Thursday, July 26, 2007

Allegiance to Christ

"Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?" (Pr. 20:6)

Millions of people will profess allegiance to Christ. But who is truly loyal to him? The proverb says that most who claim to be good and loyal are not. Are you truly loyal to Christ? Am I? Even the apostle Peter wavered in his loyalty to the Lord after His arrest. Peter beforehand told the Lord, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You" (Mt. 26:35). Yet we read further on in the chapter and see that Peter denied the Lord three times (Mt. 26:69-75). It is far easier to claim allegiance to Christ than to actually show it in the face of trials and conflicts.

Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other" (Mt. 6:24). We cannot be loyal to Christ and loyal to another master. One may be able to ride the fence for a while as long as there is no conflict between the ones they are trying to be loyal to. But when conflict arises, when truth has "fallen in the street" (Is. 59:14), that is when it will become evident whether we are truly aligned with Christ or not.

Brethren, our allegiance must be to Christ and Him alone. Not to some college, bookstore, publication, preacher, elder, family member, etc. "No one can serve two masters" (Mt. 6:24). Let's be sure we're serving the One who can reward our loyalty with a "crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Passing Pleasures of Sin

Among the great examples of faith in Hebrews 11, we read this about Moses:

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward" (Heb. 11:24-26).

It is acknowledged in this passage that sin is pleasurable. That is why people choose to sin. It is a choice. We are never forced to do right or wrong. But many times we choose to sin. We do because we are enticed by our own lust (James 1:14-15). When we give into these desires, we sin.

While sin may be pleasurable, the pleasure of sin is temporary. That's why this passage speaks of the "passing pleasures of sin." This is why people have to keep going back to sin. The pleasure that was derived from one sin doesn't last. So they have to go back for more. Ultimately, the pleasure will pass forever with no way to get it back. John wrote, "the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever" (1 Jn. 2:17).

What should we do, knowing that though sin might be pleasurable, it is passing? We should seek God and His reward regardless of the consequences. Moses gave up the "pleasures of sin" for "ill-treatment with the people of God." Why? He was "looking to the reward" which was "greater riches than the treasures of Egypt."

There will be hardships and difficulties in living as a Christian (2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:16). But in the end, the reward is more than worth it, no matter what came before. We are admonished to "lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).

Friday, July 6, 2007

Truths about Temptation

"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 Cor. 10:13).

It is inevitable that we will be tempted. But we must remain faithful and not succumb to temptation. If we allow ourselves to fall, the ultimate result is spiritual death (James 1:14-15). So we must strive to overcome temptations whenever they come. The verse above provides three reminders that will help us do what is right when we are tempted to sin.

1. You are not alone. There is no temptation that is not "common to man." Whatever we may be faced with, others have endured that same temptation. What is encouraging is that while others have faced the temptation you may be facing, not all have given in to it. You don't need to give in to it either.

2. You can overcome temptation. God "will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able." Every temptation you face is one you are able to overcome. This has been promised by God. Whatever you face, you should know that you can endure it.

3. There is a way of escape. You will not encounter a situation in which no matter what you do you sin. You always have the option of doing what is right. It may not be easy to do sometimes. But the "way of escape" is always there.

Let us remember these truths about temptation and be encouraged that temptation can be overcome. We do not have to sin. We can do what is right. Let us strive to avoid sin and live faithfully for the Lord.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

BOTC - July 2007

The new issue of Banner of the Cross is now online and contains the following articles:

A Stone of Stumbling by Andy Sochor
The Silence of the Scriptures by Andy Sochor

Banner of the Cross

PBT - July 2007

The July issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

Fellowship with One Another by Andy Sochor
Those Who Will Be Saved by Andy Sochor
Instruments in Heaven by Andy Sochor
Non-Church Collectives: Are They Authorized? by Andy Sochor

You can read these articles by clicking on the link below. I hope this material is helpful to you.

Plain Bible Teaching
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