Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                         February 21, 2016                                                                                                                            NO. 49



  From time to time I have found myself standing and watching with enjoyment turkey vultures (a.k.a. buzzards) as they fly overhead. It amazes me to see the way these large birds can glide so long without ever flapping their wings. And their ability to catch a thermal and soar so high that they are almost completely out of sight, again with hardly a flap of their great wings, is fascinating. Indeed, when you observe turkey vultures from a distance they are fun to watch and creatures possessing a certain beauty and attractiveness. However, get them on the ground where you can more closely examine them and you will find that turkey vultures are rather clumsy creatures with featherless heads feeding on decaying, putrid animals. Up close the gracefulness completely disappears and we see birds that are somewhat repulsive.

Isn’t sin often the same way? When sin is observed from a distance we may see something quite attractive, but upon further examination its ugliness appears. When we look more closely at the most attractive of sins, we see something capable of separating us from God and leading us to eternal death (Isaiah 59:1, 2; Romans 6:23). These eternal consequences are the most significant, for “what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Yes, a look at the eternal consequences should be enough, but even in this life the ugliness is often seen if we take the time to look. 

Immodest Dress

Certainly the fashionable, stylish clothes are pretty and will win you compliments from many, but if they are not worthy of one professing godliness (1 Timothy 2:9, 10), there is an ugly side to the apparel. Too much of what is stylish today is sensual in its nature and may end up attracting the wrong kind of attention from the wrong people. You may destroy or at least damage your good name if your clothing doesn’t match your profession of faith (Proverbs 22:1). The sexy styles which look so pretty in the stores have the ability to cause others to sin (Matthew 5:27, 28) and Jesus warns that it would be better to drowned in the sea than to be the cause of another’s stumbling (Mathew 18:5, 6). And these styles which seem to have so much beauty may not only lead to sins of the mind, but they may light a fire not easily put out, and that leads us to the next point. 

Sexual Sin 

Despite God’s condemnation (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10), few things are portrayed as more appealing than sex outside a lawful marriage. While it is portrayed as beautiful, natural, and expected of any “normal” person, think of what it is capable of leaving in its wake: shame, embarrassment for both the participants and their parents, pregnancy, disease, emotional baggage to be carried into marriage, etc. Hollywood can make an adulterous affair look so nice, so romantic, so right, but in reality families are often wrecked by this selfish sin. Don’t be fooled by the way this sin is portrayed in novels and on the screen. 


If you believe the commercials that run during most sporting events, and if you accept the way it is portrayed in most television shows, alcohol is the key to having a good time. “Adult beverages” are shown as key to friendships, holidays, family gatherings, etc. and every celebration of victory. No doubt there is some pleasure to be had in imbibing, but before you are “led astray by it” (Proverbs 20:1), take a closer look at this “turkey vulture.” Read the description of woe, sorrow, and addiction found in Proverbs 23:29-35. Take a close look at the vomiting of drunkenness and observe the pounding headache caused by a hangover. See the domestic violence fueled by drinking. Think about the consequences of a DUI. Take a moment to picture the child who goes hungry because his father spent his paycheck at the liquor store, or perhaps lost his job because of his drinking. Do you see the vulture feasting on carrion? 


While Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:38, 39), and Paul writes, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves” (Romans 12:19), we are told that vengeance is sweet and so many novels and movies have portrayed it that way. And truthfully, it is usually sweet—for a moment. But all too often, the ugly side comes out as our vengeance prompts further retaliation and friendships, even marriages, are irreparably damaged. Rather than being sweet, vengeance is capable of producing some very bitter fruits. Think carefully before you act because the vengeance you expect to be sweet may leave a bitter taste in a lot of mouths. 

Don’t be fooled by observations made from a distance. The wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23) and the way of the unfaithful is hard (Proverbs 13:15).                                              

—John R. Gibson

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We have seen in our society a culture change where truth does not matter as much as the agenda. Truth is only important if one can gain an advantage. Often the truth is ignored if it does not agree with the powers that be. "Hands up, don't shoot" was proven to be a lie, but the lie was ignored and people still believe the slogan is the way it was.

Former presidential candidate was accused of not paying income taxes for years. It was a lie and everyone knew it was a lie, but the person who said it gloated in the fact that it worked and the guy did not get elected.  

Climate change is a huge lie, yet most of the world's leadership is going forward with the lie. There is an agenda taking place which most people are ignorant of. 

Truth or lies? Does it even matter? I heard a person on TV say that no matter how many lies are exposed about a candidate, many will vote for the candidate anyway.

Another area where truth does not seem to matter anymore is in the realm of the spiritual. The majority of denominations will hold to a lie and promote the lie rather than teach the truth of what God says in His word. While Jesus taught obedience to God was necessary to enter heaven, men teach that obedience is not necessary. Jesus clearly taught that baptism is essential to salvation, and man denies such. The problem is that more people listen to man rather than listen to God.

Eve did not like what God had commanded, and the serpent told her what she wanted to hear. Mankind has not changed in the last four thousand years. God gives a command, most people do not want to abide by that command, so they do what they want to do. Whether it is truth or not is irrelevant to them. It actually becomes easier to do what you want because you want to do it than to abide by what someone or something wants you to do.

This is nothing more than the result of a selfish society. Just imagine our world when they succeed in turning this into a godless society. That is not out of the realm of possibility. In fact we have seen changes in our culture and society that indicates humanity is rushing into such chaos by removing God from every aspect of our culture.

God tells us that He allows people who do not want the truth to believe the lies. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 explains that the reason is that they do not love the truth.

God predicted that our court systems would ignore truth to promote an agenda. Several times in the Old Testament God speaks of the failure of the judicial system because bribes take place, power is exerted, and personal safety is threatened. The law and especially the constitution is not respected anymore, and judges who do not like the law are changing the interpretation of it. So many people only call upon law when it is to their advantage; otherwise, they just ignore and break the law.

When you think about it, this is the very reason that Jesus was crucified by the people. Because Jesus was truth and spoke truth, and the people did not want the truth. Spiritually speaking, that happens all the time in our world. Until we place Jesus at the pinnacle of our faith and lives, lies will keep us off track and in a lost condition.

—Carey Scott 

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