"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN" An "Old, Yet New" Commandment (2:7-11) by Mark Copeland


An "Old, Yet New" Commandment (2:7-11)


1. In our study of 1st John, we have seen thus far...
   a. That John's aim is that we may have fellowship with the Father 
      and the Son, so our joy may be full - 1Jn 1:1-4
   b. That fellowship with the Father is contingent upon:
      1) Walking in the light - 1Jn 1:5-7
      2) Confessing our sins - 1Jn 1:8-10
      3) Making use of our "advocate" and "propitiation", Jesus Christ 
         the Righteous - 1Jn 2:1-2
   c. And that fellowship with the Son (Jesus) depends upon our:
      1) Keeping His commandments - 1Jn 2:3-5a
      2) Walking as He walked - 1Jn 2:5b-6
      -- Otherwise, it is not true that we "abide in Him", nor truly 
         "know Him"

2. Having stressed the importance of keeping the commandments of Jesus 
   if we are to have fellowship with Him and the Father...
   a. John proceeds to discuss one commandment in particular - 1Jn 2:7-11
   b. He discusses what can be called "An Old, Yet New Commandment"

[Let's consider first...]


      1. He does not write about something totally new to them
      2. But something they had heard "from the beginning" (i.e., from 
         the beginning of the gospel)

      1. That is, it is ever fresh; though old in time, it is never stale
      2. It is a commandment that is ever true in Jesus, and it is true
         in His disciples
      3. It is both true and new because...
         a. "the darkness is passing away, and the true light is 
            already shining"
         b. With the coming of the Messiah (Jesus), light has begun to 
            penetrate the darkness - cf. Isa 9:2; Mt 4:13-17; Jn 1:4-9;8:12

      1. How do we know this?
         a. It is implied by verses 9-11
         b. It is stated clearly in 1Jn 3:11; 4:21
         c. This command was "from the beginning" (of the gospel) - cf.
            Jn 13:34-34; 15:12,17
      2. What does it mean to "love one another"?
         a. It may be helpful to first review the different Greek words
            for "love"
            1) "storge" - describes love of family
            2) "eros" - carnal, sexual love
            3) "phileo" - love for dear friends
            4) "agape" - active goodwill toward others
         b. It is "agape" love that we are commanded to have in this text
            1) It is also the same kind of love commanded in Jn 13:34-35
            2) It is that concern to meet the needs of others that is 
               best exemplified in the life and death of Jesus - cf. 
               1Jn 3:16-17
         c. Therefore, to "love one another" is to consider the needs 
            of one another, and to actively work toward meeting those 
            needs (i.e., follow Jesus' example!)

[Having identified what commandment is being discussed, consider what 
John says about...]


      1. When a person claims to walk in the light, but hates his 
         brother, he is still in darkness!
      2. Indeed, he has always been in darkness!
         a. Cf. "is in darkness until now"
         b. Despite what they may claim, they have not yet passed from 
            darkness to light!
         c. Or as expressed later, they have not yet passed from death 
            to life! - 1Jn 3:14

      1. He may "think" he has fellowship with God, that he is saved, 
         but he is blind!
      2. He fails to realize the absurdity of his claim to know and 
         love God - cf. 1Jn 4:20
      3. Blinded by darkness (hate), he cannot see that he is on the 
         road to hell!

[Does this not illustrate the importance of keeping this "old, yet new"
commandment?  Its importance is further illustrated as we consider...]


      1. Meaning that they are in full fellowship with the Father! - 
         cf. 1Jn 1:7a
      2. And they enjoy the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus! - 
         cf. 1Jn 1:7b
      -- So unless we love one another, fellowship and forgiveness is 
         not possible!

      1. Abiding in the light, he can see clearly as he walks
      2. Fellowship with God makes it possible to "know where he is 
         going" (unlike the one who hates his brother and is in darkness)
      3. This does not imply sinlessness
         a. Remember 1Jn 1:8,10
         b. But as one walks in the light (in fellowship with God), he 
            knows what to do when he sins, and in what direction he 
            should be headed - cf. 1Jn 1:9


1. This "old, yet new" commandment is very important:
   a. If we are not keeping it, we are still in darkness!
   b. If we are in darkness...
      1) We are not walking in the light!
      2) We are not having fellowship with God, and the blood of Jesus 
         does not cleanse us from our sins!
      3) We cannot have that "fullness of joy" of which John wrote in 
         1Jn 1:4

2. It is only appropriate, then, to close this lesson with the 
   admonition of John found later in his epistle...

   "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and 
   everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does 
   not love does not know God, for God is love." - 1Jn 4:7-8

3. For those not yet Christians, I encourage you to seriously consider 
   the next two verses:

   "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God 
   has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might 
   live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, 
   but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation
   for our sins." - 1Jn 4:9-10

Jesus is not only the "propitiation" for our sins, but is available 
for the whole world (1Jn 2:2).  Have you appropriated this wonderful
offer from God?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Why Did God Create People—Knowing That Many Would Go to Hell? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Why Did God Create People—Knowing That Many Would Go to Hell?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

[Author’s Note: The latter half of this question, which concerns hell, is a sentiment that is often used by skeptics to cast doubt on the veracity of the Bible and the God depicted in its pages. We will deal with this question in two distinct sections. First, we will see what the Bible has to say about why God created humans in general. Then we will proceed to show that the concept of hell, and God’s foreknowledge about who will choose to go there, does not rationally or morally militate against the God of the Bible.]
If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God (and there is, see Existence of God), then we would expect His motivations for action to be, in many cases, unknown to us. Since there would be so many things that He would know and we would not, it would be virtually impossible for us to understand His reasons for certain actions unless He condescended to explain them. As Isaiah the prophet wrote: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). In one sense we could liken God’s relationship to humans to the knowledge that a five-year-old child would have of some of the actions of her parents. Suppose a child sees a parent pull out a small, rectangular checkbook, write something on a check, pull the check out and put it in an envelope, place a stamp on it, and put it in the mail. The child might ask, “Mommy, why did you do that?” The mother might respond, “So that we can keep driving our car without the bank taking it from us.” How could the child possibly connect a piece of paper to driving a car? Without knowing the details of how a check represents money, how the car was purchased from a dealership, how the bank loaned the parents money, etc., then the child could not grasp the significance of the check.
In a similar way, there are things that God has done that we humans can never fully understand for the simple reason that God has not told us why He has done them. Or, perhaps He has told us, but His answer does not give all the details that our human curiosity might wish. Moses well understood this idea when he wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Some things God tells us; some things He does not.
When we approach the question of why God created humans, we find ourselves dealing with a question for which God has not provided an extensive answer. The simple answer given in the Bible is that God created humans, as well as the rest of creation, by His will and for His glory. 


Revelation 4:11 declares: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (emp. added). The “take home” message from this verse is that God freely chose to create and was not constrained by any outside force or by a need to fill any type of deficiency. Psalm 115:3 says: “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” The simple, but none too informative, answer to our question is that God wanted to create humans, so He did.
We must stress, at this point, that His desire to create humans was not because He needed them for some reason. There have been those, especially in ancient religions, who have suggested that God was lonely or in some way deficient and needed humans as companions or helpers. This suggestion has no merit. In Acts 17:24-25, the apostle Paul plainly declared: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (emp. added).
The fact that God does not need humans to “help” Him is also reflected in Psalm 50:10-12, a statement that quotes God’s own words: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine and all its fullness.” This passage is certainly not suggesting that God would actually get hungry. On the contrary, it is implying that God would never need anything from His Creation.
Neither was God “forced” to create humans because He was lonely. Being the all-sufficient Being, there is nothing in God that needs more of anything. God’s eternal communion with Himself (in the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has always provided all the fellowship God needs to be complete. We can clearly see this communion of the three persons of the Godhead in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” Jesus echoed this sentiment of God’s eternal communion when He prayed to the Father: “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5, emp. added). God’s free will act of creating humans had nothing to do with a need to assuage any loneliness. As Stanley Grenz correctly concluded: “Thus, God’s creation of the universe is a free act, a non-necessary act. God is not driven to create, not forced by some sense of compulsion to bring the universe into existence” (1994, p. 99).
Just because God did not (and does not) need humanity for anything, does not imply that humans are unimportant to God. Once He freely chose to create humans, He endowed them with importance by forming them in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). As theologian Wayne Grudem rightly commented:
Someone might wonder, if God does not need us for anything, then are we important at all? Is there any significance to our existence or to the existence of the rest of creation? In response it must be said that we are in fact very meaningful because God has created us and determined that we would be meaningful to him. That is the final definition of genuine significance (Grudem, 1994, p. 162, italics in original).
God chose to create us by His free will. When He did, He endowed us with meaning and importance by creating us in His image.


The Bible also says that God created humans “for His glory.” The God of the Bible declared: “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7, emp. added). It is at this point that we must confess that the phrase “for His glory” opens the door to a great deal of speculation. What does the Bible mean when it says that humans (and all creation) were brought into existence for God’s glory? Does it mean that His creation will praise Him and give Him glory? Does it mean the mere fact that human existence brings glory to God as a manifestation of His power and ingenuity? Does it mean that our continued worship of God, in spite of the existence of suffering and hardship in this world, vindicates God and glorifies Him in contradiction to Satan’s expectations, as illustrated in the book of Job? Everything that is involved in this idea will never be truly understood by humans. We can only say that humans are here “for His glory.”
Some have suggested that if the God of the Bible made humans simply “for His glory,” then this would imply that God is an egotistical dictator Who simply wanted more “subjects” to grovel at His feet and tell Him how great He is. This suggestion fails to comprehend important aspects of the phrase “for His glory.” Not only are humans designed to bring glory to God, but they are also designed to enjoy God’s glory and find their own completeness in it. As Jack Cottrell stated: “Herein lies the purpose of human existence, i.e., to receive God’s goodness and to give him glory” (2002, p. 109). God created humans to live a blissfully happy life receiving His glory and responding in turn to the gift of His glory. It is a perfect feedback loop of humans receiving God’s glory, responding with obedience and praise, and being complete and fulfilled by their reception of God’s glory as well as by their proper response to it. We can say, then, that God created humans to live blissfully perfect lives receiving and reciprocating His glory. Understanding the situation in this light brings to the surface the folly of accusing God of selfish egotism.


Once we establish the fact that God created humans by His will, to live completely happy lives as they receive and respond to His glory, the skeptic is quick to seize upon the fact that many people are not blissfully happy. In fact, a large number of people are unhappy. Not only that, demands the skeptic, but most people, according to the Bible, are destined to be punished eternally in hell. How is it, the skeptic queries, that a loving God could create humans, knowing that most of them would go to hell? Atheist author David Mills demanded:
If we conclude, then, that God would create Hell to deter human behavior which He disliked—knowing beforehand that the majority of humanity would, as a result, suffer eternal torture—then we would be forced to label this god as evil and sadistic also, because He likewise would have inhumanely tortured individuals in order to accomplish His goals (Mills, 2006, p. 180).
Skeptic Vistonas Wu posted similar thoughts on the Web in an article titled “Debunking the Arguments of Christian Fundamentalists and Evangelists”: “If you were God, and you were omnipotent and could see throughout all time, would you create a world where you knew beforehand that the majority of people would end up in an eternal hell?” (2009). The answer implied by the skeptic is, “No.” But the problem with his reasoning is that humans are not all-knowing and that is why humans are not in such a position. In fact, in light of humanity’s limited knowledge, it easily could be the case that the information we do not have at the present is the very information that would lead an all-knowing Being to create the world as it is. The simple sounding question, “If you were God…,” can never be asked in any legitimate sense, and certainly cannot be used as “evidence” to impugn the character of God. If a person really could be God, then his thought process would be so different from what it is now, there is no way he could say what he would or would not do. It needs to be noted in this context that God has created humans in His image, endowing them with the ability to distinguish truth from error, and those ideas that are rational from those that are not. We are not contending that God’s choice to create people is irrational to humans, but rational to God. We are simply saying that God’s omniscience puts Him in a position to know all the details that would be needed to make a perfectly rational decision.


The skeptic’s accusation that God is evil because He created humans, even though He knew that most would go to hell, crumbles under closer scrutiny. First, the skeptic is quick to include the idea that “most” people are going to hell. This word “most” must be included in the accusation, because if more people go to heaven than go to hell, one could easily argue (using the skeptics’ own humanistic morality) that the present world is arranged for the benefit of the majority. Since humanistic morality claims an action is moral as long as it brings about the most good for the majority of people (Butt, 2010, pp. 33-36), then skeptics cannot, according to their own standard, criticize a God that saves “most” people in heaven and allows a minority of them to choose hell.
So, can we be sure that “most” people are going to hell? No, and here is why. Numerous verses can be cited that seem to indicate that a majority of people choose hell. The most common passage is Matthew 7:13-14, which states: “Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” According to this passage, many choosethe path to destruction, and only few choose the path to life. What is implied in these verses, however, is the idea that those under discussion have the ability and capacity to choose. Those who are not in view in this or other such passages are those who have not yet reached an age or mental capacity to choose—unborn babies, infants, and children. If we can show that children go to heaven (and we can, see Butt, 2003), and we can show that there is at least a possibility that more children have died in a saved condition than adults who have died lost, then we can do away with the idea that “most” people are going to hell. When we consider that worldwide, there are an estimated 42 million abortions each year (Johnston, 2010), and when we understand that children often are the first to die in periods of famine and disease, we are forced to conclude that it is at least possible, and most likely probable, that more humans have died in a saved state than those who will be eternally lost. [NOTE: At this point in the discussion, the skeptic will often change the subject and demand that God cannot be loving and allow all those children to die. This accusation is false and has been definitively refuted, see Butt, 2009]. The skeptic, then, cannot know if “most” people are going to hell, and thus, according to humanistic morality based on the majority, cannot accuse God of evil. In truth, however, the concept of “most” people has very little to do with justifying God’s actions. Because God’s morality can still be justified even if most people are lost and only a few saved.


The Bible is clear that God allows all accountable  humans to choose their own final destination. Throughout the Scriptures, we see God placing before humans the ability to determine their own destiny. Moses wrote: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:13-14 about the narrow and wide paths included the idea that His listeners had the ability “to enter” whichever path they chose. Joshua underscored this idea of choice when he declared to the Israelites, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). The skeptical community likes to parade before the masses a picture of a tyrant God Who arbitrarily casts people to eternal destruction based on nothing more than whim and caprice. That is not true. Any person who goes to hell will have consciously made the decision to be there. As atheist Dan Barker so clearly stated: “Speaking for myself, if the biblical heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell” (2008, p. 170)C.S. Lewis insightfully noted: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it” (1946, p. 72, ital. in orig.). Timothy Keller added: “All God does in the end with people is give them what they most want, including freedom from himself. What could be more fair than that?” (2008, p. 79).
God allows people to choose their final destiny, and He wants all men to choose to be saved. First Timothy 2:4 says that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Second Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Not only does He not want people to choose hell, He sent His Son as a sacrifice for sin to dissuade people from choosing hell and to persuade them to choose heaven. In fact, the book of Hebrews explains that those who choose the path to destruction will trample the Son of God under their feet on their way (Hebrews 10:29). The concept of hell does not militate against God’s love or justice (Butt, 2010, pp. 17-24). [NOTE: I understand that the skeptic does not accept these verses as inspired and does not accept the story of Jesus’ sacrificial atonement. If the skeptic accuses the Bible of portraying God as immoral, however, he must allow the Bible to answer for itself. I am simply saying the Bible presents a cogent, logical argument that shows the skeptics’ accusation of God as being immoral to be wrong. If God really allows people to choose, and if He sent His Son to demonstrate His love and persuade people to choose right, then He cannot be accused of immorality.]


Another key concept to understandingGod’s dealings with humanity is His lack of partiality. The apostle Peter correctly stated: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). This verse testifies to the fact that the Bible presents God as a perfectly impartial, fair Being Who gives every person an equal opportunity to respond to the truth. We must understand, however, that we are not saying that all people have the exact same number of opportunities to hear the Gospel, or are born into identical socio-economic situations, etc. What we are saying is that God fairly judges each person based on the opportunities he or she has been given. As Jesus said: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48).  In all the examples in the Bible in which people responded properly to the truth, God provided those people with enough information to be saved (cf. Acts 8:26-38; Acts 10). God, therefore, takes into account every aspect of a person’s inherent make-up and external environment and impartially judges that person’s behavior based on what he or she should do given all the circumstances.


Once the skeptic realizes that he cannot rationally conclude that God is unfair for allowing all people to choose their own destiny, he must insist that the mere fact God knew some people would choose hell should have kept God from creating those people. An adequate response to such a statement is simply, “Who says?” Is there anything about the skeptic’s charge that shows some type of inherent moral rightness? There is nothing. And while, “Who says?” is an adequate response, it is not the only one at the disposal of the biblical theist. While it is true that God could have only created those humans that He knew would choose heaven, would the skeptic call that “fair”? Would it be fair for God not to create a person, and thereby deprive that person of the same opportunities and chances as other people, simply because God knew that person would choose hell? Such a course of action would actually be truly “unfair” and would land God in the real moral dilemma of showing partiality. On the contrary, the only way for God to be truly fair to all His human creatures would be to allow each of them the same opportunity to choose their own final destination.
The skeptic might then contend that it would have been better for God not to have created humans at all. But the answer to such a statement once again is, “Who says?” Who is the skeptic to say that a world with no humans is one that is better than a world in which humans are all given an equal chance to respond to God’s love, with many millions actually responding obediently and receiving eternal life? On what grounds does the skeptic demand that his perceived world is better than the one that we have? He can appeal to no greater authority than his own personal opinion. In essence, the skeptic is saying nothing more than, “I think it would have been better if humans were not created if some would choose hell.” The response to such an opinion is simply that God, Who knows everything and is completely impartial and perfectly moral and loving, understands at least one thing about the Universe that the skeptic does not know (or refuses to acknowledge) that calls for the situation to be as it is.


There is no possible way for our finite human minds to understand all the reasons behind why God created humans. There is enough information about God and humans for us to reason properly that God is not immoral for having created humans. We can know that humans were created by an act of God’s free will to receive and respond to His glory. The skeptic’s vacuous charge that God is immoral for creating humans, knowing that some would choose hell, cannot be sustained. God has given every responsible person an equal opportunity to choose heaven. There is no ground upon which the skeptic can maintain that a world without humans would be a better world than one in which some humans choose eternal life and others choose eternal destruction. In fact, God’s attributes of omniscience, impartiality, and love provide the basis to conclude that only He would be in a position to determine which world would be the very best. When understood properly, the Bible presents a completely consistent picture of God’s moral perfection in regard to His choice to create humans.


Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.
Butt, Kyle (2009), “Is God Immoral for Killing Babies?” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=260.
Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Cottrell, Jack (2002), The Faith Once for All (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Grenz, Stanley (1994), Theology for the Community of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Grudem, Wayne (1994), Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Johnston, W. Robert (2010), “Summary of Registered Abortions Worldwide, Through April 10, 2010,” http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/wrjp3310.html.
Keller, Timothy (2008), The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York: Dutton).
Lewis, C.S. (1946), The Great Divorce (New York: Touchstone).
Mills, David (2006), Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism(Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
Wu, Vistonas (2009), “Debunking the Arguments of Christian Fundamentalists and Evangelists,” http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Debunking_Christians/Contents.htm.

Why Be An Atheist? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Why Be An Atheist?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Why do we believe what we believe? Answers to this question are legion. However, the most basic human motivations that lie behind belief and practice may be identified in light of Bible teaching. Here are a few:
Greed/Materialism—“I can make money by believing this viewpoint.”
Jealousy—“If I hold this viewpoint I will be held in higher esteem than others.”
Loyalty—“I believe this viewpoint because my parents did.”
Ambition—“I will advance in my career if I believe this viewpoint.”
Selfishness—“I want to believe this viewpoint because it makes me feel better.”
Sensualism—“I believe this viewpoint because I can indulge myself sexually.”
Ignorance—“I’m not sure why I believe this viewpoint, but I do.”
Bias/Prejudice—“I don’t believe that viewpoint because of who else believes it.”
Indifference—“I hold this viewpoint, but it really doesn’t matter much to me.”
Foolish Pride—“The smart people don’t believe that viewpoint.”
If God exists and the Bible is His Word, then what we believe and why we believe it are crucial and eternally significant.
Intellectuals throughout history have considered themselves superior to others based on their alleged intellectual prowess. The atheistic elite of our day ooze arrogance in their condescending dismissal of those who believe in God. They seek to give the impression that they believe what they believe due solely to a rational, unbiased, sensible analysis of facts that have, in turn, led them to the beliefs that they hold. On the other hand, those who do not consent to their infidelity are depicted as ignorant, biased, and stupid. Consider the frantic judgment leveled by prominent evolutionist Richard Dawkins of Oxford University: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”1
Despite such high and holy self-righteous declarations, the fact is that the very nature of error is such that a person can continue to embrace it only by means of impure motives. If an honest atheist is willing to examine the facts, he will either cease being an atheist or he will cease being honest. Hence, those who have distinguished themselves for their ongoing vociferous defense of their infidelity most assuredly possess one or more motives deep down in their hearts that enable them to dismiss the actual evidence that disproves their viewpoint.
Interestingly, atheists occasionally divulge their inner motives without particularly intending to do so. For example, in a makeshift “debate” conducted in 2010 on the campus of Caltech between atheists Sam Harris and Michael Shermer on the one hand, and Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston on the other, Sam Harris made the following observations:
Most of our neighbors believe in…a personal God who hears our prayers and occasionally answers them…. The God that our neighbors believe in is essentially an invisible person. It’s a Creator deity who created the universe to have a relationship with one species of primates. Lucky us. And He’s got galaxy upon galaxy to attend to, but he’s especially concerned with what we do, and he’s especially concerned with what we do while naked. He almost certainly disapproves of homosexuality.2
While we humans often constitute a hodge-podge of conflicting motives and inclinations, nevertheless, in our conversations we often unwittingly expose one or more of our hidden motives for believing what we believe. To ridicule Christians for holding to an ethical framework that was authored by the Creator of the Universe (Who created human sexuality) implies that the accuser disagrees with those restrictions on sexual behavior. But notice further that Harris implied something else: his belief in atheism enables him to not be concerned about his sexual behavior. The same motives that infected pagans throughout history in which their heathenism enabled them to be released from sexual inhibitions—from the Moabites3 in 1500 B.C. to the Ephesians4 in A.D. 60—are the same for atheists. Unbelief allows a person to be free to engage in whatever sexual activity he desires, whenever and with whomever. The intellectual sophistication and academic elitism that accompanies modern atheism is nothing more than a smokescreen to indulge the flesh. The reason Hollywood hates Christianity is because they want to be able to give full vent to their illicit fleshly appetites without feeling the guilt that comes from flaunting the moral restraints given by the Creator. Christians in Ephesus in the first century fully understood these ulterior motives that underlie one’s belief system. They lived in a city that hosted one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the Temple of Artemis—dedicated to the goddess with her vulgar adornments.5 Paul spoke right to the soul of the population when he penned the following inspired words to the church—an apt evaluation of the unbelief that grips both atheism and much of the religious error of the world:
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! (Ephesians 4:17-20, ESV, emp. added).


1 Richard Dawkins (1989), “Book Review” (of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s Blueprint), The New York Times, section 7, April 9, p. 3, emp. added.
2 Sam Harris (2010), “The Future of God Debate: Sam Harris and Michael Shermer vs. Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston,” Nightline Faceoff, ABC News, March 14, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E99BdOfxAE; See also Dan Harris and Ely Brown (2010), “‘Nightline’ ‘Face-Off’: Does God Have a Future?” March 23, http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/nightline-face-off-god-future/story?id=10170505.
3 Numbers 25:1-2.
4 Acts 19.
5 James Edwards (2016), “Archaeology Gives New Reality to Paul’s Ephesus Riot,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 42[4]:28-30, July/August.

Whoever Digs a Pit Will Fall Into It by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Whoever Digs a Pit Will Fall Into It

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

One of the most outspoken atheists of the past couple of decades is a man named Dan Barker, who wrote his most recognized work, Losing Faith in Faith, after he “deconverted” from a form of evangelical Christianity to naturalistic atheism. In 1992, he was the public relations director for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In his book, Baker uses a host of arguments to attack religious people who have attempted to “reconvert” him. In a chapter titled Why I Am An Atheist, Barker lists several reasons that religious people have offered to explain his “deconversion.” Sadly, many of those people attacked Barker’s character. The following is a brief list of some of the allegations they made against Barker.
  • “You are arrogant and hate God.”
  • “Your heart is in the wrong place.”
  • “You are cold, empty, and pessimistic.”
  • “You are an angry person.”
  • “You are too stupid, limited, or afraid to see what is obvious to everyone else.”
After denying these allegations, Barker stated: “A strong clue that a person is arguing from a position of weakness is when character, rather than content, is attacked. Bertrand Russell pointed out that ad hominem is a last-ditch defense of the losing side” (1992, p. 88). Therefore, according to Barker (who agrees with Russell), a person who uses arguments that attack character is a person who is fighting desperately on the losing side.
While the truth of Russell’s statement may be questioned (since there are many ill-informed ad hominem arguers who happen to be on the right side), it nonetheless is quite interesting that Barker falls headlong into his own pit by repeatedly attacking character rather than focusing on real evidence.
In fact, only a few pages earlier, Barker wrote an entire chapter titled “Ministers I Have Known,” in which he proceeded to attack the general character of ministers he has known. On page 78, Barker commented, “When I think of ministers I have known…I picture the overweight perspiring Foursquare preachers, waving their hankies, shouting and prancing about the stage, ruling their churches like little kingdoms.” Just one paragraph later, he included in this list the “skinny Mexican pastor in Nogales whose second wife was pregnant with his twelfth child!… And the televangelist I know who ran off with his secretary and was back on the air in less than two years.” The rest of the chapter consists of the same attack on the general character of ministers, as Barker views them. Near the end of the chapter, Barker wrote: “I have a friend who says if you were to take all the preachers in the world and lay them end to end, it would be a good idea just to leave them there.”
Now, let us apply Barker’s own reasoning to his chapter on ministers. The entire chapter attacks the character of ministers, and thus would be classified as an ad hominem argument (from the Latin meaning “to attack the man”). But, according to Barker, those who use such arguments are using “a last-ditch defense” and are on “the losing side.” In this instance, I agree wholeheartedly.
Again, in his treatment of those who are against abortion, Barker stated: “This is the real drive behind the antiabortionists: misogyny [hatred of women—KB]. I don’t believe that any one of them cares a hoot for a fetus” (p. 213, emp. added) Such a statement is definitely a bold, ad hominem attack on the motive and character of those who disagree with abortion. I, for one, can say with certainty that I do not hate women. However, I also can say with certainty that an unborn baby is innocent, and that God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17). It is on this basis that I must stand as an antiabortionist. Once again, using Barker’s own thoughts, he must be “arguing from a position of weakness.”
Please note that this article has not attacked Barker’s character. He is not referred to as a misogynist or anything of the kind; nor are any moral indiscretions alleged in an attempt to discredit his arguments. On the contrary, his own words have been used to show that, if his thinking is indeed correct about ad hominem arguments, then he is arguing from “a position of weakness rather than content,” and such an argument is a “last ditch defense of the losing side.”
[For a more in-depth refutation of Barker’s book, see: http://www.tektonics.org/JPH_BWTB.html]


Barker, Dan (1992), Losing Faith In Faith—From Preacher to Atheist (Madison, WI: Freedom from Religion Foundation).

Teaching of Jesus (Part 23) Warnings about Trouble by Ben Fronczek


Teaching of Jesus (Part 23) Warnings about Trouble

Teachings of Jesus Seen in Luke (Part 23) Warning about Trouble
Isn’t it interesting how people are so opinionated? Some like one thing, others like another. Some even may even dislike or disapprove of what you like or believe.
Some wanted the Mets to win the series, others want the Royals, and even some don’t like baseball at all and could care less about who wins. Some like football some do not. Some like hunting and fishing, and Car Racing, and others do not. Some are strong republicans and will fight over issues with democrats. And still some are neither Republican nor Democrats. Many of us believe different things. Some differences matter and some don’t.
I would like to tell you this morning about a family, a typical family, a family similar to many of the families we have in the church. A family with a father, mother, and several children. They could be your family, they could be my family. This family sat around the dinner table one evening and a discussion was started. Ruth, in high school, began the conversation by telling of a friend at school. Her friend had told her that Jesus was the son of God and that salvation was free to all who would trust in Him. Ruth quoted her friend as saying, ” Jesus is the way the truth and the life”.
Immediately an argument started. Tom, an older brother said, “I don’t want any of that church stuff at supper.” The father agreed. There was a fellow at work who was always trying to “corner someone on religion.” He did not want any of that nonsense in his house.
The mother raised her voice saying, “A little religion might just do us some good. The least we could do would be to get a Bible and check it out.” She had a Bible that had been given to her as a child. She decided help Ruth look it up after supper.
Little Bill, the youngest one in the family, suggested that they ought to go to church and ask the preacher. He would know. After supper Mother, Ruth and little Bill gathered around the kitchen table with the Bible to look for some answers. After reading for a while, they decided they would go to church the following Sunday and talk with the preacher. The father and the older son left the supper table in a “huff’ to watch the football game.
The 3 did attend church the following Sunday. They talked with the preacher and in time they came to experience the love of Christ in their lives. They did find that Jesus was the way the truth and the life for them. These 3 became regular attendees in church. The other two? Well, still watching TV.” (Tim Zingale)
In Luke 12 51-53 Jesus says, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; “ READ 49-53 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
But wait a minute, doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace?” In this passage, shouldn’t Jesus be saying, “Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? Yes! I have come to comfort families. I have come to bridge the chasms of silence that separate fathers and sons. I have come to heal the wounds of regret that drive apart mothers and daughters.” It would make sense for the passage to say something like that. Luke’s Gospel has all sorts of miracle stories about Jesus healing individuals and restoring family relationships. Perhaps that’s what the passage should say. Perhaps that’s what many of us would like the passage to say. But it doesn’t. Like it or not, this passage talks about division, not reconciliation.
This is another thing that Jesus warns us about here in Luke 12. Jesus already warned them about hypocrites, greed, worry, and being ready for His return.         In this passage, Jesus is talking specifically about the division that happens as a direct result of a decision to follow Him.  Chris Tiller
He wants us to know that as much as your family may love you, that will not, or does not mean that they will accept Jesus, or your faith in Him. You may even be ridiculed for your faith. You may have to stand apart and alone for the convictions you hold dear. And those convictions will dictate how you will live your life, and how you will treat others, and how they will treat you. Jesus is telling us this morning that He demands our loyalty despite this fact. And like it or not, it is a commitment that produces a cutting edge in one’s life. And He is also telling us that such a commitment just might cut across family ties, and how others see us. It will be a commitment that says, as a Christian you are different in this world, and some people will reject you for that.
Jesus did come to bring peace, but He wants us to know that the peace He brings is not like the peace people in the world want, rather the peace He brings is something far more profound and far richer in the grand scheme of things.
For many peace simply means absence of conflict, pressures, and turmoil in their life. And what does the absence of conflict usually require? It usually means that people have to make compromises in order to reach an agreement. World peace usually entails covering up some truths and making compromises concerning one’s beliefs just so that there won’t be any conflict.
But when it comes to Jesus and Christianity there simply can’t be any compromise, sidestepping, or watering down of truth.
We live in a time of compromise and watered down truth. We live in at time where some think everyone’s opinion should count; everyone has the right to believe whatever they want. If they think something is ok, then it is ok. And then they try to force their opinions and beliefs on others.
And yes, God did give us a well functioning decisive mind and the freedom to choose and make our own choices in life. But I believe He did so that we may freely choose Him and His way, not to pervert the truth and go off in our own self pleasing direction. But sad to say, most have.
Simply put, people want to do what THEY want to do, and many care less about what their Creator wants for them. This is simply wrong and foolish.
And so because of this Jesus lets us know that if you are going to follow Him you are going to have some problems with others who won’t approve of that decision; including some in your own household.
So how do you deal with this, knowing that you be rejected because you love Jesus? What will help us hold on to our faith and commitment to Jesus?
#1. You have to believe that your choice to follow Jesus is FAR more important than anything else, including seeking the approval of others in your life. You are aligning yourself with and seeking the approval of the one and only God and creator of this universe. He holds your eternal being and destiny in the palm of His hand. He is the source of all truth and everything that is good and offers the promise of a heavenly home for all eternity for those who are faithful to Him and His word.
And you must believe that if you water down or side step God’s truths, in essence you will be rejecting Him and all that He is offering you. Who else in this whole world can offer you so much for so little. I’ll tell you – NO ONE!
#2. Another thing that may help you deal with the rejection and persecution that may come, is knowing the fact that sometimes in order to have real and lasting peace, first you may have to stand your ground. How many even have had to go thru a war before they got to enjoy peace.
No soldier or nation really what’s to fight in a war against a crazed, violent adversary, but they do it hoping to put down evil, to protect their own families and nation, and to restore the peace even it cost them their lives.
The peace that Jesus offers is so much more than tranquility of life in the here and now. It’s peace of mind knowing that what you are doing and what you believe is right in God’s sight. It comes from knowing that God loves you for your decision, that you are His child, and He has made a place for you in Heaven. Peace like this doesn’t come without a price, but it worth the price in the end.
So realize beforehand that you will eventually have to stand your ground.
#3. Another thing that may help you deal with the rejections and persecution from others is knowing the fact that you are in good company; people did the same thing to Jesus. There will always be those who want to persecute those who are true, good and right.
In Matthew 5:10-12 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
This wonderful gift of heave alone is a good reason to stand our ground when trouble comes our way. What can anyone give you compared to what God is offering you and me?    The most they can give is money, things, praise, commendations, and favors.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees for seeking such things. In Matthew 6 He said, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”  Jesus lets us know that we are simply doing things in the sight of others to get their approval or a pat on the back from them, that’s the only reward you are going to get. And then He says…
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
All the honor that men can dish out to will never compare to what God has in store for you if you remain true to Him, and hold to your convictions when those test, taunts, and trials come your way. And believe me they will come.
I pray that when they do you remember exactly who you’ve given your allegiance to, and that is our mighty, all powerful God in Heaven.
I hope that you will remember the blessings and promises He made to you for remaining true. Know that you are doing what’s good and right, and you have a home in a heavenly paradise forever.
And finally, I hope that you remember the fact that you are not alone, and that our Lord alone holds our eternal destiny in His hands. If you can just remember these then I believe that you will understand and have that peace that goes beyond our worldly understanding like Paul talked about.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

There is good news for fallen humanity by Roy Davison


There is good news for fallen humanity

What is this good news? God is willing to forgive our sins! The Scriptures reveal what God has done so He can forgive sinful people without compromising His own righteousness.
“God made man upright” (Ecclesiastes 7:29); He “created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). But “sin entered the world” through Adam (Romans 5:12) and now: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59:2). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
God remedies this sad situation by assigning His righteousness to people on the basis of their faith, and by allowing His sinless Son to suffer the penalty for the sins of mankind in their stead. 
None of God’s servants in the Old Testament were without sin. But they trusted and obeyed God. This is called living by faith. “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).
This has a twofold meaning. A servant of God lives his life on the basis of his faith (he does not draw back but “believes to the saving of the soul” - Hebrews 10:37-39) and God gives him life on the basis of his faith (not on the basis of his own righteousness - Galatians 3:11). He lives by his faith and he lives by his faith! God enhances and upgrades his faith to righteousness.
Paul refers to this double meaning when he states that in the gospel “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:17).
For example: “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. ... Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:8, 9). “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22). Although Noah lived an exemplary life based on his faith, he was not without sin. He needed the grace of God and God was gracious to him because of his faith.
“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7). Because Noah based his life on faith, he became an heir of the righteousness God gives to believers.
In the tenth generation after Noah, a man lived whose name was Abraham. “He believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). God promised Abraham that all nations would be blessed by one of his descendants (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16). Paul says that the gospel (the good news) was preached to Abraham when God gave him this promise (Galatians 3:8). Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).
“By faith Abraham obeyed” (Hebrews 11:8). When God passed this promise on to Abraham’s son, Isaac, He explained: “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:4, 5). Although Abraham lived a life of faithful obedience, he was not without sin. But “faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness” (Romans 4:9). God booked Abraham’s faith as righteousness.
Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, had twelve sons whose descendants became the twelve tribes of Israel. Four hundred years after the time of Abraham, the Israelites had become a numerous people as foreigners in Egypt, but also an enslaved people.
They prayed for help and God sent Moses to rescue them from slavery. Moses was the liberator and law-giver of Israel. He said God would send them another Prophet, a (liberator and law-giver) like himself, and that only those who listened to that Prophet would be God’s people (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22, 23; Acts 7:37).
About 500 years after the exodus from Egypt, David became the second king of Israel. Because of David’s faith, God promised that he would have a descendent who would establish an eternal kingdom of peace and righteousness (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 2:44).
Through the centuries God sent prophets who predicted the coming of this King, referred to as the Messiah or the Christ, which means the Anointed One.
Successive powerful kingdoms were established by the Babylonians, by the Medes and Persians, by the Greeks and by the Romans. About 1000 years after the death of King David, when Augustus was emperor of Rome, a baby boy was born to a virgin by the power of God’s Spirit. His name was Jesus. On the day of His birth an angel declared that He was the promised King: “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
About 30 years later John the Baptist began to preach that the great King was coming. To get ready, people were to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4).
When Jesus was baptized by John, the Holy Spirit came upon Him and God testified from heaven: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16, 17). John the Baptist testified: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). 
During three years Jesus performed miracles and preached the good news that the kingdom of God soon would come with power (Mark 9:1). His powerful teachings and His miracles confirmed that He was the promised King.
The prophets had foretold that the Christ would suffer, that He would be rejected by His own people, and that He would be killed. These prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
The Jewish leaders were jealous because Jesus was popular with the people. They imprisoned Him and turned Him over to Pilate, the Roman governor, to be crucified. Pilate wanted to release Jesus because he knew that He was innocent. But under pressure he gave in to the cries of the mob, and had Him crucified.
Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Thus, He did not have to die as punishment for sins of His own. He said, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17, 18).
As the sinless Son of God, Jesus could have called more than twelve thousand angels to rescue Him (Matthew 26:53). But He allowed himself to be crucified to endure the punishment for the sins of mankind, He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).
Jesus died to free us from the grasp of sin and death. His sacrifice enables God to forgive our sins without compromising His righteousness. God’s justice demands that sin be punished. He sent His own Son to meet this requirement in our stead.
When Jesus died, His followers thought He had failed. They had not understood the predictions of the prophets and of Jesus himself. Not only would Christ die, He would also rise from the grave! (Psalm 16:8-11).
“The Lord is risen indeed!” (Luke 24:34). To the apostles He “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:2, 3). “He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once” (1 Corinthians 15:6).
After His resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven and took His place at the right hand of His Father. Before He ascended into heaven, He commanded His followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:15, 16). They were to tell the whole world that God is willing to forgive sinful people if they believe in Jesus, turn away from a life of sin, and become His disciples.
Jesus said, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46, 47).
Ten days after Jesus went back to His Father, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Jerusalem. They proclaimed that Jesus is the Christ. When the hearers realized that they had crucified the promised King, “they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:37, 38). “Those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41). God’s salvation had come. There was good news for fallen man.
The believers went everywhere preaching the good news of salvation by the blood of Christ. They proclaimed that God “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Those who believed were baptized to wash away their sins (Acts 22:16).
Baptism is an immersion in water as a participation in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3, 4).
Now, two thousand years later, millions call themselves Christians, but are they real followers of Christ? Jesus said: “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Paul said it is not good news when people accept “a different gospel,” when people “pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-9).
In our time, most of those who claim to be Christians, follow traditions and dogmas of men rather than the gospel of Christ. They are like people God described in earlier times: “In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). Such people reject God’s good news of salvation and replace it with a man-made imitation.
Baptism of believers by immersion for the forgiveness of sins is replaced by rituals that are worthless because they are different from the baptism Jesus commanded. A valid baptism must be based on personal faith and a personal decision to turn away from sin and follow Christ. It must be based on the same good news preached by Christ and His apostles.
Although apostate people have perverted many aspects of the original faith, God’s word does not change. The good news of salvation by the blood of Christ is just as powerful today as it was in the first century.
People who believe in Jesus and repent of their sins, who confess their faith in Christ, who are baptized for the forgiveness of sins, are saved by the grace of God. Their faith is imputed to them by God as righteousness (Romans 4:11, 24). 
Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). The promise is for all. “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Romans 10:13). 
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
This is good news for sinful people like us!
Do you want to be forgiven by God and to inherit eternal life? Turn away from sin! Believe in Jesus! Confess your faith and be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of your sins! Then you will be sanctified, made holy, and dedicated to God. You will be a citizen of God’s kingdom, a member of His church. Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive