Friday, January 15, 2010

Your Future, Are You Sure?

“For ye have not passed this way heretofore” (Josh. 3:4).

My Friends, back of the Israelites was the desert with its hunger and thirst,its restlessness and danger. In front of them was Canaan,
unknown and feared. The journey through the desert had been a
long, costly, and weary test, but this crossing into the promised
Land would be a more severe test. They were now going from
the known to the unknown, from forty years of simple life to the
complexities of strange cities and fierce and wicked foreign
peoples. Thus, Joshua said, “For ye have not passed this way
heretofore” (Josh. 3:4).

My Friends, As it was true of the Israelites, so it is true of mankind.We
“have not passed this way heretofore.” The most incredible
situations often confront us. This is the common experience of
every life. The unknown plays upon our destiny. Amid a changing
world, man is the greatest migrant. Peter wrote, “Dearly beloved,
I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly
lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11).

My Friends, I now will pose some questions, for you to ponder, if I may?
What are some of the things we must, with God’s help, face and master?

1. We must master “self.” Socrates said, “Man, know
thyself,” but the process of self-knowledge is exceedingly
difficult. The Bible teaches us to examine ourselves. “Examine
yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you,
except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5).

My friends, Morally and Spiritually,how unwilling are many of us to know ourselves! We see defects in ourselves which we hope have not been seen by others; we see defects in others they have not seen in themselves. The realstudy of man is not the house he lives in, but man himself.

Between the cradle and the grave, there is enacted a mighty
drama by every living soul. We have never passed this way
before, and we shall never pass this way again. It is fair and
logical to ask not merely why we are called upon to make this
journey, but how can we make it with honor to ourselves and

After we, through a study of the Bible, learn our purpose for being
here, we see we are to be “the salt of the earth” (Mat. 5:14), and the “light of the world” (v. 6). As the Lord knew and always kept in mind His mission to save the lost (Mat. 1:21; Luke 19:10), we should be able with Him to say of our work and lives for Him, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37).

2. My friends, I'm sure you will agree, that the world is an unknown factor outside of self. How difficult to master it! The world is an arena where every man plays his little part. The world is composed of strange and mocking contrasts. It is very cruel to some,
offering them a stone instead of bread. To others, it is strewn with roses
which are often more dangerous than stones.

My friends, We are instructed to: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And
the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the
will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:15-17).

Thanks be unto God, we can overcome the world: “And this is the victory
that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

3. My friends, as we all know,death is another unknown factor with which we are faced daily (Heb. 9:27). This path we must, but have not yet, trodden. We often think of death in an abstract and impersonal way as if it were something others might well meet while we ourselves are immune. Yet, the strongest are smitten daily, and death’s shadow falls upon all alike.

4. The future is unknown, and yet its grip is upon us all. The past is
behind us, and we read its records; the present is with us, and we are shapingits history, but the future is a riddle that no man can solve. Therefore, how grateful we should be that “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27).

God’s Word—Sufficient Light To Guide Us Home
Since we enter a new year, we need to seek the continued guidance of
our heavenly Father. We must ever keep in mind the great statement of
Jeremiah: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). We must heed the advice of the inspired James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”
(Jas. 1:5).

My friends, as we contemplate the brevity of life and the significance of life’s opportunities, we pray, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

With calm minds, courageous hearts, and contented spirits, let us go
forward my friends, to face the unknown experiences of life fully aware that we do not know the future, but we do know Him who holds the future! We need to have in our lives a great renewal, so that old duties may become fresh, and old affections ardent, and our good old aspirations filled with strength.

My friends, we need to grow in faith and love even this year to the end that at the conclusion of the year it can be said of us, as Paul beautifully complimented the Thessalonians, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every
one of you all toward each other aboundeth” (2 Thess. 1:3).

A marvelous scriptural motto for us is: “Trust in the LORD with all
thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). In order to accomplish all of the above, we, as children of God, must come before our Father, bowed down with our unworthiness and an awareness of our sins.

Then, we need to comply with the Lord’s conditions of pardon for His children that we may be in a right relationship with Him. Precious to God’s faithful children are the great truths set out in these words,
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship
one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth
us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9).

My friends, remember always we can change directions, correct tendencies, obtain pardon from sins, but we can never retrace the steps already taken. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we add the Christian graces (2 Pet.1: 5-7).

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Pet. 1:10).

For my friends, its been written, that "A Wise Man, will Increase in Learning and Knowledge, and its the Fool, who despises Knowledge and Wisdom"

Are You certain my friends, of your future?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Sin For Real ?

Food For Thought
My Friends, Sin Is Real!

For Wicked men, who desire to continue in sin, yet affirm it is just a figment of man’s

imagination. Sin’s existence is not the result of inherited depravity,

genetic deformity, or environmental deficiency (Eze. 18:20).

Yet, sin exists. “Sin is a fact of experience,

of observation, and of revelation”.

What is sin? Sin means to miss the mark (John 1:29), to

violate one’s conscience (whether properly trained, or not

[Rom. 14:23]), to fail to do the good one should (Jam. 4:17),

to transgress the law (1 John 3:4), and to do unrighteousness

(1 John 5:17).

Here my Friends, is a list of eight basic

words in the Hebrew (Old Testament) which describe sin.

bad (Gen. 38:7), wickedness (Exo. 2:13), guilt

(Hos. 4:15), sin (Exo. 20:20), iniquity (1 Sam. 3:13), err (Isa.

28:7), wander away (Eze. 48:11), or rebel (1 Kings 8:50).

Additionally, my friends, view my lists of twelve basic words in the Greek (New

Testament). They are: bad (Rom. 13:3), evil (Mat. 5:45), godless

(Rom. 1:18), guilt (Mat. 5:21), sin (1 Cor. 6:18), unrighteousness

(1 Cor. 6:9), lawlessness (1 Tim. 2:9), transgression (Rom. 5:14),

to be ignorant (Rom. 1:13), to go astray (1 Cor. 6:9), to fall

away (Gal. 6:1), and hypocrite (1 Tim. 4:2).

The first time the word sin appears in our English Bibles

(King James Version), of the hundreds of times it does occur,

is in Genesis 4:7. The original word (in Genesis 4:7) can mean

an offense, or the offering for the offense. In this passage, it

indicates an offering which must be made because of sin; that

is, the commission of sin necessitated an offering made to

God in order for the sinner to obtain forgiveness. This is an

important Bible principle (cf. Lev. 17:11).

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve transgressed

the plainly given command of God (Gen. 2:16-17), a command

which they both understood (Gen. 3:2-3), but which they

both disobeyed (1 Tim. 2:13-14; 2 Cor. 11:3). By Adam, sin,

and its tragic results, “entered into the world.”

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,

and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men,

for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in

the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no

law…) (Rom. 5:12-13; cf 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45).

Sin had existed outside the world before the fall of

Adam and Eve, for Satan had sinned “from the beginning”:

“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth

from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was

manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1

John 3:8; cf. John 8:44). Apparently, Satan was one of the angels

of Heaven, but sinned [perhaps, because of pride] (Jude 6; 2

Pet. 2:4; 1 Tim. 3:6; Luke 10:18).

His temptation of Adam and Eve, through the three

avenues of “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and

the pride of life” (Gen. 3:6; cf. 1 John 2:15-17), and their

succumbing to temptation (Jam. 1:13-16; 1 Cor. 10:13; Luke

11:14), was by their hearing, believing, and obeying a lie (Gen.

3:4)—and, resulted in their being cursed and cast forth from

the Paradise of Eden (Gen. 3:16-19, 23-24). The sad account

of the fall of Adam and Eve forcefully and vividly demonstrates

the reality of sin.


My Friends, God’s reaction to the sin of the first pair, Adam and Eve,

shows just how serious our Heavenly Father considers the

problem of sin to be. Another example of God’s reaction to sin

is in the divinely given record of events prior to the worldwide

flood in Noah’s day.

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in

the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his

heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD

that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at

his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom

I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and

beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for

it repenteth me that I have made them (Gen. 6:5-7).

God’s destruction of the world by the flood, because

of man’s sin (2 Pet. 3:5), exhibits how God hates sin--it is an

abomination to Him (Pro. 6:16-18). Therefore, God has warned

man of a prepared place of perpetual punishment and pain for

the wicked (Mat. 25:41), for sin cannot abide in the presence

of God (v. 46).

My Friends, Why should not God so react? Sin destroyed the purity of

His creation, put man at enmity with Him, brought forth upon

mankind pain, sorrow, suffering, separation, and death, and finally

demanded the death of God’s Son on the cruel cross of Calvary

(Isa. 53). Yes, God hates sin, and rightfully so! While God hates

sin, He mercifully proved His great love for all men, by giving

His Son to die for sinners (1 John 2:2; John 1:29; 1 Tim. 2:4).

The “Golden Text Of The Bible” affirms the great love of

God, even for sinful man: “For God so loved the world, that he

gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Likewise,

Paul assured the Romans (and all of us):

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while

we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then,

being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from

wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we

were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much

more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And

not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus

Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement

(Rom. 5:8-11).

My Friends, We have noted, from the Scriptures, God’s reaction to sin. What is man’s reaction? Man’s reaction may be varied. See if You May know anyone like this my friends? Some (most), deny responsibility and seek to blame someone else for

their sins (Gen. 3:12-13; Exo. 32:22-24; 1 Sam. 15:15, 21). How

many lost men have you met who would truthfully admit they

were in sin? Some enjoy sin (Exo. 32:6), and revel in its pleasures

and excesses. Some are proud of sin, and even boast of their sins

to others. Some envy sinners (Pro. 23:17). While they will not

do what others do, they really WISH they could! Some tarry in

sin, “intending” some time, some how, some way, some day to

put sin behind them, and get ready for eternity, but most never

follow through on their “good intentions” (Acts 24:25).

Yes, most deny they have sinned (1 John 1:10), but notice

the good example for all given by the “prodigal” when he “came

to himself.”

And when he came to himself, he said, How many

hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and

to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to

my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned

against heaven, and before thee, And am no more

worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy

hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father.

But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him,

and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and

kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have

sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more

worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his

servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him;

and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And

bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and

be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again;

he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry

(Luke 15:17-24).

Instead of repenting of their transgressions and honestly

confessing, “I have sinned,” you may hear from them my friends, “ Well I would

repent, but: (1) He (one who wronged them) will not repent, (2) I would

be embarrassed, (3) It was just a little sin, (4) I enjoy it and want

to continue in it, (5) I am too proud to say I did wrong, (6) I do

a lot of good things, (7) Nobody saw me do it [God did], or (8) I

did not do any worse than (someone else) did!” How sad! My friends, do you Know anyone like this?

My Friends Man's reaction should be one of sorrow, shame, regret, abhorrence of

the sin committed, repentance, confession, and after seeking forgiveness,

determination to do differently, to do and be better, and to live a

holy, pure, righteous life pleasing to God—because of love for God

(1 John 5:3), and gratitude for His great grace matchless mercy and full forgiveness.

My Friends I now ask you, Is Sin For Real To You?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Does God Approve of Homosexuality?

Food For Thought
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Romans 1:26-27).

My friends, against the backdrop of a thoroughly pagan Roman society, Paul presented one of the most outstanding summations ever written of God’s plan for the salvation of man—the epistle to the Romans. In order to set the stage for the Gospel (Romans 1:16-17), Paul used the major portion of the first three chapters to convince his readers that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). As evidence of the ubiquitous nature of sin, Paul listed specific sins of the pagan Gentile world (Romans 1:18-32), and of the hypocritical Jewish world (Romans 2:1-29).

My friends, one of the specific sins of the Gentile world listed by Paul was the abandonment of proper sexual relationships between men and women. The women began to lust for other women, and the men “burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful” (Romans 1:27). The contrast in verse 26 is between the “natural” and the “unnatural.” These heathens “left aside and thus discarded” the natural form of intercourse between a man and his wife. The fact that this exchange involved sexual intercourse is well established.

Does Paul’s reference to homosexuality in this chapter serve as a condemnation of the practice in general, or is Paul discussing a practice that was confined to the culture of the first century and that cannot be cited to condemn the type of so-called “loving homosexual relationships” that exist today? Many have chosen to relegate Paul’s condemnation to cultural status, and argue that it does not condemn all homosexual behavior. For its be said by some

The homosexual practices cited in Romans 1:24-27 were believed to result from idolatry and are associated with some very serious offenses as noted in Romans 1. Taken in this larger context, it should be obvious that such acts are significantly different from loving, responsible lesbian and gay relationships seen today.

The argument set forth basically hinges on the phrase “against nature.” What does the Bible mean when it says that the practices of this pagan society were “against nature?” And, is everything that is done “against nature” sinful? Does the Bible condemn all activities that “go against nature”? First Corinthians 12:9-10,29-30 describes miracles that go against nature. Also, Paul described God as acting contrary to nature by grafting the wild olive branch (Gentiles) into the good olive tree . Obviously, the Bible declares some things to be good, even though they go against nature.

What type of “nature” is being discussed? Is Paul discussing the Gentiles’ nature, the nature of humanity in general, the natural order of things, God’s nature, or some other nature? Come claims that Paul’s idea of nature entails solely cultural situations. Some claims that nature always involves possession which means if a thing is against someone’s nature, it is a thing he or she would not normally do. Thus, the Jews should not act against their nature, the Gentiles should not act against their nature, and God will not act against His nature—all three natures being different. For some definitely confine the condemnation of verses 26 and 27 to first-century culture.

My Friends, homosexual practices go against the natural pattern set by God when He created Man and woman. For remember God created Adam and Eve my friends, NOT Adam and Steve!

Is Romans 1:26-27 a cultural or a universal condemnation? One should consider the fact that Romans 1:18-3:20 pronounces all humans in every culture, race, and organization under sin. No person will be justified by the law (3:20). No person will receive forgiveness if he does not obey God from the heart (2:29). No person will attain salvation if he despises the riches of God’s goodness (2:4). No person will see the kingdom of God if he is a murderer (2:29). Neither will a person inherit salvation if he or she practices homosexuality, whether he or she is a Gentile in Rome or a banker in New York City (1:26-27).

My friends, if you will; verses 29-32 of Romans chapter one are simply a continuation of the sin list introduced in verse 24. No scholar would remotely contend that “unloving,” “unforgiving,” and “unmerciful” were cultural traits that do not transcend the passage of earthly time and culture. Yet some would try to separate homosexuality from this list, thus separating it from Paul’s list of timeless truths; transforming it into a culturally bad habit. Such does violence to the text of Romans.

My Friends, yet another device used by pro-homosexual scholars to defend their position is a plea of ignorance. They do not submit a plea of their own ignorance, of course, but a plea of Paul’s ignorance. It is affirmed that Paul was not aware of the true love that can exist between homosexual couples. They say Paul did not deal with gay people; rather, he dealt with homosexual acts . Therefore, the type of homosexual “love” that exists today is supposedly much higher and nobler than anything Paul had seen among the Romans and Greeks during his lifetime.

Some will even strongly opposes the above claim. They may have argued that Paul was one of the most educated men of his day. He was raised in Tarsus, the third most intellectual city in the world, ranking only behind Athens and Alexandria. In Athens they spent their time in nothing else but to tell or hear some new thing. Tarsus was much the same. Paul knew the Stoic poets, and he studied Greek literature and culture. One would be naïve to think that Paul was not cognizant of the fact that certain Greeks regarded homosexuality as the highest form of love.

My friends, every past, present, or future society wants to think that it has arrived at the pinnacle of some new form of thought or practice. Societies want to claim inventive prerogative in industry, civility, scholarship, and even sexuality. Arrogance is epitomized in the idea that Paul and his contemporaries knew nothing of the “exalted homosexual love” of the present day. Let wisdom’s voice be heard ringing loudly throughout the halls of time: “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The twenty-first century may well be the most inventive, “progressive” time period the world has ever seen, but it must be understood that this generation did not invent a form of exalted homosexual love that is pure and right in the sight of God.

Another argument draws itself into battle array against the idea that Romans 1:26-27 describes all homosexual behavior. This argument, commonly known as the “abuse argument,” states that God does not condemn all homosexual activity, only the abuse of such activity. The “supporting evidence” is this: God never condemns eating, but he does condemn gluttony, which is the abuse of eating. Further, God never condemns heterosexual intercourse, but he does declare that the abuse of such intercourse in the form of fornication and adultery is sinful. Therefore, some have concluded that Paul did not condemn all homosexual activity in Romans 1, but only inappropriate, abusive homosexual activity.

My friends, this argument is very tenuous indeed. If fornication and adultery are abuses of the sexual relationship, in what way do they abuse it? They are abuses to the marriage relationship that was established with the first man and the first woman. Genesis 2:24 records: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” God—in all of Holy Writ—never declared that the act of sex outside of His marriage parameters is acceptable. Sex is permitted only within holy matrimony. The only type of holy matrimony instituted by God is between a man and a woman. This is confirmed by every biblical text that deals specifically with the subject. For example, 1 Corinthians 7:2 states: “Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (emp. added). Even Jesus, in Matthew 5:32 and 19:1-9, identified marriage between a male and a female as the only place in which sexual intercourse is sanctioned. If one must plead that the homosexual activity described in Romans is an abuse of something, let him plead that it is the heinous abuse of the God-instituted marriage relationship.

My Friends, Homosexuality has been against the will of God since the beginning of Creation when He made humans male and female. Romans 1:26-27 deals specifically with homosexuality, and condemns it as a practice that is wrong in every culture, during every time period. There never will be a day when the text of Romans 1:26-27 can accurately be twisted to permit any type of same-sex intercourse. Nor will there be a day when a practicing homosexual who refuses to repent will be saved from his or her sins. God wants all men and women everywhere to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), but He demands that they repent of and turn away from their sins, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:30-31).

My friends, Homosexuality is Sin! And God Hates Sin! And Sin separates Man from God here, and thru eternity. Its my hope and prayer that those, who choose to commit such sin, will "Wake Up" and Repent! Before its everlastingly to late.

Pray For them my friends.