November 2014 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.
1. “Being that one MUST be rooted and built up in Christ and come to find the choices you have made speaks of the latter as in Luke 8:13, but have not completely withered, is there still hope to renew and restore?”
Š You are correct in that one must be rooted (Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:6-7) and built up in Christ (I Peter 2:5).
Š As you seem to realize, one can also fall away (Luke 8:13; cf. Acts 8:12-24, I Corinthians 9:24-27, I Corinthians 10:12, Galatians 1:6-9, Galatians 5:4, I Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 6:4-6, and Revelation 22:18-19).
Š Provided you have not walked away from God completely (Hebrews 10:26-31, Hebrews 10:38 and II Peter 2:20-22), you can be restored (Luke 15:1-32 and Revelation 2:1-7) if you want to (Ezekiel 18:30-32).
Š Faithful Christians can help you be restored (Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20).
2. “I am 45 Years old. I am a Church Of Christ since 1991. That time you might not be in the world. Talk politely. Christians are to love. Why call you people false and not have love?”
Š It would appear that your first two sentences are some kind of argument for you being some sort of authority. It should thus be first stated that your age (Job 32:1-15) or time studying the Bible does not mean you are correct on anything (II Timothy 3:7).
Š Your statement “I am a Church of Christ since 1991” shows you are ignorant concerning the church. The church is made up of saved individuals (Acts 2:47). The church is not one person (I Corinthians 12:12).
Š How long I have been alive or in Christ doesn’t make me any more or less correct about anything. Though your assumptions are completely wrong. Since I have been a Christian since 1991 does that mean we’re both right? Dumb question, right? Would that make someone who obeyed the Gospel in 1975 more right than both of us? Of course not! Truth is the word of God (John 17:17), not our years of age.
Š It is an act of love to expose someone in sin for what they are (Proverbs 3:11-12, Proverbs 27:5, and Revelation 3:19).
Š False teachers are wolves (Matthew 7:15-20 and Acts 20:28-31) and MUST be exposed (Romans 16:17-18) as such (II Peter 2:1-22 and Jude 1:1-25).
Š If you believe that it is sinful to use pointed language and not loving to do so, you have condemned the prophets, Jesus, the Apostles etc. Consider these examples:
o Jesus called men: “hypocrites”, “dog”, “swine” (Matthew 7:1-6), “little faith” (Matthew 8:26), “faithless and perverse” (Matthew 17:17), “Satan” (Matthew 16:21-23), “blind guides” (Matthew 23:16), “fools” (Matthew 23:17 and Luke 11:40), “hypocrites” (Matthew 23:23), exposed them for fakes (Matthew 23:26-28), “generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:33), called king Herod a “fox” (Luke 13:31-32), “of your father the devil” (John 8:44), “liar” (John 8:55), “damned” (Mark 16:15-16), etc. Also remember that Jesus made a whip and drove out people in the temple (John 2:14-17).
o John the baptizer called “religious men”: “generation of vipers” (Matthew 3:7 and Luke 3:7).
o Paul called men: “child of devil” and then struck him blind (Acts 13:8-11), “ignorance” (Acts 17:22; 30), “grievous wolves” (Acts 20:29), “ignorant” (Romans 10:1-3), rebuked Peter for not walking uprightly openly before all (Galatians 2:11-17), “foolish” (Galatians 3:1-3), “seducers” (II Timothy 3:13), etc.
o The prophets of old: called the children of Israel “harlots” (Jeremiah 3:1) and “whores” (Ezekiel 16:28) for spiritual errors, “wild ass” (Hosea 8:8-9), brutish (Proverbs 12:1), “brutish and fools” (Psalms 94:8), etc.
Š The word of God teaches us that we MUST follow approved examples (I Corinthians 4:16-17, I Corinthians 11:1, and I Peter 2:21).
Š If you talk about false teachers and DO NOT call them false, liars, etc. YOU are the one sinning for not speaking as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11).
3. “i read your article on insincerity and being truthful and to help a friend in need but in this day and age,you have alot of people that preys on the kindness and goodness of good people.i was raised by my parents to follow everything you mention in that article and i did wholeheartedly and faithfully but i always, come up a day late and a dollar short because i find that people take advantage of me because i adhere to these values and i do things from my heart and dont expect anything back.i have not given up on god but i have given up on this world and the people in it. How can i regrab hope for the world?”
Š It is not just in this day and age that people take advantage of good and honest people. The prophets of old (II Chronicles 36:16), Jesus (John 7:7), the Apostles (Acts 5:40), etc. faced it too.
Š Paul said: “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (II Corinthians 12:15).
Š Righteous people (I am not inferring your spiritual status, for I do not know you) can expect to be mistreated (Acts 14:22 and II Timothy 3:11-12).
Š However, righteous people also have to have the strength to get through it (Ephesians 6:10-12, Philippians 4:13, and Hebrews 12:1-3).
Š Being faithful to God may put one at a last position in this world, but not in the world to come (Matthew 10:22 and II Corinthians 4:8-5:1).
Š There is no hope for the world to change. The Scriptures do not give us that false conclusion. In fact, the opposite is stated (Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 18:8, John 16:33, Galatians 1:3-4, I John 2:15-17, and I John 5:19).
Š However, faithful Christians must continue to be a light (Matthew 5:14-16 and Philippians 2:14-16) for any of the FEW that might be looking for guidance out of the dark world we live in. We see the greatest example of this in Christ who knew ahead of time that few would respond to His message (John 3:19-21).
Š Having said all of that, faithful Christians must also be wise and not believe everyone and everything (Proverbs 14:15, Matthew 7:15-20, and I John 4:1). We must never become enablers to those who are sinful (Jeremiah 23:14). As an example, as I Christian I should help truly needy people (Galatians 2:10). However, I cannot help someone who refuses to work (II Thessalonians 3:10). That infers that we must do some fact finding before we help unless the situation is obvious (i.e. Luke 10:25-37).
4. “I have a father in-law that visits your web site. He is a fellow christian. He believes that my choices as a husband and father are bad choices. I don’t agree with him and his daughter that is my wife does not too. Our differences are really over entertainment (my wife reads books he disapproves of and we watch movies he disapproves of). None of what we have is wrong, he is just ultra-conservative. He thinks work, bible, and nothing else. Isn’t he wrong for interfering in my marriage?”
Š It is my experience that situations like yours often have two sides and it is dangerous to advice without knowing both (Proverbs 18:13). Thus, I will only respond to the principles of your question and expect you to rightly come to faithful conclusions.
Š God designed marriage to be the formation of a new household (Genesis 2:18-24).
Š God expects a married woman to adhere to her husband, with a qualifier (Colossians 3:18), once she is married (Ephesians 5:22-33 and I Peter 3:1-7).
Š Having made that clear, there is an instance in which any brother in Christ, regardless of being a father in-law or not, notices sin in someone doing something wrong; they must get involved (Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1, and Titus 1:13).
Š When it comes to things of lawful liberties, like entertainment, there are Scriptural principles we have to apply concerning the consciences of our weaker brethren (Romans 14:1-23, I Corinthians 8:1-13, and I Corinthians 10:23-31).
Š You may need to study the Bible with your father-in-law as a brother in Christ and work to resolve your differences rather than having an authority struggle with him!
5. “Do we keep preaching against homosexuality if the government will take away the tax fileing status of the church?”
Š I am not sure what you mean in talking about a tax filing status of the church. Are you talking about the individuals that make up the local church (I Corinthians 12:27)? If you are talking about the collective body of Christ, what tax filing status is there?
Š Homosexuality always was and always will be sinful (Genesis 2:18-25, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:18-28, I Corinthians 7:1-5, Jude 1:7, and II Peter 2:6).
Š Therefore, we must teach and warn people about it (I Samuel 15:24, Ezekiel 3:18, Acts 5:27-29, Acts 20:20-27, Galatians 1:10, Ephesians 5:11, Philippians 1:17, and II Timothy 4:2).
Š Having said that, this does not mean you need to run out and draw all attention to the fact that you are doing so. You can uphold the truth while being discreet and not running head first into a confrontation with those who would seek to harm or imprison you (Acts 8:1-4, Acts 13:50-51, Acts 14:5-7, Acts 17:5-10, and Romans 12:18).
6. “Why dont you publishize how many people you taught and baptized in the church bulletin at El paso?”
Š For these reasons: Proverbs 27:2, Luke 17:7-10, John 4:1-2, John 7:18, Romans 1:16, I Corinthians 1:10-17, I Corinthians 1:25-31, I Corinthians 3:1-9, I Corinthians 4:1-6, and Galatians 6:14.
© 2014 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