Friend, Life Is Too Short (#2) …
Perhaps all of us at one time or another has heard someone say, “Life is too short to ….” Yes, based on the Bible’s teachings, we see that our life on earth is very brief. David said, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Ps. 90:10). James said, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas. 4:14). Yesterday, we studied some on this subject. Today, let us conclude this study.
After yesterday's article, I imagine most would agree that one cannot afford to live in sin as if he had all the time in the world (Prov. 27:1). Yet, when it comes to the matter of identifying sin and identifying false teachers, it is then that some people say, “Life is too short!” Or they say words to the effect, “If you’d just stay busy preaching and trying to save souls, you wouldn’t have time to worry about these matters.” Is this true? Let us examine a few cases in the Bible, and determine from Bible examples how our brief time on earth is best spent.
Consider the example of Christ. While “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10), we find Christ condemning those who were living in sin. He condemned the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites (Matt. 23:13-15, 23, 25, 27, 29). Christ also said that such people as the publicans were sick, and sinners in need of repentance (Matt. 9:12-13). What would you think dear reader, if the roles were reversed and you were in their place? Would you think “life is too short” to talk like that? Jesus would not agree with that assessment.
Another example is Paul. Paul had no problem identifying sin and naming false teachers. Paul warned Timothy of such men as Hymenaeus, Alexander, Philetus, Demas, Alexander the coppersmith, and others whose actions had led many astray (I Tim. 1:20; II Tim. 2:17, 4:10, 14). One might recall how Paul used a significant amount of the book of Galatians, to condemn the Judaizing teachers. Who is ready to say that Paul’s time and ink would have been “better spent” speaking on other subjects? Paul also told the Corinthians that if he got to see them a third time and they hadn’t repented of certain sins, “I will not spare” (II Cor. 13:2). Evidently, the Holy Spirit, who inspired Paul to write what he did, and speak what he spoke (I Cor. 14:37), did not think that life was “too short” to deal with false doctrines and false teachers who were leading people astray!
The quibble which says “life is too short” to take time to deal with false doctrine and false teachers is wrong. We find New Testament heroes standing and dealing with sin and error in an attempt to bring lost souls to Christ, and this is what we need to be doing today (I Cor. 11:1). “Life is too short” to spend it living in sin. We have a limited amount of time on earth and must be about our Father’s will while we have this day and have breath in our bodies (Jn. 9:4).
Friend, Life Is Too Short (#1) …
Perhaps all of us at one time or another have heard someone say words to the effect that, “Life is too short to ….” Yes, based on the Bible’s teachings, we see that our life on earth is very brief. David said, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty, yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away” (Ps. 90:10). James said, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas. 4:14). These two examples impress upon our minds the brevity of this earth-life.
While our life on earth is short, that is no excuse for justifying evil practices or false doctrine. I am afraid that sometimes we have the attitude that “life is too short” to worry about sin, so “live and let live.” Such an attitude attempts to take the emphasis off of the one in error, and place it on the one asking and searching for the truth. When one is living in sin or is teaching false doctrine, and they justify their behavior by saying, “Listen, friend, life is too short ....”, the men using such justifications have it wrong.
The fact is that when it comes to living in sin, “life is too short” for people to continue in such behavior. It is for this reason that there is a continued emphasis in the Bible on teaching and practicing the truth, and repenting of one’s sinful ways now (Lk. 13:3; II Pet. 3:9). This is because man’s time on earth is “too short” to waste living in error.
Jeremiah said that God’s word was “in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not” (Jer. 20:9, NKJ). Jeremiah was one who had to speak when it came to preaching against the wickedness of Judah. To him, life was “too short” for him to be silent and allow the people of God to remain ignorant and die in their sins.
When Christ lived on this earth, His emphasis was upon people repenting and doing it right away. On one occasion, a man stated his intention to follow Christ but intended on doing it later. Christ responded, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22). Our responsibility is to Christ first, and then to others! We make a grave mistake when we put things/people before Christ.
Yes, friends, “life is too short” to live in sin and outside of Christ. There is a change that is demanded of all of us, and it is something which must be done before it is too late (II Cor. 6:2)!
Let us learn that “life is too short” to spend it living in sin. We have a limited amount of time on earth and must be about our Father’s will while we have breath in our bodies. Our Lord said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (Jn. 9:4).
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Galatians 1:8
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, stating how surprised he was that they were “so soon removed” from the gospel of Christ to something perverted (Gal. 1:6). He then told them if any man, even an angel from Heaven preaches any other gospel, then let him be “accursed.” To be “accursed” is to be cut off from God and Christ. “Accursed” means to be abhorred, and to essentially be rejected from Christ, wherein He will say, “depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Perverting the gospel of Christ is not a joke or something to be taken lightly! It will result in the souls of those false teachers being lost. It will also result in the souls of those who obey the false doctrine being lost! Teaching and following false doctrine will result in our being out of fellowship with Christ (II Jn. 9-11). Therefore, let us take the teaching and spreading of God’s word very seriously. If we preach or teach anything that is not according to the revealed will of God, we will lose our souls!
– Jarrod Jacobs
What Does The Empty Tomb Mean To Us?
Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus was crucified between two thieves. When He died, His body was laid in a new tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea (Mk. 15:43-47), there to await His resurrection on the third day. The account of the women and the apostles finding Jesus’ tomb empty is found in Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:1-10.
The empty tomb means something to Christians. It is important and has great value to all those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. What does the empty tomb mean?
The empty tomb means that death is conquered! Jesus became the “firstfruits of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20). Colossians 1:18 declares that Christ’s resurrection gives Him the preeminence in all things. Hebrews 2:9 shows us that Christ tasted death for every man. Therefore, Christians have nothing to fear in death.
In writing on the subject of death and the resurrection of all mankind, Paul said, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:54-57). Why not look into the tomb, and see the victory that Christ has given to all since He arose from the dead?
The empty tomb means salvation for all! Before Christ, Jewish people were considered the chosen nation, and they labored to keep the Old Testament (Mosaic) Law. They offered animal sacrifices to atone for their sins, but this was not enough (Heb. 10:1-4). Seeing that Jesus gave His life, shed His blood, and arose from the dead, He offers salvation to everyone (Matt. 11:28-30). In Mark 16:15, Jesus instructed His apostles to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” In Colossians 1:5-6, 23, we read that this command was carried out! Paul declared that “every creature which is under heaven” heard the gospel. Jesus wanted no one to be ignorant of His will, and neither should we.
The empty tomb means Jesus told the truth! Throughout Jesus’ preaching, He prophesied of His death, burial, and resurrection, and that He is the Son of God. A few passages that declare this are: Matthew 12:38-40; Matthew 16:21; John 8:24, 58-59; John 10:30-36; and John 18:36-37. That empty tomb tells mankind that the Son of God walked this earth, told us the truth about all things, that He loves us and wants to save us!
If we can believe that Jesus told us the truth on these things, why do we not believe Him on the other things He teaches in His word? There has been much dispute over certain parts of the Bible for many years. Obviously, Jesus did not teach two or more conflicting doctrines, but spoke the Truth consistently. Knowing this and knowing that He told us the truth about His death, burial, and resurrection; why do we not believe His teachings on other subjects? Why do we not do the things He requires?
Friend, the stone wasn’t rolled back so Jesus could escape. It was rolled back so we could look in! Have you looked with the eye of faith into that empty tomb? I pray that we might all come to a better understanding of what the empty tomb means.
Is One Church As Good As Another?
Perhaps the most common attitude among “religious” people is the attitude that one church is as good as another. Many who believe it “taboo” to talk about religious matters will say words to the effect, “You do what you want to do and I’ll do what I want to do in religion.” Once the conversation turns to religious matters, some will cut you off saying words to the effect, “Just stop right there, I’m satisfied with what I have!” Friends, what does this say about people’s attitudes?
Let us take a moment and consider the consequences of the statement, “one church is as good as another.” If “one church is as good as another,” this says:
1. The name of men is as good as the name of Christ. Is this true? Peter said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
2. The blood of men is as good as the blood of Christ. Yet, Paul said that the church was purchased by Christ’s blood (Acts 20:28). Is there anything more precious than the blood of Christ that purchased the Lord’s church (I Pet. 1:18-19)?
3. The foundation of men is as good as the foundation of God. However, when we study, we learn that the foundation of the church of Christ, is Christ (I Cor. 3:11; Matt. 7:24-27)!
4. The will of men is as good as the will of God. Read Hebrews 9:15-17 and learn that Christ is “the mediator of the new testament.” As a result of His death on the cross, His testament is in force. Where is man’s testament that nullifies or makes void the New Testament?
5. The word of men is as good as the word of God. In truth, it is only God’s word that gives us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” and “thoroughly furnishes us unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21). What word/work of man (creed, etc.) could make this claim?
6. The organization of men is as good as the organization of Christ. Local congregations of the Lord’s church are scripturally organized when they have elders, deacons, and saints (Phil. 1:1). Has anyone been able to improve on this plan? No!
If you lost sight of your child in a crowd, what would you think of the person who said to you, “If you can’t find your child, just take another one. One child is as good as another”? Would this scare you, or would you think such a suggestion was “enlightened” and “fair-minded”? What if you attended a wedding, and the groom didn’t marry the intended bride, but another, and said, “One wife is as good as another”? If you have health problems, is one medicine from the pharmacy as good as another?
Friends, if we recognize the folly of such a suggestion with our children, a spouse, our medicine and other things, why do we accept such reasoning when it comes to the Lord’s church? One church is not as good as another. Our responsibility is to be a part of the Lord’s church if we expect to please Him (Rom. 16:16).