Preaching Out of Season – Part 4

(2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 4:7) = Controversial topics must be addressed and their silly myths put to rest.

 

Truth: a reminder (Joh 18:38 “What is truth?”):

1) truth is not determined by personal or public tolerance (Joh 6:51-60; Eph 1:10; Hence Rom 12:1-2), 2) truth is not determined by appearances or emotions (Joh 7:24; Jer 17:9), 3) truth is determined by a proposition’s agreement with God’s Spirit (i.e., the Word of God) not the spirit of the world (Mat 4:4; Joh 6:61-63, 17:17; Act 17:10-12; Eph 6:17; Eph 2:1-2; Col 2:8 w/20; Hence 1Jo 4:1), 4) you cannot be Jesus’ disciple (i.e., a saved person) yet rejecting truth or listening to the error of this world -i.e., no sacred cows allowed (Joh 6:66, 18:37; 1Jo 4:4-6), 5) often what we think is truth is instead the spirit and error of the world (Hence 12:1-2).

 

6. Same Sex Rebellion

6.1. In 1970, 70% of Americans believed homosexuality to be wrong. Today, 71% of Americans believe it to be morally acceptable (a 100% change in 50 years).

 

6.2. Homosexual relationships are now viewed as not only a respectable alternative to their heterosexual counterpart, but a lifestyle that should be explored by all people. Exploring one’s sexual orientation is encouraged as healthy.[1]

 

6.3. In our current economic climate, it also pays to be homosexual or part of a same-sex relationship. According to the 2019 Census Bureau report, “same-sex married couples have a higher median household income than opposite-sex married couples.”[2]

 

6.4. Due to homosexuality’s large acceptance in the West, several “Christian” denominations have also welcomed those practicing homosexuality into the fold (e.g., the Anglican Church of South Africa, Evangelical Anglican Church in America, Metropolitan Community Churches, some United Methodists, the United Churches of Christ, Presbyterian Churches in America, the Episcopal Church, Disciples of Christ, the Reformed Church in America, the Society of Friends [Quaker], the Friends General Conference [Quaker], the Mennonite Church USA, the American National Catholic Church, the Evangelical Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Church).

 

6.5. As of 2015, 62/63% of mainline Protestants now favor same-sex marriages and see no conflict between Christianity and homosexuality.

 

6.6. Things however were not always this way. Until the late 20th century (1970s), homosexuality was:

 

6.6.1. considered a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association.

 

“homosexuality [is a] sociopathic personality disorder…[a] sexual deviation.” (DSM I and II)

 

6.6.2. condemned as sinful and considered illegal (its solicitation or expression) in many American states.

 

6.7. So what changed? Not God, but the world and those churches who chose to follow the world. God’s view of homosexuality today (under the New Covenant) is no different than it was under previous covenants. Throughout redemptive history, the practice of homosexuality has always constituted same sex rebellion.

 

6.8. Given God’s attitude toward homosexuality and its attending consequences, we can conclude that the sin of homosexuality (i.e., homosexual behavior) is more serious than most other sins:

 

6.8.1. God so hates homosexuality that He purposely designed His laws, doctrine and gospel to keep those practicing homosexuality (among other serious sins) from ever becoming a part of His salvific plan or covenant people (1Ti 9-11 “laid down” = Established as a barrier).

 

6.8.2. So disgusting is homosexuality to God, that He promises to damn not only those practicing it, but also those (men) guilty of acting effeminately (1Co 6:9-10 [NAS], those who practice homosexuality and the effeminate” – See also ESV Fn 3 [“two Greek words”] [οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται = “Neither the soft in behavior or man-f*%#ers”]; Hence 1Co 16:13; e.g., Those who are effeminate = Transgender males)

 

6.8.3. It is for these reasons that homosexuality is called an abomination (a thing causing disgust and hatred) and classified as a capital crime (Lev 20:13).

 

6.8.4. It is also for these reasons that God completely destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their inhabitants (Gen 19:1-25; v5 “Bring them out [the angels] that we might know them” = Have sexual relations w/them – See Gen 4:1).

 

6.9. Because they share the same unique signature of divine destruction (entire human populations destroyed by supernatural means), some have become convinced that like Sodom, Noah’s Flood was also the result of widespread acceptance or practice of homosexuality (In re: to Sodom: Gen 19:1-5 “all the people to the last man surrounded the house…‘Bring them out to us that we may know them’” = Every single male in the city of Sodom was seeking to perform homosexual acts on the angels – or more specifically, Jesus and the HS – Gen 18:1-2; As it re: to both cities, consider Abraham’s plea in Gen 18:20-33. Neither city possessed as little as 10 men innocent of homosexual behavior since if that had been the case, God would have spared that city).

 

6.10. If the above is true, then not only is the gay movement’s choice of the rainbow for their flag highly ironic, but widespread acceptance or practice of homosexuality also serves as another clear sign of Christ’s imminent return/this world’s final fiery destruction (As of 2022, 19 million Americans [eight times as many people as it was just 50 years ago] are practicing/have practiced some form of homosexual behavior). In this light consider (Mat 24:36-51 = Discerning the signs of wickedness that characterized the time of Noah is key to discerning Christ’s return and our subsequent readiness).

 

6.11. Equally illuminating and important to our discernment w/respect to this perversion, is what causes it to become prevalent: a rise in atheistic thinking. Is this not what also characterizes our modern times? (Rom 1:25-27).

 

6.12. That being said, because human beings are conceived in sin, people can also be born with same-sex attraction or temptations. If however those individuals resist those temptations, they are not guilty of nor identified by homosexuality. IOW: we are not defined by what we feel, but what we practice (1Jo 3:7-10). In addition, those who come to Christ find new power/ability to conquer this temptation and sin (1Co 6:11 “such were some of you”).

 

6.13. Strong reasoning skills and knowledge of the pertinent biblical texts is more than enough to soundly refute the objections made by those wicked churches/people who attempt to show compatibility between homosexuality and Christianity: 1) S&G was not destroyed because of homosexuality but attempted “rape humiliation”, rape used to humiliate foreigners believed to be spies (Jud 1:7 = God’s destroyed the cities b/c the men “pursued unnatural desire” –Literally, [NAS] “were going after strange flesh”– i.e., homosexual behavior, not rape; See also 2Pe 2:7-8 = Lot witnessed immoral sexual behavior among the people “day after day” – not simply at the time of the angel encounter), 2) S&G was not guilty of homosexuality but pride and lack of hospitality (Exe 16:49 = Sodom and Gomorrah are being used figuratively for Judah and Israel to emphasize how strongly God is opposed to them and their sin. The sins therefore mentioned are in relation to Judah and Israel not Sodom and Gomorrah), 2) Gen 19, 1Co 6, Lev 20, and Rom 1 are all in reference to those who are not born homosexual or operating outside “holy homo relationships” (1] attraction does not approve action [“I was born this was so it is okay”], 2] being born in sin is why we need to be “born again”, 3] In the Bible, all homosexual practice is communicated in terms of perversion, never is it ever communicated as holy or able to operate in that capacity), 3) God is a God of love which means He would never condemn someone for who they choose to love (See 1Ti 1:5- the goal of our instruction [w/God’s law, doctrine and gospel] is love”).

 

6.14. The acronym “FAG” as a designation for the Faith Alone gospel is truly fitting, since it makes it possible for practicing homosexuals to be saved w/o repenting of their homosexuality (FAG = Only faith is needed to be saved, obedience/repentance is nice but not necessary; e.g., Free Grace Movement/Bob Wilkins: They won’t inherit “the kingdom of God” [1 Co 6:9-10] on earth but they will still be saved and go to heaven; e.g., Charles Stanley: even those Christians who later become atheists are still saved since our actions can never effect our standing/state with God).

[1]

https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/should-i-explore-my-sexuality/

[2] https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2020/09/same-sex-married-couples-have-higher-income-than-opposite-sex-married-couples.html

Preaching Out of Season – Part 3

(2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 4:7) = Controversial topics must be addressed and their silly myths put to rest.

 

Truth: a reminder (Joh 18:38 “What is truth?”):

1) truth is not determined by personal or public tolerance (Joh 6:51-60; Eph 1:10; Hence Rom 12:1-2), 2) truth is not determined by appearances or emotions (Joh 7:24; Jer 17:9), 3) truth is determined by a proposition’s agreement with God’s Spirit (i.e., the Word of God) not the spirit of the world (Mat 4:4; Joh 6:61-63, 17:17; Act 17:10-12; Eph 6:17; Eph 2:1-2; Col 2:8 w/20; Hence 1Jo 4:1 and Rom 12:1-2), 4) you cannot be Jesus’ disciple (i.e., a saved person) yet rejecting truth or listening to the error of this world -i.e., no sacred cows allowed (Joh 6:66, 18:37; 1Jo 4:4-6), 5) often what we think is truth is the spirit and error of the world (Hence 12:3).

 

4. Domestic Discipline

A husband has the right and responsibility to discipline his wife through discipling her in God’s Word (the more effective, New Covenant application, Eph 5:26 “love your wives…cleans[ing] her by the washing of water with the word”; Jer 31:33; Eze 36:27) and is prohibited from using physical force (the Old Covenant application, Col 3:19 “love your wives, do not be hostile with them”). The New Covenant application also applies to the discipline of Christian children (old enough to understand) (Eph 6:4 “discipline namely the instruction of the Lord”; e.g., Joh 1:16; As it re: to this being the prescribed practice w/respect to slaves in general see also Eph 6:9 “stop your threatening” = Physical threat/harm – e.g., Act 9:1).

 

5. Critical Race Truth

5.1. Though all human beings are made in the image of God and share the same creational parents (Adam and Eve), there exists different races of people.

Since the time of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), there exists two major divisions: Jew and Gentile. Those who are the direct (or biological) descendants of the Patriarchs are Jews (or Hebrews), and those who are not, are Gentiles (Hb. “ha-goyim” = the nations [non-jewish]) (Gen 14:13 “Abram the Hebrew”).

 

5.2. God recognizes the diversity of people-groups that exist within the race of Gentile based on their patriarchal ancestor or ancient country of origin.

(e.g., Amalekites [Num 13:29], Amorites [Num 13:29], Ammonites [Gen 19:38], Arabians [2Ch 21:16], Assyrians [2Ki 19:35], Babylonians [Ezr 4:9], Canaanites [Num 13:29], Cushites [Dan 11:43], Edomites [Gen 36:9], Egyptians [Gen 10:6], Elamites [Ezr 4:9], Ethiopians [2Ch 12:3], Hittites [Num 13:29], Jebusites [Num 13:29], Libyans [Dan 11:43], Moabites [Gen 19:37], Nephilim [Num 13:33], Persians [Ezr 4:9], Philistines [Gen 10:14], Syrians [2Sa 8:5], etc.).

 

5.3. God also recognizes the physiological, behavioral and cultural distinctions that exist within the various people-groups that make up the Gentile race.

(e.g., Num 13:32-33; Isa 18:1-2; Jer 5:15-16; Act 17:21; Tit 1:12)

 

5.4. Because of the Patriarchs, God has exalted the Jews above all other races and promised that eventually every Gentile race would be subjugated by the Jews.

God is not partial, but He does discriminate. He has chosen to show favor to the Jewish people before any other. And that for all of human history (Deu 7:6-14; Psa 110:1-7 [Act 2:34-36] w/Isa 2:1-5 w/18:7 w/42:1-5 w/66:18-21 [Mat 28:18-20 and Rev 19:11-16 “rod of iron” = Subjugation and enslavement]; Seee also Isa 14:2, 60:10-12; and Exo 4:22; Hence Rom 2:10 – “glory and honor and peace…for the Jew first” w/v11).

 

5.5. Throughout history God has helped those races and nations less wicked, to subjugate and enslave those more wicked.

The world’s view is the polar opposite: those who subjugate and enslave are the more wicked. This principle applied also to the OC Jews (Lev 18:24-28; Eze 5:5-17 w/6:8-10).

 

5.6. God only views such subjugation and slavery as sinful/evil when the people in those situations are treated unjustly.

The first and most notorious example many Americans think of when considering the issue of racism is the slavery once practiced in this country. The American slave trade is viewed as one of the low points in our country’s history, the high point being when it was abolished. What however people fail to realize is that the fight to end slavery actually fueled the fires of racism rather than remove it. Why? Because the real problem was not being addressed. Slavery is not racism. Owning slaves or viewing people as property is not wrong when conducted according to God’s laws (Gen 17:10-13, 20:17; Exo 21:7-11, 20, 26; Lev 25:6, 44-48; Ecc 2:7; 1Co 7:21; Eph 6:5-9; All of God’s people exist as His slaves – Lev 25:38-42; Mat 10:24-25; 1Pe 2:16; 1Co 6:20).

 

 

 

 

 

5.7. From the perspective of God (and therefore also the Christian), racism – or sins related to one’s race, comprise a much smaller category than those identified by the world.

What God (and the Christian must) identify as racist is limited to the following:

 

5.7.1. believing that a particular race is less human

This is the wonderful product of Darwinian evolution. In his book, “The Descent of Man” Darwin states that some races are genetically superior and “more human” than others whereas others are “less human” and “more ape” than others. This was also a part of Hitler’s thinking and Nazi propaganda with respect to the Jews. German schools taught that the Jews were subhuman, implying their connection to rats. The Bible and science however reveal that all races come from the same original parents (Adam and Eve). As such all peoples, no matter their race, color or other distinctive features, have been created as image-bearers of God (Gen 1:26-28 w/Act 17:26).

 

5.7.2. being against inter-racial relationships/dating/marriage

The only form of “inter-racial” marriage prohibited in the Bible is Christians marrying non-Christians (2Co 6:14-18).

 

5.7.3. treating someone unjustly because of their physical/biological race (Lev 19:15-18; Mat 22:39)

Here (then) is where precision is crucial to understanding issues related to race or racial treatment. Saying that it is sin (racism) to treat someone unjustly because of their race is not the same (nor sin) as saying people can (and at times should) be treated differently because of their culture – including the culture that may be associated with their race (Tit 1:12 w/13-16, 3:1, 8-10, 14).

 

5.8. The satanic philosophies of humanism and individualism have done more to confuse the issue of racism than anything else. Humanism = human freedom is the highest and greatest good.

Individualism = every person is a sovereign citizen free from the control or ownership of others.

Both of these philosophies can be summed up in what Jesus identifies as “self”, that which must be jettisoned if we as humans are to possess real and lasting abundant life (Mat 16:24-25).

 

5.9. Because Satan runs this world, the sins of racism will always exist since it proves an effective tool for dividing and destroying humanity.

Many of the organizations and ideas purported to be against racism have historically been those most guilty of not only perverting its definition, but also promoting it for their own personal gain.

 

“There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” – Booker T. Washington

 

5.10. By becoming a Christian and a part of Christ’s nation and culture (the church), Gentiles can now receive the favored treatment of the Jews, since through Christ we are adopted into the line of the Patriarchs (Abraham).

When a person (Jew or Gentile) becomes a Christian, they leave their former race, nation and culture behind and become a part of God’s (new) chosen (and favored) race, nation and culture (1Pe 2:9; Gal 3:28; Eph 2:11-19a [race], 19b-22 [culture= church]; Also in re: to culture see Eph 3:6 and Col 2:6-8). The only way (then) to leave the sinful racism of this world behind is to leave this world and become a part of Christ’s new world/nation/culture and people.

 

5.11. As Christians, we are to favor our new race (Christians), nation and culture above our former race, biological family, nation and cultures.

(Mat 12:46-50; Gal 6:10)

Preaching Out of Season – Part 2

(2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 4:7) = Controversial topics must be addressed and their silly myths put to rest.

 

Truth: a reminder (Joh 18:38 “What is truth?”):

1) truth is not determined by personal or public tolerance (Joh 6:51-60; Eph 1:10; Hence Rom 12:1-2), 2) truth is determined by a proposition’s agreement with God’s Spirit (i.e., the Word of God) not the spirit of the world (Mat 4:4; Joh 6:61-63, 17:17; Act 17:10-12; Eph 6:17; Eph 2:1-2; Col 2:8 w/20; Hence 1Jo 4:1 and Rom 12:1-2), 3) you cannot be Jesus’ disciple (i.e., a saved person) yet rejecting truth or listening to the error of this world -i.e., no sacred cows allowed (Joh 6:66, 18:37; 1Jo 4:4-6), 4) often what we think is truth is the spirit and error of the world (Hence Rom 12:1-2).

 

4. Domestic Discipline (the right and responsibility of a husband to discipline his wife)

4.1. Like the children, the wife is the human property (slave) of her husband:

4.1.1. The Hebrew term for husband (בַּ֫עַל; ba’al) and it’s Greek equivalent (κύριος; kurios) can also be translated as “owner” or “lord/master”, referring to persons whose authority is due to ownership (e.g., [בַּ֫עַל]: Gen 20:3 “man’s wife” = Literally, “she is owned by an owner [ba’al]; Exo 21:22 [same word as v28]; Isa 54:5; Jer 3:14, 31:32; Joe 1:8; Pro 12:4, 30:23, 31:10-12, 23; [κύριος]: 1Pe 3:1 w/6).

 

“[In Israel, women] had no legal status, being the personal property first of their fathers, and then of their husbands.” – Anthony Phillips (Ancient Israel’s Criminal Law: A New Approach to the Decalogue)

 

4.1.2. In verbal form, the term (בַּ֫עַל; ba’al) refers to marriage, strengthening the connection between marriage and ownership (e.g., Deu 24:1).

 

4.1.3. Etymological studies reveal the term (“husband”) to be a derivation of the ancient term, “householder”, meaning owner of the household.

 

4.2. Wives as the property (or slaves) of their husband was the consensus position in all ancient societies.

 

“The essence of the woman’s position in Roman law was that she could never technically become a free agent [no longer be a slave]…If a woman underwent marriage she passed into the manus [property ownership and control] of her husband…This placed her legally on the same footing as her daughter.” – Suzzane Dixon (“Polybius on Roman Women and Property”; JSTOR)

 

4.3. Though modern society no longer recognizes wives as their husband’s property (women as chattel), vestiges of this biblical truth remain. For example, most women still assume their husband’s last name. A sign of ownership is you carry that person’s name (e.g., Mat 28:19 w/1Co 6:20 w/Act 20:28 w/Eph 5:23).

 

4.4. Under the Old Covenant:

4.4.1. God commanded that all slaves (personal property) be treated righteously (e.g., Lev 25:6; Deu 5:15-16, 16:9-14). Never were they to be neglected or abused or exposed to harm. So favorable was the position of the slave under God’s Law that many desired it over emancipation (Deu 15:12-17). The master-slave relationship was to reflect the relationship of Master-slave that existed between God and His people (Israel) (Lev 25:42; Deu 6:20-25 = We obey God because He is a good Master Who redeemed us [bought us out of slavery] from an evil master so that we could become His slaves; One of the most prominent terms used to describe Christians in the NT is δοῦλος, literally, “slave” -e.g., Act 2:18, 4:29; Rom 1:1, 6:18 and 22 [verbal forms]; Phi 1:1; Tit 1:1; Jam 1:1; 2Pe 1:1; Jud 1:1; Rev 1:1).

 

4.4.2. God condoned the use of physical force against a man’s slaves when it was: 1) for righteous reasons (to enforce the law/justice), 2) done in a righteous way (the punishment fit the crime and did not cause permanent harm). A husband therefore using righteous physical force against his wife (according to the aforementioned criteria) was never considered abusing her (what today is identified as “domestic violence”). In this respect, it was viewed as no different than a parent spanking their child (Exo 21:20-21 “rod”, 26-27; In re: to children: Pro 13:24, 23:13-14 “rod”). That God saw the use of physical force (e.g., hitting, spanking) as appropriate not only for children but also adults is made clear by (Deu 25:1-3). Consider also (Pro 19:29, 26:3 = The category of “fool” includes more than children). It is important to note that God uses physical force against His wife when she is disobedient (e.g., Ezekiel 23; Eze 23:25-27).

 

4.4.3. That being said, God never condones a slave (including wives and children) hitting their owner (husband or father). Outside of acting in defense, such actions are always an act of insubordination. In the case of children, striking either parent is considered a capital crime (Deu 21:15). Though no explicit punishment exists for wives’ guilty of the same crime, it remains serious. Given the comparison made between wives and the church in the New Testament, a wife striking her husband is like the church striking Christ.

 

4.5. Until the late 19th century, husbands disciplining their wives through the use of physical force was not only legal, but encouraged in the Western World (including the United Sates). The basis for such laws was the Bible:

 

“A Similar doctrine had been laid down by Dr. Marmaduke Coghill, judge of the Prerogative Court in Ireland, who in a suit by a wife for divorce on the ground that her husband had given her a sound beating, delivered a well-considered opinion that, with such a switch as the one held in his hand, moderate chastisement was within the matrimonial privileges of the husband”. – London Quarterly Review of Legal cases Vol 136, (1874)

 

“By the ancient common law [the Bible], the husband possessed the power of chastising his Wife…let the husband be permitted to exercise the right of moderate chastisement” – Calvin Bradley v. State of Mississippi (1834)

 

“A husband cannot be convicted of a battery on his wife unless he inflicts a permanent injury or uses such excessive violence or cruelty as indicates malignity or vindictiveness…A husband is responsible for the acts of his wife, and he is required to govern his household, and for that purpose the law permits him to use towards his wife such a degree of force as is necessary to control an unruly temper and make her behave herself; and unless some permanent injury be inflicted, or there be an excess of violence, or such a degree of cruelty as shows that it is inflicted to gratify his own bad passions, the law will not invade the domestic forum or go behind the curtain.” – State of North Carolina v. Jesse Black (1864)

 

4.6. Though no longer legal, domestic discipline was still popular (even encouraged) in the 1950’s – including by America’s most liberal influences, Hollywood and Capitalism.

 

4.7. Evidence from the early church also demonstrates that they too believed husbands had the authority to enforce the law/justice through righteous physical force in relation to their wives.

 

“A man may chastise his wife and beat her for her correction; for she is of his household.”

– Friar Nicolas Byard (1140 A.D.)

 

4.8.

A crucial consideration to the validity of domestic discipline:

what gives a man the right to such discipline (the use of physical force) is the same principle that justifies a police officer’s use of force: they possess the authority to enforce the law (or justice). Why (then) is it okay for the police and not the husband whose authority over his wife is greater than that of a police officer (the husband’s authority originates and reflects that of Christ in relation to the church)?

 

4.9.

The origin of Domestic Violence (or the villainizing of Domestic Discipline): the feminist movement of 1848-1861. Though spoken in the context of condemnation, a sampling from one of their speeches offers additional support to domestic discipline’s prior acceptance and understood connection to the Bible,

 

“In those early days a husband’s supremacy was often enforced in the rural districts by corporeal chastisement, and it was considered by most people as quite right and proper – as much so as the correction of refractory children in like manner…The laws made it his privilege – and the Bible, as interpreted, made it is his duty…By the common law of England, the spirit of which has been but too faithfully incorporated into our statute law, a husband has a right to whip his wife with a rod not larger than his thumb, to shut her up in a room, and administer whatever moderate chastisement he may deem necessary to insure obedience to his wishes, and for her healthful moral development!”

 

4.10. It is the same sinful ideology of the feminist movement that is behind the current push for child emancipation. Soon all attempts by parents to guide the moral path of their children – and most especially when it involves the use of physical force, will not only be illegal, but viewed as the dangerous and damaging actions of abusive parents. The use of force by police officers will eventually follow suit since at the heart of this ideology, lies the belief that any physical force used against others is always and only evil.

 

4.11. What does God’s teaching on domestic discipline mean for Christians under the New Covenant?

4.11.1. From the perspective of justice: The use of physical force by a husband against his wife for righteous reasons and in a righteous way is never abusive (since what God condones as good can never become evil) (Isa 5:20). Such actions only qualify as abuse when they do not meet the biblical criteria.

 

4.11.2. From the perspective of application: According to Ephesians 5:25-33 the husband still maintains the right and responsibility of disciplining his wife. However, what that looks like (now) is not only different, but far more effective (Eph 5:26 “cleanse”) = Discipline through discipleship in God’s Word (similar to a pastor’s responsibility to the flock – 2Ti 4:2). Support: 1) the cleansing of v26 is in relation to the “word” not Christ’s blood (i.e., it is not referring to propitiation), 2) the cleansing is (instead) penal (Pro 20:30), 3) (v27 “spot or wrinkle…holy and without blemish”) = Practical holiness versus positional holiness (e.g., 2Pe 3:11-14), 4) (Eph 6:17; Col 3:19), 5) why discipline through discipleship in God’s Word is (now) more effective (Jer 31:33; Eze 36:27; Hence 1Ti 4:8).

 

CLOSING CHALLENGE: husbands to pray the Lord’s Prayer and read the Bible with their wives (round-robin style) M-F for the next four weeks. Week: 1) Philippians, 2) Colossians, 3) Ephesians, 4) James

Preaching Out Of Season – Part 1

(2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 4:7) = Controversial topics addressed and their silly myths put to rest.

 

1. God has a limited knowledge of the future.

How can God be all knowing (omniscient) and yet not know every aspect of the future?

1.1. The Bible never communicates that God is all knowing (omniscient) in the sense that He knows all aspects of the future. Instead, the Bible teaches that God possesses perfect knowledge and wisdom in relation to the past and present. This includes the present state of every person’s heart which means God also knows every person’s next decision since the present state of our heart is the determining factor in what we do next (e.g. Mat 12:34 w/Jam 3:2). That however is very different from saying that God knows every aspect of the future. Never does the Bible communicate that God knows such things. Instead the Bible communicates that:

1.1.1. God is responding/reacting to our present actions/decisions and doesn’t know with certainty much beyond that (Jer 18:7-10; Exo 13:17; Isa 63:7-10; Jer 3:6-7, 19-20, 26:1-6, 36:1-3; Eze 12:3; Mat 8:10).

1.1.2. God’s knowledge of those things far in the future is limited to His plans (promises and prophecies) which is therefore more of a reflection of His omnipotence (not His omniscience). Isaiah 40-48, that portion of Scripture dealing w/God’s knowledge of the future (as proof that He is the true God of heaven and earth) is not ultimately about His omniscience, but rather His omnipotence – i.e., that He has the power to see His will come to pass exactly as He declared it (Isa 42:8-9, 46:8-11, 48:3; Rom 4:17) = God’s omnipotence is what guarantees His specific knowledge of future things. Such omnipotence includes the ability to influence or direct people when necessary (e.g. Gen 50:20; Pro 21:1 w/Isa 10:5-15; Isa 44:24-28 w/Ezr 1:1-12 and 2Chr 36:22-23 = God accomplishes His purposes thru influence not coercion/violation of our free will).

1.2. Believing that God knows every aspect of the future – including every future decision we are going to make, makes you guilty of three heresies:

1.2.1. Fatalism/Determinism/Calvinism

If God did know everything about the future then that would include our decisions which means none of our decisions would be free or real. Though it may seem that way, in reality, they are all predetermined (or fixed) according to what God has already decided. This is not what the Bible teaches but instead the Greek heresy known as Fatalism, the Atheist heresy known as Determinism, or the Evangelical heresy known as Calvinism.

1.2.2. God as unjust

If Fatalism/Determinism/Calvinism were true, it would also mean that we are not responsible for our actions. We are instead victims. Such thinking makes a mockery of Scripture which establishes our responsibility (and therefore free will) through God’s commands, the conditions and consequences of those commands and the pleading of God and His prophets to keep those commands. Why plead for something we have no control over fulfilling? This kind of thinking also impinges on God’s most important attribute, His justice (Gen 18:19; Deu 16:20, 32:4). For God to be just in His judgment of us at the end of time, then it requires that the majority of our wills and the future be free and unknown since, “How can God commend/condemn us if the majority of what we did/did not do was out of our control because the future was pre-determined or fixed?” It is important to note that this view (Fatalism/Determinism/Calvinism) was condemned by the early church:

“Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions…We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Otherwise, if all things happen by fate, then nothing is in our own power. For if it be predestinated that one man be good and another man evil, then the first is not deserving of praise or the other to be blamed. Unless humans have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for th eir actions—whatever they may be.” (Justin Martyr)

 

 

1.2.3. God as incompetent

Calvinists (the Christian version of Fatalism/Determinism) think that if God doesn’t know everything about the future, then He cannot be counted on to accomplish His various promises or prophecies. IOW: Without the ability to pre-determine everything, God would become incompetent. This belief however, is not only alleviated, but exposed as unintelligent once we consider that what God does know is more than enough to anticipate possible problems, establish contingency plans and ultimately steer the future in the direction He needs it go to accomplish His purposes. Possessing perfect knowledge and wisdom in relation to the past and present is all God truly needs to perfectly shepherd/manage the future – especially given the fact that the future is always the result of the past and present. IOW: perfectly know the past/present and you can perfectly control the future without knowing it or destroying the free choices of those living in it (e.g., Exo 13:17) (Pro 5:21; Gen 6:5; 2Ch 16:9; Mat 12:34b; 1Co 4:5; Isa 48:8; Isa 65:24; e.g. Deu 31:16 w/21). An illustration to drive home the point: a 300 qubit quantum computer (a computer possessing more information than there are atoms in the universe) playing chess w/a three-year old (the age a child is able to grasp the basics of chess). Is there any chance that baby could ever do anything the computer wouldn’t anticipate? How much more would this be true in relation to God? (Isa 55:8-9)

1.3. This view is known as God the Great Shepherd (GTGS) and is NOT the heresy of Open Theism: B/C God doesn’t know the future, He makes mistakes (VERSUS Perfect knowledge/wisdom of past/present = Perfect mgmt of the future).

 

2. Hell will be filled with false teachers including women pastors and their churches.

Why are women pastors false teachers and their churches on their way to Hell?

2.1. Because God not only prohibits women from being pastors but also claims they will not be saved if they take those roles (1Ti 2:11-15). Consider also (1Co 14:34 “speak” = Act as judges [see v29]. The judges in Scripture are the priests/pastors – Deu 19:17; Isa 66:21). Any woman therefore who is a pastor is false and on her way to hell.

2.2. As it relates to their church and those in it, the same is true for them as well. Why? Several reasons:

2.2.1. B/C it is a church preaching a false gospel, the key factor for determining whether someone is a true or false Christian/church (Gal 1:6-9). How you can be sure a church with a woman pastor is preaching a false gospel = By possessing a woman pastor they are boldly preaching their rejection of obedience to Christ as necessary to salvation.

2.2.2. B/C it is a church that also does not meet the criteria necessary to be a saving church – i.e., a church where Christ’s authority/blood can be extended/offered thru her priests and her sacraments (Act 20:28 w/1Pe 3:21; Joh 13:8-17 w/Mat 26:21-23 w/Mat 16:18-19 w/Joh 20:21-23). What that criteria is according to (Act 11:19-26): 1) Jesus is followed/obeyed/imitated – v26 “Christians” = Little Christs”, 2) repentance and faith are necessary to gain salvation/receive initial forgiveness – v21, 3) you need a qualified/ordained man – v23, also 1Ti 3:2 [“husband”], 4) it preaches a gospel of gain thru baptism – v24 [“added to the Lord” w/Act 2:41, 5:14; Mat 28:19] and maintain [“remain”] – vv23-24, thru obedience – v26 [“taught” obedience – Mat 28:20].

2.3. The early church affirmed the necessity of the church for salvation: “There is no salvation outside the church” (Cyprian)

 

3. The thief on the cross was no exception.

If baptism is needed for saving faith and must be coupled w/faithful obedience, then what about the thief on the cross?

3.1. The thief on the cross was literally baptized into Jesus’ death (what baptism represents – Rom 6:1-3).

3.2. Jesus referred to His death as a baptism (Luk 12:50).

3.3. The thief also demonstrated repentance (the first act of faithful obedience) before exercising faith in Jesus (Luk 23:39-43): 1) repentance – vv39-41, 2) faith in Jesus (as God’s Son and Savior) (v42 “when you come into your kingdom” = Would not have said this unless he believed Jesus to be Who He claimed to be).

3.4. The thief did not continue to sin so as to lose/forfeit what he was about to gain in his baptism (of death) (or, he maintained his obedience until his death – hence v43).