Monday, July 29, 2019

A Dad Talks To His Son 3000 years ago

A Dad Talks To His Son

Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:27

Proverbs 7:7-27 (NIV)
[7] I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. [8] He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house [9] at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in.

[10] Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed provocatively and with crafty intent. [11]  (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; [12] now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.)[13] She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: [14] “I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. [15] So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! [16] I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. [17] I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. [18] Come, let's drink deep of love till morning; let's enjoy ourselves with love! [19] My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. [20] He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.”

[21] With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk [22] All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose [23] till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.

[24] Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. [25] Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. [26] Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. [27] Her house is a highway to the grave, 
leading down to the chambers of death.

Addictions have a history of tragedy. Those who indulge build tolerances, so larger doses are required for the same feeling. Soon the dosage they seek is more than enough to kill them. When addicts hear someone has died from an exceptionally powerful dose, their first thought may not be fear but “Where can I get that?”

C. S. Lewis warned of this downward spiral in “Screwtape Letters”, his imaginative look at a demon’s explanation of the art of temptation. Start with some pleasure—if possible one of God’s good pleasures—and offer it in a way God has forbidden. Once the person bites, give less of it while enticing him to want more. Provide “an ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure,” until finally we “get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return.”

Proverbs 7 illustrates this devastating cycle with the temptation of sexual sin. Sex is God’s good gift, but when we seek its enjoyment outside of marriage we’re “like an ox going to the slaughter” (v. 22). People stronger than us have destroyed themselves by pursuing highs that are harmful, so “pay attention” and “do not let your heart turn to [wrongful] ways” (vv. 24–25). Sin can be alluring and addicting, but it always ends in death (v. 27). By avoiding—in God’s strength—the temptation to sin, we can find true joy and fulfillment in Him.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
[13] No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Why Is God So Narrow-Minded?




What kind of narrow-minded God provides only one way of redemption. Does this not mean that people who live in a culture where that one religion is proclaimed have a decisive advantage over people living in other cultures? Let’s examine the deeper question of the narrow-mindedness of God who provides only one way of redemption. We remember the words of Jesus when He said, “Broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many are they who go in thereby. But straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to life and few are those who find it” (see Matt. 7: 13). What kind of a God would have such a narrow gate? The question implies a serious accusation; that God has not done enough to provide redemption for mankind. 

Let us examine the accusation from a hypothetical perspective. Let us suppose that there is a God who is altogether holy and righteous. Suppose that God freely creates humanity and gives to humanity the gift of life. Suppose He sets His creatures in an ideal setting and gives them the freedom to participate in all of the glories of the created order with freedom. Suppose, however, that God imposes one small restriction upon them, warning them that if they violate that restriction, they will die. Would such a God have the right to impose such a restriction with the penalty of forfeiture of the gift of life if His authority is violated? 

Suppose that for no just cause the ungrateful creatures disobeyed the restriction the moment God’s back was turned. Suppose when He discovered their violation instead of killing them, He redeemed them. Suppose the descendants of the first transgressors broadly and widely increased their disobedience and hostility toward their creator to the point that the whole world became rebellious to God, and each person in it “did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21: 25). Suppose God still determined to redeem these people and freely gave special gifts to one nation of people in order that, through them, the whole world would be blessed. Suppose God delivered this people from poverty and enslavement to a ruthless Egyptian Pharaoh. Suppose this privileged nation, as soon as it was liberated, rose up in further rebellion against their God and their liberator. Suppose they took His law and violated it consistently. 

Suppose that God, still intent upon redemption, sent specially endowed messengers or prophets to plead with His people to return to Him. Suppose the people killed the divine messengers and mocked their message. Suppose the people then began to worship idols of stone and things fashioned by their own hands. Suppose these people invented religions that were contrary to the truth of the real God and worshiped creatures rather than the Creator. 

Suppose in an ultimate act of redemption God Himself became incarnate in the person of His Son. Suppose this Son came into the world not to condemn the world, but to redeem the world. But suppose this Son of God were rejected, slandered, mocked, tortured, and murdered. Yet, suppose that God accepted the murder of His own Son as punishment for the sins of the very persons who murdered Him. Suppose this God offered to His Son’s murderers total amnesty, complete forgiveness, transcendent peace that comes with the cleansing of all guilt, victory over death and an eternal life of complete felicity. 

Suppose God gave these people as a free gift the promise of a future life that would be without pain, without sickness, without death, and without tears. Suppose that God said to these people, “There is one thing that I demand. I demand that you honor my only-begotten Son and that you worship and serve Him alone.” Suppose God did all of that, would you be willing to say to Him, “God, that’s not fair, you haven’t done enough”? 


If man has in fact committed cosmic treason against God, what reason could we possibly have that God should provide any way of redemption? In light of the universal rebellion against God, the issue is not why is there only one way, but why is there any way at all? I know of no way of answering that question. - R.C. Sproul 

We All Have Unclean Hands

Jesus said to them,  “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the ...