Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Scripture Texts » First Timothy (Page 2)

Category Archives: First Timothy

The Benefits and Dangers of Meditation

SIH STSTA ICONIt seems as if the practice of meditation is becoming more popular with the passing of each generation. And no wonder, the claimed benefits of habitual meditation are far reaching.  They range from alleviating stress to helping to break smoking or drinking habits and to help reduce pain.  It is claimed that “Meditation is wonderful in that it’s free, always available, and amazingly effective in short-term stress reduction and long-term health.”  With claims such as these, is it any wonder that the number of those who practice meditation is growing throughout the world?

Mediation is described as:

“Meditation involves sitting in a relaxed position and clearing your mind.”

“Meditation encompasses a variety of practices that are somewhat different, while holding to the basic principles of consideration and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination.

“Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’ . It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns . The observer (one who is doing meditation) realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one.”

To view the source of the preceding quotes, the results of meditation and the descriptions of meditation please see: http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/p/profilemeditati.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditationhttp://www.project-meditation.org/what_is_meditation.html ;

http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/meditation.html

Based upon the above, it seems as if meditation, in some cases, involves “clearing the mind’, while in other cases, it is said to centered on one centralized point of attention, while excluding “scattered thoughts and various patterns”.   There seems to be lacking a uniform, consistent definition for meditation.

Is meditation mentioned in the Bible?  If so, what is the Bible teaching on meditation?

THE SCRIPTURES:

 Gen 24:63 – 63) And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels [were] coming.

Josh 1:8 (KJV) – 8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Ps 1:2 (KJV) – 2) But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Ps 5:1 (KJV) – 1) To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

Ps 19:14 (KJV) – 14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Ps 49:3 (KJV) – 3) My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.

Ps 63:6 (KJV) – 6) When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches.

Ps 77:12 (KJV) – 12) I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Ps 104:34 (KJV) – 34) My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

Ps 119:15 (KJV) – 15) I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

Ps 119:23 (KJV) – 23) Princes also did sit [and] speak against me: [but] thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

Ps 119:48 (KJV) – 48) My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Ps 119:78 (KJV) – 78) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: [but] I will meditate in thy precepts.

Ps 119:97 (KJV) – 97) MEM. O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.

Ps 119:99 (KJV) – 99) I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation.

Ps 119:148 (KJV) – 148) Mine eyes prevent the [night] watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

Ps 143:5 (KJV) – 5) I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

Isa 33:18 (KJV) – 18) Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where [is] the scribe? where [is] the receiver? where [is] he that counted the towers?

Mark 13:11 (KJV) – 11) But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Luke 21:14 (KJV)- 14) Settle [it] therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

1Tim 4:10-15 (KJV) – 10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.  11) These things command and teach. 12) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

 THE STUDY:

In the Old Testment, the word “meditate” or “meditation” is translated from three different words.

  1. In Genesis 24:63 the Hebrew word means “to muse” or “to be absorbed in thought, to turn over in the mind”
  2. In all the Psalm 119 references to “meditate” the Hebrew word means “to speak to yourself, to think deeply and thoroughly”
  3. In all the other OT references a different Hebrew word with much the same meaning is used “to mutter, to ponder”

In all the New Testament references, the word “meditate” is translated from a Greek word that means “to revolve in the mind, to look over from every angle”.

What does the definitions for meditate teach us about Biblical meditation?:

  1. In EVERY case, to meditate Biblically involves having our mind thinking about something.  NEVER does the Lord tell us to “empty our mind” or “clear your mind” or “cease your mental processes”. I believe this is a point that needs emphasis… To empty our minds of every thought is a very dangerous practice.  The dark (sinful, demonic) powers of this world seek to inhabit lives that are “emptied” (Matt 12:43-45)  I believe, by emptying one’s mind opens up an opportunity for Satanic oppression of the emptied mind.
  2. Biblical mediation involves active mental concentration and examination.  If you notice in our definitions some of the terms used are “to turn over in the mind”, “to think deeply and thoroughly”, “to ponder, and to look over at every angle”.  None of these words implies a state of rest or cessation of the minds activities.

To summarize our definition study we find that to meditate in a God honoring, Scriptural way involves a mind actively examining and thinking.  NEVER does the Lord advocate a empty or inactive mind.  This type of inactivity, very possibly, can open the door to demonic influence.

Now, let’s continue our study by answering the question what subjects should a Christian be meditating about?

“To meditate” or “meditation” is mentioned in the Bible 21 times… Gen 24:63;  Josh 1:8; Psa 1:2, 5:1, 19:14, 49:3, 63:6, 77:12, 104:34, Psa 119:15, 23, 46, 78, 97,  99, 148, 143:5;  Isa 33:18;  Mark 13:11;  Luke 21:14;  1 Tim 4:15.

If we study these references, in their context we find the following:

  1. Subject of meditation not described: Gen 24:63

(Although we are not told, Isaac was thinking about something!  Based upon the word used for meditation he was “absorbed in thought” over some subject, we are simply not told what that subject is.)

  1. Subject of meditation Word of God: Josh 1:8, Psa 1:2, Psa 119:15, 23, 46, 78, 97, 99, 148
  2. Subject of meditation burdens on heart seeking His mercy: Psa 5:1
  3. Subject of meditation desires of heart being acceptable to the Lord: Psa 19:14,
  4. Subject of meditation spiritual understanding: Psa 49:3
  5. Subject of meditation The Lord and His works: Psa 63:6, Psa 77:12, Psa 104:34, Psa 143:5
  6. Subject of meditation terror for disobedient facing Divine judgment: Isa 33:18
  7. Subject of mediation the gospel message and need for service to Him: 1 Tim 4:10-15
  8. Not to be a subject of meditation: Concern, worry about answering opponents of Lord : Mark 13:11, Luke 21:14

To summarize the above:

  1. As faithful children… we are to be thinking about Our Heavenly Father, His works, and His Word.  They should always be on our minds.   We should seek quiet times when uninterrupted, we can solely place our minds and hearts on Him.
  2. As burdened pilgrims on earth… we should be taking quiet times to concentrate on turning our trials over to Him seeking His presence, mercy and strength.
  3. As faithful servants… we should be meditating on our desires, making sure they are pleasing to Him; we should be examining the understanding He has given to us to enable us to serve Him in greater ways.   Finally, our meditations should also involve an examination of our lives making sure we are leading lives of holiness and separation to His work.
  4. As witnesses of His grace in salvation,… we are to always have the gospel message of grace upon our hearts, remembering what He has done for us and our need to share it with others. We are to lay aside any worry about how to answer those who oppose our message.
  5. As those who have never experienced God’s gracious salvation but are continuing to face His wrath… examine your current condition and allow terror to fill your mind, as you continue to face judgment from Almighty God.  Turn to Him and trust in Him, realizing that the Lord is abundantly gracious, slow to anger and of great mercy.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The Lord summarize what our daily meditations should be based upon….

May the Lord bless our times of Godly meditation when we turn our minds to these things….

Phil 4:4-9 (KJV)

4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

————————————————————————

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

—————————————————————————-

The Role of Our Government

SIH STSTA ICONOver the past several months our country has been flooded with news reports about the upcoming Presidential elections. During this time the airwaves have been endlessly comparing the political parties’, and individual candidate’s, views on the roles and responsibilities of our government. This is one of the most significant issues at the center of the upcoming elections.

Democrats and Republicans differ on their views concerning how to help the poor, how to intervene in the affairs of foreign governments, defining the role of national governments versus state governments, and how to fund the government. The list goes on and on.

If we think about it, what lies at the core of the Republican candidates differences? It involves what they believe our government should, or should not, be doing. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann all had a slightly different view on what should be the government’s role in our lives. Should the government intervene in the affairs of foreign nations? If so, in what way? Should government help the poor? If so, how? Should government have a say in the personal lives of others? If so, in what areas?

Who can help us come to an understanding of the proper role of government? Our Lord. After all, we need to go to the One that originally created and authorized human governments to exist and function (Rom 13:1, Col 1:16, 1 Pet 3:22) to find out what role He had intended for governments.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Ps 72:1-14 (KJV)
1) [A Psalm] for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.
2) He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
3) The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
4) He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
5) They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
6) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth.
7) In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.
8) He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
9) They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
10) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
11) Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.
12) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper.
13) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

Rom 13:1-7; 1Tim 2:1-3; 1Pet 2:13-17

THE STUDY:

In the Bible, we find many texts that help us to understand the God-given authority of human government. In our study today, we will be concentrating on Psa 72:1-14 which is one of the four major passages that stress the government’s God given role: Psa 72:1-14, Rom 13:1-7, 1 Tim 2:1-3, and 1 Pet 2:13-17.

In Psalm 72:1-14, we read of some of the responsibilities Solomon would fulfill as King…

Before we are given a list of the responsibilities of government, we are reminded of the need for the Lord’s intervention in our government and in the lives of our politicians…

  “1) [A Psalm] for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.”

Before Solomon could lead his nation in a way pleasing to the Lord, Solomon must be taught and graced by God. How true this is for the politicians of today… how can we expect our nation to be led in the paths laid by God, if our candidates have no knowledge of God’s will for government? How can we expect fallen, sinful men to properly lead our nation when the candidates are not relying on God’s wisdom and strength?

We now begin to look at the role of government as sanctioned by God:

1. a government is to make lawful, moral, decisions.

“2) He shall judge thy people with righteousness,”

2. a government is to uphold the rights of the poor, exercise compassion toward and help to meet the needs of those who cannot help themselves.

“3) He shall judge ….thy poor with judgment.”
“4) He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy,”
“12-13) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.”

3. a government is to be a blessing to its people, working for their growth and advancement

“6 ) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth.”
(Roms 13:4 –“For he is the minister of God to thee for good.”)

4. a government is to support, and reward, the cause of those who align themselves with God’s laws

“7) In his days shall the righteous flourish;”
(Rom 13:3 – “do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:”)

5. a government is to work for peace among it’s people and other nations around them

“7) and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”
(1 Tim 2:1-3 – “…supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made…For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”)

6. a government is to work to bring an end to the abuse of its people (especially the defenseless) through the punishment of evildoers.

“4) And shall break in pieces the oppressor.”
“14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.”
(Roms 13:3-5 – “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?… But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil…Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”)
(1Pet 2:13-14 – “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man… as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

The need for us, as Christians, to let our voices be heard in the election process cannot be overemphasized. We should be voting for those who we believe best understand the role of government from God’s perspective. But also, we should be voting for those we believe will look to the Lord for guidance and strength as they attempt to lead our country in these troublesome days.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

We are all confronted with the declining condition of our country. As our nation continues to turn from the Lord, and the principles found in His Word, our country’s condition will only get worse. For our country to turn around both the leaders and the common citizen must turn back to the Lord and seek to obey His commands. (2 Chron 7:14, Isa 55:6-7)

The most first thing you can do to please the Lord and fulfill His will for your life is to recognize your sinful condition and your need of salvation. Then turn from your sin, trust in Him as your Savior and seek to follow Him with your life.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage –
http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):
http://www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com
http://www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Same-Sex Marriage: What does the Bible say?

SIH STSTA ICONOne of the more controversial issues in our country today is the issue of same-sex marriage, civil unions and the role of homosexuality.   With the upcoming Presidential primaries and general election, the subject of same-sex marriages versus civil unions has been receiving more airplay.

I thought it would be a good thing to take a few moments and refresh our memories concerning the biblical teachings on homosexuality, its historical occurrences, and its standing in the eyes of God.

Let’s begin today’s look at the Scriptural teachings on homosexuality.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Lev 18:22-25 (KJV)  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it [is] confusion.  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

Lev 20:13 (KJV)  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Rom 1:24-29 (KJV) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

1Cor 6:9-11 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Tim 1:9-10 (KJV)  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Jude 1:7 (KJV) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Gen 19:4-8 (KJV)  But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:  And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.  And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,  And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.  Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

2Tim 3:1-5 (KJV) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

THE STUDY:

I.  What does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality?

 In the Old Testament the Bible makes it plain that homosexuality is a sinful act:

Lev 18:22-25 (KJV)  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination…  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

Lev 20:13 (KJV)  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Please note an “abomination” – is the Hebrew word “tow ebah” which refers to something that is disgusting or abhorred.

The New Testament affirms, and upholds, the sinfulness of the homosexual act:

Rom 1:24-29 (KJV) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Please note “vile” is a Greek word referring to “dishonorable”; while the Greek word for  “unseemly” means “indecent or shameful”.  Likewise the Greek word for “error” refers “to stray to wrong path”.

Each of these words, when linked to the last verse of this text “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”  Plainly shows the sinfulness of the homosexual act.

1Cor 6:9-11 (KJV)  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Greek word for “effeminate” means “to be soft”.  This possibly refers to the tendency of some homosexuals to purposefully display feminine characteristics to attract other males.  Or, perhaps, it refers to taking younger (soft) males as homosexual companions.  In either case, homosexuality is in view.

The phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind” literally means “to have sexual relations with a male”

1Tim 1:9-10 (KJV) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Please note: to “defile themselves with mankind” is the same Greek phrase as “abusers of themselves with mankind” found in 1 Cor 6:9-11.  This phrase means “to have sexual relations with a male”

Jude 1:7 (KJV) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The word for “fornication” means uncleanness. What type of unclean activity was Sodom and Gomorrha guilty of committing?… going after “strange flesh”.

Note the phrase “strange flesh” ie foreign, or other body.  In other words, to lust after bodies that are in opposition to the commands of the Lord.  Homosexuality is foreign and goes against the plan of God for sexual unions.

In the above reference, Jude is recalling what took place in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha….  The account of this incident is found in Genesis 19:4-8:

Gen 19:4-8 (KJV) But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.  And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,  And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.  Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

“we may know them” is a common Hebrew phrase (yada) that is used to describe a sexual relationship… (Gen 4:1, Gen 38:26, etc)  Also, please notice that a homosexual is given the title sodomite in the Bible, and is linked to sexual sins in Deut 23:17…

Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

When taken in context, it is obvious that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gommorrah did not desire to simply interrogate or become friendly with the angel/men who were visiting Lot…. They desired to have a sexual relationship with them.

II. What about Homosexual Marriage or Same Sex Legal Unions?

Once the sinfulness of the homosexual act is established the question of homosexual marriage or homosexual legal union becomes an easy issue to understand.

To allow the existence of homosexual legal unions is the governmental condoning of sinful acts.  This flies in the face of one of the purposes of human government which is to uphold the Lord’s commands through the punishment of sinful actions (Rom 13:1-5).

To allow the existence of homosexual marriages is not only the condoning of sinful acts, but it is also the perversion of the marriage union which God has ordained to be between one man and one woman… (Matt 19:4-5; 1 Cor 7:1-2)

III. How Are Christians To Relate To Homosexuals?

“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” this verse applies to the heterosexual as well as the homosexual.  We are all in the same boat.

As fallen, sinful mankind, we all have the need of salvation through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

As those who have received God’s gracious salvation from our sins… we understand the importance of proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of forgiveness…

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one 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.”

Just as Paul made it plain that homosexuality is a sin… he made it just as plain that the sin of homosexuality can be forgiven, just like any other sin….  We should never treat homosexuality as an unpardonable sin or a sin that is beyond the grace of God.

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Therefore we should gladly, willingly share the gospel message with the homosexual community as an act of love and responsibility knowing that apart from God’s grace we, too, would be living lives of separation from Him.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Religions of The World

SIH STSTA ICONCurrently there are approximately 40 major religions that exist in the world today. You can see a listing and description of forty of them at http://www.religionfacts.com/

The some of the largest religions include… Christianity , Islam, Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist, Hinduism, Chinese traditional religion, Buddhism, primal-indigenous, African Traditional & Diasporic, Sikhism, Juche, Spiritism, Judaism, Baha’I, Jainism, Shinto, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Neo-Paganism, Unitarian-Universalism, Rastafarianism, and Scientology.

One thing we can know for sure, each of these religions vary in doctrine and practices.  Their teachings range from Atheism that denies the existence of god, to the Wicca religion that teaches many gods exist.  There are similar irreconcilable discrepancies between the religions in the area of man’s condition, salvation, the afterlife, and their founders.

As you study the basic differences between the beliefs of these religions, one thing becomes very clear… these religions contradict each other in almost all areas of their teachings.  This establishes the fact that all but one of these religions must be based upon error.

Why do so many various religions exist?  The Bible helps us to understand why these varied belief systems exist.

THE SCRIPTURES:

 

2Tim 4

1) I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4) And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

1Tim 4

1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3) Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

2Cor 11

1) Would to God ye could bear with me a little in [my] folly: and indeed bear with me.

2) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.

3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]….

13) For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15) Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 

THE STUDY:

False religions have been with us from the beginning of time.  In the very beginning, Adam and Eve were called upon to choose which set of spiritual truths they were to embrace and follow with their lives.  Would they accept the truths that had been given to them from God or the lies that were told to them by Satan?  We are all familiar with the choice that they had made and the affects of that choice upon all mankind.

Adam and Eve choose to submit to the teachings and desires of Satan. This represents the first act of human belief in a false religion….

2 Cor 11:3-4, 13-15

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]……  For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Since false religions have been with us from the Garden of Eden, as Christians, what are we to do?  By remembering Adam and Eve’s sin, and its results, we are reminded of the devastating effects of following a false religion.

In 2nd Timothy 4:1-4, Paul writing to the young pastor, Timothy, gives timeless insight into false teachings and the religions that oppose the truth of the gospel of Christ.   Paul’s instructions are so important for us all…

 

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ,

Remember, as Christians, we are given the responsibility to remain faithful to the truths of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

This same Lord that we serve, will someday judge both lost and saved, those who will be physically dead and those who will be alive at His coming.  This means that all men will be held accountable for the choice they make concerning which God they will serve.  The choice is plain, follow the teachings of Jehovah God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ; or the teachings of the  many false gods of this world, created, empowered and supported by Satan.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Timothy was to:

  1. proclaim the truth of God’s Word
  2. continue to be faithful in blessed times and in times of trial and heartache
  3. convince others of the truth
  4. correct the errors held by others
  5. encourage others to stand by the truths to which they held
  6. do all the above through the use of patience and the teachings of doctrinal truth.

These responsibilities not only apply to Timothy, nor to pastors in today’s time, but to all who hold to the truths and faith of Christ Jesus.  We are to stand for the truth and work for it’s continuance and growth.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Why is it so important for Christians to work for the propagation of the truth?

Because due to the sinful desires of mankind, the natural course of the fallen world is to reject the truth and follow after those who teach error.   The doctrines of sin, man’s inability to gain salvation of his own merit, God’s grace, and salvation through Christ’s work alone, are a few of many truths that go against the lusts of the depraved human heart.    

And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

When looked at from the light of God’s Word, fallen mankind is responsible, guilty, shameful, and unable to deliver themselves from their horrible condition.  God’s Word presents a clear view of the wickedness of man contrasted by the love, grace and the ability of Almighty God.   This is why lost mankind, apart from God’s gracious intervention, will reject the truths of His Word at every turn.

It is due to this desire of our fallen natures to hear fables that we have the false teachings of this world flourishing.  It is much more pleasing to a fallen human heart to hear that they are not wicked and separated from a Holy God; or although sinful, they deserve salvation and can attain it through their own good works.   These are the basic messages of the false religions of the day. These are the messages of error, that if followed, will condemn mankind to an eternity of separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

As the coming of Christ draws near, each of us must be on guard against allowing error to enter into our lives and beliefs.  As Paul stated so clearly in 1 Timothy 4:1-2….

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; …

Turning from the truth to a false religion is proof of an imitation salvation experience and  a mark of an unregenerate nature.  In other words, if we find ourselves turning from the truth of God’s Word to a false religion, we can rest assured that our original salvation experience was a counterfeit.  It only involved a mental acceptance of truth, without ever receiving a changed heart through the gracious workings of Christ.

For those who have yet to be saved…

In this blog posting, you have come face to face with a small portion of the Biblical teachings on the false religions of today.  The motive behind God’s Word and this blog entry is the same.  It is an attempt, motivated by love to warn those who have been deceived by the seducing spirits of this world and the fallen nature within each of us.

Please, look into the Word of the Lord and by faith, accept it’s truths.  Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has done for His people.  Look to Christ and receive salvation from your sins and eternal life with Him.  If you would like more information about the teachings concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation He so graciously gives you have many options:

  1. Open His Word and read about Him
  2. If you are uncertain where to start in His Word you can take a look at my blog page “All About Salvation” to help get you started
  3. You can look at these links for more information:

http://www.bryanstation.com/articles/a-message-to-the-lost

http://www.intouch.org/resources/content/topic/how_well_do_you_know_god

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A335

http://www.lwf.org/site/PageNavigator/jesus/who_is_jesus

  1. You can contact a Bible believing church.  They will be glad to help you to understand what Christ has done for you
  2. Or, you are more than welcome to contact me through my email address settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done for you.

With the multiplicity of false religions, comes proof that the second coming of Christ is coming soon.  Time is short.  No one knows what tomorrow holds.  Look to Jesus know while He is at work in your heart and you still have time.  Don’t say as did the prophet Jeremiah…

Jer 8:20

20) The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

————————————————————————

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

—————————————————————————-

The Symbols of the Church

SIH STSTA ICONOne of the most interesting areas of Bible study is the area of Bible symbolism.  Symbols are used in the Bible to help illustrate many differing Bible doctrines.  Symbols are used throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, covering most of the major teachings of Scripture.

The symbols of the Bible have come to us by the grace of God.  Our Lord understood our need to understand Bible teachings. Because He loved us, has made it easier for each of us to understand these teachings through use of symbolism.

As an example, within the pages of the Scriptures we find the Lord uses everyday objects to help us understand spiritual truths.

———————————————————–

Christ used everyday objects to teach the truth about Himself:

John 6:35 – I am the BREAD of Life – By this He was teaching us that we must partake of His work for spiritual life, satisfaction for our spiritual hunger and the basis of our eternal salvation.

John 10:9 – I am the DOOR – By this He is saying that He is the entryway into salvation, which leads to an eternity in God’s presence.

John 15:5 – I am the true VINE – By this symbol He was expressing that He is the source of our strength, our life, and the bearing of our spiritual fruit

—————————————————-

In this lesson we will be looking at the symbols that Christ used to help us understand truths about His local churches on earth.

THE SCRIPTURE:

1Tim 3:15 (KJV)  – But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

THE STUDY:

Here is a listing of 10 different items in the NT believers lives that helped them (and us) understand His church on earth.

  1. The Salt of the Earth – Matt 5:13
    1. Preserving influence in the earth
    2. Flavor, better earthly existence
  2. The Light of the World – Matt 5:14
    1. Reveals the Truth
    2. Removes Darkness
  3. The Inn – Luke 10:34
    1. Place to Care and Nurture God’s People Once They Are Saved
  4. The Flock of God – Acts 20:28
    1. Led by the Lord
    2. Fed by the Lord
    3. Protected by the Lord
  5. The Body of Christ – 1 Cor 12:27
    1. Unity of Many Differing Members
    2. Follows Instructions Given by the Head (Christ)
    3. Works for Each Others Benefit
  6. The Temple of the Living God – 2 Cor 6:16
    1. Lives Within The Church
    2. Worshipped Within the Church
    3. Taught Of Him
  7. The Virgin Bride of Christ – 2 Cor 11:2
    1. Moral Purity
    2. Commitment Made Based upon Love
    3. Submission Given Based upon Reciprocal Love, Respect and Honor
  8. The Household of God – 1 Tim 3:15
    1. Where God and His Family Meet Together
  9. The Pillar and Ground of the Truth – 1 Tim 3:15
    1. To Support Truth
    2. To Elevate the Truth
  10. Candlestick – Rev 1:20
    1. To Shine Light of Christ To World
    2. To Possess His Authority Thru Spirit’s Workings

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

The importance of coming to an understanding of Bible doctrine cannot be overemphasized. Our loving heavenly Father has seen fit to make this understanding a bit easier for each of us through the use of many, varied Bible symbols.

For those who have yet to be saved…

The most important Bible truths for anyone to understand are truths about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the introductory portion of this blog entry, we find that Christ is declared as the gateway (door) to forgiveness, salvation and an eternity with the Heavenly Father.  It is through the application of His work to our lives that we are given salvation from our sins, much like the partaking of bread brings about satisfaction from the spiritual hunger in which we all share. And finally, our source of spiritual life and divine supplies comes from Him also.

Won’t you come to Christ today, realizing He is the only source of forgiveness for your sins and an eternal relationship with the heavenly Father?

—————————————————————————–

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

—————————————————————————–