Know Your Bible

VOL. 10                           April 10, 2011                           NO. 14

 Watch Out For That Hook
     The winter has been long and cold, the most snow we have had in years. Many people become so tired of sitting in the house and staring at the four walls that they welcome the mention of Spring. Now we can get out and work in flowers, cut the grass, plant a garden, and maybe go fishing. When we go fishing, we hope to make the bait look so good to the fish that he will not notice the line with the hook on it.
     This same kind of deceit is practiced by Satan on people just like you and me. He tempts both young and old to take the bait. You may have heard the statement, “Boy, he fell for that hook, line, and sinker.” Or “Man, he really took that bait”. Sometimes the younger may be more likely not to notice the hook than someone who is older and more experienced. Yet Satan tempts us all to sin.
     Let me tell you this story. I don’t know the author or where I got it, but it illustrates what I am trying to say. The story goes like this. A young girl was trudging along a mountain path trying to reach her grandmother’s house. It was bitter cold and the wind cut like a knife. When she was within sight of her destination, she heard a rustle at her feet. Looking down, she saw a snake. Before she could move, the snake spoke to her. He said, “I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food in these mountains and I am starving. Please put me under your coat and take me with you.”
     “NO”, replied the girl, “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me and your bite is poisonous.”
     “No, no”, said the snake, “If you help me you will be my best friend. I will treat you differently.”
     The little girl sad down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. She looked at the beautiful markings on the snake and had to admit that it was the most beautiful sake she had ever seen.
     Suddenly, she said, “I believe you. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness." The little girl reached over, put the snake under her coat, and proceeded toward her grandmother’s house.
     Within a moment she felt a sharp pain in her side. The snake had bitten her.
     “How could you do this to me?”, she said. “You promised that you would not bite me and I trusted you.”
     “You knew what I was when you picked me up”, hissed the snake as he slithered away.
     We must not listen to empty promises and childish pleading or we may wind up like the little girl who trust the rattlesnake. Notice with me a few of these.
1. “EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT” This is take a few cases and making it seem like you’re the only one out of step. If there is a tussle between going along with the crowd and your conscience, you had better listen to your conscience. No one ever becomes really valuable or and extraordinary person without being willing to take a few steps above the crowd. (Matthew 7:13,14)
2. “YOU’RE CHICKEN” We must remember that for someone to call us something doesn’t make it so. You show more strength by standing up for your convictions than by giving in to practices that could harm your health or reputation. Joseph might have been called “CHICKEN” by Potipher’s wife when he refused to lay with her as she tried to get him to, but we know that he showed much strength by refusing. (Genesis 39:10-12)
3. “YOU WILL IF YOU LOVE ME” This is one of the oldest baits in the book! Smoking, drinking, drugs, petting, fornication, and etc. are not signs of love or friendship. All you are doing is satisfying the passions of an uncontrolled person or given in to the childish thrills of the gang. If they really love  “YOU” or want to be a true friend, they would not ask you to do anything that would harm your health or lower your moral principles. (Sampson - Judges 16:15)
4. “IT’S ONLY HARMLESS FUN” This line is to lure you into a sense of innocence and false security. You may start out to a “little party” at a friend’s house and wind up at something entire unexpected. Many a traffic fatality started out as “ONE LITTLE DRINK”. Many a ruined life started out with a little petting or an innocent kiss. Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
5. “I CAN’T SAY NO!” This perhaps was make popular in the musical “OKLAHOMA”. But I suggest that any girl or boy, for that matter, who doesn’t have a sturdy “NO” in their vocabulary today will be headed for trouble. Under the influence of a well baited line they may find themselves treading in dangerous waters before they know it. It is a smart fish who knows there’s a hook under the bait and doesn’t bite. Eve was one who took the bait that the serpent offered her and look at the result. (Genesis 3:1-6)
6. “YOU WON’T GET HURT!” Oh, no? Just look at a few statistics. The correlation between smoking and caner is not even debatable anymore and yet people say it won’t hurt you. The suffering and grief caused by even SOCIAL DRINKING is measured in terms of highway deaths, unwed mothers, unstable homes, and sudden acts of violence. People who practice such things not only hurt themselves but their loved ones and even the community where they live. (Eli was rejected because of his sons - 1 Samuel 3:11-13)
7. “WE’LL SHOW THEM!” Wait! When you behave rebelliously merely to get back at your parents or a boyfriend or girlfriend, you really end up hurting yourself far more than you hurt them. Revenge is not a good motive for doing anything. The consequences will still fall on your head. (Romans 12:19)
8. “YOU THINK YOU ARE TOO GOOD FOR ME (US)?” Other ways of saying this would be: “Who do you think you are?” or “I’m not good enough for you, huh?” or “Come off your high horse.” When you refuse to lower your standard of conduct, you place the other person in a position of feeling guilty and jealous of your high ideals. He may feel frustrated at not getting his way. So, he will try to strike back. Be mature enough to withstand a little name calling. (Remember Samson and Delilah and Joseph and Potipher’s wife.)
     I hope that none of these shopworn baits ever hook you. Don’t be a victim of false thinking and wrong logic. Be on guard when anyone, young or old, tries these baited lines to hook you into doing what he wants you to do. It’s a smart girl or boy who knows there is a hook under the bait. Remember the girl and the rattlesnake!

---Bobby Robinson
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Is God Using Miracles Today?
     Recently we’ve heard some brethren suggesting that God may, in fact, still be using miracles to accomplish His will. “At least,” they say, “it can’t be ruled out.”  We disagree.
     In any discussion of miracles it is important that a true definition be in place. W. E. Vine says miracles are “works of a supernatural origin and character, such as could not be produced by natural agents and means.” In other words, a miracle occurred in Bible times when the laws of nature were suspended and something beyond the scope of the natural realm took place.  Biblical examples of miracles would include the virgin birth of Jesus, Jesus walking on the water, the dead (even those dead for several days) being raised, etc. These things simply could not happen in the natural course of things - they constitute true miracles.
     Be careful not to apply the term ‘miracle’ to things that are wonderful and amazing – but still within the realm of nature. The birth of a baby, for example, is an amazing thing but it is not a miracle. Science fully understands, and complete explanations can be offered, for how a baby is conceived and born. It is all in accordance with the laws of nature, and no miracle is involved. The virgin birth of Jesus, on the other hand, was a miracle.  See the difference?
     Also, remember that miracles were intended as a "sign" (a term used synonymously with the word "miracle"). These "signs" served to reveal and confirm God's truth. For example, Jesus' miracles proved that He was the divine Son of God, and when other inspired men spoke and wrote, the miracles their miracles confirmed that the message they proclaimed was truly from God. If, as some folks are suggesting, God may still be working miracles, but 'we can't know for sure,' our question to them would be 'why?'  What purpose would be served if the miracles provide no verifiable sign?
     Now, the question remains: Does God use miracles today? The answer is NO! We know this because:
1) Miracles served the specific purpose of revealing and confirming God’s Word (Mark 16:17,20). That work is now completed, and miracles are no longer needed.
2) The means by which miracles were passed on (baptism of the Holy Ghost, or the laying on of the apostles’ hands) are no longer available.
3) The scripture specifically says miracles would end when God’s complete revelation was made known to man (1 Cor. 13:8-13)
     Miracles served an important role in God’s eternal plan, but that role is now finished. There are no miracles today.

---Greg Gwin
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