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April 17, 2020 1:00 am
Today on wisdom for the heart Stephen Davies answering some questions he received from we are capable and imagining speaking to an audience that is guilty of everything I just mentioned were not Christians because we do not Christians because we have repented of our sin and trusting Christ so it's all come back and give you a number that you can use to call us if you have a question you'd like Stephen to answer on a future broadcast but were eager to get started.
So here's our first question from a sexual life. All search. Thank you so much Mr. Thompson for calling in with your question and Steve and I really I think there's really two parts to it.
He's wanting to know a practicing homosexual can they be a Christian and then can they be accepted into the church really two parts to that to that question very good. Thank you. Also, Mr. Thompson for that question we get asked a lot about that and I think that on a lot of people's minds, especially in this day and age where it is becoming more and more mainstream and more.
More legislation is being passed to accommodate what we would believe the Bible says is a sinful activity or a sinful lifestyle chose break it into its two parts can a Christian be homosexual.
Bottom line is absolutely yes Christian can be a murderer, a Christian can be a liar. A Christian can be a swindler. A Christian can be a glutton, a Christian can be guilty of fornication, abortion, and the list goes on and on and on.
We are capable and imagining them speaking to a an audience that is guilty of everything I just mentioned were not Christians because we do not sin were Christians because we have repented of our sin and were trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. What that means is the key word is practice or a practicing homosexual, a practicing adulterer of practicing murderer practicing swindler. In fact, the apostle Paul uses that word very clearly in his letter to the Galatian believers where he writes in Galatians chapter 5 verse 19 he gives quite a list of sinful activity. He says now the deeds of the flash are evident. They are immorality and that word for immorality, by the way just covers every sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage according to our understanding of Scripture to immorality. The word is important.
They the word gives us our word pornography. It simply refers to any kind of sexual activity that God would not condone. And of course that the new test old and New Testament bear out what would be condemned. He goes on to say, impurity, sensuality, these are other deeds of the flash idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, any of you ever been guilty of an outburst of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, and notice what he says here he says, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. So we need to make sure we understand something as possible to be guilty of any and every sin and be a Christian.
But someone who says I'm going to practice immorality. I'm going to practice strife and division.
I'm going to practice impurity and sensuality that person is self deceived. They've never repented. Repentance means you no longer want to sin that doesn't mean you won't sin because of our sinful nature. We like the apostle Paul in Romans seven don't do the things we want to do and we do the things we shouldn't do, but the key word is our own heart desire to practice such things. So someone who decides to practice a sinful activity who would long for that activity more than Christ, who would love that, rather than to be in fellowship with Christ to someone who really doesn't want Christ. Simple Stephen before you go on to the portion of the question regarding church membership what you think about the concept of besetting sins. You know, is it possible for believer to have a besetting sin, something that they're gonna struggle with for a long time and maybe even their whole life while Scott, I think that Hebrews 12 one. Since it's written to Christians implies that we all struggle with besetting sins because he's telling us to set them aside. He's telling us to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us why so we can be Christians know but so that we can run with endurance the race that is set before us. So yes, we have besetting since everyone's wired differently by the way, and someone he says well I was just born it out to be homosexual is like me saying that I was born to be heterosexual adulterer. While I was in you work to were wired and fallen in our wiring and in our well you see what I feel this way.
Well, your feeler is fallen to everything about us is that's all we have to go to the Scriptures to determine what's right what's wrong what we should pursue what we should avoid what we should practice and what we should deny ourselves. So Paul's comments about practicing these things, and the author of Hebrews, referring to the setting or the fact that we still sometimes have these repeated stencils are really two different things that I just brought that up because I think sometimes that's confusing right that's a good point, failing in the setting sin is different from choosing to do it without any desire to stop it and I think we as Christians long as Paul wrote to the Romans would long for the redemption of the body and in the meantime we go back to the cross over and over and over again and we we we bathe in the ongoing cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
John writes in first John chapter 1 will before we let this go.
Mr. Thompson also wanted to know about church membership can a practicing homosexual be accepted into a church membership was the last part of this question. Well, I would just rephrase the question two is a practicing swindler allowed to be a member of the church is a practicing adulterer allowed to be a member of the church. No, not because I think it but because Paul very clearly dealt with that in first Corinthians chapter 5. In this particular case, a man was sleeping with his step mother and the church was in a covering over their eyes and sort of putting the blinders on and saying an overnight data, we can be tolerant and we can be loving and posted know you've actually become arrogant and what I want you to do is remove this one from your assembly.
The next time you meet together. He goes on in chapter 5, to write, I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people that I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world or with the coverages of swimmers and with idolaters for then you would have to leave the world. In other words, if you decide beloved to never get around people who are sinners. Well, you'll never be able to win anybody to Christ because they need the gospel so Paul is saying avoid unbelievers who are immoral or coveting swimmers or idolaters. He says this, verse 11 but I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother that is a so called Christian if he is an immoral person or coverages or an idolater or revile her drunkard or swindler, not even to eat with such a one, so the one who says him a Christian and I'm going to live a homosexual lifestyle on a Christian and homages swindler everybody I can swindle on a Christian and I'm an ally every chance I get.
I'm a Christian and I love to commit adultery. I love to be promiscuous.
That person is self deceived that so-called Christian is never repented and that so-called Christians should not be a part of your church. That's for church discipline comes in and that's an entirely different subject, thank you so much Steven and thank you Mr. Thompson for calling then with your question friends I want to make you aware of a resource that we have available for you on our website. You'll find firstname.lastname@example.org.
Navigate to the resource section. When you get there. Stephen preached a sermon series called the banquet table of consequences. One of the messages in that serious is the sands of Sodom. The message from Romans 126 and 27 where Stephen deals with the topic of homosexuality in more detail. So if you go to our website and just type in the sands of Sodom.
You'll find that message and you can listen to it right there on your computer or you can download the written transcript and both of those are available to you free of charge before we move on to our next question I want to make sure that you know our Bible question phone number if you dial 910-808-9384 you'll be able to ask your question. Now that's not a phone number that we answer, it simply set up for you to record your Bible question for us to play on a later broadcast for Stephen to answer that number is 910-808-9384 and you can call it anytime here's our next question for today will all will wear thank you so much Stephanie for calling in with your question. It really is an important topics in this set of books called the Apocrypha, which we don't claim to be part of the canon, but some do. Sure, it really is an issue that that we probably need to bring some clarity to at least help with it and I think along that line even that comment. Scott has caused a lot of confusion in people's minds about these extra books.
One of the blessings that we have had by the providence of God is to have had thousands of manuscripts discovered over the ages effect in my lifetime.
Several thousand initiatives have been discovered fragments little pieces of of Scripture and they all authenticate the canon of Scripture, the completed set of Scripture that we have in the New Testament life of Jesus and his disciples.
It was pretty obvious that he fully agreed with the extent of the Old Testament books.
In fact, the often quoted from them.
One author said that Jesus, the other New Testament authors quote from the Old Testament nearly 300 times, and by the way, they never quote or make any statement from the books of the Apocrypha or any other writings that have any divine authority or so-called divine authority.
The question is Stephanie is is asking is you not can I trust the Bible. I got all the you know I'm supposed to have it let use of those different here because this is such a huge subject, but I'm going to recommend a little book to use Stephanie into our listeners and I didn't write it early. Luther wrote it and it's a book entitled seven reasons why you can trust the Bible and is just a wonderful condensed study seven reasons why you can trust the Bible it's published by Moody and Erwin lutes are is the author now let me let me dive in a couple of different ways very very quickly.
Number one. Let's clear up the misconception that is bantered about by the liberals and by those teaching the universities and that is that the church decided what would be in the Bible, the church chose what they wanted to have in the Bible and that is simply not true. The church did not choose the church simply as it grew more organized recognized the word of God. They recognize the letters of the apostles and all but four or five books of the New Testament are all written by apostles affect the others are written by those who were part of the apostolic community.
Like for instance Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and who wrote the book of acts who traveled with the apostle Paul is his personal medical doctor who was an eyewitness to so many so many events so you would have members of the apostolic community or apostles, and of course in the Old Testament prophets who wrote as inspired by the spirit of God. The Scriptures tell us the church did nothing more than create a standard, a litmus test. It's the word we use for the word canon the word canon means literally a measuring bar and it it came to become a metaphorical term for measuring standard so we talk about the canon of Scripture.
What we mean is that these scriptures have met the test. They've met the standard at all.
The church did was recognize that standard whether they identify as Scripture that what was some of those elements that created the standard what one would be simply the fact of the test of authorship, the record of authorship of profits or an apostle or a member of the apostolic community who knew Christ traveled with the disciples would be very important.
And of course that would rule out the potential of any so-called inspired Scripture coming centuries later.
We have a lot of Gnostic Gospels that are spurious and they basically attack the gospel written by individuals who were in the second third fourth century had nothing to do. The apostles of the apostolic community.
We have the test of content but just the test of authorship of the test of content. In other words, is this is this consistent with the rest of Scripture to give you an illustration of the Gospel of Thomas, one of those Gnostic Gospels. It's made headlines and I think nobody people are talking about it anymore. That's that's good news, but it was held to belong to Scripture, but it doesn't meet the test of of canonicity because of its contradiction and it ends with a strange conversation with Peter who says let Mary go away from us, for women are not worthy of life. Well Peter the apostle didn't have the attitude that women are worthy of life that would be inconsistent. By the way, with the gospel, which gives women equal standing as errors of the gospel. We are kings and queens in this coming kingdom and then the Gospel of Thomas is Jesus saying well I will leave her so that I may make her a male, you're right.
You know women don't deserve to live, something to make her a man that she too may become a living spirit resembling all males. For every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven. Okay there. There's one word comes to my mind when I hear something like that it's it's the old Hebrew word that's pronounced by Vallone that is baloney its absolute, utter nonsense. And for anyone who is using the test of canonicity would see that that is completely diametrically opposed to the rest of Scripture. So you have those that suggest their other tests, such as the test of usefulness spiritual growth that might be a little more subjective, certainly, but that was one of the reasons why Martin Luther struggled with the book of Esther.
He he didn't think was useful because it didn't mention God.
He had struggles with James because James was coming from a different perspective is a related works and in faith, but Martin Luther didn't decide it was the body of believers in the organized church that over the centuries recognized that these were scriptures.
They didn't determine them and give you 70 one more quick illustration and then finish. But imagine this, a police officer in an investigation can identify can recognize counterfeit money and those within the legal system.
RR train those in the banking world are trained to recognize counterfeit money is counterfeit and not genuine. However, a policeman or bank teller cannot make counterfeit money, genuine. The only thing they can do is identify likewise the church can't make something divinely inspired, it can't make something Scripture all he can do is identify thank you Steven and thank you so much Stephanie for calling then with your question. I want to mention the will of course Stephen already mentioned the resource by Dr. lutes are seven reasons why you can trust the Bible, but we also have a resource on our website that you might find helpful. If this is a topic you want to look a little bit more into to go to our website wisdom online.org we have a sermon series entitled how we got our Bible how we got our Bible. It's a short three-part series and the audio and written transcripts are available free of email@example.com. I want to give our Bible question line again in case you want to call in with your question. It's 910-808-9384 any question you have about the Bible or the Christian faith. Just: and would be happy to answer it on the future broadcast that's what this listener did Colin from Greensboro question chapter 7 understand this has been destroyed by the into the turntable and future prophecy which link you stay for calling. Then Stephen, it's an interesting question. The Bible predicts the destruction of the city, but that city is still in the news today yet is and I think this goes along with the idea of things were sitting in the Middle East and how they play into the potential in a sign of Christ's return or things to that effect these prophecies for a were imminent and they took place. They took place during the kingdoms of the Syria and as the rod of wrath in the hand of God moved against all of these cities peoples. This is judgment basically on the nation Israel in Damascus was indeed the destroyed. Well it's been rebuilt has in it because it's undergoing bombs and in other destruction and we don't know what will happen in the future as relates this particular city, but what you find in Isaiah 17.
One was fulfilled in the past. Centuries ago, and that it was destroyed. And it has since been, and probably many times since rebuilt, but will lead this fate is interesting to me that so much of the land.
So much of these cities. So much of these names that you read in in the Old Testament prophets still exist to this day. Just amazing God is preserved for the most part, these areas of these regions you have in Egypt today of the Jordan River. You have a Damascus you have the Bethlehem you have the nation Israel reconstituted and I think is wonderful and the way God is allowed that particular part of the world to not really change hands all that much in and it is setting up for the final prophetic fulfillment.
Be careful, however, when you do your things in the news is nothing in the way of Jesus taking his church out wrap assuring her. There's nothing that has to happen before that can happen is no sign that were waiting to see fulfilled before the church's rapture the way, what we would be waiting on simply as the completion of the church and when that's done.
The bride is swept away. So while we are fascinated with was happening in the Middle East is make sure we don't hide too much of it to prophetic scriptures that may have either already been fulfilled, such as the destruction of a Damascus or something that's going to happen in the future, such as the regathering of Israel that's going to take place during the tribulation.
Not so much what's happening now another subject. Another time Faye but I so appreciate your studying the Old Testament and you're looking at the newspaper at the same time. Just be careful as you do so.
Thanks Stephen and thanks Faye for calling him that question. I hope that that helped you. Here's another question.
I felt Florida, question I noted you is God's people.
What happened to all those who believe most don't believe in Jesus are they going to go to hell thank you thank you Joe for calling and with that question and Stephen it really is an important one. It is indeed enemy say there are a billion Muslims who believe in Abraham, who revere Moses, who pray to the God of Abraham. They call them all.
I believe it's a different God, but they would say they believe in the God they tracked back to Abraham.
What about them when all the Jews are praying that Abraham's God that entirely discount Jesus.
Of course the Muslims believe that Jesus is just one more profit. What you say to people who say they believe in God, the God of the Old Testament Muslims and Jews, but do not believe in Jesus as equally divine. Equally, God the son, can they go to heaven will let me, let me just simply read to you what one man said to gathering of Jews certainly Gentiles as he answered that question this way. By the way, his name was Peter. He said this, he said, let it be known to you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead by this name. This man stands are before you in good health. He, Jesus is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone and there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. So the apostle Peter was sitting here by this microphone, he'd say to you, it doesn't matter what somebody says about God, but if they deny Jesus, God the son they've denied the one who alone can give salvation, the one who died to pay for our sins. The advocate the intercessor, the one who will receive us one day as his bride. You cannot deny Jesus, and have any gospel any salvation and you certainly can't have heaven with Jesus either. Yet such a tricky question Stephen Christianity are our roots are tied to the roots of Judaism and we even share a good portion of the same sacred Scripture with Judaism, but Jews today who don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah are really not praying to the Old Testament God. That's right there praying to a false God, thank you so much Joe for calling him with your question and thanks to everyone who called in today were so grateful to have received your questions and we hope that this broadcast was helpful you been listening to wisdom for the heart. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey several times during the broadcast I gave you the Bible question line but let me give you our phone number if you'd like to call and actually speak with us here at the office. Our number is 86648242538664824253. If you'd like to write to us. Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 in our website one more time is wisdom online.all of the resources that I mentioned earlier in the broadcast. You'll find them there. Wisdom online.thanks for joining us today will be back on Monday with another week of Bible teaching.
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