Lessons From The Kings – 2 of 2

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#2 – God is patient and merciful toward sinners. In Kings we witness the story of King Ahab from the northern kingdom Israel, 1 Kings 16:29-22:39. What we read of Ahab is really disgusting. Not only did he marry a very wicked woman, Jezebel. But, between him and her they constantly were committing monstrosities against God and His elect. Not only did him and his wife worship Baal, but they built a temple to honor Baal in Samaria. And he built altars and idols to another pagan god named Asherah. And not only did they try to force Israel into idolatry, but they went to war against God’s prophets and people, killing priests, prophets and anyone who got in their way.

What is amazing about this is no matter how evil Ahab seems to be to us, God still gave him multiple opportunities to repent. The purpose of the famine in 1 Kings 17 was to produce repentance. The purpose of the contest at Carmel in 1 Kings 18 was to prove beyond doubt the identity of the true God. Then he heard the preachings of Elijah, Micaiah and Obadiah, but yet, nothing would bring him to repentance.

Today, God is just as kind and merciful to sinners upon earth. “But is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9. God has given us many more chances than we deserve today, to be what He wants us to be. And at times, some people have more chances than they deserve to come to Christ. Just as God is merciful to sinners giving some multiple chances and merciful to His children providing us more than one opportunity. We need to consider how merciful we are to others. I pity people who live by a one, two or three strike rule and you are out. Clearly they don’t understand how merciful God is and how merciful we are to be. We can see in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-25) that God expects us to be a forgiving merciful people as He is. And if we are not, well, we should remember, we will have a God that will judge us the way we judge others. “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment,” James 2:13. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy,” Matthew 5:7. So, as recipients of the mercy of God (Hebrews 4:16) let us, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful,” Luke 6:36.

Lessons From The Kings… 1 of 2

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Many scholars believe that 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles are probably the most ignored books of the Bible. However, if God included these books then clearly there are purposes and reasons from above for the inclusion of these books in the Bible.

1st Kings begins with the new rule of King Solomon, whose humility and obedience opened the doors for God to bless the nation of Israel beyond compare. However, it didn’t take long until he started misbehaving unwisely and started marrying women from foreign nations, who worshiped foreign gods and within a short time frame his divided house divided his heart, which divided his kingdom. And starting in 1 Kings 12 all the way through 2 Kings we see a single story of two kingdoms diving straight into captivity.

Here are a few short lessons we can glean from these books:

#1 – It doesn’t matter how history may remember you, but how God will remember you. Time after time we see in these books a “theological verdict” from the Holy Spirit about the kings. In 2 Kings 21:2, the Holy Spirit records this about King Manasseh, “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen.” In 1 Kings 16:30, we have God’s verdict about King Ahab, “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.” Now, I am sure there were people who loved the reigns of Kings Ahab and Manasseh. Like any reign, certain people prospered and sat in seats of authority and were glad. But, what we learn from these two men is it doesn’t matter what others have to say about us. It doesn’t matter how this earth will remember us. What matters is how does God view us.

For example, today is the 15th of December, 2016. And the United States has an outgoing president and a new one coming in. Recently I have constantly been hearing on the news about how will history record, receive and view the presidency of Barak H. Obama. And last night I was listening to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speak of our President Elect Donald Trump and Mr. Kennedy was already talking about the legacy the President Elect will leave behind. 1 & 2 Kings teaches us as far as eternity is concerned, it doesn’t matter how our history books eventually will define the presidencies of these two men. All that matters is what will God say about them when they stand before His throne.
Now, what about you? While you are sojourning upon this great planet, where do your concerns lie? With your eventual obituary? Perhaps the eulogy? How your grandchildren will remember you? Or, maybe what they carve on your gravestone? I would suggest based off 1 & 2 Kings, though it is important that our friends and family remember us for good, there is someone greater than them. And the real question is, if you died today, what would He say about you?

Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals

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“If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, Let Us Eat Drink, For Tomorrow We Die. Do not be deceived, ‘Bad company corrupts good morals. Become sober-minded as you ought and stop sinning,’” 1 Corinthians 15:33-34.

When the apostle Paul started writing 1 Corinthians, he was writing a letter to a congregation in chaos. There were personal problems, divisions and doctrinal issues that had to be solved. And Paul, chosen to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, wrote this letter trying to correct some of the problems the Corinthians were facing. One of those problems was doctrinal, and the question at hand is the resurrection real (15:12)? So, Paul wrote this chapter trying to persuade the Corinthians to keep the faith, because they would one day stand before God to give an account for all they have done in their bodies. In arguing for the resurrection, Paul mentions in verse 32 that if there is no resurrection, he should not have been fighting with wild beasts at Ephesus, but instead he should have been living life to please self. However, he knows the resurrection to be true, so the conclusion is it was worth fighting those beasts and worth living life in a way pleasing to God.

Now Paul mentioned in verse 33 that “Bad company corrupts good morals.” For Paul to be the influential man he was supposed to be, he knew he should surround himself with a certain type of influence. So, his friends were godly men, like Silas, Timothy, Dr. Luke, and Barnabas. And men like Phygellus, Hermogenes, and Demas (2 Tim. 1:15; 4:10), who had fallen from the faith, they left Paul, because they knew Paul would no longer associate with them while they lived in sin.

All of us have potential to do great things for the kingdom of God. However, we need to be aware that the friends we make and keep can help us fulfill our potential to glorify God, or they can be detriments to our talents and faith. I quickly think of Samson, who was prohibited as an Israelite to have anything to do with people of other beliefs. However, he regularly found companionship in the arms of unbelievers. And because of that he never fulfilled his potential for God. He will always stand as a “what if” lesson. What if Samson only surrounded himself by faithful Israelites? But, the bigger questions for us are these: are we fulfilling our potential to do great things for God today? Or are we allowing corrupting influences and unbelieving friends to hinder our potential as well?

Christmas Fallacies

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Gift giving, family gatherings, school breaks, days off from work and the college bowl season starts. Americans have fallen in love with the season. But, with the good always comes the bad. During this season suicides and crime increase. Then don’t forget about the commercialization, greed, and envy that rules this season as well. Fights in stores over towels and toys. Stabbings and shootings in store parking lots have become all too common. One could write a series of books of all that is wrong with this season. Then don’t forget about all the false doctrine or untruths in which the season is even built on. Here is a list of four falsehoods about this season.

First, Jesus was not born on the 25th of December: The one whom we know as Jesus was not born on the 25th of December at year 1 AD. This date was adopted as the official birth date of Jesus by some in 336 A.D., and it was a 6th-century monk named Dionysius Exiguus who came up with the idea of splitting history into B.C. and A.D. at what he thought was the year of the birth of Christ. About the date, there is simply no historical evidence that suggests Jesus was born then. Matter of fact when the church in Rome in 354 held their first “Christmas” feast, it was not the birth of Jesus they celebrated but the baptism of Jesus. Anyhow, there is no evidence when Jesus was born, and the little evidence we do have typically pretty much rules out the month of December altogether. About the year, the Bible teaches us that Herod the Great was king when Jesus was born, and historical records prove that Herod died in 4 B.C. The Bible also teaches that a census was taken when Jesus was born, Luke 2:2. Historical documents prove that the census took place during the governorship of Quirinius in 6/7 B.C.

Secondly, There were not three wise men: Matthew is the only gospel account that records the visit of the Magi. And in Matthew’s account in chapter 2, no number of wise men is mentioned at all. The assumption is this tradition started based on the number of gifts given to our Lord’s family.

Thirdly, The spelling “Xmas” for Christmas is not taking Christ’s name out of Christmas: Christmas has been spelled Xmas by religious scholars for way over 1,000 years. X is indicating the Greek letter “Chi” which is the first letter in the Greek name of Christ, Χριστού. Scholars have spelled Christmas and Christians as Xmas and Xians for centuries as a form of shorthand. Nothing malicious about the use at all. Maybe in recent history, some, in their minds, have perverted the usage of “Xmas” to “X” out Christ from Christmas. But, just because someone misrepresents something good doesn’t mean we should drop what is good.

Fourth, Christmas is not a religious holy day: The New Testament does not command, nor does it give an example of the early church celebrating the birth of Jesus. It was not until almost 300-400 years later that geographical pockets of the church recognized and celebrated His birth in some form. In the New Testament, we read it is His death, burial, and resurrection we are to commemorate. And the Bible teaches us that is what the early church did, and they did upon the first day of the week, Acts. 20:7; 1 Cor. 11.

Appointing Elders

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I have been blessed over the years to serve underneath some great elderships. Men who loved the Lord and His church to the point where they made great sacrifices to see that His name was glorified. However, elderships are like preachers, they come and go, and they change quite often. Due to health, relocation, a loss of desire and death congregations are always losing an elder here and there and are looking for the next elder. And sometimes in our desire to find new elders we have the preacher deliver lessons on leadership, or we begin to offer classes on leadership. Sometimes elders will stand before the men of a congregation and beg for the men to consider stepping up. And there is clearly nothing wrong with encouraging men to develop the qualifications stated in 1 Timothy 1 and Titus 1 to their lives. However, when searching for new elders we have to be very careful not to cross certain lines, for example:

1) Some congregations in their quest for elders have watered down the qualifications the Holy Spirit has given to Timothy and Titus; out of fear that no one is qualified and they are about to lose their eldership. So, congregations have deemed Paul’s writings as cultural and have determined that the only thing required of an elder is a man with a good heart who has developed the Fruit of the Spirit in his life. Friends, the church, belongs to Christ, Acts 20:28. He is the head of the church, Colossians 1:18. And He is the one who has the authority to determine the qualifications of elders. Nowhere in scripture does God give each congregation the right to determine what qualifies a man or not for this office. Please, read Jotham’s Parable in Judges 9:7-21, about the Bramble who clearly was not qualified to be king.

2) Often in our desire to find men to become elders we encourage to the point of becoming pushy. Meaning, we have been guilty of pushing men into office who have no desire or want. Friends, this again is Christ’s church. We not only want men in her offices that fulfill the qualifications given to us by God, but also, men who desire and want the position. To push or guilt someone into office who doesn’t have the proper desire, is to put a man in who doesn’t have the want or will. And, it is to install someone God doesn’t want to be installed.

So, as we search for new leaders in our congregation, let’s never forget about the qualifications God has placed forth for these offices. But, also, let’s understand there is a clear line we don’t want to cross where we have pushed someone to put their name forth who may not yet be qualified or who may not desire said role at that time.

Those Poor Millennials…

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I found this interesting quote, and I will tell you who spoke these words in a moment. “Our youth love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, and disrespect for other people. Children nowadays are tyrants. They no longer rise when their elders enter a room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”

In Malachi 2:15, God teaches He desires for His children to raise their children in such a way that they may produce “Godly offspring.” Paul noted in Ephesians 6:4 that “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Which means it is our job as parents to nurture our children in such a way where they grow in the “wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man,” Luke 2:52.

When I consider this initial quote, I can picture myself reading this before a room full of adults today and watching many heads nod up and down in agreement. Perhaps thinking that whoever wrote the quote is a genius, and the author perfectly defines our children today. Just so you know, these words came from Socrates, over 400 years before Jesus was born.

Today we spend a lot of time griping and looking down upon the Millennials. And, ever so often, when we consider them we think of a spoiled, narcissistic generation that is doomed to failure. When in reality has not every generation said the same or something similar about the next generation.

There is not much that we as parents can do for the entire millennial generation. But, we can do our part by realizing young people have not changed much over the years and neither have the prior generation’s attitudes about them. Let’s remember Jesus and what He thought about the next generation. And let’s do our part, and stop being so hard on them, and use our influences to “hinder them not to come to me,” as Jesus said in Matthew 19:14. The reality is we have more influence over our children than we think. The wise words of Psalms 127:4, teaches us that we parents can direct the behavior and lives of our children for they are “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior.” So, let’s do what we can to point “the arrows” we have to God, and not be a hindrance to “other arrows” whom we can influence for good. Then maybe our children can break the cycle of looking down on the next generation, which seems to have been status quo since Socrates.

The Joyful Kingdom

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Do you find joy in the church? If not, why not? What is it that keeps you from being a happy Christian? There are many people who see Christ’s church as a burden, an entity that robs them of pleasure. But, that is not what God has intended and if you find church to be a burden, then you must ask, what is robbing you of your pleasure?

The church is intended to be a joyful place. When Jesus was born, the angels rejoicing said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Jesus humbled himself and took the form of a man to bring the best possible life man can have on planet earth. Notice what Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundately.” Jesus came as the Prince of Peace to share joy with the entire world, and especially with those in His church.

In Matthew 13:44 we read the Parable of the Hidden Treasure. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field: the which when a man hath found he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” I want us to note two truths about the Lord’s church:

First, God intends for us to find joy in the church. Meaning when one studies the Bible and learns about the descriptions, work, worship and goals of the church. Then that one can only be impressed and filled with joy because of the opportunity to be part of this eternal kingdom. The apostle of love wrote in 1 John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” The Psalmist said, “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Secondly, we learn from Matthew 13:44 that the kingdom is a prized treasure. The way we view Christ and His church will make all the difference in our lives. And here once the man saw the treasure he went and sold all that he had to buy the field. And, today, the person who clearly sees this treasure will give up all they have to become a child of God, and to live as a sacrifice to Him, Romans 12:1-2, because of the joys found in the church.

I have something for you to do this week. When you find time to study and contemplate upon the church, try making a list of all the things in the church that brings joy to your life!

Liberalism In the Church – Conclusion

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Liberalism in the Church – Conclusion

This article makes it a baker’s dozen about some current trends happening in the church. I have written these articles to warn and prepare us for a future spiritual war that all of us will have to face, and some are facing right now. The reality is postmodernism has brought forth a new mindset that teaches spiritual truth is not what was spoken, written or evidenced, but truth is what one feels. Mix that with a new mushy and emotional mindset of the Emerging Church movement; we now have many congregations that believe truth is subjective/cultural based. And they believe the only absolute/objective truth is there is no absolute/objective truth.

The Emerging Church doctrines which have infiltrated most of our Christian College Bible departments, and more than a few of our congregations today, simply have an interdenominational mindset, that denies the Old Paths, the absolute authority of the Word, and the exclusivity of the church. Instead, they are seeking and using modern cultural, psychological, and philosophical concepts to develop a new mindset where “Church” is all about finding emotional fulfillment, joy, and release. So, the results are: 1) The Bible is not filled with objective truth. 2) Worship is primarily about “me” feeling good and receiving some type of spiritual enlightenment. Glorifying God in worship is no longer the primary focus.

All of us who believe in Christ are going to have to face this new Emerging Church concept. If not us, our children will. Here are a few things to consider about where you worship, where your children may worship and where you may worship one day.

Does the congregation where you worship:

1) Accept and contend for the Biblical doctrines on marriage, divorce and remarriage? Pretty much every congregation that is apostatizing today no longer is concerned with what God has presented about M/D/R. Instead, they just ignore what Jesus taught in Matthew 19. The point is, if they can’t respect the teachings about the first institution God created in the Garden, why do we expect them to respect the teachings of the Lord’s Church?

2) Allows culture to determine how they are going to define gender and service roles in the church?

3) Preach the entire oracles of God? Most apostatizing congregations today will not allow what they call, negative sermons to be presented. Meaning sermons about sin, repentance, and about calling the members to do better, and be more like Christ are condemned. Instead, their sermons are primarily pep talks delivered to make you feel good about yourself, with never any challenges to repent and grow in Christ.

4) Seek for modern human inventions to add to worship to make it more appealing to humanity? Inventions like mechanical instruments, praise teams, skits, plays and increased gender roles are often found in congregations who no longer find their authority in God’s word.

5) Celebrate man-made religious holidays like Christmas and Easter?

6) Have what they call a traditional and a contemporary worship service? If where you worship the elders allow a worship service contrary to God’s word, then that eldership is in error and so would anyone who worships with them, 2 John 1:9-11.

There is much more that could be asked and said. But the reality is, where you worship will help determine your eternal destiny. If you worship at a congregation that does not obey God, respect His word and His worship in spirit and truth. It is time for you to move on for God will judge our congregations and those who worship therein, Revelation 11:1.


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One of the new modern trends that are infiltrating many congregations within the Restoration Movement is the trend of replacing deacons with ministry leaders. This new trend started out in the 1980’s with a call to be more gender inclusive in leading worship as a direct result of the feminist movement that hit America in the 1960’s. And, what has quickly grown out of the “Gender Inclusive” movement is the “Giftedness Principle” campaign that insinuates that if you have a gift, then you should use that gift. And the conclusion of that principle is, it doesn’t matter what the Bible has to say on the subject.
As far as church organization is concerned, we can see that God organized the newly established church, in its earliest development, under apostles and prophets (Acts 11:27; 13:1; Ephesians 4:11). These were individuals empowered by the Holy Spirit to present the Words of Truth during the infancy of the church.

After the establishment of the church, some claim as little as 18 months, that the apostles were spending too much of their time helping widows instead of preaching the gospel, Acts 6:1-3. God had purposed for them to take the gospel to the entire world, Matthew 28:18-20, and serving others was keeping them from accomplishing this great work. So, the apostles who were directed by the Holy Spirit came up with a solution and they told the early disciples to find “seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business,” Acts 6:3. This is how under the guiding hand of God they organized the early church.

Next, as the church continued to grow and leave its state of infancy, God sent forth Paul, Timothy, and others to establish a new permanent leadership in congregations of the church. And they went forth setting men in the church as elders and deacons (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). These elders and deacons were both men who fit certain qualifications as listed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. And in Philippians 1:1, we can see Paul was writing an epistle to one of these organized congregations and said, “To all of the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” With the apostles and the miraculous age dying out, God’s desire was for local congregations to organize with bishops (elders), deacons and saints.

There are several qualifications for deacons in Scripture, but the one I want to point out in this article is 1 Timothy 3:12, “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife.” This Holy Spirit, God-breathed document, details that God wanted deacons in congregations to be married, married to one person and to be a man. Now, I know that sounds sexist to some in the church, but it doesn’t change what God said. I know many in our society man not understand why this says what it says, but their lack of understanding still changes nothing. There are those who claim that Paul was a male chauvinist and let’s say for the sake of argument he was; it still doesn’t change the Spirit’s desire in 1 Tim. 3:12. To be frank, it doesn’t matter what argument man may devise, 1 Tim. 3:12 doesn’t change.

Because of cultural shifts in America, many congregations have decided to allow culture to teach us how to organize the church and they have completely done away with the office of deacon for ministry leaders. Elders pretending to know more than God, have set themselves upon some supposed throne of authority and have declared because of this, this or this, we know better and will organize our congregations the way culture desires. But, this isn’t our church. Did the elders making said changes die for the church? Are they the ones that purchased the church? Are they head and chief shepherd of the church today (Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 5:4)? There is not one verse in the Bible that gives elderships the right to change the organization of Christ’s Bride. May the Lord’s church learn, before it is too late, “Not to think above that which is written,” 1 Corinthians 4:6.


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Another modern addition to the worship of the church is handclapping. Now there are different types of handclapping involved in modern worship. There are those who applaud and those who handclap with the song service. The applause is generally a show of approval, a sign of recognition, a result of excitement or a manifestation of diplomatic courtesy.

With the rise of this new fad, there is a question to ask. “Is there Biblical authority for applause or handclapping in God’s worship?” In short, Brother Hugo McCord wrote, “Nothing in New Testament teaching on worship calls for hand clapping, body movements, or shouted words.” Simply put, there is no Biblical authority for it, and if that is the case then why do people handclap and applaud today in worship? Well, without Biblical authority, if they do these things, it is because they want to. But, shouldn’t our wants and desires give way to obeying the Lord, John 14:15; 15:14?

Historically speaking, according to David Miller, he says the introduction of applause in Christian worship was through an elder of the church in Antioch named Paul of Samosata in 260 AD. What he introduced was the transfer of customs from the theater to the church and he persuaded the members “To applaud his preaching by waving linen cloths.” Not being there, this sounds like the “Terrible Towels” of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Anyhow, the church censured him for this practice, and they quickly abolished it. And, now, once again, culture has infiltrated the church instead of the church influencing the world.
Again, this is only a first-page article and there is only so much one can say. But here are four things those who applaud and handclap in worship should consider.

#1 – Why do you applaud and handclap in worship? Did the authority come from God or man; God or culture; God or one’s own desires? Now, I understand it is common for humanity when challenged to allow pride to get in the way of truth. But, do away with your pride and ask, why do I applaud or handclap in worship?
#2 – 1 Corinthians 4:6 teaches us “not to think beyond that which is written.” The early church did not practice such. And the “Terrible Towel” movement came 230 years too late to have come from God.
#3 – Matthew 15:1-3 teaches us that we should not mix our culture with God’s word.
#4 – Colossians 3:17 – teaches that “whatever we do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord.” Now, some people will quickly turn to the Old Testament and proclaim that there was handclapping then so we can use it today. Friends, the O.T. is not our authority today. To try to justify practices in New Testament worship through the Old Testament is to make the life of Christ vain, Galatians 2:21.

I could have said much more. But, this is enough to evidence why anyone trying to restore New Testament Christianity should not add handclapping and applause to God’s worship, there is simply no authority for said practices.

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