During communion, we may hear some Church leadership declare that we must first examine ourselves for any sin in our lives before partaking of the bread and wine. But is that really true? For the apostle Paul said: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29) So, I invite you to read the article and come to your own conclusion according to scripture.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:5-6)
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)
When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he declared, ‘for I have betrayed an innocent man.’ ‘What do we care?’ they retorted. ‘That's your problem.’ Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)
When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now! (John 2:9-10)
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Jehovah.” (Psalm 40:3)
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
Our gathering for communion should be a time to reflect on the price that has been paid for our sins. For we first read concerning the body of Jesus: “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’.” (Luke 22:19) So, we read that Jesus said: “do this in remembrance of me.” Next, we read: “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’.” (Matthew 26:27-28)
Now, during communion, we may hear some Church leadership declare that we must first examine ourselves for any sin in our lives before partaking of the bread and wine. But is that what Jesus said? Well, let’s look again what he said above, for we read: “do this in remembrance of me.” Okay, so why do they say that we must examine ourselves first? Are they not taking the words of the apostle Paul out of context? For Paul first said: “When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.” (1 Corinthians 11:20-21) So, we see that they were treating this as some common ordinary meal. However, down in verse 26 Paul makes it clear what this meal is to be all about, for he said: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.” Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ, this meal is to be all about the life and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:27) Wow, that’s a stern warning for us who partake of the Lord’s supper. So, what is this “unworthy manner” that Paul is talking about in that passage above? Well, let’s continue reading to find out. For he goes on to say: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29) Well, there you go. The unworthy manner IS NOT some unconfessed sin in our lives, but it’s not properly discerning the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, one is “guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord,” and “drinks judgment to himself” if they eat “not discerning the Lord’s body.”
Therefore, we must stop teaching this false doctrine of unconfessed sin. I say this because there may be some unconfessed sin that comes to mind during or even after we have partaken. And because of this false teaching, one could feel guilty and thus end up feeling even worse than before. For let’s face it, if we really had to examine ourselves to see if there is any unconfessed sin in our lives, we may never be able to partake of communion. So please, let’s keep things in context and not add unbiblical teachings that can stumble one another. God help us, amen.
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God’.” (John 3:1-3 ESV)
Nicodemus the Pharisee acknowledged the fact that Jesus was sent from God. So, what does Jesus do? Well, he gets right down to the heart of the matter by saying “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Obviously, this statement was confusing to Nicodemus. So, Jesus then gets to the point by saying: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6 ESV) So, Jesus clearly showed Nicodemus that there needs to be first a natural birth and then a Spiritual birth in order to enter the kingdom of God. In other words, you must first come into existence before you can experience who God is and thus receive the Holy Spirit.
Now, this being “born again” doesn’t only apply to adults but to little children as well. For Jesus did say: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6 NKJV) So, Jesus said that there are children that believe in him as well. And he also warned anyone who would try to corrupt them with sin.
Now, this may raise some questions regarding aborted or stillborn babies. And one of those questions would be concerning whether or not they’re going to exist in the afterlife. Well, I do have to say that it must be heartbreaking for one to lose their baby during a pregnancy. Therefore, we should comfort them and remind them that they are not guilty nor responsible for its death. However, on the other hand, it’s a horrible thing for someone to willfully extinguish life in the womb. Therefore, we should remind them that they are guilty of murder and must repent of their sin. But again, Jesus did say that one must first be physically born, and then be Spiritually born in order to enter into the kingdom of God.
Now, I know that there may be those who may not see eye to eye on what’s being said here Therefore, I encourage every Christians to study for themselves on matters like these. However, that being said, I’m hoping that we can all agree that the mouths of those who preach that it’s better to abort a baby than to let them be raised by sinners must be stopped. For they claim that these babies will go directly to heaven. However, where does the scriptures declare this and how do we know that this is true? For this kind of talk only encouraging abortion advocates to continue in their campaign of murdering innocent babies. Therefore, we should do our best to warn those who are involved in abortion to stop this evil. This would be true not only for those who are performing it, but those who willingly receiving it as well. For this is MURDER and according to God’s word murderers will end up in the Lake of Fire. (Revelations 21:8)
So, to all those of you who had an abortion or even performed one, please repent of your sins. For: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Therefore: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18 ASV) Yes, God will forgive you if you truly repent and turn from these wicked acts. Amen.
(Scriptures used in this article are taken from the KJV bible unless noted otherwise)
To the Reader: This article talks about apostacy which I know may be a difficult subject, especially for those who may know someone who has turned away from following Christ. However, that being said, we must stand on scripture alone for all things. This would be true even when we are faced with the one's we're uncomfortable with. Now, I have to admit that I may not have all the answers at this time concerning this topic. But I am confident that through God's word, we can grow and mature as we study His word. Therefore let's: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15). Amen
“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” (Hebrews 6:4- 6)
This is one of those topics that I find hard to discuss because it involves one’s eternal security. Also, it’s one that can be so abused and misunderstood as well. However, by carefully studying God’s word we can rightly put this into proper perspective. So, let’s start with that passage quoted above. Here we read of a warning against believers who turn away from Christ (commit apostacy). So, if after experiencing the Holy Spirit and the goodness of God they again fall back into the world by renouncing Christ, they have no more hope of repentance. This again is a very heavy warning for us to always keep the faith and hope we have freely received through Christ.
Now, we again see this also to be true a few chapters over where we read: “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 NKJV) So, by rejecting Jesus Christ and thus fall back into a life of sin, a person could become an enemy and blasphemer of God and thus face his wrath on the day of judgment. Therefore, please take heed and don’t go there fellow Christians.
(Note: I know that there may be some who have a head knowledge of who Jesus is and may even claim to believe in him. However, these same individuals may not have repented of their sins nor given their heart fully over to him. In other words, there not truly born again. So, I personally wouldn't include these in those passage above. So, they could someday fully give their life over to Jesus Christ. Which should be our hope for them.)
Now, you may be thinking, “doesn’t the book of Romans say that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:31-39) Well yes it does, and I believe that's true. However, wouldn’t this mean there is nothing that can come against our own will and force us away from God? For as long as we put our hope and trust in Jesus, we cannot be separated from God. We see the same thing to be true where Jesus said: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” (John 10:28-29) So, nobody can snatch us away against are will. However, we know that there are those who have willingly walk away from God and have even spoke out against him. I have seen this happen with a few people I personally knew.
“My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ the righteous one. He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
Now that being said, there may be times that a fellow believer falls or makes a mistake. However, sense they haven’t denied Christ, they are still saved. For just as we read above, we have scriptures that show this to be true. For: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) And let’s remember that King David also committed sin and yet God forgave him when he repented.
Also, Paul the apostle when through some struggles himself. For we read in Romans 7:21-25, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:21-25) And what was Paul's outcome toward the end of his life? Well, he said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) So, we read that Paul “kept the faith” and thus he received a “crown of righteousness.” So again, along as we keep are faith in Jesus Christ, we will not lose our salvation. And let's praise God for that. Amen
And what was mentioned above will apply to us as well who keep the faith and long for the appearing of Jesus Christ. So, in light of those stern warnings mention earlier, let’s keep: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2). “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:35-36) Did you notice that it says “after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” And we know God’s will is that we keep the faith and bear fruit by abiding in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So then, my brothers and sisters in Christ, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25) So, we are to daily be encouraging each other in our walk with Christ. Therefore: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:12- 14) And let’s do just that, always holding on and looking to our Lord Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Now, let’s consider some other scriptures below concerning this topic:
To the Reader: This article talks about suicide which I know may be a difficult subject, especially for those who may have lost a loved one through it. However, that being said, we must stand on scripture alone for all things. This would be true even when we're faced with the one's we are uncomfortable with. Now, I have to admit that I may not have all the answers at this time concerning this topic. But I am confident that through God's word, we can know the truth for those things that pertain to this life. For we must: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15).
“When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he declared, ‘for I have betrayed an innocent man.’ ‘What do we care?’ they retorted. ‘That's your problem.’ Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)
Judas who was a disciple of Jesus was complaining about Mary who was using expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Therefore, Jesus rebuked Judas for this in front of everybody. So, what happens after this? “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. And he said to them, ‘what will you give me, and I will betray Him to you?’ And they appointed to him thirty pieces of silver.” (Matthew 26:14-15) So, Judas made his way to the priest to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. However, after seeing Jesus being condemned to death, Judas felt remorseful for doing what he did. So, he went back to the priests and confessed that he did wrong. However, they had no mercy or comforting words for him. Therefore, apparently feeling that he is no longer fit to live, Judas went out and hanged himself. This was a sad and disappointing ending for Judas who betrayed his Lord.
So, where do you think Judas is at right know? Well Jesus said: “For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” (Matthew 26:24) So, from what Jesus said, it’s apparent that Judas didn’t enter into paradise after his death. For Jesus did say “how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him.” So, even though Judas realized what he did was wrong, he didn’t seek forgiveness from Jesus. And if not from Jesus, Judas could have at least run to the other disciples and confessed his sin to them. But instead, Judas ended up killing himself because of the evil which he did. Therefore, wouldn’t he be guilty for not only betraying an innocent man, but for committing murder upon himself as well?
As mentioned above, it seems evident that Judas act of betrayal against Jesus lead him to much despair. And this so much so, that he felt he was not worthy to live anymore. And unfortunately, we see this happening today as well. For so many people for one reason or another feel that they’re no longer fit to live. But what they don’t know is that they leave behind them family members and friends who are devastated and heartbroken. For I myself have been a witness of the negative effect that it has on others. Therefore, we should make it our aim to discourage and warn others to stay clear of this destructive act against one’s own life. This would be true whether they are Christians or not. For when searching God’s word, the only thing I can compare it to is: “you shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). And there is a very heavy verse in Revelation 21:8 which mentions that murderers will end up in the Lake of Fire. Now, I know that this is a very sensitive and debatable topic and hard for me even to mention. So, there is going to be disagreements in one degree or another.
Now, that all being said, we should all agree that suicide is a destructive act and therefore must be spoken out against. However, we know that God has the final say and judgment in the end. For we know whatever he decides to do is always going to be right and just. For he is a merciful God and understands perfectly our situations in all things. But again, we must not make light of suicide especially in light of God’s sixth commandment mention above. So, whether were being chastened by the Lord for our wrongs, having our faith tested or being attacked by the devil, let us not lose faith in our Lord Jesus Christ nor cause ourselves any harm. For our Lord is with us in both good times and bad. God bless you as you seek to do his will. Therefore, let’s make it our aim to encourage one another to keep the faith and not to lose hope. Also, let's make sure we preach Christ to those who are suffering ether emotionally or physically. Amen.
“When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now!” (John 2:9- 10)
Unfortunately, this is one of those subjects that has been misunderstood by some Christians. For there are those who try to make scripture read in such a way as to say that Jesus made ordinary grape juice at the wedding he was invited to. And of course, this is not scriptural at all. However, I do believe that these same people are sincere in their faith and mean well. For it’s true that wine and other alcoholic beverages have caused many problems. But to twist scripture in such a way as to fit one’s own theological view is wrong as well. So, whether we choose to drink or not, let us not look down or judge each other on this issue. For God has given us freedom in this area.
Now, according to scriptures, getting drunk is a sin. And if abused to the point of one being a continued drunkard, it can harm that person’s relationship with God and even prevent them from entering into his Kingdom. (1Corinthians 6:9-10) However, that doesn’t mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater. We shouldn’t demonize something just because there are those that abuse it. Anything can be abused my brothers and sisters in Christ. Sex can be abused. So, should everybody become celibate because there are men, women, children and even animals being sexually violated all over the world? Of course not. So, why should we treat drinking wine differently?
“Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper, for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk.” (1 Corinthians 11:20-21)
In that passage above, the apostle Paul is rebuking the church of Carinthia for not observing the Lord’s Supper properly. For he said: “one is hungry and another is drunk.” So, the wine that was being served was capable of making people drunk. Therefore, the wine had to be fermented in order for this to happen. So again, we have a clear indication that the early church did drink fermented wine. The would be true even during the Passover celebration which Jesus himself took part in. For we know that’s what the Lord’s supper is all about because we partake of the bread and wine that’s being served.
So then, enjoying a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or some other alcoholic beverage is not a sin as long as you refrain from getting intoxicated. And let’s remember that Jesus himself admits to drinking fermented wine when he said: “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:18-19) So again, we see that there are both those who refrain and those who do drink wine. Therefore, those who choose not to drink, shouldn’t condemn or look down on those who have the liberty to do so. Also, those who do drink shouldn’t put the pressure on an individual to make them drink when they feel uncomfortable about it.
The Benefits of Wine:
The Issues of Wine:
“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah.” (Psalm 40:3)
Why do Christian musicians collect royalties and claim ownership for music and songs they don’t own? Isn’t God Himself the true author and owner of Christian music in the first place. For he has put the new song in our heart according to that passage in Psalms above. Therefore, God has freely given us these songs for a purpose. So: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
Now, it’s true that Jesus did say in Matthew 10:10 that: “the workman is worthy of his meat.” However, a few verses earlier he said: “freely ye have received, freely give” as well. So, let's consider what these verses mean. First, Jesus sent out his disciples to preach, heal, raise the dead and casting out devils. So, they receive wages not for the power or the message Jesus gave them, but instead it was for the work that was associated with delivering it. In the same way, a Pastor of a congregation receive wages not for the sermon he received from God, but for being a good steward in delivering it. Yes, he may have spent a lot of time preparing it, but we must remember that God is the one who put it on his heart in the first place. (If it wasn’t from God, then it’s not worth listing to)
So, it’s the same with Christian music. God puts it upon our hearts, and we faithfully deliver it to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, we should get wages for the performance and delivery, but not for the song itself. For as said before, we’re not the true owners of it, but God is. Once that song reaches another church body, it now belongs to them to share. So please, stop collecting royalties fellow Christians. Could you imagine the negative reaction if King David demanded royalties for the songs that he penned? “Copyright By: King David Psalm Ministries. Any Duplication or Use without Prior Permission from the Copyright Owner is prohibited by Law.” Thank God that David never ended each Psalm this way. For if he did, there may have been a big portion of the Old Testament missing.
Let’s remember what Jesus Himself said to those who were selling things in the temple: “It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13) He said this to those who were making money off of the people by selling things that were to be used for religious service. This can be applied to music as will. For if you're making money off the songs itself in which God is the originator, you're taking money for something that doesn’t belong to you, and that would be stealing. For Jesus also said: "Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!" (John 2:16) We should be demonstrating that our time of gathering should be for worship and praise and not a means for financial gain of fellow Christians.
Now, this doesn’t only involve Christian music, but also those bible Publishers who place restrictions on God’s word. For they try to put limitations on bible passages even though they’re not the true authors. Well, isn’t this true? Don’t we see in the opening pages restrictions on how many passage your allowed to quote? However, it’s God himself who gave use his word to freely share. Therefore, we should have the freedom to share God’s word without publishers’ restrictions. Now, it’s true that they made it possible for us to have God’s word at our fingertips. So then, we shouldn’t expect to get these bibles for free. For they should be paid for the work they put into it. However, to limit how much we can share from these bibles is wrong.
I would like to say that I do love all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are penning and singing these songs for the sake of the church and the world. I myself love to sing, write songs, worship God, as well as listen to the music of my fellow Christian. And again, I’m grateful for the men and women who made it possible for us to have the word of God in our hands. But please, let’s not mirror how the world operates or does things but let us live our lives as true children of the Light. For Jesus is calling us to come out of the world and be separate. Therefore, our goal shouldn’t be to fleece the sheep but to feed the sheep instead. For these are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.