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If we believe we are the product of atoms, time and chance, we will conclude as Bertrand Russell:
"That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, ...."
The potential of mankind in the mind of an atheistic evolutionist is summarized in the words of this great British philosopher and logician. In short, whatever we can achieve is meaningless and will be buried under the eventual collapse of our solar system.
Imagine for a moment that salvation came in a box you could see and touch. On the outside of this box are written the words: GRACE, SALVATION, GOSPEL. Each word describes what the box contains.
There is no price on the box, for it is more costly than all the money in the world... it’s not for sale. You can’t earn it, no amount of good works and church attendance can gain this box. You can’t make your own, the material required doesn’t exist here. The only way to get it is to ask, to acknowledge that salvation comes only through faith in Christ.
As you open this box you find on top a hand-written card, it reads: To you, from Jesus. The first thing you find in the box is a receipt titled SIN, but every entry is blotted out and over the list is stamped the words PAID IN FULL. Beneath that is an invitation to enter always and often into the presence of God, it too has been signed personally by Jesus. Beneath that is a certificate with a seal upon it stating that you have been indwelt by the Holy Spirt and that a work is in progress to make you like Jesus. Below that is a framed guarentee that your name is written in the Book of Life and that you have eternal life, carefully wedged in the corner of the frame is a ticket with your name on it, confirming your reservation in heaven.
At the very bottom of the box is a shining box wrapped carefully with a bow, attached is a card that reads: (Your name). A special gift chosen specifically for you and bought at great expense. For you to use until you get here - with love, Jesus.
This is the box of salvation. If you have received salvation all of these things are already yours, but I wonder...
I’m sure that many of us have our eternal life certificate displayed on the wall for all to see, our heaven ticket is carefully tucked into our pocket and we frequently use our invitation to enter into the Lord’s presence. But where is our gift? For many of us it is lying un-opened and un-used in the closet.
How it must grieve our Lord to see such a gift neglected. Why don’t you look into that box and see what it holds. For within you will find purpose, pleasure, fulfillment and joy. For Jesus sake, for your sake, for our sake - open your gift and begin to use it, that’s what it was given for.
Tombstone inscription. Pause now as you pass by, As you are now once was I, As I am now, so you must be. Prepare yourself and follow me. • Bertrand Russell said, “Death is a night of nothingness.” Friends the Bible says we are destined to die and then the judgment…Heb.9.29. Who do you believe the Philosopher or God’s word?
Isn’t it amazing that it took an atheist, Bertrand Russell, to remind us of this insight? Russell said: “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.”4
4. Rick Warren. The ...
K. Edward "Ed" Skidmore
People often study and follow the teachings of writers, philosophers, politicians and professors without getting to know the PERSON behind the philosophy. Some people even think personal morality doesn’t matter.
I heard about a Harvard Professor named Bertrand Russell. While he was a Professor of Ethics back in the early 1900’s, Russell was carrying on an adulterous affair.
I’m sure now days people would just look the other way, but back then Harvard’s Board of Governors called Russell in and Censured him. Russell maintained that his private affairs had nothing to do with the performance of his professional duties. One of the Board members exclaimed, “But you are a Professor of ETHICS!” Russell responded, “If I was a Professor of Geometry would you expect me to be a triangle?” (Sara Yoheved Rigler http://www.aish.com - revised)
Many people fear the prospect of dying.
· Some fear the pain associated with dying. Although because of modern medicine most deaths are not that painful.
· Some fear the separation from loved ones that dying brings.
· Some fear the unknown. They don’t know what awaits them beyond the grave—perhaps punishment.
· Some fear non-existence. In philosopher Bertrand Russell’s words, “Brief and powerless is man’s life; on his and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark.” How depressing!
Well, whatever fear man has of death, that is the grip that Satan uses to hold them in bondage.
In January 2004, police were shocked by what they found inside a house in the small town of Durham, Ontario, Canada. The police responded to complaints from relatives. And when they entered the ramshackle house, they discovered two teenage boys—ages 14 and 15—locked in cages. Their biological aunt had adopted the teens when they were 4 and 5 years old. For over a decade, the boys suffered abuse at the hands of their adoptive parents. Ontario officials learned that the boys did attend school during the day, but they were sent to their cages at night. On weekends and holidays, they often were allowed downstairs for a bowl of cereal in the morning, and then sent back to their cages wearing diapers, where they would spend the rest of the day. The adoptive mother was described to the court as “a domineering, controlling woman whose husband was an illiterate and dyslexic handyman, who beat the boys on her command.” It was Detective Kate Lang and Constable Tim Maw who released the boys from their makeshift cages. They told the boys that they would never be locked in those cages again. And the teens responded with one word: “Really?”
Really! They were released once and for all from their bondage. And released from their fear of bondage as well.
Satan holds men in bondage by fear of death. But Jesus died so that we might have eternal life and be released from that gripping fear of death.
Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, “The first duty of every soul is to find—not its freedom, but its Master.”
The duty of every child of God is to make Jesus Christ Master of his life. It is only then that he will experience true freedom from the fear of death.
From Doug Lyon’s Sermon: The Suffering Savior
** Bertrand Russell said envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is a universal and most unfortunate aspect of human nature because not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but also wishes to inflict misfortune on others.
A philosopher of last century, Bertrand Russell was an outspoken atheist. He even wrote a book called Why I Am Not A Christian. When Russell was 81 years old, he was interviewed on a British Broadcasting Corporation radio talk show. The interviewer asked him what he had to hang onto when death was...
THE MEANING OF LIFE
Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell: "Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless." (Quoted in Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, 17).
Welsh scholar Rheinallt Williams: "There is nothing which arises more spontaneously from man's nature than the question about life's meaning. But if to be shoveled underground, or scattered on its surface, is the end of the journey, then life in the last analysis is a mere passing show without meaning, which no amount of dedication or sacrifice can redeem." (Quoted in Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists?, 332-333.)
Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy: "What is life for? To die? To kill myself at once? No, I am afraid. To wait for death till it comes? I fear that even more. Then I must live. But what for? And I could not escape from that circle." (Quoted in Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists?, 333.)
Novelist Rebecca West: "I do not believe that any facts exist, or, rather, are accessible to me, which give any assurance that my life has served an eternal purpose." (Quoted in Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists?, 333.)
William Provine (The Scientist, 1988): "No moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life." (Quoted in Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists?, 333.)
Richard Dawkins (described by some as, "increasingly our most militant atheist"), when asked, "What is the purpose of life?", replied: "Well, there is no purpose, and to ask what it is, is a silly question. It has the same status as 'What is the color of jealousy?'" (Quoted in Blanchard, Does God Believe in Atheists?, 333.)
From Glenn Durham's Sermon "How to Live Effectively"
"GIFTED" DOES NOT EQUAL "SUCCESSFUL"
This week, I’ve begun reading a new book by one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, titled "Outliers: The Story of Success." The premise of the book is simple: no successful person is a self-made man; everyone who gets to the top had a lot advantages, help, and luck.
He devotes two chapters to geniuses. In our society, we expect people who are blessed with a high IQ to rise to high levels of success. Gladwell reveals that that’s not necessarily the case.
Consider Chris Langan, arguably the smartest man in the world, with an IQ of 200. (The average person has an IQ of 100; Albert Einstein rated 150.) With his natural intelligence, Langan should be at the top of any profession he chose. Early on, that appeared to be the outcome of his life:
"He was speaking at six months of age. When he was three, he would listen to the radio on Sundays as the announcer read the comics aloud, and he would follow along on his own until he had taught himself to read.
"In school, Langan could walk into a test in a foreign-language class, not having studied at all, and if there were two or three minutes before the instructor arrived, he could skim through the textbook and ace the test. In his early teenage years, while working as a farmhand, he started to read widely in the area of theoretical physics. At sixteen, he made his way through Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s famously abstruce masterpiece Principia Mathmatica. He got a perfect score on his SAT, even though he fell asleep at one point during the test.
"’He did math for an hour,’ his brother Mark says of Langan’s summer routine in high school. ’Then he did French for an hour. The he studied Russian. Then he would read philosophy. He did that religiously, every day.’
"Another of his brothers, Jeff, says, ’You know, when Christopher was fourteen or fifteen, he would draw things just as a joke, and it would be like a photograph. When he was fifteen, he could match Jimi Hendrix lick for lick on a guitar. Boom. Boom. Boom. Half the time Christopher didn’t attend school at all. He would just show up for tests and there was nothing they could do about it. To us, it was hilarious. He could brief a semester’s worth of textbooks in two days, and take care of whatever he had to take care of, and then get back to whatever he was doing in the first place.’"
Sadly, Langan has yet to reach his potential. He’s only had a year and a half of college, having been kicked out of two universities. As a young man, he worked on a clam boat, took factory jobs, and was employed in a minor civil service position. He spent most of his adult life working as a bouncer in a bar on Long Island. In that time he wrote a massive book combining philosophy, mathematics, and physics on the subject "Cognitive Theoretic Model of the Universe." Unfortunately, no scholarly journal will look at it, because Langan has no academic background. And he’s not personally very motivated to market the book to publishers.
Gladwell devotes some detail to Langan’s lack of achievement, but it really comes down to this: he didn’t know how to use the gift he was blessed with. His poor family background left him ill-equipped to handle himself around people and, as a result, his high IQ remains an untapped potential.
(From a sermon by Joel Smith, "Caution! God’s Favor...Handle with Care" 2/23/2009)