Archive for March, 2011

God Wants All To Be Saved, Therefore All Have That Opportunity, Therefore Jesus Died For All

March 30, 2011

God’s desire for all to be saved, necessarily implies that all have the opportunity to be saved, which implies that Jesus died for all, unlimited.

II Peter 3:9:The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, … but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I Timothy 2:4: Who (God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

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Sprinkling For Baptism ?

March 24, 2011

The Greek word translated “baptism” is Strong’s #908 and means:

· Thayer – immersion, submersion

· Vine – immersion, submersion, and emergence … to dip

Romans 6:4 “buried with him by baptism.” When somebody dies and we “bury” them in the graveyard, does that mean we stand them up and sprinkle a little dirt on their head, or does that mean we put them all the way under the ground? – I think we know what “buried” means then.

Romans 6:5 “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” So water baptism is a likeness of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. Sprinkling for baptism is not a likeness of that, is it? But immersion is.

Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him ….” Consider the same point as made from Romans 6:4-5.

Acts 8:38-39 “And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water ….” Why go down into the water if only to sprinkle?

John 3:23 “And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there.” You certainly don’t need much water just to sprinkle, do you?

Welfare Reform – by Greg Gwin

March 15, 2011

There’s lots of talk in the news about reforming our welfare system. It’s clear that some dramatic changes need to be made. It is our hope that our legislators will include these godly principles as they consider this important matter:

1) Provide nothing for those who refuse to work. "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). We realize that there are some who cannot work due to physical handicaps, etc. But for those who are able yet refuse to work, God’s will is that they receive no help from others.

2) Re-establish the ‘work ethic’ – show that work is an honorable thing. "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Ephesians 4:28). We’ve seen enough of the "something-for-nothing" attitude. It is "good" to work. It allows us to help ourselves and gives us the ability to help others who are deserving of our assistance.

3) Teach people to take care of their own. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (I Timothy 5:8). There are too many in our society who will not accept the responsibility of providing for their own family members. There are men who father children, but will not support them. There are parents who have more and more children without any hope of being able to supply their needs. There is an expectation that the government "owes" everyone something. People need to be taught that they have the primary responsibility of caring for their own.

All of the terrible problems of our welfare system can be solved if we simply trust God’s wisdom.

Do Household Baptisms Prove Infant Baptism ?

March 8, 2011

By far the most frequently used argument to justify infant baptism is the fact that the New Testament talks about “household baptisms,” and some households include infants. Let’s examine this argument in detail.

First notice that households (“the inmates of a house, all persons forming one family, a household” – Thayer) do not always contain infants, so this argument is just conjecture. As a matter of fact, the great majority of households do not contain an infant. Proof must be conclusive, not just a possibility.

One household that is often used as a proof case is the household of Cornelius. But notice that Cornelius called together his kinsmen and friends (Acts 10:24) to hear Peter preach, and the ones that were baptized were those who “feared God" (10:2), "believed on … Jesus”, and repented (11:17-18). Doesn’t sound much like infants, does it?

Regarding the household of Lydia in Acts 16:15, she was a busy merchant woman (16:14), and not even married as far as we know. Knowing this, how could one use speculation that she had infant children who were baptized as evidence for infant baptism?

In that same chapter we have the baptism of the Philippian jailor “and all his” in Acts 16:33. But verse 34 tells us “all his house” believed in God. Believing is not possible for an infant, right?

It is true the household of Stephanas was baptized (I Corinthians 1:16), but I Corinthians 16:15 also lets us know that his house was “addicted … to the ministry of the saints.” I don’t think infants are capable of being addicted to the ministry, do you?

The last case I remember being brought up is the house of Crispus. But Acts 18:8 says Crispus “believed on the Lord with all his house,” so we know infant children aren’t included in the number that were baptized because the same ones that were baptized were believers – ruling out infants of course.

There is a lesson to be learned about Bible proof from this topic that we already recognize in the areas of science and law. Conclusive evidence must be just that – conclusive, not just a maybe, might, or possibility. The bottom line is – there is no mention in the Bible of infants being baptized, ever.

Eternity – Too Long to Be Wrong! – by Keith Sharp

March 2, 2011

I saw a great quote on a church sign last week: “Eternity – Too Long to Be Wrong!” How true!  This life is so brief, like the early morning fog over the river (James 4:13-14). But after this life is over, you and I will either be in heaven or in h-e-l-l, and that forever and ever, either eternal joy or unceasing misery (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; 1 Peter 1:3-5). The statement correctly implies there is both truth and error, that we must know and believe the truth to be saved (John 8:31-32; 14:6), and that believing falsehood will condemn us (Matthew 15:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).  Wouldn’t it be terrible to rest your hope for heaven on believing a lie? For example, many believe the false doctrine of salvation by faith alone. What is the truth? “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Likewise many cling to the lie of “Once Saved – Always Saved.” What is right?  “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4, English Standard Version). Friend, eternity is too long indeed! Don’t rest your hope for heaven on lies.