Bible Repentance

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Bible Repentance

​In Luke chapter 13 verse 3, Jesus says, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. There are a couple of key words in this verse that need to be noticed. The word repent is used as a verb here in this passage and it means to feel such sorrow for sin or fault to be disposed to change one’s life for the better. The key action involved in repentance is a change as outlined in the definition of the word and the Biblical definition of the word repent gives the same meaning. When one commits sin, one of the steps to forgiveness for that person is repentance. It is perhaps the most important step in the process of being forgiven for sins we have committed and also in the gospel plan of salvation.

True repentance cannot be attained if someone only feels bad about the sin they have committed. It’s that feeling of deep contrition that should drive that person to action as when the word repent is used in verb form. The action implied here is change. A person feels so bad about the sin they have committed that the feeling of deep contrition in that person’s heart drives them to action. A person wants to change from their sinful way of living to begin leading a life of righteousness. When someone makes this complete turn around in their life, they have truly repented.

This can be further illustrated in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Upon hearing Peter’s sermon, verse 37 explains that those who heard and understood what Peter taught were pricked in their hearts—the bad feeling for sin committed. Verse 38 outlines the action they should take. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What we can gather from this is that repentance is a step in the gospel plan of salvation as well as a step that must be taken when a Christian commits sin. Bible repentance must be done fully, which means change must occur in the Christian’s life.

Colby Culbertson

Things I Face Everyday

 

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Things I Face Everyday

One thing that I run in to about every single day of my life is the influence of hanging with the wrong crowd. I love to play sports, and I play football and baseball, so every single day, I am tempted to hang out with some of my buddies after practice or something like that. Even though I really do want to be the cool guy and go with them wherever they go, I know that deep down I cannot do it because everybody knows that who you hang around is who you become. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

One thing that I have found out is even if you do go with them and hang out, it’s not even fun. You cannot possibly enjoy it because deep down you know that you should not be there. Just think about this: what if you were with some people that you shouldn’t be with or doing something you shouldn’t be doing and the Lord came back? I’d say that would be a bad spot to be in.

You may say you’re just going to hang out with them but not participate if they begin doing something wrong such as drinking, but don’t kid yourself, it won’t be long before you start doing what they are doing, saying what they are saying, drinking what they are drinking, smoking what they are smoking, and thinking like they are thinking. Before long, you will just be one of them. Once you become one of them, you no longer have any Christian influence, and you will not be that guy or girl who is different from all the other folks at your school or job.

We all know deep down that even though it’s sometimes uncool and uncomfortable to be different, one day, it will be all worth it. Rev. 2:10 Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Carter Culbertson

Does Jesus’ Church Need Remodeling?

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About a year ago, I became aware that in some denominations, leaders come together every year to vote on whether or not they would keep their stances on what they deemed morally acceptable. Although I shouldn’t be surprised, due to the current state of the “religious world” and in light of Paul’s warning to Timothy that men would alter God-given commands until the Lord comes back (2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13), this came as a shock to me. That religious institutions would trust their creed books over God’s word has this effect on me for the following reasons:

Because the power of God does not rest in man’s wisdom but in the gospel (Romans 1:16), in elevating their own rule book, they’ve unplugged all power lines connecting them to God. But not only that; they also willingly choose to place their faith in a counterfeit book written by uninspired men, while passing over the book that contains the words that will determine where their eternity is spent (John 12:48). Jesus doesn’t want man to be uninformed when it comes to his teachings. He told his disciples in Matthew 15:14, “…if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.” If we are not acquainted with “the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3),” how could we “contend” for it? Do we care about that faith or do we like our own faith better?

Jesus has already built his church. Who are we to act as if we have the authority to renovate? The bottom line is, you and I will not make it into heaven by accident. Those who are saved will be saved because they studied and obeyed the word that was given by inspiration of God–something that no man-made rule book can do. The word of God has every instruction needed to make man complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17); why settle for a document that can do anything less for you than that? Your soul is too valuable.

Joey Hickey

“The Contradiction of Relativism”

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“The Contradiction of Relativism”

This month’s article continues the tale of the false doctrine: relativism. As a disclaimer, this article uses the phrase “Christian” quite loosely, as this is how the world uses the term. However, a Christian is one who has been baptized into Christ and follows Him faithfully (Acts 11:26). One would not come to this definition by viewing the lives of the popular parenthetical “Christian” today. But as such acclaimed Christians would say, “That’s just relative,” or is it? Jesus said, “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth,” (John 17:17). According to Jesus there actually is absolute truth, and so the discussion continues.

Relativism makes for a good laugh because of its blasting contradiction. That is…everything is relative except the “fact” that everything is relative. This last statement may bend the brain, but ponder the meaning before reading further. Bombastic means inflated sound with little meaning. Relativism is bombastic because of this glaring contradiction. If anyone ever tells you everything is relative when it comes to truth or the Bible, ask that person point blank, “Is that statement you just made relative or is it the absolute truth?” Then watch them respond with the treacherous and self defeating lyrics of the song, “Don’t judge me.” Yes, they quote the very Bible they just called relative. Paul writes about such people as if he lived in the 21st century. In Romans 10:3 he says, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

Relativism is not only good for a laugh, but slap the theory in the face and suddenly everything is no longer relative. In other words, the relativist says there is no standard right or wrong. Everything is supposedely relative from person to person. Now slap that person across the face (obviously not in reality) and all of the sudden you are absolutely and positively wrong on every single moral standard man every created. This point is very well illustrated by the words of former president Ronald Reagan who said, “I have noticed that all those in favor of abortion have already been born.” This means, stuff every relativistic minded, pro-choice advocate back in the womb, dissolve their fetal existance with a pill, and then listen to them cry out a charge of murder. All these examples expose the roots of relativism, and that is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy like that unto the kind Jesus exposed of the Pharisees in John 8:3-9 when they brought an adulteress to him for stoning. The problem was they were every one guilty of adultery as well.

Don’t be afraid of those who use the term “relative” or similar jargon to downplay Bible truths in a way that seemingly justifies their favorite sin. Remember Psalm 118:6, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Aaron Battey

Trusting God in the Flames

 

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I have recently been inspired by the Facebook postings I have read from Shaun Wackerly,who lost a precious little baby boy, and Patti Whigham who is going through a kidney transplant. I hope this article inspires us all to trust God in our difficult days.

How do you respond to troubles and trials in your life? We were never promised that this life would always be smooth. It has been said that if things are going good for a person, he has just come out of trial or is soon headed for one. When we have difficulties in our life we would do well to follow the path of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego, and trust God in the Flames.

Trusting God in the Flames

Dan. 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

The word faith signifies the ability to trust in the infinite one; a lifestyle that places supreme confidence in a Supreme Being. When we think of faith names like Noah, Enoch, Rahab, David and Abraham come to mind. We think about God working the miraculous through the ordinary. We are able to gain strength by recalling the names of these faithful people.

The picture we draw of faith is inspiring. Faith is described as strong, bold, unswerving, and enduring. That is true when speaking of God’s faithfulness, but it is not always true when speaking of man.

Man’s faith is imperfect. Sometimes we doubt and question. Most of the time, we do not understand God’s ways. Having faith in smooth times is simple, but what do we do when we are in the flames? What do we do when it appears God is not going to deliver?

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew about trying times. They literally felt the heat associated with being faithful. These 3 men teach us how faith responds in difficult times.
King Nebuchadnezzar gave a mandate for all to worship the golden image he made. Those who refused would be thrown into the furnace. Nice of him to give them a choice wasn’t it.
Our 3 heroes refused to bow down. Upon learning of their disobedience the king gave them another chance. They did not have much of a choice; bow or burn.

Sometimes life seems unfair. Death invades as an unwelcome guest. Painful words from another tear us apart. Families divide, suffering from the strain of uncaring attitudes, we look around and we wonder where God is? Where is he, when our world is falling apart?

Some people live under the mistaken idea that once a person obeys God that problems will disappear. We know that God gives us his power grace and wisdom to deal with troubles; but the scriptures never make any promises that we can avoid or escape trouble.
The Bible warns us that the believer may face even greater difficulties in certain areas than he had before his baptism into Christ. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would have had no problem bowing had they not been children of God.

It has often been said that a person really doesn’t know who his friends are until the bottom drops out. To a certain extent we may never come to know the true love of God and Jesus until they have carried us through some trouble or trial. When they bring us through some distress our faith in them increases.

Sometimes in life events do not always work out the way we want them to. When this happens some are quick to doubt and say that Jesus was not there in their hour of need. Some become angry and turn away and they write God and Jesus off as being unfaithful.
When things get bad in our lives we would do well to follow the philosophy of the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. First, they said “if we are thrown into the flames the God we serve is able to save us from your hand, O, King.” God and Jesus are able. Regardless of the problem they can come to the rescue. No matter how chaotic life becomes they are able to deliver. Second, these 3 Hebrew children display their level of faith. In Dan.3:18, they tell the king, “even if He doesn’t deliver us we will not bow.” What faith these young men had. They had just told the king that “God is able” to deliver and now they say even if He doesn’t we will not bow. That’s important because we have never been promised a lack of suffering and pain. Painful circumstances may not change. We may want them to change, but they may not.

We have been promised that we will have what we need to survived. Long ago Nebuchadnezzar looked down into that fiery furnace and in astonishment said, “Did we not cast three men into the fire? Behold, I see four, and one is like unto the Son of God.” Trust in God means help is on its way.

We need not expect God and Jesus to keep us from distress. They want to sustain us through it. They want to make our load lighter. The pains and distresses of life will be much more bearable when we reach the point of trusting God in the flames.

Rick Martin

Dealing With Anger

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Have you ever let your anger get the best of you? Have you ever wanted to retaliate against someone who wronged you? These are things that sometimes confront many of us. In this article Colby Culbertson discusses the idea of dealing with anger.

Dealing With Anger

​The carnal, human side of a person advises us as Christians to use retaliation as a means of getting even when we are wronged. This writer will be the first one to confess to struggling a great deal with this. Yet, the New Testament clearly points out that for a Christian to allow his/her anger to control oneself is sinful and therefore putting a Christian a guilty distance from the Lord.

The apostle Paul instructs the brethren at Rome very plainly in Romans 12:19—Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. It is not sinful to be angry about things that happen to us when we are wronged. It is wrong, however, when we allow that anger to turn into a grudge that we hold (James 5:9), or worse, we seek revenge on whosoever it is who does us wrong. That’s what Paul explains here.

I’m going to use myself as an example, because I believe I struggle with this just as much as anyone. Suppose someone comes along and does me the wrong way or does something to me that makes me mad; immediately my carnal side tells me to let them know quickly, what a mistake they just made in doing me wrong! But I can’t do that and still be right in God’s eyes. I’m no better in the Lord’s eyes if I return evil for evil. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We are not at liberty to issue justice to those who have done us wrong out of vengeance because vengeance DOES NOT BELONG to us! It belongs to the Lord, and he will give all those in sin their just reward when this earth stands still.

Paul has a bit more to say on the subject to the congregation at Ephesus in 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. Believe it or not, Paul tells these people that you can be angry and refrain from sinning! This is possible if we only learn how to deal with anger. We have to control anger that we have, rather than letting it control us and eventually getting out of hand. Pay close attention to verse 27. Did you know that every time we retaliate, hold a grudge, or seek any means of revenge, we are giving place to the devil? When that happens, we are allowing the devil to corrupt us by making our anger and wrath impossible to contain! This is why it is so very important for the Christian today to master the art of temperance as the scriptures refer to it, or self-control. Friends, the smallest spark can start the largest fires, and so it is with our anger. Believe me, I know how hard it is. If you are a Christian, you must learn how to deal with anger in the proper way. The way a Christian is taught to do so in the scriptures.

Colby Culbertson

“That’s Just Relative”

imageWhen you hear someone say, “that’s relative”, what they are really saying is; “I prefer to do something else or do it in a different manner.” They are saying that absolutes do not exist. In this article Aaron Battey writes about the idea of “relativism” and shows us it is a dangerous idea.

“That’s Just Relative”

​It is hard to walk the earth and pass away before hearing someone say at least once, “That’s just relative.” Some people believe that everything is relative to any given person or situation. Consider the enraging idea that there is only one church going to heaven. Is this a true statement? The modern and popular “Christian” would say that this is a relative statement, or “What’s right for you is not what’s right for me.” The Bible says differently.
​The proper term to describe the philosophy above is “postmodernism” or “relativism”. The Bible does indeed address this subject. Judges 21:25 says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” The period of the judges was a 450 year span of anarchic chaos and immorality. Why were times so bad then? Because what was right for one person was not right for the other person, or as Judges says, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This type of thinking evolved long before Judges though. The first relativist was Adam’s son Cain in Genesis 4. He decided it didn’t matter what kind of sacrifice he gave to God. Carrots were okay in the eyes of Cain, but God did not approve. You can then read to find out that Cain’s lineage produced only evil (Genesis 4:16-24).

​Relativism is wrong. It is not only wrong, but the doctrine is dangerous. Relativism is so dangerous that it can unwittingly lead to losing one’s soul as Cain lost his. This short article is just a short piece to introduce you to this evil philosophy which creeps around inside and outside the Lord’s church. Next time we will discover in more depth why this doctrine is a contradiction by using simple logic and more enlightening scriptures. You can know the truth, and “The truth shall make you free,” (John 8:32).

Aaron Battey

NOT A HOOF LEFT BEHIND

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If you are not a subscriber to the Old Paths Advocate here is an example of what you are missing.

Compromise  can sometimes be a good thing. However, when it comes to serving God, compromise is not a good thing. I hope you enjoy this excellent article by Carl Johnson on the subject of compromise.

 

NOT A HOOF LEFT BEHIND

 

Mark Twain says that early in his life he moved to a mining town in Colorado. The town was wide open with brothels and bars on every corner. Twain says, “I immediately recognized it was no place for a Christian-so I decided not to be one.” Many people have imitated Twain’s response. When they find it hard to be a Christian, they either quit trying to be one or they compromise their convictions.

Jesus directs some of His harshest words toward the sin of compromise embodied in the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans in the church at Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-17). Both doctrines were efforts to adjust Christianity to the level of the world rather than lift the world to the level of Christianity. They taught the people to go along in order to get along, in short, to compromise. However, Jesus says he “hates” the doctrine (2:15), and the Scriptures warn us repeatedly against it (2 Cor. 6:17; Rom. 12:2; 2 Tim. 2:19).

Pharaoh’s dealing with Moses is a classic example of how the devil uses compromise to thwart God’s children from reaching the Promised Land (Ex. 8:25-10:26). At God’s orders, Moses and Aaron demand that Pharaoh release every family and tribe of Israel out of Egypt. Pharaoh does not wish to grant any part of their request, but sees he is going to have to yield to some extent. He feels, however, that he can save his dignity and protect his own interests by yielding less than what is demanded. On four occasions, he offers to compromise.

First, God specifically requires all of the Israelites to be separated from Egypt by a 3-day journey. Pharaoh counters by saying the Israelites may worship Jehovah, but they must stay within the confines of Egypt to do it (8:25). The spirit of this offer reminds me of a compromise offered by a large cups-and classes congregation to a small one-cup church in the same city a few years ago. The preacher from the large church said, “If you will come and join us in our building and be a part of our congregation, we’ll put one loaf and one cup on the end of the communion table just for you.”

In Pharaoh’s second attempt at compromise he tells Moses they can leave Egypt, but they cannot go too far (8:28). He will let them go as the cat lets the mouse go, just so far but no farther-not out of his reach. The offer may have sounded good to Moses. They would at least be separate from the Egyptians. Moses rejects the ofer, however, because it is not what God commands.

After Moses rejects the first and second offers, Pharaoh sees he has no alternative but to release the Israelites beyond his reach. He devises a third compromise, however, by which he thinks he can draw them back. He tells Moses the people can leave Egypt, but they must leave the women and children behind (10:8-11). Pharaoh knows that if the men go into the wilderness for 3 full days they will soon return to their wives, children, and slavery in Egypt. Moses refuses the compromise and demands everyone must go. Male, female, old, and young must be set free.

The fourth offer by Pharaoh is the craftiest of all. He says the people of Israel may leave Egypt, but they must leave their flocks and herds of cattle behind. God has not made specific mention of the animals to Moses and they are not descendants of Israel, but a nomadic people cannot subsist for many weeks scarcely for many days without its flocks and herds. The Israelites would have been starved into surrender. Furthermore, they cannot leave Egypt empty-handed; without the means for worship. The flocks and herds will be needed to make sacrifices to Jehovah. Even though God does not mention them specifically, Moses necessarily infers the livestock must be kept as part of God’s plan. He rejects Pharaoh’s offer by declaring, “Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind” (10:26).

Pharaoh is enraged by Moses’ refusal to compromise even “one hoof’ (10:27-28). Pharaoh’s response is typical of evil men when they are unable to overcome the convictions of good men by compromise. They usually throw off the mask of friendliness and show their true colors.

May God give us the wisdom to learn from Moses’ example! He teaches us to suspect, to doubt, and to examine carefully every proposed compromise in religion. Obviously, compromise is permissible in matters of liberty or indifference (Rom. 14). In matters of faith, however, compromise is absolutely unacceptable. We cannot surrender anything divinely ordered or instituted for the sake of some supposed convenience or expedience. It can never really be right to give up willingly the smallest fragment of revealed truth, or to allow the infraction of the least of God’s commandments (Lk. 16:10). Therefore, as Satan pressures us relentlessly to compromise, remember the spirit of Moses that says, “Not a hoof shall be left behind.”

 

Things I Face Every Day

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How much do you know about the Bible? In our article for today, Carter Culbertson exhorts teenagers to be more diligent in Bible study.

Things I Face Everyday

Teenagers growing up today face many struggles. I think one thing that we as teenagers need to do more of, is make more time for God in our daily lives. This is something, we all, including myself need to work on. It seems that our busy lives today are jam packed, and all we have time for is work, work, work, and more work. We need to cut out the unnecessary things that we waste time doing and start reading our Bibles. Not just reading, but actually studying the Word of God and knowing what is actually being taught. Acts 17:11 says, These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. When we have a test, we usually take time and study and know it backwards and forwards. At least, that is what we should do. That is how we need to start studying the Bible. Statistics show that the average American cannot name all four gospels. That shows we need to take more time out of our schedules to learn about God, who gave his only Son for our sins.

Three Facts Your Atheist Friend Cannot Reply To

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Have you ever talked to someone who said they were an atheist? You probably have,and most likely they acted superior to you because you believe in God. In our article today Aaron Battey gives 3 questions that the atheist cannot answer. We hope you enjoy it.

Three Facts Your Atheist Friend Cannot Reply To

There are many facts of nature that the sad and hopeless belief of atheism cannot explain. To make it more personal, the atheist today will go by the name of John. You have probably talked to John at some point in your life, but did you ever think to tell him these three profound truths to which his atheistic beliefs have no reply?

First, John cannot explain the very first origins of life. You have probably heard John say something like, “Well, we are still looking into that,” when you asked him to explain where the chemicals that produced the first life form originated. John believes that all things come from materials that you can detect with the five senses. However, there is no proof whatsoever that a certain combination of chemicals (which, themselves, came from nowhere apparently) in even the most ideal conditions can produce life of any kind. Scientists definitively disproved this theory of spontaneous generation years ago. Only a real and living creator can explain the miraculous phenomenon of a mature earth and man coming out of nowhere. Genesis 2:7 explains, “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 being.” The natural principle -everything that had a beginning had a cause- is only satisfied by the greatest cause of all. That cause is God who is “Spirit” (Jn. 4:24), outside the realm of time and space.

Second, John cannot explain where thoughts and cognition come from. Materialism is the belief that everything in existence has a material origin and can be sensed by the five human senses. This doctrine is also the crux of atheism and evolution. Did you know your friend John believes in this doctrine? Did you ever think to ask John how immaterial “thoughts” could have originated from material “chemicals”? If you have ever asked John this question, his reply was undoubtedly, “Well, we are still looking into that.” The atheist has no response, but the Bible does. Once again the scriptures provide us with the answer when they say, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:9). Only someone who is smarter than humans could have created humans. This is a basic truth that John and any rational scientist must agree with. Nonetheless, there will always be those who deny even such basic truths. To such minded people the Bible also says, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,” (1 Cor. 1:27).

Lastly, John cannot explain the origin of morals. After all, how much does hate weigh? Is there an atom for love? What is the chemical composition for the murder molecule? If you were to ask John about the existence of morality he might be puzzled; thus, these three follow-up questions are good to instill to your memory. Morality, just like thoughts and cognition, is immaterial and cannot be explained by atheism. Since atheists cannot explain this phenomenon, they claim there are no set morals. Where does this type of thinking lead? It leads to humans killing babies, Hitler annihilating a human race, and John cheating on his wife. In contrast to this ludicrous thinking, the Bible says that Eve’s “eyes…were opened” after she ate of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:7). She became aware of a set standard of right and wrong. The origin of morals and a human conscience did not occur by accident.

Search the scriptures for yourself to see if the claims in this article are true and accurate. More importantly, use some common sense and realize that this intricate universe we live in is not due to an accident. Accidents bring about only more disorder, but God and His Word offer order for your life.