For the Gospel

Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (Titus 2:9-10).

Paul wrote these very words to one of his friends and disciples in one of his letters, to Titus. In what we call chapter two of his prose, Paul is describing what the Christian household should look like. That older men should be: sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (Titus 2:1-2). That older women should be: reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5). And that younger men need to be: self-controlled (Titus 2:6). Paul instructs the household to live a Christian lifestyle, so that their very lives reflect Christ, so that their witnessing may not be obstructed by hypocrisy. He then instructs the last member of the household to: be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. Continue reading

A Parable of Unity

getty_510414120_20001125200092800_380320I [Paul] therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:1-7).

What if there was a city like Unity?

Like many cities in the United States, Unity houses several church buildings and denominations; however, unlike other American cities, there is something different about her. Continue reading

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Debatable is Your Presence

Did you know, that it’s a sin to have a Christmas tree? As it says in Jeremiah 10:2-4:

Thus says the LORD:

“Learn not the way of the nations,
    nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
    because the nations are dismayed at them,
 for the customs of the peoples are vanity.
A tree from the forest is cut down
    and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
 They decorate it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so that it cannot move.

Many don’t believe that owning and decorating a Christmas tree is a sin, but there are many others who interpret this passage in a different light, and believe that such trees are indeed sinful. One must be careful when interpreting the Bible, for you can make it say whatever you wish of it, if you take it out of context. For example, I can tell you that all you need to do in life, is to curse God and die. For as Job’s wife told him in Job 2:9, Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” This is one extreme example to show the care which should be taken when quoting the Scriptures. This verse is in the Bible; however, it’s within the context of Job being tested, and the Bible provides enough evidence to show that his wife is not a trustworthy narrator. Or what would happen if I picked Genesis 9:7 to be my verse to live by: “And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”?

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Dragons are Real?

Fire-breathing dragons are terrifying beasts that can spark the imagination with awe and fright. They can also be spotted in gift shops, game covers, and movie posters.

Dragons are creatures that have been a part of man’s storytelling from generation to generation, such as in Beowulf, the Völsunga saga, “Saint George and the Dragon,” and even the book of Revelation. Dragons are magnificent beasts that can be as frightening as Smaug within The Hobbit, or as adorable as Toothless within Dreamwork’s, How to Train Your Dragon. For some reason, dragons have fascinated man for a long, long time. However, is it because we love to imagine such creatures within our realms of fantasy? Or perhaps, is it because we are fascinated with these strange creatures, that may have once walked upon our sod? Continue reading

Traditions

I had the privilege last night, to see the opening performance of our community theatre’s presentation, of “Fiddler on the Roof.” The performance was tremendous! filled with the amazing talents of many skilled Rolla actors and singers. It was also cool getting to see one of the teens in our youth group dance while balancing a bottle on his head, and another had some mad skills with a spotlight.

The play also stirred up fond memories as I watched and sung to it, for “Fiddler” was the first play I had participated in while I was in high school. . . . The story centers around the Jewish father Tevye, who struggles to keep his traditions in 1905 Russia, as his three oldest daughters pursue marriages for love. Each marriage bending Tevye further and further from his customs. The play ending with an edict forcing Tevye, his family, and the other Jews to leave their village of Anatevka. Continue reading

Does Hell Exist?

Does Hell exist?

Yes, I believe it does, because that is what the Bible teaches. Though I don’t believe it’ll be what a lot of people imagaine when they think of Hell, such as no red devils with horns or pitchforks. Yet strangely, the Scriptures are very vague when it comes to describing what this place is like, leaving room for much speculation. (It’s actually Jesus who gives us the most insight about this topic, just as he does about Heaven). But perhaps this is for our own good, so that we won’t spend too much time studying this dark topic, or elevating ourselves as judges who can determine who belongs in this place and who doesn’t. The Lord merely providing us a warning of its existence, and letting us know just what we need to know of the topic, nothing more.

Hell is described as a place of fire and a second death for those who do not repent of their sins (Revelation 21:8), a place of eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46), a place of destruction and absence of God’s presence for those after the Day of Judgement, those who do not know God and who did not obey His Word (2 Thessalonians 1:5-12), a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:50), a place where the worm never dies and the fire never ceases (Mark 9:42-49), a place that his been prepared for Satan and his followers (Matthew 25:41), and a place where Satan will not rule, but be punished like all who will dwell in this place– for he too will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur and be tormented both day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).

I believe Hell is a place that exists, but I want to ask you–do you believe that Hell is real? If you said, “Yes,” then why? Do you believe that Hell is a place because you have read and studied the Bible for yourself? Or just because someone else told you that there is such a place? Continue reading