Is CMI only focused on one thing?
Yep, and it’s Jesus Christ!
Published: 30 November 2017 (GMT+10)
Previously published in a CMI newsletter, February 2017
Sometimes people are surprised when we don’t take a stance on various issues, and even press us to make an exception for topics they feel especially concerned about. But at CMI, part of our effectiveness is in our focused emphasis on the creation foundation as a basis for understanding the Gospel—exactly as the Bible does. Is it any wonder creation is one of the most-attacked biblical teachings today? By defending this foundational doctrine, we are promoting the Gospel because Jesus Christ is our Creator and Savior! So even though we are a specialist ministry that deals with creation science I suppose we really are focusing on one thing—namely Jesus.
Then, the science!
I first became ‘switched on’ to the importance of creation at a CMI event when I realized that the book of Genesis was a real, historical and trustworthy explanation of the origin of the universe. Coupled with CMI resources, I devoured the pages of Genesis 1–11. It was a revelation to me as I felt I finally knew the truth! True science opened up and there were now so many areas to investigate such as biology, the fossil record, and dinosaurs. My focus rapidly pinpointed on the overwhelming scientific evidence for Creation that undermined the lie of evolution I had been taught. In my excitement I started to ‘beat people over the head’ with creation ‘evidences’ so they would see the truth and be saved! Tactically, I went about it the wrong way.
A focus on Jesus
With little success in my evangelistic efforts I felt defeated and frustrated. But as I continued to study I realized I needed to shift focus. I turned to the beginning of the Gospel of John. As I started to read, it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. The book of John is all about Creation!1 John tells us that Jesus “was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:2–3). For example, in chapter 2 Jesus turns water into wine. Chapter 4 reveals the healing of the official’s son displaying Jesus’ restorative power over sickness. In chapter 6 He walks on water and makes the wind and waves obey him.
Science can’t raise people from the grave!
But the kicker for me was the raising of Lazarus who was dead in his tomb for four days (John 11). In previous readings this never struck me as all that special, but that was prior to having a proper understanding of biblical creation. Previously I toyed with the ideas that Jesus was some sort of miracle worker; after all, many religions claim similar guru-types. Or maybe Lazarus wasn’t really dead. But I now understood how my thought patterns were corrupted by naturalistic science.
In the beginning of John 11 we are told that Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother was ill. But Jesus stayed where he was for two days before making the journey to Bethany. Jesus’ delay was deliberate. Jews in Jesus’ day commonly believed that the soul of a person hovered over the body for three days before departing. During this time people would watch over the body to pray and sing psalms for comfort. The religious leaders did not recognize Jesus as the Creator (similar to my own unregenerate thoughts) so they could have looked for some way to explain Lazarus’ resurrection away. But the Scriptures point out that after four days the body started to ‘stink’ and by waiting all this time, Jesus demonstrated to everyone (even me) that He alone holds the power over death because He truly is the Creator God. Only the Creator has the power to save us and raise our decaying bodies back to life in the future resurrection. Have you ever heard of a science experiment or medical procedure that could raise a person from the dead after four days in the grave? Jesus’s power is undisputed and it is a defining event in the Gospels! In fact, at the end of the Gospels He demonstrated this first-hand. The Apostle Paul wrote regarding the resurrection of Christ:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me … Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians. 15:3–8, 12–22).
There we have it. I like to call these fantastic and encouraging passages ‘The Gospel Passages’ because they all hang upon the fact that the Creator came, died for our sins and rose again in order that we may live again with Him. Only the One and same ‘Genesis’ Creator has the power to raise the dead, because He is the author of life!
Creation and the Gospel
In my mind a nail had been struck! Just as Jesus had called Lazarus out of his dark tomb of death to light and life, He did the same thing for us as Christians, calling us out of the darkness of sin, giving us a new start and a promise of life everlasting. If CMI is about one issue, then it is showing people that life is all about Jesus the “founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
Showing the evidence for Creation no doubt helps to remove the stumbling blocks in people’s minds, but unless this is coupled with the Gospel it is pointless. We know that our supporters utilize the articles, books, DVDs and even our team of creation speakers to show people in their communities that it is Jesus who has the power over death and all Creation. So if being focused on Jesus is being focused on one thing, then we’ll happily wear that hat because it is bringing people to faith in Him. Em M. wrote:
“Hi! I’d just like to thank CMI for all your articles, on astronomy, evolution, history and the validity of the Bible. One of my strongest arguments against God’s existence was secular science, and I thought it without flaw. I held such arrogance toward creationists and Christians in general (especially Christian scientists), but all your articles helped me in my journey to find the truth regarding God and the formation (creation!) of the universe. I would never have come to Christ if it were not for the work of the scientists at CMI, for you lay down the evidence and prove that the Bible predicts, confirms, and is confirmed by nature and the true evidence that has been collected- not the hypothetical, ad-hoc nature of secular science. You've been a huge part of my journey to Jesus, and I'd like to thank you for that!”
And Kim H. emailed to say: “Glad to have come across your [Creation] magazine. I have accepted the gift of Salvation through the Gospel of Christ Jesus. How simple it is to be saved and be guaranteed eternal blessings in Heaven!”
Partners for Truth
We wouldn’t be able to produce the hundreds of life-changing articles, or the many books and DVDs, or even have the ability to send our speakers to hundreds of churches each year without charging a set fee, if it wasn’t for your help. As you support us, my prayer is that it would be comforting to know that our only focus is using the wonders of Creation to point people in the direction of our Savior Jesus Christ and in doing so, give Him all the glory due His name! Supporter James V. affirmed this when he wrote:
“May God continue to bless your ministry as you glorify Jehovah-Jesus, our Creator and Saviour, and His absolutely impeccable and authoritative Word, and minister to the saints and preach the Gospel unto the salvation of countless lost souls.”