Thursday, September 27, 2018

God's Word Spoken by Prophets

The prophets of God spoke the Word of God. In 2 Samuel 23:2 says, "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue." This statement by David is verbal inspiration. Expressions such as this are found dozens of times the Bible. How could ordinary men know of events and persons about which they were writing (many times far into the future) unless they were truly guided by the Spirit? These men claimed no credit for their words of wisdom and salvation for themselves, but they always gave credit to the God of heaven whose mouthpiece they were. The apostle Paul stated, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Corinthians 2:13). The inspired writers always gave the credit to one higher than themselves. They never claimed the wisdom which their writings portrayed.

For thousands of years God had planned the salvation of man. In addition, He planned the church from the very beginning of time. He also planned to send His only begotten Son to earth to save man. Later, when Christ ascended to the right hand of God where He is now king of kings, He sent the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles to reveal the truth -- a message that up until that time had been hidden in the mind of God. Paul stated, "and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9). Also in this third chapter of Ephesians he said that God had revealed to him the mystery and that he wrote it down for man's understanding. The point is that when God revealed it to Paul, and Paul wrote it for all mankind, then we would have the message that was and truly is "God's power to save."

We only have this life that we are living to make sure that we are obedient to God (Hebrews 5:9). In the end, we will be judged by Jesus and we will give an account for all that we have done, good or bad (John 12:48; 2 Corinthians 5:10). I want to strongly encourage us to listen to the prophets, listen to the apostles, and listen to Jesus. Our eternal destiny depends on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Is the Bible Just a General Guide?

Is the Bible just a broad, general guide, or is it in fact the Word of God? Roman Catholicism believes in the authority of God, but they believe the revelation of God comes in two forms -- the scriptures and the unwritten or oral tradition. Their oral tradition runs alongside the scriptures in inspiration and authority.

Protestants believe in the authority of the scriptures, but most of them take the Bible as a very broad and general guide, and do not believe it to be a system of rules to be followed completely. They rely on their experiences which they have had (or think they have had), and thereby their feelings now become the authority. The modernists in religion think that an objective authority limits man's freedom and inhibits his search for truth. If this really is true, then the Universalists must be right in believing everyone is going to be saved.

The Bible is not just a broad, general guideline. It is in fact the inspired word of God! The apostle Peter said that his words came by the Spirit. The apostle Paul said the same thing. In Galatians 1:12 it says, "For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." Many today believe that Mary Baker Eddy, or Joseph Smith, or even the Pope were or are inspired. I think it is wise to stick with just the Bible as being inspired by God. Jude wrote, "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." This means that all of God's revelation had been given long before the above mentioned men and women were born.

It is important that we respect and honor God and the wonderful, inspired words that He gave to us so that we can learn and know what we MUST do in order to gain eternal life with our Lord. Read the Bible and remember, this is God speaking to us. We please Him only by doing what He has stated for us to do, not what we think we should do. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Bible is the Inspired Word of God

All religious people should understand that God has ALL authority. The right to command belongs to God only. Unfortunately people say that God has all authority, yet they do not do all things that God has directed. It seems that most people only respect subjective authority. This means an authority that comes from within themselves. This subjective authority is expressed in such statements as: "I think I am saved," or "I think one religion is as good as another," or "I don't think the church saves anyone."

Of what importance is it, really, what you or I think? The Holy Bible is inspired which literally means God breathed. The apostle Paul stated, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In other words, the scriptures are "God breathed." That allows for no mistakes. You and I may think that one church is as good as another, but what does the scriptures say about that? Be honest and think about that. There really is NOT ONE scripture in all of the Bible that even implies that one church is as good as another. Can a church that originated by man really be as good as the one that was blood bought and built by Christ (Matthew 16:18)?

The problem is that men bend God and His Word to fit their own lives and selfish ideas and teaching. The Bible says, "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Malachi 3:6). God is immutable and so is His inspired, God-breathed, Word. His divine will to man was given in the book that we call the Bible and regardless of the lives of men throughout the centuries, His word is still the same, and God's attitude toward men is the same.

When Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia he said, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). We can see that man did NOT write the Bible in the real sense -- he only wrote what the Lord caused him to write. God's Word cannot be changed. When I sin, maybe I would want God t change His law to fit my particular case and allow me to do this thing, but no, He cannot change His will for me or any other man. We would not want to serve a changeable God ---- would we?

Examine the scriptures daily and make every effort to live for God and be the kind of Christian and example that He would be pleased with. Remember, it is God that will judge us in the last day (John 12:48).

Thursday, September 6, 2018

What Religious Standard Do I Use?

I want to encourage all of us to think seriously about what our standard of authority is in religious matters. There is no way that we can unite religiously unless we use the same standard. If our standards are different, then our religious practice will be different. The fact is, God is not a god of confusion. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10).

While most people claim that the Bible is their guide, in reality it is not. For example if someone says "I am saved, because I feel like I am" then it is their inner feelings that have become their source of authority because the evidence of salvation is their own feelings or conscience. The Bible has got to be our source of divine authority, not our own feelings. People have all sorts of different feelings, but there is only one God and one inspired word that He gave to us. Feelings are literally a dime a dozen. One says "I feel I'm saved when I believe," another says "I feel I'm saved when I repent." Another says they are saved in another way, and so on. Can "feelings" really tell us when we are saved?

Many religious people believe deeply on "tradition." They may not all claim that they base their religious beliefs on "tradition," but in reality that is exactly what they are doing. If their religion was good enough for their father or mother, then it is good enough for them. Could it be that one's father and mother did not learn all about the TRUTH from God's Holy word? The apostle Paul thought that he had the truth, being raised a Jew, but when he found out that the law of Moses had been abolished, he gladly accepted Christ. He even admitted that he was doing all things in "good conscience" (Acts 23:1). In the judgment, will God do the judging, or will I be my own judge? Will God be the one that decides whether I go to heaven or hell? I think that we all know that the answer is obvious. Unfortunately, many today think that they will be the judge -- or whether or not they are now saved. You and I will have to meet with God's approval then, and we must also meet with His approval now.

Yet, we still hear many religious people say "I think I am saved." Or they may say, "I'm satisfied with my baptism or the church of which I am a member." Please do not miss the point here. The questions are these and we must be honest before God with our answers: 1) Will God find me righteous at the judgement? 2) Do I have God's assurance that I am now saved? 3) Can I read from the Bible the evidence that my church is really the Bible church? 4) Is God satisfied with my baptism? Remember - God is the one who tells us what we must do in order to receive eternal life with Him.

The bottom line is that we are no more the judge of present righteousness than of future righteousness in order to enter heaven. God is the one that we must satisfy in all matters religious --- not me or someone else. Please take this seriously and think on these things. Our eternal destiny depends on it.