What the Bible DOESN’T Say

It’s a very good thing to find out what the Bible has to say. This is the only way to discover the will of God for our lives.

Bible students also know that when God is silent about something, that He is not giving His approval.

For example, when David came up with the idea to build a permanent temple to God in replacement of the tabernacle, God sent Nathan to him and asked; “Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?” [2Sam 7:5-7]. The point God was making is clear, if He hasn’t revealed His will on the matter He has not given His approval.

We see this same thing in the New Testament in Acts 15:24 when the Apostles wrote a letter to the gentiles over the issue of circumcision. They applied this same principle from God when they wrote, “to whom we gave no such commandment.” Silence prohibits.

Unfortunately, people are doing all sorts of things contrary to this principle by saying, “God never said we can’t.”

THINGS NOT FOUND IN GOD’S WORD.

Thinking about this principle, what are some things we see in modern day religious activities NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE.

  • Denominational church names – Rom 16:16; Acts 20:28; Heb 12:23
  • When any Denomination Began – Dan 2:44; Mat 16:18; Acts 1:5-8, 2:1-47
  • Where anyone ever ‘JOINED’ a church – Acts 2:47; Mark 16:15-16
  • How to become a member of any denomination – The N.T. only tells us how to become a Christian Acts 2:38, 47; Acts 22:16, Gal 3:27
  • Where any were ever voted on.
  • There is no description of any denomination or how to begin one.

If there are no instructions for denominational names, beginnings or how to join one, WHY BE A MEMBER OF ONE?

JUDGEMENT BEGINS – at the house of God [1Pet 4:17]

LOST – obey not the Gospel [2Thess 1:8-9]

US, THE CHURCH – ground & pillar of the truth [1Tim 3:15]

UNGODLY – ungodly men [2Pet 3:7]

RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY SAVED –  1Peter 4:18

SINNER – But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. [Rev 21:8]

SALVATION IN CHRIST – And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [1John 5:11]

CONDEMNED – Mr 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

1Peter 4:17-18

Bible believers understand that there will be a judgement [2Cor 5:10; Ecc 12:14; Heb 9:27]. Peter said, “judgment must begin at the house of God.” Who are they? Those who have obeyed the Gospel. Note the contrast at the end of v17. This alone ought to end the discussion that one can be saved outside of the church.

Finally, look closely at v18; “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

The Bible never tells us one thing about a denomination, as a matter of fact, it condemns it [1Cor 1:10]. However, it tells us everything we need for life and godliness [2Pet 1:3-4]. Let’s do that.

Who Knew?

Over the last few weeks, sexual misconduct allegations have rocked the news & entertainment world (Sometimes I wonder if there’s a difference between news and entertainment today).Then just this week we saw the firing of Matt Lauer from NBC’s the Today show. The earthquake has shaken everyplace far beyond just Hollywood. Trembles are being felt in the workplace, in sports and at the highest levels of government. The pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the workplace has begun to shift our countries mindset.

Women are now boldly coming forward to shine the light on crude conversation and lewd behavior. Let’s be honest guys, we’ve known about the vulgar way men tend to joke with each other when we’re not in mixed company. Many have heard stories (as it turns out they’re more than just stories) of ‘playboys’ taking advantage of innocent female coworkers. Many men, and even some women, would say, “boys will be boys.”

Who knew that this sort of sordid activity was wrong? WE ALL DID!! We all know that the harassment of women is wrong. We all know that sexual assault is wrong. It’s not wrong just because it is coming to light and our society finds it detestable. It was wrong long before these times. Who knew?

God did, for He deemed it wrong when He revealed His will to mankind for how we ought to behave. From the very beginning God began to show us how He expected us to behave toward the opposite sex. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” [Gen 2:24]. In the desert, He commanded us, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Then He said, “…Thou shalt not covet neighbour’s wife,” [Exodus 20:14, 17]. He then revealed to us in Leviticus 18 what ought not be revealed.

Who Knew? Jesus did. In Matthew 5:28 He said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Then He said, “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” [v19].

Who Knew? the Holy Spirit did. The inspired Paul warned us through the 1 Corinthian letter, “…It is better to marry than to burn.” [1Cor 7:9]. Paul warned Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts” and to “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” [2Timothy 2:22, 1Timothy 4:12]. Paul wrote for us to know that, “fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints;” [Ephesians 5:3]. Who knew that sexual harassment is wrong? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit knew, and He expects us all to know it as well.

I wonder what the world would be like if there was more concern given for God’s word. Perhaps these allegations and admissions will awaken us to the truth of God’s word, or at least remind Christians that our behavior is to be far above that of the world. That’s what Paul meant, “let it not even be named among you.”

But there’s more

Did you also know that the joking we excuse as locker room talk is wrong? In the same passage above, Paul continued, “nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks.” [v4 ASV]. We ought to have known that the ‘locker room’ talk is never befitting of a Christian regardless of the company. Who knew?

Is One Denomination as good as another?

all-denominations

IT ALWAYS amazes me when someone explains how one denomination is as good as another regarding worship or salvation. Denomination, by its very definition means division. Today, there are around 33,000 Christian denominations in the U.S.

These 33,000 are subdivided into 6 major mega-blocs in order of size, rounded slightly for convenience:

  • Independents (about 22000)
  • Protestants (about 9000)
  • “Marginals” (about 1600)
  • Orthodox (781)
  • Roman Catholics (242)
  • Anglicans (168)

One reason there are so many denominations is because of the variety of teachings. Some teach baptism by sprinkling, others teach no baptism at all. Still others teach sin is wrong whereas others teach no repentance is required. You can join a black only church, a woman church, or even a church of Satan! Is this what Jesus had in mind when He built His church?

WHY SO MANY DIVISIONS?

Some very important questions are raised when you begin to think about these divisions. Did God authorize so many divisions? Is one denomination just as good as another? Does it matter which church you join? All of them are important questions, so what does the bible say? The Apostle Paul found this division problem as far back as the 1st century, and he wrote to the church to correct it;

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” [1Co 1:10-13]

It’s clear from this text that God had no intention for us to divide up into these denominations. These divisions are causing confusion among people and they are being led astray, or even being turned off of religion because they don’t know where to turn for truth. If ANY DENOMINATION will do, does that make God an author of confusion? Certainly not…

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” [1Corinthians 14:33].

Let’s illustrate why this fallacy of “any denomination is as good as another” is wrong. Look at our own currency. We call the different size bills, denominations.

denominations-bills

If you could have only one of these bills, which would you choose? Since, “one denomination is as good as another” it makes no difference which bill you take, right? After using this illustration, one person said, “Yes it makes a difference, one denomination goes farther than the other.” That is exactly right, just as in our currency, so also with denominations of religion, one goes farther UP than another. Again, we go back to the scriptures for the answer…

Jesus said, “I will build MY church.” [Matthew 16:18]. He didn’t say “churches” plural, He said “church” singular.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit who instructed Paul to write, “there is ONE body” [Ephesians 4:4], and the body is the church, [Ephesians 1:22-23].

The reason there are so many denominations comes down to this one point; error. Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures,” [Matthew 22:29]. We are supposed to teach the same thing [Mat 28:20], when we do we will be added to the one church that Christ has built.

Local church cancels Christmas

…kinda, a church in Dumas, Texas has cancelled their corporate worship in favor of each family worshiping at home. Since Christmas falls on a Sunday, many churches are altering their normal worship times and services to accommodate the holiday. I learned about this through a Facebook discussion thread which involved members of this particular denomination and an evangelist who was simply wondering why.

One person said; “Many of our local churches are having only a worship service with no Sunday school or Bible study classes. Some are having no nursery or children’s classes. Some are having their services at a different time. Some are having music only, no sermon.”

Here is an explanation from one of the members of the denomination that has canceled their worship; “We have been preparing ourselves to lead worship with our own family and friends, in a small group setting as was done in the days of the early church.”

As the conversation progressed, the one who raised the question came under attack. Ironic, the very ones who were critical of any rebuke began rebuking the one who wanted to study!

What is the real issue?

Is the issue really about the public rebuke of a denomination? No, the real issue is where do we get our permission for worship? Let’s look at it this way;

Let’s say you had purchased a singing telegram service. This service is where people come to a place you decide, at a time you decide, sing a song you decide, for a person you decide. What is supposed to happen is that those people you hired (bought) are supposed to follow YOUR instructions.

What would you do if, however, they changed the plan? What if they change the time, place or elements of your desires? What if they go to the wrong place, or do the wrong thing or even worse, sing to the wrong person?

You’d demand a refund!

This is how many of us understand God regarding His worship…

  • He required it; John 4:24 MUST worship in spirit AND IN TRUTH.
  • He provided the instruction; John 17:17 His word is Truth.
  • He purchased the people for the worship; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • He ordered that His commands be followed; John 14:15; Mat 28:19-20, Mat 7:21-23
Unity

Everyone wants unity, and I’m no different. The question is, how? Is unity only a product of tolerance when everyone does whatever they want? Or perhaps, is unity a product of people following the instructions?

Am 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (NKJV)

 

 

You will never hear

WILL YOU EVER hear our Baptist, Presbyterian or any of our denominational friends say, “The most influential men in our history were opposed to the use of instrumental music in Christian assemblies.”? No, you will never hear a Baptist say, “Charles Spurgeon, one of our greatest Baptist preachers, opposed instrumental music.” And you will never hear a Presbyterian admit: “John Calvin, one of the most famous theologians in history, rejected instrumental music in the sacred assembly.” Why? Because most are completely unaware of several facts about church history and may never hear them as their assemblies become more like concerts than a worship.

In the first century, Christians merely sang in their assemblies (Woodson). Hundreds of years passed before instrumental music was ever introduced into the apostate church. In fact, instrumental music was rejected by leading Protestants; and even when introduced into the mainline denominations, there was resistance.

Men who influenced the Protestant landscape were themselves opposed to instrumental music. For example, in his commentary on Psalm 33:2-“Give thanks unto Jehovah with the harp: Sing praises unto him with the psaltery of ten strings”-John Calvin wrote:

For even now, if believers choose to cheer themselves with musical instruments, they should, I think, make it their object not to dissever their cheerfulness from the praises of God. But when they frequent their sacred assemblies, musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, and the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews. Men who are fond of outward pomp may delight in that noise; but the simplicity which God recommends to us by the apostle is far more pleasing to him.”

The Methodist scholar Adam Clarke wrote with reference to 2 Chronicles 29:25.

But were it even evident, which it is not, either from this or any other place in the sacred writings, that instruments of music were prescribed by Divine authority under the law, could this be adduced with any semblance of reason, that they ought to be used in Christian worship? No: the whole spirit, soul, and genius of the Christian religion are against this: and those who know the Church of God best, and what constitutes its genuine spiritual state, know that these things have been introduced as a substitute for the life and power of religion; and that where they prevail most, there is least of the power of Christianity. Away with such portentous baubles from the worship of that infinite Spirit who requires his followers to worship him in spirit and in truth, for to no such worship are those instruments friendly.”

In connection with Psalms 42:4, Charles Spurgeon wrote:

Here are the facts. The instrument was not taken out of worship; rather, the instrument was an innovation brought into assemblies. On Christ’s authority, congregational singing of spiritual songs is what belongs in the church.”

John L. Girardeau’s strong opposition among the Presbyterians to the instrument included this statement:

It is almost inconceivable that the majority of the officers and members of the Presbyterian Church can have abandoned the consecrated principle that a divine warrant is needed for every element which enters into the worship of God’s house (197). What a degradation to supplant the intelligent song of the whole congregation by … the blowing off of wind from inanimate bellows and pipes! We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it (272).”

Church history is very clear, the instrument was not taken out of worship; rather, the instrument was BROUGHT IN and it was TAUGHT IN by MEN. Jesus said – and I believe it – that such worship is VAIN. On Christ’s authority, congregational singing of spiritual songs is what belongs in the church.

1Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:18, 19; Colossians 3:16

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

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

I’ve recently been asked “why do we care so much about the name Church of Christ?” I’ve had this before and have a response, but then I actually came across a religious group that pride themselves on having no name.

This is a problem folks. It’s already disappointing to have denominations calling themselves after the names of men, but to go so far as to not have a name at all just takes the cake!

Why is this such a problem you ask? Because God did supply names from the very beginning. God sent the animals He created to Adam to “see what he would call them” [Gen 2:19]. God also found it important to change Abrams name to Abraham, [Ge 17:5]. Moses also needed to know God’s name, and God gave one, [Ex 3:14] which Jesus called Himself and was convicted of Blasphemy by the Jews [Joh 8:58, Mr 14:62-63].

The Psalms also proclaim the name of God, [Ps 83:18]. His name is to be revered, and not blasphemed, [Ex 20:7; De 5:11; 28:58; Ps 111:9; Mic 4:5; 1Ti 6:1]

The names of the Old Testament often had meaning. Hosea was commanded by God to give his children certain names which had meaning, [Ho 1:3,4,6,9; 2:1]

Names were given in prophecy as a proof of their fulfillment, i.e., Josiah [1Ki 13:2].Then there are the prophecies about Jesus, including His name! [Isa 7:14, Mat 1:23]. Isaiah also prophesied about a new name for God’s people, “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. [Isa 62:2]

Is this enough to show that names are important? I believe so, but let’s continue our study.

The chief priests sought for a name from Jesus for the things that He said and did, [Mt 21:23]. The Samaritan Woman knew what the Savior would be called, [Joh 4:25]. His parents “called His NAME Jesus”, [Mt 1:25, Lu 2:21]

As we continue to study, we find that the Holy Spirit found it important to reveal a name for God’s people under the new covenant, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Ac 11:26

NAMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

So, all of this leads us to the questions, what should His church be called? Should there be a name, is there a name given in the scriptures? Let’s turn to the word of God in the New Testament….

Jesus said, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” [Mt 16:18] Peter had just given the confession in vs 16 “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This shows upon what His church would be built. A careful examination shows that it’s NOT Peter, he has the keys. It’s NOT Christ Himself, He’s doing the building. Upon what is Christ building His church? The confession that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God. HIS NAME.

We see this confession being professed by the Ethiopian, [Ac 8:37]. There are multiple passages about confessing and believing in the name of Jesus the Christ. [1Jo 4:15; 5:5, 13]

Looking to the letters to the churches, we find the authors using names for the New Testament Church… church of God [Ac 20:28, 1Co 1:2]. Church of the living God, [1Ti 3:15]. Church of the firstborn, [Heb 12:23]. We find letters addressed to a particular city, “church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ:” [1Th 1:1] Paul ended his letter to the Roman Christians with the salutation, “The churches of Christ salute you.” [Ro 16:16]  Body of Christ, [Eph 4:12].

With all of these names, which one are we to use? Let’s consider some things about Jesus the Christ. He said He would build His church, [Mat 16:17]. He, Jesus the Christ, commanded that the Apostles “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” [Mt 28:20]. Which is His doctrine, [2Jo 1:9]. His, Jesus the Christ’s, blood was shed for us, [Mt 26:28, Mr 14:24]. He, Jesus the Christ, is the head of the church, which is His body, and is the savior of the body, which He gave Himself for it. [Eph 1:22-23, 5:23-25]. And we are often reproached for His name, [1Pe 4:14].

Space prevents me from including other “____ of Christ” writings. Doctrine, partakers, gospel, servant, word, mystery, minister, cross, faith, knowledge, work, kingdom, obedience, grace, members and of course the day of Christ.

An honest study of the Word of God reveals that the church belongs to Jesus the Christ, it is the church of Christ. What we fail to find is denominational names, too many to even list. What’s in a name? Ownership, that’s what. [1Co 6:15, 19] Who owns you, is it Jesus the Christ or someone else? [Joh 8:44]

Spencer Preaches and Teaches at the Franklin St. Church of Christ in Borger, Tx

Better than the Golden Rule

You’ve heard of the ‘Golden Rule’, it’s taken from the passage in Matthew 7:12;

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

That is a great rule, hence why it’s been called Golden, but there is another rule I like to call the ‘Platinum Rule’.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [Philippians 2:3]

The word ‘esteem’ is the same word translated as ‘count’ in other passages i.e., Phil 3:7. In that passage, Paul has ‘counted’ all things as loss. Compare that usage to ‘esteem’ and you now have an instruction on how we ought to interact with each other.

Regarding stuff, count it as loss. Regarding people, especially those in the household of faith [Ga 6:10], count them as better than self.

What would it look like if we obeyed the command of our Lord in BOTH of these passages? If you were to ask me how I would describe a Christian, I would begin with these two passages, and perhaps a third;

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. [Joh 13:34]

 – Spencer

365 Daily Instructions for Life

10 March 2015
(Numbers 16.1-3)
Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”

God had appointed specific men from a specific family of a specific tribe to be priests.

Yet Korah (from the same tribe, but different family) along with Dathan and Abiram (from another tribe) reasoned that since God had made the nation holy, anyone could serve as His priests.
In fact, these self-appointed priests accused Moses and Aaron of self-serving bias, claiming they were guilty of transgression by exalting themselves above all Israel.

Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and those who followed them tried to set one part of God’s word above another, reasoning that since the whole nation was holy, then anyone could serve as priests without distinction. Yet, although God had sanctified the nation, He had also specified who would be priests: Aaron and his sons, of the tribe of Levi.

Many Christians reason accordingly today, claiming that all who have been sanctified in Christ are able to perform any function and fulfill any role of service for the Lord, in spite of clear passages to the contrary. We now have women speaking, teaching, and even preaching in the assemblies of the church, contrary to God’s word (1 Cor 14.35; 1 Tim 2.11-12). Some churches have ordained women elders, despite God-given qualifications (1 Tim 3.2; Titus 1.6).
Some churches have begun approving marriages which Jesus clearly rejected (Matthew 19.9), and even accept same-sex unions, though God clearly defined marriage as a commitment between a man and a woman, and condemned homosexual acts (Rom 1.26-27). We would do well to learn from the example of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (1 Cor 10.6,11), recognizing that God does not approve setting one Scripture above another to nullify one part of His covenant in favor of a misapplication of another. Those who went ahead and offered incense, though they were not called to be priests, were consumed with fire from God (Num 16.35). Their leaders, who promoted this disobedience were swallowed up by the ground (Num 16.31-33).

Clearly, God is not pleased when He specifies one thing and people veto His word by doing something else.

Stuart Tullis

7 things Jesus said that made me work harder

While sitting in my office here in Borger, Tx, I was wondering, Why does one person seem to be more active as a Christian and another does not?  Said another way, why do some remain faithful and others fall away? Pondering this question, 7 verses of Jesus came to mind that are motivators for me and my faith.

1)“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” [Mt 22:37]

  • Certainly we should start here. This is the ultimate motivator, IF you believe in the existence of God. For me, obedience to an all powerful God makes perfect sense. He created me, He gave me life, He deserves my life service. Related to this saying are these:
  • A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]
    • Our love, including our demonstration of love, has an impact on my evangelistic efforts. It reminds me of David’s sin. He certainly committed adultery, lying and finally murder, but his real sin was, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, “ [2Sa 12:14]
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” [Mt 5:44]
    • Elevated even further, love our enemies. This really gets at the heart of the matter because in this one thing we see the truth of the love of God, the love of an enemy. [Rom 5:10]

2)“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mr 8:36]

  • This verse showed me the vanity of worldly pursuits, and that these pursuits can interfere with my ability to win heaven. This verse clearly shows that nothing can be compared to heaven. What’s surprising, not that we sell our souls, but that we sell it so cheaply.

3)“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Lu 9:62]

  • It’s very easy to get lazy and unmotivated as a christian. This verse reminds us that our service toward God is an active service. James reminds us of this when he wrote, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” [Jam 2:18]

4)“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Mt 5:20]

  • So many people believe in an, “I’m ok / you’re ok” kind of life. This verse shows us that our righteousness is to EXCEED another’s. When you also look at this other verse, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” [Mt 23:23] we see that He was critical of their lack in the heart issues. Please note that He said, “without leaving the others undone.”

5)“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:” [Mt 25:35]

  • How do we do this? How do we feed our Lord? When we read the context we see very clearly that it’s done through the care and feeding of our brethren. He then goes on to say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” / “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

6)“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” [Mt 22:29]

  • Can there be any more sobering words from our Lord than these? “Spencer, you’re mistaken.” In what were these mistaken? You may say, “It’s got nothing to do with salvation.” My question for you is this, CAN YOU BE MISTAKEN ABOUT SALVATION, By not knowing the scriptures or the power of God?

7)“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” [Joh 3:5]

  • When Jesus says things like, “except ye______, he cannot enter….” we need to pay attention. So much verbal gymnastics are performed attempting to explain away baptism. When you take the entirety of scripture, [Mrk 16:16; Acts 22:16] you can only come to the conclusion that baptism is essential.

So, there you go. Seven amazing quotes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ. What will motivate you to serve Him better? If not these, what?

One more bonus quote I will share: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” [Mt 7:21]