How to Handle Relationships with non-Christians

Download PDF

In Acts 17:6-7, Paul and Silas are in Thessalonica and have stirred up opposition. The Jews have dragged some Christians before the secular authorities, complaining that “These men who have upset the world have come here also; and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”

The context of Matthew 10 follows on the heels of Matthew 9:36-38. Not only did Jesus pray to send out workers into the harvest but He also fulfilled that need – Matthew 10 is Jesus sending out His apostles on what we call the “limited commission.”

How do we handle our relationships with non-Christians…?

DO GOOD (10:1-4):
To these twelve, Jesus gave power to perform miracles, establishing the veracity of their message (Mark 16:17-20). Today, we, too, help our cause by doing good (Gal. 6:10). These apostles were – from the occupations we recognize – middle-income Palestinians. They were not part of the religious elite. It is noteworthy one worked for the government (Matthew) and one worked against the government (Simon the Zealot, Canaanite).

TEACH JESUS’ MESSAGE (10:5-15):
The “sent out” in verse 5 carries the idea of delegated authority. The authority was not in themselves. It was in Jesus; in their message. It is with us today as we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20). The authority is in the message (Titus 2:15).

The message (for them – vs 7) was that the kingdom was near at hand. Our message is that Jesus is coming again to separate the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31-46), to put an end to sin and to death (Rev. 20:12-15).

YET, SOME WILL (VIOLENTLY) REJECT THE MESSAGE (10:16-23):
We are to be wise in our presentation of the Gospel (10:16). Compare Colossians 4:5. We do not have to unnecessarily provoke non-Christians! See 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and how we should teach non-Christians. “Innocent” means “unmixed” with the world’s values (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-18).

But, the message they should preach would come from God (10:18-20). To us, the Holy Spirit has revealed His message, through those same messengers (Eph. 3:3-5).

Jesus does not call us to pointless martyrdom (10:23).

JESUS ENCOURAGES THE PERSECUTED (10:24-33):
Just because we are living as “good” Christians, we should not expect people to love us all the time (10:24-25). It may be because we are “good” Christians that people hate us!

Yet, we are still to preach boldly (10:26-27). The early Christians did not pray that God would take away the persecution; they prayed for courage (Acts 4:23-30). So should we (Eph. 6:18-20).

IN THE MIDDLE OF PERSECUTION – JESUS MATTERS THE MOST (10:34-39):
It may be our own family who persecutes us (10:34-37). The peace Jesus came to bring (cf. Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 2:14) is fundamentally peace between God and man. Jesus separates us from the values / worldview of society.

BLESSINGS AWAIT THOSE WHO RECEIVE CHRIST’S MESSENGERS (10:40-42):
“Little children” does not refer to physical children. It refers to Christ’s disciples metaphorically, picturing them as dependent and helpless.

In living upright in an upside down world, we must choose Christ first, even in the face of persecution from our family and friends. “I am resolved to enter the kingdom, leaving the paths of sin. Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me. Still will I enter in.”

–Paul Holland

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Israel sat on the banks of the Euphrates and wept

Download PDF

How Can We Sing the Lord’s Song?

That is the question God’s people asked as they sat on the banks of the Euphrates River, having been carried into captivity by the Babylonian people. It was their sins that took them there. God had tried over and over again to get His people to repent. He sent them prophet after prophet. He withdrew His blessings and sent curses. Yet the hard-headed and hard-hearted Israelites persisted in their sin.

Some, we do not know how many, tried to be faithful in a perverted land. But a minority holds little power. The remnant were carried into captivity as well. Just like Moses and Joshua and Caleb who believed Israel could and should conquer Canaan (Numbers 13-14), yet they were punished with forty years of wandering in the wilderness along with the unfaithful and disobedient. Sometimes the faithful suffer for the sins of the unfaithful.

So Israel was uprooted from her land, her homes, her vineyards, her gardens, her flocks; most worrisome for them was that they were separated from their temple. The dwelling place of God. The location of meeting between the God of heaven and His people.

So Israel sat on the banks of the Euphrates and wept. They hung their harps on the branches of the willows – for why should they sing? The Babylonians mocked the Israelites because the captivity proved that Ashur of Babylon was stronger than Jehovah of Israel. They taunted the Jews: “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” (Psalm 137:3).

And the author laments, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (vs 4).

Do you ever feel like these Jews? Has life ever dumped so much emotional cargo on your heart that you lament if you will ever sing again? Divorce. Persistent unemployment. Death of a spouse or a child. Chronic pain for which there is no ease. “How can I sing the Lord’s song on this forsaken earth?”

How can you sing the Lord’s song in that environment? First, don’t forget Who God is. In the exiles’ mind, they were to remember Jerusalem (vs 6). It was the city of the King. Remember Who God is. Second, remember that God is a God of justice (vs 7). He will always do what is right. As a matter of God’s justice, He is also one of vengeance (vss 8-9).

We should be careful how we think and feel about those who have wronged us. The wiseman said, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Prov. 24:17).

Yet, it is also true that God will punish those who break up marriages (Rom. 1:31). He will punish employers who fail to respect their employees (Eph. 6:9). God will also punish Satan, the agent of all evil, and death, the ultimate tool of the Deceiver (Rev. 20:10, 14). Even that chronic pain will eventually be destroyed (Phil. 3:21).

How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? David gives an answer to that question in Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of your hands.”

Paul Holland

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I’ll look after you

Download PDF

“Whatever Happens”

During his courtship with a young woman named Julia Dent, Ulysses S. Grant once took her out for a buggy ride. Coming to a flooded creek spanned by a flimsy bridge, Grant assured Julia that it was safe to cross. “Don’t be frightened,” he said. “I’ll look after you.”

“Well,” replied Julia, “I shall cling to you whatever happens.” True to her word, she clung tightly to Grant’s arm as they drove safely across.

Grant drove on in thoughtful silence for a few minutes, then cleared his throat and said, “Julia, you said back there that you would cling to me whatever happened. Would you like to cling to me for the rest of our lives?” She would, and they were married in August 1848. *

Wikipedia provides the following summary of the marriage Ulysses and Julia Grant: “The Grants’ marriage was often tried by adversity and it met every test, as the couple gave each other lifelong loyalty.”

In Genesis 2:24, we find God’s design for marriage: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united [“cling”] to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

It is the “clinging together” in loving commitment that will enable a married couple to endure the challenges that life brings and enjoy life together.

And it is “clinging to Christ” that will enable a person to navigate through this life and have the hope of eternal life.

Life has its challenges but sin is our greatest enemy, for it separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and condemns us (Romans 6:23).

But God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we might be forgiven of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 6:23).

God will save those who “cling” to Jesus by placing their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Jesus will continue to wash away the sins of those who continue to “cling” to Him faithfully (1 John 1:7).

“I shall cling to you whatever happens.” That mindset is crucial for a great marriage. It also describes how we should respond to the Savior.

Whatever happens, won’t YOU cling to Jesus in trusting obedience?

David A. Sargent

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Why I am not a Catholic

Download PDF

C.A.T.H.O.L.I.C

1) The first letter in our acrostic is “C” and this letter will stand for the word “church.”
2) This church has an earthly head, and it is very powerful group.
i) The wealth of the Catholic Church goes beyond gold and cash; it also has priceless land and art.
ii) The Vatican has its own bank and Vatican City is its own country.
3) This group has enough clout to speak and people from around the world will listen.

ALTERATIONS AND TEACHINGS (LETTERS “A” AND “T” IN OUR ACROSTIC).

1) In the Catholic faith we find infant baptism, original sin, “penance” (punishment to make up for our sins).
2) We find prayers being directed to Mary and appeals to “dead saints,” etc.
i) The word “head” occurs more than 50 times in the New Testament.
ii) Jesus spoke about “anointing” the head in Mt. 6:17.
iii) He also said the hairs on our “head” are numbered (Mt. 10:30).
3) The word “head” (“H” in our acrostic) is also used in more specialized sense.”
4) Hear what Jesus said in Mt. 21:42– READ Lk. 20:17 same sentiment.
5) This statement is no limited to Mt. 21. We also find it Lk. 20:17.
6) Acts 4:11 – READ
7) 1 Cor. 11:3 – the “head of every man is Christ.”
8) Eph. 1:22– READ
9) Eph. 4:15 – READ
10) Eph. 5:23 – READ
11) Col. 1:18; 2:10, 19; 1 Pet. 2:7.

12) The way of Christ is the way of freedom and liberty; other ways are oppressive (the “O” in our acrostic).
a) “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
b) Oppression is also seen with things like purgatory which is a troubling and oppressive belief.

CATHOLICISM IS A “LARGE” GROUP.

1) We need to remember large is not always the best or even the right way to go.
i) The Bible says “many” Sadducees and Pharisees” came to see John the Baptist (Mt. 3:7).
ii) John greeted this large group of religious people as a “brood of vipers.”
iii) The Lord said “many” will enter into eternal destruction (Mt. 7:13, 22).
iv) “Many” are called but “few are chosen” (Mt. 22:14).
v) Not “many” of the influential people in society are inclined to obey the gospel (1 Cor. 1:26).

“ICONS” AND “IMAGES” (THE “I” IN CATHOLIC).

i) In constructing today’s material I wondered if it would be possible to learn the cost of the Pope’s clothing.
ii) http://huff.to/ZwyDRv

2) Imagine wearing clothing, for your “religious work” that costs upwards of $__________ in US currency.
3) Just the cross that hangs around the Pope’s next was estimated to cost $891.00.
4) Lk. 20:46 and compare Mt. 23:5.

5) We must make a CHOICE; what will our choice be?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Advice for preachers

Download PDF

Ten Commandments for Preachers – 1 Timothy 4:11-16

Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines (1:3). Some of those strange doctrines are found in the first paragraph of chapter 4.

In this brief paragraph from verse 11 to verse 16, Paul gives ten commands to Timothy and you will notice that they all have to do with the Word of God. Timothy is a minister of the word, an evangelist of the Gospel, and everything he does ought to be tied up with the word.

Verse 11 – Commands #1 & #2: Prescribe and teach these things. The word translated “prescribe” (parangello) means to “command” or to “order.”
Preachers ought to preach with authority but understand that the authority resides, not in them, but in the message being preached. We need to make sure that we properly understand the context and that we are teaching God’s word consistent with its context.

Verse 12 – Commands #3 & #4: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness” and “Show yourself as an example.” This word for youth, plus the chronology of the NT, would suggest that Timothy was probably in his mid-30s at this point. If Timothy joined Paul’s travels (Acts 16) in A. D. 50 and 1 Timothy was written in A. D. 62/3, then he would be roughly 35.
So that no one would disrespect Timothy’s usefulness, he is to “set an example” in five areas:
1. Speech
2. Conduct
3. Love
4. Faith (without the article = faithfulness or trustworthiness)
5. Purity

Verse 13 – Command #5: Give attention to reading. The implication is to read Scripture and to read it publicly; not only the reading of Scripture but also: exhortation and teaching.

Public reading of the OT was practiced by the Jews (Deut. 31:11-12; Neh. 8:7-8; Acts 13:15; 2 Cor. 3:14) and, naturally, taken over by the Christians with their own body of Scripture (2 Cor. 7:8; Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27; 2 Thess. 3:14).
“Exhortation” is paraklesis which means “encouragement” or “comfort.” A preacher preaches to the hands (what are we to do), to the heart (how we are to feel), and to the head (what we are to know). We need to be “doers” of the message, not hearers only (James 1:22).

Verse 14 – Command #6: Do not neglect the spiritual gift. This gift had been bestowed on Timothy through a prophesy from the Holy Spirit when the body of elders (“presbytery”) laid their hands on him and when Paul set his hands on Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6).

“Laying on of hands” could refer to a simple ritual act, setting one aside for a special task (cf. Acts 13:1-3) or it could refer to giving the ability to perform miracles (cf. Acts 8:15-17). In Timothy’s case, the elders did the former; Paul did the latter.

Verse 15 – Commands #7 & #8: Take pains with these things & be (absorbed) in them. Timothy should do this so that his spiritual progress will be evident to all.

The verb translated by “take pains” (meletao) means to “care for; study; practice; cultivate.” Timothy was to immerse himself in teaching the Gospel of Christ.

Verse 16 – Commands #9 & #10: Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching. Persevere in these things. If he does that, Timothy will save himself and save those who listen and obey what he is teaching.

Every Gospel preacher needs to take to heart these ten commandments for preachers.

–Paul Holland

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Science vs. Evolution

Download PDF

Years ago, while a student in the graduate education program at Freed-Hardeman, I had a class in developing curriculum. To get an “A” in the class, we had to propose a major project, get it approved, and then work on developing the project during the course of the semester. Since my background was in Bible and biology, evolution has always been an interest. So, I proposed to my instructor to develop the major outline of a unit on evolution that critiques evolution from an entirely scientific perspective which could be taught in a public classroom. He accepted the proposal and I received an “A” on that project.

Dr. Jeff Miller has recently written a book that would provide a substantial resource for such a curriculum. His book, Science vs. Evolution, takes a look at several major scientific laws and shows how they invariably refute the theory of evolution. Although Miller has done extensive work in bio-thermal sciences and biomechanics, he writes on a level that the average adult can understand (not always true of Stephen Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt which is heavy in biological and genetic terms).

Miller does not argue for creation by saying, “Genesis 1:1 says God created the earth. God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” A scientist would look at our world from the perspective of the laws of science. Philosophers of science have long argued that the law of rationality, the law of excluded middle, and similar laws of thought have argued against the theory of evolution. Miller’s book is unique (at least among my library books) in that he looks at laws of science.

So, Miller emphasizes in chapter 1 that “laws” are unchangeable and undeniable. They have stood the test of time. Then, in chapters 2 and following, he examines the laws of energy (thermodynamics), the law of causality, probability, biogenesis, and genetics.

You can understand Miller’s book without having a strong education in the sciences. He explains concepts well and uses common illustrations to help get the point across. This book could be used in a high school classroom as well as a college level class and above. It is printed in color, which makes it more attractive and appealing to the modern millennial. Chapters have review questions, making it helpful in the class.

Half the book is a review of scientific laws but the other half deals with frequent “quibbles” against the Christians’ arguments. Chapters in the front of the book refer the reader to such discussions in the back of the book, making for a more thorough discussion of the concepts.

Throughout the book, Miller makes reference to the work at Apologetics Press. If you share this book with others who are asking questions, give them this book. Should they go to AP’s website, the questioner may just learn even more than they anticipated.

Share the book with children and grandchildren in high school or college. Share it with friends and family who are needing a firm foundation. Share it with co-workers who are atheists. They’ll have a hard time arguing with the truth as Miller presents it.

–Paul Holland

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Only man was created in the image of God

Download PDF

God placed man in a world full of splendor and stunning beauty. All around us is an endless supply of wildlife to fascinate us. He has blessed us immeasurably on this planet.

Nevertheless, through carelessness and destructive pride, the earth is being destroyed and species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate.

Yet, Christians often find themselves opposed to organizations devoted to protecting the environment and wildlife from human destruction. Often these groups are steeped in pagan religions, place plant and animal life over that of humans, and utilize aggressive bullying tactics. All of these methods should be opposed by God’s people.

For whatever reason, many Christians give little thought to God’s original plan for maintaining our planet and aid the wanton destruction.

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our
image, according to Our likeness; let them
have dominion over the fish of the sea, over
the birds of the air, and over the cattle,
over all the earth and over every creeping
thing that creeps on the earth'” (Genesis
1:26, NKJV).

Out of all of these listed above, only man was created in the image of God. Man is to have dominion over the planet and its inhabitants. Yet, dominion does not mean destruction. God wants us to take care of his creation as caretakers because he is watching and maintains the title to the planet (Psalm 24:1).

God allows us to live on earth but nowhere do we see in Scripture permission to destroy it.

“The whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
Every inch of this earth screams of his majesty. Nature speaks his name every day (Job 38-40). Man must show respect for the creation and the creatures that walk the earth.

“For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverb 12:10). God gave animals to man for our use but we must still respect them as any good steward (Genesis 3:21; Ezekiel 16:10; Mark 1:6; Mark 7:25-30; 2 Samuel 12:3).

God gave animals to man for food and clothing.
Therefore, do we have the right to carelessly kill them for any reason other than food or a threat to our safety?

Will we make a renewed effort to care about God’s creation and creatures? Would we want to lose the magnificent beauty of our planet? We only get one earth and once we destroy it, what will happen then?

Richard Mansel – www.forthright.net

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

The “Cambrian” Period of earth history

Download PDF

Darwin’s Doubt

The “Cambrian” Period of earth history is defined as the period between 590-505 million years ago “during which sediments deposited include the first organisms with mineralized skeletons” (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Zoology, edited by Michael Allaby). The Cambrian period is a tremendous headache for evolutionists today, even as it was for Charles Darwin.

Darwin’s Doubt, written by Discovery Institute scientist Stephen Meyer, begins by discussing how a contemporary of Darwin, a Harvard paleontologist named Louis Agassiz, could not accept Darwin’s theory. The reason he could not accept his theory was, in part, because paleontology did not support the idea of gradual evolution. It was a conundrum that perplexed Darwin himself.

The rest of Darwin’s Doubt is dedicated to recent efforts to explain, from an evolutionist’s perspective, how the Cambrian explosion happened. But, there is not reasonable, credible, logical explanation for the Cambrian explosion if we are limited to only naturalistic causes.

Here’s the problem… In the Cambrian period of rocks, we have a sudden appearance of complex animals. These animals have no forms in the “pre-Cambrian” layer that could have evolved into the animals in the Cambrian layer. So, where did they come from? Vertebrate fish are present. Where are the missing links?

Many land plants are present. Where did they come from? Major, complex animal forms show up, out of the blue – fish, reptiles, birds, mammals. It is also not just in the Cambrian layer that the enigma persists. Primates appear in the fossil record, out of “nowhere.” Mankind appears “out of nowhere.”

Where did these complex fossils originate? Meyer documents a number of efforts of modern scientists to explain where these forms originated but the lab work always comes back, “no explanation.”

Meyer’s explanation, which is the only credible explanation there is, is that these animals were intelligently designed. They were created. Indeed, that is the only explanation for the incredible variety of animals we enjoy in our world today. Not only do scientists have to explain where the animals originated, but they also have to explain where the information came from that generated the first lungs, heart, kidneys, legs, arms, fingernails, etc.

“Yet we do know of a cause that has demonstrated the causal power to produce digital code. That cause is intelligent agency. Since intelligent agency is the only cause known to be capable of generating information (at least starting from nonliving chemicals), intelligent design offers the best explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first organism” (pg. 359).

It is unscientific, irrational, illogical and blind faith to believe in evolution.

–Paul Holland

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

The Koran versus the Bible

Download PDF

Koran versus the Bible

 

  1. There is a religion which says Adam and Eve lived and sinned, but they were cast from heaven instead of the earth.
  2. This religion is the faith known as “Islam.”
  3. Two weeks ago we studied some introductory matters concerning Islam.
  4. This religion is an on-going part of modern news, and we should know at least a few things about it.
  5. Today I want to offer some contrasts between the faith of Islam and the faith described in the Bible.
  6. This lesson is designed to be factual in nature; there is no intent or desire to mock this faith.
  7. My purpose is to share some of the main beliefs of Islam so are better equipped to convert Muslims.
  8. Those involved with Islam need Christ – only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

 

  1. Most have likely heard of the “Koran,” a book which is considered the “holy book” for Islam.
  2. The Koran has some of the same things we find in the Bible, but there are also some big differences.
  3. We read about the “devil” in the Koran, and the Koran says the devil was created from fire (S. 7:12).
  4. We also read about “hell” in the Koran, and Koran says those who go there get black skin because of the heat (S. 74:29).
  5. According to the Koran, those who go to hell (S. 14:16-17) will drink boiling water.
  6. “Heaven” is mentioned in the Koran, but it is said to have goblets, rich carpets, and cushions (S. 88:13-16).

 

TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT ALL THAT INTERESTED IN RELIGION, THE DIFFERENCES THUS FAR AND THE DIFFERENCES YET TO BE COVERED MAY NOT SEEM TO BE ALL THAT IMPORTANT.

 

  • After all, do not those who profess to believe the Bible seek to follow the same God found in Islam?
  • Some would answer believers in the Bible and the Koran follow the same God.
  • From what I have studied and know, I do not believe we and Muslims believe in the same God.
    1. Most here today are likely aware that members of the Muslim faith speak about “Allah” as God.
    2. If we study the Bible, how many times do we find the name ALLAH in the 66 books of the Bible?
  • There is not a single passage in any translation known to me that refers to God as “Allah.”

 

  • Throughout the Bible we do have multiple descriptions for God.
  • We find names like Adonia, El, Elohim; we have 4 Hebrew consonants (YHWH) – Jehovah/Yahweh?
  • If we accept what the Bible says about God, ALLAH is not a name God has approved or even revealed.

 

  • I know some claim “Allah” is “the Arabic word for God” so some claim Allah is the same as the God we serve.
  • Regardless of what Allah may mean in Arabic, I think there is sufficient evidence to conclude Allah is not the LORD.
  • The God of the Bible and the god of Islam cannot be the same because of someone named Jesus.

 

  • Imagine a Christian sanding up saying, “I do not believe that Jesus is the “son of God.”
  • “I know the New Testament speaks about the Son of God more than 40 times, but those verses are not true.”
  • “I know the miracles of Jesus are designed to prove Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 20:31), but I reject this idea.
  • I know I the Bible speaks about the necessity of confessing Jesus as the Son of God (1 Jn. 4:15), but I will not do that.
  • If a person rejects Jesus as the Son of God he is a heretic; such a person is denying a key NT teaching..

 

  • If we look at the Koran and the Muslim faith, what do we find about Jesus being the Son of God?
  • This faith emphatically denies that “Allah” has a son.
  • Believing in Jesus as the “Son of God of God” is specifically classified as “monstrous” belief (S. 19:88-89).
    1. The Koran says the “God” known as Allah has no “son,” but the God of the Bible says Jehovah has a Son.
    2. The denial of Allah having a “son” is pretty interesting when we compare it to the Bible.

 

  • When Jesus as on the earth and engaged in His earthly ministry He met up with some demons.
  • There were times when these evil spirits confessed Jesus, and do we remember how they addressed Him?
    1. Demons recognized Jesus as the “Son of God.”
      1. Two examples of this are found in Lk. 4:41 and Lk. 8:28.
      2. Both these verses are going to be read – READ

 

  • The “God” of Islam cannot be the God of the Bible because the God of the Koran is “sonless.”

 

  • When we think about Jesus as the Son of God, we remember Him as the One who died for sins of mankind.
    1. In fact, Paul told the Corinthians he wanted to know “nothing among them except Christ and Him crucified.”
    2. Paul made it clear to the Corinthians that he wanted to focus on the death of Christ (1 Cor. 2:2).
  • A good portion of the New Testament is somehow connected with the death of the Son of God.

 

  • Allah is regarded as the “God” who not only is without a son, it affirms Jesus was not
    1. In the 4th Sura (“chapter”) of the Koran, verses 156-158 we find some very explicit statements:
    2. The Koran says Jesus was not killed. The Koran says the Lord was not crucified.
  • The Koran says it only “appeared the Lord died.
  1. In my copy of the Koran the text says “for of a surety they killed him not.”

 

  • The Koran is a religion which denies some of the most fundamental truths in the Bible.
  • People who are not spiritually inclined may not regard this as all that big of a deal.

 

  • The Bible says when people start making false claims about the Lord, they are among God’s enemies.
  • Listen to what John said in 1 Jn. 2:22-23:
    1. Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, (even) he that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that confesseth the Son hath the Father also.

 

  • The word “anti” was known to John and it is also known to us.
  • If we are “anti-smoking,” we are “against” If we are “antisocial” we are against being social.
  • When a person or group denies truths about Jesus, they are “anti” (against) Christ.
  • The Islamic faith is “anti” Christ in some of its teachings.

 

WHAT WE FIND IN THE KORAN ABOUT GOD DOES NOT AGREE WITH THE BIBLE, AND THIS FACT SHOULD MAKE US WONDER IF THERE IS ALSO DISAGREEMNT IN THE BIBLE AND THE CONCERN OVER THE “WILL OF GOD” FOR MANKIND.

 

  1. If we study about God’s will from the Bible and the Koran we again find some conflicting teachings.
  2. In the Bible God’s will as it is expressed in the New Testament is world-wide evangelism.

 

  • The God of the Bible says His people are to go to “every creature” (Mk. 16:15).
  • The Son of God told His disciples to “preach” to the people they encountered (Mk. 16:15).
    1. In Koran we read about something called Jihad.
    2. Jihad means “an effort of striving.” Jihad is a “religious war.”
    3. Some claim Jihad is a spiritual struggle; the “flesh lusting against the spirit so to speak.”
    4. Others take a more radical view and see Jihad in terms of physical violence.

 

  • There are more than 100 verses in the Koran that speak about Jihad.

 

  • In our culture we hear repeated claims that Islam is a religion of peace.
  • The violence which is associated with this faith is sometimes said to be from radicals who have perverted it.
    1. This claim is either completely true, completely false, or a mixture of truth and error.
    2. Last Friday night I listened to a panel debate whether Jihad includes or excludes violence.
    3. About the only thing that came from that discussion was a lot of shouting.
    4. Those who say the Koran does not promote violence argue we are just not understanding what this book says.
    5. The common argument is that “If we could just read the Koran in the original language, we would see it is peaceful.”

 

  • I am not a Muslim, an expert on the faith of Islam, or able to read the Koran in its original language.
  • When it comes to what Jihad means, there is a Bible principle that comes to mind from Josh. 1:8.
  • This principle says the right way is usually somewhere in the middle – not way off on the right or the left.
  • This may be the best way to look at what is called Jihad.
  • By this I mean Islam may not “require” violence, but it certainly can promote it.
  • One person said “Every twelfth verse of Islam’s holiest book either speaks to Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death, forced conversion, or subjugation.”

 

  • We know this faith has been used in some very bad ways, and this is something to not overlook.
  • Again and again we are told violence based on the Koran is just from a minority of its adherents.
    1. The next time we hear this statement, consider this:
    2. The world’s current population is said to be in excess of 7 billion people.
    3. Fairly modern estimates indicate the world’s population is about 25% Muslim.
    4. If there are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims are in the world and just 1% of them are violent, do the math.
    5. If my computation is correct, this means there are more than 15,000 million radical Muslims in the world.

 

WHEN I SEE PEOPLE SUPPORTING OR PROMOTING ISLAM AND PERHAPS DEMEANING THE BIBLE AND CHRISTIANITY, I ALMOST IMMEDIATELY WONDER IF THEY ARE NOT UNFAMILIAR WITH OR IGNORANT ABOUT BOTH FAITHS.

 

  1. In the Korah there are 144 Surahs (chapters).
  2. In the 4th Surah (chapter) there is some information about women.
    1. Surah 4:34 says “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women.”
    2. This verse goes on to say men have “more strength” than women.
  3. Feminists might be able to choke just a bit on the first part of this verse, but not be able to accept the rest.
    1. The Koran says women are to be “devoutly obedient.”
    2. If (same verse) a woman is disloyal, admonish her, refuse to share her bed, and then beat her.
  • In my copy of the Koran I read about wife-beating. This is hardly if ever mentioned on the news.

 

  • Another surprise is also in the Koran (S. 38:44 says Allah told Job to beat his wife with a green branch).
    1. As Islam is praised and honored, no one seems to talk about verses which speak about wife-beating.
    2. The Bible is berated, but people barely pause to see what it says about men and their wives.
    3. In the Bible, wives are to be loved instead of beaten.
    4. “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 5:25).

 

  • In addition to being a book sometimes used for violent Jihad, this religion says it is ok to beat a wife.
  • In my copy of the Koran the beating is modified with the word “lightly” in parenthesis.
  • I have a difficult time understanding what a “light beating” is (a “beating” sounds pretty bad in my book).
  • How odd that school systems will uphold the Koran (and by implication wife beating) but no spanking in schools.

 

  • There are many significant differences between the Bible and the Koran.
    1. In the Koran we are told God hates those who do not accept Islam (S. 30:45).
    2. Does the Bible tell us God hates those who reject the gospel?
    3. The book of John (3:16) says God “loves the world.” Christ came to die for sinners.
    4. God wants to save people; He does not want a single person to perish.

 

  • Thieves are given the opportunity to repent and work with their hands to help people (Eph. 4:28).
  • The Koran (S. 5:38-39) speaks about cutting off the hands of male and female thieves.
  • There are attempts to explain away this information, just like the other are explanations about Jihad.
  • The more this book is read the more times we find Muslims telling us “The passage really does not meant that.”
  • I suspect Mohammed took this idea from Mt. 5:30 and disregarded the context of Jesus’ teaching.

 

  • When we look at the Islamic faith we find a belief about the end of time and a future judgment.
  • Vivid descriptions of these things are given in the Koran, but what is said conflicts with the Bible.

 

  • In talking about a judgment and the end of time the Koran speaks about these things being preceded by “signs.”
    1. The Koran says “clear signs” and “natural catastrophes” will help men know that judgment is on the way.
    2. It says there will be tumults, seditions, the sun and the moon will be darkened.

 

  • In our time we are very familiar with things like plagiarism and imitation products.
    1. In many respects Islam seems to be an imitation of Christianity.
    2. It appears many ideas were basically copied from the Bible and badly re-worked to form this religion.
    3. This faith qualifies as “another gospel” and is thus to be avoided as Paul described in Gal. 1:8-9.
    4. Unless God has other plans, it is likely we are going to be exposed to this faith more and more.

 

  • Islam seems to be growing, but it is not growing because it is true or because it is the right way to God.
  • It is growing because many of its adherents are willing to lay their lives and resources on the line for this faith.
  • Many are willing to die for the Muslim faith.

 

  • Islam is not the right way to God, but the zeal of its adherents is the type of zeal we are to have. Do we?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Qualifications of Deacons

Download PDF

The work of the deacon, evidenced both by the term “deacon,” which means “servant,” as well as by the prototype of the deacon in Acts 6 shows us that they are servants. And there are a lot of areas of service in the Lord’s church. Jesus shows us in Matthew 20:28 that the path to greatness is the path of servanthood and the deacons live that idea out in their lives and service to their fellow Christians.

Those men in Acts 6 were to oversee the Jerusalem church’s benevolent program! According to 4:4, the church of Christ in Jerusalem had five thousand men. No wonder they needed seven deacons – just for the benevolent program! In that passage, we see that the church selected the men, based on the qualifications the inspired apostles gave them (vs 3; cf. 1 Cor. 16:3), and then the elders appointed them to that work (vs 6). By the same token, today, the church selects men to serve as deacons, based on the qualifications we have in 1 Timothy 3, and the elders, who are over the church, appoint them to that work.

So, we pick up in 1 Timothy at verse 8 with the qualifications of deacons.

QUALITIES OF DEACONS – 3:8-9:
When Paul writes “likewise” (hosautos), he means “a deacon must be…” Compare your various translations to get a good idea of the meaning of these words.

According to R. Laird Harris in the article on “wine” from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (1:376), concentrated alcohol was only known since the Middle Ages. It was then that the Arabs invented the process of distillation. Consequently, the “wine” of Bible times is decidedly not “wine” as it is used today. In fact, even their wine (which was “lightly” fermented) was watered down when it was drank. There is no biblical support for the modern conception of “social” drinking in the New Testament.

TESTED DEACONS – 3:10:
Before these men are appointed as deacons, they should “first be tested.” That suggests that elders should give them some smaller, more minor responsibilities, before they make them deacons and give them greater responsibilities. If they serve in those lesser capacities “without reproach,” then they can be given higher responsibilities.

MARRIED DEACONS – 3:11-12:
Verse 11 begins with the word “women” (gyne) which may be translated as “women” or “wives.” There are several contextual reasons to believe that Paul is not talking about “deaconesses,” but rather the wives of the deacons and/or the wives of both deacons and elders. My conviction is that he is talking about the deacons’ wives.

There is no Greek word for “deaconess.” The first reference to “deaconesses” is in a document called the Apostolic Constitutions dated around 390 A. D.

Again, a comparison of translations will help us understand the connotations of these requirements. Then, in verse 12, Paul says that deacons are to be married and good managers of their children and their own households. They are to be exemplary family-men. As it was explicitly stated in the qualifications for the elders (vs 5), if a man cannot be a leader in his home, how can he be effective in leading a ministry of the church?

REWARDED DEACONS – 3:13:
Deacons will be rewarded by their Lord whom they serve. They obtain a high standing and great confidence – no doubt in the church, among their fellow Christians – but especially before Jesus Christ.

Thank God for godly deacons. Give them your support and encouragement.

–Paul Holland

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off