We live in a wonderful information age. An age of such advanced technology that was unimaginable only a few years ago. We literally have unlimited information right in our hands: our phones, tablets, computers, satellite television and radio give us immediate access to limitless knowledge. Yet even in the light of this truth there seems to be more general ignorance than in any time in our history. Why? Maybe its because access to knowledge is so readily available that we don’t really study to know anything anymore. This is also true regarding God’s word and will.
From where do you get your information?
In Acts 8–9 we read about Philip preaching and people believing, the apostles teaching and preaching, the Ethiopian eunuch desiring someone to guide him, Saul was told that he would be instructed what to do, Ananias was told to go and speak to Saul, Saul was told that he was a chosen vessel to bear the name of the Lord, Saul preached, and Barnabas spoke up for and defended Saul. Maybe we need to put down our phones, turn off the televisions and computers, and open our Bibles. Maybe we need to spend more time studying to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15). Maybe we need to work to allow the word of Christ dwell in us (Colossians 3:16). Maybe then we can share the truth of God’s word to an ignorant and dying generation. Be faithful.
On The Day of Judgment
All humans will stand before God to be judged one day. Hebrews 9:27 says, “. . . it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 6:2 lists “eternal judgment” among the most fundamental teachings of Christianity. Romans 14:12 declares, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” This accounting will involve everything that we have done in our life: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Are you ready?
The Christian has an advantage on the Day of Judgment: He has Christ Jesus in His corner. All sin, but Jesus is the Christian’s advocate: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). While Jesus advocates for the Christian, He will judge the non-Christian. Paul declared in Acts 17:30-31: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
There is a judgment; Jesus is the judge; and His word will be the standard of judgment. In John 12:48, Jesus said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” Learn Christ’s words so that you may be found approved! God bless you and I love you.
“Traditions” or Divine Traditions
The Bible speaks so clearly about the place of traditions in our service to the Lord. Jesus lived in a world which was beset with Jewish “traditions,” which were so embedded in daily living that they often kept men from serving God. On the other hand, there are verses which clearly tell us we must keep traditions and never depart from them. How can this be? How do we distinguish between “traditions” which keep us from God and the Divine traditions we must embrace?
Are you following the Traditions of the Lord or man?
The clearest understanding of the difference comes from a careful reading of Mark chapter seven. Jesus’ disciples were criticized because they violated the “traditions” regarding eating with unwashed hands and ignored the “traditions” regarding the cleansing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels and couches (verse 4). Look carefully how Jesus delineates between “traditions” which are not binding and those which are.
The Holy Spirit describes the Jewish “traditions” as being the “traditions” of the elders (v. 3), and the Pharisees referred to them in the same way—the “traditions” of the elders (v. 5). Jesus called them the “traditions” of men (v. 8) and the your “traditions” (v. 9). He then sets before them that which supersedes all “traditions.” He rebuked these religious leaders for elevating their “traditions” above the commandments of God and specifically stated in their elevations of their “traditions” they had laid aside the commandments of God and rejected these Divine commands (vv. 8-9). Look at the results of such action: “In vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (v. 7).
Some “traditions” make little difference. Whether one eats with unwashed hands or washed hands does not defile a man (vv. 18-19). However, when such are elevated to the same level as Divine teaching, worship becomes vain.
Think of this application in reference to our worship. Congregational singing is not a tradition in the church. It is precisely what the Lord commanded. The number of songs we use and the order of worship may be “traditional,” but acapella singing is not traditional—it is a commandment of God.
The Holy Spirit says, “Stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught” (2 Thess. 2:15). He says to keep the traditions just as they were delivered (1 Cor. 11:2) and withdraw from those who do not walk after the traditions they received (2 Thess. 3:6). There is a difference between “traditions” and tradition.