“The World in Which We Live”

OPA mast head“The World in Which We Live” October 2001

About twenty-five years ago, this writer began preaching against the sin of homosexuality during some gospel meetings. Most appreciated it some thought it unnecessary and a few were down right critical. It is likely that the mere mention of such horrendous acts made some uncomfortable. However, the passing of the last quarter century has brought all of us to recognize that the problem is real. It is obvious that the homosexual lifestyle is not a passing “fad.” Their numbers are great enough that Politicians court them in an effort to win their votes. They realize that to displease such a large segment of the population would mean defeat in the election. So, they promise whatever they must in order to win it. Let’s face it; the homosexual lifestyle is a part of the world in which we live. They proudly parade down public streets and the media covers it. (One wonders how long the media might cover a “straight” parade.) They seek to adopt and raise children in their “homes.” They want the country to allow them to marry. If they can’t marry, they at least want their employers to provide medical insurance for their partners and, in some cases they are getting it! The homosexual population has worked hard to present themselves as a normal part of the world. Unfortunately, the world in which we live has largely accepted that premise and many believe it is totally wrong to say anything against it. In fact, it has gone so far as to invade religious circles! For a number of years various denominations have argued and debated as to whether or not practicing homosexuals should be allowed the privileges given to ordinary members. Little by little they are winning there too. In the month of August 2001, it was reported that the Lutherans are debating among themselves as to whether or not “gay and lesbians” can become ordained clergy. The Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, etc. have already gone through it.

For those who read and accept the Bible as truth, there is no doubt about the facts. Romans 1, among other passages, makes it perfectly clear that it is a sin. Paul said “God gave them (homosexuals DLK) up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves” (Romans 1:24). In verses 26, 27, he continues: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves; that recompense of their error which was meet.” We all understand this; it needs no explanation. Paul plainly says the sin is against nature. He speaks of the “natural use of the woman” etc. It is obvious to all but the most stubbornly blind that Paul considered men with men, women with women, as not being natural. Now the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) is being spoken of as one that is difficult to understand. In a recent article in a local Sunday newspaper a writer says: “In one of the most memorable passages of Genesis, God destroys the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of unnamed sins ….” Anyone who reads the story given there knows perfectly well what the sins were. In Genesis 19:5 it says: “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, where are the men which came into thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may KNOW them.” The word “know” as used here has a great variety of uses. However, it is used here with a sexual connotation. Lot recognized it and that’s why he said in verse 7 “… I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Lot knew the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with homosexuals and he also knew that the intentions of the men of the city who had gathered around his home that night were to engage in a sinful activity with his guests. That’s why he called it wickedness. He knew what they wanted to do was sin! Some time ago, a homosexual writer asserted that perhaps the cities were destroyed because the people were not hospitable! Certainly, he said, it wasn’t because the people were largely homosexual.

However, ridiculous and strange this may seem to you, please know that little by little, this country is being converted to accept their sinful lifestyle. More and more we hear that it is unfair and bigoted to speak out against the sin. Our children in many places are growing up hearing that it is just as bad to be opposed to the “gay and lesbian” lifestyle as it is to be racially prejudiced. There is no doubt that it is wrong to judge a person because of his race or skin color. There is no question there. A person has no choice as to what race he or she may be. However, sexual preference is just that, a preference. When a person wants to serve the Lord, he has some choices to make. If he wants to please God, he must honor the moral code given by God. Paul said, “But I keep under my body, and bring into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). Our bodies are under our control. We can decide to live the Christian life or we may choose to serve Satan. Some are born with a weakness to lie. What would you think of the person who says he has no choice but to lie, he has always been that way? You would probably remind him that “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). Others seem to have a weakness to steal. Must we accept the active thief as a fellow Christian if he tells us he has always had the problem? No, we would tell him that is sin and he must stop. The same is true with the homosexual. It is just another sin that he must guard against. He can control it if he really wishes to.

Yes, these things are a part of the world in which we live. However, we must always remember to let God’s Word have the final say. Think on these things. Don. L King

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OPA mast head“BLINDED MINDS”
December 2013 Issue of the Old Paths Advocate
By: Don L. King
In second Corinthians 4: 3, 4 the apostle Paul wrote: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Every person who has endeavored to interest non-Christians in the way of righteousness is familiar with the feeling of frustration when there is no interest or perhaps downright scorn shown. We live in a day of blinded minds. We live in a time when the majority of people feel the Bible is outdated and unimportant. We live in a time when Christianity is actually believed to be for those who are uneducated and ignorant. This is the Devil’s work. All one need do to confirm this is to affirm the Bible account of creation in public. Many believe evolution is the answer to creation rather than the Scriptures. Some will actually laugh when a Christian states a belief in Bible truths. Have you wondered why this is increasingly more common than ever before? The Bible is perhaps still a best seller but very seldom followed in everyday life. It is far more likely to be used as an ornament than a guide. Just look around. What do we see? We see men and women living together without benefit of marriage, men marrying men, women marrying women, children brought into the world out of wedlock, abortion commonly used to get rid of unwanted babies, and the list goes on and on. None of these things are permitted by the Bible, and in fact, are often condemned in plain language.

We live in a time where modern inventions make it possible for a person to see, or experience, every form of wicked behavior known to man. The Internet, movies, and every form of the media are full of such things. The media while useful in preaching the gospel and many other good things may also be prostituted to evil purposes. This is true with every form of the media.
The minds of men are blinded today by the god of this world. This is what the apostle Paul said. The Devil is working hard! Somehow, the human family has become accustomed to sin of every description and many of us barely notice. It is on our televisions, many movies, radio; the music played in movies, etc., and is commonly seen on the street as well. The language of many Americans is beyond terrible now. God’s name is commonly taken in vain even by young school children and few notice or care. It is that common. Modesty with men and women is a thing of the past in spite of what the Bible says. The minds of many have been blinded. (Romans 3: 3, 4) Remember, Paul said “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” (Romans 3:3) When we look around the world and see the blinded minds of so many, we are saddened to realize we are seeing those who are lost!

We read much about the evils of the Internet; and while there is undoubtedly much good to be found, there is overwhelming evil as well. Pornographic sites are virtually numerous. Yes, this is an obvious source of evil and many are enticed. This is plainly the work of the Devil. However, there is another problem with the Internet becoming more and more obvious in our modern world. In the past, a person who published a religious journal felt a great sense of responsibility to censure false doctrine and keep it out of the publication. The devil has found a way to get around such publishers. False teachers, who once had no way to reach the masses, now go on the Internet and teach error worldwide. Do you realize an Internet site teaching false doctrine can do just as much harm as any other evil site? In our opinion, this has become one of the greatest enemies the church has today. Just think of those who have been taught false doctrine and left the church as a result! Any crackpot can establish a web site and begin blinding the minds of millions all over the world. Most of us could give names and cases where this has happened over and over. Facebook, a commonly used form of social media, while harmless in most cases, can also be used to fool the unwary. The Devil is working! It is so easy to gossip, criticize the church and her members, and this on a worldwide scope. Women, perhaps without thinking, can teach Bible things in direct contradiction to what Paul said in 1 Timothy 2: 11, 12. It is so easy to forget that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

The church is facing a great battle right now. Enemies beset her on every side. Brethren, be careful. We are not facing a novice who knows nothing. The apostle spoke of him as “the god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) One foolish move by the unsuspecting and souls are lost. Think on these things. DLK

The Man On the Other Side

imageThe Man On the Other Side

The book of Obadiah is not well known today, yet it contains some powerful lessons for our time. One such lesson is found in vs. 11.

On this occasion Israel was being besieged and overrun by an enemy nation. Edom was rejoicing in the destruction of Israel. Obadiah verse 11 says, In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. Although not “one of them,” yet when he “stood on the other side” he became “as one of them.” In becoming as one of them, Edom must perish as the nation that destroyed Jacob.Jesus Christ clearly declares what the religious position of every man must be. Matt. 12:30 “He that is not with is against me; and he that gathered not with me scattereth abroad”. This leaves no middle ground in the spiritual warfare.

Today, within the Lord’s church we have a liberal element that has no respect for the authority of the Scriptures. They are willing to change and alter anything that suits their fancy-and rest assured they have done exactly that. Their desire is to please man and it is evident they have no real desire to please God. They want to fellowship with those who have brought in innovations. This is impossible if one will remain true to the Bible. Since these men could not remain true to the book and join in with their friends in error, they are willing to compromise the Bible. They are “as one of them”, a “man on the other side”.

Men must not bow to liberalism and toleration to the point of compromise. It is dangerous to fellowship those whose tendencies are away from New Testament Christianity. There is nothing of lasting worth to be gained by compromise. We do not help the liberal in giving in to him; we only hinder him and jeopardize ourselves. We become “as one of them”.
Paul pleads with the Romans, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” Rom. 16:17. When there is a laxity of “marking” and “avoiding” we must sound forth a warning. It is dangerous to get to the point that we think such is no longer needed. When that happens, we become “as one of them”.

Some have never been content to remain within the standard of the Word of God. During the Old Testament days there were false teachers and Peter says there will always be such 2 Pet. 2:1-2. Jesus instructed us to “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” Matt. 15:9. Because there will always be false teachers John commands us to put all teachers to the test 1 John 4:1. These false teachers, and their followers, refused to abide within the Scriptures by their teaching and practice. They are “as one of them.”

We have some who claim to be “with us,” who compromise with the innovators. There are congregations, who claim to follow the Biblical pattern for worship, but they will support the innovators and in bidding “these men Godspeed,” they become “partakers of their evil deeds” 2 Jno. 1:9-11. Such a man becomes “as one of them.”

There are some who think that we can just love men out of their error. Some call for love and understanding when individuals and congregations teach and practice false doctrine. Though we strive to be kind and gentle, we must not sit idly by while strong foes rise up and attack the cause of Christ, lest we become as “one of them.” An advocate of “love and understanding” says that we must give them time. But, I would ask, time for what? Time to subvert whole houses? Time to divide congregations? Time to lead multitudes away from Christ? Yes, the Christian is to show love and understanding, but he must also be vigilant and even militant against error, lest he become “as one of one of them.” When a person does not take his stand wholeheartedly for the truth and stands by and permits, with silent voice and no active opposition, unscriptural practices to be introduced into the church, that person is “as one of them”, a “man on the other side.” To simply “step aside” or “fail to take a side” is to become “the man on the other side.”

Unfortunately there are influential men among us who defend those who are attacking the Lord’s church. This has always been a problem. The Jews had the same problem long ago. Neighboring countries would defend and give aid to those attacking them. God clearly showed His attitude concerning this matter. Amos 1:9 “Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant”.Obadiah prophesied against Edom for acting in this manner and they became “as one of them.” God is not only displeased, but will bring condemnation upon these types of individuals. Yet, there are many who will defend those who viciously attack the Lord’s faithful people. These individuals might not teach false doctrines themselves. However, when men do what God commands in exposing the “unfruitful works of darkness” Eph. 5:11, these “men on the other side” will then proclaim themselves to be “peacemakers” and attack those who exposed the wrong. They accuse the people who expose wrong of being the troublemakers; much like Ahab did with Elijah. The “man on the other side” instead of protecting the church, is protecting the false teacher. By doing so, he compromises the truth of God and of the church.

The “man on the other side” will not oppose the enemies of the church. This man is a great danger. Such a person may be highly offended if anyone would call him a “man on the other side.” These are individuals who preach the truth. One could sit under their feet and most likely never hear anything but God’s Word. The problem is they will not take a stand when it comes to false teachers. The Bible mentions the city of Meroz just one time. Jud. 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. The people of Meroz were not a wicked and immoral people. They simply failed to help the Lord’s people in their war against the Canaanites. God is not going to tolerate neutrality, and the people of Meroz were trying to be neutral. Those who refuse to take up the sword of the Spirit and fight against the enemies of the church are just like the men of Meroz-trying to be neutral. Such men piously work under the guise of not wanting to offend anyone and not liking controversy.

Jesus caused more controversy than anyone who ever lived. When truth was on the line, Jesus was not afraid of offending people. Now, it should not be our intent to offend anyone, but truth is far more important and sometimes it does offend those who are not content to follow it.

You can be sure the side of error is doomed by the eternity of truth, and the “man on the other side” will meet the same fate. Obadiah vs. 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

We must not shirk our responsibility in the fight for the church and truth. We need to do our part in this crusade against sin and error in every-form. We must take sides on every issue involving the life of the church. As soldiers of God, let us take our stand at the front of battle. Let us face the enemy, and without compromise, fight those who compromise truth. To simply stand by and allow the truth and the church to be attacked by men in error is to be “as one of them.” It is to be the man on the other side!

God’s Justice

imageThere’s no end to the Internet outrage after a Texas teen who killed four people appears to have gotten a lenient sentence precisely because he’s from a wealthy, privileged family. His defense was “affluenza”. People are demanding that this young man pay for his crime. They are demanding justice. Amidst all this talk about justice, there is this false notion that we aren’t going to be held accountable to God’s eternal justice; that forgiveness with God is no big deal. People somehow think that God should just give us a pass, no matter who we are or what we’ve done. Many people look at God as some grand-fatherly type being that would never harm or hurt anything. They have eliminated the aspect of God’s nature that would punish the evildoer. They fail to see the other view of God presented by the Scriptures. Yes, our God is a God of love, kindness, compassion, but He is also a God of vengeance. (Heb. 10:30-31) “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. While Paul gives us advice, he also shows the nature of God to us: (Rom. 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”. Just as much as the nature of God is love, the Hebrews writer reveals that His nature is a consuming fire. “For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). It is amazing that men want justice in this world, but then expect less of God.   http://m.ajc.com/news/news/national/outrage-over-rich-teens-affluenza-defense-4-deaths/ncJXL/?icmp=cmgcontent_internallink_relatedcontent_2013_morepopularheadlines4