A House built on the rock

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it because it had been well built” (Luke 6:46-48)

A life lived without Jesus’ words is like a house without a foundation (Luke 6:49). Jesus’ words, which came from the Father (John 12:49), are truth (John 17:17), and truth sets men free (John 8:32). Continue reading “A House built on the rock”

Lost in the Lord’s house

It was the worst of times. Through fifty-five years, Manasseh did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah. Not only did he rebuild the high places which were used to worship the Baals, he even “built altars in the house of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 33:4). The depravity of Manasseh was seen in that “he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom” (2 Chronicles 33:6).

Manasseh’s degradation infected the people of Israel, and he “led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel” (2 Chronicles 33:9). Though Manasseh humbled himself and repented at the end of his life, the damage of his fifty-five years was immense. Continue reading “Lost in the Lord’s house”

How to be an effective teacher of the Bible

A supporting congregation had a teacher-appreciation dinner Aug. 18 after the Sunday evening service. We were invited to attend. It wasn’t my moment, but I thought of all the teachers of Bible school, the teachers of evangelistic studies, those who teach to encourage brethren, and all those who have been given the gift of teaching. What would I like to say to them if given the chance? Three things came immediately to mind. Continue reading “How to be an effective teacher of the Bible”

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?”

No longer under the Law of Moses

Many false doctrines are a result of misunderstanding covenants. The improper use of the Word has eternal consequences (Galatians 1:8-9), so it’s imperative that we properly divide the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15).

God established a covenant with Israel after Egyptian bondage (Exodus 19:1-6). If they would be faithful, God would care for them with great gentleness (Exodus 19:7-8). Continue reading “No longer under the Law of Moses”

The plagues of moral elasticity and re-definition

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).

In a discussion panel I watched recently, Arizona State University Professor (theoretical physicist) Lawrence Krauss listened with as much tolerance as he could muster while an avowed gay Catholic priest (or bishop, or something) attempted to explain how he melded his way of life with his chosen religion. Krauss finally couldn’t take it anymore, and interrupted the priest, saying (I paraphrase): “Why not just throw out the whole thing?”

Continue reading “The plagues of moral elasticity and re-definition”

Waiting for the monkeys to come down

“He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong” (Mark 12:27, ESV)

According to Jewish law, if a man and woman married, and he died before she gave birth to an heir by him, it then became the obligation of one of that man’s brothers to marry the widow, and bring up children in his stead, carrying on the family name (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).

With that law in mind, coupled with the belief that there is no afterlife, and the possibility of trapping him in his own words, Jesus’ opponents (the Sadducees) proposed a hypothetical scenario: suppose seven good, law-abiding Jewish brothers all marry this same woman, each of them dying before she bears them a child. “In the resurrection, whose wife will she be?” (Mark 12:23). Continue reading “Waiting for the monkeys to come down”