Why didn’t Jesus’ brothers believe in him?

In today’s lesson from the Gospel Advocate’s Foundation Series (Christian Growth in James and Jude – James a Brother of Jesus), question #3 asked, “How did the brothers of Jesus view Him at that time (John 7:5)?”

John 7:5 (NKJV) says, “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”

The answer then would be, “As unbelievers.”

The teacher of the class then asked (with consideration to supposition due to the silence of the scriptures), “Why do you think Jesus’ brothers (of all people) didn’t believe?” Continue reading

#brothers-of-christ, #faith, #unbelief

Dear Calvinist friend

Dear Calvinist friend,

What does it mean to sigh?

In case you’re not familiar with the meaning, the technical definitions are: 1.) (as a verb) to emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling, and 2.) (as a noun) a long, deep, audible exhalation expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.

To say the least, practically speaking, sighing is a very human emotion that mixes frustration and pain and the overwhelming sensation of unbelief at the situation that can accompany either or both.

Did you know Jesus sighed? More than once according to scripture. But one time in particular is found in Mark 8:12 which says, “But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

Why did Jesus sigh in Mark 8:12? I mean that wasn’t just a sigh in the flesh there – it was a God in the flesh sigh that went all the way down to his spirit!

Well, think about the situation that he was facing.

Sign after sign after sign after sign had already been given to the people (just read John’s gospel – not to mention the miracle that Mark had just covered) but the entire culmination of those signs couldn’t be anything but one big sigh on the part of Jesus because of the unbelief on the part of the people!

Why would Jesus sigh if the people couldn’t help but be caught in unbelief at that time? Better yet, why would Jesus be caught in a state of frustrating unbelief if the people weren’t capable of doing what he desired of them? Either way it’s a good question. How could Jesus not believe what he was hearing if the people couldn’t believe in what he was doing?

My Calvinist friend, I hope you understand what I’m about to say when I think of the damage that the doctrine of irresistible grace has done to the truth of free-will and the responsibility that comes with it in the eyes of many of its followers…sigh.

#calvinism, #irresistible-grace, #jesus, #unbelief


5-11-2015 What God Is Able To Do

John the Baptist told the Jews, “do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Matthew 3:9). Under the Gospel of Christ, Jews, “if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Romans 11:23). And to Christians, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). God is able to by-pass the Jews, save obedient Israelites, help Christians serve Him. The issue is never what God is able to do – but what are you willing to do? Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).

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

#baptized, #believes, #by-pass-jews, #christians, #jews, #john-the-baptist, #unbelief

You did not believe me

How in the world could the Lord possible say to Moses that he (Moses) did not believe Him (the Lord) in Numbers 20:12 (NKJV)? For 40 years Moses led the Lord’s people through the wilderness toward the promised land; for 40 years Moses taught the people the Lord’s way; for 40 years Moses prayed and sought guidance from the Lord—how could the Lord say that?

That Moses did believe and trust in the Lord is obvious to any reader of Scripture, but it must have been the case that in Moses’ frustration with the rebellious people of Israel, in his weakness, he exhibited a degree of rebellion (unbelief) himself. It has been suggested elsewhere that Moses was unsatisfied with the Lord’s remedy of the situation, and he expressed it in his actions before the people.

Whether this is the case or not, one thing that can be learned is this: to him whom much is given much is expected. Moses was given much, very much. The Lord expected better of him, and Moses failed Him on this occasion. How much have you been given?

#expectations, #frustration, #moses, #responsibility, #unbelief

Bare-bones outline for John 9:8-28

There are times when people are going to refuse to believe no matter what they see or hear about Jesus, and John 9:8-28 is testament to it!

  • Skeptics won’t believe their eyes no matter what kind of change they see in others – John 9:8-12
  • Deniers won’t believe their ears no matter what they’re told about Jesus – John 9:13-23
  • Plain old unbelievers won’t learn no matter what – John 9:24-28

But just because other people refuse to believe in the truth of Jesus with their eyes, ears and mind, that doesn’t mean we can’t believe in him – and if we keep our eyes open for him, then one day, like the former blind man of John 9, we’ll see the Light of the world who opened our eyes for our self.

#bare-bones-outline, #gospel-according-to-john, #sermon-outline, #unbelief


Sins That Stop A Church

Here is a Sermon/Study Outline on “Sins That Stop A Church:”


#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #god, #jesus-christ, #sin, #unbelief

The Fallacy of Rejecting “Paul’s Words”

For various reasons of self-interest and faulty theology there are those in the religious world who believe and teach that the “word’s of Paul” should be rejected.

If one were to reject the “words of Paul” then they by default have to reject basically every other letter that makes up the New Testament.

Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Peter’s words either since he endorsed what Paul taught and considered him to be a brother in Christ (2 Peter 3:15-16).

Don’t like “Paul’s word’s” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Mark’s words either since history/tradition teaches that Mark wrote through the guidance of Peter who, again, endorsed the “words of Paul” and due to the fact that Mark was very familiar with Paul and considered him a brother in Christ who taught the truth (2 Timothy 4:11).

Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Luke’s words either since Luke greatly supported Paul and due to the fact that they labored together on missionary trips teaching the same thing to others who were coming to Jesus through their preaching (Colossians 4:4, 2 Timothy 4:11, Acts 21:1-19…notice how many times “we” and “us” are used).

So I guess that leaves a person with the words of John and James and Jude…except for the fact that both John and James endorsed Paul’s preaching (Acts 15:6-29) and Jude is just too judgmental!

So you still want to reject the “words of Paul” huh? I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a whole lot like, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Failing to listen to “Paul’s words” is a failure to listen to the word of God.

If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)

#apostle-paul, #christianity, #false-doctrine, #false-teachers, #new-testament, #new-testament-canon, #rejecting-pauls-words, #religion, #theology, #unbelief

Unbelief is on the rise From 1990 to…

Unbelief is on the rise. From 1990 to 2008 the number of atheists doubled. The greatest increase has come among young adults. But before you wring your hands in despair, realize that the increase was only from less than one percent to 1.6 percent. Moreover, the increase may only be a revelation of that which has always existed but was kept under wraps. But in spite of this, it does seem that unbelief is making inroads in this country. Why has it developed? Is there some new discovery, some new information, some world-changing fact? No, nothing like that. Atheists have simply become emboldened and aggressive. This is Just-A-Minute

#just-a-minute, #unbelief

Sermon Outline for John 1:1-13

Here’s a bare bones sermon outline but there’s plenty of room for you to add the meat that’s missing. I may see if I can upload the sermon I did with it here in TFR, I don’t know. Any who, here you go:

Title: The “Beginning” of John’s Gospel

John 1:1-5: The Genesis of Genesis

John 1:6-9: The Genesis of John

John 1:10-13: The Genesis of Rejecting Jesus

Preach the word!

#gospel-according-to-john, #jesus, #john, #sermon-outline, #unbelief


Psalm 106

Vs. 1-5 praise God for preserving His nation;

Vs. 6-46 trace Israelite sins from Exodus-Judges;

Vs. 47-48 praise God for preserving His nation.

If Psalm 105 follows God’s promise and plan from Abraham-through the Exodus of Israelites from Egypt under Moses; then Psalm 106 traces the sins of those people from their formation as a people in the Book of Exodus-to their settling in the Promised Land in the Book of Judges. The history of the Israelites is not a witness to their righteousness but a testimony of God’s plan, providence, and patience in using them until Jesus Christ was born. They were never God’s “permanent chosen people,” but a means to the end of the promised “seed,” “who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16-17).

Verses 1-5: God is best to be praised, thanked, and remembered by “he who does righteousness at all times” (verse 3). To be remembered by God, one must remember God!

Verses 6-12: Exodus 6-15. This illustrates how hard-hearted Israelites have been – immediately after the miracles in Egypt to release them, they desired to return when Pharaoh pursued them to the Red Sea! God completely destroyed the Egyptian army in the same Sea the Israelites had crossed: no shallow end of the pool, this!

Verses 13-15: Numbers 11. Emphasis here is upon the phrase “soon forgot His works” (verse 13).

Verses 16-18: Numbers 16. The challenge to the leadership of Moses and Aaron was met with the earth swallowing up the challengers, and fire from heaven consuming 250 men illegally offering incense to God.

Verses 19-23: Exodus 32. Israel exchanged the living God “Who had done great things in Egypt” (verse 21) for “an image of an ox that eats grass” (verse 20). Go figure!

Verses 24-27: Numbers 13-14. Because “they did not believe His word” they sent 12 spies into the Promised Land to see if they could conquer it, and even after 2 spies showed faith to then enter, the 10 spies prevailed. God made them wander in the wilderness 1 year for every day the spies had taken, and only the 2 spies with a good report were allowed to enter that Land along with all numbered under 20 years old who had come out of Egypt.

Verses 28-31: Numbers 25. Adultery with the women of Moab prompted Jehovah to caused a plague of death come to 24,000 Israelites.

Verses 32-33: Numbers 20:1-13. The Israelites’ constant murmuring provoked even Moses to disobey God in providing them water from a rock. This was his only sin that kept him from entering the Promised Land.

Verses 34-39: Joshua. In conquering the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites were to completely eradicate the Canaanites. This was not done, and the Israelites were easily influenced into idolatry by those Canaanites.

Verses 40-46: Judges. Because of their partial obedience in the Book of Joshua, a pattern was established that when they sinned, they would be overcome by a non-Israelite people, cry out to God, who would provide them a “judge” to lead them to overcome their oppressors.

Verses 47-48: Acknowledge God who can gather the Israelites “from among the Gentiles.” The “Praise the LORD” at the beginning and end of this Psalm shows that, in spite of their sins, God is willing to forgive those who repent and turn back to Him.

Thought: This list of horrible sins done by God’s own people under Moses’ Law proves they were not chosen because of their inherent righteousness; God could have used “rocks” instead of people as John the Baptist said (Matthew 3:1-9); and that there is no such thing as “once-saved-always-saved” and never has been! The bad example of the Israelites is a lesson never to be forgotten by Christians (1 Corinthians 10:1-12; Hebrews 3-4).

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #disobedience, #god, #obedience, #sin, #unbelief

One Honest Man!

One of the most honest people (if not the most honest in many ways) that Jesus ever dealt with is found in Mark 9:17-27.

Who is this man? We don’t much about him, but we know enough. He was a father who needed help for his child. He was a man caught in a situation that he could not fix by himself. He was a man who was heading in the right direction when he came to Jesus.

So what makes this man so honest? It was his willingness to admit his weakness!

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”” (Mark 9:23-24).

The man knew he needed stronger faith. The man knew that pride would get him nowhere in this situation. The man knew there was only one place to go, not only for his child, but for himself as well. That’s why this man was one honest man!

This isn’t an opportunity to talk about how a person can do whatever they want if they just have the faith. It’s an opportunity to learn that if God wills something to be done, then He can provide us with the faith to see it through – if we’re willing to be honest with Him that is.

Just how honest, brothers and sisters, are we willing to be with ourselves? Lord, help us with our unbelief!

For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

#faith, #help, #honesty, #pride, #unbelief

Years ago Northwestern University sent a questionnaire to…

Years ago Northwestern University sent a questionnaire to 500 protestant ministers and seminary students. These were some results: Do you believe there is a hell? 70% said no; a Judgment Day? 40% said no; a devil? 55% said no; Jesus Christ divine? 25% said no. Those students have filled pulpits across America and it has taken its toll. Unbelief and uncertainty are rising and churches are declining. The evidence is no less persuasive, but those who occupy the role of God’s spokesmen have sold out to the devil. I once asked one of these unbelievers, “Why do you continue to preach?” His reply? “Why, I’m riding a gravy train.” Such a fellow ought to be tarred and feathered and run out of town! This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

#just-a-minute, #unbelief

Heart disease is a killer

            Heart disease is the leading cause of  the death of adults in the United States.

            According to statistics compiled by the American Heart Association, the disease kills more than 425,000 people in the U.S. annually and there are more than 1.25 million new cases of the disease diagnosed each year.

            There is a heart disease that is deadlier, and its effects are longer lasting. That disease is the hardening of the heart or soul. It’s a disease that can be eternally deadly, and the afflicted may not know they’ve  a problem.

            It only took the writer of Hebrews three chapters before he broadcasts a specific warning: watch out for your heart!”

            “Harden not your hearts,” the writer says in Hebrews 3:8. In verse 12, he says, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” He repeats the warning in verse 8 in verse 15 and says in verse 19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

            The people this writer addresses may not have even known they were about to descend into a fatal heart disease, but they were. The hardened heart and the evil heart of unbelief are the same thing. Here’s what it does.

            The evil heart of unbelief tells a person, “It doesn’t matter which church you belong to.” It matters quite a bit to God, because his son only shed his blood for one church, not for a smattering of denominations (Ephesians 4:4-6). But, people believe men and not God and are stricken with an evil heart of unbelief.

            The evil heart of unbelief tells a person, “Baptism is only a sign of conversion. A person is saved well before baptism.” The Spirit of truth doesn’t agree. In 1 Peter 3:21, the apostle wrote, “The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” But, people believe men and not God and are stricken with an evil heart of unbelief.

            The evil heart of unbelief tells a person, “You don’t have to do anything after you’ve been baptized. You can’t be lost.” This very passage in Hebrews refutes that idea. It tells these brethren that if it was impossible for the Israelites to enter Canaan because of their unbelief and disobedience, it is likewise impossible for them to enter into God’s rest of heaven for the same reason.

            Watch out for your soul’s heart. A hardened heart of unbelief can be deadly.

#heart, #soul, #unbelief