The Bible means what it says. Or, does it?

It is written” (Luke 4:12).

“The Bible means exactly what it says!” I’ve heard this a number of times, and in one sense, I agree. In another sense, that statement could inadvertently be more dangerous than it seems.

The Bible is not just a literal composition. Yes, it is a rule of thumb to understand any passage literally unless there is good reason or evidence to understand it otherwise. However, it should also be understood by all students of the Bible that there is plenty of reason to not take some passages literally. We will illustrate this in a moment. Continue reading “The Bible means what it says. Or, does it?”

Sell your soul to the devil?

“The quickest way to sell your soul to the devil,” a Wicca website explains, “is to join the church of Satan.” As the teenagers sometimes say, “well, duh!”

This organization, established in 1966, “teaches members to take pride in having the strength and dedication to implement the tools of Satan and the wisdom to recognize the Unseen in our society.” It goes on, “You don’t need to give some other organization your hard-earned money to sell your soul … understand that there is no such thing as a soul.” Continue reading “Sell your soul to the devil?”

Satan doesn’t care why we leave the Lord

Satan is doing everything he can to destroy our faith. He’s the consummate liar (John 8:44) and will use whomever or whatever is at his disposal to accomplish that goal (1 Peter 5:8).

Nothing will be spared.

The devil has no conscience, no scruples and he’s incapable of queasiness or doubt. He speaks in our voice and will ingratiate himself in any way possible to turn our head. Our constant attention is needed. Continue reading “Satan doesn’t care why we leave the Lord”

What Satan needs Christians to do

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17 NKJV).

This summer and fall Nepal has been struggling to obtain essential goods, such as food, petroleum supplies (gasoline, diesel, and propane) and other necessities. Certain ethnic groups in the southern plains, near the Indian border, have protested the newly approved constitution by staging sit-ins at border crossing points. Nepal officials charge the Indian government with aiding the protestors by closing the border to trucks carrying needed supplies. Continue reading “What Satan needs Christians to do”

Satan, self-esteem and self-talk

Satan appears to be our friend and supporter (John 8:44), but he will do anything to destroy us. We can resist him (1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Peter 3:9), but it requires spiritual strength and maturity to do so.

One of Satan’s goals is to destroy our self-image. We either think too much of ourselves so we become our own god (Luke 16:18-31), or we consider ourselves worthless.

If we don’t love ourselves, we may be incapable of healthy relationships. What we think of ourselves permeates every aspect of our lives. It can feed on itself, growing in magnitude. Continue reading “Satan, self-esteem and self-talk”

Dangers of restoring prayer to schools

Prayer is a blessing beyond human comprehension (Psalm 145:8). God said to continually bring our requests to him (Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

We need Christ because without him, we can’t be saved (John 14:6). Only in him do we find all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Children will benefit from learning about Jesus because their morals and decision making will improve dramatically.

In 1962, prayer in schools was declared unconstitutional because some were offended by petitions to God. However, in the mid-20th century, Christian values were far more common than they are today in our increasingly pagan society.  Continue reading “Dangers of restoring prayer to schools”

Don’t leave your life empty

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ When it returns, it finds the house empty, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first. It will be that way for this evil generation as well!” (Matthew 12:43-45 NET)

What was Jesus talking about? Unclean spirits, empty houses, and even more evil spirits! Continue reading “Don’t leave your life empty”

Following Satan’s model in the Garden of Eden

In the Garden of Eden, Satan approaches Eve and incites her to violate God’s will by eating of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Satan makes three propositions and convinces her to sin. Subsequently, Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden (Genesis 3).

Wisely, Satan presented truth to Eve interspersed with enough error to lead her astray. The right excised or added word can lead to wholly different results. God said, “you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Satan countered they would “not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Continue reading “Following Satan’s model in the Garden of Eden”

The war against Christians

In Revelation 12 we have what could be considered one of the easiest to understand of the word-pictures in John’s Revelation. Although possibly a simple picture to understand, it contains a message that all Christians would do well to remember.

“Then a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was screaming in labour pains, struggling to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon that had seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadem crowns. Now the dragon’s tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. So the woman gave birth to a son, a male child, who is going to rule over all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was suddenly caught up to God and to his throne, and she fled into the wilderness where a place had been prepared for her by God, so she could be taken care of for 1,260 day” (Revelation 12:1-6 NET). Continue reading “The war against Christians”

This trick is no treat

“How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23).

Some rabbis contend that “the slanderer” or “the satan” (as he is often referred to in Old Testament scripture) is just the personification of evil, or the evil thoughts of our own hearts. Some allege that he is a fallen angel, and that seems likely. Others say he’s simply mythical, like Zeus – just a cartoon character with horns and a pitchfork people like to dress up as and laugh about at this time of year.

But Jesus said Satan was a real entity, and had real power in the human realm. Consequently, it would be logical suicide to acknowledge the existence of Jesus and not the existence of Satan. Continue reading “This trick is no treat”