"A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD" Blessings & Responsibilities Of Being A Christian INTRODUCTION 1. Every person has some big events in life (for example: birth, graduation, marriage, death) 2. But the most important event for anyone is becoming a Christian! a. Why? Because it affects both you and others for ETERNITY b. Unfortunately, many people become Christians and do not really appreciate it until late in life, if ever c. But our service for Christ would be more productive and infinitely more enjoyable if we began to grasp the true significance of being Christians, and as such, the children of God 3. This lesson is the first in a series designed to encourage and instruct one to have "A Closer Walk With God," and to be more fruitful in our service as disciples of Jesus Christ [To help motivate us in fulfilling this goal, let's summarize just a few of the blessings and responsibilities we have as Christians...] I. GOD AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER - 1Jn 3:1 A. CONSIDER THE BLESSING OF HAVING GOD AS OUR FATHER... 1. He is the source of every good and perfect gift from above - Jm 1:17; Mt 7:11 2. He provides us comfort in all our afflictions - 2Co 1:3-4 3. When needed, in love He chastises us - He 12:5-11 4. He has promised never to forsake us - He 13:5-6 B. YET, THERE ARE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR HAVING GOD AS OUR FATHER... 1. We must SUBMIT to God - Jm 4:7 a. By submitting to His Word b. By submitting to His providential workings in our lives - 1Pe 5:6-11 2. We must also DRAW NEAR to God - Jm 4:8 a. Just as an earthly father delights when his children want to draw near to him, so does God - cf. Mt 23:37 b. We draw nearer to God by "cleansing our hands" and "purifying our hearts" - Jm 4:8 1) That is, by obtaining forgiveness and then strengthening our resolve to serve Him 2) For the Christian, this involves REPENTANCE, CONFESSION OF SINS, AND PRAYER - Ac 8:22; 1Jn 1:9 II. JESUS CHRIST AS OUR LORD AND HIGH PRIEST - 1Co 8:6; He 4:14 A. THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT THIS BLESSING... 1. He who is our "Lord" is also He who rules over the kings of the earth - Re 1:5-6 a. All authority in heaven and earth has been given Him - Mt 28:18 b. All have been made subject to Him - 1Pe 3:22 c. Yet, He calls us His "brethren"! - He 2:11-12 2. As "High Priest", He intercedes in our behalf - Ro 8:34 a. A High Priest who understands our every feeling - He 2:17-18 b. A High Priest who "ever lives" to make such intercession for us - He 7:24-25 B. WHAT ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES OF HAVING JESUS AS LORD AND HIGH PRIEST? 1. If He is truly our LORD, we must do what He says - Lk 6:46 a. We must be careful to observe what He taught - Mt 28:18-20 b. We must keep His commandments - Jn 15:10,14 2. We must also utilize His role as our HIGH PRIEST - He 4:14-16 a. In other words, be quick to obtain mercy and find grace to help us in time of need b. Again, for the Christian this involves PRAYER III. THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO DWELLS IN US - 1Co 3:16 A. WONDERFUL BLESSINGS ARE ATTRIBUTED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT'S INDWELLING... 1. He gives us strength to put to death the fleshly deeds of the body - Ro 8:11-13; Ep 3:16,20 2. He also helps in our weakness when it comes to praying as we ought, by acting as an intercessor for us - Ro 8:26-27 B. WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES DO WE HAVE IN VIEW OF THE SPIRIT'S INDWELLING? 1. To keep the temple of God, the church, HOLY - 1Co 3:16-17 2. We are to GLORIFY God even with our bodies - 1Co 6:18-20 3. We are to WALK in the Spirit, being so LED by the Spirit as to produce the FRUIT of the Spirit - Ga 5:16-18, 22-25 a. This we do by setting our minds on the THINGS of the Spirit - Ro 8:5-6 b. Which involves the WORD of God, which is the SWORD of the Spirit - Ep 6:17 IV. THE CHURCH AS OUR FAMILY - 1Ti 3:15 A. THE BLESSING OF HAVING THE CHURCH AS OUR FAMILY... 1. The members become like fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters - 1Ti 5:1-2 2. They can even replace physical relations we may lose when we become Christians - Mk 10:28-30; Mt 12:46-50 B. RESPONSIBILITIES OF HAVING THE CHURCH AS OUR FAMILY... 1. We are to "edify one another" - He 10:24-25 a. This necessitates assembling together frequently b. This requires each one doing their share - Ep 4:15-16 2. We are to "bear one another's burdens" - Ga 6:1-2 a. For such is the "law" of Christ b. This requires that we know each other well, and can be depended upon to provide support CONCLUSION 1. There are certainly many more blessings and responsibilities that we have as Christians 2. But I hope that these suffice to IMPRESS UPON US... a. How blessed we are as Christians b. How important it is that we fulfill our responsibilities -- OR WE MAY LOSE THE BLESSINGS WE HAVE! - He 3:12-15
How Paganism Affects Reality: Hinduism and Nepal Airlines
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
State-run Nepal Airlines is not a large company by any means. The carrier runs international flights to five cities in Asia. When an electrical glitch developed recently in one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the airline found it necessary to suspend some of its services temporarily. As part of the solution to the problem, airline officials sacrificed two goats to appease the Hindu sky god, Akash Bhairab (“Airline Sacrifices...,” 2007). That’s correct—in keeping with Hindu rituals, two goats were sacrificed in front of the ailing aircraft at Nepal’s international airport in Kathmandu. Situated on India’s northeast border, sacrificing animals in this Himalayan country to appease Hindu deities is common.
When humans embrace pagan superstition, their judgment becomes impaired. The behavior that results from an animistic belief system may seem quaint and harmless—but it can be deadly, both physically and spiritually. Listen to the apostle Paul’s observations on the matter:
[A]lthough they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Romans 1:21-25, emp. added).
[Y]ou should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus (Ephesians 4:17-21, emp. added).
Sacrificing a couple of goats on an airport runway seems trivial enough. However, it hardly inspires confidence in the capability of airline personnel.
“Airline Sacrifices Goats to Appease Sky God” (2007), Reuters, September 4, [On-line], URL:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070904/od_nm/nepal_airline_odd_dc.
Bible Inspiration: The Crucifixion Clothes
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
The Old Testament book of Psalms constituted the hymnal of the Jewish nation, containing a collection of 150 songs, laments, and praises by various authors. Since the Old Testament canon was very likely completed no later than 400 B.C. (Leupold, 1969, p. 8; cf. Archer, 1974, p. 440), and since the Septuagint is known to have been produced circa 250 B.C., the pronouncements in the Psalms predated the arrival of Jesus on the planet by centuries. Yet, within the sacred pages of the Psalms, scores of very detailed allusions pinpoint specific incidents that occurred in the life of Christ on Earth. These allusions constitute proof positive of the inspiration of the Bible.
For example, composed by David in the 10th century B.C. (Barnes, 1847, pp. 193ff.), Psalm 22 is unquestionably a messianic psalm—literally packed with minute details that forecast the death of the Messiah. In verse 18, the psalmist quotes Him as making the simple statement: “They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” All four of the inspired New Testament evangelists of the first century A.D. allude to these incidental details that they report in connection with Jesus hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24).
While commentators typically report that Roman law awarded the victim’s clothes as spoils for the Roman executioners (e.g., Erdman, 1922, p.161; McGarvey, n.d., p. 725), others question the historicity of such a claim (e.g., Edersheim, 1915, 2:591-592). In any case, the soldiers that attended the cross consisted of a quaternion—four soldiers (Davis, 1870, 3:2651). Matthew and Luke state very simply that these soldiers divided His clothes and cast lots for them, with Luke adding “to determine what every man should take.” These “garments” (merei) likely included a head-dress, sandals, girdle, and outer garment (Robertson, 1916, p. 147). Apparently, according to John 19:23, the soldiers were able to decide ownership of these four clothing articles without gambling. If they were able to agree on consignment of the four articles—one clothes item for each soldier—why did they also cast lots? It is John who provides the added clarification:
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things (John 19:23-24).
The tunic was indivisible and unique from the other clothes, and very likely more valuable. It stood alone as seamless and would need to be awarded to a single soldier only, rather than being ripped into four pieces. Hence, they agreed to gamble in order to decide ownership of the tunic.
Observe carefully that these four unnamed Roman military men, who just happened to be assigned crucifixion duty that day, and just happened to have charge of the condemned Jesus of Nazareth (who happened that day to wear a seamless tunic), were operating solely out of their own impulses. They were not Jews. They undoubtedly had no familiarity whatsoever with Jewish Scripture. They were not controlled by any external source. No unseen or mysterious force took charge of their minds, no disciple whispered in their ears to cause them to robotically or artificially fulfill a prophecy. Yet, with uncanny precision, words written by King David a millennium earlier came to stunning fruition—words that on the surface might seem to contradict each other: the clothes were to be divided into separate parts, yet lots would be cast over the clothes. Roman soldiers unwittingly fulfilled the predictions of ancient Scripture in what to them were no more than mere casual, insignificant actions associated with the execution of their military duty, in tandem with their covetous desire to profit from their victim by acquiring His material goods.
But that’s not all. The layers of complexity and sophistication of the doctrine of inspiration, like the layers of an onion, can be peeled back to reveal additional marvels. John informs us that the item of clothing, which necessitated the Roman soldiers need to resort to gambling to decide ownership, was “without seam, woven from the top in one piece.” Why mention this piece of minutia? What significance could possibly be associated with such a seemingly trivial detail? To gain insight into a possible explanation, one must dig deeper into Bible teaching. Since the Bible was authored by Deity, it naturally possesses a depth uncharacteristic of human writers. It reflects indication that its Author was unhampered by the passing of time or the inability to foresee or orchestrate future events. Such qualities are commensurate with the nature of divinity.
In 1500 B.C., God imparted the Law of Moses to the Israelites as the covenant requirements that would guide the nation of Israel through its national existence. This law included provision for the High Priest, the first being Aaron, the brother of Moses, commissioned by God Himself (Exodus 28). On the Day of Atonement (yom kippur), he alone entered the Holy of Holies within the Tabernacle/Temple to make atonement for himself and all the people (Leviticus 16). Bible typology—another bona fide proof of Bible inspiration—portrays Jesus as our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 9:11; et al.). Very uniquely and critically, Jesus performs for Christians parallel functions to the High Priest that absolutely must be performed if we are to be permitted to be saved to live eternally with Deity in heaven.
Among the articles of clothing stipulated by God for the High Priest was the skillfully woven “tunic of fine linen thread” (Exodus 28:39). According to Josephus, this clothing item was seamless:
Now this vesture was not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders and the sides, but it was one long vestment so woven as to have an aperture for the neck; not an oblique one, but parted all along the breast and the back (3.7.4:203).
Coincidental? Perhaps. Nevertheless, John went out of his way to flag the point. And the Roman soldiers gambled for the seamless tunic of the Messiah—a tunic that subtly signaled His redemptive role as the one to make atonement for the world in the very act of dying on the cross. The handling of the clothes of Jesus Christ on the occasion of His crucifixion demonstrates the inspiration of the Bible and the divine origin of the Christian religion.
Archer, Gleason (1974), A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody Press).
Barnes, Albert (1847), Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005 reprint).
Davis, William (1870), Dictionary of the Bible, ed. H.B. Hackett (New York: Hurd & Houghton).
Edersheim, Alfred (1915), The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (New York: Longmans, Green, & Co.).
Erdman, Charles (1922), The Gospel of John (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press).
Josephus, Flavius (1974 reprint), The Works of Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, trans. by William Whiston (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Leupold, H.C. (1969 reprint), Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
McGarvey, J.W. (no date), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
Robertson, A.T. (1916), The Divinity of Christ (New York: Fleming H. Revel).
According to Atheist Sam Harris, Atheism is a Preposterous Belief
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
Sam Harris wrote a caustic book against all religious faith that he titled, The End of Faith. As with most of the modern atheistic writers, Harris related numerous atrocities committed in the name of religion as evidence that religious faith is inherently flawed. To press his point, he stated:
Whenever you hear that people have begun killing noncombatants intentionally and indiscriminately, ask yourself what dogma stands at their backs. What do these freshly minted killers believe. You will find that it is always—always—preposterous (2004, p. 106, ital. in orig.).
While Harris is wrong to categorize New Testament Christianity with other faiths (see Butt, 2007), he is right to conclude that people today who indiscriminately kill noncombatants are deluded by some type of preposterous belief. Unfortunately, Harris fails to see that by making this statement, he has condemned atheism as a preposterous belief.
The term “noncombatant” is not difficult to understand. It simply means any person who is not actively engaged in a war, riot, or combat situation. Generally speaking, this term describes innocent women and children. For instance, Harris listed several examples of situations in which men, women, and children were killed simply because they belonged to a certain ethnic group. If we were to ask what category of human beings could best be described as “noncombatants,” we would be forced to conclude that babies necessarily fit the category. Thus, any modern belief system that advocates the killing of innocent babies must be backed by a preposterous belief—according to Harris.
When we look into Harris’ writings, we discover that his atheistic philosophy completely justifies the indiscriminant killing of unborn humans. Harris, like his atheistic cohorts, supports abortion. How could Harris miss the connection between his pro-abortion stance and the indiscriminant killing about which he rages? The answer is clear from his own writings, because he posed a very similar question:
How is it, after all, that a Nazi guard could return each day from his labors at the crematoria and be a loving father to his children? The answer is surprisingly straightforward; the Jews he spent the day torturing and killing were not objects of his moral concern. Not only were they outside his moral community; they were antithetical to it. His beliefs about Jews inured him to the natural human sympathies that might have other wise prevented such behavior (2004, p. 176).
Harris correctly concluded that the Nazi soldiers justified their villainous deeds by claiming that Jews were less than human and not worthy to be in the same moral community as the Nazis. Of course, Harris does not believe the Nazis had the right to hold this belief. And he believes that they were guilty of real moral wrong. Yet, shockingly, only one page later he implies that his brand of atheism is in the same position as the Nazi soldier’s belief. He states:
Incidentally, here is where a rational answer to the abortion debate is lurking. Many of us consider human fetuses in the first trimester to be more or less like rabbits: having imputed to them a range of happiness and suffering that does not grant them full status in our moral community. At present, this seems rather reasonable. Only future scientific insights could refute this intuition (p. 177, emp. added).
The Nazi soldier killed Jews all day and justified it by saying they were outside his moral community. The atheistic popularizers like Sam Harris support the indiscriminant slaughter of innocent, unborn children, and justify their belief by concluding that unborn babies do not have “full status in our moral community.”
According to Harris, we must look to see what preposterous dogma undergirds the atheistic community’s support for abortion. When we do, we find the irrational idea that humans are natural organisms that have evolved from lower life forms over billions of years. This outrageous belief strips humanity of the dignity that comes only with belief in a divine Creator. Furthermore, the atheistic assertion establishes humans as the final authority that determines which people should be granted full status in our moral community.
If atheism is true, it would be morally acceptable to redefine humanity’s moral community to include animals, or exclude certain categories of humans. Furthermore, it would be morally justifiable to indiscriminately kill noncombatants based on arbitrarily chosen criteria like age, mental capacity, or physical ability. But Harris has correctly stated that any belief system that allows such actions “is always—always—preposterous.” According to Harris, then, we must conclude that atheism is preposterous.
Butt, Kyle (2007), “All Religion is Bad Because Some Is?” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3546.
Harris, Sam (2004), The End of Faith (New York: W.W. Norton).
Did Jesus Lie to His Brothers?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Scripture repeatedly testifies that Jesus never sinned. The prophet Isaiah, speaking as if Jesus had already lived and died, said that the Savior “had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (53:9). The apostle Peter quoted from Isaiah in his first epistle (2:22), and added that Jesus was “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). Paul wrote to the Corinthians how Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). What’s more, according to Hebrews 4:15, Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He was “pure” and “righteous” in the supreme sense (1 John 3:3; 2:1). Simply put, Jesus was perfect; He never transgressed God’s law.
If Jesus never sinned, and specifically never lied, some wonder why Jesus told his brothers, “I do not go up to this feast [the Feast of Tabernacles]” (John 7:8, NASB), if later, “when His brothers had gone...He Himself also went” (7:10, NASB)? Some allege that, in this instance, Jesus “broke his word” and “lied” (McKinsey, 2000, p. 787), and thus was not the Son of God as He claimed. What is the truth of the matter?
First of all, several early manuscripts of the gospel of John, including p66 and p75 (believed to be from as early as the late second and early third centuries), have Jesus saying, “I am not yet [oupo] going up to this feast,” rather than “I do not [ouk] go up to this feast.” Thus, it may be that the correct rendering is found in the KJV, NKJV, and NIV, rather than the ASV, NASB, and RSV.
Second, even if Jesus did say at one point to His brothers, “I do not go up to this feast,” but later He went, that still does not mean that He lied. Suppose a co-worker saw me leaving the office at 2:00 p.m. and asked me, “Are you going home?” and I said, “No,” but later went home that day at 5:00 p.m. Have I lied? Not at all. When I left the office at 2:00 p.m., I went to run a quick errand—I did not go home. When I departed the office at 5:00 p.m., however, I went home. “No” is often truthfully used in a time-sensitive manner. Simply because at 2:00 p.m. I said I was not going home, does not mean I could not go home at 5:00 p.m. My “no” meant “I’m not going home at the present.” Similarly, if Jesus used the term “not” [ouk] rather than “not yet” [oupo], He could just as easily been implying the same thing: “I am not going to the feast at the present.”
At the proper time, after Jesus “remained in Galilee” for a while (7:9), He did go to the feast. The proper time was not when his unbelieving brothers told Him to “depart” (John 7:5), but when the Son of God said it was time—a God-appointed time. Furthermore, His attendance at the feast was not for the purpose that His brothers envisioned (to show Himself to the world—7:3-4), rather Jesus went to the feast “not openly, but as it were in secret” (7:10, emp. added).
Just as we often say, “I am not going,” but mean “I am not going yet,” Jesus had every right to use that same kind of language. Although Jesus embodied truth (John 14:6) and always told the truth (1 Peter 2:22), He still used figures of speech and language men commonly understood—some even today.
McKinsey, C. Dennis (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus).
“Devoid of Any Understanding of Logic”
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
One can read all kinds of material on the Internet these days. Millions of Web pages flash across computer screens on a daily basis. A fraction of that material centers on the debate between creation and evolution. Both sides marshal their best defenses, and pump out information in support of their particular view. While it is understood that every person who produces material for one particular view is not the “official spokesperson” for that view, it is nonetheless very interesting to see what tactics are being used by certain evolutionists in their attempt to discredit creation.
Consider an article by Frank Zindler, for instance. The article is titled “ ‘Creation Science’ and the Facts of Evolution.” It is a rather dated article, being written back in 1987, but is currently posted on the American Atheists official Web site. From the fact that it is posted on the Web site of such a prominent atheistic organization, one can only conclude that the American Atheists organization concurs with the sentiments found in the article.
The article in question is a caustic attack against creation, as well as any person who adheres to this idea. In his attempt to discredit creation, Zindler informs the reader that he believes that most of those who believe in creation are quite “devoid of any understanding of logic.” When listing one of the reasons why he thinks creation is not a viable idea, he made this statement: “On the other hand, those components of creationism which involve certain types of magical events (e.g., the divine creation of a young universe with all of its components bearing the false imprint of great age) make the claims of creationism untestable—making creationism not a theory at all, because theories must be testable!”
Zindler then proceeded to explain that “the conclusion that evolution has occurred is drawn from two simple observations: Observation 1: Living things come only from living things. Spontaneous generation is not possible when living things are already in existence. Observation 2: Fossil remains show that living things in the remote past were very different from living things today. Therefore:Conclusion: Life has changed through time (evolved).”
Violà! In three simple sentences, Zindler presents his strongest case for evolution. Let’s briefly analyze Zindler’s logic. Remember that he claimed that most creationists were “devoid of any understanding of logic,” and that creationism could not qualify as a theory because, he says, it is untestable and “theories must be testable!”
Using his own criterion (testability) for a theory, apply his thinking to his first observation. He stated that spontaneous generation does not occur “when living things are already in existence.” The implied statement here is that life can spontaneously generate where there is not already life. In fact, he had an explanatory note beside his first observation. He said: “Life cannot originate now for at least two reasons.” The two reasons he listed were the fact that oxygen in the atmosphere would quickly destroy compounds necessary for life, and existing microbes would eat the compounds necessary for life. He went on to conclude, however that “neither of these roadblocks to spontaneous generation existed before life had formed.”
Please remember that his most important criterion for dubbing anything a legitimate theory is testability. Apply that to spontaneous generation. Can we do experiments that would test whether or not spontaneous generation could occur in an environment without oxygen and microbes to destroy the compounds necessary for life? Yes. And every origin of life experiment that has attempted such has failed miserably. Has any scientist anywhere, at any time, under any circumstance, ever been able to perform an experiment that could prove that spontaneous generation can occur? The answer is a resounding, NO! Spontaneous generation has failed in every single circumstance that we humans have ever been able to observe or imagine. In fact, every experiment performed to date has shown that it does not occur. It cannot be proven that our Earth’s atmosphere was at some time in the distant past devoid of oxygen and microbes. [In fact, scientists now have credible evidence that the early Earth’s atmosphere did, in fact, contain oxygen; see Thaxton, et al., 1984).] Furthermore, experiments have been performed that imitate an environment devoid of these “life inhibitors,” and still there has never been a verified case of spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation has been proven false.
If Zindler discredits the idea of creation based partially on his statement that certain components cannot be tested, then what, pray tell, does he do when his strongest case for evolution is based on an idea that has been tested and found to be false? And who is it that seems to be “devoid of any understanding of logic” in this particular discussion? Zindler’s statements not withstanding, creation by the hand of a Supernatural Creator is the only idea that can adequately account for the world around us.
Thaxton, Charles B., Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen (1984), The Mystery of Life's Origin (New York: Philosophical Library).
Zindler, Frank (1987), “ ‘Creation Science’ and the Facts of Evolution,” [On-line], URL: http://www.atheists.org/bone.pit/creationscience.html.
Abortion and Exodus 21
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
As traditional values (i.e., biblical values) continue to be systematically extracted from American culture, moral and spiritual confusion have been the inevitable result. While the Bible does not speak directly to the practice of abortion, it does provide enough relevant material to enable us to know God’s will on the matter. One insightful passage from the Old Testament is Exodus 21:22-25, which describes what action is to be taken in a case of accidental, or at least coincidental, injury to a pregnant woman:
If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no lasting harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any lasting harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (NKJV).
Several features of this passage require clarification. First, the NKJV and NIV rendering of the underlying Hebrew as “she gives birth prematurely,” and the KJV and ASV rendering “so that her fruit depart (from her)” are accurate reflections of the original. “Fruit” in the KJV is the noun form of a verb that means “to bring forth (children)” (Schreiner, 1990, 6:76; Harris, et al., 1980, 1:378-379). Thus the noun form (yeled), used 89 times in the Old Testament, refers to that which is brought forth, i.e., children, and is generally so translated (Gesenius, 1847, p. 349; Wigram, 1890, 530-531; cf. VanGemeren, 1997, 2:457). For example, it is used to refer to Ishmael (Genesis 21:8), Moses (Exodus 2:3), Obed, the child of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:16), and even to the Christ child (Isaiah 9:6). It is used in the same context earlier in the chapter to refer to the children born to a Hebrew servant whose wife was provided by his master (Exodus 21:4). There is nothing in the word itself that indicates the physical condition of the child/children, whether dead or alive (cf. 2 Samuel 12:14-23).
Second, the term translated “prematurely” or “depart” (yatsa) is a Hebrew verb that has the broad meaning of “to go out, to go forth” (Gesenius, p. 359). It is used in the Old Testament to refer to everything from soldiers going forth to war (1 Samuel 8:20), or the sun going forth in its rising (Genesis 19:23), to a flower blossoming (Job 14:2) or the birth of a child (Job 1:21). The Hebrew is as generic as the English words “to go out or forth.” As with yeled, there is nothing in the word itself that would imply the physical status of the child—whether unharmed, injured, or dead (cf. Numbers 12:12; Deuteronomy 28:57). For example, referring to the births of Esau and Jacob, the text reads: “And the first came out red…Afterward his brother came out” (Genesis 25:25-26, emp. added). Only by contextual details may one determine the condition of the child.
Consequently, in Exodus 21:22, those translations that render the Hebrew as “miscarriage” (e.g.,NASB, RSV, NEB) have taken a linguistically unwarranted and indefensible liberty with the text. Hebrew lexicographers Brown, Driver, and Briggs were accurate in their handling of the underlying Hebrew when they listed Exodus 21:22 as an instance of “untimely birth” (1906, p. 423).
In contrast, the Hebrew had other words more suited to pinpointing a miscarriage or stillbirth. For example, suffering Job moaned: “Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, like infants who never saw light?” (Job 3:16, emp. added). The psalmist pronounces imprecation against unrighteous judges: “Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun” (Psalm 58:8, emp. added). The word used in these verses (nephel), occurring only three times in the Old Testament (cf. Ecclesiastes 6:3-5), is defined by Gesenius as “a premature birth, which falls from the womb, an abortion” (p. 558; cf. Brown, et al., p. 658). In all three contexts, a miscarriage or stillbirth is clearly under consideration.
Still another Hebrew term would have been more suitable to identify deceased offspring. When Jacob protested his father-in-law’s unkindness, he exclaimed, “These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young” (Genesis 31:38, emp. added; cf. Job 21:10). Hosea called upon God to punish the nation: “Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts!” (Hosea 9:14, emp. added). In fact, just two chapters after the text in question, God announced to the Israelites details regarding the conquest of the Canaan and the blessings that they would enjoy: “No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days” (Exodus 23:26, emp. added). The underlying Hebrew verb in these verses (shachol) means “to cause abortion (in women, flocks, etc.)” or “to make abortion, i.e., to suffer it” (Gesenius, p. 822; cf. Brown, et al., p. 1013). Despite these more precise terms to pinpoint miscarriage or stillbirth, Moses did not use them in Exodus 21:22.
Third, consider the next phrase in the verse in question: “yet no lasting harm follows” (NKJV), “but there is no serious injury” (NIV), “and yet no harm follow” (ASV). These English renderings capture the Hebrew accurately. Absolutely no grammatical indication exists in the text by which one could assume the recipient of the injury to be either the mother or the child to the exclusion of the other. As Fishbane observed: “it is syntactically and grammatically unclear whether the object of the ‘calamity’ is the foetus or the pregnant mother” (1985, p. 93). In order to allow Scripture to stand on its own and speak for itself, one must conclude that to understand “injury” to refer exclusively to the mother is to narrow the meaning without textual justification.
Hence, one is forced to conclude that the absence of specificity was deliberate on the part of the inspired writer and that he intended for the reader to conclude that the prescription applied to both mother and child. The wording is, therefore, the most appropriate and economical if the writer intended to convey all possible scenarios without having to go into tedious elaboration—which would have included at least the following eight combinations: (1) non-lethal injury to the child but no injury to the mother; (2) non-lethal injury to the mother but no injury to the child; (3) non-lethal injury to both; (4) death to the child but no injury to the mother; (5) death to the child with non-lethal injury to the mother; (6) death to the mother with no injury to the child; (7) death to the mother with non-lethal injury to the child; and (8) death to both mother and child. Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer Jr. summarized the point of the passage:
What is required is that if there should be an injury either to the mother or to her children, the injury shall be avenged by a like injury to the assailant. If it involves the life (ne-pes’) of the premature baby, then the assailant shall pay for it with his life. There is no second-class status attached to the fetus under this rule (1982, p. 248, emp. added).
Numerous commentators agree with this assessment of the text. Responding to the poor translation of the Hebrew in the Septuagint, and the corresponding misconception of the Alexandrian Jew, Philo, Keil and Delitzsch correctly countered: “But the arbitrary character of this explanation is apparent at once; for yeled only denotes a child, as a fully developed human being, and not the fruit of the womb before it has assumed a human form” (1976, pp. 134-135). They also insisted that the structure of the Hebrew phraseology “apparently renders it impracticable to refer the words to injury done to the woman alone” (p. 135). Walter Kaiser noted: “For the accidental assault, the offender must still pay some compensation, even though both mother and child survived…. Should the pregnant woman or her child die, the principle of talio is invoked, demanding ‘life for life’ ” (1990, 2:434, emp. added). In view of this understanding of the text, under Mosaic Law “the unborn child would be considered viablein utero and entitled to legal protection and benefits” (Fishbane, p. 93).
In his Treatise on the Soul (ch. 37), Tertullian (who died c. A.D. 220) alluded to this passage in Exodus 21: “The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed [i.e., at conception—DM]. The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion, inasmuch as there exists already the rudiment of a human being, which has imputed to it even now the condition of life and death” (1973, 3:217-218).
So Exodus 21 envisioned a situation in which two brawling men accidentally injure a pregnant bystander. The injury causes the woman to go into early labor, resulting in a premature birth of her child. If neither the woman nor the child is harmed, then the Law of Moses levied a fine against the one who caused the premature birth. But if injury or even death resulted from the brawl, then the law imposed a parallel punishment: if the premature baby died, the one who caused the premature birth was to be executed—life for life. To cause a pre-born infant’s death was homicide under the Old Testament—homicide punishable by death.
Notice that this Mosaic regulation had to do with injury inflicted indirectly and accidentally: “The phrasing of the case suggests that we are dealing with an instance of unintentional battery involving culpability” (Fishbane, 1985, p. 92). Abortion, on the other hand, is a deliberate, purposeful, intentional termination of a child’s life. If God dealt severely with the accidental death of a pre-born infant, how do you suppose He feels about the deliberate murder of the unborn by an abortion doctor in collusion with the mother? The Bible states explicitly how He feels: “[D]o not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). As a matter of fact, one of the things that God hates is “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17; cf. 2 Kings 8:12; 15:16; Hosea 13:16; Amos 1:13). Abortion is a serious matter with God. We absolutely must base our views on God’s will—not the will of men. The very heart and soul of this great nation is being ripped out by unethical actions like abortion. We must return to the Bible as our standard of behavior—before it is everlastingly too late.
Archer, Gleason L. Jr. (1982), An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Brown, Francis, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs (1906), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2000 reprint).
Fishbane, Michael (1985), Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (New York: Oxford University Press).
Gesenius, William (1847), Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979 reprint).
Harris, R. Laird, Gleason Archer Jr., and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Kaiser, Walter (1990), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Exodus, ed. Frank Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1976 reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament: The Pentateuch (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Schreiner, J. (1990), “yalad,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Tertullian (1973 reprint), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
VanGemeren, Willem, ed. (1997), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Wigram, George W. (1890), The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1980 reprint).
Don't underestimate your power
I had some business that needed taking care of and I was nervous about it but the young man across the counter took it all in his stride, offered helpful suggestions and was patient when I rambled. When it was all done I thanked him (maybe too profusely) for making it easy for me. He smiled and good-naturedly said, "I was only doing my job." As I was leaving I told him (something like): "You underestimate the gift you give people. There’s a host of us that come, nervous and ignorant and sometimes even fearful. What we need is someone who does his/her job with kindness and competence; someone that recognises his or her place of authority and knows what power is for. I found that in you and want to thank you for it. You helped make a very difficult day more than bearable."
My early years help explain a deep fear I have of people in authority and my great relief when an authority figure turns out to be kind instead of tyrannical. Now and then when I meet someone like that I know I become "too" thankful and it can be embarrassing. I remind myself of Joe Gargery in Great Expectations. Blacksmith Joe was married to Pip’s sister and had taken the boy in when his parents died. Pip was now upper class with "great expectations" and Joe had come a long way to bring him a message. Intimidated by his much younger friend's status the insecure Joe continued to wipe his feet on the doormat until Pip (hiding his irritation) made him stop it and come into the house. I don’t like this tendency to grovel that’s in me but there it is. I most often can hide it but I’m always fully aware of it and almost always have to resist it.
But that doesn’t alter the truth I rehearsed about the prevailing need for kindness in those who have the "upper hand". I suppose we all have power over someone in some way and how fine it is when we exercise that power in a sensitive, helpful way. We don’t know who we’re dealing with, don’t you see! The one before us may be trembling inside, too anxious to please, desperately wanting to be liked so that the blows (verbal or visual or tonal) might not fall. Matheson was asked (after something like fifty years of preaching) if he had it to do it over again what changes he would make. He said he’d make it kinder because everyone was wrestling with great burdens.
But sometimes even to be "kind" is a heroic feat. Given exceptional circumstances "fairness" is true heroism. To be fair to an enemy, to someone that has seriously hurt you or to someone that ceaselessly and slyly undermines you—to be fair to such people is no mean feat.
Viktor Frankl who endured the Nazi camps tells of the torment that so many poor souls found unendurable and took leave of the world. Many things helped him to survive but one thing he took time to rehearse in his book Man’s Search for Meaning occurred daily when the food was being passed out in the mess hall. As soon as he entered the big room Frankl looked to see if a certain man was part of the feeding crew. If he was there Viktor knew that he was about to experience fairness. The man never lifted his head as he ladled out soup or handed out bread. He saw only the outstretched bowl. He didn’t want to see the faces in case he saw someone he didn’t like and was overcome by the temptation to be spiteful. He didn’t want to see the face of someone he liked and to give him more than his share and so cheat someone else. In that wilderness of maddening injustice and spite Frankl knew he was about to taste more than thin soup and hard bread--he would savour fairness!
Should the man have served with his head high and so resist the temptation in a braver way? In that hell-hole? I’d never be the one to dare to teach that man how to behave! And Frankl who didn’t have the luxury to sit in comfort and make such a judgement—he saw it as a gift!
Maybe we aren’t up to the task to be loving and maybe even to be kind is too big a stretch right now. But maybe if we can be fair, later we can be kind and then, who knows, by God’s generous and enabling grace we can become loving.
I need to tell you that how the young man treated me didn’t only make a difference to my day—it made a difference to my outlook and spirit. Why else would I be writing about it at this late date and feeling the warmth again? Don’t underestimate your power.
©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.
The World English Bible
Deuteronomy 11, 12
Deu 11:1 Therefore you shall love Yahweh your God, and keep his instructions, and his statutes, and his ordinances, and his commandments, always.
Deu 11:2 Know this day: for I don't speak with your children who have not known, and who have not seen the chastisement of Yahweh your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his outstretched arm,
Deu 11:3 and his signs, and his works, which he did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and to all his land;
Deu 11:4 and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red Sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how Yahweh has destroyed them to this day;
Deu 11:5 and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place;
Deu 11:6 and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben; how the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel:
Deu 11:7 but your eyes have seen all the great work of Yahweh which he did.
Deu 11:8 Therefore you shall keep all the commandment which I command you this day, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land, where you go over to possess it;
Deu 11:9 and that you may prolong your days in the land, which Yahweh swore to your fathers to give to them and to their seed, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Deu 11:10 For the land, where you go in to possess it, isn't as the land of Egypt, from whence you came out, where you sowed your seed, and watered it with your foot, as a garden of herbs;
Deu 11:11 but the land, where you go over to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinks water of the rain of the sky,
Deu 11:12 a land which Yahweh your God cares for: the eyes of Yahweh your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year.
Deu 11:13 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you this day, to love Yahweh your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 11:14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil.
Deu 11:15 I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.
Deu 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
Deu 11:17 and the anger of Yahweh be kindled against you, and he shut up the sky, so that there shall be no rain, and the land shall not yield its fruit; and you perish quickly from off the good land which Yahweh gives you.
Deu 11:18 Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for symbols between your eyes.
Deu 11:19 You shall teach them your children, talking of them, when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deu 11:20 You shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates;
Deu 11:21 that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth.
Deu 11:22 For if you shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave to him;
Deu 11:23 then will Yahweh drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves.
Deu 11:24 Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even to the hinder sea shall be your border.
Deu 11:25 No man shall be able to stand before you: Yahweh your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land that you shall tread on, as he has spoken to you.
Deu 11:26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse:
Deu 11:27 the blessing, if you shall listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I command you this day;
Deu 11:28 and the curse, if you shall not listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.
Deu 11:29 It shall happen, when Yahweh your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, that you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim, and the curse on Mount Ebal.
Deu 11:30 Aren't they beyond the Jordan, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah, over against Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh?
Deu 11:31 For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the land which Yahweh your God gives you, and you shall possess it, and dwell therein.
Deu 11:32 You shall observe to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day.
Deu 12:1 These are the statutes and the ordinances which you shall observe to do in the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth.
Deu 12:2 You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree:
Deu 12:3 and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place.
Deu 12:4 You shall not do so to Yahweh your God.
Deu 12:5 But to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there, even to his habitation you shall seek, and there you shall come;
Deu 12:6 and there you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock:
Deu 12:7 and there you shall eat before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which Yahweh your God has blessed you.
Deu 12:8 You shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatever is right in his own eyes;
Deu 12:9 for you haven't yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which Yahweh your God gives you.
Deu 12:10 But when you go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which Yahweh your God causes you to inherit, and he gives you rest from all your enemies around you, so that you dwell in safety;
Deu 12:11 then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh.
Deu 12:12 You shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your male servants, and your female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
Deu 12:13 Take heed to yourself that you don't offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see;
Deu 12:14 but in the place which Yahweh shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
Deu 12:15 Notwithstanding, you may kill and eat flesh within all your gates, after all the desire of your soul, according to the blessing of Yahweh your God which he has given you: the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart.
Deu 12:16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth as water.
Deu 12:17 You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your new wine, or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, nor the wave offering of your hand;
Deu 12:18 but you shall eat them before Yahweh your God in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates: and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God in all that you put your hand to.
Deu 12:19 Take heed to yourself that you don't forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.
Deu 12:20 When Yahweh your God shall enlarge your border, as he has promised you, and you shall say, I will eat flesh, because your soul desires to eat flesh; you may eat flesh, after all the desire of your soul.
Deu 12:21 If the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to put his name there, is too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which Yahweh has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates, after all the desire of your soul.
Deu 12:22 Even as the gazelle and as the hart is eaten, so you shall eat of it: the unclean and the clean may eat of it alike.
Deu 12:23 Only be sure that you don't eat the blood: for the blood is the life; and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.
Deu 12:24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth as water.
Deu 12:25 You shall not eat it; that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you shall do that which is right in the eyes of Yahweh.
Deu 12:26 Only your holy things which you have, and your vows, you shall take, and go to the place which Yahweh shall choose:
Deu 12:27 and you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of Yahweh your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of Yahweh your God; and you shall eat the flesh.
Deu 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you forever, when you do that which is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh your God.
Deu 12:29 When Yahweh your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go in to dispossess them, and you dispossess them, and dwell in their land;
Deu 12:30 take heed to yourself that you not be ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Deu 12:31 You shall not do so to Yahweh your God: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters do they burn in the fire to their gods.
Deu 12:32 Whatever thing I command you, that you shall observe to do: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Apr. 28, 29
Luk 16:1 He also said to his disciples, "There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions.
Luk 16:2 He called him, and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.'
Luk 16:3 "The manager said within himself, 'What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don't have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg.
Luk 16:4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.'
Luk 16:5 Calling each one of his lord's debtors to him, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe to my lord?'
Luk 16:6 He said, 'A hundred batos of oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'
Luk 16:7 Then said he to another, 'How much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred cors of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'
Luk 16:8 "His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light.
Luk 16:9 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents.
Luk 16:10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Luk 16:11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luk 16:12 If you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren't able to serve God and mammon."
Luk 16:14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him.
Luk 16:15 He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
Luk 16:17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall.
Luk 16:18 Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.
Luk 16:19 "Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day.
Luk 16:20 A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried.
Luk 16:23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.
Luk 16:24 He cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.'
Luk 16:25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in like manner, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish.
Luk 16:26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'
Luk 16:27 "He said, 'I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house;
Luk 16:28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won't also come into this place of torment.'
Luk 16:29 "But Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.'
Luk 16:30 "He said, 'No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
Luk 16:31 "He said to him, 'If they don't listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.' "