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Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Serious Consequences of Dishonoring Parents

6 Important Truths that should motivate us to be deliberate and serious about honoring our parents, even if they are annoying. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #HonoringParents

Please read Are You Losing Your Blessings as a good introduction to this study.

There is a serious problem in the body of Christ. A growing number of adult children are ungrateful, critical, and disrespectful toward their Christian and non-Christian parents. 

They are magnifying their parents' faults and minimizing their parents' sacrifices and love. 
They expect grace from their parents, but give very little in return. Unfortunately, many in the church are sympathizing with these fault-finders in direct contradiction to God's Word.
When we become adults, we take on adult responsibilities toward our parents. We no longer obey them, but we do our part to have a meaningful relationship with them. 

God never excuses disrespect toward parents because disrespect toward parents shows disrespect for His commands and promises.

Even if your parents made some large mistakes, you can return good for evil and be blessed by God (Romans 12:21).

Six truths that help us understand the scriptural view of honoring parents:
1. The Death Penalty

6 Important Truths that should motivate us to be deliberate and serious about honoring our parents, even if they are annoying. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #HonoringParents
In the nation of Israel, God commanded that children who curse their parents be put to death. This was a civil law for a period in Israel's history, not a permanent law of God. But it shows the emphasis God puts on our words spoken to and about our parents. The principle is not limited to verbally cursing a parent.

And if we doubt that this law reflects God's hatred for dishonoring parents, we need only read the words of Jesus who quotes this law in Matthew 15. Jesus applies this principle to people who neglect their parents while claiming to be spiritual.

Leviticus 20:9: Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.
Matthew 15:4: For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.'
Read the full passage here: Matthew 15:1-9.
2. Cursing Parents

Cursing someone can mean speaking a verbal curse over them, but it includes more than that. The Hebrew word in this sentence means "to bring into contempt, accurse, despise." 

This would include speaking negatively about your parents around your children so that your children form disrespectful views toward them. It can be appropriate to share parental difficulties with a few close friends or with a counselor, but we must use caution and ask ourselves how we are expressing our disappointments and why.
Proverbs 20:20: If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

Proverbs 30:11-13: Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances.

3. Mocking Parents

We can also show contempt for our parents by making fun of them, looking down on them or speaking flippantly to or about them. The Hebrew word for "mocks" in the verse below means to "laugh, scorn, mock."

Talking about our parents in this manner is never appropriate.
Proverbs 30:17: The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
4. The Elderly

6 Important Truths that should motivate us to be deliberate and serious about honoring our parents, even if they are annoying. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #HonoringParents
Leviticus 19:32 commands people to stand in the presence of the elderly as a way of showing them respect and also showing reverence for God. 

This command is not based on the character or importance of the elderly person, but on their age. God obviously thinks respect for the elderly is important.
Scripture considers respect for parents the norm. The verse below assumes that we speak respectfully to our own parents, something that often isn't true in this day and age.

1 Timothy 5:1: Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. 
God commands us to honor and respect different types of leaders, even secular government leaders, based on their age and position, not based on their character or integrity. We honor our parents because God says we owe them honor, not because they have "earned" it. 
Romans 13:1: Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
5. Rewards

Why do you think the Fifth Commandment and the verse below promise blessings on those who honor their parents? Why would God give this command an emphasis He doesn't give the others?

Ephesians 6:2-3: “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
6. "Unworthy" Parents

Luke 6:32: If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
1 John 4:20: Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

I know people who love ungodly unbelievers enough to spend their lives sharing the gospel, but they place "boundaries" in their relationship with their parents because they find their parents annoying. That means they are picking and choosing which of God's commands to obey and it shows a lack of love for God as well as a lack of love for their parents.

John 14:23: Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."

God will not simply look at their service to the gospel. He will also look at their obedience to the gospel.

copyright 2019, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Bite Size Bible Study

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Creation and Evolution Don't Mix

Could God have used evolution to create?

Some Christians hold this view, but it's not compatible with Scripture.

It's important that we first establish the difference between microevolution (adaptations within species) and macroevolution (changes from one specie to another). Microevolution is observable in nature and is completely compatible with creation. It would be more fitting to call it "adaptation."

Microevolution is sometimes used as an argument for macroevolution, but it's an entirely different process from the theorized macroevolution. This difference is not only noted by creation scientists but by many evolutionary theorists as well (source).

Read more about this distinction: Microevolution and Macroevolution, What is the Difference?, Nylon-eating bacteria, "New Species".   

Now that we've made this distinction, let's address three major reasons evolution (macroevolution) is not compatible with biblical Christianity:

1. Evolution does not reflect God's character:

God's divine nature is seen in creation. Even in its fallen form, nature's complexity and beauty are evidence that our world and its inhabitants did not result from a cosmic accident.

Romans 1:20: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." 

These are some specific ways that evolution does not reflect God's character:

A. Everything God does is perfect, but evolution is a process of mistakes.

Evolution claims that before man existed, there were millions of years of death, decay, mistakes, accidents, mutations, and non-viable creatures. Why would God waste time making inferior or non-functional things when He can instantly create perfection?

John 1:3: "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

Deuteronomy 32:4: "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." 

B. God speaks things into existence. He doesn't need a lengthy, tedious, process like evolution.

Read through the creation story and notice that God creates everything by His words. 

For example:
Genesis 1:24: "And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so." 

Hebrews 11:3: "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."

C. Evolution is actually more representative of Satan's nature than God's.

If Satan created the world, perhaps he would create it through the death, decay, and destruction of a process like evolution. And there's no doubt that Satan promotes the false belief of evolution because it steals glory from God:

John 10:10: "The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

2. Death came AFTER the creation of man, not before.

Genesis 1:31: "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." 

But God gave clear instructions:

Genesis 2:17: "but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

When Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit, they didn't immediately die, but death entered the world. And creation also lost it's perfection.

Romans 5:12-17: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!" 

Romans 8:19-23: "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies." 

See also: 1 Corinthians 15:21.

3. God made man in his image with an eternal soul, set apart from the rest of creation.

Because being made in God's image doesn't mean we bear a physical likeness to God, some suggest that God could have created man through a series of lower life forms and then placed His image on that advanced life form. But Scripture doesn't say God gave man His image. It says He created man in His image.

Genesis 1:26-28: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:...27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them..."

Read more: Made in the Image of God

We shouldn't be surprised that evolution is so widely accepted. Scripture predicts it:

2 Peter 3:3-5: "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, 'Where is this "coming" he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.' 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water." (Genesis 1:2)

Both creation and evolution are faith-based beliefs. Each person examines scientific evidence in light of their presuppositions. 
Nothing in nature contradicts creation.

Nobel prize winner, Dr. Francis Crick, discovered DNA. Although he remained an atheist, he had something interesting to say about evolution. Read more about Crick in this 1-minute devotion: The Honest See.

Let's study God's Word, enjoy His creation, and reject godless theories (Colossians 2:8).

copyright 2018, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Bite Size Bible Study

Sunday, November 18, 2018

What Scripture Says about Homosexuality

The most loving thing we can do is understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and stand with God in this highly controversial area. This 1-minute devotion shares what Scripture teaches. #homosexuality #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Our culture is convinced that homosexuality is an appropriate lifestyle.  

But Scripture says otherwise.

Satan wants to ruin lives, and Christians who approve homosexuality join him in that effort. The most hateful thing a Christian can do is condone something that God says damages people's bodies, minds, and spirits.

Let's take a look at Scripture's teaching on homosexuality so we don't fall prey to this serious error.  

Old Testament Commands

The Old Testament condemns any sexual relationship outside married, heterosexual partners.

Leviticus 18:22-24: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.”

Sometimes people discount the Old Testament laws because not all were permanent. It's true that sacrificial and dietary laws were fulfilled in Christ. In addition, some Old Testament laws were civil laws given specifically to the nation of Israel. These laws represent an enduring principle, but we are no longer commanded to obey them.(1)

The passage below was one of Israel’s civil laws. We are no longer commanded to kill homosexuals - that was a civil law for the nation of Israel. But the principle behind the law is permanent - homosexual relationships are harmful to individuals and to the community at large.

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” 

To read more about Old and New Testament laws, see: Which Old Testament Laws Apply?

New Testament Commands

Because Old Testament commands can be harder to navigate, it's helpful to see how clearly homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament.

Romans 1:26-27: “God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.”

Scripture says you cannot be a practicing homosexual and be saved. Some people claim that the word "homosexual" isn't found in Scripture or they claim that only homosexual orgies are addressed in Scripture. Those claims are completely unfounded. In fact, the verse below contains the Greek word "arsenokoites" which translates "a man in bed with another man; a homosexual."

1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

The passage below talks about the fact that the righteous man, the man who knows Christ, has the law written on his heart. God's Spirit corrects and rebukes him. He doesn’t need the external law like the unrepentant sinner needs it. 

The most loving thing we can do is understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and stand with God in this highly controversial area. This 1-minute devotion shares what Scripture teaches. #homosexuality #BibleLoveNotes #Bible
1 Timothy 1:8-11: “We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.” 

False Teachings that Seek to Justify Homosexuality:

1. The sin of Sodom wasn't homosexuality.

A new teaching about Sodom and Gomorrah has recently become popular. It claims the condemnation of Sodom and Gomorrah was due to their lack of hospitality, not homosexuality. The Scripture below puts that ridiculous teaching to rest. 

Jude 1:7: "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire." 

To read more about this teaching, read False Teachings about Sodom and Gomorrah.  

2. People are born homosexual.

Some people argue that people are born homosexual. Since Scripture calls it a sin, that means God designs some people to be hopeless sinners.

Not true. People may have certain tendencies toward sin and/or their environment may encourage sinful tendencies. But no one is born homosexual any more than someone is born an adulterer. Sin is always a choice (James 1:13-15).

3. Homosexuality is no worse than gossip.

It has long been popular to claim that God sees all sins the same, but this is absolutely false. God clearly differentiates between sins in both the Old and New Testament. For example:

1 Corinthians 6:18-19"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

For a more thorough look at this subject with numerous Scriptures see All Sins are Not the Same.

4. Biblical morals change.

Sometimes people try to discredit Old Testament laws by claiming that God's view of sexuality changes. After all, He allowed polygamy in the Old Testament.

We don't fully understand why God allowed polygamy in Old Testament times, but polygamy was always heterosexual and never shown in a positive light. 

The most loving thing we can do is understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and stand with God in this highly controversial area. This 1-minute devotion shares what Scripture teaches. #homosexuality #BibleLoveNotes #BibleIt caused rivalry between wives (Hannah and Peninnah: 1 Samuel 1:1-8, Rachel and Leah: Genesis 29:30-33). It caused jealousy, murder, and rape between siblings from different mothers (Jacob’s family: Genesis 35:22-25; Genesis 37:12-36; David’s family: 2 Samuel 13). And, despite his many wives, David seems to have spent his later years without a meaningful relationship with any of his wives (1 Kings 1:1-2).

In addition, Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2 explain that leaders in the church are required to be husbands of one wife. Some translations simply say "faithful to his wife," but the Greek says "one wife." 

Since elders are supposed to model God's standards, we can trust that God's New Testament standard is heterosexual monogamy. That was God's original design.

Mark 10:6-9: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

See also Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31.

To read more about this: Why Did God Allow Polygamy in the Bible? 

God’s design is the only one that is right and pure and holy. Those who engage in premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexuality, or transgender sex bring God’s judgment upon themselves. It should be our heartfelt desire to prevent people from damaging their souls. And that means standing firmly on the principles of Scripture, not bending with the approval of culture. 

For Scriptures about these other sexual sins, see Sex Outside of Marriage-What Scripture Says, What the Bible Teaches about Transgenderism, and God's View of Sex 1-Minute Archive.

Let's pray for people caught up in sexual sins of any kind, and let's stand with Jesus against everything that damages people's souls.  

copyright 2018, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

Bite Size Bible Study