What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality
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In this timely book, award-winning author Kevin DeYoung challenges each of usthe skeptic and the seeker, the certain and the confusedto take a humble look at Gods Word regarding the issue of homosexuality.
After examining key biblical passages in both the Old and New Testaments and the Bibles overarching teaching regarding sexuality, DeYoung responds to popular objections raised by Christians and non-Christians alike, making this an indispensable resource for thinking through one of the most pressing issues of our day.
Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, and associate professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte. He has written books for children, adults, and academics, including Just Do Something Crazy Busy and The Biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have nine children.
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Introduction: What Does the Bible Teach about Everything?
Part 1: Understanding God’s Word
Part 2 Answering Objections
What Does Jesus Say About Forgiveness
Jesus himself stressed the importance of forgiveness, but he was doing so in a culture that stressed very legalistic ideas. The problem with legalism is that it forgets or bypasses the spirit in which the law was given. Forgiveness from a legalistic perspective is a matter of balancing the books and making sure that a debt is paid or cancelled. From a spiritual perspective, forgiveness is about restoring the pathways of communication and love.
Look at Matthew 18:15-22 as an example. In verses 15-20, Jesus lays out a conflict resolution process that seeks a state of forgiveness between the parties involved. The ideal result of this solution is the meeting of two people seeking a state of forgiveness, and Jesus says that he is there also. What a beautiful moment that people can share not only with each other, but with God. Where else can we specifically do something and know that God joins us in that moment? Seen in this light, forgiveness is sacramental.
Peter hears Jesus give this instruction, but his legalistic side kicks in and he asks in verse 21 how many times he has to forgive someone before he can write them off. Seven times?
What Jesus Said About Death
7. How did Jesus explain what death is like?
7 Jesus Christ spoke about the condition of the dead. He did so with regard to Lazarus, a man whom he knew well and who had died. Jesus told his disciples: Lazarus our friend has fallen asleep. The disciples thought that Jesus meant that Lazarus was resting in sleep, recovering from an illness. They were wrong. Jesus explained: Lazarus has died. Notice that Jesus compared death to sleep. Lazarus was neither in heaven nor in a burning hell. He was not meeting angels or ancestors. Lazarus was not being reborn as another human. He was at rest in death, as though in a deep sleep without dreams. Other scriptures also compare death to sleep. For example, when the disciple Stephen was stoned to death, the Bible says that he fell asleep. Similarly, the apostle Paul wrote about some in his day who had fallen asleep in death.1 Corinthians 15:6.
Jehovah made humans to live forever on earth
8. How do we know that it was not Gods purpose for people to die?
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A Book Of Practical Wisdom
10. Why is it not surprising that the Bible is a practical book?
10 Because the Bible is inspired of God, it is beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight. Yes, the Bible is a practical book. It reflects a keen understanding of human nature. No wonder, for its Author, Jehovah God, is the Creator! He understands our thinking and emotions better than we do. Furthermore, Jehovah knows what we need in order to be happy. He also knows what pathways we should avoid.
11, 12. What topics did Jesus discuss in his Sermon on the Mount? What other practical matters are considered in the Bible, and why is its counsel timeless?
11 Consider Jesus speech called the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew chapters 5 to 7. In this masterpiece of teaching, Jesus spoke on a number of topics, including the way to find true happiness, how to settle disputes, how to pray, and how to have the proper view of material things. Jesus words are just as powerful and practical today as they were when he spoke them.
12 Some Bible principles deal with family life, work habits, and relationships with others. The Bibles principles apply to all people, and its counsel is always beneficial. The wisdom found in the Bible is summarized by Gods words through the prophet Isaiah: I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.Isaiah 48:17.
Eternal Torment In Hell: The Silent Subject Of The Church
I recently read in a major news magazine that this teaching of hell as eternal torture has all but disappeared from the pulpit ministry in both mainline and evangelical churches. Why is this so? Why are Christians who are committed to this doctrine so reluctant to openly and honestly preach it? Why do they mask what they really believe by saying that the unredeemed will ultimately perish or be destroyed or suffer eternal separation from God? Yes, youll hear hell brought up now and then, but youll rarely, if ever, hear anyone explain what He or she really means when using this termthat is, suffering fiery conscious torment forever and ever with no merciful respite from the misery.
If this is so true, why is everyone so timid about spelling it out loud and clear? The answer is obvious: theyre ashamed of it. Theyre ashamed of it because, as Clark Pinnock so aptly put it, this doctrine of eternal torture makes God out to be morally worse than Hitler who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for his enemies whom He does not even allow to die. How can one love a God like that? I suppose one might be afraid of Him, but could we love and respect Him? Would we want to strive to be like Him in His mercilessness? Lets be honest here and tell it like it is: The doctrine of never-ending conscious torment makes God out to be a cruel, unjust, merciless monster. Who would possibly want to accept salvation from such a God?
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How Much Do You Know About Heaven And Hell
Take this short true-false quiz to nd out.
1. The Bible teaches that we have an immortal soul that cannot die.2. The Bible shows that heaven is the reward of the saved.3. The apostle Peter said that Israel’s King David, a man “after God’s own heart,” went to heaven when he died.4. The Scriptures teach that such faithful men and women as Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses and Rahab went to heaven as their reward.5. The Bible tells us that the wicked will suffer for all eternity in an ever-burning hell.6. The Scriptures teach that Satan and his demons will torture the wicked forever in hell.7. The Bible tells us that our immortal soul will go to either heaven or hell when we die.
Ready to see how you did? The correct answer to all of the above questions is false. If you missed some, don’t be surprised. After all, most of us have been routinely taught that these teachings are found in the Bible. The Scriptures, however, reveal something far different!
You don’t believe us? For the Bible’s answer to question 1, read Ezekiel 18:20Ezekiel 18:20The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
What Does The Bible Say About Forgiveness
There are a great many Bible verses about forgiveness. Lets look at a few that speak about people forgiving people.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Proverbs 17:9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Genesis 50:19-21 But Joseph said to them, Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear I will provide for you and your little ones. Thus, he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Luke 17:3-4 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, I repent, you must forgive him.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:12-13 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
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What Really Happens At Death
5, 6. What does the Bible teach about the condition of the dead?
5 What happens at death is no mystery to Jehovah, the Creator of the brain. He knows the truth, and in his Word, the Bible, he explains the condition of the dead. Its clear teaching is this: When a person dies, he ceases to exist. Death is the opposite of life. The dead do not see or hear or think. Not even one part of us survives the death of the body. We do not possess an immortal soul or spirit. *
Where did the flame go?
6 After Solomon observed that the living know that they will die, he wrote: But the dead know nothing at all. He then enlarged on that basic truth by saying that the dead can neither love nor hate and that there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave. Similarly, Psalm 146:4 says that when a man dies, his thoughts perish. We are mortal and do not survive the death of our body. The life we enjoy is like the flame of a candle. When the flame is put out, it does not go anywhere. It is simply gone.
How Do We Forgive Someone
There is no magic formula that allows us to forgive. We must set it as a goal and continue to strive for it. A good place to start is how the Bible tells us to remember that the other person is just as guilty of sin as we are . Our sin separates us all from God and knowing that can give us a better perspective.
Perhaps a good way to start on the path toward forgiving someone is to pray that God would allow you to see them like HE sees them. Remind yourself that Jesus cherished them enough to die for them as well as you. Let God break your heart for them and thereby heal you of your hurt from their hand. I am not suggesting that you should do this in a way that allows yourself to be in an abusive relationship or create an unsafe situation for your children . If that type of thing continues, the offender has not repented and the rule regarding severance should be applied. God did not create you or anyone else to suffer abuse from another.
I am not promising that this will happen instantly, healing can take time depending on what the offense was and how badly someone was hurt by it. Our friends from Alcoholics Anonymous recommend as part of seeking forgiveness, that we make sure that in seeking forgiveness we do not cause further damage to someone. It may take time before it is wise for you to seek forgiveness from someone or you could make the issue worse. During your wait, pray to God for the opportunity of healing and restoration.
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What The Bible Teaches
God does not cause the bad conditions in the world.Job 34:10.
By calling God a liar and saying that He withholds good from His subjects, Satan questioned Jehovahs right to rule.Genesis 3:2-5.
Jehovah will use his Son, the Ruler of the Messianic Kingdom, to end all human suffering and to undo its effects.1 John 3:8.
Knowing The Truth About Death Is Beneficial
15. Why is it comforting to know the truth about death?
15 What the Bible teaches about the condition of the dead is comforting. As we have seen, the dead do not suffer pain or heartache. There is no reason to be afraid of them, for they cannot harm us. They do not need our help, and they cannot help us. We cannot speak with them, and they cannot speak with us. Many religious leaders falsely claim that they can help those who have died, and people who believe such leaders give them money. But knowing the truth protects us from being deceived by those who teach such lies.
16. Who has influenced the teachings of many religions, and in what way?
16 Does your religion agree with what the Bible teaches about the dead? Most do not. Why? Because their teachings have been influenced by Satan. He uses false religion to get people to believe that after their body dies, they will continue to live in the spirit realm. This is a lie that Satan combines with other lies to turn people away from Jehovah God. How so?
17. Why does the teaching of eternal torment dishonor Jehovah?
18. Worship of the dead is based on what religious lie?
19. Knowing the truth about death helps us to understand what other Bible teaching?
20. What question will we consider in the next chapter?
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The Only Proper Use Of Blood
17. In ancient Israel, what was the one use of blood that was acceptable to Jehovah God?
17 The Mosaic Law emphasized the one proper use of blood. Regarding the worship required of the ancient Israelites, Jehovah commanded: The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have given it on the altar for you to make atonement for yourselves, because it is the blood that makes atonement. When the Israelites sinned, they could obtain forgiveness by offering an animal and having some of its blood put on the altar at the tabernacle or later at Gods temple. The only proper use of blood was in such sacrifices.
18. What benefits and blessings can we gain from the shedding of Jesus blood?
18 True Christians are not under the Mosaic Law and therefore do not offer animal sacrifices and put the blood of animals on an altar. However, the use of blood on the altar in the days of ancient Israel pointed forward to the precious sacrifice of Gods Son, Jesus Christ. As we learned in Chapter 5 of this book, Jesus gave his human life for us by letting his blood be shed as a sacrifice. Then he ascended to heaven and once for all time offered the value of his shed blood to God. That laid the basis for the forgiveness of our sins and opened the way for us to gain everlasting life. How extremely important that use of blood has proved to be! Only by means of faith in the merit of Jesus shed blood can we gain salvation.
How can you show regard for life and blood?
The Valley Of Dry Bones
The second resurrection to temporary physical life is pictured by Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-9Ezekiel 37:1-9 The hand of the LORD was on me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the middle of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley and, see, they were very dry. And he said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, you know. Again he said to me, Prophesy on these bones, and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus said the Lord GOD to these bones Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live: And I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live and you shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, see, the sinews and the flesh came up on them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus said the Lord GOD Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.
American King James Version×).
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