In 2 Peter, the threat to the church comes from within. False teachers were bringing false doctrine and immorality into the church. Peter wants to warn the saints away and strengthen them against such people who have risen among them.
How to do that? He starts off by saying the saints need to make extraordinary effort to grow spiritually, 2 Pet 1.5-11. Much needs to be added to faith for it to be effective and saving. Faith that just sits there doing nothing goes nowhere, certainly not to heaven. Neither will it be able to resist false teaching when it appears.
For such intense effort, how is one to keep from discouragement? By focusing on God and his power. Continue reading
Post an article on doctrine, and especially on one of the brotherhood’s favorite subjects, and our people will flock to it. Post one on prayer, evangelism, the Christian virtues, or some other practical aspect of our faith, and watch it cry for attention. This tendency has been noted over and over again in the various sites published by Forthright/GoSpeak.
If there is a solution to this problem—and it is a serious one—only God knows. (He does know the solution: it’s called repentance. How to get our people to repent is another issue.)
If the Lord Jesus requires obedience to his covenant, let us be obedient in all things. Let us teach all his will, and practice it as well. Continue reading
This article was written in simple English for an international magazine. We’d like to share it here with you.
Only one God exists. There are not many gods. The one true God created the entire universe. He himself is not created, but he created all things. All other things that are called gods are nothing but idols created by man. Human beings should not worship things they have created.
The one God has revealed himself to mankind. He gave his favorite creature free will. This is the ability to choose between different options and to act according to his choices. The first two people created were Adam and Eve. They chose to disobey God. This choice brought death to them and to all mankind as a result.
Today, no one lives according to God’s will. This is sin. Sin is rebellion against God. Sin separates us from God. We need someone to restore us to God’s glorious presence. Continue reading
This Twitter quote about writing got me to thinking about the writers, and about us the readers, of Scripture: “I love writing that allows for many things to happen at once…”
When we read the word of God with an open heart and mind, Scripture allows many things to happen at once. Continue reading
As a long-term investment in our health and work, Vicki and I let few things interfere with our thrice-weekly workouts. But a few things are more important. Such as a baptism. Yesterday, I baptized a couple we had been studying with, and they chose the best time for the two of them, at 4:30 pm—on his day off, and right after she got off from work, still early enough in the day so that the water was bearable. (It’s wintertime here, and the baptism was done in an outdoor pool.) That caused us to miss our workout, and we were happy to miss it. To help someone move from a state of lostness to receive salvation in Christ is of all things the most important.
“So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen” 2 Tim 2.10 NLT.
What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year,
And that which was proved true before
Proved false again? Two hundred more.
—Samuel Butler (1600-1680), in Hudibras. Part 3. Canto 1.
—Treasury of David—Psalm 26
Spurgeon quoted this verse, and nothing else, in his comment on Psalm 26.10, about sinners “who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.” Remember that the pound is the UK’s currency.
Money changes what many people will preach as the truth. The Greek orators took up any argument for pay. That idolatry is found in religion today and in some places even in the church of God.
While we pray that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his fields, we pray also that they may be people of integrity and righteousness, people of conviction and loyalty to “the grace of God in all its truth” Col 1.6 (as rendered by the Brazilian NVI version).
The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
Prov 10.8 NIV
Jesus came to earth in order to do the Father’s will, Heb 10.7. He learned obedience, Heb 5.8. As the obedient Son, “he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” Heb 5.9.
At heart, the self-named progressives rebel at obedience. They are self-willed and rebellious against the will of God. They are ruthless in removing from the faith the necessity to submit to God’s rule, all the while mouthing nonsense about love, tolerance, and acceptance. Continue reading
King Ahab let his pagan wife Jezebel do all the dirty work. She conspired to get Naboth’s vineyard for him, as he pouted on his bed, face turned to the wall. The Lord sent his servant the prophet Elijah to confront him, at the very moment he was taking possession of the vineyard.
Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, 1 Kings 21.20 NIV.
Contrast what Elijah said about Ahab, selling himself to do evil, with what the Lord Jesus Christ did: Continue reading
Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, Col 1.6.
The gospel speaks of Jesus. It is content and communication, the power of God for salvation, “the message of truth” v. 5. As communication, the Good News must be heard and understood. Anyone can communicate it. The Colossians learned it from Epaphras, v. 7. One need not be an apostle to transmit it.
On the lips of many disciples, the Good News bears fruit and grows. It is not limited in its extent nor in its location. It does not depend upon huge financial resources nor upon eloquent preachers. It does depend upon everyone speaking and many hearing. Continue reading