Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. - Irenaeus

Saturday, July 18, 2015

You Hater!

Have you ever been called a hater for simply quoting or referring to biblical truths?

Consider the following references from the Bible:

The words of Jesus:
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Woe to you, blind guides... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of deadmen’s bones and all uncleanness.

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.  Apostle Paul

Elymas the false prophet was struck blind by the words of Apostle Paul and another man was turned over to the devil for the destruction of the flesh.

Then, for lying Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, by the words of Apostle Peter.

Others were referred to as sons of the Devil.

And they call you a "hater"?  Don't worry be happy!  Jesus said the slave is not greater than the master.  If they hated him...well, you're in good company. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jonah and Sailing

Jonah said, "I'd rather be sailing."
And God said, "Good luck with that."

Whatever Became of Evangelism?

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were very hungry.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met
in meetings and talked about their call to fish, and abundance of fish and how they might go about fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.

These fishermen built large beautiful buildings for local fishing headquarters. The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they did not do, however, they did not fish.

In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived. Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.

Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years courses were offered on the needs of the fish, the nature of fish, how to define fish, the psychological reactions of fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in “fishology”. But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing.

Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. Presses were kept busy
day and night to produce materials solely devoted to fishing methods, equipment, and programs, to arrange and encourage meetings, to talk about fishing. A speaker's bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing.

After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity of Fishing,” one young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported that he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it. So he quit fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fisherman's General Board as a person having considerable experience.

Now it's true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen's clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished. They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend and talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).

Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don't fish were not really fishermen, not matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person really a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?

Is one following if he isn't fishing?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Who Hardened Pharaoh's Heart?

One rule in reading the bible is to always interpretation the Old Testament in light of the New Testament.  The Old Testament is written from the perspective that God was behind everything that happened.  Job thought that everything bad that was happening to him was from God.  However we see that Satan was an instigator.  In Exodus we read some verses that claim God hardened Pharoah's heart (Exodus 7:3, 10:1) but we cannot ignore the other verses that clearly show that Pharaoh had a part to play in this because it also says that Pharaoh was stubborn (7:14) and he hardened his own heart (8:15&32).  In the New Testament we see Jesus dealing with the Devil in a whole different light than what we see in the OT.  We see Jesus being tempted by the Devil, as well as Jesus casting some demons out of people.  People who have never been exposed to this part of the gospel sometimes have a fatalistic view of God regarding all the evil in the world.  If they do not understand that the Devil is the destroyer and one to resist they simply throw up their hands and don't know what to do or even how to pray, and simply say "well God's in control", or "its all God".  Apostle Peter wrote that we should resist the adversary who prowls about like a roaring lion (1 Pet.5:8-9).  It is rather difficult to resist him if one thinks God is doing everything.  When Muslim terrorists storm a church and murder children in cold blood we have to recognize that evil exists and must be confronted.

Apostle Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians he writes, "the one whose coming is in accord with the activity Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false." (2 Thess. 2:9-12)

So what happened to Pharaoh was not only God's vindication for the sake of the children of Israel but it was judgment upon the willfully stubborn heart of Pharaoh who followed the deceptive works of the magicians (Exodus 7:22).  Apostle Paul mentions these two characters, Jannes and Jambres, and warns us that we will be faced with similar seducers in the future. (2 Tim. 3:8-13)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sheets to the Wind!

Jesus was a Jew!
"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it,
but do not know where it comes from and where it is going,
so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)
While sailing past the village of Bella Bella, British Columbia
 we heard a man come on the marine radio
 and call to a friend telling him that the message 
on the passing sailboat was for him. 
That made our day!
This message often had a different response.