AuthorKen Lengel II

Just Because the Bible Doesn’t Say No

An interestingly illogical argument has been used in Christian circles to justify certain activities. Rather than using principles from Scripture to determine one’s standards for living, people have decided that if the Bible does not say, thou shalt not do (fill in the blank), then that activity is up to a person’s conscience. Without sugar-coating it, this has become an excuse for a person to sin and still feel right with God. This is what the author would like to discuss today.

A prime example of this fallible argument is justification of listening to worldly music. The Bible does not say, thou shalt not listen to worldly music. The author can and will agree with that statement. However, there are principles in Scripture that contradict messages that worldly music brings.

For example, the Bible discusses in detail about Christians needing to humble themselves (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:5-6, Proverbs 16:18, Matthew 23:12, there are more). How many worldly songs today lift up the greatness of the human race? The songs of today focus on the beauty of a woman, the selfishness of a man, or spread messages of hate and anger. They don’t come close to humbling themselves, do they?

Since this is the case, even though the Bible does not say thou shalt not listen to worldly music, there are principles that can be used to determine whether or not music is right or wrong. But these principles seem to be ignored, allowing people to feel good about listening to worldly music even though it is sin. This is not the only principle that can be used either to show worldly music as sinful, for sake of time to read the post the author will not expand further today.

Another example of this argument is what clothing should be worn today. The Bible doesn’t say what the length of a woman’s skirt should be, if men should or shouldn’t wear their shirts while mowing the lawn, or if the clothing for swimming is or isn’t inappropriate for the other gender to see. The Bible does however go into detail about men and women being modest in their dress, as well as making the principle that seeing the opposite gender with less clothes on is an intimate activity and should be reserved for a husband and a wife.

While the exact level of modesty is not described, the principle is that the more skin you show, the less modest you are, and this is seen by the horrifyingly revealing outfits that Hollywood actresses or female singers wear. And really, with Christians redefining what modesty is, it is again an excuse to sin without feeling bad about it. They sear their own conscience by believing it is alright to do, and thus they go about their day without care.

In closing, to contradict the argument of “the Bible doesn’t say no”, the author would put forth the argument, “the Bible doesn’t say yes.” If the only condition for determining a standard is whether or not the Bible says no, the opposite argument should then be used as well. The Bible doesn’t say yes or no to listening to worldly music. Instead the Bible gives principles that should be used to determine standards, and Christians today need to get back to using those principles.

The Authority of God

What authority do you think you have, as a teenager?

Perhaps sometimes you watch over a younger child, but outside of that, there is a very limited amount of authority that you possess.

What authority do you not obey?

Let’s go over a few verses.

Romans 13:1 – Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

This verse shows very plainly that ALL AUTHORITY is placed in position by God. This means Donald Trump, Kim Jung Un, and Vladimir Putin were placed in authority by God. Want to know what else it means? Your parents were placed in authority by God. The same is true for teachers, pastors, youth leaders, and ALL AUTHORITY that is over you.

If God walked up to you, and said, “Johnny, do (fill in the blank) now,” would you do it  without complaining?

Think about your answer for a second, then read on.

If Mom or Dad walked up to you, and said, “Johnny, do (fill in the blank) now,” would you do it without complaining?

Romans 13:2 – Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

What is your choice? Resisting authority or respected it?

Do you respect the authority of God?

 

 

Psalm 24 – Serve the King of Glory

How great is God as you see Him? Is it possible for one to entirely describe His majesty and power through human expressions? Could a person even attempt to start the description? Through God’s incredible acts seen in the Bible, as well as His protection and provision for Christians today, Christians cannot help but marvel at the works of God. Such was most likely the case for David as he wrote Psalm 24.

Psalm 24:1-2 – The earth is the Lord‘s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Everything that exists or has existed is because of God. That very same God has chosen to reveal himself to us through the Bible. We, as Christians, have accepted the free gift of salvation that God gave for our sins. We ought to draw closer to God because of this, and David then asks basically the same question he asked in Psalm 15:1: Who would be close to God?

Psalm 24:3 – Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

As David did in Psalm 15, he answers the question in the next few verses.

Psalm 24:4-6 – He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

In a nutshell, David is telling his readers that those who serve the Lord in their actions will be the ones drawing closer to God. Not only will they be drawing closer to God, but God will reward them with blessings! How close to God are you today?

 

How great is God to you?

Psalm 15 – Are You Living Godly?

Are you living godly?

David wrote Psalm 15 to instruct the listeners to live godly; in doing so gave several characteristics of a godly person. Take note of the principles found in these verses, and use them to live for God every day. While some of the verses directly relate to Jewish practices, application from the verses can be made to today’s generational issues and lifestyles. David starts out asking a question, perhaps in a prayer to the Lord; David then gives the answer in the remaining verses.

Psalm 15:1 – Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

The tabernacle was the dwelling place of the Lord before the temple was constructed. The use of “shall abide in thy tabernacle” is symbolic for somebody who wants to be close to the Lord. David asks who wants to be close to the Lord? He then gives the answer of who would want to be close to the Lord, in the remaining verses.

Psalm 15:2-5 – He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

These verses really speak for themselves. The question is, which of these things do you do? Do you struggle to be nice to people around you? Do you hang around people you shouldn’t hang out with? Maybe it is time to do some soul searching, and get back on track for God. Walk back to the tabernacle, and walk back to the Lord.

 

Psalm 6 – The Confident Prayer of David

When life’s struggles surround you, to whom to you turn? Who do you consider to be the refreshment of strength that you need to keep pushing forwards when the pathways get steep? David would answer that question with: the Lord. Would you?

David was in a tough time, as he usually found himself; he called out for God’s help in this psalm, as he usually would.

Psalm 6:1-7 – Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long? Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.

This sounds like David is in a period of intense struggle. The author would wonder what times of hardship do you go through that would hurt as much as David was hurting. Who do you consider as the source of help? Can you be willing to take your care to God in trouble? Now look at David’s confidence in the Lord.

Psalm 6:8-10 – Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weepingThe Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayerLet all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

David believed that God would protect him. If David through his trials knew he would be protected, what do we have to fear today, with God’s help?

Psalm 3 – Living with God’s Protection (Part 2)

In the last post, the author looked at the first five verses of Psalm 3, and today he will conclude the study by looking at verses 6-8.

Who should you be afraid of?

God chooses and desires to take care of his followers, whether they be a shepherd boy in Bible times, or a teenager in modern times. While people will try and impose fear on a Christian’s life, Christians must take care to remember the promises that David writes about in his psalms about God.

Psalm 3:6-8 – I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

What a powerful promise this is by itself, but let the reader see how David viewed this promise as so real to himself. He lived in a time where different nations armies would literally group together to destroy Israel, often bringing thousands of soldiers to attack. If David put his trust so much so in God that he was not worried about thousands of soldiers, how much more sure can we be today to put our trust in God to protect us from the few that revile us because of the God we serve?

To conclude, there is nobody to fear if we are serving God. He will be on our side! Rest in this promise today, and whenever men revile you “for my name’s sake.”(Matthew 10:22)

 

Psalm 3 – Living with God’s Protection (Part 1)

Psalm 3 is a psalm where the writer, David, was asking for deliverance from God in a time of need. What David was asking deliverance from is not of major importance, but what is important is Who David asked for protection and strength. This will be a recurring theme in the book of Psalms, but for today Psalm 3 will be the focus of study.

David starts out the psalm with a problem, and David knew to take his problem directly to God. Often Christians want to deal with problems themselves, but taking problems to the God to whom nothing is impossible probably is not a bad idea in any circumstance. Here is David’s problem.

Psalm 3 :1-2 – Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

Mockery of followers of God by the world is not something that just took place in Bible times; it takes place today as well. The world is opposed to the God Christians serve, and Satan uses the world to steer Christians away from the truth. David records the obvious answer from God to his problem.

Psalm 3:3 – But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

God is protecting Christians still today, just as He protected David from the bear, the lion, the giant, or King Saul. If that does not fill you with confidence to go forth and do what God would have you to do, then the author is not sure what would. Trust that God takes care of His own.

Psalm 3:4 – I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

David had to ask God for help; likewise Christians today should do the same the answers to prayer may not always be what we expect, but no answer to prayer throw’s God’s plan for your life out of order. David’s prayer was answered.

Psalm 3:5 – I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

 

Part 2 will be out on Wednesday.

Psalm 1 – Living a Godly Life (Part 2)

In the first post on Psalm 1, the two ways of life, living for God and living for self, were contrasted. From Psalm 1:1-2, two principles were drawn out that relate to godly living. One, having people in your life that would steer you to God; two, spending time serving God rather than spending time serving self. The remaining verses of Psalm 1 answer the follow question.

Why live a godly life?

Psalm 1:3-4 – And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

The first reason to live a godly life is found in these two verses. The fruitful and faithful Christian shall prosper through God’s help in his life, while the ungodly man shall not, as he is without God’s help. Pretty straightforward? Well, here is an application question: did you know you can be a Christian and be ungodly?

Christian’s can still sin after salvation. Christian’s can go away from God after salvation. While Christian’s have power to not sin, we still do (the author of the post included). So are you not seeing prosperous times in your life? Take a look at your life to see what needs to be changed to live a godly life.

Psalm 1:5-6 – Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

 

Psalm 1 – Living a Godly Life (Part 1)

Psalm 1 contrasts ways that a person can live life. The options put forth are living for self and living for God. As Christians, living for God must be the goal. Therefore, if any passage of Scripture has something to say about living godly, it should be studied and read with the intent of finding the principles of godliness in the passage. Such is the case, as stated before, in Psalm 1.

Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

So what does this verse mean for today’s generation? The counsel of the ungodly would be having the wrong kind of friends; such as those who would lead you away from God and not closer to Him. This is definitely not to say to avoid non-believers altogether. This verse is saying not to take counsel from them when it comes to important areas in your life as it could and more likely than not would lead you away from God.

Psalm 1:2 – But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

What is your favorite thing to spend time on in life? How long do you spend each day doing that favorite activity in some form or fashion? Now how long do you spend with God in prayer, or in reading the Bible, or soulwinning? Is your delight in the law of the Lord, so much so that you would read the Bible day and night? The author will be honest; he does not spend every free moment in that manner either. The principle is evident however, that Christians need to be spending time in the word.

In closing for today’s post, where do you stand today? Do you stand with the counsel of the ungodly, that group that despises the Bible and diverts your attention from it? Or do you stand with God, as you read the Bible and serve God each day?

 

The conclusion of the study of Psalm 1 will be on Wednesday (10/25); be sure to check back in for it.

Can Christians Have Victory?

America has been leading itself as a nation down the path of taking everything that was morally wrong and promoting it as morally acceptable. To give an examples, beginning in 1974, different organizations stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder. Since then, groups of people who call themselves “homosexuals” have been demanding people to accept them for who they are. Yet, Christians are told they need to change; the author’s guess is that Christians do not fit the world’s narrative by denouncing homosexuality. The Bible does give clear guidelines about this issue; it is not up for debate (for reference, read Romans 1:26-32).

In the crazy world in which Christians live, can Christians have victory over the world? Can Christianity stand by the truth of the Bible without bending to the pressure of the world, that demands that Christians change?

1 John 5:4-5 – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

When the world demands that Christians change, rest in the fact that God, who is the creator of all the universe, is on the Christian’s side. Never fear when the world gives you reason to fear; trust in God and life will work out. Take the life of Joseph for example. He went from being a prisoner, to second in command of Egypt. God was molding Joseph to be the person he needed to be, and Joseph didn’t bend to his temptation to change. When the time was right, Joseph was put into the exact place God wanted him to be. And God will do the same for the author, and for the readers, at His divine timing. Joseph had victory over the world, and Christians will as well.

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