Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WISDOM OF SOLOMON

Wisdom of Solomon?
June 20, 2013
 
Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.2 Chronicles 1:12. Solomon was the son of David and inherited his father’s throne. God appeared to him in a dream and told him to ask for what he wanted. Solomon could have had anything he desired but asked for wisdom and knowledge. Solomon began his reign over Israel with humility. He didn’t ask for riches, but God gave him riches and wealth and honor in addition to the wisdom. God was pleased with him. But did Solomon honor God? His life started well, but he got sidetracked.
 
Just after the Israelites had left Egypt, God gave them some rules for their future king that God would choose from among them. “But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” Deuteronomy 17:16-17. Solomon disobeyed every point in this verse. “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.1 Kings 4:26. God was pretty specific in what was written in Deuteronomy, but Solomon doesn’t seem to be paying attention. “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart1 Kings 11:1-3. Take note here, God’s direction about not being unequally yoked is not a new concept to the New Testament. These pagan wives turned him to idol worship. Solomon was wise, but not very smart. He forgot to “fear God”.
 
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.Proverbs 9:10. Solomon wrote many, many proverbs (according to 1 Kings 4:32 he spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs). This proverb holds a truth that cannot be questioned. The Hebrew word “yir’ah” is translated “fear” and regarding to our attitude towards God it means “respect, reverence, piety”. So, Solomon is saying that if we respecting and revering God is where wisdom begins. Solomon had it all…wine, women, and song, as well as wealth. It seems as if during his life he got off track. His fear of the Lord waned and he lost his joy. He spoke pious words of wisdom but did not fear the Lord. King Solomon felt the uselessness of the pleasures of the world when he wrote "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 1:2. The Hebrew word “hebel” is translated “vanity” and means “breath, vapor”.  It seems he found passing pleasures but nothing that would last – nothing to find contentment in. After a life of trying everything under the sun, this is his conclusion: frustration, futility, nonsense, even absurdity; all is vanity. At the end of his writing in Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  Ecclesiastes 12:13. He finally seems to have put his wisdom to use and concluded that the pleasures of this world are vanity…a vapor that doesn’t last. But to fear (respect) God is where our priority should be. Solomon was not happy in his life even though he had everything his heart desired and more.
 
What about us? How do we achieve contentment in this life? What must we do or have to reach the point where we are truly happy? Most people assume they would be content if they were rich. King Solomon had riches, but found little pleasure in his riches...they were all vanity. When we look around at those individuals today who are rich, it doesn’t seem as if money is enough to make them happy. They always seem to need a little more. Just a little more money, a bit more alcohol, drugs, or sex will do the trick. All of these are vanity and a any pleasure derived from them will not last. They are searching for something that seems to them to be elusive – it is all vanity. All they know is that they can’t quite get their hands on it. Contentment is just out of reach. . “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?Mark 8:36. Nothing of the world can give us contentment. It is all a vapor…it is all vanity.
 
Well then, what will fill our lives with happiness? In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.Matthew 5:3-12. The Greek word “makarios is translated “blessed” and means “blessed, happy”. As we read through these verses it is hard for our human minds to understand how we can be happy if we mourn, or if we are persecuted. Like Solomon we usually look to the vanity of passing pleasure and expect to be happy. We want to be content and filled with a sense of security as we go through life but we don’t look to God for guidance. Jesus points out that our happiness is not based on human ideas that are fleeting, but on a daily walk with God. If we truly hunger and thirst for righteousness we will be filled. We will be content. If men revile us and persecute us because we love Jesus and are not ashamed, we need to rejoice because Heaven is real and our reward will be great. Each of these Beatitudes should be studied and applied to our daily walk. Then we will find peace and contentment that money cannot buy.
 
Is it wrong to be rich and/or famous? No, it isn’t wrong. God gave Solomon what he asked for, but then He added to what Solomon had asked “…and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like2 Chronicles 1:12. God was pleased to give Solomon more than he asked. If Solomon had used God’s gifts wisely, not only would he have given happiness to others, but he would have had much more contentment in his life. Solomon basically ruined his life by making poor choices; although he’d acquired much knowledge, experience, and wisdom, he comes to the conclusion that it is all vanity. Through mistakes, bad decisions, and foolishness Solomon finally came up with the only true meaning of life. By the end of his life he attributed his whole existence to God. How much happier would he have been if he would have obeyed God and appreciated God’s gifts to him from the beginning.
 
Christians are given gifts. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Paul also tells of other gifts given by God which are prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, mercy as listed in Romans chapter 12. In Ephesians 4:11 we are also told that some are given the gift to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. God gives many gifts. All of these gifts are to be used “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of ChristEphesians 4:12. God gives each of us at least one of these gifts, but how do we use our gift? Do we spend time scratching our heads and asking God to show us what gift we have been given, or do we set about serving God and allowing whatever gift we have to become known? Do we know that we have a certain gift but want a different on? Use what God has given to you and serve Him then contentment will follow because you are serving God on His terms. Don’t expect to get rich from the gifts. What God has given freely should be used freely.
 
What is the greatest gift of all? God gave Himselft. God stepped into His creation as a man to save mankind from eternal death. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16. Can you ask for more? Is there anything that can top that? There is no gift that is more valuable. Jesus Christ paid our sin-debt in full. He left Heaven, stepped into His creation, and conquered death for me. For you. For the entire world. And this gift is free. This precious gift is freely given, but you have to accept the gift. It isn’t forced upon anyone, but it is silly to reject it. No, not silly…ignorant. Eternal life is available to each of us, but if anyone rejects that gift it means an eternity of death. Yes everyone lives forever, but only accepting Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection will it mean eternity with Him. It is a personal choice each person has to make for himself.
 
How can we obtain happiness or contentment while living in a fallen world? By accepting the greatest gift of all. Jesus Christ. By placing our faith and our trust in Him, and believing in Him who sent Jesus to dwell among us, we will have what Solomon finally realized by the end of his life. God is the answer. Jesus Christ is God Almighty, our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Saviour. He’s KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD. Hallelujah! Again I say hallelujah!
 
This wonderful gift of salvation was meant to be shared. Just before Jesus was received into Heaven He gave the command “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.Mark 6:15. And so they did. Because they obeyed Jesus the Gospel was shared. Now, all these many years later, this gift is still being shared. It is still free, but has to be accepted by each person individually. If your father is a Christian that is wonderful, but God doesn’t have grandchildren…only children. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13. You have to accept this gift for yourself because your father, mother, aunt, uncle, or grandparent cannot do it for you.
 
Don’t be like Solomon and look back on your life as vanity. Come to the cross of Christ today; lay your burdens down at His feet. Jesus Christ wants to take your troubles, your pains, your sorrows. He’s waiting. Talk to Him. Turn your life over to Him. You won’t be sorry. No one who is truly born again is ever sorry for the decision they made when they asked Jesus Christ to come into their lives. Thusly you’ll have found true happiness.
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
 
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed

 


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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NEEDED-GODLY MEN STANDING FOR JESUS

Needed – Godly Men Standing for Jesus
June 13, 2013
 
Where have all the Godly men gone? Many have moved on to be with the Lord. But many are still living on this side of Heaven and have committed ourselves to stand firm on God’s word. It is up to us who have surrendered ourselves to God to lead and encourage others to also make that commitment. Many Godly men simply need some accountability lessons. A born again believer in Christ standing firm on the word of God has a responsibility to encourage all our brothers to be focused on being or becoming Godly men.
 
What does it mean to be a Godly man? Simply put, Jesus Christ shines through our lives and our every decision is uncompromisingly filtered through the lens of scriptures, from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation. Godly men lead their families, and as that Godly spiritual leader matures and grows in his faith his family also grows in faith. Children are nurtured and loved; they’re taught about Jesus Christ from a very young age. The Godly man doesn’t leave his children, break up the family unit, or go out seeking another woman to be his companion. A Godly man is devoted to his family, his wife is precious in his eyes and their marriage is a lifelong commitment. For a Godly man there is no thought of shattering his family to pursue other interests. 
 
Father’s are the example their children will follow. Children are not fooled; many dads talk the talk, but when it comes right down to walking the walk they stumble and the children notice. Daddy are you reading your Bible, or is your nose in Sports Illustrated…the swimsuit edition? Children living in that type of household grow up talking the talk also, but as they become young adults they become disenfranchised with the whole idea of following Jesus Christ. Talking the talk is seen as no more than a ritualistic endeavor on their parent’s part, but for the children those rituals really have no meaning. A son looks to his father to learn to be a man. If that father does not stand firm upon God’s word then the son will not take God seriously. He will grow up to compromise truth. A daughter looks to her father to understand what a husband should be. If her father compromises his role as a Godly husband, the daughter will compromise in her choice of a husband.
 
Men, we are raising the next generation of Godly men and women and for this reason we must stand up for Jesus Christ in our lives now while our children are young and allow them to witness first hand our faith and our love for Christ as we love them and as we publically manifest our love for our wives. Too many families have been torn apart by men and women who have no concept of God and His precepts. Way too many children are being raised by mothers only because the dads have gone missing. Even among Christians this trend is growing and is very disturbing. Men, God needs to be first in our life with no compromise.
 
I was sitting in a parking lot the other day and watched men and women walking in and out of the store giving no more attention to one another than as if they were only strangers. I watched them step out of the same vehicle and then return a short while later, get into the same vehicle without a word to one another. In many instances the man would walk a few steps ahead of his wife and show no outward sign of affection, nothing that would let the world know that they were husband and wife or that they had any love for one another. Husband, love your wife. Hold her hand. Protect her.
 
A Godly man will stand by the side of his wife in public and while doing so he acknowledges to a lost world that his love for his wife is the very same love Christ has for His Ekklesia. There should be no doubt in the minds of those looking on as to whether or not you love your wife. God gave you a wife to love you and for you to love, to help you with the chores of this life, to bear you children. Why, then, would you walk out in public as though she’s some kind of offense to you? This is not the attitude of a Godly man.
 
Every man and boy has the potential to grow to be a Godly man. It’s just a matter of learning on the part of each man the precepts of God and then putting those precepts into place. First, to be a Godly man you need to know Christ and understand His love. Then you will understand “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church[Ekklesia], and gave himself for it;” Ephesians 5:25. This kind of love is never ending; it’s a love that all Godly men must strive for as we give ourselves completely to our wives. “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” Ephesians 5:28. My wife and I were married before I became a Christian. She was a Christian. I do not recommend any Christian, man or woman, to marry a non-Christian or a nominal Christian. I loved my wife when we first were married, but I only fully came to love her after I fell in love with Jesus. A man who does not understand Christ’s love will never be able to love his wife in a sacrificial way…like Christ loved the Ekklesia (church).
 
When a man and woman marry they are joined together forever. Forever is not a relative term; it’s absolute where marriage is concerned. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31. A Godly man will lean on God’s word while standing faithfully at his wife’s side. The enemy of God and man will do all he can to tear a husband and wife apart. This is evident in our world today as we can plainly see the enemy has been hard at it.
 
God created the family structure to be the best possible way men and women can love and live together, while raising their children and promoting God’s precepts as a lost world looks on and sees something they too long to have. Staying in your marriage and loving your wife until the Lord takes you home glorifies God. Being an example to your children of God’s ways is necessary for future generations. With all their hearts, Godly men want and need to glorify God.
 
A Godly man raises Godly children. Children need their daddy and that daddy is the very best he can be when he continually loves and admonishes his children to live that very same Godly life. A Godly man leads by example. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:21. There is a down side to being a daddy and that is our children are born into a fallen world and rebellion is heavy on their minds. As they grow they can become even more rebellious and this can provoke a daddy to anger. That’s why we must always be ready to love first.
 
But what happens if a Godly man is taken Home before his family is raised? That’s where Godly Grandpas and Uncles come in...also brothers and friends. They need to be step up to the plate and be Godly examples to the children. Give advice based on God’s word. Lead them in God’s ways.
 
GODLY MEN
Words & Music by: Buddy Davis
 
Lord, we need more Godly men.
Who’ll stand on Your Word till the end.
Men who are strong, men that won’t bend.
Lord, we need more Godly men.
 
Lord, we need more Godly men.
Who aren’t afraid to call sin sin.
‘Cause the world is desperately looking for them,
Lord we need more Godly men
 
Lord we need more husbands in love with their wives.
And Daddies to cherish their kids
Grandpas and uncles who’ll set an example.
And tell them who Jesus is.
 
May the world see our eyes in the Bible.
And our knees bent in prayer again.
From the senior preacher to the high school teacher.
Lord, we need more Godly men.
 
Lord, we need more heroes to praise the name of Christ.
Instead of using it in vain.
Men who’ll place Jesus at the head of their homes.
Like the family that You ordained.
May the world see us as Your disciples.
Reaching out to the world as a friend.
From the factory worker to the Wall Street broker.
Lord, we need more Godly men.
 
Lord, we need more Godly men.
Who’ll stand on Your Word till the end.
Men who are strong, men that won’t bend.
Lord, we need more Godly men.
 
Amen to that Buddy. This world is in desperate need of many more Godly men. They’re out there and with a little more encouragement and knowledge of God’s word they will come forward. The potential for a surge of Godly men to come to help with God’s Kingdom is great. Stepping forward is the first step. Lord, we truly do need more Godly men.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
 
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed
This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham
 
 



 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

FELLOWSHIPPING WITH BELIAL

Fellowshipping with Belial
May 30, 2013
 
 
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. Many believe that Paul is only speaking about a marriage union between believers and nonbelievers. Actually there’s much more to this verse and the subsequent verses than most people like to believe. Corinth was a city full of pagan worship. Every deviant sexual practice and every form of satanic worship was there. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians was to people who had accepted Christ but had not separated themselves from these pagan ways. Paul was not wishy-washy in his admonishment of their sins. The context is not marriage, but in fact it is about our Christian walk.
 
Christians are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers in anything. That means if you are a Christian don’t be married, don’t be in partnership with, and don’t be buddies with non-believers. So, why do we try to ignore this admonition or try to limit it to just marriage? Why do we try to justify fellowshipping with Belial? Because we don’t want to leave our pagan ways and serve Christ.
 
This idea of not being yoked together with unbelievers is not new to the New Testament.
In the Law it is written “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together.Deuteronomy 22:9-11. These were pagan practices and God called the Israelites out of pagan ways. These things may seem trivial, but like us, the Israelites were to be separate and not unequally yoked to the pagan world.
 
As believers we are to live our lives as close to the way Jesus would have us live as possible. Not as a works oriented faith, but as how we show our love for Jesus. It is the lifelong sanctification process. Like the Corinthians we live in a society that glorifies ungodly ways, but Christians are admonished to not take part in worldly activities. Before we became born again we were a part of this pagan world and as such we were a part of the ungodliness. Now that we profess Christ as our Saviour, that has changed…or should have. We are now to present ourselves to an unbelieving world as new creatures bathed in Christ. Christians are only sojourners passing thorough this life in an infinitesimal period of time and we need to represent Christ well, no matter what those in the world think.
 
 “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?2 Corinthians 6:15. The word “Belial” is from an Old Testament word that meant worthless or wicked and later became synonymous with Satan. “It is set in contrast to Christ and represents a personification of the system of impure worship connected especially with the cult of Aphrodite,” Vines Expository Dictionary of the New Testament words. In other words we shouldn’t be yoked with Satan. Everything that isn’t of Christ is of Satan. Influences and temptations are too powerful for us to combat...peer pressure abounds. If we are mingling with those who don’t have the moral guidance of God, then our own walk is hindered. For instance we are not to lie, but if our non-Christian buddy sees no problem in sidestepping the truth we usually find ways to see his lying as OK and begin to lie ourselves. Our own Christian beliefs are compromised and we are taking the path to fellowship with Belial.
 
Many Christians believe they can live as the world does and still be separate from the world, but in all actuality they are being dragged down to a level not at all in standing with the high calling of Christ. Have you ever been with friends and foul language is spewed? Even though this is offensive you don’t say anything and soon you, too, are using those foul words. You are unequally yoked and are being influenced by the unrighteous. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil,” Proverbs 3:5-7. Believers aren’t to continue in fellowship with the world, for the world will dominate. The evil ungodly influences will eventually become a part of the believer’s life.
 
There are many ways we fellowship with Belial. Do your friends have tattoos? Do you? “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28. Now, before you hit me with heated emails saying that we are not under the Law, let me just say that you are correct. But the Law tells us what God thinks. Cutting ones flesh and tattooing were pagan practices. These things were part of the requirements of the demonic gods they worshipped. The one true God called the Israelites out from the pagans and required them to be separate. It’s the same for Christians. If you say with your mouth that you are a Christian but practice things that are pagan, who are you fellowshipping with? “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1 Corinthians 10:23. We are not under the Law, but under Grace. That is not a license to fellowship with Belial.
 
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16. Did you catch that? “I will dwell in them”. Once a person becomes reborn God indwells that individual by the Holy Spirit. Every time we lie or are sexually impure or in any way are unequally yoked with the non-believer, we drag God right along with us into the perversion of fellowshipping with Belial. I’ve noticed that many Christians keep one foot in the world in their actions and understandings. The born again believer must step away from worldly influences and allow God to influence and renew his/her mind. Idols are many in this world of materialism. What music do you listen to? What TV shows and movies do you watch? I have not watched television for many years, but from hearing what people say is broadcast none of it should be watched by a Christian…not even most of the so called Christian programs. Our minds and thoughts need to be filled with Christ, not with comedies about sex or shows about vampires, zombies, and other satanic creatures.
 
In my commentaries you will notice that I don’t use the word “church” when talking about believers. I use the word “Ekklesia” instead. Why? The word church is not Biblical. It is a building, but it is also a word used to indicate a doctrine or belief system. The Presbyterian Church interprets God’s word different than the Methodist Church which is different than the Catholic Church and so on. All of these (and every denomination) pick and choose which part of God’s word they feel needs to be followed, or needs to be updated to agree with modern life. We can be sitting in a pew every week and be fellowshipping with Belial if the doctrine of that “church” does not conform to God’s word. On the other hand, the word “Ekklesia” means to be called out, and this is the word used in the original language of the New Testament and mistranslated “church” in most Bibles. Why is Ekklesia important? Because God’s word emphasizes that Christians are called out from the world and are not to be a part of the world. Our lives need to reflect Christ, not Belial. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.2 Corinthians 6:17-18. This isn’t Paul saying this or me. No, the Lord Almighty said it. He said it many times to the Jews. Abraham lived in a very pagan culture and his family was heavily into idol worship. “..said to him “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.Acts 7:3. Did Abraham obey? Sort of. He went a ways from his home, but took his father and nephew with him. He dwelt in Haran until his father died, then went on with his nephew Lot to the land God promised him. “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foe’s [shall be] they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:35-37.  We are called out. When we accept Christ we need to put Him and His ways first, even if it means we must leave our family…or friends.
 
Whether you are a new Christian or you’ve been a Christian for years there are ways to help someone else in their walk. Using God’s word we must admonish those Christians who are still walking in the world. We must also avoid fellowship with non-Christians. It’s not judging someone when you admonish a fellow Christian using God’s word as a standard. “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16. We must prayerfully study our Bibles and use scripture to correct doctrine that is in error. But we also use the scriptures to correct lifestyles that are in error…including our own.
 
There are many Christians who are living a lifestyle that is contrary to scriptures. Do you have a friend who professes Christ yet is “living with” their girlfriend or boyfriend? This is contrary to God’s word and needs to be confronted. This is fellowshipping with Belial. You need to stand firm and not fellowship with them. By not confronting sin you are agreeing with it. When we confront someone who is sinning, we can be accused of being “holier than thou” or being judgmental. What does God’s word say? Sexual activity outside of a one man one woman marriage is sin and according to Old Testament Law they would be stoned to death. Does that tell you anything about how God feels about sexual immorality? Many times we will be verbally attacked if we confront sin because so many people want to stay in their fellowship with Belial. But it would not be showing Christian love to allow them to continue heading in the wrong direction by keeping silent. These confrontations need to be done in love. When a woman who had been caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, what transpired? First Jesus quietly convicted the accusers and then He showed love to the accused. But He did not pat her on the back and say to keep on sinning. No, He said “…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.John 8:11.
 
As Christians we need to make a priority in our own life to keep ourselves right with Christ’s teachings. “And when he had called the people [unto] him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.Mark 8:34. This means we need to know what the Bible teaches, and even though our human urges want to fellowship with Belial and tell a “little white lie”, have sexual encounters, etc., we must deny these satanic urges and follow Christ even if we lose a friend. Holier than thou? No, just following Christ.
 
Does this mean we are to have no contact at all with unbelievers? Jesus commanded: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15. He also prayed to the Father concerning the disciples, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." John 17:15. How can we reach the lost if we don’t have contact with them? We can’t. Jesus never said to be isolated, but we are not to be yoked with the world. We are to preach the gospel so the lost will come to know Jesus and be saved. If we are only preaching the Gospel with our mouth but living unequally yoked lives – fellowshipping with Belial – what good will our preaching do?
 
 Whether you believe as I do that the Rapture will happen soon, or if you don’t believe in the Rapture at all, understand that none of us know when our life on this earth will end. If we are not living for Jesus in all our ways then we are living with one foot in the world and fellowshipping with Belial. If we are condoning sin in others by fellowshipping with them and not admonishing their sin, shame on us. If you are a believer then represent Him well. If you have not accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, now is the time to do it. Begin today to study God’s word. Fellowship with Christ and stop fellowshipping with Belial.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
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