November 28th, 2021

Call on the Name of Jesus and You Will Be Saved

If you are reading this, know that I have no intention of abandoning you.

I recently lost loved ones in a car accident. We had gone to trivia together as we had nearly every Tuesday night for a couple of years. We said good-bye, not knowing that it would be our last. Their car was struck by a drunk driver taking a left out of the parking lot and they were killed. I was stuck in the traffic caused by the accident, but I didn’t know it was them. The emergency response was already on the scene, and I didn’t get out of the vehicle. Only God knows what their status was with Him. Less than ten minutes after that final good-bye, they were gone.

I can appreciate why the selling of indulgences for lost loved ones was profitable (and this makes me feel the evil of it at a visceral level). This is the worst kind of grief.

Jesus Christ is building his church and the gates of hell will not stand against it. I am going to ram at those gates even harder and unless the risen Lord Jesus Christ himself tells me to, I won’t stop until every last soul is plundered and redeemed, even Judas himself.

It’s personal; and I’m stubborn. I want Satan to lose EVERYTHING.

But this is all speculation. None of us truly knows what it will be like after death. I’d like to hope that every last soul will eventually be plundered and redeemed, but the revealed word of God isn’t clear about it. We only have a couple of pieces of the puzzle. Jesus might tell his saints to stand down and that the judgment is final. You aren’t guaranteed tomorrow or even ten minutes from now. Your life is a vapor. Vanity of vanities.

I can tell you what I can guarantee though:

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (ESV)

This is surer than the sunrise. Turn to Jesus and you will be saved.

I think John Chrysostom experienced this type of grief and the hope of his Easter sermon is my hope:

Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?
Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

The Easter sermon of John Chrysostom (circa 400 AD, excerpted)

My hope and prayer is that you will turn to Jesus now if you don’t already know him. Don’t presume upon some hypothetical opportunity to turn to him in the future; you might not get another chance.

April 1st, 2023

Apologetics with Gentleness and Respect

In general, reformed Christians are better at the “always be ready to give a defense” part of 1 Peter 3:15 than the “yet do it with gentleness and respect” part.

When I first learned about apologetics (and particularly the presuppositional apologetics of Cornelius Van Til and Greg Bahnsen), I went out looking for opportunities to apply the concepts. It went about as well as one can expect a young, enthusiastic Calvinist aspiring apologist to work out. Strangers on the internet whom I had no relationship with outside of arguing for the truth of Christianity from the impossibility of the contrary were not very receptive. Maybe some of those interactions produced fruit unbeknownst to me, but I was not the paragon of gentleness and respect. I had the Bahnsen Hammer and everything looked like a nail.

As I’ve matured, I’ve realized that I had overemphasized the priority of apologetics in the Christian walk. It’s far more important to love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, and overcome evil with good. Apologetics is like responsible gun ownership. You train hoping you’ll never need to use the weapon in a live situation rather than strolling around like Yosemite Sam and being the rootingest tootingest apologist north, south, east, and west of the Pecos.

This is a recording from a Sunday school session at Holy Trinity Reformed Church in Concord, NC where I filled in as a substitute teacher. The visuals are a combination of great Christian artwork throughout the ages and silly memes.

Video chapters:

November 29th, 2022

Hack the Stateless Code!

I don’t think I’ve done a post about it yet on this site, but one of the reasons why this site is not often updated is because I have been investing my time creating free coding videos for my project Stateless Code. This past Friday, November 25, 2022, I published my 200th video. Check it out:

Stateless Code Logo

YouTube Channel

GitHub Organization

As of right now, the main WordPress site is way behind YouTube in terms of publishing things. I have a Why Stateless Code video series inspired by Simon Sinek’s brilliant TED talk and book. It would be a good place to learn more about the project. If you know anybody who wants to learn how to code, send them my way.