Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coming Home Empty

She said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lrd has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?"

How many of us would be this brutally honest in our Christian walk?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jehovah Witnesses: Another form of Christianity?

Related to the Word of God
* Jehovah Witnesses (JW) teach that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, but they argue that the Bible can only be interpreted properly by the Watchtower Society.
* The Bible teaches that the Word of God is “inspired by God…” (2 Tim 3:16) and was written by “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21).

Related to the Person of Jesus Christ
* JW teach several things about Jesus Christ: 1) He was just a perfect man; 2) He existed in three stages (Archangel Michael, the man Jesus of Nazareth, and the new, recreated (not resurrected) Michael); 3) He is “a God” but not “the God;” therefore, Jesus is not coequal and coeternal with the true God.
* The Bible teaches clearly teaches the deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John and Paul taught that Jesus was fully God (John 1:1; Colossians 1:9-20; 2:9). Jesus even taught that he was an agent in his own resurrection (John 2:19-21).

Related to Salvation
* JW teach that salvation is based on the death of Jesus Christ but with stipulations. Based upon which class you are in will determine the method of salvation. Each JW, including the 144,000, must earn his or her salvation through good work and merit.
* The Bible explains that man’s righteousness and good work are like “filthy rags” (Is 64:6) and describes man as an enemy to God unable to “please God” (Rom 8:7-8). The Bible is clear—there is no salvation given to man except through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Related to the Trinity
* JW reject and deny the teaching of the Trinity. JW argue that there is only one God who is limited to a specific location.
* The Bible teaches that each Person of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is eternally God in person, nature, and being.

Related to Man
* JW teach that man was created by God but denies any teaching that man was created in the image of God. Because man is not an immortal being, death is a final annihilation of the body.
* The Bible teaches that man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God designed man with intelligence, will, and emotion and designed him to have an eternal relationship with his Creator.

Related to Afterlife
* JW do not believe in an eternal hell. All bodies of unbelievers will be annihilated. JW teach that the true followers of Jehovah will be recreated and either reign with Him in heaven or remain on earth.
*The Bible teaches that hell is a place of “eternal destruction, away from the presence of God” (2 Thess 1:9) and is described as lasting forever (Isa 33:14; Matt 25:41, 46).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three..." But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of the Master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game -- and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.

-- Myra Brooks Welch

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I love this Book!

This book contains: the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here heaven is open, and the gates of hell are disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.

John F. MacArthur, Jr.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The World's Greatest Lie

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked. “It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
—Paulo Coehlho

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is Mormonism another form of Christianity?

Related to the church.
* LDS (Latter Day Saints) believe that the Mormon Church is the only true church on the earth and claim that all Mormons have the authority of the priesthood.
* The Bible teaches that the church exists both in a locale and universal form (Matt 16:15-19; Eph 2:19-22).

Related to the Word of God.
* LDS believe that the Book of Mormon was originally written 1500 years prior to being given to Smith; therefore, the book has a spiritual origination. Mormons claim that the Book of Mormon is another testament with a fuller and complete revelation.
* The Bible teaches that the Word of God is “inspired by God…” (2 Tim 3:16) and was written by “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet 1:21).

Related to Jesus Christ.
* LDS teaches several things about Jesus Christ:
1) Jesus was created and is the “first born” Son of God.
2) Jesus provided immortality for every person.
* The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was virgin born and is God incarnate. He existed in all time with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the eternal Trinity. Jesus possessed two natures- human and divine (John 1:1-18; 8:56-59; Col 1:13-22).

Related to salvation.
* LDS believes that Jesus’ atonement provided immortality for all people and man receives this immortality through good deeds which are part and parcel of one’s standing before God.
* The Bible explains that man is saved entirely by grace through faith “not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph2:8-9).

Related to the Trinity.
* LDS teaches that there are three separate Gods.
* Though the word Trinity is never used in the Bible, both the OT and NT express diversity within the Godhead. The NT expounds further on these Three Persons, the Bible teaches that each Person is eternally God in person, nature, and being.

Related to man.
* LDS teaches that men are preexisted spiritual offspring of the Heavenly Father.
* The Bible teaches that man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), but was not created as a god. We were uniquely created by a God who has given each of us dignity and worth.

Related to sin.
* LDS teaches that man has disobeyed God and His commandments, and as a result of disobedience, man has lost his immortality.
* The Bible teaches that man chose disobedience and therefore rejected God (Rom 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10).