Where was man during the ice age?

The ice age was a period time during which large portions of the earth were covered in snow and ice. In many places the ice sheets reached nearly to the halfway point between the poles and the equator. In a few places they stretched even farther. In North America much of Canada was under ice. Some glacial fingers crept down into modern day northern Illinois. How did man survive during this challenging time?

The Bible does not specifically mention the ice age nor is it concerned with given a history of all the people of the world. We are not told all the movements of man or all the conditions faced by people across the world. But the Bible’s account of events after the flood provides a solid basis for a plausible explanation of the movement of humanity during the ice age.

The flood of Noah wreaked such havoc on the earth that it significantly altered the shape of continents, the temperature of the oceans and the patterns of weather. The ice age was the result. Climate models have shown that the effects of the flood on the oceans would result in many years of cooler summers and warmer winters in the upper lattitudes. These conditions resultedin the ice age. This ice age lasted only a few hundred years, not the tens of thousands speculated by evolutionists. 

The Genesis account of the Tower of Babel shows that in the decades immediately following the flood most of mankind remained in the Middle East near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. When God supernaturally shattered the single language of man into dozens of languages He also worked to spread men across the globe. Because the ice sheets did not form immediately after the flood the events of the Tower of Babel likely took place early in the ice age. Thus the ice age occurred when the rebounding population of man was spreading out across the world.

The altered climate that made the ice age possible affected the entire globe. Worldwide weather patterns were significantly different, but the entire earth did not experience near-Arctic temperatures. The climates in the lower lattitudes were milder than they are today making them ideal places to live.

After Babel some families settled in and around the Middle East. Most of those who shaped early recorded history traveled south into Palestine and Africa. At the time these places enjoyed very pleasant climates. Even the Sahara desert was a fertile land. Many family groups traveled much farther. Some went south east towards India, southeast Asia and eventually Australia.

Other peoples went northwest towards Europe where the ice age had a profound effect. These effects shaped the housing needs of the people prompting them to live in caves for shelter and warmth during the long winters. The challenges of living closer to the ice sheets probably changed the diet of the people in that area. They may well have had to survive on diets lacking certain important nutritional elements. 

Still others went north east into northern Asia. Like those who went into Europe the ice age presented challenges to their survival. The shorter, cooler summers would have made agriculture difficult or impossible but extensive game could have provided abundant food for the traveling families. The difficulties in raising crops may have been a driving factor in the migration of families across Asia and into the Americas.

Though it seems counter-intuitive the conditions of the ice age would have made travel around the globe easier. Though the average temperatures closer to the poles were colder than they are today the winters were not necessarily more severe. Warmer winters during the early and middle ice age would have made surviving the winter months less difficult than today. Wild game flourished until the late ice age, as evidenced by the large number of ice age animal remains, providing an abundant source of food for semi-nomadic tribes. With so much water trapped in the ice sheets, the lower ocean levels would have facilitated travel between the continents. The Bering Straits may have been traversable on foot or by a short boat journey. The combination of shallower oceans and warmer winters allowed people to walk from Iraq to Texas in a relatively short span of time.

The ice age covered a significant portion of the globe in ice and snow, but it did not make the earth uninhabitable. Many environments on earth were emminently suitable for life, both animal and human. Some men lived near the ice, surviving the cold and adapting to their climate. Some lived in temperate zones and others in equatorial regions. As the post-flood climate stabilized man continued to move around and settle habitable locations. Like the rest of recorded history, during the ice age humanity spread out across the globe. Eventually mankind gained a foothold on every continent but one.

Did God die on the cross?

Jesus is God. Jesus died on the cross. Did God die on the cross? At times pastors, theologians and the average Christian all say that God died on the cross. This statement is both entirely accurate and entirely inaccurate. In one sense it can be said that God died on the cross. In another, equally important sense, God did not die on the cross.

Understanding what happened on the cross requires an understanding of the Trinity and the hypostatic union. The Bible teaches that God is one God who is Three. God the Father is God. God the Son is God. God the Spirit is God. These three are distinct but not separate. The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Spirit. God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, became fully human without giving up any part of His deity. Jesus is fully God and fully man. When Jesus died on the cross the God-man died.

Saying God died on the cross becomes a kind of short hand for saying, Jesus, God the Son, died on the cross. When understood this way the statement “God died on the cross” is a helpful way to describe the magnitude of God’s sacrifice for our salvation.

In several important ways God did not die on the cross. Because God is a Trinity and because of the unique nature of the incarnation God the Son endured things that the Father and Spirit did not. God the Father did not hang on the cross. God the Spirit was not buried in a tomb. Only God the Son suffered these things. If the phrase means anything more than God the Son died on the cross it is inaccurate. God did not die on the cross.

If death is a cessation of existence, a loss of ability, or a conclusion of consciousness, then God did not die on the cross. Not only did God the Father and God the Spirit not cease to exist on the cross, neither did God the Son. The Divine portion of the second person of the Trinity did not stop functioning on the cross. No member of the Godhead can cease existing. God the Son is as eternal as the Father and the Spirit. His eternal essence did not dissolve on the cross. He remained fully God and His deity did not cease with the end of His physical life.

This does not mean that Jesus’ death on the cross was purely physical or a solely human act. Jesus died as the God-man. Thus His eternal nature was involved in the suffering and death on the cross. Jesus Christ the Son of God died on the cross. He truly suffered all that death entails, physically and spiritually. God the Son did not cease to exist, even for a brief time, but God the Son endured death for the salvation of men.

Does a Christian who commits suicide still go to heaven?

People commit suicide for many different of reasons. Some preventable, some not, none good and always tragic. Families are devastated by the loss, the whys and the doubts over what could have prevented it. Sometimes the entire family is treated as if they are guilty for the suicide. One painful question that sometimes adds to the grief surrounding suicide regards the eternal state of the person who killed himself. The largest Christian church in the world teaches that suicide is a mortal sin. Those who die with unconfessed mortal sins do not go to heaven. For many years those who committed suicide were denied funeral rites and burial in a church cemetery. What does the Bible teach about suicide? If a saved person commits suicide does he still go to heaven?

Most Christians view suicide as a sin. The Bible contains a few examples of suicide, but does not include any specific prohibition against it. The command against murder is generally recognized to also be a prohibition against self-murder. Suicides are often accompanied by a large number of extenuating circumstances, including deep despair and mental disorders. This does not mean suicide is not a sin, but recognizing the contributing factors can help those left behind understand what brought a person to such a state.

Those who believe suicide will keep a person from heaven base their belief on passages like Galatians 5:19-21 which declare that that no murderer can enter heaven. If a murderer cannot go to heaven then a suicide cannot enter heaven. This conclusion presumes several things. First, it assumes an act of murder prevents someone from entering heaven. The Bible includes several murderers who are declared to be saved, including such greats as David and Paul. The Biblical does not teach that the act of murder prevents a Christian from entering heaven.

The second assumption builds on the first. Since there are murderers in heaven then it must be unconfessed murder that prevents someone from going to heaven. A suicide does not have a chance to confess his sin and thus does not go to heaven. This assumption has one major problem. Samson is in declared in Hebrews 11 to be a man of great faith. How can he be a hero of the faith if he is now suffering in hell?

The last, and foundational, assumption that leads some to conclude a suicide does not go to heaven is the presumption that a saved person can make a choice that will cause him to lose his salvation. If this is true anyone whose last act is a great sin is in danger of losing his salvation. If this is true Jesus does not forgive Christians all their sin, but only the sin they confess. If this is true the redeemed are not kept by the power of God but by the power of God and their continued devotion.

Those who are truly saved are forever saved. No action of the redeemed, no matter how terrible or final, can undo the work of Jesus. Jesus saves to the uttermost those who come to God by Him (Hebrews 7:25). Suicide nor any other sin is greater than the power of God to forgive or the work of Jesus to save. Salvation has nothing to do with anything the person does. Salvation is accomplished, from beginning to end, by Jesus. The redeemed are not saved because of their goodness, devotion or right choices. The redeemed are saved by the grace of God.

Suicide does not lock the doors of heaven upon a soul. The grace of God is greater than all sin, even if the last act of a person’s life is a great evil. “Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.” (Romans 6) Suicide tragically ends a life, but all those who trust Jesus for salvation are eternally saved no matter how their life ends.

Are Mormons Christian?

In an effort to rid themselves of the longstanding label of cult the Mormon church has spent a lot of money on advertisements to present themselves as mainstream and Christian. Their founder, Joseph Smith, described Mormonism as a restoration of the true church that was lost after the death of the apostles. The church website says, “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally affirm themselves to be Christians.” Mormons believe themselves to be Christians, but does their self-evaluation line up with the Bible’s evaluation?

Mormonism is not Christian because its teachings are in direct opposition to central tenets of Biblical Christianity. Most importantly, Mormons deny that Jesus is God. They call Him the Son of God, but do not mean it as the New Testament. Mormon’s believe Jesus was a spirit being organized, or formed, by God the Father and is a separate being from the Father. Jesus is a god and the Father is a god, but they are not one. Lucifer was also organized by the Father and is the spirit brother of Jesus. Many other gods exist and Jesus was appointed by these gods to be the redeemer of earthly humanity.

Jesus’ death on the cross does not wash away all sin of those who believe Him, nor does faith in Jesus bring eternal righteousness to the believer. The death of Jesus on the cross makes it possible for men to achieve salvation. Salvation is not received by faith alone, but is accomplished by faith, baptism, good works, obeying God’s command and obeying the teachings of the Mormon church.

Mormon’s believe that salvation is by God’s grace. The grace of God in Mormonism does not give salvation freely to those who turn to Him. God’s grace makes it possible for the faithful to earn their salvation.

Mormonism denies that God is the only God and denies that He is the Creator God who made everything. The Mormon god was once man like us on a different world. God had a flesh and bone body. By his obedience to eternal laws God became an exalted being and is now the god of this planet. He is one of many gods, all who are exalted beings that have risen to their divine state by their obedience to eternal laws. By their faith and obedience earthly men can also be exalted to become gods themselves.

The Bible teaches that none who deny Jesus is God are saved (1 John 2:22-23)), that salvation is only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9), that any attempt to earn salvation rejects God’s grace (Galatians 2:21) and that any one who preaches a false gospel of moral behavior and personal effort is condemned (Galatians 1:8-9).

Mormonism is a dangerous fraud that presents itself as Christian. The Mormon church willfully obscures its true message to deceive the unlearned or unwary. Mormonism rejects many key tenets of Biblical Christianity. It teaches doctrines both ridiculous and abhorrent. It does not share a common faith with Christians. Mormonism is not Christian and, sadly, those who believe the teachings of Mormonism are not saved.

Where was Jesus between His death and His resurrection?

The dead body of Jesus was taken off the cross and laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. What happened to His soul? One of the more popular answers to this question is based on a cryptic statement in the book of 1 Peter.

1 Peter 3:18-20 says of Jesus, “Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” (1 Peter 3:18-20) These words have led many to conclude that Jesus’ spirit went into hell while His body was in the tomb. Unfortunately, what this verse is talking about is not at all clear. One author has said there are over 180 different interpretations of 1 Peter 3:19. A clear consensus about the meaning of the phrase “preached unto the spirits in prison” will probably never be reached on this earth.

The words of the Apostles Creed (not actually written by the apostles) imply that Jesus’ spirit went into hell.  “I believe in Jesus Christ  . . .  (He) was crucified, died and was buried, He descended to hell.” The apostles creed is believed to have been written 50 years after the death of the last apostle, but the earliest existing copies of this creed do not contain the phrase, “descended into hell”, leading many to conclude it was not originally in the apostles creed. Whether this phrase is original or not, it cannot be traced back to a direct teaching of the apostles.

A strong case can be made that Jesus went into heaven on the day of His crucifixion. At His death He said, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Knowing that Jesus is God’s beloved Son who pleased the Father in all things we can reasonably assume that at death He was taken directly into the presence of the Father. This is confirmed by Jesus’ promise to the believing thief, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.” Either Jesus was with the thief in heaven that very day or He erred in His promise. Since Jesus is God who cannot lie, the latter option is not possible. After His death Jesus went into heaven.  Being the Son of God His spirit was in no way restricted to heaven.

If Jesus did go into hell, though I don’t believe He did, He did not go for the purpose of paying for salvation. Jesus death on the cross did everything necessary to purchase our salvation. His work was finished and the payment fully paid before He died. This is why Jesus said, “It is finished”. Teaching that Jesus had to go to hell to finish the payment for sin diminishes the value of the cross and denies Jesus’ own words.

We don’t know exactly what Jesus’ spirit was doing in the days between His death and resurrection. What we do know is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our justification. He is alive now and forever to give salvation to those who turn to Him for forgiveness.

Why is the resurrection so important?

Christianity stands unique among all the religions of the world. Only Christianity claims that it’s God became human, died and then returned to life. The claim that Jesus rose from the dead is one celebrated and remembered every Sunday of the year by Christian churches all across the world. The resurrection of Jesus is the most important event in all human history. The resurrection of Jesus is the seminal moment in all Christianity. That event changed everything. The New Testament is filled with declarations that Jesus died and then rose again. The resurrection is explained in all four gospels and the book of Acts. Jesus’ resurrection is expressly taught in many of the epistles and in the book of Revelation. The resurrection of Jesus is a crucial truth on which Biblical Christianity is built. Without the resurrection there is no Biblical Christianity. Without the resurrection there is no forgiveness of sin. Without the resurrection there is no eternal life. Without the resurrection, God is a liar, Jesus is a fraud and every gospel preacher is a charlatan.

The resurrection is important because without the resurrection the gospel is a lie. “And if Christ be not dead, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)

The resurrection is important because without the resurrection the Christian life is pointless and worthless. “What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32)

The resurrection is important because without the resurrection the Christian has no hope of eternal life. “And if Christ be not raised, then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-18)

The resurrection is important because it is the ultimate display of the power of God that is now at work in the believer. (“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead.” Ephesians 1:19-20)

The resurrection is important because it is the evidence that Jesus is God the Son and Savior just as He claimed and as the Bible declares. “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:18-22)

The resurrection is important because it is the powerful declaration that Jesus is God. “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:3-4)

The resurrection is important because if it is untrue, God’s Word is a lie. “We are false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:15)

The resurrection is the lynchpin on which all the gospel hangs, the certification that all the gospel promises are true and the certainty that God is true. Rejoice every Sunday in the remembrance of the risen Savior.

What are the Biblical evidences of true salvation?

The child of God will show the genuineness of his salvation by the way he lives. The Bible describes at least seven different things that will be true of the Christian. Those who do not possess these characteristics have good cause to evaluate the authenticity of their profession of faith.
Not everyone will possess these things to the same degree. No one will possess them perfectly. The practice of these things has nothing to do with keeping salvation. One does not lose his salvation by failing to maintain these Biblical disciplines. At salvation the believer is made a new creature. These are a few of the things that will be different about a Christian life after conversion.

The book of 1 John was written so those who are saved will know they have eternal life. These evidences are not given to cause unwarranted doubt about salvation. They are given to comfort the true believer and to bring the false professor under conviction so he will be saved.

The Biblical marks of genuine salvation are:
  • The genuine Christian is honest about his own guilt before God. He does not deny his sinfulness. Salvation is not possible apart from confession of one’s sin and the saved person will continue to acknowledge his sinfulness. (1 John 1:6)
  • None can be saved who deny that Jesus is God. Those who profess salvation and deny the deity of Jesus or who later reject His deity show they are not truly saved. (1 John 2:23-24)
  • Salvation comes through faith that trusts God entirely for salvation. None can be saved who rely on anything (like goodness, church or religious ritual) in addition to God for their salvation. The child of God trusts Jesus alone to be saved and continues to trust God for his salvation. This saving trust in God grows into an ongoing confidence in God that continues throughout life. (1 John 5:12-15)
  • At salvation the Holy Spirit immediately takes up residence in the child of God. The Holy Spirit produces in the Christian a desire to obey the commands of God. The child of God wants to obey and grows in obedience to God. He lives in righteousness and rejects sin. (1 John 2:4; 3:3-10; 3:24; 5:18)
  • The New Testament commands for Christians are summed up in the command Jesus gave, “love one another”. (John 13:34) The child of God loves his fellow Christian. His love for others results in a natural obedience to all the other New Testament commands. (1 John 2:9-10; 3:10-18, 23; 4:8-5:3)
  • The culture and kingdoms of this world are under the dominion of Satan. The child of God has been delivered from the tyranny of Satan and from enslavement to the world. He no longer loves the things of this world but loves the things of God. (1 John 2:15-17)
  • Because salvation comes through the hearing of the Word of God, the believer desires to know more of the Word. The genuine Christian has a hunger for the Bible. (1 Peter 2:2-3)
Salvation is not at all of man’s doing. The ultimate evidence of genuine salvation is the promise and assurance of God. The Holy Spirit works in the heart of the Christian to give confidence of salvation. When the believer is living in sin or neglecting basic Christian disciplines his own heart will convict him and rebuke him. The feeling of assurance may be lost, but in the end God knows the true condition of the heart. Confidence in salvation is not measured by a person’s feelings, but by the promises of God found in His Word. (Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:20-21)

How can I know for certain I am saved?

Many Christians have times in their lives when they doubt their salvation. Doubts should not be brushed aside as if they were mere tools of Satan to discourage. Doubts may be the result of a spiritual assault but they may also warn of spiritual problems. The Bible teaches the Christian to examine the validity of his own faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) The Christians is to make his salvation evident and certain. (2 Peter 1:10) The epistle of 1 John was written, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) Evaluating the genuineness of one’s own salvation can be a beneficial exercise.

Questioning the certainty of one’s own salvation should never be the result of doubting God’s ability to save. One should not question the promise or power of God. Nor should a person wonder if the rights words were said. Salvation is not a matter of saying the right words. Salvation is a matter of genuine faith that believes God’s word.

This question can be wisely asked if the person is assessing the genuineness of his profession of faith. The wise person knows the human heart is a great liar. (Jeremiah 17:9) Only a foolish person believes the feelings and promptings of his own heart. (Proverbs 28:26) The tragic reality is many unsaved people have prayed a prayer, walked an aisle, made a commitment or had a stirring spiritual experience. Assurance of salvation does not come by remembering a feeling or an experience, but from the promises of God in His Word.

A person is saved through believing Jesus is God who became man to die in place of men, believing Jesus was restored to life three days later and believing He promises salvation to all who will trust Him. A person is saved by turning to Jesus in faith believing that God will forgive completely every sin and give eternal life. If there has not been a time in a person’s life where he has turned to Jesus and began to trust Him for all of salvation then that person is not saved. Salvation is not inherited from believing parents. Salvation is not absorbed by church attendance. Growth towards conversion may be a gradual process that takes a long time but there must be a point in time in which the person consciously turns to Jesus, confesses his faith and seeks forgiveness.

A person is saved by trusting in Jesus and only in Jesus for forgiveness. Many who think they are saved are not truly saved because they are not trusting Jesus alone. Any addition of works, personal merit or religious observance denies the salvation of Jesus. Believing that something you do has any part in your salvation denies the need of Jesus’ death. (Galatians 2:21) Salvation is only received by those who trust entirely in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for full salvation.

The person who is saved is transformed by his faith. This last point of evaluation can be confusing and lead some to think the Bible requires good works or obedience as necessary parts of being saved. The transformed life does not save but shows salvation has occurred. The absence of increased obedience is not conclusive proof that a person was never saved, but it should cause the person to seriously question the reality of his salvation. The New Testament gives several key marks of genuine conversion. If a person’s life shows the New Testament marks of genuine conversion then his life supports his profession of faith.

You can know for certain that you are saved if there has been a time in your life when you have confessed Biblical faith in Jesus and turned to Him for forgiveness, if you are trusting only in Jesus for salvation and if your life shows evidence of genuine conversion.

Is it wrong to marry outside your own race?

In these more enlightened times very few people ask if a white girl should marry a black guy, or if an Asian guy should marry a Mexican girl. Some are offended by the question. Yet the determination of right and wrong is not based upon the prevailing opinions of society. The determination of right and wrong must always be based on Biblical truth. Does the Bible teach that it is wrong to marry someone of another race?

If it were possible for a person to marry someone of a different race then, yes, that would be wrong. It is wrong to marry someone of another race because you would either be marrying an animal (which is illegal and immoral) or an alien (which don’t exist). It is impossible for a human being to marry another human being who is of a different race.

This answer is not some trite brush off of an important issue. Racial tensions are still a significant issue in America and around the world. A right understanding of the relationships of people groups is important. The answer to this and all other race related questions starts with this Biblical truth: All humans are of one race. The Bible makes a specific declaration of this fact in Acts 17:26. All men, from all nations of the world, are of one blood. All nationalities derive from the same source- God’s creation of Adam.

The so called racial differences are nothing more than superficial differences of coloring, build, language and culture. These differences are not ones of substance or essential being. This does not deny the challenges of various cultures interacting with one another. Understanding one another requires effort. However, other ethnicities must never be dehumanized by suggesting the other is different in essence. Differences in body and behavior do not mean there is difference of being.

Is it wrong to marry someone of a different culture or ethnicity? Many cultures still have taboos against marrying into a different culture. The Bible does not. Scriptures never prohibit people from marrying based upon ethnic, national or cultural differences.

The Old Testament prohibited the Israelites from marrying certain people groups. Deuteronomy 7 has a specific command forbidding an Israelite to marry anyone from seven Canaanite tribes. The reason for this prohibition had nothing to do with ethnicity or culture. The people of Canaan were notorious idolaters and under the judgment of God. The Israelites were not to marry these specific tribes lest they begin to practice the idolatry of the Canaanites. Other than those seven groups in Canaan the Israelites were permitted to marry people from from other nations.

God is not against marriage between different ethnicities, cultures or nationalities. All people are descended from the same two people, Adam and Eve. All people are descended from Noah’s family that was saved by God from the flood. The nations of the world can be traced back to the the grandsons and great-grandsons of Noah. A different race of humans does not exist. No Biblical truth or command forbids marriage to people of a different color, language or culture.