Numbers 32 records the petition the children of Reuben and Gad made to Moses and the leaders of the congregation of Israel. They desired to settle on the east side of the Jordan River rather than with the rest of the Israelites in Canaan. Moses agreed to allow this, so long as the two tribes guaranteed they would fight with the rest of Israel until “until every one of the children of Israel has received his inheritance” (vs. 18). Having given his approval, Moses warned the people should they go back on their word:
“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out” (vs. 23).
There are many different examples, in both the Old and New Testaments, of people trying to hide their sin. While it is possible for the sinner to hide his sin from men, it is not possible to hide his sin from the Almighty.
Continue reading » “Your sin will find you out”
On one occasion I was visiting an older man who was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. His wife and two grown children were in the room with him. As we were talking about his serious condition, he told me that he was not afraid of dying because he knew he would be in heaven. His son, sensing this was directed towards him, replied, “Dad, I’m not afraid of going to Hell when I die because at least I know I won’t be alone.”
I was shocked when I heard him say this. How could a person not be afraid of going to Hell? However, when you think about it, most people probably do not really know what the Bible says about Hell. If a person understood what Hell is like, they would never make a statement like the one cited above. Therein lies the problem: many people today are ignorant of what the Bible really has to say about Hell. Continue reading » The Bible Doctrine of Hell
The readers of what we call the Hebrew letter were a people in great distress, convinced of the lordship of Jesus Christ, but overwhelmed by the persecution and ostracism that came with it.
To dissuade them from abandoning their faith in the son of God, the now anonymous writer assembled a number of arguments around a theme of the superiority of the new covenant to that of Moses. Like all disciples, they had the free will to choose faithfulness or apostasy, and the stakes involved their very salvation and eternal fate.
Continue reading » Fury of Fire
It seems that our society is always changing for the worse. Immorality is shamelessly promoted and defended by celebrities, educators, and politicians. The law of our nation will allow a mother to kill her unborn baby, but will incarcerate a man for mistreating his pet. We have seen great changes in our nation as a result of the pro-homosexual agenda. What was once considered an abomination, detested and rejected by our society, has become embraced and championed. Laws have been changed, marriage has been re-defined, entire denominations have become split over this issue – and it is only getting worse.
The religious landscape of our nation is also changing. Basic truths of Christianity are constantly challenged and denied by so-called Christians. This change has had an impact upon some of our brethren. In recent years we have heard brethren make arguments for a figurative interpretation of the creation account in Genesis, question the inspiration of 2 Peter and Jude, and deny the eternal nature of Hell.
All this change going on in the world is enough to make one’s head swim. However, we must remember that we are not the first ones to have lived in a time of great moral decline. Things generally happen in cycles (consider the book of Judges), which should indicate to us that we are not living in the “worst of times.” Continue reading » Timeless Truths in an Ever-Changing World
- I wrote this article just weeks after the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. I have reprinted it here for our consideration on the tenth anniversary of this event.
As President Bush has said, none of us will ever forget where we were and what we were doing when we heard about the terrorist attacks on September 11th. I saw a little bit of footage on the morning news as we were getting ready for the day. I was too busy to stop and listen and left the house thinking that there was just a fire on one of the floors of the World Trade Center. After I dropped Paige off at school, I turned on the radio to find that all the programming had been preempted. It was then that I realized that something serious was taking place. After a few moments of reporting the radio went silent. Then I heard Peter Jennings say in disbelief, “The north tower has just collapsed.” Continue reading » Lessons From the Tragedy of September 11, 2001
On January 12, 2010 the island nation of Haiti was devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Of its nine million residents, it is estimated that 200,000 lost their lives, another 250,000 were injured, and two million became homeless. News of this tragedy was brought to our attention on a daily basis. Politicians and celebrities appealed to Americans to donate money to help the people of Haiti. All of the pain and suffering caused by this earthquake lead some to ask why God would allow such a thing to happen. Continue reading » Does God Cause Natural Disasters?
Although the world may acknowledge the power of one’s words, many people in the world think very little about how they actually speak. It seems that there was a time when filthy language was only used by unsavory characters and dirty stories were reserved for private conversations held by “mature” adults. Today, profanity and filthy language can be heard by all kinds of people in all kinds of places. Even people who call themselves “Christians” can be heard using foul language and telling dirty jokes.
The Bible takes a very different approach to the way we use our words. Jesus warned us to take our speech very seriously.
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
Jesus says that we will give an account for every idle or careless word that proceeds from our mouth. He goes on to say that such words will determine whether we will stand justified or condemned before Him. Indeed, death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Continue reading » Corrupt Words and Filthy Speech
The word “teetotaler” means someone who abstains completely from alcoholic beverages. The Bible calls on Christians to be teetotalers. Continue reading » Teetotalers
Both a major motion picture and a popular Meatloaf song of the 1970s depicted the irreverent sounding title of this article: Heaven Can Wait.
Yet as much as the Christian yearns for Heaven and to return to God, to escape the cold clutches of this world and association with its dark prince, when the moment of death impends, he becomes reluctant and does everything in his power to suggest that Heaven can wait.
Good King Hezekiah preferred 15 more years on this terrestrial ball to an immediate transport to the land beyond, perhaps because he was ignorant about what lay ahead (2 Kings 20). Today, medical advances have extended the life expectancy of the average American to nearly fourscore years, matching the zenith of Psalm 90:10. Death is feared, loathed and delayed, even on occasions when the only life left is functioning by virtue of a machine.
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Heaven Can Wait
As all of us are keenly aware, the "Twin Towers" are no more. A portion of the Pentagon is in ruins as well. These acts were the result of planning, spying, and a deep-seated hatred for the United States. The product of such hatred is the destruction of American landmarks, and the death or injury of untold thousands. As I write these lines, it is not known what the actual death-toll might be, nor do we know the number of injured people buried in the rubble and ruin from the attacks. Some ten years ago, I was in one of the "Twin Towers" — the second one to fall. It had an observation deck on the 110th floor, from which you could see for many miles in any direction. Such an experience helps me to appreciate the destruction which occurred on Tuesday, "911", as it has been called. I am sure others who read this article have been to the World Trade Center, and/or perhaps have visited the Pentagon, and have an idea of the destruction that has taken place.
As I watched in horror the tragic events of September 11, I was numb with shock, as there was no way to put into words what one feels at a time when one’s own country is being attacked from an unknown enemy. Through the day that fateful Tuesday, many thoughts went through my mind, and I wish to use this space to consider a few of my thoughts in light of what the Bible says. Perhaps this will help all of us to put these horrible acts in perspective. In light of the horrible acts of terror we faced together as nation, let us realize ….
Continue reading » Lessons from Terror
In Luke 16, Jesus first spoke a parable about an unjust steward. The point of the parable was plainly stated when Jesus concluded it: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). The word “mammon” signifies material goods or wealth.
The Pharisees who heard Him were said to be “lovers of money” (Luke 16:14). They “derided” Jesus for His teaching instead of listening to Him. Thus, Jesus rebuked them saying, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
Jesus went on to cite one example of their tendency towards self-justification as noted in their frivolous practice of divorce and remarriage. While they engaged in this evil practice, they claimed to be doing right (Luke 16:18). These Pharisees needed to be sobered up! They needed to understand that their ungodly desire to live for their own pleasure would bring punishment. Those who engage in or justify unlawful divorce and remarriage today need to see the same. God has never been fooled by the veneer of acceptability attached to conduct He declares ungodly. The Pharisees tried this tack and it failed miserably as Jesus consistently denounced their sinful actions with rousing denunciations. Continue reading » In the Steps of the Savior: The Rich Man and Lazarus
Inherent in the idea of the word “judgment” is the concept of making a decision. People are constantly making decisions of one sort or another. We decide what to wear, what to eat, how best to make provisions for ourselves and our families. On the job, decisions must be made concerning the most efficient way to complete a task. We exercise this normal human function by using a process of judgment. We accumulate facts, analyze them, and then select which course to follow. It is a natural human event to judge.
As with so many natural human events, the Lord has regulated man’s judgment processes. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Jesus did not here prohibit the exercise of this natural human task, but placed his demand for righteousness upon it. We could cite many examples of this same sort of regulation. Sexual relationships between men and women are not prohibited by God, but are regulated by the command of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:27-32; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9). Business activities, even when they reap great wealth for those involved, are not prohibited, but are most certainly regulated (Luke 12:16-21; James 4:13-17; 1 Timothy 6:17-19). Continue reading » Associate Editorial: The Righteous Judgment of God