Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Season for Fruit

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:3).

When God created the world, He created it to bear fruit. The fruit tree was to bear fruit (Gen. 1:11) as were the animals God created to inhabit this world (Gen. 1:22). All this fruit was created by God so that man could benefit from them (Gen. 1:29). God also commanded man to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). After the Flood, the command to be fruitful was reissued to Noah and his descendants (Gen. 8:17).

A law that God established for the physical creation was that everything that produced fruit would reproduce only after its kind (Gen. 1:11). This law is seen in action everyday and is so well established that every tree is known by its fruit (Luke 6:44). Orange trees produce oranges, apple trees produce only apples, pear trees produce only pear trees, etc. This is also seen in the animal kingdom. Squirrels produce only squirrels, dogs only dogs, cats only cats and monkeys only monkeys. This one fact, by the way, forever defeats the hypothesis of evolution!

These principles, these laws, that are seen so readily in the material world, are also seen in the spiritual world. Just as God created the material world to bear fruit, Christians are created to bear fruit unto God (Rom. 7:4). The Lord has chosen us that we should go forth and bear fruit (John 15:16). In fact, Jesus said if you do not bear fruit, God will take you away (John 15:2). As we go forth and bear much fruit, God is glorified and we show ourselves to be the disciples of Christ (John 15:8).

A good tree will not bring forth corrupt fruit and an evil tree will not bear good fruit (Luke 6:43). Remember, a tree will reproduce after its kind. Thus, a good tree, because it is the product of good seed, will not bear evil fruit. If the seed is bad, then the tree is bad. When the seed is the good seed of the word of God, the result cannot be bad when it is mixed with a good and honest heart (Luke 8:11). Good fruit is brought forth in the individual when that person hears the word of God, and with patience, and a good and honest heart, keeps that word (Luke 8:15).

What are some of the fruits Christians may bear? Some fruit may be financial support and, consequently, fellowship in reaching the lost. Paul described a “certain contribution” made by the brethren in Macedonian and Achaia to the poor saints at Jerusalem as “fruit” (Rom. 15:28; cf. Phil 4:16,17). Other fruit may be holiness and everlasting life (Rom. 6:22; cf. Prov. 11:30). Still other fruit would be qualities such as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23). Offering the “sacrifice of praise to God continually” is a fruit that we may bear (Heb. 13:15).

And the list could go on but the point is God promises us that if our delight is in the law of the Lord, if we meditate in it day and night, we shall be like a tree that is firmly planted by the river of waters, where we will receive a continuous source of spiritual nutrients (Psalm 1:1-3). We will then produce fruit because the things we think about will be those spiritual things revealed in the word of God. We abide in Him and He in us through the word (John 15:2-4). Christ abides in us as His word abides in us (John 15:4,7). Faithful Christians will produce only the fruit that the word of God demands (John 15:4,5). We will bear fruit after the nature of the seed. It’s the law!

Eric L. Padgett

Tribute to my Father

Fathers play an immensely important role in the family and in the rearing of children. Fathers are responsible for bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Sadly, our society is reaping the fruit of fatherless families or families where the father doesn’t care. Fathers are worthy of honor (Ex. 20:12). Some of us have great fathers, others not so great. I want to honor my great father with this simple poem I’ve written.

I need you now more than ever, Dad,
When things all around me start going bad.
I need your advice and your guidance, too,
When I alone can’t figure out just what to do.

I need to hear you say, “How are you, son.”
When I have fought some battle but haven’t won.
I need to hear you say, “It’ll be alright.”
When I have failed some how and feel uptight.

I need to hear you sing when you greet the day,
Your voice reassures and drives my fears away.
I need to hear you laugh and see you smile,
When I have been feeling down and sad awhile.

I need you now Dad and I’m thankful, too,
For all the little things you say and do.
I need you to teach me all I haven’t learned,
When I have been lazy and unconcerned.

I need you now Dad and I always will,
And I hope you know just how I feel.
I need you to know what you mean to me,
A greater father there could never be.

I need you now Dad as I always do,
To help me get along and see me through.
I need you and in my heart you’ll always be,
Because you are so precious and so dear to me.
Copyright 2015 Eric L. Padgett

Dinosaur Soft Tissue An Issue

Within the last twenty-four hours news stories have appeared which report that scientists have extracted soft tissue from dinosaur fossils, specifically blood cells and collagen. These samples were extracted from fossils that were allegedly 75 million years old. The buzz in these stories is that the samples were taken from specimens that were not well preserved, implying that soft tissue preservation might be more common than previously believed.

That soft tissue has been found in fossils is not a new revelation. Back in 2005 Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist with North Carolina State University, discovered a “fibrous matrix, stretchy like a wet scab on human skin; what appeared to be supple bone cells, their three-dimensional shapes intact; and translucent blood vessels that looked as if they could have come straight from an ostrich at the zoo.”1 This discovery caused a fire storm because according to the known laws of science, they should not have been preserved given their advanced age.

“By all the rules of paleontology, such traces of life should have long since drained from the bones. It’s a matter of faith among scientists that soft tissue can survive at most for a few tens of thousands of years, not the 65 million” years alleged for the age of the dinosaurs.2 According to scientists then, this life-like tissue “had no business inhabiting a fossilized skeleton” because it would be longer lasting than “scientific theory might predict.”3

It is instructive to note how the proponents of an ancient earth reacted. Most evolutionists were skeptical of Schweitzer’s discovery because, as she herself observed, “everyone knows these things don’t last for 65 million years.”4 She even had a hard time getting her findings published in peer reviewed journals. However, when it became impossible to deny the existence of the soft tissue any longer, evolutionists then had to change their view of how long such specimens could last. And they had to, because other research produced soft tissue in 50 % of their samples that supposedly dated back to 145 to 200 million years ago!5

These findings pose an obvious problem for the evolutionist. Known scientific facts show that blood, collagen and other soft tissue samples like those discovered do not and cannot last for the millions of years needed for the evolutionary explanation of these finds. Evolutionists, in an effort to salvage their hypothesis of evolution, have to assume that somehow, contrary to all that is known, such tissue can last through such vast ages. They have resorted to several theories as to how the tissue could be preserved, but those theories are about as convincing as their original objections to the soft tissue preservation itself.

The preservation of soft tissue in fossils poses no problem for the creationist. In fact, these findings fits perfectly with the Biblical description of a world-wide deluge four thousand years ago which produced the vast majority of fossils now known. It is interesting that Schweitzer had trouble getting her findings published, even though she is not a creationist! If she had trouble publishing her findings because they seem to contradict evolutionary theory, then you can imagine the difficulty creationists have in getting their research published and the kind of resistance with which they meet.

Furthermore, the fact that the soft tissue was found in poorly preserved fossils, suggests that the preservation of soft tissue is much more common than would be expected by evolutionary standards. It’s abundance would suggest that highly specialized conditions needed for preservation over vast eons of time are not necessary or likely and more probably, even impossible. It is much more likely that it is a common occurrence because these fossils were formed not so long ago.

Eric L. Padgett

1. Barry Yoeman, Discover Magazine, Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery, April 2006,
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. Ibid
5. Stephanie Pappas,, Controversial T. Rex Sot Tissue Find Finally Explained, Nov. 26, 2013

100% Response To The Invitation, or, How not to be a struggling congregation!

Every time I preach, I get a 100% response to the invitation to obey the gospel by the alien sinner or by Christians to ask the Lord’s forgiveness. How do I do that? Actually, it’s not hard at all. You see, everyone automatically makes some kind of response. Some people respond to the Lord’s invitation by rejecting Him. Others respond with apathy and put off any immediate decision. Some are offended. Still others are interested enough to come back the next time. Some obey. When the word of God is preached and the invitation offered, there is always a 100% response to it. It may not always be what I want it to be, or what the Lord wants it to be, but there is always a 100% response.

I have had members of large congregations express to me the notion that because an individual is a member of a small congregation, he must not be doing something right, or, at the very least, those large congregations must be right with God or they would not be growing. They make a goal for themselves and a decided effort to make themselves likable to “their community.” And so they offer “programs” that appeal to their community and many times the community responds favorably to the “programs,” so long as those programs are offered.

I have heard others suggest that small congregations are by definition “struggling”. But this view is borne out of a misconception of the mission of the church. The great commission given by Jesus was to “teach all nations” and “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15,16; Matt. 28:18-20). Our job is not to make ourselves likable or to please men. Our job is not even to fill a building with people. Our job is to spread the seed, to preach the word. It is God’s part to give the increase (I Cor. 3:7).

Paul wanted to persuade individuals to obey the gospel. He wrote, “knowing therefore he terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (II Cor. 5:11). To “persuade” means to “convince by argument.” While a scriptural argument may be valid and sound, it may not always persuade someone, not because the argument is ineffectual but because the heart of the individual is not open or receptive. The heart of another individual is not something over which we ultimately have any control.

Paul’s preaching of the resurrection brought him ridicule (Acts 17:32). Even some of his own brethren felt he was more their enemy than anything else simply because he preached the truth to them (Gal.4:16). In some places Paul was driven out of town and beaten and left for dead by those who did not like what he said (Acts 14:19). Should we consider Paul a failure because his “message” was not universally accepted or because he was not universally loved?

Even with the ability to prove what He said was true by miracles, wonders and signs, not everyone was persuaded by Jesus’ teaching and mighty works. If personality and charisma could bring about universal acceptance of the truth, surely Jesus would have done so. But He did not. In fact, he was so “despised and rejected of men” that He was wounded and abused and afflicted by them (Is. 53). Should we conclude from the fact that Jesus was not liked very much that He was “struggling” as a teacher of God’s word?

How do we define success as a congregation of the Lord’s people or even as an individual Christian? Should we define it by how much we are liked by the world? Jesus said the world hated Him (John 15:18). Should we define by how big of a congregation we have? Jesus blessed the congregation of Philadelphia even though it had “little strength” (Rev. 3:8). Furthermore, many denominational churches would be counted faithful if this were the only criteria. Should we define success as having great wealth? Jesus said the church of Smyrna was financially poor, though spiritually rich (Rev. 2:8). Should we define success by how many programs we have instituted? Jesus said many that have done “many wonderful works” of their own creation will be cast into hell (Matt. 7:21-23).

Every Christian struggles to some degree in living the Christian life. It is difficult enough to control our own life much less the life and thoughts and actions of others. In truth, we really can’t control what others believe or how they will respond to the gospel. Some try to do this by manipulating others, or enticing them. The one thing we do have control over, however, is our own actions. If we live the truth and teach the truth and preach the truth, we will be successful in God’s eyes and that is all that matters.

Eric L. Padgett