Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Choices

Two Choices

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Scriptures declare that they are given by God and when we read scriptures that are so clear like this one, we really have God’s viewpoint, don’t we? God says that He is the author of the Scriptures.

Galatians 1:11
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Once again we see a declaration that the Scriptures did not come from man’s thinking. Paul declares that the gospel he preached was not after man. He did not think it up nor did he receive it from other men. God is the author of the Scriptures.

Ephesians 3:2-5
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

God made known to Paul the mystery (which is part of the gospel of God) by revelation. God revealed it to Paul. Paul did not make it up. It did not come by tradition from stories handed down from generation to generation. This was new information revealed by God by way of the spirit of God upon apostles and prophets.

ll Peter 1:20 – 21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

These verses are clear. Holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (God). Holy men were men that had been separated out by God to speak His Word, and they spoke and wrote God’s Word by means of revelation as we just read in Ephesians.

Now what if you think or believe that the Scriptures are not God’s Word? What if the point of view of the most renowned scholars is that God is not the author of the Scriptures?

When it comes to a choice between our point of view or some other man’s point of view and God’s Word, there really are only two choices:
1) change my view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.

Everybody believes something. Everyone of adequate mental capacity or ability believes something or he or she would not continue to live. Have you thought recently about breathing? What if you were in a burning building and the air was filled with smoke? Would you continue to breathe normally and think that everything would still be OK? If you did, you would quickly not have any more choices to make.

What about other areas? We believe the sky is blue because our eyes send signals to the brain and the brain interprets it as a color. When we were growing up someone told us that the color we saw was blue. If you lived in France it would be “bleu.” What about if you lived in Mexico? It would be “azul”. In Germany one would call it “blau”.

A traffic light that tells one operating a motor vehicle to stop is what color? RED. Now, what if you were colorblind? If you were colorblind and had not been taught correctly, it would be dangerous to ride with you in the city.

In addressing those who were born again at Corinth Paul by revelation wrote:

1 Corinthians 2:4-14
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The natural man can only get his information by way of the five senses: seeing, hearing smelling, tasting, and touching. There is understanding and wisdom that comes from God that goes beyond the senses. This understanding and wisdom cannot be understood by way of the five senses alone.

John 4:24
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

This is why there is such a tremendous difference between religion and true Christianity. Religion is based upon human reason, human ways, and human philosophy. Religion is man-made. It may not be totally wrong, totally in error, but it is always contrary to the accuracy and integrity of God’s Word. Religion many times will agree with certain points that are in God’s Word, but then there is a variation or a disagreement with other parts of God’s Word.

If there is one point of difference it is not identical, and that is religion. No matter how sincere it looks, how good it sounds or how much the world says it is wonderful, it will not be the truth of God’s Word.

Religion is man-made. True Christianity is God-made. It is what God did in Christ Jesus. It is based upon the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ. True Christianity is based upon God’s divine revelation.

Isaiah 55:8, 9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

But what if the great professor so-and-so says something that contradicts what the Scriptures say? Or what if I want to believe what the newspaper says instead of what the Bible says? There really are only two choices:
1) change my view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.

Genesis 6:5, 12
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Has man done anything to change this corrupted position that he brought about? Let’s see what the Scriptures say.

Proverbs 15:26
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

2 Chronicles 12:14
And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.

So this man made the choice not to believe God’s Word. In fact,

Mark 7:21 – 23
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Man’s basic nature, his reasoning ability has not changed through the ages. Today science teaches that man has evolved and is getting better and better. If one reads the newspaper, it seems there still are adulteries, fornications, murders occurring in great numbers not only in our country but around the world. We still have war and terrorist attacks which are based upon religion today, don’t we? There really are only two choices:
1) change my view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.

Metaphysical and philosophical religions do not have, and they cannot offer eternal life. They are based upon the five senses and what man has observed or experienced. Religion is based on human reason, human ways, and human philosophy. It has no way to offer a new creation. Religion cannot create holy spirit.

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It that really what the Scriptures say? Some may ask, “Have you considered those who have led a “good” life? Well what about those who contribute to their church or give to the Un-United Way? Or what about those people who choose to worship Allah or Buddha?

There have only two choices:
1) change their view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.

What if I have been taught to be more tolerant? What if my teacher teaches I need to be more open-minded? There really are only two choices:
1) change my view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.

This does not mean we are not respectful of other people’s right to choose. It does not mean we become arrogant and go looking for arguments. But we can make the personal decision to believe what the Scriptures say.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

We are to cast down or demolish any human reasoning that places itself against the knowledge of God. This scripture goes on to exhort us to lead captive every kind of thinking in obedience to Christ.

Jeremiah 2:13
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

This scripture could have been written this morning. It is challenging today just to believe what God’s Word says. Religion, philosophy and false science have so muddied the truth that it is difficult to see it even when it has been clearly written in the Bible for centuries.

Romans 8:37
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

So when someone tells us that it is not possible, how many choices do we have? What if our own mind tells us that it is not possible to be more than a conqueror?

Romans 1:17
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

We see this same truth in Ephesians chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:8, 9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast?

But what if by my upbringing and my conscience I believe I must work to obtain salvation? There really are only two choices:
1) change my view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.

Keeping in mind that we really do have only two choices will help us not to get talked out of what God’s Word says. If you are asked, “have you considered ... (something that is contrary to what the Scriptures say), you might consider asking them, “Have your considered Romans? Or have you considered Ephesians? Or have you considered Thessalonians?”

There really are only two choices:
1) change my view and believe the information from God’s Word, OR:
2) remain wrong.