Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

This old world has so many things backward it isn’t even funny. They have what past generations would call, “The cart before the horse”.  And everyone knows that when you do this, no one is going anywhere fast, if at all.

Such is the case with marriage today. Men and women are living together, having sexual relations, bearing children, and then considering marriage. It’s like the old proverb, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. Is it any wonder why men no longer respect and revere women as they did in past generations. Is it any wonder why women no longer honor men as they did long ago? Men are using women for sex and women are using men for their seed.

God placed marriage in its proper order. Moses wrote, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Jesus said, “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:6-9).

Even in nursery rhymes mankind used to have it right. Remember this one, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes (the wife) with the baby carriage”? Trouble is, marriage is not for children but is for adults who are eligible for marriage.

So, what went wrong with the world to cause them to forsake God’s commandment concerning marriage? It’s really quite simple, they forgot God and His Word. They sought to enjoy the pleasures of this world (Heb 11:25) and heaped to themselves teachers who taught them what they wanted to hear as opposed to what they needed to hear. As Paul wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim 4:3-4).

Is it any wonder why the divorce rate is so high? Is it any wonder why so many remarry and most of them marry into adultery. They do this for several reasons. One, they don’t know what God said about divorce. For the record, He hates it! (Mal 2:16). Secondly, even if they know what God says about divorce and remarriage and adultery, they are determined to do as they please. Jesus speaking about this subject said, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matt 19:9). Paul wrote concering the wife, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord” (1 Cor 7:39).

Just in case you still don’t understand the order of things God had written concerning marriage, read this: God made one man for one woman for life. Husbands were commanded to love their wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it (Eph 5:25). Wives were commanded to love, obey, and reverence their husbands even as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord (1 Pet 3:6 ff; Eph 5:33; Tit 2:4,5). God gave man one exception for divorce and that was if his wife committed fornication (Matt 5:32). God bound a woman to her husband as long as he lived (Rom 7:2,3). If she divorces her husband she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband (1 Cor 7:10,11).

Yes, marriage was and is and always will be designed till death do you part. As the old classic song goes: “Love and marriage, love and marriage; They go together like a horse and carriage; This I tell you, brother; You can’t have one without the other”. The Hebrew writer gives us the ultimate conclusion concerning Godly marriage when he wrote, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4).

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Members of cults seem to share similar characteristics. In New Testament times there were those who exhibited the same traits and became victims of false teachers. What are the qualities that make a person a prime target for recruitment into a religious cult?

Believed the Teacher More Than the Teaching

A prime example of this is found in Acts 14:8-18. Paul and Barnabas healed a man. The people tried to worship them as gods, but Paul and Barnabas insisted that they were just men and should not be treated that way (v 12-14). Even after this, they could not stop the multitude from sacrificing to them (v 18). Imagine what could happen if Paul and Barnabas encouraged the crowd to worship them instead. Cult teachers tend to be intimidating. When they find someone who can be so influenced by a teacher, they will have an easy time recruiting followers.

Never Question the Teacher nor their Doctrine

Stories about the shady practices of cult leaders are easy to find in the media, yet their followers are often not dissuaded. Why not? Followers have blind allegiance and refuse to ask hard questions about the cult, its leaders, its teachings, etc. Not only that, followers will defend their actions and teachings. This sounds Biblically familiar.

Jesus asked, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher,” (Lk 6:39-40). Just as a righteous teacher can foster righteous disciples, false teachers can foster lost, unquestioning followers.

Believers are Isolated

The biggest fear cults have is losing their converts. If they had the truth, they would not have to be afraid. However, they want complete and utter control of all their members. This is achieved by isolating them from family and friends. They are trained only to talk with those who will listen and not question other people like them. In contrast, Christians are encouraged to associate with non-Christians in order to have a positive influence (Matt. 5:13-16 ff; I Cor. 7:13-16, I Cor. 5:9-10). We do not want Christians to fall away but also do not fear a fallen Christian exposing “secrets” or the inner-workings of the church like those who leave cults tend to do.

Irrational Confidence in the Cult’s Teaching

Christians are told to examine themselves regularly to make sure they are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). Many Christians, including the apostles, had to be rebuked for doing things that were wrong (Gal. 2:11-12 ff; Gal. 1:6-9; I Cor. 5:1-2; Acts 5:1-5). I have been in many studies with those who belong to cults. I consistently tell them that while I do not believe I am wrong, I will certainly admit that I am if it can be proven. When I ask them to state the same, they refuse. Why? They are puffed up and think the cult is infallible. We all need to remember the words in Romans 12:3, “…not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

Cults only have as much power as their members give them. Remember that faith grounded in genuine truth has nothing to hide and nothing to fear with an honest discussion of the scripture. Children of God are supposed to only speak by the oracles of God (I Pet. 4:11 f; 2 Tim. 3:16). They are not to teach for doctrine the commandments of men (Matt 15:7-9).

Cults Are Structured In Lies

Cults cannot exist without lies. Their leaders claim they heard the voice of God. They claim they have seen God. They claim God wants them to write new revelations (2 Pet 1:3). They claim that they are God. They claim they are the prophets of God. They claim only they can interpret the scriptures. They claim they know the end of times (Matt 24:36).  Jesus said it plainly, You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (Jn 8:44). No man has ever seen or heard the voice of God and lived (Jn 1:18 f; Jn 5:37).  If someone was a prophet of God, their prophecies came true every time. “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ — when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut 18:21-22). There are many false teachers in the world and for this reason must try them by the scriptures (1 Jn 4:1). When they speak that which the scripture does not say, they are a false teacher. When they add to God’s Word, they are a false teacher (1 Cor 4:6). When they subtract from God’s Word, they are a false teacher (Rev 22:18,19). When they speak great swelling words of vanity in order to make monetary gain from you, they are false teachers (2 Pet 2:1-3 f; Rom 16:17,18).

Are You Brainwashed?

If God’s people were brainwashed, then nothing that was offered to the Lord would be genuine. Something cannot be done out of free-will if that person does not even have a will. This explains why Christians are told such words as, “beware”, “watch”, “take heed”, “choose”, etc. Just as God’s people can choose to serve faithfully, they can also choose to disobey (Matt. 13:18-23).

When people honestly and sincerely study and search the scripture, separate and apart from the bias of others, they will come to the same conclusion as early day Christians did. When people are honest seekers of the truth, they will come open-minded and free of preconceived ideas. They will not be naive, but like the Bereans who after they heard the Word, searched the scriptures daily proving what they had heard was so (Acts 17:11). Sincere believers have an open mind, a ready mind, and trusted only after they had verified what they had heard by God’s Word. Notice, they did not verify what they had heard by personal beliefs, family beliefs, friend’s beliefs, or by someone they revered. Their proof was in the scripture (1 Thess 5:21).

 

Is God first in your life? How much time do you spend worshipping God? How much time do you spend reading the bible and studying it? How much time do you spend helping others? How much time do you spend teaching God’s Word? What much time is too much to give to our Creator?

In Our Life

From the first moments of our existence to the last breath we take, our life is centered around us. We feed and clothe our bodies with the best we can afford. When we are sick we seek the best medical treatment from any source available to us.

Yet, how often do we care for our soul? How often do we feast off of the Bible by reading, studying, and learning God’s Word (1 Tim 4:13 ff; 2 Tim 2:15; Mt 11:29)? David said his soul thirsted for God (Ps 42:2). Job said he treasured the words of God’s mouth more than his necessary food (Job 23:12). When we increase in the knowledge of God we grow spiritually and are able not only to save ourselves but all those who seek to be saved (Col 1:9,10 ff; 1 Pet 2:2; 1 Tim 4:16).

Imagine having God clothe us with His righteousness and salvation (Isa 61:10).  This He does when we obey the gospel of Christ. Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith“ (Rom 1:16,17).

Most turn to doctors like a baby turns to their mother when they are sick. How often do we as Christians turn to God for our deliverance (2 Chron 33:12)? Even doctors will testify that it’s not them that cures, but God. How often do we forget the great physician in prayer for our deliverance (Ps 103:2,3)? Have we become faithless in a generation that has forgotten God (Ps 44:20,21)? Are we calling God a liar (Rom 3:4)? Did He promise, and not deliver (Rom 4:21 f; Josh 21:45)? Didn’t the apostle James write, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (Jam 5:14,15). What part of that promise is ambiguous or deceptive?

Jesus made it perfectly clear with his sermon on the mount. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on”….If God who takes care of the birds of the air, and the lilies of the field__HE WILL TAKE CARE OF HIS OWN! … “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt 6:25-34 f; Mt 10:28-30).

In Service To God

We give ourselves our quality time and give God our pastime. If we showed up for work 4 hours a week would we not be fired? If we offered our families only 4 hours a week, would they not consider themselves abandoned? As David wrote, “But My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would have none of Me.” (Ps 81:11).

We offer God 4 hours a week, and that grudgingly. David was glad to be in the House of the Lord (Ps 122:1). Are we? If we were serious about our salvation would we not be banging at the doors of God’s congregation at every available opportunity? Would we not be seeking ways to make ourselves available to do the work of the church instead of avoiding it?

If your house was getting dilapidated would you not repair it? If your young children sought to run away, would you not go after them with love and open arms? Yet, the House of God loses members daily, and no one seems to even care.

The work of the church doesn’t just belong to elders and deacons, and preachers, but unto all brethren. We must be willing to assist them, and encourage them, and help them daily. Jesus said it as plainly as one can when he said, “The harvest is truly plenteous, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Mt 9:37,38).

Let us as Christians place God first in our lives. This means giving up our time, our wealth, and our talents to God, and to the furtherance of the gospel. Jesus made it very clear that no one can serve two masters, both God and wealth (Matt 6:24). We have to choose which kingdom to which we belong: the kingdom of the world or the kingdom of God. Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15). Our answer is revealed in whom we put first in our lives. When we put the world first, we get the world’s consolation (Lk 6:24). When we put God FIRST, our soul will LAST an eternity.

Spiritual Child Abuse

With child abuse in the news concerning immigrant children, I thought it a good idea to reflect on the causes of child abuse. Psychologists, psychiatrists, law officials, welfare department officials, and the courts are working on the problem of child abuse daily. They examine child abuse from a social perspective while ignoring the spiritual perspective. I believe child abuse stems from spiritual problems that mankind overlooks.

The Breakdown of the Family

Much of the child abuse is from step-fathers and live-in lovers. Child abuse is a consequence of the deterioration of the family. A society cannot ignore the divine commandments regarding the marriage relationship without paying the price for breaking it. God ordained that marriage be a lifetime commitment (Gen 2:24 f; Matt 19:4-8). Marriage is only terminated by fornication and death itself (Matt 19:9 f; 1 Cor 7:39).  The stable family relationship is the God-appointed environment for rearing children.

Parents who change mates like they change clothes, bringing in someone who has never bonded with the children, create the situation in which child abuse is likely to occur. The “natural affection” which should exist between parent and child is not present (Rom. 1:31).

We can greatly reduce child abuse by mothers and fathers keeping their marital vows to one another and keeping the home intact. As parents who love one another, we can rear our children in an atmosphere of love, not in an environment of child abuse.

Victims Become Abusers

Child abuse is a learned behavior. Children mimic their parents. A child who has been a victim of child abuse in his youth is a potential child abuser. The Scriptures state that the learned habit of sin is passed down from one generation to another (“visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Ex. 20:4). There are second and third generation child abusers prevalent among us. The patterns of conduct learned from the parent are followed by the children and passed down to their children. We can prevent child abuse by being good parents. Let our children see in us a good example of parental conduct and child abuse will decrease.

The Scriptures prescribe the conduct of parents toward children: “And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they are discouraged” (Col. 3:20). Verbal abuse would end when parents put away from their lives “bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking” (Eph. 4:31).

Homosexual and Lesbian Parents

It is difficult to miss that child abuse has increased among heterosexual parents but nearly nonexistent among gay and lesbian parents. This is because such parents do not correct their children in the biblical way that society defines as abuse. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Prov 22:15). “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (Prov 23:13-14). Whenever we fail to correct our children we are in effect abusing them.

According to the scriptures, when we train up a child correctly, they will not depart from it their whole life through (Prov 22:6). Is not society allowing children to be trained to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual), or tolerant of such, by the examples set before them? This is spiritual child abuse!

It is also noteworthy that ungodly parents are training up their children to deny God’s existence and to be a heartless generation. This too is child abuse in the spiritual realm.

A Spiritual Problem

Child abuse occurs because of distinctly spiritual problems which cannot be cured by government programs and organizations. Being a spiritual problem, a spiritual cure is necessary to change the hearts of men and women.

The influence of the gospel on society has always been wholesome. The gospel, even when it does not convert the world, leavens the society in which it is prevalent. As a society becomes more secular, removing God from its classroom and other public forums, the leavening influence of the gospel is methodically eradicated. We can expect more and more social problems to occur, stemming from people who have little or no commitment to live by the ethical standards revealed by God. What a price we pay for leaving God out of our lives!

It is difficult for right thinking people to comprehend the thought of an adult harming a young and helpless child. Social agencies are inundated with investigations of child molestation and endangerment cases. Children are frequently removed from the custody of their biological parents, to be placed in an environment thought suitable for normal development. These are alarming indicators of the value society places on children, and on life itself. However, child abuse is not limited to the dysfunctional misfits of the world but is alive and well among believers. Not necessarily physical endangerment and molestation, but rather spiritual child abuse.

Spiritual Rebellion

Parents breed rebellion when they do not instruct their children to submit to God and require them to respect others. Manifestations of this include, parents permitting their children to rule the home by catering to their every whim, disrespect of teachers, disrespect of adults and disrespect of civil authority. All of which is disrespectful (a sin against) of God’s authority. As adults, these children will have difficulty until they learn to respect authority; whether in the workplace, government, or church. Parents instruct their children in the way of rebellion by poor example by telling them to respect authority, yet demonstrating contempt for God’s authority by refusing to submit to the elders of the church (Heb 13:7), speaking evil of civil authorities (2 Pet 2:20 f; Tit 3:1), and not submitting to one another (Eph 5:21). All of which sends mixed signals. What’s the difference between this and physical child abuse? When you observe out of control children, you are seeing a miniature version of out of control parents. When parents refuse their God-given role to take charge, keep their children under control, and make them obey and respect others, they are sinning.

We are all appalled by the reports of children being physically abused. Are we as equally concerned about spiritual child abuse? Are we concerned enough to modify our actions, and help others too? Parents and grandparents must wake up to the fact that the effects of spiritual child abuse last far longer than physical abuse, and that both are equally deplorable.

Conclusion: In Washington D.C., there are calls from both sides of the aisle to end child separation among illegal immigrants. I would agree that the child should not be punished for the crimes of the parents (Ex 18:20). Stop illegal immigration but don’t abuse children in the process should be the solution.

I am also aware that there are physical and sexual abuse of Children in our society which not only is a crime but is a grave sin. However, the greatest form of child abuse is spiritual child abuse.

I am acutely aware of child abuse by biological parents. More often than not, these are non-Christian families who live riotous lives. However, a Christian family has been proven to be the best place to rear children throughout the ages. They correct their children appropriately when they do wrong. They teach them the ways of God, morally and spiritually, according to the scriptures. They show them by examples how to be future parents by their moral values. Adulterous marriages, gay and lesbian marriages, and fornicators are havens for child abuse. “Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6).

Christian Love

Loving your neighbor as yourself was called the second greatest commandment, second only to love the Lord your God (Matt 22:37-39). Luke records the encounter between Jesus and an expert in the law, in which Jesus confirms the significance of this command.

The lawyer asks Jesus: “Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus asked the Lawyer: “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, love your neighbor as yourself.” “Right!” Jesus told him, “Do this and you will live!” The lawyer followed up with a second question, rooted in situational morality: “Who is my neighbor?” (Lk 10:25-29).

Who do I have to consider as a neighbor? Which of my neighbors do I have to love? Are there any exceptions?

To clarify the precept “love your neighbor”, Jesus provides the lawyer with the example we know as “The Parable of The Good Samaritan”. The parable exposes the religious hypocrisy prominent among the Pharisees. The parable also involves divine reversal – portraying a Samaritan as the hero, and definitively depicting love as sacrificial sharing indicative of God’s love:

Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. “If his bill runs higher than that,” he said, “I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.” (Lk 10:33-35)

Jesus concludes this teaching opportunity by charging His disciples to follow the example of the Samaritan; living the second commandment in a way that demonstrates the sacrificial sharing inherent in God’s love:

Now, which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “the one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” (Lk 10:36-37).

Our neighbor is not just the ones living next door to us, but every person we come in contact with who is in need of assistance. What is sad is that most Christians don’t even come close to loving their neighbor as themselves. And if that isn’t bad enough, consider this, Jesus added to all Christians a new commandment. This commandment was to love one another even as Christ also loved us. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (Jn 13:34,35). The apostle Paul was to place both of these commandments in perspective to one another when he wrote, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10).

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 Jn 3:16-17). Even as loving our neighbor as ourselves fulfill the royal law (Jam 2:8), by bearing one another burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). Therefore, if Christians truly love God, they love also their fellow brethren (1 Jn 4:20,21) and love sinners as Christ also loved them and gave himself for them (1 Jn 4:8-11).

Since the gospel was first preached, hearing was the first primary step of salvation. After all, faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). However, one can read or hear the Word preached their whole life through, but until one fully understands what they have read or heard, what does it profit them?

Before Phillip taught the Ethiopian eunuch, the lack of understanding was a hindrance to his salvation. The eunuch could read the scripture, but he did not understand the content of what he was reading. To this end was Phillip sent to the eunuch. When Phillip explained that the man Isaiah was speaking of was Jesus Christ, his understanding was opened. Phillip then preached to him Jesus, that is, the gospel of Christ, and the eunuch was baptized subsequent to his confessed belief that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 8:29-39).

The reason why the church is not to baptize little children or babies is that neither of them has a full understanding of the Word of God. A baby being baptized is like baptizing a faithless adult: one can’t believe, and the other refuses. The truth is, baptizing either one of these is pure futility, and only accomplishes in getting them wet. Before we are baptized, we must have a good understanding of why we go down into the water, and what to expect once we are raised to walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:3,4).

Many are baptized much too quickly, and too suddenly, not being taught the full gospel. Way too often many are taught to believe and be baptized but are not taught to repent of their sins (Mk 16:16 f; Acts 2:38). Therefore, many so-called Christians today are still in their sins, because they have never departed from their sins. This occurs to many who are living in adultery, and once baptized continue in their adulterous marriage. Baptism can’t wash away our sins until we first repent of them (Lk 13:3).

Many think that ignorance of God’s Word is an excuse which God will pardon come the day of judgment. However, God made it clear that He no longer winks at ignorance, but demands repentance of us all (Acts 17:30). This is why God demands each one who becomes a Christian to study the Word of God (2 Tim 2:15). God wants us to increase and grow in the knowledge of the scriptures (Col 1:9,10 f; 2 Pet 3:18). Christians are to study and learn for multiple reasons: To be able to save ourselves; (Acts 2:40) To be able to save others; (1 Tim 4:16) To be able to defend and contend for the faith against false doctrine; (Philip 1:15-18f ; Jude 3) To be able to stand against the trickery of the devil; (Eph 6:11-17) And to endure temptation and suffering for the cause of Christ (1 Pet 2:21 ff; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Pet 4:16).

We don’t learn the Word of God in one day, one week, one month, one year, and not all in one lifetime. We begin learning from the time we are baptized into Christ from a variety of sources. We can learn from Christian parents, seasoned elders, and mature brethren. We learn from a personal study, and we learn from those who are highly educated in the faith. We have to be careful of the sources we learn and to remember that not everyone is of the faith of Jesus Christ, and can lead us astray (1 Jn 4:1). To this end we must be like the Bereans and search the scriptures to be assured that what we are being taught is from God, and not from the opinions of mankind (Acts 17:11). Be careful what you hear, and be careful how you hear (Mk 12:24 f; Lk 8:18).

Understanding is often a forgotten step of salvation because it demands most of our time and energy. Understanding is a lifetime occupation and never ends as long as we are alive. It’s something we must do every day and night. (Ps 1:2). Phillip may have only asked the eunuch, but his question still resonates with us today. “Understand what you read”?

Vain Worship

Approximately one-third of the world’s population declares themselves as Christians. There are reportedly about 34,000 different denominations (2.42 billion members) in the world which all read the same bible, yet come to different conclusions about its meaning. As it has been said before, no two opposing views can be right at the same time. All of these churches can’t be right, but they all can be wrong. The question is, who is worshiping God in vain?

Denominations vs The Bible

The Catholic church teaches sprinkling of babies. The bible teaches of immersion and that of confessed believing adults (Acts 8:36-38).

The Lutherans and Baptists, as well as many denominations, teach that one can be saved by faith only. The bible teaches faith plus confession plus repentance plus baptism plus faithfulness equals salvation (Mk 16:16 ff; Rom 10:10; Acts 2:38; Rev 2:10).

The Christian church teaches as well as do most all denominations that using instruments of music is justified because “If God does not condemn a thing, then it is all right to do it.” The Bible teaches for churches to sing and make melody in the heart (Eph 5:19). The Bible condemns all who add to God’s Word and goes beyond that which is written in the scriptures (Rev 22:18,19 ff; 1 Cor 4:6).

The Christian Scientist Church do not baptize or partake of the Lord’s Supper. Many denominations partake of the Lord’s Supper quarterly or biannually. The Bible teaches all Christians to partake of the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week in memory of the Lord’s death (Acts 20:7 f; 1 Cor 11:24-26).

The Mormons have their own bible called the Book of Mormon. Contained in their bible are the words: “A man is a fool who says the Bible is sufficient and that it contains all of God’s revealed truth” (2 Nephi 29:2-12). Several religions have published their own Bibles such as the Catholic church and many print their own bibles with subtle changes. The bible teaches that God has given us all things that pertain to life and to godliness through the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet 1:3).

The Seventh Day Adventist Church teaches that Christians are to worship on Saturday and that the 10 commandments are still in effect. The scriptures teach that all Christians met on Sunday and that the entire law of Moses, including the 10 commandments, was nailed to the cross and abolished (Acts 20:7 ff; Col 2:14; Eph 2:15).

Conclusion: Countless denominations all wear different names, teach different doctrines, practice different forms of worship, have different plans of salvation, and each has its own earthly headquarters.  How could anyone conclude that scripture authorizes any of this present confusion or that God is at all pleased by the wholesale abandonment of His plan as contained in the Scriptures?  “For God is not the author of confusion” (1 Cor 14:33). However, mankind is totally confused which way to follow.  If all the denominational churches were all teaching and following only God’s word as found contained in the Holy Bible, then there would only be one church, the church of Christ.

Jesus warns us against allowing the authority of the traditions of men to determine doctrine.  He says, “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition…And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt 15:6-9).

God’s word warns us to “Beware of false prophets, who come to us in sheep’s clothing” (Matt 7:15), and “many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn 4:1). There is so much false doctrine being taught today, which many people blindly accept. On the Day of Judgment, we are going to be judged only by what the Lord says in the Bible, and not what men falsely teach.  Jesus said, “He who rejects, Me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him: the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (Jn 12:48).

The Bible warns us “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men” (Eph 4:14) Christ is the only “author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb 5:9) If we follow any of the many plans men have devised we will be eternally lost. Our salvation in Heaven is too great to lose because if we don’t go to Heaven we will spend forever and ever in the torments of a burning Hell (Mk 9:43-48).  We can’t afford to be wrong concerning our eternal salvation.

There is only one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism (Eph 4:4-6) This one Lord is Jesus Christ. This one Faith is the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn 9) This one baptism is the gospel of Christ, and anyone who teaches another gospel shall be accursed (Gal 1:8,9). There is only one Body and that Body was called the Church, which Jesus is the head thereof (Col 1:18 f; Eph 1:22,23). All Christians are baptized into this one Body (the Church) (1 Cor 12:13) If we believe Jesus is the Christ and confess it before men (Rom 10:9,10); If we repent and are baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38); And if we remain faithful to the doctrine of Christ, we shall be saved and receive a crown of life (Rev 2:10 f; Jam 1:12).

All who obey not the gospel of Christ shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power (2 Thess 1:7-9) Obey the Lord today and reject denominationalism before it’s eternally too late (2 Cor 6:2).

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