Do You Really Love Your Child?

Do You Really Love Your Child?

The Lord Jesus Christ said, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”  (Mark 10:14)

The vast majority of parents want the very best for their children, be it a good education, health services, exercise programs, nutritious foods. These are all temporal needs and are very important for the well being and development of the child.

Many parents are also concerned with their children having some teaching in religion with the hope that it will help to establish a sound moral and ethical character for the child. Sadly, many other parents are not interested in this aspect of the child’s life at all.

Most alarming is the fact that few parents seem to care at all or even think about their child going to Heaven. In others word, the focus is on the child’s 80, 90 or even 100 years in this life and no thought for where their precious little one will spend all of eternity.

Religion is not very likely to secure the child’s eternal destination in Heaven because there are literally thousands of religions in the world. You might be saying that you don’t believe in God or life beyond this world and therefore, you are going to ignore this component of the child’s life. There’s no problem here, UNLESS your beliefs are wrong. If your beliefs are wrong, you will suffer the consequences – that’s your choice. But, is it fair to your child to ignore his or her eternal security?

We choose our beliefs just like everything else in life. And, like every thing else we choose we do make mistakes. Your child will probably survive okay even if you choose the wrong pre-school, a less than state-of-the-art toothbrush, or a perfectly decorated nursery. However, your child’s eternal destiny should preempt any and all other life decisions.

Think about the Lord’s words above, “…forbid them not.” For you to ignore your child’s eternal welfare is to forbid them from knowing God and He will hold you, the parent, personally accountable.

However, children are very smart and if they see that God is not in your life then it’s less likely that they will believe and be saved from Hell. Do as I say and not as I do will not be very effective in this circumstance.

No parent likes to think of his or her child suffering. The suffering off Hell is unimaginable compared to any suffering in this world.

If you truly love your child, then make sure he or she has the opportunity to learn the way to Heaven at an early age.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)

 

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Is There a Hell?

Is There A Hell?

Try as it will, the world has been unsuccessful in convincing people that there is no such place as Hell. Nobody likes to talk about this subject; even though it has been the subject of prose, paintings, songs, movies, and even comedy.

A young woman once told me that she believed there is a Heaven, but not a Hell. I asked what her basis was for believing there was a Heaven. She wasn’t sure at first, but then admitted it was the Bible. I told her that both places are mentioned in the Bible, Hell much more so than Heaven. She responded that she could not believe a loving God would send someone to Hell.

Of course, this young woman saw no inconsistency in her logic. That’s the way it is with people who choose to believe things that suit their mindset. Truth is not as important as peace of mind. She was correct about one thing though, God is loving. However, that does not mean that He dismisses sin arbitrarily.

Hell is a very real and terrifying place. Nobody has to go there, except those that choose to do so because of inaction. Believing that there is a Hell is a step in the right direction. Why should you believe there’s a Hell? Because God said so: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment …” (2Peter 2:4)

God desires that all men be saved.  “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1Timothy 2:3&4) The knowledge of the truth is found in the Bible. God won’t make the decision for you, you must choose.

So, what is Hell like? Well, the verse quoted above says there are pits of darkness. Imagine being in absolute darkness for all eternity. It’s not certain that people will burn in Hell in the same manner that we understand burning. Nevertheless, there may be a worse torment than burning forever.

In Chapter 16 of Luke’s Gospel, we get an insight of what Hell is like: “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Verse 24)

Could it be, as one Bible scholar remarked, that Hell is a place where not even the smallest pleasure is experienced and a person’s slightest longings are never satisfied. Think about spending eternity in a place where a drop of water on the tongue is denied. The torment of Hell is unimaginable – Choose Heaven!

 

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Infant Baptism

Infant Baptism

Like most false doctrines, infant baptism has no Scriptural support. The error stems from a lack of understanding of baptism in general. In the Book of Acts, we learn of three people that were saved and then baptized – the Ethiopian Eunuch (8:27), Lydia (16:14), and the Philippian Jailer (16:27).

In each case, nothing happened after they were baptized. It was simply a public expression of what happened to them spiritually. The symbolic act of baptism represents the believer’s death in Christ (under water) and his or her resurrection in Him (coming up out of the water). This is explained very simply in Colossians, “Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (2:12)

The prerequisite to baptism is being born-again in Christ.  An infant cannot take this step of faith; so therefore, infant baptism does nothing for the child. Being baptized doesn’t save us; we become saved by trust (belief) in Christ“They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.'” (Acts 16:31)

Catholic.com in it’s typical misuse of Scripture quotes Luke in support of infant baptism: “And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.” (Chapter 18:15)

First of all Jesus never baptized anyone, infant or adult (John 4:1). Reading the verse above, it clearly states that people were bringing their babies to Jesus for Him to “touch” them. There’s no mention of baptism, nor is one implied.

Catholic.com also offers up Acts 2:38 as support that baptism saves: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The key word here is repent. After repentance and belief, it was usual for someone to be baptized (the outward expression).

Jesus said in Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Notice that nothing is said about baptism here.

Also, the thief on the cross was never baptized even though Jesus told him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)  Catholic.com has taken Acts 2:38 out of context by claiming that baptism results in the forgiveness of sins.

 

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Praying to Saints

Praying to Saints

There are numerous references to saints in the New Testament, none of which are used as a title for someone (Saint Peter or Saint James). In Paul’s salutation to the Philippian church, he phrased it as follows: “Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.”

This verse categorizes three groups of people in the church: saints, overseers and deacons. A deacon is one, who occupies a servant position in the local church and is recognized by the local church for the particular work. Overseers, bishops, presbyters and elders have pretty much the same meaning in a New Testament context. These are the men in a leadership position over a local church. They too are recognized by the local body for this work. Deacons and overseers must meet the qualifications outlined in the books of 1Timothy and Titus.

The category of “saints” is the remaining group. These are simply believers in Christ and hold no office in the local church.

These saints are not canonized as such, as is the practice in the Catholic Church. They do not hold a higher position than anyone else among the faithful. In fact, they are the faithful. They are not honored above any other believer in Christ and they do not bear the word “saint” before their name. Scripture clearly teaches that, “God is no respecter of men.” (Acts 10:34)

The word in the Greek (hagios) means pure, blameless, clean. It does not mean they (saints) have achieved this state by their own efforts, but rather they have this state by imputation from God. Paul explains this in reference to Abraham:

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:21-24)

Nowhere in Scripture do we read of anyone praying to saints or of saints being able to do anything for someone on earth, after they have died. Neither are saints intercessors between us and God. This would be a clear contradiction of 1 Timothy 2:5, which says that Jesus is the only intercessor between God and man.

Deuteronomy 18:10 & 11 forbids any contact with the dead or the spirit world. Indeed, those that engage in such practices are declared to be an abomination to the Lord (verse 12).

 

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