A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

Blessed Are the Cheese Makers

 

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Allow me to use parody to explain a very important point. Imagine, if you will, the scene at the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking to hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. Some strain their ears to her what Christ is saying. Now imagine an elderly lady who is hard of hearing and a philosopher who is standing next to her. The scene goes like this.

Jesus: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Elderly lady: What did he say? Blessed are the cheese makers?  What’s so special about them?

Philosopher: Oh, surely he is making reference to makers of dairy products in general.

Silly don’t you think? My point is this:  Believe it or not, the above is quite an accurate representation of how some people approach Scripture. Scripture renders a doctrine that they, due to their personal opinion or preference, cannot accept. Such being the case, the temptation to “read into the text” something that is not there is very real.

Many people cannot accept the bold exclusivity of scripture. They cannot wrap their minds around the possibility (nay the fact) that the road that leads to everlasting life is indeed very, very narrow.  Under the guise of unity and tolerance they re-invent, re-interpret, and re-word passages they perceive as “politically incorrect”.

In pursuit of inclusivity and diversity they build for themselves, and others, unfounded doctrines that are appealing, pleasurable, and entertaining. The result being a chaotic blend of spiritual and secular babbling that renders the truth of the Gospel ineffective.

When souls are at stake and the eternal destinies of people are at risk; is it really wise to play such word games?

May 8, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Shame-Driven Church

shameNow I’ve heard everything. A twisted spin on the cult favorite “Purpose Driven Church” has resulted in an about face of the Christian agenda. The result “The Shame-Driven Church”. A church where if you’re not stepping out of the “traditional” shadows then you’re not doing what Jesus wants you to.

Under the guise of unity and an appeal for acceptance a pseudo-Christian movement has swept our classes, universities, and our pulpits. Constantly berated to feel guilt and shame because traditional values (values based on Scripture) prevent the masses from being in full fellowship with the local body of Christians; many congregations have given in (or given up) and embraced a more fluid and culturally neutral “gospel”. The result; a you-do-it-your way and I’ll do-it-my-way mish-mash of conflicting ideas that have reduced many churches to nothing more that social clubs and half-way houses for the spiritually wishy-washy.

Young Christians are made to feel guilty if conclusions reached from simply reading the Bible cause them to even question the validity of certain opinions and preferences. A “thus sayeth the Lord” is no longer acceptable and will prevent others from coming to know Jesus. At least according to the mantra of many modern “preachers”.

In an appeal for validity, and to sound legitimate, the words of the apostle Paul are hurled about to prove a point:

 “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;”  

1 Corinthians 19:20.

By ignoring the context they conclude that if you want to reach the lost then you must present yourself as one who is also lost. You must adopt their ways and adapt to their lifestyle after all that’s what Jesus would do”. Really? Should Christians frequent bars providing such an establishment with income to save a drunk? Should a Christian spend time at a strip club dishing out twenty dollar bills to save the purveyors of immorality?

I am not saying that we should not make every effort to reach those that are lost. Nor am I endorsing the idea that we should isolate ourselves from the world around us. But let’s get real folks! You cannot reveal Christ to the world by becoming like the world! Being made to feel guilty because you are no longer like the world is not the answer. Being made to feel shame because you hold yourself to a higher standard than those in the world is both immoral and ungodly.

I believe Jesus said it best in John 17 when he prayed on behalf of His followers I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil”.

Christians are not of this world even though we are in it. We are different. The blood of Christ has made us different. Adopting the ways of the world so that we can be perceived as more tolerant and loving is nothing more that superficial sentimentality. It is hypocrisy to the nth degree and brings shame upon the body of Christ.

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

World Religions; Hinduism

Upon doing studies in world religions, I am hesitant to expend large sums of money to gather materials concerning, what Christians would consider, false religions. However, since a knowledge of such religions is necessary in order to understand and eventually evangelize to those who follows such teachings I have decided to make available some material in PDF to those who may be interested. Click of the link below to download  Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition by KLAUS K. KLOSTERMAIER

Survey of Hinduism

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, E-Books, FYI | Leave a comment

The Woman Caught in Adultery: A lesson on Gossip??????

TEXT: John 8:1-11

We know the story well. A woman is caught red handed and a mob drags her through town. They throw the woman down in the Lord’s presence and start hurling accusations. This was done to trap Jesus so they could accuse him as well. Christ reaction was remarkable. He demonstrated courage and wisdom. Such intestinal fortitude; His reaction defined the stuff that REAL MEN are made of. His reaction………..  silence.

Of course the mob kept pushing and pushing and pushing until the Lord felt the need to make three statements.

1.Let the person who has never sinned cast the first stone

2. (To the woman) Where are your accusers

3. (And finally) Neither do I accuse you, don’t do it again.

Talking about nipping it in the bud!  Imagine the divisive chaos that would have occurred if Christ had responded differently or worse, If he had joined in on the tirade of hate.

While the point of the story is power of forgiveness, a point “in the story” is a lesson on gossip.  Too often when people are approached with accusations ( be they true or not) their response is drastically different than that of Christ. Such responses lead to gossip, slander and hypocrisy. The result being destroyed reputations, ungodly divisions and ruined lives.

A good rule is this; when you hear rumors and accusations either react as if you never heard it or talk to those involved. Jesus did both and that settled the matter.

HE is a great example.

August 19, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | 1 Comment

5 Challenges

I CHALLENGE YOU…………


1. To Make A Personal Testimony

Mark 5:19

Jesus said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

2.  To Invite a stranger

Matthew 25:35

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

3.  To study a little more

Acts 17:11

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

4.  To ask questions and to seek answers

John 3:1-5

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

5.  To Pray for an enemy 

Matthew 5:43-44

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

If you do these things you will never be the same.

August 10, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, Church Growth | Leave a comment

The Power of The Gospel

Are you ever embarrassed to be identified as a follower of Christ? Would coworkers or other associates ever assume that you are ashamed of your faith by the way you avoid talking about it or revealing your true thoughts or feelings?

Paul felt no shame in the message of Christ, for he saw it as powerful- powerful enough to transform lives.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

One of the greatest challenges confronting Christians today is to communicate the message of Christ in terms that everyday people can understand.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Luke 7:22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

How powerful is the Gospel you believe in? Are you a channel or a barrier for the power of Christ in your daily life?

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: The Controversy.

The controversy over Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John turns on the basic argument that Jesus lived His life under the Law of Moses and therefore could not have given any commands that would uniquely go into the New Testament before His death. To do so, it is thought, would create a dilemma for Jews who were told, on one hand, to keep the Law of Moses and, on the other hand, to keep Jesus’ commands (that sometimes seem to contradict the Law of Moses). For example, it is reasoned that Moses’ teaching on divorce and remarriage could not be kept up to the time of the cross, and at the same time follow Jesus’ instructions on divorce and remarriage. To keep Jesus from confusing the Jews before the cross, and to keep Him from putting Jews into a situation of “spiritual adultery,” it is reasoned that Jesus did not teach any new laws for the New Testament (NT) age before the cross. To do so would cause them to attempt to be following Moses and at the same time following Jesus’ counter commands, thus causing them to be torn between two husbands.

It is reasoned that He could not do so, He did not do so, and instead, He merely explained the law and gave the true meaning and intent of the law. To allow for the other portions of Jesus’ teachings, it is claimed that anything that looks new is merely a “prophecy” with no binding quality unless it is quoted after the event of the cross, and more specifically, after the church/kingdom began on Pentecost (recorded in Acts 2). Thus, the content of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (MML&J) will fall into just a few categories:

1) Law of Moses,

2) Prophecies that have no binding quality unless reaffirmed again after Acts 2,

3) Parables of the kingdom.

The basic argument can be summed up this way:

The thing we need to know is at what point the law of the Lord went forth. At what point did Jesus cease to teach the Law of Moses and  begin  to teach His will? I do not believe that He mingled them together, for that would be pouring new wine in old wine-skins and making spiritual adulterers of those He was expecting to obey His words. We never see a time in the Bible when two contradictory laws are being taught at the same time.

This statement encapsulates most of the major arguments put forth in defense of the position that MML&J are Old Testament books, or NT books that contain NO binding commands for us today.

Not only is the argument flawed by it’s shaky premise that the teachings of Jesus (as per the gospels), in some way, contradicted the law of Moses, there are also a number of facts that have intentionally been ignored.

1.  In Matthew 28:18-20 Christ gives what many have called “The Great Commission”.  In this “commission” Christ instructs them to teach, not only to make disciples but to teach them to obey the things which He [Christ] had already taught them. These things would, by definition, have to include the four gospels. It would be these teachings that became the doctrine taught by the apostles.

You will also notice in Acts 2:42 that the first century church (which is under the New Covenant) “continued daily in the apostles doctrine”. This is very odd if the things taught in the four gospels were not an authoritative part of the new covenant.

2. The New Covenant came into force, ie. was established as the final authority, in Acts chapter 2. This event occurred approximately 30-34 A.D. Most Biblical scholars agree that the Book of Acts is part two of a two part volume written by Luke, the first part being the Gospel of Luke.  It would be odd for such an oversight to occur by a writer who is divinely inspired.

3. Most scholars agree that the events of the crucifixion took place in 30-34 A.D.; as did the events in Acts chapter 2. That being the case, Matthew was written in 65 A.D., Mark was written in 55 A.D., Luke was written in 60 A.D. and John was written in 85 A.D.  The four gospels were written decades after the church was established. As you can see, the gospels were written after the fact and cannot be relocated as Old Testament writings.

4. There were several instances where Jesus said “A new command I give to you”…  If, indeed, it is part of the Old Testament, why use the word NEW?

The teachings of the four gospels are most certainly part of the New Covenant. If this is not the case, why did the Apostles teach others to obey them?

May 20, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Never Stop Learning

There’s an old saying; “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  While that may be true of our canine friends, it is not so with us. As creatures of intellect, human beings are constantly learning new things. Knowledge can come in unexpected ways and we are never to old to “learn new tricks”. Some knowledge is gained without us even recognizing that we have just learned something. Experience is great teacher if we learn from both our mistakes and success.

Enough of that: This is primarily a Bible centered blog so let’s switch gears and turn our minds in that direction.

Study of Scripture in an important aspect of Christian life.  It is not just beneficial, it is a command. When was the last time you read your Bible? No, I’m not talking about reading it for a class or while putting together a lesson or sermon.  NO! I’m talking about getting into the Book; learning the history of places and people.  Looking into the insight of the inspired writers and finding truth you never knew was there is a very fulfilling activity.

This is especially important for those of us who minister on a regular basis. Too often the preacher will find himself reading purely for professional reasons. That is to say, preparing for some study, class or sermon.  Some only read to prove themselves right and others wrong.  While a lot can be said about one’s approach to study, I want to focus on study itself.

There are many ways of study and with today’s technology the options are boundless.  There are a multitude of choices available.  You can go back to school and seek a higher degree. You can take online Bible studies in your spare time.  You can do a correspondence course to sharpen your skills. You can even look through some of those old Bible school workbooks that are just taking up space in your closet, bookcase or stored in boxes.

You can also…

  • Take a course in Greek or Hebrew.
  • Read about Biblical archaeology.
  • Study church history.
  • Learn the rudiments music to improve singing.
  • Re-acquaint yourself with basic principles.

No knowledge of God’s word and ways is “beneath” your station in life nor is it trivial and useless.

I know some “preachers”, and I use that term loosely, who (although they do not verbalize it) believe that such trivial activities are beneath their pay-grade.   You’re never too old to learn new things and you’re never too smart to not have to study.

Knowledge is the key to understanding. It is also the means of salvation.

For this is eternal life, that they KNOW You, the only true God….  John 17:3.

An Old Testament prophet once said on behalf of God. “My people PERISH because of lack of knowledge“. Knowledge is more than just fundamental, it is a necessity. If we do not KNOW God then we don’t have eternal life.  If we don’t KNOW the truth we can never be free. We can never KNOW unless we STUDY!

Keep the faith: Read THE BOOK!

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

Online Bible Studies

NEW!!!!!!

We have a new menu containing links to various online study’s

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Problem:

We’ve all heard stories about people we know.  It usually comes in the form of gossip or slander. There are times when we hear things that have the potential to turn us against another.  What do we do when such information (be it true or not) turns our hearts and attitudes against another?

The first thing we need to realize is that those who gossip and slander  have an ax to grind i.e. ulterior motives.  Some do it for attention, some to hurt others or to force friends to “picks sides” against another. All of which are the core of sin and the products of hearts filled with guile and hatred.

The Bible clearly states, that is COMMANDS, that if such occurs we have the obligation to approach the person to see if the stories have any faction of truth.  Unfortunately, many seem to feel that they are “above” this command. They believe they don’t have to talk to “so and so” and continue to harbor feelings of hate and vindictiveness against a person that may very well be innocent. Some even join in the tirade of slander and gossip believing that they are doing so for “the greater good”. The truth is that two wrongs have never, ever made a right.

Such arrogance will lead to destruction.  Not only are the reputations of innocent people at stake but the souls of those who gossip and slander are endanger of the fires of hell. Those who engage in such seek only to vilify, destroy and steal the good name of fellow Christians all for the sake of attention or some other selfish gain.

No one is above the command to approach those whom they have heard rumors about to seek the truth in the matter.   The Bible clearly gives you only two choices, you talk to them or you keep your mouth shut.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men

TEXT: Acts 5:22-32

What should Christians do when faced with conflict between human authority and God’s authority?  Notice what Peter and the other apostles did.

1.  Their aim was to serve and glorify God.  They were not motivated by ego or out to protect their own power.

2.  Their point of obedience was specific and particular.  They did not resist the authority of the Jewish counsel in total.

3.  They approached the situation with a spirit of submissiveness toward both the counsel and God.  They did not harbor rebellious anger toward authority in general.

4.  They delivered a positive, factual message about God’s plan and power in loving truth.  They did not slander or show disrespect to those in authority.

5.  They accepted the cost of being loyal to the truth without anger or bitterness.

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Why Did God Give Us The Bible?

If God did not give us the Bible that means that it is a product of man.  It is easier to believe that God gave it.  It would indeed be incredible if  men, not aided by divine inspiration, could have produced the Bible.  Take notice of the volume lying around your house called the Bible; it was written by the hand that made you! Why did God give this volume?

1.  God gave the Bible to reveal himself to man: It is a permanent record of God’s revelation of Himself to man.  Without the Bible, man might conceive that there was some force out there that is superior to man, but without the Bible man could possible know what that ‘force” is; without the Bible man could not know anything about God.  One skeptic who rejected the information about God in the Bible began to set forth his concept of God.  He was then asked, “Where did you get your concept of God?”  Man may foolishly try to make God fit into his own image of what he want’s God to be, but such a “god” would not be the true and living God revealed in Scripture.

2.  God gave us the Bible to reveal to us a lasting picture of Christ:  What would you know about Christ were it not for the Bible?  relatively uneducated men gave in the Bible the record of a man who was the world’s greatest teacher who taught and lived perfectly the world’s greatest truths!  Their being uneducated is good evidence they were divinely aided.

3.  God gave the Bible to reveal man to himself:  God’s word is like a mirror. (James 1:22-25)  This is why some despise the Bible.  it is said an unbeliever gave a Bible back to a missionary and exclaimed: Every time I read this book it makes me feel guilty!”

4.  God gave the Bible to reveal man to man:  It will show us the sin in others as well as our own sins, and it will make us “consider ourselves” as we view the mistakes of another.  There is a Native American proverb that shows the meaning of this.  it says: “I will not criticize another until I have walked in his shoes for two weeks.”

5.  God gave the Bible to reveal His plan of salvation:  No more can we look for visions and signs: God speaks to us through His Son in the new testament.  (Hebrews 1:1-3)  Salvation is in Christ and no where else.  (Acts 4:11,12; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:14)  To be in Christ is to be in His body which is His church.  (Colossians 1:2, 18: 3:15)  We are baptized into Christ.  (Romans 6:3)

6.  God gave the Bible to reveal man’s destiny:  We are going somewhere.  We cannot will our souls “OUT” of existence.  The Bible determines our eternal destiny, depending on our attitudes towards it.

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

Tapestry of Scriptures:

The Lord said; “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

God said: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,  I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God,  I also will ignore your children”.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus said; “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

April 6, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | 1 Comment

Does The Language Get In The Way?

What is the best Bible translation? Which is the most accurate? What should I be using?  These are questions I hear all the time. You can ask these questions and each person would probably give you a different answer.

But enough about that.  This is not an article about translations (though that would be a good article in the future).   What I want to talk about is the message itself.  Regardless of your translation, I feel, that sometimes the actual language gets in the way of understanding what is actually being said.

I will now give a few examples of what I am talking about. First I will post the verse in a series of translations, then I will render it in language that anyone can understand.

Matthew 25:40

New International Version (©1984)

  • “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

King James Bible

  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

American Standard Version

  • And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.

My Rendering.

  • This is what the King will say. “You want the truth; when it comes to even the most distant of my family, you mess with them you mess with me!”

Matthew 5:3

New International Version (©1984)

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

King James Bible

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

American Standard Version

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

My Rendering.

  • When you understand that you are in great spiritual need, you can find happiness in my heavenly kingdom.

Now this is just a sample. We need to realize that a word for word translation sometime misses the point.  Why? because the original was written in languages that, at times , cannot be translated with a single word. A literal translation may give you the proper “translation” but does the meaning translate? My renderings are not “translations” per say; but they do convey a dynamic equivalent of the actual meaning.

As far as which translation to use, use as many as you can in your personal study. Compare and study the different ways the same verse is rendered. The truth is there.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI | Leave a comment

The Silencing Of God

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Videos from Apologetic s Press.

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, FYI, Politics | Leave a comment

So What?

A man is in prison; death row to be precise. Soon he will walk what many call “the green mile”. He is a murderer, a vicious piece of filth of the worst kind.  Another is laying in a hospital bed dying of multiple sexually transmitted diseases brought about by a lifetime of perversion and deviancy. Yet another is in a clinic suffering the wages of drug abuse and alcoholism.  Their lives destroyed for all intents and purposes. The thought of “normality” is just a day dream, they can never have the lives they once had.

“So what?” That’s usually the first response. After all, they are only getting what they deserve. The Bible says you reap what you sow.  Again “So what?”

I will not argue that they are getting what they deserve. Our choices have a way of defining us in ways that other aspects of our environment can’t. There will always be consequences.

Let’s look at this from another angle.

The prophet Isaiah said that “we all like sheep have gone astray”. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned. It says that all have fallen short.  Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. Knowing that what do you think YOU deserve? What consequences lay ahead for YOU?

I have met many people in my life who were getting exactly what they deserved for the choices they made. I have seen people suffer and die because of a life lived in sin and darkness and I confess my first thought was “So what?” Shame on me!

The time has come for those of us who “have been called according to His riches” to thank God that we don’t have to get what we deserve. While the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life.  We can’t earn it or buy it and we definitely don’t deserve it. We all have sinned.  We all have, at one time or another, turned our backs on what we know to be right. But, when we accept God’s gift on His terms no matter the sin or depravity in our past it is God who say’s “So what?”.  You have sinned. So what? I will cleanse you.  You have suffered sorrow. So what? I shall wipe away your tears. You have fallen short. So what? I will bear your burden.

Jimmy

March 31, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, Counseling, FYI | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MANY FALSE PROPHETS ?

Are there truly “many false prophets” who “are gone out into the world”? Jesus said there would be “many false prophets” who should arise “and deceive many” (Matt. 24:11). The Holy Spirit made a similar statement (1 Jn. 4:1). As Peter said, “there were false prophets” among the people of the Old Testament, and even so “there shall be false teachers among you” (2 Pet. 2:1).

But how can this be? If, as many people believe, everyone’s religion is equally valid and acceptable, how can there be “any” false prophets, let alone “many false prophets”? The fact that the Bible says there shall be “many false prophets” implies that not everyone’s religion is pleasing before God.

Even in his own day, the Lord Jesus did not receive the worship of each person. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 7:21). “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men …. Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone; they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt. 15:8, 9, 13, 14). The “blind leaders” were false prophets, false teachers.

Again, that “false prophets” exist is indicative of the fact that not all religions, not all “belief systems,” are approved of God (2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rev. 2:2). Why do some say we may serve God according to the dictates of our own conscience? If all religious concepts of faith are equally valid, why did John say to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 Jn. 4:1)? Why say that if it does not matter “in what” or “in whom” you believe?

Since there are, as the Spirit of God says, “many false prophets,” are there not also “many false religions” (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:4-6)? That being so, what of your faith? What of your religion? Is it of God or of man (Isa. 8:20)? “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Cor. 13:5).

 


March 24, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Just As Long As You’re Sincere

Do you know why more people are not interested in Bible studies? Or why they often are not bothered when their ordinances of worship are challenged and refuted? Chiefly, it is because they do not think it matters what one believes. If one believes Jesus is the Son of God, that is good enough for many people–”After all, doctrines don’t matter; it’s what’s in a person’s heart that counts; just so one is sincere, that’s all that is important.”

Religion must be the only area in which “sincerity” rules and reigns supreme, for it is a failure in every other sphere of life:

  1. If a doctor sincerely, but mistakenly, makes an incorrect diagnosis, does his sincerity save the patient?
  2. If a pharmacist or a nurse gives the wrong pill to the sick, do good intentions spare the person from disastrous side effects?
  3. If a commanding officer trains off-shore guns against his own men on the beach, does the enemy suffer because he meant for them to be the target?
  4. If a ball player runs the wrong way, does his enthusiasm give the points to his team?
  5. If a driver believes he is on the right road but is headed in the wrong direction, will he reach his destination?
  6. If a mother unknowingly serves tainted food, are her children spared?

Who will say Jacob did not sincerely believe Joseph had been killed (Gen. 37:33)? Did his sincere grief make it so? Who will say the prophets of Baal were not sincere in their idolatry (1 Kings. 18:26:29)? Sincerity did not make the religious fervor of the Samaritans and Athenians approved of God (Acts 8:9-11; 17:22-31). Saul’s intense service did not justify him (Acts 23:1; 26:9-  11). Neither devout Jewish nor Gentile souls were saved in their zealous sincerity (Acts 2:5; 10:2; 11:14; Rom. 10:1-3; Cf. Gal. 4:17). If an atheist is sincere, will he be saved in his sincere unbelief (John 8:24; Heb. 11:6)? If not, sincerity alone is not sufficient.

 

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Emergency Numbers

These are more effective than 911

When –
You are sad, phone John 14

You have sinned, phone Psalm 51
You are facing danger, phone Psalm 91
People have failed you, phone Psalm 27
Your faith needs stimulation, phone Hebrews 11

You are alone and scared, phone Psalm 23
You are worried, phone Matthew 8:19-34
You are hurt and critical, phone 1 Corinthians 13
You wonder about Christianity, phone 2 Corinthians 5:15-18
You feel like an outcast, phone Romans 8:31-39
You are seeking peace, phone Matthew 11:25-30
It feels as if the world is bigger than God, phone Psalm 90
You need Christ like insurance, phone Romans 8:1-30
You are leaving home for a trip , phone Psalm 121
You are praying for yourself, phone Psalm 87
You require courage for a task, phone Joshua 1
Inflation’s and investments are hogging your thoughts, phone Mark 10:17-31
You are depressive, phone Psalm 27
Your bank account is empty, phone Psalm 37
You lose faith in mankind, phone 1 Corinthians 13
It looks like people are unfriendly, phone John 15
You are losing hope, phone Psalm 126
You feel the world is small comp ared to you, phone Psalm 19
You want to carry fruit, phone John 15
Paul’s secret for happiness, phone Colossians 3:12-17
With big opportunity/ discovery, phone Isaiah 55
To get along with other people, phone Romans 12
For dealing with fear, call Psalm 47
For security, call Psalm 121:3
For assurance, call Mark 8:35
For reassurance, call Psalm 145:18

March 23, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study, Counseling, FYI | Leave a comment

5 Great Bible Truths

Text: John 17:17

1. Life is short.

James 4:14

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

2. Death is certain.

Hebrews 9:27

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

3. All will be judged.

Hebrews 4:13

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

4. Hell is real.

Mark 9:47-48

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where”‘the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

5. Heaven is waiting.

John 14:2-3

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | 1 Comment