NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH

I have created an actual website to host my blog because it will be easier to integrate a podcast using a unique domain. All current posts and all posts going forward can be found at

www.theologicthoughts.com

There will no longer be updates to this page

Thank you for reading.

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NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH

Shouldn’t Christians be Culture’s “Morality Police?”

This is a response to this article posted on Relevant Magazine recently. The article attempts to prove that Christians should not be engaged in enforcing morality in the culture while at the same time, preaching the gospel. We should only love people of the world, not judge them. While I agree somewhat with that statement, I would assert that it is virtually impossible and completely unloving to not engage the culture and enforce Biblical standards of morality.

Relevant Magazine, in order for Christians to be “relevant,” we have to engage the culture, or else we cease to become the salt and light of the earth.

Matthew 5:13“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so thatb they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

How else does the church remain salt and light to the culture if we just withdraw completely from it? How can we spread the gospel while being disengaged from the culture? We can’t, because the foundational aspect of the gospel is that of repentance. If you don’t tell someone they are in sin, what do they have to repent of? Jesus came not to heal the well but the sick. The people of the world do not know they are sick. How does someone know that they are spiritually sick? They know by examining their deeds according to God’s Law. The people of the world know this, but they suppress that knowledge.

Romans 1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Relevant Magazine wrote,“There’s a billboard outside the city limits where I live. The canvas is white and in large black letters, it reads, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” Nothing else. No relational investment and no mention of God’s immeasurable grace—just Scripture used to insult non-believers.

Church, the world is watching us. They see the articles we float around the Internet, they read our billboards and bumper stickers, and for many outside of the Body, they feel one thing with crushing weight: judgment. There is no invitation in condemnation and no love in passive-aggressive battles fought along the lines of a newsfeed.”

Of course, our mandate as Christians is to preach the truth in love, but what is the gospel without judgement? Preaching judgement is not in itself a bad thing. Without judgement, there is no redemption, mercy, grace, or forgiveness. Without judgement, there is no gospel. God’s judgment should also not be debased as an “insult” to non-believers, it should be preached as a warning.

Out of all the prophets and teachers, even Jesus himself, which one preached the gospel devoid of judgment? Even John the Baptist preached judgment.

Luke 3:7He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Relevant Magazine said, “We were never commissioned to demand that secular culture reflect biblical principles. We were commissioned to reflect biblical principles in the middle of secular culture, pointing to God’s redemptive story.”

No, Christians are never commissioned to “demand” anything of secular culture. But we are required, as part of preaching the law of God, to warn our governments of the judgment upon them if they reject the law.

Psalm 2:8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9You shall breakb them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

If we don’t preach God’s law to the government, how will we ever achieve the blessing and peace spoken of in Psalm 72 and Romans 13?

Psalm 72:1Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
2May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
3Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!

Romans 13:3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

In my opinion, much of this culture of defeat and withdrawal in the church comes from the majority view of eschatology, which is why I have been refuting the church pop culture idea of a rapture and 7 year tribulation. If we Christians are just waiting for everything to get worse so we can just get teleported out of here, of course we have no reason to engage the culture.

The Relevant Magazine article also has only one scripture to support it, 1 Corinthians 5, which is a terrible application of that text and when used correctly actually argues against the very view espoused in the article.

1 Corinthians 5:9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sisterc but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

If you read carefully what it says, it says that Christians must associate with the people of the world, because if we didn’t, we might as well leave the world. The point of this text is to judge those inside the church to make sure no one is being detrimental to the body of Christ. The text is not at all espousing a disengagement of the world.

Relevant Magazine said of Jesus, “He met people where they were, ate with them, talked with them and invited them to come with Him. He didn’t stand on the shore and yell across the water that Peter better follow or he’d be going to Hell. He invited him into a relationship and offered him a role in the story.”

While this is true to a point, it certainly does not capture the full nature of the message Jesus preached. While he was on earth, Jesus was here to minister as a servant and sacrifice. But apart from his earthly ministry, Jesus has a fuller message. Remember also that Jesus is a member of the eternal Godhead, so everything said by the Father is echoed by Jesus. All scripture is also inspired by God, therefore all scripture is the word of Jesus. In fact, Jesus is called the “Word” of God in John 1. What does the word have to say on the state of the culture?

Psalm 7:11 God is a righteous judge,
    and a God who feels indignation every day.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord;
    remove the foreskin of your hearts,
    O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem;
lest my wrath go forth like fire,
    and burn with none to quench it,
    because of the evil of your deeds.

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world?

1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Jude 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

So as you can see from a full study of God’s word, there can be no gospel without judgment. Again, I say, the most loving thing a Christian can do for a person is to warn them of the wrath to come, and implore them to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus. If someone in your family was asleep and on fire, would you say lovingly to them, “I don’t mean to bother you, but if you come over here and do this you can put that fire out.” No. They’re asleep, they can’t hear you. If you truly loved that person, you would run to them and shake them awake while doing the best you can to put the fire out. If every unbeliever in the world is on a train headed straight to hell, all the while throwing more fuel into the engine, do you calmly say to them, “Hey, sorry to bother you but you probably want to get off that train.” No. They don’t know where the train is headed, they have no reason to get off. The most loving thing a Christian could do is stop the people from throwing fuel in the engine, slam on the brakes, and push people off the train. Even while I was writing this blog post, a video surfaced of a person in authority with Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of body parts of aborted babies. Any Christian who sees such a thing should be sickened by the depravity. Do we stand by and say, “Hey, you really shouldn’t be doing things like that?” No. We do everything in our power to make it difficult for them to murder those children, even to the point of enforcing a law opposing the practice. In the view espoused by the Relevant Magazine article, there is no reasonable basis to do anything of the sort.

Relevant Magazine, the gospel you preach is at worse, a different gospel, and at best, weak and inconsistent.

It is now up for the reader to decide who has provided the most consistent and Biblically based argument on the subject, and pray and consider what the word of God says.

Shouldn’t Christians be Culture’s “Morality Police?”

My own response to Matthew Vines’ “40 Questions for Christians Who Oppose Marriage Equality”

With all that is going on in our country and world these days, it is more important than ever to be able to respond to those who creep into the church with intent to spread false gospels. Matthew Vines is one such person. Vines has written a book that attempts to twist scripture in order to prove that committed homosexual relationships are not forbidden in the Bible. He and his mentor, Dr. James Brownson have been seriously deceiving believers and need to be called out. They have repeatedly dodged challenges to public debate against Dr. James White, Dr. Robert Gagnon, and Dr. Michael Brown. Because this is such a serious issue, all true believers need to be prepared against these arguments. I’m not extremely studied, but this is my attempt at a response to these questions.

Original article: Here

Do you accept that sexual orientation is not a choice?

“Sexual orientation” is a fabrication of sinful society that is used to debase a person’s identity to their sexual preference, and such terminology should not be used by those claiming a Christian worldview. I do agree that in some cases, a person can have natural inclination toward homosexual desires, but I believe that the number of those individuals pales in comparison to the number of individuals who choose that lifestyle.

Do you accept that sexual orientation is highly resistant to attempts to change it?

I’ll ignore the continued use of the term “sexual orientation” per what I stated above, but yes, I fully agree that the sin nature is highly resistant to change. My lustful and greedy desires are extremely difficult to get rid of, no matter how much I try.

How many meaningful relationships with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people do you have?

Personally, not many. I do have many work and a few extended family relationships with such people. Contrary to what many of Vines supporters would say, I am not a “homophobe” (whatever that means). But I would not carry on a personal and meaningful relationship with someone who is unashamedly opposed to the created order of God, especially if they are in the church. In general, I do not have much desire to carry on relationships with people who are opposed to the things of God, in or outside the church.

How many openly LGBT people would say you are one of their closest friends?

See previous answer.

How much time have you spent in one-on-one conversation with LGBT Christians about their faith and sexuality?

None. As I said, I don’t know any. But if I did, I would gladly discuss faith and sexuality in a Biblical based discussion using logic, not emotion.

Do you accept that heterosexual marriage is not a realistic option for most gay people?

There are many who have come out of that lifestyle by the grace of God and carry on a Biblical marriage while still struggling with same sex desires. I have read testimonies of those who no longer experience same sex attraction through the work of the Holy Spirit. But that doesn’t fit into Vines’ worldview. But if it isn’t an option, how is that a bad thing? The apostle Paul said it was better to be single.

Do you accept that lifelong celibacy is the only valid option for most gay people if all same-sex relationships are sinful?

See previous answer.

How many gay brothers and sisters in Christ have you walked with on the path of mandatory celibacy, and for how long?

Personally I walked the path of mandatory celibacy for 23 years. Apart from a Biblical view of marriage, celibacy is mandatory by God’s law. I fail to see how that is relevant whether someone is gay or straight. The glorification of sex is something that the unbelieving world does, it is a serious error for someone claiming to be a Christian.

What is your answer for gay Christians who struggled for years to live out a celibacy mandate but were driven to suicidal despair in the process?

What is your answer for those experiencing pedophilic urges who struggled for years to live out a celibacy mandate but were driven to suicidal despair in the process? Don’t debase a person’s meaning to their sexual urges.

Has mandatory celibacy produced good fruit in the lives of most gay Christians you know?

Lack of sexual activity isn’t what produces good fruit. The regeneration of the Holy Spirit produces good fruit. (Galatians 5:16-23)

How many married same-sex couples do you know?

None. Two members of the same sex can’t have a marriage. That is a natural, logical, and definitional impossibility.

Do you believe that same-sex couples’ relationships can show the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

No. As I cited in the Galatians 5 passage, the works of the flesh are drastically separated from the fruit of the Spirit.

Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support same-sex marriage in the church?

No. Why would any Christian support such blasphemy against the image of Christ and His bride?

Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support slavery?

Sure. But that depends on what you mean by slavery. The Bible lays down laws governing slavery (indentured servitude). Was God wrong by ordaining those laws? Now I’m sure Vines means American colonial chattel slavery, which is obviously condemned in scripture, and no Christian should support it.

If not, do you believe that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards were not actually Christians because they supported slavery?

This is a ridiculous assertion. Even if any of these men supported chattel slavery, what bearing does that have? King David committed murder and adultery. Christians are still sinners and are still able to misinterpret scripture. Kind of like what Matthew Vines does.

Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?

Yes, because even though chattel slavery is a serious sin, it isn’t near the level of blasphemy that homosexual so-called “marriage” is.

Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s passages about slavery before you felt comfortable believing that slavery is wrong?

Are we still on this?

Does it cause you any concern that Christians throughout most of church history would have disagreed with you?

Go read more history books. Starting with Leviticus.

Did you know that, for most of church history, Christians believed that the Bible taught the earth stood still at the center of the universe?

As we covered above, “Christians” throughout history have misinterpreted many Biblical passages, that doesn’t make the Bible wrong. I’m also not aware of any Biblical text that could be used to support a geocentric system. Similar to how I am not aware of any Biblical texts that support homosexual unions.

Does it cause you any concern that you disagree with their interpretation of the Bible?

Does it cause you concern that you disagree with the Mormons’ interpretation of the Bible?

Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s verses on the topic before you felt comfortable believing that the earth revolves around the sun?

Yes. Again, I fail to see how that is relevant, as scripture doesn’t explicitly state that the earth revolves around the sun. But we know that from nature, the same as we know a natural sexual union is a male and a female. But, the latter is explicitly stated in scripture.

Do you know of any Christian writers before the 20th century who acknowledged that gay people must be celibate for life due to the church’s rejection of same-sex relationships?

Even if they did, why would something so obviously condemned in scripture be up for discussion?

If not, might it be fair to say that mandating celibacy for gay Christians is not a traditional position?

The idea of a “gay Christian” is not a traditional position.

Do you believe that the Bible explicitly teaches that all gay Christians must be single and celibate for life?

Now we get to the heart of the emotional arguments. I would let Jesus’ words speak to how we should “feel.” Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

If not, do you feel comfortable affirming something that is not explicitly affirmed in the Bible?

The trinity isn’t explicitly affirmed in the Bible, but through a full study of the texts we affirm that doctrine. But that isn’t the case for homosexual unions.

Do you believe that the moral distinction between lust and love matters for LGBT people’s romantic relationships?

Absolutely. But I think my definition of “love” is different from that of Matthew Vines. Biblical, God honoring love is a conscious action, not a feeling that can come and go with the wind. As men, we are commanded to love our wives as Christ loved the church, sacrificially and purposefully. Of course that is extremely opposed to the concept of lust. (Ephesians 5)

Do you think that loving same-sex relationships should be assessed in the same way as the same-sex behavior Paul explicitly describes as lustful in Romans 1?

Why wouldn’t they? Paul is not describing merely an attitude, but an act. The same way it is described in Leviticus 18.

Do you believe that Paul’s use of the terms “shameful” and “unnatural” in Romans 1:26-27 means that all same-sex relationships are sinful?

Of course.

Would you say the same about Paul’s description of long hair in men as “shameful” and against “nature” in 1 Corinthians 11:14, or would you say he was describing cultural norms of his time?

It is the same word, so why wouldn’t he be talking about the same nature? In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says that a woman’s hair is her glory. Why would a man want the glory of a woman? Even though this is a subject of disagreement, it has no bearing on the Romans 1 passage. Because in Romans 1, Paul appeals to the created order itself to describe how homosexual unions are unnatural. Verse 20, For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Do you believe that the capacity for procreation is essential to marriage?

It is one important part of it, part of the ordained way to carry out God’s command to “fill the earth” with humanity. But that doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever to the natural union of male and female.

If so, what does that mean for infertile heterosexual couples?

See above.

How much time have you spent engaging with the writings of LGBT-affirming Christians like Justin Lee, James Brownson, and Rachel Murr?

I personally have not. As I stated, I am not well studied on many subjects. However, people like Dr. Gagnon, Dr. White, and Dr. Brown have engaged those writings extensively, yet Vines and his associates continue to blatantly ignore all challenges to their fallacy.

What relationship recognition rights short of marriage do you support for same-sex couples?

None. It is the government’s job to uphold what is true, right, and good. Affirmation of any sort of homosexual union would be against such a command and a government that does will be judged. (Psalm 2)

What are you doing to advocate for those rights?

Do you know who Tyler Clementi, Leelah Alcorn, and Blake Brockington are, and did your church offer any kind of prayer for them when their deaths made national news?

I know of those people, but why would my church discuss national news? Church is for the edification of the local body. News headlines don’t belong there. In any case, I feel sorrow that those individual’s confusion led to their deaths. That is why that kind of confusion needs to be repented of, not celebrated.

Do you know that LGBT youth whose families reject them are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than LGBT youth whose families support them?

An unfortunate byproduct of the lie sold by society that says that type of behavior is normal. If it was normal, why are they killing themselves? Should pedophiles also be able to fulfill their sexual desires in order to avoid their deaths?

Have you vocally objected when church leaders and other Christians have compared same-sex relationships to things like bestiality, incest, and pedophilia?

Why should I? All those sins are laid out right next to each other in Leviticus 18. The same passage that Vines supporters love to quote that says “love your neighbor as yourself.” You can’t separate the text.

How certain are you that God’s will for all gay Christians is lifelong celibacy?

I can’t even begin to act like I know what God’s will is, and neither should Matthew Vines. Christians with homosexual desires are free to marry the same as I am. Free to marry a person of the opposite sex.

What do you think the result would be if we told all straight teenagers in the church that if they ever dated someone they liked, held someone’s hand, kissed someone, or got married, they would be rebelling against God?

What an amazing logical fallacy. Why would the natural order be a rebellion against God?

Are you willing to be in fellowship with Christians who disagree with you on this topic?

Am I willing to fellowship with someone who disagrees in order to disciple them into a right understanding of the Word? Yes. Am I willing to fellowship with the likes of Matthew Vines, a wolf in sheep’s clothing of the worst kind, who blatantly teach against what God has laid down in scripture and aggressively seek to profane the image of God? Absolutely not.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

My own response to Matthew Vines’ “40 Questions for Christians Who Oppose Marriage Equality”

Is Calvinism a Good Doctrine?

Is God good or is God good?

What I mean is this: is God held to a standard of good or is God the very definition of good? If God decided that everyone in America should be killed by the people in Canada, would he be wrong? Many Christians seem to gloss over verses from the old testament like 1 Samuel 15:2-3
 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’

Was God wrong for commanding this? No, God is always just and good.

Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 7:11 God is a righteous judge,
and a God who feels indignation every day.

God defines everything and is everything, most of all goodness and justice.

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

So, since we’ve established that God is by definition good, if he were to say that man is totally unable to come to him on his own, would he be wrong? If God said he has chosen a specific people out of the world to save, would he be wrong? If God said that his son’s atonement was to be only for a specific people, would he be wrong? If God said that those who are called will be regenerated, not according to their will, would he be wrong? If God said that those who are regenerated can never receive condemnation or lose their status of justification, would he be wrong?

Future posts will begin to show based on scripture that God has said all these things.

I’ve heard people say that if the “God of Calvinism” is true, they would not serve him. I’ve heard them say that he is an evil God. I’ve heard them say that Calvinism is a demonic doctrine. Yet I’ve heard no solid scriptural basis for those statements. Most arguments against Calvinism are emotional straw man arguments instead of intellectual and scriptural arguments. Understand that those types of statements are very dangerous to say and are an extreme offense to God, if the doctrines of grace are true.

Is Calvinism a Good Doctrine?

Beer and the Bible: Is it a sin to drink alcohol?

Please listen to this audio here:
https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=6291093&autoplay=false

 

 

Note outline that I built and used:

1 Corinthians 10:11 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

I am publishing this not to “justify” something that I’m doing that is wrong. In my study of the scriptures I have determined the truth. Be diligent stewards of the word instead of relying on another person to define your truth. Let God do that through his word. I have been convicted of hiding this viewpoint out of fear of judgment. If something needs to be hidden then it probably isn’t good. Please listen to this with an open mind and really hear what I’m saying. I was on the other side of the fence when I was younger. I grew up believing that all alcohol was bad. Totally wrong, Christians shouldn’t partake in it. It’s only evil. When I encountered Christians who freely spoke about their consumption of alcohol and had open discussions with others about it, it blew my mind. I could not fathom what was going on. Of course, since I was so convicted that I was totally right, I started arguing with them. They needed to be corrected in order to not cause any more brothers to stumble. Then they started using scripture to argue their side. I determined to research more of what the bible actually says with the intent to prove them wrong. Interesting thing happened… In my study to prove them wrong I was actually persuaded to their side. I am sharing this in hopes that other Christians would stop passing judgments on their fellow brothers because of something that has little consequence in the overall picture of Christian life.

 

What are some common arguments against Christians consuming alcohol?

It only carries bad connotations

So does sex – still a gift

causes brother to stumble

speaking of food sacrificed to idols – should not insert meaning into text

The bible forbids it

does it really? examine the verses

 

Verses with negative connotations

Genesis 9 – Moses drunk and naked

Genesis 19 – Lot’s daughters get him drunk

Isaiah 5 – those who pursue drunkeness

Matthew 11 – Jesus accused of being a drunkard

Matthew 24 – shirking responsibility to pursue drink

Luke 7 – John the Baptist didn’t drink, Jesus did

Luke 12 – Eat, drink, be merry. shirking responsibility

Luke 21 – shirking responsibility

Romans 14 – causing brother to stumble, not idols

1 Corinthians 8 – causing brother to stumble, relates to idols

1 Corinthians 11 – some get drunk in Christian gathering

Ephesians 5 – do not get drunk with wine

1 Timothy 3 – church leaders not being drunkards

1 Timothy 5:23 – timothy instructed to drink

Titus 1 – church leaders not being drunkards

Titus 3 – women leaders not being drunkards

1 Peter 4 – do not live like the gentiles, pursuing drink

 

Verses with positive connotations

Genesis 14 – Melchizedek brought wine to Abraham

Numbers 18 – Levitical priests were instructed to drink the wine that was the offering

Deuteronomy 7 – If we obey God’s commands, He will bless us with wine

Deuteronomy 14 – people instructed to eat, drink the tithe, spend money on strong drink

John 2 – water into wine, Jesus facilitates sin?

1 Corinthians 10

Don’t call what God calls good evil. Isaiah 5:20

Beer and the Bible: Is it a sin to drink alcohol?

The Abomination of Desolation

Continuing my thoughts on Matthew 24 and the prophecy of the abomination and tribulation, I assert that the abomination and desolation have already taken place. It will not take place during a supposed 7 year tribulation at the end of the world. Let’s look at the text.

Matthew 24
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

What else did Jesus say about the destruction?

Luke 19
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Why was Jerusalem destroyed? Because of the abomination. But what is the abomination that makes desolate? Let’s look at what the old testament says.

Isaiah 1
2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the LORD has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”
4Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the LORD,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.
5Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
6From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.
7Your country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
8And the daughter of Zion is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a lodge in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
9If the LORD of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.
10Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12“When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.

I would argue that the abomination is the continual use of the temple to make sacrifices after Christ’s final sacrifice was complete at the cross. What a slap in the face of God! Now let’s look at history, and see how the desolation took place.

Now there is not enough time here to go into great details of the Christian flight from the city. These things can be researched further if you wish. During the initial siege in 66AD, the Roman armies withdrew seemingly for no reason to the Jewish fighters in the city. While the Jews were celebrating their victory, the Christians, heeding the words of Jesus, took their chance to flee the city. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 19? The armies had surrounded the city, and the abomination of the sacrifices continued. The Christians knew that it was time to get out. They fled the city and settled in towns across the Jordan river. As we know, the Roman armies returned only 4 years later to finish what they started. I’ll now quote from Flavius Josephus, a first century historian who had witness to the attack and took place in negotiations.

Book VI, Chapter I, Section 1 (Entire)
1. Thus did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day, and the seditious were still more irritated by the calamities they were under, even while the famine preyed upon themselves, after it had preyed upon the people. And indeed the multitude of carcases that lay in heaps one upon another was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench , which was a hinderance to those that would make sallies out of the city, and fight the enemy: but as those were to go in battle array, who had been already used to ten thousand murders, and must tread upon those dead bodies as they marched along, so were not they terrified, nor did they pity men as they marched over them: nor did they deem this affront offered to the deceased to be any ill omen to themselves; but as they had their right hands already polluted with the murders of their own countrymen, and in that condition ran out to fight with foreigners, they see to me to have cast a reproach upon God himself, as if he were too slow in punishing them; for the war was not now gone on with as if they had any hope of victory, for they gloried after a brutish manner in that despair of deliverance they were already in. And now the Romans, although they were greatly distressed in getting together their materials, raised their banks in on-and-twenty days, after they had cut down all the trees that were in the country that adjoined to the city, and that for ninety furlongs round about, as I have already related. And truly the very view itself of the country was a melancholy thing; for those places which were before adorned with trees and pleasant gardens were now become a desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down : nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judea, and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now see it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change: for the wars had laid all signs of beauty quite waste: nor, if any one that had known the place before had come on a sudden to it now, would have known it again; but though he were at the city itself, yet would he have inquired for it notwithstanding.

Book VII, Chapter I, Section 1 (Entire)
1. NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.

Matthew 24
1 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

If you study these passages and Jewish history closely, you’ll see that this desolation occurred in 70AD, not in some apocalyptic future tribulation. Let God’s word speak for itself.

The Abomination of Desolation

In Matthew 24, Who Is Taken And Who Is Left?

One passage in the Bible that Christians use to defend their belief on a 7 year tribulation period, and a rapture of the church that takes place before that, is taken from Matthew 24 verses 40 and 41.

40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.

In most Christian circles, it is assumed that the one who is taken is the righteous one and the one who is left is the unrighteous one. Is this consistent with what the Bible teaches? I don’t think so. We need to look at these verses in context, so let’s read the few verses before.

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Now pay attention to what it says. This is talking about the second coming of Jesus. What happened in the story of Noah? Who were the ones swept away? It was the unrighteous, not Noah. Noah and his family stayed on the earth after the judgement had subsided. After the second coming of Christ, the unrighteous will be taken from the earth in judgment while the righteous remain to live on the renewed earth. If this is true, there can not be a rapture of the righteous because they are not the ones being swept away in the story of Noah. Keep this in mind as you study further.

In Matthew 24, Who Is Taken And Who Is Left?