Good Riddance! #3

Thursday, April 11, 2013

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13 KJV).

God’s people have never been welcome here in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) because He has never been welcome here. In short, if lost people could utter two words to us Christians after we have been raptured out, it would be, “Good riddance!”

Our sinful world despises absolute standards concerning morals and ethics (it does demand them regarding finances). Christians preaching and teaching sound Bible doctrine are a dam that holds back Satan from having complete control over every person. While the devil has fooled much of the world with all sorts of carnal and religious errors, unfortunately for him, those Christians who are King James Pauline dispensational Bible students are not so easily persuaded. Satan can only rule over ignorant people. Thankfully, we are well aware of what is occurring in this world. Man thinks he is on the rise (in actuality, his thinking is upside-down!).

For nearly 20 centuries, both the professing church (Christendom) and (sadly) the genuine, Holy Spirit-indwelt Church the Body of Christ, have allowed the errors of the world to creep into their assemblies, desensitizing them to ungodliness. This is to be expected when sound Bible doctrine is willfully ignored. What is the hallmark of lukewarm Christianity? The member of the average “Christian” church is just as “godly” as the average heathen of the evil world system, resulting in “Christians” siding with and defending the heathen and his social preferences! The heathen and the phony Christian alike hate the true Christian (today’s Scripture)—he, his God the Lord Jesus Christ, and his Holy Bible, are threats to “progress.”

Indeed, we Christians are viewed as “hindrances to progress.” Young earth Bible creationism, monogamous heterosexual marriages, owning weapons for self-defense, having a job, and driving a fossil-fueling-burning vehicle are respective threats to foolish pagan philosophical evolutionary theory, sexually-perverted lifestyles, pacifism, slothfulness, and “mother earth.” In this world, it seems like every belief is to be “tolerated”—except anything from God’s Holy Bible! As the context of today’s Scripture will demonstrate, this was true in the past, and it will be true in the future….

Wilt Thou Serve the Denomination, Or the Lord? #1

Monday, December 3, 2012

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24 KJV).

Beloved, we have a choice—we can serve a theological system (which is worthless), or we can serve the Lord (which is priceless).

Colossians 3:22 begins: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:” Today’s Scripture then follows: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;….”

Compare that to Ephesians 6:5-7: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:”

Christian employees are exhorted that, when they work, they should not put on a show. That is, we should not be faithful workers for the sake of being seen of others (“eyeservice”) and praised by others (“menpleasers”). Our motivation for faithfully executing Christian service within the workplace is to please the Lord Jesus Christ. We should serve the Lord “in singleness of heart;” to wit, with a sincere (non-hypocritical, non-selfish) heart. We really do not deserve the credit or the praise for our good works—after all, “[We are] crucified with Christ; nevertheless [we] live, yet not [us], but Christ!”

Even though today’s Scripture and these other verses are directed toward Christian servants (slaves, employees), we can still benefit from the doctrine, for we too are “servants to God” (Romans 6:22). Just as we are to be faithful Christian servants “on the job,” we are to be faithful servants of the Lord on this stage called “life.” The same doctrine that governs a Christian in the workplace should, in the grand scheme of things, guide us as we function in our Christian ambassadorship on a daily basis….

To Gamble or Not to Gamble?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

“But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6 KJV).

Should a Christian play the lottery and/or gamble? Today’s Scripture and its context shed some light on the subject.

In our materialistic world, “gain is godliness” (verse 5). If a church has thousands of members, it is automatically assumed that God must be working there. If someone is financially successful, it is commonly understood that God must be blessing him or her. In light of Scripture, however, material riches and prosperity can be the result of—or even lead to—ungodliness.

With the United States’ Powerball jackpot at $550 million, Americans are scrambling to purchase tickets. These consumers claim that if they win, they will quit their jobs, buy new houses and cars, take vacations, and help their families and friends. These plans are noble and appealing to our flesh, but gambling just does not agree with the Scriptures.

Remember the warnings of 1 Timothy 6:6-10: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

The Christian is cautioned not to be deceived and swept away by the “love of money.” We live in a world that uses currency, so we cannot avoid money. Money is not sinful; loving it is sinful, and it will lead to other sins (murder, greed, extortion, et cetera). There is nothing sinful about wanting material possessions. However, it is sin when the desire to purchase them consumes and controls us (“I will have it, and I will do whatever it takes to get it!”). Furthermore, if we want material possessions, the Bible says “work,” not gamble, to purchase them (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15).

Let us spend our (technically, God’s) cash wisely, and not waste it on gambling.

Diligent Versus Slothful

Monday, September 3, 2012

“The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious” (Proverbs 12:27 KJV).

Today, we in the United States celebrate Labor Day, a day to remember our hard-working citizens.

Beloved, when God placed the first man, Adam, on earth, Adam was not to loaf around, doing nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to cultivate the land (that is, be a farmer and a caretaker, to prepare it so God could come down and dwell with the human race on earth). Originally, Adam’s work was easy, but once sin entered, farming grew more difficult, even as it is to this day (see Genesis 3:17-19).

The book of Proverbs (12:24; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15,24; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30; 26:13-15) says much about slothfulness, or laziness. “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle [motionless] soul shall suffer hunger” (19:15). Proverbs 26:14 provides an amusing, vivid description: “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.” The only movement the door and the slothful make is rotating about a permanently fixed point: some hinges and a mattress, respectively.

In today’s Scripture, we read about the “slothful man” who relies on someone else to hunt game to provide his food, and the “diligent man” who works hard to obtain his own “substance” (possessions, wealth). What a contrast! Proverbs 13:4 amplifies: “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat [prosperous].” And Proverbs 21:25 expounds further: “The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.”

According to 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, the Apostle Paul rebuked lazy members of the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:28 concludes: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Saints, let us not be lazy, for God’s Word says working is a “good thing!” 🙂

Many Coming and Going

Saturday, September 1, 2012

“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” (Mark 6:31 KJV).

Today’s Scripture testifies that ministry work in the Lord, although joyous and rewarding, can be extremely time-consuming, demanding, and exhausting.

The book of Mark focuses on Jesus Christ as God’s Servant, what He did (that is, the miracles He performed). In the context of today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus and His apostles have preached, performed miracles, and travelled to such an extent that they have not even had time to eat! The Lord knows He and His apostles need a “lunch break,” so He invites them to come with Him into a “desert” (lonely, private) place to rest. “And they departed into a desert place by ship privately” (verse 32). Jesus Christ and His apostles need rest, so they attempt to quietly sail away! Will they escape?

Nevertheless, “And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him” (verse 33). The people see Jesus and His apostles floating away, so they run ahead of them, and meet Him and His apostles on the other side of the shore! Jesus and His apostles will get no rest.

“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd [cf. Matthew 9:36; Matthew 10:6]: and he began to teach them many things” (verse 34). “And when the day was far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:” (verse 35). Now, it is nearing evening, Jesus is still teaching, and He and His apostles still have not eaten! (Here, Jesus feeds the 5,000 with the two fishes and five loaves of bread; verses 36-44.)

Saints, ministry is very strenuous, but let us not grow weary. Yes, we do take time to rest, but may we never permanently rest! 🙂

Mother: A Virtuous Woman

Sunday, May 13, 2012

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10 KJV).

Today is Mother’s Day, so we dedicate this devotional to godly women (specifically mothers). I especially dedicate this to the virtuous woman who has been in my life for almost 24 years… my mom!

Today’s Scripture is the first verse of the Bible’s “Virtuous Woman” passage (Proverbs 31:10-31). King Solomon explained that the virtuous woman:

  • has a husband who safely trusts in her (verses 11,12).
  • is not lazy, but is strong because she works to feed and clothe her family and herself (verses 13-19,21,22,24,25,27).
  • pities the poor and needy (verse 20).
  • has a husband who is well-known because of her godly lifestyle (verse 23).
  • opens her mouth with wisdom, and speaks kindly and lovingly (verse 26).
  • has children and a husband who praise her (verse 28).
  • excels in what she does (verse 29).
  • has works that praise her (verse 31).

Verse 30 explains the virtuous woman is “a woman that feareth the LORD.”

The Apostle Paul wrote that godly women should: not slander/gossip, not be controlled by alcohol or emotions (sober minded), be teachers of good things, love their husbands and children, be cautious and modest, maintain the home, be “good,” and should obey (respect) their husbands… “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5). A Christian woman, especially a mother, should be a virtuous woman in beliefs as well as in deed. She needs to set an example for her children (especially her daughters).

A Christian woman and/or Christian mother places her faith in this sound Bible doctrine, the indwelling Holy Spirit will then take that doctrine and transform her for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Her mind will be renewed by sound Bible doctrine, and that will transform her outward activity (Romans 12:1,2).

Are you a Christian woman or Christian mother who desires to be the woman God intends you to be in Christ Jesus? Place your faith in this sound Bible doctrine, and God will take care of the rest!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

Vinegar, Smoke, and a Sluggard

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him” (Proverbs 10:26 KJV).

What do vinegar, smoke, and a sluggard have in common? Today’s Scripture gives us the interesting explanation.

Firstly, vinegar is an acid, so over time, it will corrode tooth enamel. To the structure of the tooth, vinegar is irritating. Secondly, smoke annoys the eyes by causing them to sting (burn). Lastly, a sluggard aggravates those who charge him with responsibility because he will never get the job done! Vinegar, smoke, and sluggards are all bothersome.

The book of Proverbs makes five other references to the “sluggard.” Read Proverbs 13:4: “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” God’s Word says that lazy people always beg for something, but it also says that hard workers will prosper. Consider Proverbs 20:4: “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.” The sluggard never gets the job done!

So, God commands, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11).

Lastly, Proverbs 26:16: “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.” A lazy person thinks his activity is acceptable, and nothing will cause him to believe otherwise: he is “wiser in his own conceit.” Isaiah 5:21: “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul writes this to sluggards in this the Dispensation of Grace: “If any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Be not a sluggard!