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About BibleStudent100

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  1. Jesus freed persons spiritually from oppressive religious traditions. (John 8:31, 32) He invited those who were toiling and loaded down to come to him, to take his yoke upon them, and to become his disciples, for he was mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and they would thus find refreshment for their souls. He said: “My yoke is kindly and my load is light.” (Mt 11:28-30) Christ was not harsh or oppressive but kind, and those coming to him would receive proper treatment. Christ’s yoke, by comparison with that placed upon the people by religious traditionists, would be a comparatively light one. Jesus also meant that those weary of the burden of sin and error should come to him for spiritual refreshment. Still, the spiritual cleanness that we Christians must follow are not always easy. The Apostle Paul warned us of this fact as well: "Therefore, the way I am running is not aimlessly; the way I am aiming my blows is so as not to be striking the air; but I pummel my body and lead it as a slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow" (1 Corinthians 8: 26, 27).
  2. No where in the Bible does it say that serving God is going to be an easy or simplistic process; in fact, the opposite is true. Christians in Thessalonica had to put up a hard struggle for the faith. Yet, in spite of opposition, hardship, and a pagan and immoral environment (just like we see today), they were commended by Paul for their ‘faithful work, loving labor, and endurance,’ as well as their contribution to the spreading of the good news far and wide.—1 Thessalonians 1:3, 8.
  3. I am dismayed that a few Christian members in this thread would downplay the importance of adhering to the Bible's strict ban on no sex before marriage. It is as if a few are trying to rationalize away the importance of maintaining one's spiritual purity. The purpose of dating is to get to know another person before the marriage commitment; sadly, we live in a world where many people view dating as entertainment that leads to casual hook-ups. I am reminded of James 1: 22-24, "However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is.  But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does."
  4. Justin is spot on when he analyses why certain people concoct stories. Usually people will lie if the lies create an advantage for themselves; a common advantage in these cases is money. Still, I have known a few people over my 59 years of existence who create false stories about the most banal of issues that would offer no financial remuneration; so why lie? They tell false stories or greatly exaggerate because they want to be more popular or have more prestige in their social groups. I had (notice past tense) a friend who was a great raconteur and he would weave entertaining narratives about being a restaurateur and living in British Colombia; we finally deduced that he was fabricating these stories. My wife and I thought maybe he was trying to cover up some gap years in his life that were spent in frivolity. I actually feel sorry for these people as their own reality is not good enough to satisfy themselves, so they have to create another reality, one based on lies. People like these may need mental health counseling services and especially spiritual counseling. After all, the issue of lying is a serious one, as indicated in the Biblical case of Ananias and Sapphira: Following Pentecost of 33 C.E. the physical needs of the believers who remained in Jerusalem were cared for by mutual assistance among the Christians. A common fund was set up for this purpose. It was sustained by contributions representing the price of fields and houses sold by members of the congregation and then voluntarily donated. (Ac 4:34-37) Ananias sold a field and, with his wife’s full knowledge, presented a part of the money obtained, while giving the appearance of turning in the entire sum, no doubt to gain a measure of commendation and esteem within the congregation. However, through a special gift of knowledge by the spirit, Peter discerned his pretense, exposed him as ‘playing false to the holy spirit and to God,’ and Ananias fell down and expired. When the men who buried him returned in about three hours, they found his wife Sapphira also dead for having tried to keep up the same false pretense.—Ac 5:1-10. What is interesting about Ananias and Sapphira is that their lie did not gain them any money, nor any specific advantage, beyond just improving their social standing a little; so then why lie? The payout from the lie was of limited value, but they did fabricate a story. Perhaps this couple in the Bible had "little going on" in their own lives and wanted to appear more "spiritual" in front of their peers. So even lies in small amounts or exaggerations should be avoided and God judges us harshly for ignoring a major Biblical tenet: "...the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
  5. Trying to keep open-minded, but a car show/church event? Okay....still processing that...
  6. What is fornication? Illicit sex relations outside of Scriptural marriage. The Greek word translated “fornication” is por·neiʹa. Regarding the meanings of por·neiʹa, B. F. Westcott in his book Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians (1906, p. 76) says: “This is a general term for all unlawful intercourse, (I) adultery: Hos. ii. 2, 4 (LXX.); Matt. v. 32; xix. 9; (2) unlawful marriage, I Cor. v. I; (3) fornication, the common sense as here [Eph 5:3].” Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (revised by F. W. Gingrich and F. Danker, 1979, p. 693) defines por·neiʹa as “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.” Porneia is understood to involve the grossly immoral use of the genital organ(s) of at least one human; also there must have been two or more parties (including another consenting human), whether of the same sex or the opposite sex. (Jude 7) I understand that we live in times where fornication is totally acceptable by most people, but the Bible condemns it. One could attempt to rationalize it away by say that the two people love each other, or that they are checking out compatibility or that there are financial considerations that make not getting married more economically sensible. But these "reasons" (actually excuses) do NOT obviate the need to obey God and keep sex out of the equation until marriage. If you are in such an arrangement wherein you are living with someone without marriage, then today you need to move out and just date the person to see if he or she is a good spiritual match for yourself and then get married and resume your sexual life. Galations 6: 7,8 comes to mind:  :Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;  because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit."
  7. I have seen very little in these forums about the need to avoid violence, but this topic needs to be addressed. Although those who play violent computer games are not harming real people, one wonders what this choice of entertainment indicates about what may be happening to their hearts? (Matthew 5:21, 22; Luke 6:45) Video gamers enjoy stabbing, shooting, maiming, and killing people, albeit imaginary people. It could be certainly argued that at the very least, violent video games foster a love of violence, just as a person who watches pornography cultivates immoral desires.—Matthew 5:27-29. The Lord said to Noah: “The end of all flesh has come before me, because the earth is full of violence as a result of them; and here I am bringing them to ruin together with the earth.” (Genesis 6:13) The true God destroyed an entire world of mankind because of their violent ways. He preserved only Noah and his family—eight individuals who did not love violence.—2 Peter 2:5. People who want to be God's friends “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears.” Instead of learning to love violence, they do not “learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) To remain God’s friend rather than become his enemy, we must “turn away from what is bad and do what is good.” We need to “seek peace and pursue it.”—1 Peter 3:11.
  8. Biblical love indeed has so many facts; what I am personally working on is showing empathy or fellow feeling for those around me. Empathizing with others in the trials and challenges they face in life if important for us to do. The apostle Peter suggested as much when he wrote: “All of you be like-minded, showing fellow feeling, having brotherly affection, tenderly compassionate, humble in mind.” (1 Peter 3:8) The Greek word used here for showing “fellow feeling” denotes “suffering with.” Thus, empathy is a state of mind which exists when we enter into the feelings of others as if they were our own; it is as if when we show empathy we have pain in our own hearts. God also has empathy regarding the sufferings of his people Israel: “During all their distress it was distressing to him.” (Isaiah 63:9) The Lord did not merely see their troubles; he felt for the people. Just how intensely he feels is illustrated by God's own words to his people, recorded at Zechariah 2:8: “He that is touching you is touching my eyeball,” one of the most intricate and delicate structures in the human body.r the purposes of vision—the most sensitive, as well as important, part of that structure. Nothing can more finely convey the idea of the exquisitely tender care of Jehovah for the objects of his love.” Jesus too has always showed profound fellow feeling. He was repeatedly “moved with pity” over the plight of his fellow humans who were sick or troubled. (Mark 1:41; 6:34) He indicated that when anyone fails to treat his anointed followers kindly, he feels as though he himself were receiving that treatment. (Matthew 25:41-46) And today as our heavenly “high priest,” he is one who can “sympathize with our weaknesses.”—Hebrews 4:15. Definitely the issues above is my need area!
  9. Well stated! 1 Peter 3:7 reminds us that we need to avoid anything that would "hinder our prayers." The above items can very well do that!
  10. I have helped people to quit smoking before. One man with whom I studied the Bible, decided to quit smoking on a certain Saturday. We had everything prepared beforehand, knowing that the first few days were going to be the most difficult. So we had a bunch of family activities (including certain snacks and food and drinkds) and plans pre-positioned so that he would be so exhausted that weekend and so busy with spiritual and family activities, that he would not even have time to think about smoking! It was a great plan, but alas, he returned to smoking. Still, the chart below was helpful to us during our strategy sessions: How to Quit 1. Be Convinced. Write down your reasons for quitting, and review this list regularly. A desire to be clean before God can be a powerful motive.—Romans 12:1; Ephesians 4:17-19. 2. Get help. If you’ve been smoking in secret, now is the time to come clean. Tell those you have been hiding your smoking from that you are quitting, and ask for their support. If you want to serve God, pray for his help.—1 John 5:14. 3. Set a quit date. Give yourself two weeks or less, and mark on your calendar the day you are determined to quit. Tell your family and friends that you are quitting on that date. 4. Search and destroy. Before you reach your quit date, scour your room, car, and clothing for any cigarettes. Destroy them. Get rid of lighters, matches, and ashtrays. 5. Deal with withdrawal symptoms. Drink plenty of fruit juice or water, and allow yourself more time for sleep. Keep in mind that the discomfort is temporary, while the benefits are permanent! 6. Avoid triggers. Stay away from situations and places where you would be tempted to smoke. You may also need to cut off social contact with associates who are smokers.—Proverbs 13:20.
  11. The Bible helps us to have the correct view of the matter when it says: “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey?” (Romans 6:16) When an individual’s thinking and actions are dominated by a craving for tobacco, he soon becomes a slave to a degrading practice. However, God wants us to be free, not only from practices that harm our body but also from those that corrupt our spirit, that is, our dominant mental inclination. (Psalm 83:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1) Thus, as a person grows in appreciation and respect for the Lord, he recognizes that God deserves his best and that he cannot give God his best while remaining enslaved to a lethal habit. That realization helps to give a person the will to resist hurtful desires.
  12. The gay financee is merely in attendance and most of the attendees would not even guess at the relationship between the son singing a single song and his male lover. True, the boyfriend of the deceased's son is a sinner, but my church has sinner's every Sunday and we invite them with the goal of encouraging them to change. Perhaps the sticking point is that the son wants to be a part of the proceedings and so in that case would need to upstanding. Could the Pastor have asked the son NOT to have sung. Furthermore, what if the song who wanted to sing was living with his girlfriend in sin; what is the difference between fornication with a female and fornication with a male? Both are sinful actions...
  13. Feelings are definitely important in our service to God; after all, when many of Jesus’ disciples took offense at what he said and abandoned him, Jesus invited his apostles to express how they felt. He asked: “You do not want to go also, do you?” Peter put their feelings into words, saying: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69) On another occasion, Jesus asked his disciples: “Who are men saying the Son of man is?” He followed this with a question that invited them to express what was in their own hearts. “You, though, who do you say I am?” In response, Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”—Matt. 16:13-16. On the other hand, feelings and strong emotion can go overboard and the response of the hearer is to focus on the speaker, rather than the message. What comes to mind in this category are some of the overly emotional preachers I see on TV and on Youtube.
  14. As mentioned earlier, Moses was 80 years old when he took on the great responsibility of leading the Israelites through their most challenging times. In fact, those years of life experience were extremely valuable for him regarding his spiritual responsibilities. More specifically, Moses was nots yet qualified to serve over God’s people at age 40. He had to undergo another 40 years of training. The qualities of patience, meekness, humility, long-suffering, mildness of temper, self-control, and learning to wait on Yahweh needed to be developed in him to a higher degree, in order for him to be the fitting one to lead God’s people. He had to be groomed and prepared to endure the discouragements, disappointments, and hardships he would encounter, and to handle with loving-kindness, calmness, and strength the multitude of problems a great nation would present. He possessed much learning, and his training as a member of Pharaoh’s household had doubtless given him dignity, confidence, and poise and had accentuated his ability to organize and command. But the lowly occupation of shepherding in Midian provided the training needed to develop fine qualities that would be even more important for the task ahead of him. Thus, your 50 years of life have served you well to be an effective handler of the Truth aright (see 2 Timothy 2:15)!
  15. There are numerous items to focus on in your question: 1. First and foremost, God is proud of you for having an interest in all things spiritual, even as a teen-ager, which is rare now days. It is indeed possible to be spiritual as a teen, as the beloved Timothy was spiritual even as a child: “You, however, continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from whom you learned them and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14, 15). In Ecclesiastes 11:9, young people are reminded to “Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart do you good in the days of your young manhood, and walk in the ways of your heart and in the things seen by your eyes.” One of the reasons why young people should cultivate their own spirituality and concentrate on Christian fundamentals is found a couple of verses later: “Remember, now, your Grand Creator in the days of your young manhood, before the calamitous days proceed to come, or the years have arrived when you will say: “I have no delight in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Youth, a precious time in life wherein one has few responsibilities and is blessed with great energy, is the perfect time to serve God with a whole heart (see Psalm 119:10). What transpires after youth is poetically described in numerous versus right after Ecclesiastes 12:1, and this brings us to the next point. 2. After youth, a person arrives in a stage of life when physical energies are low and when older folks slow down in mental processes and when aged individuals sometimes say things that are inappropriate and ill-advised and do not reflect reality, as reality can get distorted due to clouded thinking: “[when] “the clouds have returned” (Ecclesiastes 12:2). Perhaps your 93 year old grandfather is no longer able to perceive the true qualities that you exhibit. You should not despair in what he said to you, but rather, continue to show patience to him and continue to focus on refining your spirituality. Speaking of refinement, please note: 3. Our spirituality is always under test and some of these tests come from well-meaning friends and relatives. But we must build the foundation of our Christian fundamentals with fire-resistant materials, as we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. Peteros, just because someone says something that discourages you, you can’t let that sway you from serving God. Let this little test of your faith serve as training moment that will allow you to become stronger in your faith. Continue to show love and kindness to your aging grandfather and you will find that your faith will grow; after all, you are serving our Creator, not your grandfather. Bless you in your ongoing efforts to become a kingdom proclaimer!
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