Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
January 2017 Questions & Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points. Please be mindful that there are often circumstances and details to every question that could potentially change the answer. Rightly divide the truth (II Timothy 2:15).
1. “I do not believe that luke 14:33 is a condition to become a christian but a thought a christian is to have after baptism. Isn’t Jesus talking to christians in luke 14? We are probably different in how we look at some things. I do believe that in studying and searching for truth, context, original language and grammar, and other things like hyperbole do matter -- hermeneutics at it's finest -- and some interpretations are bound to be different. I don't believe that anyone has all the answers -- it's more about continually trying to find them.”
Consider the context. The context is about “counting the cost” BEFORE coming to Christ: “(25) And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (31) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (32) Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:25-33).
In the context, as quoted above, Jesus was addressing a multitude of those seeking to be His disciples. He was teaching about BECOMING one of His disciples, not teaching about already being one of His disciples. His teaching there applied to ANY MAN or WHOSOEVER. You can see other contexts wherein those seeking to be followers of Christ [disciples] had to be willing and even had to act upon, leaving all behind to follow Him. You will also note that such was required of them BEFORE becoming followers of Christ (Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 5:1-11, Luke 5:27-32, Luke 9:57-62, and Philippians 3:3-8).
Consider this: “(28) Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. (29) And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, (30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (Luke 18:28-30).
A disciple of Christ is otherwise known as a Christian (Acts 11:26). There is no record of a person being called a Christian prior to the reference I just cited.
It should also be noted that being a disciple of Christ requires a continuation of doing His will (John 8:31-32).
You have stated: “we are probably different in how we look at some things”. We surely are different. You rest upon what you believe to be the truth rather than what is the truth. I do not rest upon my personal beliefs, but rather the proven (I Thessalonians 5:21) doctrine of Christ (II John 1:9). The truth stands whether you or I believe it or not (Romans 3:1-4 and II Timothy 2:13; cf. Psalms 119:89, Psalms 119:152, Psalms 119:160, Matthew 24:35, and I Peter 1:23-25).
It is correct to study the Scriptures in context, reasonably, and to properly define and understand the terms (II Timothy 2:14-18).
Some people will certainly study or hear the truth and come to false conclusions (Acts 17:1-4).
However, the statement “some interpretations are bound to be different” as you stated can be taken, and may have meant to be taken as, an inference that we can acceptably come to different conclusions on the truth. That is FALSE (Luke 6:46, Luke 11:28, Acts 2:46, I Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1-6, and Philippians 3:16).
Again, you come up with the “I do not believe...” garbage. The fact is, everyone has ALL of the answers when they have the word of God (II Timothy 3:15-17 and II Peter 1:3-4).
2. “A cousin of mine called to let me know that his sister had an unexpected heart attack and died. He, like I have heard so many others say, even though the individual has no real religious conviction "Well, she is with the Lord now". What do you say to one who says that?”
I do not have a common response to statements under the circumstances such as what you have referred to. I am confused a bit too. If you are saying the person making the statement has “no religious conviction”, you would say nothing. What is the point? If the person who died “had no real religious conviction”, are you thinking that any religious conviction would save that person? Again, I am unclear on this statement.
The fact is, we do not and many times MUST not have anything to say regarding ignorant statements for many reasons. Consider these Scriptural reasons for not saying anything at all… Proverbs 9:7-8, Matthew 7:1-6, Matthew 13:53-58, Mark 4:33, John 16:12, I Corinthians 3:1-3, II Timothy 2:23, Titus 3:9-11, Hebrews 5:5-14, etc.
Now, if such a person makes an ignorant statement while having a good and honest heart and wants to learn (Luke 8:1-15), I will have a lot to say. That too would depend on what that person knows and does not know about the truth. At some point, maybe far down the road after teaching about Christ and obedience to His will, I will get to explaining that the dead do not go to Heaven now, but after the Judgment (Luke 16:19-31, I Corinthians 15:24-57, and I Thessalonians 4:13-18). However, by that point in studying, the person who has a good and honest heart would have already concluded the foolishness of their statement because they would have learned that only the innocent and faithful will be in heaven (Matthew 7:13-23, Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, I Peter 4:17-19, etc.).
If a person is not willing to learn and obey the truth, there is NO POINT in teaching them about what happens when someone dies (cf. Matthew 21:23-27).
3. “If a married wife talk with guys from Facebook that she doesn't know outside,And she still allow them to mutual-talk about LOVE...instead of telling them she is a married woman,and she made a secret thing about that to her husband and never tell about that. Even when her husband ask her to show him messages,she quickly delete all the "mutual-talk" messages in front of her husband and clearly become dishonest.She did like that again and again. Can I say this example as Adultery according to (Matthew 19:9)? Can a husband divorce such wife?”
Dishonesty / lying is certainly sinful (Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 19:9, Romans 12:17, Ephesians 4:25, Colossians 3:9, and Revelation 21:8).
Question… How is it known what she is saying if she kept it secret and deleted the messages? Are there assumptions being made (Proverbs 18:13 and John 7:24)?
Regarding Matthew 19:9, the cause of putting away there is “fornication”. The Greek term translated fornication “πορνεία” means: “illicit sexual intercourse” (Thayer); “harlotry (including adultery and incest)” (Strong’s #4202).
While this woman has been vile, if the charges are true, she has not had unlawful sexual relations in the details you have provided. Thus, Scriptures such as Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:9 do not apply to her dishonesty and foolish acts. He is to remain in his marriage (I Corinthians 7:10-11).
Since you have not declared whether one or both of the people in this scenario or situation are Christians, I am not sure what more to say. If they were BOTH Christians, the man should be trying to convert his wife back to the Lord (James 5:19-20 and Jude 1:22-23) and remove the sources and access to those sources of her temptation to lead about this dishonest life she has sought (cf. Mark 14:38). He must also use the brethren, if she too were a Christian, to carry about disciplinary action if she does not repent (Matthew 18:15-17).
If she or both of them are non-Christians, this kind of garbage is what should be expected (I John 3:8-10; cf. John 8:44).
4. “What is a woman in the church to do if her husband is abusive and he is a member too?”
If by “in the church” and “member too” you are meaning that these two are both Christians, she is to deal with this like a Christian who has been sinned against by another Christian (Matthew 18:15-17 and Luke 17:3-4).
If the brethren reach a point wherein they must withdraw from him (II Thessalonians 3:6 and II Thessalonians 3:14-15), the only recourse left for her would be to go to the civil authorities as her husband is violating civil law (Romans 13:1-7).
5. “One of our members here is studying with a slow learner. A short time ago, the church here gave him and his wife each a bible. But, he is having trouble reading and understanding it. Especially since he and his wife have never studied the bible prior to this. Do you have any suggestions as to what (if anything) we might offer him a bible that might be easier for him to read?”
This is a very hard question to answer in not knowing exactly what you mean by “slow learner”. If he is capable of learning, but slow in getting there, the time is the only solution. This is one reason why evangelists have to be longsuffering (II Timothy 4:2).
Remember, people for various reasons, have been “slow learners” (Luke 24:13-49), but ultimately arrived at the truth (Ephesians 2:20).
If this person is capable of learning, you cannot look for a version of the Bible that may be “easier to read”, but will not contain the truth needed for this person to be saved (John 8:32). Take the time to explain things to him (Nehemiah 8:8 and Acts 8:26-39).
Something to consider about looking at “easier to read versions”: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/WhytheKJVOvertheNIVNASBorESV_handout.pdf
Class and Sermon Outline Index
© 2017 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager