Archive for December, 2010

Is Asking The Reason For A Divorce A Moot Point ?

December 26, 2010

A preacher in the news recently said such and such was a “moot point. It’s like asking a guy why he divorced his first wife when he is already married to his second wife.” This statement flies in the face of passages like Matthew 19:9, and reveals the approach almost all those who claim to be preachers and Christians take to God’s word.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:9, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” After reading that verse, how could anybody (who is serious about following God’s word) say the reason for a divorce doesn’t matter? The reason makes all the difference in the world. According to Matthew 19:9, if a man divorces his wife “for fornication” and remarries, he does not commit adultery. But if a man divorces his wife for any reason other than fornication and remarries, he commits adultery, and passages like Galatians 5:19-21 show he will be lost in such a state if he refuses to repent.

Though it was before the new covenant came into effect, history tells us Philip and Herodias were unscripturally divorced. Herodias had then proceeded to marry Herod. In Mark 6:18 we read that John the Baptist called this new marriage unlawful. Obviously he expected them to break up the marriage if they wanted to be right with God.

How many congregations do you know of who try to stand for and enforce this teaching on divorce and remarriage? They are very few and far between. But that is the kind of congregation that we should determine to attend – one that is faithfully following God’s word in belief, teaching, and practice. Most churches (and so called Christians) are just playing games.

Since Jesus Kept The Sabbath, Does That Prove Christians Should Do So Today ?

December 20, 2010

Sometimes Sabbatarians point out that Jesus kept the Sabbath as proof that we should do the same today. Is that a sound argument?

Yes, Jesus kept the Sabbath just like any other faithful Jew. But he also kept:

· circumcision – Luke 2:21

· the leprosy laws – Luke 5:14

· feast of unleavened bread – Matthew 26:17-18

· taught others to keep all of God’s old law – Matthew 23:2-3

Does the fact that Jesus kept these other laws prove they are still binding? If not, then the fact Jesus kept the Sabbath wouldn’t prove the Sabbath is still binding either, right?

The truth of the matter is that Jesus lived under the old testament law. Hebrews 9:15-17 reads, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”

Get the point? Jesus kept the Sabbath and all the other old testament laws (perfectly I might add), because he lived under that law. That was the law in effect during his lifetime. The new testament law that abolishes the Sabbath law (Colossians 2:14-17, Ephesians 2:14-16) did not go into effect until after Jesus’ death. The covenant with God that we live under today does not require us to keep the seventh day Sabbath. Instead, it tells us to worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 16:1-2).

Is The Old Testament Restriction Against Eating Unclean Meats Still Binding Today?

December 14, 2010

The Old Testament law did forbid eating certain meats which were considered unclean (Deuteronomy 14:3-19), for example pork and catfish. Is that prohibition still binding today under New Testament law?

Acts 10:9-16 reads, On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

At this point in time, Peter was still observing the clean and unclean meats distinction. But God corrected Peter. In addition to teaching symbolicly here that Gentiles could be Christians too, God makes it clear the restriction against eating what was considered unclean meats by the Old Covenant is no longer applicable under the New Covenant.

Romans 14:1-3, 14-16 says, Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. … I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

Romans chapter 14 is all about unclean meats – how it is not wrong in and of itself to eat unclean meats, but we should not eat them if it will cause someone to eat who (incorrectly) thinks it is still wrong. This chapter then confirms the teaching of Acts 10.

I Timothy 4:1-4 reads, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

Many who claim to be Christians do exactly what I Timothy 4:1-4 condemns – commanding to abstain from meats. To the contrary, “every creature” is good to eat; nothing is to be refused … under New Testament law.

The above three Bible passages should settle this issue once and for all.

If The Ten Commandments Are No Longer Binding, Why Then Is It Not Okay To Kill And Steal?

December 7, 2010

When Christians point out that passages like Colossians 2:14-17 prove the Sabbath is no longer binding today, sometimes people will ask – if the ten commandments are no longer binding, why then is it not okay to kill and steal? I usually try to help them see the scriptural answer to that question with the following “Law Of England Illustration.”

You’ll remember the thirteen Colonies were once under the law of England. When what became the United States broke relationship with England, we severed responsibility to England’s law. Of course, when our U.S. lawmakers drafted a new law, they placed some of the good principles of English law in it. But this didn’t obligate them to adopt the entire English law, nor did it obligate the freed citizens to continue observance of that old law.

When a law is abolished, it is completely abolished. If any principle of the old law is to be in the new, it must be adopted therein. Of course, this must be so stated in the new law. For example:

· “don’t murder” is in the United States law also

· “pay taxes to the King of England” is only in the old English law

Now get my point: Nine of the ten commandments are reiterated in the New Testament, but there is no instruction in New Testament law to keep the Sabbath. Here is the list:

· no other gods – I Thessalonians 1:9

· no graven image – I John 5:21

· don’t take the Lord’s name in vain – Eph 4:29, Matt 6:9b

· the Sabbath – ???

· honor Father and Mother – Ephesians 6:1-2

· don’t kill – Romans 1:29

· don’t commit adultery – I Corinthians 6:9

· don’t steal – Ephesians 4:28

· don’t bear false witness – Colossians 3:9

· don’t covet another man’s wife – Col 3:5, Matt 5:28

Notice the Sabbath requirement is conspicuously absent from New Testament law.

Ask yourself, why is homosexuality wrong? It’s not in the ten commandments. Isn’t it because the New Testament condemns homosexuality in many places? Now you get the idea!

As always, we are perfectly willing to discuss this issue in a friendly way, either publicly or privately.