Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gray Areas In Scripture

There are things that the Bible expressly forbids, as sins. Some of the most common are any of the 10 Commandments, hate, witchcraft and anger. But what about the “gray area’s”? These are things such as drinking alcohol, smoking, cussing, gambling and watching TV.

Let’s take a look at some of the one’s I mentioned above:
Drinking alcohol. I know people scour the bible looking for proof that it is okay to drink alcohol. I did it myself when I was younger and trying to justify my lifestyle. (Just a little footnote: if you have to do a month long study to justify what you are doing, then you should probably not be doing it). While the bible does not come out and say “Do not taketh a drink of Budweisereth or Coorseth” scripture is quite clear as to not be drunk. Galatians 5:19-21 has a short list of sins that will warrant a person from not entering into the Kingdom of God, one of which is drunkenness and reveling.

“Okay Jeff, stop being a Pharisee and a legalist.”

I did not say it, I am just pointing it out. If a person does these things they “shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Pretty simple to understand. Ecclesiastes 9:7 does say “drink thy wine with a merry heart”, but there is a huge difference between a drink and a DRINK. Before you drink, ask yourself “Why am I drinking this?” Is it to get drunk or loosen up? Then you have already answered the question of if it’s sinful or not. Is it because you love the taste of a beer? I would have to answer a big N-O for me, I never had a drink of alcohol that tasted good. But then again I do not like seafood and many people do.

Next on the list is smoking. This one hits home for me because I smoked for 28+ years of my life. When I actually did come to a saving faith in Christ, truly was born again, then God took that addiction away from me. I have not smoked in about 4 years now. But is it a sin according to scripture is the question, what I say doesn’t mean a hill of beans. As a Christian we are commanded to live a Holy life, to strive to be more Christ like in our daily walk with Him. I’m fairly sure Jesus did not have a Zippo and a pack of Marlboro Lights in His pocket. Smoking is a slow death sentence to ones self as well as those that are around them when they do smoke, which is murder but over a period of time instead of an immediate killing. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost and that we are bought with a price, so you are damaging God’s property too. Then in Romans 14 we ate told not to be a stumbling block for our brother. Plus it makes a person and everything they own smell “ickey” as my wife puts it.

Now on to cussing. A lot of people do it, a lot of people say they don’t. I will not go into a list of what I consider to be cuss words, but I am sure a few popped into your head just now. Ephesians 4:29 says “do not let any corrupt communication come from your mouth”, Jesus said in Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. But James 3:8-12 pretty much sums up the point 8. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12. Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Gambling in itself is not even mentioned in the bible. Not a poker game, slot machine or lottery ticket one, so it’s not condemned, right? Let’s first break it down. Why do people gamble? It is for the love of money and to get more of it quick without having to work for it. This is a whole blog entry in itself, but we all know 1 Tim 6:10 states “the love of money is the root of evil”. Hebrews 13:5 "be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave thee; never will I forsake thee." Matthew 6:24 Jesus said "No man can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon (Money)."

Now for the T.V. question. Is the ol’ boob tube a sin? Not in and of itself. It’s just a hunk of plastic with wires, circuits and electricity running through it. What you watch on it is the question. Do you watch blatantly sinful shows that mock the name of God? Do you watch pornography? Soap opera’s filled with sexual and immoral themes? False Prophets such as Todd Bentley and Joel Osteen that peddle a false Christ? Has your TV become a god to you, a religion? Do you live your life around what is showing on TV and when?

One of Webster’s definitions of religion is: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.

I think living a life revolving around television could be lumped in there. As well as many other things in a persons daily life.

To me, if a person is a true born again, Bible believing Christian, these gray area’s pretty much take care of themselves. If you are living for Christ and walking the narrow path of His righteousness, then you will steer from things that could be considered a sin or sinful. If you are walking in the light of God, then your life will be exposed for anyone to judge (blog to come later on judging others). If you have to hide to do something, it is wrong. If you have to lie to cover up something, it is wrong. Just remember, God knows everything including your mind crimes of sin, lusting that brings forth sin. Jesus said that lusting after a person was fornication already.

In closing, there are many things of the world today that although not mentioned in scripture, are and can be considered sinful. Ask God to give you discernment of anything in your life that he doesn’t want you to do. Get out a notebook and start writing them all down. You will probably need several pages, more if you are really in tune with the Lord. Men are actually inventing new ways to sin against God. You might even say in the past 100 years there has been a “great falling away” from the Word of God 2 Thess2:3.

I beg you to seek God in all His righteousness and if you have not begun a total commitment to Him, to do so. Do not gamble eternity on a prayer you said as a child, or a decision you made a few years ago. If you are living in sin, without remorse, without a conscience, without feeling the anger of God pressing on you with each transgression of His law, then you have probably been deceived into believing a false gospel and are following a false god. One manufactured to conform to mans sinful existence. If your god thinks it’s okay to lie to anyone for any reason, to cheat on your taxes, to steal pens from your employer or to be conformed to the world through it’s music and sinful lifestyles, then your god is not The God of the Bible and you very seriously need to repent of your sins or face the wraith of a Holy and Just God. No say this short prayer, no walk down an isle, no decision will save you from hellfire and damnation. Only a true repentance and turning from your sin and a life of seeking the face of God . Please weigh your costs and make the true turn from the sin you love to the One that loves you and died for your sins on a cross.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Check out a little from John MacArthur on the subject

and here

John MacArthur on Sin

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