Know Your Bible

VOL. 5                           March 5, 2006                           NO. 7

 Could I Be Wrong?

    There was a man who had a picture of the leaning tower of Pisa on the wall. Every morning, it was hanging crooked. He found out that the maid was twisting the picture to make the tower straight. Lots of people look into God's Word and find out that it does not harmonize with their lives or religious beliefs. They try to twist the Word of God to fit their beliefs or lives instead of correcting their doctrine to fit the Word of God.

    Then there was the fellow who ordered a barometer and received it through the mail. The hand pointed to "Storm". He shook it to unstick the hand but it did not turn back. In disgust, he packed up the barometer and returned it to the manufacturer, thinking that it was faulty. That night a terrible storm destroyed the whole area around him. He thought the barometer was wrong. Many people are warned of the certainty of God's judgment on the wicked but they refuse to believe that it could be right. You can refuse to prepare if you want to, but rest assured that God's vengeance is sure.

    Then there was the woman who got up in the middle of the night to get her sleepless husband some sleeping pills. In the dark she got the wrong bottle and gave him some poison. In the morning, when her husband was discovered dead, the police figured out what the woman had done and explained it to her. The woman became very angry and refused to believe her husband was dead, because she thought she was giving him the right medicine. She could not have been wrong because she thought she was right. Many people today are trusting their feelings to take them to heaven. When they are shown that feelings are not reliable but rather more likely to deceive them, they become angry. People can trust their feelings, but unless they are based on the testimony of the New Testament, they will be false and deceive.

---via, The Gospel Advertiser

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Jesus Pizza

    I'm afraid the religious community sees Christianity as a pizza that is subject to any individual's preference for toppings. If you don't like pepperoni (i.e., baptism for salvation) take them off; they're not necessary anyway for a good taste. Does sausage leave a foul taste in your mouth (i.e., a cappella music in worship)? No problem. God doesn't expect us to eat them anyway. As long as WE enjoy the pizza, and it's satisfactory to our taste buds, we can have anything we want on it. This idea is especially evident in the current trend toward Jesus and unity.

    You hear a lot nowadays about everything being a matter of opinion in religion, except the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. That, they say, is the only thing we can't disagree on. Just the other day I had a relative/friend of mine tell me that any church that accepts Jesus as Lord is justified, regardless of what they teach on salvation, worship, and the work of the church. "Jesus died for our sins," he said, "and that is the only thing we must be in agreement on!" Funny thing is, he was condemning me for saying the Bible teaches more than that. Isn't that a contradiction of statements -- advocating ONLY the life of Christ yet condemning those who teach otherwise?

    Anyway, it matters little what inconsistencies I may find in a person's reasoning. The bottom line: Jesus expects more from us than just the acknowledgment of His life and sacrifice; HE came up with the idea of doing more in religion.

    It was His idea to inspire the apostles into all truth (John 16:13) -- truth which taught the apostle Paul to demand unity in faith and doctrine (Philippians 1:27). It was Jesus' idea to teach Christians to have a single and proper understanding of worship (Ephesians 4:1-6) and to not be mislead by false ideas in religion (vs. 14). He was the one who inspired the apostles to teach morality (2 Timothy 3:1-5) and godliness in everyday life (1 Timothy 6:3). Jesus is the one who came up with the idea of seeking and abiding in ALL of His will to be His disciple (John 8:31,32). He taught the first Christians to do the right things in worship and evangelism (Acts 2:40-47).

    So I cannot sympathize with "Christians" who teach that the only doctrine necessary is the acknowledgment of Christ's life and death. They obviously don't believe that or they wouldn't be so evangelistic and boisterous in their efforts. Besides, Jesus likes pepperoni AND sausage on His pizza.

---Mike Thomas

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Vain Worship

    The worship of the Pharisees was vain because of two reasons. It was only lip service and they taught for doctrines the commandments of men. Jesus said, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me" (Mt. 15:8). Jesus also said, "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mt. 15:9). Jesus was actually quoting what God said through the prophet Isaiah and He applied it to the Pharisees (Mt. 15:7).

    No matter how great our zeal may be; even as great as the Pharisees who compassed sea and land to make one proselyte; all of our efforts are vain if we are not sincere and if we teach for doctrines the commandments of men. God is interested in our hearts. Mere formality does not appeal to Him at all. The doctrines and commandments of men not only make our worship vain, they will cause us to be accursed (Gal. 1:6-10). People also will be damned for believing the lies we preach (2 Thess. 2:10-12). Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Mat. 7:21).

    There is no need to play the hypocrite with God. "Be not deceived God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Gal. 6:7,8). "Be sure your sins will find you out" (Num. 32:33). "The way of transgressors is hard" (Prov. 13:15). "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded" (Prov. 13:13). "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31). Let us avoid vain worship.

---Windell Wiser

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    One fine Sunday morning, the ducks gathered for duck church. They waddled into their duck pews, sang from their duck song books, and listened to their duck preacher. The duck preacher said, "Ducks, you don't have to waddle. You have wings like eagles. You can fly! Fly, ducks, fly!

    The ducks all said, "Amen, Amen!" Then, when the service was over, the ducks got up and waddled home.

New Testament Application: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." (James 1:22-24)


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