3-21-2016 None Are Saved IN Sin

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 NKJV). This Scripture is often misunderstood by sinners, who think since God loves “the world,” and they are in “the world,” then they may already be saved, though they keep their sinful practices! But verse 19 says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19 NKJV). “The world” has people who reject Jesus’ “light,” and practice “evil.” God’s Son saves anyone in the world who will repent and come to Him.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#believes, #evil, #misunderstood, #repent, #saved, #the-world

9-15-2015 Turning Good Into Bad

Through Isaiah, God pronounced a “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 NKJV). There have always been people who condemn what is good and approve of what is evil. David said, his enemies would: “All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil” (Psalm 56:5 NKJV). Jesus Christ said of the Devil, “there is no truth in him,” “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (John 8:45 NKJV). Paul preached Jesus in Thessalonica, but envious Jews cried out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:2-3, 6 NKJV). Preaching Christ turns worldly morals right-side up, not the other way!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evil, #good, #morals

4-23-2015 The Valley of Opinion

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8 NKJV). In this country, we value opinion over facts and truth. There are far more “opinion polls” than there are “fact-checkers.” Make this proverb plainer, “Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:16 NKJV). The only way to live a good, strong life is to “fear the LORD and depart from evil.” “Fear” is “respect,” and “depart” is to leave it off. “But, I think” is no substitute for: “I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies. I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments” (Psalm 119:59-60 NKJV). The Valley of Opinion is in the Land of the Lost.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evil, #fear-the-lord, #opinion-polls

Atheism and a meaningless word ('evil')

Since there are no absolute moral values to the atheist, agnostic, or even the secularists, then all values a person has is relative to that person. There is nothing obligatory in the values of one to be followed by another. This is the case because, as one atheist wrote, “Claiming that there is any standard that is objective and transcendent of man, set forth by God, is plain and simply a lie.”

Yet, this empty statement is one that can’t win the day, and is self-defeating. For instance, in an article dated February 15 (A-3, Herald & Review), a humanist chaplain felt compelled to rewrite the ten commandments for the 21st century. Why would such a one (or ones) need to do something like this if values are relative to the individual? This is done because of the moral bankruptcy of a subjective/relativist moral code that has origin in man.

The statement is also empty for another reason. In a news report the evil Islamic State captured 90 Christians (A-2, Journal Gazette, 2.26.2015). An atheist ascribes the meaningless word “evil” to something that they can’t objectively say is evil at all! The best they can do is say it is “evil” to them. To an atheist, one’s moral code is subjective and relative to oneself. If the community of the Islamic State (a collection of individuals) condones and participates in the beheading of innocent people, then that “moral” behavior is codified (written or unwritten), thus becoming sort of a subjective “moral” law. What can atheists say to judge it as immoral, since they don’t believe in a moral code higher than man? Only that they think it is immoral.

Finally, the statement is empty of substance because there is no way to judge as immoral a Catholic priest for possessing child pornography (A-3, Journal-Gazette, 2.27.2015). On what basis would the priest, or anyone, be wrong when an individual “valued” it to be acceptable?

The atheistic moral code is a lot like one who asserts that life can come from non-life. This is a physical/material impossibility. Think about that for just a moment. An atheist wants a moral code that can successfully judge between right and wrong – but they have none. An atheist also wants life from non-life – but they can’t get that either.

#atheism, #evil, #letter-to-editor

(#199) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:27-Sticks and Stones and Intimidation

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:27: “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”

There has always been bitter antagonism between those who practice evil and those who practice good. The explanation for the first murder in the world (Genesis 4:1-15) is clearly given in the New Testament: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4); “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:10-13).

Which is exactly why it is useless and wrong for those who follow God’s Way (the righteous) to seek the approval and acclaim from the worldly. Ungodly teachers refuse to let righteous students get good grades if they have written truthfully about the Bible, Jesus Christ, or moral goodness! Ungodly entertainers ridicule the righteous who speak out from their honest, godly convictions! Ungodly parents punish and discourage their righteous children from Bible classes or studying the Word of God! Ungodly propagandists who use overwhelming headlines to “beat back” any and every attempt of the righteous to uphold and defend the existence of God! Ungodly Evolutionists and Global Warming fanatics who falsely label as “unscientific” any and all who use scientific facts to debunk and discredit those attacks on Bible faith! Ungodly accrediting boards set materialistic standards which, when “Christian Schools” accept and meet those standards, have made “Christian schools” nothing more than another worldly school!

Jesus offered His reward to the righteous: “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

 

#antagonism, #bible-study, #evil, #evolutionists, #global-warming, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #ridicule, #righteous, #scientific, #teachers, #ungodly, #unscientific, #world

(#142) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:22-Be A Man, Son

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 19:22: “What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.”

“Kindness” is evenness of temperament, constant return of goodness, consideration of others. It is a universally-recognized, timeless, and desirable, trait in humanity. “Love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4), and uninspired people see its wisdom: “It’s nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice” (Anon); “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” (Aesop); “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses” (Confucius); “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see” (Mark Twain); “A kind word is like a Spring day” (Russian proverb); “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns” (Anon).

It is a man-trait, especially, because it takes a real man to be strong enough to return good for evil. “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). Kindness is a show of strength, but often mistaken for weakness. Regardless of who persecuted Jesus Christ, or how, He was more of a man than they, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:21-24).

“A poor man is better than a liar” shows that poverty should not be used as an excuse for immorality. “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich” (Proverbs 28:6).

The God of the Israelites was: “Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17). Jesus Christ based one of His best-known commandments upon this characteristic of God: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35). Christians should develop the same characteristic: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).

God’s kindness extended through Jesus Christ should touch a sinner’s heart (Titus 3:3-4), and the sinner should kindly return toward God (Acts 16:22-34). “Be a man, Son,” obey the Gospel today (Mark 16:16), and make this a kinder world!

Cruel words can make us cry, but so can deeds of kindness.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #evil, #kindness, #man, #nice, #proverbs, #strength, #unthankful

(#125) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:13-Many Happy Returns

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 17:13: “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.”

There are only four ways to payback deeds: 1) Good for Good; 2) Evil for Evil; 3) Evil for Good; or 4) Good for Evil.

1) While a good gratitude level, it is doing what would be expected from anyone: “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6:32-34).

2) This human response may “feel good,” but is totally contrary to God’s example in Jesus Christ, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Other proverbs repeat this principle: “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil;’ Wait for the LORD, and He will save you” (Proverbs 20:22); “Do not say, ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work’” (Proverbs 24:29).

3) This is the way to curse one’s own future, household, job, friendships, or eternal destiny.

Everything God Created “was very good” (Genesis 1:31), but Adam and Eve repaid Him by violating His rule in sin (“through one man sin entered the world,” Romans 5:12).

The southern kingdom, Judah, gave God evil for good: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.’ Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4).

The history of the Jews’ dealings with God’s Prophets justified His destruction of their Nation in A.D. 70. “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; also Matthew 21:33-46).

4) The superior method is: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21).

This not humanly possible without having the inner “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 5:14), who will “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #deeds, #evil, #good, #gratitude, #ingratitude, #life, #payback, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom