Copyright © 2017 - Carrick on Shannon church of Christ - Overture and Doctrinal
Greetings and salutation. Welcome to the church of Christ located in south county Leitrim. Actually, we're the only church of Christ in the north west of Ireland as far as I know. Nevertheless, we're a small group (or congregation) that was planted in early 2011 whilst living in south county Sligo. Shortly after that we moved to the Carrick on Shannon area in early 2013. Since then, we've been working with one of the churches in Zimbabwe, in which, we have developed a strong relationship, and especially so for the cause of Christ. We also have a strong online influence to boot. In saying that, and despite efforts to evangelize our local area, including oppositions on several fronts; it seems that the gravity of the gospel appears to be of the lesser concern for many. In fact, most people just don't want to hear the gospel, which is no doubt a testimony to their unbelief. Now we're not overly surprised at this given the humanistic nature of mankind in general. I suppose, we could liken it to the nature of man, pre-flood. Either way, nothing has changed. According to the scriptures, the wickedness of man was great upon the earth in those days, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually - Genesis 6:55. 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.. Look around you today. It seems that for the most part every one is for himself. The new kind of old I suppose - Ecclesiastes 1:99. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.. Humanism philosophizes man before God, whereas, the Bible teaches God before man. No doubt the Creator has the last say, and rightly so. With regards to the morals of men in our time, well, one only needs to look at the lack of modesty in dress to see the fulfilling of Romans chapter one. Paul said, that men would be lovers of themselves in the last days - 2 Timothy 3:2-52. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.. I often remarked, that the only time it seems that men pull together is when there is some kind of disaster. I think that speaks for itself, don't you? The rest of the time they act like enemies. Whilst for others, it seems to be the only time they call on God, when they want something, that is. This is the same pattern which was observed amongst the children of Israel. When they sinned, God would punish them. They would cry out, and God would forgive them. Then things would settle down, and they would soon forget the ways of God. They would sin, and again God would punish them. This went on and on until the fulness of time was come - Galatians 4:44. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,, and then they crucified the Son of God - 1 Corinthians 2:88. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.. Then God gave them over to that reprobate mind. My friend, the same is happening today. Men do not want to retain God in their knowledge, nor do they want to retain the knowledge of God - Romans 1:2828. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;. Man has no one to blame only himself when he refuses God. Almost all of the problems we see today are as a result of transgression. Now that's not to say everything is a result of transgression, but for the most part it is. However, certain things do happen by chance. For instance, Jesus said, Those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish - Luke 13:4-54. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish..
My friend, a proper knowledge of the Bible, in particular the New Testament, is not only an acceptable thing in the sight of God; but is the gift of God to the saving of the soul - Hebrews 10:3939. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.. One can only have faith in something he knows. So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God - Romans 10:1717. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.. How can a man know to obey God without first being taught? Such is the work of an evangelist. Such is the work of all who profess Christ. Such is the work of the church. As for us, well, we're a small church in the Carrick on Shannon area, who continue in every opportunity to reach those that need to be taught the gospel. All men need to be taught how to obey the gospel. Moreover, this website was designed with the sole intention of teaching men the way of Christ and salvation. After all, the Bible is the inspired revelation of Almighty God - 2 Timothy 3:16-1716. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.. So we teach the Bible and nothing more. Without the Bible we'd never know the will of God, let alone, Jesus Christ and the things that pertain to God and salvation. We, as the church, have an unction to preach Christ crucified as the Bible teaches to do. Since Roman Catholicism refuse to preach Christ, then we who are of Christ must preach him, lest we too are found to falter. The denominational world preach a false Christ, and to that end deny the true Christ. Paul said, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
That said, the sole purpose of this website is to help men to better understand what the Bible teaches about obeying the gospel. Gospel obedience demands knowledge, and that can only be acquired by means of proper Bible study. Teaching the gospel is not a matter of conjecture, but of strict concordance with the scriptures. Any man who professes to teach the scriptures is bound under the law of Christ to speak as the oracles of God - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. Yet, and for the most part, this is not the case. The fundamental problem in our time rests in the excess of confusion we see throughout religious Christendom, in that, they either don't teach what the Bible teaches, or they teach it in error. Nevertheless, the vast majority are only taught a shaddow of the truth, if even that, which in fact is no truth at all. The Devil has lingered about this thing for a long time now, and knows very well how to handle God's word deceitfully. I suppose that's why so many men are led astray, in that, ignorance in one way or another is always an easy target. The reality is that most people will not listen to sound doctrine that they might gain a more excellent understanding. The prophet Hosea spake concerning the Lord. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge - Hosea 4:66. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.. As I've said before, and I'll say it again: the apostle Peter spake, that if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. Speaking the truth is what plants the seed - John 17:1717. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth., cf. Luke 8:1111. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.. In saying that, God appoints men according to his own will and good pleasure - Ephesians 4:1111. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;. God gave some means exactly what it says. Now in retrospect, and with regards to 1 Peter 4:11 and Ephesians 4:11, I've always found it interesting that both quotations are numbered 4:11, in spite of the fact they are from different writers, yet they articulate the same thing. The more we gain in terms of the knowledge of God's word, well, it's the more amazing it becomes.
Well, I suppose the simplest answer is that the church is of Christ. No pun intended! I've often been asked by people as to whose church I belong? My usual answer is that I'm a Christian, taught from the Bible - Romans 10:1717. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God., obeyed from the heart - Romans 6:1717. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you., and added to the church by the Lord - Acts 2:3838. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., 4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. And just so we're on an even keel, the Bible teaches only one church - Ephesians 4:44. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;, so there's no other way to answer it truthfully, assuming you speak as the oracles of God, that is. Therefore, as the custom of the first century church was to meet on the first day of the week (which is a Sunday); to break bread and drink of the fruit of the vine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ, well, so do we - 1 Corinthians 11:24-2524. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.. Some of the more educated call this pattern theology. I just call it what it is, obeying God's word. Now in saying that, the command of the Lord Jesus Christ is that all Christians are to assemble. Now if one will observe closely the pattern of the early church, they'll soon discover that only one day is mentioned wherein Christians assembled to worship God - Acts 20:77. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.. Actually, no other day is mentioned anywhere in the holy record. That in, and of itself, should serve as a valuable illustration, not to mention, an example. Moreover, there are several warnings with regards to forsaking the assembling of ourselves, for example, Hebrews 10:25-2625. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,. Now it goes without saying, that we use unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, which is the unfermented juice of red grapes; when preparing the Lord's supper. We also give of our means on the first day as the Bible teaches to do - 1 Corinthians 16:22. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.. We offer Bible study on Wednesday evenings as a lawful expedient, and on a one to one basis if necessary. You see, most people tend to overlook the fact, that the most important thing they will ever learn in the whole of their lifetime is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, even that. When men obey that gospel, they are effectively translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son (Jesus Christ) - Colossians 1:1313. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:, which is the church, that is, of Christ, hence, the use of the term, church of Christ - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved., Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. However, the sad fact, is that, very few show any interest for the things which are Jesus Christ's - Philippians 2:2121. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's., let alone, the saving of their soul.
In saying that, did you know that the (Roman) Catholic church had its origins from within the church of Christ? Yes, this is indeed a historical fact. Now despite the conjectures of Roman Catholicism, is that, they were once a faithful church in the Lord. However, around the third century after the resurrection the church at Rome began to apostatize. To apostatize, is to turn away from, or forsake a religious tradition (or pattern), as in, that of the apostles and Jesus Christ, for example - 2 Thessalonians 2:1515. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle., cf. Acts 2:4242. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.. Thank God, we have the record of those traditions in the Bible, otherwise we'd be none the wiser. The Bible teaches men to become Christians (followers of Christ) - Hebrews 12:22. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God., whereas, the Roman Catholic church teach men to be Catholics - Mark 7:77. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.. There's a tremendous difference in the two forms. One will save whilst the other will condemn. You can't have both.
Well, the church at Carrick on Shannon is just one congregaion (or group of people) that meet to worship God on the first day of the week. There are many such congregations all over the world. Collectively, we are known as the churches, or church of Christ - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. A word of warning though, in that, the Lord's church has absolutely no association with the likes of the Mormon church, or any of the Pentecostal churches that use the term churches of Christ in any of it's forms, nor indeed, the Boston or International churches of Christ who have broken the scripture and transcended all scriptural authority in their current state of apostasy. We use, or go by the term "churches of Christ" just as the Bible teaches. However, anyone can use the term, and sometimes just for the namesake without ever keeping with the traditions of Bible doctrine. This, in and of itself, has caused more confusion than not. It also gives the wrong impression. In any case, we're not unmindful of who is behind the confusion. The only measure that will prove what is what is the Bible.
With all due respect, the church of Christ is the only church the Bible teaches. Mind you, it's not a matter of striving headlong, or blindsighted into something that is open to question; but rather, a taught religion, and by the authority of Jesus Christ; hence, the latter part of the term, being, of Christ. As I said before, of Christ is to say by the authority of Christ. If something is not authorized of Christ, then it has no authority. You see then how each of the congregations (assemblies) are of the number that have obeyed the gospel, and were then added to the church by the Lord - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.? Unlike the apostate Roman Catholic church and misled Christendom, is that, the local assembly exists by the authority of Christ. In saying that, the individual congregations are known as local churches of Christ. The unusual thing is that the local churches of Christ are self-governing, or autonomous. That means, there is no central authority such as the Vatican is to the Roman Catholic religion. Well, after all, the church of Christ is patterned after what is authorized in the holy record. As for elders, they are to be appointed in all the churches according to the apostle Paul - Titus 1:5-95. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6. If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.. Common sense would have us to know, the adjective "elder" unequivocally refers to an older man, and within the context of scripture is given in the plural sense. Plural means, more than one, or no less than two. Very simple logic. Straightway, the shaddow of doubt is cast on any man who displaces the oversight of elders over a congregation, or indeed more than one congregation, and to be at fault. Yet such things are observed in the Catholic religion, and throughout so called religious Christendom as a whole. That in itself is a warning that something is grievously wrong, and indeed is wrong. According to the Bible there is no authority for that kind of oversight. Such things serve to warn us from that which is not authorized of God. It makes all the difference as to where and how you worship God. God gave us the Bible for a reason. Let's not ignore it.
Elders are men that God has authorized to have the oversight of a local congregation, or church. Now I'm not talking about just any church; but rather, a local church of Christ to be exact. Now the word church, itself, comes from the latin word ecclesia (or the Greek Ekklesia), which means to be called out. The word church is always in the plural, for as the Lord said, Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them - Matthew 18:2020. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.. Now with regards to us in particular, we don't have elders at this time for the simple reason that we are a relatively young congregation with a small number of members. However, I have absolutely no doubt that in time this requirement shall be answered. Until then, we press on in our duty to teach the gospel in the hope of saving some, even that. Did you know that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth - Luke 15:1010. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.? Moreover, repentance is a condition of salvation. To define the noun "repent," it could be said, as an act of sincere regret or remorse. The Bible definition is to turn away, or change one's mind. Repentance is always associated with turning away from sin. All sin is a transgression of God's law - 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.. You see, unless a man forsakes, or turns away from his sinful ways, he will most definitely perish - Luke 13:313. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.. What's more, the vast majority nowadays refuse to believe that such a place as hell exists, that is, until one day their there. Whether men believe or not that hell exists won't change a thing. Actually, the Bible teaches that hell enlarges herself, and opens her mouth without measure - Isaiah 5:1414. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.. That in itself is a scary thought. When men ignore what the Bible teaches about hell they are gambling with something so terrible that words fail to comprehend. Either way, if one was to believe that hell existed, and let's say it didn't, so what? At least it kept one on the straight and narrow. On the other hand, however, let's say it does, and I believe it does, then there's a lot to gamble for, so to speak. Moreover, the Bible teaches no such place as purgatory. For if purgatory existed; then Christ was crucified for nought. But that's not the case. The doctrine of purgatory is a false doctrine of Roman Catholicism. The Bible is so punctuated with warnings about a place called hell that it's impossible to ignore. God didn't mention hell just to fill the pages of the inerrant scriptures, hence, the inerrancy of scripture. Hell is so terrible that even the Bible describes it in few words. That's why the preacher warns every man of the misery that cometh upon him if he should die in his sins. When men refuse to be justified by the blood of Jesus Christ - Romans 5:99. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him., they are effectively sentencing themselves to hell. You see, the holiness of the God of heaven will not allow for sin, except it be forgiven. Christ the propitiation is the only hope of men. My friend, now is the accepted time with God - 2 Corinthians 6:22. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.). For as Solomon said, boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth - Proverbs 27:11. Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth..
The church of Christ (biblical designation - Romans 16:1616. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.), is made up of Christians - Acts 11:2626. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch., both men and women who have obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ - Mark 1:11. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;, Genesis 5:22. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created., Galatians 3:2828. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.. The church, as in, those that have been added by the Lord - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved., are obligated under the law of Christ - Galatians 6:22. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ., to holdfast, that, which is the authority of scripture (the Bible) - Deuteronomy 4:242. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you., cf. Revelation 22:1919. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book., Proverbs 30:66. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.. The Bible contains the written and authoritative record of God's word. There's no other book like the Bible because of it's supernatural origins. A period of some fifteen hundred years, and forty men, have wrough the Bible with regards to the comfort of the scriptures - Romans 15:44. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.. Unlike all other books that belong to men, the Bible came from heaven by the power of God through the Holy Ghost made manifest in earthen vessels. With regards to authority in the church, well, it either comes from man or from God. If it comes from man then it's not from God. My friend, absolute authority rests with God. Why? Well, because God is the Creator. God is the judge. In Romans 2:22. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. we read, that the judgement of God is according to truth. All authority rests with God by virtue of his nature. He's omniscient, which is all knowing. Omnipresent, everywhere at all times. He's omnipotent, which is all powerful. He's eternal, without beginning of days, nor end of life - Revelation 22:1313. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.. He's the one that said, "I am that I am" - Exodus 3:1414. And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.. He is the self-existing one by the power of his word. He spoke, and brought all things into existence - Psalm 33:99. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.. He has set the rule!
That said, I guess you now understand who is the authority in the church of Christ. If you want to be a member of the church, then you also must believe that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh - 1 John 4:22. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:. Not only that, but by faith in Christ - Romans 3:2222. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:, repentance and water baptism for the remission of sins - Acts 2:3838. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., then the Lord will then add you to the church - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. It is only then a man bcomes a Christian, and as I said before, is now obligated under the law of Christ to holdfast the doctine of Christ all the days of his natural life - 2 John 1:99. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.. To become a Christian is a life changing event. In one sense, it's out with the old and in with the new. Since the plan of salvation demands repentance (which is to change one's mind, or turn away from sin), either way, it's life changing. The religion of Jesus Christ is a taught religion, and not something we strive headlong, or in ignorance - Romans 15:44. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.. It's also a saving religion. No other religion can claim the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ except the religion of Jesus Christ - Acts 4:1212. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.. Some men condemn religion, and claim that religion is not of God. Many dictionaries fail to provide a proper definition for religion. The proper term for religion is a system of beliefs and practices. When we learn to do, we learn religion. We learn to assemble on the first day of the week. We also understand that every week has a first day - Acts 20:77. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.. To imitate something repeatedly is to do it religiously. The religion of Jesus Christ is easily understood, and not something that is hidden or obscure. Do what God said and it will go well for thee. That's what the Bible teaches. For reference sake - (Old Testament) Deuteronomy 6:1818. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.. You know, Paul said, to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ - 2 Corinthians 10:55. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;. That's religion my friend. To do what God said to do requires religion. Religion is a system of do's and don'ts. Religion is something we do every day in some form or another. There are many religions in the world, but only one which is of Christ. There is only one religion that saves, and that is the do religion we read about in the New Testament - James 1:2222. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.. There's no such thing as running head long or blind sighted with Christ. We study - 2 Timothy 2:1515. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth., and learn to be obedient, as Christ also learned obedience by the things which he suffered - Hebrews 5:88. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;. An obedient faith is a saving faith. There's no two ways about it.
You see then, my friend, man is not the authority in the church of the living God, and that includes me. Elders are the closest thing you will come to in terms of authority in the church, and they only administer by authority, as in, delegated authority. God gave some implies a higher authority, and the only authority. Isaiah spake concerning God, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts - Isaiah 55:99. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts..
It seems that very little has changed in terms of the charge that is held against the church of Christ. Since the very beginning the church of Christ has been spoken against - Acts 28:2222. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.. The strange thing is that those who accuse the church of Christ of being a cult are the same who refuse to obey the gospel. Moreover, the church of Christ is the only church that keeps with the word of God and obeys it. I think that speaks for itself. In fact, the church of Christ is neither a sect nor a cult, however, to answer the question properly, we need to first determine what is meant by the term cult. According to the Oxford dictionary, a cult is a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object. A cult is also a separation from fundamental doctrine, in other words, alternative doctrine. For example, Jim Jones and the People's Temple of the Disciples of Christ which is synonmyous with the mass suicide that took place at Jonestown in Guyana in 1978. A cult is a breakaway group that will no longer acknowledge traditional teaching. Many cults use the Bible and claim to be Christian, however, a closer scrutiny in light of Bible texts will usually expose wayward beliefs for what they are. With regards to the faith of Christ, well, the object of a Christian's faith is Christ, or at least should be. The difference between Jesus Christ and all other objects of veneration is that he is deity. Deity is the Creator. Deity is the judge. Christ is the second person of the Godhead - 1 John 5:77. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one., cf. 1 John 1:1414. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth., and for emphasis - Mark 1:11. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;. With regards to the church of Christ being a sect, well, in one sense it was, to the Jewish religion under the Mosaic law. The coming of Christ brought about the end of the Mosaic law whilst at the same time established the law of Christ. The intervening period, otherwise known as the fulness of time - Galatians 4:44. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,; compassed also the appointing of the twelve apostles, and thereby establisthing a new system of religion. This was seen as extremely contrary to the religious traditions already established, and therefore, vigorously and violently opposed by the Jews of that day. Needlesss to say, it culminated with the crucifixion of God's Son, and founder of the faith, Jesus Christ. In saying that, to this day, the religion of Christ is seen as the most offensive religion in the world. Why? because the Bible condemns sin, and the church which is built upon the foundation of Christ and the apostles - Ephesians 2:19-2019. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;, teaches what the Bible teaches. It's a well known fact amongst Bible scholars that any violation of the scriptues is sinful. When men fail to declare the whole counsel of God they are effectively transgressing the authority of the scriptures. There are several warnings pertaining to this. Paul said, if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins - Hebrews 10:2626. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,. Sin is a transgression of the law of God - 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.. Mind you, it's better to read up than to remain ignorant, that's for sure. Jesus said, his word will judge us in the last day - John 12:4848. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day..
Now the religion of Jesus Christ is monotheistic, which means, it's characterized by the belief that there is one God. That said, it's not a matter of proving whether God exists, because he does, but rather to prove what is right before God, and in the sight of men - 1 Thessalonians 5:2121. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good., cf. 2 Corinthians 8:2121. Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men..
Did you know that Christ was accused of being the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes? - Acts 24:55. For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:. Moreover, whilst Paul was in Rome, the chief Jews enquired concerning the sect of the Nazarenes because that every where it was spoken against - Acts 28:2222. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.. The churches of Christ in the present time are no different. For the most part they are spoken against because they holdfast to what the scriptures teach with regards to obeying the gospel. It's my understanding that the church of Christ is the only church that accentuates the necessity of obeying the gospel for one to be saved and added to the church, and obviously to become a Christian. Yet, and contrariwise, the predominant religion in so called Christendom is that of Roman Catholicism, not to mention, her protestant and denominational progenies. Roman Catholicism doesn't even teach the gospel, let alone, obey it. Moreover, the misconception that religious Christendom represents the religion of Jesus Christ is nothing more than a surreptitious and pseudo-display of all guile and hypocricy. Man made religions that claim to represent the God of heaven. This is what the world is led to believe - 2 Corinthians 4:44. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.. With all due respect, the religion of Jesus Christ is a minority religion, and the only religion that can save, that is, if men will keep with the traditions of Bible doctrine. The general consensus amongst those who are caught up in religious Christendom, is that, they don't need to obey everything that the Bible teaches. Let's say, for example, the use of musical instruments in worship. You may well have heard that the church of Christ doesn't use musical instruments in worship, and for what ever reasons. Either way, the New Testemant doesn't authorize the use of musical instruments in worship, so why use them? When men use musical instruments to worship God it only shows that something is wrong. In spite of that, there are those that say that they don't need to obey everything as long as their heart is right with God. Yet Paul said, that Christ is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him - Hebrews 5:99. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;. It seems there's a grevious contradiction on their part, for if God is the one who does the saving, then God is the one who determines what's said and done.
Work in progress....
As for the churches of Christ and what they teach in terms of doctrine is a very important, not to mention, what is acceptable in the sight of God. Mind you, from a panoptic point of view, religious Christendom seems to teach everything and anything except for what the Bible teaches, and especially so with respect to obeying the gospel - Mark 1:11. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;. The echoic nature of denominationalism has a resounding tone of self-righteousness in what they say, and believe, and do, and what have you? That's not teaching the Bible. That's only teaching what they make up themselves, and then believing it as if it was from God. What's more, the Bible teaches no such thing as patchwork preaching except for when false doctrine is exposed. You see, false teaching never saved anyone. It only denies salvation to those that would otherwise have opportunity to be taught correctly, even that. Denominationalists call it unity in diversity. The Bible calls it going to hell. When God sent his Son into the world - John 3:1717. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved., it not only made it possible for men to be saved; but also upset the religious systems of that day, and continues to do so unto the present time. A conservative estimate suggests that there are at least 4,200 religions in the world today. The Bible teaches only one religion. That's the religion of Jesus Christ. In fact, it's the only religion whereby men become Christians. All other religions that claim to be Christian have their beliefs well grounded in duplicity. By their very existence they oppose the cross of Christ.
Did you know that there are at least nine recognized major religions in India, including so called Christendom? The Lord's church, the church of Christ, has also a presence in India, but as a minority religion. India is just one of 195 countries in the world. In fact, the religion of Christ is a minority religion in general given that the majority reject the gospel at all costs. If men only knew the cost of what they are rejecting. You know, the statistics are scary when we consider the average age of man which is threescore and ten years (70) - Psalm 90:1010. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.. That said, and to all and sundry, are the claims that we are now living longer lives. When you compare that to the antediluvian world (pre-flood) that is, well, there's no comparison. Noah lived to 950 years with no GP services or hospitals to boot - Genesis 9:2929. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.. So how can men say we are living longer when in actual fact we are living shorter lives. It's not a matter of health equalling longevity, even though it's a good thing to live healthier no doubt - 1 Timothy 4:88. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come., but rather what God has determined. You know, not everything we take for granted is as it seems. More often than not, the truth of the matter is well hidden, and for reasons unknown to most of us. Such is the nature of the world we live in.
The same is true with regards to how the gospel is preached today. You could say, part truth and part lie, even that, which in fact is no truth at all. Men spoil the gospel effort when they intrude upon the inspired record with the doctrines of men. In other words, with the leaven of false doctrine. As Paul said, preach the word - 2 Timothy 4:22. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.. There's no other way than to speak the truth. That's how you plant the seed of the word of God in the hearts of men. Peter said, if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. Any other way is to lead men astray. A man of God is a man who preaches after God. As for the rest, as in, all who preach after the doctrines of men, well, they can say what they want because they don't preach after the authority of Christ. In any case, when men deviate even the slightest from what is authorized in the scriptures, they preach after the doctrines of devils, and not God - 1 Timothy 4:1-21. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;. The devils have no interest in preaching the truth, but rather to deceive. God has judged them, and they know that their condemnation lingereth not. The devils desire to bring as many souls as they can to hell with them. You see my friend, they know the horror of what's coming to them. Satan's objective is to preach the lie. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it - John 8:4444. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.. When men fail to preach as the oracles of God, they become false teachers and liars, and thereby do the bidding of them which are already judged. When men fail to preach the full counsel of God, they are effectively condemning their hearers to the torments of an eternal hell, that is, unless they hear thee gospel, and obey it. Mind you, there are some even within the ranks of the Lord's church who shouldn't be there. Paul did warn about that you know - Acts 20:3030. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them., cf. 2 Peter 2:11. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.. The onus rests on both the preacher to preach - 2 Timothy 4:22. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine., and the hearer to hear - Matthew 11:1515. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.. Men are better informed upon hearing the gospel - Romans 10:1717. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.. However, given the number of imposters and deceivers all claiming to teach the way salvation, and what have you? Is it any wonder the truth is obscured amidst that dungheap, and evildoers? God will take to task all who handle his word deceitfully. Paul said, if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them - 2 Corinthians 4:3-43. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them..
Now with regards to whether God exists or not, and because some are inclined to deny the existence of God by merely claiming a lack of evidence, well, I say, the irrefutability of something that is unexplainable only proves the incontrovertible existence of God in the first place. In other words, just because you can't see God doesn't mean that God does not exist. On the contrary, the rational mind will conclude mind before matter, which is the same as saying, God before creation. It's a well known fact that matter does not produce matter. Ask any honest scientist and he will tell you the same. In saying that, all things exist by design. This is irrefutable. Design itself testifies that there is a Creator. Mind you, even the simplest organism has design. How could anything function without design? We take so much for granted in this world without ever considering the origins or end thereof, even the end of our own life. All it amounts to is injustifiable ignorance - Romans 1:2020. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:. Men are now taught to reason more like animals than moral agents. Mind you, the vast majority consider for naught the things of God, irrespective of their responsibility to him with whom they will have to do - Hebrews 4:1313. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.. Now here's a real goodie. All the money that's spent on research toward a manned mission to Mars. Who in their right mind would want to colonize a dust bowl like Mars? What's wrong with the earth that God created? If they want dust, well, there's plenty of that in the Sahara. There's as much hope of men colonizing Mars as there is in proving the Bible wrong. When man walked on the moon it didn't put food on our table, that's for sure. The point is, the utter waste of resources that could otherwise profit those in need. The emphesis here is on God leaving things up to men. Jeremiah said, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked - Jeremiah 17:99. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?. The simple fact of the matter, is that, men do not want to retain the knowledge of God in their hearts - Romans 1:2828. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;. Very few delight in the knowledge of God nowadays. I suppose another reason why so many will be lost to damnation and eternity. However, for those that do delight in the word of God, they are blessed of the almighty. I have absolutely no doubt in saying that. You see my friend, the inherent cause of the separation that exists between God and man is sin - Isaiah 59:22. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.. The efficacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, wherein the blood of Christ is the agent by which men are reconciled to God through the forgiveness of their sins, is the means by which God has determined that man must walk therein. The blood of Christ was shed for the remission of sins - Matthew 26:2828. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.. Without the blood of Christ there is no remission of sins - Hebrews 9:2222. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.. You know, there was a time when it repented God that he created man - Genesis 6:66. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart..
Work in progress....
The Bible teaches that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth - Genesis 1:11. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.. Therefore, God is a, and thee, Creator. The Bible also teaches that God is a Spirit - John 4:2424. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.. Not only that, Paul wrote, that God is the Father of spirits - Hebrews 12:99. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?. The Bible teaches that God is the only God, that is, there is no other God in any other religion that exists - Isaiah 45:55. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:. Indeed the Bible teaches that God is a living God - Matthew 16:1616. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.. James said, that God is the Father of lights - James 1:1717. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.. The gospel of John proclaims the one true God - John 17:33. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.. That's the same as saying, there's no other God. Paul indeed spake unto Timothy concerning God, in that, God is eternal, invisible, and wise - 1 Timothy 1:1717. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.. John said, God is love - 1 John 4:88. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.. We also read that God is the one lawgiver - James 4:1212. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?. Peter spake concerning the Lord, in that, one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day - 2 Peter 3:88. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.. In other words, God is not bound to the hands of time as we are. Man on the other hand, is a creation of God, and not just any creation; but made in the image of God - Genesis 1:2727. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.. Unlike the rest of creation, man is accountable to God - Romans 14:1212. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God., cf. Hebrews 9:2727. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:, Matthew 12:3636. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.. God created man an intelligent being with the inherent capacity to choose right from wrong. Therefore, mankind is accountable to God for the freedom that God has given him. Animals don't have the same capacity to choose right from wrong, nor are they answerable to God. Moreover, our God is a wonderful, and gracious Creator, who is ready to forgive men their trespass and transgression. However, because God is holy - 1 Peter 1:1616. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy., there is therefore by authority the immutable decree of almighty God, in that, repentance is therefore incumbent upon man because of sin, which is a consequence of transgression of the law of God - Luke 13:33. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish., cf. 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law., Hebrews 6:17-1817. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:. God, the one who sweared by himself because there was no greater - Hebrews 6:1313. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,, has indeed determined what man must do to be saved. God is the one who does the saving, therefore, God is the one who has set the rule.
So who is God? My friend, everything that has it's being exists because God exists. Without God there is nothing. God is the power behind all of the creation. From the truely unknown to what is known, God is. Moreover, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God - Matthew 4:44. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.. The Bible teaches that God is no respector of persons - Acts 10:3434. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:. Now when the Bible says that God is no respector of persons, well, it means exactly what it says. What's said, is said for all. When the Bible speaks of God, it speaks of Jehovah (the name of God), or literally, "the self-existing one." God also means, supreme, absolute, and final authority. God, as in the word itself, is an english word, and addresses the all powerful and self-existing one, who is the Creator of the spirit, and matter, and time, and the everlasting. God is not the name of God, but rather, and with all due respect, how we address the all powerful Creator. God is the one who has the oversight of all his creation. When we say God, we are in essence addressing the all powerful self-existing one, even him that has the power over life and death, and eternity. Men refer to their own patriarch's as father. It's not honourable to address one's father by name, so that's why we address them as father. We therefore reverence our earthly fathers in this way. How much more our heavenly Father? You've heard the saying, give honour to whom honour is due - Romans 13:77. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour., cf. Mark 12:1717. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.. Are we not honouring the Creator when we call him God? After all, he is God. There is no other God besides him - 1 Chronicles 17:2020. O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.. God is the beginning and the end - Revelation 1:88. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.. God is the one with whom we have to do - Hebrews 4:1313. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.. God's standards are just, honest, trustworthy, lawful, and honourable. Actually, Christ is the standard that God has set before men.
So what is the difference between the term Godhead as opposed to God? Well, in essence, they're essentially the same thing. The Godhead refers to the three persons of the one God - 1 John 5:77. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.. They're not individual personalities of God as some have mistakenly claimed, but rather, individual persons. A person refers to an individual, as in one, or singular. The Godhead is made up of three individual persons. The Father (first person of the Godhead) - 1 Corinthians 8:66. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him., Almighty - Revelation 11:1717. Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (Jehovah - Psalm 83:1818. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth., Exodus 6:33. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.), the Son (second person of the Godhead) - 2 Peter 1:1717. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased., 1 John 4:1515. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God., who is the Lamb of God - John 1:2929. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world., and the Christ - Matthew 16:1616. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God., who is called, Jesus - Matthew 1:2121. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.. Finally, the third person of the Godhead is the Holy Ghost - 1 John 5:77. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one., 1 Corinthians 6:1919. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?, also known as the Spirit of God - Romans 8:1414. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.. We read in Genesis 1:2626. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth., let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Notice the pronoun "us" in verse 26, is used to refer to one or more than one. The word "our" is a possessive determiner, and defined as, belonging to or associated with. In both instances the implications are plural. Godhead is mentioned in the King James Bible three times, whereas, trinity and triune are not. However, they are essentially the same thing, just different words. Godhead is a biblical designation. Therefore, we'll use the term Godhead. Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, said, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God - John 20:1717. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.. Yet, in Philippians 2:66. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:, Christ, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. You see then, things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
Think on this for a moment. How much can we learn about the Godhead by just looking at the moon? We could also ask, what can we learn about the Godhead from the various religions in the world? Well, unless they teach the Bible and are church of Christ the answer is simple. Now in saying that, not all who teach the Bible teach it correctly. We'll save that for another lesson. You need the Bible to learn about God. No other book compares to that book, in which God has authorized, to teach the generations of men the way of salvation. Men call that composition of the sacred texts, or scriptures, the Bible. God calls it his word - 2 Timothy 3:16-1716. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.. Moreover, from whence thinkest thou the Bible cometh? Paul said, I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ - Galatians 1:1212. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.. My friend, the second person of the Godhead (Jesus Christ the Son of God - 1 John 4:1515. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.), revealed the word of God by the Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit) - John 16:1313. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come., and through earthen vessels, who were men - 2 Corinthians 4:77. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.. A simple definition for biblical inspiration is to be guided by direct divine influence (or intervention). This is something we just don't see every day, so to speak. As we all know well, there are many great books in the world; but only one book has the authorship of Almighty God, and that is the Bible. Who can refute the fact, that 40 (forty) men, over a period of some 1500 (fifteen hundred) years, wrough the word of God (known as the Bible), with such perfection that only God alone can take the credit for. In all of the history of mankind, have we ever witnessed such an absolute agreement of texts by men, who, for the most part, have never even met each other, let alone, have even dwelt in the tabernacle of the flesh concurrently, that is to say, at the same time. There's absolutely no doubt that the Bible is a supernatural book with supernatural origins. In other words, the origins of the Bible goes beyond scientific understanding, and indeed the laws of nature. In saying that, neither is there such a thing as the sough after god particle, as claimed according to the speculations of pseudo science. Men clamouring after the impossible. Paul said, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear - Hebrews 11:33. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.. The Bible teaches that God is a Spirit - John 4:2424. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.. Jesus said, before Abraham was, I am - John 8:5858. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.. Paul spake concerning Christ, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God - Hebrews 7:33. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.. I'll prepare another lesson titled, "Made like unto the Son of God" at a later convenience. For now, we'll focus our attention on the attributes and characteristics that define Almighty God.
Given the onslaught of unbelief that is so prevelant in our day, one can only wonder, will such inherent incredulity increase the risk of perpetuating further the leaven of false doctrines that mutually coexist, and are already widespread throughout so called religious Christiandom, and what have you? Gone are the days of the gentleman's agreement, so to speak. Gone are the days when men took God's word at face value. In other words, to just believe God. It seems that nowadays, one must just about sell his soul to convince people of a truth. Why? because truth no longer holds weight, and that is the truth - 2 Thessalonians 2:1010. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.. One can only wonder what the next generation will bring about? When men remove God from their knowledge, well, anything is possible, and even now, is the latent potential for an absolute deviation from all that is considered holy in the sight of Almight God. The sacredness of marriage has been desecrated. Homosexuality is considered as a natural behaviour, when in actual fact, it is the opposite of nature - Romans 1:2727. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet., cf. Leviticus 18:2222. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.. Adultery is just another pastime for those that lack moral stability - Hebrews 13:44. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.. Such behaviour (or conduct) is to fly in the face of Almighty God. Mankind is bombarded with profanity and obscenity on such a scale that's nare been witnessed in the history of the generations of men. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not - 2 Corinthians 4:44. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them..
Now, and for a little while, I wish to focus our attention on the goodness and severity of Almighty God - Romans 11:2222. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.. Notice the goodness of God in verse 22, that is, if we continue in his goodness. The verb "continue" is defined as unceasing, steadfast, or sustained. Such is to motion in a particular direction. Jesus said, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God - Luke 9:6262. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God..
Work in progress....
As Paul said, preach the word - 2 Timothy 4:22. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.. There's only one way to preach the word and that's to preach the word. There's only one way that men can subscribe to the word of God, and that is to hear the word of God - Romans 10:1717. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.. The majority of so called Bible preaching today is spiritually devoid and dangerous. Men are no longer interested in the wholesome word of God - 2 Timothy 4:3-43. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables., 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. Notwithstanding, the wholesome word of God is all we have to the saving - James 1:2121. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.. God has authorized his word to be preached in his church. That means nothing else is authorized in the sight of Almighty God. This is the simple measure by which we can know if we are in the right place or not. What's more, if men are not properly taught the word of God, how then can they know what is acceptable with God? Not just anything goes with God. The course of salvation was determined by God, and is set before the generations of men until time itself shall flee from the face of him with whom we have to do - Hebrews 4:1313. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.. No man has the authority to change the counsel of Almighty God. Yet by reason of defiance some will even dare, whilst for others it's merely a matter of ignorance. They challenge God by altering his word, as if, by some strange reason this thing should escape God's attention. When God's word is altered men are held to account. When God's word is altered men are deceived. You cannot change the word of him who "thus saith" without consequence. We observe the same end in the form of all the various churches all clamouring and claiming to teach the way of salvation, and what have you? The modern term for such consternation is denominationalism. In other words, a departure from the truth. John said, God's word is truth - John 17:1717. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.. When you read a King James Bible then you have the truth. However, mishandling God's word can also prove to be spiritually dangerous. The word of God in the wrong hands can lead men in the wrong direction. It's not that God's word is at fault, but rather, those who are unlearned and unstable, who wrestle in their understanding of the scriptures - 2 Peter 3:1616. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.. The Bible calls them false teachers.
Several times I've been accused of false teaching, even verbal incursions that have touched on the intergrity of what I teach, and especially so, by those who duly fail to grasp a proper and contextual understanding of scripture at any time. What's more, the scriptures carry very little weight in terms of authority for such men. The thing is, you can't just take verses at random and thereby establish beliefs upon every wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:1414. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;. To illustrate, there are some who still claim that the gifts of the Spirit, such as, speaking in tonges, are still evident today. In spite of what they say, the Bible teaches no such thing. I wonder is it ignorance or arrogance that beguiles a man from the testimony of Jesus Christ? What's hard to understand about - 1 Corinthians 13:1010. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.? As Paul said, prove all things - 1 Thessalonians 5:2121. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good., in which I've done, and will continue to do. You've heard the old adage, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Well, men like that just refuse to listen regardless of what the Bible or anyone else has to say. As Jesus said, it's hard to kick against the pricks - Acts 9:55. And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.. You see, God said that our battle is not against flesh and blood - Ephesians 6:1212. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.. In saying that, men who wrough contrary to sound doctrine are most certainly in the throws of a deadly spiritual transgression. Any violation of scripture should be considered as anarchy against God, even that. Besides that, you cannot sharpen the countenance of men who refuse to listen - Proverbs 27:1717. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.. What we can do, however, is to mark them that cause division, and avoid them - Romans 16:1717. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.. Moreover, Christians are obligated to refute any attempt at false teaching regardless of whether it comes from within the church, or without. Handling God's word is a very serious undertaking, let alone, to handle it deceitfully. All of what you see in religion today outside of the church of Christ is the result of mishandling God's word. There is two ways that men mishandle God's word, either by means of deceptive endeavour, or lack of knowledge. Either way, both are wrong and condemnable. Paul warned about neophytism, which is to say, those who are unlearned in the scriptures - 1 Timothy 3:66. Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.. You don't put a novice to the plough. Men desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm - 1 Timothy 1:77. Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm..
I've often heard it said, how does one become a preacher in the church of Christ? Well, I'm sure there's much debate over the matter, however, my concern is when men offer opinions over doctrine, and instead of substantiating what they say with the word of God; they tend to convince their hearers that what they say is from God. Moreover, it seems for those who are being deceived would rather believe the word of the created than the word of the Creator. I'm constantly bombarded with either insults or accusations when I attempt to speak as - 1 Peter 4:1111. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. My friend, you won't preach diddly squat in the Lord's church unless God has given you to preach - Ephesians 4:1111. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;. Men of God are men who preach after God, that is to say, men who preach the raw and uncompromised truth. We all know that false teachers constantly attempt to sidestep God when it comes to teaching what the Bible teaches. Ear ticklers, that's what they are, and usually well educated, except for when it comes to teaching the truth that is. Speaking the truth, especially nowadays, seems to be somewhat out of step with the ethos of modern culture, not to mention, teaching it. I suppose another reason why the Bible gets a lot of negative flack. Why? Well, God said, that his word is truth - John 17:1717. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.. Truth is defined as the quality or state of being true. Truth is also defined as a fact or belief that is accepted as true. The synonym of truth is truthfulness, honesty, and verity. Truth is irrefutable. The thing is, however, truth is not fashionable nowadays because it demands honesty. Paul said, that men would turn their ears from the truth in favour of fables - 2 Timothy 4:44. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.. A fable is a tale, and a tale can be either fictitious or true. So in keeping with the context of Paul's assertion, is that, false (or fictitious) teaching is not in keeping with the word of God. In saying that, the outward appearance of truth in no way constitutes truth, even though it may have the appearance of truth. The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil - Genesis 3:4-54. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.. In other words, rather than exposing a lie for what it is, one is economic with the truth. The Bible calls this kind the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which is to say, false doctrine - Matthew 16:66. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.. The same is true when men refuse to keep with the word of God. They try to change it, or at least water it down to mean something else. Such is to transgress the infallibility and finality of God's authority. To transgress something is to go beyond its bounds, for example, to do something additional, as in, outside the limits that pertain to a particular authority or law. When it comes to the religion of Jesus Christ, well, for the most part men take liberties that they are not authorized to take. In Leviticus 10:11. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not., we read of Nadab and Abihu who offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. That was a liberty they had no right to take (unauthorized), not to mention, the consequences that followed after (immediately).
My friend, I am confident in what I say before Almighty God, in that, religious Christendom, for example, Roman Catholicism and denominationalism do not represent God, and indeed, have no more right to exist than does the religion of Islam, or any other false religion. Moreover, those who claim to be Christian by proxy, that is to say, apart from what the Bible teaches, barely mention the Lord Jesus Christ except for when they represent him in a congenial way that suits what they want to believe. As a matter of fact, very few teach the Lord Jesus Christ according to how the Bible teaches him. That speaks for itself you know. I'm also confident in what I say will not rest well with those who worship the pseudo Christ of their own making (imagination). This is the false Christ who is wrough according to the will of man. He doesn't save. Actually, he doesn't do anything because he doesn't exist. There is another who does exists, however, who maketh a lie, and leadeth men away from the glory of God. He is called the Devil and Satan. He only serves to destroy. He is a master religionist who teaches after the way of error. I suppose a lesson for another time no doubt. If you want to learn about the Son of God - 1 John 4:1515. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God., however, who is called Jesus - Matthew 1:2121. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins., who is the Christ - Matthew 16:1616. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God., then you need to go to the Bible; especially a King James Bible. Now I'm sure some will say, and have indeed said, that James Daniel is overzealous in how he teaches the Bible. I don't understand why they say that? The same claim to represent God; but in works they deny him - Titus 1:1616. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.. The Bible teaches that hell is eternal (let's keep it simple), and a burning fire (absolute) - Matthew 13:5050. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.. Is that where you want any of your family or friends to end up? Is that where you want to go? Well, it's not where I want to go, or anyone I know, that's for sure. Go there, and you stay there. There's no such thing as purgatory with God. The Bible teaches that God would to have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth - 1 Timothy 2:44. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth., cf. 2 Peter 3:99. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.. Since this is God's will, then why should I, or anyone else, preach anything else? As I said before, a man of God is a man who preaches after God. If God says that homosexuality, abortion and adultery are wrong, then you dare say anything else. The math is simple. There's no such thing as God says, and then man says something else, and yet claim to represent God? That's how politics works, not God, nor indeed the man of God who is supposed to preach after God. Paul said, that Christians are a sanctified people, that is to say, separated from the natural course of this present world - 1 Corinthians 6:9-119. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.. The Bible teaches, that the world we live in is reserved unto fire (to be burned) - 2 Peter 3:77. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.. That in itself frightens the living daylights out of me. Im sure you've read - Proverbs 9:1010. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding., which reads: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding? You know, to fear something is not always a bad thing. A form of providential protection if you will. Well, for those who are not complete idiots that is. There's absolutely nothing stopping us from refusing God's grace at any time. Such is called free will and volition.
The reality is, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:1212. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.. Notice the predeterminer, determiner, and pronoun "all" in verse 12. The adverb "all" is used to emphasize, or determine something with clarity. All is all inclusive. That means nothing is left out. Let's read - 2 Timothy 3:1212. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. again. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The verb "shall" (in the first person) expresses a future tense. That means, within the given context, the "all inclusive" shall (future tense) suffer persecution. Persecution is defined as hostility and ill-treatment. The synonyms of persecution are oppression, victimization, maltreatment, mistreatment, abuse, tyranny, and so on. Try telling a militant homosexual that what he does is against nature, even God. Try telling the promiscuous and the adulterer that fornication is a transgression of God's law. Try telling those that shed innocent blood that abortion is murder - Proverbs 6:16-1716. These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,. Try telling a militant feminist that they are out of step with reality. I speak against the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience - Ephesians 2:22. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:. As for those within (those that have repented, and were baptized - Acts 2:3838. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., and added to the church by the Lord - Acts 2:4747. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.), well, time past was suffice to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, but now is the time to wrough the will of God - 1 Peter 4:33. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:, Hebrews 13:20-2120. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.. A man who preaches after God will keep three things in mind, namely, 1. God's word settles the matter - Psalm 119:8989. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven., 2. Christ, the second person of the Godhead is the one who does the saving - Acts 4:1212. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved., and 3. Preach the word - 2 Timothy 4:22. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.. Now it's no secret that I advocate upon the King James Bible as the preserved word of God in the English speaking tongue, and for very good reason. To simply illustrate, Matthew 17:2121. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting., Matthew 18:1111. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost., and Acts 8:3737. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. are completely omitted from the NIV. Just to make the point, the three verses just mentioned are only some of several hundred verses omitted from the NIV. Mind you, the NIV is not the only Bible version to do this. Most, if not all, have rendered God's word in some way or another. All it amounts to is unauthorized tampering. No man has that right, let alone, the greedy publishing houses that make vast amounts of money on the backing of a false witness. To make matters worse, they aid and abet in corrupting the sacred texts. Now you know as well as I do that God will in no wise overlook such animosity toward his word. The man who preaches after God has a responsibility to make sure what he preaches is from God. The warning is clear, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that they shall receive the greater condemnation - James 3:11. My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation..
Whether or not men believe in God, well, that's up to them I suppose; but the Bible teaches that all men will one day stand before God to give an account - Romans 14:1212. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.. If there was no proving the fact that God exists, what are the odds of either the Bible or the ignorance of men being right? As it stands, I'd put the odds at 50/50 for arguments sake. That means, there is the equal possibility that things could go either way. One way or another, that's a huge risk to take, and especially so with the prospect of eternity looming large on the horizon. On the other hand, motives have a lot to answer for in terms of what we choose to believe. We need to ask ourselves what is the motive behind what I choose to believe, and why do I believe what I believe? Paul said, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves - 2 Corinthians 13:55. 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?. We should also take into consideration the fact that not all teaching is sound teaching. Take for example, the false teachings on the evolution of mankind and humanism, which have a lot to answer for in terms of the pseudo education that is being spoon fed in schools and colleges, and more especially when it concerns the creature that was made after the image and likeness of God (which is man) - Genesis 1:26-2726. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.. What's more, unbelief (which is the abscence of faith) is not only characterized by a choice, but rather, an intelligent choice, based on a fundamental ignorance of scripture. Couple that with the fact that God is no respector of persons - Acts 10:3434. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:, we can only conclude that all who refuse the grace of God (which is unmerited kindness, or favour) on God's part, that is, will receive all that is coming to them. Paul said, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after that the judgment - Hebrews 9:2727. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:. No man can dispute the fact that all men die. However, it's what happens at the point of death that men dispute. Some say this, and others say that; but what of God? For the most part the word of God (the Bible) is ignored. This is due in part to the fact that men sin - Romans 3:2323. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;, and hold the truth in unrighteousness - Romans 1:1818. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;. The Bible teaches, that sin is the transgression of the law of God - 1 John 3:44. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.. In other words, when men refuse God, they bring upon themselves the consequences of refusing God. After all, they only have themselves to blame. James said, sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (which is spiritual death) - James 1:1515. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.. All men have a spirit. James also added, that the body without the spirit is dead - James 2:2626. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.. At death a separation between body and spirit occurs. The body returns to the earth (by way of the grave), and the spirit returns to God who gave it - Ecclesiastes 12:77. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.. When one gives up the ghost (or dies) in a state of tresspass, that is to say, their sins have not been forgiven, well, all hope of redemption and salvation for that soul of man has passed. One is eternally lost. Cast out from the presence of Almighty God without reprievce. Sin is a tall order that few are willing to ponder. Yet they plunder without ever reasoning the consequences. We read from the record of Moses - Numbers 32:2323. But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out., that our sin will find us out. There's no escaping the fact that Jesus the Son of God - 1 John 4:1515. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God., is the only one who can save us from our sins - Acts 4:1212. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.. In saying that, a preponderant of men fail to understand that salvation is also conditional, and has been from the outset. There is no such thing as unconditional salvation in the Bible. Allow me to illustrate. In Luke 13:33. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish., Jesus Christ himself, said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Repentance is one of the conditions that God has commanded that all of mankind must abide thereof. There's no denying the scriptures testify to that.
Work in progress....
The question of hell is a very important question, and something that will effect every one of us in some way or another, and at some time in our future. Now that doesn't mean everyone is going to hell; but rather, most of us will, it just depends on who. The "who" part depends on how men handle, (or respond) to the gospel. None of us will escape the reality of hell because hell exists. However, God has made provision for mankind in the form of his Son (Jesus Christ), who took upon himself the sins of mankind. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Now assuming you believe God and his word, then hell is a real place. The sad fact is that some preachers try to water down the word hell. All it does is to add more confusion to what already exists. Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ taught more about hell than he did heaven. The reason for that was to warn men about the consequences of sin. Modern preachers tend to preach hell out of existence by way of foolish arguments (and blind assertions), namely over words - 2 Timothy 2:1414. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers., cf. Titus 3:99. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.. But that won't change what the Bible teaches. Surely you believe that God is in control? - Proverbs 16:99. A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps., cf. Job 12:1010. In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind., Psalm 115:33. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased., Ephesians 1:1111. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:, Isaiah 14:2424. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:. Now with those verses in mind, I don't believe God made any mistake with regards to the King James Bible. The King James Bible is here, and here to stay by the looks of things. All said, I think I'll take my chances with the old reliable King James Bible. Moving on then, for us to better understand salvation, we need to understand condemnation, and why hell exists. You know, honest preaching is not always accurate preaching, nor is accurate preaching always honest. A man can be honestly convinced of something that is wrong. Take, for example, the English word hell. In fact, the english word hell is one of the most universally understood words in the world. It transcends the trans-language barrier (communication). So where did it come from? The word hell itself is derived from the Saxon helan, to cover, or the invisible place. In the Bible, the use of the word hell is the result of the rendering of three words, namely, the Hebrew word "Sheol," the Greek word "Hades," and the Greek New Testament word, "Ghenna." The translation of the Hebrew word "Sheol" portends to the arcane or unseen state. Webster defines hell as the place of punishment for the wicked after death. We read in Matthew 10:2828. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell., fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. I've often heard it said that the King James translators got it wrong concerning the translation of the word hell, in that, it compassed altogether the place of Paradise (Abraham's bosom - Luke 16:2222. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;), and the place of torment - Luke 16:2828. For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment., cf. Luke 16:2424. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.. In part, they may well have lacked in distinguishing the place of torment from the place of Paradise, but nevertheless, their lack can be easily explained. Some preachers tend to over exemplify this, and for whatever reason only God knows. The King James Bible teaches that Christ's soul was not left in hell - Acts 2:3131. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.. As strange as that may sound, Peter added to that by saying, that Christ went and preached unto the spirits in prison - 1 Peter 3:19-2019. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20. Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.. Paradise in no way correlates with the definition of a prision, therefore, there must be another explanation. Peter's words, which were preserved in the Greek tongue by Luke, made reference to Psalm 16:1010. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption., which was originally written by David. However, it in no way suggests that Christ suffered any of the torments of hell; but rather, preached to the spirits who were captive there. Now I've heard of men being on fire (metaphorically) when preaching; but not literally on fire. Therefore, the reasoning behind verse 10 is narrowed down considerably. The Greek word "Hades" is a place of torment where the unsaved are cast at death. To that end, "hell" is therefore an appropriate translation of "Hades." The righteous and the wicked are most certainly separated - Luke 16:2626. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.. Hell and Paradise (Abraham's Bosom) are not the same place, even though both are spiritual in nature. Greek mythology descibes the place of torment as "Tartarus," and the place of paradise as "Elysium."
So why was hell created in the first place? What does the Bible teach? We read in - Matthew 25:4141. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:, that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels (other devils). We also read that it's not God's will that any man should be condemned to hell - 2 Peter 3:99. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance., cf. 1 Timothy 2:44. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.. Men are condemned to hell when they disobey God. Allow me to illustrate. We're all subject to the laws of men while we live, for example, the laws that pertain to conduct, accountability, and sustainability. When men violate the laws of men there are certain consequences. How much more then are we subject unto God? who is the Creator of all things, not to mention, the final authority - James 4:1212. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?, cf. John 1:33. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made., Colossians 1:1717. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist..
Work in progress....