Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
The Lord gives us a list here of things we are to think on or we should ponder on, keep in our minds, we should seek out these characteristics to learn about so we could incorporate them more and more into ourselves. If you notice no where in this list is included our problems, our concerns, our “worries” – no the Lord does not tell us to dwell on negative attributes, He does not tell us to think on negative situations, He does not tell us to worry and agonize over things we have no control over; which we are so apt to do, to bring ourselves down to ruin the “today’s” thinking about the worst case “tomorrow’s”.
Let’s put to heart and lets determine to not let any more “today’s” go by wasted worrying and fretting instead let’s think on truth, His truth, let’s think on honesty, think on His justice, His purity and how we can live to that end. Praise Him and thank Him for His tender care and love for you. Thank Him today for His many blessings bestowed upon you. Finally, what are you thinking about? Decide today to think on the things mentioned in this verse and stop dwelling on the negatives in life.
Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
Knowing Him is believing Him, it is trusting in Him, it is fellowshiping with Him, it is doing all we can to live for Him. Knowing Him is having an experimental knowledge of Him, of His attributes, of His love, His compassion, His power over our problems and difficulties. Knowing Him is anticipating His strength to help you, it is leaning on Him in the storm, it is acknowledging your helpless and sinful state and trusting Him with your eternal soul. Knowing Him is intimate, it is reassuring, it is comforting. Knowing Him enables us to do things we never thought possible. Knowing Him is letting Him have full control over your life, your desires, your ambitions and your plans. Knowing Him is such a sweet and peaceful place to dwell. Why don’t you make the decision today to get to know our Savior better, that would be one decision you would never look back on with regret. Know Him!
It is much better to be called out for our sins or have someone correct us about our sins then to have someone encourage us to continue and go deeper in that sin. If your friends encourage you to continue in sin or encourage you to go into sin, they are not really your friends, leave them as soon as possible!
Ecclesiastes 7:5 “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.”
Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Jesus is not content for Christians to just be one of the crowd or blend in with the world. We are commanded to influence those around us toward Him. Salt is noticed when it is added to something. People should notice we are Christians and we should be changing the status quo toward Christ. Light makes things easily seen. Our influence should be readily noticed.
It is now time in our nation to take a stand for right. To stand out in a crowd for Christ. It is time to make our light, our salt our influence noticed in the world and pray earnestly it is not too late.
We need to remember we are Christians and are commanded to live out our life as such. We are commanded to be like Christ, to be reaching out to the sinner in need of a Savior instead of acting Pharisaical to them and judging them about their sin. We are told not to judge! We need to always remember to speak the truth of God’s Word in love. This does not mean we cannot speak strongly against sin, but it does mean we need to always remember to love the sinner as Christ does. We need to be seeking ways and opportunities to minister to them and demonstrate God’s love to them.
John 3:16-17 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
As Christians, we need to live in a way that others will know we are a Christian, but also, we should live in a way that supports the Gospel; and we need to arm ourselves with the knowledge of the Gospel. (Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.) We should strive to live and teach as Christ would. We need to remember that we, no matter how persuasive, can’t force anyone to believe what they claim not to believe. Conviction is the Holy Spirit’s job not ours.
We need to live and walk true to our talk. If you are a Christian act like one, minister like one, work like one, witness like one and pray and fellowship with the Lord like one. We need to not be hypocritical in our Christian walk, we need to be true, loving and ministry minded Christians. We need to live life trying our best to be like our Savior.
I John 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
“ADD UNTO…TAKE AWAY”
Revelation 22:17-21 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” These verses are a solemn warning to those who would seek to tamper and alter the Word of God. It is dire condemnation to them proclaimed in these verses if they add unto or they take away words from the Holy Scriptures. The New Testament refers to the “Book of Life” eight times (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 21:27 and 22:19). Two times it referred to as the “Lambs book of life” (Revelation 13:8 & 21:27). A similar admonition as this one in Revelation 22:18-19 is found in Deuteronomy 4:2 – “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”& 12:32 – “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” given by Moses and in Malachi 4:4 – “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” given by God Himself to close out the Old Testament.We need to first examine and review some of the changing (the adding to and taking away) of God’s word that is happening today. People were warned not to alter God’s word some 2,000 years ago in this passage in the book of Revelation. God takes His word seriously and He expects us to take His word seriously as well.
BIBLE VERSIONS? God promises to preserve His Word. This is called the Principle of Preservation. (Psalm 12:6-7 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.) The Bible is the verbal (every word, I Corinthians 2:13 – 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.), plenary (entirely, II Timothy 3:16 –All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:), inspired Word of God. There are over 5 thousand existing manuscripts of the New Testament. They are divided into 3 main groups: 1) Western texts– related to Rome, 2) Alexandrian texts, and 3) Syrian Texts – related to Antioch. The Syrian texts is where the vast majority of the texts come from, and this is where we get our King James Version of the Bible. There are over 64 thousand less words in the other versions of the Bible compared to the KJV.
EXAMPLE COMPARISONS OF KJV AND OTHER VERSIONS:
Luke 4:4 – And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. – KJV
Luke 4:4 – Jesus answered him, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone. – NET – The rest of the verse is omitted. The “word of God” was left out of the Word of God! – also left out of the NIV as well.
Mark 11:26 – But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. – KJV
Mark 11:26 – Omitted from the NIV. The NIV jumps from verse 25 to verse 27. A great principle of forgiveness is left out.
Acts 3:13a – The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; – KJV
Acts 3:13a – The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. – NIV – changed Jesus from the Son of God to just a servant of God.
Acts 8:37 – And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. – KJV
Acts 8:37 – Was omitted from the NIV. The NIV jumps from verse 36 to verse 38. – By removing this verse from the NIV one may think all he needs to do is to get baptized to be saved, instead of believing with our heart in the Lord Jesus for salvation.
WHERE’S THE BLOOD?
Colossians 1:13-14 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: – KJV
Colossians 1:13-14 – For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – NIV – WHERES THE BLOOD?! – The most important thing in all the Bible is the blood of Christ and it was taken out of this verse!
THE NIV IN ISAIAH 14:12 SEEMS TO CALL JESUS THE DEVIL.
Isaiah 14:12 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! – KJV
Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations! – NIV
Jesus call himself the morning star in Revelation 22:16 – “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” The “morning star” is Jesus Christ. He is the sinless Savior. Jesus did not fall from Heaven.
NO COMFORT FOR THE BROKEN HEARTED?
Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, – KJV
Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, – NIV – “heal the brokenhearted” completely removed from the NIV.
This omission by the NIV is impossible to substantiate. There is no reason this should have been removed from the Word of God, because the passage in question is when Jesus was in the synagogue reading from Isaiah 61:1,2 which contains the phrase in question. The same phrase as found in the KJV Isaiah 61:1 – “He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” & as found in NIV Isaiah 61:1 – “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted”
A PECULIAR PHENOMENON HAS OCCURRED TO SOME OF THESE OTHER VERSION TRANSLATORS. (Psalms 12:3 – The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things) Time Magazine had this to say about Kenneth Taylor (The Living Bible) this is from the July 1972 issue “Mysteriously half way through the paraphrase Taylor lost his voice and still speaks in a hoarse whisper. A psychiatrist who examined him suggested that the voice failure was Taylor’s psychological self-punishment for tampering with what he believed to be the Word of God.” Psalm 31:18 says “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” Phillip Schaff who was a collaborator on the ‘New’ Greek committee which formed the basis of the New American Standard Version also suffered from severe voice problems. His son had this to say about him “his voice so affected that he could not speak in public so as to be heard.” Finally by 1892 the power to articulate speech was gone. Proverbs 10:31b – “the froward tongue shall be cut out.” Westcott’s (of the Westcott and Hort Greek text from which all new versions are translated from) biographer cited that by 1858 “he was quite inaudible” and by 1870 “His voice reached few and was understood by still fewer”.
GODS WORD IS RELEVANT AND NEEDED FOR TODAY. HIS PRESERVED WORD FOR ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE IS THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE – In 1611 the King James Bible translation was finished. It took 54 scholars 6 years to translate the Bible into English. That is how careful and serious they took their job. His word is an enduring word (I Peter 1:25a – But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.). His word is a living word. His word is a guiding and molding word. His word is an all powerful word (Hebrew 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.). The world needs God’s Word. The Christian young person needs God’s Word. The world we live in is increasingly rejecting and even mocking God and His Word. We live in a world that thinks God is old fashioned and out of style. But God’s word has the answers to all of life’s problems and difficulties. Everything we need to get through life is found in the Word of God. His Word is life. His word is truth. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
Revelation 22:18-19 – “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
TREE OF LIFE, BOOK OF LIFE & LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE – There are 3 main views on this passage. We will examine each below.
TREE OF LIFE VIEW – some hold that since verse two of Revelation 22 references the “tree of life” that this “book of life” in verse 19 is just actually referring back to verse two. They believe this verse means someone’s life will be cut short because of adding to or taking from God’s word. This position is hard to defend once you look at the original Greek. The word translated at “tree” in verse two is “xulon” meaning a staff, timber, wood or tree. The word translated as “book” in verse 19 is “biblos” meaning a sheet or scroll or writing or a book.
SINGLE BOOK VIEW – meaning the “book of life” and the “Lamb’s book of life” are one in the same. This view holds that everyone’s name is written in the “book of life” at birth and if we are saved are name becomes permanent in that book. Usually Revelation 3:5 is used for this position. (Revelation 3:5 – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.) – This view holds that verse 19 means a premature death as well. If someone adds to or takes away from God’s word their name will be removed from the “book of life” in other words their life will be taken from them possibly along with their salvation. This view seems to indicate a saved person would either never alter God’s word or that if a saved person altered God’s word they could lose their salvation. This seems to go against the promise of eternal security of the believer we find in God’s word if a saved person would alter the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches once truly saved a person is always saved. (John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.)
TWO BOOK VIEW – this view holds that the “book of life” and the “Lamb’s book of life” are two different books. The major difference between the two is that the “book of life” contains all the names of all living people. The “Lamb’s book of life” contains the names of those who have received eternal life from the Lord. One’s name may be blotted out of the “book of life” but not out of the “Lambs book of life”. This view holds that Revelation 22:19 is referencing the “book of life” as in the catalogue of record of all living people; and if someone adds to or takes away from God’s word they will have a premature death. This view basically is when a person enters the world their name enters the “book of life”; when and if they call on Jesus to be saved their name is entered into the “Lamb’s book of life”. When a saved person passes away their name becomes permanent in the “book of life”. Once a person’s name is written in the “Lamb’s book of life” there is no way for it to be blotted out or removed. It is permanently and eternally in the “Lamb’s book of life”. Their entrance to heaven is therefore guaranteed. (Revelation 21:27 – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. & Ephesians 1:13-14 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.)
IN CONCLUSION: The Bible warns us not to take away anything out of the Word of God. (Revelation 22:18-19 – And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.) I think this clearly shows how serious God takes his Word and the tampering with it. The Bible says we are not to add to or take away from the Word of God. Remember how there are over 64,000 less words in the other translations? Those translations the NIV and the rest have changed, altered and dramatically taken away from God’s Word. (Deuteronomy. 4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.) The Bible instructs us to honor and reverence God’s word. The Bible warns us to not dishonor God’s Word, it warns us to not alter God’s word or we will receive plagues of some kind (loss of speech?) and our life would be shortened as a result of this grievous sin.
We need to fellowship with God on a daily basis. God desires our fellowship. “The father seeketh such to worship him” John 4:23. Whether we perceive that we get anything out of it or not have a daily quiet time with the Lord. Have it simply because God desires it of us, He desires our worship. In your quiet time praise and worship Him. Seeking to give to Him, instead of just getting something from Him. Keep your eyes on God and off yourselves, “for them that honour me I will honour” I Samuel 2:30. Use your Bible in your quiet time. Set a specific time each day, preferably morning, organize your life around it and stick to it! Your soul is your greatest need! We make sure to feed our physical man everyday so make sure to feed your spiritual man everyday!
The Bible says in Psalm 55:16 – 17 – “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” We should be seeking to fellowship with the Lord throughout our day. It is a good idea to not just read your Bible and pray just once a day but at least twice a day or more is preferable. Morning to start your day off right and the evening to end your day fellowshiping with the God.
We need to create the good habit of daily Bible reading. We either have good habits or bad habits. If we have not developed the good habit of daily Bible reading then we have developed the bad habit of NOT reading the Bible daily! Time is a factor in daily Bible reading. Lots of people say they do not have the time. Let’s look at the reality of time. James 4:14 says “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” As you see James teaches us that our time on earth is brief, but a vapor in comparison to eternity. If we do not develop the good habit of daily Bible study our time on this earth will catch up with us. We will have spent our life on earth not utilizing the time we had for Christ. Many Christians will meet God never having read His Word through once. Wouldn’t that be a shame? To meet God, to meet Christ, knowing everything that was done for you, because He loved you, and you never having bothered to completely read His love letter to you.
For the person willing to study the Bible carefully, there is great reward. (Psalm 1:1-3 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.) You need to make reading the Bible a pleasurable experience in order to make it a habit and keep it up. Don’t make it like work, if you are not use to reading and studying the Bible start out small and with the New Testament, Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs then progress to the rest of the Bible. Make use of Bible study aides, make sure you study in context, and make sure you study in church and at home. Most importantly make sure you are studying out of the correct Bible so you can trust you are learning correct doctrine and teaching and not missing others that are left out of the wrong versions of the Bible.
Acts 8:21-23 – “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Sin hurts, it hurts us and it hurts those around us. Sin starts in the heart, it then can lead to bitterness and bondage and sins answer is repentance. Simon the Sorcerer sinned in wanting to buy the power the Apostles had. He coveted something that was not his to have. He thought lightly of the things of God. He did not honor God but wanted to bring honor and power again to himself. All this wanting, coveting and seeking self honor and self power started in his heart. We need to understand and see the hurt and problems sin brings. The Bible does tell us there is pleasure in sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). But after that comes the results of sin, the bitterness and the bondage. The season of pleasure is not worth it. Living in sin is not worth it. Sin hurts yourself and can hurt others around you too.
SIN STARTS IN THE HEART (Acts 8:21 – Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.) Think of David – He did not wake up one morning and decide to commit adultery and then plan a murder. He first conceived the sin of adultery in his heart. He did not check this sin. He gave into it. Then this sin progressed unto other sins. David’s sin hurt himself; but it also hurt Bathsheba, it hurt Uriah, it hurt David’s unborn child. Sin hurts; don’t think you sin in a vacuum. Sin hurts and your sin hurts more than just you. The Bible teaches us there is a progression to sin. (James 1:15 – Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death) – Sin is first conceived of in our heart, and then we outwardly act on that sin and when we do that, sin can have damaging effects to us and to others. Mark 7:6 says “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Where is your heart? – Is it close to God like it ought to be or are you far from Him? – Are you allowing sin to conceive itself in your heart and lead you far from God? Jesus goes onto say later in 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.”
SIN LEADS TO BITTERNESS (Acts 8:23a – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness). Sin can make people bitter. Some of the most easy going, happy people you could know, once they get started into a life of sin can become some of the most bitter people you may ever know. Sin is a terrible thing which the Lord hates. Sin in our life is the root of bitterness in our life. Don’t let bitterness take root in your life. (Deuteronomy 29:18 – Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;) Bitterness can be the result of unresolved anger in your life. You may be thinking I am not letting sin dwell in my heart – well do you have unresolved anger with someone? – Then you are letting sin dwell and take root in your heart. If you are not already there you are heading toward bitterness. (Ephesians 4:26-27 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.) Judas Iscariot is a prime example of one’s sin leading to bitterness and hopelessness. Judas sinned and became bitter at himself and the circumstances he found himself in and took his own life. Don’t let sin take root in your life, don’t let anger or hurt dwell in your heart – get it resolved and forgiven and move on for God.
SIN LEADS TO BONDAGE (Acts 8:23 – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.) – Notice sin not only leads us into bitterness but it also leads us into bondage. Sin first is conceived of in your heart – you then can become bitter over this sin – sin can also enslave you. You will do anything and everything just to get to do that sin or experience that sin one more time. YOU IN EVERY SINCE OF THE WORD WILL BE ENSLAVED TO THAT SIN. Nothing else will matter in your life anymore but that sin. (Genesis 19:4-11 – But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. ) Notice even after being made blind they still did not stop in their pursuit of their sin. – They were in bondage to their sin – they were enslaved by their sin. (Genesis 19:11 – And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.)
Even after they received a physical hardship as a direct result from their sin, they had let themselves become so enslaved by their sin of homosexuality that it did not matter, they kept pursuing their sin. Paul warns us to not let ourselves become enslaved to sin in Romans 6:12 – “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” – Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life. Sin can take many forms, it can be obvious forms of sin such as physical sins or sin can take the form of unresolved anger or the form of spending too much time on games or other activities and not enough time in your Bible. Whatever form sin takes in your life it will eventually hurt you and can hurt others around you. Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life instead let Christ have that preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)
SINS ANSWER IS REPENTANCE (Acts 8:22 – Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.) Repentance is the best advice for those in sin. – We should not be accepting of others sin, we should not condone others sin, we should not ignore others sins; instead counsel them, instruct them and point them to the things of God and the need for repentance. – This needs to be done however with an attitude of love and a goal of getting them closer to the Lord. You don’t do anyone any favors by being accepting of their sin. If someone’s house is on fire will you just be accepting of it and think well that is the lifestyle choice they made to live in a burning house – no you would be doing all you could to get them saved from that fire. We need to be doing all we can to get those living in sin around us to the Lord, inviting them to church, going door knocking, teaching them repentance of their sins and if they are not saved how to accept Jesus as their Savior. He is the one that can save them from the eternal fire.
Notice how Peter worded verse 22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness” – our repentance to God needs to be specific. Peter said “this they wickedness” – We need to get specific to God about our sins and repent of those sins specifically. Also notice what Peter called it “wickedness” when you repent to God you must call it what God call’s it. Don’t explain away your sin to God or try to justify it somehow just pray and repent of it specifically and call it what God calls it. Notice one more word Peter says in verse 22 “perhaps” – Peter doubted the sincerity of Simon the Sorcerer. This tells us we need to be sincere when we ask God for forgiveness of our sins. Our repentance must be sincere, it must be specific and our sins must be called by what God calls them. We need to understand our need of repentance. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – If we have never accepted Jesus as our Savior the wages of those unrepented sins is our eternal death and torment in Hell.
Sin hurts, sin not only hurts us but it can hurt others around us. Sin starts in the heart it is first conceived in our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)
Sin starts in the heart, Sin leads to bitterness, sin leads to bondage but sins answer is repentance. Our repentance needs to be sincere, it needs to be specific and it needs to honestly portray our sins as they really are not as we may wish they were.
Psalm 100:3a – “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;” & Ephesians 1:4a – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,)”. God is the Author and Creator of life. God created us and the Bible says He knew us even before the “foundation of the world.” – We need to respect life; we need to respect the life of the innocent unborn children especially.
WHO CREATED HUMAN LIFE? (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) The Bible says He is our God even before we are born. (Psalm 22:10 – I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.) God is our maker. He formed us. He designed us. (Isaiah 44:2a – Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb,).
WHEN DOES LIFE BEGIN? Jeremiah 1:5 answers this question. It says “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,” So at the moment of conception God already knows us. Before anyone else even knows us, God already knows us and loves us and gave His life that we might have life eternal with Him in Heaven. If life begins at conception, then can the unborn have feelings? Can they feel emotion or pain? Do they recognize voices? (Luke 1:44 – For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.) – The answer to those questions is yes. They can feel joy, they can hear their mother’s voice, and they can feel pain.
President Reagan said “We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide…. There is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings…”
Human Life Begins Before Birth at conception. There is a belief widely held today about the unborn, a belief not found in the Bible, that in the early stages of pregnancy, a separate human life does not exist in the womb, but rather a collection of cells that may be regarded as just a part of the mother’s body. It is wrongfully believed that the mother is free at this stage to destroy this so called tissue, because it is not yet a child or a babe, God forbid! The Bible, in the way it describes conception and pregnancy, lends no support to that belief. The Bible speaks of that which is conceived and developing in an expectant mother’s womb as a “child” or “babe”.
• Rebekah had “children…. within her” (Genesis 25:22)
• Job speaks of “the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived” (Job 3:3).
• Elizabeth had “conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her”, and the “babe leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:36, 41).
The main reason why abortion is so common is the belief that early abortion is not killing a child, but merely preventing one from coming into being. Abortion would almost cease to exist if people could just come to understand and accept the Bible teaching that a “child” is “conceived in the womb“.
WHOSE IMAGE ARE WE CREATED IN? (Genesis 1:26-28a – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,) Only man was created in God’s own image. Not animals, man did not evolve over millions of years. We are not descendents of apes or monkeys. God created us in His image and God breathed the breath of life in us. All life comes from God, but human life is set apart from all other life, in that it was God Breathed. (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) The Bible is clear on this subject, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Can we tell the moment of each person’s creation by God? Science offers a clear answer that perfectly complements the teaching of Scripture. Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, states, “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life.” Speaking of the early stages of a child’s development in the womb, Professor Bongiovanni says, “I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.” Every scientific indication, is that at the moment of each person’s creation, is the moment of his conception. Before that moment the individual did not exist, and from that moment on he will exist for all eternity. Either alive on earth or after his death with the Lord or in an eternal Hell.
IS IT WRONG TO MURDER A PERSON? – Few people would object to the statement that murder is wrong. Murder is the unjustified and unlawful terminating of human life.(Genesis 9:6 – Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man & Matthew 19:18 – He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,)See also Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; John 8:44; Acts 3:14.
The Bible tells us those that commit murder are worthy of death. (Romans 1:29,32 -Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.)Historically, the standard of men, even apart from knowing God, or being a Christian, is that taking the life of an innocent person is wrong and worthy of death. So by God’s commandments and word, and historically by mans laws, murdering an innocent person is wrong and worthy of death.
SO THE NEXT QUESTION IS – IS THE UNBORN A PERSON? – We have established by God and mans standards and laws, it is wrong to murder a person. So let’s look at some qualities or characteristics the Bible assigns and gives to the unborn to answer this question. The unborn possess personal attributes such as sin and joy. In Psalm 51:5, David says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” and in Luke 1:44 the Bible says “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” The unborn baby experienced joy at hearing the voice of Mary. Unborn children experience emotions just like us. The Bible also uses personal pronouns to describe unborn children. (Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.)
The Bible says regarding the conception of Jesus in Matthew 1:20 – “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” The Angel of God, the messenger from the Sovereign of the universe, told Joseph “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” From the very moment of conception the Angel is telling Joseph that Jesus was indeed a person at conception. “That which is conceived”, means a child that was fathered, a life being brought forth or to cause life to start.
The unborn are called “babe” or children. (Luke 1:41 & 44 – And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.) The word “babe” here means either an unborn child or a new born child. The term was used interchangeably. No difference was placed on the unborn or the newly born, they were considered the same. The unborn are personally and intimately known by God, starting in the womb at conception, the same way He would know any other person. God, in the Bible, talking about the prophet Jeremiah, said in Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Think about this verse for awhile. God had already ordained Jeremiahs future service to Him as a prophet before he was even born. What has God had planned for you since the moment of your conception? Think about that and pray about that, and with everything you got, seek to fulfill His purpose for your life.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SPECIFICALLY SAY ABOUT THE TAKING OF THE LIFE OF AN UNBORN PERSON? (Exodus 21:22-23 – If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,) This passage is talking about women through the fault of a third party having a premature birth of their child. “her fruit depart from her”, means the baby comes out alive. So the person causing this pays a fine. But the part of this passage that says “if any mischief follow”, means if any injury or death occurs. According to this verse if the death of the unborn child occurs, the person who caused this to happen should pay with his life as well, “any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life” So this passage is crystal clear on the subject. It places equal value on the life of the unborn and the life of the mother. It tells us those that cause the death of the unborn should have their life taken from them as well, they are guilty of murder.
WHAT IS ABORTION? According to the Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary “abortion” is – “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus….” The issue of abortion has to do with the morality of a person’s choice to “terminate” the pregnancy, not a miscarriage that happens naturally. Abortion stops the natural process of human development within the mother’s womb. The purpose of abortion is to empty the mother’s womb, which results in the death of the tiny, innocent, defenseless human being. Because the Bible recognizes the unborn as being fully human (Psalm 139:13 – For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.) Abortion is undoubtedly murder of the worst most, wicked kind. (Jeremiah 2:34 – Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. & Deuteronomy 19:10 – That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.)
IN CONCLUSION – God is the Author and Creator of life. God controls the timing of our birth. He wanted us born when we were born, where we were born and to whom we were born. He has a reason and a purpose for everyone. At the moment of conception God already knows us. Before anyone else even knows us, God already knows us and loves us and gave His life that we might have life eternal with Him in Heaven. What is conceived in the womb is a “child” — a baby human being however very small. We should understand that destroying what has begun to form in the womb is taking the life of a child. We could not justify such action before God. Only man was created in God’s own image. Not animals, man did not evolve over millions of years. God created us in His image and God breathed the breath of life in us. All life comes from God, but human life is set apart from all other life, in that it was God Breathed. (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.)Our bodies are not our own. Neither is someone’s body that is unborn. Not one has a right over their own bodies or the bodies of the unborn. We all belong to God. We are created in his image. We must honor and respect the sanctity of God given life.
ABORTION STATISTICS (source abort73.com)
ANNUAL ABORTION STATISTICS
• In 2011, approximately 1.06 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. (AGI).
• Based on available state-level data, an estimated 1.04 million abortions took place in 2012—down from an estimated 1.16 million abortions in 2009 and 1.13 million abortions in 2010.
• In 2011, the highest number of reported abortions occurred in California (181,730), New York (138,370) and Florida (84,990); the fewest occurred in Wyoming (120), South Dakota (600) and North Dakota (1,250) (AGI).
• The 2011 abortion rates by state ranged from a low of 3.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in Mississippi (Wyoming had too few abortions for reliable tabulation) to a high of 28.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in New York (AGI).
• The annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States doubled between 1973 and 1979, and peaked in 1990. There was a slow but steady decline through the 1990’s. Overall, the number of annual abortions decreased by 6% between 2000 and 2009, with temporary spikes in 2002 and 2006 (CDC).
• In 2011, 17% of legal induced abortions occurred in California (AGI).
• The US abortion rate is similar to those of Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden but higher than those of other Western European countries (NAF).
• In 2005, the abortion rate in the United States was higher than recent rates reported for Canada and Western European countries and lower than rates reported for China, Cuba, the majority of Eastern European countries, and certain Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (CDC).
• Half of pregnancies among American women are unintended; about 4 in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-one percent of all U.S. pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. (AGI).
WHO HAS ABORTIONS?
• In 2010, unmarried women accounted for 85% of all abortions (CDC).
• Women living with a partner to whom they are not married account for 25% of abortions but only about 10% of women in the population (NAF).
• In 2010, women who had not aborted in the past accounted for 55.6% of all abortions; women with one or two prior abortions accounted for 36.7%, and women with three or more prior abortions accounted for 7.7% (CDC).
• Among women who obtained abortions in 2010, 40.3% had no prior live births; 45.9% had one or two prior live births, and 13.8% had three or more prior live births (CDC).
• Women between the ages of 20-24 obtained 32.9% of all abortions in 2010; women between 25-29 obtained 24.5% (CDC).
• Women in their 20’s have the highest abortion rates. In 2010, women aged 20-24 had 27.4 abortions for every one thousand 20-24 year-old women. Women aged 25-29 had 20.4 abortions for every one thousand 25-29 year-old women (CDC).
• 51% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions, and teenagers obtain 18% (AGI).
• In 2010, adolescents under 15 years obtained .05% of all abortions, but had the highest abortion ratio, 851 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
• Black women were 3.7 times more likely to have an abortion in 2010 than non-Hispanic white women (CDC).
• The abortion rate of non-metropolitan women is about half that of women who live in metropolitan counties (NAF).
• The abortion rate of women with Medicaid coverage is three times as high as that of other women (NAF).
• 37% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 28% identify themselves as Catholic (AGI).
• At current rates, nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion (AGI).
WHY DO ABORTIONS OCCUR?
• On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).
• Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion (NAF).
• One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF).
WHEN DO ABORTIONS OCCUR?
• 89-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation (AGI/CDC).
• In 2010, 6.9% of all abortions occurred between 14-20 weeks’ gestation; 1.2% occurred ≥21 weeks’ gestation (CDC).
• Percentage of 2010 Reported Abortions by Weeks of Gestation* (CDC):
≤6 wks 7 wks 8 wks 9 wks 10 wks 11 wks 12 wks 13 wks 14-15 wks 16-17 wks 18-20 wks ≥21 wks
37.8% 19.3% 14.6% 9.8% 6.7% 5.1% 3.9% 2.9% 3.3% 1.8% 1.8% 1.2%
• *Gestational weeks are measured from the first day of the woman’s last menstruation and not from the day of conception. Though it does not provide an accurate fetal age (which is roughly 2 weeks less than the gestational age), it is the simplest way for an OB/GYN to age a pregnancy since the day of conception is often not known. Hence, if an abortion occurs at 8 weeks gestation, it is actually aborting a 6 week embryo. The images on our Prenatal Development and Abortion Pictures pages are more precisely captioned with fetal ages in accordance with standard teaching texts on prenatal development.
HOW DOES ABORTION TAKE PLACE?
• In 2010, 80.5% of reported abortions were accomplished by curettage (which includes dilatation and evacuation). Most curettage abortions are suction procedures (CDC).
• Medical abortions made up approximately 17.8% of all abortions reported (CDC).
• Ninety-six per cent of the more than 140,000 second-trimester abortions that occur annually in the USA are accomplished by dilation and evacuation (D&E) (NAF).
WHO IS DOING THE ABORTIONS?
• The number of abortion providers declined by 4% between 2008 and 2011—from 1,793 to 1,720 (AGI).
• Forty-two percent of providers offer very early abortions (during the first four weeks’ gestation) and 95% offer abortion at eight weeks. Sixty-four percent of providers offer at least some second-trimester abortion services (13 weeks or later), and 20% offer abortion after 20 weeks. Eleven percent of all abortion providers offer abortions past 24 weeks (AGI).
• Most abortions in the USA are provided in freestanding clinics; in 2005, only 5% occurred in hospitals, down from 22% in 1980, and only 2% took place in physician’s offices (NAF).
• In 2009, 8 women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion; From 1973-2009, 411 women have died as a result of legal abortion (CDC).
• The number of deaths attributable to legal induced abortion was highest before the 1980s (CDC).
• In 1972 (the year before abortion was federally legalized), a total of 24 women died from causes known to be associated with legal abortions, and 39 died as a result of known illegal abortions (CDC).
Exodus 4:10 “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”
“Moses endeavors to excuse himself by pleading that he was no good spokesman. God is pleased sometimes to make choice of those as His messengers who have fewest of the advantages of art or nature. Christ’s disciples were not orators till the Spirit made them such” – Matthew Henry