Thursday, June 30, 2011




(Hebrews 11:2) For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good testimony.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." --The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.

JOHN ADAMS: "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God." --Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson.

THOMAS JEFFERSON: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” --Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.

JOHN HANCOCK: "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us." --History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: "Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.” --Benjamin Franklin wrote this in a letter to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale University on March 9, 1790.

SAMUEL ADAMS: “…by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world…that the confusions that are and have been among nations may be overruled by promoting and speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and all people everywhere willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is Prince of Peace." --As Governor of Massachusetts, Proclamation of a Day of Fast, March 20, 1797.

JAMES MADISON: "Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ." --America's Providential History, p. 93.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON: "I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man." --Famous American Statesmen, p. 126.

"Faith of our fathers, living still, In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword; Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy Whene’er we hear that glorious Word! FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, HOLY FAITH! WE WILL BE TRUE TO THEE TILL DEATH. Faith of our fathers, we will strive To win all nations unto thee; And through the truth that comes from God, We all shall then be truly free. Faith of our fathers, we will love Both friend and foe in all our strife; And preach thee, too, as love knows how By kindly words and virtuous life." (Hymn: Frederick W. Faber, 1849)


Thursday, June 23, 2011




(Deu 4:2) You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it…

Have you ever seen a Bible that is typically a lot thicker and has extra books in it that seem unfamiliar? That is because it includes the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha is a set of books that some in the church have declared as inspired and authoritative for doctrine and/or practice. Churches that include the Apocrypha are Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican. Modern day Protestants for the most part leave the Apocrypha out. Why is there a difference of opinion? The Bible is important to our lives and we should know which books are inspired and which ones are not. What should we believe about the Apocrypha?

The Apocrypha is a collection of documents produced during the intertestamental period (the time period between the Old and New testaments) which were not a part of the original Hebrew Old Testament canon. The names of these books are 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, The Rest of Esther, Song of the Three Holy Children, History of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasses, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees. The last seven of these are incorporated into Roman Catholic editions of the Bible. The Catholic Council of Trent (1546) affirmed the canonicity of these books, as found in the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament – 200b.c.).

Here is the truth about the books of the Apocrypha:

- They were not included in the original Hebrew scriptures preserved by the Jews. (Rom 3:1-2)

- The Apocryphal writings are not quoted by the Lord Jesus or the apostles.

- In 90 AD. the Jewish Council at Jamnia excluded the books of the Apocrypha.

- They do not claim to be the inspired Word of God. Unlike the inspired Scriptures, the Apocryphal books are void of statements such as "thus saith the Lord" or the like.

- They contain teachings contrary to the biblical books. (Praying and making offerings for the dead/basis for the doctrine of purgatory - II Maccabees 12:43-45; Salvation by works – Tobit 4:11, Ecclesiasticus 3:30; Command to use magic – Tobit 6:5-9; The immaculate conception of Mary - Wisdom 8:19-20). There are some historical errors as well (Judith 1:5 – Nebuchadnezzar not king of Assyria; Baruch 6:2 – Jewish captivity length).

- In quality and style, the Apocryphal books fall below the integrity of the Bible writings. An initial reading of the Apocryphal books reveal the uninspired writings of men apart from divine inspiration.

A few of the Apocryphal books do have historical value as they give information regarding the inter-testament "quiet years" prior to the coming of Christ. But this is no justification for giving the Apocrypha a place in the Holy Scripture.

Thank God for His inspired Word! Let’s never add or take away from God’s truth:
(2 Tim 3:16-17) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011




Last time I shared some principles from the Word of God that I pray was helpful to parents. This time I would like to draw from the wisdom of Proverbs that is generously insightful in regards to child discipline. Please keep in mind that though we live in modern times these truths are ageless!

- (Prov 13:24) He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. If we refrain from disciplining and correcting our children then we actually hate our children because we are forfeiting that which is essential in their lives for full development and maturity. And notice how we must discipline our children promptly. That means in a timely fashion. Don’t be lazy in dealing with what your child needs at the moment…including discipline!

- (Prov 19:18) Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction. The time to correct your child is now while they are young. If we neglect child discipline then what hope do we have that our children will be obedient in the future? Not only to us but how about their teachers… future employers… or most importantly to God? Better that your child cries now than for you as a parent to cry later when your child has no respect for authority and lives a godless life.

- (Prov 22:15) Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. Isn’t it strange how we as parents wonder why our kids act up and misbehave when we do so much for them and bend over backwards for them? What wasted discussion there is between husband and wife on this subject! Our children are rebellious because they have a sinful nature that they inherited from us. That bend toward evil needs to be brought into conformity to the will of God. This will come by parents who teach principles from God’s Word and live it out in the home and hold their children accountable for their behavior.

- (Prov 23:13-14) Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. {14} You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell. See what discipline does? It will keep your children in line and on the right path so they will serve the Lord and be guarded from the road to destruction the world is calling them to. Now keep in mind this is not a scripture to validate the venting of personal anger on a child. We are not to be overly harsh on our child. But neither are we to be too lenient on them either. Both sides will provoke our children to wrath because they will feel we do not love them (Eph 6:4).

- (Prov 29:15) The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Loving discipline is corrective in nature. It gives the child wisdom and the knowledge of right and wrong. Children learn by testing the boundaries and suffering consequences. If we leave our children to themselves then eventually they will bring shame to us as parents. Parents will suffer the consequences of their own neglect. Get a rule over yourself so you can get a rule over your children so that everybody will be under God’s rule which is the best! (Rom 13:1-2)

- (Prov 29:17) Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. Discipline is hard work. That’s why many parents neglect this responsibility. But the benefits of attentive parenting are that your children will be a blessing to you because you raised them right and stayed on your post. Much challenge brings much reward. You were meant to enjoy your children, not just endure them. And the ultimate joy is to see them love and serve God (3 John 1:4). God help us in the training of our children for His glory! (Deu 6:4-9)


Friday, June 10, 2011




There are so many voices out there telling you how you should discipline your kids. Save your money because the Bible is the best manual for raising children! Discover God’s ways for dealing with child behavior:

BALANCE: (Eph 6:4) And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. You will need a balance of love and discipline. You can be too harsh or too lenient. Be honest with yourself. Which side do you usually lean towards? If you’re a softie you need to work on being a better disciplinarian. If you are too strict you need to lighten up. Ask God to help you.

AGE APPROPRIATE: (Isa 40:11) He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young. Ask yourself what is age appropriate for your child. From the terrible twos to the trying teens you will need to think through what is best. From taking away a favorite toy or taking away the car keys you will have to make that decision and hold to it.

METHOD APPROPRIATE: (James 1:5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. Each instance of child disobedience needs God’s wisdom on how to respond and the method of discipline that needs to be implemented. Does this incident deserve a time out? A privilege withheld? A chore? God helps us to prayerfully decide each time.

EACH CHILD DIFFERENT: (Gen 25:23) And the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.” It is amazing how each child comes out so different. Not only in looks but in disposition and personality. How you discipline one might not work for the other. Some children are strong willed and some are compliant. Be careful that you don’t use blanket methods for all your children.

NECESSITY OF GRACE AND MERCY – (Ezra 9:13)…since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve… Avoid disciplining your child in anger. Settle your spirit down and remember God’s mercy!

NOT FUN BUT PROFITABLE: (Heb 12:9-11) Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Discipline is not fun! That’s why many parents avoid dealing with their kids and let a lot of things go. Your kids lose respect for you when you do so. Get off the couch. Take the child out of the store. Hang up the phone. Stay on it!

DISCERNMENT: (1 Cor 13:7) (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Sometimes kids act up because they are tired or hungry or under pressure. Use discernment at these times as you try to ascertain the underlying cause. Take care of the basic needs. Talk about the bully at school or the rejection of being turned down for a date.

RELATIONSHIP: (Deu 6:7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Rules without relationship equals rebellion. Spend time with your kids. Maybe they are acting up because they need your attention!


Thursday, June 2, 2011




One of the most frequently asked questions by Christians is if a believer can fall out of salvation. Some say your salvation is secure and some say you can fall from grace. Advocates from opposing sides can be very opinionated and even harsh to the opposite camp. But many of us have a concern for a friend or loved one who once professed Christ but are not living for Christ. Are they saved? Will they go to heaven? Let’s take a fresh look at this topic close to hearts.

Let’s talk first about the group that says the Bible teaches the security of the believer’s salvation. One of the main verses is: (John 10:28-29) And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. Notice how this verse relates to eternal life being eternal and the emphasis on how a believer will never perish. Then there is the confidence that God’s hand is on the believer and He won’t allow any of His children to be snatched from his hand.

But then there is the other camp that believes you can fall out of salvation. The main scripture for this is: (Heb 6:4-6) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. This verse seems to state that after you come to the Lord you can fall away and not be renewed to repentance. What is a Christian to believe and which side is right?

My personal belief is that if a person is truly saved they have eternal life and will never perish and that God’s hand will be on them for protection. They may stray at times and even backslide but the Good Shepherd will bring them back (Luke 15). And if they choose to remain carnal their whole life then they will be saved “so as through fire.” They will gain heaven but lose their reward at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:12-15).

So what about the Hebrews passage? I believe in context the writer is referring to Jewish Christians who were suffering persecution and were therefore reevaluating if they wanted to continue being a Christian. It looks like from the passage they were going back to animal sacrifices and therefore crucifying again for themselves the Son of God and putting Him to an open shame.

I think that when you see a professed believer not serving the Lord it is important to have this perspective: Either he/she is saved but temporarily backslidden or perhaps in an arrested state of carnality. Or they never were saved to begin with, which would fit this scripture:
(1 John 2:19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

So how do you know? Only God knows. (2 Tim 2:19) …“The Lord knows those who are His… We can judge people’s fruit (Mat 7:20) but we can’t judge them personally (Mat 7:1-5). Only God is the judge (James 5:9).

I believe a Christian’s security is wrapped up in the finished work of Jesus from the cross. Saying you can fall out of salvation puts the emphasis on the believer’s works. And we know we can’t work for our salvation (Eph 2:8-9). But neither should a person misuse their freedom in Christ and live in sin (Gal 5:1; Rom 6). And if you love Jesus you won’t be concerned about falling out of salvation. You will just enjoy your salvation…forever!