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August 10, 2007

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Jason

Covered.

Dana

We will be praying. You will do a great job communicating about these issues that need to be addressed.

Dave Hendrickson

Here are the answers. This is easy:

* Does a woman have the right to choose?

No. Abortion is murder. In the Old Testament, someone who killed a baby in the womb received the same punishment as a murderer. A woman may choose to use birth control without an abortive agent, but once she is pregnant, that's it. (Exodus 21:22-23)

*Do gay people go to heaven?

Do sinners go to Heaven? Do liars, theives, or adulterers go to Heaven? No. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

* Can I drink a cold beer and still be a Christian?

Yes. This is an adiaphoron. (Romans 14:19-21)

* Does looking at porn really hurt anyone?

Yes. It hurts people. More importantly, it is a sin against God. (Matthew 5:28)

* Does the Bible really condemn divorce?

Yes. If the divorce is between believers and the cause is anything but fornication, then it is condemned. If the divorce is between a believer and a non-believer, initiated by the non-believer, it is not condemned for the believer. (Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 7:10-15)

As you said, you have been reading, "tons of books" about these matters. I look simply at the Bible and the answers are there.

lavalamp775

awesome. dave summed up all these complex issues in simple answers. i can move on to tougher issues. :)

Dave Hendrickson

I realize my answers were short, but seriously, is there much more behind these questions that requires exploration? People may have "strong opinions" on them, but the Bible lays out everything in a clear-cut and direct manner.

Tanya

dear dave...Bless his heart :)
Thank you Michael for being willing to talk about issues like these and show others, openly and honestly, what God has to say.

lavalamp775

dave,

yea, i think there are lot more to these questions. the bible is pretty clear about grace, but theologians back to the first century have been writing books about the subject. the bible is pretty straight forward about sin, but preachers preach entire sermons on the subject. the mind of God can't be summed up in just a few words. not only are we going to try and talk about what culture says on these subjects (and how it may be misguided), we're going to look at what the scripture says, and finally explore how the church should respond to these topics. there is so much material and so much depth to these. it's a bit of a dis-service to oversimplify something so complex.

tmadison

Way to step up and hit these difficult topics head on. I'll be looking forward to checking out the podcasts of this series. I'll be praying for ya.

Laurel

These issues are not so cut and dry as Dave makes it seem. And I didn't realize that liars, thieves and adulteres don't go to heaven. Call me crazy, but I thought if you confess your sins and invite Jesus into your hearts, you DO go to heaven.

Dave Hendrickson

Michael:

You make good points. I pray that the sermons will illustrate the Word and will point out the errors that the world believes. I hope that you will permit me to answer Laurel's statement below.

Laurel:

Part of what you have written is a grave misconception, and I will try to explain. If going to Heaven was as simple as inviting Jesus into your heart and declaring yourself as a Christian, why would the Bible then say the following?

* (Matthew 7:21-23) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

* (Hebrews 10:26-27) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

* (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

* (Revelation 21:8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The fact is that nowhere do we find the phrase "Ask Jesus into your heart" for the purposes of salvation anywhere in the Bible. Additionally, the Bible says that the heart is deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

What the Bible does say is that we are to REPENT of our sins, that is, to turn away from them, and put out trust in Jesus Christ, so that we are saved. In doing so, he will give you a NEW heart and make you into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are right, we are to confess our sins to be forgiven of them (1 John 1:9), but if you do not repent of those sins that you do willfully, and turn away from them, will you inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

For example, think of a man who every day sins deliberately by looking at pornography. He says, "I'm sorry, Jesus," and then goes right back to the trough of filth once more. He repeats the same action every day, and does not stop himself from doing so. Would he go to Heaven? Or would a murderer who, after saying, "Jesus, come into my heart," and then continues murdering, not deserve Hell? Or what about, then, people who consistently violate the other eight of the Ten Commandments?

Without repentance and trust in the atoning blood of Christ, we are all destined for Hell.

lavalamp775

Liars do go to heaven. Repentant liars. Repentant theives. Repentant murderers. "As such were some of you..."

Rebecca Winn

All of these issues really scare me. I know that I believe in God and I know that I've asked him to come into my heart. I know that I have BEGGED him to come into my heart. However, I'm still a total sinner. I don't commit some of the sins I used to, but I still commit sins. I hold on to John 3:16. I do believe that one sin is just as bad as all of them. For example, murder is as much of a sin as lying or as a bad as treating another human being without kindness. I'm such a horrible sinner. I believe that somehow, I'll never know how, that God IS creating a good work in me. I remember when Michael spoke the sermon about how once you get salvation , you can't give it back. I know that there are certain circumstances that can get rid of your salvation such as denouncing God. I'm such a sinner and there are so many areas in my life that I'm just horrible. I know that if something were to happen to me that I would definitely be looking for Jesus. I certainly hope that when that day comes, God forbid it be anytime soon, that I will be forgiven. I hope that my name will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and that God will forgive me for being so bad. I hope that God will also realize the many efforts I've made to serve him (i.e. turning the other cheek, trying to treat my body like a temple as best I can, giving to the church, telling people not to say the GD word in my presence, etc.). I sure hope God brings me to heaven. I have prayed for the souls of murders in my day. Oh how I hope he brings me to heaven despite my continued sinfulness. I hope he brings those that have committed sins against me to heaven also.

Rebecca Winn

I'm also horrible about judging people. However, when I do, I try to ask for forgiveness. I'm such a sinner. God please bless this soul.

cartersvillefamily

God is God. He is the only one who sees the heart of a person. I am so glad to rest on that fact. His ways and thoughts are so much higher and purer than ours.

SHARON GREEN

Rebecca, once you have decided to follow Christ and make him the Lord of your life and let him be in the driver's seat, so to speak. You are his forever!!!You are promised an eternity in heaven with Him. As His child, you will fall along the way. He helps you up and you go along again. Wanting to live for Him and wanting to do the right thing shows you are trying and that is what He wants from us. Obedience and a heart change!

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    • My name is Michael Lukaszewski. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and went to school at Florida State University. I'm the lead pastor of Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, Georgia. This is a blog of my personal thoughts and ideas, and does not necessarily reflect the official position of Oak Leaf Church or any other organization mentioned here.

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