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Does God’s Word Say Pork Eating is Okay, Sabbath Keeping is Optional & Homosexuality is Sin?

Questions answered:

Does God’s Word say that pork eating is okay, Sabbath keeping is optional and homosexuality is sin?

Is crossdressing a sin?

120527PM

Q&A-13

Mt 28.docx

The Church, The Mission Christ Gave,

&OUR Responsibility to that Mission

What Does the Phrase: “Great Commission Living”

Mean for us Today in the Church?

Matthew 28:18-20

Last week at our amazing baptism, communion, and Nepal Team commissioning service, we looked briefly at the Great Commission. That brief look prompted a question we need to address and understand more about. So tonight we’ll start with:

What did Jesus do on the mountain in Matthew 28? After 3 ½ years of training, Jesus assembled the remaining eleven and gave them a target, a mission for life. Most likely they never forgot that moment, much like others riveted in their minds: seeing the risen Christ, the day He called them, some of those awesome miracles like the calming the sea and the raising the dead.

But this one, in Matthew 28 was different. All of those events, miracles, and teaching times built up to Christ’s departure. Just before going back home to Heaven, Jesus asked the disciples to join Him for a time management, life-planning seminar. Jesus was going away, and much like a parent sending their child off to college, or that final talk before marriage: Jesus was saying, “Here are the final truths I want to leave with you. Always remember this!”

First, look at where Christ’s ministry fits in the flow of God’s Word:

  • Jesus took the Old Testament, affirmed it, and then applied it to both Israel as well as the His Church that was soon to be born at Pentecost.
  • Then, the mission that Jesus gave to His Apostles on the Mountain was then applied in both their ministries and in the Epistles. Most notably Paul, Peter, and James the brother of Jesus: applied Christ’s mission for the Church as they taught and wrote.

First, what exactly did Jesus say at the Great Commission?

There is a main verb and three supporting clauses. The central verb says make disciples (mathetes disciple 261x, matheteuo Matthew 3x; Acts 14:21)

Then, what exactly would He be referring to as what He commanded?

Finally, how do we see that fit into the ministry each of us in Christ’s Church are to have?

First, the syntax of the Great Commission: one primary clause, followed by 3 secondary clauses.

Second, the context of the Great Commission: Jesus lived and walked with 12 men He designated as His followers for 3 ½ years.

Then the exposition of the Great Commission: Jesus defined what a follower of Christ was, He interpreted and applied the Old Testament, and He trained the 12 to take His message out.

Finally, the application of the Great Commission: the New Testament epistles demonstrate the going, baptizing, and teaching. The question is, if we are part of that very same church Christ started, are we doing what He left us to do?

Back up to His closing stories, there is a sobering challenge in each of those in Matthew 25.

120610PM Q&A-14 OT.doc

Q&A Series-13

 Does God’s Word Say:

Pork Eating is Okay,

Sabbath Keeping is Optional &

Homosexuality is Sin?

Luke 24:44-45

Pork: the dietary laws of Israel were given by God to keep them healthy, and to prevent them from being easily at home with the pagans around them. God wanted His people to stay distinct, unmixed with wickedness, and healthy. The New Testament shows the removal of those rules

Sodomy/Homosexuality: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Effeminate and homosexuals both refer to those who exchange and corrupt normal male–female sexual roles and relations. Transvestism, sex change, homosexuality, and other gender perversions are included. The Lord strictly forbids the two roles to be blurred, much less exchanged. “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 22:5). The Hebrew terms in that verse indicate more than clothing, and include any tool, implement, or apparatus.

Homosexuality is condemned throughout Scripture, both in the Old & New Testament: Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:26-28; I Tim. 1:9-10, Jude 1:7.

In his biography (Where Death Delights, by Marshall Houts [New York: Coward-McCann, 1967]), the New York City forensic expert Dr. Milton Helpern, who makes no claim of being a Christian and avoids making moral judgments about homosexuality, nevertheless comments that, after having performed thousands of autopsies, he would warn anyone who chooses a homosexual lifestyle to be prepared for the consequences (quoted from MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans. MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press.):

“When we see … brutal, multiple wound cases in a single victim … we just automatically assume that we’re dealing with a homosexual victim and a homosexual attacker. … I don’t know why it is so, but it seems that the violent explosions of jealousy among homosexuals far exceed those of the jealousy of a man for a woman, or a woman for a man. The pent-up charges and energy of the homosexual relationship simply cannot be contained. When the explosive point is reached, the result is brutally violent. … But this is the ‘normal’ pattern of these homosexual attacks, the multiple stabbings, the multiple senseless beatings that obviously must continue long after the victim dies” (pp. 269–70).

 

Sabbath:

  1. From Genesis 1 & 2 onward until the establishment of Israel: no one mentions, observes, or even describes the Sabbath Day. Enoch, Noah, Job, and Abraham never are shown observing or describing the Sabbath Day.
  2. Nowhere in the Old Testament are the Gentile nations commanded to observe the Sabbath or condemned for failing to do so. That is certainly strange if Sabbath observance were meant to be an eternal moral principle.
  3. The 4th Command is never repeated in the New Testament. All the other nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament except the one about the Sabbath, it is never quoted in the New Testament.
  4. In Acts 15 when James sums up all the Old Testament laws the Gentiles needed to keep, he never mentions the ceremonial laws of the Sabbath Day, only the moral laws about fornication.
  5. There are no discussions, illustrations, or teachings about Sabbath rules anywhere in the New Covenant.
  6. The Apostles commanded baptism (Acts 10:48), but never commanded anybody to observe the Sabbath; nor do they point out anyone not observing the Sabbath.
  7. In Galatians 4:10-11, Colossians 2:16-17, and Romans 14:5, Paul say clearly says that the Sabbath Day was for Israel, not the Church, and there is no mandate for any type of rules about Sabbath behavior.
  8. The Sabbath was given as a special sign to Israel of the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 31:16-17; Ezekiel 20:12; Nehemiah 9:14). Since we are now under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8), we are no longer required to observe the sign of the Mosaic Covenant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sober-minded self-control and maturity are virtues commanded and commended by Scripture; these are not manmade rules or legalistic standards.

As a matter of fact, one of the main qualifications for both deacons and elders in the church is that they cannot be given to much wine. In other words, they are to be known for their sobriety, not for their consumption of beer.

It should not take a doctor of divinity to notice that Scripture consistently celebrates virtues such as self-control, sober-mindedness, purity of heart, the restraint of our fleshly lusts, and similar fruits of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in our lives.

Surely these are what we ought hold in highest esteem, model in our daily lives, and honor on our websites, rather than trying so hard to impress the world with unfettered indulgence in the very things that hold so many unbelievers in bondage.

 

 

 

Tattoos

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16–17)

As part of his plan to enforce the worship of Antichrist, the false prophet will require all categories of unbelievers, summarized as the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Mark (charagma; from charasso, “I engrave”) was the term for images or names of the emperor on Roman coins.

In the ancient world, such marks (tattoos or brands) were commonly given to slaves, soldiers, and devotees of religious cults (cf. Gal. 6:17). God sealed, with a mark on the forehead, the 144,000 to preserve them from His wrath against the unbelieving world (7:2–3); the false prophet marks the unsaved to preserve them from Antichrist’s wrath against God’s people. The mark will signify that the person bearing it is a worshiper and loyal follower of the Antichrist. In much the same way, the Roman emperors required their subjects to prove their loyalty by offering sacrifices to Caesar. Those who refused, like those who refuse to take the Antichrist’s mark, were subject to execution.

In the ancient world such marks were known. While not everybody in the Roman Empire had to bear such a mark, slaves did. Slaves, in fact, were branded just like animals. Another group were branded, soldiers. I think Paul may have this very thing in mind when in Galatians chapter 6 he makes this statement, verse 17, “I bear on my body the brand of Jesus.” The people who were slaves had a brand just like a cattle brand. The brand of a slave identifying him with a particular master, a particular estate. Paul said I have a brand and my brand shows that I am a slave of Jesus Christ. So it was not uncommon to brand in the ancient world and it will come back again. And all the slaves and all the soldiers of the Antichrist will be branded.

Further in ancient times, many of the cults, many of the mystical forms of religion delighted in such brands. And they would take a brand on themselves, an emblem being displayed on their bodies that would identify them with a certain form of worship. In fact, for example, the cult of Cebele had all of its members tattooed with a unique tattoo all in the same way.

Now we have tattoos today and we see those, in fact, as some kind of brand of something or other, varying from person to person. But in that coming day to be unmarked, to refuse to take the brand of Antichrist, means you’re a traitor and results in a sentence of death.

God’s Word to Young People

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Take a moment to walk with the average young person to see what he might encounter during a typical day. As he visits his Internet homepage, his eyes are assaulted with images of half-dressed celebrities, parading the sin of an independent, immoral lifestyle. The DJ from the local radio station accompanies him on the way to school. It’s usually someone with a crass sense of humor, filling his mind with contemporary lyrics that promote the way of folly. Along the road, he’s exposed to billboards and advertising designed to arouse lust and create discontentment. Any time he spends with the world’s entertainment portrays a very realistic form of make-believe. The typical television programs and movies glorify the mysterious and exhilarating life of the rebel—he’s defiant and witty, violent and sexual, rich and playful…and utterly godless (but never mind the consequences).

Get the picture? Before many teenagers arrive at school, their minds are already pondering the messages of all the images they’ve seen and the voices they’ve heard. And that’s before eight or more hours of teachers and peer influence. It’s a daily exercise in mind pollution.

It’s no secret that our age in particular has turned defiance into a virtue and made obedience something to be mocked. This warped and rebellious worldview comes through in every aspect of popular culture. Entertainment, music, and even newscasts glorify revolt and rebellion against every form of authority. Statistics show that the average child living at home in America watches at least twenty-eight hours of television each week. (For some kids, the total is much higher.) Programming that targets young people is often the very worst at deliberately glamorizing sin. By the time most teenagers graduate from high school, they’ve been overexposed to the grossest kinds of evil through “entertainment” media in mind-numbing ways—so that nothing seems particularly appalling anymore.

What’s the predictable result? Drug abuse, violent crime, sexual promiscuity, and other forms of lawlessness are at epidemic levels among teenagers. Large, disturbing subcultures exist among young people who practice bizarre forms of body modification (such as tattooing and piercing), immerse themselves in occultism, or openly practice other forms of antisocial behavior. Sin and rebellion have taken society captive, and their tragic effects are most vividly apparent in the culture of our young people.

Yet millions in society—especially among those in control of the entertainment media—glory in the evil. The apostle Paul prophetically foretold times like these. He wrote to Timothy:

Know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Tim. 3:1-5, italics added)

It’s fitting that rebellion against parents is at the heart of that list of evils, because virtually all the other sins listed (especially self-love, thanklessness, a lack of self-control, headstrong haughtiness, and hedonism) are inevitable fruits of youthful rebellion against parents. A culture of rebellion breeds every other kind of sin as well.

And that is why we are living in an age of moral anarchy. That is the culture in which our children are growing up. Although the wise parent will minimize a child’s exposure to the evils in the world, there’s simply no way to isolate or insulate our children completely from all those corrupting influences—suggestive images and compelling voices. But even if we could raise them in a protective bubble, that wouldn’t solve the problem. Our children are fallen creatures, naturally drawn to evil.

So as you can see, it’s a perilous walk for the typical teenager as he travels through his fallen world. Like the sirens of Homer’s Odyssey, beautiful voices entice him to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin—“Resist authority. Taste forbidden pleasures. Take control of your own life.” But one voice stands apart, contradicting all the rest with stunning boldness. God commands young people to a simple, yet profoundly wise way of life: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Even though that command comes at the beginning of a new chapter in Ephesians, it’s a continuation of the same subject Paul had been discussing. He was moving systematically through the family, describing each family member’s duty, and showing what mutual submission means in the context of the family structure.

Children, of course, are to show submission by obeying their parents. This is one of only a handful of texts in Scripture that directly address children in particular (see also Ex. 20:12; Prov. 1:8-9; 6:20; Col. 3:20). Virtually every time the Word of God speaks to children, the message is the same, aptly summarized by Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’”

In verse 2, Paul was quoting the fifth commandment from Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” That commandment is the turning point of the Ten Commandments. The first four commandments describe aspects of our duty to God: have no other gods; make no graven images; don’t take the Lord’s name in vain; and remember the Sabbath. The remaining six commandments spell out our duties with respect to other people: honor your parents; do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; and do not covet.

The starting point, the foundation for all earthly relationships, is the child’s duty to honor his or her parents. Since that is the first relationship we ever experience, it’s the first moral principle every child needs to learn. It’s fitting, therefore, that the leading commandment in the Second Table of the Law governs the parent-child relationship.

As the Apostle Paul pointed out, the fifth commandment is also “the first commandment with a promise.” In fact, this is the only one of the Ten Commandments that comes with a promise. Two other commandments (the second and the third) are accompanied by threats. The fourth commandment is followed by and extensive explanation of the reason for the commandment. But “honor your father and your mother” is the only commandment with a benediction for those who keep it.

It’s a promise of long life, blessing, and prosperity. Writing under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, Paul brought together the promise of Exodus 20:12 (“that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you”) with the fuller language of Deuteronomy 4:40: “that it may go well with you . . . and that you may prolong your days [on the earth]”—so that there are two parts to the promise. On the one hand, it promises quality of life (that it may be well with you). On the other hand, it promises length of days (and you may live long).

The “promise” was a divine pledge to the Israelites as a nation. As far as individuals are concerned, this is really more of a maxim than an ironclad surety. In other words, it is a truism, not a guarantee. Some people honor their parents and die young anyway. There have undoubtedly been cases where people who have despised their parents’ authority have nevertheless lived to old age. But as a general rule, the principle is true. Rebelling against parents has built-in consequences that tend to shorten one’s life.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT TATTOOS?

by Betty Miller

The Bible warns us against tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 (Amplified) which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”

I know some will have a hard time receiving this teaching because tattooing has now become an accepted practice in our society. However, just because society approves of something does not make it right in God’s eyes. Our society at large, also  approves of abortion and divorce as well. However, the Bible makes it clear that God doesn’t approve of these things.

In sharing this teaching, I am not trying to condemn anyone who already has a tattoo; but rather to warn those who are considering getting one.  God loves us, and even when we make mistakes in poor judgment, He doesn’t condemn us, but rather tries to help overcome the consequences of those mistakes.  Having a tattoo will not keep anyone from serving the Lord.  We know some very godly people who have tattoos and are serving the Lord and their tattoos do not interfere with what God is doing through them. Anything Satan tries to use for evil, God can turn and use it for good when we commit totally to Him. God takes us as we are and uses us if we will yield to His will. God will use any of us when we come out of the world and start serving Him with our whole hearts to do His will.  Our past is under the blood of Jesus and the sins and mistakes of the past will not hinder our God in our serving Him.  Only a hard and unrepentant heart keeps us tied to the old life.

There are many dedicated and sincere Christian people that have tattoos.   This article is not meant to say they do not love the Lord. God not only can use them, but does use them.  The issue is not whether God can use someone, but rather should Christians pursue getting tattoos?  Just because something is popular does not mean it is right.  We should always examine things by the “roots and the fruits” of the thing in question.

TATTOOING HAS WITCHCRAFT “ROOTS”

In addition to the above verse, Scripture also warns us not to disfigure our bodies in following verses:

1 Kings 18:28: “And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.”

Deuteronomy 14:1(Amplified): “Ye are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead.”

When it speaks here about doing this in relation to the dead; this was a witchcraft rite done to mourn or remember their dead. Therefore tattooing, cutting one’s body and shaving one’s head in defiance have their origin in witchcraft practices.  Tattoos have their “roots” in witchcraft. Many young people today are doing these very things because of some evil witchcraft influences in their lives that they are unaware of.   They do not realize that partaking of these can open the door to wrong and defiling influences in their lives. Evil videos, depraved rock music albums, wicked Internet games and violent movies are displaying evil trends in order to destroy our youth. Satanic tattoos, skin heads and other cultic rites are opening many of our children to demonization.

This is what makes it spiritually dangerous for people. People do not realize displaying a satanic mark or symbol can open the door for Satanic attack which allows the enemy entrance in their lives. It is not the mark itself, but rather the sin behind it. Today this practice is growing because of the spread of False Religions. Some people are so hideously covered with tattoos that their appearances look evil. Others, only have small tattoos that they believe are trendy or artistic.

Now this article is not meant to hurt or offend those that have tattoos, but rather to help people avoid getting tattoos that later on they might regret (especially young people). Many tattoos have evil and witchcraft  themes that are portrayed as devil faces, skulls, ugly demonic signs, vulgar pictures, etc. These things hurt the human spirit, just as satanic displays of any kind do. Some tattoos are obviously Satanic as they look devilish, while others may be flowers or innocent looking names or objects but it is the spirit behind this compromise that makes it dangerous for a Christian. God loves the person who has tattoos just as He loves all of us.  However, He would rather we did not deface our bodies in any fashion.

Some people object to using Old Testament scripture as a reference to tattoos since the New Testament doesn’t speak of these things.  However, in the New Testament we are even called to a higher law.  We are to have God’s laws written in our hearts.   When we remain close to the Lord and obey Him, He can direct us in things that are not good for us.  For example although the Bible does not say, “Thou shalt not smoke” or “Drug addiction is bad for you;” we know that these things are destructive to the human body.  In the New Testament, we are told to glorify God in our bodies.  This would include not marring our bodies with tattoos, as the principles in the Bible clearly tell us it is wrong to defile our bodies.

OUR BODIES ARE A TEMPLE

When the Lord created man and woman and placed them in the garden along with His other creations.  He spoke these words in Genesis 1:31,   “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” When the Lord created the human body, He pronounced that the way He created it was very good.  The Lord desires that our bodies be a reflection of His own beauty.  When people tattoo their bodies they are tampering with what the Lord said was very good the way He made it.   We should never mark our bodies as this is unnatural.  Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are admonished not to defile them. Tattoos on one’s body is like graffiti on a wall. Having tattoos on our bodies does not glorify God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

What is it within man that makes us dissatisfied with the way the Lord made each of us?   Most people are not happy with the way they look so they seek ways that will cause them to feel better about themselves or cause others to accept them. This is not wrong when it comes to having good grooming habits, but we need to understand true beauty comes from within, not from what we wear or how we look. When the emphasis is put on the outward appearance we can be ensnared in vanity, rejection, fear, pride and even racial discrimination. One of the most wonderful things about receiving the Lord is that He wants to deliver us from the outward things that we think we need to feel good about ourselves.   When we are in sin we do not feel worthy or acceptable, but through Christ we are.   When we can fully walk in the knowledge that we are acceptable before God through Christ, we are then free to be the person God made us to be without having to create a different image.  Many people are consumed with trying to be different or become acceptable not only by getting a tattoo but by other things as well.

Some Christians argue that they have the name Jesus or some Biblical word or sign tattooed on their body so they can witness by the tattoo. However, God is more concerned how we are living our lives than by displaying a religious mark on our body. That is not the highest way He would have us witness. The Lord would rather us witness to others by the character of Christ being demonstrated in our lives than display Christian slogans that many times are not matched by the life of Christ. Certainly, the Lord can use a tattoo of a cross or other religious symbol when a Christian has one of these as God knows the heart of the one who truly wants to share Christ with others.  However, it is not necessary to use any worldly thing to attract sinners.  It is the Holy Spirit who draws people to Christ through any yielded vessel of the Lord.  When we pray and witness to others the Lord will cause them to listen.

Just because a person has had a tattoo, it will not prevent God from using people to witness nor keep them from being a minister of God.  God looks on the heart and can use different things to testify of Christ’s love, even tattoos.  However, well- meaning people can be deceived in their methods of evangelism.

THE YOUTH CULTURE AND TATTOOS

I really believe that one of the compromises we see today is parents allowing their children to mark or tattoo their bodies.  Christians can look at someone who has tattoos all over them and know by discernment that it is not God, but the same Christians may get a small tattoo themselves or allow their children to have one without thinking anything about it. Toy makers today even sell washable ink transfer kits so children can mark their bodies with designs. This may seem like a harmless game but this is the enemy preparing or setting up our children early to receive real tattoos later on.

Many young people today do not realize that they may be sorry in the future that they chose to put tattoos on their bodies today.  We know of many people who have said to us that they wish they had not been foolish when they were young as now they must live with the reminder of what they did when they were young.  Only a few people have the money to have them removed by laser.

Years ago our young boys in the military had to go to foreign lands to get a tattoo, now tattoo parlors are everywhere because our nation here in the U.S.A. has opened its doors to many heathen practices and false religions. Another danger in receiving tattoos is a medical one through faulty procedures. One of the latest discoveries of another way AIDS is being transmitted is through contaminated ink or dirty tattoo needles. If fresh ink is not used, then the last person who was tattooed who had any kind of transmittable disease could leave behind that virus or bacteria. Not only Aids, but Hepatitis as well, has been traced to tattoo ink and needle contamination.

Some young people are having them done in defiance and rebellion to their parent’s wishes because they want to be like their friends. This is displeasing to God as the Lord tells children to honor and obey their parents.

Colossians 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

The reason so many people are deceived on this issue, as well as others, is that there is a lack of knowledge in the things of God and a lack of discernment in the body of Christ. Hosea 4:6a says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Many have not been taught nor grounded in the Word of God. We as church leadership owe an apology to the youth of our day because many of us have failed in our responsibility to speak out on the issues of the day and have allowed the influences of the world to shape our society.  Many Christian parents have failed in their responsibility also, as they have been too involved in chasing the American Dream instead of raising our children in the nurture and admonition of God as commanded in the Bible. Ephesians 6:4: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

One note of warning  to the church on this subject of tattoos. We have a generation now of young people that love the Lord yet do not understand all of His ways. Soon we are also going to be seeing a great revival among the youth of the world.   The youth of this day want a real cause to live and die for.  Most have not seen true Christianity.  However, when they do come to Christ many will be bringing their tattoos, dress, music and old habits with them right into the church.  We must be sure that we do not despise them nor look down on them, but rather welcome and love them and gently teach them the ways of the Lord. We are called to love and pray for them and help them avoid making some of the mistakes we have made in our own walk with the Lord.  We need to be true mothers and fathers to them. Yes, we must speak the truth in love, but let us make sure we are loving them and not condemning them.  On the other hand, we must not accept all that they would desire to bring with them that would harm them and compromise the Word of God.  We will all need God’s grace to bridge the generation gap. We would recommend a great article written by a young Christian on this very subject. Click here to read “Bridging the Generation Gap.”

If you, through ignorance, have received a tattoo or allowed your children to have one, you should pray against any evil or witchcraft that may have come through the circumstances when that tattoo was received. Some people receive tattoos before they are “born again” and after they are touched by the Lord, they wish they had never had it done. The Lord loves you, so do not come under any condemnation, just pray over them and ask the Lord to remove any spiritual influences denoted by the tattoo and He will do it. The Lord looks on our hearts and motives and judges us by those, not our outward appearance. However, if the tattoo bothers you and you cannot cover it, you can have it removed by laser surgery.

The bottom line for this issue would be to ask the popular youth slogan, “What Would Jesus Do?” I don’t believe we will ever see Jesus with a tattoo. The only scars on His body are the ones put there by evil men that crucified Him. They were not self inflicted. Overcomers will put away anything that leads to bigger compromises.

This article was taken from the Overcoming Life Digest (Jan./Feb. 1997 Issue); click here to view Digest

What a Difference God Makes!

The commands of God always flow out of the character of God. Thus the numerous commands in Leviticus 19 are commands related to holiness, because “I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2). Here are a few of the standards that a holy God enacted on His people:

  • respect for parents (Lev. 19:3);
  • keeping the Sabbath (Lev. 19:3, 30);
  • forsaking idolatry (Lev. 19:4);
  • concern for the poor (Lev. 19:10);
  • honesty and integrity in business (Lev. 19:11–12, 35–36);
  • protection of the physically challenged (Lev. 19:14);
  • justice and truth in speech (Lev. 19:16);
  • loving one’s neighbor as oneself (Lev. 19:18);
  • five years without harvesting a fruit tree for food (Lev. 19:25);
  • dignified mourning (Lev. 19:28);
  • forsaking magic and witchcraft (Lev. 19:31);
  • respect for the elderly (Lev. 19:32);
  • loving treatment of aliens (the “stranger,” Lev. 19:34); and
  • keeping the whole Law (Lev. 19:37).

Does a holy God make a practical difference in people’s day-to-day lives? He certainly does! Notice the single reason given for all of the preceding statutes: “I am the Lord your God!”[1]

[1] Thomas Nelson Publishers. (2001). What does the Bible say about… The ultimate A to Z resource fully illustrated. Nelson’s A to Z series (381–382). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

 
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