An interesting fact I learned years ago is the FBI does not study fake money. Instead all they study is real money which makes it much easier to spot counterfeits. That is a great way to apply personal Bible study, just study the real thing. The best counterfeit money uses the same type of material as real money and the most convincing counterfeit Bible teachings use actual Bible verses. Normally it is my desire to present truth of Scripture to allow fakes to naturally show themselves for what they are. Today I am taking a different approach and will discuss some dangerous teachings that are becoming increasingly popular in the worldview.
To start with let’s look at what Jesus actually said about the Law; Matthew 5:17-20 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Christ declared he came to fulfill the Law and the Commandments. Some have taken that to mean the Law is no longer valid, in other words we can ignore Old Testament teaching. That is a mistaken understanding. If, for example, you got a traffic violation and someone else paid the fine, than the law is fulfilled, the punishment has been paid. That does not mean traffic laws no longer exist. When reading Old Testament Law we should be grateful that Jesus paid the price for our sin but understand an unchanging God still views sin the same way. Therefore the Law is still valid for understanding what sin is.
It is common for some people to justify a personal choice by quoting the Bible. For example, opponents on both sides of the issue of same-sex marriage are inappropriately using scripture. On one side some are using verses such as Leviticus 20:13 If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. If Jesus paid the price for sin, why would we put people to death for it? Why wouldn’t we extend grace to others? On the other side of the argument some religious leaders are claiming that the law is no longer valid and therefore scripture about sexual immorality is invalid. Really?! Jesus said he did not come to abolish the Law!
The majority of our population, that includes churched and unchurched, is living in some form of sexual sin. As a result we have normalized and rationalized a wide range of inappropriate, unnatural, unhealthy behavior. We were created differently than all other animals and yet somehow want to justify our depraved appetites by pointing to other species or at least try to marginalize humans by comparing us to other animals. WE WERE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD! (Genesis 1:27) We are not like other animals!
The same religious leaders that continue to teach about acceptance of the LGBT movement also claim that other verses are not properly stated. For instance Romans 1:24-27 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
The claim is that this passage only refers to people who made a decision to follow a homosexual lifestyle and it is not to be applied to those who claim to be gay by nature. Furthermore it’s claimed that in Bible times they did not understand about sexual orientation. Genesis 5:1-2 tells us When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created. Also 2 Timothy 3:16 says All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. So am I to believe that the God that made all the heavens and earth in addition to creating man, plants, and animals did not understand how sex works? Are we expected to believe these verses are a typo? Or that Scripture was written by human invention?
Maybe the real answer to these questions are found in Romans 1:28-32 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
It’s very troubling that even those who claim to be Christian don’t read the Bible for themselves. The danger is without godly principles it is inevitable that a person will become increasingly immoral. As the verse says ‘they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God.’ Look at the list that follows as a result of such a decision.
Another lie is to believe that anything is acceptable if it’s in a loving and committed relationship or at the very least a mutual choice. The entire chapter of Leviticus 18 graphically lists examples of sexual immorality and child sacrifice. God tells us in verses 24-28 Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. That is quite a strong warning that even the land itself will reject a nation that gives itself to sexual immorality and idol worship. Such things had to be spelled out in the Law very specifically because people become accustomed to behavior as to think nothing is wrong with it. I cannot imagine anyone throwing a child into a fire as a form of worship and yet as a nation we readily accept abortion as a woman’s choice. It can be a thin line of difference between sacrifice and choice.
It is difficult for me to imagine sacrificing a child. At the same time my heart is torn for the women who, by no fault of their own, find an abortion necessary. The emotional toll is one that I would not wish on anybody. Yet in our divisive thinking our culture has made it appear either totally acceptable or completely evil depending on personal view. To embrace the view that it is totally acceptable is to embrace the idea of sacrificing a child to the god of convenience, selfishness, and irresponsibility.
In an effort to combat those who proclaim the truth that sexual sin leads to destruction some are teaching that the city of Sodom, where we get the word sodomy, was not destroyed because of sexual sin. Using Ezekiel 16:49 Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They claim her only sin was pride and selfishness. The effectiveness of this wrong teaching is in the fact that few people will actually check the facts for themselves. You can use Google or an old fashioned concordance to look up all the verses about the city of Sodom. I’ll give you one right now, Jude 7 tells us In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Still think Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed only because of selfish pride?
None of these “new ideas” are all that new. Man has always looked for ways to be selfish and misleading. 2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
It is a choice to follow God or follow man. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. As a nation we have the choice to follow man’s desire or God’s Law. We can’t have it both ways.
Look at what happened to nations in the Bible that refused to follow God and compare that to what is now commonplace. Nearly every form of entertainment is advancing the idea that a conjugal relationship outside a God designed marriage is normal. Drunkenness has taken on even greater tolerance with the legalizing of marijuana in some states. It is becoming more acceptable for our leaders in business, politics, and church to not be held to a standard of honesty and morality. In some cases the more immoral a person is the more popular they become.
As a reminder of our heritage U.S. currency has the words ‘In God We Trust’ yet we have demonstrated to the world our trust is in anything but a creator. I have no doubts the United States of America is in her final decades before serious judgment occurs from God. It would be extremely foolish of me to put a precise time frame to that statement but I do not believe we have fifty years left if things don’t change. The Bible does not tell me this directly as this country is not mentioned anywhere in scripture. Many are naïve to think that the collapse of our country will not affect them personally. I’m telling you folks what’s coming will not be pleasant for any of us! If people are not willing to read the Bible at least they could read some history books. Look at what is happening and has happened around the world over the centuries.
There is hope for us but it will require true repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Of course you can choose to believe that this is Old Testament teaching and is not valid for today, but I would not advise that.
Rev. Burt Schwab