We have spent a couple of days considering folk who have gotten away from God and/or those who might not know Him at all, some of whom might assume that they do. Today, I want to take a different approach. Let's look at serious Christians. Jesus, remember, came to give abundant life. Serious Christians will enjoy abundance in regular, trusting, fellowship with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. They will have God's directions for living, found in His Word. They will relish His Presence in and control of their lives. They will be taught and corrected, when necessary. They will enjoy His provision but will also trust Him when that provision is withheld for a reason. They will have peace of heart and mind, even in the most difficult trials. They will thrill to new discoveries of Truth from God's Word and marvel that new Truths are constantly being discerned, even after years and years of careful study. They will derive great joy in giving, knowing that their tithes and offerings, given cheerfully, willingly, and prayerfully, are actually used to reap eternal results. They will enjoy comfort from God's love. They will experiece intimacy with Almighty God. They will develop rich friendships with serious Christians. They will exult in worship and excitedly anticipate assembling with God's people. They will be engaged in sharing Him with others. They will have a world missionary vision. They will rest in the blessed assurance of eternal security. All of this is for openers. More tomorrow. Selah! Contrast this with the emptiness of an unGodly life. Ron
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits,….." From Psalm 68:19
My Pastor, years ago, said in a message, "Some people have just enough Christianity to be inoculated against the 'real thing'". If true, and it appears to be, how tragic! What does this kind of anemic Christianity look like? ( If it really is Christianity, it will not remain anemic.) Let's look at the profile of one victim of Laodicean lethargy. He (or she) is usually moral, at least in appearance. They probably attend a fair amount of morning Church Services. It would be rare to see them Sunday Night and even more rare to see them in Prayer Meeting. They give lip service to the Truth (some of it, anyway). They throw a little money in the plate, or sometimes a lot, if it makes them look good. They don't read their Bibles much. When, and if, they do, it is apt to be out of duty, not because of love for God or because they derive great pleasure from listening to God. Their mind usually wanders during the message. They don't want to be considered extreme by friends. They will sometimes help at church, if convenient. They give far more time to their "fun" than to Spiritual growth, maybe because there is no life to begin with. They are more comfortable with unsaved friends than with serious Christians. They are more apt to be in church for music or a meal. They are more familiar with their news than God's activities in our world. They know or care little about separated Godly lives. Selah! Think! They might be saved, they might be lulled into a spiritual stupor, or they might be assuming an experiece they have never had. Ron
"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord,Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, Who is in heaven." Matthew 7:21
I realize that "backsliding" is not New Testament terminology. However, most Christians understand that I speak of drifting away from God. Please permit me a little tongue-in-cheek with a point:
Do's and Don'ts!
Do's: 1.) Do give more time and attention to things like TV, Sports, Entertainment, etc. 2.) Do keep busy. (Be busy enough to convince yourself that you don't have time to get alone with God daily.) 3.) Do spend as much time as possible with unsaved friends but don't use the time to speak of spiritual matters. 4.) Do put a little money in the offering plate, if you drop in to church occasionally. Tipping God is enough! (You need to go to church some, just to be respected.) 5.) Do avoid any attempts to persuade you to help in the church. They can get by without you. Haven't they been doing so for a long time? 6.) You can probably conjure up some more aids to help "backslide".
Don'ts: 1.) Above all, don't read your Bible or pray! 2.) Don't talk about spiritual things. 3.) Don't go to Prayer Meeting. (If you feel you must, be sure it is seldom.) 4.) Don't tithe! Remember, where your treasure is there will your heart be also. 5.) Don't clutter your mind with thoughts that might prompt you to change. Change is uncomfortable. 6.) Don't get very involved with these serious Christians. They can influence you to go their way.
Selah! Just think how much fun it is to do your own thing, until you meet your God! Ron
"So, then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Romans 14:12
I received an E-Mail from a young man that lamented the attitude of some who are strong advocates (as I am) of the KJV. I agree with him. Some seem to not like anyone to challenge them. If we refuse healthy and respectful debate, we may suggest that our defense is weak, that we can't defend our position. Wrong attitudes do not enhance our chances of getting truth out. Tearing down a brother or even questioning a brother's salvation, if he or she doesn't dot their "I's" or cross their "T's" precisely as we do, is unacceptable! I was given wise advice years ago: "attack issues, not character". For my part, I am commited to the KJV (or those versions from the same sources) as the only completely reliable versions today. Incidentally, why doesn't someone come up with a current English version from the Textus Receptus and do it without corrupt footnotes? Let me mention, in passing, it seems to me a gross inconsistency to use commentaries, which contain error, and refuse what can be gained, if done discerningly, from some of the translations. Selah! Determine in your heart and mind that you will know your KJV so well that you will spot error instantly!" Ron
Please read carefully: Romans 14:19
Tools: There are some very useful books in understanding the "KJV versus other versions" issue. I recommend (not without some areas about which I would have some reservations) as very helpful in showing the real dangers in the various modern versions. 1.) "Which Bible?" by David Otis Fuller, D.D. 2.) "God Wrote Only One Bible" by Jasper James Ray. (Very useful but with some possibly better ways of making his points.) 3.) "Evaluating Versions of the New Testament" by Everett W. Fowler (Especially helpful charts, with a few listings that may stretch his points somewhat). Read these "with a grain of salt" and glean much help in establishing the reliability of the KJV and exposing deficiencies in modern versions.
Thoughts: Foreign language versions are not KJV. However, to be dependable, they would need to be carefully drawn from the same sources, as much as possible, and validated by thorough comparison and harmonization with the KJV.
With today's educational liabilities, children's all too often serious lack of reading skills poses a problem. Any child who can't handle our current English language is going to be turned off on KJV English. Some might not agree but it is a reality. ( I went through this myself when the situation wasn't as bad as it is today.) What to do? I think a poor excuse is better than none. Start them with something simple, wean them from it, as soon as possible, guiding them to the KJV. In the process, teach them how to discern error and understand truth. Selah! Serious thinking will show the need to help educationally challenged children come to grips with being able to use the KJV. They can come to this! Ron
I Thessalonians 5:21 has an application to this subject. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
To Matt (and any others who are interested): This is a tentative response. It is an area of research that I have not looked into, to any great extent. I will try to do so, as I locate material on this subject. (May I urge any reading this to "click on" to Matt's comments.) My initial thoughts follow. 1.) The differences referred to are probably a result of transmission difficulties. Going from one language to another often involves some "tough calls" by translators. However, there are no demonstrable conflicts. 2.) No major doctrine is denied or diminished. I suspect that the same thing would be true of all secondary doctrines, as well. 3.) Variations might be due to supplementation. Some Old Testament and New Testament portions complement each other or give only information relevant to a particular subject or time. 4.) There is a prophetic factor to take into account. Jesus, for example, reading the scroll, with the passage from Isaiah 61:1-2, omits "the Day of Vengeance of our God". He quotes the portion that has to do with His First Advent. The omitted portion relates to His Second Advent. 5.) Another possibility is that the differences might provide motivation for more in depth study. Hope this helps. Stay tuned. I will try to share any other insights as they become available. Selah! Careful study and thought will reveal many problems and dangerous inconsistencies, when various translations are measured against "The Gold Standard" of the KJV. Ron
"…Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name….". (From Psalm 138:2)
In the next day or two, I hope to suggest some good (and down-to-earth) books pointing out in more detail why our KJV is overwhelmingly accurate and reliable, and the not too obvious dangers in the slew of newer translations. I want to digress some today and offer a timely word. How do we defend Truth? Actually, in a sense, Truth is its' own best defense. However, I am concerned with the spirit in which we defend our core beliefs. I recall reading about a preacher who was wavering between Fundamental teaching and liberalism. He decided for liberalism because it appeared that some fundamentalists were harsh and insulting while some liberals seemed loving and gracious. There is, of course, more to it than that, but it highlights how important it is to be "….speaking the Truth in love,…." (From Ephesians 4:15). We can and should hold and defend the Truth with cast-iron resolve but do it in a well reasoned, and gracious way. We do not need to be harsh and cold, in order to be absolutely firm. We can and must be courteous , kind, and uncompromising. It is still true that most of the time you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Most brothers can be won over from error, when intelligently and caringly reasoned with, although it may require patience and time. We can also have times when we might be off base. How do we wish to be dealt with by a brother? Selah! Reflect on Paul's admonition to Timothy, "And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle to all men, apt to teach, patient,…" II timothy 2:24 (See also Verses 25-26.) Ron
"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt,……" (From Colossians 4:6)