Archive for October, 2008

Helping out the poor

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 5:10 pm

In this election season, much has been said about the redistribution of wealth – of helping out the poor. Jesus addressed this issue in scripture:

Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. John 12:1-8

When the disciple wanted to take the woman’s ointment, sell it, and give the money to the poor, Jesus rebuked him. In effect Jesus was saying, “If you want to help poor, help the poor with your own money, not with someone else’s.”

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by gahammerle

A salvation message?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 11:45 am

Recently, I listened to a message that at the beginning, the preacher said was a salvation message. As I listened and then he finished, I realized something was missing. He never preached the gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Without the gospel, how can a message be a salvation message? If he thinks that is a salvation message, in effect he has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof. The gospel is the power – not emotional pleas. Salvation does not rely on our power, but on God’s. We can try and persuade men till we are blue in the face, but if the gospel is not preached, no one will be saved.

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by gahammerle

Christian lyrics and the world’s music

Monday, October 27th, 2008 at 9:43 am

If, as we are often told, that “Christian Rock” or “Christian Rap” are evil because they take Christian lyrics and put them together with the world’s music, is it OK for us to take the words of “Jesus Loves Me” and put it to the tune of the Flintstone’s theme song or Gilligan’s Island theme song? What is the difference?

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by gahammerle

Bodily Exercise

Friday, October 17th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

For bodily exercise profiteth little. 1 Timothy 4:8a

Have you heard this verse quoted when someone says that lifting weights, jogging, aerobics, etc. don’t do much good? I have. Many times I have heard that bodily exercise refers to some type of physical activity a person does to stay physically fit. However, it is clear from the context that bodily exercise refers to something else. Let’s back up and see some of the context:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:1-8

We see the scripture talking about religious, physical practices such as celibacy and fasting. Also keep in mind that this was addressed to Timothy who was serving in Ephesus. Ephesus was where the temple of Diana was located. Because of this, the people of Ephesus were accustomed to many religious practices and customs. Bodily exercise refers to those physical things we do as part of our practicing our religion – the rituals we do, the things we will or won’t wear, the things we will or won’t do, etc. Now let me be clear: I am NOT saying what we wear/don’t wear and what we do/don’t do is not important. The scriptures do give us guidelines on clothing and behavior. However, we tend to major on the minors. We focus on our dress standards and right behavior more than we do on the words of faith and of good doctrine (v. 6). We can dress right, talk right, and act right, but if we have not godliness on the inside, it profits little. We do need to dress right, talk right, and act right, but more importantly, we need to be nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. When the inside is right, the outside will be as well. We can clean the outside of the cup, but if the inside is not clean, it still is an unusable vessel. Godliness is profitable unto all things.

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by gahammerle

The prodigal’s older brother

Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Recently, I’ve been studying Luke 15 and the parable of the prodigal son. The Lord Jesus Christ told this parable to address the self-righteous Pharisees. The Pharisees were upset that the Lord showed mercy and grace to sinners – he even dared to eat with them! As part of my study, I listened to a sermon entitled “Let’s Hear It For the Other Son.” Apparently, the man who delivered this message completely missed the point the Lord was making. Following are some quotes from his message:

I like the guy.

This kind of guy is what this Bible conference is all about.

Young people, you be like the brother who stayed home.

This guy over here is exactly the guy you ought to be.

It’s a wonderful party when a prodigal comes home, but it’s a continual party for the brother that never went into sin.

This man continually lifted up the older brother as an example for the young people to emulate! This man wanted his listeners to be just like the Pharisees that the older brother represented! What does the Bible say about the Pharisees? A generation of vipers (Matthew 3:7); hypocrites (Matthew 15:7); hearts far from God (Matthew 15:8); blind guides (Matthew 23:16); self-righteous (Luke 16:15). How could anyone want young people to emulate that? Sure, the Pharisees were good at keeping the letter of the law, but their hearts were far from God. Our young people need to hear messages that will draw their hearts close to God, not messages that tell them how to live the part of a self-righteous, unsaved, Pharisee. The use of the older brother as an example of someone to copy is a complete twist of this scripture and completely ignores the purpose why Jesus told this parable.

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by gahammerle

If you disagree with me

Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I have found out that some of my posts have been misunderstood which resulted in someone being upset with me. For future posts, I will endeavor to explain what I mean more clearly. I also have enabled anonymous comments so if you disagree with what you think I mean, you can post a comment without revealing your identity. Hopefully, this will prevent future misunderstandings. If you do have a disagreement, please provide scripture as that is the best form of correction. As always, please don’t take anything I post as truth without studying the topic and corresponding scriptures for yourself.

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by gahammerle

Satan’s more powerful ally

Saturday, October 4th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Satan is as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). However, God instructs us to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). This implies that we are going into combat against the devil. When he comes around, we are not to turn and flee, but rather, we are to resist him, and he will flee from us (James 4:7). When we are submitted to God – when we are standing in God’s strength and not our own, we can send the devil running from us. We are to stand and resist the devil.

There is, however, something more powerful than Satan that we face. God does not tell us to stand and fight this enemy. God tells us to flee from it:

Flee also youthful lusts. 2 Timothy 2:22a

We are to flee from our youthful lusts. We should not play around with them and think that we can overcome them. Put them away. Avoid them. Our youthful lusts are dangerous. Our lusts draw us away, entice us, and tempt us to sin (James 1:14-15). While sin does have pleasure for a season (Hebrews 11:25), in the end, sin brings forth death (James 1:15). Just as it is important for us to be aware of Satan, it is even more important that we are aware of our youthful lusts and flee from them.

God is gracious, though, in that he has given us a way to be delivered even when we do not flee from our lusts. When our lusts tempt us, God has given us a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). A wise man will not wait to be tempted before he looks for an escape though. He will flee from the youthful lusts before they have a chance to tempt him.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

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by gahammerle


Friday, October 3rd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

The guys over at JackHammer have posted a series of good articles on evangelizing the lost. These articles reminded me of a sermon I preached at my church and posted here a couple of years ago: Go. I recommend that you read this sermon and the following articles at Jack Hammer.

We need to get back to preaching the gospel. Too many people have been taught wrongly on how to be a witness. They’ve been taught a method that makes the person rely too much on themselves and their ability to persuade a lost person to make a decision. We need to get back to the place where we don’t rely on our own abilities, but rather rely on the preached word and the Holy Spirit’s power to convict the lost sinner. We only need to be faithful to following God’s command in preaching the gospel and the Holy Spirit will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

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by gahammerle