Preaching For The Money

November 7, 2018

The Bible speaks of those who “do the Lord’s work” for the money. Micah 3:11 reads “The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.” Rom 16:18 also describes such when it says “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

How do we tell who is preaching for the money or for other carnal reasons? Those preaching for the money won’t warn their audiences of what they (their live audiences) are doing wrong Gal 4:16, Ezek 3:18, Acts 20:31. Instead they will consistently choose subjects that their audiences already agree with, are already practicing, etc. – in short, they avoid stepping on toes.

For example, it is easy to preach against Baptist doctrine when there are no Baptists in the audience.  But it might be hard to preach on fasting (Matt 6:16-18) when many Christians in the audience don’t practice fasting in their lives, or hard to preach “swear not at all” (Matt 5:33-34) when many Christians in the audience believe it is okay to swear in the courtroom.  Many other such examples exist, but those two issues should suffice to make the point.

We do need to encourage, motivate, and review with our audiences, but none of that will matter if audience members are in sin, and because we don’t warn them, they are eternally lost. Encouraging them serves little purpose in that case.

Furthermore, Christian audiences tend to dislike those who teach the truths needed by the audience at hand. We see this from a passage like II Tim 4:3-4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth ….” Limestone Prison Chaplain James Williams said on 11-3-2018 “They pay me so they can control me.” No doubt some congregations likewise pay their regular preacher so they can control him.

I King 22:8 describes a man (Micaiah) who would not allow himself to be controlled in such a way – “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.” Luke 6:26 teaches such men will generally not be well received by the churches – “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

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Subjective Interpretations Of Feelings And Experiences by Dennis Abernathy

November 1, 2018

II Tim 3:16-17 shows the Bible should be our complete guide in religion. Gen 37:32-35 illustrates how our feelings are not reliable. Read the following article with that in mind. Pat

Did you hear the story of a farmer who decided to quit farming and become a preacher? When asked why he made such a decision, the farmer said: “God called me to preach.” When asked how God called him to preach, he said he saw clouds in the sky one day that looked like the letters G, P and C. He interpreted the clouds to mean “Go Preach Christ.” When asked how he knew those letters didn’t stand for “Go Plow Corn,” the farmer was speechless. This illustrates the problem of basing religious beliefs on subjective interpretations of feelings and experiences. You still have to assume what the feelings mean.

A young Mormon elder once told me to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon was from God. When asked how I should expect God to answer, he said: “I asked God if the Book of Mormon was true and I got a warm feeling.” He had no answer when I asked him how he knew a warm feeling meant “Yes it is,” instead of “No it isn’t?”

Concerning religion and the salvation of our souls, we need something more definite than subjective interpretations of vague feelings of clouds in the sky. Thank God, we have that in the Scriptures. When we read the Scriptures we can understand and know precisely what God is telling us to do. So, my friend, don’t look to vague feelings or mysteriously interpreted experiences to know God’s will. Look to the Scriptures! Think on these things.

Is Jesus Quoting The Pharisees Or The Old Law In Matt 5:38?

October 24, 2018

It is strange that some gospel preachers teach Jesus is quoting the false teaching of the Pharisees in Matthew 5:21-48, when in all six cases, we can find precisely what Jesus referred to in the Old Testament law. Another good example is verse 38 where Jesus says “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” This is an exact quote of Exod 21:24 and Lev 24:20. How could an exact quote of an Old Testament verse be a false interpretation of Old Testament teaching? If you just quote Mark 16:16 without comment, could a denominational person correctly accuse you of falsely interpreting Jesus’ teaching on baptism?

The truth about 38ff is – as in all six cases in Matt 5:21-48 – Jesus quotes an Old Testament verse, and then proceeds to give His stricter New Testament teaching – “resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Many brethren get around the force of this passage by saying it refers only to “personal” vengeance:

· But the passage doesn’t mention personal vengeance, so limiting it to that is just subtracting from God’s word. It means to never retaliate against physical violence – personal, impersonal, national (war) … any violence.

· And by including personal vengeance, it stands in direct contrast to the “revenger of blood” instructions in Num 35:19.

Rom 12:17 reads “Recompense to no man evil for evil.” That is another absolute that teaches the same thing.

Is Jesus Quoting The Pharisees Or The Old Law In Matt 5:27?

October 18, 2018

I am puzzled that some gospel preachers teach Jesus is quoting the false teaching of the Pharisees in Matthew 5:21-48, when in all six cases therein, we can find precisely what Jesus said in the Old Testament law. Another good example is verse 27 where Jesus says “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery,” an exact quote from the ten commandments in the Old Testament. How could an exact quote of Exod 20:14 be a false interpretation of Old Testament teaching? If you just quote Matt 19:9 with no comment, could an unscripturally married person correctly accuse you of falsely interpreting Jesus’ teaching on MDR?

The truth about 27ff is – as in all six cases in Matt 5:21-48 – Jesus quotes an Old Testament verse, and then proceeds to give His stricter New Testament teaching – “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Is Jesus Quoting The Pharisees Or The Old Law In Matt 5:21?

October 10, 2018

I am amazed that some gospel preachers say Jesus is quoting the false teaching of the Pharisees in Matthew 5:21-48, when in all six cases, we can find exactly what Jesus said in the Old Testament law. A good example is verse 21 where Jesus says “Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill.” Isn’t “thou shalt not kill” an accurate quote of the ten commandments in Exod 20:13? Or is “thou shalt not kill” just a false teaching of the rabbinical fathers? Why is something this simple and clear even under dispute?

Jesus goes on to say “whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.” Isn’t that a fair representation of Num 35:12 and the judgment done at the cities of refuge?

The truth about 21ff is – as in all six cases in Matt 5:21-48 – Jesus quotes an Old Testament verse, and then proceeds to give His stricter New Testament teaching:

· don’t be angry with your brother without a cause

· don’t call your brother Raca or fool

Why Do Some People Believe In Evolution?

October 4, 2018

Psalms 19:1 reads “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” Rom 1:20 says “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Those two verses state what seems to be obvious, that the creation is evidence of a creator.  So why do some people still believe in evolution? …

Sir Arthur Keith (famous British evolutionist) said “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable.”

Sir Julian Huxley (one of the world’s leading evolutionists) – “I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of Species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.”

The late Dr. Wald, an ardent evolutionist, was no scientific “light weight.” He was a professor of neurobiology at Harvard and received the Nobel Prize in Physiology for work in the neurophysiology of vision. Here’s what he said: “There are only two possible explanations as to how life arose: Spontaneous generation arising to evolution or a supernatural creative act of God…There is no other possibility. Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others, but that just leaves us with only one other possibility…that life came as a supernatural act of creation by God, but I can’t accept that philosophy because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution.” (“Origin, Life and Evolution” in Scientific American, 1978)

Could Jesus Have Sinned? – Matt 4:1ff

September 27, 2018

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to sin, but consider Matthew 4:1 – “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” This is followed by Satan tempting Jesus to sin in three different ways.

Why would Satan even try to tempt Jesus to sin if it were impossible for Jesus to succumb?

To say Jesus couldn’t have sinned makes the temptations of Jesus in this chapter (and elsewhere) a farce, since Jesus wasn’t truly tempted by Satan’s overtures.

Does Paul Being Called “Brother” Before He Was Baptized Prove He Was Saved Before He Was Baptized?

September 21, 2018

Some preachers make the argument that since Ananias calls the apostle Paul “brother” before he was baptized, then Paul must have been a brother in Christ before he was baptized. But Paul was called “brother” in Acts 9:17, not because he was a fellow Christian to Ananias, but because he was a fellow Jew to Ananias. Notice some similar examples:

· Romans 9:3 “brethren, kinsmen according to the flesh”

· Acts 3:17 Peter calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 13:26 Paul calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 22:1 Paul calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 2:29 Paul calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

· Acts 23:1 Peter calls unsaved Jews “brethren”

If Paul was a “brother” in the sense of fellow Christian in Acts 9:17, then:

· Paul was a “Christian” before he called on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16), something everybody agrees is necessary to salvation.

· Paul was a “Christian” while he was still in his sins, because Acts 22:16 teaches he still needed to have his sins washed away.

Who can believe that ?

Anybody ought to be able to look at Acts 22:16 and see exactly when Paul’s sins were washed away!

To Prove Debating Is Worthless, We Will Have To Cut These Verses Out Of Our Bible

September 12, 2018

Darrell Clark said on Facebook on 9-8-2018 – “Public debates solve nothing … public debates are worthless.” This kind of comment is typical of most Christians, and supports the fact that most Christians determine right and wrong by what they think is best or by what other Christians around them think, instead of by what God thinks as revealed by His scriptures. According to Darrell’s thinking, I guess Jesus and Paul wasted a lot of time debating. If we say religious debates are not approved of God, or do no good, or we just don’t like them, following are some of the verses we will have to cut out of our Bible:

· For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate Acts 18:28 NIV

· And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God Acts 19:8

· he (Paul) departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years Acts 19:9-10

· This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them Acts 15:2 NIV

· And after there had been much debate Acts 15:7 ESV

· he (Paul) … disputed against the Grecians Acts 9:29

· Then there arose certain of the synagogue … disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake Acts 6:9-10

· Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him Acts 17:17

· A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him (Paul) Acts 17:18 NIV

· And he came to Ephesus, and there he left them; and he went into the synagogue, and disputed with Jews Acts 18:19 (Wycliffe)

· I am set for the defence of the gospel Philippians 1:17

· that ye should earnestly contend for the faith Jude 3

· Debate thy cause with thy neighbour Proverbs 25:9

· They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them Proverbs 28:4

· One of the teachers of the law came and heard them (Jesus) debating Mark 12:28 NIV

How Should We Teach Those In Religious Error?

September 5, 2018

When we have a chance to have a face-to-face meeting with a person in religious error (such as a denominational person or fallen away Christian), we have a good illustration of how we should proceed in Acts 18:24-26. Here is that text in the NKJV – “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Notice Apollos was a religious man, but in error, so Aquila and Pricilla “explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

So there is nothing wrong with doing exactly that whenever we have opportunity. When a person is in error, it is our duty to warn them of such error (Ezek 3:18, Acts 20:31, James 5:19-20). As II Cor 5:11 puts it – “knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”

It is a very, very good thing to read the Bible, but later Apollos’ teaching was not just reading the scriptures; instead it was “shewing by the scriptures” (Acts 18:28). In Acts 28:23, Paul didn’t just read out of the law and the prophets; instead he was “persuading out of the law … and … the prophets.” And in Acts 17:2-3, Paul didn’t just read the scriptures; instead he “reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”

It is every Christian’s responsibility to get out and try to reach the lost (Acts 8:4, Matt 28:19). Don’t let anybody convince you that how Aquilla, Priscilla, Apollos, and Paul did just that is a bad method. When someone is off doctrinally, there is nothing wrong with directly confronting their error (in a kind way), as Paul did with Peter in Gal 2:14, and as Jesus did on many occasions with those in religious error in His day (e.g., Matt 23).