Teach and Help Them


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Teach and Help Them

               Why do people leave the Lord? There are a number of reasons; let me identify some. First, parents talk better than they live; when the child grows up, since the Lord’s way made little to no difference to the parents in the way life was lived, it must not be all that important for the child in his or her own life. Second, what I learn in my science classrooms (through the years), the preacher and the elders can’t or won’t refute (such as evolution). It must be the preacher and the elders are not all that certain about what they believe. Perhaps the preacher and elders have no depth of knowledge to help me as I try to understand the difficulties of life. If they can’t help when science challenges, why should I think they can help in other areas. Third, there is too much confusion in the religious world; I can hardly make sense of it all. All these people who say they believe in God hardly agree on much of anything! Even though I have heard God is not a god of confusion, it seems exactly the opposite is the case. Fourth, I see all these people come to the church building and pretend they are religiously devoted, but then I hear them as they go out the door speak badly about someone or something; I wonder if there is any good that comes from their mouths. Fifth, I have had bad experiences with those who call themselves Christians.                The list could go on, but you get the point. I received an email the other day from The Worldview Bulletin Newsletter that spoke of a research project about people leaving the church (this research was conducted by UCLA; they have a broader understanding of the word church than what the New Testament teaches). The reasons were multiple; the paragraph above reflects some of those reasons. What can we do to give attention to this? First, live what you believe! If you call yourself a Christian, live as Christ did. Don’t be a “fake” Christian. Second, do not have a superficial knowledge of the Bible, but have substantive knowledge, knowledge that can be instilled in the youth because you not only know what the Bible teaches, where it teaches it, but also why it is taught and the importance in living that way. This entails effort on your part, much effort. Put what you learned to good use. Third, don’t make “church going” a matter of convenience or duty, but because you are devoted to the Lord and would rather be no other place. You’ll help yourself by not having too many activities going on. The Lord is your priority, and His saving institution (the church) is your priority also. If you say that you do, and show up infrequently, your children have already learned your priority. Fourth, if problems arise in the church be sure you contribute to a solution rather than the problem. Too many run away. This teaches volumes! Some will turn away regardless, but don’t let that be you. Do what you can to teach them and help them to stay. RT

Walk Sure


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The Proverbs of Solomon He that walketh uprightly walketh surely; But he that perverteth his ways shall be known (Proverbs 10:9, ASV). It’s very important for people to have dignity and integrity in their lives. The word dignity means one is worthy of honor and respect, while integrity means one is honest, having strong moral principles. One’s dignity is sacrificed if the life lived is not worthy of honor or respect. For instance, a person chooses to wallow in pits with hogs engaged in behavior that is destructive to his or her life. This could means drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, greed and many other things. Once this dignity is sacrificed it is exceptionally hard to get back. Associated with dignity is integrity. The strong moral principles that a person should live by, once sacrificed, means the person wanders from one way of thinking to another, like a piece of driftwood on the water. Perhaps in the lives of each of us we have wondered about ourselves whether or not we have cut into or own dignity and integrity, weakening the two pillars in our life that give self-respect. The proverb gives an exhortation that it does not have to be that way, and it won’t be if a choice is made, from the beginning, to choose the Lord’s way. What if I didn’t choose the Lord’s way at the beginning? Then start now. It may be your bad-reputation will follow you, but as you choose to follow the Lord, what was once lost will soon return because people notice the one who walks uprightly, according to a standard not his own. RT



The Proverbs of Solomon. The memory of the righteous is blessed; But the name of the wicked shall rot (Proverbs 10:7 ASV). Sometimes all we have left are the memories. The memories of my dad, your mother, our best friends. If one were to ask, what is the greatest memory that you have of those who have gone on to their reward, what would you say? With regard to your father, would you say he was there when times were physically tough? What about your mother? There is something about a mom that a dad can never fill, try as he might. Perhaps in your family, your dad was the firm, steady hand that corrected the ship when it got off course. It was that way in my family. My mom, on the other hand, always had a role on the ship’s direction, but her role was more in smoothing out the tempestuous seas of the trip. Maybe an over-powering memory in your life was not a good one at all. Perhaps your father or your sibling was something of a scoundrel. The influence they left on you is one you would like to forget. Quite unfortunate, but one that many have when they think of some family members. What memory will people have of you? Will they remember you as a good teacher, administrator, preacher? Let them remember you as one who lived righteously, made a difference with the words spoken and made an impact in life that is immeasurable

Spiritual Death Analogous to Physical Death?


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It is my purpose in this study to set forth an exegetically sound interpretation of Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus on Ephesians 2:1. In addition to this, I will also set forth common interpretations that are contrary to my own. I will give attention in this presentation to the theology of those who are of a Calvinistic persuasion.

NKJV: And you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

ASV: And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins

NASV: And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.

KJV: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins

Williams: You too were dead because of the shortcomings and sins

A brief setting of Paul in Ephesians 1 and 2. CHAPTER 1. Spiritual blessings are in Christ; none outside (1:3). Before the foundation of the world, those chosen to be in Him are to be blameless and holy (1:4). Those chosen in Christ have been predestined to adoption (1:5-6). In Him is redemption, that is, the forgiveness of sins (1:7-8). In the wisdom of God this is made known to us in the life and message of Jesus (1:8-10). It is in Him that one inherits from God (1:11-12). One is in Christ after having heard and believed the message preached, sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). Paul’s prays for the saints in Ephesus, for their enlightenment in wisdom, knowledge and the power of God, which is Christ seated at the right hand of the Father (1:15-21). Seated at the right hand of the Father, He is over all things to the church, which is His body (1:22-23). CHAPTER 2. The saints in Ephesus were once dead in sin because of the life they chose to walk (2:1-3). Paul identified himself with those of Ephesus who once walked the same path (2:3). Even when dead in sin, it was because of God’s mercy the saints in Ephesus were made alive in Christ (2:4-7). It was by God’s mercy each one is saved by grace; saved by grace (i.e., taught; 1:13-14; cf. Titus 2:11-12) means each one is God’s workmanship (2:8-10).

An interpretation frequently presented to me. The saints in Ephesus were once dead in trespasses and sins because they walked in accordance with what they wanted to do, having no regard for what God wanted. They willfully chose to indulge their desires in the flesh (2:3). They were dead in sin without regard to their own will, but because of Adam; they are only able to make things worse (volitionally) in their state of “dead in sins and trespasses.” QUESTION: If they could willfully choose to do this (make things worse), on what basis could they not also willfully choose to turn away from doing this? There is none – except that of a theological persuasion.

Connecting this with Paul’s words in Romans 5:12 and 6:3, one enters the realm of death by birth, the one born does not inherent Adam’s sin, that is, one is not judged by God as sinful based on what Adam did! One enters the physical realm of death by birth, one enters the spiritual realm of death by choice.

Interpretations from varied expositors[1]

“Physical death is a condition in which the functions of physical life have ceased; spiritual death is that where the functions of spiritual life are no longer active, and indeed, apart from the intervention of divine grace are no longer possible…” Again, a few lines later we read, “The incapacity of the unregenerated mind for the exercise of spiritual affections, is what is meant by spiritual death.”[2]

Spiritual death is nothing but alienation from God, and this is because “we are all born dead and live that way until we become partakers of the life of Christ.”[3] Chrysostom (who predates Calvin) does not concur with this sentiment. Speaking of spiritual death, he says, “But the death of the soul is the result of a free choice.”[4]

Barnes seems to take a moderate view. He states there is an affirmation of depravity, affirming the fact of it, but “…it does not settle any question as to their ability or power while in that state” to exercise their mental powers of their intellect toward the direction of God. Even though he attempted to exegete, he later writes contrary to this attempt: in regard to religion, the sinner sees no beauty in it “and no human power can rouse the sleeping dead, or open the sightless eyeballs on the light of day. The same power is needed in the conversion of a sinner which is needed in raising the dead” which means God.[5] I interpret this as a contrary remark to his exegetical attempt.

William Hendriksen recognizes that a person dead in trespasses and sins can do good in a natural world. This good, however, is not done with the attempt to please God and/or obey His law. It is “[o]nly when God turns him is he able to turn from his wicked ways” because he is depraved from the time Adam brought sin into the world; man today is guilty of original sin and he merely adds to it his own.[6]

John Stott said of those who are spiritually dead: they are as “unresponsive to him as a corpse.”[7] He does not speak in an explicit Calvinistic way, but with his words he might as well have.

Man has no ability within himself to change. “Men left in their dead state are unable of themselves to repent, to believe the gospel, or come to Christ. They have no power within themselves to change their nature or to prepare themselves for salvation.”[8] Passage used (abused) to support the declaration: Job 14:4; Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

Analysis of the Issue:

In physical death there are no life functions, including the will (that is, the emotional and mental will). Physical life and everything associated with it is completely over – Hebrews 9:27.

In spiritual death, in contrast to physical death, extant are all the capabilities associated with physical life. That means one can live and go to this place or that; one can think and analyze this issue or that. One can willfully choose what he or she wants to do. Calvinism accepts this, but with limitations. They assert there is no ability within the spiritually dead to willfully move in God’s direction. They grant willfulness in life, but not willfulness toward God. Jesus makes clear with His words in John 5, Calvinism is a lie.[9]

Spiritual death is the result of trespasses and sin, in effect, the sin of disobedience (1 John 3:4). Calvinism maintains one is spiritually depraved from the time of birth, going back to the time of Adam and his transgression. The sinful corruption within man extends to every part of man; thus, the natural man is totally unable to do anything spiritually good, he does not have the ability to choose spiritual good over evil.[10] Passages used to justify this declaration: Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3 (among others).

The only way for one to be saved, according to Calvinist theology, is for God to take the initiative. By itself, this remark is not troublesome; it’s what is meant that is false. Calvinism says God’s initiative activity is more than just preaching the Gospel to ears that want to hear; without God’s initiative to the elect only, that is, in addition to Gospel preaching,[11] salvation does not result. Consider the following points.

  • If one has free will while spiritually dead (to make things worse for themselves), but one can’t choose spiritual life on his own volition, then free-will is not total, instead free-will is limited.
  • If free-will is limited (i.e., spiritual life cannot be secured by one’s choice), then if one is prevented from securing salvation because of that limitation imposed from an outside source; thus, the one who prevents salvation is culpable.
  • This is inescapable![12]

Those who are spiritually dead have free-will to do what is desired; a spiritually dead person perpetuates their spiritual death (i.e., they choose to continue in their disobedience). While in this spiritual realm of death, a person can’t be pleasing to God because his spiritual darkness is a matter of choice (Romans 8:3-7). This means no man can determine his own path to God (Proverbs 14:12; Jeremiah 17:9; 10:23).

The realm of spiritual death is presents a gap, a separation between the created and the Creator (Isa. 59:1-2). This gap can’t be bridged by the created because he does not have the wisdom to know how to do it; neither does he have the capability to accomplish it even if he had to wisdom to do it (which he does not). In fact, that which originates within man is only corruption (Jeremiah 17:9) and can never be anything else. Anything he does that does not have its origin in God’s will falls short (Romans 3:23). Sin and sinful thinking/ways prevents man’s arrival on “God’s landing pad” (so to speak). This gap that exists between the Creator and the created does not prevent the created from choosing to hear and obey.

God, therefore, initiates a bridge (John 3:16), and based on the person’s response to God’s bridge or invitation (Matt. 11:28-30), salvation or damnation is the result. According to Acts 2:21, all who call on the Lord can be saved. Couple this with Hebrews 4:2, we learn the reason salvation did not result with some because the Word preached and heard was not “united by faith” (NASV).

Syllogistic Arguments:

If the Gospel is God’s power to save everyone who believes, it is possible for everyone to believe (Rom. 1:16; 2 Pet. 3:9). The Gospel is God’s power to save everyone who believes. Therefore, it is possible for everyone to believe.

If the spiritual realm is associated with the will/volition of man, and if man is still alive to exercise the will/volition that is required in physical life’s use, then the spiritual functions of life are still active (Johnny Polk).

If God’s message is to be preached to the whole world (creation) which is dead in sin, then the whole world (creation) which is dead in sin can hear and obey (Mark 16:15). God’s message is to be preached to the whole world (creation) dead in sin. Therefore, the whole world (creation) dead in sin can hear and obey.

To show partiality in rendering judgment[13] is sin (Gal. 2:11-14). Calvinism teaches God shows partiality in rendering judgment.[14] Therefore, Calvinism teaches God sins when He shows partiality in judgment (I think this fails meeting categorical syllogistic argument standard; use Venn. Needs work).

[1]  Without the resurrection there are none who are dead in sin because Jesus brought life and immortality to light through His message and His resurrection, having overcome the fear of man, which is death (2 Timothy 1:10). Lazarus was dead (physically), yet when the Lord called out, Lazarus heard. Those spiritually dead, when the Lord calls out through the Gospel, the spiritually dead hear.

[2] Justin A. Smith. Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians, An American Commentary (vol. 5: Corinthians to Thessalonians), The American Baptist Publication Society, 1890; p. 33.

[3] John Calvin. Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Galatians, Ephesians (New Testament: Vol. X). IVP Academic; 2011; p. 276.

[4] Chrysostom. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians (New Testament: Vol. VIII). IVP; 1999; p. 120.

[5] Albert Barnes. Ephesians. Notes on the New Testament: Explanatory and Practical: Ephesians – Colossians. Baker Book House; 1974; pp. 36-37.

[6] William Hendriksen. New Testament Commentary: Ephesians (Galatians-Ephesians). Baker Book House; 1979; pp. 110-112.

[7] John Stott. The Message of Ephesians. IVP. 1979; p. 72.

[8] Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented. P & R Publishing. 2004; p. 25

[9] “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live” (John 5:24-25, ASV).

[10] Five Points of Calvinism. p. 19.

[11] “The gospel invitation extends a general outward call to salvation to all who hear the message. In addition to this external call, the Holy Spirit extends a special inward call to the elect only. The general call of the gospel can be, and often is, rejected, but the special call of the Spirit cannot be rejected; it always results in the conversion of those to whom it is made” (Five Points, p. 61). RT – if the elect can’t reject, can the non-elect accept? According to Calvinism, to ask is to answer!  

[12] Some are easily able to see this but due to a perceived understanding of (or lack of properly understanding) God’s sovereignty, Calvinism theology is accepted with “I just don’t understand, I only accept it.”

[13] Judgment in this context is not exclusively God’s eternal wrath, but includes both wrath and reward.

[14] “Before the foundation of the world, God chose particular individuals for salvation. His selection was not based upon any foreseen response or act performed by those chosen. Faith and good works are the result, not the cause of God’s choice” (Five Points of Calvinism, p. 31; italics in quote-RT).

The Works of God in John 9:3-4


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I pursue this study not because of minutia reasons, but I want to accurately understand the words as used in the context; as I seek to understand, I wonder if there is a peripheral connection with 1 Corinthians 13:10. Thus, in this study, I am exposing my method of reasoning to see if my approach is flawed or can be sustained. While my understanding of John 9:3-4 may not be negatively received, a possible relation to 1 Corinthians 13:10 is not obvious.

The English word works must be understood within its context; the context in John 9 is Jesus healing (miraculously) the man born blind, giving him sight. It is my contention the word works, as used by Jesus in 9:3-4, is best understood to refer to the miraculous, not to good deeds/works in general, which seems to be the general approach of most (if not all) expositors.

American Standard Version: Jesus answered, Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works [ergon] of God should be made manifest in him. We must work [ergadzomai; NIV: we must do] the works [ergon] of him that sent me, while it is day [in relation to that which can be seen or done]: the night cometh [in relation to that which can’t be seen or done], when no man can work [ergadzomai]” (John 9:3-4). 

What are the works of God?

The English word “work” or “works” is used in John frequently (also translated “deed” in KJV). They are in the following passages: 3:19, 20, 21; 4:34; 5:17, 20, 36; 6:27, 28, 29; 7:3, 7, 21; 8:39, 41; 9:3, 4; 10:25, 32, 33, 37, 38; 14:10, 11, 12; 15:24 and 17:4 (a total of 27x in John).

The Greek word translated “work” or “works” is ergon. In the Greek-English Concordance (NIV), the word is used 169x in GNT, translated variously: actions, assigned task, attack, deeds, did, do, does, done, everything, miracle(s), observing, practices, requirements, something, task, thing, this, ways, what he did, work(s). The Greek word has the basic meaning “to work, to be engaged on something” (NIDNT 3:1147). ergon: “in John’s Gospel the word group is specifically used to illustrate the unique activity of Jesus, which is inextricably bound up with the working of God, the Father, as, [for instance] Jn. 5:17…” “Jesus understands his working as the fulfilment of his divinely-appointed mission….Jesus’ miracles also serve this end” (NIDNT 3:1150).

Another word in John 9:4 is ergadzomai, used 8x in John. The word is in: 3:21; 5:17 (2x); 6:27, 28, 30; 9:4 (2x). In the Greek-English Concordance (NIV), the word is used 41x in New Testament, translated variously in John as: done, at work, working, work for, do. The KJV renders the word: work, wrought, labour for.

With the varied translations in the NIV or ASV, the word is multi-functional and is best understood by its use in the context.

CONTEXTUAL SETTING. A common teaching among the Rabbis was the physically impaired was the result of sin in one’s life, expressly conveyed by the apostles in their question to Jesus (9:2; cf. Luke 13:3, 5) and in the Rabbinic response to the blind man in 9:34.  Jesus said there was no act of sin involved in the man born blind; instead, he was born blind so that (Grk: hina, in order that) the works of God would be manifested (“might be displayed in him” NASV).[1]

The pronoun “we” plays a significant role in one’s understanding.[2] Is the “we” understood to refer to Jesus and His disciples or is it inclusive of all those who belong to the Lord in the remainder of this world’s history? I interpret “we” (NASV, ASV, ESV, NET, Charles Williams) as being correct in contrast to “I” (NKJV, KJV, WPNT); I interpret it as a reference to Jesus and the Apostles. If the word “we” is correct and understood to refer to Jesus and His apostles, the term “works of God” in this context can (should?) be understood narrowly, it seems to me.[3] In my estimation, the declaration “we must works of Him who sent me while it is day” presents “book-ends” (if you will) to the longevity (length of time) in which the miraculous will be (or has been) at work. “We” is then associated with the life of Jesus and His apostles.

Often, the words “day” and “night” are interpreted as “as one is alive” and “as one has died” respectively (“night” is the ceasing of works). Thus, with Jesus and His apostles, when they die, these peculiar “works of God” die with them. I understand and interpret the term “works of God” to refer to the miraculous.

If the “works of God” are of a general nature and the “we” applies to Jesus, Apostles, and Christians alike (as most expositors believe), then it is the case only that one in the “night” realm is the one who ceases to work (9:4). Consequently, any man still alive or in the “day” can do the same works Jesus did, which includes the miraculous. While it is “day” the works of God are to be done and, in fact, must be done. If “works of God” is broadly interpreted, room is left for one to understand the same works to include not only works of compassion and mercy but also the miraculous.

MY CASE FOR THE MIRACULOUS. It seems to me the word “works” is to be understood as miraculous, I would even say it is demanded,[4] but especially works peculiar to Jesus/Apostles. If that is not so, then “day” and “night” with a meaning of one’s life/death is problematic. Consider: if general good works are in view (which includes the miraculous), then the miraculous follows or is included in all those who in the “day” and can do the general works of God.[5] If general works of God is the correct interpretation, then no one in the “night” realm one can work when night (death) comes. At least for one, when physical life ceases to exist, it is imperative that all must “get after it” while they are in the “day.” If general works of God is understood to be the best understanding of the passage, then while it is day, all those works that appropriately fall under the category of “general works of God” (including the miraculous) apply in today’s context also.

On the other hand, if “works of God” is specific in application, what is the specificity? My view is the specific is in relation to the miraculous, and both Jesus and the apostles bring the miraculous to a close, when the terms day/night are used in their context, even including those the apostles passed the gifts on to. The words “day” and “night” refer to one’s life, we are told (not an unreasonable interpretation). Perhaps “day” and “night” can include a “window of allowable opportunity” in relation to the miraculous, since this is precisely what is in view with what Jesus intended to accomplish. The “works of God” were revealed in him (the blind man) and Jesus did the “works of Him who sent me” (NKJV).

American Standard Version: Jesus answered, Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works [ergon] of God should be made manifest in him. We must work [ergadzomai; NIV: we must do] the works [ergon] of him that sent me, while it is day [in relation to that which can be seen or done]: the night cometh [in relation to that which can’t be seen or done], when no man can work [ergadzomai]” (John 9:3-4).







[1] If his blindness was not the result of parental sin or his own, the question that follows then is this: why was he blind, and born blind? Jesus does not give attention to his blindness being connected with sin at all. Brother Lipe said it was not that God made the man blind in order to show His goodness later, but it was allowed for nature to run its course, thus the man was blind (p. 395). Hendriksen, on the other hand, said if a reason must be given to why he was blind, it was the sin of Adam (vol. 2, p. 73).

[2] The “we” (NASV) of 9:4 is attested in less than 1% of Greek manuscripts (WPNT), while “I” is attested overwhelmingly in the remaining (KJV, NKJV). Lenski, Comfort speak confidently of the plural pronoun, as does Robertson in his Word Pictures, while Pickering says on v. 4, “Perhaps half a percent of the Greek manuscripts, of objectively inferior quality, read ‘we’ for ‘I’ (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.). Virtually the same handful of manuscripts also has ‘Him who sent us’ (in this verse), but none of the versions mentioned goes along—a curious proceeding” (E-Sword).

[3] I have not “fleshed-out” how “I” would work in this context in contrast to “we.”

[4] An interesting comment from ICCNT (E-Sword): “Nor, again, is it in the manner of Jn. to report a mere maxim of experience, such as ‘We must all work while it is day’ would be. The force of [dei] goes deeper, for the words of Jesus here (vv.3, 4) express that Divine predestination of events which is so prominently brought out in Jn (see Introd., p. clii, and on 2:4). The man’s blindness had been foreordained in the Divine purpose [hina phanerōthē ta erga tou theou en autō (v. 3)]; and in like manner there was a Divine necessity that Jesus should do the works of ‘Him that sent Him’ (see on 4:34 for this phrase). The only reading that brings out the force of the passage and gives consistency to the sentence is the rec. reading ἐμὲ δεῖ ἐργάζεσθαι τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πέμψαντός με. (I tired of transliterating, so I cut/pasted-RT)

[5] I anticipate a counter reply: “It is conceded the miraculous is involved in John 9:3-4, but ‘general works’ still hold sway because of the common understanding of the term. The miraculous cessation approach must be made elsewhere.”


The love of God is perfected in a person’s life when he or she obeys from the heart the words of Christ (Rom. 6:16-18); without obedience, one has not reached a mature state (1 Jn 2:5). Perfection is not a matter of being flawless or sinless (in this context), but the willingness and desire to allow the will of God to control one’s life. It was Jesus who said to those around Him, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’, ‘Lord’ and do not the things that I say?”

The Proverbs of Solomon


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“Blessings are upon the head of the righteous; But violence covereth the mouth of the wicked” (10:6 ASV).

The English Standard Version (ESV) read slightly different, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence”, which seems to give clarity to the proverb. The blessings that are on the head come from two sources. First, there is the source of blessing that comes from those on earth that like being around you and are willing to give you their time and, if necessary, their possessions to help you when you are in a pinch. Second, there is the source that is from the Lord. Living righteously is difficult in this evil world; it always has been. Thus, when one is determined to do so, the Lord takes note and blesses that person with the promises of life. This is done because of the response given to His Son Jesus. All spiritual blessing are in Christ and that means, consequently, there are no spiritual blessings that come from the Lord outside of Christ. On the other hand, those of a different spirit, those who have little or no regard for the Lord, they live by a different standard, a standard of their own making, a standard that can generate violence. You won’t know, though, until it is perpetrated against you, someone near you or you read about it in the news. Even if there is no violence, the wicked who reject the Lord (that is, don’t obey), they have their coming day, it’s called Judgment Day. RT

I’ve Had My Fill!



Perhaps you heard someone say something like the following: “The last time I went to church, some lady named Mary seemed to be very unpleasant. I can move past that, I thought, but when I sat down, I received cold stares because,” I was told, “you are sitting in Brother and Sister Pleasant’s seats. That was it, I moved on. Thought to myself, if that is ‘church,’ I’ve had my fill of it!”

Has this or something similar happened to you? Perhaps not. Many, however, have had an experience like this, maybe even worse. If you’ve had a bad experience, let me encourage to think afresh about “church.”

In the New Testament, the word “church” is directly related to people called out of the world of sin into a world where people assemble to praise the Almighty for the salvation He freely gave and gives to each. With all the baggage they should have left behind, many present themselves to the Lord with it. Sue has been divorced three times and now married to her fourth husband. Mike has spent the last eighteen years fighting his drug addiction. Tim and Mary have children that are very undisciplined because Tim and Mary are also undisciplined. The list of all the baggage that people bring goes on and on. I, too, have my own baggage.

Yet, here they are inside a building where people gather together to be taught the Lord’s word, sing and praise His holy name in worship. Not a one has lived life without some blotch (or many) on their personal record of failings. Some hide it well; others live with it openly.

After a moment’s reflection, is it not best to be in the environment where people gather to praise the Lord and taught His holy way? It was Peter who said to the Lord, after the Lord asked His disciples if they were also going to turn away from Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” To whom will you go?

Why not consider, again, the Lord’s church and what He intended the church to be, spiritually sick people who recognize the Lord’s mercy and in real need of it.  RT

(Written for House to House and heart to Heart for our Fall mailing)

The Basic Foundation of Society

What is the foundation of society? It starts with law, God’s Law and moral foundation. Then, it begins with His creation of a person, a person who can generate physical descendents after him, but this can’t be done without another person of the opposite sex. In the Garden of Eden, the Lord created the male and the female. With these two, as He brought them together, the Lord set in motion the foundation of society.

From the union of the male and the female comes children. The foundation begins with two, then three, four, five, etc. With this foundation there are roles; people have roles within the family and within the larger section of the community. The roles assigned by God to the male and female are thus: the head of the family is the male/husband/father with the female/wife/mother in support of her husband and in submission. This submission is NOT a relegated subservient role, but a role every bit as important as the role the male serves as the head. It is to the wife/mother the Lord charged the female to raise her family. Think about it for a moment. Who has the greatest influence in the family? They both have great influence, but it is the mother who wields the most. If the family is raised after the pattern of the Lord, the influence can’t be any other way. She who rocks the cradle has the greatest impact on society!

In today’s environment this is not readily accepted. It is not accepted because society has rejected the ways of the Lord. Many in society desire to usurp God-ordained roles, to relegate the children to daycare and to have careers for themselves and teach their children to tend to themselves with electronic toys and things of this sort. Husbands, if not for the male instincts created by the Lord , would hardly know what to do in a very confused world. Wives have become very confused also. They are to have a career, have a model-looking appearance, bare children (if wanted) and, if necessary, kill them if they get in the way!

Today, in a secular-oriented world, there is no need for marriage and commitment; all one needs is to have a live-in-arrangement. If that does not work, then let us be confused more by having two people of the same sex living together as if the two were married, if that is not good enough let us have people confess their confusion with regard to gender.

Yes, our liberal/progressive society is plagued by the evils of Satan. The foundation of society is now crumbling. If not for traditional folk, it would be all but gone. It’s starting to wear on them, however, because many of them are having the moral compass by which they live chipped away.

O’ Lord, come! RT


The Proverbs of Solomon


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He that gathereth in summer is a wise son; But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame (10:5 ASV).

It should go without saying there is great productivity in working. It should go without saying, but it can’t. I have heard time and again the generation coming out of high school the last few years have little interest in working and being productive. They have adopted the mindset they are to be given something rather than working for it. If they get it not, they cry foul and blame others for not getting it. Not all who are coming out or have already graduated are of this selfish way of thinking, but there are many who think this way. I have heard, at least three times, employers can hardly keep the younger generation employed. They come in to the work force after being hired with a very good start-up wage, only to leave when the going (job) gets tough or when they learn there is responsibilities day to day that must be met. The proverb deals with this type of thinking. What makes it worse are those who bail out the people who refuse to work. Why not let them learn hard lessons? “It’s so unloving” we are told. How loving is it to bail out the lazy, not teaching them to be responsible? When your child misbehaves make your discipline worth the effort, when he refuses to work let him go hungry. RT