3/28/14

From Wayne Jackson, M.A. .... Wrong is Always Wrong


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=234


Wrong is Always Wrong

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Sinful human beings are ever attempting to blur the distinction between “right” and “wrong.” This inclination reaches far back into antiquity. The book of Proverbs declares: “He that justifies the wicked, and he that condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination unto Jehovah” (17:15). Later, the prophet Isaiah affirmed: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Amos spoke of those who “turn justice to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth” (Amos 5:7).
“Right” and “wrong” do exist. They are not merely “evolved inclinations” that have been humanly contrived in order to introduce a sense of order and security into society. Nor are “right” and “wrong” subjectively determined so that, practically speaking, each person functions as his own law-maker. Rather, morality is to be measured by the laws and principles of divine revelation, as made known in the inspired writings of the Bible. Ultimately, morality is grounded in the very nature of God Himself. “[A]s he who calls you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy” (1 Peter 1:15). Though such a concept is almost wholly rejected by modern society, there is ample evidence to support it.
Let us contemplate briefly some of the principles contained in Scripture that assist us in putting “right” and “wrong” things into proper focus.
1. “Wrong” is not determined by the perpetrator’s moral sensitivity to an act. A wrong act is still wrong whether or not the violator is aware of it, or whether or not he feels comfortable with the situation. Saul of Tarsus did not know that he was doing wrong when he persecuted Christianity (see Acts 23:1; 26:9; 1 Timothy 1:13), but he was violating the will of God nonetheless. Ignorance is no excuse (Acts 17:30). In modern society, for example, many have entangled themselves in adulterous “marital” relationships. Frequently it is argued that such liaisons may be sustained because the parties “did not know” the intricacies of God’s marriage law when the unions were made. The logic is fallacious. Will a similar argument eventually be offered to defend the concept of same-sex “marriages”?
2. “Right” is not established merely by what man is able to accomplish by means of his genius and/or ability. Pragmatism does not provide the criteria for ethics. One human being presumptively can take another’s life, but that does not make the act moral. Two unmarried youngsters are able to conceive a child apart from the sacred vows of matrimony, but the act is illegitimate nonetheless. “Might” does not make “right,” and autocratic decisions relating to moral matters are condemned in Scripture (see Habakkuk 1:11). Radical attempts at human genetic engineering, or cloning, may be accomplished eventually through the manipulation of genetic laws, but the achievement, in and of itself, does not license the practice as ethical. The issue must ever be: Is a procedure consistent with the principles of God’s inspired revelation?
3. “Right” and “wrong” are not determined by what is legal. In the Roman world of the Caesars, infanticide was legal, but it was not moral. In some ancient cultures, a woman was not a person; she was mere property to be abused, or disposed of, at the whim of her husband. There are few who would defend the ethics of this custom. Homosexuality is legal, but it is moral perversion (Romans 1:26-27). The destruction of human life by means of abortion has the sanction of civil law, but the practice is abominable before the eyes of the Creator (Proverbs 6:17).
4. “Right” and “wrong” are not grounded in what a majority of the population “feels” is ethical. Jesus Christ is a King; He has not implemented a democracy to determine, by majority vote, how human beings ought to live. In the first place, man never can be his own guide. “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Second, fallible opinion, multiplied a thousand times, does not change wrong into right. Moses solemnly warned: “Thou shall not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2). It hardly is necessary to remind ourselves that the path of the majority is the way of destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
5. “Wrong” is wrong, whether or not one is ever caught. In the isolated environment of ancient Egypt, separated from his kinsmen, Joseph might well have rationalized an illicit relationship with Potiphar’s wife on the ground that his indiscretion never would be known by his family. His reasoning, however, was: “[H]ow then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). There will be a time when the “skeletons come out of the closet” and “the chickens come home to roost.” Many things that have been perpetrated in darkness will be revealed in light, and secret evils will be proclaimed from the rooftops (see Luke 12:3). Secrecy does not sanctify!
6. “Wrong” does not become right by virtue of passing time. It is certainly the case that the public’s conscience sometimes becomes dull with the passing of years, so that what once was horrifying eventually becomes commonplace. But wrong still is wrong, though a millennium passes. Eventually, there will be accountability (2 Corinthians 5:10).
May God help us to examine our practices by the illumination of His glorious Word (Psalm 119:105), and to determine “right” and “wrong” issued upon that reliable basis.

From Jim McGuiggan... That tuba's my Barney


From Mark Copeland... Fornicators And Adulterers God Will Judge (Hebrews 13:4)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

            Fornicators And Adulterers God Will Judge (13:4)

INTRODUCTION

1. In today's society, the honor and sanctity of marriage is under
   constant attack...
   a. Divorce is acceptable, made easy through "no-fault" laws
   b. Adultery is considered normal, faithfulness to one's spouse as
      unrealistic
   c. Among religious and political leaders, many say that standards
      against sexual immorality are antiquated

2. Even in the church, sexual immorality is a major problem evidenced
   by...
   a. The high number of divorces among Christians
   b. The frequent reports of sexual failings among preachers, elders,
      and other Christians

3. This is not to say there are not those who still hold marriage in
   high esteem...
   a. Many people still believe sex is for marriage, and marriage is
      for life
   b. I've been blessed to have:
      1) The example of my wife's grandparents, married 77 years
      2) The example of my grandmother, widowed with six children when
         only 30 years old, remaining single for over fifty years
      3) Parents and in-laws who both were married over 50 years each
      4) Three brothers, who along with myself are still married to our
         first wives

4. In truth, our culture today is not that much different from the
   society of the first century...
   a. Where divorce and remarriage was rampant (women were known to
      date events by their husbands;  e.g., "Yes, that happened during
      husband #5.")
   b. Fornication was acceptable, adultery barely frowned upon

5. But Christianity offers a true contrast of standards regarding
   morality...
   a. Through clear and unequivocal teaching - 1 Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21;
      Ep 5:3-5
   b. The same sort of teaching is needed today, which is why we need
      to carefully heed the text of today's lesson:

      "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but
      fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (He 13:4)

6. The verb "is" is not in the Greek, leading some to translate the
   first phrase as:
   a. "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage
      bed be undefiled;" (NASV)
   b. "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept
      pure" (NIV),

[Why should we honor marriage, and keep the "marriage bed" (a euphemism
for marital relations) pure?  Because God will judge those who violate
it!

To see how, let's first define the terms used in the last half of this
verse...]

I. DEFINITION OF TERMS

   A. "FORNICATORS"...
      1. The Greek word is pornos {por'-nos}, from which we get
         "pornography"
      2. It is a general word for unlawful and immoral sexual
         relationships (Barclay)
      3. It includes any kind sex outside of marriage:  pre-marital,
         extra-marital (adultery), homosexual, etc.

   B. "ADULTERERS"...
      1. The Greek word is moichos {moy-khos'}
      2. It means to have unlawful intercourse with another's wife or
         husband (Thayer)
         a. This may be while they are still married...
         b. Or even AFTER they are divorced if not for the right reason
            - cf. Mt 5:32; 19:9
      3  So a person can be guilty of adultery either:
         a. By having relations with another's spouse
         b. By marrying someone who either:
            1) Did not put their first spouse away for fornication
            2) Or was put away by their spouse for ANY reason

   C. "GOD"...
      1. The Supreme Being, eternal and holy - Re 4:8
      2. Omniscient and Omnipresent - Ps 139:1-12
      3. Loving, yet just - cf. Jn 3:16; He 10:30-31; 12:29

   D. "WILL JUDGE"...
      1. The Greek word is krino {kree'-no}
      2. "the act of condemning and decreeing (or inflicting) penalty
         on one" (Thayer)

[Marriage should be held in honor, because the Bible makes it clear
that God will condemn and somehow inflict penalty on those who are
fornicators and adulterers who do not repent!

But why will God judge fornicators and adulterers?]

II. WHY GOD WILL JUDGE FORNICATORS AND ADULTERERS

   A. BECAUSE THEY DESTROY THE LIVES OF OTHERS...
      1. They destroy marriages
         a. Either their own, by their infidelity (trust is often
            destroyed)
         b. Or others, by committing adultery with another's spouse
         c. Sexual immorality is a major cause of divorce, which God
            hates - Mal 2:16
      2. They destroy families
         a. Where divorce occurs, families are shattered
         b. The children usually suffer the most, often with severe
            emotional problems throughout their lives
         c. Jesus warned about despising the needs of children - Mt 18:
            5-7,10-11,14
      3. They destroy friendships
         a. Read carefully Pro 6:30-35
         b. It is difficult, if not impossible, to restore good
            friendships after one has violated another's spouse

   B. BECAUSE THEY DESTROY THEIR OWN LIVES...
      1. Read carefully Pro 5:1-14
         a. You lose your honor (your reputation is destroyed)
         b. You lose your wealth (ever hear of alimony?)
         c. You lose your health (via STDs, perhaps even AIDS)
      2. Adultery and fornication is indeed a sin against your own body
         - cf. 1 Co 6:18
         a. There is emotional damage (wracking guilt)
         b. There is social damage (ostracized by others)
         c. There is physical damage (venereal disease)

   C. BECAUSE THOSE WHO ARE CHRISTIANS ARE ESPECIALLY GUILTY...
      1. They have taken members of the body of Christ and made them
         members of a harlot - 1 Co 6:15-16
      2. They have taken their body, a temple of the Holy Spirit, and
         given it to a child of the devil - 1 Co 6:19-20
      3. As Christians, who have been...
         a. Made in the image of God
         b. Redeemed by the blood of Jesus
         c. Made a temple of the Holy Spirit
         ...they have allowed their lusts to bring them as low as
            animals!

[When God's HIGHEST CREATION, because of purely selfish reasons,
destroys marriages, families, friendship, even their own selves, we can
understand why God WILL JUDGE such, and why Paul wrote what he did to
the Corinthians:

   "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom
   of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters,
   nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor
   covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will
   inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Co 6:9-10)

But HOW will God judge fornicators and adulterers?]

III. HOW GOD WILL JUDGE FORNICATORS AND ADULTERERS

   A. HE WILL JUDGE IN THE FUTURE...
      1. They will not inherit the kingdom of God - 1 Co 6:9-10; Ep 5:5-7
      2. They will suffer eternal torment - Re 21:8

   B. BUT HE ALSO JUDGES IN THE PRESENT...
      1. They become God's enemies - cf. Ja 4:4
         a. While this passage likely speaks of spiritual adultery, it
            would apply to literal adultery as well
         b. Adulterers are estranged of God's fellowship, care and love
         c. True peace and joy cannot be theirs
      2. They receive in their own bodies what they rightfully deserve - cf. Ro 1:24-27
         a. Those who engage in such immorality do indeed "receive in
            themselves the penalty of their error" (e.g., syphilis,
            gonorrhea, herpes, AIDS)
         b. But such is only a FORETASTE of the torment fornicators and
            adulterers will receive, if they do not repent!

CONCLUSION

1. There are many good reasons to honor marriage and keep the "marriage
   bed" undefiled...
   a. The bond between a man and a woman whose relationship is built
      upon trust and love
   b. The joy, peace, and love that children in a strong family enjoy,
      and deserve
   c. The value of strong families in shaping our communities in which
      we live

2. But we have focused on God's judgment on those who destroy this
   important fabric of our society, and how it gives new meaning to the
   phrase "be sure your sin will find you out" (Num 32:23)
   a. It is almost impossible to keep immorality secret
      1) Physical infirmities will more than likely bring it to the
         surface eventually
      2) Or loose lips will!
   b. Even if one succeeds in hiding their immorality in this life, not
      so in the life to come!

3. To close on a more positive note, let's offer some hope for those
   who have been guilty of adultery and fornication...
   a. You may not be able to escape the physical consequences of your
      actions
   b. But you can be forgiven, and escape the eternal consequences!

As we consider once again what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, a
city known for it loose morals...

   "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom
   of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters,
   nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor
   covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will
   inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Co 6:9-10)

We now notice the next verse...

   "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were
   sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus
   and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Co 6:11)

The gospel of Christ promises wonderful blessings to all sinners who
will come to Jesus in faith and obedience!

Have you been "washed", "sanctified", and "justified" in the name of
the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God? (Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ti 3:5)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading March 28



Bible Reading   

March 28

The World English Bible

Mar. 28
Leviticus 11, 12

Lev 11:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,
Lev 11:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth.
Lev 11:3 Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud among the animals, that you may eat.
Lev 11:4 " 'Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those who part the hoof: the camel, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:5 The coney, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:6 The hare, because she chews the cud but doesn't part the hoof, she is unclean to you.
Lev 11:7 The pig, because he has a split hoof, and is cloven-footed, but doesn't chew the cud, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.
Lev 11:9 " 'These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, that you may eat.
Lev 11:10 All that don't have fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of all the living creatures that are in the waters, they are an abomination to you,
Lev 11:11 and you detest them. You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses.
Lev 11:12 Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that is an abomination to you.
Lev 11:13 " 'These you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the vulture, and the black vulture,
Lev 11:14 and the red kite, any kind of black kite,
Lev 11:15 any kind of raven,
Lev 11:16 the horned owl, the screech owl, and the gull, any kind of hawk,
Lev 11:17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
Lev 11:18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
Lev 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.
Lev 11:20 " 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are an abomination to you.
Lev 11:21 Yet you may eat these: of all winged creeping things that go on all fours, which have legs above their feet, with which to hop on the earth.
Lev 11:22 Even of these you may eat: any kind of locust, any kind of katydid, any kind of cricket, and any kind of grasshopper.
Lev 11:23 But all winged creeping things which have four feet, are an abomination to you.
Lev 11:24 " 'By these you will become unclean: whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:25 Whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:26 " 'Every animal which parts the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor chews the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them shall be unclean.
Lev 11:27 Whatever goes on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, they are unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:28 He who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. They are unclean to you.
Lev 11:29 " 'These are they which are unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,
Lev 11:30 the gecko, and the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink, and the chameleon.
Lev 11:31 These are they which are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead, shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:32 On whatever any of them falls when they are dead, it shall be unclean; whether it is any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack, whatever vessel it is, with which any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it will be clean.
Lev 11:33 Every earthen vessel, into which any of them falls, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it.
Lev 11:34 All food which may be eaten, that on which water comes, shall be unclean; and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.
Lev 11:35 Everything whereupon part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven, or range for pots, it shall be broken in pieces: they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.
Lev 11:36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern in which water is a gathered shall be clean: but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean.
Lev 11:37 If part of their carcass falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it is clean.
Lev 11:38 But if water is put on the seed, and part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
Lev 11:39 " 'If any animal, of which you may eat, dies; he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:40 He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:41 " 'Every creeping thing that creeps on the earth is an abomination. It shall not be eaten.
Lev 11:42 Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, even all creeping things that creep on the earth, them you shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
Lev 11:43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled thereby.
Lev 11:44 For I am Yahweh your God. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth.
Lev 11:45 For I am Yahweh who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Lev 11:46 " 'This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth,
Lev 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.' "

Lev 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 12:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her monthly period she shall be unclean.
Lev 12:3 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
Lev 12:4 She shall continue in the blood of purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any holy thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed.
Lev 12:5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her period; and she shall continue in the blood of purification sixty-six days.
Lev 12:6 " 'When the days of her purification are completed, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the Tent of Meeting, a year old lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering:
Lev 12:7 and he shall offer it before Yahweh, and make atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood. " 'This is the law for her who bears, whether a male or a female.
Lev 12:8 If she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.' "




From Gary... Death

Died, bought the farm, put off this mortal coil, became worm food, expired, late, deceased; these and many other terms are applied to those who are no longer living.  Unpleasant to think about, much less face. Yet, the topic does come up in Scripture and is worthy to consider.  Now, the charts above list how the Apostles of Jesus died. In almost all of the above case, gruesome seems to be the best way to describe their fate. But, this was not a surprise to them, for we see in the book of John...

John, Chapter 21

 18  Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don’t want to go.” 

  19  Now he said this, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. When he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” 

  20  Then Peter, turning around, saw a disciple following. This was the disciple whom Jesus sincerely loved, the one who had also leaned on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who is going to betray You?”  21 Peter seeing him, said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 

  22  Jesus said to him, “If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you? You follow me.”   23 This saying therefore went out among the brothers, that this disciple wouldn’t die. Yet Jesus didn’t say to him that he wouldn’t die, but, “If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you?”

AND

Luke, Chapter 20

9  He began to tell the people this parable. “A man planted a vineyard, and rented it out to some farmers, and went into another country for a long time.   10  At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty.   11  He sent yet another servant, and they also beat him, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.   12  He sent yet a third, and they also wounded him, and threw him out.   13  The lord of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. It may be that seeing him, they will respect him.’ 
  14  “But when the farmers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’   15 
 They threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them?  16  He will come and destroy these farmers, and will give the vineyard to others.” 

When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” 

  17  But he looked at them, and said, “Then what is this that is written, 
‘The stone which the builders rejected, 
the same was made the chief cornerstone?’
  18  Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, 
but it will crush whomever it falls on to dust.” 
 

Knowing they would suffer, they still followed Jesus and endured horrible deaths.  WHY?  I do not know all the answers to this one, because people often do things for a variety of reasons.  I do however, feel safe is saying they were faithful to their last breath because they really believed Jesus.  I do not know the future for all the Christians now living, but I do know that many are paying the ultimate price right at this very minute in Egypt.  Would either you or I be willing to do the same?  Count the cost, examine yourself and have the courage of your convictions.  This means you, Gary and everyone else who calls themselves a Christian as well!!! Today, pray that we all remain faithful in the face of that dreadnought called Islam. We will need all the prayers we can get!!!