Monday, October 31, 2011

The work of priests

Malachi 2:7-8 says, “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.” Several hundred years before Christ, the priests of Israel would not tell the people what they needed to hear, which incurred the wrath of God.
In 1 Peter 2:5, it says, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." Christians function as priests, and we have the responsibility to spread the word too. Jesus charged His disciples to spread the word before He ascended into heaven (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15). The priests of old wouldn’t tell people what they needed to hear. Have we caused any to stumble because we refuse to do the same? “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are ghosts real?

With the time of year, increased activity in thoughts about ghosts is natural. Also feeding these feelings are several networks shows about ghosts and ghost hunting, along with feature films, such as “Paranormal Activity 3,” which all claim that ghosts are real.
Disembodied spirits of the dead who return to haunt the living do not exist. The classic case in the Bible is Saul and the witch at Endor. Needing encouragement about the confrontation with the Philistines, Saul went to the witch to “conjure” up Samuel. First Samuel 28:11-12 says, “Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.” The woman was clearly surprised, not anticipating one who clearly came back from the dead. This was a special circumstance which God used to communicate Saul’s impending death. In Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the Lord taught that spirits go to the Hadean realm, and do not come back to earth to “haunt” or “warn” others (Luke 16:27-31; cf. Hebrews 9:27).
Furthermore, as much as people may want it, the shows and movies which depict hauntings are clearly inconclusive at best and completely make believe at worst. Anecdotal evidence is not a real answer. The Bible declares that communication with the dead, either in a positive or negative way, is not possible.
Kyle Campbell

Lead me in the truth

In Psalm 25:5, David wrote, “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” This appeal is similar to Isaiah 2:2: “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” The Lord teaches us through the scriptures. That is why Christians emphasize the Bible so much.
Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). If you want to know more about the Lord, don’t wait for some kind of “enlightenment,” pick up your Bible and really study by comparing texts to come to an understanding of God’s will. You can be lead in the truth, but you have to take the initiative with the scriptures
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The word of the Lord endures forever

 “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:22-25). In spite of what this passage says, there are those who have tried to do away with God’s word.

In the days of Jeremiah (36:21-23), we find that King Jehoiakim cut the scroll containing God’s word, and cast it into the fire. This, of course, did not keep God’s word from coming to pass. Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity just as God’s word had predicted (vss. 28-32).

During the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church arose and tried to do away with the word of God. They tried to keep it from the common people, punishing anyone who tried to read it or translate it. But the word of Lord still endured.

We still have people today who try to do away with God’s word. Laws have been passed about keeping the Bible out of public schools, trying to get the kids to think from an atheistic point of view. Laws have also been passed to keep the Ten Commandments from being displayed on government property.

There are many other attempts to do away with God’s word, but it still remains, and will always remain throughout the end of time, on into eternity. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Jonathan Glaesemann

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jonah couldn't hide

The narrative of Jonah in chapter 1 is normally reserved for children, but it is a pretty good account for adults too. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, but he did not want to because the Assyrians were the hated enemies of the Israelites.
Instead, he decided to get on a ship bound for Tarshish, but Jonah was about to learn that he could not get away from God. God brought a great storm which eventually drove the sailors to throw Jonah overboard, where he was swallowed by a large fish and vomited on the shore.
Just like Jonah, we cannot hide our works from God. Psalm 139:7-8 says, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” God knows us and will judge us: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Because no one can hide in the judgment, decide to follow the scriptures. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Kyle Campbell

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The rich man and Lazarus

One sober lesson from Luke 16 is that the rich man’s actions were not acceptable to God. The rich man learned about the finality of the grave and the nature of torment.
As much as one may be in torment, the status of the grave cannot be changed. Ecclesiastes 9:5 says, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” Sadly, false teachers say you can go back and forth across the gulf -- with enough money.
On the other hand, Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom. Paul wrote, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Our time to make decisions and choices is now: “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation)” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Don’t delay or put it off -- and perhaps find yourself in the position of the rich man.
Kyle Campbell