Study the Word: Bulletin Articles
Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Muslims
For Christians, when they have a desire to teach people that belong to other religious sects, they need to go to the heart of the matter. After all, it was Jesus Himself who stated, “Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (Jn. 8:24). Therefore, children of God must ask, “What do you believe about Jesus?”
What’s vital is seeing the need to get clarification. After all, the three religious sects mentioned in the title would say, “Yes, we believe in Jesus.” However, the fact is, none of them believe the Jesus you read about in the Bible. Not one of them believe that Jesus had pre-existence and that He is God (Jn. 1:1; Heb. 1:8). Is this really that big of a deal? Let’s see where their denials took them.
Book of Mormon, the Quran, and the New World Translation
You can make claims that Jesus was born of a virgin; performed miracles and that He was a prophet. Yet, to strip Him of His deity opens the door to additional “revelations” to justify additions to the Bible. It was the Father that said that He has spoken unto us in these last days by His Son (Heb. 1:2). This message is complete (Jude 3). Knowing the scriptures are sufficient to make man complete (II Tim. 3:16-17), why would there be a need for additional writings?
The Bible is inspired but not reliable
Not only with the three religious groups under discussion, but along with other religious people, you often see people picking and choosing what they want to accept in the Bible. The statement I have heard in the past is, “Yes, we believe in the Bible as long as it is translated correctly.” In other words, on the points we disagree with it’s because we believe that is a wrong translation, tha the Bible is corrupted in that part.
Such reasoning is ridiculous. The same evidence used to support the parts that are accepted as being true, provide the same support for all other Bible teachings. Again, Christ put it this way, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (Jn. 12:48). Since the apostles were promised by our Lord to be guided into all truth, they spoke by revelation of Jesus Christ, thus we have all His words (Jn. 16:13; Gal. 1:12).
You need to put your faith in other men
Whether it be Joseph Smith, Mohammad, or the Watchtower Society; people are people deceived and influenced to follow someone else. Coming back to our Lord’s words once again, He made the proclamation that, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes unto the Father except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6). This is the point of contention with these other groups.
People have been lured away by these groups thinking they are very similar to what Christians believe. The truth is anything but that. This is why one must learn not only what people believe about Jesus Christ, but what they don’t believe about Him. You can’t have it both ways. When it comes to our Savior, He is the whole package, you can’t take just part of Him and be right with God.
It is easy for us as Christians to dismiss the theory of evolution, since we know that God created all things in six (24 hour) days – Genesis 1 & 2. Even though this is true, we need not put our head in the sand and think that the theory of evolution is going to fade away.
The truth is, many evolutionists don’t consider their belief as a theory, but as fact, which is how it is coming across in our schools and news media. It is easier to not think about it than deal with it. We, as God’s people, need not be afraid to defend the truth. Let us not think that creation is harder to defend than evolution, because it isn’t.
Defending creation begins with God (Gen. 1:1). Our faith in our creator is to come from evidence. The Hebrew writer stated, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). As we look around and see the world, we see order and design, which points to a designer. The apostle Paul revealed that there is so much evidence that man is without excuse for not believing in God (Rom. 1:20-21).
It must be noted that there is nothing recorded in the Bible that does not agree with science and archaeology. This may not convince the atheist, but it helps Christians defend their faith.
The root of atheism
If the basis for creation is faith in God, the root of atheism is man wanting to be god. This may sound odd, but consider the following words found in an article written by Aldous Huxley, entitled, “Confessions of a Professed Atheist”. Huxley says, “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning, so I looked for reasons to assume it had none. My problem was not with the spiritual. I just concerned myself with proving there was no valid reason why I should not do just as I wanted to. The philosophy of meaninglessness was an instrument of liberation. We wanted freedom from political and economic systems and liberation from morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”
Now it is clear, the idea of Darwinism is to force upon humankind the “survival of the fittest” idea – might makes right – me first. Which would explain the rationale of killing off the sick, elderly, and handicapped. Evolution is a vain attempt to create (ironically, they are creationists in a sense) an uncaring, selfish, and self-centered society.
Evolution: More questions than answers
There is a good reason evolution is called a theory – due to the fact it is not based upon FACTS! The false (ridiculous) assumption made is that the world is 4 ½ to 5 billion years old. Since no one was around to say what the world was like, all their measuring systems begin with this false premise (age of the earth).
Even if you grant the dating process, this creates more problems for them. If the earth is, in fact, billions of years old, the evolutionist immediately has difficulty with true science. Scientists say that the sun is shrinking at the rate of five feet per hour. If we apply evolutionary principles and work backwards, adding five feet per hour, the sun would have been too large for life to exist on earth.
Another fact relates to the rapid rate of decay of earth’s main magnetic field, in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Scientists have calculated, since 1835, the decay
of this field, and measure it at about 5 percent per hundred years. Yet, with the evolutionist’s time factor, there would have been a time when the magnetic field would have been so strong it would have ruptured the earth and split it apart. The list can go on and on. They need time and lots of it for their theory, but time is not on their side!
Creation much easier to believe
It is ludicrous for atheist’s to say that only Christians have to use faith to believe. Look at the following list and determine which is easier to believe:
- God created the world or some cosmic energy blast brought the world into being?
- God created everything, or did nothing create everything?
- God created man or man evolved from slime?
- The world shows design which points to a designer or points to a fluke explosion?
- True science supports the Bible or evolution?
This short article only scratches the surface of the wealth of information we can use to show the problems with evolution. Let us not think that Biblical truths do not have a leg to stand on. It is the opposition that doesn’t have a leg, nor will it ever. It has often been said that people who believe in God are fools for having a blind faith. The fact is, it’s the opposite. When people open their eyes to the evidences that are all around, one would have to be blind not to see them.
I remember reading a comment made by a person who left the Lord’s church years ago stating, “The problem with members of the church of Christ is they don’t have confidence they are going to heaven.” This person may well have encountered Christians who felt that way, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a closer look.
The problem faithful people have with stating, “They are going to heaven” has to do with not wanting to take over the Lord’s role as being judge and be presumptuous (II Cor. 5:10). As students of the word,, saints also know that Christ spoke about those who thought for sure they were going to heaven but were mistaken (Matt. 7:21-23). So how should a child of God deal with this?
It’s important that we see the distinction between trusting in the Lord and trusting in ourselves. All who will be saved are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). Therefore, we know God’s grace is reliable, and we also know Christians can and do walk by faith (II Cor. 5:7). Even though people think grace means God overlooks sin, and people think one can walk by faith without scriptural authority, and creating a false hope, Christians know better.
Just because so many people in their foolish thinking have convinced themselves they are ready, it should not remove the confidence the faithful should have. Having said that, let’s look at the dangers that the Lord’s people face in being over confident.
The apostle Paul told the church at Corinth that they need to “take heed lest you fall” (I Cor. 10:12). There was a negative (warning) but balanced with the positive. We all need to see that there is not a Christian that could ever take heed lest they fall, if they couldn’t know what is right. The fact is, one can know if they are doing wrong, because they know what it means to be doing right and are capable of doing it!
In line with all of this, the same church was told to regularly examine themselves to make sure they are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5). The great thing is, in knowing the standard, they can always get back on track if they find that they have sinned (I Jn. 1:8-10). Our God is faithful and just to forgive us. Salvation is not earned, but it is that which we have to work out with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).
For the most part, answering out loud that we are okay spiritually might cause others to think we are bragging and being arrogant. Even with the cautions put in place over being over-confident, it doesn’t mean Christians can’t be confident. After all, the confidence is in the word of God and His grace. The last thing children of God need to be doing is questioning the inspired word and having doubt. After all, we are clearly told we can know the truth (Jn. 8:32).
Consider this: a man is asked, “Does you’re your wife love you?” If you answer yes, does it mean you’re puffed up as if you are the best husband in the world? It could, but not necessarily. Could it not simply be that you’re confident in your wife’s words and actions that she truly loves you? With such, would it be wrong to have a confidence and feel good inside? Obviously not. How much more so with our heavenly Father. He knows us and we know Him. We can have faith and with such, we can be pleasing to Him (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6).
We ought to speak like Paul and say, “nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (II Tim. 1:12).
When you stop and think about it, it is silly to think God has changed as time has gone by. Reason being, our God doesn’t reckon time like man. We are told that a thousand years is like one day to Him (II Pet. 3:8). Not only that, we are talking about a Being without beginning or end. One who knew what was going to unfold thousands of years before it even happened (Gen. 12:1-3).
This brings us to man wanting to alter worship. Throughout history, mankind was punished over and over for making even the slightest changes to worship. From Cain (Gen. 4:1-6), to Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2), all the way to those in Christ’s time (Matt. 15:7-9). Any worship acceptable to the Lord always has to be according to His will, not man’s. Since the final message has been revealed (Jude 3; II Tim. 3:16-17), any changes to worship today, we know has come from the mind of man and not God.
In many religious circles today you find worship nothing more than an entertainment event designed to appeals to the masses. You can see how happy Satan is to see people wanting to serve the Lord by doing things Satan’s way. It’s like the garden all over again. We know that God has said that we must worship in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:24). Satan says, “Not in spirit and in truth.” And just like Eve, it is believed.
You can choose to presume to know what God approves of or you can choose to know by listening to His words. Until man realizes that worship is for God, he will continue to do what man likes rather than what is divinely approved. When Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24), it is implied that we listen and do what He says. The fact that people say that their worship is for the Lord, doesn’t excuse, or make up for that fact they do things that are unauthorized.
The question we close with, are you worshipping the way the word of God instructs? Don’t assume or presume, study and know for certain.
We are told by our Lord to love everyone (Matt. 22:37-39). There is no question that it is hard to do such when someone is being unkind. Christ clearly states that if we love those who love us, what reward have we? (Matt. 5:46). It would do us well to remember that people who hurt people are hurting. Most of the time we just don’t know what others are going through.
Last week, our seven year old granddaughter went through something that broke our hearts. Let me first give you some background. Lucy is in the 1st grade and developed a friendship with a fellow student that didn’t have too many friends. This girl would often act odd and was struggling to learn things, of which Lucy would help her with. The teacher would say that Lucy would go out of her way to assist that girl in any way she could. Sometimes the girl would have to leave class when a counselor would have to come and take her out for being disruptive. There were even times this child would have to go home for getting sick all of a sudden.
Well, last week Lucy’s friend was taken to the hospital and they found out she had brain tumors, which explained the many problems she has had learning and her problems dealing with others. The child died this past week and the teacher called my daughter, Leah, to tell her how hard this was going to be on Lucy to help prepare her.
The lesson I learned from Lucy is that whether or not someone is ill, we should be willing to care for others. Part of me thinks, a seven year old doesn’t need to go through such. But what do you tell her, not to care for people? Of course not. Think of Jesus. Our Lord cared for everyone to the point of dying on the cross for those who didn’t love Him (Rom. 5:6-11). But would we have wanted to tell Jesus not to care? Of course not.
May we learn to love from our Master and from a seven year old who looked past the bad behavior that caused others to ignore her.