Why Is Sound Doctrine So Important?

This post has been re-blogged from my friend Bruce’s site over at Reasoned Cases For Christ. If you like this article, pay him a visit, his blog is a gold mine of Christian resources, with over 500 articles!


 

our-beliefs

Doctrine is a set of accepted beliefs held by a particular group. In Christianity, it is the set of true beliefs that define the parameters of our belief system. Consequently, there is true doctrine and false doctrine relative to each belief set. For example, within Christianity, a true Biblical doctrine is that there is only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:1044:68). A false doctrine is that there is more than one God in all existence.

This major_christian_doctrines link provides a PDF list of the basic major doctrines of the Christian faith that are accepted by all Protestant denominations that are considered Christian, should you wish to peruse them. Bear in mind that there are a good number of other subjects within our Bible that are also important such as our understanding of the end times, the Law of Moses and the covenants etc.

Understanding the doctrines of the Bible is a skill set that is quickly diminishing within the body of Christ, the Church. The reasons for this are varied but paramount among the reasons is a basic lack of knowledge or familiarity with God’s Word. In order to be able to recognize a teaching that is not in accordance with God’s Word, it is necessary to be conversant with what God’s Word teaches on a given doctrine.  If you’re reading something in a book or listening to a podcast or watching a video, we need to be able to have a standard to which we can compare it with to discern as to whether what is being taught is in line with God’s Word. If you aren’t conversant with God’s Word, then you have nothing to compare it with and are more subject to being mislead.

“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” ~ C. H. Spurgeon

Sound doctrine is important because our faith is based on a specific message. The overall teaching of the church contains many elements, but the primary message is explicitly defined: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures [and] . . . he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is the unambiguous good news, and it is “of first importance.” Change that message, and the basis of faith shifts from Christ to something else. Our eternal destiny depends upon hearing “the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:3; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

Sound doctrine is important because the gospel is a sacred trust, and we dare not tamper with God’s communication to the world. Our duty is to deliver the message, not to change it. Jude conveys an urgency in guarding the trust: “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3; see also Philippians 1:27). To “contend” carries the idea of strenuously fighting for something, to give it everything you’ve got. The Bible includes a warning neither to add to nor subtract from God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19). Rather than alter the apostles’ doctrine, we receive what has been passed down to us and keep it “as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Sound doctrine is important because what we believe affects what we do. Behavior is an extension of theology, and there is a direct correlation between what we think and how we act. For example, a man who believes in well-defined moral standards will have a tendency to conduct himself differently from one who believes in no standard or accountability. In one of the Bible’s lists of sins, things like rebellion, murder, lying, and slave trading are mentioned. The list concludes with “whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:9-10). In other words, true teaching promotes righteousness; sin flourishes where “the sound doctrine” is opposed.

Sound doctrine is important because we must ascertain truth in a world of falsehood. “Many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). There are tares among the wheat and wolves among the flock (Matthew 13:25Acts 20:29). The best way to distinguish truth from falsehood is to know what the truth is.

Sound doctrine is important because the end of sound doctrine is life. “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). Conversely, the end of unsound doctrine is destruction. “Certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4). Changing God’s message of grace is a “godless” thing to do, and the condemnation for such a deed is severe. Preaching another gospel (“which is really no gospel at all”) carries an anathema: “let him be eternally condemned!” (see Galatians 1:6-9).

Sound doctrine is important because it encourages believers. A love of God’s Word brings “great peace” (Psalm 119:165), and those “who proclaim peace . . . who proclaim salvation” are truly “beautiful” (Isaiah 52:7). A pastor “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (Titus 1:9).

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

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4 Reasons to Believe the End is Near

Nuclear Explosion

This is one of the most fascinating and perhaps even terrifying times in our world history. When you look over the political landscape of the world and see all of these events unfolding… it feels like we are getting closer and closer to the end. Many people like to spend their time trying to guess when Jesus is going to return, some even give specific dates which always pass uneventfully. Scripture is clear however that only the Father in heaven knows the exact time, it is not our place to know.

Which is why we should always be prepared. The Bible says that Jesus will return like a thief in the night, coming in the clouds. This is going to happen SUDDENLY and the world will be rocked to its foundations.

God has given us Bible prophecy however that gives us a glimpse of what the future holds and with these scriptures we can begin to understand current events in a much different light. Volumes could and have been written on this subject matter, but in the scope of his article I want to touch on 4 ancient Bible prophecies that lead many to believe the end is near.

Prophecy #1: Israel will become a Nation again.

Ezekiel 37:21-22
21 then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. 22 And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms.

Most people believed Israel became a nation again back in 1947, so they started counting the years in their calculations of the end times… as no longer than one generation from that event. But what is necessary for a nation to stand? It needs a capital. All of these decades later it wasn’t until December 6, 2017 that President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Prophecy #2: Syrian civil war.

Isaiah 17:1
“See, Damascus will no longer be a city
    but will become a heap of ruins.

Jeremiah 49:24
24 Damascus has become feeble,
    she has turned to flee
    and panic has gripped her;
anguish and pain have seized her,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.

For over 5,000 years Syria was a prosperous nation, but that all changed in 2011 when a civil war broke out devastating the region. Since that time hundreds of thousands of Syrian people have lost their lives and millions have fled the war torn country seeking refuge in neighboring nations. At the center of this war is the dictator Bashar al Assad who has been fighting rebels backed by the US and its allies. In 2015, Assad was nearly defeated until another player entered the ring, which brings us to…

Prophecy #3: Russia comes to the border of Israel.

Ezekiel 38
The word of the Lord came to me:“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog,I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your army, Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets,also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth TogarmahIn the latter years, you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel.

Now you may be saying “what’s with all this Gog, Magog, Cush, Put stuff?” and without a map of the middle east from the time period in which the Bible was written, it would be very confusing.

europe

Twice in Ezekiel the Bible says Magog will bring its armies from the “extreme north” to the borders of Israel from the land of Rosh… which today is known as Russia. In September 2015 this happened as never before when Russia brought its Army, Navy and Air Force into the Middle East.

Iran only became known as Iran in 1935, before which it was known as Persia. Put and Cush are ancient names of Libya and Ethiopia respectively.

Another major factor in the Middle East is Turkey becoming hostile towards NATO and the US after a failed coup attempt in 2016. Turkey forced NATO to remove forces from its bases and it began buying arms from Russia. This turning point in history leads us directly to the last prophecy I want to share with you here.

Prophecy #4: An alliance between Russia, Iran and Turkey is formed.

Turkey fully condemned Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and its armies are currently in Syria fighting the rebels who oppose the rule of Assad. They are fighting shoulder to shoulder with Iranian and Russian forces. In Ezekiel 38 an alliance is described rising up against Israel and today this prophecy is unfolding right before our very eyes.

There are many other signs in the world that we are coming to the end as we know it. The Bible speaks of a universal one world currency for example, and the mark of the beast. When you read the news and see many nations pushing for a unified digital currency and the plans to use digital implants for future purchasing you begin to pay more attention.

If you are a Christian, then I don’t believe you will see the end, I believe you will be raptured before we get there… but for those left behind… it’s going to be a scary and dark time here on Earth.

Are you ready?

 

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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Will Our Pets Go To Heaven?

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-10-18,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-ve
My Big Boy Yoomi, or Bubbles, Bubba, Skinny Butt or just Buddy.

Hey Daddy, will Rocko go to Heaven? This is a question probably asked by kids around the world for a very long time… I know this question was in my mind for years, as I have always been a huge animal lover. So I set out to search scripture for the answer to this question… and after many hours I think I finally have the answer…

I have no idea.

You might be thinking, well great, thanks for the revelation! But let me share what I did find and see if you find it as interesting as I do. First, let me start with this…nowhere in scripture does it say that animals have souls, therefore there is no such thing as “salvation” for anything other than mankind. Even Angels are soulless and unqualified for salvation through Christ Jesus.

But I digress, let’s go back to the beginning of time and scripture to get started. In Genesis 1, we find the six days of creation…. where God created everything. At the end of His work this is what we find…

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. ESV Emphasis Added

God was finished and it was very good. Everything was prepared for mankind to live on Earth for all time… we were mean’t to live forever. How do I know this? Genesis 3:22 tells us that if they ate from the tree of life they would live forever. This was how it was supposed to be, until Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Now let’s go back to Genesis 2, this is not a different account of Genesis 1 as some proclaim, we are only getting a more detailed account of the sixth day of Creation. But in the text we find this…

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. NKJV

God created animals to be helpers or companions to man, but God saw that it wasn’t enough so God created Eve. If Adam and Eve had not rebelled against God, they would still be alive today and our world would look very very different.

We also know from scripture that death did not enter the world until sin entered the world (Romans 5:12). In fact the first animals killed were by God, when He made clothes for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).

If death did not enter the world until Sin, then we know that all of the animals on Earth at the time lived together peacefully, not killing each other left and right like we see on Animal Planet. In fact all the animals would have been herbivores just like Adam and Eve. Why is this important? It tells me that the world God had intended… one where man would live forever, would also be filled with animals.

You ever wonder how many animals God Created?

Think about this… it is currently estimated that there are approximately 8.7 Millions species of animals living on Earth (give or take 1.3 Million). With around 6.5 Million on land and another 2.2 Million in the seas.

ocean-mysteries1
Img Src: Rainsoftottawa.wordress.com

If you have ever spent time watching wildlife videos, especially concerning ocean life you are probably in awe of Gods handiwork, I know I am. The incredibly vast and varied number of creatures that roam the Earth is a clear indicator to me that God LOVES animals, just like most of us do… except way more.

It seems obvious to me, that when we arrive at our eternal Heavenly home (which is actually on a new Earth) not some mystical cloud-filled place in the sky (Isaiah 65:17 & 66:22, 2 Peter 3:13)… that it will be brimming with animals, just as it will be filled with vast scores of believers.

Can I prove this via scripture? There is no descriptive verse of scripture that describes animals in Heaven, but there are also no verses that run contrary to the idea. In fact the verses I wrote about in this article lead me to believe what I have shared with you today is more than likely the way it will be.

But what about my Yoomi?

Now even if we get to Heaven and find all kinds of animals walking about, this doesn’t mean we will ever see our beloved Earthly pets there. As I stated I am a huge animal lover and when I sit around and imagine eternity, my black lab Nick along with my kitties Yoomi and Toshi are right there with me.

However we must also take into account that people who own pets usually do so their entire lives and go through MANY pets throughout their time on Earth. Would that then mean that every pet would show up in Heaven with us? For some people that would be quite an entourage!!!

So at the end of the day, I do believe that there will be animals in Heaven. I am not sure about the pets that we shared time with here on Earth… but I am hopeful.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-10-18,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
My Baby Girl, Toshi

Let me ask you one question, when you look in the eyes of my Toshi-girl… how can you not picture her cute little face in Heaven? It may not be true, but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine it!

 

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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