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Showing posts from January, 2006

Doing Good

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:15 NIV) There are three similar teachings in Titus 2. These teachings are addressed to older women, younger women, young men and slaves. Here is how they conclude: …so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:5 NIV) …so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:8 NIV) …so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. (Titus 2:10 NIV) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if… .. …foolish men are silent; ¨ …no one will malign the word of God; ¨ …they will have nothing bad to say; ¨ …and the teaching about Jesus will be attractive? Check out the conditions in Titus 2.

Spiritually Discerned

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV) This truth is one of the clearest means of identifying someone who is not a Christian. We hesitate (largely for politically correct reasons or for not wanting to be put into the “judge not!” category) to make that identification. Even if we never state it we should recognize at least to ourselves that this man is not a Christian. In his preface to Androcles and the Lion, George Bernard Shaw admitted that he could not make any sense out of the New Testament unless he had a very select means of interpretation. He did not understand the things of the Spirit of God. Why not? He did not have the Spirit of God. He was brilliant but blind. The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Chris

Years Ago

This was a letter to the Editor of the Daily News 19 years ago. It seems that our nation has deteriorated into a state of iffy-ness on right and wrong. We think that if it is legal, it is right (abortion, 19-year-old drinking age). If it is illegal, it might be wrong on the other hand it might not be wrong (marijuana, 55 mph speed limit). It is right if it is permissive and questionable if it is restrictive. If everyone is doing it, it is okay. Peer pressure also determines right and wrong. Not only is this a relative morality (situation ethics) but it is a constantly changing relative morality and the change is downward. Periodically there is a hue and cry against immorality based upon bad results as in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) or the present pressure to increase the dinking age to 21 (assuming that the “drinking” age really means “drunk” age because it is based upon the number of traffic fatalities caused by people “driving under the influence” under the age of 21). Sho

Sins, known and unconfessed

The following may apply to some of you. Here is a reminder of sins you know about, some of which you acknowledge, but few of which you have repented of and forsaken. 1. Not loving your wife a) as Christ loved the church, Ephesians 5: 25-33 b) as a sister in the Lord, John 13: 34,35 c) as a neighbor (as you love yourself), Matthew 22:39 d) or even as an enemy, Luke 6: 35,36 e) romantically 2. Not forgiving your wife. You need to be forgiven for not forgiving. -Matthew 6:14 and Matthew 18:35 3. Trying instead of trusting. Trying is dependant on you, not on God. We did not enter into the kingdom by trying or by effort. It was by grace through faith. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him. -Colossians 2:6 We walk the same way we received, by grace through faith, zero try. 4. Pride in every area of your life a. your knowledge of the scriptures b. your knowledge of Christian books c. your “up” personality d. other people’s opinion of you e. your prof

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you hav

Try to Obey

The following is my answer to a person having difficulty living the Christian life. I find myself giving this answer frequently in person or in letters. Listen carefully even if you have to read this several times. The key sentence in your letter is, "I have really tried most everything." The key word in the sentence is tried . That is the reason for your continued defeat. Try is a dirty, un-Christian word. It is a practice taught by the devil. It is a lie of the enemy. A person who tries is trusting himself. That is the wrong person to trust. It is impossible to trust God and try at the same time. In order to trust God we have to quit trying. You did not get into the kingdom by trying. You had to quit trying in order to be saved. What makes you think that you get into the kingdom by grace through faith, that you are now made perfect by effort or trying. You were saved by faith, you walk by faith. Let's both sing that wonderful hymn, Try to Obey . That

Whose will is more free?

Many years ago I was teaching a group of college students at Mount Vernon Place Methodist Church in Washington DC. The subject was personal evangelism. During the talk I was interrupted by a student. He said something like this: "What about the free will of man versus the sovereignty of God?" Normally I do not answer such questions because of 2 Timothy 2:23-24, "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." This time I did. I replied, "That is like adding apples and oranges. They do not compete. You have to be talking about the same thing in order to make sense." He asked, "What do you mean?" "If you want to talk about sovereignty then you must talk about the sovereignty of man versus the sovereignty of God. (God made man sovereign in Genesis 1:28-- God blessed them an

Does the woman want the baby?

If the woman wants a baby (and most of them do) then that which is conceived is a baby from the time of conception. If the woman does not want a baby then that which is conceived is not a baby; it is only part of her body which is hers alone to do with what she wants. This subjective way of determining truth means that someone is lying or deceived. It may be the same woman at two different times. If women had no inherent mother instinct, but only a dead reasoning ability, they might be able to get away with this lie to themselves. But God did not make them that way. In addition to having millions of babies in Heaven we have millions of women living in awful guilt which they are not able to justify. There is hope! The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for

The Right to Choose

Pro-choice. The woman's "right" to choose. The man's "right" to choose. The baby's "right" to choose. There are no rights to choose. The only "right" to choose is to make the right choice, to obey God. God said, "You shall not murder." (Exodus 20:13) "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:12) If we think we have the right to choose contrary to the explicit command of God, then we are rebellious and must suffer the consequences. God did not add ten amendments, a Bill of Rights, to the Ten Commandments. He did it right the first time. Under God we have responsibilities, not "rights." We have freedom but no rights to disobey God.

Jesus Had Many Lambs

Mary had a little lamb Its fleece was white as snow Anywhere that Mary went Her lamb was sure to go Jesus had many lambs Their fleece was white as snow Wherever Jesus went The sheep considered their options Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luke 9:24-26)

Little Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep And doesn't know where to find them Leave them alone and they will come home Wagging their tails behind them "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." (Matthew 18:12-14) The Father is not like Little Bo Peep and we are not like her sheep. He does not leave us alone. "... because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" (Hebrews 13:5)

The First Amendment

Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." (Acts 5:27-28) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. If the Sanhedrin had been under the Constitution they would have been guilty of "prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The first thing to notice is that Congress is the only body that can violate the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law." The Supreme Court held that the first eight amendments did not apply to any state legislatures but only to the national government.

Are we ready to obey God rather than man?

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:18-20) In the time of the Apostles, all through history up to the present day there have been many nations that have had both established religions and prevented the free exercise of other religions. This includes Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Communist, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Jewish nations. The United States is one of very few nations that have true freedom and this is fading. The point is not, "How can we export this freedom?" or even, "How can we keep it from fading in our country?", but "How do we act when we are prohibited from praying, preaching, and assembling?" Are we ready and willing to obey God instead of the government

The Murder Rights of Moms?

Exodus 21:22-23 (New International Version) "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life” Here we have an accidental premature birth, an abortion. The woman was not in the fight. The premature birth was not her intention. There are judicial consequences for the man or men who caused the injury. Both the mother and baby could be harmed. If the baby is stillborn, that is the death the text is speaking of. The injury probably is speaking of both the mother and the baby. If there is no injury, the husband/father gets to demand recompense, but the court has to allow it. If there is injury, the penalty is fixed. The above is not intentional murder. Abortions today are all intentional murder-- premeditated. Sometimes the father of the baby is part of the pre-planning. S

Two Lies

There are a few expressions in television advertisements that should tell us that we have a distorted, upside-down view of truth. Apparently these expressions are effective in selling products or they would cease to be used. 1. “My doctor says.” A. In our society MD’s have great knowledge and authority. B. The one who has the most knowledge and authority is mine. “My doctor”. It works. 2. “You deserve.” This is the ultimate in works righteousness even when there is no works at all. All you have to be is “you”; that is everyone in front of the television set. What do you “deserve”? Something luxurious that moths will eat and rust will corrupt and thieves will break in and steal. This lie is the same lie that the Serpent gave to Eve. “You deserve this fruit”. I will not stand in front of the Great White Throne and say, “I deserve Heaven”.

Praise! (Part 2)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (Psalm 100:1, 2 NIV) In this world there are sad songs, love songs and battle songs, but when it comes to singing of salvation the songs are songs of joy and gladness. David knew this when he wrote the lyrics and probably the music for Psalm 51. In it he sings, Restore to me the joy of your salvation. (Psalm 51:12 NIV) Salvation means joy, and joy means singing. Psalm 126 is speaking of release from physical captivity, but it is also a great picture of spiritual salvation. When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will