The debate continues. Extremes are evident. Politicians are divided. The panic button is being pushed. Whom shall we believe? Is there not a middle ground somewhere? I am referring to the current debate on global warming. Books have been written on the subject. A movie has been made to warn people of the impending danger associated with global warming. A former vice-president of our nation has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts to warn us of global warming if we continue to destroy the purity of the very air that we breathe. Yet, there are reputable scientists and meteorologists who strongly disagree with several of his arguments and conclusions. They explain that we are in a cycle of weather changes that has been going on for centuries. And here I sit as a novice and endeavoring to understand matters that are often too great for my finite mind.
We live in an area of our nation where the drought has been the most severe. Our water supply has diminished significantly. Farmers have experienced serious crop failure. Cattlemen are having great difficulty in finding food for their stock because the pastures have burned up due to the lack of moisture. Could we not understand that such might be possible as we consider the reasons for changes in our weather? I know that as humans we do pollute our environment. We all have witnessed this fact. It is good that we are becoming more aware of this problem.
While not trying to diminish the need to clean up our polluted land, water and air, I want to mention another ‘global warming’ that the world in general has very little interest in. We go about our everyday activities without considering the fact that there is coming a time when this life will come to an end. We buy and sell and get gain without fully realizing that life is like a vapor that lasts only for a short time (James 4:13-17). Many scoffers reason that since there was a yesterday there will also be a tomorrow and things will continue as they have since the beginning of time. But read very carefully the words of the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:7: “The heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” He continues by saying, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn” (2 Peter 3:10-12).
Sin is the pollution of the soul. And unless a person has this stain removed from his soul by the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God, our Savior Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5), he will suffer the inevitable consequence of eternal condemnation. Now this is the ‘global warming’ that we should be prepared for by “renouncing ungodliness and worldly passions” and living “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12, 13).
A man visited New York City for the first time and became turned around and confused. One evening during the rush hour, he stopped at a newsstand in the heart of Times Square and asked the vendor which direction was north. “Look, buddy,” he replied in a loud and annoyed voice, “We got uptown, we got downtown, and we got cross-town. We don’t got north.”
While that is poor English, it does depict our modern religious scene in America. In far too many cases, religion has lost its bearing. Some churches seem like enterprises, and others seem like concerts. Still others seem caught up in ritualism or in displaying their righteousness before men. One has to wonder where the cross is in all this. Where is north?
New Testament Christianity is first and foremost centered on Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). Paul was crucified with Christ in the sense that he renounced his former way of life in Judaism and embraced Christ (Gal. 2:20). Because of his relationship to Christ James said he would not be friends with the world (James 4:4). In doing so one would become an enemy of God. The apostle Peter urged Christians not to be surprised that the world would malign them (1 Pt. 4:1-5), and John said the world with its lusts is passing away (1 Jn. 2:15-17). People are motivated to live for Jesus based upon what he did at the cross. Righteous conduct, holy living is encouraged by the sacrificial death of Jesus.
It is the cross of Christ that motivates people to obey the gospel and become Christians. It is no wonder, then, that each of the ten sermons recorded in the New Testament book of Acts focused on the crucifixion of Christ. Our teaching and preaching should give the same emphasis to the death of our Lord today.
Jesus said, “If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (Jn. 12:32). Crucifixion on a cross was meant by the Romans to be a horrible and shameful death, reserved for the vilest criminals. The crucifixion of Christ was preceded by a cruel scourging in which nails and pieces of bones were stuck in the whip to heighten the pain the victim suffered. Usually the victim’s back was laid open by the whip brought across it, exposing sinew, muscle, and bone. While the Lord’s crucifixion was the darkest moment in the annals of human history, it was the brightest moment in divine history in making human redemption possible. Without it we would have no hope, only gloom and despair
We must go back to the cross and stand firm, not moved by the culture of our day or the pressure to compromise our faith for popularity. We must not give in to any substitution of the Christian faith. It is the death of Christ that should be emphasized, not entertainment, social reforms, political interests, or business ventures. It is the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified that is the attraction force that brings men out of a life of sin into a life of righteousness. The Lord did not come to take men out of the slums, but to take the slum out of men. He came to seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10). That remains the only business of the church. Christianity emphasizes the cross in seeking to convert men to the Lord. It does not fall victim to the latest cultural fad, for it is the cross that saves, not culture.
The television commercial portrayed a young family looking wistfully at a pleasure boat. The problem was that they didn’t have enough money to purchase the boat. It was at this point that a particular bank was mentioned as the institution that would provide the needed money to the family through a generous loan. The next scene depicted the happy family driving off in their car pulling the newly purchased pleasure boat. Then the statement was made that “more is better” and for one to come and borrow the money from this bank in order to buy whatever one desired. But, is more, better? Not necessarily so.
It seems that in every age there are those who equate happiness with material possessions. Yet Jesus warned against this idea when he said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). There are some who hear the gospel of Christ, but the “cares, riches, and pleasures of life” choke out the influence of the gospel before it has a chance to bear fruit (Luke 8:14). The church in Laodicea placed too much emphasis on material wealth. They thought they were rich and had need of nothing but Jesus described their true condition as being “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). These brethren were rich in the world’s goods but poor toward God.
We all need to learn that material wealth can never bring satisfaction even if we had enough money to purchase everything that our hearts desired. Solomon illustrates this truth. He had everything a person could hope for in the way of material gain; yet, when viewed from the perspective of eternity he wrote that material prosperity was vain and a mere grasping for the wind; that there was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:8-11). Later, from the deep reservoir of his own experience, he wrote the following, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
The possession of material things does not insure peace of mind, contentment, and happiness. Such qualities of the heart come about because of one’s right relationship with God. Paul wrote that “godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (I Timothy 6:6-8). The wise man of Proverbs wrote in chapter 15:16, 17, “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.” Again in Proverbs 13:7, “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” More is not always better. A person can be rich as far as material possessions are concerned, yet poor toward God. It is much better to be “rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God” than to have everything in the world. Everyone can be happier in this life if this great lesson is learned at a young age. Individuals should seek salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and “lay up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:18, 19).
Over forty-seven million babies have been aborted in the United States since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion in the Roe vs. Wade decision – a figure that grows at the rate of 4,000 every day. About 1.6 million lives were taken just last year – that’s 166 deaths per hour, and one baby lost every two and a half minutes!! One third of the generation born in the thirty-three years from 1973-2003 is missing because of abortion. There are as many abortion deaths each year as there are deaths caused by heart disease and cancer combined. The death toll is enormously high, yet we may recite such statistics without actually considering just how staggering those numbers really are.
Consider this: more Americans have died because of abortion than have died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, both World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the current war in Iraq combined! More babies are killed every day in America than the total number of people killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Where is the outrage? Why isn’t there an enormous public outcry over such an immense loss of life? A most perplexing aspect of this is that so many people who support abortion oppose capital punishment. How can people demand that killing an innocent unborn child is legal and out of the same mouth argue that executing convicted murderers should be outlawed? Groups like the National Organization of Women and the ACLU support the continued legalization of abortion on demand and oppose the death penalty. They argue that since life begins at birth it is not the taking of human life to abort an unborn child. The Bible affirms differently in Jeremiah 1:5 and Luke 1:41. Human life begins in the womb and to abort a child before birth is the shedding of innocent blood and that, the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:17).
Several years ago a panel of Florida judges upheld a $108,800 fine against a man who poached 1088 turtle eggs from a state park. The public defender argued that an egg isn’t a turtle until it hatches; but the prosecutor affirmed that 80-90% of marine turtle eggs are fertile, and therefore each egg must be considered a unit of marine life. The judges agreed with the prosecutor and fined the man $100 for each egg poached! It is legal lunacy to argue that laws protecting unhatched marine turtles are perfectly alright, but laws protecting the life of unborn humans are unconstitutional.
Try as one might to justify this barbaric practice, abortion does not meet God’s approval. Friends, when we can open a newspaper or turn on a television and learn of people protesting the execution of convicted murderers and rapists while “protecting” a woman’s “right to choose,” we have it all backwards. May God help us to stop calling evil good and good evil before it is too late. To prevent an unwanted pregnancy, stop engaging in immoral activity! There are other alternatives besides abortion for those who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy. God’s mercy is extended to those who may seek his forgiveness for their lack of mercy when they aborted a child. Abortion is wrong, but God is merciful.
Several years ago there was an elementary teacher named Mrs. Thompson who greeted her fifth grade class on the first day of school. Seated on the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. In the passing days her frustration with Teddy grew to the point that she actually took delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.
The school where she taught required the teachers to review each child’s past records. She put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. At first Teddy’s teachers gave him a glowing report, but things got progressively worse. Teddy’s mother was seriously ill and finally died when he was in the third grade. His fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery store. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class.
A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Teddy went on to graduate from high school, third in his class. Four years later he graduated from college with the highest of honors. He continued his schooling until he received a medical degree. Through the years he kept in touch with Mrs. Thompson assuring her that she was the best teacher he ever had.
One spring Mrs. Thompson received a letter from Teddy saying that he had met this girl and they were going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.” Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.” Are you making a difference in someone else’s life?
A missionary family in China was forced to leave the country sometime after the communists took over. Early one morning a band of soldiers knocked on the door and told the missionary and his family that they had two hours to pack up before the troops would return and escort them to the train station. They were informed that they would be permitted to take with them only two hundred pounds of stuff.
Thus began two hours of family wrangling and bickering – what should they take? What about this vase? It’s a family heirloom, so we’ve got to take the vase. Well, maybe so, but this typewriter is brand new and we’re not about to leave it behind. What about some books? Got to take a few of them along. On and on it went, putting stuff on the bathroom scale and taking it off until finally they had a pile of possessions that totaled two hundred pounds on the dot.
At the appointed hour, the soldiers returned. “Are you ready?” they asked. “Yes.” “Did you weigh your stuff?” “Yes, we did.” “Two hundred pounds?” “Yes, two hundred pounds on the dot.” “Did you weigh the kids?” “Um…no.” “Well, you’d better weigh the kids!” And in an instant the vase, the typewriter, and the books all became trash. Trash! None of it meant anything compared to the surpassing value of the children.
If only it were that easy for us. If we had to make a physical choice, the choice would be easy. What’s worth more – your child or a computer? If you could only take one with you, which would it be? That’s easy; it’s a no-brainer. But seldom does the choice come wrapped in such an easy-to-open package.
Too often, it sounds more like this: What’s more important – spending time with your family or staying at work a couple of extra hours to get caught up? Many say, “Don’t ask me to make that choice! My family is important to me. It’s just that I really need to get this done! After all, I’m only doing it to provide for them.” Still, there are times when the question just won’t go away: Which is more important?
Man has a tendency to misplace his priorities. We tend to major in minors and minor in majors. We place the emphasis of our life on the wrong things and neglect that which is truly important. Many are like Martha in the New Testament whom Jesus said was troubled and anxious about many things, but had neglected the most important thing. Our attention and interests are focused on so many things that are really not all that important from the viewpoint of eternity. On one occasion Jesus said to his disciples, “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mt. 16:26). Indeed, all the riches of the world do not equal the value of one soul.
There are times when we are forced to admit that we’ve been gathering hundreds of pounds of “trash” while neglecting that which is of greatest importance. The apostle Paul once said, “But what gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8).
May God bless each one of us with the wisdom to choose that which is of greatest value.
An old farmer from the country went to the big city hospital to visit a dear friend. He was told he would have to park in the visitor’s parking lot. He was surprised when he drove up to the entrance that the little gate lifted immediately. He drove right in and parked his car in the shade. He made his visit, returned to his car and drove to the exit, but it didn’t open. It required money to get out. He paid the fare and mumbled to himself as he drove away, “Maybe they changed my oil and rotated my tires while I was there.”
This example accurately illustrates sin. It is so easy to get involved in sin and is very difficult to get out from under a sinful lifestyle. Habits are easy to start and so difficult to break. Satan has always said you can get in now and pay later. Not only does he get the original price back, but with higher interest. The momentary, fleeting pleasure of sin is all the bait the Devil needs with some people. Many people sink into the quagmire of evil without realizing how deadly Satan’s slimy pit can be.
It reminds me of how quickly the gate opened for David’s sin with Bathsheba. He saw her beauty. He sent for her. She came. He committed fornication with her. Then he sent her home, thinking all was well. It would cost him dearly to get out of this parking place. She was found with child from that little night of fun. David committed more sin to cover his tracks. He had her husband, Uriah, killed on the battlefield. David and Bathsheba lost the child they conceived. There was also shame and suffering that came from this sin.
Sin is like a chameleon. That lizard-like mocker can change its colors to meet its surroundings. Such subtlety with regard to sin has overwhelmed many casual souls. Sin is dangerous because the Devil is shrewd and man is gullible.
The Devil causes sin to have a certain allure, but those who nibble at the bait are never really satisfied. The pleasures of sin are deceptive, temporary, high-priced and eternally a poor bargain. They only produce remorse, corruption and heartache.
Young people, how quickly the gate opens for the first cigarette, or that chew of tobacco, that first beer, or that first act of sexual immorality, but it could cost an arm and a leg, or a heart and a lung. You could end up paying the maximum cost – your life and your soul. Sin hides the truth and makes promises that are never kept. Sin is a dead-end street and a hollow, empty, senseless shell.
Let us not be deceived into thinking that just because there is no price at the entrance, there will be no price at the exit. We need to pay attention to Paul’s words to the Galatians in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Indeed, there is a high cost to low living. The pleasures of sin are just not worth the price that has to be paid. However, the joys of Christianity are too glorious to miss.
Some people’s idea of forgiveness involves merely overlooking a matter, at least for a short period of time. They “bury the hatchet,” but leave the handle sticking out just in case they need to resurrect the matter that supposedly has been forgiven. They leave a matter buried as long as it is to their advantage to do so, but are quick to recall it when they feel they can use it as leverage. In such cases, true forgiveness has not taken place.
Thankfully, God doesn’t treat man in that fashion when He forgives him of sin; otherwise, we would forever be under the condemnation of an omniscient God. Jeremiah prophetically pointed to the forgiveness provided man through Jesus Christ when he said that our sins and iniquities would no longer be remembered by God (Jeremiah 31:31-34). God instructed Israel in the Law of Moses to offer animal sacrifices for their sins. In so doing, however, there was no remission or forgiveness. They served only to remind the people of their sins (Hebrews 10:1-3). By contrast, Jesus offered himself for sins for all time (Hebrews 10:12). The basis for divine forgiveness is stated when the writer of Hebrews said, “Apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus shed His blood at Calvary to become man’s sin bearer. We deserve eternal condemnation in the eternal flames of hell, but obedient man does not suffer that fate because of God’s mercy. We appropriate the blood of Jesus when we are buried with Him in baptism (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism is the culminating action of obedience that washes away our sins (Acts 22:16).
There is a direct relationship between our receiving forgiveness from God and our willingness to forgive our fellowman. If we don’t forgive those who wrong us, neither will God forgive our sins against Him (Matthew 6:14-15). We are told to, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Forgiveness lifts heavy burdens from life; whereas, harboring malice and ill-will compounds problems rather than solves them. Forgiveness involves forgetfulness and no longer resurrects old wounds. Is there someone in your background whom you have not forgiven? If so, such an attitude will do you more harm than the other person.
(With but a few revisions this excellent article was written by Ken Joines of Southaven, MS)
If you’re not alarmed by the current state of immorality in this country, you have reason to be alarmed about your own spiritual state. In many larger cities there is a murder almost every day. Some parents are using their own children to film pornography. There are couples living together and having children without being married. What on earth is going on? A Denver-area teacher was recently arrested for having sexual contact with a student. A Fox News anchor said, “When will these teachers ever learn their own lesson?”
Fact is, we’ve always had sexual sin, corruption in government, child abuse and out-of-wedlock births. The difference seems to be that no one is embarrassed by it anymore. Is there no shame? Very little, it seems. We’ve been desensitized. It is much like the experience of Samson in Judges 16:20 where the Bible says, “…but he did not know the Lord had left him.” It is sad when the Lord can no longer keep company with a person, sadder still when we aren’t even aware that he left! Like Samson, there was a time when the United States was incredibly strong – militarily, morally, and in most every way. The entire world respected our strength. Today, however, we find that our moral fiber has weakened significantly and the respect that other countries have of us has deteriorated. How long will it be before our military and economic strength will likewise weaken? It would be tragic to wake up one of these days and say as did Samson, “I will go out as before and shake myself free…” only to find that we have no strength left.
You see, we have created a moral climate where nothing is wrong any more. And anyone who has the nerve to say that something is morally wrong is dubbed a “bigoted, narrow-minded, red-neck,wild-eyed Christian fundamentalist.” Call it what you will, there is no denying that when this nation shoved God and the Bible into the background – when we decided that everyone could do that which is right in his own eyes – we got way more than we bargained for. We lit a virtual firestorm that is now being driven by the winds of evil across these amber waves of grain. The fire is raging completely out of control. And if somebody, somewhere, sometime, somehow doesn’t do something to save us from ourselves, our children and grandchildren will see this country fall completely apart at the seams. I can hear some threads already beginning to rip.
Do you recall the story in the first chapter of Exodus that details the hardships of God’s people in Egypt? At first, the God-fearing Joseph had been so trusted and respected that he was appointed by Pharaoh to the position of Prime Minister. Several generations passed and Exodus 1:6 says, “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt…” From that point on, the people of God suffered mercilessly.
In a similar fashion, unless there is a change in direction, future historians may likely record American history something like this: “Then a new President, Congress, and Supreme Court justices, who did not know God, came to power in America…” We have just now raised the first generation of Americans who no longer hold the Bible to be God’s Sacred Word. Young corporate leaders, politicians, congressmen and even some presidents thumb their nose at anyone who dares call anything a sin. These words of concern do not come from one who is disloyal to his country, but from a patriot who dearly loves his country. May God bless America and may America never forget God!
Just suppose that you receive an invitation to attend a series of religious meetings which is to be conducted by this writer. The meeting is to be for five night, beginning on a Monday and concluding the following Friday. On the first night an exhortation is given relative to salvation from sins. Emphasis is given to the teaching that everyone will be saved eternally, thus, the doctrine of UNIVERSALISM. Tuesday night at the conclusion of a Bible-centered lesson stress is given to the point that there isn’t anything that one can do regarding salvation, that is, some are chosen to eternal life while others are chosen to eternal damnation. The teaching of John Calvin, that is, the doctrine of PREDESTINATION is preached by this writer. Again on Wednesday night you return and hear this scribe instruct people in the way of redemption by teaching sinners that the only way to be saved is to believe in Jesus Christ. This could be classified as being the doctrine of FAITH ONLY. Somewhat confused you are still determined to learn more of the Bible so you come to the meeting on Thursday night. As the lesson is being concluded sinners are urged to come down to the ‘mourner’s bench’ and PRAY THROUGH. By this time you must have some doubt as to the stability of the speaker since you have heard him teaching differently the past four nights relative to salvation from sins; yet, in spite of this confusion you decide to return for the final session of the meeting. The concluding service is an emotional one with much pleading with the sinners to obey Christ. This time however you hear this writer instructing the lost to BELIEVE in Christ, to REPENT of their sins, To CONFESS their faith in Jesus Christ and to be IMMERSED into Christ for the remission of their sins (John 8:24; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). At this you leave the building confused and angry. You wanted to know how to be saved but your confidence in the speaker has been completely destroyed. You determine never to enter a church building again. A hypothetical case you say? Yes, but let’s approach this matter with a few variations.
Just suppose that five different religious organizations in one locale decided to have a series of meetings during the same five day period and you have received invitations from each group. Because of your personal acquaintances in each group you decide to attend one night of each meeting. On Monday night group number one teaches that all men will be saved regardless of their morality. Group number two on Tuesday night emphasizes that some are predestined to heaven and others are predestined to hell and there is nothing that one can do to change his/her eternal destiny. On Wednesday night group number three preaches that one is saved by faith only while group number four stresses that all sinners present on Thursday night should come down to the mourner’s bench and pray through. Friday night, you hear the preacher of group number five teach sinners to believe in Jesus Christ, turn from their sins and upon a confession of their faith to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. Is this a hypothetical case? No, for such situations and circumstances occur practically every Sunday.
Can each group be correct and scriptural in its different teaching? If so could not this writer be as equally scriptural in teaching similarly? If not, why not? Could not this scribe be just as sincere in believing the different teachings as the five different groups in believing their respective doctrines? Is the Holy Spirit guiding man in believing and teaching contrary doctrines and plans of salvations? If this be the case, is God the author of the religious confusion that exists today? Is it more acceptable for a plurality of men to teach different doctrines than it is for one man to teach different doctrines? If so, why? Could you accept the thought that Peter, Paul and other inspired men taught contradictory ways of salvation in their day? Can we not see that the reasons why so many people are confused in religion and why many even become skeptical in the existence of God and the teachings of the Bible? These questions are raised to motivate us all to think seriously on this subject and to search the Holy Scriptures to learn what the truth is as did the Bereans as mentioned in Acts 17:11.