To Be Free

In 1642, Sir Richard Lovelace, then a religious prisoner, wrote the following:
“Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;”
In about 30 AD, as recorded in John 8:32, Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Why would I dare put these two together? Just this: I am moved to wonder how many of us are imprisoned, not in stone walls and iron bars, but in a conscience that will not set us free when, if we would only turn to Jesus and be obedient to Him, we could be free, indeed?
What say ye?

Am I Worthy?

I recently heard a very perplexing discussion on the subject of worthiness. One person advocated that no one, under any circumstances, could ever be “worthy” of being saved and/or a child of God. The other maintained that, while we could never be worthy in and of ourselves, the fact that Jesus loved us enough to shed His blood to cleanse our souls, that makes us worthy.  I must admit that there is value to either side of the argument. I would love to hear your opinions.
What say ye?

#spiritual-questions, #worthy

A Pattern for Marriage

I was baptized in 1958. Since that time, I suppose that I have heard over 100 sermons based on I Corinthians 13:4-7. So have most of you. However, I want you to try something different.
Please open your Bible, and turn to I Corinthians 13:4-7. Now, as you carefully read these familiar verses, with an open mind, think seriously how you can apply each phrase to your own marriage. God is never wrong. If you use these verses as a template for your marriage, you will be surprised at how much difference it can make.
What say ye?

Salvation Issues

Apparently, the new password for our more liberal brethren is, “That is not a salvation issue.” They use this to seek support for any issue they wish to espouse. I beg to disagree.
In John 12:48, we find the words of Jesus: “He who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has One who judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Shortly thereafter, in John 14:26, we have record of Jesus saying: “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” Seems pretty plain to me! The words in the New Testament are there because they were spoken by Jesus or they were reminded to the apostles by the Holy Spirit. If Jesus’ Word is to judge us in the last day, it seems obvious that everything we find in the New Testament is a salvation issue.
After all, who decides what is a salvation issue? Jesus answered that question in John 12:48. When someone tells you, “That is not a salvation issue,” you can pretty well guess that it is!
What say ye?

Can We Prophesy?

Mic 2:6 “Do not preach”—thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us. (Revised Version)
Mic 2:6 Prophesy ye not, thus they prophesy. They shall not prophesy to these: reproaches shall not depart. (American Standard)

Preach? Prophesy? Regardless of the word used, Strong says it means “to speak by inspiration.” Obviously, today we cannot speak by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit except when we are quoting what He inspired in the men who wrote the Bible. However…it would appear that the main thrust of this verse is that some–the “they” in the verse–would like to silence the Word of God. So, today, when we speak from God’s Word, there are many who will tell us that we should not warn of things which do not please God because these things will cause shame to those who espouse them.
Wake up! Do you remember Hosea 4:6…”My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge:” Therefore, we, as Christians, have a responsibility to speak out against the open sins that have overtaken out society today. When was the last time you spoke out against some of the things which are prevalent in America today? When will you speak out?
What say ye?

But XXX Said…

Okay.  Here I am again.  And again, I am saying that we ALL need to rely on what the Bible says instead of some brother.  We are indeed blessed that we have men in the brotherhood who are learned in the Scriptures…men like Moses Lard, Guy N. Woods, Franklin Camp, and others.  BUT, brother, no MAN is always right.  What has upset me this time?

Some learned brother has decided that Luke 22:44 means that Jesus shed actual drops of blood, and now, most of our brethren are going to great lengths to try to prove that idea.  Even to the point of asking non-Christian scientists to verify this…even when the scientist dearly wants to prove the Bible wrong.  I ask you to think back to high school English!  Remember the teacher trying to teach you what a simile is?  A simile occurs when you compare two unlike items by saying one is LIKE the other, or is AS the other.  It is a comparison, not a statement of absolute exactness.  Luke 22:44 says And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. Please note:  as it were.  Jesus did not sweat drops of blood.  Instead, he sweated so profusely that the sweat dripped like drops of blood would have fallen.

I may be wrong, but Thayer agrees with this interpretation.  English  poetical devices agree with this interpretation.  If I am wrong…prove it, please.  We just need to look at the Scripture and not always depend on Brother X.

What say ye?

Singing

I suppose every Christian has memorized Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, right? We all know we are to sing as a past of the worship service, and to do so without the use of mechanical music. That is a given … I hope.

But, have you also memorized James 4:10 and I Peter 5:6? What do these two verses have to do with the first paragraph? Well, think about it. I have heard many say, “I don’t sing because my voice is bad,” or “I don’t sing because I can’t carry a tune,” or maybe even, “I don’t want to torture those in front of me.” Yes, I have actually heard all of these … excuses. They are excuses, not reasons.

Now look at I John 2:16. (I am not quoting these five verses because I want you to be sure I am using them correctly.) Pride is a common sin, also maybe known as “the pride of life.” I don’t think I know anyone who has never had pride as a sin. So think about it. God said sing. He never said you had to have a beautiful voice. He never said the song service had to sound like a professional choir. No! God said sing. Of course, we want to offer God our very best. No question there. But if my very best voice is a rough croak, and I am singing from the heart because I want to please God—not myself nor my fellow Christians—then my voice is pleasing to God. Isn’t that what really matters?

What say ye?

#singing, #worship