9/28/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Betrayal Of Jesus (26:47-50) by Mark Copeland

 

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

The Betrayal Of Jesus (26:47-50)

INTRODUCTION

1. Certainly one of the saddest moments in the life of Jesus was His
   betrayal by Judas...
   a. One of Jesus' closest disciples, even one of His twelve apostles - Mt 26:47-50
   b. Who had been privileged to a part of Jesus' ministry here on earth - Ac 1:17

2. What led Judas to betray his Lord and Savior?  How could one who had
   been with Jesus...
   a. Seen His miracles
   b. Heard His teachings
   ...betray Him with a kiss?

3. What about us, who claim to be Jesus' disciples today?
   a. Could we be guilty of betraying Jesus in some way?
   b. Are there things that misled Judas that could have a similar effect on us?

[What might we learn from "The Betrayal Of Jesus"?  Lest we follow the
same path of Judas, let's reflect for a few moments on what we can
glean from the Scriptures...]

I. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A CLOSE FRIEND

   A. JUDAS WAS NO STRANGER TO JESUS...
      1. As already mentioned, he was one of the apostles - Mt 10:2-4
      2. He was among those whom Jesus loved - Jn 13:1
      3. Yet as prophesied, Jesus was betrayed by "a familiar friend" - Ps 41:9

   B. BEING CLOSE TO JESUS IS NO GUARANTEE...
      1. Just being His disciples is no assurance we could not betray Him
      2. Like several of the churches in Asia Minor, we could...
         a. Leave our first love - Re 2:4-5
         b. Begin to tolerate false doctrine - Re 2:14-16
         c. Permit false teachers to spread their doctrines - Re 2:20
         d. Fail to perfect our works, and not be watchful - Re 3:1-3
         e. Become lukewarm - Re 3:15-16
      3. Yes, we can betray Jesus by denying Him who bought us - 2 Pe  2:1

[Therefore we need to heed Jesus' admonition to be "faithful unto
death" (Re 2:10), and not assume that close proximity to Jesus in the
past guarantees faithfulness in the future.]

II. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A LOVER OF MONEY

   A. MONEY WAS A PROBLEM FOR JUDAS...
      1. He often pilfered from the money box - Jn 12:4-6
      2. The opportunity to make money led him to betray Jesus - Mt 26:
         14-16

   B. MONEY CAN BE A PROBLEM FOR US...
      1. The deceitfulness of riches can render us unfruitful - Mt 13:22
      2. The desire for riches and the love of money can lead us to
         stray from the faith and drown in destruction and perdition - 1Ti 6:9-10
      3. The Laodiceans' preoccupation with wealth made them lukewarm - Re 3:16-17

[Could we be guilty of betraying Jesus by our desire for riches,
letting such things take precedent over our service to God and His church?]

III. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A SHOW OF AFFECTION

   A. JUDAS BETRAYED JESUS WITH A KISS...
      1. He could have simply pointed...perhaps by kissing he sought to
         soften the blow of betrayal - Mt 26:48-49
      2. Jesus noted the obvious contradiction - Lk 22:47-48

   B. DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION DON'T ENSURE FAITHFULNESS...
      1. Many people are very emotional in their religion
         a. As displayed in their worship
         b. Believing it to be evidence of being "Spirit-filled"
      2. Yet emotions alone are not a reliable guide
         a. They can easily mislead us - cf. Pr 16:25; Jer 10:23; 17:9
         b. They are often present in the unstable believer - Mt 13:20-21
      3. This is not to discount the place and value of emotions
         a. We are to love God with all our heart and with all our mind - Mt 22:37-38
         b. The Spirit does produce fruit in our lives that affects our emotions - Ga 5:22-23
         b. But we must keep them in the proper order:
            1) Our emotions must come from faith, not faith coming from emotions
            2) Otherwise we are led by emotionalism, not faith
            -- And true faith comes from the Word of God - Ro 10:17;Jn 20:30-31

[If we believe that displays of affection in our religion can make up
for our failure to heed God's Word, we deceive ourselves and betray
Jesus in the process!]

IV. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A MISTAKEN DISCIPLE

   A. JUDAS MISTOOK THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACTION...
      1. He evidently didn't think Jesus would be condemned - Mt 27:3-4
      2. This has prompted some to think that Judas was motivated by
         more than money
         a. That perhaps his betrayal would force Jesus to act, show His true power
         b. That in such a way it would demonstrate who Jesus truly was

   B. WE CAN BE GUILTY OF MISTAKEN SERVICE...
      1. Thinking our service is acceptable, when it is not - Mt 7:21-23
      2. Thinking we can improve on God's way, when we can't know what
         He wants unless He reveals it - Isa 55:8-9
      3. We need to head the Preacher's advice - cf. Ec 5:1-2
         a. Come to hear and do what He says
         b. Not presume to know what pleases God and offer what we think is best

[In our zeal, we may be guilty of acting on mistaken knowledge (cf. Ro
10:1-3).  Dare we possibly betray Jesus by presuming we know what is
according to His will and plan?]

V. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY AN OVERWROUGHT FOLLOWER

   A. JUDAS REACTED TO HIS SIN THE WRONG WAY...
      1. He was overcome with grief - Mt 27:3
      2. He took the wrong course of action and hung himself - Mt 27:5

   B. WE CAN REACT TO OUR SINS THE SAME WAY...
      1. There are two kinds of sorrow - 2Co 7:10
         a. Sorrow of the world that produces death
         b. Godly sorrow that produces repentance
         -- The first is sorrow where one is preoccupied with self; the
            other is sorrow due to sinning against God
      2. It is natural to be sorrowful for our sins
         a. But we should not wallow in our grief
         b. But repent, as did Peter who denied Christ
      3. Paul provides another example of one who did not let his sins
         of the past hinder his service in the present
         a. He focused on God's grace which gave him another chance  1Co 15:9-10
         b. He directed his attention on striving for the upward call of God - Php 3:12-14

CONCLUSION

1. While Jesus was betrayed by all these things, let's not forget the
   influence of Satan...
   a. Satan used Judas to betray Jesus - Lk 22:3-4
   b. Satan put it in Judas' heart to betray Jesus - Jn 13:2
   -- For this reason Jesus referred to Judas as "a devil" - Jn 6:70-71

2. Yet how did Satan influence Judas?  By some of the very things we've noticed...
   a. Through his love of money
   b. Through his emotionalism
   c. Through his mistaken ideas
   d. Through his preoccupation with self
   -- Even Peter was influenced by Satan through some of these things (cf. Mt 16:23)

And so while we may decry the treachery of Judas, we should humbly
learn from his mistakes, taking to heart the words of Peter:

   "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks
   about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist
   him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings
   are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
                                                    - 1Pe 5:9-10   
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Saga of Ancient Jericho by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=988

The Saga of Ancient Jericho

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

After having spent forty hard years in the wilderness of Sinai, the children of Israel were stationed on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, just north of the Dead Sea. The challenge was now before them; they were to take the land of Canaan that Jehovah had promised to Abraham five centuries earlier.

The first obstacle in Israel’s path was the fortress city of Jericho. Joshua sent spies across the Jordan to survey the situation. When the presence of these Hebrews was detected, a Canaanite woman—Rahab the harlot—befriended them. Doubtless she saved their lives, and in turn, the spies promised that she and her family would be spared during the coming invasion (Joshua 2).

Shortly thereafter, Joshua led Israel against Jericho. The procedure for capturing the city was strange indeed, according to military standards. The Hebrews were to encompass the walls of the city once a day for six days, then, seven times on the seventh day. A blast was to be made on the priests’ trumpets, the people were to give a great shout, and the city would be theirs—for God had given it to them (Joshua 6:2,16). When the Hebrew people, by faith, followed this plan, the walls of Jericho fell down. According to divine instructions, the Israelites then destroyed the inhabitants of the city (with the exception of Rahab and her kinsmen), both man and beast. They were charged to confiscate the gold and silver and the vessels of brass and iron for Jehovah’s treasury, but they were prohibited from taking any personal booty. The city then was burned. Finally, a prophetic curse was placed upon any who attempted to refortify Jericho (Joshua 6).

It is important to note at this point that the chronology of the Bible indicates that the Israelite conquest of Canaan took place near 1400 B.C. Upon the basis of archaeological data, we know that Solomon commenced his reign over the united kingdom of Israel about 970 B.C. Additionally, 1 Kings 6:1 states that from the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, back to the time of the Exodus from Egypt, was a period of 480 years. This would suggest that Israel’s departure from Egypt occurred circa 1446/5 B.C.Since the invasion of Canaan commenced about forty years later (after Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness), this would put the conquest of Canaan at approximately 1406/5 B.C.It is important to remember this because liberal scholars, rejecting the chronology of the Bible, date these events 150 to 200 years later!

There are several important elements in this account worthy of consideration.

IS THE ACCOUNT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE?

The historical accuracy of the fall of Jericho has lain under a cloud of doubt in the minds of many for more than three decades. John Garstang, a professor at the University of Liverpool, excavated Jericho between 1930 and 1936. Garstang identified a destruction level at the ancient site that he called City IV. He concluded that this was the occupation level which paralleled the city of Joshua’s day, and that the biblical account was accurate. Jericho had fallen to Israel about 1400 B.C. He wrote: “In a word, in all material details and in date the fall of Jericho took place as described in the Biblical narrative” (1937, p. 1222). For several years, scholars generally accepted Garstang’s conclusions. However, that was to radically change.

From 1952 to 1958, Kathleen Kenyon, of the British School of Archaeology (daughter of famed archaeologist, Sir Frederic Kenyon) supervised an expedition at Jericho. Her work was the most thorough and scientific that had been done at this site. Her team unearthed a significant amount of evidence, but surprisingly, Kenyon’s interpretation of the data was radically different from Garstang’s. She contended that City IV had been destroyed about 1550 B.C. and therefore there was no fortress city for Joshua to conquer around 1400 B.C. She suggested that the archaeological evidence discredited the biblical record! And, not surprisingly, a sizable segment of scholars fell dutifully into line. Whenever there appears to be an apparent conflict between the Bible and other data, there is always a certain group that immediately calls the Scriptures into question. They never have the patience to wait for the more complete picture. Comments like those of Magnusson are typical: “...on a purely literary level, the Book of Joshua reads more like an adventure story than history...there is no archaeological evidence to support it” (1977, p. 96).

One of the most curious elements of this whole matter, however, is the fact that, prior to her death in 1978, Kathleen Kenyon’s opinions regarding Jericho had been published only in a popular book (Kenyon, 1957), in a few scattered articles, and in a series of preliminary field reports. The detailed record of her work was not made available until 1982-83, and an independent analysis of that evidence is bringing to light some startling new conclusions.

The March/April 1990 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (certainly no “fundamentalist” journal) contains an article titled “Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?—A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence,” authored by Bryant G. Wood. Dr. Wood is a visiting professor in the department of Near Eastern studies at the University of Toronto. He has served in responsible supervisory positions on several archaeological digs in Palestine. In this scholarly article, Wood contended: “When we compare the archaeological evidence at Jericho with the Biblical narrative describing the Israelite destruction of Jericho, we find a quite remarkable agreement” (1990, p. 53, emp. added). The professor emphasized several major points of agreement between the archaeological evidence and the record in the book of Joshua. A summary would appear as follows:

  1. The Bible indicates that Jericho was a strongly fortified city. It was surrounded by a “wall,” and access to the fortress could only be obtained through the city “gate” (Joshua 2:5,7,15; 6:5,20). Biblical Archaeology Review notes: “The city’s outer defenses consisted of a stone revetment wall [some 15 feet high] at the base of the tell [hill] that held in place a high, plastered rampart. Above the rampart on top of the tell was [the remnant of] a mudbrick wall [about 8 feet high at one point] which served as Jericho’s city wall proper” (see Wood, 1990, p. 46).
     
  2. According to the Old Testament, the invasion occurred just following the 14th day of Abib (March/April) (Joshua 5:10), thus in the springtime, or in the harvest season (3:15). Rahab was drying flax upon her roof (2:6). Both Garstang and Kenyon found large quantities of grain stored in the ruins of Jericho’s houses. In a very limited excavation area, Kenyon found six bushels of grain in one digging season—“This,” as Wood commented, “is unique in the annals of Palestinian archaeology” (1990, p. 56).
     
  3. The biblical record affirms that the conquest was accomplished swiftly in only seven days (6:15). The people of Jericho were confined to the city with no chance to escape (6:1). The abundance of food supplies, as indicated above, confirms this. Had the citizens of Jericho been able to escape, they would have taken food with them. Had the siege been protracted, the food would have been consumed. The Old Testament record is meticulously accurate.
     
  4. When the Israelites shouted with a great shout on that seventh day, the “wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city” (6:20; cf. Hebrews 11:30). Kenyon’s excavations uncovered, at the base of Jericho’s tell, a pile of red mudbricks which, she said, “probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank” (Kenyon, 1981, p. 110; as quoted in Wood, 1990, p. 54). She described the brick pile as the result of a wall’s “collapse.” Professor Wood stated that the amount of bricks found in the cross-section of Kenyon’s work area would suggest an upper wall 6.5 feet wide and 12 feet high (1990, p. 54).
     
  5. According to the Scriptures, Jericho was to be a city “devoted” to God, hence, the Hebrews were to confiscate the silver and gold, and the vessels of brass and iron for Jehovah’s treasury. However, they were to take no personal possessions(6:17-19). The archaeological evidence confirms this. As indicated earlier, a considerable amount of grain was found in Jericho. Grain, in biblical times, was exceedingly valuable, being frequently used as a monetary exchange (see 1 Kings 5:11). It therefore is unthinkable, unless by divine design, that the Israelites would have taken Jericho and left the grain intact. The Bible is right!
     
  6. The Scriptures state that during the destruction of Jericho, the city was set on fire (6:24). When Miss Kenyon dug down into the city, she discovered that the walls and floors of the houses were “blackened or reddened by fire...in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt” (Kenyon, 1981, p. 370; as quoted in Wood, 1990, p. 56).
     
  7. The Bible indicates that Rahab’s house was built “upon the side of the wall, and she dwelt upon the wall” (2:15). A number of houses were found just inside the revetment wall, which could have abutted the wall [see point (1) above], thus easily accommodating an escape access from the city (Wood, 1990, p. 56). The evidence indicates that this area was the “poor quarter” of the city—just the type of residence that one might expect a harlot to have.
     
  8. Whereas Kathleen Kenyon contended that Jericho (City IV) had been destroyed about 1550 B.C., and abandoned thereafter, hence, there was no city for Joshua to conquer in 1400 B.C. (according to the biblical chronology), the actual evidence indicates otherwise. A cemetery outside of Jericho “has yielded a continuous series of Egyptian scarabs [small, beetle-shaped amulets, inscribed on the underside, often with the name of a pharaoh] from the 18th through the early-14th centuries B.C.E., contradicting Kenyon’s claim that the city was abandoned after 1550 B.C.E.” (Wood, 1990, p. 53).

Other evidences indicate a harmony with the biblical chronology as well. There is absolutely no reason to contend that the book of Joshua is in error in its description of the conquest of Jericho.

MORAL DIFFICULTIES

Some have argued that the account of Jericho’s destruction places the Bible in a morally compromising position. It is alleged that Rahab’s lies (Joshua 2:4-5) condone situation ethics, and that the slaughter of the city’s women and children (Joshua 6:21) is reprehensible—a reflection upon a benevolent God. These objections simply are not valid.

First, one should note that the Scriptures do not attempt to conceal Rahab’s falsehood. Her weakness is bluntly revealed. This evinces the impartiality of the divine record and is an indirect suggestion of inspiration. Too, one should understand that this woman was from a pagan environment. Her concept of morality and her personal lifestyle (she was a harlot) needed considerable refining. In spite of her sordid background, she had developed a sincere faith in Israel’s God (see Joshua 2:9ff.). Consequently, when the spies approached her, she was not “disobedient” as were the others of Jericho. She received the spies and sent them out another way. It was by these “works” of faith that she was delivered (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). She was not “justified” by lying; rather, she was justified by her faith and her works, in spite of her ignorance and/or weakness. It would be a gross misuse of this narrative to employ it as proof that there are occasions when it is divinely permissible to lie.

We must not pass from this point without noting that the case of Rahab demonstrates the wonderful harmony between faith and works in the divine plan. The writer of Hebrews states that Rahab perished not, as a result of her faith; James declares that she was justified by her works. These two requirements are not mutually exclusive of one another.

Second, while the extermination of an entire population may seem excessively cruel when viewed as an isolated incident, other factors shed light on that situation. Consider the following: (a) The destruction of Canaan’s heathen tribes was justified in view of their utter abandonment of moral restraint. The ancient evidence indicates that they practiced child-sacrifice, religious prostitution, sodomy, etc. A people can reach a state of such deep depravity that the justice of God demands punishment. (b) Their destruction had not been rendered impetuously. Jehovah had been patient with them for more than 500 years; finally, their cup of iniquity ran over and the time for judgment came (see Genesis 15:16). (c) This type of punishment was implemented on a rather limited basis—principally, upon the tribes of Palestine. This was due to the fact that God had chosen Canaan as the place where the Hebrew nation was to be cultivated in view of the coming Messiah, the Savior of the world. It was an example of moral surgery for the benefit of all mankind. (d) Finally, it still is true that these Old Testament narratives illustrate the fact that innocent people (e.g., infants) frequently have to suffer the consequences of evil acts that others generate, due to the kind of world in which we live. This should motivate us to want a better state wherein wickedness does not exist. And so, though such cases as the fall of Jericho may entail some difficulty, the problem is not insurmountable.

THE PROPHETIC CURSE

Following the destruction of Jericho, Joshua pronounced an imprecation upon the ancient city, saying: “Cursed be the man before Jehovah that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: with the loss of his firstborn shall he lay the foundation thereof, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it” (Joshua 6:26).

Some writers have assumed that this prophecy failed, for not many years after Jericho’s fall, one reads of people living in Jericho (see Joshua 18:21; Judges 3:13; 2 Samuel 10:5). In fact, it is called specifically “the city of Jericho.” And yet, there is no record of the “curse” being fulfilled in those times proximate to Joshua’s invasion.

In response to this charge, several factors need to be noted. First, the prophetic curse did not state that Jericho never was to be inhabited. It does not even indicate that the city never was to be rebuilt. The divine prediction was simply this: The man who attempts to rebuild Jericho, as a fortress city (cf. “set up the gates of it,” 6:26) would be the recipient of the divine curse (see Coslinga, 1986, p. 73).

The fact of the matter is, five and a half centuries later, during the reign of Ahab of Israel, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho as a fortress. And, precisely as Joshua had declared, he lost his oldest son when the foundation was laid, and his youngest son when the gates of the city were set up (see 1 Kings 16:34). The prophecy was fulfilled. There is no discrepancy in the Bible record.

REFERENCES

Coslinga, C.J. (1986), Joshua, Judges, Ruth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Garstang, John (1937), “Jericho and the Biblical Story,” Wonders of the Past, ed. J. A. Hammerton (New York: Wise).<

Kenyon, Kathleen (1957), Digging Up Jericho (London: Ernest Benn).

Kenyon, Kathleen (1981), Excavations at Jericho, Vol. 3: The Architecture and Stratigraphy of the Tell, ed. Thomas A. Holland (London: British School of Archaeology).

Magnusson, Magnus (1977), Archaeology of the Bible (New York: Simon & Schuster).

Wood, Bryant G. (1990), “Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?—A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 16[2]:44-58, March/April.


Originally published in Reason & Revelation, April 1990, 10[4]:17-19.

The Sacredness of Marriage by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1237

The Sacredness of Marriage

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Since its inception, the United States of America has been a country whose Founding Fathers recognized the need for God in public life, and the need for Bible principles of morality to govern and structure American society. Our Founding Fathers recognized that if our country ever strayed significantly away from these foundational moral, spiritual, and ethical principles, we would be doomed as a nation. For 150 years, our society recognized the importance of what some are calling the “traditional family,” i.e., a husband and a wife who marry for life and rear their children together. Divorce was almost unheard of in this country. When it did occur, it was regarded as deviant behavior. Family disruption in the form of separation, divorce, and out-of-wedlock birth were kept to a minimum by strong religious, social, and even legal sanctions. Immediately after World War II, most American children grew up in a family with both biological parents who were married to each other.

This state of affairs held sway up through the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, disruption of the traditional American family reached a historic low in the 1950s and early 1960s. But then something happened (see Whitehead, 1993). Beginning in about 1965, the divorce rate suddenly skyrocketed, more than doubling over the next fifteen years. By 1974, divorce passed death as the leading cause of family breakup. By 1980, only fifty percent of children could expect to spend their entire childhood with both their parents. Now half of all marriages end in divorce. Every year a million children go through divorce or separation, and almost as many more are born out of wedlock. People who remarry after divorce are more likely to break up than couples in first marriages. The same is true for couples who just live together.

Overall child well-being has declined, despite a decrease in the number of children per family, an increase in the educational level of parents, and historically high levels of public spending. The teen suicide has more than tripled. Juvenile crime has increased and become more violent. School performance has continued to decline. Some sociologists are now recognizing the incredibly harmful effect these circumstances are having on our country and the homes of America. They are beginning to realize the relationship between family structure and declining child well-being. Some are even admitting that the social arrangement that has proved most successful in ensuring the physical survival and promoting the social development of the child is the family unit of the biological mother and father.

But our society as a whole has been slow to see family disruption as a severe national problem. Why? A fundamental shift has occurred in our culture with reference to religious and moral value. Much of our society has jettisoned the Bible as the absolute standard of behavior. The Bible is no longer considered to be the authoritative regulator of daily living. Many, perhaps most, Americans no longer feel that divorce is wrong. “Irreconcilable differences” and “incompatibility” are seen as perfectly legitimate reasons for divorce—flying directly in the face of Bible teaching. Many Americans no longer feel that a couple simply living together without marriage is morally wrong. By the mid-1970s, three-fourths of Americans said that it is not morally wrong for a woman to have a child outside marriage.

We could debate the causes of this basic cultural shifting. I would argue that the influence of evolution and humanism in our educational system, the impact of feminism, the increased participation of women in the work force to the neglect of their children, the widespread prosperity that we enjoy as a nation (causing us to forget God and to indulge ourselves)—these and other factors have contributed to our moral decline. Hollywood, television, and the cinema have unquestionably glamorized, defended, and promoted divorce, premarital sex, unwed motherhood, abortion, and the use of alcohol, filthy language, and many other immoral behaviors.

Ironically—and tragically—the media have been working overtime to discredit the married, two-parent family by playing up instances of incest, violence, and abuse. If a family has religious inclinations, its members are depicted on programs as weirdoes and deviants. In fact, it is surely disgusting to the sensibilities of the morally upright that what was once mainstream and normal (i.e., the religious, church-going, two-parent family) is being demonized and ridiculed, while behavior that once was considered deviant, reprehensible, and immoral is paraded before society—on TV, in the news, and in the courts—as the social norm. Anyone who lifts a finger to speak against such immorality is berated as “homophobic,” “prejudiced,” “judgmental,” “mean-spirited,” and guilty of a “hate crime.”

Two illustrations of the undermining of the marriage relationship as God intended are the recent decisions regarding homosexuality by the United States Supreme Court and the Episcopal Church. By a 62-45 vote, the Episcopal House of Bishops elected the denomination’s first homosexual bishop on August 5, 2003 (see Duin, 2003). Only days earlier, the Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws are unconstitutional—even though sodomy was treated as a criminal offense in all of the original thirteen colonies and eventually every one of the fifty states (see Robinson, 2003; “Sodomy Laws,” 2003). Sadly, a generation has arisen who simply does not share the values of its parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Sexual fidelity, lifelong marriage, and parenthood are simply no longer held up as worthwhile personal goals.

All of this self-centeredness has taken its greatest toll on the children. The erosion of basic moral values in exchange for pluralism, the growing tolerance of moral and ethical diversity, the shifting of emphasis to choice, freedom, and self-expression, have all inflicted great damage on marriage and the family—especially the children. The fuller body of empirical research now documents a number of startling conclusions:

  1. Divorce almost always brings a decline in the standard of living for the mother and children, plus a dependence on welfare; children in single-parent homes are far more likely to propagate the same behavior.
  2. Children never fully recover from divorce. Five, ten, fifteen years after a divorce, the children suffer from depression, under-achievement, and ultimately, their own troubled relationships.
  3. Young adults from disrupted families are nearly twice as likely as those from intact families to receive psychological help.
  4. Children in disrupted families are nearly twice as likely as those in intact families to drop out of high school. Those who remain in school show significant differences in educational attainment from those children who grow up in intact families.
  5. Remarriage does not reproduce nor restore the intact family structure. The latest research confirms that stepparents cannot replace the original home.
  6. For children whose parents divorced, the risk of divorce is two to three times greater than it is for children from married parent families.

These findings—and many others—underscore the importance of both a mother and a father in fostering the emotional well-being of children. But even more far-reaching effects have been documented—effects that impact society at large beyond the confines of the family. Authorities now are beginning to admit that a central cause of our most pressing social problems (i.e., poverty, crime, and school performance) is the breakup of the traditional American family.

What is even more startling is the fact that as an institution, marriage has lost much of its legal, religious, and social meaning and authority. For most of American history, marriage was one of the most important rites of passage in life. But now, marriage has lost much of its role and significance as a rite of passage. Sex is increasingly detached from the promise or expectation of marriage. Cohabitation is emerging as a significant experience for young adults. It is now replacing marriage as the first living together union. It is estimated that a quarter of unmarried women between the ages of 25 and 39 are currently living with a partner, and about half have lived at some time with an unmarried partner. Referring to this state of affairs as “the deinstitutionalization of marriage,” researchers at the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University concluded: “Taken together, the marriage indicators do not argue for optimism about a quick or widespread comeback of marriage. Persistent long-term trends suggest a steady weakening of marriage as a lasting union, a major stage in the adult life course, and as the primary institution governing childbearing and parenthood” (Popenoe and Whitehead, 1999).

Make no mistake: the social science evidence clearly documents the fact that the breakdown of the traditional two-parent, biological husband-wife family is a major factor contributing to the overall moral, religious, and ethical decline of our country. The social fabric of American civilization is literally tearing apart. The social arrangement that has proved most successful in ensuring the physical survival, and promoting the social development, of the child is the family unit of the biological mother and father. America is in deep trouble.

Our society is not likely to solve these massive problems. The liberal elite has been operating with great vigor for over forty years to push our country into “value neutrality” and “political correctness.” The clear-cut restraints and distinctions between right and wrong so typical of American culture in the past have been systematically dismantled. Relativism has taken the place of objective, absolute truth. The glorification of the individual has encouraged people to determine for themselves right and wrong—rather than looking outside themselves to the Transcendent Creator of the Universe. Consequently, whatever the individual feels is right is sanctioned as right—at least for that individual. The absolute standard of moral value and human behavior—that previously governed our nation—has been successfully supplanted. Subjectivity reigns supreme, and God has been effectively severed from human culture. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:12).

GOD’S VIEW OF THE MATTER

The fact remains that there is a God in heaven (Daniel 2:28). God has spoken to the human race through His written Word, i.e., the Bible. In that inspired communication, He has designated the structure of society. He created male and female with the intention for one man to marry one woman for life (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6). Here is the foundational building block of humanity. That is His simple will on the matter. He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). The only way He permits divorce is if one marriage partner divorces the other marriage partner for the one reason that the marriage partner has committed fornication, i.e., illicit sexual intercourse. Upon that basis alone, God allows the innocent partner to put away that unfaithful mate and form a second marriage (Matthew 19:3-9).

God intended for the husband and wife to produce children who, in turn, are to receive nurturing and care from their parents in a stable, loving home (Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21). In this divinely ordained institution of the home, God intended that children receive the necessary instruction and training to prepare them to be productive, honest, God-fearing, hard-working citizens of their country. The home was designed by God to impart to each succeeding generation proper religious, moral, and social principles that would in turn make their nation strong and virtuous. The Bible is filled with references to the essential ingredients of healthy family life (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:7-9; 6:1-9; 11:18-21; 32:46-47; Psalm 127; Proverbs 5:15-20; 6:20-35; 11:29; 12:4; 14:1; 15:25,27; 17:1,13; 31:10-31), including proper parenting skills (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15,17; Ephesians 6:1-4).

CONCLUSION

How simple! The solution to the confusion and corruption that has gripped American civilization is simple—if hearts are humbly yielded to the will of God. If we could get our families back on track according to God’s will, we could get our nation back on track. It starts with you and me. We must believe in, affirm to others, and conform ourselves to the sacredness of marriage.

REFERENCES

Duin, Julia (2003), “Gay Bishop Sets Off Talk of Episcopal Schism,” The Washington Times, [On-line], URL: http://www.dynamic.washtimes.com/print_story.cfm?StoryID=20030806-123147-7931r.

Popenoe, David and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead (1999), “What’s Happening to Marriage?” [On-line], URL: http//marriage.Rutgers.edu/Publications/pubwhatshappening.htm.

Robinson, B.A. (2003), “Criminalizing Same-Sex Behavior,” [On-line], URL: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_laws1.htm.

“Sodomy Laws in the United States,” (2003), [On-line], URL: http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/usa.htm.

Whitehead, Barbara (1993), “Dan Quayle Was Right,” The Atlantic Monthly, [On-line], URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/family/danquayl.htm.


The Reality of Eternal Hell by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=819

 

The Reality of Eternal Hell

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Hell has been depicted as a lake of fire, eternal torment, and everlasting punishment. Because of the heinous nature of hell, many have decided that it is impossible for a loving God to conceive such a place, much less send His wayward creatures there. For this reason, they have rejected the idea of an eternal hell. And this trend to reject the concept of hell does not reside solely in the camp of the skeptic and unbeliever. Many Bible “believers” have fallen prey to this idea. In a March 1991 U.S. News & World Report article titled “Revisiting the Abyss,” this quotation appears: “In many churches, one finds little talk these days about a literal, punitive hell as a real possibility after death. ‘My congregation would be stunned to hear a sermon on hell,’ says the Rev. [sic] Mary Kraus, pastor of the Dumbarton United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. Her parishioners, she says, are ‘upper-middle-class, well-educated critical thinkers’ who view God as ‘compassionate and loving, not someone who's going to push them into eternal damnation’ ” (1991, 110[11]:60).

According to Miss Kraus, the idea of a literal place of torment reserved for the wicked does not sit well with her “upper-middle-class, well-educated critical thinkers.” The basic argument against hell can be stated like this: It is unjust to punish someone eternally for sins they committed in their few years on Earth; the biblical concept of hell entails such punishment; therefore the biblical concept of hell is unjust (which would mean, of course, that the God of the Bible is unjust as well).

HELL IS ETERNAL

Although the argument against the biblical concept of hell is erroneous in several of its points, it is accurate when it states that the Bible depicts an eternal hell. On numerous occasions Jesus underlined the fact that hell is eternal. In Matthew 18:8, for example, He described an “everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41,46 renders the same idea, but adds “everlasting punishment”). In our modern day and age, it is popular to posit the idea that hell will last only a short time, and then the souls of the wicked will be annihilated. Clark H. Pinnock, theology professor at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, was quoted in the January 31, 2000 issue of U.S. News & World Report, as saying: “How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness” as to inflict “everlasting torture upon his creatures, however sinful they may have been?” (as quoted in Sheler, 2000, 128[4]:44). Pinnock went on to argue that a God Who would do such a thing is “more nearly like Satan than like God.”

However, for Pinnock and his ever-increasing pack of “annihilationists,” their house is built on shifting sand—both biblically and philosophically. Biblically, our Lord repeatedly stressed the idea that the souls of the wicked will have to endure “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). To contend that the wicked soul is annihilated would be to negate the words of Christ, since “everlasting punishment” cannot be inflicted upon an annihilated being.

Philosophically, the view is equally flawed, because it fails to take into account what every person understands about justice: the punishment always lasts longer than the actual crime. When a man walks into a bank, shoots two tellers, robs the bank, and is apprehended, tried, and found guilty, his punishment always is of a much longer duration than his crime. The actual shooting and looting might have taken only 3 minutes to accomplish, but he most likely will pay for those three minutes with the remainder of his life in prison. Those who contend that hell will not be eternal say that forever is “too long.” But once a person concedes that punishment can (and generally does) last longer than the crime, his argument against an eternal hell becomes self-defeating.

Furthermore, the idea that eternity is “too long” only appeals to the human emotions when dealing with punishment, never with reward. Who would argue that heaven cannot be eternal because God would be unjust to reward us for “so long.” On the contrary, the eternality of heaven and hell stand and fall together. And both find their place in the justice and mercy of God. When Christ spoke to the people of His day about the ultimate fate of humanity in eternity, He stated that the wicked would “go away into everlasting (aionios) punishment, but the righteous into eternal (aionios) life” (Matthew 25:46). The Greek word aionios, rendered “eternal” in the English, is the same Greek word (aionios) rendered earlier as “everlasting,” Precisely the same word is applied to the punishment of the wicked as to the reward of the righteous. Those who are willing to accept Christ’s teaching on heaven should have no trouble accepting His teaching on hell.

REFERENCES

“Revisiting the Abyss,” (1991), U.S. News & World Report, 110[11]:60, March 25.

Sheler, Jeffery L. (2000), “Hell Hath No Fury,” U.S. News & World Report, 128[4]:44, January 31.

 

The Vision of Faith by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2020/01/14/the-vision-of-faith/#more-15177

The Vision of Faith

In 1959 Walt Disney began looking for land to build a second resort to complement his Anaheim, California, park. Supposedly he was not happy with the many businesses that sprung up around Disneyland and wanted enough land to control the development around his next park.

It wasn’t until 1963 that Disney flew over the Orlando, Florida, area and finally decided on this location. The process of acquiring the land and building the park took 9 years. Disney died in 1966 before The Magic Kingdom opened in 1971.

At the opening ceremony Disney’s wife, Lillian, was in attendance. Supposedly someone turned to her and said, “Lillian, it’s a shame Walt is not here to see this. To which she replied, “”He did see it, or it wouldn’t be here.”

Lillian’s response speaks to the power, potential, and value of vision. It also reminds us that one of the great components of vision is faith.

Our theme this year is “2020 Vision: Restoring our Focus.” This month I’m preaching at the Northside church in Pompano Beach on this subject. Last Sunday our topic was “The Vision of Faith.” Here are the main points of that sermon.

#1 Faith’s Vision Sees the Unseen.

The best Bible definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

When the eyes of our understanding are spiritually enlightened (Eph 1:18), we can see the unseen. God our Father. Jesus our savior. The Holy Spirit our helper. And the hope of our heavenly reward.

Like Paul, we can survive any hardship, overcome any difficulty, and persist through any problem when “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (2 Cor 4:18).

The prolific author anonymous wrote, “Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible.”

#2 Faith’s Vision Casts Out the Monster of Fear

Matthew records an occasion when Peter and the disciples were on a boat on the Sea of Galilee at night. When Jesus came to them walking on the water, Peter asked if could come to Him on the water. And Jesus said, “Come on.”

Peter did walk on the water for a bit, but the text says when he saw how boisterous the wind was, “he was afraid and began to sink.”

As little children we all had those monsters that scared us. Whether hiding under our bed or lurking outside our bedroom window, they frightened and either rendered us motionless or caused us to run. As adults, fear will sink us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Fear makes faith flounder. When our vision is clear and we’re firmly focused on our faith, we can overcome our fears. I love the old English proverb: “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And no one was there.”

#3 Faith’s Vision Dispels the Cloud of Doubt.

After Peter sank, and Jesus lifted him up from the water, He said, “O you of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

Did Peter’s doubts feed his fears? Or did his fears foster his doubts? Either way doubt and fear are often coupled together.

Doubt wonders, “What if it doesn’t work? What if I fail?”

Doubt accusingly asks, “Why did God allow this terrible tragedy to occur?

Doubt incriminates God by saying, “Where was He when I needed Him?

Doubt creeps in through the cracks and in a sinister and snide way tells you that you aren’t good enough, strong enough, or worthy enough.

It takes Faith’s vision to dissipate doubt’s depressing clouds.

#4 Faith’s Vision Disregards Unfounded Feelings.

There’s an old country song by Barbara Mandrell entitled “How Can It Be Wrong (When It Feels So Right?) That’s the mantra of today’s world.

Too often our moral and religious choices are founded on feelings. The wise man warned, “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12).

Feelings are fleeting. Subjective. And deceptive. God’s Word is constant. Objective. And trustworthy. “Have faith in God,” not fanciful feelings.

#5 Faith’s Vision Provides Clarity when the Cross Seems Heavy and Hard to Bear.

Jesus taught that discipleship involves cross-bearing. It involves sacrifice. Surrender to God’s will. And self-denial. That’s not always easy. But faith sees the virtue and value of being crucified with Christ.

We may have to bear the cross through times of sickness and suffering. Rejection by family and friends. Financial or personal misfortune. Or tragedy and death. When these occur, open your spiritual eyes and get a glimpse of faith’s vision.

Faith believes what it cannot literally see. Its focus is upward. Its vision is forward. And its eternal reward is to one day see what it chooses to believe.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

ARE THE UNSAVED COVERED BY GRACE? by steve finnell

 

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/are-unsaved-covered-by-grace-by-steve.html

ARE THE UNSAVED COVERED BY GRACE? by steve finnell


Are the unsaved covered by God's grace? No, they are not.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. (NKJV)

Grace is available to all men.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,(NKJV)

Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.(NEW LIVING TRANSLATION)

TERMS FOR GOD'S GRACE
Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved....(NKJV) SEE: John 3:16, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16

God's grace is available to all men, however, only those who are saved by meeting God's terms for pardon are covered by God's grace.

Salvation is the gift from God. Grace is the reason salvation is available.

Does God's grace cover those who pervert or deny God's requirements for salvation?

1. Some teach that baptism is not essential for salvation. Does God's grace cover that erroneous doctrine?

2. There are believers in Jesus who say that Jesus is just one of many ways to the Father. Does God's grace cover that?

3. When men teach that grace alone saves; when they assert that men have no responsibility to believe, repentant, confess Jesus, or be baptized into Christ because God chose them to be saved; will God's grace cover that?

Only the saved are covered by God's grace.

Galatians 1:6-9 .......9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.(NKJV)

Are unrepentant teachers and preachers who pervert the gospel plan of salvation covered by God's grace?

If a man says, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and my Lord and Savior, however, that belief is not essential in order for me to be saved; will that man be covered by God's grace?

If a man says, I have been baptized in water, however, baptism is not essential for my salvation; will that man be covered by God's grace? 

I Sat Where They Sat by J.C. Bailey

 

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/isat.html

I Sat Where They Sat

I have followed with a great deal of interest the articles that have appeared in the Gospel Herald, written by Eugene Perry, concerning gospel papers in Canada. I was at the meeting in Meaford in 1925 when the Christian Monthly Review was transferred from Brother MacDougal to Brother E. Gaston Collins. Most of the men who agreed to support the paper, so it would continue to live, were known to me personally.

The first article I ever wrote for a religious publication was written for the Christian Monthly Review either in 1920 or 1921. One brother wrote to the paper and complained about the members of the congregation not being faithful in attending the worship, so I wrote an article on "Not forsaking the assembly." I contributed reports of meetings quite regularly for the Christian Monthly Review. I mourned it's passing in the Depression years.

Then I was part of the birth of the Gospel Herald, also in the Depression. It could hardly have been born under more adverse circumstances. When it was but three or four years old, it almost died, but it lived, and has lived to this day. I take a great interest in the fact that it has lived longer than any other gospel paper among churches of Christ in Canada.

Going back to the Christian Monthly Review: When it went to Meaford it was put under "Eighteen well-known and loyal men." How could it die? There never was a time that it was not a struggle to keep the paper afloat. What do we mean by loyal men? I know what it meant then. It meant that these men were opposed to the use of instrumental music in the worship and to the use of missionary societies to carry on the work of the church.

No one is more opposed to the use of instrumental music than I am. There is a grave principle at stake in the use of it in worship that opposes one of the cardinal principles which characterizes our plea to restore New Testament Christianity. If Christ is the head of the church and if Christ did not authorize it, nor His apostles, then we cannot use it. If God is to be glorified in the church (Eph. 3:21), we cannot set up a human organization to do the work of the church.

However, is there not a positive side to loyalty as well as a negative? I am sure that if these eighteen men and all other members of the church then had been determined to see the Christian Monthly Review live, it would have lived. The Gospel Herald carries messages that are vital to many nations each month. This must continue and can be expanded. It will, if we are positively loyal as well as negatively loyal.

We do not need more organization to evangelize, we need dedication. We do not need a new paper to preach the gospel in Canada. We need dedication to the paper we have. Have you not seen all the papers that have died in the past? The chance of a new paper living as long as the Gospel Herald would be slim indeed. Why not make the Gospel Herald flourish as it never flourished before?

Let us change the perspective a little. My grandfather was a gospel preacher. He died in 1931. How successful was he as a preacher? How many congregations did he start? How many did he baptize? I am sure the figures would be very small, but he was a successful preacher. When he died he had 98 living descendants and every one that was old enough was a member of the church. I have at least two grandsons that are preaching. Will they do as well as grandpa?

The gospel must be preached to the whole world and passed on to the next generation. If you are familiar with church history, you are familiar with the names of J.W. McGarvey and David Lipscomb. They were both contemporary with Alexander Campbell. I was 7 years old when J.W. McGarvey died and 14 years old when David Lipscomb died.

As I write, an old year is dying. Will it be the last? When you read this I shall likely be in India on my 19th trip. Shall Jesus come in 1987? I can say with the Apostle John, "Amen, come Lord Jesus." I am tired and I need a rest.

J. C. Bailey, June 1987, Bengough, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading for September 28 and 29 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for September 28 and 29

World  English  Bible

Sept. 28

Psalms 112-114

Psa 112:1 Praise Yah! Blessed is the man who fears Yahweh, who delights greatly in his commandments.

Psa 112:2 His seed will be mighty in the land. The generation of the upright will be blessed.

Psa 112:3 Wealth and riches are in his house. His righteousness endures forever.

Psa 112:4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright, gracious, merciful, and righteous.

Psa 112:5 It is well with the man who deals graciously and lends. He will maintain his cause in judgment.

Psa 112:6 For he will never be shaken. The righteous will be remembered forever.

Psa 112:7 He will not be afraid of evil news. His heart is steadfast, trusting in Yahweh.

Psa 112:8 His heart is established. He will not be afraid in the end when he sees his adversaries.

Psa 112:9 He has dispersed, he has given to the poor. His righteousness endures forever. His horn will be exalted with honor.

Psa 112:10 The wicked will see it, and be grieved. He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away. The desire of the wicked will perish.


Psa 113:1 Praise Yah! Praise, you servants of Yahweh, praise the name of Yahweh.

Psa 113:2 Blessed be the name of Yahweh, from this time forth and forevermore.

Psa 113:3 From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, Yahweh's name is to be praised.

Psa 113:4 Yahweh is high above all nations, his glory above the heavens.

Psa 113:5 Who is like Yahweh, our God, who has his seat on high,

Psa 113:6 Who stoops down to see in heaven and in the earth?

Psa 113:7 He raises up the poor out of the dust. Lifts up the needy from the ash heap;

Psa 113:8 that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

Psa 113:9 He settles the barren woman in her home, as a joyful mother of children. Praise Yah!


Psa 114:1 When Israel went forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign language;

Psa 114:2 Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion.

Psa 114:3 The sea saw it, and fled. The Jordan was driven back.

Psa 114:4 The mountains skipped like rams, the little hills like lambs.

Psa 114:5 What was it, you sea, that you fled? You Jordan, that you turned back?

Psa 114:6 You mountains, that you skipped like rams; you little hills, like lambs?

Psa 114:7 Tremble, you earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,

Psa 114:8 who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of waters.


Sept. 29

Psalms 115-117

Psa 115:1 Not to us, Yahweh, not to us, but to your name give glory, for your loving kindness, and for your truth's sake.

Psa 115:2 Why should the nations say, "Where is their God, now?"

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens. He does whatever he pleases.

Psa 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

Psa 115:5 They have mouths, but they don't speak. They have eyes, but they don't see.

Psa 115:6 They have ears, but they don't hear. They have noses, but they don't smell.

Psa 115:7 They have hands, but they don't feel. They have feet, but they don't walk, neither do they speak through their throat.

Psa 115:8 Those who make them will be like them; yes, everyone who trusts in them.

Psa 115:9 Israel, trust in Yahweh! He is their help and their shield.

Psa 115:10 House of Aaron, trust in Yahweh! He is their help and their shield.

Psa 115:11 You who fear Yahweh, trust in Yahweh! He is their help and their shield.

Psa 115:12 Yahweh remembers us. He will bless us. He will bless the house of Israel. He will bless the house of Aaron.

Psa 115:13 He will bless those who fear Yahweh, both small and great.

Psa 115:14 May Yahweh increase you more and more, you and your children.

Psa 115:15 Blessed are you by Yahweh, who made heaven and earth.

Psa 115:16 The heavens are the heavens of Yahweh; but the earth has he given to the children of men.

Psa 115:17 The dead don't praise Yah, neither any who go down into silence;

Psa 115:18 But we will bless Yah, from this time forth and forevermore. Praise Yah!


Psa 116:1 I love Yahweh, because he listens to my voice, and my cries for mercy.

Psa 116:2 Because he has turned his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Psa 116:3 The cords of death surrounded me, the pains of Sheol got a hold of me. I found trouble and sorrow.

Psa 116:4 Then I called on the name of Yahweh: "Yahweh, I beg you, deliver my soul."

Psa 116:5 Yahweh is Gracious and righteous. Yes, our God is merciful.

Psa 116:6 Yahweh preserves the simple. I was brought low, and he saved me.

Psa 116:7 Return to your rest, my soul, for Yahweh has dealt bountifully with you.

Psa 116:8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

Psa 116:9 I will walk before Yahweh in the land of the living.

Psa 116:10 I believed, therefore I said, "I was greatly afflicted."

Psa 116:11 I said in my haste, "All men are liars."

Psa 116:12 What will I give to Yahweh for all his benefits toward me?

Psa 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call on the name of Yahweh.

Psa 116:14 I will pay my vows to Yahweh, yes, in the presence of all his people.

Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of Yahweh is the death of his saints.

Psa 116:16 Yahweh, truly I am your servant. I am your servant, the son of your handmaid. You have freed me from my chains.

Psa 116:17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call on the name of Yahweh.

Psa 116:18 I will pay my vows to Yahweh, yes, in the presence of all his people,

Psa 116:19 in the courts of Yahweh's house, in the midst of you, Jerusalem. Praise Yah!


Psa 117:1 Praise Yahweh, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples!

Psa 117:2 For his loving kindness is great toward us. Yahweh's faithfulness endures forever. Praise Yah! 

 

Sept. 28

2 Corinthians 8

2Co 8:1 Moreover, brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the assemblies of Macedonia;

2Co 8:2 how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality.

2Co 8:3 For according to their power, I testify, yes and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord,

2Co 8:4 begging us with much entreaty to receive this grace and the fellowship in the service to the saints.

2Co 8:5 This was not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God.

2Co 8:6 So we urged Titus, that as he made a beginning before, so he would also complete in you this grace.

2Co 8:7 But as you abound in everything, in faith, utterance, knowledge, all earnestness, and in your love to us, see that you also abound in this grace.

2Co 8:8 I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love.

2Co 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich.

2Co 8:10 I give a judgment in this: for this is expedient for you, who were the first to start a year ago, not only to do, but also to be willing.

2Co 8:11 But now complete the doing also, that as there was the readiness to be willing, so there may be the completion also out of your ability.

2Co 8:12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don't have.

2Co 8:13 For this is not that others may be eased and you distressed,

2Co 8:14 but for equality. Your abundance at this present time supplies their lack, that their abundance also may become a supply for your lack; that there may be equality.

2Co 8:15 As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack."

2Co 8:16 But thanks be to God, who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.

2Co 8:17 For he indeed accepted our exhortation, but being himself very earnest, he went out to you of his own accord.

2Co 8:18 We have sent together with him the brother whose praise in the Good News is known through all the assemblies.

2Co 8:19 Not only so, but who was also appointed by the assemblies to travel with us in this grace, which is served by us to the glory of the Lord himself, and to show our readiness.

2Co 8:20 We are avoiding this, that any man should blame us concerning this abundance which is administered by us.

2Co 8:21 Having regard for honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

2Co 8:22 We have sent with them our brother, whom we have many times proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest, by reason of the great confidence which he has in you.

2Co 8:23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for you. As for our brothers, they are the apostles of the assemblies, the glory of Christ.

2Co 8:24 Therefore show the proof of your love to them in front of the assemblies, and of our boasting on your behalf.


Sept. 29

2 Corinthians 9

2Co 9:1 It is indeed unnecessary for me to write to you concerning the service to the saints,

2Co 9:2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast on your behalf to them of Macedonia, that Achaia has been prepared for a year past. Your zeal has stirred up very many of them.

2Co 9:3 But I have sent the brothers that our boasting on your behalf may not be in vain in this respect, that, just as I said, you may be prepared,

2Co 9:4 so that I won't by any means, if there come with me any of Macedonia and find you unprepared, we (to say nothing of you) should be disappointed in this confident boasting.

2Co 9:5 I thought it necessary therefore to entreat the brothers that they would go before to you, and arrange ahead of time the generous gift that you promised before, that the same might be ready as a matter of generosity, and not of greediness.

2Co 9:6 Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2Co 9:7 Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work.

2Co 9:9 As it is written, "He has scattered abroad, he has given to the poor. His righteousness remains forever."

2Co 9:10 Now may he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;

2Co 9:11 you being enriched in everything to all liberality, which works through us thanksgiving to God.

2Co 9:12 For this service of giving that you perform not only makes up for lack among the saints, but abounds also through many givings of thanks to God;

2Co 9:13 seeing that through the proof given by this service, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the Good News of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all;

2Co 9:14 while they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, yearn for you by reason of the exceeding grace of God in you.

2Co 9:15 Now thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!