The Bible View #844 — Coveting

In This Issue:
Not What I Got
Always Looking Down
Never Enough
When I Met Jesus

Volume: 844      January 31, 2022
Theme: Coveting

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Not What I Got
Bill Brinkworth

Although there are crimes and harm done against many, few see the root cause of much wrong-doing.  The sin of coveting, or not being content with what one has, rears its ugly scowl daily.  It is often the driving force in:

  • Adultery — Someone is not happy with their choice of spouse and lusts for another’s mate.
  • Arguments – Sometimes, folks are not content with others’ opinions of them, so they squabble to raise impressions of themselves by displaying a different intellect or personality.
  • Cheating – one wants grades they do not have without working for them.
  • Lies – to make others think better of them, countless lies have been told.
  • Murders — Many have been killed for another’s possessions.
  • Robberies — someone wanted something he did not have but would not work for it.
  • Sexual crimes are committed to get one what they do not have without waiting for the right mate or to get the power over a person.
  • Taxes – To get others’ money from them without working for it, countless millions have been unfairly taxed.
  • Shopping sprees — Many boast their favorite pastime is “shopping.” However, it is often an exercise showing they are not content with what they have and lust for “more.”  They are rarely satisfied.
  • Wars — Many wars have been started so others could get what another country had.
  • The list could go of activities and problems spurred on by the sin of coveting.

Coveting is sin no matter what is desired, be it money, fame, possessions, clothing, toys, houses, bicycles, or education.  It is the breaking of God’s commandment.
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” Ex 20:17   Also: Deuteronomy 5:21, Romans 13:9.

Although the grievous grasp from coveting has always been a tempter, it is most enticing today.  Advertising works very hard to magnify one’s discontent with what they have so that people will purchase the newest item.  The television industry is funded by ads feeding on man’s weakness of wanting more.  Stores line most streets displaying wares that are “new and improved.” On and on, the temptations lure, pulling one toward this “tolerated” iniquity.

Like any other sin, coveting is not acceptable in God’s eyes.  He wants us far from this sin, not because He wants to deny our having the pleasures of life, but because they often lead to an unsustainable appetite and lust that can never be satisfied.  That is why God commands us to abstain from it.

The only way to achieve victory over covetousness is to first admit that it is a sin.  God wants us humbly to admit our short-comings and disobedience to Him.  Committing that iniquity indirectly says that we are not happy with what God has allowed us to have.

Be content with what you have, and you will be happier.  Be genuinely thankful for what you have and thank the Lord for His allowing you to get it.  Perhaps this is why the Scripture has far more verses on being thankful and giving praise than it does on getting the things of this world.

Sometimes new things are needed, and God certainly does not want us to live in purposeful poverty when He can provide plentifully for our needs.  However, He does not want us to be led by lust.  Be content with what you have.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” I Timothy 6:8
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

Also, read the article “Never Satisfied”:

“The man who covets is always poor.” — Claudian

Always Looking Down
Dr. Jeffers

 A young man once picked up a coin lying in the road.  Afterward, in walking along, he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon the ground hoping to find another.  During a long life, he picked up, at different times, a goodly number of coins — gold, and silver.

After all those years, while he was looking for them, he saw not that the heavens were bright above him and nature beautiful around him.  He never once allowed his eyes to look up from the mud and filth in which he sought his treasure.  When he died, a rich old man, he only knew this fair Earth as a dirty road to pick up money as he walked along.

“Though the home is a palace, yet to a discontented mind, it is a prison.”  — Henry

Never Enough
Edited from an article by Chrysostom

He that is greedy for gain will never be satisfied in his desires.  That person will not be content.  It is impossible to get all men’s goods, and whatever he may have gained, he will count himself to have “not enough.”

The one that is content and happy with what he has been allowed to have will not have to punish his soul with endless desires and lust.  I say “punish” because nothing so thoroughly answers the definition of punishment as a desire deprived of gratification.

He who lusts after riches and has increased his store is often the sort of person who feels as if he has nothing.  I ask, what is more complicated than this “disease”?  What a strange thing it is, though he has much, he is not satisfied with the riches in his hold.

If he even could get all men’s goods, his pain would be greater.  Should he gain a hundred dollars, he would be vexed that he had not received a thousand.  If he received a thousand, he would be grieved he had not ten thousand.  The more he receives, the more he desires.  So, the more he receives, the more he becomes poor since whoso desires more is more truly poor.

“Those that will not be content with their allotments shall not have the comfort of their achievements.”   — Henry

When I Met Jesus
Harry Todd

I was seeking real contentment.
In this world of sin and strife;
All the things it had to offer
Never satisfied my life.

I thought that fame and fortune
Soon would bring me happiness,
But it only left me hopeless,
Full of heartache and distress.

In this life, I was unhappy
And it left me in despair,
So I blamed the God in Heaven
For He didn’t treat me fair.

But the God I had rejected
Showed His love so pure and true;
He reached down one day and saved me,
And He gave me a life a-new.

I now have real contentment
In this world of sin and strife;
When I met my Saviour, Jesus,
He satisfied my life.

So, if your life is empty,
Then you need Jesus too;
He changed my life completely;
He will do the same for you.

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”
— Seneca

The Bible View #843 — Sin

In This Issue:
If Eve said, “No!”
Clouds and Sin
The Curse of Sin
The Tree-killing Worm
The Love of Sin

Volume: 843       January 24, 2022
Theme: Sin

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If Eve Had Said, “NO!”
Bill Brinkworth

Genesis 3:1-19 tells the well-known story of Eve and Adam’s disobeying God.  Because of this first sin, humanity has been plagued with iniquity and its consequences.  One wrong decision changed all mankind and the Earth.  Sin has a terrible price tag.  No one gets away from its costly wages.

What happened when Eve disobeyed:

  • She thought God was not right.  The fruit did taste good, and they did not die — right away.
  • Adam and Eve had to be clothed.  Innocent animals lost their lives so that the couple’s nakedness was covered.
  • Adam and Eve could not have fellowship with God anymore.  The one-on-one conversations with the Creator in the Garden ceased.
  • Eve, and all women after her, have had pain in childbirth.  Women would not have that experience if sin did not enter the human race.
  • The ground was cursed.  Now, there are weeds that overcome most crops.  Before God cursed the land, there were none.
  • Work would not have been as hard.  There would have been no sweat in hard labor.
  • Physical death entered into our lives.
  • All people now commit sin

What happened when King David sinned:

  • King David’s wrong decision started with his staying home from battle.
  • He did not obey God by going to war.  He tarried.
  • He looked at a bathing woman.  His peeping led to adultery between him and Bathsheba.
  • David conceived a child out of wedlock with her.
  • The King deceived Uriah, his faithful soldier and husband of Bathsheba.
  • David was involved in Uriah’s death.
  • David and Bathsheba’s baby died.
  • David’s sons were disobedient, and some died early deaths.

Other great men and women sinned and “paid” its terrible consequences:

  • If Samson had not sinned, he would not have lost his strength, sight, and position to judge Israel.
  • If the people of Israel had not sinned, they would not have been attacked by serpents, faced starvation, and would have been allowed to see the Promised Land.
  • If Moses had spoken to the rock as God commanded him, he would have entered the Promised Land.
  • If Herod had not boasted, he would not have been eaten by worms.
  • If Aaron and Miriam had not talked about Moses, Miriam would not have had leprosy.
  • If Jonah had obeyed God, he would not have ended up in the belly of a whale.
  • If Haman had not been bitter against Mordecai, he might not have died by hanging.
  • If Judas had not “given place to the devil,” he would not have been used to identify Jesus so He could be killed.
  • If the soldiers had gotten saved, they would not have nailed Jesus to the cross.
  • … and on the list could go from biblical examples of sin’s wages.

As the Bible confirms, there is a price tag for committing what God forbids. No one gets away with sin. Those guilty of iniquity will have their lives changed because of it:

  • Some will have a divorce because they did not wait on God’s choice of a mate.
  • Some will flunk in school because they would not learn the right way and cheated through school.
  • Some may end up in jail because they cheated on their taxes, stole cars, did drugs, etc.
  • Some may hurt someone physically because they watched the wrong TV shows and got desensitized about harming others.
  • Someone may be addicted or killed by drugs because their desensitization to sin started with a sip of daddy’s beer.
  • Some may be killed in a car accident because they disobeyed their parents and snuck out at night.
  • Some girls may have children out of wedlock because they would not listen to their parents about how, who, or when to date.
  • Some may be crippled by fighting because they did not listen to their parents and stay away from the wrong people.
  • Some may not graduate high school because they are too lazy to study.
  • Some may go to Hell and burn forever because they worried about what their friends would think if they got saved and lived according to God’s will and way.

If Eve had said “no” to sin then, we might not be battling its tempting grip today. All sin has consequences — either here or in eternity.  Most know this because they have seen what others have reaped by sowing iniquity and have seen the damage it has done in their lives.  Why do we willingly commit it and think we can get away with it?

“God hates the sin, but He loves the sinner.”  — D. L. Moody

Clouds and Sin
John Bate

  • Clouds sometimes obstruct the beneficial influences of Heaven coming upon the Earth.  Sin also prevents the blessings of God from flowing into the hearts and lives of men.
  • Clouds have their origin on the Earth.  Sin originates from below and never from Heaven.
  • Clouds can create a powerful, damaging electric field.  Sin also damages humanity, and ruins lives with the storm it can bring.
  • Clouds assume every variety of shape, color, and duration.  Sin has no set form but varies according to persons, circumstances, times, and places.
  • Clouds cannot be dispersed by any human force.  Sin also cannot be forgiven by any power except by One that is Divine!

Oh, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
— Shakespeare

The Curse of Sin
Dr. J. Parker

O sin!  How it has cursed us!  It has thrown up a barrier between ourselves and God.  With its chilling breath, it has extinguished the light of our household joys.  It has robbed us of joys and filled the air with discordant cries.  Sin has unsheathed the sword and bathed itself in human blood.  It has dug every grave on the Earth.

Without it, we should not have known the name of a widow or orphan, tear or sigh, and sorrow.  Because of sin, our hearts are torn by pain and anguish, and our joy is gone!

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  II Timothy 2:22

The Tree-killing Worm
Author Unknown

While touring a park of towering trees, a guide pointed out one.  “That fine tree,” he said, “was killed by a single worm.”

We learned that the tree was as healthy as any in the park two years ago.  A wood-worm, about three inches long, was observed to be forcing its way under the bark of the trunk.  It caught the eye of our guide.  Although he was warned that the worm could kill the tree, our guide left it alone as it seemed improbable to him that the black-headed worm could do such damage.

After a time, it was found that his assumption was wrong.  The worm indeed had tunneled its way a considerable distance under the bark.  The following summer, the tree’s leaves dropped off very early, and in the succeeding year, it was a dead, rotten tree.

I am reminded that there is a lesson to be learned from that tree’s demise.  How many have ruined their lives by a single, harmlessly-appearing sin!

“To cover sin with a layer of earnest efforts to do right will not take the sin away.  The underlying sin will assimilate all the dead works that may be heaped upon it, and the result will be a greater mass of sin.”  — Arnot

Love of Sin
T. Watson

It is worse to love sin than to commit it.  A man may commit sin through temptation or ignorance, and when he knows it to be sin, he is sorry for it.  He that loves sin, however, puts his will into the sin and heaps the danger onto one’s life.  The heart allows it to continue, and sin’s consequences will reap much havoc.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

The Bible View #842 — Sin’s Consequences

In This Issue:
Not Even Ten
We Have Lost Our Way

Volume: 842     January 17, 2022
Theme:  Sin’s Consequences

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Not Even Ten!
Bill Brinkworth

Lot and his uncle, Abram, had amassed great wealth and belongings.  Their servants and laborers lived and worked together.  As expected, there was strife between the two companies.

Abram, in his wisdom, realized that the two groups, their livestock, and workers, should separate.    The patriarch allowed his brother’s son to pick (Gen.  13) where he, his possessions, and workers would go.  Lot chose the choicest land.

Although the city Lot picked was prosperous, and the surrounding lands were lush,  it turned out to be a terrible, costly choice.  He chose to inhabit Sodom.

There was great wickedness in the city and included violence and rampant homosexuality.  Its indulgence in iniquity angered God Almighty.  So much was the Creator outraged by the out-of-control lasciviousness and other sins, he planned to destroy it and other surrounding cities.

The Lord shared His plans (Gen. 18) for the city with Abram (at this time known as Abraham).  On hearing that God was to destroy where his nephew dwelt, he pleaded with the Lord to spare Lot’s dwelling place.  At first, he reasoned with God to spare the city if 50 righteous people were found among those committing grievous sins.

Perhaps Abraham thought some and then remembered the rumors of atrocities occurring in the city.  He lowered his request to 45.  More consideration was most likely given to the community’s wickedness.  Then he dropped his plea to God for 40, then 30, then 20, and finally asked God if He would spare the city if only ten righteous people were found.

God’s angels went to the city and warned Lot of Sodom’s soon demise.  On hearing of the impending destruction, he pleaded with his daughter’s husbands to get their family’s to flee.  They would not.  Ten righteous people could not be found.  All he could gather to leave were his wife and two daughters.

As they took flight, perhaps by being so enamored with Sodom’s worldly pleasures and luxuries,  Lot’s wife looked back one more time at the place she would miss.  Because she disobeyed God’s commandment not to look back, she was turned into a pillar of salt.

The two young ladies may have escaped destruction from raining fire and brimstone, but their minds were corrupted by the ideas and sights they had experienced in Sodom.  Without his knowing, they committed incest with their father.

Lot, who knew what was righteous, got too close to sin and paid an outrageous price for it.   Because of his poor decision, he lost his married daughters, sons-in-law, wife,  wealth, and his virgin daughters were spoiled by the city’s behavior to which they were exposed.  His focus on the trinkets that fluttered before his eyes cost him more than he ever imagined his temptation and toleration for worldliness and sin would cost him.  The man was in a place a godly person should never have been.

Many shake their head and wonder why a man who had “it all” would make such a poor decision and lose the important things in his life.  Unfortunately, most, including many Christians, make similar poor choices, as did Lot.   They choose to live in, work around, or associate with ungodly “Sodom”s and do not consider what damage it may do to them and their relationship with the Lord.

Soon, because they allow themselves to be exposed to ungodly activities, they accept and are involved in the same things the ungodly are.  The Lord and His ways have been given a very back seat because of their love for “things,” fixation on entertainment, and all the attractive things this world offers.  So many, including “Christians,” give little thought to obeying God’s commandments,  if any at all.

A quick examination of the lives of even Christians today reveals little difference than the ungodly.  Many have allowed themselves to be contaminated by sin’s enticing grip.

People have allowed themselves to be enamored by the cares and things of this world so much that they never intend to leave the “Sodom” they chose.  Dishonesty, sexual sins, adultery, substance abuse, no regard to the sanctity of life, violence, laziness, and most sins God hates are no longer viewed as evil.  Those iniquities are so accepted that they are themes in movies and literature and are sought as entertainment.

Not only is it sinful to be involved in what God hates, but it does other damage.  As happened to the daughters of Lot, daily seeing and hearing iniquity eventually desensitizes the exposed to wrong-doing.  It no longer bothers most, as they get used to depravity and soon tolerate it.  The constant bombardment of accepting wrong-doing from all forms of media has done that to the majority today.

However, what was sin in Lot’s day is still sin today.  What ruined a person who should have known better then will do the same now.  God’s wrath was poured out on sinners then, and it will not be spared in our day.  There always will be a payday for iniquity someday.

We may not be able to flee to a faraway sin-free place, but we do not have to accept the sin and tolerate what we see or hears.  Avoid places and people that will soil minds and testimonies.  Speak up and let God’s morals and commandments be heard by many that have never been aware of what He hates. 

Christians should battle sin, not surrender to it.  We cannot stop all the evilness around us, but we can be an untolerating light that exposes it.

Christian, separate yourself from sin.  Do not look longingly to the ungodliness of this world, as did Lot’s wife.  It will cost you more than you would want to pay if tolerated.

We must be the steadfast example of what the world needs to see.  They also need to hear what is right in God’s eyes from our lips.  We may not be able to save an entire city or nation from reaping the consequences of their sin, but if just ten or more escape the ultimate punishment of Hell, then it will be worth any hardship or trials we will endure.  If we do not tell or show others, who will?

We Have Lost Our Way
Bill Brinkworth

Since America’s inception in 1620, God has always been One whom the country’s citizens relied on and followed.  Most knew, and many followed, His written commandments in the Bible.  His standards enabled people to dwell together.

There was always a clear understanding of right and wrong, as many laws and practices were derived from biblical principles.  Legislations were made and followed.  Crimes were quickly recognized and punished.  It was understood that if the violation of law went undealt with, it would not be a deterrent for future law-breaking.

The butchering of unborn babies would not have been even considered sixty years ago.  Torture was something the ungodly did, not a Christian nation.  Work was something that people were proud to do, and it was a shame not to have a job or even take someone else’s aid when one was not employed.

There were clear understandings of the differences in sexes and their abilities and responsibilities.  Marriage was special, and most decent folks would not even consider pre-marital sex as they knew it could lead to social ruin, lack of respect, and other shameful situations.

Teachers were known for their outstanding, moral examples, and their decisions and discipline were rarely questioned.  Police were honored and respected.  Citizens were usually treated equally as a whole, and not different treatments for different groups.  Christians usually were better examples of behavior and showed others how to face difficulties.

After having clearly defined social standards for centuries, something changed.  One by one, the standards were slowly eroded.  Perhaps they were ignored because those guilty of doing something not socially accepted ignored ridicule or publicly encouraged others to tolerate their sin.  Soon, convicting consciences no longer had control of people’s characters, and people did what changing standards allowed.  Moral boundaries were moved further to the left or obliterated completely.

It was not long until unprincipled people gained governmental powers.  They helped society legislate what was once recognized as immoral.  These leaders passed unbiblical laws.  Perhaps it was just a means to get more votes, but it pushed overall morality further down the slope of decline.  The public allowed these changes and rarely balked at such legislation.

Since moral measurements were changed, many immoral philosophies crept into public bully pulpits such as schools, radio, and television.  Thoughts that were previously taboo were now the center of television programs and movies.  Away from parental control and knowledge, public education became a means of indoctrination of unbiblical philosophies to children.

The saturation of social input continued to corrupt and confuse morality.   Forbidden practices were often initially introduced in comedy television programs.  Soon, unmentionable activities were now giggled at and accepted more readily.  Homosexuality, drunkenness, adultery, law-breaking, and other sins gained acceptance by constant brainwashing on television, movies, and even video games.  Those once forbidden practices were now no longer “bad”; they were “entertainment.”

After decades of watered-down morality and social engineering, a nation emerged that did not know right from wrong.  Men, women, and children now do what is right in their own eyes, as the moral compass God left for man to succeed was discarded.
“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6.  Also: Job 32:1, Prov.12:15, Prov. 16:2, Prov. 21:2.

Because of moral and social changes, our country and the world are in the situation they are in today.  Murder is not the fault of guns, nor is it totally the abortion clinic’s fault for butchering millions of young babies.  It also is not the fault of some chemicals that there are so many addictions.  One cannot blame the government for not having enough laws to stop or curb out-of-control crime.

The fault for man’s decline falls rightly on each man, woman, and child for not knowing and obeying God’s preserved truths.  Society will always fail when God’s roadmap through life is ignored!  Only if His Word is believed and followed will mankind find His way again!

“Most often, today’s ‘morality’ is yesteryears immorality!  Morality’s measuring tool has been altered!” — B. Brinkworth

The Bible View #841 — Our Words

In This Issue:
Control That Tongue!
The Wanderings of a Raging Rumor
A Harsh Word
The Sinning Tongue

Volume: 841     January 10, 2022
Theme: Words

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Control That Tongue!
Bill Brinkworth

A part of all humans, male or female, big or small, old or young, gets them in the most trouble.  This appendage, as small as it is (James 3:5), helps send many in the wrong direction (Jam. 3:3, 4) and is responsible for many things that its owner regrets.  This difficult to manage part of everyone’s anatomy is one’s tongue.

Controlled, one’s tongue can be a blessing to God and man (Jam. 3:9, 10).  Uncontrolled, the tongue can:

  • Make some desire to govern others’ lives (Jam.  3:1).  As Matthew Henry has said, “… do not give yourselves the air of teachers, imposers, and judges, but rather speak with the humility and spirit of learners.  Do not censure one another, as if all must be brought to your standard.”
  • Offend others (Jam. 3:.2).
  • Govern one’s whole body into doing wrong things (Jam. 3:3, 4).
  • Boast.  We are nothing on our merit.  If we have achieved anything more than another person, it is only because of God’s grace, mercy, and blessing.  Boasting elevates our successes due to our thoughts of self-worth and disregards God’s help and influence (Jam.  3:5).
  • Defiles one’s body (Jam. 3:6).  A slip of the tongue can destroy one’s testimony, causing others to look at him in a less desirable light.  Another slip can utter words that will change the direction of one’s life.  Words spewed in anger can wound relationships and cause one to have a lonely life. 
  • Unrestrained evil talk (Jam.3: 8) destroys its owner’s future and the futures of others.  The words uttered from an unbridled mouth have killed many in wars and changed the courses of nations.

We are blessed to have the ability to speak.  However, it can do so much harm, but it was not given to us for that reason. 

Our ability to talk was given to bring honor and glory to God (Jam. 9, 10).  It should be used to encourage others, to provide sound counsel, to give words that will guide others in the way God has revealed from His Word, and hosts of other positive outcomes.

Unbridled, the tongue will not achieve much of its original intent.  Controlled, it can do more good than any of our other appendages.  

Is your language under your control or the Holy Spirit’s?  Does your lack of controlling what your tongue utters reflect what truly lurks in your heart (Jam. 3:14)?

“Be careful little lips what you say, for the Father up above is looking down with love.  Be careful, little lips what you say.” — Child’s song

The Wanderings of a Raging Rumor
Bill Brinkworth

The student was certainly upset.  His anger was quite apparent.  “What seems to be the problem?” I asked.

“He said that I was the one that broke the class’s globe.  I didn’t, and he wasn’t even in class on that day it happened.  How could he have even known?”

“Aha,” I thought as I got the scent of a ruinous rumor en route through my classroom.  I had the class sit down as I began publicly to track down the treacherous trail of the elusive gossip.

I approached the accuser and queried, “Is that true?  Are you sure he broke the globe?  You saw it happen?”

“Well, I didn’t actually see it happen.  Keith told me he broke it.”

“Oh, I see.  You were believing the gossip and assumed it was true,” I summarized.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

On I proceeded to Keith and continued the inquisition.  “So, Keith, since you passed the story, you must have seen him break the globe?”

“Um, not actually.  Tony told me.”

On to Tony, I went.  The whispering in the class told me that the class was starting to see a pattern of the scuttlebutt.  Tony also admitted he had not seen the deed but had heard it from another.  

In the class of less than 20 teenaged boys, I followed the path of the rumor as it traveled through ten lips.  Finally, I approached a boy with whom the tale had seemed to originate.

“So, Brian, do you see how much damage your story has done and how far it has traveled?  Did you see what you accused him of doing?”

Brian was quite nervous.  He picked at abit of dirt on his desk and would not make eye contact with me.  “Well, not actually,” the boy murmured in a low voice.  “But he broke an airplane model of mine a couple of months ago and never even said he was sorry.  So, I just know he broke the globe.”

The truth finally came out.  “So you never saw him do it.  You just assumed he did it because you were still mad at him for what he did a long time ago.”

”Um, I guess so.”

The entire class shook their heads.  Someone else’s bitter grudge had misled them.  Each one had believed gossip and each had misjudged an innocent person.  Fortunately, although quite embarrassed, each publicly apologized to the accused and hopefully learned that a rumor cannot be trusted as truth.  From that episode, Brian realized that he also lost much of the trust of his classmates.
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Proverb 26:22

The best way to halt gossip is not to offer a listening ear!

A Harsh Word
Author Unknown

One day a harsh word, harshly said,
Upon an evil journey sped,
And like a sharp and cruel dart
It pierced a fond and loving heart.

It turned a friend into a foe
And everywhere brought pain and woe.
A kind word followed it one day,
Sped swiftly on its blessed way.

It healed the wound and soothed the pain,
And friends of old were friends again.
It made the hate and anger cease,
And everywhere brought joy and peace.

And yet the harsh word left a trace
The kind word could not efface,
And though the heart its love regained
It left a scar that long remained.

Friends can forgive but not forget,
Nor lose the sense of keen regret.
Oh, if we would but learn to know
How swift and sure our words can go.

How we would weigh with utmost care
Each thought before it reached the air —
And only speak the words that move
Like white-winged messengers of love.

To save face, keep the lower part shut!

The Sinning Tongue

Many sins are committed by the tongue.  Here is some of what the Bible says about our tongue:
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: ….“ Isa. 6:5
“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 30:5
“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Matthew 12:32
“For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.” Job 15:5
“Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” Psalms 52:2
“Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:” Psalms 64:3
“They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.” Psalms 73:9

“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:2
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.” Proverbs 21:6
“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” Proverbs 26:28
Also: Psalms 15:3, Proverbs 6:17, Pr. 18:21, Pr. 17:4, James 3:5-6

“Wisdom is having lots to say, but not saying it!”

The Bible View #840 — Assurance of Salvation

In This Issue:
Doubt vs. Assurance
How Can I Know I Am Saved
If One Could Get Unsaved…

Volume: 840     January 3, 2022
Theme: Assurance of Salvation

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Doubt vs. Assurance

Bill Brinkworth

The Bible clearly teaches that one cannot lose salvation when saved. Jesus paid for everyone’s sins that have trusted on His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross to cover their iniquities  ― past, present, and future.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13 
Also: John 6:37, I Corinthians 15:3, Isaiah 53:5.

Although most realize that salvation is a gift from God, some try to add good works to “keep” their salvation. Others often feel their salvation was too “easy” to get and are unsure if they are a child of God.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:23
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8

Some go years constantly battling. “Am I saved or not”? “Have I lost it because of something I did or didn’t do?”

Many that have been saved are not assured that they are born-again. Doubts rob them of the joy, peace, and security they could have if they knew for sure that one would eventually be with Jesus. 

God never intended for the rescue of one’s soul from a fiery eternity to be a guessing game. A child of God can know for sure that they are saved and not guess any longer. Doubt can be silenced by believing what the Bible says about it:
Doubt may be unbelief in disguise:
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Mat. 17:20  

Doubt indicates little faith:
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Mat. 14:31  Also: Mat. 21:21, Mark 11:23.

Doubt makes one unsure and confused:
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6

Doubt keeps one from accomplishing all one could:
“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Luke 17:6
“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?” Acts 2:12

Doubt sees things inaccurately:  
“And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live” Acts 28:4 
The islander’s assumption about Paul was wrong.

Doubt questions:
“I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.” Gal. 4:20  
Doubt, however, can be a legitimate red flag of one not being born again. It can be a nagging force to get one to seek what the Bible says one must do to have the assurance of going to Heaven. However, that can be eliminated by simply doing what the Bible says one must do to be saved:

  • Know one is a sinner (Rom. 3:16).
  • Know that there is an eternal price-tag for your sins (Rom. 6:23).
  • Know that Jesus paid for our sins if we trust what he did for us to cover ALL our sins (Rom. 5:23).
  • Then with the heartfelt conviction, ask and trust that all one must do is ask (“confess”) Him to save you from the punishment due because of sin.
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Rom. 10:9

If one believes and trusts what the Bible says, then one must have the faith that they are saved. It is ONLY faith that anyone is saved. 
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Eph. 2:8  Also: Rom. 1:17, 3:28, 5:1, 10:17.

Often, however, after that step of reliance is taken, God will cement that trust into concrete proof. The assured believer will see changes in their thinking and actions (II Corinthians 5:17), answers to prayers, and understanding of things that were not previously clear.

Doubt of one’s salvation will cause a crippled walk with the Lord. It makes one wonder if questioning one’s salvation is another debilitating weapon Satan uses to keep another Christian soldier off the battlefield. However, knowing what the Bible teaches about knowing for sure one is saved can silence the destructive and handicapping doubt:

Assurance comes from one’s confidence in one’s beliefs. If one knows God’s Word is the truth and believes what it says, that should settle the doubts. Further doubts of God’s truth should be barred from one’s thought-life. “God said it. I believe it. That settles it. Then Satan, leave me alone!”
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he can keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” II Tim. 1:12

Assurance comes from believing what God’s Word says!
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” 1 Corinthians 15:3

Assurance is trust!
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37

Assurance is proof of one’s salvation:
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isa. 32:17

Assurance is proof of one’s faith!
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Heb. 10:22

Assurance makes our beliefs unshakeable and sure.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Heb. 10:23

After being saved, most have their doubts about their deliverance from Hell’s fiery flames and eternal destination with the Lord. There must come the point when one puts their finger on the promises of God and wholly trusts them. That is all anyone ever has. Do you believe what God says about salvation or not?

Every step toward Christ kills a doubt.  Every thought, word, and deed for Him carries you away from discouragement.”  — Culyer

How Can I Know I Am Saved?
Bill Brinkworth

A person can know if he is saved. If one has trusted in Christ’s death as payment for one’s sins as the only way to Heaven, changes in one’s life will be seen.

Here are some of those new changes:
A NEW belief. A saved person believes differently than he believed before.
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: …These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:10-13

A NEW interest in God’s people.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” I John 3:14-16  The “brethren” are other saved people.

A NEW Master. A saved person is interested in obeying a new Master — God!“Jesus answered them, …  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:25-29

A NEW Life. A born-again child of God gets a second chance at life. He gets to start over, this time with God’s guidance and help.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17

The new life may include things one would never have suspected that he would do, such as reading the Bible, desiring a ministry, being faithful to church attendance, etc.  He will also find he no longer wants to do many of the wrong things he used to do and even has a conviction against doing them.

A NEW Trust. A saved person has a God upon whom he can trust and rely.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” II Tim 1:12

A NEW fruit — NEW behaviors“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts….” Gal. 5:22-25  

When the Spirit of God indwells us, there are some things He wants done in our lives. Those changes that we allow Him to do in us are proofs of our salvation.

“Why didn’t someone tell me I could become a Christian and settle the doubts afterward?” — Harper

If We Could Get Unsaved…
Bill Brinkworth

The Bible teaches that when one is born again (John 3:3) into the family of God, one’s salvation cannot be lost! No one certainly deserves such a wonderful gift as eternal life. It is the gift God gives to those that trust Christ’s payment was enough for their sins.

Many, however, fear they can lose their salvation. Logically, this makes little sense. If one really could lose their salvation, it would mean that:

Jesus did not die for all my sins. We know Jesus did die for all our sins: the sins of our great-great-grandfather, our sins, and our great-grandchildren. The iniquities Christ paid for on the cross were for all our trespasses. That includes the trespasses against God we did before we were saved, the ones that we will commit today, and the ones we will do next year — all iniquity!
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” 1 Corinthians 15:3
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Jesus’ payment for sin was not enough for the trespasses we did today. If one believes they can lose their salvation, then they imply that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was not sufficient to cover sins.
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:25 Also: I Corinthians 15:3.

His death was in vain. If one believes that Jesus’ death alone was not enough to save them, then His death on the cross was unnecessary and for naught! However, the Bible says:
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” II Timothy 1:9

They are doing something to keep their salvation. Opinions of this nature usually follow with thoughts of doing good things to earn or keep their salvation. God’s Word says:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2:8-9 

Then God is a liar! If one thinks they can lose their salvation, they prove that they do not believe what God’s Word says about receiving eternal salvation. They would be implying He is a liar. Perish the thought. It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). God’s Word says:
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29

“Whoso draws nigh to God one step through doubtings dim, God will advance a mile in blazing light to him.” — Unknown