How to Work with Diligence

Ephesians 4:28

 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

Share with the needy.

Colossians 3:23,24

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

All your work is unto the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 2:9

 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.

Do not burden others.

1 Thessalonians 4:11

…that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,

Lead a quiet life.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Work to eat. (Not eat to work.)

How to Neglect Diligence

Diligence

1st Timothy 4:15

 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

A diligent person immerses himself in the Lord’s work.

Ecclesiastes 5:4

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.

Do not procrastinate the work of God.

Hebrews 10:24

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

Motivate one another to do the work of God.

John 9:4

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

Take advantage of the appropriate time for work to be done.

John 17:4

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.

Glorify God by completion of your work.

Negligence

Proverbs 13:4

A sluggard’s appetite is never filled,
    but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

A negligent person is never satisfied.

Proverbs 15:19

The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a highway.

A negligent person always finds an obstacle.

Proverbs 12:11

Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies have no sense.

A negligent person fantasizes about hypothetical situations.

Proverbs 14:23

All hard work brings a profit,
    but mere talk leads only to poverty.

A negligent person talks and talks and talks.

Proverbs 28:19

Those who work their land will have abundant food,
    but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

A negligent person lives in poverty, imagining work that they could be doing.

Are You Sinning Because You Have Alzheimer’s Disease?

This week, a fellow minister visited my church for a district ministers’ conference. He preached that:

When a person is born into a family where there are abnormalities, it is very easy to come into agreement with negative things.

He said that sickness is an abnormality and used the specific example of Alzheimer’s Disease. Furthermore, he indicated that Alzheimer’s is caused by a demonic spirit. The apparent cure for Alzheimer’s Disease is simply taking authority over it. Furthermore, you are sinning when you allow a family member to have Alzheimer’s disease because you are in agreement with a demonic spirit.

The preacher asked us to turn to Genesis chapter 3.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The passage does not say that Adam attempted to “take authority” over the serpent, Satan. Therefore, the original sin was not disobedience to God’s command, it was actually Adam’s agreement with Satan and his failure to take authority over his wife.

At this point, the minister encouraged the audience to shout and praise the Lord in acclamation of his new teaching. It was incredible.

Incredible.

Literally incredible.

 

How to Have Something Better Than Life

 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
~Galatians 2:20

By faith, we identify with the death by crucifixion of Jesus. If we have faith in Christ, then we can consider that we have been crucified with Him. Consequently, we can also identify with his resurrection, that we walk in a new life. His death on the cross takes away our sins by way of substitution, that is, He died for my sins. Furthermore, His death gives power over sin.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
~Romans 6:5-11

When we fully identify with Christ, we consider ourselves dead to carnal passions and sinful desires! If Jesus is your Lord, He should reign over your life. Sin should not control you.

 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
~Romans 6:12-14

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
~Galatians 5:24

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provide a new life for an old sinner. There is no new life for us without crucifixion and death to the old life.

 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
~Galatians 6:14,15

Dying is never much fun. Jesus did not call us to a life of comfort and pleasure. He called us to find something better.

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
~Matthew 10:38

How to Free Your Prayers of Fads and Fancies

I have read a number of excellent prayers. I have learned from reading other people’s prayers. However, reading a prayer is not praying.

The Scriptures commend us to pray. They do not tell us to read prayers, no matter how eloquent or lofty those prayers maybe.

Jesus never intended for His disciples to repeat His model prayer word for word. The words were given to guide His followers into finding their own words.

Prayer models are a popular fad that may or may not improve our prayer lives. If we are simply repeating the words that someone else wrote, we are not praying.

Let’s “just have a little talk with God.” It’s more effective and more personal.

An Atheist in Regard to All Gods Except One

A-theism.

The existence of the material universe and the existence of life on earth point toward a beginning. How did they begin?

The most plausible explanation would be the existence of an uncaused Creator.

An Alternative Explanation by a Former Christian

An ex-Christian once told me that she had figured out that primitive man needed answers for difficult questions about science, so they invented religion to fill in the things that they did not know yet. She implied that science now has all the answers, and there is no longer any need for religion or faith in gods.

What is an Atheist?

The Greek word for God in the Christian New Testament is “theos”. Therefore, a theist is one who believes in God. An atheist is one who denies a belief in any God or gods.

But which God… the gods of Mormonism, the gods of Hinduism, FSM, the gods of Baha’i, Allah, Jehovah, Christ?

Some people believe that early Christians were labeled atheists because they rejected the deity of the Roman emperors and other Roman gods.

I reject all other gods except the one true God. Therefore, I am predominantly an atheist. The same would be true for all good monotheists.

My Response

I first read this concept in an article on wikiHow. I rejected it entirely because it felt as if someone were trying to lump the one true God into the batch of man-made mythological deities, then make it appear as if Iredchair arbitrarily plucked one out of a hat, and placed my faith in that one.

I have many colors of paint. If I decide to paint a wooden chair only one color, red, it requires that I must not paint with blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, pink, gold, black or white. When the chair is finished, now a shiny red in place of the dull wood, it wouldn’t make much sense to say it was not painted because I used only one color. Yet, it is true that the chair is NOT painted… with pink. The chair is NOT painted with orange. There are many ways in which the chair is not painted.

cookingIf my wife cooks a large dinner, but I eat only one dish, you cannot say that I skipped dinner. I ate chicken and noodles. I did not eat spinach pie. I did not eat onions or cucumbers. You may say, “You did not eat,” but it would not be an accurate statement unless you specified what I did not eat. “You did not eat Brussels sprouts.”

As a monotheist, I do not believe in any and all gods. I reject all gods. I believe in one God and only one God.

If my rejection of false gods makes me an atheist, so be it.

There is only one true God. He is the Answer, the Source, the Author and Finisher.

How to Fail at Church Camps

camp

Summer is church camp season. Boys and girls on break from school are packed onto crowded vehicles and dropped off with their suitcase at a lakeside dorm. We hope something good will happen at camp.

  1. What is the stated purpose, mission, vision of your camp? Without a direction, the camp will be controlled by the strongest personalities in the group, perhaps even the most carnal person of the group. I have heard camp stories that sounded like a missing chapter from The Lord of the Flies (wrong Lord).
  2. Are unqualified leaders treated as counselors at your church camp? Scripture says that a companion of fools will be destroyed. A good parent would not let a stranger babysit their children without proper credentials and references. Camps do not exclusively employ mature leadership. Campers are vulnerable. Campers have been known to become attached to their group leader based upon age and appearance. That good-looking young leader may not possess a pure heart, a good conscience or a sincere faith. They may not have a good grasp of sound doctrine or appropriate behavior.
  3. Are there cult-like persuasion techniques at your church camp?
    • Removal from normality of life
    • Isolation from parents and family
    • Denial of outside communication and contact
    • Extreme peer group pressure
    • “Love bombing” to produce rapid emotional bonding
    • Denial of personal privacy for sleeping or bathing
    • Unquestioned acceptance of new values and suppression of dissent
    • Self-criticism encouraged and rewarded
    • Obligatory participation in activities, never left alone
    • Activities designed to result in public humiliation in front of peers
    • Loss of free time
    • Reduced time for rest resulting in sleep deprivation and fatigue
    • Change of diet, fasting
    • Unorthodox rules and traditions enforced uncompromisingly
    • Loud repetitive music intended to create an altered state of consciousness
    • Compulsion to confess intimate personal failures and weaknesses
    • Compulsion to give financially
  4. Do the daytime activities encourage the pursuit of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness or are they foolish, unholy, coarse and carnal? True spirituality shouldn’t need to be switched on for evening vespers.
  5. Do campers display a godly change when they return home? Campers should not return home with an attitude of arrogance. “I’m spiritually superior to you now.”

In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. (1 Corinthians 11:17)

 

How to Separate Bible Study and Devotional Reading

I was told that studying the Bible for sermons was not an equivalent to devotional time in the Word of God.

I am not in complete disagreement with this thought. However, I have failed to find this clear distinction within the Instruction of Scripture.

The inspiration for a sermon should begin in personal reading. Furthermore, the preacher should be personally invested into his sermon, both in preparation and delivery.

Therefore, a minister should not divide his reading. What strength is in a sermon without devotion? What use is devotional reading without the elements of persuasion and practical application?

How to Love Unconditional Calvinism

love hands

God loves everyone. No exceptions.

This fits perfectly within mcalviny theological understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible.

However, I pulled up my copy of the Reformation Study Bible which pointed to an article “God Is Love: Divine Goodness and Faithfulness” that includes a CONDITION for 1 John 4:8-10*:

As always in the New Testament, “we” or “us” as the objects and beneficiaries of redeeming love means “us who believe.” “We” or “us” does not refer to every individual belonging to the human race.

arminiusThank Brother Arminius for arguing the unlimited atonement of Jesus Christ upon which we can find Scriptural grounds to say: God loves us all — believers and unbelievers — unconditionally!


*He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.