“There is no God” says the man on the street corner. But that is nothing new. As we look at history this statement has been repeated over and over again. The self-proclaimed wise men and the disputers want us to believe there is no God. With their educational credentials they take comfort among the intellectually elite who proudly proclaim with them that there is no God. They dare the God of heaven to strike them down. But they claim there is nothing to worry about because He is not there. They blaspheme His name, and ridicule those who believe in Him. Their view is that of the intelligent. They are the wise of the world. They don’t need God because they believe themselves to be self-sufficient. They are arrogant, they are foolish, and they are wrong.  God said, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE. Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:19, 20)

Those who have fallen for the wisdom of the world look askance at “Christians” who oppose immorality, etc. They call the Christians idea of morality old-fashioned. It is a more enlightened age, they say. We need to allow the homosexuals to get married and the lesbians to adopt children. Let’s fill the schools with curriculum supporting gays, so our children can explore their sexuality and learn to be tolerant. This, my friend, is the wisdom of the world and is what God has promised to destroy (1 Corinthians 1:19, 20).

Worldly wisdom

Educators, producers, media, press and liberals everywhere have given in to the modem tendency of rationalizing sin. Wickedness stemming from the philosophies of atheism, and evolution are considered to be okay. More than that, it should be accepted by all as normal behavior. Those who do not accept wickedness as normal behavior allowable by society are the ones who are wrong and should be punished. The wisdom of the world is setting up conditions in our nation for persecution of all who oppose liberalism. It is already happening in schools where children are punished for praying, or for carrying Bibles. God will one day destroy all this foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:19, 20).

The intellectuals tell us that the human child inside the mother’s womb is “fetus” and not a “person.” The feminists tell us that the helpless little baby inside his mother’s womb is a “choice” and not a human life. The liberal politicians give in to the bloodthirsty pro-choice groups in hopes of garnering more votes. The result is the slaughter of millions of innocent children all in the name of choice. The choice comes when the woman decides whether to engage in the physical act with a man. The wicked women of choice want to suggest that brutally and painfully killing that little baby is nothing more than “birth control.” They would have us believe it is nothing more than making choices concerning the health of their own bodies. It is murder and nothing short of it!  God will “DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE (1 Corinthians 1:19).”

Religion succumbs to worldly wisdom

And what of the denominations of men? They have given in to the foolish wisdom of men in doctrine. Furthermore, they are foolish for giving in to the influence of liberal culture. Denominations are accepting divorce for any cause, and homosexuality and lesbianism as normal and moral. Denominations are merging evolutionary thought and philosophy with their perverted view of God. They are giving in to culture. They are giving in to liberalism. They have failed to stand for what is right. God will destroy that kind of wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:19, 20).

Wickedness is wisdom to the world.  The Gospel is foolishness to the world.  And yet, it is actually the Gospel of Jesus Christ that preaches true wisdom.  Paul said, “FOR SINCE, IN THE WISDOM OF GOD, THE WORLD THROUGH WISDOM DID NOT KNOW GOD, IT PLEASED GOD THROUGH THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE MESSAGE PREACHED TO SAVE THOSE WHO BELIEVE (1 Corinthians 1:21).”  The wisdom of the world will come to nothing.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ will live forever.

Temptations To Sin

Temptation has been a part of this world from the beginning. Adam and Eve were tempted in the garden which led to sinning against God. All men face temptation in some form or another. John wrote in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” The world we live in is troubled by temptation and sin.

But where does this temptation come from? There are only two forces in the world: Good and evil. James tells where temptations come from (James 1:13-15). The one behind temptation is Satan. And he is always seeking opportunity to tempt us with something (cf. Luke 4:13).

But we do not have to succumb to temptation. We can overcome it by choosing to follow God and seeking His help. Paul tells us, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). There is no “I couldn’t help it” or “the devil made me do it.” Giving in to temptation is a choice. And if we want to please God and not sin, then we will choose not to give in to temptation.

In our battle against temptation and sin, Jesus gives us two serious warnings that we need to be always mindful of.

1) “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” (Matthew 18:7). We must be sure we are not causing others to be tempted to sin. Because of such, we need to be very mindful of how we dress, our speech and our conduct.

2) “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell” (Matthew 18:8-9).

What was Jesus emphasizing by using such a strong illustration? I believe He was stressing the fact that we need to do whatever it takes to remove anything from our lives that is a temptation for us and will cause us to sin. Each of us must fill in the blank for ourselves of what it is that we need to get rid of seeing that we all have different temptations. Maybe it’s certain shows that are on TV. Maybe it’s the time you spend online which lures you in to viewing things you shouldn’t. Maybe it’s the people you are currently spending time with. The list could go on. The answer is this: find out what tempts you and then do everything you can to keep it away from you. Remember the words of 1 John 2:17, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” If we continue to give in to temptations, we will be destroyed like the world. But if we follow God and reject the temptations of this world, we will live on in eternity with God in Heaven. We must ask ourselves which is worth more: the fleeting pleasures of sin or the eternal blessings of God. When in doubt, look to the example of Moses who choose “…to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin….” (Hebrews 11:24-26).

Are Some Sins Bigger Than Others?

We often hear people say that all sins are equal; that there are not any that are greater than others because no matter what the transgression–whether a lie or murder–it will still keep a person out of heaven.

Though it is true that any sin will keep one banished from this eternal home of the saved, is it true that all sins are equal? Let us consider this today.

From a human standpoint, we tend to rate sins, and some do seem worse than others. In fact, some terribly so. Murder, for example, would be much worse than hating a brother–though God would still see the latter as a type of “murder in the heart” (cf. 1 Jn. 3:15; Matt. 5:21,22). But the actual act of murder committed out of hatred or anger–in addition to sinful malice–also wrongly takes away a human life that was created in the image of God. So, isn’t this then at least a “double sin”?

Though sexual immorality was common in the days of the apostle Paul, there was one branch of this, incest, that he points out as “is not even named among the Gentiles” (1 Cor. 5:1). I don’t believe Paul is saying that it never existed, but as a rule, or generally speaking, it did not; and the implication also being that the Jews would have viewed it as even more abhorrent than these Gentiles. This would, therefore, seemingly be thought of as a sin which was worse than some other sexual sins (which would also still be our common view toward it today).

We could probably make our own list of rated sins, beginning with what seems to us as being the worse and working down; but does God view some sins as being greater than others?

We can answer this by making an inference with Matthew 22:35-40. In this passage, a lawyer had asked Jesus (actually, to test Him), “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” The Lord said that it was to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” He referred to this as the “first and greatest commandment.” Then He even added a second commandment (which, though important to obey, was not the “foremost” commandment). Would it, therefore, not be a “greater” sin to violate the “first” commandment than the secondary one? Most would probably think so. However, regardless of what sin one commits, heaven will be forfeited.

In the Old Testament, sins of ignorance or unintentional sins do not appear to be as bad as a willful sin, yet they still had to be atoned for (Heb. 9:7; Num. 15:22-31), We know that ignorance will not be an excuse in the judgment day (Acts 17:30,31); and even during Hosea’s time, many of God’s people were being destroyed because of “lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6).

Peter shows that it is worse for one who comes to the knowledge of the truth, becomes a Christian, and is set free from the world to then go back into sin than the one who never knew the truth. Though both will be lost in the judgment day, it will be worse for the backslidden Christian because he was on the road to eternal life with heaven almost within his grasp. Is it therefore worse for the Christian to sin than for the non-Christian who commits the same wrong? Some will say the child of God should not only know better, but also has much more to lose because of his sin. The bottom line, however, is that all sin is wrong; for sin is “the transgression of the law,” or simply, “lawlessness,” as the NASB states (1 Jn. 3:4); and the law being violated is God’s (the highest law of all).

Therefore, whether it is a “little white lie” or a monstrous murder, the eternal penalty is the same. If you remember, it was merely because of a lie (and the attitude of their heart that accompanied it) that caused Ananias and Sapphira to lose their lives as the consequence (Acts 5 1-11).

Though some sins do appear to be greater than others from man’s standpoint, as well as God’s, let us never take any sin lightly; but, rather, realize that no matter how small the transgression might seem, it required the death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for that sin so that man could be set free from its bondage (Heb. 2:9, 14-15). Any sin, therefore, is a serious matter; and we must strive to avoid all transgressions at any cost.

May we never be found trying to extenuate, condone, or justify any transgression. Rather, if we are guilty of sin, we must face up to it and deal with it in our lives. For if we want to be forgiven of our wrongs and be saved, we must meet the Lord’s requirements.

Sadly, we live in a time when more and more people are trying to redefine that which God formerly called sin. Marriage, divorce and marrying again is running rampant in our time, and, unfortunately, the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:9 continue to be disregarded by the masses. Murder, violence, disrespect toward human life, homosexuality, cohabitation, fornication, stealing, cheating, vulgar speaking, jealousy, slander, lying, gossip, and numerous other sins are all too common today. Many of these are no longer viewed by society as being the sin in which God’s word clearly declares it as being.

The morals of our society are sinking low, while some of the immoralities are being exalted in the movie industry, and in many modern-day books, as well as in real life. There are already those who do not even accept the reality of sin. But remember, until one does, there is no way that that person can even begin to come to Jesus Christ, for the Lord did not come for the righteous, but the sinner (Luke 5:32).

If you have forgotten what sin is, please turn to the New Testament today. Don’t let society, the media, or merely your own feelings define it for you, let God, For He is the One that we each, who have reached an age of accountability, have sinned against (Rom. 3:10, 23). And He the one who, no matter how great your, sins might be, wants to save you from every wrong you’ve ever committed and provide you with an eternal home in heaven (2 Peter 3:9). The price has been paid (1 Peter 1:18-20). God’s salvation plan has been given (Rom. 1:16). It is now up each one of us to begin in our own hearts toward our destination of heaven by yielding in full allegiance–by our faith and by our obedience–to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For He is the “author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9). And having done so, your sins, -whether – great or small, will each be forgiven, blotted out, and removed as far as the east is from the west (Acts 2:38; Psa. 103:12).

If you are still carrying your burden of sin, why not obey the Lord so that He may take that burden away? What greater blessing can there be than to have the remission of sins, which also results in becoming a child of God, having the hope of eternal life, and being in a Spiritual and harmonious relationship with the eternal Creator of the Universe who loves His people with an everlasting love and will bring them to a place of ultimate bliss.

When Sorrow Turns to Self-Pity

By: Gary Henry

Sorrow brings about tears

“And Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me’” (Genesis 4:13-14).

All who live in this world will have to deal with sorrow.

It is inevitable. In an environment where sin is a reality, the temporal consequences of sin are unavoidable — and since sorrow is one of those consequences, we shall have to deal with it sooner or later. The only question is how we shall do so. It’s important to keep our sorrow from turning into what is called “the sorrow of the world” (2 Corinthians 7:10). This is the sorrow that wallows selfishly in its own misery. It does not confront sin in a godly way.

Two things are needed to keep our sorrow from turning into self-pity: reverence and gratitude. When we are passing through any bitterness of spirit, we must maintain a humble respect for the greatness of God as our Creator, and we must not cease to thank Him for all that is right, despite whatever has gone wrong. Even when the sun is shining, we find it challenging to be as reverent and as grateful as we ought to be. However, when the darkness closes in, keeping our thinking clear about God can seem so difficult that we despair. We give in to the “the sorrow of the world.”

Sorrow brings about failure

Failures of reverence and gratitude should be seen as failures of perspective. When pain focuses our attention on some small part of reality, we tend to lose touch with the larger truths. This is no trivial thing, however. If we refuse to acknowledge the whole truth about God, that refusal can cost us our souls (Romans 1:18-21). God is greater than our woes, and whatever the immediate cause for our sorrow, we simply can’t afford to forget the clear tokens of God’s greatness and goodness in the wider world.

Edmund Spenser wrote of the miserable fellow who finds himself “dying each day with inward wounds of Dolour’s dart.” The sorrow of the world is deadly because it indulges in self-justification. It fuels resentment and resistance to God. Like Cain, the self-pitying soul feels no genuine remorse for evil. He merely whines, “My punishment is greater than I can bear!”