4/27/15

From Mark Copeland... "A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD" Are You A Disciple Of Jesus?




                        "A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD"

                      Are You A Disciple Of Jesus?

     "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
     them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
     Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have
     commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of
     the age."

INTRODUCTION

1. The above statement was made by Jesus to His apostles shortly before
   He ascended to heaven - Mt 28:18-20

2. Commonly called "The Great Commission," notice the main thought of
   Jesus' command...
   a. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..."
   b. To "make disciples," therefore, is the GOAL of evangelizing the
      world for Christ

3. Are you a disciple of Jesus?
   a. More than likely you believe in Jesus...
   b. You might even be one to attend church services regularly
   -- But is that what it means to be His disciple?

4. The purpose in this study is to make clear what is involved in
   being a true disciple of Jesus Christ

[To begin, let's define the word "disciple"...]

I. THE DEFINITION OF A DISCIPLE

   A. THE WORD "DISCIPLE"...
      1. The word "disciple" literally means A LEARNER
      2. According to Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament
         Words, it denotes "one who follows another's teaching"
      3. But a disciple was not only a learner, he was also AN ADHERENT
      4. For this reason disciples were spoken of as IMITATORS of their
         teachers.

   B. THE GOAL IN BEING A DISCIPLE...
      1. Stated by Jesus himself:  to be like the teacher - Lk 6:40
      2. To be Christ's disciple, then, is to strive to be like Him!
      3. According to the apostle Paul, this coincides with God's goal
         in the redemption of mankind, that they be conformed to the
         image of His Son - Ro 8:29

[Do you have a strong desire to follow Jesus and become like Him?
Unless you do, it cannot be said that you are truly His disciple!

There are also some "identifying marks" of discipleship given by Jesus
which can help us to further identify a true disciple of Jesus...]

II. THE MARKS OF A DISCIPLE

   A. A DISCIPLE IS "ONE WHO ABIDES IN JESUS' WORDS" - Jn 8:31
      1. This would imply being a diligent student of the teachings of
         Christ
      2. It also requires one to be a "doer" of the Word - Mt 7:21-27;
         Jm 1:21-25
      3. In view of this, a true disciple would not...
         a. Fail to study the Bible diligently
         b. Willingly refrain from opportunities to study with others
            (e.g., Bible classes, church services, gospel meetings).

   B. A DISCIPLE IS ALSO "ONE WHO LOVES THE BRETHREN" - Jn 13:34-35
      1. With a love patterned after the love of Jesus ("as I have
         loved you")
      2. With a love that is visible to the world ("by this all will know")
      3. Therefore, a true disciple would...
         a. Make every effort to get to know his brethren
         b. Take advantage of occasions to encourage and grow closer to
            them (e.g., attending services on Sunday and Wednesday
            nights)
      4. Remember, a disciple is one who wants to become like his
         teacher 
         a. Was Jesus willing to sacrifice time and effort for His
            brethren?
         b. Of course, and so will we... IF we are truly HIS disciples!

   C. A DISCIPLE IS "ONE WHO BEARS MUCH FRUIT" - Jn 15:8
      1. Notice the word "much" (also found in verse 5)
         a. Jesus is not talking about an occasional good deed
         b. But a lifestyle which prompts people to glorify God!
            - Mt 5:16
      2. This is so important, that failure to bear much fruit will
         result in being severed from Christ - Jn 15:1-2
      3. How can one be a disciple if he or she is cut off from Christ?

[The point should be clear:  to be a disciple of Jesus Christ means 
more that just a casual church member.  It requires COMMITMENT, 
especially in regards to:
  
                    The teachings of Christ 
                    The love of brethren 
                    Bearing fruit to the glory of God

The kind of commitment involved is seen further when we consider the 
"high cost" of discipleship demanded by Jesus in Lk 14:25-33...]

III. THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE

   A. JESUS MUST COME FIRST - Lk 14:26
      1. Before anyone else, including members of our own family 
         - Mt 10:34-37
      2. Even before one's own self - Lk 9:23-25

   B. WE MUST BE WILLING TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST - Lk 14:27
      1. Trying to live godly lives in an ungodly world, we may find
         that following Christ sometimes involves ridicule and
         persecution - 2Ti 3:12
      2. Even if we are blessed to escape such things, we must still be
         willing to expend time and effort in promoting the cause of
         Christ in positive ways

   C. PUTTING IT SIMPLY, WE MUST FORSAKE ALL TO FOLLOW CHRIST 
      - Lk 14:33
      1. In other words, Jesus must be KING and LORD of our lives
      2. Nothing can take precedent over Him and His Will for us

[This kind of "high cost" of discipleship demanded by Jesus caused 
many people to turn away from following Him.  But Jesus wasn't trying
to attract large crowds, He wanted disciples!

Is the COST worth it?  I believe so, for consider some of the REWARDS
of discipleship...]

IV. THE REWARDS OF BEING A DISCIPLE

   A. THERE IS THE PROMISE OF "FUTURE BLESSINGS"...
      1. We shall be saved from the wrath of God which is yet to come
         upon the world for its sins - Ro 5:9
      2. We can look forward with joyful anticipation of eternity with
         God, free from sorrow, pain and death - Re 21:1-8

   B. THERE ARE ALSO "PRESENT BLESSINGS"...
      1. Jesus offers a PEACE the world cannot give to calm the
         troubled heart - Jn 14:27
      2. His words inspire JOY to lift our spirits out of any
         depression - Jn 15:11
      3. He also offers to those who follow Him the ABIDING LOVE OF
         GOD, which can cast out fear - Jn 15:9; 1Jn 4:18
      4. And he makes it possible for us to be members of THE FAMILY OF
         GOD, which is able if need be to replace our physical family
         - Mk 10:28-30

[There are many other blessings we could mention that are enjoyed by
disciples of Jesus; but these suffice to demonstrate that though 
discipleship is costly, the rewards far exceed the cost!

Now that we understand the nature of discipleship, its cost and 
rewards, I hope that we want to be true disciples of Jesus Christ.  
But how does one begin?

For the answer we return to our beginning text - Mt 28:19-20...]

V. THE BEGINNING OF A DISCIPLE

   A. ACCORDING TO JESUS, IT INVOLVES BAPTISM - Mt 28:19
      1. Why baptism?
         a. Remember the goal of discipleship:  to be like Jesus
         b. He was holy and sinless, yet we are to be like Him
         c. Fortunately, baptism is described as an act of faith which
            puts us in contact with the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ
            so we can be forgiven - Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 6:3-4
         d. It is also the means by which one "puts on Christ" 
            - Ga 3:27
         -- SO BAPTISM IS THE LOGICAL STARTING PLACE FOR TRUE
            DISCIPLESHIP!
      2. But what is baptism?
         a. It is an act of submission which must be preceded by faith
            in Jesus and repentance for our sins - Ac 2:36-38; 8:36-37
            1) This precludes infant baptism
            2) For infants are incapable of believing and repenting
         b. It is also an act of submission which involves a burial in
            water, in which one then rises to walk in newness of life
            through the power of God - Ac 8:38; Ro 6:3-4; Col 2:12
            1) This precludes sprinkling or pouring as a mode of baptism
            2) For neither of these involve a "burial" nor an immersion
               (which is the meaning of the Greek word "baptidzo")
         c. When done according to the Word of God, baptism then
            becomes an act of faith on our part which results in a
            wonderful working of God in our lives!
            1) Our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus 
               - Ac 22:16; Ep 5:25-27
            2) We are "regenerated" and "renewed" by the Spirit of God
               so we can now live for God! - Tit 3:5-6
            3) It is truly a "rebirth" involving both water and the
               Spirit - Jn 3:5

   B. BUT BAPTISM IS ONLY THE BEGINNING, TEACHING AND OBEDIENCE MUST
      FOLLOW - Mt 28:20
      1. This brings us back to the very definition of discipleship
      2. For Jesus clearly states:
         a. We are to be TAUGHT (that is, to be LEARNERS)
         b. We are to OBSERVE (that is, to be ADHERENTS or DOERS)
      3. In this way we embark on a life devoted to learning and doing
         all that Jesus has commanded us to do

CONCLUSION

1. Only those scripturally baptized and demonstrating the "marks" of
   discipleship, despite the "costs," can truly be called disciples of Jesus!

2. Only they can realistically look forward to the "rewards" of
   discipleship, and take consolation in the promise of Jesus:

     "and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
                                                     - Mt 28:20

If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then the prospects of "A 
Closer Walk With God" and more fruitful service as a disciple should
be of great interest to you.  I hope the lessons to follow will help
fulfill that interest.

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Hell and the Quran by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=1177

Hell and the Quran

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The classic Christian doctrine of hell receives a most interesting treatment in the Quran, providing a number of fanciful particulars and whimsical embellishments. On the Day of Judgment, unbelievers will be “dragged into the Fire upon their faces” (Surah 54:48) “by their scalps” (Surah 70:16, Dawood, Sale, and Rodwell translations). Their faces will be “blackened” (Surah 39:60). They will have manacles, chains, and yokes placed upon them (Surah 34:33; 40:71; 76:4). One surah even declares that the wife of Abu Lahab (one of Muhammad’s bitter opponents) “will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fibre” (Surah 111:5)—apparently fireproof palm fiber.
According to the Quran, hell is a place of raging, fiercely blazing fire (Surah 73:12; 92:14; 101:11) with leaping, piercing, burning flames (Surah 4:10; 17:97; 25:11; 37:10; 48:13; 77:30-31; 85:10; 104:6-7), in which people “neither die nor live” (Surah 87:12-13). In addition to flames, hell also contains scorching winds, black smoke (Surah 56:42-43), and boiling hot water through which the disbelievers will be dragged (Surah 40:71-72; 55:44). In fact, unbelievers will both drink and be drenched with boiling water:
Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces.Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place! (Surah 18:30, emp. added).
These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning (Surah 22:19-22, emp. added; cf. 6:70; 10:5; 37:67; 44:48; 56:54,93)
The ingested boiling water will cut and tear the bowels (Surah 47:15). Yet the drinking of boiling water apparently will be accompanied by an occasional cold drink: “Hell, where they will burn, an evil resting place. Here is a boiling and an ice-cold draught, so let them taste it, and other (torment) of the kind in pairs (the two extremes)!” (Surah 38:57-59, emp. added; cf. 78:24-25). Ali renders the phrase: “a boiling fluid, and a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold!”
In addition to liquid, the diet of the unbeliever will include some solid food: “On that day (many) faces will be downcast, toiling, weary, scorched by burning fire, drinking from a boiling spring, no food for them save bitter thorn-fruit which doth not nourish nor release from hunger” (Surah 88:2-7, emp. added). The Quran alleges the existence of a specific tree from which hell’s occupants will eat:
Is this better as a welcome, or the tree of Zaqqum? Lo! We have appointed it a torment for wrong-doers. Lo! it is a tree that springeth in the heart of hell. Its crop is as it were the heads of devils. And lo! they verily must eat thereof, and fill (their) bellies therewith. And afterward, lo! thereupon they have a drink of boiling water (Surah 37:62-67).
All will certainly be gathered together for the meeting appointed for a Day well-known. Then will you truly—O you that go wrong, and treat (Truth) as Falsehood!—you will surely taste of the Tree of Zaqqum. Then will you fill your insides therewith, and drink Boiling Water on top of it: Indeed you shall drink like diseased camels raging with thirst! Such will be their entertainment on the Day of Requital! (Surah 56:50-56, Ali’s translation).
Lo! the tree of Zaqqum, the food of the sinner! Like molten brass, it seetheth in their bellies as the seething of boiling water (Surah 44:43-46).
Uninspired Jewish folklore postulated the same tree (cf. Sukkah 32).
The Quran also claims that hell possesses “keepers” or “guardians” (Surah 40:49; 96:18). Malic is the primary angel in charge of hell who presides over the torments inflicted on unbelievers: “The sinners will be in the punishment of Hell, to dwell therein (forever)…. They will cry: ‘O Malik! Would that your Lord put an end to us!’ He will say, ‘Nay, but you shall abide!’ ” (Surah 43:74,77). Of course, the Bible says nothing of any so-called guardians of hell. In fact, the Bible teaches that even Satan is not presently in hell. Rather, “our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8; cf. Job 1:7; 2:2). The Bible appears to indicate that some angels are being confined in a waiting place prior to the Day of Judgment: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). But Satan and his angels will be thrown into the lake of fire at the end of time (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
Additional allusions in the Quran to unbiblical (and outlandish) concepts regarding hell (also borrowed from uninspired ancient rabbinical literature) include: (1) a veil between hell and Paradise (Surah7:46), drawn from the legend recorded in the Midrash on Ecclesiastes 7:14 (cf. Tisdall, 1905, p. 124), as well as a place between the two that enables a “crier” to communicate with both sides (Surah7:44); and (2) the report of angels who eavesdrop on God (Surah 15:18; 37:8; 67:5; cf. Hagigah 6.1).
Even giving the Quran’s allowance for the difficulty of representing a nonphysical, eternal realm in language that enables humans to derive a sufficient understanding of the horror of hell, the Quran makes the mistake of depicting hell as a place for physical bodies. It offers an abundance of detail that removes the impression of hell being a spiritual realm. It shows no understanding or awareness of eternity involving a spiritual, nonmaterial realm where human spirits will be clothed with new, spiritual bodies. The Bible, on the other hand, provides clarification on just such matters, giving just enough information for the honest, objective reader to grasp this very point—i.e., that it will be a nonphysical realm, but will entail unending pain and suffering for the spiritual body (Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 12:4-5; John 5:28; 1 Corinthians 15:35-55). The Bible is sufficiently generic to be credible. The Quran suffers from the embellishment that one would expect from an uninspired, human author. Its myriad of detail on this subject cannot be dismissed as merely figurative.
Next to the doctrine of monotheism, the doctrine of hell and punishment receives more attention than any other doctrine in the Quran—maybe even more than monotheism. In fact, to the unbiased reader, the Quran is positively top-heavy—completely unbalanced—in its almost constant emphasis on fire, torment, and eternal punishment. Keeping in mind there are 114 surahs in the Quran, observe that the word “hell” occurs 102 times in Pickthall’s translation (95 in Ali’s) in 54 surahs. “Fire” occurs 161 times (203 in Ali) in 65 surahs. “Punish/punishment” occurs 115 times (169 in Ali) in 43 surahs. “Doom” occurs 215 times in Pickthall in 62 surahs. This means that the Quran refers to hell, fire, doom, and punishment in 92 of its 114 surahs—which is 80 percent of the Quran! In sharp contrast, the New Testament—which approximates the Quran in length—uses the word “hell” (gehennaonly 12 times(Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33; Mark 9:43,45,47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6). While the Bible certainly emphasizes the certainty and inevitability of eternal punishment, it places the subject in proper perspective and provides a divinely balanced treatment. The Quran, on the other hand, is thoroughly preoccupied with incessant threats of punishment ad infinitum. Its inordinate fixation on hell, fire, torment, and punishment is another proof of its human origin.

REFERENCES

Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1934), The Qur’an (Elmhurst, NY: Tahrike Tarsile Quran), ninth edition.
Pickthall, Mohammed M. (n.d.), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).
Rodwell, J.M., trans. (1950 reprint), The Koran (London: J.M. Dent and Sons).
Dawood, N.J., trans. (1976 reprint), The Koran (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin).
Sale, George, trans. (no date), The Koran (New York: Hurst).
Tisdall, W. St. Clair (1905), The Original Sources of the Quran (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge).


Believing What Jesus Believed by Kyle Butt, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1223

Believing What Jesus Believed

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

It has become increasingly popular to accept certain parts of the Bible and to reject other parts. Such amazing events as the miracle of Creation, Jonah’s being swallowed by a sea creature, and the Flood of Noah often are brushed aside as mere myth, while more “credible” things such as the teachings of Jesus are accepted as fact. Although this line of reasoning might have some initial appeal to our “enlightened” society that rejects biblical miracles off hand, it contains a major flaw. When the teachings of Jesus are analyzed, it can be shown that Jesus Himself believed and taught the Old Testament stories that some label as myth.
For instance, the story of Jonah has come under attack due to its extraordinary details. According to the Old Testament Scriptures, God’s prophet Jonah disobeyed the Lord and was swallowed by a great sea creature. For three days, he dwelt as a damp denizen of that creature’s belly, until finally he was vomited onto the land and given another chance to obey God. To certain scholars, the story of Jonah finds a place in the Scriptures, not as a factual narrative of a specific historical account, but as a myth or allegory. What did Jesus believe about the story of Jonah? His sentiments in this regard were emphatically stated.
Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here (Matthew 12:38-41).
Quite clearly, Jesus accepted the story of Jonah as an accurate description of a real, historical event. He included not only the fact that Jonah spent three days in the belly of the fish, but also affirmed that the city of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. If the story of Jonah were simply an allegory or myth, Jesus’ entire point about being in the belly of the Earth for as long as Jonah was in the belly of the fish would be weakened to the point of ridiculousness. For, if Jonah wasn’t ever really in the belly of the fish, then what would that say about the Son of Man actually being in the belly of the Earth?
Another story endorsed by Christ is the formation of man and woman at the beginning of Creation. Some scholars, in an attempt to find a compromise between the Bible and organic evolution, have postulated that the Creation account of Genesis need not be taken literally, and that room can be found in Genesis to accommodate the idea that humans evolved gradually in Earth’s recent past. What did Jesus say about this idea?
During His earthly sojourn, Christ spoke explicitly regarding Creation. In Mark 10:6, for example, He declared: “But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he them.” Note these three paramount truths: (1) The first couple was “made”; they were not biological accidents. Interestingly, the verb “made” in the Greek is in the aorist tense, implying point action, rather than progressive development (which would be characteristic of evolutionary activity). W.E. Vine made this very observation with reference to the composition of the human body in his comments on 1 Corinthians 12:18 (1951, p. 173). (2) The original pair was fashioned “male and female”; they were not initially an asexual “blob” that eventually experienced sexual diversion. (3) Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning of the creation.” The Greek word for “beginning” is arché, and is used of “absolute, denoting the beginning of the world and of its history, the beginning of creation.” The Greek word for “creation” is ktiseos, and denotes the “sum-total of what God has created” (Cremer, 1962, pp. 113,114,381, emp. in orig.). Christ certainly did not subscribe to the notion that the Earth is millions or billions of years older than humanity.
Accepting the testimony of Jesus Christ further demands that the global Flood of Noah be taken as a literal, historic event. The Lord Himself addressed the topic of the great Flood in Luke 17:26-30 (cf. Matthew 24:39) when He drew the following parallel:
And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: after the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed (emp. added).
The Lord depicted an impending doom that was to befall the Jews of His day who would not heed the Word of God. For the purpose of this article, however, note the context in which Jesus discussed the Flood destruction of Genesis 6-8. He placed the Flood alongside the destruction of Sodom, and He also placed it alongside the destruction of the ungodly at His Second Coming. John Whitcomb correctly noted that the word “all” must refer to the totality of people on the entire Earth in Noah’s day, and in Sodom during Lot’s time. Jesus’ argument would be weakened considerably if some of the people on the Earth, besides Noah’s family, escaped the Flood, or if certain Sodomites survived the fiery destruction sent from Heaven (1973, pp. 21-22). It is evident from the text that Jesus affirmed that the same number of ungodly sinners who escaped the Flood will be the same number of disobedient people who escape destruction at His Second Coming—none. From His remarks, one can clearly see that Jesus accepted the Genesis account of a global flood as a historical fact.
The sayings of Jesus contain numerous references to some of the Old Testament’s most extraordinary events. A person cannot consistently maintain a belief in Jesus and His teachings, while denying the details of the accounts that He endorsed as factual. The testimony of Jesus and the factual accuracy of the stories He commended stand together.

REFERENCES

Cremer, H. (1962), Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (London: T & T Clark).
Vine, W.E. (1951), First Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Whitcomb, John C. (1973), The World That Perished (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

A Visitor to Our Web Site Whose Life was Changed Forever by Kyle Butt, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3557

A Visitor to Our Web Site Whose Life was Changed Forever

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Our mission at Apologetics Press is to spread the truth so that those who hear with an open and honest heart will be free (John 8:32). Periodically we receive correspondence from those who have been helped by our materials that fill our hearts with gratitude to God for the way He is using our ministry. We received the following letter some time ago from one of our Web site visitors that we think epitomizes what we are trying to do. We think you will agree that this is what Apologetics Press is all about. [We have changed some of the names in the letter for privacy purposes, and minor editing has been done to make it more reader friendly]
I am writing this email to express my thanks to your writers for all of the help that you have given me in my journey to faith. I grew up in California and was raised without any religion at all. I had conservative parents but there was no religion in the household. I went to UCLA for college and studied psychobiology and of course, was inundated with evolution and naturalistic philosophies every single day. I had nothing to contrast those thoughts against nor did the professors present any material that was, in their mind[s] “questionable.” So I guess I learned from them how the world came into being and how it currently functions.
After I graduated college, I met Julie. She had come out to California to go to a law school. She was from Indiana and went to Faulkner for college and attended [a church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama] while she was in college. She had been a member of the church her whole life.
Soon after we met, we began speaking about her faith because I was interested and she, of course, wanted to spread the Gospel message. The main problem for me was how to align my science background with the apologetic side of her faith. I wanted to know what her answers were to “where did all the dinosaurs go?,” “how can you believe in a young earth when it is widely believed to be billions of years old?” and “how can you possibly not believe in evolution?” Basically I wanted to see “evidence.” She didn’t have a science background and pointed me immediately to your Web site. She praised your writers and the depth of knowledge they have. 
I spent many, many hours reading articles, and then I went back to read my evolutionary thought articles. As I was learning more about Christ, I was also slowly beginning to see that, to my surprise, the Christian worldview actually takes a lot less “faith” [quotation marks added] than an atheist worldview. There are just too many questions that the scientists can’t answer and will not ever be able to answer. Christianity has the answers to all of life[’s] “big questions.”
My mother and I were baptized about 10 months after I started going to church. Julie and I got married. My brother began coming to church and I had the privilege of baptizing him into Christ a few months ago. My wife and I are now working on the faith of my two sisters, my other brother and my father.
Well, I really just wanted to express my deep appreciation to the website you have put together that has provided answers to the questions that I had....
Keep up the good work!
To God be the glory for everything that He is doing through Apologetics Press. Do you have friends whose lives could be changed by the resources on our site? Why not help them find the answers they are seeking by putting them in contact with our materials? Together, we can make an eternal difference in the lives of millions of people.

Did Jesus Go to Hell? Did He Preach to Spirits in Prison? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=851

Did Jesus Go to Hell? Did He Preach to Spirits in Prison?
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A significant misconception that has prevailed through the centuries within Christendom has been the idea that Jesus went to hell after His crucifixion, prior to His resurrection. The creedal statements of historic Christianity are largely responsible for generating this notion. For example, the Apostles’ Creed affirmed belief in Jesus on the following terms: “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried; He descended into hell, the third day He rose again from the dead” (emp. added). The Athanasian Creed states: “He suffered death for our salvation. Hedescended into hell and rose again from the dead” (emp. added). “Church Fathers” and Reformers toyed with this viewpoint. John Calvin, in his voluminous Institutes of the Christian Religion, treated the subject at length (1599, II.16.8-12). Calvin cited earlier theologians who agreed with him, including Hilary in his On the Trinity (IV.xlii; III.xv). The renowned medieval Catholic theologian, Thomas Aquinas, held a similar view (Summa Theol. III. 52. 5). The apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, which dates from the fifth century A.D., claims that Jesus descended into hell and retrieved all the Old Testament saints, including Adam, David, Habakkuk, and Isaiah (see James, 1924, pp. 125ff.).
Further impetus for confusion was generated by the English translations of the 16th and 17thcenturies, due to translator confusion regarding the technical distinctions that exist between the pertinent Greek terms. Specifically, the Greek term hades generally was equated with gehenna.Hades refers to the intermediate state of the dead (disembodied spirits) who are awaiting the Judgment. Gehenna, on the other hand, refers to the location of the final state of the wicked after the Judgment. This confusion culminated in the King James Version’s rendering of hades as “hell” in all ten of its occurrences in the New Testament (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27,31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13,14). Rendering hades as “hell” in Acts 2:27,31 leaves the reader with the impression that when Jesus exited His physical body on the cross, He went to hell. The first English translation to maintain the distinction between hades and gehenna was the English Revised Version and its subsequent American counterpart, the American Standard Version of 1901 (Lewis, 1981, p. 64).
In 1 Peter 3:18-20, a most curious reference appears on the surface to be an affirmation that Jesus descended into the spirit realm and preached to deceased people. However, a close consideration of the grammar will clarify the passage. First, the preaching referred to was not done by Jesus in His own person. The text says Jesus did the preaching through the Holy Spirit: “…the Spirit, by whom…” (v. 18-19). [“My Spirit” (Genesis 6:3) = the Spirit of God = the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 2:17).] Other passages confirm that Jesus was said to do things that He actually did through the instrumentality of others (John 4:1-2; Ephesians 2:17). Nathan charged King David: “You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword” (2 Samuel 12:9), when, in fact, David had ordered it done by another. Elijah accused Ahab of killing Naboth, using the words, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?” (1 Kings 21:19), even though his wife, Jezebel, arranged for two other men to accomplish the evil action. Paul said Jesus preached peace to the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:17), when, in fact, Jesus did so through others, since He, Himself, already had returned to heaven when the first Gentiles heard the Gospel (Acts 15:7). So the Bible frequently refers to someone doing something that he, in fact, did through the agency of another person.
In fact, within the book of 1 Peter itself, Peter already had made reference to the fact that the Spirit “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (1 Peter 1:11). But it was the prophets who did the actual speaking (vs. 10). Then, again in chapter 4, Peter stated that “the gospel was preached also to those who are dead” (1 Peter 4:6). Here were individuals who had the Gospel preached to them while they were alive (“in the flesh”), and who responded favorably by becoming Christians. But then they were “judged according to men in the flesh,” i.e., they were treated harshly and condemned to martyrdom by their contemporaries. At the time Peter was writing, they were “dead,” i.e., deceased and departed from the Earth. But Peter said they “live according to God in the spirit,” i.e., they were alive and well in spirit form in the hadean realm in God’s good graces.
Second, when did Jesus do this preaching through the Holy Spirit? Notice in verse 20, the words “formerly” (NKJV) and “when”—“when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” So the preaching was done in the days of Noah by Jesus through the Holy Spirit Who, in turn, inspired Noah’s preaching (2 Peter 2:5).
Third, why are these people to whom Noah preached said to be “spirits in prison”? Because at the time Peter was writing the words, that is where those people were situated. Those who were drowned in the Flood of Noah’s day descended into the hadean realm, where they continued to reside in Peter’s day. This realm is the same location where the rich man was placed (Luke 16:23), as were the sinning angels (“Tartarus”—2 Peter 2:4). However, Jesus did not go to “prison” or “Tartarus.” He said He went to “Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
Fourth, why would Jesus go to hades and preach only to Noah’s contemporaries? Why would He exclude those who died prior to the Flood? What about those who have died since? Since God is no “respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11), Jesus would not have singled out Noah’s generation to be the recipients of preaching in the spirit realm.
Fifth, what would have been the content of such preaching? Jesus could not have preached the whole Gospel in its entirety. That Gospel includes the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:4). However, at the time the alleged preaching was supposed to have occurred, Jesus had not yet been raised!
The notion of people being given a second opportunity to hear the Gospel in the afterlife is an extremely dangerous doctrine that is counterproductive to the cause of Christ. Why? It potentially could make people think they can postpone their obedience to the Gospel in this life. Yet the Bible consistently teaches that no one will be permitted a second chance. This earthly life has been provided by God for all human beings to determine where they wish to spend eternity. That decision is made by each individual based upon personal conduct. Once a person dies, his eternal destiny has been cinched. He is “reserved for judgment” (2 Peter 2:4; cf. vss. 9,17). His condition will not and cannot be altered—even by God Himself (Luke 16:25-26; Hebrews 9:27).

REFERENCES

Calvin, John (1599), Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (London: Arnold Hatfield).
James, M.R., trans. (1924), The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
Lewis, Jack (1981), The English Bible From KJV to NIV (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).


“Couldn’t There Have Been Exceptions to the Laws of Science?” by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3713

“Couldn’t There Have Been Exceptions to the Laws of Science?”

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Some people have realized the implications of the laws of science concerning the matter of origins. Simply put, the laws of science contradict the evolutionary model (cf. Thompson, 2002;Miller, 2007). So, the question is asked by both sincere and unrelinquishing people, “Could there not have been exceptions at some time in the past to the laws of science?”

The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms defines a scientific law as, “a regularity which applies to all members of a broad class of phenomena” (2003, p. 1182, emp. added). In other words, as long as the scientist takes care to make sure that the law applies to the scenario in question, the law will always hold true. According to its definition, a scientific law has no known exceptions, or else it would not be a law in the first place. A “theory,” on the other hand, is merely an “attempt to explain” phenomena by deduction from other known principles (McGraw-Hill..., p. 2129). A theory may not be true, but a law, by definition, is always true. Since there are no known exceptions to scientific laws, would it not be unscientific for evolutionists to assert, without any scientific evidence, that there have been exceptions to the laws of science in the past?

Consider the Laws of Thermodynamics. A perpetual-motion machine is a device which attempts to violate either the First or Second Law of Thermodynamics (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 263). Numerous attempts have been made over the years to design such a machine—all to no avail. Such a machine would certainly be worth a large sum of money. However, a prominent Thermodynamics textbook used in mechanical engineering schools says concerning such attempts, “The proposers of perpetual-motion machines generally have innovative minds, but they usually lack formal engineering training” (Cengel and Boles, p. 265). Why would the writers make such a statement? The answer is that the Laws of Thermodynamics, which are taught in-depth in mechanical engineering curriculums, prohibit the design of such a machine. According to the textbook writers, to spend time and energy on such a pursuit categorizes the pursuer as unknowledgeable about such scientific truths. The Laws of Thermodynamics have been substantiated to the point that in 1918 the U.S. Patent Office declared that they would no longer accept patent applications for alleged perpetual-motion machines (Cengel and Boles, p. 265). Concerning patent application rejections, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website says, “a rejection on the ground of lack of utility includes the more specific grounds of inoperativeness, involving perpetual motion” (2008, emp. added).

As far as science can tell, its laws have never been violated. They are without exception. From a scientific perspective, the evolutionary model falls short of being able to account for the origin of the Universe. Indeed, it contradicts the known laws of science that govern the Universe. The creation model, on the other hand, is in perfect harmony with the laws of science.

REFERENCES

“706.03(a) Rejections Under 35 U.S.C. 101[R-5]-700 Examination of Applications” (2008), Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, United States Patent and Trademark Office, [On-line], URL:http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0700_706_03_a.htm.

Cengel, Yunus A. and Michael A. Boles (2002), Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach (New York: McGraw-Hill), fourth edition.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (2003), pub. M.D. Licker (New York: McGraw-Hill), sixth edition.

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,”Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

Thompson, Bert (2002), The Scientific Case for Creation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Abortion & Mental Health by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1724

Abortion & Mental Health
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As the abortion debate continues to rage in America, the evidence continues to mount—not only that the pre-born infant is human—but that abortion is also harmful to the mother. For example, University of Oslo researchers conducted a study in which they compared the psychological after-effects of miscarriage and abortion (“Abortion ‘Leaves...,’” 2005). While miscarriage was associated with more mental distress in the six months after the loss of a baby, abortion had a much longer lasting negative effect. Anne Nordal Broen, the leader of the team of researchers, said the responses of the women in the miscarriage group were similar to those expected after a traumatic life event. But the abortion group had more complex responses. Anna Pringle, spokesperson for the anti-abortion charity Life, observed: “This confirms years of experience with women who come to us for counseling after abortion. The emotional suffering can be massive” (“Abortion ‘Leaves...’”). Richard Warren, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, agreed: “It has always been considered, and this study also shows, that the decision to terminate may bring with it long-standing feelings of anxiety and guilt” (“Abortion ‘Leaves...’”).
Additional evidence comes from New Zealand—a country where abortion is legal. Researchers for the Christchurch Health and Development Study conducted a 25-year longitudinal study on the long-term effects of abortion on the mental health of young women ages 15 to 25. Reporting their results in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the scientists found that those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, and drug-use disorders. Their conclusion: “The findings suggest that abortion in young women may be associated with increased risks of mental health problems” (Fergusson, et al., 2006, 47[1]:16).
These findings are congruent with the Bible’s insistence that abortion, like other sins, is not only spiritually destructive (Miller, 2003), but psychologically and emotionally damaging as well (Proverbs 15:13-15; Isaiah 57:20-21). Those who are acquainted with the God of the Bible and His Word are aware that when His directives are violated, adverse consequences inevitably ensue. Since the Creator has provided His creatures with insight regarding how life is to be lived and how happiness may be achieved, going against His will results, not only in spiritual destruction, but in physical, emotional, and psychological devastation as well. The pagan nations that killed their own children were denounced by God as evil, committing abomination, and engaging in an action that He would never think of commanding them to do (Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; 32:35). When Christian ethics are abandoned, the negative ramifications are extensive and far-reaching. Indeed, “[t]he fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). It is He Who insists that we recognize that “children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). Conformity to His instructions will result in positive mental health and the peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

REFERENCES

“Abortion ‘Leaves Mental Legacy’” (2005), BBC News, December 12, [On-line], URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4520576.stm.
Fergusson, David M., L. John Horwood, and Elizabeth M. Ridder (2006), “Abortion in Young Women and Subsequent Mental Health,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47[1]:16, January, [On-line], URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j. 1469-7610.2005.01538.x?prevSearch=allfield%3A%28abortion%29.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Abortion and the Bible,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1964.

From Jim McGuiggan... Don't over-estimate yourself

Don't over-estimate yourself

The scripture says, "Be not righteous overmuch, and do not make yourself overwise; why should you destroy yourself?" (Ecclesiastes 7:16) Who can tell for certain what such a passage means?
For a teacher who is always defending the right cause, the right course or the right position, his constant sense of being in the right can mask his failures. The cause, course or position he's defending may be right but always being right (or thinking he is) can be addictive and it can blind him. There's something dangerous about not being challenged frequently and it's even more dangerous if we are never "proved" to be wrong—even when it's clear to just about everyone else that we are. Certainly we can't wish to be wrong just so we can be taught to be humble—that won't work. But it's astonishing how quickly we can become irritated if someone dares to question our accuracy when we've been accustomed to the grateful acceptance for our wise oracles and brilliance.
When the young and inexperienced oooh and aaah over us only God can protect us though sometimes we so enjoy the adoration that we prefer not to be protected. And so we pass on a narrow vision of truth and life to those that esteem us too highly and the vicious circle continues.
Some of us are severely tempted to move only in a tiny circle and to ensure that we're the big fishes in the small ponds but choosing to move only among those who are more ignorant than we are will blind us to the depth of our ignorance, which would show up if we moved in a wiser circle that reads more widely. The tragedy of that is that we can over-estimate ourselves and miss humility and without humility no one can be truly wise or righteous; they certainly can't be taught. Poor souls and high-strung, some of us are too insecure to risk the exposure.
Being morally decent may look impressive if we move only among those who are degenerate in their behaviour but what if we moved in the company of those who were generous rather than simply "upright"? It wouldn't be the first writer who fell in love with his own work only to stumble across Shakespeare or Hugo or Dickens and put his hand over his mouth remembering with a rosy pudency the things he thought, and worse, some of the things he wrote. So it must be when we meet people whose lovely lives beggar description and we (if we're blessed with shame) feel shabby with the rebuke.
Then there's the little crab in the pool in the rocks. The tiny pool that was left behind yesterday evening when the tide went out. There he is, Mister Big, "Top of the world, Ma!"
And here's comes the vast ocean, silently flooding in and bringing the giants with it.
"Be not righteous overmuch and be not overwise. Why would you look a fool and destroy yourself into the bargain?"

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Gary... Bible Reading April 27



Bible Reading  

April 27  

The World English Bible

Apr. 27
Deuteronomy 9, 10
Deu 9:1 Hear, Israel: you are to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to the sky,
Deu 9:2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard say, Who can stand before the sons of Anak?
Deu 9:3 Know therefore this day, that Yahweh your God is he who goes over before you as a devouring fire; he will destroy them, and he will bring them down before you: so you shall drive them out, and make them to perish quickly, as Yahweh has spoken to you.
Deu 9:4 Don't say in your heart, after Yahweh your God has thrust them out from before you, saying, For my righteousness Yahweh has brought me in to possess this land; whereas for the wickedness of these nations Yahweh does drive them out from before you.
Deu 9:5 Not for your righteousness, or for the uprightness of your heart, do you go in to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these nations Yahweh your God does drive them out from before you, and that he may establish the word which Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Deu 9:6 Know therefore, that Yahweh your God doesn't give you this good land to possess it for your righteousness; for you are a stiff-necked people.
Deu 9:7 Remember, don't forget, how you provoked Yahweh your God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that you went forth out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against Yahweh.
Deu 9:8 Also in Horeb you provoked Yahweh to wrath, and Yahweh was angry with you to destroy you.
Deu 9:9 When I was gone up onto the mountain to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which Yahweh made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I did neither eat bread nor drink water.
Deu 9:10 Yahweh delivered to me the two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which Yahweh spoke with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
Deu 9:11 It came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that Yahweh gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
Deu 9:12 Yahweh said to me, Arise, get down quickly from hence; for your people whom you have brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they have quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
Deu 9:13 Furthermore Yahweh spoke to me, saying, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people:
Deu 9:14 let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under the sky; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.
Deu 9:15 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
Deu 9:16 I looked, and behold, you had sinned against Yahweh your God; you had made yourselves a molten calf: you had turned aside quickly out of the way which Yahweh had commanded you.
Deu 9:17 I took hold of the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes.
Deu 9:18 I fell down before Yahweh, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I did neither eat bread nor drink water; because of all your sin which you sinned, in doing that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.
Deu 9:19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, with which Yahweh was angry against you to destroy you. But Yahweh listened to me that time also.
Deu 9:20 Yahweh was very angry with Aaron to destroy him: and I prayed for Aaron also at the same time.
Deu 9:21 I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust: and I cast its dust into the brook that descended out of the mountain.
Deu 9:22 At Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth Hattaavah, you provoked Yahweh to wrath.
Deu 9:23 When Yahweh sent you from Kadesh Barnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then you rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh your God, and you didn't believe him, nor listen to his voice.
Deu 9:24 You have been rebellious against Yahweh from the day that I knew you.
Deu 9:25 So I fell down before Yahweh the forty days and forty nights that I fell down, because Yahweh had said he would destroy you.
Deu 9:26 I prayed to Yahweh, and said, Lord Yahweh, don't destroy your people and your inheritance, that you have redeemed through your greatness, that you have brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
Deu 9:27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; don't look to the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin,
Deu 9:28 lest the land whence you brought us out say, Because Yahweh was not able to bring them into the land which he promised to them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness.
Deu 9:29 Yet they are your people and your inheritance, which you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.
Deu 10:1 At that time Yahweh said to me, Cut two tables of stone like the first, and come up to me onto the mountain, and make an ark of wood.
Deu 10:2 I will write on the tables the words that were on the first tables which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.
Deu 10:3 So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tables of stone like the first, and went up onto the mountain, having the two tables in my hand.
Deu 10:4 He wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which Yahweh spoke to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and Yahweh gave them to me.
Deu 10:5 I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they are as Yahweh commanded me.
Deu 10:6 (The children of Israel traveled from Beeroth Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest's office in his place.
Deu 10:7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water.
Deu 10:8 At that time Yahweh set apart the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, to stand before Yahweh to minister to him, and to bless in his name, to this day.
Deu 10:9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brothers; Yahweh is his inheritance, according as Yahweh your God spoke to him.)
Deu 10:10 I stayed on the mountain, as at the first time, forty days and forty nights: and Yahweh listened to me that time also; Yahweh would not destroy you.
Deu 10:11 Yahweh said to me, Arise, take your journey before the people; and they shall go in and possess the land, which I swore to their fathers to give to them.
Deu 10:12 Now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God require of you, but to fear Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 10:13 to keep the commandments of Yahweh, and his statutes, which I command you this day for your good?
Deu 10:14 Behold, to Yahweh your God belongs heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth, with all that is therein.
Deu 10:15 Only Yahweh had a delight in your fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all peoples, as at this day.
Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.
Deu 10:17 For Yahweh your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the awesome, who doesn't regard persons, nor takes reward.
Deu 10:18 He does execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the foreigner, in giving him food and clothing.
Deu 10:19 Therefore love the foreigner; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Deu 10:20 You shall fear Yahweh your God; you shall serve him; and you shall cling to him, and you shall swear by his name.
Deu 10:21 He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen.

Deu 10:22 Your fathers went down into Egypt with seventy persons; and now Yahweh your God has made you as the stars of the sky for multitude.

 Apr. 26, 27
Luke 15

Luk 15:1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him.
Luk 15:2 The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them."
Luk 15:3 He told them this parable.
Luk 15:4 "Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it?
Luk 15:5 When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Luk 15:6 When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
Luk 15:7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
Luk 15:8 Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn't light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it?
Luk 15:9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.'
Luk 15:10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting."
Luk 15:11 He said, "A certain man had two sons.
Luk 15:12 The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of your property.' He divided his livelihood between them.
Luk 15:13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living.
Luk 15:14 When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.
Luk 15:15 He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
Luk 15:16 He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any.
Luk 15:17 But when he came to himself he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger!
Luk 15:18 I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight.
Luk 15:19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants." '
Luk 15:20 "He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21 The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
Luk 15:22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
Luk 15:23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate;
Luk 15:24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.' They began to celebrate.
Luk 15:25 "Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
Luk 15:26 He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on.
Luk 15:27 He said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.'
Luk 15:28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him.
Luk 15:29 But he answered his father, 'Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
Luk 15:30 But when this, your son, came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'
Luk 15:31 "He said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
Luk 15:32 But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.' "