Solar glasses and souls

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9 NKJV)

Unfortunately, not a few in the religious world are under the impression that all people who claim to speak for God are actually speaking the truth of God. Furthermore, there are some who refuse to believe that some individuals intentionally pervert the truth of the gospel. Truth be told, as it is seen in the above scripture reference, claiming to speak for God does not equate to speaking the truth of God; nor do all individuals care about the people they teach any more than the doctrine they use as food. And I can prove it with a simple analogy!

Have you heard about the eclipse thing that will happen on Monday, August 21st? The news has been talking about it the last two months! And you know what else the news has been talking about for the last two months? Insufficient, fraudulent and dangerous solar glasses that have been sold under the guise of proper, authentic and safe ways of watching the eclipse.

There are people selling solar glasses, fully aware of their product’s short-comings, willing to sacrifice the eye-sight of people for as little as two dollars! And if people are willing to do that with someone’s physical eye-sight, why should it be a surprise if some are willing to so the same thing spiritually speaking (2 Peter 2:1-3, 18-22)?

If you’re going to watch the solar eclipse, be safe and test the solar glasses you’re going to use. And if you’re going to listen to someone teach about God’s word, be safe and test what they teach with God’s word.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”  (1 John 4:1 NKJV)

#false-teachers, #solar-eclipse, #spiritual-analogies, #spiritual-illustrations

When one comes back to the truth, this happens …

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him backlet him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 NKJV)

What results from one returning to the truth out of error? No less than four things (according to the above verses); plus one I can’t keep from including:

  • a personal blessing
  • a reversal (a personal and honest acknowledgement) that leads to freedom from the trap of the particular error
  • salvation (deliverance) from the cost of the error (spiritual death)
  • the hiding (a veiling, or doing away with the knowledge) of a multitude of sins
  • a reason for the angels of Heaven to rejoice!

Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”” (Luke 15:10 NKJV)

#conversion, #james, #repentance

This aspect can’t be left out of the gospel

I recently saw a church sign that read:

“The Gospel in Six Words: God Loves, We Fail, God Forgives.”

I believe I understand the point the sign is trying to make. The world needs to know about God’s love! After all, God’s love is the root of John 3:16. And you can’t have the gospel without that! So to that extent it’s a good sign.

But if I were to describe the gospel in six words, I believe I would have to include an aspect that appears to get left out quite often in modern theology:

“God Commands, We Fail, God Forgives.”

God forgives because we fail, but the concept of our failure is not based on God’s love – the concept of our failure is based on the giving of God’s command. It is this failure in particular that necessitates God’s forgiveness. God’s law precedes our failure and then our failure is followed by an opportunity to find forgiveness (1 John 3:4-5).

Whether we’re talking about Eden, Calvary or Heaven, access to the tree of life revolves around the existence of a command, a failure and a second chance.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” … So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. … And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-7, 15)

#basic-principles-of-the-gospel, #commandments, #whole-counsel-of-god

Burton Coffman quote on “faith only”

Any person familiar with the meaning of ordinary words must know that salvation “by faith alone” means salvation without obeying the Christians ordinances, without holiness, without moral conduct, without respect for any Christian duty, without the church and without the new birth or anything else. Such is the meaning of the word “alone” or its equivalent “only.” The only religious error ever known which rivals that of so-called salvation “by faith only” is the Christian Science proposition that there is no pain, sickness or death!

(James Burton Coffman New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, Volume VIII, P. 14, Paragraph 3, ©1977, A.C.U. Press)

#faith-alone, #faith-only, #quote

An evil world

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,” (Galatians 1:3-4 NKJV)

Grace and peace from God – quite the opposite from the world according to the traveling apostle.

One doesn’t have to agree with “Paul’s doctrine” to know the above truth. Watch the news! Corruption, massacres, rape, robberies, assaults and numerous other deadly sins are common occurrence every day. They are of the world – not the Father (1 John 2:15-17).

But aren’t there good people in the world? Absolutely!

Salt and light, long-suffering and love, mercy and gentleness, righteousness and reasoning, goodness and grace are the reasons why this floating globe hasn’t become a flaming match-head. But don’t confuse the light with the darkness. God sends light – the world always prefers darkness (John 1:1-9, 3:16-21).

Deliverance (another word for salvation) from this time of evil is the gospel’s goal. And in this case the will of the Father will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, in spite of the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NKJV)

#evil, #salvation, #the-world

What example should Christians set when it comes to wealth?

This week’s ‘Gospel Advocate’ lesson over James 5:1-12 asked an important question … a question the Bible discusses hundreds of times (seems that way). “What example should Christians set when it comes to wealth?

Here are some answers that I took note of: Continue reading

#james, #money, #questions-and-answers, #wealth

Top three bed-time prayer items

Each night, my daughter and I say our prayer. The bulk of our prayer contains the traditional, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”, but there’s an additional part we are saying more and more often – specific things for which we’re thankful.

Depending on the number of items we include, the list can vary a little. But regardless of number or order, three items always seem to get mentioned: our family, our home and our food.

Not too bad of a list for a young child. A list worth having for all adults actually.

When it comes to prayer, supplication for others is important, requests are welcome, and remembering who God is a must … but thankfulness is an aspect of prayer that should be instilled into children in order that the mindset becomes a natural one as adults.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:16 NKJV)

#parenting, #prayer, #thankfulness