Tag Archives: Christian holiness

A GUIDING PRINCIPLE HARMING MANY CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
First Baptist Church
Spearfish, SD

WHAT IT IS
A harmful thing has become the guiding principle of many Bible-believing churches, and it needs to be understood and repudiated. It is pragmatism.

THE PRINCIPLE IS NOT ALWAYS BAD
But, first, let me say that pragmatism is not always bad.  For example, a pragmatic person is one who figures out how to get along with others, or how to get something done, or how to reach a goal. So, a pragmatic person knows that, to get along with others, one must not unnecessarily say things in an abrasive manner. And,  a pragmatic person will use a wheelbarrow to move a pile of rocks from one place to another, instead of carrying a few at a time. Therefore,  as stated above, pragmatism is not always bad.

THE PRINCIPLE HAS ITS DOWNSIDE
But it has its downside. And we see its downside at work in Bible-believing churches and Bible-believing ministries in a variety of ways. The goal of these churches and ministries is good: they want to reach as many persons as possible with the Gospel message. But often their mistake is to use pragmatism in ways that contradict Biblical teaching and Biblical principles.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE PRINCIPLE APPLIED BY CHRISTIANS
A clear example of this mistake regarding pragmatism is the fact that many Christians have accepted the false and unbiblical idea that to reach the world with the Gospel, we must use music that conforms to the world’s music. Therefore,  many Christian musicians dress like non-Christian musicians. This is most notable in what are called Christian rock bands. Not only do they deliberately dress like secular rock musicians. Their appearance in other ways also conforms to the world. And although the words to their songs might be good, they use the same techniques as secular rock bands in the presentation of their music, which includes very loud music, unnecessary light shows, and excessive movement on the stage or platform. These techniques are used by Christian bands to give their audiences what they assume is a Biblical worship experience. But, intentionally or not, these bands are manipulating their audiences, just like secular bands intentionally do. This provokes some similar physical responses seen at secular rock concerts.

BIBLICAL TEACHING ABOUT THE MATTER
While these persons intentions might be good, their method is wrong because it is based on conformity to the secular world. The apostle Paul, in chapter 12, verse 2, of his letter to the Roman Christians, said Christians are not to be conformed to this world, but are to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. And in chapter 6, verses 14 – 17, of his second letter to the Corinthian Christians,  he made some powerful statements about the fact that Christians are to come out from the world and be separate from it. This applies in many ways to daily Christian living. And it certainly applies to Christian music and Christian musicians. Read, also, verses 13 – 16 of the first chapter of the first letter  by the apostle Peter, and note what he said to Christians about not being conformed to the world, and what he said about our need and duty to be holy. Christian music is supposed to draw us closer to God, which results in our holiness. And this requires it to be unlike the world, which, when given the opportunity, draw us away from him. But the principle of pragmatism, if not under control, makes us think, “If it works, don’t object to it.” But Biblical teaching and principles lead us to sometimes reject what “works.” Such is the case with the kind of music I’ve just brought to your attention.

Cigarette-smoking Church Attenders

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD
Many years ago, a woman from a different church asked me if we had any cigarette smokers who attended our church. I said, “People who smoke? We have people attending our church with far more serious problems than that!” The woman did not say why she asked that question, but I had a hunch that it was because she had driven by the church building on a day when we had church services and had seen people having a smoke on the property. Or she had seen some of our people around town somewhere having a smoke. I might be wrong, but I also have a hunch that her question was meant to tell me it was not a good thing to have cigarette-smoking church attenders, especially if they smoke on church property, and that something needed to be done about it.

It is not my intention to defend smoking cigarettes, or smoking anything else. But I have told this story to make an important point: a church is not for perfect people, but for imperfect people. That means, a church is for folks just like ourselves. Some church attenders have not yet become Christians, and their attitude and behavior often make that plain. But we want them to become Christians, and so we accept them as they are (within reason, of course) and pray they will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If they do believe in him, their attitudes and actions will begin to change for the better. Other church attenders are Christians, but even so they/we are in the process of becoming better Christians. We Christians are still “under construction,” so to speak. We won’t reach perfection until we go to be with the Lord in heaven. Until then, we might have some bad habits to wrestle with, one of which could be smoking cigarettes. And until then, we might, no, we will, struggle with bad attitudes about one thing or another now and then. Maybe even frequently.  It is very easy to condemn someone who smokes while excusing our own bitterness toward someone who has hurt us. But when compared to bitterness, smoking is a very minor matter. Sinful behavior and attitudes must be dealt with in sermons and Bible studies. And sometimes a person must be directly spoken to about correcting these things. But we must make it clear to others that we do not see ourselves as better than they are, but as works in progress. When we do, it will help them understand that we are here to help one another deal with the moral and spiritual struggles we face on a daily basis. When they become convinced of that, they will become a church’s best advertisement that we exist to be a blessing to the community. The result will be that others will seek us out for help. Isn’t that what a Bible-believing church wants to see happen?

ADRIFT ON THE OCEAN

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD

We lived on St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands for 2 1/2 years in the 1970s. We enjoyed going to the ocean, sometimes just to walk the beach looking for shells, sometimes to sit and watch the seagulls and listen to the waves, sometimes to swim, and sometimes to do all of these activities. One day, I inflated an air mattress, laid back on it, shut my eyes and relaxed. After some minutes, I looked up and was surprised at how far I had drifted from shore. It seemed like a few blocks back to shore. It was so long ago that I do not recall if this happened because the tide was going out, or for some other reason. As I think about that experience, it reminds me of the fact that we Christians can drift a long way from the Lord without realizing it is happening. It is not always intentional. It happens because we get busy and quit reading the Bible regularly. It happens because we get busy and quit praying regularly. It happens because we get busy and quit attending a Bible-preaching church regularly. It happens because we get busy and neglect Christian friendships. It happens because we get lax in our resistance to bad influences, such as immoral TV programs. It happens when we allow non-Christian friends to pull us away from our commitment to Jesus Christ. Whether we drift intentionally or unintentionally, it is up to us admit it and to get back to shore, so to speak. If you have drifted away from the Lord, it will do you good to read Psalms 32 and 51, and act on their truths.

To Live Right, We Must Think Right

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD

If we want to live right, we must think right. That’s a “no-brainer,” as the saying goes. But the fact is, it is easy to become careless about what we allow into our minds. Many of us would not start smoking tobacco, knowing what it does to a smoker’s lungs. We don’t even want to spend much time in smoke-filled places for the same reason. So, we avoid such places to protect our lungs. We need to be even more cautious about what we allow into our minds, for what we allow into our minds either helps us or harms us.
Therefore, we must be on our guard when it comes to what we look at on TV, on the internet, in movies, and in literature. We must also be careful about the music we listen to. All of the above have the potential to put harmful thoughts into our minds, and if we allow such thoughts into our minds, the outcome will not be good.
Let me give just one example of a TV program that is not good for us. I have never watched more than a few minutes this program because of its blatant sensuality and sexuality. The ads for it on TV certainly emphasize this program’s sensuality and sexuality. What is the program? “Dancing With The Stars.” I am convinced that DWTS is so popular, not just because of the skill of the dancers, but also because of its sensuality and sexuality. This program is contributing to the acceptance of low sexual standards among it viewers because it diminishes the Biblical concept of the sacredness of intimacy and sex between a man and woman who are married to one another. Such intimacy is to be kept private, not hinted at on TV.
Now that these frank statements have been made, let me follow them up with the fourth chapter of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippian Christians. The key verse is verse 8. I put it in bold print to easily pick it out.

Philippians 4 Modern English Version (MEV)

4 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brothers, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my beloved.

Exhortations

2 I exhort Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 I ask you also, true companion, help those women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with my other fellow laborers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone come to know your gentleness. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things. 9 Do those things which you have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Acknowledgment of the Philippians’ Gift

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me. Regarding this, you did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 I do not speak because I have need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. 12 I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me.

14 Nevertheless you did well having shared in my affliction. 15 Now you Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 Even in Thessalonica, you sent aid once and again for my necessity, 17 not because I desired a gift, but I desire fruit that accumulates to your account. 18 But I have everything and abound. I have been filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, like a sweet fragrance, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

20 Now to God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those who are of Caesar’s household.

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Modern English Version (MEV)
The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

My Scientific Discovery About Alcoholism

 

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD

In this post, I am going to use some humor to make a serious point about alcoholism, which is not a humorous subject. For those of you who don’t know me well, and maybe not at all, I am not a scientist. But I am a Norwegian-American, and I am a Baptist pastor. Please don’t hold these facts against me. I had no choice in the matter of being born a Norwegian-American. I am glad I was born an American, but some days I have my misgivings about being a Norwegian. But when we eat some more lefse, I am again a happy Norwegian. Although I did not choose to be a Norwegian-American, I did choose to be a Baptist pastor. But, unlike being a Norwegian, I have never regretted it.
But on to my humorous way of making a serious point about alcoholism: I made a remarkable discovery about alcoholism in the USA. I did not discover the fact that there are 12 million alcoholics here in the USA. Someone else made that discovery. I did not discover the fact that beverage alcohol is the number one drug problem in the USA. Someone else made that discovery. In fact, there are many things about alcoholic beverages and alcoholism that I did not discover. But, after spending 10 trillion dollars of my own money, made by delivering newspapers, and which is kept in one of my 200 savings accounts, and after personally interviewing all 12 million alcoholics in the USA, I did discover an amazing fact, previously unknown by anyone: all alcoholics drink alcoholic beverages! That’s right: all alcoholics drink alcoholic beverages. Why had I not previously grasped this fact? I was so stunned, that I had to sit down for an hour just to think it over. Could it really be true that all alcoholics drink alcoholic beverages? No, this does not mean all who drink such beverages are alcoholics. But, still, it was a shocking thing to discover that all alcoholics drink alcoholic beverages. That means there is a provable link between the consumption of such beverages and alcoholism. Now, I know that many who no longer drink alcoholic beverages still think of themselves as alcoholics, and more specifically as recovering alcoholics. But that is not my subject right now. My subject, remember, is that I discovered that all alcoholics drink alcoholic beverages.
This discovery led to another one. And it, too, required a lot of work and money to make the discovery. What I did was this: I personally interviewed every American who has never drunk an alcoholic beverage. What I discovered was almost as mind-boggling as the first discovery: Not one person of the millions of Americans who had never drunk an alcoholic beverage is or was an alcoholic! You might have to re-read that statement to grasp the implications of it: Not one person of the millions of Americans who had never drunk an alcoholic beverage is or was an alcoholic! That fact alone blows the mind! So, I came to the same conclusion after this second discovery as I did with the first one: there is a provable link between alcoholic beverages and alcoholism. Why had I not realized this fact long ago?
If you want o read some very interesting statistics about alcoholism in the USA, click on the following link: http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/statistics-on-alcohol…

The Bible has many warnings about alcoholic beverages. Although its warnings most often refer to intoxicating wine, what is says about intoxicating wine easily applies to other forms of alcoholic beverages. Below is a quote of the entire 23rd chapter of the Old Testament’s book of Proverbs. It is quoted from the Modern English Version (MEV), and is taken from this website: http://www.biblegateway.com. As you read through this chapter, take note of its warnings about alcoholic beverages.

Proverbs 23 Modern English Version (MEV)

Saying Seven

23 When you sit to eat with a ruler,
    consider diligently what is before you;
and put a knife to your throat,
    if you are a man given to appetite.
Be not desirous of his delicacies,
    for they are deceptive food.

Saying Eight

Do not labor to be rich;
    cease from your own wisdom.
Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
    For riches certainly make themselves wings;
    they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Saying Nine

Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye,
    neither desire his delicacies;
for as he thinks in his heart,
    so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
    and lose your sweet words.

Saying Ten

Do not speak in the ears of a fool,
    for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Saying Eleven

10 Do not remove the old landmark,
    nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 for their Redeemer is mighty;
    He will plead their cause with you.

Saying Twelve

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
    and your ears to the words of knowledge.

Saying Thirteen

13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
    for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with the rod,
    and deliver his soul from death.

Saying Fourteen

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
    my heart will rejoice—even mine.
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
    when your lips speak right things.

Saying Fifteen

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
    but continue in the fear of the Lord all day long;
18 for surely there is an end,
    and your expectation will not be cut off.

Saying Sixteen

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
    and guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not be among winebibbers,
    among riotous eaters of meat;
21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
    and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

Saying Seventeen

22 Listen to your father who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
    also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
    and he who fathers a wise child will have joy of him.
25 Your father and your mother will be glad,
    and she who bore you will rejoice.

Saying Eighteen

26 My son, give me your heart,
    and let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a prostitute is a deep ditch,
    and a seductress is a narrow pit.
28 She also lies in wait as for a prey,
    and increases the transgressors among men.

Saying Nineteen

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has contentions? Who has babbling?
    Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who tarry long at the wine,
    those who go to seek mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it swirls around smoothly;
32 at the last it bites like a serpent,
    and stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be as he who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    or as he who lies upon the top of a mast.
35 “They have stricken me,” you will say, “and I was not sick;
    they have beaten me, and I did not feel it.
When will I awake?
    I will seek it yet again.”

Modern English Version (MEV)The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

A Crisis Point In A New Christian’s Life

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD

Even though I was raised by Christian parents and went to Sunday school and church in my youth, I did not become a true Christian until I was sixteen years old. Previous to my becoming a believer in Jesus Christ, my Christianity was in my head and not in my heart. And it showed itself in my lifestyle. In other words, I did not act or think like a Christian. But that changed in the spring of 1970, when I admitted to myself and to God that I needed forgiveness and salvation. At that point, I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and began a new life as a Christian.

But one of the things I faced as a new Christian was the potential to go back to the way I had lived for some years before becoming a Christian. Starting when I was 13 years old, I had been drawn into a life of drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking marijuana and hash, using LSD and other drugs. All my close friends did the same things. And here is when my crisis point as a new Christian was reached: I went to hang out with my longtime friends at someone’s house. There were several of us, and we sat in a large circle on the living room floor. Someone in the group did as usual: they light a join of marijuana, inhaled some of it, and passed it to the next person, who inhaled some of it, and passed it to the next person. (We called inhaling it “taking a toke,” and “taking a hit.”) I was maybe six persons away from the joint being passed to me. I had to make a quick decision to either fall back into an old habit, or continue to go forward with my new life as a Christian. With the Lord’s help, I got up and excused myself from the situation, and left the house. With the Lord’s help, I never returned to that lifestyle. But it required that I do two things: 1) make new friends who would support my new life as a Christian, and, 2) be very careful about my relationship with my old friends. We now were on different paths, and the Lord requires that Christians stay on his straight and narrow path. The Lord did not want me to completely cut myself off from my old friends. But if I wanted to live for him, and if I wanted to be a good example to them, I could not put myself in situations that could easily result in going back to my old life. Therefore, one of the most helpful things to me as a new Christian was frequent attendance at and involvement in a local church that preached and taught the Bible as the Word of God, and that challenged Christians to separate themselves from influences that would interfere with living a dedicated Christian life. Of course, Christians have a lifelong need for this kind of positive influence from a local church which has these characteristics.

What follows are some quotes from God’s infallible Word, the Bible that apply to the subject  being considered. (The quotes are from the Modern English Version, and were taken from this website: http://www.biblegateway.com. Here is a link to the Modern English Version online: https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Modern-English-Version-MEV-Bible/#vinfo.) Now to the quotes from the Bible:  First, consider what the Lord Jesus Christ himself said about Christian discipleship: “ Enter at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who are going through it,  because small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14.)  Second, consider what the apostle Paul said to the Corinthian Christians concerning the importance of being careful about the kind of persons with whom we are friends: “ Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ ”  ( 1 Corinthians 15:33.)  Third, consider what the apostle Paul said in his second letter to those same Christians about being careful about our associations.  2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 18 says:

“14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness? 15 What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

‘I will live in them
    and walk in them.
I will be their God,
    and they shall be My people.’

17 Therefore,

‘Come out from among them
    and be separate,
        says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
    and I will receive you.’

18 ‘I will be a Father to you,
    and you shall be My sons and daughters,
        says the Lord Almighty.’

Modern English Version (MEV)The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Dad Found My Marijuana!

By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD

In a previous post I told about the day my mother found my cigarettes. I was maybe 13 years old at the time, and we lived in Minneapolis, MN, on Pillsbury Avenue South. Some time after Mom found my cigarettes, we moved to a different location in Minneapolis, on  Lyndale Avenue South. We lived in the upper half of a duplex at that location. Both renters had more room in the basement, which was divided in half by a wall. At first, my bedroom was upstairs. But then my parents gave me permission to move into the basement. This meant that the other renters lived between me and my parents. One of my bad habits at that stage in my life was smoking marijuana. And I found a convenient place to hide it: in the pocket of a flannel shirt. The shirt had two pockets that had a button-down flap on each pocket. My closet was small, and crammed full of clothes on hangers. So, it seemed a safe place to keep that shirt with the marijuana in one of its pockets. I did not just put the marijuana in the pocket and button it. It was kept in one of those clear plastic containers that hold nose plugs used when swimming. My hiding place worked well, for a time. Dad was suspicious that I was using marijuana. So, one day when I was not home he went looking through my room for marijuana. When I got back home, I went into my room as usual, only to find something very unusual: there lay Dad on my bed reading the newspaper and wearing that shirt with marijuana in one of its pockets! He said nothing to me about what was in the  pocket, so I did not know if he had taken out the plastic container to have a look at it. Not knowing what else to do in that situation, I went over to the bed, took out the container of marijuana from the shirt pocket and left the room. Here is, perhaps, the most remarkable aspect of this whole event: Dad never said one word  me about it. He put on that shirt in 1968 or 1969, died in 1976, and never had said anything to me about it. It is now 2015, and I still do not know for sure if he knew what was in that shirt pocket. But my guess is, he did know. I think that was his unique way of telling me he knew that I was using marijuana.

One thing to be learned from this remarkable experience is that, sooner or later, the facts become known. We might be able to fool others for long periods of time, but we can’t  permanently hide the truth about ourselves.  Eventually it will catch up with us. If not in this life, it will do so in the next life. We might be able to hide our real selves from other human beings, but not from the all-knowing God who will one day hold us accountable for our lives. God’s infallible Word, the Bible, teaches that those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior cannot lose their salvation. They will never perish. They will make it to heaven. (See John 10:27 – 29.) But Christians will be held responsible for how they have lived since they became Christians. We shall stand before the judgment seat  of Christ, and give an account to him.  (See, for example, 2 Corinthians 5:8 – 10.) And God’s infallible Word, the Bible, also teaches that those who live and die as non-Christians will be judged for their sins. They have not been forgiven because they have not believed in Jesus Christ, and must, therefore, pay the penalty for their sins. This penalty is confinement in hell, which is a place of conscious, eternal punishment. (See, for example, Revelation, chapter 20.)

In Acts 17, the apostle Paul plainly speaks of the future time when the world will be judged, and it says Jesus Christ will be the judge. Here is what Acts 17, verses 16 – 31 say. Pay close attention to verses 30 and 31: “16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? 20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (These verses are quoted from the King James Version because in the USA it is in the public domain. They are taken from this website: http://www.biblegateway.com. To read these verses in modern English, go to that website and click on the New King James Version. )

Now, since God knows all about us, and since he will hold us accountable for how we live, here is what should be done: Wayward Christians should immediately make things right with God by confessing and forsaking their sins. (See, for example, Proverbs 28:13 and 1 John 1:9.) Non-Christians should immediately believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. (See, for example, Acts 16:30 and 31.) We have no guarantee that we will live another day, or even another hour, so do it at once! The opportunity to do what we need to do could end vey soon!