Category Archives: Church Life

“Will You Still be My Daddy in Heaven?”

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One of the best things about spending time with your kids is being present for their inquisitive moments. The other day my seven-year-old daughter asked me if I would still be her daddy in heaven. This is a pretty good question. It is similar to other questions about eternity that people often have. These questions usually have something to do with comprehending how different is going to be better. We are creatures of habit and therefore norms are safe and comfortable to us. One of the greatest difficulties in understanding the grandeur of heaven involves accepting the fact that the unknowns are superior to the knowns.

When your children ask you hard questions it is pretty easy to just say, “I don’t know.” If such is the true answer you need never be afraid to say so. Fortunately on this occasion I felt quite comfortable telling my daughter what I knew from my personal study of God’s word. When it comes to eternity, the Bible is the only volume we could consult in order to get the correct answers. So, yes, I responded to her questioned by pointing out the following Biblical truths:

1. I will always be me and you will always be you. Moses and Elijah were still Moses and Elijah centuries after they left their earthly existence. At the mount of transfiguration they appeared to and talked with Jesus (Matt. 17:1-5). Jesus also said in Mark 12:26-27 that God was still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are going to be given a different body to go with our spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 15), but we will never lose our identity.

2. Relationships, in some fashion, will be different in heaven (Matt. 22:23-33). When Jesus was challenged by the Sadducees to explain a question about marriage in heaven, Jesus plainly told them that there would be no marriage there (Matt. 22:30). We should understand that earthly relationships were created in part for carrying on earthly responsibilities. We will no longer need to reproduce in heaven. We won’t need to raise infants or support each other as brethren in order to get through life. Earthly relationships, though necessary and full of blessings, will be inferior to the perfection of heavenly ones.

3. We will never forget our family members (Luke 16:19-31). When the rich man died, Jesus said he remembered his brothers, still living on the earth. Because the rich man was in torments, he wanted someone to preach to them so they would not be lost like he was. As a side note, we should mention that your departed loved ones are fully aware of their eternal destination. If they had one wish it would be for you to be obedient to the gospel, whether they have done so or not. I do not fully understand how this works, but I do know for those who will be in heaven, what God allows them to remember will not matter, for he has promised, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3). I am fully confident that I will always remember and know my people, and I will know where they have gone. And when by God’s grace and according to my obedience I make it to heaven, God will somehow make everything I know about that okay.

I am thankful my daughter asked me such a great question. It lets me know she always wants me to be her daddy. Believe me, I always want to be. I am thankful God’s word tells me that we will always know each other. I am thankful that I can be assured that what we have waiting for us is even better than what we have here. And I am especially thankful that He has promised it will last forever.

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice…” – John 5:28

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It Was Kind of Short

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Recently, I watched what I thought was an enlightening video. It only lasted about ninety seconds. That is a very short time.

However, the title for this article did not come from the fact that the video was short. It came from a quote in the video.

The video showed part of a birthday celebration. You may have never heard of the person whose birthday was being celebrated. Her name was Misao Okawa. I am using the past tense because she passed from this life on April 1st of this year. Prior to her passing, she was recognized as the world’s oldest living person. 

The video I watched was recorded last year as she celebrated her 116th birthday (she lived to the age of 117 before her passing). She was shown eating cake and said (in the English subtitles), “It’s good.” 

As flowers were presented to her, she was informed or reminded that she had lived 116 years. She was asked if that seemed long or short.

Her answer was the title to this article:

“It was kind of short.”

Really? 

Over a century of life seems kind of short? Is it really true that somebody who was born in the 1800’s and lived until the middle of the second decade of the 21st century can see her life as “kind of short?”

I have no idea about the ages of those who will be reading these words. I have no idea about how many years you can recall. I do know about the one who is typing these words. The years and decades have seemingly flown by. They seem to fly by faster every day.

It may be that this lady who passed away recently in Japan left us a reminder that will outlive her.  In an “inspired reminder,” we read these words:

What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes (James 4:14, ESV).

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (Psalm 90:12, KJV).

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When a Loved One Leaves the Faith

[Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest article from Kathy Pollard, who recently published the book Return to Me. You can learn more about Kathy and this great book after today’s post. We thank her for sharing today’s article.]

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“…Fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith” (1 Timothy 1:18,19).

Some have rejected the faith and suffered shipwreck. How many? I don’t know. But I do know that for every wayward Christian, there is a bewildered family floundering in the wake. If you have a loved one who has turned away from God, you are not alone. The next time you go to worship, look down the pew on either side of you, the pew in front of you, and the pew behind you. You will most likely find that you are surrounded by Christians who are praying for wayward family members.   

Paul gave Timothy some inspired, helpful advice for how to conduct himself in the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15). Timothy was laboring among the Christians at Ephesus, some of whom had strayed from the faith (1 Tim. 1:5,6). Notice three ways in which Paul encouraged Timothy in 1 Tim. 1:18:

First, fight the good fight. When a loved one leaves the faith, you must continue to stand for the Truth. You may be tempted to adapt your beliefs to the wayward’s situation, but you would not be doing your loved one any favors. Only the Truth saves. Paul told Timothy that some would “depart from the faith by giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). To stay strong and clear-minded, Timothy would need to “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:13). The Scripture is what has the power to equip you for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).

Paul also told Timothy how to fight the good fight. “Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). Prepare yourself to share the Word with your loved one. Patiently convince and teach and then convince and teach some more.

Second, keep the faith. “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 3:14,15). Paul told Timothy to make sure his own faith remained strong even though others had “turned their ears away from the truth” (2 Tim. 4:4). 

Some really struggle spiritually when a loved one falls away. Make sure your faith is tied to your Lord and not to your loved one. Anchor yourself by continuing to study and grow so you won’t find yourself beginning to sink.

Third, keep a good conscience. Your own conduct will be under greater scrutiny as you reach out to a wayward loved one. Any unrighteous behavior or attitude on your part will only be used against you or as an excuse for the wayward to continue their lifestyle. Paul told Timothy, “Exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7), and “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim. 4:16).

You may be frustrated with your loved one for their foolish choices. You may be hurt by their selfishness. But keep a good conscience by choosing your words carefully, watching your tone, and controlling your temper. Make sure your own conduct is righteous as you reach out to the one whose conduct isn’t. Paul told Timothy to be an example “in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12).

Even though your loved one is the one who has fallen away, why should you have to be the one to work so hard fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, and keeping a good conscience? Because you “trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men” (1 Tim. 4:10). May God be with you and strengthen you as you reach out to those you love.

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Kathy Pollard lives in Denver, Colorado. She is married to Neal, and they have three sons. She is the author of the recently-released book Return to Me: What to Do When Loved Ones Fall Away. You can find out more about the book, and order a copy from ReturnToMeBook.com.

Also, you will want to frequent, or subscribe to, Kathy’s blog, Life and Favor. You can check that out here.

When Someone Responds

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As a preacher, I pray often for people to respond to the invitation. I do not pray that for some ego trip, but because people need to come to the Lord, and the invitation is a wonderful time for someone to respond. Others are present and can encourage, and it is also an encouragement to them to see these responses.

However, what should do when someone responds, either to be baptized or in need of prayers? I want to give a few practical suggestions. These are not “book, chapter, and verse” commands; rather, they are practical principles that will help this be a joyful time.

1. Go Get Them! This one is for those who stand down front during the invitation song. By this I mean, do not wait for someone to come all the way down the aisle before shaking their hand or giving a hug. As soon as you see someone heading down, go up the aisle and put your arm around them. It takes courage to step out and come forward. Walk with that person to help encourage them and put them at ease.

2. Take Your Time. I know that for some, it can seem a bit awkward while the preacher or an elder talks with someone. The room is silent, and we can wonder if it is taking “too long.” It isn’t! This is the most important thing someone will ever do. Take your time listening if you are the one with them. If you are in the crowd, pray. Pray for this person, and pray words of gratitude and praise to God for this moment.

3. Act Like You’ve Been There Before. Sometimes, it may have been awhile since there was a public response, but we should not act like it has never happened! Know the policy for helping someone to the baptistry. Where are the clothes? Who will assist in changing? Will someone lead songs or a prayer? If you must, have a written out policy, but this should be done with complete excellence! If someone is seeking prayers, know who will lead the prayer. Will it be you? An elder? This should be organized and done with excellence.

4. Encourage People to Stay. A few weeks ago, I pleaded with our folks at 9th Avenue not to leave as soon as the “amen” was said after someone had responded. In fact, I changed my own personal policy of going to the back doors, choosing instead to stay down front as a visual way of encouraging more people to stay around. This moment is worth a few extra minutes to encourage. It is wonderful to see streams of people waiting for a moment to give a hug or a word of encouragement.

5. Celebrate. There should still be dignity, but this is not a funeral (except to the old person of sin!). This is a resurrection! It is a reunion! It is a joyful time! Smiles, songs, prayers…whatever is still “decent and in order” should be used to celebrate this moment. Further, let it be known through the bulletin as well as on social media. Spread this wonderful news.

These are just a few suggestions. We need to remember the importance and the joy of this moment, and treasure when it occurs.

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Author: Adam Faughn

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How to Select the Right Church

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Make no mistake, in the midst of a culture where fewer and fewer people are desirous of organized religion, there are still people searching for the right church. Several times in the last week, whether in conversation, social media, or otherwise, I have come into contact with people who are trying to make a decision about where they will worship and abide in a local body of believers.

We need to be careful about calling “church-shopping” self-centered. After all, we have all been looking at one time or another. Perhaps we moved to a new city. Maybe we had to leave an unresolvable spiritual problem in the congregation in which we had been serving. Maybe Bible study helped us to reject human traditions and simply follow the pattern of Biblical teaching. Let’s face it, if the only reason we are worshiping where we are is because of our ancestors we may not possess our own personal faith. We cannot be afraid to challenge our thinking. If we believe the Bible is the word of God then we need to trust it enough to take us where God wants us to go. And none of us would be so bold as to think we have nothing to learn!

So here are some God-given, Biblical principles for how to make the right decision about church:

1. Does it use the Bible as its only guide over spiritual matters? The standard by which true faith is to be measured is divine. It is found in the word of God (Romans 10:17). The true church teaches that the word has all authority and is inerrant. This will lead the individual to absolute truth (John 8:31-32). In reality, it is not the church that chooses the Bible, but the Bible that chooses the church. The Bible is the mind of God in human language. The only way we can know we are pleasing God in the church is through a study of what God has on His mind (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).

2. Does it teach the plan of salvation correctly? This is where it all begins. We cannot go to heaven and have salvation wrong. God is the one who adds people to His church in the universal sense (Acts 2:47). He is the one who has called us into fellowship (1 Corinthians 1:9). He is not adding people by different methods. In our confused postmodern world, a person could visit 50 churches, ask what to do to be saved, and get 50 different answers! So we must get back to the book. There is a pattern for salvation in the New Testament. The true church of Jesus Christ will not walk away from the plan.

3. Is Jesus the only and ultimate head of the church? Jesus said He was going to build His church (Matthew 16:16-18). And yet we have so many churches that glorify men and not God. They have human founders and modern-day “prophets.” They have human creeds and man-made rules and traditions. Some even have earthly headquarters or governing bodies made up of fallible humans. They have fathers and reverends and exalted mediators. But the true church has no Father but Jehovah, no Lord and Mediator but Jesus Christ, and no Spirit except the Holy Spirit who has once and for all delivered the faith to the saints (Jude 3; 2 Peter 1:20-21). There can be no Head over the church other than the Christ who purchased it (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).

4. Does it worship according to the New Testament? This is so important! The church that Jesus built worshiped differently than the Israelites (Hebrews 8:6, 13). Just as there is an exclusive way to be saved (John 14:6; Acts 2:38), there is an exclusive way to worship Jehovah. Worship is for God. While mankind benefits from worship, true worship is not about talent, or aesthetics, or anything that is derived from the human perspective of what we may deem acceptable. Just because we attempt worship doesn’t mean God has to accept it. He is God. We are not. The true church will worship God according to His commandments and with the right attitude (John 4:24; 14:15).

5. Is it loving? Jesus said others would know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:34-35). He commanded His followers to love each other the way that He loved mankind. What a task! And yet, what an opportunity! Even if a local body teaches the doctrine correctly, and checks all the Christianity boxes, if there is no love, they are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). The church should love God supremely, and love others as they love themselves (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus said that the entirety of the law and prophets rested upon these two principles. The true church will find a balance between a love for doctrine and a love that extends the grace and favor of God in spite of human weakness and sin. It will not be selective in its love, but will extend the same love to all people, no matter their spiritual or physical condition.

Jesus is the Savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). The body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). When Jesus returns He is only going to take people to heaven who are in the body, His church. So yes, you not only need to select the right church, you need to be a part of it. It is absolutely and eternally necessary. May God be with you in your search!

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:21

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What Would Your Name Be?

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Some of us “of a certain age” remember a particular movie that was made years ago in which the title of the movie and the name of the main character were the same: Dances With Wolves. The main character in the movie was given that name by some Indians. They observed his actions with a particular wolf that he befriended (and that had befriended him). It appeared to the Indians that the man and the wolf were dancing, so the man “earned” the name Dances with Wolves.

I’m wondering what our names would be if people just observed my actions and gave me what they considered to be an appropriate name.

As a teacher calls the roll in class, I’m wondering if some of the students have “earned’ one or more of the following names: Cheats On Tests; Welcomes New Students; Copies Everybody’s Homework; Tells On Classmates; Polite To Teachers: Helpful With Others; Dresses Immodestly; Tells Dirty Jokes; etc.

The man in the film was an adult, so maybe we could wait until adulthood to “assign” a name. What would yours be? Here are some possibilities: Faithful To Spouse; Curses When Angry; Encouraging To Everybody; Gossips With Friends; Loyal To Employer; Asset To Community; Sleeps Through Sermons; Puts Self First; Cheats On Taxes; etc.

I guess this would not be the best idea. After all, we could be wrong in our perceptions about others. The Indians were wrong about the man in the movie. What looked to them like dancing was not dancing at all.

On the other hand, we should remember that our actions will determine something more important than our name. The One whose perception is totally accurate will announce our eternal destiny based on what He has observed as we have lived our lives on earth.

It seems to me that I should live so as to be known by something like: Prays Without Ceasing; Ready To Every Good Work; Worships In Spirit and Truth; Faithful Unto Death; or some other similar “name.”

What about you?

What would your name be?

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How Lads to Leaders Can Help Families

[Editors note: This week’s guest post comes to us from Ben Giselbach. You can learn more about Ben at the conclusion of today’s article.]

The oldest and most important institution is the home, and the biggest responsibility of parents is to raise their children right (Deuteronomy 6:20-25). Ever since God charged parents to instill in them a love for God and His Word (cf. Ephesians 6:4), parents have asked, “What is the best way to do this?”

Well, do you know the best way to teach your children to love God and His Word? I suppose we could spend hours combing the web for advice on how to teach our children. And we would find as much a diversity of opinions as we would blog posts on the subject. I’m not offering a ‘magic pill’ on how to raise Godly children, but I do want to share with you how Lads to Leaders can be an effective tool in helping parents in their responsibility to raise children in the Lord. There are no gimmicks to the program – it simply provides a structured way of teaching God’s Word to our young people.

What Is Lads to Leaders?

Lads to Leaders is the oldest and largest training program used by churches of Christ. Just as publications like the Gospel Advocate provide books and articles, and evangelism tools like House to House provide sound materials for teaching, Lads to Leaders provides curriculum and a teaching framework that elderships can adapt for their respective congregations.

With a modest beginning in 1968, Lads to Leaders has grown into a program that offers up to 38 events in which churches can participate. From teaching boys how to lead songs and prepare sermons, to teaching girls how to teach Bible classes and to be loving keepers at home, L2L has a wide range of activities in which parents and churches can elect to participate.

Here are some ways L2L can specifically benefit your own home:

Material For Family Bible Time

We know it is our primary responsibility as parents, not the church, to teach our children God’s Word. Yet parents often feel challenged by their own knowledge of the Bible to regularly teach every day in their homes. L2L offers a wide range of curriculum that can offer plenty of material to help keep your family Bible studies fresh. Most importantly, L2L goes out its way to ensure only sound, doctrinally pure resources are offered.

Training Boys And Girls How To Be Better Providers And Keepers

It is important that boys and girls learn basic practical skills that will help them be better mothers and fathers in the future. Proverbs 31, for example, lists several qualities of the godly keeper of the home; she knows how to cook (v. 15), sew (v. 13), set the table (v. 27), manage money (v. 16), and be hospitable (v. 20). These skills, along with many others, are developed by girls participating in the Keepers event. Boys, in the Providers event, are taught important skills like child discipline, car maintenance, home security, and how to be spiritual leaders in their [future] families.

The Keepers and Providers events in Lads to Leaders are unique. Not only do other leadership programs lack something similar, but Keepers and Providers build relationships among members at church. Your child is taught by older members at your congregation how to develop these skills, creating a mentoring environment with older Christians.

Further, the Keepers and Providers events offer both young men and young ladies the ability to choose one category each year from the complimentary event. For instance, a young man can choose to learn cooking and a young lady can learn car maintenance.

Spiritual Extra-Curricular Activities

Parents are often willing to spend hundreds of dollars every year for their children to participate in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. While these are often beneficial to your children, the most important thing you can offer your children is the ability to grow spiritually. With soccer and football, the best that can happen is that your child becomes a professional sports player later in life. But with Lads to Leaders, the best that can happen is that you prepare your children to be leaders in the home, leaders in the church, and ultimately faithful Christians. In view of eternity, which scenario matters the most to you?

Bridging The Gap Between The Physical Family And The Spiritual Family

Christians make the best fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives. Why? Because they are seeking first the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, raising our children to be leaders in the church strengthens their faith, and in turn makes them better leaders in the home.

Young people need to understand that they are not the church of tomorrow – they are the church of today. Show me a church without young people, and I will show you a dead church. Just as young Timothy played an important role in the 1st century church (cf. 1 Timothy 4:11-13), your children play an important role in the 21st century church. Lads to Leaders teaches young people how to be leaders in the church now, so they will be leaders in the church tomorrow. When your boy is actively learning how to publicly lead a song, give a devotional – and when your girl is actively learning how to speak at ladies’ Bible studies and teach children – the Lord’s church becomes part of their identity at an early age.

Conclusion

After studying congregations that use L2L, we discovered that there is a retention rate of at least 85% among those who participated in the program for ten years. That means nearly nine out of ten kids, by the time they become independent of their parents, remain faithful to the Lord. Lads to Leaders strengthens churches, which in turn strengthens families.

Time did not allow us to talk about all of the events Lads to Leaders has to offer, such as Bible Bowl, Debate, GIFTS, GUARD, Centurion of Scripture, Art Says It, and Good Samaritan (to name only a few). If you want to know more about L2L, contact me, Ben, by sending an email to ben@lads2leaders.com.

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Ben Giselbach began working for Lads to Leaders in 2014 and is doing a tremendous job helping to grow this already-great program. He is married to the former Hannah Colley, and they are the proud parents of a newborn son, Ezra. Ben also maintains a blog, Plain Simple Faith.

Today

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Today.

Is all we are assured of.

Today.

Is full of opportunities.

Today.

Is a chance to correct the hurts of yesterday.

Today.

Is your chance to forgive.

Today.

Is your chance to be forgiven.

Today.

Is the day to say “I love you”…and prove it.

Today.

Is your chance to be ready for the eternal tomorrow.

Today.

How will you spend it?

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Author: Adam Faughn

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What Jesus Said about Homosexuality

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There was a young man who grew up in the youth group in a congregation where I used to preach. I was present at his baptism. It was a joy to be around him. He was charismatic and funny, and very talented. Before long he was arguably our congregation’s best song leader. But he left the church. He went into the homosexual community and “came out.” Our church loved him and his parents loved him. We never left him alone, or treated him as an outcast, or gave up on him. In fact, we went the extra mile to try to understand and help him with his struggle. And so it broke our hearts when he went on national television and told the world that his parents rejected him because he was gay. On his Facebook notes, his explanation for his chosen lifestyle includes the statement, “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.”

That Jesus never said anything about homosexuality is a common claim. It is also a terrible lie. Jesus spoke freely about the sin of “fornication” (Matthew 5:32; 19:9). This term in some versions is rendered “sexual immorality.” We all know what the word, “immorality,” means. The concession Christ extended to remarry when such a sin has been committed against you in your marriage is clearly understood from these passages. And Jude, the earthly brother of Jesus and one of the eight known writers of the New Testament included this observation, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, 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” (Jude 7).

The same word Jesus used for “fornication” is used also by Jude in his contribution. In fact, in describing the homosexual practices of these two evil cities, Jude includes a preposition that explains they were completely “given over” to fornication. They had basically defined sexual sin at the core. You could not do worse than these men were doing. This is why God sent fire from heaven and consumed the beautiful and fertile plain that Lot had chosen – such that to this very day nothing will even grow there.

What an egregious mistake to try to legitimize any practice based on what is considered silence! But should we be surprised when people abuse the Bible in the attempt to justify a sin that has become culturally acceptable? This is nothing new.  

And while the Bible is not at all silent about homosexuality, for the sake of the argument let’s step aside and consider the correct way to look at the divine text. Do we need Jesus to say more than He has already said about anything to know right from wrong? Jesus never spoke directly about bestiality, or pedophilia, but would we argue it is alright to participate in these practices? Is it not enough that He said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘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” (Matt. 19:4-6)?

Jesus said marriage is for one man and one woman (Matt. 19:5-6). Jesus said it would be better to have a millstone hung around one’s neck and to be thrown into the sea than to hurt an innocent child (Matt. 18:6). Jesus said that it would better to not have been born than to betray Him (Matt. 26:24). Rightly dividing the word of truth involves having enough respect for what Scripture has said to infer that which does not require further explanation (2 Tim. 2:15).

Most scholars calculate that we have less than two weeks of Jesus’ life represented in the contents of the New Testament. This is why John explained at the end of his gospel that no library could contain all that the Son of God said and did, but the things that are recorded are for the purpose of faith that would lead to salvation (John 20:30-31; 21:25). What Jesus did say and do are enough for us to understand the rest of what the Holy Spirit expressed in order to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Jesus condemned sexual immorality. The practice of homosexuality not only falls in such a category, it exemplifies the depth to which sexual sins can plummet. Let’s not be mistaken. Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

“And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” – Romans 1:27

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A Smile, A Thought, and a Tear

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As many of you know, I love humor. I enjoy a good, clean joke. I enjoy being around people who can share humorous experiences. I just love to laugh and be around people who laugh.

It seems to me that, sometimes, the most effective humor is that which contains a kernel of truth. There are times when there is much more than merely that kernel. There are times when humor can make a person stop and think.

I was recently going through some fairly old material and found what I think is one example of that. The December, 1990 issue of Readers Digest contained a story that appeared in its “Campus Comedy” section. 

It made me smile and it made me think. Maybe it will do the same for you. Here is what was in that issue:

Astronomy class at the University of Toledo in Ohio seemed easy at first, but, as the quarter progressed, the material got more complicated. One day, our professor was discussing nebular condensation accretion theory, which explains the formation of our solar system.

After an hour of note-taking, a classmate put down his pencil with a sigh, “You know,” he said, “this topic was a lot easier back in Sunday school.”

(contributed by Thomas Oakley)

As I read that once again, I smiled again, I thought again, and I almost wanted to cry. Things have regressed since 1990 to the point that, in many cases, that student would be kicked out of that class (and maybe school) for making any reference about anything religious. 

That is no laughing matter.

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