Month: January 2014

Out of the Woodwork

 “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” (Psalm 12:8)

King David, who understood well the effects of a leadership’s morality on their nation, was saying that wickedness and rebellion toward righteousness has a way of coming out of the woodwork when acceptance of sin finds a seat among the honored and the authorities; and in case you haven’t noticed – America’s “woodwork” has been emptying out lately!

Since 2008 approximately 24 States have passed laws recognizing homosexual “marriages” and unions; these include states who have had the will of the people overturned in the courts. People in at least another dozen states are challenging state laws that limit marriage to one man and one woman. Since 2008 the same-sex spouses of the federal executive branch employees have received tax payer funded benefits. Since 2008 the nation’s military has done away with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and “D.O.M.A.” is a thing of the past.

So what happened in 2008 to make the woodwork let loose? Vileness was exalted. EA

But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.” (2 Kings 21:9-12)

Jesus and Christ Pagan?

“We have a book here that claims the name Jesus should be Joshua and that both Jesus and Christ both come from pagan rituals. Could you comment? – A.S., MS”

Jesus is a Greek word. It does indeed correspond with the Hebrew word, Joshua. And, the name was not uncommon until one unique individual was given that name. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Son of God was given that name because of what it indicates, that He will be a Savior to the world. Although other people were named Joshua and Jesus, the Jesus of the New Testament is unique.

The same principle applies to the term Christ. This is also a Greek word that translates the Hebrew word, Messiah. The Messiah was the chosen one, picked by God to redeem and lead His people. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek. So, many of the concepts from the Old Testament took on Greek names and meanings. But, again, this title is given, not by pagan religions (some of whom may have used the terms) but by God. “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). – David Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 63, Number 3 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Editor, David Thurman, Associate Editor.

Related Article:

The Bible: Ancient in Age but not in Application

If the Bible is known for one thing to the masses it is known for being old! Parts of the Bible are approximately 3,500 years old, but my, oh my, it looks so good for its age. Would you not agree?

It amazes me how God’s word manages to stay so up-to-date. It has never fallen “behind the times” in appearance. It has made its way from stone work to vellum and papyrus scrolls to modern paper and book form and even on into the digital age without missing a beat.

And think of the language barriers it has crossed during the process! God’s word is easier to find and keep up with more now than it has ever been at any other time in history. And remember, this “old book” is still the best-seller around the world. Go on and look it up.

But not only has the Bible kept up with the times in appearance it has kept up with the times in application! People of today are no different from the people we read about in the ancient scriptures. The only thing that divides us from them is time and technology!

God’s word fills the same void within man today that it filled centuries and millennia ago. Many try to substitute the Bible’s spiritual guidance with politics, pop-psychology, and work or with one of the hundreds of manmade religions found around the world. And many find satisfaction with these until they are faced with the ageless application of the word of God.

The obvious applications of God’s Word are the very things that draw so much angst against it. The Bible reveals the very reason of our existence and the very Creator that raised us from the dirt of the Earth. Both male and female made in the image of God! Many have not tried to destroy the Bible simply because of its existence; they have tried to destroy the Bible simply because of the applicable content. They see too clearly the image it reflects back. Not the image of the flesh, but the image of the soul. A very unflattering image in their own eyes!

No one would mind the Bible if it only sat quietly as a supposed piece of fiction as other controversial books can and do. But the Bible will not sit quietly. It works on the conscience in a way that makes most uncomfortable. It was designed to do this very thing when necessary (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible gets personal…right down into every facet of our life!

The Bible gets into our family life – our marriage, our parents, our children.

The Bible gets into our personal life and the way treat others – strangers, our spiritual brothers and sisters, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, and even our enemies.

The Bible gets into our spiritual life – the sin we struggle with, the sin we ignore, the sin that condemns us, the sin we must confess and the only sacrificial solution given for it (John 1:29).

Is God’s word ancient in age? Absolutely! Who could deny this? Is God’s word ancient in application? Absolutely not! Try honestly reading it and then try to honestly deny it. It’s as one perishable man said, who wrote so long ago on such a perishable medium, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25)

How wonderful is the ageless word of God!  EA

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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Odds Are…

I’ve been a Christian for about 10 years and I’ve noticed a few things about people and their likelihoods when it comes to spiritual growth.

Odds are your attendance of the worship services is going to look as bad or worse this year as it was last year.

Odds are you’re going to participate in the actual work of the church as much or even less than you did last year.

Odds are your evangelistic zeal will stay the same or decline this year compared to last year.

Odds are you’re going to look for as many excuses this year, if not more than last year, as to why you’re not growing spiritually.

I say defy the odds! Don’t settle for spiritual mediocrity! Start making an effort to walk on the strait and narrow! EA

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.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

A Change of Profession

Levi, better known as Matthew (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14), was a number cruncher turned preacher; he went from collecting state debt to preaching the forgiveness of the spiritual kind. But the most important change of “profession” that took place in Levi’s life wasn’t what he did for a living – it was who he started living for!

Now, we don’t all have to quit our jobs if we want to improve our relationship with God, but we do have to change our profession by living for Jesus instead of self. So if you’re looking for a way to better yourself in 2014, there’s you an idea. EA

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)