I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Never be afraid of people more than God. The Lord’s will is far greater than the opinions of people. Choose to be on the Lord’s side when you preach. And always preach the right thing. You are not here to impress people. Rather you are to here to give glory to God.
But when the Pharisees heard that he [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
The letter of which you can see the picture screenshot is related to Woods Chapel General Baptist Church in Brookland, Arkansas, the United States.
Since the screenshot got a shadow here’s what the text in the letter addressed to a practicing homosexual reads as:
“It has come to the attention of the Church body, that you have made it known publicly, of your choice to embrace the homosexual lifestyle. While we understand the struggles we all face with sin in our lives, we must be aware of the consequences of our choices. As a Christian we must choose to serve and obey, in accordance with God’s holy word, in order to remain a member in good standing of the Church body. We as the church board here at Woods Chapel General Baptist Church, have with great sorrow, voted to remove your name immediately from the church membership role. It is the desire of your church family, you would turn from the sinful lifestyle you have chosen, repent of the sins you have committed, and return to full fellowship with God and the church body.”
And here’s what the expelled person’s response was his own words:
“I’m a little hurt by it, but I know how they feel…What I thought was probably a letter probably a trying to invite me to come. And they probably sent me a letter saying hey we missed you or we want to come to this fall festival that we’re having…I was like in awe. I was in so much shock, I couldn’t read the rest of it.”
It’s understandable that he was in shock about his forced exit. But will all due respect here’s what’s the surprising part, that guy could later post this letter addressed to him all across the internet but can’t read it fully himself about the part where he’s told to repent. He didn’t even address the key issue of the preacher’s letters which talks about leaving the homosexual behavior and getting back to God. Maybe the guy in question has a which Bible lacks the below verse:
1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals”
Through this verse we are not to condone such acts. By the way its not just homosexuality that’s outlawed. Any person who is openly in gross sin must be clearly told to repent. It’s not for the sake of drama but rather for the sake the person himself or herself so that they are not out of heaven in the afterlife that they must be warned. Doesn’t make sense to deliberately ignore such sinful lifestyles just so the sinful person is at low guard about what’s going to happen to him at judgement day.
There’s no need to panic about people coming out of their ‘closet’ about their homosexuality. Rather its an opportunity for us to offer them chances to repent. At the same time an unbalanced attitude of tolerance of that sin among the church goer will not help the person in the after life. What’s the point of letting the person come up to church and receive his donation’s but let him lose his soul? The preacher of the Baptist church knew that the soul is much important and so had to take such a tough decision especially due to announcement by the person in question who didn’t seem to have checked in at his local church about the ramifications about his lifestyle choice.
Here’s a thing that does the round’s online about a preacher who was to preach in Leeds, England. It shows how honesty and integrity matter at all times for those who are called to be God’s messengers on earth. Thought I’d share this here. This is how it goes:
Several years ago, a preacher from a distant town accepted a call from a Church in Leeds. Some weeks after his arrival, he had an appointment that made him to board a bus to another part of the town. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had mistakenly given him his balance in excess of 50 pence.
As he considered what to do, he thought within him, ‘You’d better give this money back. It would be wrong to keep it’. Then another thought came, “Oh, forget it, it’s only 50 pence; who would worry about this little amount, afterall the bus company makes so much money on fares; they will never miss it. Accept it as ‘a gift from God’ and keep quiet.
“When he was getting down from the bus, he paused momentarily at the door, and then handed the 50 pence to the driver and said, ‘Take; the balance you gave me was over’. The driver, with a smile, replied,’ Aren’t you the new preacher in town?’ ‘Yes I am’ he replied.’Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about where to go to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I give you balance in excess. I’ll worship with you at the Church this Sabbath’.
When the preacher stepped off the bus, he grabbed a nearby pole, looked up and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for 50 pence.
Through this Cain slew Abel his brother; through this Esau (would have slain) Jacob, and his brethren Joseph, through this the devil all mankind. Thou indeed now killest not, but thou dost many things worse than murder, desiring that thy brother may act unseemly, laying snares for him on all sides, paralyzing his labors on the side of virtue, grieving that he pleaseth the Master of the world. Yet thou warrest not with thy brother, but with Him whom he serves, Him thou insultest when thou preferest thy glory to His.
And what is in truth worst of all, is that this sin seems to be an unimportant one, while in fact it is more grievous than any other; for though thou showest mercy and watchest and fastest, thou art more accursed than any if thou enviest thy brother. As is clear from this circumstance also. A man of the Corinthians was once guilty of adultery, yet he was charged with his sin and soon restored to righteousness; Cain envied Abel; but he was not healed, and although God Himself continually charmed the wound, he became more pained and wave-tossed, and was hurried on to murder.
Thus this passion is worse than that other, and doth not easily permit itself to be cured except we give heed. Let us then by all means tear it up by the roots, considering this, that as we offend God when we waste with envy at other men’s blessings, so when we rejoice with them we are well pleasing to Him, and render ourselves partakers of the good things laid up for the righteous. Therefore Paul exhorteth us to “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” ( Rom. xii. 15 ), that on either hand we may reap great profit. (St. John Chrysostom)
All praise to the Lord Jesus Christ. Lead us O Lord God, by your Holy Spirit into self control in all things we think or do. Amen.
Right at the beginning want to say to any dog owner reading that this; please don’t get carried away by the experiments mentioned below. Simply treat your dog(s) normally.
Now it’s a very nice experience to look after little pets who are the creation of God. Just to let you know, in the scientific world and especially those concerned with psychology, Pavlov’s experiment’s with dogs are quite a nostalgic thing.It rings a bell for them.
Now there was this Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine called Ivan Pavlov. This man who is also a Russian started his experiments on dogs, about Classical Conditioning which are now called as Pavlov’s experiments. In such cases the subject dogs were given food bits after hearing a bell sound. Eventually the dog’s mind’s got accustomed to receiving such ‘rewards’ after the bell sounds that they would automatically salivate in anticipation of the food they’d be receiving very shortly. Those with dog’s at their homes might possibly observe that such loyal creatures do salivate at times of eating food etc.
Pavlov’s findings are used not only by those wearing lab coats but other’s too. Certain companies have marketing strategies which still use Pavlov’s theories about rewards for classical conditioning to outsell other competitor’s who have similar products. Basically they show some cheerful looking young man or woman who seems to derive happiness once he or she consumes so and so product. In reality the actor’s in such videos or poster’s are smiling only because they are being paid for such smiles as part of their contract. But in general, people still fall for this trick and buy products based on such advertising despite having availability of other such products which use lesser or no exaggeration in their sales. I’d suggest that one checks the actual product’s reviews instead of going solely by the advertising alone.
Now with regards to the topic of eating and drinking, we are not to get trapped into this food rewards program. Pavlov might have had his own agenda for his famous experiments but he surely didn’t intend for humans to see food as rewards for themselves.
However there are certain people who reward themselves with food. They set benchmarks of achievements and upon achieving them they gorge themselves on a huge amount of food. Nothing wrong with celebrating success. But the way you celebrate is the real issue.
Let me give you an example. There are people who after a hard day’s work reach home and eat as many donuts they can after dinner. They do this as an emotional pat on the back for themselves. It feels so nice to them. Yet this slowly over a period of time makes them unwittingly gluttonous. Now it reaches a stage where subsequent weight gain is visible to all. Such persons don’t stop but continue to reward themselves with more food. Some these don’t get into all such overzealous eating all by themselves, they do it in a group.
Now what does the Bible teach us about gluttony. Here’s a few of them:
Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21)
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. (Proverbs 25:16)
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19)
Now one may feel that one’s got a right to spend as they wish for their food especially since they don’t steal for it. I have no objections to that but I still have to say that not everything that’s lawful will help.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
At times you might need to eat a lot but ideally this should be for strength and not for the wrong reasons.
Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! (Ecclesiastes 10:17)
Never follow the example of Sodom even in terms of eating.
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Keep yourselves away from emotional eating. Surrender all your cares and worries unto the Lord Jesus. Don’t depend on food rewards but eat rightly. Because life is more than food and drink.
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Your biking cannot get you to heaven. Nor can winning a contest of good looks get you to heaven. Donating all your savings to the church too cannot make you right with God.
The only person who can save you is Jesus Christ. Don’t leave your earthly existence without him!
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)