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Great adventures in faith

TWO FOR ONE!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two for OneIn John 3 we have the night time meeting of Nicodemus with Jesus.  This is when Jesus tells this Jewish leader, “If a person is not born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” and “tIf a person is not born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter he kingdom of God!” (John 3:3, 5 IEB).  After the apostle John tells us about this encounter, he writes, “After this, Jesus and his followers went to the land of Judea.  He stayed there with them and he was immersing some people.”  (John 3:22 IEB).

Following this, John writes, “The Pharisees heard that Jesus was making more followers and immersing more people than John.” (John 4:1 IEB).

John proclaimed to the people, “Change your hearts and be immersed for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3 IEB).  His baptism was performed without the expression, “in the name of Jesus” or “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”  His baptism was for Jews who were already in covenant relationship with God and not to put them into one.  His baptism was preceded by repentance.  The “remission of sins” followed that baptism.  John’s baptism was to prepare people for the coming kingdom (Matthew 3:2).  Submitting to John’s baptism did not have the candidate receiving the Holy Spirit.  Jesus submitted to John’s baptism, not to receive remission of sins, but said, “Please do it, for I must do all that is right” (Matthew 3:15 NLT – “because this is the proper way for us to fulfill all righteousnessIEB).  The baptized were being prepared for the coming kingdom during their lifetime.  Once it came, John’s baptism would expire.  After Jesus’ ascension that baptism was no longer valid, so twelve men were rebaptized in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7).

This brings us to Jesus’ baptism.  What was its purpose?  Was it for the same reason as John’s?  If so, the number of people who were immersed would be in the hundreds, if not thousands.  If one of the purposes of these two baptisms was to prepare people for the coming kingdom, and they were grandfathered into it (they did not have to submit to the baptism taught and practiced from Acts 2:38 onward), why are only 120 mentioned in Acts 1:15?   Although John said the kingdom was very near (Matthew 3:2 IEB – “at handKJV), the wording doesn’t necessarily carry our idea of “grandfathering.”  After Peter spoke Luke records, “Then those people who accepted what Peter said were immersed.  On that day, about 3,000 people were added to the group of believers” (Acts 2:41 IEB).  Yet, nothing is said, either about the 120 nor the hundreds or thousands who submitted to the baptisms of John the Baptist and Jesus.

The similarities between the two baptisms prior to Pentecost and the one afterwards are:

1. All were an immersion in water.
2. All were to obey a command given by God.
3. All repented of their sins prior to being immersed.
4. All were for the purpose of fulfilling what was right.
5. All were for the remission of sins (if we assume that Jesus’ baptism was parallel to John’s).

The differences between the baptisms prior to Pentecost and the one after are:

1. (a) One was not baptized into any name before.  (b) After Pentecost baptism is in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, or in the name of the Lord, or Jesus (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; 10:48;8:16).
2. (a) One was being prepared for the kingdom “at hand” prior to Pentecost.  (b) Afterwards they are added to the saved (Acts 2:41, 47) which is comparable to the kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14).
3. (a) The Holy Spirit was not received at those baptisms. (b) Afterwards, one receives him after his baptism (Acts 2:39).
4. (a) The one before is for Jews who are in covenant relationship as children of God by birth and circumcision.  (b) On Pentecost, Jews are lost and they are to submit to the baptism which is “for the forgiveness of sins” and to be “added to the saved” (Acts 2:38-41).
5. (a) Before Pentecost it is not to “put on Christ.” (b) After that day, it was (Galatians 3:26-27).
6. (a) Before Pentecost it is not to be buried and raised with Christ.  (b) Afterwards it is (Romans 6:3-6).
7. (a) Before Pentecost it is to make a Jew a better one.  (b) After Pentecost it is to make a Jew a Christian (Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16) since he puts on Christ (Galatians 3:27).

Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus is closely followed by the mention of Jesus beginning to baptize.  In fact, The apostles were immersing more than John was.  We are not actually informed on the details of the purpose of Jesus’ baptism. Neither is anything said about folks knowing only the baptism of Jesus, even though Jesus’ disciples immersed more people than John.  Is there any correlation between candidates coming to Jesus and the discussion prior to that of being born again?

APPEALING TO CAESAR!

Monday, August 24, 2015

4.1.1
4.1.1

On January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court announced in favor of lawful abortion.  After that, abortion was allowed for the first twenty-one weeks of pregnancy.  It was determined that a baby could live outside the womb after twenty-two weeks!

I’m old enough that I can remember when advocates for abortion claimed the fetus was not a human being until it was twenty-two weeks old.  When the charge was made that those favoring abortion would move it from twenty-one weeks to an even greater number, they waved it off as preposterous.  The predictions were true!  Then the charge was made that abortionists would move to murdering just prior to birth.  This too was laughed at, but now practiced.

Today we find abortions are not only being performed just prior to birth, but body parts are being sold for profit!  The consent of the parent is not even requested in some cases!  The organization in question is called Planned Parenthood.  Movies have been made of employees asking how much a body part is worth!  Are abortionists horrified by such revelations?  Only at being caught!  Immediately, denials were produced and actions glossed over.  Even a liberal Fox participant on “The Five,” became blind to the brutal methods of ending a baby’s life, because the parts benefited someone!  How long before poor children and adults, that have some physical or mental deficiency, are euthanized because they are a burden upon society and someone with means may purchase their parts?

The Republican led Congress attempted to revoke funding of Planned Parenthood, in spite of liberal objections.  The vote failed by seven.  One RINO Republican, Mark Kirk of Illinois voted against revoking the funding.  Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted “no” so it could be brought up again later for another vote.  The majority voting to continue funding were all Democrats.

Sadly, the Democrat Party that I was a part of is no longer the party of my parents nor grandparents.  It is the party that supports late term abortion and now continues to allow an abortion mill to sell body parts.  It is the party that supports the homosexual agenda.  It is the party that during its last convention had to go through three contested voice votes before they would include the word “God” in their platform.  Although the administration is making every effort to remove the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and Paul from public consciousness, it is allowing the introduction of Islam, their deity, scriptures, law, and worship into public education.  The present Republican leadership in the Senate and House seems to be driven more by politics than addressing the basic problem of our nation.  I hope I am wrong.

I’m sure some Christians will object to My Thoughts on this subject, saying “Christians have no authority to get involved in politics.”  Didn’t Paul use his citizenship to stop the government from unfairly punishing him (Acts 22:25)?  Didn’t he also “appeal to Caesar” (Acts 25:11-12)?  Didn’t the government honored that request?  Is it wrong to appeal to Caesar (politicians) to honor and respect God and His Word?  Is it an ungodly thing to stand up for righteousness and against wickedness?  Are politics more important than faith?  Is Party membership more significant than standing with Christ?  Is Political Correctness better than truth?  Didn’t John the Baptist stand up for the Law of Moses and against the sins of a top political figure in his day (Mark 6:18)?  Will wickedness drive our faith into the shadows of fear and be silenced, or should it bring out our faith (Acts 4:15-21; 5:26-29)?  Our choice!

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

WHICH CAME FIRST?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which Came FirstI’m sure you’ve heard the age old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg”?  Actually it was neither the chicken nor the egg.  It was a rock!  That’s right!  A rock came first.  Trillions of years ago there was absolutely nothing.  Then out of this nothingness an immense explosion took place.  How it happened we’re not sure, since nothing cannot explode because there is nothing there to blow up!  But out of nothing came something.  This something out of nothing formed the universe.  Rocks that did not exist, suddenly did.  If there had been anyone with a brain observing this event, they would have shouted, “IT’S A MIRACLE!”  But, nothing yet had been created with a brain, nor eyes, a mouth or vocal chords to do that.  So, this miracle happened out of nothing and there was no one there to witness or admire it.  Rocks didn’t have brains, yet.  They did not have eyes nor a thought pattern.

Then, a singular rock accidentally tumbled down into a deep ravine, bouncing off other rocks. This jarring results began a process in that lucky rock.  It began developing a brain!  Here was another miracle that could not be witnessed nor admired.  Oh, it took several trillion years to do that because rocks are hardheaded.  That’s how we know it was a male rock!  It was a quirk in rock-dome for this to happen.  In fact, the rock with a brain had to sit there for several trillion years more because rocks can’t move, even with a brain.  What is a rock to do?  It is no rolling stone!  However, it could think and found that it could begin developing its mental powers.  So, it did.  Several more trillion years passed.  Stronger and stronger its mental powers became!

Finally, those powers were strong enough that it could think things into happening!  It decided it would build a very tall monument, which all senseless rocks could admire, if they too developed a brain.  That monument would show all other rocks that he alone was god.  Why?  Because he could think and create and they could not!   It mentally formed bricks and began through telekinesis to stack them.  The stacks, after reaching a certain altitude were blown over by a wind that had been created prior to the rock developing his own brain.  After a few thousand years the brainy rock taught himself how to make steel girders.  It also decided it needed something to glue the bricks together.  So, it created cement.  With cement and steel girders, it reinforced the bricks.  This feat was not sudden, but took several more billions of years.  Finally, the rock was finished with his monument.  In just a few thousand more years, a thought popped into his brain that he needed to give it a name.  He did!  He was so proud of his monument as well as the name he had given to it.  He called it the Empire State Building!

The Empire State Building proves that the rock came first, not the chicken nor the egg!  Rock collectors know that if they ever find that rock, it will make them wealthy and famous!  Scientists know that if they can find it, it will prove that matter, not intelligence, was first!  After all, once the rock finished with the Empire State Building, he created a monkey.  The rest is evolutionary history!

Moses, who apparently did not study history, came along much later and wrote,

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

So, dear reader, which came first, the chicken, the egg, or that rock with intelligence?

SING A SONG OF PRAISE?

Monday, August 17, 2015

SingingThen they sang a song of praise and went out to Olive Mountain” (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26 IEB).

Have you ever wondered what song Jesus and the apostle selected?  Did Jesus give them a choice?  Did Simon the Zealot strongly suggest they sing a war type song from Psalms 58:6 or 112:10)?  Did his nemesis, Matthew, counter with Palms 24:5 as a more appropriate selection?   Perhaps a more subdued John suggested the wording of Proverbs 22:1 as a better choice?  As with the issue of “who is the greatest,” did Jesus have to referee one more time (Matthew 18:1)?

Have you ever been curious as to how melodious the apostles or even Jesus was?  It certainly would not have been four part harmony since that is a late date introduction.  Perhaps they were chanters?  Since a mechanical instrument of music was not an issue, did one of them whip out a small instrument and accompany their singing?  Did they sing a sad song or select a peppy, upbeat one to steady themselves against the immediate future?  Were there some “non-participants” in the group which excused themselves because the “they” of Matthew 26:30 was generic rather than specific?

Maybe you are wondering, “What difference does it make?”  Probably none.  But there is a precedent for this “wondering” or curiosity.  When Jesus told his disciples what was going to happen, Peter rebuked him rather than accepting what he said (Mark 8:31-32).  Yet, Jesus spoke openly or plainly (v.32).  When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, think how shocking that was.  He was their “Master” or “Rabbi,” yet here he was lowering himself to the status of a slave!   Peter, as usual, objected.  After Jesus finished he still had to ask them, “Do you understand what I was doing?” (John 13:12).  They didn’t have a clue!  This act of Jesus happened, apparently, after they had been locked in a heated discussion about “who would be the greatest among them” (Luke 22:24).

Jesus ministry lasted about three and a half years.  Yet, in spite of his teachings, just before he ascended, their view of the kingdom was still foreign to what he had taught (Acts 1:6 NIV, IEB).  The eunuch was a Bible student, but there were some things he did not understand (Acts 8:30-31).   The apostles and Jerusalem church did not comprehend Jesus’ command to preach to every creature (Mark 16:15), limiting the gospel to Jews and half Jews for a decade.  Peter confessed that some of Paul’s writings were “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16).

Sometimes people hear what they want to hear, not what is actually said or written.  Sometimes folks will read into the Bible or a sermon what they believe rather than what is actually said or written.  Look at the church in Corinth!

I’m thankful for God’s grace because when all is said and done, we are saved sinners, living in a broken world.  Only Jesus can mend us!  Due to that mending, you and I too may sing “a song of praise” as we go out to face our world each day!

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.”  Colossians 3:16

IMITATION LAW!

Monday, August 13, 2015

Imitation Law“Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you allow yourselves to be circumcised, then Christ does you no good.  Again, I warn every man: If you allow yourselves to be circumcised, then you must follow the entire law.  If you try to be made right with God through the law, then you are cut off from Christ – you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:2-4 IEB).

From Abraham to the cross, fleshly circumcision was a sign of the covenant between man and God.  When Jesus was resurrected, he took that form of circumcision away and introduce a new one (Colossians 2:11-15 IEB).   Jewish Christians (members of the Pharisee party, Acts 15:1-5) added the circumcision of the Law of Moses to the gospel.  Paul exposed this fallacy and warned the church concerning the consequences of this departure (Galatians 1:6-9).   This was a serious problem in the first century.

We know Paul was dealing with some who wanted to be justified by following the Law of Moses.  We also understand that the New Testament covenant is referred to as the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ” and “law of Christ” (Romans 8:2; Galatians 6:2).  Some want to make the law of Christ into the same kind of justification system which Paul condemned in Galatians 2:16.  Some do not believe such an effort is possible.  Is it?

Actually, the Jewish church continued to be zealous for the law (Acts 21:20), and Paul proved he kept it (Acts 21:24).  There are Jewish Christians today who continue to keep the Old Testament feasts such as Passover.  Jewish and Gentile Christians alike circumcise their male children.  If you have been, did your parents have it done because they wanted you to be justified by law?

As long as we do not make the law of Christ equal to what Paul wrote against, the warning of Galatians 5:4 does not apply to us.  However, we need to be careful and not turn Christ’s law into a law keeping system that will condemn rather than justify the practitioner (Galatians 1:6-9).

If we put our trust in the perfection of our obedience rather than in what Jesus did, aren’t we guilty?  If we believe our traditions make us more righteous than others, aren’t we guilty?  Can pride rob us of God’s precious gift (Luke 18:9)?  When we talk about salvation, emphasizing our works, while ignoring Jesus’ sacrifice, doesn’t our language collapses into boasting (Ephesians 2:9).  If we believe our obedience pays for (merits) our salvation, isn’t our faith foolishness?

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Liar 02Recently, in a community meeting at the Skyline church’s building, a black pastor stated, “Sunday contains the most segregated hour of the week.”  He spoke what some could not or would not say.  Some would disagree.  Some would think that he needed to get his facts straight.  Others might agree, but are not yet ready to practice what they know to be true.  In spite of Martin Luther King’s speech on August 28, 1963, “I Have A Dream,” our present national direction seems to declare that dream null and void.

Political Correctness seeks to silence truth and magnify stupidity!  Intelligent people vacate common sense and evolve into fools.  Instead of burning in our zeal to work for common solutions, we torch both black and white businesses after looting their inventory.  If Martin Luther King were alive and pleaded for calm hearts and brotherly relationships, some would tag him as an “uncle Tom.”

Recently a politician publicly stated, “Black lives matter.  White lives matter.”  He was immediately booed.  He apologized for making the second statement.  Why?  Jesus taught that all lives matter (John 3:16)!  Political Correctness not only reigns but thinks Jesus needs to be locked in the closet and his mouth sealed to stop his offensiveness!

If Political Correctness reigned in Jesus’ day, when the apostles informed him that he offended the Pharisees, Jesus would have apologized.  He would not have spoken to the Samaritan woman because it offended the Jews.  When the woman with a reputation washed his feet and wiped them with her hair, Jesus would have reprimanded her severely and exposed her for what she was.  Matthew chapters 22 nor 23 would be in the New Testament.  Too offensive!  The events would not have been recorded!

If Political Correctness reigned in the first century church, Peter would never have entered the house of a Gentile.  The church of God at Corinth and everywhere else would have remained Jewish.  If one wanted salvation, he would have had to submit to Jewish circumcision before he was truly saved (Acts 15:1-5)!

If Political Correctness reigned in the first century, Jesus would never have said, “For God so loved the world,” he would have said, “For God so loved only the Jews.”  Jesus never went to the Gentiles to preach.  He never selected a Gentile as one of his apostles.  He never selected a Gentile to be among the 120 prior to Pentecost.  He never appeared to a Gentile after his ascension.  Perhaps the Jerusalem church was only practicing Political Correctness from Pentecost to the incident at the house of Cornelius?  If so, was that attitude correct?

The black pastor said,  “Sunday contains the most segregated hour of the week.”  Was he correct, lying, or grossly misinformed?

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

COMMANDED!

Thursday, August 6, 2015
Commanded
Through the years there have been differences on the importance of baptism.  Some believe it may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.  Others believe immersion is the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:4, and Colossians 2:12.  Some believe that baptism is essential to one’s salvation because all passages containing “baptism” with “saved,” list it before not after the benefit (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16).  Others believe faith and baptism are connected, but teach that one is saved by faith and afterwards must be immersed to OBEY the Lord.  They believe the immersion need not be immediate, but must take place in the near future.  If one refuses to obey Jesus’ command, it marks him as a pseudo Christian, not a real one!

Those who believe baptism should not be put off for several days or weeks, cite us to the jailor and his family (Acts 16:33) and to Pentecost (Acts 2:41).  Emphasis is upon “same hour” and “straightway” as well as “same day.”  The reasoning is, that since immersion is cited before being saved, one should be immersed immediately just in case sudden death robs him of that blessed gift.  Those who differ point out that neither Paul nor Silas objected to the jailor tending to their wounds first, rather than immediately baptizing him and his family.  Neither did they warn the jailor that he and his family would lose their souls if they died while cleansing those injuries.  The objection concerning the day of Pentecost, where Peter told the crowd what they must do, shows he did not do so immediately, but continued on with “many other words” (Acts 2:37-40).  Also, it is argued that there were about 3,000 who desired immersion.  There is always a “last one,” so how much time elapsed before they immersed him?  It is true that there is a lapse of time from the moment a person expresses belief, makes his confession, changes clothing, and steps into the baptistry.  However, neither Acts 2 nor 16 negate the biblical need for the individual to obey the command (Acts 10:48).  Because of this delay, some ask: “Is the ‘same hour’ of Acts 16:33 or “same day” of Acts 2:41 a time frame which must be strictly complied with for one’s baptism to be valid?”  One cannot deny that there is some  delay involved, and a precise delay time cannot be given from book, chapter, and verse.  Judgment must be exercised, and when human, it cannot be bound as God’s standard!  Regardless of where one stands on the question, when it comes to obeying the Lord, why put it off?  If obedience isn’t necessary, then the question is irrelevant.

Those who teach baptism is the Lord’s command and must not be rejected, usually attempt to immerse candidates within a few weeks in a special service.  However, what if a person who responded to the invitation, did NOT reject baptism, but insisted putting it off until his next birthday?  Would eyebrows be raised?  If so, why?  If a waiting period of a few weeks is permissible, why not 5, 6, or even 12 months?  Since a time element is not specifically dealt with in scripture, would not months, as well as a few weeks fall within the realm of human opinion?  If the hesitance to obey Jesus is permissible for days or weeks, why not months or even years?  If a lengthy period portrays one as a pseudo Christian, why not someone who puts it off until a more convenient time?  Some might ask, “Is there a precedent set by the New Testament of folks wanting to wait weeks, months, or years to obey Jesus’ command to be immersed?”

It is true that there are extremes espoused by folks on any issue.  What is not clear, at least to this writer, is the teaching that one is saved by a faith which is validated as REAL only WHEN the person obeys Jesus by being immersed.  If there is no forthcoming obedience, that person’s faith is viewed as not being real and he is described as a pseudo Christian (“not really saved”).  That implies to me that being immersed is God’s TEST of who is or is not a true Christian.  If there is no submission, the conclusion is that he is a bad imitation of one!  In other words, if there is no immersion; there has been no salvation.  This seems to me to be the conclusion: One must submit to immersion in order to prove that his faith is genuine or a living one rather than a dead faith!

Since Jesus commanded baptism, and one’s positive or negative response indicates the KIND of faith he possesses (alive or dead), why would he put off proving whether he is a real or a pseudo believer?  If, on the other hand, the believer isn’t putting it off, but wounds need tending before he enters the baptistry, or the sermon’s conclusion has not yet been reached, does the believer possess a living or a dead faith just before he steps into the water (James 2:21-23)?

DOES GOD LOVE THE SINNER?

Monday, August 3, 2015

SinSince the U.S. Supreme Court decided that two people of the same sex could marry, there have been several articles using the Bible to defend homosexuality.

One person cites Genesis 19 where Sodom is destroyed.  The person does not deny that the city was homosexual, but states that the practice is not why it was condemned.  She claims the city was destroyed due to the population’s desire to gang rape the angels.  She adds Ezekiel 16:49, saying their refusal to “help the poor and needy” was another reason for their destruction, not homosexuality.

God knew the two cities were made up of a homosexual majority.  Prior to the angels visiting Abraham and then going to see Lot, He said, “Now the men of Sodom were WICKED and were SINNING GREATLY against the LORD” (Genesis 13:13).  Notice, no future gang rape is mentioned as being the reason for this statement.  Before leaving Abraham the angels told him, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is SO GREAT and THEIR SIN SO GRIEVOUS” (Genesis 18:20-21).  Again, notice that gang rape is not mentioned as being the reason for this statement.  Abraham tried to bargain with God to spare the city IF ten righteous people could be found.  If homosexuality is not what is being described as “wicked,” “sinning greatly,” or “sin so grievous” then there would have been at least ten righteous people in Sodom.   According to Genesis 19:13, the angels were sent to destroy the city before the incident at Lot’s door.  The men of Gomorrah were not present at Lot’s door, but they too were destroyed along with the “entire plain” (Genesis 19:25).  Homosexuality was to be punished with death, according to Leviticus 20:13.  If that was so under the Law of Moses, one may see the reason for their destruction prior to that law.

What is interesting about the quote offered from Ezekiel 16:49 is that the individual left out the full context there as she did in Genesis 19.   The prophet stated in verse 50, “They were haughty and DID DETESTABLE THINGS BEFORE ME. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:50).  When all the biblical evidence is in, the suggested gang rape is not the motivation for God’s judgment.  The fact that men were lying with men was the GRIEVOUS, DETESTABLE sin.

The person refers to the following passage in defense of homosexuality.  “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable (abomination, KJV)” (Leviticus 18:22) and “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable (an abomination, KJV). They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads” (Leviticus 20:13).  The person’s argument from these two is that homosexuality isn’t any worse than “eating pork, shellfish, or charging interest on loans.”

It is surprising that she admits that the two passages teach that “homosexual behavior is an abomination.”  How can homosexual behavior be an “abomination” to God in one event but not in another?  Her basic argument here is that “Christians eat meat, use credit cards, wear makeup, and support equality for women” because we are no longer under the Law of Moses.  Since Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are in that law, and Romans 10:4 shows Christ is the END of it, the abomination classification no longer applies just as the restrictions on eating pork do not.

She states that Romans 1:18-32 doesn’t condemn sexual acts between two men or two women who love and commit to one another in a faithful, lifetime relationship, but rather is against those where these sexual acts are between adult married men and adolescent boy prostitutes.  By her statement she tends to make homosexual practices a cultural rather than a moral issue.  In other words, culture determines what is moral or immoral, not God.

If there is no Divine Deity, the Bible is just another book based upon man’s imagination.  Therefore, what is moral or immortal is determined by what the majority accepts or rejects.  Therefore man may define marriage, not God.  IF, however, God is and the Bible account of creation is true, God created them male and female, male and male (Genesis 26-27; 2:18, 22-24)!

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).”  Notice the “one flesh” is man and wife.  The “wife” is described as “woman” in verse 23.  It is only AFTER man sins in Genesis 3 that you find “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).  This continual wickedness is seen in part in Sodom’s “grievous, detestable sin” (Genesis 13:13; 18:20-21).

It is true that Paul stated, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,” but sexual immoral acts under one system are not made righteous under another.  For example, in Leviticus 18 and 20 homosexuality is not the only sexual sin condemned.  If practicing homosexual acts is no longer a sin, then neither are the following:

Having sex with an uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, or cousin.
Having sex with your mother or father.
Having sex with your son or daughter, or your grandchildren.
Having sex with your brother or sister.
Having sex with your daughter-in-law or your son-in-law.
Having sex with your neighbor’s wife.
Sacrificing your children to an idol.
Having sex with an animal.
(Leviticus 18:6-24; 20:6-22)

Neither the Old nor New Testament condone adultery, fornication, prostitution, rape, incest, or homosexuality.  All are sin in God’s sight under both Old and New Covenant systems!

Does God love the homosexual? Yes, just as he loves the murderer, the abuser, the adulterer, the fornicator, the liar, the atheists, the pagan, the dishonest, the false teacher, the hater, the one who refuses to forgive, and a host of other sinners.  Does He want His creation to remain in our sins?  No, it dishonors Him.  He wants all to believe, repent and die to the old man of sin (John 3:16-18; Luke 13:3,5; Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-6).  God wants every sinner to be a saved one!

LIVING UNDER A DELUSION!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

LIVING UNDER A DELUSION!

DelusionIn both the book of Jeremiah and Ezekiel false prophets are mentioned.  Judah and Jerusalem chose to listen to the false prophets while ridiculing the true ones.  Some found a lie more comforting than the truth.  Some could not believe God would allow anything to happen to them.  They sought comfort and confirmation from those who would tell them what they wanted to hear.  Today is no different.

Some want to believe that Islam is a religion of peace.  They don’t want to believe that Muslims define “peace” differently than they do.  Recently, a new nationwide online survey was taken among Muslims here in the U.S. Here are some of the following results.

A majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.”  Shariah radically conflicts with U.S. law!  One example is torture and death for all homosexuals.

More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or Shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply Shariah. Only 39% of those polled said Muslims should be subject to American courts.

Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make Shariah the law in this country!!  The findings of the Center for Security Policy’s survey of Muslims in America suggests that we have a serious problem.  The Pew Research Center estimates that the number of Muslims in the United States was 2.75 million in 2011, and growing at a rate of 80-90 thousand a year.  If those estimates are accurate, the United States would have approximately 3 million Muslims today.  That would translate into roughly 300,000 Muslims living in the United States who believe “that Muslims must follow and impose WORLD WIDE  JIHAD”!  Isn’t that what ISIS is now doing?  Our government admits that Muslims sympathetic to that group reside here in our country.  Even in Tennessee there are Muslim training camps!  Is Chattanooga another warning of that “worldwide Jihad” belief among the 300,000 or just another “little shooting”?  In the past 7 months the FBI has spoiled 60 attempts by Muslims to exercise that violence.

But, who believes such reports??  Our Federal government tells us that we are safer now than we have ever been!  Regardless of what protection men may promise, our ultimate trust must be in Jesus (Matthew 10:28; John 14:6, 27).  Amen?

What is your belief system?

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