When Sin Creeps In #1

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:….” (Romans 5:12 KJV).

Behold, how sin creeps in!

Recently, a Christian brother expressed to me how he had been in a long-term online conversation with a female stranger. He eventually realized that he was spending more time with this lady than he was with his own wife! Once this problem came to his attention, he broke off contact with the online friend. It was quite a smart move on his part—lest he wind up in an affair and divorce court!

Dear friends, do we see how something innocent gradually becomes sin? It is so subtle that we are transgressing and not even notice it until long after we started that conduct (if ever we do notice it). Well-meaning people in religion constantly emphasize confession of sins as being necessary to be saved unto eternal life or to stay saved unto eternal life. Wrong! We are saved (and stay saved) by grace through faith in Christ, not works! Furthermore, they say our prayers will not be answered if we have “unconfessed” sin. If that were the case, no one would be saved or get prayers answered. Wrong! There are things in all our lives we do not yet realize are sin because we have not matured enough in sound Bible doctrine to discern our actions.

Without daily exposure to the Bible rightly divided, we will be vulnerable to all sorts of sins creeping into our lives without our knowledge. Thus, Ephesians 5:15-17 exhorts: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” In today’s Scripture, had Adam applied sound Bible doctrine by faith, he would not have let sin “creep in.”

Study Genesis chapter 3. Notice how Satan was pretty skillful in deceiving Eve. Adam could have stopped it, but he remained quiet. What started as nothing more than eating forbidden fruit… is now our world of endless wars, rampant starvation, unspeakable crime, heartbreaking poverty, great suffering, horrific sickness, and eventual death. Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, will correct our thinking (and change our behavior)….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who was the father of the Prophet Zechariah?

Sound Doctrine Versus Fables #1

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

“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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3,4 KJV).

First comes the intolerance toward sound doctrine. Then, and only then, arrives the tolerance toward fables.

One religious holiday, some people noticed water flowing from a tree. After a few days, on another holiday, the stream was still running. Assuming it was a “sign from God,” they prayed there and bathed in the “holy” water. It was later determined that the tree’s roots had squeezed and ruptured underground water pipes!!!

Such an absurdity—and yes, it is a true story—underscores this present evil world system. It demonstrates how gullible religious people often are. They have so rejected God’s Word that they are predisposed to fall for anything and everything no matter how nonsensical. Dear friend, pay attention to today’s Scripture: no one “accidentally” falls for spiritual lies. Regardless of the dispensation, going all the way back to the beginning of creation, man has always had a word from God. Man has never been without Divine revelation… unless he has so chosen. There is not one soul Earth today “accidentally” deceived. Even in countries “closed to Christianity and the Gospel,” these people can see creation and know a Creator exists. They also have a conscience that tells them right from wrong; they know they will face that Creator in judgment.

Romans chapter 1: “[19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [20] 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:….” Romans chapter 2: “[14] For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: [15] Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; )….”

Alas, most have rejected that basic knowledge….

The Awareness of a Temporary Earth

Monday, April 22, 2019

“And, Thou, O Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12 KJV).

On this Earth Day, let us not confuse the creation with the Creator!

Today, people worldwide celebrate “environmental awareness.” According to the secular, naturalistic worldview, our planet and its sun could last many more billions of years. They claim that we have done so much damage to our planet—climate change, overpopulation, deforestation, pollution, et cetera—that we must change our attitude toward “mother earth” and change our lifestyles before we destroy her and civilization as we know it! You can sense the zeal in their message, can you not? While these people are sincere, they are wasting all of their time, energy, and resources on a temporary planet.

Let us be very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ placed man on the earth, especially the Garden of Eden, to “dress it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to take care of the Earth: he was God’s representative, God’s king, who had a divine commission to rule this planet for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28).

It was not long, however, before Satan distracted mankind from understanding God’s purpose for him. Adam began to focus on himself: like Satan, he began to “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Thus began man’s continual downward spiral into spiritual ignorance. He would continually worship himself, as we well know today.

Today’s Scripture reminds us that, because of sin, this creation will pass away. The Lord Jesus Christ, however, will live forever. Why worship that which is temporary? It makes no sense! The Lord Jesus Christ gave you life, not the pagan goddess “mother earth.” Environmental awareness? Indeed, be aware that our world is temporary, as God will one day create “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who or what are the ‘Cherethites’ and ‘Pelethites?’

Not Willingly Ignorant!

Monday, February 11, 2019

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself (John 7:17 KJV).

Are we ignorant—or actually willingly ignorant?

Recently, a dear Christian brother lamented that he was “ignorant” of the Bible. I quickly corrected him. We are all ignorant of Scripture to some degree. No man on Earth today knows the Bible as he ought to know—even he who has memorized 15,000 verses is not guaranteed exemplary spiritual discernment and superior Bible understanding!

Certainly, it is no sin to be uniformed about Holy Writ. The problem is when we are willfully or deliberately unfamiliar with it. After all, it is easier to remain uneducated. Preconceived notions remain unchallenged. Religious tradition is hard to abandon. Habits are not easy to change. Second Peter chapter 3 speaks of Bible mockers who intentionally overlook historical truth—namely, the Great Deluge of Noah’s day—because it contradicts their “things never change” prejudice:

“[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. [5] For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: [6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:….”

The Bible’s definition of “sin” is Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way….” Proverbs chapter 18 adds: “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself” (verses 1,2). The fool has an agenda, a “pet” idea or system, and has no interest in changing it on account of the Bible. Thus, he pleads ignorance—willful ignorance! Dear friends, may we not be numbered with him. We are ignorant, yes, but we are nevertheless endeavoring to correct and refine our distorted thinking by “studying… rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

333’s 2800th – What is God Doing? #25

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Addressing the postponement of Christ’s flaming return, the Apostle Peter wrote in chapter 3 of his final epistle: “[8] 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. [9] 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.” God is not sluggish, undependable, or unconcerned; He is merely giving ample time for people to join His family (become saints) before He judges them for not being in His family (sinners)!

“[15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] 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.” Even Peter confessed that the Apostle Paul had been given Divine instruction found nowhere else in Scripture.

For the last 2,000 years, God has commissioned His people to preach “the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). We find this Gospel of Grace in Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. The Lord’s message today to the world—yes, this worthless, godless world—is “grace and peace” not “wrath and war.” “For he [Father God] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (verse 21). We have an opportunity, by faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, to avoid God’s wrath. As members of the Body of Christ, we are destined to reign in the heavenly places throughout the endless ages to come.

Saints, we have come quite far in our Bible understanding these last 2,800 days. However, we are still not where we should be, so onward we go by God’s grace to #2900! 🙂

What is God Doing? #24

Monday, January 28, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

The Holy Spirit says through the Apostle Peter, “be established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12). What is still holding back God’s fiery wrath from falling on sinful man? The Divine judgment preached long ago was not a “cunningly devised fable” (2 Peter 1:16)—it is real yet delayed. Jesus Christ came back in early Acts, but not in flaming fire taking vengeance on His enemies (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Rather, He poured out grace and mercy on His chief enemy, Saul of Tarsus!

Saul, now Paul the Apostle, writes in 1 Timothy chapter 1: “[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” Even today, this dispensational change works to the sinner’s advantage, that he may trust Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and avoid the wrath to come. Grace will not be offered indefinitely.

Peter continues in chapter 3 of his farewell epistle: “[3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. [5] For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: [6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: [7] 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…..”

Now, we finally conclude this devotionals arc….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should ‘church’ be changed to ‘called-out assembly’ in Acts 7:38 in the King James Bible?

What is God Doing? #23

Sunday, January 27, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Christian friend, have you ever wished the Lord Jesus Christ would hurry up and come back, and rid us of all these challenges besetting our society? Sure, we all have (and still do, oftentimes). Why has He not returned yet, even after 2,000 years of believers praying for it? Will He ever come back? When? What is taking Him so long? Has He forgotten? Is He lazy? Can He not sense the urgency? Has He turned a blind eye to the evil waxing worse and worse? Has He closed His ears to the cries of the oppressed?

God’s wrath, dear readers, would have actually been poured out on our planet 20 centuries ago. Jesus Christ should have returned long ago. Historically, it would have occurred in early Acts. The Prophet Stephen declared in Acts 7:55,56: “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Psalm 110:1 had predicted 1,000 years earlier: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” As soon as sitting Christ stood at His Heavenly Father’s right hand, that meant He was returning to judge His enemies in undiluted rage (cf. Acts 2:33-36; Acts 3:19-23, especially the unbelievers being “destroyed” in verse 23).

John the Baptist forewarned of “the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7-12), so did Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:36-43), Peter (Acts chapters 2 and 3), and Stephen (Acts chapter 7). They preached that Divine punishment would transpire within the lifetime of their audiences. Yet, it never came—and, as you know, we are waiting for it still. Why? The God of the Bible is deliberately doing something different today….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we pray for God to ‘guide the surgeon’s hands?’