Know Your Bible
April 1998

Will There Be A Judgement Day?

Let's answer this question by asking another question: Do you believe in death? I'm sure you do for it is all around us. Every day the newspapers give an obiturary column. You don't drive many times past the funeral homes but what people are not gathered to show respect to someone who has died. The Bible teaches just as certain as there is death, there is the judgement. Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement." Yes, there will be a judgement day!

When will the judgement day occur? "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"(2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Matthew also describes the Lord's return as a time when "before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." (25:31-46).

The Scriptures have revealed to us some things about the judgement day. In Romans 2:2 we read, "But we are sure that the judgement of God is according to truth against them which commit such things." Thus we see the STANDARD or "measuring stick" by which we will be judged is not what I think or what you think but rather "truth". God determines truth for His Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, we will be judged by the Word. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48). The BASIS on what we will be judged are our "deeds". "Who will render every man according to his deeds:" (Romans 2:6) "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27).

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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Is Television Safe To Watch?

This is a legitimate question in view of the facts: 1). Television has a definite influence. It is stated that "modern visual technology is now perhaps the single most influencial means of molding public opinion and changing moral values", and I am in total agreement. 2).Ninety- eight percent of homes have one or more televison sets and VCRs. 3). The average child will have watched 21,000 hours of television by the time they graduate from high school. (Compare this to the 13,000 hours they are in school!)

Television is a CONSTANT form of advertisement. (Not just only when there are commercials.) Television promotes situation ethics, fornication and adultery, alcoholic lifestyles, humanistic values, and materialistic values. There is no denying that we buy the advertising because our nation has the highest percentage of divorce and violent crime of any other nation in the world, television keeps our society highly stimulated sexually, and televison is the largest single cause for the rise of sexual promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, unwed couples, marital infidelity, divorce, teen-age pregnancy, and veneral disease.

All these things being true, television has DESENSITIZED us morally and has contributed to the breakdown of the family. Programs that would have been turned off years ago are left on, and gradually we have become "hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13). Instead of being ASHAMED, BLUSHING, and being REPULSED, we have learned to "tune out" obscenities and profanity with our minds instead of the channel changer or the on-off switch. Most folks would not allow family members to use any type language and engage in indecent or violent acts in their home but still we sit and watch and listen to total strangers curse and commit almost every form of ungodliness on the TV screen! (Isn't that being hypocritical to say the least?) Anymore, being able to find a decent program or movie to watch is about as rare as thinking we can go to the garbage can and find something sweet to eat.

There are definite Bible principles we need to follow when viewing programs on television. We must deny "ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly" (Titus 2:11,12). We become like what we associate with. "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners".(1 Corinthians 15:33). We must guard our minds, for what we put into our minds is what we get out. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). We need to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). Therefore, what we view on our television screen should help us to think on the right things.

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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Unity In Christ

The seriousness of not abiding in the doctrine of Christ is stated in 2 John 9: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." We are commanded to "speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you;" (1 Cor. 1:10). We should be able to do today what the apostle Paul did in his day for he preached the same thing in every church (1 Cor. 4:17). Try that today and see how many churches would permit such.

While most churches profess to follow the Bible, they also have their creeds both written and unwritten. While the doctrine of Christ teaches there is one church (body) in Ephesians 1:22,23 and 4:4, people today teach all churches are right so just "join the church of your choice". There can be no unity in Christ when the Scriptures teach one thing and folk say another. The organization of the church, found in the New Testament, is made up of bishops (elders), deacons, and saints (Philippians 1:1) but "churches" today have elaborate organizational structures with law-making bodies such as conferences, conventions, associations, and synogues. The work of the Lord's church is to minister to needy saints, preach the gospel, and spiritually build up the saints (Ephesians 4:12). "Churches" today have taken on the work of providing recreation and entertainment to cater to the physical part of man and actively involving themselves in political and social reform.

Unity in Christ teaches the necessity of faith (Hebrews 11:6) but doctrines of men teach faith exclusively in their doctrines of "faith only" and a person is saved the moment they believe. James 2:17,24 teaches that "faith only" results in a "dead" faith. The doctrine of Christ teaches that baptism is "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38) while doctrines of men teach baptism has nothing to do with being saved. Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 teaches that baptism is being "buried" with Christ but men teach baptism is sprinkling or pouring. The Bible teaches baptism is for those who "believe" (Mark 16:16) and are able to "repent" (Acts 2:38) while churches today practice baptizing infants who are too young to believe the gospel and too young to have sins to repent of.

The New Testament teaches we are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in worship to God (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) while today's churches play upon mechanical instruments of music and sing rock gospel, country gospel, bluegrass gospel, and contemporary gospel. There never can be unity in Christ until we are willing to "abide in the doctrine of Christ".

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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