What Does the Bible Say About Sex After Marriage?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 20, 2017 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Last week I wrote on what the Bible says about sex before marriage, so that begs the question: what about sex after marriage?

Before answering this question, we first need to establish what marriage is. Marriage is between one man and one woman. It can’t be redefined to be anything else, because it was instituted by God. The marriage relationship should be like that of God and the church.

Hebrews 13:4 talks about sex both before and after marriage: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Keeping the marriage bed pure means that sex will only happen between a husband and wife. Once two people have intercourse, they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

The apostle Paul gives advice to married couples in 1 Corinthians 7. Verses 3-4 say, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” Once a couple is married, Paul commands them to stay married, because they are already united as one flesh, in verses 10-11: “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

Similarly, the Bible tells us that sex after marriage should not include adultery (sex with someone other than your spouse) or prostitution.

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.'” (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Regarding the details of sex between a husband and wife within the context of marriage, the Bible is not very specific. But the general guideline to follow is to determine whether that particular act is good, beneficial and loving. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” While the context of this passage is not specifically related to sex, the concept still applies. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or beneficial. That’s where discernment and discussion between the husband and wife needs to take place.

So what does the Bible say? While sex before (or outside of) marriage is condemned as sin by the Bible, sex after and in the context of marriage is encouraged.

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The Faith of Joseph

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, November 19, 2017 0 comments


by Logan Ames

Just over a week ago, our nation held its annual observance of Veterans’ Day. It appropriately falls just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the beginning of our Christmas season, as it reminds us that we have much for which to be thankful in this country and much that we so often take for granted. The service and sacrifice of so many in our military remind us of our Savior, who gave up his very life for not just our nation, but the sins of the whole world.

A word that might most accurately describe our veterans’ service is “legacy." They love their country and want to be remembered as having contributed to maintaining the freedoms it provides. One man who couldn’t bear the thought of his legacy not including some sacrifice or contribution to preserving those freedoms was former NFL player, Pat Tillman. He is known for having given up his comfortable life as a professional athlete to join his brother in the Army Rangers during our national conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan. While anyone who has heard of his story knows that Tillman lost his life in Afghanistan in 2004, many have continued to wonder why he would give up the life that so many would want. The answer can be found in an interview he did the day after 9/11, part of which can be viewed here. Tillman mentioned all of his family members who had proudly served their country, then considered that he, by comparison, hadn’t done a thing. He would eventually come to the conclusion that a legacy of service and self-sacrifice was better than a legacy of athletic success and lavish living.

How we live, and for that matter how we handle the fact that our lives are but a fraction of God’s whole story in the world, says everything about the legacy that remains long after our time. Our hero of the faith for this week is Joseph, and he certainly left a lasting legacy of faith and dependence on God. Hebrews 11:22 tells us, “By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones." This verse shows us that Joseph had an opportunity to do what many don’t, and that’s give direct instructions to those who will carry on his legacy just before he dies. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and take a look at his story.

Genesis 37:3 tells us that Joseph was loved by Jacob more than any of his brothers. This caused his brothers to hate him. Frankly, Joseph doesn’t appear to be that bothered by this, because he dreams that his brothers and his parents will all eventually bow down to him and has no problem sharing these dreams with his family. It’s quite possible that Joseph knew how favored he was, and that this led to some level of arrogance. Later in Genesis 37:18-36, we see that his brothers plot to hill him, but instead come up with a better plan to sell him into slavery to a group of foreign merchants, who in turn take him to Egypt and sell him to a man named Potiphar, who was a high-ranking official in Pharaoh’s administration. Joseph then spends at least the next 11 years in the home of Potiphar, and although God has allowed terrible and unfair things to happen to him, he lives a life of obedience. When Potiphar’s wife tries to sleep with him, he refuses because such an action would be a sin against God (Genesis 39:6-10). Unable to deal with his rejection, Potiphar’s wife ultimately tries to force him and when even that doesn’t work, she accuses him of attempted rape. That’s a death sentence in that time and culture, given that she was the wife of a high-ranking government official.

But God continues to work in Joseph’s life as Joseph continues to be obedient and faithful despite his circumstances. He is put in prison, but just so we’re clear, it’s nothing like the prisons we have in America today. Psalm 105:18 tells us that Joseph’s “feet were bruised with shackles and his neck was put in irons." Despite this discomfort, Genesis 39:21-22 tells us that God gave Joseph favor in the eyes of the prison warden, who then put Joseph in charge of the business and the people in the prison. Joseph didn’t know it yet, but God was preparing him for a time in his future when he would use his experience and leadership to save others. After a few more years in prison and some other unfortunate and unfair happenings, Joseph has an opportunity to interpret dreams for Pharaoh himself. When he does it, Pharaoh puts him in charge of all of Egypt (Genesis 41:41). During his service to Pharaoh, Joseph plans ahead and stores up grain during 7 years of abundance because God reveals to him that 7 years of famine are coming after that. When the famine happens, Joseph is able to feed and save people who did not prepare for it.

The group of people saved includes his family. Jacob hears of grain in Egypt and sends Joseph’s brothers there to buy some. Eventually, Joseph recognizes his brothers and after a while chooses to reveal himself to them (Genesis 45). This is his best opportunity to really hammer them for what they did to him years earlier, but Joseph’s faith and obedience to God are shown in his unwillingness to get them back. He thinks only about how he can help them. At the end of Jacob’s life, Joseph’s brothers fear his revenge. But Joseph directly tells them that even though they meant to harm him, “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). That kind of perspective on God’s work in everything reveals that Joseph trusted God with even his suffering, knowing that a God who created the universe out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3) could handle his trials and any necessary vengeance.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Joseph kept that faith in God’s great plan in the midst of suffering even to his last breath and actually, beyond it. He could think of nothing better to pass on to his brothers and future Israelite generations than a trust that God would do as he had always promised. In Genesis 50:24-25, he tells them that God will “surely” take them out of Egypt and back to the land he had promised to the forefathers. He then makes them swear an oath that they will not bury him where he dies, in Egypt, but will instead take his bones with them WHEN (not “if”) they go back to the Promised Land.

Things would get much worse for the Israelites in Exodus 1 when a new king (aka “another Pharaoh”) who couldn’t care less about Joseph takes over. It would be 400 years until Joseph’s prophecy is fulfilled and Moses does as Joseph asked (Exodus 13:19). Yet, all throughout those 400 years, Joseph’s body and bones remained in a coffin above the ground, so that anyone who walked by and wondered about it could be reminded that God is still in control and still working in the midst of their circumstances, no matter how bleak they appear.

As things seem to be spinning further and further out of control in our country and around the world today, what legacy are you leaving for your children and those who come after you? Is it one of fear and a need for security? Or are you leaving a legacy of faith and freedom in the knowledge that God is at work and will SURELY do as he promises? If you haven’t done it yet, let go and trust God!

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Pandora’s Box: Old Earth Creation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 17, 2017 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

In this series about false teachings, there is one that opened the door for the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent Church among many others: Old Earth Creation. Back in 2014, I wrote about three flavors of "OEC" here, here, and here, and those three are what I predominantly had in mind in writing on this topic. There are new versions that have popped up and they tend to follow the same patterns. I do consider it a false teaching which has swept many of the churches in the West, and it carries out the same tactics used by both the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent Church. And I cannot help but notice that more than any other teaching, none have opened the door so wide for so many others than old earth creation models. It is not necessarily as “offensive” as the Prosperity Gospel or Emergent theology, however it was the opening of Pandora’s Box and paved the way for a full out attack on Scripture.

Now, there are many, many sincere people who believe in an old earth and some of whom I would stand in court and testify they are believers. Likewise, there are true believers who have been caught up in other false teachings as well. I am not judging people’s salvation on any of these posts. However, a false teaching is still a false teaching and not only must it be addressed, but my purpose in these posts is for you to see what they are so you can avoid them, so you can escape them, or help someone else escape from them.

The Old Earth models have a very short pedigree in the church. They did not exist except for 200 years in the 2000-year history of the church. While many of its supporters will cite early church leaders who suggested an instantaneous creation, none of those church leaders ever supported an old earth. When the ideas of millions of years showed to be “demonstrable” with ideas of uniformitarianism, the church in the mid-1800s panicked and instead of standing upon the authority of Scripture and making a stand, they sought to figure out ways on how to include the deep time idea into Genesis. Right then and there, the church surrendered the sufficiency and authority of Scripture and the assault on Scripture has only increased since. Now, those who stand for the sufficiency and authority of Scripture are considered dogmatic, closed-minded, bigots, or worse.

Old Earth Creation models are frequently described as a compromise by the Young Earth organizations. The claimed compromise is joining the two opposing philosophies of Biblical authority and secularism. But I am going to take it a step further and suggest it is not really a compromise but something much worse. While there are many variations of old earth models, they all have this in common: it is the secular models of deep time, or at least parts of it, covered in Christian language. It is not a joining of two models, but a cosmetic covering of one with the other’s language and terms. Just as the Prosperity Gospel is the pagan “Law of Attraction” fit and tweaked with Christian terms and using misquoted and misapplied Scripture to “back it up,” when you boil these models down to what they actually are, the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with it. I have asked numerous OEC where they get their figures and their history from, and time and time again the Bible is nowhere to be found, no exceptions. The Bible is cited more to question YEC than to support OEC, and the only positive references are used, misquoted, and misinterpreted to back up the godless models, and often completely ignore many other passages while at it.

Like the Emergent Church, OEC roosts above the Bible with a false humility, claiming to take a low, humble position, but able to dictate what God meant because we have figured out so much about science, even when it completely contradicts what Scripture actually says. They put the Bible under their microscope of scrutiny, whereas a Christian is supposed to put himself under the scrutiny of Scripture. Like the Emergent Church, OEC will reference how the people back then did not know what we know now, thus insinuating that right now we are at the peak of man’s knowledge and can figure it out. This approach is not one of humility but of arrogance. Their claim is the Bible and the science they have figured out (referencing to secular understanding of science, where God nor any of his accounts are ever part of the equation) are on equal footing. Their practice, however, is that the secular understanding always trumps what God says. Man’s knowledge in his rebellion against God, is always taken over what Scripture actually says. Many apply this to the entire Old Testament, not just Genesis.

Most Old Earthers I have come across consider Sodom and Gomorrah to be allegorical, and the 10 Plagues and Crossing of the Red Sea can be explained naturally, and the falling of Jericho’s walls to be figurative, and Jonah’s encounter with a large fish to be just a myth. There are a few exceptions, but most I have encountered do not believe these events actually happened as recorded. They struggle to consider miracles into their equations because that makes the accounts not able to be analyzed scientifically. To which I say, “That’s the point, so you can’t explain God’s action without him.” But then they believe in the Resurrection of Christ, so they say. How? The answer is simple: they put themselves in authority over Scripture where they can pick and choose which parts are believable or not. Here is reality: the OEC does not believe God nor the Bible, despite their insistence that they do. They believe themselves because they are the highest authority, able to dictate what the Bible should actually say or mean. That is the height of pride.

When Old Earth Creation took root, man became the authority over Scripture, allowing him not only to determine which parts he wanted to believe, but even to go as far as defining who God is and what heaven would be like, and all with removing the core of the Gospel. I have seen that while a few teachers of the Prosperity Gospel, the Emergent Church, and OEC will mention sin, all three teachings take a very low view of it, and I have watched all three make little to no mention about actually being conformed into the image of Christ. In presentations, sin is seen as mistakes or “imperfections,” but not the outright rebellion against God that it is. Because OEC has enabled those in the churches to consider Original Sin to be of little consequence, now we have Emergent Church leaders suggesting that man has divinity and that our sin does not separate us from God. Not all Prosperity Gospel or Emergent Church teachers are Old Earthers or vice versa, however, Old Earth paved the way for a large number of the Satanic assaults on the integrity of Scripture to continue and it has completely removed the power of the church to address the issues it faces. If you can consider just one part of Scripture to be “unimportant” or “just a side issue,” or make it "your interpretation," you are telling everyone around you that you can choose whatever you want to believe and the next generation will always take it a step further than you are. It paves the road for all the other false teachings to take root, and whether you follow that road or not is not the issue. The issue is that the path is open and enabled.

You can look at any of the articles I have written about Creation, Evolution, and Old Earth by myself, by Steve Risner, or Bill Seng on the search bar on the Worldview Warriors blog page, or ask for more clarification in the comments or on Facebook.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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The Broken Record

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 16, 2017 0 comments


by Steve Risner

This week we will trot along as we look at attacks waged by evolutionists (theistic as well as atheistic) when they tell creationists they don't understand evolution. This is a very common tactic from proponents of evolution. They assume that someone must not understand it if they reject it. However, they fail to recognize that several creationists who are authors, debaters, and/or educators once taught evolutionary biology at the college level or have degrees specific to or related to evolution. Surely these people understand it. But to be honest, I feel it's pretty safe to say that no one understands it, really, because they get it wrong very frequently. They're always rewriting the story. Darwin mused over the lack of transition fossils in the fossil record. Here we are 150 years after Darwin's work with no real transitions to speak of (we'll get into that more later in this writing), but the theory hasn't had any issues with that at all, although the fossil record should be filled with transitions. I've been told that I don't understand how evolution works because I don't believe transition fossils exist. I've also been told that EVERY fossil is a transition fossil, but that's just blowing smoke to shut down discussion.

Are there transitions in the fossil record? The overwhelming response must be “NO!” Of course there aren’t. If there were, we'd have all heard endlessly about it. We do hear about them on occasion, but we later find no one, sometimes including the person that discovered it, actually still thinks it was a transition from anything to anything. Let's get back to Darwin:

He said in On the Origin of Species: “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” Remarkable, right? Now, just to be clear, Darwin didn't really blame this on his theory at all but on the evidence! He even had a chapter in his book called “The Imperfection of the Geological Record.”

It's no different now than it was then. Stephen Jay Gould, a very well-known evolutionist, said “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips.” He says “extreme rarity,” but I think it's more accurate to say “absence.” Darwin asked why the geologic column was not loaded with transition fossils and even with direct lineages from one organism to the next. If gradualism (slow changes over very long periods of time) is true, the fossil record should be ripe with evidence for it. He claims the evidence for Darwinism isn't there because the fossil record doesn't keep good notes, essentially. The (unverifiable) idea that Gould liked the most was that changes occur over a shorter period of time with long periods of no change. This seems to help the theory out, but 150 years and millions if not billions of fossils later, we still don't have anything we can truly call a transition. How could this be?

The rescuing device (suggesting that the transitions just aren't captured in the geologic column because they happen in short intervals) really is nothing more than wishful thinking. Darwin says that intermediates (transition fossils) must exist in huge numbers. We don't find them. He also states that it must be because the fossil record just didn't preserve them for us. The other alternative, obviously, is that his theory is incorrect. But as we've discussed before, since the facts don't help the evolutionist, they accommodate anything and everything (and sometimes claim they've had it right the whole time).

If we're honest and really think on it, the fossil record should be filled with not only the random transition fossil, but entire lineages should be represented. There are estimated to be, now, nearly 9 million different species. Surely we'd catch at least one ancestral line from something primitive to something modern. There are about 5700 family distinctions in taxonomy in the animal kingdom alone. There is nothing in the fossil record that connects them. If you recall the quote from Dr. Gould, he even says that the “tree” Darwinists love to talk about and claim is reality only has representatives at the tips of the branches. There is literally nothing to connect any of them. According to Eugene Koonin, Senior Investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine, “The general lack of transitional forms between species in the fossil record is a constant theme in evolutionary biology.” Here's a fact for us all to enjoy: the fossil record undeniably demonstrates stasis (lack of change) and NOT evolution.

When a fossil is found, it's generally quickly identified as a type of this or that. It's always something we know existed because something similar exists now, or if it's extinct we've found numerous other examples. There's never a question of “Oh, perhaps this is transitioning from an amphibian to a reptile,” or, “You know, this has several characteristics of a reptile and a mammal.” We just don't see them. In fact, the idea of transitions in and of itself is illogical. Evolutionists require it for their humanist theory, but it's impossible.

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” He went on to say he knows of no examples of this (of course, or it would have destroyed his theory). But for a guy in the 1850's to be expected to have any real degree of knowledge on biology and physiology is a little much—at least not to the degree we do today (which is still rather small). There are numerous issues for Darwinism based on irreducible complexity. Evolutionists will claim this is not true, but my opinion is that the issues are fairly obvious. I've written on it before. There is no logical or fact-based defense for the evolutionist against irreducible complexity or specified complexity. But because they have to believe it or their religious beliefs have no hope, they hoist it up as though it's explainable through some magic of atheism.

The number of transition fossils allegedly found between some ape/human ancestor must be in the dozens. Yet, to date, every one can easily be identified as either completely ape or completely human (or completely bogus/fraudulent). The same can be true of nearly any alleged transition fossil found. And, again, if evolution is a reality, not only should we find more transition fossils, but we should find more of them than non-transition fossils. The record should be loaded with them! We've got none. How does that work?

Creationists see the fossil record and see 2 things: all life originated abruptly and with no ancestral lines to trace them back to something less complex, AND the planet's surface was annihilated by a great Flood that killed an unknowable amount of life forms all at one time. Both of these ideas are supportive of the Biblical account and neither is helpful (or acknowledged) by evolutionists. They do enjoy denying the obvious.

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The Unfaithful Reading of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 15, 2017 0 comments


by David Odegard

Last week I wrote about Rene Descartes’ foundationalism. He began with an awareness of his own consciousness and rationalized all of his beliefs on that basis. He reckoned that all of his beliefs could be held without the shadow of a doubt, including his belief in God, as long as they were justified along these lines.

The level of indubitability that Descartes was looking for was impractical because the skepticism that arose in response to him proved that one can always be skeptical of anything, no matter how well-founded is the belief. An endless litany of “But what if it wasn’t though?” could always follow whatever belief someone had, even Descartes’ famous line: “I think therefore, I am.” The skeptics became a very popular school of thought.

Many philosophers, like Kant, began to address this skepticism but really only made matters worse. Kant suggested that there were two worlds: the material world (phenomena) which we could perceive with our five senses and could be measured and observed, and that which lies beyond perception (noumena), which cannot be measured or observed. This is the spiritual world, basically.

For Kant, the material world could be known and therefore the data concerning it could be called knowledge. The spiritual world could not be known (in Kant’s opinion) except through subjective experiences and therefore could only ever be “belief” but never “knowledge.” This separation between belief and knowledge remains today.

So according to Kant and those who follow him, one could never say, “We know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead,” because such a statement cannot be substantiated by material or physical evidence. Let me hasten to say that Kantians are in error even here. The resurrection of Jesus is a known historical fact. It has been substantiated by material, physical evidence. The resurrection of Jesus, therefore, constitutes knowledge not merely belief even by Kant’s less-than-ideal standards.

Kant believed that one could not know anything that belonged in the spiritual world with any degree of certainty; one could only ever guess. He also believed that no one could ever speak to us from the spiritual world and so we would never know anything about it. After all, he might have reasoned, when you ask the dead about the spiritual world they say nothing, so it must be nothing.

This thinking became the basis of reading the Bible with a hyper-critical point of view. In the opinion of the intellectuals that followed Kant, the Bible had to be demythologized, that is that all of the spiritual or supernatural accounts had to be reinterpreted with nothing supernatural admitted. Hence, neither Jesus nor anyone else could have performed miracles. He could have risen from the dead and neither will you when you die. Jesus was not born of a virgin, did not feed the five thousand, and did not heal a blind man. And on and on the hellish litany drones.

This way of reading the Bible bears several names even today among them: German higher-criticism, hyper-criticism, demythological reading, JDEP, etc. (You can look them up for fun sometime.) But the common denominator in all of these names is that the supernatural doesn’t exist and so the Bible had to be reinterpreted.

This kind of reading is actually foreign to Scripture. The Bible teaches that we can know what lies in the spiritual world and that we have had many voices speak to us from that side (see Hebrews 1:1) especially now that Jesus has come and spoken to us (Hebrews 1:2 plus the entirety of the New Testament). Nevertheless, this alien hermeneutic was imported into reading the Bible. These Germans (calling themselves the Academy) were actually reading the Bible to justify UNbelief. That is why it is an unfaithful reading of Scripture.

This hyper-criticism has destroyed the European church. It was imported to America in the early 1900’s through the mainline churches, most notably the Presbyterian Church. It has sterilized and destroyed that once-great center of Christianity along with much of the mainline denominations of the 20th century. Now it is at work among Evangelicals in many different ways but among them Progressive Christianity, the Emergent Church, Affirming Churches, etc.

The Bible is a supernatural book that teaches that God is there and that He can be known. He acts in supernatural ways both in the past and still today. A system of belief that denies this fundamental truth is contrary to Scripture and foreign to true Christianity. But these unbelievers want to have a semblance of religion and so they play word games with the Bible, importing this alien interpretation to the Scripture and denying the Lord.

Hyper-criticism is a cult.

If you don’t believe me, read an account of a hyper-critical insider who happened to be born again and then subsequently left the Academy. You can find it here; be prepared, it is powerful.

If you are going to know God, you must begin by taking the Bible at face value. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). You will never have true knowledge of the spiritual world if you predetermine that it does not exist. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile” (Psalm 14:1).

We can talk more about this sometime, but for now, friend, reject any Bible teacher who denies that the Bible is truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Reject any Bible teacher that denies the supernatural or miracles. Reject teachers who say that this or that book is “non-historical” or that Paul didn’t write 2 Timothy, or that Moses didn’t write Genesis, etc. They don’t know, can’t know, but are driven by their personal unbelief. They would like you to also not believe the truth of the Bible, even while they pretend to be the Bible’s friend. They lie. They are apostates. They have wandered from the faith.

“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 4).

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What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 13, 2017 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

If you’re a teenager or young adult who is a follower of Jesus, my guess is that this question has crossed your mind at least once: what does the Bible really say about having sex before marriage? Hopefully this blog post will help answer that question for you.

We at Worldview Warriors wrote on this topic previous, during 2014 when we answered many tough questions. You can check out my post on “What is Fornication?” here. As I wrote in that post, sexual sin is inside one’s own body, rather than an external sin, so in that situation we are not honoring God with our bodies. You can find more on this in 1 Corinthians 6:13-20. When we are followers of Jesus, we are united with Him and the Spirit, so sexual sin is defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul gives some additional advice regarding sex in 1 Corinthians 7:2 and 7:8-9. He encourages unmarried men and women to refrain from having sex. But being a man himself he realizes this may be difficult, so if you’re not able to control yourself, then just get married! That may seem crass to us in the 21st century, but if you’re willing to unite yourself with another human being in that intimate way (Genesis 2:24), then you should be willing to spend the rest of your life with them.

So according to the Bible, having sex with anyone other than your spouse is considered to be sexual immorality. What does the Bible say about sexual immorality? A lot! Check out these passages:

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15:19-20)

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.” (1 Corinthians 5:1)

“We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.” (1 Corinthians 10:8)

“I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” (2 Corinthians 12:21)

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” (Ephesians 5:3)

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)

“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4)

If those aren’t enough for you I could probably find a few more, but those should make it clear: sexual immorality is sin in God’s eyes. There is no situation in which it is considered right.

From a practical viewpoint, think about the benefits of not having sex outside of marriage: fewer sexually transmitted diseases, significantly less abortions and unwanted pregnancies, and more children growing up in households where both parents are present. Abstinence not only honors God, but it’s practical as well.

Anyone who is a follower of Jesus should desire to honor God with our whole lives - including all our actions and what we do with our bodies. The Bible is pretty clear that this is God’s position, so it should be our position as well when we are following Him.

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The Faith of Jacob

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, November 12, 2017 1 comments


by Logan Ames

Have you ever taken on something in your life that you knew right away you had absolutely no clue how to manage? For my wife Clara and I, that thought describes just about everything in our lives right now. After leaving friends, jobs, and comfort in Ohio and moving to Pennsylvania, we have since purchased a house for the first time in our lives, and then just recently discovered that we are going to be parents! While the general response we have gotten from all of our friends and family has been congratulatory and celebratory - and rightfully so since all of these things are blessings from the Lord - we’d be lying if we denied that there is at least some angst as we approach each of these undertakings. I’ve never been a full-time pastor until now, she’s never been an executive director of a faith-based agency that relies heavily on donations as she is now, and neither of us has ever owned a home or been a parent. But whether we are ready or not, all of those things will be simultaneous realities in 2018.

Obviously, we have had at least some control and choice in each of these things. Not a single one of them has “happened” to us. They are things we want and things for which we believe God has been preparing us. But the simple fact that we have so many unknowns and the pressure to “not mess it up” causes us to have some fear. Now, there are probably more times that we feel confident and have hope. So, I got to wondering about the difference between the two feelings for us - fear versus hope. What I realized is that the times we start worrying about things and losing sight of the true blessings we are receiving are when we are too focused on US, and the times we feel content, secure, confident, and hopeful are when we accept and even laugh about the fact that we have no clue about most of this stuff and are fully dependent on GOD working his good plans in and through us.

What I have described here for all of us is the universal battle of our flesh versus God’s will. The man we’ll look at today certainly had his struggles between his carnal view and seeing things through God’s eyes. But like most of the other heroes of the faith, his struggles were merely speed bumps on his road to confident faith. Hebrews 11:21 tells us about Jacob’s faith that guided him to the very end: “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff." Jacob is discussed in basically half of the chapters in the Book of Genesis, so it’s interesting that the writer of Hebrews only mentions his faith at the very end as the example to us. So, let’s go back and check a little bit of Jacob’s history.

As we saw in last Sunday’s post, Bible readers first meet Jacob in Genesis 25 when the story of the births of him and his twin Esau are detailed. Because of how he is grabbing Esau’s heel when he is born, he is named “Jacob” by his mother, which means “he grasps the heel” and is a Hebrew idiom for “one who deceives” (verse 26). This tells us right away that Jacob will be one who manipulates and deceives in order to get what he wants or feels he deserves. Jacob eventually cons his brother Esau into giving up his birthright (which Esau would’ve been due since he was technically the older brother), and this causes Esau to want revenge, so he plans to eventually kill Jacob (Genesis 27:41). Jacob knows this and fears his brother’s revenge, so he runs away and ends up basically building a life somewhere else. As he goes on his journey, God appears to him in the story where we read about his dream of a stairway to heaven (Genesis 28:10-22). If you read those verses, you see that Jacob completely understands that he is not God. He trusts God’s promises, sets up a pillar to worship and remember that everything belongs to God, and makes a vow to obey him with a tithe for as long as God continues to bless him and keep his promises.

If you’ve read previous posts about Abraham and Isaac, you know that there is a pattern with these guys. They start out as faithful, then circumstances, fears, or temptations cause them to act based on their flesh, then they return to their faith in the end. This should be a comfort to us no matter what part of that story we are currently experiencing. Like Abraham did at the beginning of his story, Jacob settles somewhere that is not ultimately God’s plan for him. He ends up marrying two different women (the first time that we know of that someone included in the heroes of our faith committed the sin of polygamy) and sleeps with two other women in addition to his wives. All four of the women bear him children, but the issues of jealousy, insecurity, and family dysfunction reveal that this was NOT God’s plan and everyone involved is suffering the consequences of not walking with him. Yet, after all that, God tells him yet again that he will be with Jacob if he obeys and goes back to where God wants him (Genesis 31:3). Jacob begins to see the truth and refers to God as “the Fear of his father Isaac” (Genesis 31:53). He’s starting to see that doing things God’s way and focusing on God’s command rather than his own view works out best!

After Jacob physically struggles between his flesh and God in Genesis 32 (a physical picture of the spiritual struggle we all have), Jacob’s name is changed to “Israel," which means “struggles with God." Of course, God could choose to overpower Jacob’s flesh easily, but that’s not who God is. Our flesh has to be surrendered, not taken by force. Jacob then reconciles with Esau in the next few chapters, then goes through some awful stuff after that, including dealing with the rape of his daughter and two of his sons then killing the rapist and many others with him out of revenge. While his sons view the situation out of their own flesh, Jacob begins to see things God’s way and does not condone the revenge killings. Later, his firstborn son, Reuben, sleeps with Jacob’s concubine (Genesis 35:22), and Jacob hears about it. Then, his favorite son, Joseph, is taken away by his jealous brothers and is sold into slavery (Genesis 37). Jacob is told Joseph is dead and believes it, so he mourns a death that isn’t even true for the next 20 years!

When Jacob learns that Joseph is still alive in Egypt many years later, he travels there to see him and trusts God after God tells him to go and not be afraid. While there, he reveals to Joseph that God had promised to make him into a great nation and makes Joseph swear an oath to him that he will carry Jacob’s body back to the Promised Land and bury him next to his father and grandfather. As Joseph swears the oath, Genesis 47:31 tells us that Jacob leans on the top of his staff. This may seem insignificant, but it’s a great example of faith just like the others in Hebrews 11. I remember hearing once that the staff had the carvings of reminders of the great works God had done so far in Israel’s history. Jacob was old, weak, and physically handicapped from the dislocation of his hip during his physical struggle with God. Thus, his decision to lean on the staff was an admission that, though he was weak and broken, his dependence would be on God’s promises and not his own physical flesh. The same is true in Genesis 48, when Jacob reckons Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh as his own and blesses them along with his other ten sons (minus Reuben and Simeon who lost their blessings because of their sins). Even when Joseph is still acting in the flesh and tries to force Jacob to bless his sons as tradition says rather than as God says, Jacob simply does God’s will and ignores any tradition that would set itself up against God’s plan.

Friends, you may be weak, you may be broken, you may even be physically handicapped. You may have spent many years away from God or simply went back and forth from following him to disobeying him. You may still be wrestling with God and trying to depend on your flesh more than him even now. Regardless of what place you are in your journey, you can learn from Jacob’s example that it’s not too late to surrender to the Lord and depend on his will for the things in life that bring you angst, rather than trying to keep control in your own hands. You’ll never be more free and at peace than when you accept that you need God to save you from yourself!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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