Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good to go...

Dusty idea is we have to keep gaining knowledge, seek to save that which is lost  and become more spiritual.

There is a thought process that says just as soon as we have repented, confessed Him before men and contacted the blood of Christ through baptism, we're "good to go". At that exact moment we may be, but being spiritual isn't something we can gain from a static position.

1 Corinthians 3:1 - Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.(ESV)

You mean when you become a Christian you're still worldly, carnal? According to the apostle Paul we've just started the spiritual learning experience. We have the rest of our lives, however short or long that is, to strive to become Christ-like. Since we can't ever be perfect then the striving is the key it seems. If you were baptized and the blood of  Jesus cleansed you and you fell into the "satisfied" category since that point in time, is that striving? If you haven't advanced in working for the Lord since that time, it's time to start to becoming a more mature Christian.

Back to our verse, Paul is addressing people that should have already been on the meat of the word instead of the milk. They were still mere infants and had probably been in the Lord's church for years. Does that describe you?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 - The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (ESV)

Luke 19:10 - For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.(ESV)

If we're to obey God and emulate Christ, we're gonna have to seek to save the lost. About to make my politically minded friends and brethren upset probably. Seeking to save the lost governor's seat in your state doesn't come under this heading. Politics generally causes strife even among brothers and sisters in Christ. Less time on the political trail and more time finding people lost without hope in a dying world, that will accept the word. You know God didn't ask us to be soil analysts, just sow the seed. In the parable of the sower, he sowed everywhere. The sower didn't check the ground first. He just sowed the seed, it was up to the ground to allow the seed to grow. Threw that in for free. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Real Peace

Dusty Idea is the real peace that can be obtained in this world is not about this world. It's not a peace of wars and things. It's the peace that Jesus brought and is available to every man now.

Matthew 10:34 - Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (ESV)

Christ continues on in chapter 10 of Matthew, following Christ isn't about having peace in this world. He says if we follow him, like he requires to be followed, we'll have enemies in our own households. Side note here, if you're loved by "everyone" including children of the devil(Acts 13:10), you're probably not doing something right. Christ says you will be hated for his names sake(John 15:19). If you're not being hated on by someone, you better check yourself out. You've probably compromised with the devil on something, and possibly only you know what it is.

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (ESV)

The peace that Christ brought isn't a peace like between governments. Christ brought the ability for us to have peace with God. To have our sins forgiven so we can be reconciled back to God. The peace that Christ left us with is peace with God almighty.

John 16:33 - I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (ESV)

Colossians 3:15 - And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (ESV)

Ephesians 2:13-17 -13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. (ESV)

We see in verse 14 above he is our peace, he is the Prince of Peace. He took the old law out of the way so Jew and Gentile could become one people in Christ and could be reconciled with God. Why did he take the old law out of the way? Simple, because it was in the way of everyone having salvation. 

What was the price of peace? It took the pure lamb of God to be sacrificed on the cross. Hebrews 9:22 says without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. No one can be reconciled or get into a friendly relationship with God without the blood of Jesus. Some people say that the Church isn't important. When you say that you're saying that the blood of Jesus isn't important, because that's what it took to purchase the Church.

Then we have the people of peace, Matthew 5:9, Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. All the children of God are peacemakers. If you are a member of Christ's church and are actively seeking to save that which is lost, you are a peacemaker when you strive to help other people have peace with God.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The benefits of hell

Dusty idea is that there aren't any benefits to going to hell. Depends on who you are. See, there is a type of person that will gain some benefits from going to hell.
Here is Psalms 50 starting with verse 16 we read about this type of person.

 16But to the wicked God says:
   "What right have you to recite my statutes
   or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.

 19"You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother;
   you slander your own mother’s son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent;
   you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

Wow, right off the bat if you are able to Climb to hell you won't have the pesky Bible to read anymore. No one will be asking you to "study to show yourself approved". You won't have to worry about being asked to a Bible Class. You won't have to have any more awkward conversations with Christians about why you wouldn't be caught dead with that bunch of hypocrites or that bunch of people that won't let me be myself. You won't ever have to have any discipline or structure ever again. You've shed yourself of God and all his rules and regulations. You're FREE right?.....RIGHT!?? All that swearing and cursing you've been doing, you don't have to watch who's around at all now, not that some of you ever did. You don't have to worry about keeping lies in the little white category now either, just go ahead and make them big dark ones, no need to hold back now.

People that have been warming a church pew for years that make it to hell won't have to listen to that awful song leader anymore. You won't have to sing that hymn that you just hate. You won't have to feel guilty or embarrassed for not volunteering for something when it comes up. Those church members that you couldn't stand to sit around, you won't have to do that anymore either. If you don't enjoy going to church you understand probably most of what I have said here. Just keep in mind that the benefits of hell are everlasting. They're never going to end. Oh there are a few things on the down side, like no water, no light, no air conditioning.

Think about these benefits, after you die they're unchangeable. Is this really the retirement package you want after you leave this earth?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bible messages that can't be changed #5

Another message from God that can't be changed, written to the Church in Rome. 

Romans 7:4
4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God1. (ESV)

The old law, the law of Moses was the schoolmaster2 to bring the Jews to Christ. There are a lot of people that still want to keep some things from the law of Moses. Some people want to keep the instruments of music3. Some people are still tithing4. Tithing was money or goods paid to the Levitical priesthood.  Some people want us to still observe the Sabbath Day. The ten commandments are still held up as something we are commanded from.

We need to decide if we're going to follow the law of Moses or the law of Christ5. The message that Christ has taken away the "ministration of death"6 or the "ministration of condemnation" is a message that can't be changed.

1. Other Ref. Colossians 2:10-14, Ephesians 2:15, Hebrews 10:1-10
2. Galatians 3:24

3. 2 Chronicles 29:25-29
4. Numbers 18:26
5. Galatians 6:2
6. 2 Corinthians 3:7-9

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Which Church did Paul try to destroy?

Have a few questions while I'm working on the next dusty idea.

Galatians 1:13 - For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.

Paul is writing to the Church in Galatia. He is bringing his past life in Judaism to their remembrance and how he persecuted the church violently and tried to destroy "it". This blog revolves around "it". "It" in this passage is called the church of God. In other passages we find church of the First Born, church of the Living God, and also the Churches of Christ. In our day and age there is confusion with denominations and what the Bible regards as "it". We're going to investigate that for a few minutes.

First off lets just start from scratch here and see who's Church it is. I can glean two things from Matthew 16:18 - And I say unto you, thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. No doubt here, its Christ's church, it belongs to him. If it belongs to him, why would a church be named after a man or a method? I can also see that it will last forever because the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. So it's Christ's and its gonna last forever. So we can see from this that Paul was persecuting the church that Christ built.

Next question before we can figure out what "it" is. On the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the first gospel sermon, there were about 3000 souls added to the church that day. Were they all put in the same church or divided out into 6, 7, 8, 20 or 1500 different churches like all the denominations we have out here today? Well lets see, we're gonna make some of you guys baptists, some methodists, some lutherans, some of you can be catholics. Does the Bible say anything like that? When the apostles received the baptism of the Holy Ghost earlier in the day were they all in the same church? They were the first converts to Christianity. The Bible doesn't say they all went out from that place and picked a street corner and started their churches. Acts 2:44 says they all stayed in the same place and had all things common. They were in the same church and had the same doctrine and they all spoke the same thing.

Now back to the original thought, what church did Paul try to destroy?

Take the pattern of your church (How, when, who you worship) lay it over the original pattern found in the New Testament and see if it fits. This would take some time and trouble, but isn't your eternal destiny and the eternal destiny of your family and children worth some of your time? If it doesn't fit, it isn't the church that Paul persecuted, it isn't "it". The "mourners bench" and "praying through" is that in the Gospel? See if you can find where an alien sinner was told to pray to get saved. You'll be reading till Jesus comes and you'll never find it. What about "tarrying for the Holy Ghost"? Find me anybody in the Bible that was sprinkled as a form of baptism, it's not in there. Do you have a woman preaching at your congregation, find that for me in the Bible. Are people in your congregation waiting for the "rapture"? Are you waiting for Jesus to return and set up a kingdom on this earth? If your church has a doctrine that includes any of this stuff it's not "it".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What must I do to be lost?

Dusty idea is the idea that I might be lost. What is lost? It means that you have died in your sins, and you will go to Gehenna or hell as described by Jesus in Matthew the 25th chapter. You will be in outer darkness for all eternity.

Most people you see will tell you that when they die they want to go to heaven. Most people aren't making any preparations to go there though. It's like the person that wanted to be a doctor when they grew up, but didn't want to study anything in school. They want, and they hope, but without any preparation how many patients do you think they'll get as a doctor? I know some people have fake degrees and get by with things for a while or maybe never get caught playing doctor. I promise you your fake Christian degree isn't going to fool God. You're not going to duck and dodge or slip and slide into heaven on some kind of accidental thing that God somehow forgot about you. If you go to heaven it will be because you have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ1. It will be because you believe it2. Then you repented3 of sinful practices. You confessed4 Christ as the Son of God. Then you contacted the blood of Jesus through baptism5 (not infant baptism but an accountable age), which blood washed6 your sins away. Then you continued following Jesus, seeking to save that which is lost7. Converting people like you once were. Then The Lord wrote your name in the Lamb's Book of Life8. Then you worshiped right, worked right and walked right so it wouldn't be blotted out9.

One of the ideas people seem to have is that God is going to just go around saving random good people or good as the world defines good. There aren't any good people Mark 10:18. Ephesians 5:23 says that Jesus is the savior of the body, you have to get into the body to be saved. He will not save you outside of the body.

What is the body? It's the Church, Colossians 1:24 Paul says Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Are you in the body? The title of this dusty idea was what must I do to be lost, well here it is: don't do anything listed above in red. Whatever you do don't do that, because it's the only thing that can take you to heaven.

1 Acts 15:7
2 Mark 16:16
3 Acts 2:38
4 Luke 12:8
5 Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21, Colossians 2:12
6 Eph. 1:7, 1 John 1:7, Revelation 1:5, Acts 22:16
7 Mark 16:15 
8 Philippians 4:3, Revelation 21:27
9 Revelation 3:5

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Do people really believe in Heaven and Hell?

Dusty idea is Heaven and Hell are real. Heaven is wonderful enough to dream of and Hell is awful enough to be scared of.

What do you think would really happen if everyone believed in heaven and hell. People would probably study the treasure map that God through the Holy Spirit left us a lot more. It's amazing that people could have the map to the greatest treasure in the universe, the Bible, and decide it's not worth following.

Some of the things I do sometimes, makes me think I have the ability to forget that hell is real. It's not right in front of me, and it's not something I've ever seen or heard or smelled. I don't have a memory bank of first hand experiences to call up like I do for other things that have scared me in my past. I flipped a tow motor on it's side one day at work. That was a scary experience. I know exactly how I did it. When I drive a tow motor now do you think I won't do whatever it takes to avoid that same outcome? People don't have any experience with hell. There use to be a saying from Vietnam Vets that when they died they'd go to heaven, because they had spent their time in hell. I respect veterans of all wars, but if any of them think they have seen hell, they haven't seen anything yet. If people really believed in hell they would do whatever it takes to avoid that outcome.

One person that walked this earth knows exactly what hell is like. He's seen it, he helped prepare it and he's warning us about it. He left the warnings in a book called the Bible, more exactly in the New Testament. His name was Jesus. The apostle Paul taught Felix and his wife of righteousness and temperance and judgment to come in Acts 24:25 and it says that Felix trembled. It scared him so much he was shaking. I've had fellow Christians tell me that they wish preachers would stop talking about hell so much and just focus on the love of God. I think if reminding people of hell helps them to miss it, that's love you can't buy. You know that commercial on tv that use to end with something that was "priceless"?

Here goes.... Winning the lottery - $200 million dollars...... gaining the whole world - $999,999,999,999,999,999.00 + dollars.... Avoiding hell - PRICELESS!

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bible messages that can't be changed #4

Dusty idea this time is Jesus is the only way to get to heaven. This is a dusty idea topic to itself, but we're going to access this message from the Bible in verses that some people would like to change or erase from the Bible.

John 17:2 - As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

John 14:6 - I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In John 17th chapter we see that Jesus has been given power over all flesh. Does it matter what color people are? Does it matter about the social status? Does it matter if you're male or female? Does it matter what religion you're claiming to believe in? Does it matter if you believe in God or his Son? Jesus has all authority no matter how much some people don't like that idea.
John 14 Jesus gives us the final say on the entire matter, he is the way, he has the truth, and without him there is no life, now or in the judgment to come. You can't get to God except through Jesus and thats a message that can't be changed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Everything God is.....

We're gonna resume messages that can't be changed but for a brief interlude, something I wanted to do for myself if no one else. Dusty idea is that God is more things than love. He is certainly love, he shows us on a continuing basis. We heard a sermon at church recently that held that God's main attribute is holiness. I agree with that, but here's other things the Bible says, "God is".

God is witness - Gen. 31:50
God is not a man - Num. 23:19
God is a consuming fire - Deut. 4:24
God is a merciful God - Deut. 4:31
God is one LORD - Deut. 6:4
God is a jealous God - Deut. 6:15
God is he that goeth over before thee - Deut. 9:3
God is God of gods - Deut. 10:17
God is he that goeth with you - Deut. 20:4
God is thy refuge - Deut. 33:27
God is with thee - Josh. 1:9
God is he that hath fought for you - Josh. 23:3
God is my strength and power - 2 Sam 22:33
God is mighty - Job 36:5
God is terrible majesty - Job 37:22
God is angry Ps. 7:11
God is forever and ever Ps. 45:6
God is the King - Ps. 47:7
God is known - Ps. 48:8
God is judge - Ps. 50:6
God is mine helper Ps. 54:4
God is for me - Ps. 56:9
God is my defense - Ps. 59:9
God is my salvation - Ps. 62:7
God is the God of salvation - Ps. 68:20
God is the strength of my heart - Ps. 73:26
God is a sun and shield - Ps. 84:11
God is greatly to be feared - Ps. 89:7
God is the rock of my refuge - Ps. 94:22
God is Holy - Ps. 99:9
God is pure - Prb. 30:5
God is righteous - Dan. 9:14
God is able - Mt. 3:9
God is come - Mt. 12:28
God is at hand - Mk. 1:15
God is preached - Lk. 16:16
God is within you - Lk. 17:21
God is nigh - Lk. 21:31
God is true - John 3:33
God is a spirit - John 4:24
God is glorified - John 13:31
God is revealed - Rom 1:18
God is manifest - Rom 1:19
God is blasphemed - Rom 2:24
God is eternal life - Rom 6:23
God is faithful - 1 Cor. 1:9
God is wiser than men - 1 Cor. 1:25
God is stronger than men - 1 Cor. 1:25
God is not the author of confusion - 1 Cor. 14:33
God is one - Gal. 3:20
God is not mocked - Gal 6:7
God is my record - Phil. 1:8
God is not bound - 2 Tim. 2:9
God is light - 1Jn 1:5
God is love - 1Jn 4:8

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bible messages that can't be changed #3

Dusty idea again is that the Bible can't be changed or altered to fit "modern" times.

Romans 1:16-17 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith, as it is written the just shall live by faith.

In Romans 10:1-4 Paul talks about how the Jews had a zeal of God but not according to knowledge, and went about trying to establish their own righteousness instead of God's. This is not talking about the character of God, but how God made men righteous. According to Romans 1 above the righteousness of God is found in the gospel. So whatever God considered right he put it in the Bible.
If it's not found in the Bible it's not right. Where does that leave all the creed books in the world? The Baptist Standard's Manual, The Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal), The Book of Discipline (Methodist), The Book of Mormon? Where does that leave the koran and any other book you might come across thats not the Bible?

This message from Romans can't be changed by writing another book. We have one book, The Bible, in which the righteousness of God for man exists.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bible Messages that can't be changed #2

Decided to change the name of these numbered posts to something that made more sense. Of course the dusty idea here is Bible messages can't be changed by men to suit what they want to believe.

Mark 9:1 And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." (ESV)
Matt. 16:28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (ESV)

These are a two parallel verses found in the Bible that pre-millienialists would like to have removed from the Bible. They believe Christ is going to set his kingdom up for a thousand years after he returns. Jesus' words are in direct conflict with this doctrine. Christ's own words say that there are people standing around him when he says this that will still be alive when the Kingdom comes. It came on the day of pentecost and it did come with power Acts 2:1-4.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bible Messages that can't be changed #1

Dusty idea is that messages from the Bible can't be changed. Try to keep this short, but I don't know if I can..

I would first like to illustrate what I mean by messages that can't be changed in the Bible. If something is changed in the Bible God has to change it. Whatever has been delivered to us from the apostles is what we have to work with  (Jude 3). A prime example of God having a message delivered and not changing it would be Naaman the Syrian in II Kings 5. He was told to go down and wash in the Jordan River 7 times. He couldn't go anywhere else even after he asked if he could go to another river in Damascus. God didn't change his mind about where Naaman needed to go and he's not going to change his message for us today.

One of the messages found in the Bible that a lot of people would like to see removed or changed.

Mark 16:15-16, And he said unto them, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned.
Might be the number one verse in the Bible that people would like to see gone or changed. But it's been there a long time and it'll be there after you and I are long gone. I can't change it, you can't change it and your pastor can't change it. The great commission includes baptism to contact the blood of Jesus, it's not outdated, and can't be updated to just accepting Jesus in your heart and you're saved without baptism.

More to come...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Church vs. Politics

Duty Idea this time is pretty dusty. The idea that Christians don't really have time to do politics. Before my brothers and sisters go to getting on me let me explain. I have found it very hard to try to verbalize how I feel about politics, the governing of this world. I was studying old Christian writings by an author named Origen from a book titled "Contra Celsus". I don't know that all of what Origen had to say would be palatable, but I do agree with his stance on Christians in the political arena.

Celsus was very anti-Christ, in the book Celsus urges Christians to "take office in the government of the country, if that is required for the maintenance of the laws and the support of religion."  Origen's response was this, "But we recognise in each state the existence of another national organization founded by the Word of God., and we exhort those who are mighty in word and of blameless life to rule over Churches. Those who are ambitious of ruling we reject; but we constrain those who, through excess of modesty, are not easily induced to take a public charge in the Church of God. And those who rule over us well are under the constraining influence of the great King, whom we believe to be the Son of God, God the Word. And if those who govern in the Church, and are called rulers of the divine nation--that is, the Church-- rule well, they rule in accordance with the divine commands, and never suffer themselves to be led astray by worldly policy. And it is not for the purpose of escaping public duties that Christians decline public offices, but that they may reserve themselves for a diviner and more necessary service in the Church of God--for the salvation of men. And this service is at once necessary and right. They take charge of all--of those that are within, that they may day by day lead better lives, and of those that are without that they may come to abound in holy words and in deeds of piety; and that, while thus worshipping God truly, and training up as many as they can in the same way, they may be filled with the word of God and the law of God, and thus be united with the Supreme God through His Son the Word, Wisdom, Truth, and Righteousness, who unites to God all who are resolved to conform their lives in all things to the law of God.

This helps me understand that Christians are working with an international group that was founded by our Lord on Pentecost through the words of the apostles from the Holy Spirit and the overseers have all they can do to guard or watch out for the Church of Christ, the Church Jesus bought with his blood. They didn't have time in the New Testament to get into political affairs. I think if we take care of what our King wants us to he'll take care of the rest.

Read 1Cor. 1:16 , God is already in control of political things, lets work in the world for the King through his Kingdom.

If you rec'd a email notification of this post, it's not because I think you needed it, I just added some more email addresses to the notification list.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Climbing your way to Hell

The dusty idea is that hell is a place that is very easy to go to. Please read the rest of this post to understand where I'm going.

There are a bunch of people climbing there way to hell everyday. Well, why do I say climbing since most people usually talk about descending into hell? It's because you have a lot of obstacles to climb over to make it into hell. If you have Godly grandparents you have to climb over them, Godly parents also. You have to climb over Christians that are trying to convince you to become a Christian. You have to climb over Gospel preachers. You have to tell the Father that His plan is something I'm not willing to consider. You have to tell Jesus that his blood simply isn't that important. Whatever reason you have to keep climbing is more important than his own blood. You have to tell the Holy Spirit that his efforts in bringing about the holy scriptures over hundreds of years through the prophets and the apostles is of no value to you and its something you're just not ready to study and examine. You also have to set aside and overcome the call of the blood stained hill of Calvary, the invitation of the bride and the Spirit, ignore the suffering Jesus did, God's love for you. Walk over, set aside, circumvent, by pass, go around, look over, the blood of Jesus, he tasted death for every man. You have to walk over Mount Calvary, the blood that ran into the dirt and rocks. You have to climb over the greatest sacrifice that ever happened. If you can circumvent all of that, you deserve your reward.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Purpose of Mankind

The dusty idea, what is the purpose of man? This one is growing more dust everyday. We are losing sight of this one all the time. Have you ever been in a group of people and someone have the complaint and question, "This life is terrible, everything is going wrong for me, why are we even here if this is all there is ?" So the question remains in a lot of people's mind's, what are we suppose to be doing here? Are we suppose to be here, breathing up air because its here, eating food and providing ourselves with pleasures? Is it all about me and what I can have or what I want and can obtain? Sadly enough I know people that this covers their entire thought process as to why we're here. They're pleasure mad, studying what to do to get the next big thrill or how can I be pleased in an even bigger way. People want to leave the joy of God by escaping through movies, tv, alcohol, drugs, sports, sex etc.....

Purpose of human beings since the garden of eden should have been to please God and regain a full relationship with God such as Adam and Eve enjoyed with him before the fall. Before death and sin entered the world. Jesus Christ has given us the opportunity to do just that. Now what are your ambitions in this life? Some people have just decided that they don't want to be saved, or try to regain that full relationship with God.

One of the the things that has happened is people have let the joy of God escape them and have substituted pleasures of the world for the joy found in God. The joy found in God is everlasting, the pleasures found in this world are only a temporary mist.

If you have any thought about your eternal destiny and want to take your salvation seriously you'll get to know Jesus. When we become Christians we become "Christ-Like". This is where we find our initial explanation of what we are doing here. When we become Christians and are buried with Jesus in baptism we become born again. If we are looking for eternal salvation we should emulate Jesus.

Luke 19:10 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." (ESV)

This is the whole purpose of man that plans to seek eternal life. To try to follow in Jesus' footsteps we're going to have to seek and save that which is lost, even if that means yourself first. Save yourself and then others.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 - Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (KJV)

Solomon, before his fall into idoltary, gave us what the whole duty of man is in this life. If you're not seeking to save that which is lost, you're not fulfilling the duty of man.

People understand when they're on a 90 day trial period at work that they'll be reviewed or judged by the employer at the end of their time. They get to keep their job or they're going away. When your trial period is over here on earth, will God want to keep you on? Have you done the job he left for you to do here on earth, to seek and save that which is lost?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Observance of the Lord's Supper

Dusty idea today is the New Testament, first century Church took of the Lord's Supper every Sunday, why have some denominations stopped?

There are probably three primary ideas about This memorial that the Lord himself instituted before he was nailed to the cross.

(1.) The communion need not to be observed at all. They contend it was a cultural phenomenon of the first century, and thus not binding today. Denominations that believe this don't question that the first Christians did this, they just don't think that its necessary today.

What the Bible says-This is refuted by explicit testimony of the New Testament. Paul instructed the saints in Corinth that as long as they ate of the elements of the sacred supper, they would proclaim the Savior's death "TILL HE COME" (1 Cor. 11:26). Sorry this rates as a no-brainer. If we are to do this until Jesus comes back we need to be doing it now. He has not returned.

(2.) Some say the frequency is of no importance. You can serve the supper at any time, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually. They believe you have to take it sometime, but it's their personal choice. Nothing about commands from the Holy Spirit through the Apostles
or their examples binds us today.

What the Bible says-This probably covers the greatest segment of people that profess Christianity. The time frame is irrelevant. These folks, though obviously sincere, overlook, I believe, something important. The issue of authority - what does the New Testament actually authorize? Hopefully we can assume that the concept of authority is important to most Christians. Some argue that there is authority for observing the Lord's Supper on days other than Sunday. The main passage used for this is Acts 2:46.

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and
breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with
gladness and singleness of heart.

The term "daily" denotes how often the disciples were meeting in the temple. Grammatically daily doesn't modify "breaking bread". There is no support for "daily... breaking of bread" here regardless of what bread signifies in this text.

The "breaking bread" in this passage is not a reference to the Lord's supper, evidenced by the fact that the phrase is paralled with "eat their food" in the same clause. Food translates in the Greek "trophe" which essentially means nourishment. This word is employed sixteen times in the Greek Testament and never is it used of the communion. The communion wasn't designed as a nourishment for the body.

There is no evidence from the Bible or historical references that Christians partook of the Lord's supper on occasions other than Sunday.

To finish his point read through (3.)

(3.) The Lord's Supper is to be eaten Sunday, and the communion is restricted to that day, everytime Sunday comes around.

What the Bible says-Acts 20:7, On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking..... etc.. Here we glean the reason the disciples gathered together, "to break bread". They had no other reason to meet.
Acts 2:42, They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. We see from these passages that the gathering together was centered around the Lord's supper, the fellowship and prayer came from gathering together for that.
I Corinthians 11:18-For in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. We have too much Biblical evidence and non-biblical evidence to prove that the Church met on Sunday to wonder when Paul is talking about here.
I Corinthians 11:20-Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. Paul goes on in vs. 22-30 of the same chapter, explaining again how and why they were suppose to partake of the Lord's supper when they met and not make a pot-luck out of it.
I Corinthians 16:2-On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when i come. Paul says that while you are gathered together on the first day to take up a collection and save up money for the saints.

Here is an account of the worhip of the early church from Justin Martyr (138-161 A.D.) written about 156 A.D. I fully recognize this isn't from the Bible and shouldn't be treated as holy scripture. It is however an historical look from someone that was a Christian in how the weekly services were carried out. It is taken from his writings "Apology 1" chapter 67.

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is There Dust on the "Rapture?"

Since this blog is about dusting things off and taking a look at them, I afraid we're not going to find a lot of dust on this one. It's not very old as far as Christian doctrine goes.

The rapture doctrine's origin is usually credited to John Nelson Darby, he had written down this theology by 1827. (1800-1882). There has been a story around that the rapture doctrine came from the "utterances" of Margaret McDonald in a Scottish church about 1830. More than likely she was just repeating what she had heard from John Darby. This is a complete assumption on my part since Darby had written these things down 3 years earlier and they were in proximity of each other.

There are six key parts to the premillennial doctrine of the rapture.

(1) The "second coming" of Christ is different from and after "the rapture," we believe the Bible distinguishes between the rapture and the second coming of Christ and they do not occur simultaneously. (Hal Lindsey's book 131)

(2) The rapture will be secret, "in the rapture, only the Christians see Him - its a mystery, a secret. When the living believers are taken out, the world is going to be mystified." (Ibid 131)

(3) Only the righteous will be raised at the time of the rapture. The wicked will be raised at the end of "the millennium."(Ibid 130-31)

(4) The church will be in Heaven for a period of seven years (during the Great Tribulation). "your presence during this last seven-year period in history is entirely up to you."(Ibid 127)

(5)Events on earth will continue. "These believers will be removed from the earth before the Great Tribulation - before that period of the most ghastly pestilence, bloodshed, and starvation the world has ever known."(Ibid)

(6) Many will be led to Christ after this. "We need to understand that during the seven-year Tribulation there will be people who will become believers at that time."(Ibid 132)

What the Bible says.

Referencing the first key part:

For the second coming of Christ the Bible uses the words "caught up" (harpazo or rapture by premillenialist), "coming" (parousia) and "appearance"(epiphaneia) interchangeably. The Lord will destroy the lawless one "with the brightness (epiphaneia) of his coming (parousia). (2 Thessalonians 2:8)....This "coming" (parousia) is at the same time he catches up (raptures) the saints. (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17) Jesus won't return a third and a fourth times; there's just the second coming. These events Christians being "caught up" and the second coming of Christ, are not separated by 1007 years (1000 year reign and 7 year tribulation), as premillennialists contend, but they will happen at the same time.

Referencing the second key part:

When he comes for the saints there won't be anything secretive. "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God." (1 Thessalonians 4:16). "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth and works therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10)

Nothing quiet here, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God, also the heavens are going to pass away with a great noise. All this when the Lord returns. The secretive part of the premillienialists comes from the phrase, "come as a thief in the night", which just simply means they you don't know when he's coming. Another example of this comes from Matt. 24:43. Another good example is 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4.

Referencing the third key part:

"Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which ALL who are in the graves will HEAR his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29)

Referencing the fourth, fifth and sixth key parts:

There will be no fourth, fifth and sixth parts. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall ALWAYS be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) Scripture plainly says we won't be with the Lord seven years. We will always be with the Lord after his second coming. There aren't any other "comings". At his coming (parousia) the earth will be destroyed, 2 Peter 3:1-12. There will be no second chance to be saved then, for at His coming all shall be judged and receive either eternity in heaven or in hell, Matt. 25:31-46. Call his coming what you will, "second coming" or "rapture", either way he's only coming back one more time. We need to know that and be ready.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dusting off Church Music

Dusty idea today is that we don't need any additions in our singing to praise God. We use our voices and play the strings of our heart.

There are two types of music used within what is recognized by the denominational world today as Christianity. First type is A Cappella, the 2nd type is instrumental. We need to understand what these terms mean.

A - A is a preposition. It is the same in Latin, Italian and Spanish, as the latter two derive from the first. In Spanish the translation comes to English as "of." In Italian, the translation in English is "from." It makes no difference to the point here, because if something is "of" a place, it is what can come forth "from" a place.

Cappella - In Italian "Cappella Sistina" translates Sistine Chapel. Therefore Cappella translates Chapel.

Instrumental - Singing accompanied with mechanical musical instruments.

So from antiquity we find the music in the church as A Cappella, which is known to be sung without mechanical instrument accompaniment. That's right, only vocal music was found in or coming out of church buildings.

Mechanical instruments were not introduced until after 600 A.D. This is too late to be part of the faith which was delivered one time for all: Christianity (Jude 3).

However when the reformation occurred, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon, and Zwingli are all on record in opposition.

"I have no objection to a piano being in the church building, provided it is neither seen nor heard" (by Wesley from Clarke's Commentary, Vol. 4, page 684)

" Musical instruments in celebrating the praise of God would be no more suitable than the burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps, the restoration of the other shadows of the law. The Papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the Jews."
John Calvin's Commentary, Ps. 33.

Charles H. Spurgeon, recognized as one of the greatest Baptist preachers that ever lived, who preached for 20 years to thousands of people weekly in the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, London, England, did not have musical instruments in the worship. (M.C. Kurfeest, Instrumental Music in the worship, page 196).

Instruments were not widely accepted in the denominational world until about the 18th century. The acceptance is about 1700 years too late to be the one church and one faith of Christianity.

Lets take a look at scriptural references to see if what the Father has to say contradicts the wisdom of man in this area.

Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians doesn't leave any room for anything but singing.

Ephesians 5:19 - Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Ephesians is a different matter. We have the command to "psallo" to the Lord. Psallo is a Greek word. It was translated as "making melody". Its definition is to "pluck" or "play". There is definitely room for an instrument here, or so it appears.
This is where the majority of denominations stop. The person that has ears to hear will read on and see the writer also names the instrument to be played, its the heart. Actual Greek translation of that last part of the verse: "singing and stroking to the heart of you to the Master."

For the sake of debate, lets assume for a moment that this does allow a mechanical instrument (even though it doesn't). Because the word here "psallo" is plural, and this is a command (imperative mood), if there is an instrument allowed, then everyone must be playing that same instrument, or those not so doing are disobeying the command. In other words, if the organ is authorized, and only one person plays the organ, that one person is the only person who is not sinning.

David played a harp..... The same authority used to add instruments to worship (the Old Testament) also demands the use of animal sacrifice. If we were to use the animal sacrifices today, we would be denying the need of the blood of Jesus. Yet we are told that if we try to keep that law, and fail in one point, we are guilty of all. To keep old testament musical instruments we would probably need to keep having animal sacrifices as well. Not only does this trod under foot the Son of God, its makes it impossible to receive forgiveness and get to heaven.

In a final thought here, the Apostles gave the things contained in the worship service. That was during the 1st century A.D. For the sake of argument the book of Revelation was written, depending on who you ask, between 68 A.D. and 95 A.D. In either suggested timeline the effect is the same. When Jesus sent his messages to the seven churches of Asia, at that time they were using A Cappella music in their services, we see from the information above that music wasn't introduced historically until after 600 A.D. Christ said in Rev. 2:26 to hold fast to that which they had already, echoing what Jude 3 says about contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To Be a Roman Soldier........

This isn't a dusty idea today its just something I was thinking of.

Oh to be a Roman soldier told to go out and watch a dead mans tomb. I can imagine what kind of sigh probably came out of the guards mouth when he got the exciting news that he was going to get to go watch a sealed tomb. History tells us that usually there were four in a guard unit. I can just see these four guys getting joked at for having to leave their normal bed to go out and guard a dead man. To the right we can put an image with the Roman soldier of the day. This is what the guards wore in the first century A.D. Probably rather formidable looking in the day. Some of these guys nailed our Lord to the cross. Who knows could possible be some of the same guards guarding the tomb that did the Sanhedrin's bidding that day.

Matthew 28:2-4
And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.

Hard to invision this guy with the throwing spear and the short sword as fainting or being so afraid that they freeze up. But I have to still say I envy those guards somewhat. They were the closest people to the Lord as he resurrected. Saw and heard the initial rumblings. Is it possible that they even saw our Lord come forth from the tomb.....

Oh to be a Roman guard on a boring mission to watch a dead man.....