The following is one of the lessons from the One Year Discipleship Course, new from Way of Life. $24.95
Abortion is legal in 54 countries today. It has been legal in America since the infamous Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. Worldwide, roughly 46 million babies are destroyed in the womb each year. About one in five pregnancies end in abortion. The overwhelming majority of abortions are done as a means of birth control and convenience.
God’s people are obligated to honor God’s Law more than man’s. Though abortion is legal, that does not mean that it is right in God’s eyes (Acts 5:29).
By 21 days the baby’s heart begins to beat and the blood flows through its body. At 45 days the tiny baby’s brain waves can be detected. By 8 to 9 weeks the eyelids have begun forming and hair appears. By 9 or 10 weeks it sucks its thumb, jumps, frowns, swallows, and moves its tongue. By 12 or 13 weeks the baby has fingernails and its own unique fingerprints; all arteries are present, vocal chords are complete; the baby can cry and recoils from pain. At 14 weeks the mother begins to feel the baby moving inside of her. At 15 weeks the baby has fully-formed taste buds. At 16 weeks, it has eyebrows and eyelashes, and it can grasp with its hands, kick, and even somersault. At 20 weeks the baby can hear and recognize its’s mother’s voice.
Enlarged October 27, 2010 (first published February 10, 2010) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article)-
Many people have spoiled their Christian lives because of bad decisions made apart from God’s will (e.g., wrong job, wrong friends, wrong marriage partner, mistakes in the pursuit of education, mistakes made in moving to another place). And it is not only young people who make unwise decisions; many older and even elderly people have committed this grave mistake.
Following are some foundational Bible principles for making wise decisions in God’s will:
1. Don’t trust your own understanding; trust in the Lord.
See Proverbs 3:5; 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9.
The individual that trusts his own understanding will make wrong decisions, because of the fallen nature. We must seek God and trust Him explicitly. Even though the believer has a new nature called the “new man,” the “old man” is still there and can still lead us astray.
We acknowledge God in all our ways through prayer. Instead of trusting in our own understanding, we beseech the Lord for wisdom and guidance in every major decision. He has promised to lead His people, but we must seek His guidance and not presume upon it. We must “acknowledge him” in all of our ways. It is tempting to think, “Well, the Lord already knows that I need His wisdom and help; surely He will automatically give it.” In fact, God has taught us in His Word to pray specifically and earnestly about all matters. To fail to do so is a recipe for making unwise decisions.
The following is one of the 52 lessons from the new discipleship course Fundamentals of Christian Living.
Continue reading this article……
One thing that a Christian must develop if he wants to have spiritual victory is a testing mindset. This means that he must learn to test everything by the Bible to see if it is right or wrong, true or false.
I thank the Lord that the man who led me to Christ taught me this so that I started out my Christian life with a testing mindset. It has protected me from many spiritual pitfalls. Traveling together from south Florida to Mexico, we stopped at a Christian bookstore somewhere on the Gulf Coast. I think it was Mobile, Alabama. He bought me a King James Bible, and then he pointed to all of the books that were for sale and said, “You must be very careful and test everything by God’s Word. You can’t trust man; you can’t trust the “big names.” The Bible warns that there will be many false teachers.” It was with this wise counsel that I began my Christian life.
Science fiction takes the reader into a strange world without God. Oh, there might be “a god,” a “force,” but it is definitely not the God of the Bible, and the prominent names in this field are atheists.
Take CARL SAGAN, for example. His best-selling sci-fi novel Contact was made into a movie. Sagan was one of the high priests of atheistic evolution. In his novel he has the main character debating two preachers and saying, “There is no compelling evidence that God exists.” In 1997 Sagan said, “I share the view of a hero of mine, Albert Einstein: ‘I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I--nor would I want to--conceive of an individual that survives his physical death. Let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts’” (Parade, March 10, 1997).
Consider another prominent name in Sci-Fi, ISAAC ASIMOV. In a 1982 interview he said, “Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time” (Paul Kurtz, “An Interview with Isaac Asimov on Science and the Bible,” Free Inquiry, Spring 1982, p. 9).
Consider ROBERT HEINLEIN, called “the dean of science fiction writers.” He rejected the Bible and promoted “free sex.” His book “Stranger in a Strange Land” is considered “the unofficial bible of the hippie movement.” Heinlein was a nudist and practiced “polyamory.” He promoted agnosticism in his sci-fi books.
The Great Commission is a name for the work of world evangelism that Christ preached after He rose from the dead. It is called Great because it is repeated five times in the New Testament (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). Repetition in the Bible has two very important purposes. First, repetition is for emphasis. By repeating this command so many times, God is saying it is important. Second, repetition is for instruction. Each mention of the Great Commission adds more instruction. We will examine four of the passages:
1. We see the authority for the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has all authority, and when we preach the gospel we do so in His authority. Thus, we have the authority to go to any nation and to speak to any person in His name. Many people have the idea that “religion” is a private matter, but Jesus has made it our business to proclaim the gospel. The Bible says that every born again person is an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). We go in His name and authority.
2. We also see the work that is involved in doing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
The following is excerpted from our new book Israel: Past, Present, and Future:
“A Psalm for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth” (Psalm 72:1-7).
“He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth” (Psalm 72:8-16).
“His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 72:17-19).
Many wonder why God allows suffering and catastrophes.
To answer this we would say, first, that the trouble in this world is man’s fault, not God’s. When God made man in the beginning, there was no suffering. God made a perfect world for man to live in and provided for man’s every need. God placed the first man and woman in a paradise called the Garden of Eden and gave them only one commandment. But they were not satisfied with God’s provision and they disobeyed God’s commandment and fell into sin. As a result, the world became a place of evil and suffering. This is man’s fault. It is men that lie and cheat and steal and rape and kidnap and bully and kill.
Second, God is holy and judges sin. He is not only a Saviour, He is also a Judge. God warned the first man and woman, that if they disobeyed His law they would be punished, and that is what happened. Because of sin, the world came under God’s curse. This is described in Genesis chapter 3. It is God’s curse that is the cause of sickness and death and many other troubles that men suffer. Men are not innocent before God. All men have sinned and broken His laws; and all men, therefore, deserve to be punished.
The following is excerpted from Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students:
Having often said in this room that a minister ought to have one blind eye and one deaf ear, I have excited the curiosity of several brethren, who have requested an explanation; for it appears to them, as it does also to me, that the keener eyes and ears we have the better. Well, gentlemen, since the text is somewhat mysterious, you shall have the exegesis of it.
A part of my meaning is expressed in plain language by Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes (7:21): "Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee." The margin says, "Give not thy heart to all words that are spoken"--do not take them to heart or let them weigh with you, do not notice them, or act as if you heard them.Continue reading this article……
September 23, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The emerging church claims that Christians are responsible to solve the world’s poverty problem. They emphasize the need for a grand “social justice” program that will create heaven on earth, but it is a vain dream. The kingdom of God will not be established on earth until the King returns from heaven, and until then the Bible says that man will go from bad to worse.
The Bible’s recipe to reduce poverty is simple: obedience to God, honesty, thrift, diligence, and charity. Consider the following study from the Bible’s book of wisdom. This is from the Advanced Bible Studies Series course on Proverbs, published by Way of Life Literature.
Book of Proverbs: Advanced Bible Study Series (309 pages; $19.95)
Continue reading this article……
WHAT PROVERBS SAYS ABOUT POVERTY
Proverbs 10:4, 15; 12:11; 13:18, 23; 14:20-21; 15:16-17; 17:1, 5; 18:23; 19:1, 4, 7, 17, 22; 20:13; 21:17; 22:2, 7, 16, 22-23; 23:20-21; 28:8, 11, 19, 22, 27; 29:7, 13; 30:8-9; 31:20
Billions of dollars in foreign aid have been poured into impoverished nations, but it hasn’t solved the poverty problem there, and billions of dollars in welfare money have poured into poverty relief in wealthy nations like America and England, but the poor are still poor. What foreign aid and welfare rarely if ever do is address the root problems underlying poverty. The book of Proverbs, on the other hand, goes right to the heart of the matter and does not gloss over underlying issues and human responsibility.
1. THE CAUSE OF POVERTY
a. Dealing with a slack hand results in poverty (Prov. 10:4; 20:13). This refers to being lazy, and this is certainly one of the root causes for poverty in this world. Many people loll around, avoiding work as much as possible, and if forced to get a job are not dependable or hard-working and are a frustration to their employers. The Bible says that those who do not work should not eat (2 Thess. 3:10). It is foolish and wrong to provide government support or private assistance to lazy people. It only makes them more lazy.
“LOST YESTERDAY: somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.”
The Bible exhorts us to redeem the time because life is short (Ephesians 5:16), but the average person wastes vast amounts of time that could be spent profitably.
The book of Proverbs has many warnings about slothfulness. The sluggard “deals with a slack hand” (Prov. 10:4) and loves to laze around (Prov. 20:13; 26:14). He likes to “fold the hands” (Prov. 6:10; 24:33). This phrase could refer to conversing about things of no value, watching television, endlessly collecting pop CDs and MP3 files, playing video games, being consumed with professional sports, fishing, golfing, snowboarding, surfing the Internet, you name it. The sluggard is diligent toward folly but he is lazy toward wisdom. He wastes time and opportunities and doesn’t plan ahead and work hard to fulfill wise objectives (Prov. 6:6-8). He is not self-motivated and diligent in the important issues of life, but he must have someone ruling over him and telling him what to do. When out from under this authority and when left to himself he puts off and neglects the important things. The sluggard uses many excuses to get out of work (Prov. 20:4; 22:13). While the diligent man finds a way to work regardless of the circumstance, the sluggard is busier finding an excuse not to work than to find a way to accomplish the work. The sluggard thinks success is 99% genius and 1% sweat, whereas it is more like 1% genius and 99% sweat. Success makes it own way through diligence and persistence, but the sluggard would rather hope for a jackpot. The sluggard has many desires and plans and covets many things, but he will not work hard to attain these things and thus he is frustrated (Prov. 21:25-26). It’s not that the sluggard doesn’t have any ambition; he is going to do a lot of things whenever he finally gets around to it!Continue reading this article……
The following is excerpted from The Tragedy of Compromise: The Origin and Impact of the New Evangelicalism by Dr. Ernest D. Pickering (Bob Jones University Press, 1994, Greenville, SC 29614) --
Franky Schaeffer put it this way: "The clear, loud call for accommodation comes wrapped in the name of the Gospel of Niceness. Sin as the source of all human problems is banished and a call for repentance is rarely made" (Schaeffer, Bad News for Modern Man, p. 45).
Evangelicalism today is consumed with relationalism, the fine art of getting along with people. Bruce Larson, a leading New Evangelical author himself, advises us that "the quality and scope of relationships and the ability and willingness to relate are marks of orthodoxy rather than doctrine" (Larson, The Relational Revolution, p. 32). In other words, the emphasis in theology becomes relational and not conceptual. This tendency, by the way, accounts for a major shift in expectations of the average church member toward the ministry of the pastor. Many want the pastor to center his preaching around "how to" themes rather than doctrinal themes. More will be said about this later.
Continue reading this article……
The following is by Davis Huckabee:
New Testament churches do not naturally die; they are so constituted that they cannot die a natural death. They may, however, be killed, but even in this, they can hardly be killed by outsiders except by the annihilation of the entire membership. Churches are most often killed from the inside; their own members kill them. A church is not just an organization; it is also an organism -- a living thing, and as such, it has the potential of either growing and thriving, or of languishing and dying. The Lord promised that His church, considered as an institution, would not die, (Matthew 16:18), but this only means that there will be a continuity of churches like the Jerusalem church until His return; it does not guarantee the continued existence of any individual church.
How then may a church be killed?
I. BY STAYING AWAY FROM IT
The Scriptures liken church members to the members of a physical body, (I Cor.12:12ff), and just as certain organs of the human body cannot be removed without death coming to the body, so it is with the church, the body of Christ. When the members of the church start staying away from it, this soon leads to its death. Continue reading this article……
May 20, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The following is excerpted from the Way of Life Advanced Bible Studies Series title on PSALMS. ISBN 978-1-58318-108-9. The book of Psalms is a most amazing and wonderful portion of Scripture. It is a devotional book, providing comfort, hope, compassion, encouragement, conviction, and spiritual zeal. It is a prayer book which teaches us how to pray. It’s a song book, a divinely-inspired hymnal for the child of God who walks through this present dark and pain-filled world. It’s a praise book, teaching us the acceptable way to worship a thrice holy God. It is a poetry book that far surpasses anything that the pens of the most acclaimed men have produced apart from divine inspiration. (And the King James Bible captures the exquisite poetry of the Psalms in peerless English, as we show in this course.) This course contains an extensive introduction to the Psalms that deals with its title, splendor, authorship, inspiration, inscriptions, division, interpretation, and New Testament quotations thereof. It then looks at ten major themes of the Psalms (the blessing of the righteous, the importance of the Word of God, the judgment of the ungodly, the afflictions of the saints, prophecy, God as protector and help, praise and worship, righteousness, God as great and holy, and imprecations). Finally there are expository studies on many of the individual psalms, including Psalm 1, 2, 12, 19, 22, 23, 37, 51, 72, 73, 90, 103, 119, 127, and 139. Regular size 7X8 paper binding, 250 pages, $14.95. (For large print or coil binding add $1 or $2 for both.)
Continue reading this article……
Forming as it does the introduction to the entire Psaltery, Psalm 1 is very important. It describes the two ways man can take, the way of blessing or the way of cursing. And it describes the way of spiritual victory through separation from sin and wrong associations and devotion to God’s Word. “This Psalm may be regarded as THE PREFACE PSALM, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This, then, is the matter of the first Psalm, which may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a divine sermon” (Spurgeon, Treasury of David).
January 27, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com) -
The following is from the new Advanced Bible Studies Series on the Epistle of James.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16-18).
James says that effectual prayer availeth much. It changes things in this wicked world. We don’t have to understand everything about prayer to have a fruitful prayer life. It is enough that God has taught us to pray. Christ modeled prayer in His earthly life, and if the Son of God needed to pray, how much more do we! Effectual prayer changes things, and I need to ask myself what things are being changed through my prayers?
1. Effectual prayer is fervent and earnest (Jam. 5:16-17).
The Greek word translated “effectual” (energeo) in verse 16 is elsewhere translated “be mighty in” (Gal. 2:8). The words “prayed earnestly” in verse 17 is translated from proseuchomai (Strong 4336) prosyookhay (Strong 4335), which could literally be translated “and he prayed prayed,” thus emphasizing the earnestness of the prayer. Effectual prayer is not rote prayer; it is not repeating a prayer out of habit; it is not reading a prayer as a mere mental exercise. Effectual prayer is earnest, enthusiastic, zealous, heart-felt.
January 8, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
The following is an excerpt from the Advanced Bible Studies Series “PROVERBS,” which is available from Way of Life Literature.
THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN (Proverbs 31:10-31)
This book, which has warned frequently of the danger of the strange woman and the foolish wife (e.g. Prov. 2:16-19; 5:3-14; 6:24-35; 7:5-27; 9:13-18; 11:22; 14:1; 21:9; 23:27-28; 25:24), concludes with the glory of the virtuous wife.
It is a wonderful token of grace that this description of the virtuous woman was written by Bathsheba (assuming, as we do, that it was). She writes that the husband of the virtuous woman can safely trust in her, yet she betrayed the trust of her first husband by responding to David’s sinful invitation. Of course she might have put herself and her husband in jeopardy by refusing David’s lust, but she would have kept God’s Law and maintained her honor. Yet God forgave her sin and she became a prophetess of truth and righteousness and a spokeswoman for virtue!
Bathsheba exhorts her son to find a virtuous woman. This was probably taught to him as he was growing up. That he disobeyed his mother’s counsel resulted in his terrible backsliding and the loss of most of the kingdom (1 Kings 11:1-13).
This lengthy description of the virtuous woman teaches us the immense importance of the godly wife. She is mentioned in many passages of the New Testament as well (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 3:11; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-6). “And with good reason is so much stress laid upon it, since it contributes as much as any one thing to the keeping up of religion in families, and the entail of it upon posterity, that the mothers be wise and good; and of what consequence it is to the wealth and outward prosperity of a house every one is sensible. He that will thrive must ask his wife leave” (Matthew Henry). “In choosing a wife, fools will follow their fancy, and the wise will act according to reason and the word of God” (George Lawson).
In the Hebrew language Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic. Each verse begins with a different character in the Hebrew alphabet, beginning with Aleph and ending with Tau. This facilitated memorization by Jewish children.
Republished November 5, 2008 (first published April 18, 2005) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
“And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, AS THOU HAST SAID, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.” Judges 6:36-40
God had commanded Gideon to save Israel from the hand of the Midianites” (Jud. 6:14). When Gideon doubted this divine call, he asked God for two signs of confirmation. In the first, Gideon asked God to make a dry fleece of wool damp while the earth around it stayed dry. In the second, Gideon asked for the fleece of wool to remain dry while the earth around it became wet.
While God graciously answered Gideon’s “fleeces,” there are reasons to believe it is dangerous to follow this pattern today in determining God’s will:
1. This is the only place in the Bible that we read about “throwing out a fleece” to test God’s will, and it is in the book of Judges in the midst of apostasy and spiritual weakness and confusion. Many strange things are recorded in Judges, but that does not mean that we should follow all of them. Consider, for example, the foolish vow of Jephthah (Jud. 11:30-31).
2. God had already spoken plainly to Gideon (Jud. 6:14), and he should have proceeded by faith. It is God’s will that we live by faith in His Word and not by signs.
“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Mat. 12:39).
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn. 20:29).
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.... But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:1, 6).
3. God has not promised to answer “fleeces,” and the devil can imitate them.
God answered Gideon’s fleece, but the Bible nowhere promises that God will answer other people’s fleeces.
Before I was saved I threw out some fleeces, but the answer was confusing, at best. For example, in the late summer of 1973 I was riding in my automobile with the Christian man who led me to Christ a couple of days later. I had studied Christian Science, Hinduism, and other religions, and I did not know what to believe, the Bible or something else. So as I was driving along in my automobile I prayed, “God, I am confused; I seek your help. If the Bible is true, let there be a bird on the second telephone pole after we go around the next curve in the road, and if the Bible is not true let there not be a bird.” Well, there was no bird, but that did not prove that the Bible is false!
Consider the case of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He was a Roman Catholic priest who rejected creation, the fall, the God of the Bible, and the Jesus of the Bible. He developed a theory of evolution whereby mankind is evolving toward perfection in a cosmic “christ.” But a few days before his death in 1955 he prayed, “If in my life I haven’t been wrong, I beg God to allow me to die on Eastern Sunday” (“Pierre Teilhard,” Wikipedia). Sure enough, he died on April 10, which was Easter Sunday. What does that prove? Nothing whatsoever!
Fleeces are not sure, but the Word of God is sure (2 Pet. 1:19-21; John 20:29-31).
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:29-31).
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21).
[Distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service, a listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Our goal in this particular aspect of our ministry is not devotional but is TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR. This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the list. If somehow you have subscribed unintentionally, following are the instructions for removal. To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE: go to the web site and sign up or change addresses there: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbis/subscribe.html. We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6). Some of these articles are from O Timothy magazine, which is in its 22nd year of publication. Way of Life publishes many helpful books. The catalog is located at the web site: http://www.wayoflife.org/catalog/catalog.htm Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061. 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail). We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications, but for those who are, OFFERINGS can be made at http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/offering.html PAYPAL offerings can be made to https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=dcloud%40wayoflife.org ]
EAT THE MEAT, SPIT OUT THE BONES
September 9, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
There are a lot of clever-sounding sayings that make the rounds among Christians, and one of these is “eat the meat, and spit out the bones.” Many have written to exhort me to do this, and they mean that I shouldn’t worry so much about exposing error. They wonder why I can’t just “eat the meat, and spit out the bones.”
There is a bit of truth to this saying, in that God’s people are always to exercise biblical discernment when hearing sermons or reading Christian books. We are to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
But the Bible also twice warns that “a little leaven leaventh the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 5:9) and exhorts us to mark and avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to that which we have learned in Scripture (Rom. 16:17). There is great danger in eating the wrong spiritual meat!
What if the meat is rotten or poisoned or hasn’t been cooked or properly stored? The U.S. government regulates how restaurants must cook meat, because undercooked meat is dangerous. When I worked in a restaurant in my youth, I was taught to handle the meat very carefully and to store it properly, because it spoils easily. If you eat meat that is spoiled or poisoned or undercooked, even if you spit out the bones, you will be in trouble. The writings of men like Brian McLaren and Richard Foster and Chuck Colson and Rick Warren and C. S. Lewis contain plenty of rotten meat. Those who advise God’s people to “eat the meat, and spit out the bones,” must explain to us how they know that this “meat” is safe.
Also, what if the bones have splinters or what if you get a bone stuck in your throat? When I was growing up in Florida, I went fishing often with my dad and granddad, and they were careful about which fish they kept and which they threw away, because some had too many bones to eat safely. And Mom was very careful to keep an eye on us when we were eating fish because of the ever-present danger of getting a bone stuck in our throats. This happened from time to time anyway, and it was a very unpleasant thing and, in fact, can be fatal. Likewise, very few Christians are able to wade through sermons or books by compromising preachers on their own and expertly spit out all of the “bones” of error. One of the reasons why so many fundamental Baptists are becoming New Evangelical is because they are reading New Evangelical books and blogs and listening to New Evangelical sermons.
And what if you don’t know the difference between meat and bones? A toddler doesn’t know the difference, and if it tries to eat meat and spit out bones, it will quickly be in trouble. Likewise, the average Christian today is far too biblically ignorant and carnal to distinguish properly between truth and cleverly presented error.
My friends, beware of clever sayings that aren’t supported by Scripture.
We live in a shallow, apostate, carnal age, and it behooves us to study the Bible diligently and to think biblically!!!!
One pastor who read this article replied:
“The problem I have with this statement is that sometimes the truth is hard to swallow, so it is spit out and called ‘bones.’ The ‘eat the meat, spit out the bones’ mentality is pretty much the same as Burger King’s ‘Have it your way’ mentality. Sinful man is always prone to create a hybrid Christianity that suits his tastes and preconceived notions about what he wants God to be.”
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