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Archive for the ‘Bible, influence of’ Category

Darwinism and Morality

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Until about fifty years ago in America, lasciviousness, adultery, and fornication were almost universally deemed reprehensible. Divorce was shameful, pornography was underground, and homosexuality was illegal. These elements are now on open display and enjoy wide approval—and participation.

Is our nation stronger or weaker because of these changes? Are families/homes more or less secure? Is the “misery index” for individuals greater or less? Do more or fewer people turn to chemical “solutions” for failure to find “purpose” in life? Are we experiencing more or fewer individual murders by abortion and mass murders? To ask is to answer.

Many “whys” might be suggested to explain the unarguable decline in national morals and ethics. Arguably, they all go back to a single taproot: Charles Darwin and his evolutionary hoax. Before his theories caught on in the 1870s, Western nations, though divided between Protestant and Catholic, were united in accepting the Biblical view of man as the apex of the creation of the Almighty, Self-existent God. Man had a purpose—to glorify God—and the Bible set forth man’s behavior that would do so.

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The Word of God Is Able and Profitable

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From my earliest remembrance of the content of Gospel sermons, God-fearing men have exalted the inspired, written Word of God (the New Testament specifically) as the “road map” to Heaven. Mind you, faithful brethren have not set it forth as one among a few or many others, but as the only way by which sinners may reach eternal glory. Nor have any faithful men preached it as insufficient to save by itself, requiring any sort of additional force to be joined with it for its saving potential to be realized. The books and articles our brethren have written, when they touched on this subject, have almost unanimously taught the same message, and for good reason: This doctrine has its firm basis in what the Bible says about itself. Among many such passages, Acts 20:32 and 2 Timothy 3:16–17 serve as explicit cornerstones of this doctrine. These are worthy of our reconsideration and reemphasis.

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Judgment Day Surprises

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One of the recurring themes of the New Testament is that of the final accounting that all men must make before their Creator—The Day of Judgment. Jesus described it in some detail (Mat. 7:21–23; 25:31–46). The final New Testament book emphasizes The Judgment near its close (Rev. 20:11–15). Hardly a New Testament book fails to mention it. In spite of the emphasis on this theme, it will prove surprising in many ways:

  • It is real: All who deny the existence of the true and living God (i.e., atheists, humanists, pagans, et al.) will awaken—too late—to the fact that the Bible was true after all.
  • When it will occur: No one can know when Jesus will return in judgment (Mat. 24:36, 42). The time of its occurrence will be a surprise to everyone.
  • The purpose of it: It will not be a trial or a day of inquiry to determine guilt or innocence; the Lord will know who the saved and lost are beforehand (2 Tim. 2:19). It will be a day of sentencing—to eternal punishment or life (Mat. 25:46).
  • The standard of it: Judgment will not be according to Protestant or Catholic creed books, the religion of one’s parents, the decisions of church councils, or the words of the pope or Mohammed. God will judge all by the spiritual law under which they lived. Concerning all who have lived since Calvary, Jesus said, “The word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
  • The basis of it: We will not be judged based on our: (1) profession of faith: “Not everyone who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 7:21a), (2) good intentions: “When I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me” (Acts 24:25b), (3) sincerity: Saul of Tarsus was sincere in his belief that he must oppose Jesus (25:9), (4) zeal: Paul said his Jewish brethren had “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2), or upon any other bases (e.g., promises, wealth, social standing, parentage, et al.). We will also not be judged comparatively with others.

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Man, Woman, and Marriage

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One either believes the Bible to be God’s revelation of Himself to men, or one does not. God does not (and no man can) force anyone to accept the Bible as such. One, however, ought not to profess such belief if one is unwilling to accept what it says without seeking to alter it. Popularity, agreement with my notions, convenience, political correctness, nor any other factors affect or determine the meaning of its words to the genuine believer.

Whether or not one believes the Bible to be God’s Word, he should be honest enough to let the Bible say what it says. One forfeits any claim of integrity when he knowingly twists Biblical statements (2 Pet. 3:16) so as to make them appear to teach other than what they teach (often making the Bible thereby contradict itself). This statement applies equally to professed believers and to infidels. Countless times each day presumptuous men seek to make the Bible say what they want it to say/teach (rather than what it obviously says/teaches) in an effort to justify a position, creed, bias, or agenda.

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Understanding the Bible

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            Nothing is more obvious than that men who profess belief in the Bible do not understand it alike. Some believe this is inevitable or even good. If so, why does the Bible command that we “all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you” (1 Cor. 1: 10)? We are to “walk by the same rule” (Phi. 3:16), so it must be possible for us to understand its demands.

            The greater question may be, “Why do men not understand the Bible alike?” The Bible provides several answers.

  • Ignorance—Because of ignorance the Jews crucified Jesus, and Saul persecuted Him (Luke 23:34; 1 Tim. 1:13). Earnest Bible study is the cure for ignorance. One can hardly understand what he does not know.
  • Deception—Many are victims of false teachers (Mat. 7:15). Jesus   warned: “Take heed that no man lead you astray” (Mat. 24: 44). Blind teachers and their students will be lost (15:14).
  • Human traditions—Religious traditions were more import-ant than the Bible to the Jews of Jesus’ time (Mat. 15:6). Human traditions are many and varied; they prevent men from understanding and following the Bible. Such things as infant “baptism,” instrumental music in worship, “Easter,” et al., are human traditions, rather than Biblical practices.
  • Prejudice—Jeremiah wrote of those in Jerusalem “that have eyes, and see not; that have ears, and hear not” (5:21). The Jews of Jesus’ time had their minds “made up” that the Messiah would establish an earthly kingdom like David’s, so they rejected His teaching concerning His spiritual kingdom, the church (Mat. 16:18–19). Vast millions make the same mistake today in their biased millennial “hopes.”
  • Convenience—Jeroboam enticed his nation to stay at home and worship his idols, saying, “It is too much to go up to Jerusalem” (1 Kin. 12:28). Roman Catholicism popularized effusion (pouring of water) in place of immersion for baptism beginning in the twelfth century because it was more “convenient” than immersion. Many Protestant churches find it “inconvenient” to serve the Lord’s Supper each Sunday. The Truth is often set aside for sake of convenience.
  • Sincerity—We must be sincere in our devotion to God, but sincerity alone was insufficient for Cornelius; he still had to hear and obey the Gospel to be saved (Acts 10:33; 11:14). If sincerity is all that matters, why do we even need the Bible?

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