Outsmarting God, so we can continue to sin

W.C. Fields once told someone who caught him reading a Bible that he was “looking for loopholes”

This seems to be the approach to Bible study among denominations, and I fear among some Christians. Sin has crept into the religious world disguised as “enlightenment” or “modernism”. Folks are tearing down the Bible by calling it “out dated” or “mythical”, AND THIS IS AMONG THOSE PROFESSING TO BE CHRISTIANS!!

I recall a friend that was invited to speak at a denomination about Noah’s ark and the flood. Moments before giving his presentation, the pastor of that denomination pulled him aside and said, “Just so you know, we don’t believe those events to be literal, nor the first 11 chapters of Genesis.”

Is it any wonder that many of the major denominations no longer teach the commands of our Lord, allowing all sorts of sinful behaviors to be allowed to exist inside their churches?

It should also be no surprise that they’ve changed the commands of God and are now teaching for doctrine the commands of men by allowing women preachers, organizations that deprecate the work of the church and many other innovations. Calling these changes “fitting in to the times” or “expedients” to reach out to the world.
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. [Mt 15:9]

We all know, and are on the watch, for those outside of the body to attack the validity of the Bible, but we need to be on watch for those who are INSIDE the body doing the same. Paul warned us that wolves would enter the church…..
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [Ac 20:29]

Where did Paul come up with this? From Jesus the Christ our Lord Himself. He warned us, even before the church began, that there would be those among us that would attempt to destroy us.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. [Mt 7:15]

Jude had the very same warning;
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [Jude 1:4]

Please brethren, understand that I am not pointing my finger at any of you in particular. Nor am I suggesting that this is going on here. I simply write this as a warning for us as I witness what is happening among the denominations. It’s for this reason that we are involved in a study on “How to determine Scriptural Authority”.

An Answer to the Problem

And that is the answer to this problem. We must study our Bible.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2Ti 2:15]

A diligent study of our Bibles is essential for us get to heaven. Let us read the next few verses….
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Did you see it? Without study we are susceptible to error, which increases ungodliness and potentially overthrows our faith. Losing your faith, your salvation, can occur by letting someone lead you away from the truth. If anyone tells you that you can never lose your salvation, that person is one of those wolves.
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; [Heb 2:3]

Let us shun (take no part) in profane (wrong) and vain (foolish) babblings (fruitless discussions). We must be diligent to present ourselves approved to God. I didn’t bring this up, He did.

He is the one that commands us to rightly divide the word. [2Tim 2:15]

He is the one that commands us to observe all things that the Lord has commanded. [Mat 28:20]

He is the one that said add to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and Love. [2Pet 1:4-11]

And He is the one that said…
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; [Heb 5:9]

 

spencer is the evangelist for the Franklin St. church of Christ in Borger Texas

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5 things you can do for the church today

One of the problems the Apostle Paul had to deal with was that folks in the church wanted the same job, that is, they wanted the best ones. [1Corinthians 12] He pointed out that every person was important in the church regardless of their abilities. He wanted all the members of the Lord’s church to learn……

  • We are more than individuals; 1Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
  • We are members one of another; Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    • Ephesians 4:25b for we are members one of another.
What can you do?

Some of you may be asking the question, what can I do for the church? Instead of looking for the jobs that seem to be the best ones, or the ones that garner the most attention, look for the work that you can do well. But what is that? How do you find what that is?

If this is you, here are 5 things you can do for the church today as you do your own “one another ministry”.

You can …..

1 – KINDLY affectioned one another —

You can, TODAY, be kind. You can be kind to the visitors by welcoming them in and introducing them to others in the congregation. You can be kind to those leading the public worship and the classes. You can be kind by assisting the mom with the “antsy” child. You can be kind to that ill member that has been unable to attend for some time.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [Romans 12:10]

2 – ENCOURAGE one another –

So many folks are under such stress and pressure these days and need some encouragement. The Bible uses the words comfort, exhort and beseech. You can encourage that young person that is learning how to serve the Lord. You can encourage that single person looking for a way to fit in. You can be that person that encourages folks to continue to build their faith in the Lord.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. [Jude 1:3]

3 – STIR UP one another –

In the King James text, Hebrews 10:24 uses the word “provoke”. Usually used negatively by us, in this text it is an urgent command to “stir up” members of the church to increase in LOVE and GOOD WORKS. Every church needs a lot more of both of these things. Sometimes it requires a person or group of people to get the ball rolling. Of course when the Bible says “good works” it is referring to the works “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:10]

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: [Hebrews 10:24]

4 – COMFORT one another –

Here’s something that you can do that is very much needed by everyone from time to time, comfort. Folks need comfort when they’re grieving, when they’re sick, when they’re facing a challenge at home or work. People get sad, discouraged or down from time to time and need a shoulder to cry on. They need to know that their brothers and sisters in Christ care. Do you?

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. [1Co 12:25]

5 – SERVE one another –

We can all do a better job at serving one another. People need help, physical help. Sometimes they need financial help. The rest of us can be there to provide the service that our brother or sister in Christ needs. I know a man that came to me expressing his fear of leading of public prayer or speaking in public. “But, I can fix cars, put up drywall or do just about any home repair.” WOW! That’s fantastic, this brother wanted to serve is fellow church member. And he did. Every time someone needed help with a car repair or home repair, he was there.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. [Galatians 5:13]

Bonus – PRAY FOR one another –

Before we finish this article, we need to add just one more thing that every member of the Lord’s church can do for the others, PRAY. People often request prayers from the church. DO IT, actually do it. Pray for your brethren. Be specific in your prayers. If a sister is asking for prayers for an upcoming surgery, pray about that surgery. Pray for the protection of the children as they go off to college or off to war, that they be both physically safe, but also psychologically safe. Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.” [1Thessalonians 5:17]

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. [James 5:16]

If I had to summarize all of these things you can do into one word, that word would be LOVE. Love in the scriptures is an action word. It’s much more than an acknowledgement in your mind. It’s an attitude that compels you to do something.

spencer is the evangelist for the Franklin Street Church of Christ in Borger Texas.

Whatever happened to sin?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! [Isaiah 5:20] 

For the past few years it seems that our culture has been calling sin good by renaming it. What do I mean? Here are just a few ways that today’s society and mainstream media are elevating evil….

Abortion is called “the right to choose”. It’s legal, free and promoted through oxymoronically named organizations like Planned Parenthood. [95% of the women served by Planned Parenthood have an abortion]
*The source of this statistic is Planned Parenthood’s own annual report. If you take the number of services listed in the report, excluding the ones that don’t apply to women who aren’t pregnant.

Drunkenness and getting high has now become medicinal. Often the news cites studies extoling the virtue of drinking, while hiding the fact that

At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” [Proverbs 23:32]

We must now accept the alternate lifestyle which has been normalized by TV and many music artists. The popular phrase after the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage was “Love Wins”.

Profanity has been called “freedom of speech.” Stealing has become “situation ethics” and lying is “your perception of the truth.”

The scariest of them all; Preaching is currently being redefined as “hate speech.”

There are other sinister ways that the culture normalizes sin. I believe that Satan is behind them all.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” [1Peter 5:8]

They Popularize Sin. The old phrase, “Everybody’s doing it”. That didn’t work when I was a kid and it won’t work with God. What becomes popular soon becomes normal.

Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:” [1Peter 4:4]

They Legalize Sin. They say that drug use is too difficult to stop so they must legalize it. “At least we’ll be able to tax it.” Then, if you oppose sin, if you speak out against the legalization of it, you are called a bigot, a racist and all kinds of names. It’s ironic that a culture that is on a campaign to eliminate bullying in our schools, uses the very same bullying tactics in our culture to silence the voice of opposition and reason.

And it’s working. Christians are afraid to speak out about sin. Our jobs are jeopardized. We’re afraid our cars will be vandalized for displaying an “abortion stops a beating heart” bumper sticker, because it will be. And lastly, I fear, we shall be jailed for speaking the truth.

But we still have hope. Our Lord and Savior warned us about these things.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”[John 15:18] 

            Take comfort, brothers and sisters, knowing that we’re in good company and that company is the greatest of all and the only opinion that matters.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  [John 15:15]

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” [Revelation 2:10]

By Spencer Blackwelder

Where does bible say ask Jesus into your heart?

Other ways of asking this question are;

Is “ask Jesus into your heart” biblical? What are the verses supporting ask Jesus into your heart.

I’ve believed all of my believing life that in order to be saved a person needed was to “ask Jesus into their hearts.” That all a person had to do to be saved was believe. I believed in salvation by faith alone until I met Spencer. He asked a simple question, “Where do you find that in the scriptures?” [This is just a summary of the many hours we spent together in Bible reading.]

He and I looked and looked through the scriptures. We’ve never found that phrase or ones similar. We have found verses, if cherry picked, that may lead people to that belief. When you examine those scriptures you’ll find that the entirety of the passage teaches the opposite.

For example, in Acts 16:25-34 we read of the Philippian Jailor. In verse 30 & 31 he asks, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Then Paul answers, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

The rest of the story is that during the night, the prison bars were open and in fear he was about to take his own life. Paul tells him to do himself no harm, for we are all here. Then the jailor asks his questions and receives Paul’s answer, but note the REST OF THE STORY…..

Ac 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

When we read “….all the counsel of God.” Ac 20:27, we are able to learn the whole truth. The Jailor didn’t know anything about Jesus, therefore, he needed to believe. Before you can or will do anything, you first must believe. Then they “spake unto him the word of the Lord”. A person needs to hear about that which he is required to believe.

Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Based on this story, what did the jailor do upon hearing the “word of the Lord”? He repented, washing their stripes, and was baptized. These actions show that he was convinced, a believer.

Does the Bible teach that we ask Jesus into our hearts?

Yeah, sort of. Turn and look at John 14:23-24.

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

This is the closest passage to having Jesus come into your heart, but when you look carefully, you’ll see that there’s no ASKING, there’s OBEYING!!!

This message is consistent with the teaching of Jesus,

Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

This message is also consistent with the teaching of the Apostles,

Ro 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Ro 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Ga 3:1 ¶ O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

The scriptures go on and on talking about obedience, to do works. Not works of man, rather the works of God…

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Daniel Surges

If you want to ask me more about this, I’m usually at Braum’s in Borger Texas most days.