And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume X, Number 32 May 27, 2007
In this issue:
What happened to Jesus between his death and his resurrection is one of the most frequent questions received through the Bible Answers website. The answer one gives will likely reveal his view of death and resurrection generally, since the experience of Jesus, the son of Man, is regarded as typical of the human experience: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:20-22). (Christ no only experienced death; he has power over it.)
In giving the Bible answer to question we must be careful not to say more than the Bible says about where Jesus was and what he did between death and resurrection. We will not speculate on activities that are not revealed to us, since that only causes strife (1 Tim. 6:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:23). We must be careful not to twist the Scriptures to support false views of death and the gospel. [For instance, some misuse 1 Peter 3:18-20 and believe Jesus personally preached to spirits after he died (see the recent article on this topic, 15Apr07).]
After his death and before his resurrection, we know Jesus…
1) Went to Paradise. “…today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43). Paradise refers to a real place of happiness and rest. It is equivalent to “Abraham’s bosom” and the counterpart of “torments” (Lk. 16:22-25), both of which constitute Hades (the realm of the dead). David prophetically spoke of Christ’s death and resurrection, saying “For you will not leave my soul in Hades” (Acts 2:27; Psa. 16:10). Jesus assured the repentant thief of rest after death. The Savior, who had agonized under the torture of the cross, would himself find rest beyond death. So too will all who “die in the Lord” (Rev. 14:13).
2) Was conscious and identifiable. Otherwise, how would the thief know when he was with Jesus in Paradise? If this is not so, how would Jesus know whether the thief was with him or that he was even in Paradise? Like Jesus and this man, we can expect to be conscious and identifiable after we die (Lk. 16:22-31). Neither the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine of nonexistence nor the Adventist doctrine of “soul-sleep” (unconsciousness) are not taught in the Bible.
3) Did not go into the heavenly presence of the Father. This he unequivocally stated in John 20:17, “I have not yet ascended to my Father.” But, now Jesus is “standing at the right hand of God,” exalted above all (Acts 2:33; 7:55).
By whether or not we are following Jesus, we are choosing where we will go after death and before the resurrection (Lk. 12:20-21). Are you choosing paradise or torment? Obey Jesus and be eternally saved (Heb. 5:8-9; Gal. 3:27; Rev. 14:13).
One of the commands of God that we sometimes act as if we haven’t read is the one that tells us to mind our own business. The text says, “that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thess. 4:11, emphasis mine DVR, NKJV).
Yes, the Bible actually tells us to mind our own business! Thus, we need to consider some ways we sometimes violate this instruction and just how serious that is.
It Is a Sin
Remember that sin is a violation of the law of God (1 Jn. 3:4). Since the law of God tells us to mind our own business and not another’s (1 Thess. 4:11), then it would be a sin to behave contrary.
In the second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul stated that there were some in the church who were “busybodies” (2 Thess. 3:11). A busybody is one who is not busied in his own business, but over busied in that of others’ (Vines). If he did not cease his practice, he was to be disfellowshiped (2 Thess. 3:6-15). That tells how serious being a busybody (minding the business of other people) can be. God said such a one is “disorderly.”
In 1 Timothy 5:13 Paul rebukes those who are idle, wandering from house to house telling things that they should not. He calls them “gossips and busybodies.”
Peter wrote that we should not suffer as a “busybody in other people’s matters” (1 Pet. 4:15).
How We Are Sometimes Guilty
1. In our conversation. Quite often we find ourselves talking about other people, their money, the things they do, what they buy and what we think about all of that. It may be that the things we talk about are personal which should not be of any concern to us.
Some take it on themselves to meddle by thinking they must tell others exactly what they think about their clothes, their hair, their weight or how they handle their money or children.
We sometimes ask questions about things that are none of our business. We sometimes ask how much someone makes, how much they spend or about conversations that do not concern us.
2. In family relationships. It is very easy for parents to mind the business of their children who are married and have families of their own. Some parents treat their grown children as if they were still kids, telling them what to do. When parents feel that they have to make critical comments on their grown children’s money, looks, clothes and children they are minding business that is not theirs. Why is it that some parents feel that they need hold the reigns on their adult children and meddle in their affairs?
Some are failing to recognize that a new family has been established and God has established the husband as the head of that family (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31).
This sometimes is reversed. Children sometimes try to mind the business of their parents. Because of the close family ties we may feel free to meddle in the affairs of brothers, sisters, grandchildren, aunts and uncles.
3. Church-preacher relationships. Sometimes preachers feel that their role grants them the right to mind the business of some of the members of the church where they preach. He may try to tell them his opinion (not bound by the Bible) on how they ought to handle their affairs.
Sometimes members of the church try to mind the business of the preacher. A few will act as if they or the church owns the preacher. Preachers sometimes have some of their fellow-Christians to tell them how they should spend their spare time, who they should choose as friends and what his wife should do with her time. I once heard of a church that asked their preacher to bring a financial report of his personal expenses before the men in a business meeting. With tongue in cheek, he prepared one and commended them for the wonderful idea. He said he thought that every man ought to do the same so the men could watch for covetousness among the members. The men quickly decided that their first idea wasn’t necessary.
Be Careful of Extremes
As is true of any Bible principle, it is possible to go to one extreme or another. One extreme has been discussed above: minding another’s business. The other extreme is to think that no one should have a right to correct you or say anything critical. When a Christian becomes weak and lets sin hinder his service to God, other Christians are to try to restore him (Gal. 6:1). Efforts must be made to convert him from the error of his way (Jas. 5:19-20). However, that is not a violation of “mind your own business.”
Elders are to watch and rule over the souls of those who are members where they are serving (Heb. 13:7, 17). They have the oversight of the flock of God (1 Pet. 5:2). That will involve talking to some of the Christians about how they live, train their children, treat their mates, etc. That again, is not a violation of “mind your own business.” However, a few may cry that it is none of their business.
Some Questions to Ask Yourself
Before we get too carried away asking questions, telling what we know or passing on our advice let us ask ourselves the following questions: (1) Is this really any of my business? (2) Have I been invited into this matter? (3) Will my action of asking or telling possibly do more harm than good? (4) Will others think that I am minding other people’s business?
Though our text (1 Thess. 4:11) is easy to violate, it is a text that we can obey. Let’s try!
-Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 4, p.16-17, 17Feb94
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psalm 66:16-20
1. “…be serious
and watchful in your prayers” (1 Pet. 4:7).
I. PRAYER IS BASED ON A PROPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
A. Prayer is Unsuccessful
without a Relationship with God; Matt. 6:9; 7:7-11; Jno. 9:31; 1 Pet. 3:12.
II. SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF PRAYER
A. Prayer is…
III. EFFECTIVE AND REVERENT PRAY.
A. In Faith, Mk. 11:22-24 (1
66:16-20: Rejoice in the presence & power of God which is given to us in
Advancing Islam by Murder
A recent Pew Research Center study reports that almost 25% of American Muslims suicide bombings are acceptable in defending Islam. There are an estimated 2-6 million Muslims in America, according to Bob Maginnis,senior strategist of the Pentagon. "Whatever that figure is, the fact is,that's a sizable minority…that embraces a radical view which would lead to endorsing or supporting suicide bombing," he said. Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim terrorist, says overseas the number of Muslims who support suicide bombings in much greater. "If you go to the Middle East…73percent support suicide bombs – without a question," he said. ("Some U.S.Muslims Advocate Suicide Attacks," May 24, 2007, CitizenLink.org)
"Also in the study: 47percent of American Muslims consider themselves Muslim first, American second. Shoebat said that's reason to wave a red flag.
"Terrorists have along-term plan," he said. "And that long-term plan says if we can win the next generation of Americans, then America can be converted to Islam." (Ibid.)
From its infancy, Islam has been spread by the sword. Nothing has changed through the centuries. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world and is not so spread (Isa. 2:2-4; Jno. 18:36; Matt. 28:19-20). This is just one of the ways Islam shows itself to be a kingdom of this world and not from Almighty God.
If violent jihad is not the spirit of Islam, then let Muslim clerics and Islamic devotees rise up and say so. Instead, many (we should evidently say, most) agree with it if it achieves Islamic objectives.
Increasingly, Islam is gaining a hold over men, women and children, filling their hearts with bitterness,vengeance and violence. Islam's stated objective is the conversion of the world (even using murder, if necessary).
In contrast, conversion to Christ brings peace with God and men (Isa. 9:6; Eph. 2:14-18). Jesus said, "all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52). Souls are not converted by the edge of the sword, but by planting a "seed" (Lk. 8:11, 15;1 Pet. 1:22-25).
We must have the conviction of faith to oppose the error and wickedness of Islam with "the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17; 2 Cor. 10:3-5).
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 06/02/2007
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA