Christian Fellowship Church Of Largo
I TRUST THESE SCRIPTURES AND WRITINGS WILL ENCOURAGE YOUR HEART AND BUILD YOUR FAITH AS YOU READ THROUGH THEM! Our prayer for this website is that it continues to be a source of encouragement and blessings to all who have stopped by for a visit with us! Mary Mayko
Mary Mayko is Christian Fellowship's Adult Sunday School Teacher, Church Elder and one of our counselors. Mary also has the pulpit one Tuesday night a month to deliver Gods Word. She has penned inspirational poetry and writings for over 30 years.
“DIFFICULT NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES"
April 11-2021. Adult Bible Teacher: Mary Mayko
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim.3:16.
We continue to look at some very difficult passages of scripture that can be confusing or disturbing to many of us! The Bible was written in a time when ancient cultures, habits, rituals, and social traditions were much different from our modern cultures of today! As we learn more about how the Bible people lived and understand some reasons for what they did, it helps us look at these passages with a better perspective. Many have attempted to explain mysteries of the LORD, yet His ways and thinking are much higher than ours! See Isa.40:28-31. Isa.55:8-9.
While God is sovereign and can do whatever He decides to do, man is limited in knowledge and ability in many ways. He has made man with a mind, body and spirit and the responsibility of making decisions so we may accept His offer of salvation or reject, neglect, or spurn Him completely! One day we will answer to God for our own lives. What others may do is out of our control. What we do, where we go, and what we say does not depend on the actions of others! We have God’s holy power within us to resist temptations and overcome harmful feelings and actions! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13. The LORD supplies all our needs and helps our mind to be at peace with Him.
“WHAT IS DIVINE ELECTION?” Rom.9:9-18.1 Pet.1:1-11. Careful of false teachings such as John Calvin who taught people were destined for heaven or hell and we have no choice in the matter! The Bible teaches us we have the ability to accept or reject Christ Jesus. The Bible tells us that God desires all would come unto Him as LORD and Savior! When we do that, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and our lives are changed, He assures us that we are His children! Rom.8:16. We do not fall in and out of salvation! We have the power within to obey all our LORD tells us to do. When we make mistakes, God does not reject us from His family! Rom.10:9-10.
Do we understand what “election” means for us? He has chosen certain people to accomplish a purpose He has planned. Many have had a “call” on their lives and when they heed His call, He uses or has used them in various ways. God called or chose/elected Abraham to be the father of faith. Those who believe and have faith in God, act to please Him by obeying His Word. Election is simply an invitation from God to become His child! Remember! The act of God in choosing someone for a particular purpose is not the same as becoming saved! God chose Moses to say, “Let My people go!” Pharaoh was chosen in His plan in freeing His people from the bondage of slavery! The Tribe of Levi was chosen to be priests, but not all priests were Godly! Deut.18:5 Many did evil and were rejected for idolatry and failure to honor God! King Saul was “chosen/elected” by God to be king, but forfeited it by disobedience. God calls many unto Him, but they must elect/choose to serve Him by their own free will.
When God said He loved Jacob and hated Esau, He already knew which one would do His will. The word “hate” meant God rejected Esau, because Esau rejected Him and did not consider sacred or holy what God offered him! We are not to love anyone or anything above our love for the LORD! That means we sometimes have to make sacrifices! Israel was chosen as a nation by God, but certainly not all were/or are saved! We are saved as individuals only!
“WHO/WHAT RESTRAINS THE ANTICHRIST?” 2 Thess. 2. Paul wrote two Epistles/Letters to the Thessalonians. A false teaching about the Second Coming of Christ that said He had already come was circulating the church, causing confusion and fear among the believers! Both Letters were written to correct that error! I Thess. tells us of the rapture, the catching up of the church in the air! That still has not occurred and remains future at this point. While that gave assurance to the believers, the End Time teaching in the Bible tells us plainly that the Antichrist, the Lawless One, will come to present himself as God! While there have been many “types” of evil men who try to usurp God, none have, nor can succeed! The other error remains as a major event when the spirit of apostasy/falling away and fulfills Jesus’ words in Matt.24:10-12. Both Jesus and Paul warn us against false prophets and deceptions that will be widespread! “They will deceive many with “lying wonders”! 2 Thess.2:9
Is this “lawless man” the Antichrist? The Bible does not tell us for sure, but describes the characteristics of his behavior! He will oppose God and exalt himself above God by sitting in the temple’s Holy of Holies claiming to “replace” God in stature and authority! He declares his word above God’s Word! Dan.11:36-37 He will be successful “for a time,” allowed by God to fulfill prophecy. Rev.13 tells us “The Beast will blaspheme God, slander His Name and the people will worship the Beast, (but only) those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life!”V8-9. For whatever reason, the Bible does not reveal the identity of the “What or Who” this man of sin is, and we should not even try to! Our focus is to Look for Christ, not the Antichrist!
“CAN DEFECTORS BE SAVED?” Heb.6:1-8, 10:26-27. Rom.10:9-10. The Hebrews already had basic teaching of “saved by faith” repented of sins, had New Birth in Christ, and of water baptism! Some were being “tempted” by others to reject the way of salvation by faith and go back to animal sacrifices and circumcision! They were already believers and in God’s Family, yet the enemy will try to misdirect believers any way he can! Do not allow anyone to turn you away from what the Bible clearly tells us! Jesus and the Apostles warn against “falling away” from truth and willfully committing sin! The Bible does NOT say backsliders are lost forever! That is false teaching! Peter denied Jesus three times, and yet Jesus said tell the disciples AND Peter! God does not turn away from repentant hearts! Clearly, the Hebrews were being tempted to turn away from Christ, after they were already saved! The Blood of Christ has redeemed us!
Apostasy tells people that Christ’s work on the Cross and His Resurrection are not enough to save! The old animal sacrifices never saved anyone, it was a sign of the sins being cleansed by blood, but only temporary, Christ did His sacrifice one time for all times! There is not other way! A person who denies Christ as the way of salvation, is in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit who comes to convict us, and being turned over to a reprobate mind! Matt. 12:31 & Rom 1:28. As long as you still feel conviction over wrongs, God is still dealing with you!
The Apostate mind denies Christ and has no hope as long as he continues in that thinking! Many have had doubts and said things they should not have, yet when they come to Christ and confess and repent, He will restore them! God truly knows everything in our heart! Be faithful!