Archive for November, 2012

Wealth Is A Blessing, But Not As Important As Other Blessings

November 30, 2012

Wealth is not necessarily sinful; it is a blessing that comes from God (Proverbs 10:22 "The blessing of the Lord brings wealth"), though it usually brings with it more temptation (I Timothy 6:10).

Other blessings are more important than wealth:

· Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!

· Proverbs 16:8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.

· Proverbs 28:6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

· Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.

We shouldn’t trust in what riches we have or might attain, but in God:

· Proverbs 11:28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf

· I Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

· Proverbs 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.

Abortion

November 25, 2012

A key Biblical text on the issue of abortion is Exodus 21:22-24 which reads “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (NKJV). This passage teaches if a man hurts a pregnant woman such that she gives birth prematurely and the baby dies, then the man who caused the harm shall be put to death. Notice the penalty for killing a child was the same regardless of whether or not the child was born yet.

Knowing then the unborn child is viewed as a living human being in the eyes of God, the reason abortion is wrong is because it is murder, and murder is condemned by many scriptures (e.g., Revelation 21:8). Jerry Falwell famously and correctly condemned abortion based upon the fact that it was murder, but said that it was allowed in the case of rape and incest. If abortion is murder (and it really is), how could it be right to murder the child based upon the irresponsible actions (sin) of its parents? Mr. Falwell can’t have it both ways. In religion we need to follow all of Jesus’ teachings consistently, not just the parts we agree with.

Proverbs 6:16-17 says “the Lord … doth … hate … hands that shed innocent blood.” How could anything be more innocent than a precious unborn child?

Becoming Too Close To Worldly Friends Is Dangerous

November 20, 2012

We positively have to develop relationships with non-Christians in order to try to win them to Christ, but spending too much time with non-Christians solely for purposes of having fun can be very dangerous spiritually. Proverbs 13:20 reads “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Better to gain wisdom than to be ruined, wouldn’t you say? I Corinthians 15:33 (“Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals” – ASV) shows that evil influences can certainly rub off on us. Conclusion: God expects us to choose for our bosom buddies those that share in the “like precious faith.”

Is Divorce (Even Without Remarriage) A Sin ?

November 16, 2012

Some Christians say it is okay for a person to divorce (or separate from) their rightful spouse for a reason other than fornication as long as no remarriage follows. But I am thinking a crucial difference in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 is being overlooked.

Matt 19:9a says “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” while Matt 5:32a says “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery.”

Remarriage on the part of the one doing the putting away is discussed in Matt 19:9, but not in Matt 5:32. Even though there is some disagreement about what “causeth her to commit adultery” might mean (I have my definite ideas), I think all should be able to agree it is a bad thing spiritually to cause someone to commit adultery (whatever that means). And that would mean it is a sin to divorce your spouse (even if you don’t remarry) because God says divorcing them causes your spouse to commit adultery – a bad thing spiritually.

And situation ethics does not change God’s law on this issue any more than it does on any other issue (Romans 3:8, I Chronicles 13:7-10).

What Must I Do To Be Saved ?

November 9, 2012

Several years ago I decided to search the whole New Testament and write down everything a sinner is told to do in order to be saved (Acts 16:30b), that is, to become a Christian. I suggest you do the same in your Bible studies and readings over the next several months. The below is the result of my research. If you find another condition that must be met in order to be saved initially (in order to become a Christian), please let me know so I can add it to this list.

1. Believe In God John 5:24, Hebrews 11:6 (this rules out Atheists, Buddhists, etc. from being saved because they don’t believe in God period)

2. Believe God Is A Rewarder Of Them That Diligently Seek Him Heb 11:6 (most who believe in God don’t seek/serve him with any diligence at all, therefore they won’t be saved)

3. Believe In Jesus John 3:16 (the Jews and Muslims believe in God but not in Jesus, therefore they won’t be saved)

4. Love God James 1:12, Gal 5:6, John 14:21, I Cor 16:22, John 14:21 (John 14:15 shows that loving God means we will keep his commandments)

5. Believe In Jesus’ Resurrection Rom 10:9 (believers who are modernists don’t accept as true any miracles especially the resurrection, so even though they claim to be Christians they won’t be saved)

6. Confess Christ With The Mouth Rom 10:9-10, Acts 8:37 (John 12:42-43 is an example of some who were unwilling to confess therefore they won’t be saved)

7. Repent Of Sins Acts 17:30, Acts 2:38 (homosexuals and adulterers who claim to be Christians won’t be saved because they have not repented of their sins)

8. Be Baptized “For The Remission Of Sins” Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Acts 22:16, Rom 6:3-4, Gal 3:26-27, Col 2:11-13, I Peter 3:21 (those who were baptized thinking they were saved already have never been baptized “for the remission of sins,” and therefore have never gotten the remission of sins)

Lord willing, we plan to look at some of these conditions in more detail in future editions of “Doctrine Matters.”

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” Is An Easy Way To Illustrate The Fallacy Of The Calvinists’ Primary Argument

November 2, 2012

The Calvinist will look at a passage that says God does something and assume that means man can have no part in it because God does it. For example they will ignore a hundred passages that teach man is involved in his salvation (must meet conditions – Mark 16:16, for example) because they find a passage teaching God saves us (e.g., Rom 5:9-10).

The fallacy of their argument is easily shown by “the Lord’s prayer” instruction for us to ask God to “give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11). We all recognize from this verse that God gives the faithful Christian the necessities of life (Matt 6:33), and even the Calvinist recognizes that God provides us our food through our regular efforts, for example through our jobs. So the Calvinist can readily see in this case that just because one passage says God does something for us, that does not necessarily mean we don’t also have a part to play in the matter.

The main lesson the Calvinist needs to learn is to take all of what the Bible says on a particular subject, instead of just the passages he thinks agree with his system and ignoring all others. I am sure if Abraham had used the Calvinistic method of interpreting what God said, because God had previously told Abraham he was to have many descendants through his son Isaac, Abraham would have disbelieved what God said when he told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice and therefore disobeyed God’s command. Instead Abraham chose to find a way that both instructions from God were true (Heb 11:19). Most importantly, Abraham believed and obeyed what God said regardless of his own human reasoning and preferences.

And if we do the same with salvation for example, we will believe both that Jesus died “for the remission of sins” (Matt 26:28) and that we must be baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Both are true because God said both. We are not free to believe one and reject the other. God saves us through means – we have to meet his stipulated conditions.