Daily Archives: July 11, 2014

Questions about False Doctrine: Should Christians Seek after Spiritual Enlightenment?

 

First let’s define “Christian.” According to the Bible, a Christian is a disciple of Christ (Acts 11:26), one who has made Jesus Christ the Lord of his or her life and has been “born again” into the family of God (John 3:3). The very act of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the ultimate spiritual enlightenment, because Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). When we invite Him into our lives, He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within our spirits (1 Corinthians 6:19). What was dead inside comes to life; what was dark becomes light. So a born-again Christian has already attained true spiritual enlightenment.

The term “spiritual enlightenment” usually has overtones of New Age and Eastern mysticism, tracing its roots to man-made religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Gnosticism. Teaching the goodness of the inner self, transcendentalism, or the worship of angels is contrary to Scripture (Romans 3:23; Colossians 2:18). Jehovah God is the ultimate Spirit, and any search for “enlightenment” must lead to Him, through His Son, or it is a false religion (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 45:5; John 14:6).

The goal of spiritual enlightenment is to satisfy the human longing for immortality and purpose. People have attempted to meet that longing through a variety of emotional experiences that they call “god.” But we cannot create our own gods. Nor can we decide how we will approach the real God. He already exists, and the only way a human being can truly know Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 10:30; 14:6). Because of our sinful state, we cannot come to a holy God by any other means. All paths do NOT lead to God, regardless of how sincere the seeker may be (John 3:16–18). Jesus is the way. Any religion or movement that offers another path to spiritual wholeness is leading away from true enlightenment, not toward it.

God said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). We seek Him by getting to know Him through His Word (John 17:17), accepting His Son’s sacrifice for our sin (Romans 10:9), and living a life guided by the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). As we grow in our faith, our understanding deepens (Proverbs 9:10; 2 Peter 3:18). We begin to see life from God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8–9), and, as we obey Him, we acquire wisdom (Psalm 128:1; Proverbs 2:6). So, within that context, Christians should absolutely seek spiritual enlightenment. To know God and align our will with His is the ultimate goal of human existence. The more we know Jesus Christ, the more enlightened we are (John 1:4–5). Any other path leads only to darkness (Matthew 22:13).[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Theology: What Is the Dispensation of Conscience?

 

Dispensationalists see that God has worked with different people in different times in different manners. Usually, seven dispensations are identified: Innocence, Conscience, Government, Promise, Law, Grace, and Millennial Kingdom. Each dispensation reveals a six-fold pattern involving the stewards of the dispensation, their responsibility, a specific period of time, a failure, the resulting judgment, and God’s grace.

The second dispensation is that of Conscience—Genesis 3:23 to 8:19.

Stewards: Cain and Seth and their families The Period: From man’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden until the Flood, a period of about 1,656 years Responsibility: To do good and offer blood sacrifices (Genesis 3:7, 22; 4:4) Failure: Wickedness (Genesis 6:5–6, 11, 12) Judgment: The worldwide Flood (Genesis 6:7, 13; 7:11–14) Grace: Noah and his family are saved (Genesis 6:8–9; 7:1; 8:1)

During the dispensation of Conscience, mankind only became worse and worse. Guided by conscience, man was supposed to choose to do good and approach God by means of a blood sacrifice (Genesis 4:4). It was during this time that the first death occurred, when Cain slew his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). God had accepted Abel’s animal sacrifice but not Cain’s grain sacrifice. Before the murder, God warned Cain of impending sin and told him that he could still choose to do well (Genesis 4:6–7). Cain had the opportunity to bring a proper sacrifice, after he saw what pleased God. But Cain let jealousy cloud his eyes. Cain demanded that God be pleased with his own efforts and refused to follow God’s plan. This kind of thinking still plagues mankind today, as people attempt to approach God on their own terms rather than on God’s terms.

Mankind violated his conscience and failed in his responsibility to choose to do right. Apparently, God wanted man to discover that he could not let his conscience be his only guide. Conscience proved to be a very poor guide, indeed. Out of all that lived in this dispensation, only Abel, Enoch, and Noah were called righteous (Hebrews 11:2–7; Genesis 5:22–24; 6:8–9). Genesis 6:5 states, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” The Lord’s solution was to destroy man from the face of the earth, along with all land-dwelling animals (verse 7). “But Noah found favor [grace] in the eyes of the LORD” (verse 8).

Noah warned his contemporaries for 120 years as he built the ark and as the LORD showed His great patience. God as the righteous Judge must deal with sin, and judgment was often quick and severe in the Old Testament. His judgment then—and His grace within that judgment—should inform us today. “For if God … did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly … then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment” (2 Peter 2:4, 9). The heathen today are under the same responsibility as mankind was from the Fall to the Flood, with their “conscience bearing witness” (Romans 2:15).

God extended grace to Noah and his family and gave instructions to build the ark and established His covenant with them (Genesis 6:14–22). God saved eight people and brought them forth into a new dispensation (Genesis 7:1; 8:1; Hebrews 11:7). The apostle Peter uses God’s grace to Noah as an illustration of God’s grace today to us who are saved by faith. Just as Noah and his family were “brought safely through the water,” we are saved by the baptism of the Holy Spirit—“not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:19–21).[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Family / Parenting: How Should Christian Parents Respond If One of Their Children Comes out as Gay?

 

If a child reveals his or her homosexuality, the first thing for Christian parents to do is let their child know that, no matter what, love and grace will win the day. Mom and dad’s love will continue, regardless. First John 4:8 says, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).

All parents need to remember that our children (like ourselves) have heart issues. We’re not trying to put good fruit on bad trees; we are passionately praying for our wayward children that God would change the roots of the tree—that He might remove their heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh (see Ezekiel 36:26).

Parents should also encourage a child who has “come out” not to define himself as a “homosexual.” It’s important to ask questions: Are you in a relationship? Is the relationship sexual or platonic? Have you acted out your feelings of same-sex attraction, or are they just thoughts you have? Parents can come alongside a struggling child and help him see that he is not “gay” simply because he has homosexual thoughts. Rather, he is struggling with homosexual desires or same-sex attraction.

The difference between struggling with homosexuality and identifying oneself as gay may seem subtle, but it is a huge distinction, and here’s why. God never created us to be homosexual. In Christ that is not who we are. In Christ we are a new creation. Christians may struggle with impatience, idolatry, lust, or pride. Christians may struggle with same-sex attraction, but that does not make them homosexuals. We are new creations in Christ.

So, Christian parents can approach their child as broken people and offer to struggle together through their imperfections. It is important that we never communicate to those who have same-sex tendencies that their sin is the worst of all sins. Yes, homosexuality is sinful, but not to a level above that of heterosexual lust or lying or pride. The truth is we are all broken, and we all need help to remain pure.

Also, Christian parents should make clear their biblical convictions, but only after they have established a basis of love and grace and empathy and compassion. Your children need to know that the Bible is the supreme authority on all matters of faith and conduct. Not mom, not dad, not peers, not the church. And the Bible says that homosexuality is counter to God’s intended purpose for human beings. Sexuality must be heterosexual in nature and within the boundary of marriage.

If a child says, “I am homosexual. That’s the way it is, and I don’t care what God thinks,” then clearly the parents are back at step one. This child needs a serious heart change, and only God can change the heart. Sin is a heart problem, and until God changes the heart and the child is gripped by the grace of God, nothing will matter. A parent’s convictions will not matter. The letter of the law will not matter. Love is key. It is what drove the prodigal son back to the arms of his father (Luke 15:11–32), and it is, according to the apostle Paul, the greatest of gifts (1 Corinthians 13:13).[1]

 

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

End Times Prophecy Headlines: July 11, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
July 11, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

ISRAEL: More to come in Gaza operation

NORTH KOREA:North Korea’s Hidden Car Culture

NORTH KOREA: North Korea’s Creepy Fake Civilian Village Fools No One

JAPAN: Japan Is Building The Ferrari Of Trains

===NATIONAL

THE 24/7 IMMIGRATION MEDIA CIRCUS: Texas Militia sets up Texas command center to fight for national sovereignty – If there’s one thing worse than a cheap politician grandstanding for the camera, it’s a cheap militia doing the same thing.

Another media story about the Dollar fading – There’s a sense that, at some point, the dollar will fade.  However, there’s also the sense that the Corporate Media has been warning Americans of this possibility for the last five years–every week.

Three reasons to impeach Obama

Wall Street Journal: The Impeachment Delusion – Let’s see, roll back the clock eight years…

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As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:3-5 ESV)

For what reason did the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ chose (elect) all in Christ before the foundation of world? It was that they would be holy (ἁγίους) and blameless (ἀμώμους) before him. The Puritans have always been accused of being legalistic and way too concerned about Christians living holy and blameless lives. I heard a Jeopardy clue not long ago that actually defined this aspect of them as being “harsh” and “stern.”…

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