I came across an old chart as I was cleaning out my office last week. It was from a workbook titled, Cottage Meeting Manual, by Maurice Tisdel. The title of the chart was “God’s Law of Procreation.” The information on the chart I will summarize in this short article.
The first column considers the vegetable kingdom. God’s word reveals that the first plants came about through God’s creative work. “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so” (Genesis 1:11). From that point on, however, as observation reveals, new plants have propagated through the seeds of their “parent” plants. Each seed produces a plant of the same “kind” as the plant from which the seed came. There are no exceptions to this rule. It is observable, the result of natural law.
Continue reading » God’s Law of Procreation
In Ezekiel 16, the Lord spoke to Jerusalem, expressing His disappointment at her ingratitude and rebellion, in response to His care and nurturing. He stated, “I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful” (vs. 7). Using the figure of marriage, He later said, “I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine” (vs. 8).
Their response was disconcerting. He charged, “But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it” (vs. 15). In fact, Jerusalem was so corrupt that God said, “You are the opposite of other women in your harlotry, because no one solicited you to be a harlot. In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore you are the opposite” (34).
Continue reading » Brazen
John had an important and urgent message to share with the elect lady and her children. As such, he wrote this short epistle to warn of the deceivers who would lead them to forfeit their reward.
However, in the final few lines of his letter, he wrote of a preference to communicate with them “face to face.” Letters could not adequately express either his love for them, or the urgency of his warnings.
Each of us know the truth of Paul’s words. We read fondly the letters of love and devotion sent my family and friends. However, our “joy” is full when we see them in the flesh.
Too, the electronic correspondence of our generation is a pale facsimile of personal communication. “LOL” is an inadequate imitation of the laughter and love we share when we are together. Speaking “face to face” is the better way.
In previous decades, American society generally shared the same values that are currently held by Christians. Sexual promiscuity, moral excesses, and other vices were frowned upon. Even those who engaged in them understood that they were morally wrong, and hid their actions from plain sight. As time has passed, however, societal values have diverged from the Christian norm. Because of this:
Continue reading » Christian Ethics
In doing some internet research on the subject of ethics, I came across an article by Rohana R. Wasala, a practicing Buddhist. In his article, titled Ethics and the non religious essence of Buddhism (lankaweb.com), Wasala advocated Buddhism over other religions, noting that Buddhism is not a religion in the traditional sense, in that it has its origin not in a supernatural being, but rather in a philosophy of self.
Interestingly, the author bemoans the fact that Buddhism, as practiced popularly, is not the same as “Pristine Buddhism.” To contrast the two, he states that Pristine Buddhism is free from the element of worship and prayer. He then stated that in contrast, “Unfortunately, Buddhism in popular practice is a different thing. It is today displayed by most followers as a religion.”
Continue reading » In the News: Non-Religious Ethics
In Romans 8, the apostle Paul expressed a wonderful sentiment when he asked the rhetorical question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (verse 31). The relationship we have with God guarantees our ultimate victory. Christians have on their side the Creator of the universe – the omnipotent, omniscient, eternal One.
Paul knew this, and wrote, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (verse 37). The phrase “more than conquerors” comes from a single greek term, hupernikao. The prefix huper strengthens the term, and carries the idea of “superior, abundant, exceeding.” The word indicates not only a victory, but that said victory is decisive and complete.
In effect, Paul states that through God and His Son we become super conquerors! Nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of god which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verse 39).
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Jude describes the false teachers he warns about as individuals who are severely lacking in character. This is characteristic of the self-willed. First, they grumble and complain. This shows a lack of respect for authority. They are governed by their own lusts. This indicates selfishness and a love of sin. They use flattery to gain advantage, which indicates a deceitful spirit.
These evil individuals had been predicted by the Lord’s apostles. One example of this is found in Acts 20:28-30, in the warning Paul gave to the Ephesian elders at Miletus.
The overriding characteristic of these men was their sensuality. It seems that both Jude and Peter (2 Peter 2) refer to men that are either similar to, or perhaps are the originators of what would become known as Gnosticism. Regardless, the pursuit of carnal passion is always troublesome and divisive, and must be warned against with regularity.
The first three gospels are known as synoptic. The term is defined: “of or forming a general outline or synopsis.” Each of these gospels contain a generally chronological snapshot of the life of our Lord. They are not exhaustive. Though similar, they are written from different perspectives. As would be expected, they emphasize different aspects of Jesus’ life, ministry and teaching.
It would be improper to refer to the gospels as either biographies or histories, though there are elements of each in all four of the books. Too often the works are criticized because they do not make a formal and verifiable effort to document the life of the Lord. Such attacks are unfair in imposing modern standards upon ancient writings, and in failing to recognize the theological motivations of the writers. As John wrote in John 20:30-31, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Continue reading » The Gospel of Mark (Witness of the Christ)
In Matthew 24:46, Jesus describes the faithful servant. “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.” The faithful servant is one who is obedient all the while he waits for his master’s return.
Regarding our Lord’s coming, some think the thing to do is look for omens and signs. This is a mistake. Concerning that day, Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (24:36). The Lord’s coming will be as a “thief in the night.”
Instead, the faithful servant of God will prepare for that coming by being ever vigilant. Consider, if we are always obedient to our Lord, it matters not when He comes. We will be ready!
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).
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A key in being active in evangelizing the lost is understanding the value of a single soul.
The word consider is defined: 1) to think about; 2) to be thoughtful of…
There are a numerous things that the scriptures teach us to consider. For example, the importance of being industrious, the sacrifice of Christ, and your brethren in Christ.