Una Copia de Israel

Una Copia de Israel

Muchos de nuestros hermanos están siendo “fotocopiados” al modelo de Israel.

Muchos de nuestros hermanos están siendo “fotocopiados” al modelo de Israel.

Uno de los pasajes más ignorados es Romanos 15:4. El pasaje enfatiza que las cosas que se escribieron antes para nuestra enseñanza se escribieron. El problema aquí en la gran mayoría de los casos pasamos por alto la frase “nuestra enseñanza”. Creo que en ocaciones vemos muy distante el caso de Israel y pensamos… ¡Que gente más difícil! La realidad es que al paso en que vamos, muchos de nuestros hermanos están siendo “fotocopiados” al modelo de Israel. Note usted algunas de las semejanzas. 1) Israel entró en un circulo vicioso. Ellos prometían al señor cambiar y cuando fallecía un rey o Juez entraban otra vez al error la idolatría y la carnalidad. Muchos de nuestros hermanos en la actualidad se bautizan, pecan, se arrepienten en una campaña luego pasa la campaña y vuelven al pecado hasta que llegue el otro año, es decir la próxima campaña para volver a arrepentirse. Debemos de analizar que en el pasado a Israel no le fue muy bien haciendo eso. 2) Israel pide rey, para ser como las demás naciones (1Samuel 8:20). Dios era su rey su TODO, pero ellos no estaban conformes. Hay muchas congregaciones de la Iglesia de Cristo que ya no están conformes con la adoración tal como nosotros estudiamos en el NT. Ellos quieren innovar cosas para atraer más gente o reavivar a los hermanos. Hay congregaciones que han pensado y tienen un grupo de “coro especial” Robertson uno de las más reconocidas autoridades en el griego, comenta que en Efesios es una acción reciproca. Pero los cuartetos o “solos” están violando lo establecido por Dios en Efe 5:19 hablando entre vosotros. Otras han ideado “ofrendas especiales, presentación de niños, dramatizaciones, etc…tales practicas  no tienen soporte Bíblico, más bien como Israel la Iglesia ha ido intentando ser más como “las otras naciones”. Como a Israel Dios se cansó y ese circulo vicioso, también con la Iglesia lo puede hacer. En Jeremías 6:16 Dios pide al pueblo arrepentimiento y el pueblo simplemente no quizo. Amigo, hermano las semejanzas con Israel siguen y siguen…  La Iglesia del Señor es de hecho gloriosa y perfecta en doctrina pero no inmune caer.  Debemos desarrollar una actitud de aprendices, si tan solo conociéramos mejor nuestro Antiguo testamento más que nuestros teléfonos celulares, si tan solo estuviéramos familiarizados con el tanto como lo estamos con el Nuevo, entonces aprenderíamos a no ser una copia de Israel y no caer en los mismo errores en los que ellos cayeron.

La Iglesia de Cristo de nuestros días necesita regresar a la Biblia, regresar a ver que dice Dios, a depender completamente de ese libro perfecto y a trabajar desacuerdo a ello el hermano Felipe Sanders Conductor del programa televisivo en los Estados Unidos “En busca de los caminos del Señor”, amigo y compañero de milicia dijo una vez:

“Frecuentemente escucho de miembros de la iglesia hambrientos porque un predicador usó solo una o dos citas de las Escrituras en su sermón. Los sermones sin Escritura son como automóviles sin gasolina.” 

La solución a nuestros problemas está literalmente en nuestras manos y se llama; LA BIBLIA.

BIBLIOGRAFIA 

  1. Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light  of Historical Research (Nashville, TN: Broadman).
  2. Texto principal utilizado, Biblia de las Américas.
  3. Sanders, Philip(2008), Spiritual Sword Magazine (Getwell,TN:VoL 40 N.1)
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Struggling with Porn

The Secret Sin of Porn

When God made Adam and Eve they eventually chose to sin through the influence of Satan (Gen. 3). And, after that, it was God who clothed them. I believe that every since then, Satan has been trying to unclothe mankind because we are naturally attracted to the opposite sex. So, the Bible states that he tried it by tempting Potiphar’s wife to tempt Joseph (Gen. 39:12). He used this sin again when Lot’sdaughters got him drunk so they could sleep with him (Gen. 19:30-36). And, I dare not imagine how wicked man was that God had no alternative but to destroy the world by water (Gen. 6). So, sin is extremely powerful in Satan’s world of darkness and he knows this. And, he knows that sin’s power to work in secret is a way that cannot be confronted and has destroyed many disciples of Jesus. Private sins can corrode the mind, body and various impulses.

Porn entices and draws people in many different ways.

Porn entices and draws people in many different ways.

So, how dangerous is porn? Well, consider what Jesus said:“Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person…” (Matt. 15:16-20). Jesus knows our hearts can betray us and produce evil thoughts, especially through the various forms of sexuality, including porn.

Today, many are infatuated with porn and the $100 billion the porn industry makes each year proves that. And, this is not just a guy thing. Millions of women also struggle with porn. Even within Christianity, it has been guestimated that 50% of men and 30% of women regularly, not once in a while, but regularly, views porn. And this “secret sin” is causing marriage to suffer greatly. Husbands who view porn are not loving their wives as they should and wives, who view porn, are looking for pleasures that are not from their husbands. Even worse, many teens are also looking at porn who came by it either by accident, popups and/or curiosity. And no, no parental controls are 100% safe either.

So, what can we do about this sin? We must realize that Satan has again told lies and whispers to us that, “porn is no big deal. It’s not hurting anyone.” But, this is not true. It hurts millions and has become the 21st century idol today. Still Satan blinds minds (2 Cor. 4:4) and dresses up in costumes of light and righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15). To Christians, Satan plucks the Word of God out of people’s hearts and chokes their faith (Mk. 4:1-9). So, it takes commitment and it was Job who showed us an example of that commitment. In Job 31:1, Job said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” In essence, Job was saying that adultery comes from lusting for a woman with your eyes. He knew that impure thinking is sin and leads to more sin and Job wanted to keep his integrity, his ethics and his morals. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul tells us to stay away from sexual immorality and lustful desires (1 Thess. 4:3). Even Jesus had something to say about lust, which feeds people’s porn addictions (Matt. 5:28; Mk. 7:20-23; Jn. 8:34).

We can also realize that while there are all sorts of self helps, chat groups, psychologists,etc…, they are not a permanent solution. Any addiction, whether by alcohol, drugs or porn has to start with a spiritual root because all sin is selfishness. And, let me be clear: sin is not just an unwise choice or unhealthy decision. And, to be bold, sin is nothing more than the replacement of God’s authority with our own. This is why all sins, including pornography, must be repented.

One addicted to porn needs to realize that porn is an idol for an idol is that which you are committed to, loyal to and devote your time to. So,turn to God and His word and see the power that lies within (Rom. 1:16) because He has not left us defenseless against any sin or temptation. Those addicted to porn need to saturate their lives in every way with God and His Word because the alternative is to embrace porn and allow Satan to murder us (Jn. 8:44). Satan wants us for his own and this is why the Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8). Christ overcame Satan and so can we who have been washed in His blood. So, don’t let Satan secretly destroy you with porn. Resist the devil and he will go away (Jam. 4:7). Be on guard because Satan is looking to devour you (1 Pet. 5:8). Pray to God for strength. Have mentors who can help you and have them pray for you as well. And most of all, whether you are struggling with porn or whether you know someone who is struggling with it, we need to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2) and we need God in every aspect of our lives along with His Son who saves us through His precious blood (Rom. 6:3-4).

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Life Is Not Always Fair

Heart of the Matter: That’s Not Fair

Anyone who has reared children, taught school, or ran an office has heard the phrase: “That’s not fair.” In almost every instance in which a child makes a request to his or her parents, the child has already determined the response he wants to hear. Anything short of their desired response is considered unfair. Oftentimes their friends are unexpectedly brought into the picture as we hear: “But Jimmy/Sally gets to go.” In fact, most parents (and even some bosses) can relate to being compared to others in a negative light. Children (and employees) are not afraid to tell us how much “nicer, kinder, sweeter, friendlier” other children’s parents are. Rare is the home that has reared a teenager without having a bedroom door slammed followed by the words “That’s not fair!” reverberating throughout the house.

Yes, it is true, life is not always fair.

Yes, it is true, life is not always fair.

Here’s what I intend on teaching my children about fairness.

Life is not always fair. I realize that this simple statement may catch you off guard or may not sit well with you, but it is the truth. There will be times in your life that you should win something, but due to forces out of your control, it will go to someone else. There will be times that others around you are enjoying certain things that you will not have. But I want to make sure you understand something—that does not change who you are and Whom you serve.

Make no doubt about it: God is still in control and He knows everything. Even on your most unfair day, you can take comfort in knowing He is still on His throne watching everything that transpires. The writer of Hebrews noted, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account” (4:13; c.f. Proverbs 15:11; Romans 8:27). God knows how you feel.

I guess if I could teach you only one thing regarding fairness it would be this: No matter what happens to you physically in this lifetime, ultimately, if you are faithful and love God, things will work out for good. That’s not a hope or a dream. That’s a promise! Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” There will be times in your life that you will really need to lean on this verse, as it may appear that things aren’t fair. But remember, unlike your friends or your parents, God can see the big picture—and He will ultimately make everything right. He is a fair and righteous Judge.

Something else you must consider regarding fairness is that God loves everyone (John 3:16). And because of this sincere love for His creation, we know He is not a respecter of persons. When Peter was preaching to Cornelius’ household, he said, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). Remember, Cornelius was a Gentile, and Peter was telling them that God wanted them to be saved just like the Jews. Jesus said, “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). So while a perfect and just God created man equally—He did not create us perfect. In other words, men are not perfect. We all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Being imperfect means some of the decisions we make or are forced to deal with may be unfair. It means that some people may treat you unkindly or show preference to others. But this is not what God intended. God desires that we love Him and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).

I know there may be times in which it seems the decisions your mother and I make are unfair. Understand that we, more than any other humans on the planet, love you and your soul. Our decisions, while they may seem unfair, are based on that love. There may be activities you miss or movies you don’t see—because of our love for you and your soul. I promise you the easier answer would be to give in and allow you to do whatever you want. But by giving in, we have allowed Satan to win and have in essence told you: “We are not concerned where you will spend eternity.” However, we do care, and as such there will be occasions that you don’t get to go along with the crowd. Remember, God doesn’t want us blindly following the world. He wants us to stand out (Romans 12:2).

I truly am sorry that life occasionally feels unfair. Know that all humans occasionally feel this way. But remember this doesn’t change our love for you or God’s love for you! Now, the real question is how will you behave when life seems unfair?

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Sound Doctrine

Make Sure of Sound Doctrine

I read once that the creator of the classic Peanuts cartoons, Charles Shultz, once painted a little picture of Lucy and Linus in their home looking out a window at a thunderstorm.  Lucy is worried that all this rain would flood the whole world.  Linus responded by referring to Genesis 9:13-14 and God’s promise to Noah that he would never again send a flood that would cover the whole earth, putting the rainbow in the sky as a promise that this would be true.  Lucy sighed and said, “You’ve taken a great load off my mind.”  Linus replied, “Sound theology has a way of doing that.”

Sound Doctrine frees the soul and mind.

Sound Doctrine frees the soul and mind.

He’s right.  Sound theology, or doctrine, gives us steady assurance of continuity in a world filled with change.  It helps us to make sure of what we are to believe and how we are to behave.  Along that line, we need to make sure of these things:

First, we mustn’t mistake man-made traditions for the true doctrine of God (Matt. 15:9).  If the doctrine we are teaching is not the doctrine taught in the Bible then it is man-made.  We must make sure we understand a distinction here.  Simply because we are able to fashion a doctrine from a compilation of Bible verses doesn’t make it Bible doctrine.  The intended biblical patterns of the New Testament are for the church to follow for all time.  The invented patterns of many Christians today are nothing more than Scripture taken out of context and forced into supporting some pet belief.

Secondly, we mustn’t mistake “smooth talk and flattery” for the true doctrine of God (Rom. 16:17-18).  Sadly, many people can be persuaded of just about anything depending on the communication skills of the communicator.  We need to be a discerning people who “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

Thirdly, we must understand that sound doctrine is not just about baptism, communion, how Revelation is interpreted, etc.  It is also about how we live our lives.  Paul told Timothy that the law is good if one uses it lawfully and then lists behavioral sins such as profanity, fornication, and lying to be “contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:8-10).  In all we do we should be “showing all good faith, so that in everything (we) may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Tit. 2:10).

Only when God’s people are consistently fed a steady diet of sound doctrine can they grow into mature Christian men and women (1 Tim. 4:6-7; Tit. 1:9).  That they hear it is no guarantee that they will grow (James 1:22-25), but not hearing it is a guarantee that they won’t.  Like Linus said, sound doctrine has a way of making you feel a whole lot better.  It gives us an objective standard by which to measure ourselves and a promise of steadiness in a world filled with change.

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Death: Tales from the Script

Death: Tales from the Script

There’s an old scary show that you may have seen or heard of that has a Halloween approach to death and the after life called “Tales From The Crypt.”  In every generation it seems that man has had a morbid curiosity about death, and many of the longstanding traditions and superstitions that now exist in many cultures are evidence of this fact.

Man has many thoughts and imaginations about death.

Man has many thoughts and imaginations about death.

The Bible certainly speaks of death and gives us a few hints as to what happens when a person dies (e.g., Lk. 16:19-31); in fact it even records some very interesting and bizarre events surrounding death (e.g., 1 Sam. 28:3-19; 2 Kings 13:21); and all of these events were made possible because of the power of God.  That should be sufficient, yet man is not content with that; he wants to know more than what God revealed about death. Because of this, fact is often confused with fiction and speculation becomes the standard for what is truth instead of God’s word.

The fact is the Bible just doesn’t say as much as we would like it to say about death.  Friends, let us be content with this: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).

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