Topical Sermons




1.     Lk. 2:46-47, 49 - The Father’s business includes learning via listening & asking questions (Acts 17:11).

2.     There is no such thing as a “stupid” or “bad” question when asked from a heart desiring to hear, learn & do the will of God.


# 1:  Is there anything sinful in getting a tattoo?  What about ear/body piercings and cosmetic surgery?


1.     General observation:  Not necessarily in every case, but it can beMotives & association with evil, as well as one’s participation in these activities, will have to be considered in light of God’s word (Prov. 16:2; 19:21).

2.     Principles to help us determine appropriateness:

    a.     We must not be worldly in thought & deed (includes how we choose to adorn & present ourselves to others) - Prov. 23:7; Rom. 12:2 (1 Jno. 2:15-16; Jas. 4:4).

        (1)   Attire of a harlot is sinful – Prov. 7:10 (cf. Rev. 17:4 – seductive…).

        (2)   cf. Vain & worldly women of Jerusalem – Isa. 3:16-26.

        (3)   Emphasize inner (lasting) beauty rather than outer (fading) beauty – 1 Pet. 3:3-6.

    b.     We must not be associated with worldly/pagan/atheistic symbolism & conduct1 Cor. 15:33 (Eph. 5:8-14).

        (1)   Worship (serve) the only true God - Matt. 4:10.

        (2)   We must practice what we preach - cf. Rom. 2:21.

        (3)   Much of the piercings, tattooing are associated with such unbelief.

        (4)   Law of Moses condemned tattooing (associated with grief customs of idolaters) – Lev. 19:28.

    c.     Christian is concerned about his/her influence (even when conduct is not wrong)Matt. 5:13.

    d.    Cross-gender conduct is sinful (clothing, appearance, etc.) 1 Cor. 11:3, 14-15 (cf. LOM – Deut. 22:5).

    e.     Modesty must be maintained1 Tim. 2:9-10 (reflect godliness).

    f.      Must have a correct view of our bodies1 Cor. 6:13-20.

        (1)   Body is for the Lord (6:13); will be raised by God (6:14); member of Christ (6:15); temple of HS (6:19); not your own (6:19); to glorify God (6:20); belongs to God (6:20).

        (2)   Thus, body is to be cared for - not abused & harmed.

    g.     Avoid extremes Eccl. 7:16-18.  (In attitudes & conduct:  clothing, appearance…)

    h.      Must be able to distinguish between personal “taste” & sin (violation of scripture)Rom. 14:1-5.  (Apply aforementioned principles!)

        (1)   Example:  You may not like makeup, but it is not inherently sinful for women to use it.  cf. Jewelry, fashions, etc. – cf. S of S. 4:9-11.

        (2)   Must give room for the exercise of personal conscience within the framework of revealed truth (Rom. 14).


#2:  Some modern textual critics believe Mark 16:9-20 is not a part of the Book of Mark.  Is this true?

    a.  If yes, why is it not omitted from the text?

    b.  If no, what evidence do they offer to support their conclusion?

    c.  If not sure, should we continue to use this effective passage to strengthen our faith and defend against “faith only” doctrines?


-Issue is NOT:  The historical authenticity (truthfulness) of Mk. 16:9-20 (verified by Matt., Luke & John).


-Issue:  Is Mark 16:9-20 genuinely a part of Mark’s original text, or is it an addition of unknown & later origin?


A.    Arguments to Reject the Genuineness of Mk. 16:9-20:

    1.     Missing from two of the oldest & best manuscripts (Vaticanus, 300-350 AD, Sinaiticus, 300-350 AD).

    2.     Oldest version of the Old Syriac translation of NT does not contain it (Lightfoot, 58).

    3.     Jerome (late 4th c.) said it was not in most of the Greek copies of his day.

    4.     Generally think the ending is an addition due to the supposed incompleteness of Mark’s narrative (due perhaps to the death of Mark or Peter).  Mere supposition.

    5.     It is argued that 17 unique words (not in the rest of Mark) are found in Mk. 16:9-20.


B.        Reasons to Accept Mark 16:9-20 as Genuine:

    1.     It is found in nearly all other ancient manuscripts, including Alexandrinus (5th c.), which stands next to the Vaticanus in accuracy.

    2.     The scribe of the Vaticanus Manuscript left a space for it, indicating its existence & his uncertainty about it (Lightfoot, 32).

    3.     The ancient versions:

“The evidence from this source is altogether in favor of the passage; for all the ancient versions contain it, and thereby testify that it was in the Greek copies from which they were translated.”  (McGarvey, Commentary on Matthew-Mark, 378-379)

    4.     2nd century citations from Irenaeus & Tatian.

    5.     3rd century citations from Hyppolytus & Dyonisius of Alexandria.

        -(Proves our ending existed long before the Vatican & Sinaitic Codices, indicating they perpetuate the corruption of the text instead of demonstrating its genuineness.)

    6.     As for 17 new words:  Are also 17 unique words used in the 12 verses before this section of text!

        - (The last 12 verses of Luke has 9 unique words to Luke – no reason to doubt his authorship!)


C.    Why is it Missing From Some Manuscripts in the First Place?

    1.     The original end of Mark may well have been lost at an early date due to one of the many accidents by which the last leaf of a MSS. could be lost (possibly last page torn away; worn by use & lost, etc.).

        --Alford (opponent of Markian authorship):

“The most probable supposition is, that the last leaf of the original gospel was torn away.”  (McGarvey, 379).

    2.     If so, then all copies of the manuscripts with the missing page would also lack the ending!


D.    Yes, We Can & Should Use Mark 16:9-20 – Its Truthfulness Is Secure.

    1.     16:9-11 – Resurrection of Jesus & appearance to Mary Magdalene (Jno. 20:1-18).

    2.     16:12-13 – Appearance to two disciples in the country (Lk. 24:13-35).

    3.     16:14 – Appearance to the apostles (Lk. 24:36-43; Jno. 20:19-23).

    4.     16:15-20 – Commission, ascension & spread of gospel (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts).



1.     Jno. 8:31-32 – We can know truth, that we may abide in it & be freed from sin.

2.     Obey the gospel of Christ & be saved:  Learn it & live by it -- Eternal life.



-Lightfoot, Neil R., How We Got The Bible

-McGarvey, J. W., Commentary on Matthew -Mark