Archive for August, 2018

Remain Unmarried Or Be Reconciled

August 29, 2018

I Cor 7:10 reads “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband” – clearly teaching a woman should not depart (divorce or maritally separate) from her spouse. Some teach though that once the wife leaves her husband unscripturally, it is okay for her to remain apart from him after her repentance. They get this from the next verse which tells such woman to “remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” They reason that since Paul gave the separated woman two options, the two options must be equally acceptable – that remaining unmarried is just as acceptable an option (to God) as being reconciled.

But just because two options are given, that doesn’t necessarily mean both choices are just as acceptable to God. Compare to Rev 3:15 – ” I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” There John is chastising the Laodiceans for being lukewarm in their service to God. In doing this he tells the Laodiceans that it would be better for them to be cold or hot than lukewarm. Does that mean cold is as good an option as hot? Not on your life! Instead it means that cold is better than lukewarm, but hot is the best choice. We should be on fire in our zeal for the Lord!

Likewise in I Cor 7:11, remaining unmarried is a better choice than marrying a second person, because marrying another involves the additional sin of adultery, but the best choice is being reconciled to the original spouse. That is the only choice that does not involve continued sin. Some argue that if “be reconciled” were preferred over “remain unmarried,” then it would have been listed first. But Rev 3:15 has cold before hot; does that mean God prefers us to be cold rather than hot?

Here are a few Bible instructions that (when violated) involve ongoing sin as long as a marriage partner remains apart from their rightful spouse:

· I Cor 7:3-5 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

· Matt 5:32a “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery …”

· I Pet 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

Conclusion: Texts like I Cor 7:10 and Rom 7:2a (“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth”) mean that God intends for husband and wife to stay together till “death do us part.” If they are apart, they need to repent of departing and get back together. The very definition of repentance demands it.  We should never compromise the I Cor 7:10 imperative.

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Division (Differences) Among Christians Is Also Wrong

August 23, 2018

I Corinthians 1:10 is many times correctly used by brethren to prove denominationalism is wrong, that such religious division is sinful. But did you ever notice that verse is written to and about brethren? Here is the text – “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

On a number of occasions I’ve heard mature Christians indicate that when denominational people don’t believe and practice the truth on things such as baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and etc., they will be lost because of that, but that differences among conservative brethren won’t cause people to be lost. That’s a double standard if I’ve ever seen one.

Yes God also expects Christians to “all speak the same thing” (teach the truth) just as much as he expects denominational people to do so. It is not optional for anybody. To condemn those “outside my group” for not practicing the truth (James 2:10), but not do the same for those “in my group” is doing exactly what Matt 7:1ff (“Judge not, that ye be not judged”) is condemning – hypocritical judging.

We all must abide in the “doctrine of Christ” to have God (II John 9) – regardless of what church we belong to. If two gospel preachers (Christians) are teaching two different things (say like on I Cor 11:2-16), they both can’t be right. We must continue in God’s word and stand for the truth on every Bible topic in order to be set free from sin (John 8:31-32), not just topics that members of churches of Christ agree on.

Earning Salvation By “Doing Something”? by Andrew Richardson

August 16, 2018

Traditional thinking influenced by the reformation era is that men are not to “do anything” (like be baptized) in order to be saved because this is “earning” salvation or “adding to the finished work of Christ,” despite the Bible commanding water baptism as a condition of salvation (John 3:5; Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38). Most denominationalism holds this view to some extent, especially Calvinism.

God does NOT share this thinking. Let’s observe …

Gideon, who led God’s army in Israel, was told by God to deplete the army’s numbers until a small number of men was reached (Judges 7). Why? God did not want them “claiming glory against God,” thinking that their own hand had saved them. So God depleted them to such a small number that only God could be seen as giving them victory. God gave them victory over the Midianites.

Here’s the point. God did not think that in order to claim glory, He had to require no works or conditions from the men. God believes, contrary to denominational thought, that He can give a gift (war victory in this case) with conditions that men must obey in order to receive. God believes He has the right to require men to do “works” (combat in this case) to get a gift from Him, and still yet His glory is not diminished by the fact that they had to do “something” to get His gift. God had men “do things” and “works” for the purpose of glorifying Himself.

Today people say water baptism cannot be a prerequisite for salvation because that would mean we get the glory. God disagrees, as proved by the Gideon story. Let me say it again. God actually glorified Himself through commanding men to “do things.”

One last note. Engaging in warfare is a lot more “work” than being baptized. Yet salvation is infinitely greater in value than the military victory Israel got. If Israel had to do A LOT of work for a relatively less valuable gift — military conquest — and God still got the glory, then how can it be said that God does not get the glory by us doing a LITTLE work for a much greater gift–salvation?

Saved By Faith Only Rules Out …

August 9, 2018

The false position that salvation is by faith alone would rule out the following as being necessary…

· Repentance – If it is belief alone, that rules out repentance (Acts 3:19). That would mean the gay preachers I have debated are saved even though they have never repented of their sins.

· Confession – Rom 10:10 teaches confession is necessary to salvation, but it is obvious a person cannot truthfully confess he believes in Christ until after he believes in him (Acts 8:35-37).

· Calling On The Name Of The Lord – Everybody admits “calling on the name of the Lord” is necessary to salvation (Rom 10:13), but “calling on the name of the Lord” occurs after one believes (Rom 10:14-15), at least three days after belief in the case of Saul (Acts 9:6, 9, 22:16).

Now do you really believe salvation comes at the point of faith?

Is Rom 1:26-27 Only Condemning Same Sex Inversion?

August 2, 2018

Rom 1:24,26-27 clearly condemns homosexuality – “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: … For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

The gay church’s response is that Romans 1 would condemn a heterosexually “oriented” person performing homosexual acts, or even a homosexually oriented person performing heterosexual acts. They would be doing what is “unnatural” for them.

But Rom 1:24,26-27 does not say anything like that. The passage calls all homosexual activity unnatural; the Bible never calls heterosexual activity unnatural. The text condemns people for going against nature period, not for going against “their” nature, as the gay church would have you to believe. “Nature” here is explained by the fact that the body parts don’t fit in gay sex, and by Matt 19:4-5: … he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife

Romans 1:27 says men “burned in their lust one toward another.” This shows their desire (orientation) was for men. They were not going against their desire/orientation; instead they were satisfying their desire (orientation), and God called that desire (“affections”) vile, and the sexual acts uncleanness, dishonour, and error – it was still sinful!

Homosexuality in all shapes, forms, and fashions is condemned by God.