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

Have you ever heard  this argument concerning homosexuality: “If you are going to condemn homosexuality because the Bible condemns homosexuality, then you also must condemn eating pork and shellfish because the Bible also condemns that. Then they add to their argument: “The Bible also commands that adulterers be stoned, so why don’t you do that?” Now of course, what they are actually advocating is for society to ignore biblical teachings which condemns their favorite sin. What they are ignorant of is the difference between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ, and as to which one is still in effect and which one has ended.

The Bible certainly does contain prohibitions on the eating of certain kinds of foods, including pork, catfish, shellfish, and other food items (Lev 11:1-23). And the Bible clearly commands that adulterers, as well as a host of other sexually immoral persons, including a man who lies (has sexual intercourse) with a male as he lies with a woman, are to be stoned to death (Lev 20:8-21). However, what is overlooked by those who cite these biblical injunctions is that all of them are part of the Law of Moses that governed the Hebrew people, the Israelites or commonly known as the Jews, before the coming of Christ and the inauguration of the New Testament (covenant).

The Law of Moses was given to Israel (Deut 5:1-3). It was never binding upon Gentiles except as Gentiles voluntarily became proselytes to the Jewish faith. With the ministry of Christ and His death on the cross, the Old Covenant was abolished and the gospel, the law of Christ, became effective. Christ fulfilled the Old Testament law (Matt 5:17) and took it out of the way, “having nailed it to His cross” (Col 2:14). “Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Col 2:16-17).For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes (Rom 10:4).

Christians do not observe the sabbath, celebrate the Old Testament feasts or festivals, observe the dietary laws of Judaism, or stone adulterers and homosexuals. In the past, God spoke to the Hebrew fathers by the prophets, but “in these last days (the Christian age), [He] has spoken to us by His Son” (Heb 1:1-2). The gospel of Christ is for every person in all nations, both Jews and Gentiles (Matt 28:18-20 f; Mk 16:15-16). The gospel of Christ, not the Law of Moses, is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Rom 1:16 cf; 3:20).

The gospel (the law of Christ, the New Testament) places no restrictions on certain foods. Rather, all foods have been created by God “to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim 4:3-4).

At the same time, the gospel (the law of Christ, the New Testament) makes it clear that adultery, fornication, and homosexuality, etc are still wrong and are still as severely condemned as they were under the Old Testament. (Rom 1:26-32 ff; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 21:8). The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament with reference to these and other kinds of sexual sins is that God (not man) is the final Judge and Executioner (Rom 1:32; 2:16 ff; 2 Cor 5:10-11; Rev 20:12). In the meantime, while man is not the judge and executioner in such matters, Christians are to have no fellowship with members of the church who persist in a sinful and disobedient lifestyle (1 Cor 5).

Thus, before one begins to make uninformed charges about “cherry-picking biblical laws,” it would be beneficial for one to become informed about the different religious covenants set forth in the Bible, and to determine to whom the various laws were given and how long those laws continued in force.

Be diligent (study) to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing (handling accurately) the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).

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Prove All Things

The beloved apostle Paul stated “Prove all things; hold firm to that which is good,”  (1 Thess 5:21). Carefully note what he told us should be a guiding principle of our lives: “Prove (confirm, verify, make sure of) all things (not just a few of them, but every single one of them); hold fast to (make them firm and sure in your life, do not let go of) that which is good (after you have done all that is in your power to make sure that it really is good and fine and acceptable to the all-powerful and benevolent God of Heaven).” Not only is this a mandatory requirement for the Christian where all spiritual affairs are concerned, but it has a very imperative application to the physical world also.

John reaffirmed this high principle of thorough investigation (1 Jn 4:1) with the statement, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We can see the proof of it all around us each day of our lives and in every generation.

Paul, the apostle, made this affirmation (2 Cor 13:1), “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” On another occasion he said (1 Tim 5:19), “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” An accusation must not be allowed to stand in and of itself. Without some kind of meaningful support it is at enmity with truth and logic. Without proof, it is only so much “blowing into the wind.”

This principle of requiring two or three witnesses was not something new by any means, for the Hebrew writer noted that “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Heb 10:28). That there must be two or three witnesses to establish the facts if a given matter is also indicated in the Old Testament (for example, Deuteronomy 17:6), but notice that one witness could not convict a person. “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

We should here recall that a witness cannot be one who thinks he knows the facts because of what “they all say,” or because of some conclusion he has reached through a very limited knowledge of the matter. A witness is one who has personally observed the facts of the situation himself and is able to testify of his first-hand knowledge of them. Hear-say and popular belief are not enough in any situation.

This is like many of the street-corner facts and old wives’ tales that we hear so many times. They sound good, but there is not much truth to be found in them.

Often the reputations of one or more persons will be involved in the stories that get about on the wings of idle gossip. Once a reputation has been lost through carelessness or maliciousness, there is absolutely no way it can be regained, at least not in the area of the country where the damage occurred. If such as this happens to an individual, his only recourse is to move on to another location.

Christ has said that “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16). If, therefore, one has not observed any fruits or he is uncertain about the meaning of the fruits that he has observed, it is the better part of wisdom to keep one’s mouth shut.

Most fitting for this study are the words of the Lord Jesus (Matt 7:1-3), “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why behold the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?

It is so much better to practice what Jesus speaks of (Luke 6:37), “Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven.

In truth, it profits us to remember the conclusion reached long ago by King Solomon (Eccl 12:13), “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” The apostle John said on this same matter, “And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him. And thereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us” (1 Jn 3:24).

That we might know what commandments he has given us, we must study (2 Tim 2:15). And not just a merely superficial study of his word, but we must be able to “Prove all things, hold firm to that which is good.” We must not prove all matters of faith by our own opinions or by the opinions of others, but by God’s Holy Word even as did the Berans! “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).

Generally, people who say, “You live your live and I will live mine”, are individuals who try to defend their life style when it is called into question.

However, the concept of the statement is a biblical one. Consider with me the statement found in Psalms 119:109 , “My life is continually in my hand, yet, I will not forget your law.” The inspired writer points out a truism of life. An individual, unless intellectually impaired by disease, accident, or birth defect, has total control over the course of life he chooses to take. Bottom line, life if what you make it. It’s your choice.

Notice the writer says that life is continually in our hands or control. Consequently, this takes all excuses away for bad behavior. It is not parents fault, siblings fault, friends fault, teachers fault, church’s fault, etc. It means we are not a victim when we exhibit bad behavior.

In Job 14:1, we are told “Man that is born of woman is short lived and full of problems.” Everyone has problems; even Jesus did. In Ecclessiates 9:22, we are told: “…time and chance” happen to all men. The best qualified does not always win, the righteous are not always treated fairly, the unrighteous sometimes get what they don’t deserve. Life is not fair, Satan will see to that.

In the 73rd Psalm, Asaph said that as he pondered the unfairness of life. It troubled his mind to the point of discouragement. He said he almost turned his back upon God until he came to the realization that both the righteous and the unrighteous are going to die. He realized it was at death that God would resolve the matter. It was at death the righteous would enter into eternity with God and the unrighteous would enter eternity without God.

God has never promised His children a life free from problems. He has promised he will try His saints (Ps 11:5,6). He has promised his saints that they all will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12). However, he has promised us how to deal with any challenge we face in life. Peter reveals to us in 2 Peter 1:3, that in the word of God, we “…have all things that pertain to life and godliness.“God gives us direction to deal with life. God allows Satan to bring difficulties into our life to see how genuine our faith and love for Him really is – “By their fruits, you shall know them” (Matt 7:20).  God warns us not to love money, the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10). God tells us to shun fornication (1 Cor 6:18). God’s Word tells us what sin is, and warns us not to commit such (1 Jn 3:4 f; Lev 5:17). Paul consoles us by saying, “No temptation (trial) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13).

We will all face God in the day of judgment (2 Cor 5:10). It is at that time our eternal destiny will be determined by whether or not we remember and applied God’s law to our life while in the flesh. Yes. you can live life by your own set of rules or you can choose God’s set of rules. If you choose your own rules, hell and damnation awaits you at the judgment. If you choose God’s set of rules, eternal life awaits you (2 Thess 1:7-9).

Yes, it is our life and it is our decision how we choose to live it (Josh 24:15). The question we must deal with is this, “Did I choose to live my live according to the will of God or the will of man?” Our choice regarding this question will determine our eternal destiny. It is our choice and we will have to live with it for eternity.

There is no doubt that sin exists in this world. Often people wonder why God allows such evil to happen.

What is sin? John defines sin as the breaking of law (1 Jn 3:4). If such a law did not exist, then there could be no violation of that law.for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom 4:15).

Some have foolishly argued that here lies a quick way to remove evil from the world – remove every law! It was once against the law to have sex outside of marriage. Those laws have been dropped from the books as being unenforceable. Has the sin of fornication therefore disappeared with the removal of the law? Has it even decreased? No, the exact opposite effect has been recorded. People are living together in staggering numbers and the rate is increasing phenomenally. It was once against the law to commit homosexual acts. Such laws didn’t eradicate the dreadful sin so it was removed. Now-a-days, not only do more people commit such sin, but now they have added to it by marring one another and rearing children. The same is true for murder, stealing, rape, abortion, adultery, and all kinds of sexual perversion. Laws don’t prevent sin, but laws do limit it.

The problem we must face is that evil still exists even when we do not acknowledge it in our laws. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses …” (Rom 5:12-14). Notice that even before God gave the law to Moses, sin was still in the world. Yet, God did not impute the punishment for sin against mankind.

Consider the age-old exclaim, “I didn’t know that was illegal!” Does our ignorance of a law mean the law doesn’t exist for us? Obviously no. We are still held accountable to uphold a law even if we did not know of its existence. Yet, if we truly had no way of knowing the law, the judge might be lenient in passing sentence.

Where Does Sin Originate?

James 1:12-18 explains that sin comes from people making the wrong choice. Sin originated from Satan and not from God (Jn 8:44). We all have desires that are necessary for us to live. Satan uses these natural tendencies to put us in situations where the satisfaction of our desire would cause us to break a command of God. It is a trap, but it is a snare that we willingly walk into because we want what is offered.

Not only does Satan tempt us, but our fellow men, already caught up in sin, will use our desires to gain their own goals (2 Pet 2:18-19). Temptation is so prevalent in this world that none are immune to sin (1 Cor 10:12). Yet, the situation is not hopeless. God remains in control, even when we are tempted to violate God’s laws (1 Cor 10:13).

Yet, if evil exists, and people will choose to do evil, why did God bother giving men a law? Paul explains that the law does not cause people to sin, but it does clarify our sins (Rom 7:7-12). The law, being from God, is holy and good. It defines for man what God sees as sin. It helps us understand the nature of sin and of evil.

Unfortunately, the law is also exploited by Satan. By defining sin, it lets us know about options we might not have considered before. Paul spoke in Romans 7. He, by nature, would not be one to covet what belongs to another man. But when he learned about coveting through the law, he faced the temptation to covet from the simple fact that he was now aware of the possibility. This does not excuse our decision. We have been warned in advance by the law. Hence, the law leaves us with no excuse when we violate the law.

Sin exists because people want it (Jer 5:30-31). God tolerates its existence because it creates a distinction between the righteous and the wicked (Rom 7:13). When we sin and we see the affect of evil on our lives, then we learn that God was right. We are forced to see that God’s laws are actually the best path because we see the devastation caused by people who sin. The existence of sin and the existence of people willing to commit sin show us just how bad off mankind is (Eccl 3:16-18).

When we battle against sin, we are strengthened by the effort (Jam 1:12). What kind of shape would we be spiritually in if we never exercised our faith? Even though the choices are not always enjoyable, I need the opportunity to make them so that I may be better able to serve God (2 Tim 2:15).

We must also acknowledge that evil continues to exist in this world because we refuse to recognize sin. This is the trap the Jews fell into (Rom 2:17-24). How can a person lead others out of sin if they wallow in sins that they feel are not so bad?

This was a major point in Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Murder is awful, but it is preceded by the sin of anger (Matt 5:21-22). Adultery is evil, but it is preceded by the sin of lust (Matt 5:27-28). We cannot make a half-hearted stand against evil. Evil will not go away if we accept some sins but reject others. This is an all-or-nothing war. Evil cannot be defeated if we allow sin to continue to exist in our own lives.

Where do you stand in this battle against evil? Either you are for righteousness and God, or you are against him (Matt 12:30). There is no middle ground (Rev 3:15,16).

Human beings have the tendency to glorify the former days and to set the men and women of those times upon pedestals and see them as almost superhuman. Things now are never precisely as they were back then, or so we tend to think.

Actually, the more time changes, the more they remain the same. Yes, technology has changed, architecture has changed, and man has gotten a lot smarter, but when you look below the surface, things are very similar to the way things were thousands of years ago. Politicians still tend to be corrupt. Government still does not have the confidence of the people. Taxes are still too high. Prices have gone up and wages have gone down. Hostilities and hatreds still abound. Wars and rumors of war still occur. Tyrants and despots still threaten world peace. Poverty and starvation is still with us. Terrorist still make the world a very dangerous place. What else is new? The wise man once warned us: Say not, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for you do not inquire wisely concerning this” (Eccl 7:10).

Those of us who respect the Bible and take it as our rule of faith, read of the heroes of those times and wonder sometimes at their courage in the face of all odds. It is only when we read, Elijah for example, “was a man of like passions with us” (Jam. 5:17), that we recognize that they must have felt the same fears and frustrations that we do. As the writer James points to the prophets “for an example of suffering and of patience,” he says that “we call them blessed that endured” (Jam 5:10,11). We respect them, admire them, and hold them up as examples for all generations.

So did the Jews of Jesus’ day. They admired and respected such saints as Abraham, Moses, and Elijah. They thought of them as heroes of faith. And, they thought of themselves as sons of the prophets. But the Lord said of them, “You build the sepulchers of the prophets, and garnish the tombs of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Wherefore you witness to yourselves, that you are sons of them that slew the prophets…” (Matt. 23:29-31). In the end, they murdered the Son of God. Indeed, they were not “sons of the prophets” but the “sons of them that slew the prophets.” It would have been hard for these religious zealots ever to have seen themselves in this role. However, that is what the Lord called them and that is what they were.

Our day is not populated with inspired prophets. All we can do at the present time is quote Scripture and cite Holy Writings as the authority for our preaching and teaching. The Bible is the God-breathed and authoritative will of heaven (2 Tim. 3:15-17). When men truly speak from the Bible today, they speak with all the authority of God, Jesus Christ, and his apostles and prophets. “If any man speak, let him speak as the Oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). So long as they contend earnestly for “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), their words are those of God. If they add to the message or delete anything from it, then the condemnation of heaven rests upon them and they ought not be respected or even given a hearing among the sons of men (1 Cor 4:6 ff; Gal 1:6-9; Col 3:17; Rev. 22:18-19; Deut. 4:2).

We must be on guard against this human tendency to “call them blessed that endured” and yet, by our actions in the present time, prove ourselves the “sons of them that slew the prophets.” Paul warned Timothy that “the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:3). By its very nature and essence, the Word of the Lord condemns the sins of every generation, ours included. Our own attitude toward God’s reproving Word and its messengers establishes which camp we are in.

Here are three pieces of scriptural advice which should help us to keep on the proper path:

Are We Really Listening To What Is Being Said?

Too often we jump to conclusions before the speaker has finished his thought. The Pharisees pre-judged Jesus this way, and here is what the Lord said about it: “Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing you shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them” (Matt. 13:13-15).

How We Hear Others Distinguishes Us
As Children Of Truth Or Error

It branded the enemies of Jesus as enemies of God: “He that is of God hears the words of God: for this cause you hear them not, because you are not of God” (Jn 8:47). Likewise, rejecting the words of the apostles separated them from those who hearkened to them, and distinguished the latter as the faithful: “They are of the world: therefore speak they as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God hears us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 Jn 4:5-6).

God’s Word Is The Final Judgment
For The Words of all Men

Every false teacher and every counterfeit prophet tries in some way to take the eyes of his followers off the Bible. Either he attempts to subvert its proper understanding, or he wants to discredit it, so that he may be looked upon as the authority among those who are his disciples. He will argue and debate over words (2 Tim 2:14). He will use denominational commentaries and lexicons to prove his opinions. He knows God’s Word condemns him, so he reaches for the commandments and doctrines of men (Col 2:8). God’s true nobility are rather like the people described in Acts 17:11: “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” He proves God’s Word by His Word (1 Thess 5:21). God’s Word should decide for us what is true and not the words of men.

Giving lip-service to the cause of the ancient prophets was insufficient for the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, and it will not suffice for us. Rather, having the courage to decry the sins of our own time, in our families, in our congregations, yea, in our own lives, this is what makes us worthy to “call them blessed that endured”! Times never really change and neither does God’s Word. Let us pray that we may endure with sincerity until the end, and prove it by our actions!

The book of Romans is Paul’s defense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the epistle, Paul details man’s sin, man’s need for justification, the conditions for justification, the effects of God’s grace, and the assurances of the child of God. He makes several statements of his dedication to the preaching this gospel in the opening chapter:

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son…” (Rom 1:9) I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:14-16).

Paul’s dedication to the gospel was not by accident, nor was he easily removed from his task of preaching. He was convicted of the gospel, the power of God that was contained in it, and the salvation which it promised. His willingness to defend the gospel of Christ is impressive for any Christian.

Separated for the Gospel

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God…” (Rom 1:1).

Paul, in particular, was called to become an apostle of Christ, and he was separated to preach the gospel. The Lord, in a vision unto Ananias, said of Paul: “…he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). The Lord appeared unto Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus with the purpose of using Paul as a chosen instrument.

Later, as Paul stood trial before Agrippa retelling his witnessing the resurrected Christ, we learn several things of Paul’s purpose in life. Jesus told Paul that it was His purpose to make Paul a minister of the gospel (Acts 26:16). Paul was to go unto the Gentiles “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins…” (Acts 26:18). The apostle Paul was divinely commissioned to go forth preaching and teaching the things which he had witnessed and had been told. His authority as an apostle of Christ was the same as the other apostles. Paul was called to be an apostle, separated to preach the gospel to the Jews and the Gentiles.

The Promise of the Gospel

…which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures…” (Rom 1:2).

The gospel had been promised by the Old Testament prophets and their writings. The new covenant had been prophesied about by Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-34). He also prophesied about the extension of the new covenant to all nations (Jer 31:34). The prophet Amos also spoke of the gospel being extended to the Gentiles (Amos 9:11-12). This truth was affirmed by the apostles themselves (Acts 15:15-17). The condition of the gospel, i.e., a system of justification by grace through faith, was spoken of beforehand as well (Hab 2:4 f; Romans 1:17). Knowing that the gospel was promised beforehand ought to reassure us of God’s plan of redemption. The fact that God carefully planned and foretold of the gospel of His Son reveals to us the great love God has for mankind. Through a careful study of the Scriptures we learn and understand the plan of redemption, and we are able to gain insight into the great salvation which has been revealed through the gospel of Christ (Eph 3:1-6).

The Object of the Gospel

…concerning his Son Jesus Christ…” (Rom 1:3).

The gospel which Paul was proclaiming was about Jesus Christ. Paul said that He preached Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). Everything that Paul proclaimed was for glory and honor unto Christ. When we preach the gospel of Christ it honors Christ Himself. Did Paul only preach the facts of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection? No! Paul certainly preached the Lordship of Christ, His Sonship, and obedience unto Christ (Romans 1:3-5). To not preach about the kingdom, rule, and Sovereignty of Christ is to not preach the gospel. Paul goes on through the Roman letter to affirm the grace of God, the necessity of faith, and obedience to the faith. When we neglect preaching any of these things then we fail to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through our preaching, just as in Paul’s, the purpose is to honor the central object of the gospel – Jesus Christ.

The Purpose of the Gospel

…for obedience to the faith…” (Rom 1:5).

The gospel has a purpose, and that purpose is to bring about obedience unto salvation. Paul said “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation…” (Rom 1:16). The goal that Paul had in mind was to demonstrate God’s power through the preaching of the gospel so that it might achieve the salvation of those who would put their faith in it, and obey it. The salvation that is promised within the gospel is the righteousness that comes from God, being justified by Him through faith (Rom 3:21-25). We are able to enjoy this salvation by confessing Christ as the Son of God (Rom 10:9-10), repenting of our sins (Rom 2:4), and being baptized into Christ (Rom 6:3-6).

Conclusion: The gospel of Christ is the glorious revelation of salvation unto man. We learn how we might be justified from our sins, and enjoy eternal life with God through His Son (Rom 5:21 cf; 6:23). Will you believe the gospel and respond in faith to it? If you fail to obey the gospel then there is wrath and anguish that will be upon your soul (Rom 2:8,9). However, through obedience then there is life and peace (Rom 8:3). This is the gospel which Paul preached, which the other apostles preached, and which Christ commanded. This is the same gospel we all shall be judged by come the day of Judgment (Rom 2:16). And if we preach any other gospel, we shall be accursed (Gal 1:8,9).

Many believe the spirits of dead people walk on the earth. Many “psychics” claim they can speak to the dead. Is it true? Do the spirits of the deceased, like apocalyptic zombies, rise from the grave and walk among us?

Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived, said the dead know nothing, neither do they have any portion under the sun (Eccl 9:5-6) Isaiah informed us that the dead “shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise” (Isa 26:14). Job, in his state of physical misery, spoke of death and his desire to die. He said those who go to the grave “shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more” (Job 7:8-10). Job, speaking of his own death, said when he dies he will not return (Job 16:22).

Sometimes when a person loses their child they say they have seen that child again. David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) and a prophet of God (Acts 2:29-30), lost his son soon after the child’s birth. David said that he “shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Sam 12:23).

The dust, body, returns to the earth and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Eccl 12:7). Man cannot leave the grave, (Lk 16:27-31), and God condemns those who claim to be able to speak to the dead (Deut 18:11).

Yes, the dead were raised in both the old and new testaments by holy men of God. Yes, God raised up Jesus from the dead. Yes, come the day of judgment, the righteous dead shall live again and live with the Lord. However, in this dispensation it is appointed once man to die but after this the judgment (Heb 9:27). Therefore, prepare to meet the Lord your God before you die because you will not have a second chance to get right with the GREAT I AM!

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