Archives for : July2008

Who are the "many" of Luke 13:24?

Here is the context: Jesus has been explaining what the kingdom of Heaven is like. Then one asks, “Lord, are there few that will be saved?” Jesus responds by saying, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for many, I say unto you will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

Ask yourself, who seeks to enter into Heaven? Answer: religious people! That is, Jesus says that many religious people will seek to enter into Heaven but will not be able.

Who are these religious people seeking to enter into Heaven but will be unable to do so? Letting the Bible interpret itself, we find the answer in Matthew 7:21. In this verse, Jesus makes it very clear that all who do the will of the Heavenly Father will enter into Heaven. That is, the failure of anyone to go to Heaven will be because of their failure to, “do the will of the Father which is in Heaven.” To answer the above question, the “many” who are seeking to enter into Heaven but will not be able to do so, are the religious people who are not doing the will of God. In other words, it takes more that just being religious to be saved.

In Matthew 7:22, Jesus gives us a picture of Judgment Day, saying that many religious people will argue that they spent their lives “doing many wonderful works, prophesying, and casting out demons, all in His Name! Yet, He will say to them, “Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:23). Since Jesus had just said, all who do the Father’s will, will go to Heaven, then even though these people were devoutly religious people, what they were doing was not according to God’s will, His Word.

It is important that souls strive according to His Will, and not according to the will of any group of men who meet to decide what “their church” will believe, accept, and how it will worship. — Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans Bible commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

A sermon on stealing (theft)

OUR WORLD IS FULL OF THEFT. A LITTLE TIME WATCHING FOX NEWS, CNN, OR READING USA TODAY LEAVES US WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF THEFT NEARLY EVERY DAY.

a) Consider the story recorded in 1 Kgs. 3.
b) At this time Solomon was king; he had asked God to give him a “wise and understanding heart.”
2) The Bible says two women who were harlots came to see him (1 Kgs. 3:16).
a) Both had babies that were born about the same time. One of the children died.
b) Verse 19 – READ
c) Both women appeared before Solomon and made the same basic claim.
d) One woman was the real mother and the other was a baby thief.
3) This type of things is still going on today—people try to steal children.
4) Another fascinating story involving theft is found in Judg. 17.
a) Here we read about a man named Micah.
b) This man stole from his mother—he stole quite a bit of money from mom.
5) He did finally confessed the theft and returned the money.
6) A son stole from his mother. Do people today steal from their relatives?
7) Theft has also been a problem between employer and employee.
a) Jesus gave an example of this in Lk. 16.
b) Verse 3- READ
8) This employee stole quite a few assets from his boss before he was terminated.
9) Verses 5-7 – READ
a) By reducing the amount of debt that people had, this man gained favor with his master’s suppliers.
b) He got favoritism by theft.
10) Others steal from their employers by an improper use of time.
11) What would we say about a man who is paid for 8 hours a day but he only works 6?
12) When we think of people who steal and commit theft, we may think of the unsaved.
13) Mt. 21.
14) Verse 12 – READ
15) Verse 13 – READ
16) The temple was to be a place of worship; a place of prayer.
a) People who sold animals for sacrifice had turned the process into a money making venture.
17) This type of thing may be legal, but it hardly moral.
18) Today when people are not fair when they deal with others, they commit a form of theft.
a) Christians want, therefore, to be fair with all people.
b) We want to be just in our business dealings with others.
19) Religious people can commit robbery in other ways as well.
a) We can rob God.
b) There are those who have talents that could be used for God, but some say “I will keep my talents for myself.”
c) Another may have some time that could be dedicated to God, but that time is spent elsewhere.
d) Others may have money that could be devoted to the kingdom of God, but it is put somewhere else.
20) In Mal. 3:8 a prophet asked some people, “Will a man rob God”?
21) God’s prophet said in verse 9: “Ye are cursed.”
22) Are we also guilty of theft – either towards our fellow man or towards God?
23) We do not want to be someone that God classifies as a thief.
24) God went on to say (Mal. 3:10) that we are to bring to Him what we have.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Going back to the Bible

In his book “The Normal Church Life,” (An Exposition of the First Epistle of John), P.G. Mathew states, the book of First John deals with four main themes: (1) orthodox doctrine (2) practical personal holiness, (3) the Christian community life of love, and (4) the assurance of Salvation.

This epistle flies in the face of today’s secular society because our secular culture hates uncompromising imperatives. Our society has an absolute commitment to moral and philosophical relativism. The surprising thing is that today’s churches have become like-minded. Few churches preach orthodox doctrine; even fewer require practical holiness. We hear very little today of sin, repentance, holiness, judgment, or hell. The prevalent view is that mere mental assent to the facts of the gospel constitutes salvation, so that one can accept Jesus as Savior yet continue to live in sin and still expect to be saved! Any call to obedience is labeled as legalism. “Carnal Christianity” has become the norm.

John writes with authority and clarity: “This is love for God: to obey His commands” (1John 5:1, 3). Unlike the “carnal Christian,” the one who is born of God will believe sound doctrine, will live to please God and the brethren, and, thus, will enjoy assurance of salvation.

To say you “know God” (1John 2:4), and have fellowship with Him (1John 1:3), yet not obey Him or grow in holiness, is patent, self-refuting nonsense. If you do not walk in the light of Jesus, you are walking in darkness. If that be the case, you are not living according to the truth (1John 1:6), you are lost because only the truth can set you free (John 8:32), and you have no fellowship at all with God because “in Him is no darkness at all” (1John 1:5). If you claim otherwise, you are deceiving yourself (1John 1:8), and accusing God of being a liar (1John 1:10), and accusing God of being a liar is to put Him under the authority of Satan (John 8:44). Do you think Jesus will save you if you call His Father a liar? Isn’t it time to go back to the BOOK. — Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Understanding the Bible alike

In Genesis 11:1-9, we learn that the whole world spoke the same language. This gave the people power to accomplish great things. They decided to build a tower that would reach into the heavens. This was unpleasing to God, so He thwarted their efforts and stifled the project. How did He do it? by “confusing their language” (Genesis 11:7).

Satan learned a lesson that day that would prove to be invaluable to him. What did he learn? He learned that by confusing the language of people, their power is greatly diminished.

Even today, Satan continues to steal the overall power of “Christendom” by causing believers to speak a multitude of different languages. Disunity is one of the greatest thieves in the religious world.

Jesus Himself prayed that all who believe on Him through the inspired apostles’ word (the New Testament), would be “one” (John 17:20-21). Once Jesus prayed this prayer, Satan set out immediately to divide the people of God.

Paul warned the people against division telling them to “speak the same thing, be perfectly joined together, and be of the same mind and same judgment” (1Corinthians 1:10). He reveals that this can only be done by “not exceeding that which is written” (1Corinthians 4:6). However, Satan has convinced a vast majority that we cannot all understand the Bible alike.

Friends, we either understand the Bible alike, or someone is misunderstanding it. There is a way to know you are understanding God’s Word in the way He intended, and that is to understand every verse in such a way so as not to contradict any other verse. If all Bible teachers would do this, we would have unity; and if we had unity, we would have power; power to glorify the Judge of all the earth.

Get a FREE on-line Bible commentary for the book of Romans at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

The "law of Christ" and the "law of God"

The New Testament is a body of doctrine called, “The Law of the spirit of Life in Christ” (Romans 8:2). It is also referred to as, “The Law of Faith” (Romans 3:27), “The Perfect Law of Liberty” (James 1:25), and “The Law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

By definition, the word “law” means, “a rule of conduct enforced by a controlling authority,” or, “An order that is obligatory to observe.”

All law contains a penalty for violation or it isn’t a genuine law. That is, if there is no penalty for disobeying the Law of Christ, then there is no such thing as the Law of Christ.

Believers understand that there is a law of Christ. It is the highest law known to man. The Law of Christ is the most exalted, and the most elevated actuality in existence. Therefore, it stands to reason that the “penalty” for turning your back on such a law must extract the most elevated of punishments.

For those who trust and obey, the penalty has been paid by Jesus Christ (cf. Hebrews 5:9), but what about those who do not trust and obey? They must pay the penalty themselves. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), eternal death (Matthew 25:46).

Jesus did not speak of eternal damnation, everlasting punishment and of a place where the “fire is never quenched” just to scare people, but to set forth a reality and truth. Jesus did not warn against the subtlety of false teachers (Matthew 7:15; 2Corinthians 11:13-15), just to confuse people, but rather to warn those whom He loves. Jesus knows what Hell is like. He was involved in the creation of it (John 1:3; Matthew 25:41). That’s why He “…desires none to perish…” (2Peter 3:9).

The claim made by the majority that one can believe, worship, and live any life style he chooses just as long as he is sincere, and still go to Heaven, violates the whole theme of commitment to God (Luke 9:23; Luke 14:33). If God allows His eternal law (Mark 13:31), to be violated without an eternal penalty (Revelation 21:8), then the Bible is false and the whole concept of religion is futile.

The point is, one’s attitude toward obeying the whole New Testament Law determines whether or not one is a genuine believer (John 14:15). — Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Will God destroy and punish people?

Would God condemn the whole human race and the earth itself just because a man ate a piece of forbidden fruit? (Genesis 3:17-19).

Would God flood the entire earth, destroying over 70 million men, women and children, just because they refused to acknowledge Him as God? (Genesis chapters 6-9).

Would God destroy two of the High Priest’s sons just because they obtained fire to burn the incense from a source that He had not specified? (Leviticus 10:1-3).

Would God destroy a man just because he violated a single command, even though the act was one of national heroism? (2Samuel 6:6-7)

Would God slay a man and his wife just because they insinuated they were giving more to the church than what they really gave? (Acts 5:1-11).

Would God cast angels out of Heaven just because they exceeded the limits of the bounds He had placed on them? (2Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

Would God cause a king to be eaten with worms from the inside out just because the king failed to give Him the glory? (Acts 12:20-24).

Would God reap vengeance on every man and woman just because they did not know, or did not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (2Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Jesus Christ is the only reason God is withholding His anger (1John 2:2). Those who turn their back on the Truth, are “treasuring up for themselves the wrath of God in the day of Judgment” (Romans 2:5-8). — Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

hamartia – a new testament word for sin

1) How do we know if an action is “moral” or “immoral?”
2) How can we determine if something is “right” or “wrong?” We must use a standard.
3) There is an important word in the New Testament that is used many, many times – hamartia
4) At least 175 times this word is found in the 27 books of the New Testament and it is translated “sin.”
5) By using the word “sin” Bible translators were trying to convey the idea of “missing the mark.”
6) We may be immoral because we fail to do all we should (we do not put in enough effort to reach the goal).
7) We may also choose miss the mark (sin) because we choose the wrong thing.
8)
OUR STUDY STARTS WITH MATTHEW 1:21.

a) Mt. 1:21 tells us that immorality is a very serious problem.
b) The Lord is to save people who are immoral.

2) If someone asked us: “Are you immoral,” we might be tempted to say “no.”
3) Our definition of immorality may not be the same definition used by God.
4) If we have somehow missed the mark (just one time), we are guilty of sin and we need Christ.
5) Mt. 3:6.
a) Mt. 12:31 – READ
6) What did Jesus say in this verse? “ALL MANNER” (types) of sin (immorality) can be forgiven.
a) Refusing the Father meant the people still had someone to listen to (the Son of God).
b) Rejecting the Son of God meant there was still someone to listen to (the Holy Spirit).
c) If the Holy Spirit was rejected, there was not going to be any else.
d) The Godhead has only three members; reject each one and a person has no hope.
7) Mt. 26:28 is often read before we have the Lord’s Supper.
a) Jesus said His blood was being shed for the “remission of sins.”
b) Here is our special word translated “sin.”
c) Jesus’ blood was shed for man’s immorality.
8) Next on our list is Lk. 7:47.
a) He said she had “many sins.”
b) Imagine the Lord saying to someone “Here is a very immoral person.”
c) Jesus said in Jn. 8:21 that people will “die” in their sin unless they accept His remedy.
d) How immoral does a person need to be before they should die?
9) To start “hitting the target” if you will, we need to believe in Jesus Christ – Jn. 8:24 – READ
10) God wants the world to know about sin (immorality) and then obey the gospel to be forgiven.
11) Men must come to realize that God says breaking His law makes them immoral.
a) Jn. 16:8.
b) As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit did arrive (this is recorded in Acts 2).
c) The Lord said the Spirit would “reprove the world for sin” (missing the mark).
d) Peter did this on the Day of Pentecost. He said those who heard him were immoral.
12) God says to men: You are immoral; I am holy and you are not.”
13) Immorality is like a flesh eating disease; it will destroy us if we do not find and accept the cure.
14) We need to be freed from immorality, and the Bible tells us how to do that.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!