Archive for May, 2013

Teaching The Lost Is Not Optional

May 30, 2013

Matt 28:19-20 is a command for all disciples (in effect) to teach the gospel. The apostles were so commanded and then told to teach their converts (us) to observe the same thing (among other things). Since it is a command, it is required.

I Pet 3:15 requires us to teach the lost when any opportunity presents itself. Giving an answer for the hope that is within us is not optional.

Approved examples are binding (required to be followed – Phil 4:9, I Cor 11:1, I Cor 4:16, Phil 3:17, II Thess 3:9, Heb 6:12, I Thess 1:6), else we don’t have to eat the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. Since that is so and since Acts 20:20 is an approved example of teaching house to house, it is required that we practice what it entails.

The same is true of Acts 8:4. The whole church (every Christian – man, woman, and youth, verse 1) went “preaching the word.” So we must do the same today. We are to follow the Bible and following the Bible would include following Acts 8:4.

Heb 5:12 says there comes a time in every Christian’s life when he/she “ought” be a teacher. The word “ought” implies a requirement, not something optional.

Jude verse 3 commands all the “sanctified” (verse 1) to contend for the faith. Since it is a command (not a recommendation) to contend for the faith, it would be required. And since the sanctified would be talking about all Christians, that would mean trying to teach the lost is required of all Christians, right?

II Cor 5:11 implies that anybody who believes in the terror of the Lord will try to persuade men to avoid that terror. So not spending time trying to reach the lost means a person really doesn’t believe in the terror of the Lord (if I correctly understand the implications of the verse).

Conclusion: Christians should do “personal work” because we love God, we love the souls of others, and because it is required of God to do so. I can’t think of a more important work. Gospel preachers wouldn’t think of making the Lord’s Supper or prayer optional; why would we make the “great commission” optional?

Doctrinal Conformity To Jesus’ Teachings Is Required By God

May 23, 2013

II John verse 9 reads “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” Since we don’t have God if we don’t abide in the doctrine of Christ, obviously then we won’t be saved if we don’t conform to his teachings. It is impossible to be saved without God, and therefore it is impossible to be saved unless we believe, teach, and practice the truth – as only the truth will make us free from sin (John 8:31-32).

Galatians 1:9 make this clear in regard to teaching something different than what the Bible teaches, as it says “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Spiritually speaking, “accursed” would mean lost. See why it is so imperative that we teach God’s book accurately?

Matt 15:9 says “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” A commandment of men would be any religious teaching not found in God’s word. This would include things like sprinkling for baptism, infant baptism, women preachers, and the like. Do you see how serious this matter is? – if we practice such things, our worship is in vain (useless, worthless), and obviously we can’t go to heaven like that.

Because of this fact I urge you to be like the Bereans as described in Acts 17:11 – “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Make sure you are not being led astray by false teaching, because “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt 15:14b).

Transubstantiation ?

May 17, 2013

When instituting the Lord’s Supper in Matthew 26:26,28, Jesus referred to the bread and fruit of the vine as his body and blood. As many of you know, the Catholic doctrine of “transubstantiation” says Jesus’ wording here means the bread and juice literally changed into Jesus’ body and blood respectively. On this point the Catholic Catechism reads: “’Transubstantiation’ indicates that through the consecration of the bread and … wine there occurs the change of the entire substance of the bread into the substance of the Body of Christ, … the entire substance of the wine into the blood of Christ – even though the appearances … of bread and wine remain.”

This conclusion is a misunderstanding of the text. “This is my body” and “this is my blood” in Matt 26:26,28 are metaphors. A metaphor is defined as “a figure of speech in which one object is likened to another by asserting it to be that other or speaking of it as if it were that other.” Suppose I pointed to a photograph and said “This is my Mother.” To insist it could only mean, “this is actually my Mother,” would be nonsense.

Jesus’ use of metaphors was frequent:

· I am that bread John 6:48, 35a, 51 – was Jesus’ body changed to bread here?

· I am the door of the sheep John 10:7 – was Jesus’ body changed to wood and hinges?

· I am the true vine John 15:1 – was Jesus’ body changed to a literal plant?

· Go ye, and tell that fox (Herod) Luke 13:32 – was Herod literally changed to a fox?

How do we know Jesus is using a metaphor in the communion passages and not speaking literally? Because in Matt 26:29 Jesus called the juice “fruit of the vine” after saying “this is my blood.” Either the juice changed to blood and back to juice, or it never changed at all. Also in I Cor 11:26,27,28 Paul said “as often as ye eat this bread” after it supposedly became Jesus’ literal body. So we eat bread, not His body; and either the bread changed to his body and back to bread, or it never changed at all:

One last point: Jesus’ physical blood was still in his physical body at this point; his body parts did not vanish. He still possessed his body and blood; therefore they were not on the plate or in the drinking vessel.

Papal Fallibilities Admitted By The Pope Himself

May 10, 2013

Last week we pointed out that passages like II Timothy 3:16-17 teach the concept of “Sola Scriptura,” that is, the Scriptures are our Sole authority in religion. Besides scripture, the Catholic Church claims another leg of authority, specifically that the Pope cannot err (officially) in matters of faith and morals. You’ve perhaps heard this idea termed the “infallibility of the Pope.”

But notice what Pope Adrian VI said at the “Diet of Nuremburg” conference in 1522: “If by the Roman Church you mean its head or pontiff, it is beyond question that he can err even in matters touching the faith. He does this when he teaches heresy by his own judgment or decretal. In truth, many Roman pontiffs were heretics. The last of them was Pope John XXII (1316-1334).”

So Pope Adrian VI taught that the Pope is fallible:

· was he wrong? – then Popes are fallible, Adrian VI being a case in point

· was he right? – then “many” Popes were fallible, by admission

Do you see the Catholics’ dilemma and how either way they go, the office of the Pope is proved fallible and thus fails as a standard of religious authority? The Bible is all we need!

Sola Scriptura

May 3, 2013

“Sola Scriptura” is shorthand (from Latin) for the truth that the Scriptures are our Sole authority in religion. II Timothy 3:16-17 is one of several passages that teach such concept. It reads, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

The opposing view (for example, the Catholic Church) would say in effect that Scripture is given that the man of God may be almost perfect, partially furnished unto most good works. Do you see the big difference in their position and in what God’s book says above?

Notice our text is referring to “all scripture.” That of course would be Old Testament and New Testament (completed). “Scripture” would be written, leaving no room for oral tradition or doctrines revealed by the Pope, etc. In addition, this body of scripture is said to make us:

·  perfect – complete, not lacking anything

·  thoroughly furnished – not partially furnished (tradition and Pope not needed)

·  unto all good works – not just some of the good works (other sources then do not reveal any additional needed good works)

Conclusion: The Bible is ALL we need (as religious law), our SOLE authority.