Antipodean59's Blog

Restored New Testament Christianity

Archive for the tag “Apostasy”

Thought for the week

Ok, so where am I going wrong?

The sometimes testy subject of fellowship is on my mind this week. I say “testy” because fellowship circles in the church invariably bring with it issues associated with error. Let me explain by way of a theoretical example.

A brother in Christ who has for years been revered as having an exemplary record regarding biblical study by upholding the Pauline call to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15) and lived life in pursuit of “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (II Timothy 2:22) then, out of the blue, with inexplicable audacity publically serves up a lesson from a “different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). One is left wondering, “What gives?” So with grace and humility words are exchanged “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6) over an extraordinary length of time not just by me but many faithful brethren seeking to correct ‘if God perhaps will grant them repentance” (II Timothy 2:24-26) but, alas, to no avail. To this day he remains defiant even accusing correctors of being dishonourable and inciting division.

Now, having pursued a course of “proving all things” as true and correct from the scriptures to show the errant one’s departure from the truth to brethren who fellowship him via personal contact, using him in church outreach programmes etc. and endeavouring to point out with the same attitude displayed to the errant one that such contact and association is “sharing in his evil deeds” (II John 2:11), I and faithful brethren are the ones rejected and found to be dishonourable even to the point of misapplying II John 9-11. Have I misapplied II John 9-11? I do not believe so. A.T. Robertson, Baptist (1863-1934) says the text is dealing with those who progress beyond the doctrine of Christ not about Christ. Adam Clarke, Methodist minister (1762-1832) said, “He who passes over the sacred enclosure, or goes beyond the prescribed limits; and abideth not in the doctrine – does not remain within these holy limits, but indulges himself either in excesses of action or passion; hath not God for his Father, nor the love of God in his heart.” Which brings me to the title of this week’s thought for the week, where am I going wrong? Are you willing to help me out using scripture, of course?

Graham

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Have it your way; God will not be there!

Refuting those who say Jesus will return to reign on Earth

Many who subscribe to the unscriptural position that Jesus is coming back to earth and will reign on the throne of David in Jerusalem will surely be disappointed according to this outline.

The fact is, the Bible is mans only guide to matters concerning the Kingdom of God and it clearly implies the premillennial doctrine is fantasy.

Graham

Be prepared or you will suffer

Degrees of Punishment

“But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.” (Matthew 11:22)

The subject of eternal hell is so repugnant to the modern ungodly world that people desperately search for some scientific rationale to justify their rejection of God’s Word. Charles Darwin was an example. He became an apostate from Christianity, not because of his scientific “discovery” of natural selection, but because of Christ’s teachings that unbelievers (including his own father) would end up in hell.

Nevertheless “the fearful, and unbelieving . . . and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). These are words from God Himself!

But is there no difference in the punishment of, say, blaspheming and wicked unbelievers and the mere careless unbeliever? Yes, there is. As Christ said, the idolatrous inhabitants of Tyre would have repented if they had seen His mighty works, but the Galileans of Chorazin and Bethsaida who had seen His miracles and heard Him preach had not. Consequently they will suffer more.

Similarly, He said concerning those who would reject the gospel preaching of His disciples that “it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city” (Matthew 10:15). The wicked populace of Sodom, “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh,” will suffer “the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), but even greater punishment awaits those who willfully reject God’s love in Christ.

There will, indeed, be degrees of punishment in hell, but they will be determined largely in proportion to degrees of “light” rejected. This is an unwanted–but urgently needed–message in these last days!

By Henry Morris (Institute of Creation Research)

 

 

Ok, so you believe in Jesus, huh?

Many people throughout the past couple of thousand years have believed in Jesus Christ. In fact, many believed in Him before He was “born of a woman, born under the Law” (Galatians 4:4). Yes, that’s right, they believed the Law and the Prophets that not only spoke of His coming but that He would also abolish the Law of Moses and fulfil the Prophets’ prophecies of which one was to “make a new covenant” (cf Jeremiah 31:31ff; Matthew 5:17 and Colossian 2:14) and God’s people would have a “new name” (Isaiah 62:2; Acts 11:26; I Peter 4:16).

It is one thing to believe in someone and another thing to do as he says. This is precisely what Jesus was getting at in Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Contextually He addresses the religious hypocrites of His day:

  • The rich who live it up yet ignore the poor.
  • The religious who are respected by their fellow man but are guilty of believing in false teachers.
  • The seemingly pious men of love but are really bigots of the highest degree.
  • The outward generous looking who, in reality, are seeking a reward of some kind for that generosity.

Oh, they believe, alright, so long as it fits their definition of belief.

It is no different today. Let’s see, what about this list below, do you fit one or more of the following? Are you one who announces belief in Christ but yet your actions actually deny Him?

  • You might be one who says one can be a Christian without the need to attend church. Really? Jesus says: He would build his church (Matthew 16:18), Paul said Jesus purchased the church with the blood shed at Calvary (Acts 20:28).  So, the Saviour goes to such lengths for His followers only for you to say it is not necessary – think again.  The church; that is, those called out from the world aka disciples were “first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

Why do you call Jesus your Master yet do not obey Him, for you cannot be a Christian unless you have been added to the church of Christ for Christian and the church are one and the same.

  • You might be one who says one can belong to a denomination such as the Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist etc and be recognised as a Christian. Really? How can this be when Jesus only promised to build His “church” [singular]. There is no mention of churches with names such as that which encompass today’s so-called “Christianity”. In fact, before 1500 AD the vast majority had not yet come into existence. Until after this date Henry the VIII had not stolen the Roman Catholic chattels and started the Church of England. Calvin had not written his theses of repudiation of corrupt Roman Catholic dogma, nor had Luther pinned his theses up on their door at Wittenberg.  John Wesley had not formulated his methodology of study that led to followers in what is called the Methodist Discipline nor had John Smyth gone into apostasy from the church of Christ to form what is now known as the Baptist Church and so on we could go. Even the Roman Catholic Church did not come into being until well after the Council of Nicea (c. 325 AD) despite their claim that Peter was the first Pope as per the nonsense they derive from Matthew 16:18. Besides all of this, Paul condemned sectarianism in I Corinthians 1:10-17; Galatians 1:6-9.

Why do you call Jesus your Master yet do not obey Him, for you cannot be a Christian and a member of a man-made denomination; the very idea is foreign to the New Testament. There is only one church of Christ provable because they follow only that which the New Testament authorises, for “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:11).

  • You might be one who says your religious leader, who might be known as say “Pastor”, “Reverend”, “Pope” or whatever title your church has designated those to  lead you, will tell the truth on how and what I should do to be a Christian. Really? Jesus said that if you truly love Him you will keep his commands (John 14:15). Paul said it is up to you, as an individual, to determine the truth by “rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). You, personally, will be judged at the end of time by this standard which is whether you have rejected or kept the word of Christ (John 12:48). You, not your advisor, must do a self examination to see if you are really in the faith (II Corinthians 13:5). Besides, how can you trust men or, as is fashionable in these post-modern times, women leaders to advise you correctly when they cannot even understand this basic teaching of Jesus: “be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matthew 23:8). Paul says women are to remain silent and not usurp authority given exclusively for men to lead (I Corinthians 14:34; I Timothy 2:12ff).

Why do you call Jesus your Master yet do not obey Him, for you cannot be a Christian on the advice of men; rather it is the “word implanted [which] is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). You see, your faith can only come about in an authentic way by hearing and applying that faith which God has given through Christ (Romans 10:17) precisely that which the church of Christ practices.

There is much more that one can point to in order to prove you are not a Christian such as whether you have submitted to the New Testament plan of salvation or whether your church is scripturally organised but I am sure you get the picture.

Here is a little tip: check out the search engine of this site and type in church of the Bible or what must I do to become a Christian or does God approve of denominations and then study the scriptures provided and see if these things are so.

Graham

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