Jesus: “Stop Sinning Or Else”

Remember the story where Jesus healed the man by the pool of Bethesda? John 5:14 says:

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

Notice what Jesus did not say:

  • Do whatever makes you happy.
  • Live your best life now.
  • Think more positive thoughts.

Nope. Jesus essentially told the man to repent of his sins or experience divine judgment. Jesus did not ignore the man’s sins. He confronted them. It was the most loving thing Jesus could have done and we should do likewise.

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Don’t Sell Short the Gospel

Here is a passage of Scripture that we’ve no doubt heard:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

The list is interesting. Thieves and adulterers. Greedy people and idolaters. Drunkards and homosexuals. I don’t think Paul is trying to equate any of these sins with each other– other than the fact that they are sins and they prevent access into God’s kingdom. And since homosexuality seems to be the popular topic these days, let me clarify. When looking at the issue of homosexuality being a sin, Paul is not just talking about underage male prostitutes as some liberals attempt to portray. The Greek term used here refers explicitly to the “active” and “passive” roles in the homosexual relationship. Men having sex with men is definitely sinful.

But if that’s all we preach, we are selling short the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (more…)

A Biblical Response to “Should We Be So Opinionated?”

While attempting to answer the difficult question, “Should We Be So Opinionated?“, the author asserted that Christians aren’t asked to defend the faith. Here’s the quote:

…making disciples isn’t about defending our faith (something were never asked to do)…

Scriptures most definitely affirm the Christian’s responsibility to defend our faith. Consider these passages: (more…)

How Do We Know What Books Should Be in the Bible?

The early church recognized the “stamp of divine inspiration” early on. The main attributes that caused these early church leaders to recognize the writings to be divine and, therefore, necessary for inclusion into the canon were apostolicity, orthodoxy, antiquity, and ecclesiastical usage. (more…)

The Importance of the Revelation of God

Transcendence and revelation are two of the most important themes found in the Bible. According to Merriam-Webster, “transcend” means “to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence).”1 When theologians say that God is transcendent, they refer to the fact that God exists outside and independent of the universe that he created. John Oswalt describes the Bible as saying “God is not the cosmos, and the cosmos is not God.”2 The understanding of the concept of transcendence is important when studying the revelation of God. If God does not exist outside of the creation, what insight could God possibly offer to humanity that could not be ascertained by someone, given enough time and effort?

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Memorial Day

Men gave their lives for the freedom of nations from oppressive governments. Christ gave his life for the freedom of humanity from the bondage and punishment of sin. Repent, believe, and experience true liberty.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5)

The Bible: All or Nothing

John N. Oswalt asserts that the theological reliability of the Bible depends, in part, on its historical reliability. Oswalt assumes an all-or-nothing approach in determining the Bible’s trustworthiness. Oswalt’s approach seems appropriate for two reasons. First, when an account has been proven to be inaccurate in one area, it follows that the accuracy of the other accounts ought to be called into question. Second, the Bible itself allows no room for partial accuracy. The Bible’s authors explicitly state that its source is divine in nature.

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The Call of Abraham

The Call

Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
(Genesis 12: 1-3)

The Patriarch

Abraham’s legacy is arguably one of the greatest ever. Three major world religions point to Abraham as its patriarch: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. (more…)

Stay in the Light

Think about what it is like to walk along a wooded path in complete darkness. Perhaps a hike through the forest took a little bit longer than expected and, with an overcast sky, some unprepared hikers must attempt to find their campsite without any flashlights or illumination from the moon and stars. Such an analogy comes to mind when I read the first chapter of 1 John. (more…)

The Name of God

tetragrammaton

The tetragrammaton in Hebrew.

Jehovah’s Witnesses stress the importance of using God’s proper name, Jehovah, when referring to the Heavenly Father. The name ‘Jehovah’ is actually one of the transliterations used when referring to the Hebrew word used for God, YHWH. The other commonly used transliteration is the name ‘Yahweh.’ Jews often used the word Adonai (translated ‘Lord’) in place of YHWH (also referred to as the tetragrammaton) out of fear and reverence to God. Most English translations of the Bible use the word ‘LORD’ (all caps) in place of YHWH. Although, some versions (such as the King James Version) use the name ‘Jehovah’ in select passages. An example of this is found in the book of Psalms: (more…)