Thu, Dec 30th - 2:14AM
Something For Christian Singles To Consider
Christian singles normally are, and should be, concerned about being attractive to the opposite sex. It is certainly normal, natural, and expected for a Christian single to want love and companionship of the opposite sex, but it is important to consider what kind of person you are hoping to attract and what kind of relationship you hope to find or initiate; for obvious reasons I have never tried to catch a fish by putting Deer Lure on a hook.
For example, immodest appearance and unseemly behavior will certainly help a woman to get fornication or get herself matched with a "man void of understanding," but this could also make Christian gentlemen decide that she is an unsuitable prospect for potential marriage. (Proverbs 7:6-14,25; 9:13; 11:22; 12:4; 14:1; 19:14; 25:24; 27:15; 31:10-12,30)
Many Christian singles will say they want a Christian spouse while demonstrating that they want someone who is irreligious, materialistic, or sexually immoral. How? Through immodest appearance and unseemly behavior or by being indifferent or unfriendly toward dedicated Christians while gravitating to unbelievers and professed believers of bad character. (Psalm 119:63; Proverbs 19:1; Amos 3:3; Romans 13:14)
Try looking at yourself objectively: What does your appearance and behavior say about you?
Wed, Dec 29th - 8:41PM
Lessons From Bible Stories
Samuel was commanded to protest a wrong (trying to replace God's sovereignty with a human king) while knowing that his protests would be unheeded. (I Samuel 8:9) We must always remember that we are not called to be successful; we are called to be faithful. Too many assume that the merit of a goal or endeavor is determined by the chance of success instead of whether the goal or endeavor is right.
Like many modern believers, King Solomon was deceived by modernism. (Ecclesiastes 1:9,10,13; 7:23-25) It is sad that today so many professed Bible-believers put trends, culture, and so-called science above the Word of God and so readily accept an unscriptural (or even antibiblical) teaching, concept, or practice as right or true if it is new or modern (or appears to be scientific), and tend to readily dismiss a teaching, concept, or practice as wrong or irrelevant if it is old or old fashioned. (Psalm 33:4,10,11; 119:89,160; Proverbs 3:5-7; 19:21; Romans 12:2; Colossians 2:8)
Before Solomon intermarried with idolaters, Providence had already provided Solomon with a good woman (who he did not marry): When David died, Abishag (who was a believer and still a virgin) was automatically betrothed to the heir apparent, Solomon. But his affinity with worldly and ungodly associations led him a different way. (I Kings 3:1) Solomon married unbelievers and they turned his heart away from the Lord. (I Kings 11:1-4) The Bible warns believers not to intermarry with unbelievers because this leads people (the believer, the resulting children, society, etc.) away from God. (Genesis 6:2-5;Deuteronomy 7:3-4; Joshua 23:11-13; Ezra 9:2,12-14; Nehemiah 13:23-27; Psalm 144:7,8,11,12; Hosea 5:7,10; I Corinthians 7:39; II Corinthians 6:14-18)
Three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, maintained their integrity in spite of enormous peer pressure, religious intolerance, and threat of death. (Daniel 3:1-18) Note that Nebuchadnezzar’s words indicate some knowledge of Bible teachings that he obviously did not learn from his pagan advisers. (Daniel 3:25) As a result of keeping their integrity a pagan empire was reformed, religious freedom was established for God’s people, and many unbelievers became believers. (Daniel 3:28-29) Nothing in Scripture says or implies that the same thing cannot happen today.
The prophet Daniel was the governor over a province of a pagan empire. (Daniel 2:48) Many insist that the Bible doctrine of separation means that Christians must be neutral concerning everything outside of church activities. But the separation taught in the Bible is separation unto God and from the sins of society (godly distinctions, conduct, and relationships within society), not isolation from society or neutrality concerning politics and community affairs. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:3-11; I Timothy 3:7; I Peter 2:11,12)
Daniel prayed openly in defiance of religious intolerance and threat of death, and as a result of his unswerving devotion a pagan empire was reformed and many unbelievers became believers. (Daniel 6:4-26) A “little lamb” mentality is not always spiritual.
One lone man, Jonah, preached repentance in the capital city of a pagan empire famous for extreme cruelty and persecution of God’s people, and as a result an entire city converted and an empire was reformed. (Jonah 3:1-10) Nothing in Scripture says or implies that the same thing cannot happen today.
For several years after the resurrection of Christ the preaching of the Gospel was limited to Jews, Jewish proselytes, and Samaritans who obeyed the Law. Before the conversion of Cornelius it had not yet been revealed that Gentiles can be converted and are to be received into the church as Gentiles without having to first become Jews. The Lord illustrated the point by telling Peter to eat animals that were forbidden under the Old Covenant. Peter should have recognized from the Old Testament teachings and the teachings of Christ that the dietary restrictions against certain animals would no longer apply under the New Covenant, but instead he clung to tradition and preconceived ideas. Note that Peter knew full well who was speaking to him, and it is the Lord that he is trying to teach what is right or wrong or proper or improper. (Acts 10:13-15) Sound familiar? Are you ever guilty of relying on assumptions, pet theories, or tradition as authority instead of prayerfully studying to make sure your viewpoint is governed by the Word of God?
Tue, Dec 28th - 12:21PM
Myths About Sex & Marriage
Sun, Dec 26th - 3:43PM
Giants & Sons of God in Genesis 6
Does Genesis 6 refer to angels interbreeding with humans?
The word rendered “giants” in Genesis 6:4 (nephel or nephilim) is an old way of describing large people, who could be big in stature, position, fame, or notoriety. The word nephilim means “violent” or “causing to fall;” they were ancient bullies or violent tyrants. Giants have existed throughout recorded history, even in modern times, and the Bible does not say the giants or nephilim were the result only of the marriages mentioned in Genesis 6. The only other explicit reference to the nephilim is Numbers 13:32-33, in which the spies were clearly exaggerating: if “all the people” were “of a great stature,” what accounts for the normal size of Rahab and her family, the Gibeonites, and others that were encountered when the Israelites entered the land later? (Joshua 6:25; 9:3-15) Being as grasshoppers in their own sight did not mean the Israelites were literally the size of insects. (Numbers 13:33)
The term “sons of God” always refers to human believers and not angels in Scripture. Job 1:6 & 2:1, passages often used to “prove” otherwise, are obvious references to human believers (sons of God) and days of worship. (Consider Deuteronomy 31:14-15; I Samuel 10:19) Job 38:7, another passage often used to “prove” the sons of God in Genesis 6 were angels, also refers to human believers in a context in which figurative language or symbolic terms are used throughout the chapter. (Also compare Ezra 3:10-12) While angels can take on the appearance of men (Hebrews 13:2), angels and humans are different kinds of being and angels do not marry. (Consider Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 24:37-39; Hebrew 1:13-14) Note that Genesis 6:3 refers to fleshly mankind and not fallen angels or mixed offspring of angels. According to Genesis 6:2 & 4, the children of believers (sons of God) who married unbelievers (daughters of men) became mighty men (Hebrew: gibbor), a term also applied to Nimrod, the Gibeonites, Boaz, David, Saul, Jonathan, and others. (Genesis 10:9; Joshua 10:2; Ruth 2:1; I Samuel 16:18; II Samuel 1:19,25,27; II Kings 5:1; I Chronicles 4:24; etc.)
Mon, Dec 20th - 12:35PM
The Abuse Of Women
While making allowances for differences in customs between then and now, the Bible teaches principles and lessons that, if applied, would prevent a lot of sexual abuse. The Bible taught respect for women and severely discouraged sexual abuse of women by applying principles that we would do well to apply today. (II Timothy 3:16)
Consider a few examples:
Applying principles of modesty could prevent a lot of incest and adultery. (Leviticus 18:6-20)
Some claim that the Mosaic Law condoned sexual abuse by not including a severe penalty for raping an unmarried and unengaged woman, and that the penalty for raping an unmarried and unengaged woman was marriage to the victim, according to their interpretation of Deuteronomy 22:28-29. Is this correct? No, the purpose of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 was to protect unmarried women and discourage sexual abuse. The wording of Deuteronomy 22:28 makes it clear that the crime referred to is seduction, not rape. (compare Exodus 22:16-17) Take another look at Deuteronomy 22:23-27, the verses preceding Deuteronomy 22:28, and note the wording of Deuteronomy 22:23, that there is no mention or implication of force or unwillingness which would indicate to witnesses that the woman needed protection. Deuteronomy 22:23 describes a meeting or encounter in a populated area for consensual sex. (compare Deuteronomy 22:25) The law required a trial for crimes (the local court was situated at the city gate), and a woman guilty of adultery might try to protect herself by claiming it was rape. (Deuteronomy 22:24; 16:18-20) It was not necessary to give an explicit penalty for rape because it was clear that the crime of rape carried the same penalty as premeditated murder. (Deuteronomy 22:26)
Does the society in which we live recognize rape to be as severe as premeditated murder and punish it accordingly? It should.
Note also that the Bible does not pretend or imply that a young woman can be kept from attracting men or being attracted to men through legislation or tradition, but established safeguards and moral guidelines. (Song Of Solomon 8:8; etc.) Contrast this with modern laws, intended to stop sexual abuse, that often discourage gentlemen with honorable motives and intentions from romantic interest in an unmarried young woman while giving her opportunity to be sexually immoral with extremely reduced risk of disclosure or reprisal. (consider http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/5534/statutory-rape-laws-need-revision http://www.cyc-net.org/features/ft-rapelaws.html http://www.truth1.org/s1-marryearly.htm )
Why did the Bible attach so much importance to feminine virtue? Feminine virtue discourages the abuse of women. In the ancient world women were often used, abused, discarded, and replaced at will, and often regarded as mere chattels, and the low morals of heathen women was a huge factor in this. Promiscuity and unseemly behavior make women cheap and disposable and encourage abuse, while raising women to the status of moral superiority over men this naturally compels men to respect women. (Proverbs 11:16,22; 12:4; 14:1; 31:10,11,28-30)
The Bible discouraged romantic relationships without the approval of a young woman's parents. Parental involvement in the lives of youths and the choice of a companion could prevent a lot of heartaches, abuse, and abusive relationships.
Sat, Dec 18th - 11:58AM
The Destiny Of The Earth
Thu, Dec 16th - 12:15AM
Problems With Premillennialism
Why do so many premillennialists automatically label any who disagree as modernists, liberals, or heretics, and make premillennialism a criterion for Christian fellowship or a measurement of spirituality, or assume that their pet theory is above scrutiny? The alleged signs of the second coming or signs of the end times have no Scriptural basis. Many Bible prophecies that are being applied to the second coming are fulfilled prophecies (e.g., Return from Babylonian captivity, destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, etc.). Many insist on interpreting every passage of Bible prophecy to be a literal narration of end time events regardless of context and setting. Many twist and distort facts and Scriptures to make every current event fit the mold of pet theories about the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Many theories and predictions are the result of cross referencing unrelated passages of Bible prophecy. When someone makes a ministry of making predictions and one or some of his predictions prove to be correct it is often assumed that this puts him and his teachings above scrutiny. This certainly is not rightly dividing God's Word. (II Timothy 2:15)
For example, where does the Bible say that the establishment of the modern nation of Israel relates to the second coming? How is this the end or fulfillment of "the times of the Gentiles?" Yet this is one of the strongest arguments. Also, where does the Bible say that world conditions will or must progressively go from bad to worse before the rapture? This is also one of the strongest arguments.
What about Matthew 24? This is a prophecy about the end of the Jewish world which centered on Jerusalem and the temple (Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD); consider the context and setting. (Matthew 24:1-3) Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. (Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:6,23) Matthew 24:29 uses an Old Testament figure of speech for national disaster. (Consider Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10; 3:15) There were survivors of the destruction of 70 AD; over 97,000 were taken captive, many of whom were sold into slavery. (Matthew 24:22,40,41) Jerusalem was destroyed within the lifetime of those then living. (Matthew 24:34) Matthew 24:15,16 refers to the prophecy of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-27. Calculating a day for a year (Ezekiel 4:6) means that 69 weeks (62 + 7) is 483 years, which would bring us to the year Christ was baptized and began His public ministry. (Daniel 9:25) Christ was crucified about 3 1/2 years later; in other words, "in the midst of the week" He was "cut off." (Daniel 9:26,27) "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression...." (Daniel 9:24) Note that Stephen emphasized how Israel's response to God revealed character, and his death led to a persecution and a dispersal of Christians from Jerusalem. (Acts 7:51-53; 8:1-4) "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week...." (Daniel 9:27) Cornelius was converted about four years after the crucifixion of Christ, and until his conversion the preaching of the Gospel was limited to Jews, Jewish proselytes, and Samaritans who kept the Mosaic Law. Before Cornelius became a Christian it had not been revealed that Gentiles were to be received into the church as Gentiles and did not have to first become Jews in order to become Christians. (Acts 10:1-48; 11:18) In 66 A.D., Roman forces surrounded Jerusalem and made a thrust up to the temple walls, and then withdrew for no apparent reason. Then the Christians fled to the mountains as instructed. (Matthew 24:16)
What about II Timothy 3? II Timothy 3:1-13 is often considered a description of world conditions during the end times, but how could this be a description of future world conditions, since the world (the wicked world system) has always manifested such bad characteristics? Note the words "For men shall be...;" while Satan instigates this, the efforts of men to hinder the influence of the Bible and Christianity through persecution and church corruption (from within and without) throughout Christian history have been motivated by the carnal adamic nature of men. Note that the latter part of II Timothy 3 begins giving the antidote to the defection from the faith, and consider Christian history: Heresies became established doctrines throughout Christendom due to widespread neglect and rejection of Scripture, and truths began to be restored as a result of believers rediscovering the Bible and putting the Word of God above the words of men. (II Timothy 3:14-4:4) The term "last days" in II Timothy 3:1 refers to the whole Christian era. (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21; Hebrews 1:1,2; II Peter 3:2,3) II Timothy 3:6 and similar passages refer to churches, as the early Christians usually met for public worship in private homes. (Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 6:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2; II John 10)
What about the book of Revelation? Consider: How can we put the second coming of Christ before the Millennium without doing violence to the connection between the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of Revelation? If Revelation 20:4 speaks of a literal bodily resurrection, then why did John specify that he "saw the souls?" What is the basis for insistence that the Millennium has to be a literal one thousand year period? (Consider II Peter 3:8) Also note that, ironically, those who argue for a literal interpretation of every detail of Revelation do not themselves interpret everything in Revelation literally.
What about Matthew 7:13-14? This passage is descriptive, not prescriptive. In the context of the time few Jews would recognize Jesus and many would be destroyed in the destruction of Jerusalem. (Luke 19:44)
When a minister points out that the Bible does not give signs to indicate that Christ will return at a predictable time or within a particular generation, many inevitably refer to II Peter 3:3-4 and imply that such denials are signs of the times. But note that II Peter 3:4 does not mention a denial of "signs," it mentions the denial of the "promise," and a denial that it is possible for man to know the time of the second coming acknowledges that our Lord will return. Note also that II Peter 3:4 refers to people who are looking for signs. On the other hand, how many who have claimed to know when Christ will return have ever been right?
Are there problems with the premillennial interpretation of Scriptures? Yes. Consider a few:
- Premillennialism says that God is working through two distinct bodies of people, natural Israel and the Church, to fulfill His purposes concerning the second coming and the Millennium, and that the goal of the Church is to be raptured in a premillennial second coming, and God's plan for natural Israel is the establishment of an earthly kingdom after the second coming. But Scriptures teach that the Church is a continuing body in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the New Testament Church is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning Israel. (Acts 15:15-17; Romans 9:6-8; Galations 3:7,16-19,24-29; 4:21-31; Hebrews 12:22-24)
-The second coming of Christ will bring the sudden destruction of the heavens and the earth, not the establishment of an earthly kingdom. (II Peter 3:10-12)
There will be a general resurrection of the dead. (Matthew 5:29; I Corinthians 15:26,51-55)
-Premillennialism promotes a neutrality or isolation that rejects or prevents interaction between Christianity and culture. It encourages believers to withdraw from society and be neutral as a result of preoccupation with speculations about things which they obviously do not and cannot know. (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 17:6-7; 26:18; note that Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil – I John 3:8)
- Jesus Christ is the present ruler of the earth and the end will come after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power (Acts 2:32-35; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Hebrews 1:13; 10:13)
-Premillennialism contradicts Scriptures on the growth of the kingdom. (Psalm 2:8; 22:27; 47:9; 72:11; 86:9-10; Daniel 2:35,44; Isaiah 9:7; 11:9; 66:23; Matthew 13:31-33).
-Christians are commissioned to convert nations as well as individuals. (Matthew 28:18-20; Revelation 15:4; note that when Christianity has dominance it will be by consent – Luke 17:20-21)
-Premillennialism limits the scope of the Gospel. (John 3:16-17; 12:32; Romans 5:15-21; I Timothy 2:1-6; I John 2:2; 4:4; Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 14:6)
-Scriptures present the church as victorious while premillennialism sees a mere remnant of believers remaining when Christ returns. (Matthew 16:17-19; John 12:31; 16:7-11; Luke 10:17-19; Acts 26:16-18; II Corinthians 10:3-5; Colossians 1:13-14; I John 4:4)
Back in or around 1990 an issue of "Israel My Glory" included an article refuting postmillennialism, and the author used so many logic fallacies, baseless assumptions, and straw man arguments that I began suspecting that there may be some substance to the opposing arguments if he has to rely on emotion and assumption instead of Scripture and logic to prove his point. Besides, Scripture itself, comparing Scripture with Scripture, is the key to understanding Scripture: Bible passages must be understood in relation to context and the whole Bible, and difficult passages must be understood in relation to clear passages. (Psalm 119:104,130; Proverbs 2:6; I Corinthians 2:13; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17) I began doing a detailed study of Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation, using a Reference Bible and Bible Dictionary and frequently visiting the library to research the meaning of words, grammar, historical background, etc., and was thus led to reject dispensationalism. (II Timothy 2:14-15; I encourage the reader to study the matter further.) When I began using the internet a few years ago I found out that many conservative scholars hold the same viewpoint, based on belief in the Bible and study of God's Word.
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