the existence and activity of demons. The witness of the opposition serves to prove the truth of the Bible on this point.
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If ever that you want proof that demons exist I suggest you buy a good scholarly book about the Nazi holocaust. The Nazis murdered Jews and others with an almost superhuman degree of brutality. Holocaust scholars admit that Hitler and the Nazi high command were not Christians. They were, in fact, occultists and this is well documented. Occult religions and secret societies were widespread in Germany and throughout much of Europe at the time. Occult religions are doctrines of demons. The radical anti-Semitism had an energy and intensity that was beyond ordinary human hatred.
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There are many other examples of evidence for the existence of demons. I’ve been told that a US spy agency that occasionally operates in Haiti has told its agents to be careful not to have a hex or curse put on them by occultists. Such curses are real. Curses allow demons access to the person under the curse. The cursed person can be afflicted with disease or other trauma by the activity of evil spirits.
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Many of the new cable TV shows about the paranormal such as “Paranormal State” and “Celebrity Ghost Stories” offer much documented eyewitness testimony of happenings that cannot be explained by natural causes. I certainly don’t recommend that you watch those kinds of TV shows but I simply point out that the shows offer proof of the existence of the spirit world.
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Many years ago when I was a teenager I heard stories of hauntings and other paranormal phenomena. I had a strong tendency toward atheistic materialism at the time because I had paid attention in school and believed the Darwinian materialistic evolution that I was taught in science class. However, I came to realize that if demons exist and they affect people’s lives in a negative way, then perhaps there are also good spirits out there such as angels. I began to entertain the thought that God Himself exists. I eventually rejected atheistic materialism and came to faith in Christ years later when I was 20 years old. The witness of the opposition was actually one of the things that God used to draw me to Christ.
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I want to assure you that if you trust in Christ you should not fear demons. Christ is far greater than all of the power of Satan and demons. The Gospels are full of examples of Jesus casting demons out of people. Born again followers of Christ also have authority over demons. A Bible passage in Acts 16:16-18 gives a clear example of a Christian casting a demon out of a person by commanding it to come out in the name of Jesus.
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The spirit world is a world of real dimensions and can be called a parallel universe. Just because it is usually invisible does not make it any less real. Be assured that God created the spirit world and God is master of it.
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Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of over 300 predictive Messianic prophecies written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before His birth. Several of those prophecies predicted that Christ would suffer and die, taking upon Himself the punishment of our sins. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so now we can receive forgiveness if we turn to Him in faith. I urge you to pray today to receive Christ as Savior and to follow Him as Lord!
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Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again.”
(John 3:7)
1) Believe that God created you and loves you and sent the Messiah (Messiah is Hebrew for Christ) to redeem you.
2) Believe that Jesus the Messiah came in fulfillment of over 300 Bible prophecies to die for you and take upon Himself the penalty of your sins. (Isaiah 53:5-6, John 6:29, Romans 4:5, First Peter 3:18)
3) Turn from sin and call on the name of Jesus to receive forgiveness. (Romans 10:13)
4) Receive Jesus as Savior and experience the new birth. (John 1:12, Acts 2:38)
5) Follow Him as Lord. (John 14:21)

Prayer to receive salvation:

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13)
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for you at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on your behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer: “Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!


Bill Nugent, Overcomer Ministries of Fort Mill, South Carolina USA
Christian book, Lawful or Legalistic by Bill Nugent available in paperback!
Info and ordering link available on his website: www.gracelawandsonship.com
(C) 2016 William P. Nugent, permission granted to email or republish if credit given.