Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                                                September 23, 2012                                                                                                                                                                               NO. 35



Recently, NBC has begun airing a new television show called, “The New Normal”. The premise of this show is that a homosexual couple (2 men) decides that they want a child, so they enlist the help of a surrogate mother. I have not watched an episode of this show, nor do I intend to.  In times past I have expressed what the Bible teaches about the subject of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. In summary it is strongly opposed to such, and unless those involved repent, the “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-11) But I want to point your attention to a specific passage: Romans 1:26-27 says, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”  Notice how Paul describes homosexual conduct as “against nature” which means that it is NOT normal.

But what has my attention is not merely the gross immorality our networks continue to spew at the public to see how far they can go, but the name of this show - “The New Normal.”  Really? Is this this type of ungodly behavior the new normal? That is  something for us to think about! It is clear that this name is intended to tell us that such perverted lifestyles are “the new normal” and as such we ought to accept it. And as we look at the attitude of our society toward ungodly lifestyles (and even increased denial or doubt of the existence of God) I am fearful that the networks may be right.  More and more people are being convinced that such lifestyles, and others, are just not a big deal and need to be accepted. Even our federal and state governments are stepping in and passing legislation that is going to make it more difficult (perhaps illegal) to openly condemn such ungodly behavior and reject it in our churches.  Without getting overly political, my biggest concern is not any specific issue (though I am bothered by the ungodly and unscriptural stand of many) but the threats to our religious freedom to pronounce what we believe the Bible to teach. When exposing false religions and doctrines is labeled intolerance (by individuals, groups and even in official government statements), brethren THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT US!

And they are bringing upon themselves judgment. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” Prov. 17:15 says, “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them are an abomination to the Lord.” Malachi condemned post-exilic Israel saying, “You have wearied the Lord with your words; Yet you say, ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’  In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them’ Or ‘Where is the God of justice?’” (Mal. 2:17)

Should an increasingly corrupt world surprise us? Absolutely not! Paul warned Timothy that in the last days, “perilous times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5) In vs. 13 he says, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” It is no secret that we are living in a “crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:14-16). And the world even admits that they have changed. Think about it–when they say, “the new normal,” are they admitting that what they are now proposing used to be considered abnormal or at least not as prevalent? Peter warned us to remain faithful and challenged us to live above the world. He said, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. THEY WILL give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Pet. 4:3-5).

Perhaps what is being advocated IS “the new normal”, but where does that put us as Christians? IF it is, that doesn’t change what God’s word says. And as such, we must continue to obey God’s will instead up what man thinks is right. When Peter and the apostles were being threatened for preaching Jesus in a predominantly Jewish community they responded, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”(Acts 5:29) In Joshua’s farewell address, he challenged the people to make a choice as to whom they would serve–God or the idols around them. Then he said, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) When we stand before God we will give an accounting for our lives (Rom. 14:12, 2 Cor. 5:9-10. 1 Pet. 1:17). And whether or not we have submitted to His will will have an impact on our eternal destiny (cf. Matt. 25:31-46, etc).   Therefore we better ensure that what we do is what God determines for us to do rather than man, even if “times have changed.” God doesn’t change (cf. Heb. 13:8–of Jesus; James 1:17)!

While we live in the world, we must live above the standard of the world serving God. In Phil. 2:14-16 we are warned to not be like them and instead to “shine as lights”. In 2 Tim. 3:5 we are told, “And from such people turn away.” In 2 Cor. 6:14 we are told, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” This is followed by the challenge to “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” (vs. 17)

So while the world may call something “the new normal” that must not be our standard. Instead, let us resolve to stay with the old paths that God paved centuries ago. The path of the wicked will lead to eternal destruction. (Prov. 14:12) Jesus Himself warned us, “Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14)

---Thomas A. Thornhill, Jr.

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As she looked at the fruit and noticed for the first time how beautiful it was and how delightful it would taste, her mind raced back to when God told her and Adam not to eat of the forbidden tree. Could a loving God be so forbidding that He could deny her the fruit from this tree in the midst of the garden? The serpent had made a good point when he suggested that it was not fair to be denied this fruit. Reaching forth her hand she decided that God loved her so much He would not care if she ate. Adam also ate of the forbidden tree believing in the encompassing love of a beneficent Creator.

By the time of Noah almost all of mankind had drunk deeply of the teaching of Satan that an all-knowing and all-powerful God could not be a loving God if He forbade the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life. God’s love would allow the freedom to enjoy every part of life in their own passions. There are no confining rules in love because love is such a splendid expression of independence and Satan was the proficient preacher of this kind of God’s love to all mankind.

The nation of Israel demonstrated time and again the teaching of God’s love as defined by Satan. Why would the Lord care if they built a golden calf, rebel at Kadesh-Barnea, murmur throughout the wilderness journey, take a piece of gold and Babylonian garment from Jericho, kill a great soldier to cover up adultery or worship Baal and Molech? God’s love would overlook all of this because God is such a loving and compassionate Creator - according to Satan.

Satan is the ‘father of lies’ (John 8:44) and is well versed in scripture. When tempting Jesus the devil quoted scripture (Matthew 4:1-10). James reminds us the demons believe that Jesus is the Christ and tremble (James 2:19). Satan does not always suggest that we deny the word of God but rather change our view of what God said. This is what he did with Eve in Genesis 3. “Has God indeed said” was the ploy that did not deny what God said but rather view what God said from a different feeling. Think of God’s love and how wonderful it is to take of that forbidden fruit succeeded in securing his hooks into man for his destruction.

God’s love is taught throughout the world by Satan as a universalist view that everyone goes to Heaven in death. Salvation is not limited to some narrow legalistic dogma because a loving God would not and could not punish anyone to a place of torment. This teaching has been a very effective tool for Satan to destroy the eternal souls of the majority of people who will stand before God in judgment (Matthew 7:13-14). Satan has served this Kool-Aid to an unsuspecting world knowing that his minions grow larger every day.

The true nature of God’s love is found in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Paul reminds us that God is a loving God and a severe God who will punish unbelief (Romans 11:22). The love of God is found in Jesus Christ to those who believe and obey Him. The love of God also includes His judgment upon those who refuse to believe and obey His Son; these will be punished. Satan convinces people that God’s love will not punish; God’s true love says He does (Hebrews 12:5-11). Salvation will depend on whose definition of love you believe: God or Satan.

---Kent Heaton

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