"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Monday, July 30, 2018

Challenges In Faith

Bobservations Column:
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

New winds of doctrine constantly buffet the church. Doctrines come, and doctrines go, and sadly, in the process, many undiscerning believers can be turned away from the church. The proof of them all is the Scriptures themselves. True Christian Doctrine for Christ’s Church will withstand the test of time, and the test of Scriptures.

False doctrines that tickle the believers’ ears can be exposed readily, because they that choose to follow these must somehow alter God’s Word to support the doctrine, and give credence to other beliefs of the sect, or cult. Subtlety is the name of their game. Leave enough authentic passages that one might not notice additions, or subtractions. Yet this is why God tells us that He does not change (Malachi 3:6 / Psalm 89:34). He will be faithful to His unchanging Word, and He has even warned us of the consequences of the changing of His word by human hands (Revelation 22 : 18, 19).

This is what Peter faced in today’s passage in Acts 10, a new doctrine, addressing the Gentiles, not just the Jews. For a Jew to have his heart opened to the idea that God’s grace could also be upon the Gentiles, seemed preposterous, and Peter learned a hard lesson at the hand of God: salvation was for all, not just God’s Chosen People. And as proof, here we are on the receiving end of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Fringe Churches and Cults have often used the tactic of altering God’s Word so that their doctrines are supported. From “...the word was god,” in John 1, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have presented us with, “the word was a God...” The founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church needed to support a spiritual fulfillment of prophecy, so more than 60 words were added to the Book of Daniel to support the doctrine of Soul Sleep. The Golden Plates from the Mormon Angel Moroni promptly disappeared after being received by Joseph Smith. There was no way to check the accuracy of his later teachings.

As Peter is confronted with Gentile salvation, God provides a miraculous display that tells him that God is the Provider of all, for all.

“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.” ~ Gal. 1:6-9

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