By the choice that many professing Christians have made in this year’s Republican presidential primaries, I believe that they have forfeited irrecoverably for all believers something of priceless value. The true cost of this forfeiture will be seen in numerous ways in the years to come.

Inability to Say Credibly That Moral Character Matters for Any Leader Outside of a Church Context

Espousing the view that they were voting for a President and not a pastor, many Christians voted for a candidate in this year’s elections whose life history has differed markedly from that of the other choices that were available to them. They did so for various reasons.

By their doing so, have we not forfeited the ability to demand good moral character of any leader outside of a church context?

Resulting from what has happened in this year’s election, it seems inescapable that believers can no longer credibly insist that moral character would matter in any of the following situations:

I. A married high school football coach is found out to have had multiple affairs with women, both married and unmarried. He did not do anything illegal in these affairs. Because the team has played at a stellar level for several years in a row, on what grounds will the parents or members of the community demand his resignation?

II. An older superstar athlete who is the top performer on a championship professional sports team has multiple affairs with young college-aged women. All the relationships were by mutual consent. How will the league deny him the MVP award for that year?

III. A young, attractive female college professor has cheated on her husband repeatedly with multiple older colleagues and boasts about her trysts on social media. Her infidelity does not appear to have affected her fulfilling her job requirements in any measurable way. In fact, her students have consistently given her very high evaluations. She is now up for tenure. On what basis will you as a tenured Christian faculty member in a secular university argue that she should not be given tenure?

IV. An unmarried job applicant fills out an application for a managerial position with your company. Going to his Facebook page, you see that he has openly lived a life of going from one conquest to another. You also find out that he has for years shared many steamy tweets on Twitter about the people with whom he has had intimate relations. In every case, what he did was perfectly legal, according to the laws of your country. The applicant is the best-qualified person who has applied for the position and meets the requirements for the position. As a Christian executive in your secular company, what ability will you now have to urge your colleagues to reject this applicant because of how he has lived his life?

V. Your middle-school age child is a budding top cellist. You find a highly regarded non-Christian cello teacher in your community and are very pleased with your child’s progress under the teacher. Later, you discover that the teacher had a secret six-month fling with a colleague’s husband two years ago and that the teacher married someone else a year ago who had had multiple wives and left his most recent wife to marry your child’s teacher.

Your child does not know anything about her teacher’s personal life until a friend’s mom tells her about it. How will you as a Christian parent explain to your child that you are going to make her change to another teacher when she really likes her teacher and has progressed greatly under that teacher? What credibility will you have with your child when your child knows whom you voted for in this year’s elections when you could have voted for any number of other candidates who had a very different history from the candidate for whom you voted?

Regardless of how this year’s elections turn out, do these scenarios not show that we as believers have now lost irrecoverably something of priceless value because of what has already taken place in this year’s elections?

In discussions about politics, I have encountered three wrong theological views about human sinfulness and politics. These views have contributed to many believers making wrong choices about which political candidates they have supported.

All Sins are Equally Sinful in the Sight of God

—Contrary to what some believers have said, all sins are not equally sinful; Jesus testified that some sins are greater than other sins are.

Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

All People are Equally Unrighteous before God

Several lines of biblical reasoning show that the view that all people are equally unrighteous before God is false.

—Chorazin and Bethsaida will experience greater judgment than will Tyre and Sidon because they were more unrighteous than Tyre and Sidon were.

Mat 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.

—People who have had greater knowledge of the will of God will receive greater punishment than those that did not because those who knew more but failed to do God’s will were more unrighteous.

Luk 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

—All lost people will not receive the same punishment as every other lost person; they will be judged according to their works, with those who have sinned more being punished more.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Voting for a Civil Leader and Not a Pastor

I have heard several believers support the candidate for whom they have voted in spite of the candidate’s moral failures by arguing that they are voting for a civil leader and not a pastor. The Scriptural records of the actions of two leading men of God show that this view is not biblical.

—Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest prophet of the OT saints (Luke 7:28). John confronted the sexual immorality of an unsaved king:

Mat 14:3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.

 4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

In various ways, Paul the Apostle was the leading apostle of Jesus Christ (for example, 1 Cor. 15:10). He confronted the sexual immorality of an unsaved governor in a non-Christian government:

Act 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

These two leading men of God, the former of the OT prophets and the latter of the NT apostles, showed by their dealings with unsaved civil authorities that the sexual immorality of a civil official is a vitally important matter, just as it also is for pastors.

Conclusion

Christians must base their political views and choices on a proper theology of human sinfulness. Such a theology requires the rejection of the three incorrect views treated in this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The very idea that ANYONE besides God could “make America (or any other nation) great” is Biblically refuted, proud, and headed for the same fate as Nebuchadnezzar’s boasting in Daniel 4. Donald Trump’s very slogan should send chills down the spine of any Bible-believing Christian at its sheer arrogance, claiming to do what only God can do.”

Thought-provoking quote from an article by Scottish pastor Jon Gleason that is worth reading:

Evangelicals, Donald Trump, and Making America Great

Scripture presents Paul the apostle as “the pattern believer” for all Christians (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17). Had Paul been a US citizen today, which candidate would he have voted for in this year’s presidential elections?

Paul as Citizen of a Non-Christian Government

Paul was a natural-born citizen of the nation of Rome (Acts 22:28). The Roman government was not a Christian government by any stretch of the imagination.

In his latter years, Paul spent much time as a prisoner of the Roman government (Acts 21-28; etc). He had several encounters with top Roman leaders in his lifetime (Acts 23-26).

From the Scriptural record of one of Paul’s encounters with a key civil official, we learn vital information about what Paul believed concerning what kind of person such a political leader needed to be.

Paul’s Ministry to a Roman Governor

While he was imprisoned, Paul had a noteworthy evangelistic encounter with the Roman governor Felix:

Act 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.

 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

Stanley D. Toussaint’s comments in the Bible Knowledge Commentary help bring out what Paul displayed was important to address on this occasion:

Felix must have taken a brief trip with his wife, Drusilla. When they returned, Felix sent for Paul who spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. Felix was brought under conviction when Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Well he should, for his marriage to Drusilla was his third and he had to break up another marriage to secure her. His regime was marked by injustices that contrasted with the righteousness of God. And he was a man grossly lacking in self-control (BKC: NT, 422; words in italics are in bold in the original).

Paul challenged this secular civil leader in a non-Christian government about his sinful lack of self-control. The Greek word that Luke used for “temperance” (egkrateia) in his inspired summary record of this encounter highlights that Paul confronted him about his sexual immorality.

In this encounter, Paul showed that he held that the lack of moral character of a civil official in a non-Christian government was a vital matter that he had to address in his dealings with that official.

Which Candidate Would Paul Have Voted For in 2016?

Based on what we learn from Acts 24:24-25, we can be certain that the apostle Paul would have scrutinized thoroughly all the candidates in this year’s presidential elections concerning their lack of moral character. Of the candidates that he would have had to choose from, there would have been one who would have most closely and conspicuously resembled Felix in this key respect.

Had Paul had the opportunity to vote in this year’s presidential elections, he would never have voted for a man who was like Felix because Paul would have heeded what God demands of all civil leaders: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Sam. 23:3). Because God commands us to be followers of the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 11:1), we must hold that the moral character of a prospective President of the US is an essential consideration upon which we must base all our decisions about the candidate (or candidates) for whom we vote.

La Escritura enseña que hay música instrumental en el cielo que Dios recibe en adoración de sus criaturas (Ap 5:8-9; 14:2-3; 15:2-3). Por necesidad, la música instrumental del cielo debe ser de uno o más estilos musicales. Sabemos, pues, que existe al menos un estilo musical que le agrada a Dios.

Dios no nos ha proporcionado ningúnas grabaciones de audio de como suena la música celestial. No tenemos ninguna capacidad de escuchar directamente el estilo o estilos de música que los seres en el cielo tocan cuando adoran a Dios.

¿Esto significa que no hay manera para los seres humanos terrenales saber como suena la música de adoración del cielo?

¿Hay algunos medios supernaturales para los seres humanos para saber la información sobre como suena la adoración de los cielos?

La Escritura no nos proporciona ninguna información auditiva acerca de la música de adoración de los cielos. Los seres humanos que han muerto y que ahora adoran a Dios en el cielo conocen de primera mano como suena la adoración celestial pero no tienen medios para comunicarnos lo que saben sobre la música del cielo.

Satanás y sus demonios también saben como es la música de adoración de los cielos. En contraste a los seres humanos que ahora están en el cielo, Satanás y sus demonios son capaces de moverse libremente desde el cielo a la tierra y viceversa, para influenciar a los seres humanos para hacer lo que le es desagradable a Dios (1 Reyes 22:19-23; Job 1:6-7; . 2:1-2; 1 Crónicas 21:1).

Satanás y sus demonios buscan en todas las formas posibles negarle a Dios la adoración que él se merece. Podemos estar seguros de que cualquier música que los seres demoníacos inspirarían a los seres humanos para producir sería la música que es tan desagradable a Dios, ya que es posible que estos seres infernales influenciaran a los seres humanos para tocar.

Nosotros, por lo tanto, podemos aprender sobre la música de adoración de los cielos comprendiendo que es claramente diferente de la música producida por los seres humanos quienes han declarado que los seres demoníacos han influido en ellos para producir su música (como la música rock). También podemos saber que la música de adoración celestial es distinta de los estilos de música que se han originado específicamente de aquellos que utilizan sus estilos específicamente para participar en el culto idolátrico o prácticas ocultas (por ejemplo, música vudú).

Conclusión

A pesar de que no tengamos ninguna información auditiva desde la Escritura acerca de qué estilo o estilos de música son utilizados por los seres que adoran a Dios en el cielo, podemos saber como suena la adoración celestial comprendiendo claramente como es diferente del sonido de estilos musicales que se han inspirado en los seres espirituales malos. Muchos músicos de rock han dado testimonio del papel de la influencia demoníaca en su producción de su música.

Basado en la discusión anterior (y por muchas otras razones), los cristianos no deben emplear la música rock o cualquier otro estilo impíos en su adoración a Dios.

(Trasladado con la ayuda de Google Translate y Daniela Medina.)

Some Christians in this year’s Republican elections have justified their support of candidates who are known to be unjust people by arguing that none of the candidates met the biblical qualification of being a just man who rules in the fear of God (2 Sam. 23:3) because they (and all the rest of us) are all sinners. Some have also asserted that we are always voting for the lesser of two (or more) evils because all of us are evil.

These viewpoints—especially the viewpoint about always being in the position of having to vote for the lesser evil—are false because they do not account for relevant biblical data. Several passages in both Testaments provide that data:

1. In spite of Shechem’s vile raping of Dinah, God inspired Moses to record that he “was more honorable than all the house of his father” (Gen. 34:19). God thus did not want us to think even of Shechem only as less evil than the rest of those who were in his father’s house.

2. Scripture does not say that Jabez was less evil than his brothers; it says that he was more honorable than they were (1 Chron. 4:9).

3. Cornelius was an unsaved government official who is commended by both the inspired Scripture writer (Luke; Acts 10:2) and by others of his own nation who speak of him in glowing terms (Acts 10:22). If an unsaved Roman civil authority is commended in such ways in Scripture, should we approach all elections with the mindset that we are always voting for the candidate who is the least evil one?

4. Scripture explicitly speaks of Barnabas as “a good man” (Acts 11:24). Are we to believe that he is the only Christian who has ever been a good man? Have there never been any Christians who have run for public office who in the same sense truly were good candidates?

These passages show that it is valid to speak of people as good people even though they are sinners in the same sense that we all are (as spoken of in Rom. 3:23). It is wrong to say that we are always voting for the lesser of two (or more) evils when we vote.

There are elections in which we have the choice of voting for men who are or would be “just, ruling in the fear of God” even though they are still sinners in the sight of God because they have not been sinless throughout their lives. It’s a shame that we no longer have that choice in this year’s presidential race (among the major candidates) because many Christians voted for an unjust candidate by wrongly reasoning that there were no just candidates in the race.

“Dios es siempre bueno” is my newest Spanish hymn for children. Written to a simple, nice melody that I found in an English hymnal, this song emphasizes the glorious truth that God is always good!

 

Dios es siempre bueno (6.5.7.5)

Dios es siem-pre bue-no,
fiel es el Se-
ñor.
Nun-ca fa-lla en ben-de-cir
por-que Él es a-mor.

Dios es siem-pre bue-no,
de mi a-flic-ción,
en su tiem-po li-bra-rá
por su re-den-ción.

Dios es siem-pre bue-no,
Él es mi Se-ñor.
Na-die me se-pa-ra-rá
de su gran a-mor.

Dios es siem-pre bue-no,
Él me da fa-vor.
¿De quién te-me-ré ya que
Él es mi te-mor?

Copyright © 2016 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

You may use this song in a ministry context provided you do not change any of the words and you provide copyright information to anyone whom you distribute it. Please contact me for any other use of the song.

I am very disappointed to see Senator Ted Cruz drop out of the race for President. The Lord knows best and has done all things well.

Here are two key passages that have come to mind tonight as consolation from Scripture:

Hab 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Psa 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Bible Picture

In heaven, we will see God face to face. Does that mean that we will not study the Bible anymore once we are in heaven?

Some Christians believe that the Bible will be irrelevant when we get to heaven because we will have direct access to God and learn everything directly from Him. For at least seven reasons, I disagree with that view.

1. Biblical Statements about the Eternal Permanence of God’s Word

Several statements in Scripture teach us that God’s Word is forever settled in heaven and it will endure forever:

Psa 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

These statements imply that the Bible, which is the only inspired collection of God’s words, will forever be relevant.

2. Endless Future Teaching by God

God is going to show us forever the endless wealth of His gracious kindness toward us in Christ:

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Because Scripture is the word of His grace (Acts 20:32), it makes sense that God will continue to use His inspired eternal Word to bestow unending grace upon us throughout the ages to come.

3. Divine Use of Written Records in Heaven

Some argue against the need of the Bible in heaven because they think that direct fellowship with an omniscient God obviates the use of anything that is written. Scripture, however, shows that this is invalid reasoning by informing us that God will use what is written in certain books to judge human beings even though He has no need to resort to any written records of anything:

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Because God could just as readily cause each person being judged to view on a screen all their works in video form instead of basing their judgment on a written record of their works, yet He chooses not to do so, we understand that these written records will be vital in heaven. Since we know with certainty that there will be divine use of written records in heaven, arguing against the use of the Bible as a continuing source of information because it is in written form is untenable.

4. Many Saints Will Have Never Had Access to the Whole Bible in Their Lifetimes

Except for the many believers who have lived in the past two to three centuries in certain parts of the world, the vast majority of saints who have lived throughout history have never enjoyed access to the whole Bible in their lifetimes. It is unthinkable that God will not give them finally the blessedness of reading and studying the entire Word of God someday.

5. Correction of Wrong Interpretations of Scripture and Failures to Understand It

Believers in God have puzzled over how to understand and interpret many parts of Scripture throughout much of the history of their having that written divine revelation given to them (cf. 2 Pet. 3:16). Undoubtedly, we all have misunderstood and have misinterpreted Scripture in various ways.

God will surely correct all the failures of all His people to handle His word accurately and explain to them the truths that they have failed to understand (cf. Jesus’ dealing with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus [Luke 24:13-27]). His warning that all teachers of the Word will give a stricter accounting of themselves implies that God will especially show them where they have failed to handle His word accurately (James 3:1-2).

6. No Access to the Original Autographs in Our Day

For most of its history, the Church has not had access to the original inspired autographs of Scripture. Studying the original autographs in heaven will provide us with understanding that we are unable to have certainty about now, such as what was the original ending of the book of Mark.

Having access to the original autographs will also clear up many supposed contradictions in Scripture for which we can provide reasonable but not definitive explanations now. Such study of Scripture will heighten our eternal appreciation for the perfection of God’s eternal Word.

7. Further Illumination of the Perfect Book Authored by the Holy Spirit

Even the most devoted students of Scripture of all the ages have hardly scratched the surface of the infinite perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit in authoring His perfect Book (cf. Ps. 119:96). Holding that we will study our Bibles throughout all eternity is consistent with what fully understanding a perfect book authored by the Holy Spirit will entail.

Conclusion

For at least seven solid reasons, we can be confident that we will study the Bible in heaven. Let us devote ourselves to intensive careful study of our Bibles now in anticipation of the glorious future that we will have studying the eternal perfections of God’s eternal Word!

I recently engaged in an online discussion with some believers who assert that it is a fairly common view among believers today to hold that Boaz and Ruth fornicated on the night before they were married. In all my readings of the Book of Ruth, I do not remember ever thinking that the language of the passage shows that they engaged in sexual immorality on that occasion.

Several considerations lead me to reject this apparently widespread contemporary view categorically.

A Virtuous Woman Would Not Go Along with an Immoral Scheme

Ruth was a virtuous woman whose excellent character was known to all the people and attested to by them (Ruth 3:11). She went to the threshing floor where Boaz was sleeping that night because Naomi her mother-in-law instructed her to do so (Ruth 3:1-5).

Ruth uncovered Boaz’s feet and lay down at his feet because Naomi told her to do so (Ruth 3:4). To hold that Ruth and Boaz fornicated that night because Ruth put herself in that situation would mean that she would have gone along with an immoral scheme that her mother-in-law had devised.

Because Ruth was a virtuous woman, she would not have knowingly gone along with such an immoral scheme. The importance of this observation is heightened by a second key consideration about this encounter between Ruth and Boaz.

Their Supposedly Fornicating Does Not At All Fit the Flow of Thought

Their supposedly fornicating on the night before they were married does not fit the flow of thought at all. There was a kinsman who was closer to Ruth than Boaz was (Ruth 3:12). Neither Boaz nor Ruth knew, therefore, at that time whether they would ever be married because they did not know what that person would choose to do about his right of redemption (Ruth 3:13; 4:4).

To hold that Ruth and Boaz slept together on the night before they were married means that they would have to have given in to their fleshly lusts in spite of their not having any surety whether there would be any future for them to be together. Their having done so would thus have been a far different matter than the situation of engaged couples who succumb to their fleshly desires before their upcoming planned weddings.

Moreover, Naomi also would have been responsible for putting Ruth in that compromising situation because she was the one who directed Ruth to do what she did. She then would have shared responsibility for the defiling of Ruth without having any certainty that Boaz would even be able to marry Ruth the next day.

Our Responsibility to Give Other Believers Every Reasonable Benefit of the Doubt

We must give Ruth and Boaz every reasonable benefit of the doubt. As discussed above, Scripture does not provide any compelling evidence that shows that they engaged in premarital intimacy.

In fact, the inspired record strongly precludes their having been immoral together on that night. It would be unrighteous, therefore, for believers to assert that Boaz and Ruth were immoral on that occasion.

Conclusion

Boaz and Ruth are alive today in the presence of God. We who are believers in Jesus Christ will spend all eternity with them.

Because we do not have irrefutable evidence to show that they fornicated on the night before they were married, we should not dishonor them by suggesting that they fornicated when they met that night. If we do so, and they testify to us someday in heaven to the purity of their dealings on that occasion, we will owe them an apology in that day.

Moreover, the biblical account of the threshold encounter of Boaz and Ruth does not provide any support for holding that premarital sex is somehow legitimate or not such a big deal because supposedly Ruth and Boaz slept together on the night before they were married. Using this account to try to excuse such immoral behavior is to misuse Scripture.