Know Your Bible

VOL. 7                           October 12, 2008                           NO. 38


    It was said of wicked kings in Jerusalem that they filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, "which the Lord will not pardon" (2 Kgs. 21:16; 24:4). In some respects the liberals on the Supreme Court of the United States rule like tyrant kings and are guilty of the same heinous crime. By their ungodly ruling of (Jan. 22, 1973) to allow abortion they have filled the land with innocent blood.

    With the passing of years the enormity of abortion seems to have been moved to the background of the American conscience. Millions of unborn boys and girls continue to be slaughtered but relatively few voices are being raised in protest. Politicians with their euphemism call it "pro-choice." Lying sophistry says, "I don't personally believe in abortion, but I believe in a woman's right to choose." To kill her own child?

    To be "pro-life" means to be for the "pro"- tection of "life," "pro-choice" means taking of life. Abortion is supposed to be a constitutional right because the Court hunted until they found it in the Constitution, written invisibly between the lines.

    Liberals salivate with joy in their claim: "It's the law of the land." No! It is not the law of the land, because the land (the people and the states) have not been allowed to vote on it. It's a made-up law of a court which has no constitutional right to invent law, but invents it anyway.

    Even when faced with the horrible details, Congress will do nothing, except in very rare cases. For example, in partial birth abortion (which some still support in spite of the law against it) the baby is partially delivered, then a sharp instrument is jabbed into his/her little brain. This is supposed to be more moral and legal than stabbing a new born.

    And what of those cases when an abortion results in a live viable birth and the child is left to starve to death, because the mother wanted the child destroyed. Politicians are horrified when these facts are exposed, but in their pontifical hypocrisy they say there shouldn't be any laws against even late term abortions because these might interfere with a woman's choice to abort (kill) her baby.

    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that life begins at conception. Anyone so lacking in common sense as not to know that fact, and needs more proof may find it consistently in any scientific study on the subject. Yet a presidential candidate says he doesn't know when life begins. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who claims to be a Catholic, says that doctors in the church can't agree as to when life begins. If she means "doctors" of theology her statement is either abysmally ignorant or an outright prevarication. There is not much we agree on with Catholicism, but their position is firm against abortion. What makes abortion evil, however, is not Catholic doctrine, but the Bible says: "Thou Shalt Not Kill".

---David R. Pharr in Bulletin Briefs, Vol. 11, No. 10, Oct. 2008

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"Microwave Religion"

    Undoubtedly today's world has many "conveniences": cell phones, instant pudding, remote controls, drive through restaurants, and microwave ovens. There's nothing inherently evil about conveniences, but living in such a world can lead us to develop unhealthy spiritual attitudes. Below are some examples, that if practiced, lead to "microwave religion."

1) Salvation without sacrifice. Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Lk. 9:23) But about the only thing that differentiates most "Christians" from people of the world is that their name is on a church roll somewhere and they show up once in awhile for a worship service (maybe!). You can't have salvation without sacrifice! Jesus asks for our sacrifice, not occasionally, but "daily"!

2) Remission without repentance. Repentance is perhaps God's hardest command. Repentance is more than saying you're sorry (2 Cor. 7:10). It requires us to change our mind and our behavior (Matt. 3:8). Repentance is an absolute requirement! "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3; cf. Acts 17:30). " commands all men everywhere to repent," that's you, that's me, that's everyone! (Acts 17:30)

3) Righteousness without obedience. Many people excuse themselves of obeying God, "I'm just human!" they cry. But the Bible says, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." (1 Jn. 2:3) Claiming to know God without keeping His commands makes us a liar! (1 Jn. 2:4) Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation" to "all who obey Him" (Heb. 5:9) and His commands are not "burdensome"! (1 Jn. 5:3)

4) Morality without self denial. We live in a society without self-denial. But it is impossible to live a moral life without self-denial (Titus 2:11-12). Even Paul said he had to "discipline" his "body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Cor. 9:27) Are we greater than the humble apostle? Nay, we must practice the same!

5) Growth without diligence. Unfortunately most Christians remain spiritual "babies" (Heb. 5:12-14). Peter said we must "give all diligence" to "add" certain things to our faith (see 2 Pet. 1:5-7). If we fail to do so, he said we are "shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins." (2 Pet. 1:9) Are you growing or forgetting?

6) Knowledge without study. The amount of Bible knowledge possessed by most Christians is truly pitiful! Evidently they don't realize God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hos. 4:6) We need to be diligent students of God's word (2 Tim. 2:15). Otherwise we'll fall too! (Eph. 4:11-14) How are your Bible study habits?

7) Truth without controversy. By its very nature truth is controversial. But in our "politically correct" world few are willing to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3). Does the truth make you squeamish? Remember, "Good preaching sounds reveille, not taps."

    What about your religion? Is it true to God's book? Is it the religion taught by Jesus and the apostles? Is it sacrificial, obedient, and self-denying? Or, is it a religion of convenience, a "microwave religion"?

---Craig Thomas

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