CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Another Church Sells Out

Oct 19, 2016

Jesus and the disciples clearly warned us about how things would pan out as Satan gets the upper hand and Christians fall heavily into deception and apostasy. They warned us about the way the faith would be undermined by wolves in sheep’s clothing, and how in the last days many would turn away from the faith.

Consider just a few of these warnings:

-Matthew 7:15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

-Matthew 24:10-11 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

-Acts 20:28-31 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

-1 Timothy 4:1-2 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

And we see on a regular basis these very things coming to pass, as churches and church leaders abandon the clear teachings of Scripture as they seek to become trendy, relevant and hip with the world. An Adelaide church has joined in on this, and proudly so, as one news report recently states:

An Adelaide church has left its denomination so it can fully include gay people in its congregation. The move by Activate Church, at Bowden, which was announced during a service on Sunday, will cost pastor Brad Chilcott his marriage celebrant licence and denominational credentials.
Mr Chilcott said Activate withdrew from the Australian Christian Churches, which has 1100 churches nationwide, in part because the denomination had joined the anti-marriage equality group Marriage Alliance. He said Activate Church already had members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in leadership positions. “This puts us outside of the Australian Christian Churches position on human sexuality,” he said.
“In discussions with the ACC it became clear that our membership in the movement couldn’t continue if we were going to have LGBTQI people in positions of leadership — which we did know from the beginning. “As a community we’re also uncomfortable with membership in the Marriage Alliance and felt unable to be associated, via denominational ties, with that coalition.”

activateGood grief. So a Christian organisation that seeks to defend the biblical intention for human sexuality and marriage is a group to be avoided like the plague by these guys? Um, what is with these folks? The only good thing in this depressing news report is the fact that the ACC did not seek to keep them in the fold. Good.

Their “reasoning” is shocking. As usual a moral meltdown is accompanied by mental mushiness. Consider this silly statement: “We simply believe that all people are equal and should have equal opportunity to belong and contribute to our church.” As I have written before, it is one thing for a church to allow sinners to come in, hear the gospel, and have their lives transformed.

It is an altogether different matter to say anyone can be part of the church or be a member, regardless of whether they even believe the gospel, let alone are actually saved. The church is the fellowship of the redeemed, and the Body of Christ is comprised of those who have renounced their sin and turned to God in faith and repentance.

So yes of course the church should be open so that sinners can come in, hear the biblical gospel, and have an opportunity to become genuine Christians by forsaking sin and being remade into God’s image. But no Christian fellowship can allow clear sexual immorality to take place, and worse yet, be justified and encouraged. See more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/11/church-visitors-versus-church-members/ 

As is apparent, these folks have long ago thrown out the Bible on these matters. They are now just making things up as they go along. Paul was perfectly clear about these sorts of issues. Consider what he said to one church fellowship in Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-7 we read this:

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are.

If this does not perfectly deal with the foolishness being spouted out by the leaders at Activate, I don’t know what does. Sexual immorality is NOT to be tolerated in the churches. End of story. It is not to be promoted, endorsed, excused, celebrated or championed. Yet that is exactly what the leaders there are doing with the sin of homosexuality.

And notice the exceedingly strong words of judgment Paul pronounces on this rebellious and disobedient congregation. He would not buy for a second all this lame talk about love and inclusion. He was so aware of what damnable deception was going on there that he uttered a very extreme anathema over these reprobates.

But the Activate folks seem impervious to biblical truth. Consider the words of one worship leader at this church: “Churches should be safe and inclusive spaces for all people, regardless of their sexuality or relationship status.” Really? Do you seriously believe that? Oh, so you fully welcome adulterers into your church fellowship, and into leadership positions as well?

You welcome fornicators with no questions asked? You welcome with open arms those engaged in incest? You welcome those living in polyamorous relationships? Well, how very inclusive of you. You are being so inclusive you are including people right into hell. These social justice warriors are so fixated on secular sexual immorality, that they simply dump the biblical teachings on this.

Never mind what Paul said in such a crystal clear manner:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

If this is not clear as day, then nothing in Scripture is. Yet these trendies at Activate think they can improve upon the Word of God. Indeed, they are openly declaring their contempt of the Word of God when they promote the very things it condemns. That tells us all we need to know about this “church”.

And get this howler from a Facebook posting: “We think gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people are people. And that’s enough for me, and for our church.” Um, duh, tell us something we don’t know thanks. Of course they are people. But that is not the issue. Murderers, thieves, liars and drunkards are all people as well. But as we just saw, Paul says if they continue in these sinful lifestyles, they will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.

But Paul offers this tremendous good news: “And that is what some of you were”. WERE – past tense. Yes, this fellowship at Corinth is now filled with ex-thieves, ex-murderers, ex-adulterers, and ex-homosexuals. The transforming power of God has turned these lost sinners into new creations in Christ. That is the glorious good news of the gospel.

But these trendies at Activate really think they know better than Paul. They think it is so cool and groovy to leave people enslaved in their sin, and just let them head off into a lost eternity. And these folks talk about love? It is the most hateful thing I know of to lie to sinners, pat them on the back and say they are just peachy, while they remain trapped in a depraved lifestyle while sliding into hell with the church’s full approval.

That my friends has nothing to do with love and acceptance but everything to do with hate and contempt. Satan loves it. He does not have to do anything – he can just sit back and let “church leaders” do his dirty work for him. Just as Jesus and the disciples so strenuously warned us about.

It is time these relativists come clean. Just whose side are they on? They have pulled out of the ACC. Either they repent and get back to biblical Christianity, or they should also renounce their claim to being Christian. If that seems strong, it is because this is serious business.

When sin is affirmed and sinners are coddled, leading them away from God, this is nothing to trifle over. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer rightly said, “Nothing is so cruel as the tenderness that consigns another to his sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin.”

www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/activate-church-leaves-australian-christian-churches-denomination-to-stand-by-gay-leaders/news-story/6d0821b1e6d69c822d462866aa399390?nk=20a4f475f0d68b5c9ffd15b5bd7e3be1-1476833543
www.facebook.com/ActivateSA/posts/

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30 Responses to Another Church Sells Out

  • What happened to denying yourself, taking up your cross and following Christ? That is something I need to remind myself.

  • Amen Bill,

    Praying for the true Christians at Activate, may they come out of her, may God forgive them all of this apostasy, cleanse them and make them new. “May they not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of their minds so that then they will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good pleasing and perfect will”. Praise be to God alone, for Jesus sake in his Holy name we pray.

  • Yes, and it calls in question what spirit this ‘church’ experiences since it was part of a Pentecostal group. That has obviously proven to have become (or been all along) the spirit of anti-Christ. Once again the word of God is shown to be primary, not spiritual experience. The leadership is clearly under the curse announced by Paul in Galatians 1 and so the only way back to God is true repentance. The only hope for them of repentance is a revelation of THEIR judgment fulfilled in Christs’ holy body on the Cross. Gal.2:20. But they appear to have become the hard ground which lets Satan take that word before it can take effect. May many within this deceived crowd get out now and save themselves from the certain condemnation due to the leadership.

  • This should be as clear as day, were it not for the gay agenda that is not only taking over society, but is threatening the Church of Jesus Christ. I have had many say to me, “Oh, that doesn’t apply today”, “that’s legalism”, or “it’s politically incorrect to exclude gays from church leadership positions”. To disagree is to be labelled narrow, bigoted, hateful, legalistic… you name it. And yet Jesus is coming back for ‘a pure and spotless Bride’, not one who has become immersed in the world’s degradation, distorted values and political correctness. The Church is a reflection of Jesus Christ himself, the One who died to save us from our sins, and to enable us to come spotless before the throne of Grace.

  • They have just De Activated themselves as Christ Followers.

  • Thank God this reprobate church have left the ACC movement and that the ACC did not try to accommodate their clearly unscriptural, antichrist embracing of homosexual perversion in the church. Pity the Anglican Church hierarchy seem to lack the Biblical integrity required to defrock “Father” Rod Bower of Gosford Anglican Church for his blatant and brash mockery of God’s Word in welcoming and promoting homosexual lifestyle as totally acceptable Christian practice, not to mention his celebration of all things Islam. Thanks Bill.

  • Robert Worthington, as someone who has been an active part of many denominations (including both Pentecostal, Anglican and Baptist), I think you are making a rather harsh generalization on pentecostal groups and their teaching. I certainly believe in the validity of their doctrine, especially walking/living in the ‘fullness of the Holy Spirit’. There is an equal danger within most, if not all, major denominations of quenching the Spirit, becoming overtly liberal in stance, and compromising biblical truth. I agree that the Word is the believer’s chief source of inspiration and guidance to Christian living. However, spiritual experience and enabling come through our relationship with the Holy Spirit, as part of the Godhead.

  • Hi Anne, how are you?

    In my understanding we evangelicals do have a lot to thank the charismatic/Pentecostal church for, particularly in our understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit and bringing this to our attention. But this is a different matter altogether and it is our relationship with Christ Jesus that needs to be our chief concern as His redemption and salvation from sin is all that leads us to new life in the Spirit who himself prefers to remain in the background. He is a shy sovereign. He shaped creation; He gave revelation and caused the Bible to be written; He renews hearts and transforms lives; He assures Christians of their eternal salvation; and He equips them to serve their Savior. Who? The Holy Spirit; who else?

    You noticed, I hope, that I said “He.” The Spirit, who in the Old Testament represented Himself merely as a divine force, appears in the New Testament as a Helper and Counsellor who can be grieved and lied to, and who intercedes for Christians on a regular basis. These are ministries that only a person could fulfil. The Spirit is the third person of the Godhead; that is why He is called “Holy.” He is the executive agent of the Father and the Son in both providence and grace. He must be honoured as such, and it is never right to do as is so often done, and speak of Him as “It.”

    Have you ever been asked, from the pulpit or in conversation, whether you know the Holy Spirit? In renewal circles this question is often put, and with reason, for versions of Christianity, even orthodox Bible-based Christianity, are current in which the Spirit’s ministry is for practical purposes ignored. But the question is not biblically angled, for it is the Spirit’s way to keep out of direct view, like a shy child hiding behind the door. So Christians never know the Spirit in the way they know the Son, and we can be led astray by questioning that suggests we do.

    The New Testament leads us to picture our relation to the Spirit like this. Christ stands before us, addressing us, while the Spirit stands behind us, with access to our innermost being. The Spirit shines light over our shoulders so that we see Christ and know Him to be real, and with that whispers into the ear of our hearts the words that Christ speaks to us. “Do you hear Him saying, ‘Come to Me…learn from Me…you shall find rest….’ Go to Him; He is saying those things to you.” This is the formula, not only for conversion, but for our entire Christian life: beholding, approaching, trusting, loving, adoring, and serving the Lord Jesus is the essence of it.

    So the Spirit is the floodlight, illuminating the Lord Jesus; He is the contact lens that enables us to see Him clearly; He is the matchmaker, leading us to Christ for a permanent union; He is the intercom, making constant communication between Christ and us a reality of our experience; and He is the channel through which Christ pours His life and power into us for worship, sanctity, and service. But in all this, though He abides with us and indwells us and by His sovereign grace, transforms us into Jesus’s moral likeness, He keeps Himself out of sight. When the Spirit works in us, Christ Himself, and not the Spirit, is the focus of our attention. “Spiritual” experience that leads away from Christ, or bypasses Him, is not from the Holy Spirit at all.

    Is that a rule by which to judge the New Age mysticism? The meditative disciplines of Asian gurus? The pantheistic euphoria of Shirley MacLaine? Yes, it is: and theosophy, and anthroposophy, and Christian science, and scientology and all other man-made alternatives to faith in the Christ of the Scriptures.

    Religious muddle around us is frantic and furious. How urgently we need, in these days, to get clear about the Holy Spirit!

    -Dr J I Packer

    We need to cry out for understanding and insight and look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure then you will understand the fear, knowledge and wisdom of our heavenly Father found in obedience to His commandments and the application of His Holy word in every area of our lives. All for His glory and the grace that he freely gives those who believe in Jesus and take Him at His word. Blessings!

  • To begin casting stones at Pentecostals or charismatics, and it seems to me that is reading more into Bill’s article than what he has written. The ACC have a clear biblical foundation as many Pentecostal & charismatic churches do, and these people had to leave ACC to maintain these apostate views. I can just as easily point to apostate churches which are *still* part of mainline denominations.

    Frankly, I’m over the interdenominational fighting. We should celebrate with those that stick to the core creed and be open to discuss and debate the doctrinal differences that make us unique. Maybe we will all learn a little something, and it could only lead to more tighter doctrine and more collaboration for the sake of the Body.

  • Thanks guys. Yes this post was about an apostate church pushing the homosexual agenda. It was not meant to be an anti- or pro-Pentecostal debate. And Sandra you quoted Packer, but it was not clear when your comments ended and his began, so I took a guess at it, putting it in block quotes. If it is not quite correct, let me know thanks.

  • Sorry Bill,

    He is a…”Shy Sovereign” Heading to the line ending in…Holy Spirit!” before Packers name. I cannot take any credit for the piece from our study on the Holy Spirit though I do think this topic is at the heart of the trouble with the church in question, you may not agree though. I trust this article was not understood as a swipe at the certain group of churches that this one was once a part of and I am glad to hear that everyone is learning from your blog on this topic Bill, I pray it does indeed lead to better teaching, a very stark reminder of the plight of Christians at this time. My end comments come from current studies on Wisdom Literature. Blessings, thank you!

  • It is part of the spirit of licentiousness that permeates society & the church today.
    The redefinition of sin has led to a disdain for the authority of the Word as from Gen 1.
    The first marriage was infected by the Fall.
    It was a core human relationship established by God as a marvellous act of creation.
    Since then, society is broken.
    Only a commitment to the original is meaningful.
    The rest is man’s way to try to be happy, in vain.

  • It’s a little surprising that the usual criticism of Pentecostals, which in this particular case is correct, has not been quoted:-

    Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.
    Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?
    Mat 7:23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!
    Mat 7:24 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock.
    Mat 7:25 And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock.
    Mat 7:26 And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
    Mat 7:27 And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house. And it fell, and great was its fall.

    As I often repeat: We are required to worship God both in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth so either Paul did not have the Holy Spirit or these people don’t.

    Eph 5:5 For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
    Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
    Eph 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
    Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
    Eph 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
    Eph 5:10 proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
    Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
    Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

  • I know people who are not Christians and who would regard the beliefs of this church as absurd and would be able to see how wrong it is for a church to claim to be Christian while believing that same-sex marriage and such things are good. It really says something about a church (or “church”) when people who don’t have the Holy Spirit are more enlightened than it is.

    When it comes to the statement that gay and lesbian people are people, we have an example of how hard it is to have a sensible discussion on these issues. As Churchill might have said, “This church’s rationale for its position is a remarkable example of modern liberal thought”. The original was when he said of an unflattering painting of himself when it was presented to him: “The portrait is a remarkable example of modern art”, at which the audience roared with laughter. I think God may be laughing at this church.

  • I have met Brad Chilcott, the pastor of Activate Church, on several occasions. I grieve over his decision to endorse and excuse the LGBTI lifestyle within his church leadership, but for a completely different reason. I take issue with his comment that leadership be open to all, no matter what their sexual preference. Firstly; leadership is all about serving one another as to the Lord not to pursue your own interests. The sin of adam and eve is evident here; whereas they stepped out of God’s provision to embrace something which seamed to be good {Gen.3:6 when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes} and inclusive but were deceived. We must all go back to basics and remind ourselves of Jesus’ words. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.

  • I know Brad personally. We grew up together. He has long departed orthodox Christianity. He has become a media tart. Don’t dare stand between him and a camera or microphone.

  • It is painful to witness these well meaning folk relying on their own wisdom, and being selective in their teachings from Scripture – omitting that which does not ‘tickle their ears’. So many churches and church leaders have become man-pleasers and not God pleasers.

  • Matthew 18 NRSV.

    Temptations to Sin
    6 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!

    8 “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

    The Parable of the Lost Sheep
    10 “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 12 What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

    Reproving Another Who Sins
    15 “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

  • The New Testament makes it very clear that leaders need to be upright and living a biblical life, so that would be the reason that a homosexual would not be allowed in a position of leadership. Also if you are married you should be the husband of only one wife to be in leadership.
    The sad truth of the modern church is if these people actually believe in God they are already in front of some traditional church priests.
    I would be curious to know how they teach certain parts of Christianity; whether they skirt around it or distort it?
    I wouldn’t judge having a transgender person as it is more complex and they may be intersex, A.I.S etc. that would be the job of a Christian with medical knowledge of the person.

  • Thanks Rusty. But actually, there is nothing complex at all with the overwhelming majority of transgender cases. These people are biologically male or female, end of story, and they need mental and psychological assistance, not a wardrobe change, surgery, etc. But as I state in my book on this:

    It must be noted that a very small percentage of people are in their own category, and are quite different. I refer to the intersex condition, where genetic abnormalities results in sexual confusion. There can be ambiguous genitalia, chromosomal imbalances – eg, having an extra sex chromosome – and so on. These can be found in conditions such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Turner Syndrome, Klinefelter’s Syndrome, and Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Intersex conditions are mostly innate, whereas the unusually low concordance rates in identical twins (who have identical genes and essentially prenatal environment) show that causes of homosexuality are predominantly post-natal.

    The genuine intersex cases are extremely rare, and have nothing to do with the homosexual and transgender agendas.

  • Love your summation Bill. It is spot on! “These people are biologically male or female, end of story, and they need mental and psychological assistance, not a wardrobe change, surgery, etc.”
    In all my years of nursing, there was only ever one patient I came across with gender ambiguity. He was a young teenager who had, to a degree, the characteristics of both genders. However, the decision was made after tests were done to identify the dominant gender, and an operation was then performed successfully. I believe there were no negative side effects.

  • Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Hello Minister Bill. There is much to be said about Biblical Doctrine, the Holy Scriptures have stood for many years, and without any uncertainty will continue to stand. We who claim to be Christian in deed, not just in word, must lead by example to the novice, and young disciples. It is because people ” believers “, who leave the word, become lost. Not that they are without hope! As I have heard from so many of your hearers, that the word is central to the life of the believer. I think that no one should be called a Christian, until they have become a disciple, a true worshipper, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too many would be and could be people, bring the good name of our Lord Jesus Christ, into disrepute! It grieves my spirit greatly that people cause shame to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Are we not as Christians meant to glorify the name of our God? It is true that there is a difference Saint and sinner, between righteousness and perversion. I have a son, who loves perversion, he is walking along side homosexual people, hand in hand, they are on their way to hell! They are blind, they are in bondage to sin, they may be eternally condemned, if intervention is not sought out for on these wicked peoples behalf. These people need our intercession. I weep as I write this letter. They are enemies of the Cross of Christ! But do you know that I love my son! Jesus Christ is the only answer to their life and freedom!
    True Disciples NRSV.
    31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

    34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. 38 I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.”

    I pray that even thou we are separate from sinners, that somehow, by God’s unfailing love, His great mercies, and His GRACE, that we are able to see wayward souls saved SOS! SOS! SOZO! This is the GREAT SALVATION! On which we have come to love and believe, this is our SAVIOUR! Who is able to save the most wretched of human beings! Rise up you INTERCESSORS of God! Rise up and INTERCEDE for our Nation, for our Nations people. God be with you all, Kind regards Ross Scrivener.

  • Please note, Bill, that in my comment I deliberately referred to ‘gender’ in its historic sense, rather than the more recent usage of the term by those who see it as something that is ‘fluid’ and subject to change at whim! It is an interesting study to see how the usage of the word ‘gender’ has changed dramatically over the past 60 years.

  • Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless without Jesus!

    16 When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth—people getting no sleep day or night—17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.

    A Common Destiny for All

    9 So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and
    the wise and what they do are in God’s hands,
    but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them.
    2 All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked,
    the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean,
    those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
    As it is with the good,
    so with the sinful;
    as it is with those who take oaths,
    so with those who are afraid to take them.
    3 This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun:
    The same destiny overtakes all.
    The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil
    and there is madness in their hearts while they live,
    and afterward they join the dead.
    4 Anyone who is among the living has hope—
    even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
    5 For the living know that they will die,
    but the dead know nothing;
    they have no further reward,
    and even their name is forgotten.
    6 Their love, their hate
    and their jealousy have long since vanished;
    never again will they have a part
    in anything that happens under the sun.
    7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart,g for God has already approved what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white,h and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife,i whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,l for in the realm of the dead,m where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
    Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10

  • Since we’re quoting Scripture here, please allow me to add another slab of Wisdom Literature:

    11 I have seen something else under the sun:
    The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
    nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
    but time and chance happen to them all.
    12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:
    As fish are caught in a cruel net,
    or birds are taken in a snare,
    so people are trapped by evil times
    that fall unexpectedly upon them.

    Wisdom Better Than Folly

    13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me:
    14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it.
    15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.
    16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
    17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
    than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
    18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
    but one sinner destroys much good.
    10 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
    so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
    2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
    but the heart of the fool to the left.
    3 Even as fools walk along the road,
    they lack sense
    and show everyone how stupid they are.
    4 If a ruler’s anger rises against you,
    do not leave your post;
    calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
    5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
    the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
    6 Fools are put in many high positions,
    while the rich occupy the low ones.
    7 I have seen slaves on horseback,
    while princes go on foot like slaves.
    8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
    whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
    9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;
    whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
    10 If the ax is dull
    and its edge unsharpened,
    more strength is needed,
    but skill will bring success.
    11 If a snake bites before it is charmed,
    the charmer receives no fee.
    12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,
    but fools are consumed by their own lips.
    13 At the beginning their words are folly;
    at the end they are wicked madness—
    14 and fools multiply words.
    No one knows what is coming—
    who can tell someone else what will happen after them?
    15 The toil of fools wearies them;
    they do not know the way to town.
    16 Woe to the land whose king was a servant
    and whose princes feast in the morning.
    17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth
    and whose princes eat at a proper time—
    for strength and not for drunkenness.
    18 Through laziness, the rafters sag;
    because of idle hands, the house leaks.
    19 A feast is made for laughter,
    wine makes life merry,
    and money is the answer for everything.
    20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
    or curse the rich in your bedroom,
    because a bird in the sky may carry your words,
    and a bird on the wing may report what you say. Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20

    Thanks Bill, broke a wrist!

  • Last one!

    Invest in Many Ventures
    11:1 Ship your grain across the sea;
    after many days you may receive a return.
    2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
    you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
    3 If clouds are full of water,
    they pour rain on the earth.
    Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
    4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
    5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
    so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.
    6 Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
    for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.
    Remember Your Creator While Young
    7 Light is sweet,
    and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
    8 However many years anyone may live,
    let them enjoy them all.
    But let them remember the days of darkness,
    for there will be many.
    Everything to come is meaningless.
    9 You who are young, be happy while you are young,
    and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
    Follow the ways of your heart
    and whatever your eyes see,
    but know that for all these things
    God will bring you into judgment.
    10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
    and cast off the troubles of your body,
    for youth and vigor are meaningless.
    12 Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
    before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
    2 before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
    3 when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
    when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
    4 when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
    when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
    5 when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
    when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
    Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.
    6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
    before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
    7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:7

    Thanks again Bill may God bless you – Blessed to be a blessing that’s me!

  • Thanks Sandra. No need to break a wrist however! Simply go to an online Bible site and copy and paste what you need – done in seconds! See here eg.:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/

  • Thanks Bill, good article, I use that one when not using Sound Faith BibleScreen.com references in the notes, check out the cool Bible art shared on my Google+ profile some are Logos Verse of the Day. The broken wrist is a blessing in disguise although painful, not as painful as the rubbish church wanted included in our paper and it is going to take 6 weeks to recover from this little challenge, will not silence me altogether. By the grace of God even finished study on Job this afternoon, was wondering what it would be like to have only one hand, by the grace of God Job came through his challenges to his faith and righteousness, although he sinned like the rest of us forgiven sinners. Blessings from yours in Christ, Sandra

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