A preacher can preach on a sin he hasn’t experienced
because he doesn’t have to eat
the swill to preach
A preacher can preach on a sin he hasn’t experienced
because he doesn’t have to eat
the swill to preach
THE DECLINE AND DEMISE OF CIVILIZATION
of years before God gave the Hebrews the Old Testament Law, He set
the cornerstone for the progress of civilization: capital punishment,
Genesis 9:5-6. Additionally, His view of the criminal deeds of
mankind is blatantly underscored in Holy Writ. Additionally, His
instructions to His people included plain information about how to
put evil away from them. Deut. 17-22. Parents were charged with the
responsibility of turning in incorrigible children, even consenting
to their just death, Deut. 21:20. One may protest that those
instructions were valid under the Mosaic Law, and not under the
dispensation of Grace. That would be correct other than the Genesis 9
reference, which predates O.T. Law. But the question remains, “Has
God’s viewpoint toward sin and evil changed, or our responsibility
lessened?” Obviously it has not changed since He is the same
yesterday, today, and forever. Are you thinking with me?
As the time of man’s present rule on earth comes speedily to an end, Satan has worked hard to inundate the world with material things. This has been a most effective softening tactic. For far too many the fear of losing those things has crippled the will to be responsible; to clearly delineate right from wrong; to call sin what it is, and to maintain law and order on the Judeo-Christian foundation of civilization.
So, the world, and particularly our nation sinks further each year into the quagmire of evil and degradation by rejecting the principles that make a nation great. Demonstrations abound of specific intent to sabotage order. This can only result in national and global anarchy as a ready stage for a dictator, the likes of which has yet to be seen on the world stage.
The good news is that although the sun may be going down on this age of grace, it has not yet set! It is still called today (the day of grace). Let the people of God everywhere be patient and faithful to sound the warning of the last days: “harden not your heart as in the provocation.” Psalm 95:8; Heb. 4:7. Let the words of the wise man, Solomon, be heard: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Prov. 14:34. I am grateful to God that the old ship of Zion still sails faithfully upright in and through many of our Lord’s New Testament Churches. Let us pray for the strengthening of others in the Lord!
Romans – 6:11-14
THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
A songwriter once penned these words: “Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear; freedoms we all hold dear now is at stake . . .” When one looks at the political arena, it appears little above mass confusion. When one looks at the religious scene it is void of most of the Bible teachings. When one looks at the economical stage, it is so tenuous as to cause men’s hearts to fail. If all this seems to paint a bleak picture of today’s world, it is meant to do so. But there is more, much more!
The crumbling foundation of the family unit leaves children without parents, or in some cases single parents. Then the demands of the workplace leave little time for children who are largely abandoned to a latchkey position to formulate their own distorted views of life. Each ensuing generation is in an ever worsening condition. What is it all about. What is happening to the world we live in?
Certainly, these are times so often and well prophesied by God’s Word. It would seem a time for the masses to hear the clarion call of the gospel. It should be a time of widespread repentance, of men seeking the will of the Lord with a contrite heart. But just the opposite is the mainstream of life. What is one to make of it all?
The apostle Paul informed us of these times. He wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way.” Think about it!
The “Mystery of Iniquity.” The term “Mystery” is from the ancient Greek term, “Musterion.” It derives it existence from a base word “Muo” which basically means “To shut the mouth.” Hence, a mystery is something known to the initiated, but unknown to the uninitiated. It remains a mystery to those unqualified and unwilling to search out and know the meaning. “Iniquity” is a translation of the Greek word “Law” (nomous) with a negative prefix, to literally translate “no law.” It means not given to or ruled by law ; contempt and violation of law, wickedness. This is aptly descriptive of modern times, but they will worsen because there is a restraining power who lets (restrains) until he be taken out of the way, so that ultimate chaos may prevail.
The so-called progress of humanity apart from God has led to the abolition of world war; the vaunted progress of medical science has led to longer life spans, and as the world struggles to balance trade, unite religious movements, and to feed the bulging population creating population shifts of illegal migration, the world ripens for the ultimate rule of its god. His predetermined end of it all is destruction in many forms, but the final stage will be Armageddon. It is a millenniums long plan that will go down in eternal defeat for all evil. Sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the stomach.
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
It is true that some folk have the mindset of concrete: thoroughly mixed up and profusely set. They would argue with the proverbial signpost, but they cannot argue with God, neither may they box with Him because their arm is too short! So, it is not the burden of men to convince one another that they are sinners. The Holy Spirit witnesses that in every heart. But the idea of sin may be better understood in the simplistic terms of “Use” and “Misuse.” Think about it!
Get it straight, and never forget it! God is righteous, but men are not. If men are not righteous; they are sinners, big time! Some jovial chap will roar that all sin is sin, and there is no difference! Others will say that there is no difference to God. I find it amusing that so many seem to know the mind of God in these matters without a specific scripture reference. Stay with me for a moment.
If all sin is the same, why are there at least three categories of it: transgression, iniquity, and sin? Psalm 32:5. If all sin is the same, why were some sins worthy of death, and others could be atoned for? If all sin is the same why did Jesus say the Pharisees would receive the greater condemnation? Certainly, one sin of any sort severs one from God as Adam and Eve sinned in Eden. But, beyond that the saints have to deal with their sinful nature every day of their life, and there is a wide array of sins. So leaving “Iniquity” and “Transgression” for another time, let us focus on the term “Sin.”
“Sin” means “to miss the mark!” To miss the mark of anything assumes the mark was intended to be hit, but missed. Thus, sin is the misuse of every possible thing in life.
Think about the common sins of men. “Greed” is the misuse of things material or immaterial acquired in access, and restricted to the individual, when enough of those things are already made available for one to serve and honor God day by day. It is use vs misuse. Alcohol and drugs were made by the same God who created everything else. They have a purpose: medicinal, not recreational. It is a simple matter of use vs misuse. Sexual activity was created to insure the survival of the species, thus placed within honorable perimeters. Outside of those perimeters it is misuse; hence, sin. Language may be loving or vile; a matter of use vs misuse. Human Relationships may be gentle, kind and loving or abusive, harsh, and mean. It is a matter of emotional use vs misuse. In the wide spectrum of all things, the apostle Paul boldly declared, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” I Cor. 10:23. In short, all things God created have purpose and rightful use, but the practices of men have established misuse; it does not edify. Simply put, it is sin!
MARCH 27 – I Will Wait Till my Change come
Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
16 For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?
This question is asked in many circles today. It is an old question and I think that Job was asking this question for the benefit of his friends. As we read the book of Job I believe we find in him a profound belief and trust in God. We find his answer following the question. “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” His expectation was a change from this mortal body to an immortal body.
Notice Jobs statement, “… the days of my appointed time …” Do you think that the Lord knows the length of time we will be here on this wicked and sinful earth? Apparently, Job believes that. Job even said that “…thou numberest my steps.” We have a certain amount of time to serve the Lord. How much time have we wasted? My allotted time will soon end. How about you?
The next verse says “Thou shalt call …” We are called into the service of the Lord just as a soldier is called to serve his country. Too few that say that they are called are answering the call. Job said,”I will answer thee …” How many have announced their call to the ministry and are sitting on their hands lusting for a pastor to get sick so they can fill their pulpit. This reminds me of a preacher that sent out the word, “I am available to pastor anywhere within fifty miles of my home.” We have enough “so-called” preachers sitting in Churches and not pastoring that there is no excuse for a Church to be without a pastor for five years. This has happened. It is time for us to grow a spine and answer the call to work.
Job once again mentions a length of time. God was the original “Fitbit”. He numberest my steps. During a call to surrender and service, we are reminded that God marks my errors. He sees our sin of not surrendering. We say we are called, yet God calls men to service, to preach, to teach and announce the call but they do not respond to service. That is sin. God sees our sin.
May we yield to the call of surrender and service. The end of life draws near. What have we done?
MARCH 11 – Great sin
2Sa 24:10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
There may be a time when we are overcome by temptation. We yield to it. Then as we reflect on what we have done or maybe a friend or enemy lets us know that we have sinned, remorse sets in and we begin to feel sorry. We know that God will bring retribution. This should bother us and cause us to seek forgiveness.
Prayer is the answer to forgiveness. We should humbly appeal to the Lord for His mercy and grace. David’s heart smote him. There are times we sin and become very callous about that sin. Even to the point that we say we would do it again. David had gone against the direct command of God. Do not count the people. O how we resist the Lord at times. We are stubborn and intractable in our relationship with the Lord.
Even worse David’s sin involved the people also. Even with repentance and forgiveness, punishment was meted to David and the people. David was offered three punishments. David knew that God was full of love and mercy. Knowing the love and mercy of God, David said, “let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”
David put his trust in the true mercies of God and not man. The people were punished for David’s sin. Have you ever considered how your sin might affect others. We must realize the effect our sins have on others.
May we trust in the Lord, his punishment for sin and his forgives because of his mercy.
FEBRUARY 4 – WHY DO WE HAVE THESE PROBLEMS
Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
There are some people that seem to be without a clue. They have difficulty in their life that they do not understand. Tragedy befalls them often. Health is a problem. In and out of Jobs and seem as if they cannot hold a job for very long. Relationships deteriorate. Finances crumble. Life is joyless.
They never seem to understand that the choices one makes in life either beautifies or uglifies life. The mind that dwells on sin often makes choices that bring terrible results. I can tell you why your life is a mess, your state is a mess and our nation is a mess. It is called sin because man makes wrong choices. When man chooses to ignore God and His Son, Jesus Christ, that man chooses the wrong path in life. It is only natural for the lost to choose sin. When the saved choose sin, we have serious problems.
The saved have been forgiven and are then to serve. When they turn away from service, it is rebellion. Rebellion is sin. When the saved agree with worldly culture in aborting a baby and agree with homosexual marriage we have serious problems. These problems are even greater when we practice close communion and baptism without proper authority. These are directly against Biblical statement and practice. We have minimized the ordinances that Jesus gave to the local Church. We have taken upon ourselves to “correct” Gods error.
We need to get back to the true walk, the true worship and the true doctrines that God has given us in His Book, the Bible.
FEBRUARY 3 – SIN WILL DISPLACE YOU
Judges 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.
3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;
4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
There comes a time when God says, “enough is enough. When God has shown His love to someone that has strayed, when God has gently urged one to return, when God has tenderly touched lives in a way to call someone back from the wrong path; God says enough is enough.
We must learn that evilness does not please God. Notice the thought of delivered. God has a final response and that is to give his people into evil hands to prove to them that evil is not what they want. Why do people want to be like others that are involved in wickedness? Some run with the crowd because of the social aspect. I know that business deals is one aspect of why a certain Church is selected. All the business men that go to Church, go there.
There is also the emotional element. There are those that want to be moved emotionally. I was reading some comments about a T.V. show. It made you laugh and it made you cry. People were hooked on this show because it moved them emotionally. This kind of people will leave a Church that preaches the Bible to go to a Church that makes them laugh and makes them cry. They will accept heresy because they are emotionally moved.
There are those that want to be entertained. I met with a man and we talked Church and Bible doctrine. I went through the plan of salvation and we were in agreement. We discussed security of the believer and agreed. We talked about baptism and we agreed. We read scripture on the Lord’s Supper and we agreed. We pursued the Local Visible Church and came to the agreement that is what the Bible taught. He and his family came to Church a number of times and brought visitors. They then quit coming. I visited the man and he said, “we are going to such and such a church because they have a youth group and pool parties and my wife wants to go there. This church agreed with us in salvation only. Every other doctrine was unbiblical.
Those people have given themselves over to evil. No, they are not murdering. They are not performing abortions. They have simply rejected the truth of God’s Word. This makes God a liar. To reject truth is evil.
When God brings the evil world against His own people because of rebellion, it will be a terrible time. It will be a time when caves and dens are a welcome abode. Our nation is suffering because of the rejection of Gods Word. It is a time to renew our efforts to make sure that what we believe lines up with the Word of God. Study to show ourselves approved.
May we with fervor proclaim Gods true Word.
JANUARY 28 – SIN AND ITS AFFECTS ON OTHERS
Joshua 22:20 – Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.
There are times when we get belligerent and say, this is my life, I will live it the way I want and I am not hurting anyone else.
This is absurd and selfish reasoning. There are those all around us whose lives are intertwined with ours in some way. Our personal lives and friends we have are affected by the things we do. Our work lives leave a mark on those we work with. Even when we try to get away from family others are affected. No man can live only to ones self.
Achan took that which was Gods. Achan had no intention of involving others in his thievery and sin. Yet his sin was found out and his whole family was touched in a terrible way because of his sin.
Family will be the first to be touched. Fathers and mothers never get past the love, concern and care of children. What a child commits as an act of sin brings grief to the hearts of parents. Brothers and sisters are touched by lives of brothers and sisters that walk a wrong path. All in the family are touched in one way or another.
Where God directs us, we are to be an influence to good. We are in a sea of people to show them what is right and what is wrong. We are to witness to them about a Savior that forgives and cleanses us of all sin. We must realize that when we are saved, we are not left in the same life style we have been living but we are transformed and have a new life that is abundant. Achan caused his family to be stoned to death.
Let us not harm or condemn our family because of the lusts of the world. Let us cause our family to rejoice in the life that is lived in Jesus Christ.