Questions from Nigeria about Being a Musician

Question
Can a Christian be a secular musician as a profession?

Answer
The New Testament command is to labor in order to provide for our material needs and those of others (Ephesians 4:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:10). No particular kind of labor is specified, so it is completely generic as long as it is legal (Romans 13:1) and moral (Ephesians 5:11). Many musical careers involve immorality, such as playing in bars, or false religion, such as playing for a church worship service. Obviously these are wrong (Ephesians 5:11). Continue reading

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Questions from Nigeria about Women

I have some questions that I will like some clarity and biblical position:

Question
The Bible in I cor 14:33-34 says women should learn in silence. Is silence absolute silence?

Answer
First Corinthians 14:34-35 states: Continue reading

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The Real Tragedy

William J. Stewart

On August 20, 2016, Kingston hosted what was no doubt the largest concert in the city’s history, and perhaps the biggest concert in Canadian history. The K-Rock Centre was filled to capacity, with some big names in attendance, including our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. An estimated 25,000+ also spilled out into the streets surrounding Springer Market Square, where a Jumbotron and massive speakers gave the outdoor crowd the feel of being part of the event taking place just a few blocks away. In addition to this, the event was live streamed to 400+ venues nationwide: arenas, theme parks, movie theatres, parking lots, restaurants, etc.. In fact, the event could be seen in any house in Canada with a TV or a computer, as it was made available on CBC TV and cbc.ca. Continue reading

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Question about Judas and Jesus

Question

You can’t show Jesus existed. There is no historic record. Judas is the ‘sacrifice’ in the Gospel of Judas, so what does it say about Jesus being sacrificed? It was just a scam to start a new religion.

Answer
Keith Sharp

Of course, the canonical gospels, those accepted by believers in Christ for twenty centuries as the inspired, accurate record of the life of Jesus, present Judas as the evil (John 6:70-71), covetous (John 12:5-6) betrayer of Christ (Matthew 26:14-15, 21-25, 47-50; Mark 14:10-11, 18-21, 43-46; Luke 22:3-6, 21-22, 47-48; John 13:10-11, 18, 21-30; 18:2-5) who subsequently committed suicide (Matthew 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-18) and is lost (Acts 1:25). Continue reading

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Question from Alabama about the Term “Believer”

Question

Is there anywhere in the scriptures that uses the term “believer” and it means something other than someone who has been obedient to God’s word? More specifically “believer” meaning someone who has been baptized? Continue reading

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After Death : The Rich Man and Lazarus

Keith Sharp | Luke 16:19-31

We are studying the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus among the parables, but it is certainly unique as a parable. The Master does not provide a name for any of the characters in His other parables. And His earlier parables compare scenes familiar to His audience with eternal truths, whereas this story is one of the few biblical passages (cf. Revelation 6:9-11) that discusses the state of the dead, information unknown by experience to any living mortal. It is certainly true that the story begins with precisely the same formula, “There was a certain rich man” (verses 1,19), as the parable that immediately precedes it and with which it is connected. “The story seems to be its own message, one that uniquely comes from beyond the grave. We conclude that it is both history and a special sort of parable (cf. R.L. Whiteside, Bible Studies, Vol. 4, p. 424)” (Earnhart. 149). Continue reading

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Truth Matters

William J. Stewart

Advertising Standards Canada is a

…non-profit self-regulating body created in 1957 to ensure integrity and viability of advertising in Canada.1

A recent ASC TV ad has a painter working diligently on a masterpiece. It is later pictured in a gallery, priced at $14,000,000. It is titled, “The Pensive Blizzard,” and is nothing more than a white canvas. The commercial closes with the slogan, “Creativity is subjective, The truth isn’t.”

What a great statement! As much as we like to be entertained, we want advertisers to be honest with us. We do not want to be misinformed, misled or taken advantage of. We understand there is a difference between truth and falsehood, and we want the truth.

I wish people had the same desire for truth in religion that they have when it comes to advertising. Sadly, many people are accustomed to accepting whatever their religious leaders say without question. And even if they see the differences between what Pastor A and Pastor B say, the majority of religious folks are willing to accept the diversity in doctrine, even to the point of celebrating it. The concept of “truth” in religion is foreign to some.

Consider some characteristics of truth:

Truth is absolute, not relative. It does not change with the turning of the wind. It is not dependent upon or moved by other factors. It is a fact in and of itself.

Truth is universal. Where you are, when you are or who you are does not change truth. The truth is the same for everyone. It is objective, not subjective. What is true for one is true for all, otherwise it is just opinion.

Truth is exclusive. If something is true, it leaves no room for different ideas on the same topic to be true as well.

Consider an example we should all be able to agree on. 2+2=4. Regardless the direction of the wind, noon or at midnight, in Japan or in Peru, whether you are good at math or not, 2+2 is always 4. That’s the truth.

In John 17:17, Jesus said to the Father, “Sanctify them by Your word. Your word is truth.” God’s word is absolute, universal and exclusive. God’s word is not open to interpretation. We need to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The message of the Bible does not change from this group to that group, let alone from this person to that person. There is one truth, of which Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

I chatted with a preacher years ago who held some positions that I believe to be unbiblical. As we discussed the nature of truth, I used the 2+2 illustration. He reasoned, “If we have 2.4+2.4, each of those round down to 2, but when we add them, we get 4.8, which rounds up to 5. So, 2+2 can equal 5.” Friends, we’ve got no business rounding off God’s word.

How serious is this? If you get taken by false advertising, you may be cheated out of your money. That is certainly no fun, and depending on the amount, can be devastating. However, much worse than that, if you get taken by false doctrine, you will be cheated out of salvation. Listen to Paul,

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. … Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head… (Colossians 2:8, 18-19)

1 wikipedia.org

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Ready for His Return : The Ten Virgins

Keith Sharp | Matthew 25:1-13

The Lord taught the last three parables Matthew records to His disciples alone (Matthew 24:1) on Tuesday before He was crucified that Thursday (Matthew 26:1-2). As the Lord’s last few days upon earth passed in turmoil and confrontation, He diligently prepared the disciples for events after His departure. After He had pronounced His final woes and condemnation upon the religious guides of the Jewish nation and upon the nation itself (Matthew chapter 23), He foretold the destruction of the Temple and the nation and gave His followers signs by which they could know when this was about to occur (Matthew 24:1-34). Then He urged upon them the necessity of being prepared for His eventual return (Matthew 24:35-51). Finally He spoke the parables that would encourage all His disciples to be ready for His return (Matthew chapter 25). The first is the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Continue reading

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Ownership of the Kingdom : The Wicked Vinedressers

Keith Sharp | Matthew 21:33-43; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19

The Master had just led the Jewish leaders to publicly condemn themselves (Matthew 21:28-32). As if that were not enough, the Master then taught the most infuriating parable of all, openly leading the Jewish leaders to pass sentence upon themselves (Matthew 21:33-43; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19). The rulers would have arrested Him then and there but for their fear of the multitude (Matthew 21:46; Mark 12:12; Luke 20:19). Continue reading

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The Marriage of the King’s Son

Keith Sharp | Matthew 22:1-14

Differences from “The Great Supper”

This parable is strikingly similar to the Parable of the Great Supper, but there are important differences. Jesus taught the former earlier in His ministry when he was attending a supper given by an important Pharisee and there might still be hope for the Jewish nation. He spoke this one during the week before His crucifixion when He had already pronounced judgment on the Pharisees and the nation (Matthew 21:28-44) and in answer to the angry response of the chief priests and Pharisees over this condemnation (Matthew 21:45-46). In the Great Supper parable those invited were rude toward and contemptuous of a wealthy man and his feast, whereas in the Marriage of the King’s Son they were contemptuous of and rebellious toward the king and his son. In the Great Supper they were shut out of the feast; in this they and their city were destroyed. Continue reading

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