By Spencer D Gear PhD
1. Why would anyone need this?
This is the most venomous snake in the world. Why would anyone need the inland (or western) taipan snake? It’s located in outback Australia. See the red distribution on this Australian map:
“While the inland taipan is regarded as the world’s most venomous snake based on LD50 tests on mice, it is a shy species and rarely strikes, and has not caused any known human fatalities. On the other hand, India’s Big Four (Indian cobra, common krait, Russell’s viper, and saw-scaled viper), while less venomous than the inland taipan, are found in closer proximity to human settlements and are more confrontational, thus leading to more deaths from snakebite”.
Aboriginal Australians named this snake, Dandarabilla. ‘One bite’s worth of venom is enough to kill 100 fully grown men’. What does it eat? In the wild, it eats mammals (females who feed young on milk produced by mammary glands), rats, and house mice. When in captivity, they eat day-old chickens. You can find them in various zoos around Australia.
But, why would anyone NEED inland, western taipans?
‘Unlike most snakes, the inland taipan is a specialist mammal hunter so its venom is specially adapted to kill warm-blooded species’. Mammals have fur and mammary glands for them to produce milk that is necessary for their newborn babies. Examples of mammals include: rats, bats, human beings, monkeys, whales, dolphins, cats, dogs & seals. In 2005 there were ‘5,416 different species of mammals. However, the exact number of recognized mammal species fluctuates as new species are described.
This taipan also kills rats and mice in the wild in the outback.
But can you see any useful need for this inland western taipan? In the outback where crops are grown, wouldn’t it be good for the farmers to have the rats and mice killed who destroy their crops?
2. There is something other than physical organs we have inside us.
What do we call it or them?
Jesus said: ‘And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?’ (Mark 8:36);
When Jesus died, what did he say to God the Father? ‘Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last’ (Matt 23:46).
So there is an unseen internal part of every human being that is called the soul or spirit. I will concentrate on another invisible part that all of us have. This is how Scripture describes it:
Everyone has a conscience. This makes us alert to what is right and wrong.
The Bible also says that God has revealed Himself people through their consciences. The Apostle Paul wrote:
Those who are not Jews don’t have the law. But when they naturally do what the law commands without even knowing the law, then they are their own law. This is true even though they don’t have the written law.
They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands, and their consciences agree. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done wrong, and this makes them guilty. And sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done right, and this makes them not guilty (Rom 2:14-15 ERV).
Did you get the meaning about the non-Jews, also called Gentiles, when it comes to deciding right from wrong? ‘They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands, and their consciences agree. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done wrong, and this makes them guilty’.
All have consciences. For people who don’t have access to a Bible, whether that is a tribe in Africa, Papua New Guinea, Asia, or South America, thye have consciences. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators:
*October 2018 Statistics
to tell them what God says is right and wrong, what do all people have to give them these ethical guidelines?
According to Wycliffe Bible Translators:
There are an estimated 250 million people without access to any Scripture in the language that speaks to them best and may need some form of Bible translation to begin. At least 1.5 billion people are without the full Bible in their first language….
There is known active translation and/or linguistic development happening in 2,659 languages worldwide.
Now we have 3 pieces of evidence for God’s existence:
All of these are invisible things but we know they exist because of what they do. We can know they exist by the way they perform.
Are they good enough reasons for believing in God? If not, why not?
The Bible teaches that everything in the universe will end – including gravity – and it will happen this way:
But the day when the Lord comes again will surprise everyone like the coming of a thief. The sky will disappear with a loud noise. Everything in the sky will be destroyed with fire. And the earth and everything in it will be burned up. Everything will be destroyed in this way. So what kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and devoted to God. You should be looking forward to the day of God, wanting more than anything else for it to come soon. When it comes, the sky will be destroyed with fire, and everything in the sky will melt with heat. But God made a promise to us. And we are waiting for what he promised—a new sky and a new earth. That will be the place where goodness lives.
Dear friends, we are waiting for this to happen. So try as hard as you can to be without sin and without fault. Try to be at peace with God (2 Peter 3:10-14 ERV).
Is this meant to be taken literally – the earth and the heavens being burned up or destroyed? They certainly are. We know this from the verses that come before these:
It is important for you to understand what will happen in the last days. People will laugh at you. They will live following the evil they want to do. 4 They will say, “Jesus promised to come again. Where is he? Our fathers have died, but the world continues the way it has been since it was made.”
5 But these people don’t want to remember what happened long ago. The skies were there, and God made the earth from water and with water. All this happened by God’s word. 6 Then the world was flooded and destroyed with water. 7 And that same word of God is keeping the skies and the earth that we have now. They are being kept to be destroyed by fire. They are kept for the day of judgment and the destruction of all people who are against God (2 Peter 3:3-7 ERV).
This will happen in the last days before Jesus returns:
People will laugh and scoff at Christians. Is that happening today? Who’s a scoffer? The scoffer will laugh at or say things to show that the other person or thing ‘is stupid or deserves no respect’. They will poke fun at or ridicule Christians.
They will make fun of the fact that Jesus has not returned (and it’s 2,000 years since his crucifixion);
The folks in the last days don’t want to acknowledge the truth that God made the skies and the earth.
Creation happened by God’s word – He spoke it into existence.
That same word keeps the skies and the earth going as they are today.
Then the world was flooded and destroyed with water (speaking of God’s flood in Noah’s day).
That same word by God is keeping the skies and earth going now.
They will be kept going until God destroys them by fire;
Then will come God’s judgment day for all people who are against God.
Could it be clearer?
This lead’s to God’s judgment of ALL people who do not know and love God. These are those opposed to God.
Since the entire universe will be destroyed, does that mean it is all over red rover for planet earth and the galaxies?
Not at all. But Christians will never ever have to be exposed to the Christchurch massacre, slaughter of Christians in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Sudan, Middle East and elsewhere.
It will be a world of total love, joy, peace and God’s justice. Rape, sexual abuse, terrorist bombers, and DV are gone forever, as are lies, adulteries and stealing.
If you think this will be paradise on earth, it will be for the people of God.
The next verse in 2 Peter 3 gives the answer: ‘But we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth. Godliness will live there. All this is in keeping with God’s promise’ (2 Pet 3:13 NIRV).
This promise is guaranteed by God’s truthfulness and all that He is in qualities of character.
The Apostle Paul and his friends, Silas and Timothy, were in Athens, Greece. Paul told his Good News message in the public square and some philosophers went to argue with him.
They took Paul to a meeting of the Areopagus Council in Athens. It was a legal council that met on a hill in Athens. ‘It was the central governing body of Athens’ but then became a legal court for ‘homicide and other serious crimes’.
The philosophers accused him …
18 Some of the Epicurean and some of the Stoic philosophers argued with him.
Some of them said, “This man doesn’t really know what he is talking about. What is he trying to say?” Paul was telling them the Good News about Jesus and the resurrection. So they said, “He seems to be telling us about some other gods.”
19 They took Paul to a meeting of the Areopagus council. They said, “Please explain to us this new idea that you have been teaching. 20 The things you are saying are new to us. We have never heard this teaching before, and we want to know what it means (Acts 17:18-20 ERV).
What was this strange teaching by Paul? This is what he told the Council:
24 “He is the God who made the whole world and everything in it. He is the Lord of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 He is the one who gives people life, breath, and everything else they need. He does not need any help from them. He has everything he needs. 26 God began by making one man, and from him he made all the different people who live everywhere in the world. He decided exactly when and where they would live.
27 “God wanted people to look for him, and perhaps in searching all around for him, they would find him. But he is not far from any of us. 28 It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are. As your own poets have said, ‘We all come from him’ (Acts 17:24-28 ERV).
What is your tongue used for?
1. It helps you speak better.
2. It helps you taste better.
3. It helps you to eat and drink.
4. Girls have more taste buds than boys.
5. It helps you to say nice or nasty things. Which is the better one?
6. “God himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things … in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:24-25, 28).
These Bible verses tell us:
13 You created the deepest parts of my being.
You put me together inside my mother’s body.
14 How you made me is amazing and wonderful.
I praise you for that.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know that very well.
15 None of my bones was hidden from you
when you made me inside my mother’s body.
That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth.
When you were putting me together there,
16 your eyes saw my body even before it was formed.
You planned how many days I would live.
You wrote down the number of them in your book
before I had lived through even one of them.
That’s why we need God. We wouldn’t be here without his making us inside our mother’s body and keeping us in this world.
Have you seen a very big aeroplane such as the Airbus A380? At the time this curriculum was written, it was the largest passenger plane in the world. It can take 853 passengers but generally takes 525 passengers.
|An A380-800 of Emirates, the largest operator of the aircraft (courtesy Wikipedia).||Photo: Four forces act on a plane in flight. When the plane flies horizontally at a steady speed, lift from the wings exactly balances the plane’s weight and the thrust exactly balances the drag. However, during takeoff, or when the plane is attempting to climb in the sky (as shown here), the thrust from the engines pushing the plane forward exceeds the drag (air resistance) pulling it back. This creates a lift force, greater than the plane’s weight, which powers the plane higher into the sky. Photo by Nathanael Callon courtesy of US Air Force|
What causes the Airbus to fly in the air? It has BIG engines. We can explain how the engines work by science (as in the diagram above), BUT …
People have to build the Airbus;
Somebody has to put fuel into it and start it;
There have to be pilots trained to fly it and hostesses on board to help people who travel in it;
The Airbus could not have been made without using science of engines and aeronautics alone,
But to make the engines and planes, it takes people.
Who made people?There would be no Airbus made without people. Jesus said, ‘But “God made them male and female” from the beginning of creation’ (Mark 10:6 NLT).
The Christian answer is:
- God made everything, including gravity and our breathing system;
- God keeps us and the world going. We need him to continue living.
- Even large planes cannot fly without human beings whom God has made.
- We need God for so much more:
(a) Love your enemies: Matt 5:43-45a (ERV),
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven…
What would life be like in this country if we lived like this? That is Plain Sailing Christianity.
(b) Golden rule: ‘Do for others what you would want them to do for you. This is the meaning of the Law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets’ (Matt 7:12 ERV).
(c) Fruit of the Spirit: ‘But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things’ (Galatians 5:24-25 ERV).
These are the fruit that grow in Christians lives. They are qualities of character.
(image courtesy Wikipedia)
This song by the Beatles, ‘All You Need Is Love’, was released in the UK on 7 July 1967. It became a hit single record, topping the record sales charts in the UK and the USA. It was the featured British song ‘performed by the band during the first live global television show “Our World”. Over 400 million people from 25 countries watched its broadcast on the 25th of June 1967’.
The song ends with, ‘She loves you, yeah yeah yeah (Love is all you need)’.
Is that what Christianity means when it says Christians need to grow the fruit of ‘love’? Not yeah, yeah, yeah but nah, nah, nah.
This agape love is not based on how you treat me. It is unconditional – no strings attached – and it is based on the love that God is when the Bible says, ‘God is love’:
Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become God’s child. And so everyone who loves knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8 ERV).
He doesn’t love us because we deserve it. Any human being can do that. God loves those who are sinners, those who have no time for or interest in Him.
That’s the kind of love he wants Christians to have towards one another, towards their enemies and those who do bad things to them. Imagine living in that kind of world where people did good to each other, in politics, your neighbourhood, and in school and university where there is no more bullying, and in families where domestic violence ceases and love controls what happens in families.
Is that fairyland? It’s not when a person pursues God and he changes the person from the inside out.
You may never have heard of Jim Elliot. Tim Chester tells his story about a man with God’s kind of love:
On Tuesday, January 3, 1956, Jim Elliot and four other missionaries landed on a small strip of land in the jungles of Ecuador. It was a dangerous landing, and they could not all land at once. For years they had been dreaming of and planning for this moment. Their hearts were set on reaching the Auca (pron. au-ka) Indians with the good news of Jesus.
The Aucas were a notoriously dangerous tribe. No one had reached them before. Some had exchanged gifts, but always the Aucas had attacked them. For three months the missionaries had been regularly flying over the area, dropping gifts and shouting greetings. When they landed they built a hut and waited for the Aucas to come and find them.
They knew the dangers. Their wives had discussed the possibility of becoming widows. Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of Jim Elliot, says they went simply because they knew they belonged to God, because he was their creator and their redeemer. They had no choice but to willingly obey him, and that meant obeying his command to take the good news to every nation.
“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth! I care not if I never raise my voice again for him, if only I may love him, please him”.
To Die Is Gain
On Friday, January 6, three Aucas—one man and two women—approached them. They exchanged greetings. The missionaries showed them rubber bands, yo-yos, and balloons, and the man was taken up in the plane.
On Sunday, January 8, they were due to radio in at 4:30. There was silence. When no message came, a plane was sent and then a rescue party. Four of their bodies were recovered—all lanced to death. The fifth was never found. It seems they were ambushed.
All five were martyred for the sake of Christ. All were married, and four were fathers. One wife was pregnant. Her three-year-old was heard to tell the new crying baby, “Never you mind, when we get to heaven I’ll show you which one is daddy.”
Jim Elliot once said: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot had seen through the lie of consumerism. He had seen the emptiness of all this world offers. He had realized the far greater value of the new creation that God promises (Chester 2018).
What did Jim Elliot mean when he said: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose’?
How did Jim Elliot die? He was a missionary martyr.
Where did he go at death? The Scriptures state, ‘If I live, it will be for Christ, and if I die, I will gain even more’ (Phil 1:21 CEV).
Jesus said: ‘And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?’ (Mark 8:36).
Isn’t that what Jim Elliot meant? He is not a fool if he gives up making billions of dollars with mansions and luxury in this life, but does not enjoy eternal life when he dies. That applies to both gals and guys today.
8. Works consulted
Tim Chester 2018. Crossway (online). ‘Jim Elliot was no fool’, 8 January. Available at: https://www.crossway.org/articles/jim-elliot-was-no-fool/ (Accessed 13 November 2020).
 The world’s most venomous snake, based on LD50, [lethal dose of 50% of animals] is the inland taipan of Australia. In Wikipedia 2019. Venemous snakes (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venomous_snake (Accessed 19 April 2019).
 Wikipedia 2019. Inland taipan (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inland_taipan (Accessed 19 April 2019). Brief details of the inland, western taipan are in Encyclopaedia Britannica 2019. 9 of the World’s Deadliest Snakes (online). Available at: https://www.britannica.com/list/9-of-the-worlds-deadliest-snakes (Accessed 20 April 2019).
 Ibid., Wikipedia.
 Wikipedia 2019. Inland taipan (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inland_taipan#cite_ref-warm-blooded_17-0 (Accessed 19 April 2019).
 ‘Whales and dolphins are mammals that are specially adapted to life in the ocean. They have smooth skin that is hydrodynamic, allowing them to swim more efficiently. While they might appear to be hairless, whales and dolphins do in fact have whiskerlike hairs around their chins’ (Natural History Museum: Los Angeles County n.d. Mammalogy FAQs. Available at: https://nhm.org/site/research-collections/mammalogy/faqs. Accessed 20 April 2019).
 Macmillan Dictionary 2009-2019. s.v. scoff. Available at: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/scoff (Accessed 20 April 2019).
 Blackwell (2003).
 Woodford, Chris. (2009/2017) Airplanes. Retrieved from https://www.explainthatstuff.com/howplaneswork.html. (Accessed 5 April 2019).
 This is a quote from Leviticus 19:18.
 Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_You_Need_Is_Love#Final_overdubs (Accessed 9 April 2019).
 Beatles Lyrics 2000-2019. All You Need Is Love. AZLyrics (online). Available at: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beatles/allyouneedislove.html (Accessed 9 April 2019).
 Their story is told in Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendour (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1957).
Copyright © 2020 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 13 November 2020.