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”
Whatever happened to sin? The belief in sin, and the idea that someone could be referred to as a “sinner,” have all but disappeared from our permissive society. Sinful behavior has been explained away, excused, tolerated, defended, and now accepted by many people. To accommodate this “enlightened” view, the doctrines of sin and Hell have even disappeared from some churches.
The Bible tells us that the proper way for God’s people to deal with their sins and receive forgiveness is to confess these sins, repent, and pray to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9; Acts 8:22). When confronted with the reality of his sin, king David simply said, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). However, when some Christians are confronted with the sin in their life, they become defensive and seek to excuse the behavior that is under question. In this article we will consider some of the more popular methods that men and brethren use to rationalize their sinful behavior, and we will look at what the Bible says about such efforts. Continue reading » Rationalizing Sinful Behavior
Little Johnny hits his playmate in a dispute over a favorite toy. His momma first says, “Tell Bobby you’re sorry for hitting him.” Then, after the apology, she makes little Johnny promise not to hit anymore. What she has required of little Johnny is repentance. If he modifies his behavior, he proves himself and all is well.
God requires the same of us. Sin is the bane of mankind. All are guilty, and as Paul tells us, “The wages of sin is death.” All of us desire to escape the consequence of our sin. God tells us clearly that in order to do so, we must repent.
Continue reading » Video Script: Repent or Perish! (9)
Rumor has it that there is no fool like an old fool, but on April 1, he has company.
Evidently, April Fool’s Day derives from the fact that ancient cultures, including the Romans and Hindus, celebrated a new year on or around the first of April, coinciding with the arrival of spring. In the middle ages, much of Europe likewise observed March 25 as the Feast of Annunciation and the commencement of a new year. In 1582, however, the Vatican king replaced the old Julian calendar with his own, calling for each new year to begin on January 1. According to legend, some failed to get the message – perhaps their banks and insurance companies neglected to mail the new calendars – and they were mocked as fools and traditionalists for showing up in Times Square in early spring, expecting a ball to drop amidst a shower of confetti.
Continue reading » April Fool
The old saying goes that “it all depends on whose ox is being gored.” Old sayings usually have a very strong element of truth in them as do the tales of the old wives. (How many of us preacher types could get along without the old wives?)
The gored ox problem is the problem of tolerance. We love to hear sin condemned from the pulpit, as long as our ox is not being gored, meaning that our sin is not being condemned. The employment status of many preachers, including this author, has changed when we have gored the wrong ox. (Wrong as it relates to the possessor of an ox, not wrong as in the eternal Judge of the universe). I personally have never owned an ox, nor do I desire one. It might end up being gored, and I might have to change my position on sin, God forbid, since my current position is that revealed by the Psalmist, Psalm 119:104, “Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.” And Psalm 119:128, “Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.”
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: The Gored Ox
"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
It is truly a joyous occasion when a Christian who has "wandered from the truth" (cf. James 5:19-20) returns to God. As James points out, his soul is saved from "death" and a multitude of sins are "covered." When the invitation is offered, and a tender hearted brother or sister in Christ steps into the aisle with tears in their eyes and a spirit humbled before God, our hearts soar. We rejoice that God’s word has worked upon their heart, and their zeal to serve Him has returned.
Continue reading » Editorial: Godly Sorrow
“… but unless you repent you will all like-wise perish.” (Luke 13:3) The same requirement here stated regarding certain ones is elsewhere applied to all people, for “God commands all men everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30) Because it requires a change of mind and subsequent life, repentance probably is the most difficult command of the Lord to obey. Involved in such obedience is a change from whatever cherished beliefs, practices, and attitudes conflict with God’s will to a life of service to God. Necessary to this change is one’s admission of his own wrongdoing, as well as the producing of fruit befitting repentance. (Acts 26:20) From such a course there is no recourse for one desirous of pleasing God. The coming judgment is used by the Lord’s apostle in Acts 17:30 to promote repentance.
In this study notice the emphasis placed upon repentance throughout the New Testament. Continue reading » “Except Ye Repent”
In Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, he admonished them for their toleration of error in the church. An ungodly man was in their fellowship, and they were, “…puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:2). He admonished them, saying, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (vs. 6). As a result of his admonition, it seems that the church repented of their sin in this, and withdrew fellowship from this man. Regarding this repentance, Paul wrote in his second letter, “For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:8-11). Godly sorrow produces repentance, leading to salvation! Continue reading » Godly Sorrow Produces Repentance
“Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more'” (John 8:2-11).
This interesting but brief record in the life of the Lord presents to us some challenges that would be good for us to consider. In the church today, Christians are constantly having to deal with the question of what to do with a person living in adultery or, more specifically, living in an adulterous marriage. Not only must we deal with the people and their sin, we must also deal with those purveyors of evil who have successfully warped the minds of people into thinking that adultery is not a sexual sin. When Moses descended from the Mountain at Sinai with the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments, he read to the people the seventh commandment which simply says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). I am brought to a state of wonderment considering how many of the people at the foot of the mountain considered what Moses said to them about adultery from a legal perspective. Oh, it was law that Moses read, but the seventh commandment is and always has been a moral regulation and not a legal procedural matter. Furthermore, everybody knows that!! Continue reading » Associate Editorial: A Lesson from the Master (John 8:2-11)